360 degrees communication to invite not intrude

MUMBAI: Content aggregators, ad agencies and

advertisers should jointly work out 360 degrees

multimedia consumer interactions to provide positive

experiences and move away from intrusion to

invitation. Only then will they able to grow the

advertising pie and stretch every rupee of the ad

spend. These were some of the observations made during

the session on “Advertising: how to make the rupee go

further” held during the latter half of the second

day of Ficci FRAMES 2003.

The writing is clearly on the wall - TV channels and

print media owners should stop selling content alone

but forge multimedia alliances to woo advertisers. Ad

agencies want to make media owners equally responsible

and culpable for the success or failure of brand


In an extremely jovial atmosphere, the panelists

comprising Bennett Coleman and Co (The Times of India

– TOI - president) director Arun Arora, Mindshare

Fulcrum MD Vikram Sakhuja, Zee TV president Apoorva

Purohit, Wizcraft director Sabbas Joseph and the

moderator Madison Communications chairman Sam Balsara

had no qualms about taking digs at one another while

scoring brownie points by their insightful


Balsara’s reference to The Times of India (TOI) as the

“grand old lady of Bori Bunder” compelled TOI

president Arora to claim that the grand old lady has

become the “spice girl” of Mumbai. Arora was adamant

when he stated that “what is timeless must become

timely; otherwise it will get dated!”. Sometime later,

Zee TV’s Purohit took a dig at competitor Sony and

wondered whether the channel would eventually brand

some of the “assets” of their wonderful team of


Balsara’s rejoinder was that they had

approached Sony for branding Mandira with TBZ

jewellery. Purohit also claimed that media buyers

acted like purchase managers and some day in the near

future there would be “media channels” tender ads in

The Times of India. Balsara, then, urged Arora to

think about Purohit’s suggestion and ensure that she

gets part of the 15 per cent commission for her ideas.

In his presentation, Arora mentioned how the scenario

has changed and offered the following solutions to

stretch the ad rupee. Arora said that the days of

content aggregators doing vertical thinking are gone

as clients are demanding that their ad agencies should

think horizontally. The key is ensure that there is

a convergence of vertical media buying with horizontal



* Media habits have not just evolved but they have

been transformed. The market is ruled by complexity,

fragmentation, higher short-term goals and reduced ad


* The ground rules indicate that one must get an

emotional connect with the consumer who is in control.

The medium can be used effectively as the message.

* Products (including print and TV) have become

experiential and are no longer just functional – the

way to the heart and the mind could open doors to the


* Mere communication isn’t enough but it must be

coupled with entertainment and experiences.

* There is a convergence of content and commerce.

Content aggregators and advertisers must move away

from vendor-buyer relationships and partner one

another. Examples of such relationships include music

videos for selling automobiles (Karunesh- Tata Safari;

Eveready Indipop Remix album; Romanov party mania).

* Advertising has to meet advertising events and

branded entertainment. Examples Brand Equity quiz;

Corporate Excellence awards; Femina Miss India and

Filmfare awards.

* A 360 degrees sweep for products and services –

examples include Star India and Channel [V]’s Popstars

band Viva had a multimedia deal with The Times of

India group; Pepsi with Adnan Sami and Fardeen Khan.

* Madison (advertising) must meet Vine

(entertainment)! Globally, some major 360 degrees

deals have been done. Pepsi and Coca Cola have tied up

with Sony and Universal music labels in order to get

the celebrity artistes to endorse their respective

brands. Viacom with Proctor & Gamble; AOL with

Kelloggs, Kraft, Burger King.

* Music or TV content or feature films are longer just

intellectual property but can be termed as emotional

property (EP). Create more and sell more in order to

benefit and stretch the advertising rupee.

Mindshare Fulcrum MD Vikram Sakhuja

# There is a need to move away from carpet bombing to

brand experience via a 360 degrees marketing and

communication mix.

#Ogilvy said that “only one half of advertising works

and we don’t know which half”. The key is ensure and

find out that both the halves work.

#Stretching the rupee is all about the right

communication messages and not about reach, frequency

or gross ratings points.

#Advertisers and ad agencies have to be very clear

about what they want to do and correct judgement will

indicate savings. For instance, WPP Media research

shows that if a brand launch costs Rs X; saying

something about the brand costs Rs 0.75 X;

repositioning a brand costs Rs 1.25X; reinforcing

brand values costs Rs 0.5X and gaining competitive

dominance would involve stepping up the share of voice

through selective media planning and buying.

#In India, planners and buyers can stretch the rupee

by conjuring up the right mix between satellite and

terrestrial channels. They need to question the role

of media and its ability to deliver. Media owners must

be made accountable and must guarantee sales.

#Medium can be the message eventually and if used


#Micro-scheduling, optimization and effectiveness

could induce savings of nearly 20 per cent.

#Effective planning and buying can be done through a

mix of intuitive and nominative planning.

#In the near future, the focus will shift from “media

to communication”

Zee Television president Apoorva Purohit

#Media is not merely a commodity (that media planners

and buyers have made it out to be) but much more than


#Media planning and buying is an art but the media

agencies are too obsessed with the science of media


#Media specialists need to consider media in totality

and use innumerable media opportunities to drive brand

salience and extend brand proposition. Examples would

include in-film placements (actor Shahrukh Khan

sipping Stroh’s beer in Yash Chopra’s super-duper hit

“Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge”); branded TV shows

(Whirlpool extended its homemaker concept to creating

content around the theme) and long-term associations

(CEAT cricket ratings and De Beers with Aishwarya


Event management specialist Wizcraft director Sabbas


#Ideas need to be the base or foundation of any

attempt to stretch the rupee. Ideas can also create

compelling content.

#The best part about using below-the-line activities

to stretch the rupee is that there are no rigid rules

as in TV or print.

#Marketers and advertisers start off with the premise

of the idea and then innovatively use 360 degrees

multimedia marketing to build up hype.

#Delivery can be measured effectively.

#Association with a winning idea is beneficial in the

long-term as ideas have a life of their own.

#A clever mix of events and 360 degrees mix can make

the brand experiential and ensure reach and

interactivity with the target audience.

Moderator Balsara summed up the proceedings eventually

by saying that ad agencies, media owners and

advertisers have all been partly responsible for

having myopic visions. Leading media houses must

aggressively don the mantle of ensuring that they help

the advertisers sell more; ad professionals must gain

a business perspective and develop a holistic attitude

which just doesn’t end with delivering cost-effective

TRPs. Times of India group’s Arora however had the

last word when he commented that “good content always

sells and can always stretch the rupee.



The session: Advertising: how to make the rupee go


Moderator: Sam Balsara, chairman, Madison Communications

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