Session 1 on Day One of 3rd Annual Entertainment and Marketing Forum – EM2 –focused on film and TV marketing, which was chaired by Rajat Jain, MD, The Walt Disney Company (India). The session had speakers like Uday Singh, MD, Sony Pictures, Sunil Lulla, CEO, Times Global Broadcasting and Dr C R Sridhar, President, Icon Added Value.
Commenting on Disney’s worldwide success, Jain said that successful brands had a consistent focus of building the brand with creativity and entertainment at the helm of entertainment. Successful brands also have revolutionary ways of reaching consumers and focus on establishing a global presence.
Lulla gave the Times Now example to explain that content was king, but there were other emperors like marketing and technology that also had a say in ruling the kingdom. Marketing should not be solely handled by the marketing department, but also by content creators and distributors.
India currently has 45 news channels and this number is expected to touch 100 very soon. The colour of news is changing and news is more a means of snacking rather than serious long term viewing. News channels today not only promise credibility, breaking news, fast and wide reporting but also entertainment and interactivity. The challenge for news channels is to break through the clutter and represent a unique position.
Before officially launching, Times Now resorted to a soft launch through Reliance mobile phones to create a buzz around the channel and stands out in the clutter by working closely with its newspaper, Times of India, for exclusive stories. Lulla also believed that news channels would deal with clutter by dealing with specific news topics like politics, business, shopping and lifestyle, sports, etc.
Singh spoke about the ‘Da Vinci Code’ experience and how Sony Pictures marketed the movie. Sony had to first keep in mind the Indian sentiments as the film was surrounded by controversy. However, the controversy to some extent made Sony’s job easier as people were talking about the film much before it released.
Singh added, “Fake controversy is not an effective marketing tool because people can immediately know real controversy from a fake one. Controversy can be an effective marketing tool, but it has to be ethical.”
Session 2 featured a discussion on the relation between brands and entertainment, which was chaired by Pradeep Guha, CEO, Zee Telefilms.
Arvind Sharma, Chairman and CEO, Leo Burnett, listed a few examples of effective and successful relation between brands and entertainment such as the Oprah-Pontiac alliance, McDonalds-American Idol and Audi-Art of the Heist, which according to Sharma, was the “most awesome example of execution”.
Sharma also gave examples from India through product placement of Thums Up in the action flick ‘Kaante’ that was ranked No. 8 in the best product placement in the world and a special commercial for Tide through the film ‘Baghban’.
Sanjay Purohit, Director, Sales and Marketing, Cadbury, said, “Brands being a part of entertainment is not new, but today there is a greater need for bringing together brands and entertainment.”
Brand communication is changing because advertising is more engaging today and there is increasing integration with pop culture. The challenge for brand managers is to present a product in a film or TV programme as subtly as they can.
Lloyd Mathias, Executive Director, Motorola, said that brands could connect with consumers through films, sports, music and live shows. Motorola took advantage of the popularity of Hindi films and signed Abhishekh Bachchan as brand ambassador to change the image of Motorola from a boring mobile phone to a cool and trendy one.
Kanwalinder Singh, President, Qualcomm-India and SAARC, said that Mobile TV was the next frontier in entertainment after DTH. Unlike TV, Mobile TV is a one-to-one experience and all about integrating broadcast, cellular and consumer experience.
Media FLO technology is changing the face of Mobile TV by making it a delightful experience. Media FLO makes Mobile TV a compelling experience – it is fast, operates on low power, has several channels high-quality video and audio streams and can be transmitted easily to other mobile phones. Media FLO also enables interactivity and promotes contextual ads on Mobile phones because consumers are segmented according to what they watch on their mobile phones.