Product is the hero. Music is the celebrity we need in our advertising: Vikram Mehra

The Saregama MD on the new podcast feature in Carvaan 2.0 and how the company intends to partner with brands for curated content

by Shikha Paliwal
Published - Jul 16, 2019 8:44 AM Updated: Jul 16, 2019 8:44 AM

1.3k Views

VikramMehra

Reminiscing about how Carvaan was first conceptualised, Saregama, MD Vikram Mehra tells us that based on a study in 23 cities in 2015, they found people do have a fear of technology and that they like to listen to their music without interruptions and the complications that technology brings.

“Carvaan is not so much about music but convenience of listening to music in a laid-back fashion, as far as the positioning of the product was concerned it was wrapped in nostalgia. This is what we launched in 2017. The product had a pretty decent success all across,” Mehra says.

The company has now taken a step further in innovation with the launch of Carvaan 2.0. Based on the feedback from customers who want more than just music, Carvaan decided to include podcasts, which they feel have a huge demand.

Mehra explains, “We found out that people have a huge fascination for the concept called a podcast, but a majority doesn’t understand what a podcast actually is. The people who are in the industry understand there is some great audio content in India via podcasts. We said why not match these two things now. That is what Carvaan 2.0 is.”

Besides retro songs Carvaan will now have a wide array of options, like stories for children, parenting tips, home remedies etc. But the content will not be sitting within Caravan, like their pre-loaded songs, one needs a WiFi connection to link to various Carvaan curated stations, available at the turn of the jot dial. Mehra explains that it is not to be confused with the functioning of a radio because with the Carvaan there is an ease of listening to content, much like watching a movie on Netflix or Amazon.

Delving deeper into what the podcasts will be, Mehra says, “Every part of the content is curated, this is not user-generated content just sitting around here. We are extremely fussy about the kind of content that will go here. We are either working with brands there will be a lot of brands that you are aware of celebrities or media institutions who will create the content or content we are creating ourselves.”

The options, according to Mehra, will be limitless, “We are widening the appeal so that it becomes relevant to every member of the family.”

Elaborating on their advertising strategy, he says, “The digital part has started, you will see more mainstream advertising as you go forward. We are using both. When I’m talking to a 60-year-old, television works for me, but when I’m to tell a 23-year-old that this is a perfect gift for your Dad, then digital medium works beautifully.”

And they will only be depending on the strength of the product to promote it, “Product is the hero. Music is the celebrity we need in our advertising.”

Saregama does not see the competition in voice-activated devices. “When you talk about Carvaan specifically, these are different kind of products. Home speakers have much bigger budgets to talk about themselves, however since Carvaan has been around it has established the credibility or appeal of the product,” Mehra adds. “Remember, if I have to speak every few minutes, this is what I want, I can do it out of curiosity but every ten minutes do I want to interact with my music system? No, I don’t.”

Interestingly, Mehra also shared their plans of special tie-ups with brands for content curation, but refused to share names, “Some of the brands are now reaching out to us. They have realised we have launched Carvaan 2.0 and they are saying can we take over a channel in Carvaan 2.0. Suppose if you are a kid’s brand, that channel will be called XYZ kids, inside the content is curated by Saregama but the brand says we will have some of our own messaging coming in. Some agencies and brands spoke to us, we found it interesting and we will be exploring this further.”

He clarified that these channels will not be ad-funded or have advertisements playing, but the exercise will be to add value to the customer and bring certain expertise to the content. He explains, “The idea is to get brands integrated into podcasting channels. It will be a content partnership.”

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