The Association of Indian Magazines (AIM) in partnership with exchange4media presented the AIM Engagement Survey to the media industry on July 11, 2012 in Bangalore, as part of the three-city tour. Open’s R Rajmohan presented the Engagement Survey to the audience on behalf of AIM. The presentation was followed by a conversation with industry leaders on the efficacy of magazines as a medium and the various strengths that it brings to the table for marketers.
The panel comprised V Vasantha Kumar, India South Asia Brand & Communications Leader, IBM; Shailesh Chaturvedi, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, Tommy Hilfiger Apparels India; G V Krishnan, Executive Director, Lowe Lintas and Partners; Kartik Iyer, Managing Director, Carat India and Mohit Joshi, Managing Director, MPG India. Pradeep Gupta, Chairman & Managing Director, CyberMedia & Treasurer, AIM, moderated the discussion.
The discussion primarily revolved around how advertising in magazines can be helpful for the advertisers, especially when it comes to engaging consumers in a high involvement manner.
Commenting on the power of magazines, Shailesh Chaturvedi said, “Magazines have brought huge success to brands where I have worked with, such as Allen Solly, Peter England and so on. Magazines have a ‘colourful’ impact on consumers.” He also stressed that it is the objective of a brand that eventually decides the medium it chooses to advertise in. “But choices are increasing every day and the consumer’s attention is fragmenting. The medium of choice must be such that allows engagement with the consumer.”
The industry leaders reasserted how pointless it was to compare print or television to magazines. G V Krishnan said, “Magazines are meant for creativity and any brand that wants to push the creativity proposition will choose magazines as the main medium. Magazines are rich, colourful and they are innovative too, hence offering the feel of live experience. But the industry must explore the medium further and much more can be then achieved.”
According to Vasantha Kumar, magazines convey a story at its best. “Readership count alone should not be the criteria in selection of the medium. Relevant content requires relevant medium and that’s where magazines have a niche way in getting the consumers attracted,” he added.
Agreeing with Kumar, Mohit Joshi remarked that it is crucial to know how to use the medium, and elaborated on how magazines are the key players for a brand. He further said, “Storytelling is best conveyed or told through magazines. Magazines are read in leisure time, hence we refresh the readers with creative ideas in the form of advertisements.”
Brand faith and trust drove the consumers to magazines, noted Kartik Iyer, adding, “We should look at every medium as a whole and use it according to the interest and objective. Magazines are a niche medium as there is a particular magazine for a particular kind of products, and this provides leverage to this medium.”
The panel also discussed about the objective and the creativity of a brand to reach out to the consumers. GV Krishnan observed that creativity is a peg of the advertising industry and taking that to the consumers in a right platform is crucial. He said, “The creativity that we can showcase through a magazine cannot be shown through any other medium.”
Iyer pointed out here that behavioural patterns of the consumers had also changed, which has led advertisers to rethink on the media select.
Talking about his own brand, Tommy Hilfiger Apparels India’s Chaturvedi said that the brand definitely thrived on the magazine industry. “I cannot image how apparel ads like Tommy Hilfiger, Peter England, and so on would have been in a black and white newspaper, despite the huge improvement in newspaper printing,’ he said, adding that Tommy Hilfiger is clear that it will build the brand through magazines because of the quality, reach and readership.
Pradeep Gupta stressed on the need for marketers and media planners to know which medium to opt for their brands and also what they wanted from the magazines. The cost effectiveness also should be taken into consideration, along with other factors.
Kumar observed that advertisers and marketers had an emotional attachment with magazines, as is shown by the fact that though 45-50 per cent of the space is taken by the digital medium, magazines still remain the single most brand building medium for them.
Joshi concluded by saying that Return on Investment (ROI) and accountability should be the major points that marketers, media planners and advertisers need to keep in mind.