The recently held Media Association of Bangalore (MAB) Roundtable raised an issue: print, television and radio: are they complementing each other or competing? Presenting the case of the different media were Bhaskar Das, Director, Response (West), Times Of India, Monica Tata, Head – Ad Sales, Turner India and Sandeep Sharma, VP and National Head, Ad Sales, Radiocity. CVL Srinivas, MD, Maxus, presented the media agency’s perspective besides doubling as moderator for the session.
Opening the issue to debate, Srinivas presented a number of figures relating to the time held and money spent on each of the three media. In India, he said, while an average individual devoted 64% of his media time to TV, 17% to radio and 14% to print, the total advertising spends on each of the media were 45% on TV, 2% on radio and 44% on print.
According to Das, today’s consumers have undergone a series of change, which in turn is altering the entire paradigm of business. He said that consumers have moved from being isolated to connected, unaware to be informed and passive to active. He opined, “With the push technique giving way to horizontal access, the competition is no longer intra, but inter-media”. At the same time, he spoke of the need to think complementary as it was no longer a matter of choice but of survival as co-constructing experience was of great essence if one wanted to reach out to today’s consumers.
Tata held on to the view that while fragmentation of media would not only exist but also grow in the coming years, television would always take the lion’s share of ad spends. She supported this saying, “Today, if a prime network gets too expensive, the brand is moved to a cheaper vehicle, but is never taken out of the medium.” Representing statistics, she spoke of how with 60% of all Indian households were expected to avail cable and satellite TV reception by 2010. “Spends on TV is only bound to increase,” she observed, adding that while in the ideal situation where ad spends were unlimited, TRP could well stand for television, radio and print. But with a typical limited pot of funds, competition was much on the cards with television ruling the roost.
With one of the most entertaining presentations seen in recent times, Sharma shared his optimism for the radio as a medium, labeling it an excellent media multiplier. He said, “While radio in its basic form has existed in the country for the past 68 years, it is FM, through its mere three years of existence that has snowballed its reach.” Also backed by a number of figures, Sharma spoke of how advertising spends on radio was expected to triple by 2006. Placing much of his attention in promoting radio as a fit medium to advertise, Sharma offered various statistical representations to support its significant reach, effectiveness and promise as a medium. Besides this, he also represented vivid examples of the manner in which effective ads could be created for the radio.
Bringing in the media agency’s point of view, Srinivas spoke of the basic need to move from being a brand-centric media professional to a consumer-centric one. He added that while there were a number of rational and irrational factors that affect a media planner’s decision, the core aim of any plan should be directed towards integrated communication. “Remember that you are selling a communication solution and not space or time,” he emphasised.
Set up in April this year, the MAB is the first association for media professionals in the country.