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Media experts on combating the challenge of continuous partial attention of audiences

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Media experts on combating the challenge of continuous partial attention of audiences

The Advertising Club’s Media Review which took place in Mumbai had speakers like Shashi Sinha, CEO of IPG Mediabrands, Meenakshi Menon, Managing Partner, Spatial Access, Punitha Arumugam, Head of Agency Business (India & SEA) at Google; and Pradeep Dwivedi, Chief Corporate Sales & Marketing Officer, Dainik Bhaskar Group. The discussions centred on the topic “Is Anyone Listening? How Did Ad and Media Industry Combat The Challenge Of Continuous Partial Attention of Audiences?”

Menon started the session by saying “We live in a very exciting time, where labels don’t matter, whether you are a creative, media, digital, social agency, the label becomes totally irrelevant. The agency model in which we are working is broken and there is a need to wake up, smell the coffee and realise that when the world is moving fast, the advertising model cannot continue to function as an ostrich. Clients say that they want to change the model, but the question is do they know, what they want, do the advertisers know, what the clients want? The problem is clients know something is going on, but they don’t know is going on. Also in order to keep pace with the digital times, every agency today has launched a digital arm and they have no clue what to do with it. The client is often unsure of the distinction between what he wants and what he needs. Earlier clients believed that advertisements pushed their products, but today advertiser they themselves don’t believe in it. My advice to agencies is: If you are going to run with the wolves, then you got to hunt.”

Dwivedi from Dainik Bhaskar spoke about how there is a need to rediscover print, in order to tackle continuous partial attention. “Due to media explosion, we are bombarded with different content and our attention span gets divided. But print is distinct; it allows for non-partial attention and guarantees unlimited exposure. Print is rational and delivers strong emotional responses, which cannot be replaced by any medium. It offers a human connect, which is missing in the virtual world. It is tangible, non-intrusive, can be read, re-read and retained,” he cited.

Sinha elaborated on the role of Measurement in Continuous Partial Attention of Audiences and he admits that in this country, measurement has nothing to do with the skills of measurement, but it has got everything to do with the skills of managing the stakeholders and getting them on the table. There are few challenges, like skimming consumption, lack of benchmarks, so the question here should be- How can we target sharper?

In the end, Arumugam pointed out that there are three main stakeholders, media, agency and advertisers and they need to listen to each other and most importantly they should listen to the customers. She said, “Agencies sometimes lead a very pitiable life, because they have to listen to the clients, media owners, the audit bodies and others. The fact is that we do listen to others and that is the reason for some of our fabulous works, which we have done at Google. If you break listen, then L stands for leveraging insights, I-investigate features, S-seek moments, T-Think moonshots, E-employ curious people and N- never stop being amazing.”

A panel discussion followed, which was moderated by Sam Balsara, Chairman & Managing Director, Madison World and he asked the question ‘With changing times, do you think, we should throw away the traditional or the fundamental principles of the media like GRP, based on whatever the environment is?’ Answering to this, Arumugam said, “It is actually a question of what we are doing with the metrix. The fact is the point where we are targeting the consumer has become very sharper with the emergence of new media, but the truth is we do continue to use traditional metrix. Also every agency will become closer to the businesses and they will manage the data.” Menon also pointed out that, we are ignoring the fact that 2+2 can be 22 as well, we are looking at things individually and not in a combined way.


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