After commendable international recognitions, PROMAX&BDA have made their mark on the Indian soil. The two-day conference has drawn exciting initial response from all segments of the media industry. In its first year in the country, the organisers brought together some of the best Indian minds and renowned global names as well. All presentations had one bottom line – ‘How to get your audience better’.
Alex Kuruvilla, Managing Director, MTV India and Jim Chabin, President and CEO, PROMAX, inaugurated the conference. Kuruvilla expressed how Indian creativity and achievements in various segments of media have attracted attention and appreciation on various global platforms. Adding to that Chabin said that this was one reason why India was internationally regarded as a fast growing creative hub.
Chabin said, “For many years now, the superior quality of work coming from PROMAX&BDA members from India is being watched by the world. This contribution has increased over the years and so has the importance that is placed on it.”
With this Chabin opened the floor for the speaker line-up, consisting Sameer Nair, COO, STAR India, Lee Hunt of Lee Hunt Associates and Cyrus Oshidar, Vice President and General Manager, Creative and Content, MTV Networks India.
The agenda for the morning session was clear – how to get the audience, by different means, in different ways.
Different strokes for different folks: Sameer Nair
For Nair, the experience shared was of a network that was home to channels as varied as general entertainment, music, movies and news. With his points and substantiated examples, STAR India’s COO held a captive audience in one of the most engaging presentations of the day.
Nair was talking on on-air promos – cutting through the clutter. In his presentation, he brought out different kinds that are worked on to address the requirements of different kinds of channels and give the promo, concerned property and channel a high recall value with the audience.
He began with Ids and Attitude kind of promo, which play a more important role in niche channels than general entertainment channel. With this he went on to further enumerate other kinds like imagery and imagination, launches, campaigns, concept of serving old wine in new bottles and themes and combos.
He explained the role that sound, characters and maintenance play in effective promos. He also went on to showcase some of the award-winning promos of public service announcement of STAR Care and a few private messages.
All the points made were well interspersed with explanations that gave a better insight in the successful messages that are seen on Indian television today.
Irrespective the field, we are all in audience management: Lee Hunt
Lee Hunt Associate’s Lee Hunt, who works with media and entertainment companies on brand strategy, break and recreate the architecture and offering promo training, was the next speaker to share his insights with the audience. Hunt was handling the topic, New Best Practices 2004.
“It doesn’t matter which field of the media you come from,” began Hunt, “all people in communication are dealing with the same thing – audience management.” He shared with the audience a seven-point list, which a brand required to be successful with its target.
He said, “What the audience want, knowing where they are and how to find them, what they want, creating alternative messages, get them to your destination, keep them there and make them come back and keep them for long every subsequent time.”
Hunt’s presentation encompassed various techniques of getting to the audience today using techniques that elevate communication from any form of clutter. While most of these are seen on the Indian television already what was fruitful about the presentation was the analysis of the logic behind these innovations.
Hunt presented data that established that in the current scene, where messages are a mix of commercial messages and promos, placement of the two in a programme could make all the difference to the ratings generated by the programme itself.
Emphasising on factors like the promo to be positioned first in a programme, he added, “Today we are looking at integrations. Whether it is promo plus brand plus advertising or content plus brand plus promos, there have to be different ways in which you reach the audience, without switching them off and at the same time giving the brand maximum mileage.”
In the process of establishing the fact that maximising the audience meant maximising the revenues, he introduced various concepts like Situ–mercials, Reverse Product Placement and Brand Promercials. “I believe there has been a large scale revolution in the way promotions are made and while there are no ways to measure the efficacy of the new avenues, these are methods that we have to try and constantly innovate on to capture our audience in the best way possible,” he concluded.
Wacky ideas come from the simplest of things: Cyrus Oshidar
The Vice President and General Manager, Creative and Content, MTV Networks India, shared the root of the wacky MTV advertisement in his presentation on ‘All in the mix’.
Oshidar’s presentation too was marked with case studies, largely of the advertising that MTV India is involved in. The first case study was on MTV’s IMMIES. The channel had put together creatives based solely around the lighted suit of the Hindi movie ‘Yaarana’ fame. All communication around the awards used bulb lights in this fashion. Detailing how the theme evolved for this communication, he presented the next case study of MTV Style awards.
The communication here was based on everyday used goods like hammer, iron and the likes and how the channel used them to represent the different award categories making an icon of these utility goods to symbolise various facets of the awards. The third case study was of MTV Youth Icon, which had its own requirements in terms of making the property appear more sophisticated in nature.
He further said, “The show packaging can be pretty but it needn’t necessarily be detailed. The idea still gets through and sticks with the audience. One has to look into factors like layering, fusion, and changing content appropriately and chances are that by the end of it, you have a communication that has made its mark on the audience.”
That was the concluding statement presentation in the first session of the conference.