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The Indian Brand Summit discusses new ways to reach the consumer

MUMBAI: The India Brand Summit 2006 culminated with a final session on 'New Ways to Reach the Consumer'. Chairing the session was Reliance Retail chief executive consumer durables Rajeev Karwal along with Lintas' Lynn De Souza, TAM Media Research LV Krishnan, Leo Burnett's Arvind Sharma, Maxis CEO Asia Pacific CVL Srinivas and Jet Airways DGM brands Alok Saraogi on the panel for the evening.

Lynn De Souza begun by stating that new media primarily consisted of digital (internet and IPTV), out of home, on the move media and the consumer himself, which she felt is by far the most powerful. However, she was of the opinion that that in India traditional media still has great potential to grow and predicted that it will continue to be important for at least the next 10 years, mainly by recreating itself through interaction with the consumer.

Srinivas on the other hand brought certain key concepts to the discussion. He talked of 'Media Meshing' which is the simultaneous consumption of media, as he believes media consumption is changing rapidly and it is time for media owners to ride the tide in this direction. He also spoke of 'Social Media' where people are primarily the creators, influencers and observers, something that has been fueled by a concept like blogging. "If you combine the two, you get a multi dimensional black box that will force advertising agencies think more differently. This will give us an impetus to move away from big bang advertising to 'micropersuation'. The world is changing and change is at our doorstep."

Sharma addressed the gathering with some eye catching visuals and highlighted the fact that 'consumer disseminated content' is what is leading the way. Communication between consumers via the internet and mobile phones has the capacity to spread like wildfire and thus helps to drive the brand. These could include jokes, cartoons, a 30 second spot however, a classic example was that of Gmail, which has absolutely no advertisements but is something that through invites has grown in leaps and bounds merely by consumers acting as agents to pass it on.

Saraogi on the other hand explained how the 'human quotient' of media or rather the human needs that new media poses to serve. He added, "Today, while technology reduces boundaries people also desire to be able to communicate thus we need to leverage the power of technology and make it relevant to each consumer."

TAM's LV Krishnan spoke specifically from a television perspective and eluded the point that TV has evolved from getting eyeballs to consumer engagement. Studies from his organisation supported suggested, for different categories different mechanisms are used to get more effective engagement. Like for example for house wives it is sound that forces her to rush out of the kitchen and catch the climax while for youth and kids both visuals and sound helped get kids involved in each program.

Taking a shot at the media researchers Lynn added that media research was still not adequately developed and that with the emergence of these newer mediums like the internet and DTH and the interactivity that they incorporate can provide sufficient measurability thus, there would soon be no need for media research.

All these industry experts all tread different paths in the various ways to deliver content, yet they all aim at the same goal of ultimately reaching the consumer!

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