dentsu India Team

Have you been part of meetings where you hear the client say- “Yeh viral kardo” or “Trend kyun nahi ho raha”? or “Look at how Apple went viral”. 

Well yeah true, not everything can go viral – if it did, then wouldn't we be causing an existential crisis for the term 'viral'? 

I suppose it's already happening, isn't it? Every post that SRK puts up goes viral, every IPL moment has its own share of virality, and every brand is itching to become the new sensation in the digital world. So, the question arises – why go viral at all? Why does it matter? Is that all that matters?  

But you see the business we are in – a marketer’s gotta do what a marketer’s gotta do! 

Our teams struggle with this almost every day and I always wonder how a mammoth task of researching for insight, investing countless hours in identifying a sweet spot for an idea and fleshing it out completely gets narrowed down to “Yeh Trend hoga kya?” 

So here is how I feel, we should tackle the ‘trending’ question. 

Enter- The Fad, the Facade, and the Big F… it of creative thinking. 

The first step in creative thinking is identifying the FAD. 

“I want my posts to be minimal!”. “Try maximalism- I think it will work”. We all have heard this way too often to find it even interesting anymore. In digital marketing, this can mean recognizing the latest trends and technologies that have the potential to become popular from a pool of white noise. With platforms like Instagram and likes of TikTok mushrooming and gaining momentum, it’s supremely important to recognize that just because something is a fad or just because someone sternly told you to try something, doesn't mean it's necessarily effective. There are a lot of fickle fads out there that can quickly lose their relevance. Yes, it is important to stay up to date with the latest trends and technologies, but what’s most important is to be able to recognize when something is just a passing trend. 

The second step in creative thinking is spotting the FACADE. 

This can mean identifying buzzwords and hype that don't actually translate into results. One example of this is the concept of ‘viral marketing’. While the idea of a video or post going viral can be exciting, it's important to recognize that virality doesn't always guarantee success. There's a lot of smoke and mirrors in the world of digital marketing, and it can be hard to tell what's real and what's not. If you become too fixated on creating viral content, you might lose sight of something more important. 

Ask yourself these key questions before skewing your thoughts towards the ‘virality’ of the campaign.

-Does it serve the business purpose of the client?

-Does it add value to the campaign? 

It's important to stay focused on long-term goals rather than getting distracted by short-term hype. 

The final step in creative thinking is saying F…it. 

Remember Phunsukh Wangdu a.k.a Rancho from 3 Idiots - the one who challenged the age-old practices of education even at the best of institutes. Saying F…it, to age-old practices, old ways of thinking and especially to your ego is the one thing that will help you move forward. You need to declutter your mind, your thoughts, your ideas and finally that 200-slide presentation from time to time. 

Sometimes the best ideas are right in front of you - you just need to be able to find them. 

And sometimes, the worse ones are also right in front of you - you just need to be able to acknowledge them, say F…it and move on to the next one.  So, be like Ajinkya Rahane and challenge your own practices and be willing to change and transform if you want to hit a 29-ball 71. 

Be creative. Be the free-spirited soul that you are, but be ready to change, evolve, course-correct and re-evaluate your thoughts, strategies, and tactics to ensure they are truly effective.

(Sonia Sharda, VP Operations, Digital Experience, Dentsu Creative India)