IPG Mediabrands took a significant step earlier this year, when it decided that apart from its media agency brands UM and Initiative, it would add a third agency network to its overall offering. The decision led to the launch of BPN (Brand Programming Network) and IPG Mediabrands chose India to be the launch market for BPN.
In a conversation with exchange4media, José Antonio Espinoza, President, International, BPN explained that not only was India amongst the first to roll out the brand BPN but it also would be part of the trial that would allow BPN to offer real time solutions to its clients, using social media as the key information source. The other markets that would be part of this trial are United States and Netherlands.
Elaborating on the reason behind launching BPN in India, Espinoza said, “Lintas Media Group was in the process of launching a second agency earlier in the year. At the same time, IPG Mediabrands was planning on launching its third agency globally for reasons of exploring new opportunities of expansion and growth. BPN was a result of trying to tap on these opportunities.”
The assets of building BPN primarily came from IPG Mediabrands’ Brand Connection, an agency that already existed in several markets. For these markets, the launch of BPN was really was a rebranding exercise. However, for two markets, India and Denmark, that were looking to launch a third agency, BPN fit the requirement perfectly. Also given the Mediabrands development in India earlier in the year, when the holding company made way to India in a significant way, rolling out BPN in India was a logical move. Espinoza added, “India is amongst the largest markets for BPN at present. And we are working towards creating India to represent what we want BPN to stand for internationally.”
A proposition based on social media
BPN is a full service media agency, much like UM and Initiative, but for local advertisers. At least that is the single line explanation that the agency officials are working with right now. But what differentiates BPN from the rest, is its desire to put brand at the centre of conversations again. And for this, BPN is using social media as its key listening tool.
BPN will draw heavily from Mediabrands’ global tools suite to be able to accomplish this objective. Espinoza explained, “Mediabrands has many resources that have not been used to their fullest and we are going to integrate these tools with BPN to maximise what can be achieved from them. The key source of information for us would be social media to provide real time insight for clients. On the back of this, we look to provide better decisions to increase efficiency of media plans based on social media insights.”
While providing real-time solutions is the final objective, Espinoza divulged that this is a three-phased programme for which a trial is set to begin soon. The trial, that is expected to go on for about three months, will take place in India, Netherlands and US. BPN is creating dashboards, using social media as a listening tool and then taking those results to plan better on traditional media.
The first phase would be maximise what Mediabrands on the whole offers in terms of tools such as Matrix, MAP and others. BPN is working on a new technology platform to complement that.
The second phase will include delivering real time solutions, and by the time the third phase is in play, BPN wants to offer the complete package to its clients. “By the third phase, we would move to final product in main markets and begin the basic product in smaller markets,” informed Espinoza.
He reiterated his expectations from the India market in forming BPN as a media agency brand of the future.