30 September 2023 05:00



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80% of respondents in India think generative AI will enable their teams to take more creative risks

Dentsu Creative’s 2023 Global CMO Report, ‘Creativity at a Crossroads’, reveals optimism from today’s marketing decision-makers in the face of change and challenge.

Using data from a survey of 700 CMOs and senior marketers in the US, UK, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Italy, and Spain, the report has identified eight key themes which show that despite being an industry at a crossroads, it is one empowered by creativity and technology.

“Creativity at a Crossroads dives deep into the hearts and minds of marketers today. From embracing the ‘Frenemy at the Gate’ that is AI, to their resolute belief that advertising can be a force for good, this report shows that CMOs remain both optimistic about the future and committed to the transformative power of creativity, with 85% believing that creativity is a catalyst for economic growth, rising to 94% in the US,”Says Julie Scelzo, Global Clients Chief Creative Officer

Amidst volatilities of the modern world, such as climate change, inflation, and geopolitical instability, CMOs are focusing on the things they can control. Their number one concern for 2023, and as they look ahead to 2030, is owning and connecting with their audience in a world where third parties often seem to hold the cards.

Patricia McDonald, Dentsu Creative’s Chief Strategy Officer and lead author on the report observes, “To own the audience, we need to connect in the spaces and places that matter most to them. The challenge is that audiences are changing: they have new expectations, new behaviors, and new values shaped by a deeply connected world. Their expectations have soared while their attention has polarised-they can dive deeper than ever into the things they love and find it easier than ever to ignore the things they don’t. So, brands must be built in new ways through experiences, through culture, and through action. The choice is simple: engage or be ignored.”

Amit Wadhwa, CEO, DENTSU CREATIVE India adds, “Today's landscape demands that brands navigate a complex web of audience attention, technology advancements, and societal shifts. In the midst of these challenges, where change and challenge intersect, the 'Creativity at a Crossroads' report delves into marketing leaders who emphasize the integration of creativity and technology. Now, in a world where AI threatens to steal the spotlight from human creativity, it is reassuring to see that a massive 73% of India's marketers firmly believe that Generative AI will never outshine the boundless brilliance of the human imagination. Frankly, I couldn’t agree more. The report underscores this crucial juncture where creativity, technology, and strategic insights blend - setting the stage for an exciting future in the world of marketing.”

Written in collaboration with leaders across the Dentsu Creative global network, the report’s eight themes allow CMOs to benchmark their areas of focus against their peers, such as whether their investments in technologies and platforms are keeping pace with the industry, and whether they hold similar views on the fundamentals of marketing in 2023 and beyond.


In an era where social platforms, retailers, and technology partners are siphoning audience attention away from brands, and when consumer-brand interactions have become increasingly demanding and sophisticated, the single biggest concern for CMOs now and in the future is owning and connecting with a rapidly evolving audience. For 30% of respondents ‘owning the customer relationship’ has been their focus for 2023 and will continue to be as they look forward to 2030. Engaging with changing audiences, responding to changing consumer behavior, representing more diverse audiences, and understanding, and keeping up with new technology were a focus of 28% of CMOs respectively, with understanding Gen Z audiences still a challenge for nearly a quarter of respondents.


Today’s CMOs demand experiences that connect technology and humanity, 87% agree that brands today are built through experiences, and 88% agree that it is essential that the customer experience matches up to the brand promise. To achieve this, they are embracing new interfaces from voice to gesture, AR to AI, blurring the boundaries between on and offline, content and commerce, and enabling ideas that are distinctive, delightful, and disarmingly human.


CMOs agree entertainment will be a key component of brand building and are looking to build their brands in the spaces and places that matter most, investing in platforms from podcasts to programming to engage audiences that are harder than ever to interrupt. 79% of CMOs agree with the statement, ‘In a world where advertising is easier to ignore’ and 80% agree that technologies such as live streaming are blurring the boundaries between content and commerce as never before. We also see that humor is making a comeback with 58% of marketers looking to create moments of joy during current difficult times and agreeing that today’s advertising today isn’t entertaining enough in a crowded sea of bold and bullish promotional messaging. 


The way marketers are approaching Purpose is shifting. 69% of those surveyed agreed that we have been so focused on purpose that we have forgotten how to sell. Moving beyond “purpose washing” campaigns it is felt that Purpose must evolve from a side project to an integral element of business strategy as there is no longer any disconnect between what is good for society and what is good for business, 78% of marketers believe that in a world where economic volatility is accelerated and exacerbated by climate volatility, renewed innovation and infrastructure is badly needed and only through the power of emotion can we impact this and affect lasting behavioural change.   


