With the globalization of expertise, the way forward for content material is limitless
As part of The Drum’s Globalization Deep Dive, India-based brand strategist Ambi Parameswaran examines the future of content and how both its creation and consumption will evolve with globalization.
In August 2020, at the height of the pandemic, two Chennai-based filmmakers were deeply concerned about the plight of the film industry’s day laborers. All the shootings had stalled and there was no end in sight. One of them ran a non-profit helping the needy, but film industry workers needed special care. They found that if the restrictions were relaxed and movies were allowed to be made, they should do something for the hard-hit workers.
This led to the creation of the nine-part miniseries Navarasa, which is based on nine universal emotions and premiered on Netflix on August 6, 2021. Leading actors, directors, cameramen and music directors gave their time for free. The stressed film workers received their daily allowance. The surplus went to the film industry unions, which identified those most affected and made sure they got their weekly rations. It was also revealing that the series was trending on the Netflix platform for several weeks. Not just in India, but worldwide. Keep in mind that these stories, scripts, and teams were put together quickly and filming was done in restricted conditions.
Content is now limitless
A series produced in Tamil Nadu is now finding eager audiences in Europe and the United States. Films made in Malayalam are eagerly viewed in numerous countries. Similarly, the Spanish-language series Money Heist has become such a cult hit that many brands are planning to ride this wave in India. The same goes for the Israeli, Korean and Danish series.
The restrictions imposed by the film industry have resulted in a significant change in consumer behavior around the world. New forms of engagement are being developed not only in the film industry, but across all industries. The acceptance of technologies has exploded. What previously took maybe a decade happened in just a few months. Necessity makes inventive, they say.
How well does “remote working” work?
The marketing communications industry has been working from home since March 2020. Campaign kickoff meetings used to take place in beautiful offices or chic off-site locations. Teams of 20 or even 50 were put together to be briefed. They then had to come back with their ideas within 10 days or less. For another marathon meeting. None of that has happened in the past 18 months. Teams work in remote locations.
Advertising professionals aren’t sure if the brainstorming process benefited from this remote work. The human touch, which is so important for the brainstorming and innovation process, is missing. And not all team leaders are able to tackle this new terrain with ease. Those who were able to get involved with their teams in smaller groups have achieved good results. Those who did not fully understand the need for that extra touch left their teams disoriented. Employee turnover appears to have skyrocketed in several sectors.
Creative advantages of WFH
Not that WFH didn’t have its advantages. Companies are now trying to identify workplaces that could be distributed to remote locations in “project mode”. A customer can be in Bangalore, but the analytics team can be based in Gurgaon or Patiala in Northern India. The key is figuring out what can be located remotely and what needs to be near the field.
With the opening of offices in India, companies are considering how they can control the innovation / idea process and at the same time benefit from the advantages of the technology. Those who are successful will be the ones who understand well: what tasks can be done in project mode and therefore can be packaged and shipped; where the best available talent is and how to attract and retain it; what special skills team leaders need to lead this hybrid work group.
The creative services industry has already found a way to access talent from all over the world. Unsurprisingly, the spokesperson for a commercial being shot in Chennai lives in Denmark. Or for a campaign that requires high-quality illustrations, the artist is based in Nairobi. The age of globalization of talent and globalization of content creators is here. Those who understand and ride this wave will reap rich rewards, just like the makers of Navarasa.
Ambi Parameswaran is a bestselling author, independent brand strategist and founder of Brand-Building.com.
For more information on how technology and trends are bringing the world together, check out The Drum’s Globalization Deep Dive.