e4m Conclave-South: Content isn't the monopoly of TV anymore: Navinn Seksaria, J G Hosiery

At exchange4media Conclave - South, Navinn Seksaria, Managing Director, J G Hosiery (Macho & Amul Innerwear), delivered the keynote address on ‘Engagement is the Key to Excitement’

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Nov 23, 2019 12:20 PM


Navinn Seksaria

It was a gathering of thought leaders at the exchange4media Conclave – South, held at the Taj MG Road, Bangalore. The theme ‘Brands & Consumers: The New Connections’ drew insights from some of the best industry representatives.

The conclave started with an extremely gripping keynote address by Navinn Seksaria, Managing Director, J G Hosiery Pvt Ltd (Macho & Amul Innerwear), who held the audience's attention with his talk on ‘Engagement Is The Key To Excitement’.

Weaving in the journey of brands from the era of the TV-only medium to an age of the Internet, he explained in great depth how the relationship between consumers and brands had evolved and he urged brands to go beyond tried and tested methods and engage with the digitally savvy consumers in a language that they understand.

He began his speech by talking about how every brand has the ambition of building a lifelong relationship with their customers. “Every product company has one ambition that one day it will grow to become a brand. It has a yearning that one day it will have a loyal set of customers who will not forget them. They romanticise them, that they will keep coming back to them again and again and this loyal customer will help the company to exit the rat race of being generic".

He explained how the key to creating a brand was to register in the thought cloud of the customer, to create a place in the customer's mind which is unique and how if companies achieved that it would help them become a brand. He said typically there were two ways to do that, “One, by creating sufficient excitement creatively. Alternatively, you bulldoze with a very high media spend and to such an extent that you spend higher than your competition and your ads are so omnipresent that your customer can't think of anything else other than you.”

In order to put context to his speech he elaborated how in the ‘80s with the advent of TV in India, there was limited media and any brand that dared to be on TV had the customers attention and that was enough to make a brand. With the entry of satellite channels in the ’90s, customers had more content and taglines for soft drink companies like “ Yeh Dil Maange More”, “ Thanda Matlab Coca Cola” and their own “ Yeh Andar ki Baat hai” became popular. There was rd recall and there was a call to action. By the early 2000s, 24/7 channels became the norm and suddenly there was content overload. But despite that, consumers were not getting the right kind of entertainment that they wanted. Therefore brands needed to enhance the entertainment quotient for the consumers. Citing Amul innerwear’s famous tagline ‘Yeh to Bada Toing hai’, he explained how that kind of content was an overnight sensation and had the ability to create brands overnight.

“All through the 80s to a few years back, the TV ad was the 'Midas touch' to converting any generic product into a brand," he underlined.

But along came the next big disruption - the Internet. The Internet that was affordable. The last 2 years, he explained, has seen the biggest content explosion. Content is now crowded and driven by instant likes and is reinvented every hour.

In such a scenario, said Seksaria, it has become pertinent to ask “Why will consumers get excited by one quirky ad that doesn't renew every week and keeps replaying again and again, for months together. Well, I can safely say that one of the biggest victims of cheap data has been the boutique creative shops. Pardon me for saying that but I feel that overnight the model of boutique creative shops looks redundant. They have been groomed on the premise that they can curate one idea that will deliver one dose of entertainment, nurture it for months whereas the consumer’s requirements have moved on to a daily dose available in thousands and without any call to action.”

He added, “Hence the route of creating an ad, building a brand overnight has lost its relevance in today's age.”

Seksaria also explained how the ultimate rule of using the bulldoze media method; of outspending your competition, has also become impossible by the day unless a company has the ability to burn millions of dollars. “Within the last decade, if not more, there has been a minimum 300% increase in rate per 10-sec costs. While the consumer attention on those ads has halved," he said.

Therefore, he threw some light on what brands could do in an age of little or no customer loyalty, “You need to ask what is the brand doing rather than questioning the customer’s loyalty.” Further adding, “We as brands and you as agencies of brands, we need to answer how loyal we are in what is the brand offering to the customers to gain their loyalty. How can we expect the consumers to be loyal, when in the age of instant likes and too much content, brands peddle the same content again and again over months.”

Seksaria believes that brands need to think beyond one entertaining ad, beyond one tagline, to command the attention of customers and to stay relevant.

He aptly summarised his speech by explaining how brands needed to recognise the might of new age media - the social media platforms - and use it to reinvent their brand strategy, “In the age of conversations we cannot fake our identities, we cannot fake our values anymore. We have to practise what we preach. Second, we need to go Transmedia. Content is not the monopoly of TV anymore, it’s TikTok, it's YouTube, and it’s Facebook and Instagram. It’s the packaging through which the brand is interacting with the consumers; it's billboards, the call centres and the service boy that is delivering the order. Every interaction, every touchpoint that’s media that a brand can own. I must caution, Transmedia does not mean playing your TV ad on YouTube. It means engaging the consumers in every medium and customising to the medium. It needs to go beyond entertainment and it needs to have a purpose.”

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