The Importance of Being There!

Monday, 21 September 2020


The Importance of Being There!

Koushik Hazarika | July 18, 2020 15:12 hrs

Why advertising and branding has become even more significant during these Covid times.

With the world slowly coming to grips with the Covid-19 pandemic, the overall mood is one of trepidation mingled with hope. 

Since the beginning of 2020, the pandemic-induced lockdown has brought the entire country to a grinding halt, and all we're left wondering whether the world would ever be the same. The narratives drew similarities with scenes that would not be out of place in a movie like ‘Bird Box’ or ‘The Road.’ 

However, this is the 21st century and the world has developed and gone too far ahead for a virus to undo everything. If not anything, science and medicine have discovered one more deadly virus, and the world is probably better prepared now for another health crisis and the economy will limp back to how it was, although slowly.

As with the rest of the industries that have taken a body blow during this pandemic, the same has been the case for the advertising industry as well – the advertiser as well as the media. 

The numbers have dropped drastically and the first quarter, which is usually abuzz with new campaigns, launches, and rollouts, saw very little activity this year. Most brands and advertisers chose to lie low and bide their time. But as is evident, the pandemic has raged on and the country is still under various stages of lockdown, week after week, month after month. 

So what should be the way forward for the brands – do they wait for it all to pass? Or should they resume their activities, adapting to the new post-Covid world? As of now though, the first option might look the most sensible and logical, because there is some time for it to be business as usual for the world. However, this also presents a real danger of being left behind, because in the midst of all this too, some brands continue to advertise and be visible and available to the consumer – through various media – television, newspapers, and most importantly, digital.

It is important to understand that in spite of all that has gone around, the need for communication has not changed. Any message that needs to go out has to be communicated and this is the very basis of advertising. Whether it is new products, changing services, offers, schemes or availability, advertising has become even more paramount now!

Although times have changed, people’s needs have not. They still require everything that they have been consuming so far – maybe in a different way, but they still do. Because ‘needs’ and ‘dreams’ of people are never going to die. And that is the very reason why certain advertisers have understood this and continued to ‘be there’ for the consumers. Be it at the global, national, or local levels, brands have continued to advertise. 

This has also been the case in Guwahati as well where many local businesses chose to communicate through local mediums like ours. G Plus has been at the forefront in supporting this group of advertisers that include small, medium, and large businesses. Several cloud kitchens, delivery apps, take-aways, educational institutes, sanitization services, and PSUs, just to name a few, have all chosen to advertise and have seen success stories as far as reach, engagement, and ROI is concerned. I believe their trust and aggressiveness during these unique times have worked out right for them and they have reaped the benefits.

In times like these, when digital content consumption, be it news or entertainment, has been at an all-time high, it provides advertisers a potent time to reach out to consumers because their attention is almost undivided and clutter-free. As I had mentioned earlier, this is just a hiatus and the world will get back to being its usual self soon. So why lose ground to be on the consumers’ mind and consciousness? It is important to ‘be there’ so that when the time comes, you are not caught napping!

Whereas this might sound like a very biased opinion, the fact is that advertising is one of the most important cogs in the giant economic machinery that our world is. It is a cycle which translates into jobs that run lives and families that have needs and dreams and are going to consume what they desire. It is a perpetual cycle that will not end and this in turn will prevent an economic disaster.

So go out, be seen, be audible, be visible, and be there!

(The author is a media and advertising professional with over 15 years of experience in news media, creatives, journalism, and advertising)

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