Signifying a deepening awareness of the industry's responsibility to balance purpose and profit, CMOs are concerned over the polarised, sometimes toxic, media landscape brands could be funding with their investments. 62% of CMOs are worried about the potential adverse consequences of their campaigns and investments on the environment and society, while 64% expressed concerns that their media spending may inadvertently contribute to political polarisation, raising questions about advertising’s role in shaping public discourse. In defiance, marketers remain convinced that advertising can be a force for good and 81% agree that brands can use their budgets to amplify independent and diverse voices.


AI is cause for cautious excitement and 87% agree that it represents the future of advertising and marketing. CMOs welcome the efficiencies it allows and are keen to experiment, but doubt AI-generated content will ever truly move their customers, and 81% of respondents agree that customers will be prepared to pay a premium for human-created content. Despite over half of respondents questioning if Generative AI could take their jobs in the future, 75% believe that Generative AI will never fully replace the essence of human creativity.


CMOs now demand flexibility and diversity from the people they work with. 86% want their agencies and partners to connect the right talent at the right moment, wherever it sits inside the network or beyond. 83% believe brands benefit from consolidating their efforts with one agency holding company, acknowledging the power of the network in a data and technology-driven world. However, 85% do value the diversity of thought that comes from partnering with multiple agencies, calling out the flexibility and agility of local partners. As such, the perfect team for today’s fast-changing and volatile world does not exist, and CMOs want the ease of one agency, with the power of many.  The businesses and brands that can connect the right talent at the right moment, or introduce unique perspectives to unlock new outcomes are those that will thrive. 


Responding to audiences with a heightened expectation of brand integrity and customer experience, and an increased tendency to completely avoid content that fails to engage or entertain, CMOs remain committed to the transformative power of creativity, and 85% view creativity as a catalyst for economic growth. Unlocking the creativity needed to thrive in today’s connected world sits firmly at the intersection of brand, experience, and culture and sweet spots are emerging for brands and businesses to connect with modern customers in the spaces and places that matter most. 

Post the triumph of the Mumbai Edition, Delhi is all set to host the likes of Karthik, Arivu, Neeraj Madhav & Many More.

93.5 RED FM, India’s leading private radio and entertainment network’s event ‘South Side Story Season 5’ - Mumbai edition proved to be a tremendous success. The event held at Richardson & Cruddas, Byculla witnessed an incredible turnout, with music lovers braving the rain to be a part of this unforgettable experience.

South Side Story Season 5 featured exceptional performances by Aattam Kalasamithi ft The Theikkinkaadu Band, Maalavika Sundar, Sean Roldan & Friends, Arivu, Agam, and Thaikkudam Bridge. Beyond the captivating music, attendees had the opportunity to indulge in a sumptuous spread of Sadhya and other South Indian delicacies, and refreshing beverages.

In light of the tremendous success of the Mumbai Edition, Red FM is thrilled to announce the next stop in Delhi for the musical journey. South Side Story Season 5 - Delhi Edition is set to take place on September 16, 2023, at the iconic Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. This edition promises a unique blend of hip-hop, rap artists, and playback singer and composers like Thirumali, Arivu, Humankind, All OK, Neeraj Madhav & Sithara’s Project Malabaricus who will take the stage to deliver unforgettable performances. The Delhi edition will be headlined by Karthik.

Speaking on this announcement, Nisha Narayanan, Director & COO, RED FM, and Magic FM, stated “Our vision to introduce diversity in the regional music space has appropriately translated into South Side Story. The Mumbai edition was a testament to the colossal celebration of our humble effort to bring the south of India to the metros. We were delighted to witness a massive turnout of our audience that even the torrential rains were not able to cease the spirit of the festive season. By joining in wearing traditional South Indian attire and celebrating the various ingredients of the South, the Mumbai audience came through. We are eagerly awaiting to recreate or take the celebrations a few notches higher in Delhi.”

Mark your calendars and prepare to immerse yourself in the colors, sounds, and flavors of South India. The tickets are available on Skillbox.

In a resounding testament to the vibrant entrepreneurial spirit of Maharashtra, Zee24 TAAS is set to telecast the much-anticipated 'RISE: Udyog Bhushan Program' on September 10, 2023 at 4:30 pm time.

The widespread viewers of Zee24 TAAS will witness an unwavering dynamism and remarkable accomplishments of visionary entrepreneurs, painting a vivid picture of the resurgent entrepreneurial landscape in the state.

