Optimum utilisation, correct mix, and a healthy relationship among the different media vehicles can lead to a healthy and fruitful future for media. This theme was the basis upon which five media stalwarts – Lynn de Souza, Chairman &CEO, Lintas Media Group; Vikram Sakuja, COO, GroupM South Asia; Shashi Sinha, CEO, Lodestar Universal; Ravi Kiran, CEO-South Asia, Starcom Media Vest; and Sam Balsara, Chairman and MD, Madison Communications – conducted the Media Review, organised by the Ad Club on August 6 in Mumbai. Sanjay Behl, Head-Brand and Marketing, Reliance Communications, was the moderator.
Lynn de Souza commenced the Media Review with an interesting theory – ‘In search of a Tiger’ – wherein she correlated major activities such as Vodafone’s one-day road block exercise; IBF imposing a 25 per cent surcharge; the White Paper – wherein TRAI had recommended policy guidelines on operational issues; and ‘the pug of the tiger’ – the DLF Indian Premier League.
She summarised by saying, “Each of the first three events lacked four main ingredients that are the pugmarks of a successful campaign – Time, Entertainment, Global and Universal – whereas IPL had all of them, which is why unlike the other three, IPL was the tiger of this year’s action on TV. The tiger, unlike any other animal, leaves the impressions of four paws on the ground.” She also named radio as the next big medium, terming it as the ‘baby of the tiger’, that is, television.
Vikram Sakuja came up with an insightful research on outdoor, ambient, retail and the effectiveness of sponsorship at various events. Like de Souza, he, too, used the example of DLF IPL cricket league to explain the effectiveness of every touchpoint through which various brands tried to reach their TG. Sakuja concluded his review by giving some guru mantras to media agencies that could help them earn revenue figures close to Rs 1,500 crore. These included focusing on key properties and value; long-term positions; scalability of the act; less then 10 seconds of TV commercials on digital screens; and need for greater measurability.
‘The king is dead! Long live the king!’ was the opening statement of Sashi Sinha, who spoke on the print medium. He raised five propositions: emergence of a young audience readership, increase in the space consumption via Hindi and regional languages, emergence of niche content, impact of the entry of foreign players, lack of fear from digitization, and offering a 360-degree model in print. Sinha summarised by saying, “Small towns, regional and Hindi language, and youth of the country are the new faces of the Indian print industry. Hence, one needs to shift from more is less to less is more.”
Ravi Kiran came up with an interactive presentation for his review on Digital Medium in India. He said, “Digital to me is not a medium, it is life – simply because like life, the world of digital evolves every second, and so everyone in the media and advertising field needs to understand that not everything can be measured, and so one should also part with the idea of too much of experimentation and shift focus from ‘Should I to how should I’.”
Concluded Kiran, “In the last one year, 20 per cent of more advertisers have used digital to market close to 550 brands, and by 2009 the digital industry is expected to grow to Rs 1,000 crore. With integration of digital media with non-digital media, an agency can give a seamless solution to the client for his/her brand. So, it is time that we think about folks and not us.”
Sam Balsara raised some key industry issues and stressed on the need for a healthy and focused relationship between agencies and media owners. He said, “We need to look at solutions for all the shortcomings that we have in India – and not from the West. As a group, we also need to take a few adequate measures in order to safeguard healthy growth of the industry, like adoption of a client’s credit and process rating system, outsource a rating provider, group insurance on bad debts and late payments, digitisation of the commercial process, and bringing in talent from different walks of life.”