SMS and radio dethroned TV in 2002 - Alyque Padamsee

MUMBAI: It's time for some GodSpeak once again. Former Lintas boss and advertising and marketing guru Alyque Padamsee is gung-ho about the explosion in radio and SMS in 2002. In fact, his view is that the two new media vehicles put television and the Internet in the shade.

He added that the multipurpose interconnectivity-oriented medium of SMS will present multitudinous opportunities for ad agencies in 2003. He lamented the fact that ad agencies didn't leverage the SMS medium as much as they should have in 2002.


We present some of Padamsee's views on Indian advertising in 2002:

New phenomenon in 2002:

The advent of radio in a bigger and better avatar was the most defining moment of the year 2002.

However, the big breakthrough that literally changed the name of the game was SMS through mobile telephony. SMS is an amazing, exciting and technologically advanced medium.

Unlike a TV set, mobile phones and WLL (Wireless in local loop) handsets are part and parcel of a person's life. The beauty of SMS is that a mobile phone or WLL handset accompanies the person at all times.

Within the next three to five years, the penetration will increase and engulf the consumer markets. People from all walks of life will carry mobile phones or WLL handsets.Through SMS, ad agencies can target different target audiences with customised messages.

It is a creative challenge for ad agencies to develop messages for the medium of SMS.

Over dependence and mega spending on celebrities:

In the year 2002, ad agencies took a short cut. Instead of innovating around creatives and media planning, they adopted the easy way of using celebrities.

Agencies sought well-established icons - Big B or Sachin Tendulkar or even the "new-on-the-scene" Virender Sehwag - and tried to piggy back on these celebrities.

It worked to a certain extent as the India is the land of Gods and Goddesses. People love to imitate achievers rather take on the challenge of doing something different on their own.

Television in 2002

In 2002, television was in a rut! A few reality shows here and there and one or two new programming ideas - nothing else!

Instead what one witnessed is the monotony of Kyunki.. and Kahaani... The next in the series might be Kyunki daadi bhi kabhi beti thi.

Sadly, there were no major programming initiatives witnessed on the childrens or kids channels. Marketers didn't leverage the pester power of the what I call "junior citizens" (not kids)! As far as buying decisions are concerned, it is these junior citizens whose control over the remote is increasing day by day.

There are instances of children suggesting lipstick brands, automobile brands and even mobile phone brands to their parents and relatives who don't have time to watch television.

What is interesting is that certain TV shows developed around advertising - for instance StoryBoard on CNBC - actually elevated advertising into an entertainment spectacle.

Most memorable thing shown on TV in 2002:

Pepsi's Sumo wrestler ad was the best thing I saw on TV in the 2002. It was sheer magic and would have given the soaps a run for their money.

Will the consolidation of media buying give it an edge over creative aspects of advertising?

Creativity is the name of game and it will rule over all the other functions of advertising.

Ads are no longer about selling goods. They are about entertaining people through a combination of visual and audio-visual techniques.

I have coined a new word or terminology - "Advertainment"!

In 2003, Long live "cricketainment" and "advertainment"!

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