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Now's the time for planning to bring big value into media plans, says Mindshare Fulcrum MD Vikram Sakhuja

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We continue the countdown to FRAMES 2003 with an interview with Mindshare Fulcrum MD Vikram Sakhuja. At the convention, he will speak on 'Advertising : How to make the rupee go further'.

With massive media fragmentation having set in, how can advertisers maximise their media buy?

Now's the time for planning to bring big value into Media Plans. By clever targeting, one can beat fragmentation. Let me give you a big tip. By targeting heavy and moderate viewers of TV and leaving out light viewers, one can fight fragmentation very effectively.

There's a ton of saving in that for advertisers. The other way to combat fragmentation is being served on a platter by the government with CAS. Come July 14, if the government has its way, there will be three segments of TV viewers: non C&S (terrestrial), FTA and CAS. The fragmentation of the kind seen today will reduce for a big chunk of C&S.

What are the innovations one can expect in the future?

It would be pretty ordinary of me to predict the next great innovation. By definition, there is a creative leap involved in Innovations- one that doesn't follow a time series. Having said that, I see too much media innovation these days around an attempt to break clutter via intrusive print positions / sizes or the nth cricket creepy crawler on screen.

The way I would like to see innovation going is the good old fashioned method of starting with a brand communication and then finding a new way to use the channel/ medium to say that message as it intersects with the consumer.

What's ahead as interactivity and multi platform opportunities seek significant roles?

I am not taking a forward position on Interactivity / Multi-Platform opportunities just as yet. Why do I say that? For interactivity to happen with critical mass, the vision would be to have enough fully wired houses (and eventually fully wireless houses) that have a common gateway that links up to everything from communication and entertainment to refrigerators and heating.

For adoption to happen, I see three big issues: For technology to be adopted it has to be cheap, easy to understand / use and fast. The associate technologies also play a role. To that end, I see increasing adoption of individual platforms, but I don't just as yet see a multi-platform opportunity happening fast.

The second issue is consumer based. This requires high disposable incomes plus a propensity to invest in technology related communication / entertainment. I see both being barriers to mass adoption. Third are the broadcast economics where I believe that there is a high entry cost especially in hardware, but also content. We are talking targeted homes here, and from a broadcaster's standpoint, I see the investment being offset only by a long term pay back, and that too if the content is successfully syndicated.

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