At FICCI Frames 2006, ‘TV Promos: The Next Wave’ turned out to be a session that had a few cues for those developing television promotions. While Pradeep Hejmadi, Vice-President, and Vivek Srivastava, Senior Brand Manager, S-Group, of TAM Media Research, were present to provide the research perspective. Jon Griffin, Director, Brandspeed, and Andy Bryant, Director, Creative, Red Bee Media, threw light on the essence of being creative while working on promotions. Sunil Lulla, CEO, Time Global Broadcasting Company, moderated the session.
Bryant’s rich collection of captivating ‘promotion clips’ reaffirmed that every second counted, and that good stuff won’t go unnoticed. The Creative Director of Red Bee Media also stressed on the importance of leveraging the synergies between the designers and creative people. Instead of having different departments that worked in isolation, it made more sense to involve designers in initial stages of promotions development, he said. Brandspeed's Griffin endorsed Bryant’s view, and also spoke about emerging trends, like promotions developed for particular devices like the mobile sets.
Delving deeper into the nuances of the ‘Screen Real Estate’, Griffin signalled that we would witness more and more interactive messages in promotions in the days to come. His caution note read: ‘Don’t launch content before it is platform-optimised’.
Srivastava and Hejmadi put the facts in place, and substantiated with ample stats, certain interesting viewing habits. For example, research showed that StarOne has positioned itself closer to the high-affluent, young audience, while STAR Plus has pitched itself in the low-affluent, older audience, though both are Hindi general entertainment channels. Thus, both will have different dynamics.
Srivastava maintained the view that certain platforms show more audience receptiveness. For example, shows like ‘The Great Indian Laughter Challenge’ showed higher rates of conversion when compared to shows like ‘India calling’, or other fiction formats, he said. The TAM duo also spoke about specific content channels (like sports channels) and the implications for them with respect to promotions. Hejmadi opined that this space was fairly evolved, with the development of innovative elements like the Britannia 50-50 (third umpire). Another question that the research experts left the audience with, was: ‘Are promotions turning into a blind spot?’ An average promotion plan had a reach of 65 per cent and a conversion rate of 11 per cent, they explained.
Towards the end of the session, Bryant stuck to the cliché, stating that engaging content would lead the way. Hejmadi pointed out the differences between television and mobile. While the former was a ‘push to many’ medium, the latter was a ‘pull by some’ medium. This would certainly translate into important implications for promotions, he said. Indications of a growing shift in the promotions space was pointed out - as against programmes being used to drive products, he noted that we were witnessing the usage of products to promote programmes.
Technology is changing the universe of media consumption and content creation. While the challenges are known, the answers are not as clear. Bryant was willing to bet his money on awesome, compelling content, while Hejmadi insisted that research must be done, and an optimum mix of platform-audience needed to be used.
Undoubtedly, all of that is critical, and networks need to be leveraged, too. Let’s put it this way: it’s a product of teamwork between research, good content, and effectively leveraging networks. After all, every second counts.