Midas Awards Grand Jury Spotlight Interview: Kirti Srikant
The Midas Awards Grand Jury members are respected world-wide as award-winning agency and client leaders who have worked in the financial advertising industry. These international experts are tasked with selecting the World's Best Financial Advertising and the results of their efforts are parsed in an annual rankings brief, The Midas Report and The Midas Brand Report —a veritable who’s-who in the world of financial services advertising.
In this week's Grand Jury Spotlight interview the Midas Awards spent a few minutes with Kirti Srikant, Vice President, Head of Brand & Advertising, OppenheimerFunds. Kirti oversees brand marketing, advertising, media strategy, brand sponsorships, and agency relationships.
In the interview below, Kirti shares her thoughts on judging work from around the globe, the challenges of working in financial advertising, and the changes within the industry.
Midas Awards: Why did you agree to participate on the Midas Awards Grand Jury?
Kirti Srikant: I have been supportive of the Midas organization for years since we have been entering OppenheimerFunds for a variety of awards back in 2012. I think it’s important to be a part of the platform for idea sharing, acknowledgement of best practices and exposure to the greatest global financial brands. I am always so humbled to be invited back year after year.
Midas Awards: Is it difficult to judge work from other countries around the globe? What are the challenges and benefits?
Kirti Srikant: I think Midas does a tremendous job in procuring a global panel of experts and it’s been a seamless experience every time. I think there are more benefits to working with judges from the international markets – it provides a more unique perspective and rounds out the overall panel – mitigates biased thinking.
Midas Awards: What’s the biggest challenge to working in financial advertising? What’s on the horizon for financial marketing and advertising?
Kirti Srikant: The biggest challenge we face in financial advertising is we’re trying to generate consideration and usage for intangible goods. We have to depict a life, experience, moment of story that can still be personalized but yet not cliché (as in the Older couple on a yacht and retired). I think a great financial brand has to find their unique art of storytelling. We also need to challenge ourselves in leveraging more of the advanced and innovative marketing tools to tell these stories and not shy away.
Midas Awards: How has financial advertising changed since you started working in the industry?
Kirti Srikant: Financial advertising has changed in 2 ways:
Media mix: Brands who once leveraged only newspaper, direct marketing and television to communicate have really evolved their media mix. In a world where our B2B and B2C clients are surrounded by so many mediums, financial brands had to adapt to revamping their media mix and consequently identifying ways to tell their story by each medium. The idea of medium-based storytelling is still a struggle for financial brands that come equipped with a leg of legalize.
Value of Brand & Advertising: I have been in the financial services industry now for well over 10 years and it has been a challenge to prove the value of advertising and overall impact – seeing the saturated advertising market today that didn’t exist 5 years ago has been game shifting and it makes it more difficult for brands to be considered and generate engagement. Financial brands will see more value over time and I predict will support the discipline further.