We keep talking about digital & technology, but at the end of the day it’ll always be about people: Dentsu’s Amit Wadhwa

We keep talking about digital & technology, but at the end of the day it’ll always be about people: Dentsu’s Amit Wadhwa

The Dentsu Creative India CEO was speaking at The Advertising Club’s annual digital review.

 Amit Wadhwa

Mumbai: The ever-changing digital ecosystem has altered the game of advertising and marketing as we once knew it. Digital marketing has developed into a significant platform for some profound work and brand case studies. Whether it's digital or non-digital, every creative needs to emanate from a strong idea, said Dentsu Creative India CEO Amit Wadhwa, sharing his insights on the digital space and what works in the medium at the third edition of The Advertising Club’s D: CODE held recently in Mumbai.

We keep talking about digital and technology, but this will always be about people at the end of the day, Wadhwa emphasised. "People are needed for ideas. People are needed to create technology. People are needed to run and understand the medium. That is the most important consideration."

At the Tac’s annual digital review, ten digital evangelists from the advertising and marketing fraternity shared key takeaways that brands and their digital custodians can make use of.

Repersenting dentsu creative, the winner of the Agency Of The Year award at Cannes this year, Wadhwa shared the two pieces of work that stirred him. Or, in his own words, like a true advertising professional, he "stuck to the brief" - where the brief given was to showcase one best-of-class work from their own stable, along with one work that truly inspired them. He started with a creative coming from Dentsu’s stable, called The Protest March.

Speaking about exactly why he chose this particular piece of work, Wadhwa said, "Who says protests have to be on the street... who says protests have to be violent or there has to be aggression? This is cricket and this is a protest-you can’t get a bigger and better idea." More importantly, he added, this idea is digital at its core. The whole reason this is happening is that digital is there as a platform.

Pointing out the third important element, Wadhwa said, "And I strongly believe in the third power—that’s purpose. I think it's important for everything to have a purpose. And look at the purpose this one had. Taliban taking over, rights being taken away and I think you can’t have a stronger purpose than that."

Titled ‘The Protest Match’, the initiative recreated the Afghanistan women’s cricket team virtually, replicating the exact team that was unfairly banned from playing in real life. With an objective to pledge support and protest the injustice caused to the Afghan Women’s Cricket team, on 3 April 2022 – the day the ICC Women’s World Cup finals took place in New Zealand, Global eSports, in partnership with Isobar India Group, re-created the finals—one that could have happened.

Talking about the next piece of work that inspired him, titled ‘Backup Ukraine,’ Wadhwa said, "When I went to Cannes this year, there was a team from Ukraine presenting this idea. And it hit me so hard that it remained with me."

The project was led by Virtue Worldwide, a Vice Media-owned creative agency, and centres on a digital and mobile platform that enables people in Ukraine to capture and digitally preserve 3D images of historical artefacts, monuments, and other culturally-relevant structures and objects at risk of being damaged or destroyed in light of the ongoing war with Russia. The tool employs technology developed by 3D imaging startup Polycam to create realistic digital replicas and store the digital blueprints of the artefacts they capture in the cloud.

"I feel equally important to "what" we show on digital is "when" we show it. The timing is key," Wadhwa said, adding that timing is key in any medium, but more so in digital.

Wadhwa also mentioned how, nowadays, the brief itself states, 'We want a stronger integration on digital.' "I don’t think we need a stronger integration of digital—digital is all around us. If the idea is good, it will finally land on digital," he asserted, adding that the moment you start trying too hard, you will see it going wrong somewhere." Talking about the one thing that’s really spoiled us, Wadhwa says that with this medium, everything is possible, and that’s what the medium is all about.