The digital space today is being explored like no other. Brands want to do everything to make their presence felt on digital platforms to reach out to a certain target audience and a niche crowd.
In an interview with exchange4media, Veneet Bagga, Director and Founder, Onion Creative Media Pvt. Ltd discusses the objectives of Onions Creative Media Ltd., and how the digital advertising and content is taking shape in India.
What are the essentials elements of digital advertising in your view?
Digital has to be short, crisp, engaging and you can’t just put out one and stop. You have to keep the audience engaged. If it is short and engaging it gets easier for people to relate to the content. I feel that content should become an instrument of human connection.
The digital space is fast evolving, what is your advice to people who want to monetize content on these platforms?
Monetizing can be two types; one is to invest in content to increase your branding impact, the other is pure monetizing out of digital content. So the first part includes all those things you wanted to tell your consumer as a brand, but could not say because you did not have the time or budget to use mainline media.
In digital if you go for a premium quality and spend Rs 30-50 lakh on production cost and almost a nil on air time cost or media cost; so if a million people have watched that then the return per view for per rupee spent is far more. So that way monetizing is great for brands on digital while targeting the niche audiences you want.
The important part of monetization is the original proprietary disruptive content which is very highly viral. There are lots of platforms that have come up doing original viral content. We have started funding original content within our team and outside. If we like an idea and think it can be viral we will shoot it and own it.
With a vast demographic like India’s, how does dealing with viewer sentiment change across the country?
Exposure has changed everything and the world has become a smaller place. Everything is available to everyone. We at Onions try to capture stories that appeal to people across the world, in digital even if it is a 6 month old baby laughing out and it is interesting, then it is interesting across demographics. The idea is to re-define human appeal and reach out to as many people possible. The problem with TV is they blame everything on the audience, and the content is tailored according to them, but digital content is a space to give the audience what they really want.
With so much of content, does the competition get better or does it create a clutter?
I think the dot com galore happened over the past decade and the pipelines were laid but no one was sure as to what content would be shown through these pipelines. There is a lot of content and content creators who are really good, but they think that digital space is not for them and they belong to the mainline. There is a dearth of content because clients do not know what they can do. Secondly, clients think that this dearth of content is because of ideas. Getting a good solid team for digital content is still a challenge in India, very few people, like our team, focus on content because that is our passion and that is what we love.
How do you balance story-telling and marketing strategies while making commercials?
I personally don’t believe in brand ambassadors. When the audience watches something they should see themselves. In some cases a brand ambassador may be the best option, but generally I feel the digital space is the most relatable space. You can make content more relatable by casting real people and have an acting workshop with them, this will have more truth and at the same time it must have the finesse of a TVC and the depth and truth of a documentary.
How do you find a balance between social sensibilities and marketing demands?
Over a period of 20 years of advertising a lot of filters have come on our end. The filters automatically delete everything, and if there is anything that doesn’t seem right we tackle it. Then there are objectives of clients that may be disruptive, then you have to take those filters out, but I personally do not like to make shocking content. A brand has to stand by some values, and overall as storytellers we have some kind of responsibilities for our viewers. Even after all these filters, we have all the good content, keeping in mind our audience, values and ethics.
Onions Creative Media Ltd. has worked on various campaigns which include Datsun 100000 stories, Hero Fincorp, Hero Splendor Pro Classic and many others like Humari Pari, which has crossed 1.7 million views on YouTube.
Watch a few of their campaigns here:
Datsun 100000 stories https://vimeo.com/155940889
Hero Splendor Pro Classic https://vimeo.com/album/3807087/video/125787811
Hero FinCorp https://vimeo.com/album/3807087/video/146888919