Innovation determines success in unconventional media, say experts

According to industry experts, every medium has a different kind of traction for a different industry and marketers need to think beyond regular models of advertising

e4m by Abhinav Trivedi
Updated: Feb 20, 2014 9:52 AM
Innovation determines success in unconventional media, say experts

For any marketer, the usage of unconventional media would vary according to the kind of product and the consumers it caters to. However, the theme of the media would matter more than the platform.

Speaking on how a platform like DTH can be used as unconventional media, Salil Kapoor, COO, Dish TV said that a DTH platform offers far more reach than a general entertainment channel in terms of storytelling. According to him, while marketers find it increasingly difficult to tell their stories in 30 seconds, a DTH player offers them 30 minutes to do that and marketers should grab that opportunity.

Gagan Singla, VP - Digital Marketing, insisted on analytics and geography-oriented targeting (place specific) as examples of unconventional media. He also highlighted the example of e-classifieds, which, according to him, was unconventional usage of content done on

Talking from a brand perspective, which used unconventional media platforms, Sanjay Tripathi, EVP, Head Marketing, HDFC Life said, “Being from a product which comes in push category, we used the ‘park’ strategy. We placed our product at places where people spend time, for example, we used National Anthems played in multiplexes followed by HDFC life ads. This got us the attention that we wanted rather than going for conventional advertising.”

Speaking on the measurement mechanics used by HDFC to measure the impact and cost analysis, Tripathi said that it is more of a gut decision rather than relying on numbers. He further said that they underwrote the cost of producing the National Anthem in return for placing an HDFC Life ad for two years. The cost, as per him, was very low, besides cinema has an advantage where a marketer knows the kind of audience he is getting. Tripathi added that the RoI on such platform and theme is far greater than other conventional media.

Kapoor, on the other hand, countered that insurance can be better sold on DTH as the category is more of educative and does not convert into sales just after a person watches an ad. Disagreeing with this, Tripathi said that the effort of creating content on such platforms is far greater.

Singla added here that their trial of DTH as an unconventional medium was confined to testing the medium as Quickr hardly advertises on gut. However, he also insisted that DTH as a medium has helped them save a lot of money. He added that as a brand they are learning to track the unconventional media experiments such as missed call campaigns, etc.

On being asked whether DTH is able to segment better and what categories are more willing to experiment the media, Kapoor said, “I think any marketer who is aiming for more bang for the buck is trying this new medium. Every medium has a different kind of traction for a different industry.” He further said that marketers need to think beyond regular models of advertising and need to think differently and time the campaign well on a DTH platform. He cited the example of how the Nokia story placement was done in the movie ‘Chennai Express’ while it was aired on the DTH platform.

On being asked if there be more unconventional advertising from HDFC Life if the advertising budget increases, Tripathi said, “I would look for more of unconventional opportunities. We always look for unconventional categories.” He mentioned the brand’s association with IPL team Rajasthan Royals to convey its message, since associating with the on-air campaign was expensive and irrelevant for a brand in the insurance category. He also mentioned that getting associated with a team gave him far more leverage in controlling the showcasing of his brand on TV by observing and analysing every aspect available on television.

A senior marketing executive from the Piramal Healthcare in the audience shared his experience on how his team used unconventional media to promote i-sure by advertising in the toilets of multiplexes. The rationale behind launching the campaign was that women spend 4-5 minutes in a multiplex washroom. The campaign resulted in about 70 per cent of the awareness.

The speakers shared their views during a panel discussion on ‘Unconventional Media: Going beyond Ratings and Readership’, held at the unveiling of the Pitch Madison Media Advertising Outlook 2014 in Mumbai on February 19, 2014. The panel was moderated by Vanita Keswani, COO, Madison Media Sigma.


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