Tonality, relevance & contextuality key factors for WWM: Priyadarshi Banerjee

Banerjee, Head of Digital Solutions & International Brands, Worldwide Media, The Times Group, shares insights on WWM, the leading brands they look after and future plans

e4m by Noel Dsouza
Updated: Apr 9, 2019 8:55 AM
Worldwide Media

Worldwide Media (WWM) was formed in 2004 as a joint venture with BBC Worldwide. In 2011, they became a subsidiary of The Times Group. In recent years, Worldwide Media’s business has been directed from being a pure magazine company into being a platform-agnostic content creator by leveraging the content expertise of their magazine brands such as Filmfare, Femina, GoodHomes, BBC TopGear and Grazia under their ecosystem. 
Apart from print, Worldwide Media has created content for digital as well, including websites, social media across different facets of lifestyle and entertainment. Over the last three years, their mission has been to increase monetization across their various digital assets and branded content has become pivotal for them.

Talking about the company’s strategy, Priyadarshi Banerjee, Head, Digital Solutions & International Brands, Worldwide Media, The Times Group, says, “We create branded content very subtly but organically, integrating the brand and product proposition. It could be as simple as a philosophical transfiguration.” 
According to Banerjee, WWM believes in creating content first and then integrating it with the brand. Being a publisher, the key factors that they keep in mind are: 1. Tonality, 2.Relevance and 3. Contextuality.

“All of these factors are important to us because we are in a consumer-facing business. When we feel that the client’s brand philosophy is not something we can abide by, we don’t go ahead with it. We are very strong in the women's space because of the portfolio of brands like Femina and Grazia. A lot of these clients are women brands like beauty and fashion and want to aim at a women audience. The narrative that they chose to go with is something that we try and create. We fix that narrative with the brand philosophy and that is the narrative that actually goes to the audience to consume as content,” elaborates Banerjee. 

So, are their brands’ print viewership higher than digital? There is a subset of print that wants digital content. There is a subset of digital consumers who want to subscribe to print because it is exclusive, credible and long form, says Banerjee.

Speaking about whether digital campaigns of WWM attract new consumers, Banerjee says, “There is definitely an overlap. However, digital viewership is much higher like any other publication.”

When asked how WWM stands out in this content clutter of media publications, Banerjee says it is because of the strong legacy of the brands. 

“With the kind of mass numbers we have been able to generate through the content we create, the input scale is massive and the output scale also becomes very big. Femina enjoys the status of being the leading brand in the lifestyle space and Filmfare is the biggest entertainment brand in the country. Also, international brands such as BBC TopGear or Lonely Planet are very big global aspirational brands that enjoy the status that a new age local brand will not be able to do. By virtue of their status, we get a lot of organic traffic and followers.”

How does WWM pick its influencers? WWM has three levels of influencers: Their brands, editors (print and digital) and external influencers including Bollywood celebrities, says Banerjee.

“Grazia is an Influencer for the fashion space. A lot of stakeholders of these brands like the editor, for instance of Lonely Planet, is a well-known influencer within the travel community and she has a huge following because she is a thought leader when it comes to the travel space. Even the digital editors of these brands who are constantly putting content out there and get some amount of followers, are influencers. We select the right kind of influencer that will match with the brand and who will be able to represent it well in that piece of content. This is something we create and gain leverage. We keep doing that with Bollywood. Like for Reliance Trends, they wanted to do something topical around Valentine's Day, so we partnered with Disha Patani and created nice pieces of content and also did a consumer contest with Disha as the face,” says Banerjee. 

Age of digital consumers in India is very young. Therefore, WWM’s target size starts from 18 and goes up to 45.

“Grazia is a fairly youthful brand which talks about a lot of easy fashion and street style. While Femina does the same, it also talks to the 25-plus women who are more independent in nature and are taking a lot of lifestyle decisions on her own. Typically, our target audience is between 18 and 25 year.”

WWM also stands for social causes delivering brand messages through digital campaigns. Like Grazia addressed the fact that inner beauty is the real beauty. It was a massive campaign done for Dove and had a huge impact. The narrative that Grazia followed was #LetsBreakTheRulesofBeauty. A lot of innovations and partnerships were done for this campaign. There were a number of influencers, who over a period of four months, partnered with the brand and created a lot of video content highlighting the theme of the campaign. 

Speaking about future plans, Banerjee says that they have clearly seen that digital content is doing well.

Next year, they will be looking at much deeper discussions with brands across various categories including beauty, fashion, automotive, travel and consumer durables.

“We want to talk to these brands and understand what their content marketing objectives are and be a part of those objectives. From a creative standpoint, what we have been able to do is build thought leadership. Digital first is the trend going forward next year,” says Banerjee.

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