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Future of communication: Josy Paul, Seiichiro Hayata & Srikant Sastri debate; V Ramachandran concludes partnership way ahead

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Future of communication: Josy Paul, Seiichiro Hayata & Srikant Sastri debate; V Ramachandran concludes partnership way ahead

The Delhi leg of the exchange4media Conclave 2010 was held in the Capital on June 9. The annual flagship event of the exchange4media Group, the Conclave is special this year as it marks the commencement of the Group’s 10th Anniversary celebrations. The theme for the Conclave this year is ‘Rebooting the Indian media and advertising industry’. The first session that kicked off the Conclave delved on ‘Media Service Brands – a creation of the past decade; what is next?’ and witnessed some riveting arguments from the star studded panel.

The Session Chairperson was V Ramachandran, Director - Strategy, LG Electronics India, and the panellists comprised Josy Paul, Chairman & NCD, BBDO India; Seiichiro Hayata, DIrector & Senior Executive Vice President, Dentsu India; and Srikant Sastri, Country Chair, ViVaki India.

Ramachandran started the session by throwing the floor open for Seiichiro Hayata, who began by giving the example of the media scene in Japan and how it has evolved. He said, “Japan has always been ahead in the game of media and service brands, and it has given a fresh new perspective to how brands leverage media.”

He cited the Hitachi case study to establish how it redefined the product placement to create a lasting impact through the use of a movie. He further asked a question, “Brands have mascots, but can they become part of culture?” To this, he gave the example of ‘Docomodake’. The Docomo mascot, which is a mushroom, was used effectively as a guide to the cultural aspects of the country, while also establishing the brand. “The future lies in engaging consumers and enhancing the experiences,” he concluded.

Srikant Sastri began by reflecting on what one meant by ‘service’. When one thinks of service, the first words that come to one’s mind are health service, software service and municipal service. So, there are different levels of willingness attached to pay and inversely, service has a value attached to it. He said, “When Bill Clinton left the White House, he was bankrupt, but after that he made big money because he reinvented himself. How media service brands reinvent themselves is the most important issue.”

Taking the discussion forward, Ramachandran noted, “In a market like India, multiple segments are being created and marketers are looking for different effective mediums.”

Josy Paul took the discussion further by saying, “The Internet is teaching us a new value of interactivity. I was with a few 18-year olds, and they said that they spent more time with Google today than with God.”

He added that technology was going to make mediums out of each of us and that was something that media service brands would have to understand. The Internet teaches all of us to be interactive and one must create platforms so as people can engage. He gave the example of the FIFA Football World Cup 2010 anthem, ‘Waving Flag’, to prove his point of engagement at the most basic level, wherein a freedom chant was made into the anthem of a worldwide celebration of a sport.

“Engagement and interactivity is critical for impact,” said Ramachandran. Srikant Sastri noted, “Agencies need to work on two fronts, one is technology and other is the ability to strike right partnerships. The Internet is a niche medium in India and the smartest minds make the best of that.”

Ramachandran concluded the session by saying that for the future of communication and brands, “partnership and collaboration are the best ways to go”.

The exchange4media Conclave 2010 is presented by Dainik Jagran. CNEB is the Associate Sponsor. The Mumbai leg of the Conclave will be held on June 11.

This year, readers can follow the latest developments and discussions regarding the Conclave on Twitter, the hashtag for which has been set as #e4mC2010. An exchange4media brand page has also been initiated on Facebook at


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