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Why advertising veteran Meenakshi Menon thinks 2022 was the year of loss

Meenakshi Menon shares an unfiltered review of 2022 - ‘a year of loss’. However, she is optimistic about 2023.

By  Meenkashi MenonDec 31, 2022 11:44 AM
Why advertising veteran Meenakshi Menon thinks 2022 was the year of loss
"2023 will be the year when we all start appreciating the little wins in life because the big ones are getting more and more out of reach," writes Meenakshi Menon. (Representational image by Jon Tyson via Unsplash)

2022 was a year of loss.

I lost some friends to heart attacks and strokes, some were lost to Cancers, both health conditions seem to have no respect for age. Just like the ad industry where many seniors lost their jobs.

The advertising agencies lost out to digital agencies and performance marketing agencies and event management agencies and the ultimate insult was that they lost out to influencers. This new breed of actors came into their own this year and the guys at the top of the pyramid were able to earn in crores. Brands lost their brains in pursuit of fickle influencers who died almost as soon as they mushroomed.

We as a nation, lost the plot. We decided to focus on our differences rather than celebrate our similarities. Hate for the other became the leitmotif in many walks of life. The irony of a Canadian citizen exhorting Indians to boycott Chinese made tiles was lost on 99% of the population who continues to buy Chinese products. The hate was lost in the economics of expediency. The statue of Sardar is proof of this lost truth. Lip service won and true nationalism lost.

We lost the climate change battle and we all nodded sagely when our supreme leader claimed it was nothing but advancing age that made people feel cold despite record winter temperatures across the Country. The Himalayan glaciers lost out and silently melted while we cut down vast swathes of pristine forests to build 4 lane highways for spiritual travellers. We lost forests and biodiversity, clean air and clean rivers and yet claimed it was all good because one of our own became the second richest man in the World for a short time and then he too lost his rank, dispassionately, we cheered his success and failure with equal gusto.

Our media lost their credibility and news was no longer something to take at face value. There was always an agenda and it was rarely hidden. The yelling and shouting on primetime news rendered hearing aids redundant and the auditory business lost out. Anchors lost their jobs because their owners changed and channels lost their audience because they did not change enough.

The rank and file responded to the three big IPOs that had been oversold and over pitched. Everyone hoped to make a fortune, at least a fraction of what the promoters made but ended up losing their shirts. It was a debacle to beat all debacles. The crown jewel in the government treasure chest, LIC turned out to be paste.

All in all it was a year of loss and reckoning and that’s what makes 2023 so exciting. In 2022, we have hit rock bottom on almost all fronts and the only way is up, we can’t drop down any lower on all the global indexes unless we nudge sub Saharan Africa up the ladder out of the generosity of our loving human kindness.

2023 will be the year when the impact of climate change will force us to wake up to the reality of a world where millions of people will lose their livelihoods and both the west and the east will experience uniform pain and discomfort forcing the need for dramatic action.

2023 will be the year when VCs will tighten up their belts and as a result we will be saved the ignominy of absurd advertising that has lost its Cred.

2023 will be the year when many OTT platforms will realise it’s a mugs game to think advertising is going to fund channels. More so when they look alike, sound alike and audiences are just not interested in making the effort to tell one from another. No viewer is desperate to see crappy content on an OTT platform when they can find gazillion things on TikTok FTA.

2023 will be the turning point for media. They would have lost their audience, their advertisers and the only knight in shining armour who will bail them out is the Government with its ever increasing advertising, telling us about all the good things they plan for our collective future.

2023 will be the year that social media finally gets recognised as anti-social media. Brands and businesses will realise that they have been taken for a nice long ride down the digital roller coaster. Alphabet soup will still be hanging on but the Metaverse bubble will burst and leave behind a dystopian landscape. The world will be full of addicts who will need rehab.

2023 will be the year when women will unify the country and break the cycle of hate and disunity. The weight of the atrocities that have gone unpunished this year will finally break the dam and fuel the righteous rage that we need to collectively own, to carve out our safe place in this world.

2023 will be the year when we all start appreciating the little wins in life because the big ones are getting more and more out of reach. It will teach us gratitude and kindness and bring back generosity of spirit because the hate we saw this year has to end, otherwise we will truly be at war. Amongst ourselves. A war that won’t have any victors. Only spoils to be collected by a handful of carrion waiting on the sidelines fuelling the conflagration.

Meenkashi Menon is an entrepreneur and founder of Spatial Access. Views expressed are personal.

First Published on Dec 30, 2022 4:48 PM