Television

Money well spent on ads guaranteed to give returns

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MUMBAI: Amitabh Bachchan is by far the biggest brand in India today! Everyone agrees with that. The main agenda of this session was to throw light on the ways advertisers could use television to ensure better ROI for their brands. While O&M group president and national creative director Piyush Pandey dominated the session with more presentation and less facts and figures, what he said drove home the point that there were two ways advertisers could use television to ensure better ROI for their brands - badly and well! It all boils down to the fact that at the end of the day it was all about content.

The session was conducted by CNBC India corporate editor Govindraj Ethiraj while the keynote address was given by Pandey. The panellists were BBC World director of airtime sales Jonathan Howlett, Bharti Enterprises corporate director marketing Hemant Sachdev, E! Networks MD Christine Fellowes and TVS Motor company VP marketing Harish Krisnamachar.

Pandey stressed on the point that the content of the ad has to be distinctive and has to stand out and only then it would be able to get the ROIs. He added, "If you dont have some thing different then might as well put that money in a savings account and get returns on that!" He also showed his displeasure at the India Shining campaign and dismissed it as a funny campaign.

Pandey showed some ads made by O&M like Amaron batteries, Hutch, Asian Paints, Alpen Liebe, Center shock chewing gum, Sprite and Cadburys Five Star. Pandey said after the Amaron battery ad was launched the market for it grew by 45 per cent in 2002. "Spend your money well and you will get the returns" was the mantra of this ad guru.

Talking about Sprite and its innovative ads, Pandey said that it was the smallest spender when compared to the other cola and orange drinks but the ad made so much of an impact that in 2002 its market grew by as high as 62 per cent. "Sprite will be bigger than Coke or Pepsi by May 2004," Pandey predicted.

Also two new products - Alpen Liebe, Center shock chewing gum, which were launched recently, were market leaders in 10 months after their launch due to the advertising said Pandey. So the point was not just to drive sales overnight but to build brand images, which would give you sales over the years.

Fellowes said that their viewers were young and affluent trendsetters and the brands that were advertised on their channel catered to this genre of people. Brands like Kraft, Coke, BMW, Revlon, Visa, GAP, Ford and Sony were the ones that advertised on the channel.

Howlett on his behalf said that ROI were infinitely desirable but difficult to quantify. "It is a challenge for not only advertisers but all the marketers too," said Howlett. He further said that one could make the greatest ad in the world but if it was distributed well and not aimed at the target audience then it wouldnt give ROI.

Krisnamachar stressed on the point that brands build television. He cited an example of how 18,00,000 households switched off their television set when they got to know that Sachin Tendulkar was not going to play a particular match. On the whole, the advertising industry sifferred a loss of Rs 100 million (Rs 10 crore)on this particular day! Thats the impact of a brand that Sachin has become. Another such brand was the Big B himself!

So it is not the huge amounts of money that is spent on ads that guarantee returns but the clever and innovative way in which it is used!

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