Stage is set for NewsNext 2008, being held by the exchange4media Group in the Capital on August 22. In the run-up to the day-long conference, the exchange4media team spoke to some senior media heads and advertisers to know their views on some relevant topics and came up with some candid answers. Times Now is the main sponsor of NewsNext 2008, which will focus on issues such as the future of Indian news broadcasting, self-regulation, and language news TV, among others.
Three questions were asked to the industry leaders:
1. What do such conferences have to offer the advertisers?
2. How do marketers/ clients/ advertisers look at ROI from news TV?
3. As a brand custodian, what kind of changes would be more effective for brand advertising on the news genre?
Tarun Nigam Executive Director, India –North, Starcom Mediawest Group:
(On significance of such conferences): Such conferences help us in exchange of information, perspectives and evolving a common understanding/ white paper on the subject being deliberated. More importantly, the way forward definitely helps in shaping a future better.
(On ROI from news TV): News is a key passion point for various audiences and has become an inherent part of all the connection plans of our company. It helps us to generate the impact, newsiness and trade connect for the brand.
(On changes for brand advertisers): Less sensationalisation of news will really help in keeping the audience glued.
Trivikram Thakore, Head-Brand Marketing, India & South West Asia, Motorola Mobile Devices:
(On significance of such conferences): NewsNext 2008 and such like conferences enable collective deliberation on the industry and its business imperatives. They also serve as a platform for marketers and advertisers to evaluate the momentum of this medium in the current social milieu and what its impact would be going forward.
(On ROI from news TV): It is interesting to see that news television has grown at a tremendous pace. Today, these channels garner over 30 per cent of the total audience mindshare across the country. With the growing penetration of cable TV and DTH, it is only going to spread further. Having said this, while evaluating investments in a medium, all marketers tend to view stickiness to a channel category as an evaluation metric. Today, national news channels score relatively better than their regional counterparts. General entertainment still rules, especially in the South, and to a great extent in the East.
(On changes for brand advertisers): It is imperative for a brand to have ‘uncluttered’ visibility on a channel. However, that has become a rarity in today’s marketing environment, wherein news and general entertainment channels alike are offering ad placements indiscriminately. Another important factor of stickiness to a channel and indirectly the brand is responsible reporting. We believe these two factors go a long way towards achieving effective advertising.
Ambika Srivastava CEO Zenith Optimedia:
(On significance of such conferences): It helps advertisers get a perspective on different points of view and helps them to keep updated about the mews genre.
(On ROI from news TV): Why should it be different for marketers/ clients/ advertisers? Like they would view any other media investment, it’s just one more option to engage with the consumer.
Mona Jain Head, Strategic Investments, India Media Exchange:
(On significance of such conferences): It’s a forum where likeminded people come together to discuss issues.
(On ROI from news TV): They need to create an impact on the campaign. You don’t have a standard format in news TV, so you need to highlight the association, for example, the anti-animal killing issue, which was shown on NDTV. In this way, brands can get a very effective and positive rub-off.
(On changes for brand advertisers): The news should be cutthroat than any other content programme. There should be more easy analysis, which is topical and understood by the topical genre.
Abdul Khan, Head Brand & Marketing Communications, Tata Teleservices Ltd:
(On significance of such conferences): It is one huge opportunity where there is interaction with people on moulding opinions and capturing the future trends in evolving nature of news.
(On ROI from news TV): Every client has a fixed amount of advertising budget. As a client, we need to decide where our target audience is present and whether it’s useful investing my money into a particular channel. I will shift my advertising budget to the news genre.
Ranju K Mohan, Vice President, Laundry & Home Care, Henkel India:
(On significance of such conferences): Fortunately, many of us have witnessed the days when the entire nation would know there was one Hindi news on Doordarshan at 9.00 pm and English news at 10.00 pm on Doordarshan. In effect, the common man had to wait for the respective time to get to know what happened. Come early 90s, news channels changed the rules of the game. A half hour slot of news became available 24 hours. Many would look at this as an opportunity to service the consumer 24 hours, but a marketer should look at this as the next level of explosion in media and communication, where one segment of programming became 100 per cent content for a channel, in fact, many channels that were launched subsequently. So, these conferences tell the advertisers about the changing preferences of the audience and provide a good look into the future. Today, news channels, being free to air, have the widest coverage next only to DD. With the explosion of channels in news genre and content driven by sensationalism, the news genre is no longer consumer by the male audience only. The news genre has significant reach and is one of the top three genres viewed by the women audience.
(On ROI from news TV): It is not fair to compare the news genre with general entertainment. News channels are not about TRPs, but the quality of buzz that your media activity needs to create, provided you have a strong message in your communication. News channels provide opportunity for brand integration and innovation. Henko had launched its balloon campaign in 2007, which had brand integration with a news channel, where the weather balloon in the news was that of Henko. So, as the Henko weather balloon flew from one part of the country to the other, showing the temperature, etc., it seemed that Henko was going around the country. This not only gives a higher impact, but also leaves an intangible benefit of provoking the consumers’ thought around the brand. So, the way to look at news channels is not TRP, but where you can integrate your brand communication content.
(On changes for brand advertisers): The news genre as medium expands and goes beyond the traditional medium of TV and radio. There are possibilities of brand integration and innovation. Imagine what will happen when news channels start to promote audience engagement with viewer generated content, for example, audience review of movies, restaurants, live from a shopping malls, spa, etc. The Indian entrepreneur has understood and used this medium quite effectively. And they would not have come back to this genre if they had not got the desired results. Most media managers in MNCs would be more worried on number delivery at the end of the campaign. Over a period of time, I expect advertisers to increase their spends in this genre.
Milind Pant, Chief Marketing Officer, Yum Foods:
(On significance of such conferences): News channels over last two years have emerged as a very strong medium to communicate to certain target audience, especially for us.
(On ROI from news TV): We look at the CPRP within the genre of news and even at the genre within genre, that is, English news only, and compare different channels on CPRP. Besides CPRP, we also go for the qualitative information that we collect from consumers in terms of source of awareness while looking at overall ROI. For example, NDTV 24x7 may be a bit higher on CPRP within news, but if qualitatively we know it has higher stickiness amongst our consumers, we go with it. We also do not compare CPRP of news versus, let’s say, a mass channel like Zee TV, because it will never look like a good ROI.
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