We chatted up with Kaushik Mitra, Senior Creative Director at Bates 141, on the recession and advertising creative…
As a Creative, what does recession mean to you?
I think the first thing it means to all of us is, ‘no raise’. It also means less spend on proactive initiatives which are done keeping an eye on the award festivals. But I’m hoping it will mean more time to mself.
Do you think the recession will force clients to think more innovative? (can you give examples?)
To be able to understand what clients might do in recessionary times, you have to first understand the recession itself.
Look, from whatever I have gathered from the media, this recession is serious. Much more serious than any of the slow downs we have experienced in our professional lives atleast.
In the west, it started off with too much credit being given to too many people. As a result many Americans have had to return their new flats, cars, and other expensive purchases. But this recession doesn’t just hurt the techie or the banker. It hurts the banks, many of whom have already gone in the red. It hurts the industry. Imagine, car makers trying to sell in conditions where car owners are actually returning their luxury cars or SUVs. It’s tough. Very, very tough, specially when you consider a huge number of families in India who are dependent on their children now settled in the US and UK.
Therefore, old people will suffer. They may still have enough to pay their essential medical bills, but they will not have money left over for a foreign holiday. Or a new car with driver to run errands for them.
I think the other set of people in India likely to be affected is the huge (some say, 300 million strong) middle-class. A lot of the young ones have made their bucks from the IT, tourism or the service sector revolution, which as industries are interconnected to the global economy. This set of new-age worker is unlikely to be buying premium cars and fancy HD televisions immediately. In fact, a few of them might even default on their home loans or car loans. Reports of farmer suicides are already getting overtaken by reports of techie suicides.
So in conditions like this, I see the car industry launching fewer cars, though there will be some desperate attempts to clear inventories. Tourism is already affected, and things may not improve. Definitely sectors like household electronics or anything else that’s remotely conspicuous will be affected first, as people generally try to postpone their high ticket purchases.