Recent years have witnessed an unprecedented surge in startup ventures across southern MaharashtraThrough the 'RISE: Udyog Bhushan’, Zee 24 TAAS celebrated the accomplishments of these outstanding individuals and provided an inspiration-driven platform for collaboration. It also served catalyst for enriching conversations, enlightening discussions, and uniting visionaries, industry mavens, and curious minds eager to learn and innovate.

'RISE: Udyog Bhushan’ witnessed the presence of Uday Samant, Minister of Industries, Maharashtra Industry stalwarts representing various sectors, Udyog Ratna, Udyog Mitra Udyogini, Outstanding Marathi Entrepreneur was an inspirational figure for the attendees of 'RISE: Udyog Bhushan. Sanjay D. Ghodawat, Founder and Chairman, Sanjay Ghodawat Group (SGG), also passed on the wisdom of the importance of acknowledging weaknesses and challenges and converting it into strength.

According to Nilesh Khare, Editor of Zee24 TAAS, "Fostering a culture of innovation, leadership, and inspiration is at the heart of Zee24 TAAS. Through the 'RISE: Udyog Bhushan Program,' we've uncovered the remarkable journeys of young executives and entrepreneurs reshaping the regional business landscape and leaving a lasting global footprint. Kolhapur, known for its entrepreneurial spirit, offers abundant opportunities in traditional craftsmanship, agro-based industries, and emerging sectors like technology and healthcare. With the pioneering RISE: Udyog Bhushan initiative, we stand by those in Kolhapur who are leading innovation, driving change, and setting new benchmarks for the region."

Abhay Ojha, CEO of Zee Media Corporation Limited, further added, "Initiatives like 'RISE: Udyog Bhushan is a powerful testament of our commitment to spotlighting the outstanding contributions of these individuals who are reshaping industries and uplifting communities. Zee Media Corporation Limited remains steadfast in the mission to champion and amplify these extraordinary stories.”

The 'RISE: Udyog Bhushan Program' also received invaluable support from esteemed E V Charging Partner – Nikol EV, associate partners, including D Y P Group, Sainath Multistate Co-operative Credit Society Limited, Nero Industries, Supreme HR Consultants Private Limited, and Pitambari Agricare Division, Hospitality Partner Hotel Pearl, whose collaboration played a pivotal role in making this event a resounding success.

Omnicom Media Group EMEA CEO Guy Marks To Succeed Philippa Brown as CEO of PHD Worldwide

Omnicom Media Group (OMG), the media services division of Omnicom Group Inc. today announced OMG CEO EMEA Guy Marks will succeed Philippa Brown as CEO of PHD Worldwide.

“Guy is one of our industry’s most entrepreneurial leaders, with an approach that transformed first OMD’s and subsequently Omnicom Media Group’s offering in EMEA over the past six years,” said OMG global CEO Florian Adamski. “By enabling our agencies to quickly identify, adapt and respond in real time to the challenges of a dramatically changing consumer marketplace, he’s unlocked growth for our clients and made OMG the #1 media agency group for net new business in the EMEA region for the year-to-date, according to the most recent COMvergence reporting.

Adamski continues, “The fact that - at the same time - he was also one of the network’s key people coordinating Omnicom’s boots-on-the-ground Ukrainian relief and rescue efforts tells you everything you need to know about both his character and his leadership skills.”

Brown, who has served as PHD’s global CEO since 2019, is stepping down following almost four decades in the media industry – including 16 years in leadership positions with OMG - to focus on non-executive advisory roles at both the corporate and advocacy levels.

Commenting on Brown’s contributions, Adamski said, “As CEO, Philippa’s passion for great work that advanced our clients’ business goals was matched by her dedication to helping young talent advance their career goals. After leading the agency through the Covid crisis, she brought PHD back stronger than ever, earning Media Network of the Year honors at the 2021 Cannes Festival; winning Diageo, Chanel, Unilever, and most recently, the $300 million Grupo Bimbo account. She also launched and oversaw OMG’s Talent Management Community, an initiative offering professional development across the entire career life cycle.

“We are deeply grateful for her tireless leadership, creative vision, and unwavering commitment to meeting the needs of her clients and her people, and we wish her all the best as she redirects her singular energy, experience, and expertise to an exciting new chapter in her career.”

In 2022, PHD was ranked #2 globally for net new business gains – second only to sister OMG agency OMD - adding $902 billion in incremental billings in 2022.

