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Proprietary <I>Indian</I> media tools give agencies the edge

30-April-2002
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Proprietary <I>Indian</I> media tools give agencies the edge

Amit Agnihotri

Drop in media efficiency and rise in AOR assignments has, in the last few years, driven several media specialists to create proprietary tools and systems. A few such ‘Indian’ tools have won clients and awards for Madison Advertising and FCB Ulka’s Lodestar. Here is an incisive look.

In the recently concluded EMVIES awards, Lodestar won joint silver for two such tools- Mediagraphics and Impress. Madison Programme Predictor, also a joint sliver winner, is an innovative tool that can ‘predict initial TV ratings of yet to be aired programmes.’ Interesting?

Lets look at Madison Predictor in detail and what benefits does it bring to Madison. “This tool helps in early commitment to new programmes and extract benefits like Rate Freeze, Associations and ground activation. This obviously gives us the edge,” exudes Sam Balsara, MD of Madison Advertising.

But given the unpredictable environment, how does it work? And have the predictions been accurate enough?

According to Balsara, MPP predicts the viewership on competitive landscape that exists for any given timeslot. It considers factors like total people using Television in the given timeslot, relative strength of a channel, audience fragmentation and flow and the loyalties to the competing programme. With this data as input, MPP derives a probability function using simulation techniques. So what have been the outputs like?

“MPP is robust and been tested over a wide range of programmes and has been proved very effective,” thumps Balsara. And shares some recent results.

Programme Actual Initial Ratings MPP Forecast Range
Kahani Ghar Ghar 15 12-19.5
Kangaan 7 6-7.2
Zee Cine Awards 5.8 2.6-4.4
Choti Maa 2.2 2-2.8

While the range for top programmes is largish, these predictions can be helpful in negotiations and locking long term deals. But Balsara is quick to point out that the Forecasts aren’t gospels. “The limitation of MPP is that it is unable to accurately forecast programme launch with unprecedented hype like KBC or Sawaal Das Crore,” says Balsara.

In the same spirit, Lodestar’s Impress furthers understanding on print medium. It attempts to answer such tetchy client questions as “Does the front page solus justify 150% premia” or “Are supplements read as much as main issue.”

Impress is based on Reading and Noting Study following the international Roper & Starch methodology. The study was conducted by TN Sofres Mode, in 5 cities with 1500 sample of ‘most press-savvy TG- Males, 25-45 Years in SEC AB.’

And some of the results are interesting:

  • Average Ad Noticeability in Indian Newspaper is 11.8% and in magazines 19.4% of publication readership.
  • Colour Ads are twice more noticeable than B&W, and
  • Back cover is not necessarily the most noticeable ad position in case of a magazine

Lodestar states that through this study they were able to arrive at a new measure for evaluating the efficacy of press plans. Lodestar’s another tool, Mediagraphics, ‘segments any broad target group definition into different clusters leading to a reduction in media wastage.’ So Mediagraphics has segmented Males, SEC AB, 25 Yrs+ into 8 different clusters with significantly different media habits. So Media Mad Fast Tracker is a prolific consumer of different media forms, Settled Corpo with highest spending power chooses Press over TV and News over entertainment and Retail Patel’s habits match with the rest of the family’s.

Surely, though ahead of others, Madison and Lodestar are not the only one investing in media tools. WPP’s 3D and IPG Group’s Media in Mind are colossal global tools. But what stands out is the success of Indian tools, customized for our environment and audiences. Way to go!

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