The Film and Television Producers Guild of India in association with Hungama.com presented the second Entertainment, Media and Marketing Forum – EM2 2005 on September 21. The one-day seminar on ‘How Brands Connect with India’s Entertainment Economy’ targeted the marketers, film and TV producers, media and marketing companies.
Elaborating on the rationale of the forum, Amit Khanna, President, Film and Television Producers Guild of India, said, “At a time when the entertainment and media industry in India is attracting global attention, it is important to create forums like EM2. The guild, which represents the who’s who of film and TV production, hopes to get a meaningful dialogue going between creators, media, advertisers and other professionals to leverage each other’s strengths leading to a win-win situation for all.”
Setting the tone for the sessions, Peter Mukerjea, CEO, STAR TV India, stated in his keynote address, “Statistics in the US media market suggest that we are making only 25 per cent of the revenue we can make from the box office as 75 per cent of the revenues actually is and can be generated from other streams. The role of marketing in media is big and will get even bigger, but marketers need to see marketing not just as a cost of investment but, in fact, make enough and more investment in marketing of the products.”
He added, “Creating strong brand equity and superior compelling contact were the essence and soul of our business. Also, for being able to generate more revenue, marketers need to have a strong grip on the consumer pulse and then have to start injecting more excitement – the ‘E’ factor – into the brand. Once this is done, only then can you deliver consumer experience.”
Mukerjea elucidated his statement by giving examples of ‘The Indian Laughter Challenge’ – the redefining of the 10 pm slot, and ‘Project Swades’ on STAR Gold. He pointed out that there were 62 million households that were connected to the cable and satellite every night.
“We are also seeing convergence of media, mobile phones and the industry. The consumer is everywhere and can be reached through technology. Some lessons one can learn is that consumers evolve very quickly, but this is not the case with brands. This is where consumer orientation is the key, which helps in connecting with the consumer’s emotions, building consumer relationships and developing brand personality,” asserted Mukerjea.
He shared the successful example of the movie Star Wars, which made a lot of money from brand extension, licensing and other such sources. Thus, it laid the precedence for marketers to go beyond just the traditional media and extend the brand.
Session One: Film and Television Programme Marketing
Film studios and TV channels have emerged as among the biggest media buyers in recent times. It is a known fact that internationally a film is known to spend as much as 38 per cent of their production budget towards marketing, all for that big opening weekend.
In India, too, the marketing of shows such as ‘Indian Idol’ and ‘KBC 2’ has set a new precedent in attracting viewership. Both studios and channels alike have innovated in capturing the attention of their target audience and there are several lessons to be learnt on how to get this right.
The first session was chaired by Rajat Jain, Managing Director, Walt Disney Company India and had Sameer Nair, COO, STAR TV India; Bobby Bedi, Director, Kaleidoscope; and Bijou Kurien, CEO, Titan Industries, as the speakers.
Nair discussed the marketing of one of the channel’s most successful shows ever – ‘KBC 1’ and ‘KBC 2’. He said, “With ‘KBC 1’, we redefined the 9 pm slot, which ran for 18 months and 305 episodes. We created newer and newer ways to reinvent the show and marketed the same. At STAR, we believe that if content is king, marketing is the crown prince. With ‘KBC 2’, which came five years down the line, we had to take into consideration the increase in cable homes from 26 million in 2000 to 63 million in 2005, four million mobile phones then to 60 million now. Thus, for ‘KBC 2’ we had to undergo many a thought processes and we built the brand in a very consumer engaging way.”
Discussing the trails and tribulations of marketing the film ‘Mangal Pandey – The Rising’, Bobby Bedi said, “I had to unlearn so many things while making the movie. I believe a successful film is a good story well sold. We worked backwards and justified the budget of Rs 35 crore, did soul searching of various marketing opportunities. We realised we couldn’t do product placements and, therefore, worked on other unique ideas, created presentations for advertisers like Airtel and IOC, etc, and with the association of DNA, TVS, and Titan, we paid for our promotional budget of Rs 10 crore and more. We held up the release date by two months to coincide with August 15 and it just made perfect sense as the first four days got us 33 per cent more revenue. Here we had to do a much focused brand association and leveraged Aamir Khan, the brand.”
Bijou Kurien concluded the session with an inspiring speech on leveraging on brands beyond advertising support in an entertainment economy. He started off by pointing out the constant fragmentation of media.
“Indian is confusing as there is a fragmented mass of different medium and the worst is yet to come. In the last five years, television, radio, and the Internet have grown by leaps and bounds. Also, with retail media explosion, media is no longer confined to what you see, read or hear. It is all encompassing. There are several new forms of congregation that happens, thus opportunities are well presented. Media now reaches to people as opposed to people reaching out to media. While reach is rising, time spent on media is decreasing. Thus, stickiness is a problem,” he observed.
“So, now if media is the hardware, advertising is the software. Marketers have to find customers and not just reach audiences. Today communication is about delivering the big idea across multiple discussions, layers and facets. Marketers have to be aware of technology changes that are driving a customer’s behaviour and thus, the need to narrowcast rather than broadcast. Which means marketers will have to slice the viewer in a very fine and cost effective way. Therefore, the need of the hour is to think beyond traditional media, never think traditional media is the final solution, engage the consumer at all levels, strike partnership and alliances that can result in a win-win situation,” Kurien further said.
He also shared the instances of Titan and Mangal Pandey tie-up and the Tanishq and Paheli association, which worked well for the company as well as the films and went beyond marketing itself.
Walt Disney’s Rajat Jain in a tone of summarisation said that content was still the king and Mukerjea’s 25-75 per cent ration was a great opportunity.
Session Two: Live Events and Promotions - Taking the route of Experiential Marketing
The session began with Santosh Desai, President, McCann Erickson, speaking about the power of Experiential Marketing (EM). The other speakers in the session were Sabbas Joseph, Director, Wizcraft and Nina Jaipuria, Heah Marketing, Sony Entertainment Television.
Desai said, “In today’s day and age the phrase ‘brand must find all possible ways to communicate with the consumer’ is in-vogue. Thus, there is a need to realise the true power of EM under the rubble of hype. EM must become more strategic and the new brand orientation creates fundamental new role for EM. It is very important to draw distinction between EM and associate marketing. Thus EM needs to go beyond mere association. EM needs to offer the brand to be the platform rather than standing on the same platform and go beyond generic platitudes. EM must begin with the brand idea. It now needs a new vocabulary and cannot just be understood as a variant of advertising. Advertising has made us fat and lazy and EM cannot operate from this paradigm.” He gave the example of Mahatma Gandhi and religion as being the brands themselves.
Wizcraft’s Joseph spoke about the potential of Live Indian entertainment globally and the factors that were influencing the growth. “Connectivity and boom in mass media has widened our reach. The Indian Diaspora is creating a huge potential of live Indian entertainment and is directly proportional to the Indians living abroad. The Bollywood phenomenon, packaging and the growing Indian business are all leading the growth and acceptance of entertainment from India and that too live,” said Joseph. To take the discussion forward he shared the success of IIFA over the years.
Speaking on the inspiring marketing of ‘Indian Idol’, SET’s Jaipuria said, “We created a show and marketed the same keeping our objectives in mind of wanting to provide opportunity that allows viewers to connect and interact with the channel. Thus, was born the ‘Indian Idol’.”
She shared the various creative marketing done around the show in a phased manner and its resultant success.