Marks joined OMG in 2014 following Omnicom’s acquisition of Mobile5, the global UX, design and tech consultancy service that he co-founded. As CEO of OMG EMEA, he helped establish Omnicom’s Transact connected commerce and retail media consultancy in the region; and co-architected the expansion of OMG’s TRKKN analytics and cloud consultancy from five European countries to 20 markets across APAC, EMEA and North America.

“The thread that can be pulled through all my professional experience is driving growth through transformation,” said Marks. “As the CEO of PHD - an agency that was born from a transformative concept of media as a strategic tool - my priority will be assuring that every PHD account team around the world have the talent, tools, technology and collective commitment to excellence they need to deliver the transformative ideas, solutions and service that drive growth for our clients, our agency, and our people.”

Marks, whose appointment is effective October 1, will be headquartered in London, reporting to Adamski. His successor as leader of OMG EMEA is expected to be named next week.

Onboards Kuldeep Sengar, ex-Microsoft and Praveen Sridhar ex-Freshworks

Tech Visionary, Kuldeep Sengar joins as Group Chief Technology Officer, while Growth Strategist, Praveen Sridhar comes onboard as VP for Growth & Special Projects

Netcore Cloud, a leading global MarTech and Customer Experience company, is thrilled to introduce two significant additions to its leadership team. Kuldeep Sengar, a distinguished technical leader with over 17 years of experience with renowned global organisations, joins as the Group Chief Technology Officer (Group CTO), further enhancing the company's technological prowess. Praveen Sridhar, a seasoned expert with a remarkable 15-year journey in customer engagement and advocacy, comes aboard as Vice President, Growth and Special Projects, reinforcing Netcore Cloud's commitment to innovation and sectoral leadership. These strategic appointments will help further elevate Netcore Cloud's innovation-first, leadership positioning in the industry.

With over 17 years of global experience from leading organizations like Microsoft, Loylty Rewardz (A BillDesk Company), Snipp Inc., and pioneering startups, Kuldeep possesses a profound understanding of modern technologies and their alignment with business processes. His proven ability to harmoniously blend technological and business strategies, complemented by his extensive knowledge of international markets, uniquely positions him to spearhead the company's ongoing technological innovations, especially in AI-driven customer engagement.

Praveen Sridhar's distinguished tenure in customer engagement, advocacy and having worked with a wide range of cultures as part of successful growth journeys with notable companies like Freshworks, TCS, and Lummo, positions him as a pivotal force in Netcore Cloud's worldwide expansion plans and customer retention strategies. His experience in personalising customer experiences at scale, providing value for customers’ investments, and maintaining a continual partnership with customers will help reinforcing Netcore’s focus on customer experience in the global market.

Expressing his enthusiasm, Kapit Jain, Group CEO, Netcore Cloud said, “Netcore Cloud is at a pivotal juncture as the company continues to strengthen its presence globally and venture into newer international markets. While Kuldeep’s profound technological insights and ambitions perfectly align with our ethos, Praveen’s deep understanding of consumer experiences will prove its vitality in our expansion and growth trajectory in the times ahead. We are confident these appointments will fortify our capabilities and strengthen the company’s position as a worldwide leader in technology and customer engagement experiences.”

Speaking on his appointment, Kuldeep Sengar, Group CTO, Netcore Cloud said, “It brings me immense pleasure and gratitude to join the Netcore Cloud family. With our shared dedication and passion, I am confident that we will consistently push limits, explore uncharted territories, and set new industry standards globally. The future looks promising, and I'm eager to contribute to Netcore's next growth chapter."

Praveen Sridhar, Vice President - Growth & Special Projects, expressed, "Netcore Cloud has been a pioneer in the global MarTech industry, setting benchmarks since its inception. As we start to place a renewed emphasis on customer delight and invest in building a strong community of customers, our goal is to ensure they achieve business success with Netcore's suite of products. Focusing on Emotional Investment and Continual partnership are the two barrels that need to fire in sync for us to grow. In this new phase of prioritizing consumer experience, I'm thrilled to join the company's leadership team. Through our insight-backed systems, we aim to enhance customer intelligence in consumer engagement endeavors and to be a guiding force in businesses' journey to profitability."

Having played a pivotal role in Asia's dot com revolution, Netcore Cloud is renowned for nurturing an entrepreneurial spirit. The recent additions of Kuldeep Sengar, Praveen Sridhar, and Mahesh Narayanan (Chief Marketing Growth Officer) to the team highlight this commitment. The company's dedication to innovative solutions remains strong as it continues its global expansion under revitalized leadership.

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