We can’t be too focussed on people’s expectations. It is great they have it but we need to see things with our final objective in view - what are our strengths and shortcomings, where we want to be and how we will get there. I would like to just go about doing my work and do it in the best way possible. Things like awards are an outcome of the work you produce. This is a very competitive place but I am not worried about that. I want a mindset of beating what we did yesterday. Our competition is our immediate past.
ZO is second or third largest business globally, it is the number one brand in the US and it is in the top three brands in most of the key markets. I am pleased with what we did last year in India but we need to push harder, invest in people and training, invest in technology and explore options such as acquisitions to grow further, because arguably India is going to be the fastest growing market in the next 10 years.
If you look at the heart of marketing, it breathes meaning into things and ideas. Take Coke and plain carbonated water – the difference between the two is a few billion dollars! As human beings, we decode everything, because the human need is to fill ourselves with meanings. If you are a shaper of meaning, you must know how meaning is made. What is becoming important is symbolic and virtual. Marketing opens up new ways of seeing the world.
In the last 18 months, we have seen that usage of internet in India has become more utility-based. E-commerce last year crossed the $6 billion mark in India of which $5 billion was for travel
Talent continues to be a key area of focus for us. And Mobile is another area of priority on our agenda. Our resources are fully alert on that area. We had started very early on it in Europe and then we made some interesting reinforcements in the US. We now expect that the global teams would also work with our teams in markets such as India on that front.
Business is like boxing. You have to walk in the ring expecting blows and knowing that you will be hurt. It then is all about getting up and throwing your own punches. In the boxing ring, you have to think how you outlast your opponent. It is the same in business – competition can have deep pockets but you have got to be smarter, agiler and you have to know how to survive and fight back.
We have to be mindful of competition. We are in a competitive environment in virtually every market we operate in. But Discovery has been in these markets much longer than anyone else and we are much better established in terms of relationships with viewers and the industry. India has particularly been strong for us. We have a strong game plan in place. Competition is something we pay attention to but not something we get distracted by.
Building strong, multidimensional characters is the most important element to attract kids across the globe. Kids need to be able to relate to characters irrespective of geographical, social and cultural diversities. Minimal language eases out the challenge of language translation.
Awards boost creative excellence and give us a sense of what can be achieved when we push ourselves to do better. However, I believe that this should not be done in an unhealthy way. McCann will never promote anyone who does not contribute to clients, their growth and their business but just keeps providing a few metals. Metals are a creative director’s personal glory and it is all good as long as it is pushing them to do better work.
The way TV has fragmented, marketers will surely realise that their spend in print delivers. Marketers need delivery on-ground and they need response, and on that count, print will score higher any day. Television advertising overall is growing also because of the multiple platforms with many channels launching, but the question is whether they are delivering? I don’t think so. There are maybe 50 television channels of any substance. Advertising on the rest is wasteful.
I’d say Percept is an integrated sport and entertainment company rather than just a sports management or an event management company. When we look into a particular business, it’s important that we take on an area that we can completely create into our brand of entertainment and sports - where we can holistically take it on, invest in it, build it, nurture it and take it to a different level altogether.
Whatever we do must bring in many viewers and if we bring viewers, we should bring in a lot of money too. I don’t believe in doing anything that loses money, that is just lazy strategy and bad business. But the sad part is that any incremental viewership doesn’t get aggregated right now.
For Punjabis, PTC is a brand synonymous with Pride, Faith, Respect and Punjabiyat. The presence of Gurbani on our channels elicits a huge base of loyal viewers. The channels have so far been aggressive through Internet and social media. This year, we will be actively looking for opportunities of content availability on mediums beyond television. It is the demand for our programmes, both in India and abroad, which will enable us towards that side of the business.
Taking feed from Lok Sabha TV for a few minutes is alright and we are not raising any objections to that. But when you completely lift my content to get eyeballs on your channel, then it is not done. Lok Sabha TV’s USP is that it has exclusive rights to showcase the sessions in Parliament… So if you are taking content from my channel, you should pay for it.
These are defining times for media AORs. While we are at the tipping point of digital media, convergence and 360 degree communication channel planning get any advertiser to talk and you will hear loud and clear ‘the industry is caught in a time warp’. So, the innovative ones will survive, the actions taken now will define the top players in the not so distant future.
I think agencies should not fool around with clients. Everyone in the industry is talking about a GDP growth of 5.6 per cent or 5.7 per cent. If there is a crisis, then we all need to adjust to that – agencies as well as clients. Clients have a certain budget, and agencies need to understand that. Hence, there needs to be far better co-operation between clients and agencies to tide over slowdown periods.
<b>Jyotsna Chauhan:</b>While strategy is hygiene, Creative is our cutting edge product. In a highly competitive market today, it’s the creative which differentiates and sets the image of the brand and a brand is all about its image. Therefore, our impetus has always been on cutting edge creative – not the cutting edge creative that works on blank woods, but cutting edge work that builds value for brands both in terms of market share and mindshare. You can call us a mid-size agency with big size agency appetite, hunger and lust.
If your advertising makes your target to fantasise about life with your brand, there is a much bigger chance of him trying it out. Great advertising makes your target consumers ‘lust’ for your brand. In fact, I think great advertising is ‘brand-porn’… Great advertising is a lasting investment and not an expense. Great advertising makes the product more valuable that it tangibly is. By this I mean, thanks to great advertising consumers are willing to pay more for a product because they see more value in it.
Our strategy is convergent with what is going on in the client world. I just saw the IBM study, which interviewed 1,700 CMOs, and found the two biggest issues for CMOs are geography and technology. What I always talk about at JWT is that on both those counts, we need to lead into all the changes going on with technology because everything is happening very fast, especially in communication. Secondly, our strength is geography. By that I mean, we are well established in the mature markets, but we have deep roots in the fast growing markets, much more than our competitors.