The emergence of digital technologies and the government's Thailand 4.0 initiative towards innovation and automation has set a new chapter for the country's advertising and creative industry.
Kwanchai Rungfapaisarn of The Nation talks to On-Usa Lamliengpol, president of the Advertising Association of Thailand, and Veradis Vinyaratn, chairman of Judge Committee for Adman Awards & Symposium 2017, on how the advertising industry and creative people adjust and cope with the challenges amid transformation of the media landscape.
With the emergence of digital technologies and social media, what are major challenges confronted by creative people of today and in the future?
“Changes” is the key words which creative people need to embrace. Changes in way “people” or “consumer” do, think, feel and behave in digital era. This will affect the way creative people do business. Understanding people is not just about the general information anymore. Creative people needs to know in depth about how they live their lives, how they consume media, their attitude in lives, who they associate with or trust, believe in.
In essence, understanding people to be able to engage them with "content" that turn Thai heads via the platforms or “contact channels” that can reach them efficiently.
What are the key strategies initiated by creative people to overcome such challenges?
Content creation is still the key but with understanding of “netiquette” scenario. How creative can story-telling be in capturing people attention and engage them via the right platforms.
The winning strategy is still |the “idea” as creativity has the power to transform people's behaviour.
Story -telling must have the “idea” and idea must lead or connect to the brand essence.
What should be the characters of qualified creative people today? Why?
Amid several challenges, the key characters of qualified creative people should be:
lOpen minded, willing to accept and adapt to the changes
lUnderstand the brand as well as understand people the way they act, think and feel in the content of today digital era
lPassion of "idea" which will move the brand to sustainable growth
lMost importantly, the commitment to being responsible to the society. This is crucial as social media is very hard to control. It must be the "ethic" that creative people must realise at all time for the work they create.
How local advertising and creative industry can comply themselves with Thailand's 4.0 initiative and creative economy?
Thailand 4.0 key words are technology, innovation and creativity. The way the country moves forward to join the first world league is to utilise innovation/ technology with “creativity”.
Creative industry in digital era will still focus their work on the “idea”which evolve around Innovation and Technology.
What is your projection for this year’s advertising expenditure, both in term of value and growth? The major shift of contribution will be in which media and how?
Thailand's advertising expenditure in the first three quarters of 2017 dropped by 8 per cent, compared to the same period last year. So, the projection set for the whole year is a decrease of between 10 per cent and 11 per cent to about Bt100 billion. This is the effect from last year's loss.
All media have suffered drop in their advertising revenues except internet/online advertising which has increased 25 per cent annually over the past five years according to Digital Advertising Association of Thailand. Print media posted the biggest drop. Advertisng spending on TVs have also fallen, and it is the main item in a advertising budget. Every medium is transforming themselves into digital platform. So the 3Cs criteria: Content, Creativity and Crossed Platforms will be the key strategy to survival for advertising and creative agencies in the digital era.