‘Neither is content King nor packaging God, it’s all about the consumer’

The concluding session of the ‘Percept Business Conclave’, held in Mumbai on July 18, 2009, focused on entertainment and was titled ‘Is content King or is packaging God?’ Panelists at this session included Andrey Purushottam, Harish Dayani, MK Anand, Neeraj Roy, and Rajesh Sawhney. The session was moderated by Paritosh Joshi.

e4m by Robin Thomas
Published: Jul 20, 2009 8:11 AM  | 5 min read
‘Neither is content King nor packaging God, it’s all about the consumer’

Content and packaging are both very important in the entertainment industry, good content needs equally good packaging to promote that content. However, every movie needs different packaging, unfortunately this is not happening in India and eventually it is the consumer who decides on a hit or a flop film. This was one of the conclusions arrived at the final session on Entertainment - ‘Is content King or is packaging God?’ at the Percept Business Conclave 2009, held in Mumbai on July 18.

The panelists included Andrey Purushottam, CEO, Mumbai Mantra Media Ltd; Harish Dayani, CEO, MoserBaer India Ltd; MK Anand, Business Head, Zoom Entertainment Network; Neeraj Roy, MD and CEO, Hungama Mobile; and Rajesh Sawhney, President, Big Reliance Entertainment. The session was moderated by Paritosh Joshi, CEO, Star CJ Network India Pvt Ltd.

While there are plenty of films riding high on success purely because of good content, there are also films, television shows or radio shows that are riding the success wave because of good marketing, in other words, ‘packaging’ the product well. So, has marketing established its hold over content in the entertainment industry? This was discussed at length in this session.

Good content needs equally good packaging

Andrey Purushottam said that while both content and packaging were very important, it depended on the medium one was talking about and its context, as both content and packaging between television and cinema varied. “This apart, it depends on the geographies as well,” he added.

Harish Dayani observed, “Every step we take are very consumer focused as it is they who decide the success or failure of a film, nevertheless, both content and marketing have to be dealt with equal care. Most marketers in the entertainment industry usually forget that their role of marketing is to delight and excite their customers so that the consumers are attracted to consume that product. The role of marketing has to excite people and the approach Moser Baer took was to create that excitement in the minds of consumers as the more delightful your marketing is, the more monetisation it will generate.”

Disagreeing with the two, MK Anand explained, “I would bat for packaging, because unless there is packaging, you are not able to distinguish between brands. From a business point of view, packaging is more important. While packaging is good in our business, the Internet space is an ‘anti-package’ space and this is what content owners like us need to be wary off.”

Having a different take, Neeraj Roy said, “India is the fourth largest Internet market and the second largest mobile market in the world, and all of these are a result of a term we have used and abused several times – ‘Convergence’. There is a greater divine force out there – ‘the consumer’, who is becoming media themselves. The way the eco-system is shifting towards consumers is what we are talking about, therefore, it is the consumer who is the king today.”

“The consumers are the core of any business and they will continue to be so. The empowerment of consumer in digital democracy has heightened. Good content will finally lead to a hit film. The way you start looking at digital media is the foundation of social media. Few years down the line, video will be like air and in this convergence environment it will be eminent,” he added.

Rajesh Sawhney in complete agreement with the theme that Content is the King and Packaging God. “Films are a ‘hints’ business. The marketing of movie as a discipline signs and art in Indian context is going through a big change. I don’t think all international movies are marketed or promoted in the same way. ‘X-Men’, ‘Harry Porter’, and ‘Transformers’ are marketed in different ways.”

He further said, “In India, unfortunately what happens is that most of the filmmakers market the movie after it has been made, even the marketing budgets are not made until the movie is complete. 95 per cent of the movies released in India are without any differentiation in marketing. ‘Ghajini’, for instance, was marketed in a different way as compared to other films. Select good producers are, however, changing their thought patterns.”

Guest Note

The conclusion of the third and the final panel discussion of the day was followed by an address by guest speaker Pawan Munjal, MD and CEO, Hero Honda Motors Ltd. “Both our companies have come a long way and have charted their own destinies. No one has kickstarted us as both of us were self-started companies. In these 25 years we have sold more two-wheelers than any other in the country, we are around 60 per cent of the two-wheeler market, in a country, which once upon a time had 70 per cent market dominated by scooters. Fortunately, our way has become the highway.”

Munjal went down memory lane with Percept in its 25-year journey and listed some key moments the two had shared, one of them being the Hero Honda Stardust Awards, which is said to be the first time that Hero Honda got involved with cinema awards functions.

The day-long event concluded with a Vote of Thanks.

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