The romance of print continues in automotive sector: Vivek B Srivatsa, Tata Motors

e4mConclave: Fireside chat between Vivek B Srivatsa and Vikram Sakhuja

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: Nov 19, 2018 3:07 PM  | 4 min read

“We wouldn’t be able to do justice to interconnectedness if we don’t assign very precise roles to each media,” said Vivek B Srivatsa, Head-Marketing, Passenger Cars, Tata Motors, at e4mConclave on Friday.


Srivatsa was speaking to Vikram Sakhuja, Group CEO, Madison Media & OOH, Madison World, during a fireside chat on ‘Power of Print’. 

Watch the session here  

Edited excerpts of the conversation:

Tata Motors has been a very strong believer of integrated media and you take pains to say that it's not multimedia, it's not silos, but it has to be interconnected. Tell us about this interconnectedness of media that you look for in your plans?


Interconnectedness is a cliché, but many of us don't really follow it. We have to come to interconnectedness right from the stage of creating the creative brief and take it through the end of the campaign. At Tata Motors, we have been pushing this quite a lot. But I can say confidently that sticking to this is really hard.


Do you think you are enable to assign roles to different mediums?


We wouldn’t be able to do justice to interconnectedness if don’t assign very precise roles to each media.


Since we are talking about print, I can say that there is no better way to showcase a car other than a full-page print ad right below the masthead. So, I think this is that one element of print that we auto motors marketers keep dreaming of. There are other elements also in other mediums. Like, television has a lot of emotions. Also, today, digital does more and more selling part. Thanks to the digital medium, we can cut and slice a customer profile very precisely. But the romance of print continues very much in the automotive sector.


Print provides you credibility, localisation, forum for presenting new news and launches and also acts as an antidote to fake news. These are some of the reasons why people use print. Is there any stick out for you more than others?


While I just alluded to romance of print, it's not that simple. I think a lot of hard work goes into deciding what kind of a market, publication or print media deserves what kind of creative approach. To me, what works in magazine has to be completely different from what you do in a daily. It also changes dramatically market-wise. I would advise marketers to think about the content and tone before you go into newspapers. I would say it changes from city to city, publication to publication and product to product.


What has been the learnings in terms of interconnectedness? Does print also impact digital activity?

Lead generated from ads is one thing. We have seen a huge spike in the number of visitors on the website after a newspaper ad and there has been turnaround of quite a few lead from there. We have to multi-dimensionalise what to expect out of our print communication.


If there is a crunch time and you have to make trade off, which media will be the first to face the axe?


I can say that every day is a crunch time for us. This year, 50 per cent of our spends were on print. It's not that we are doing out-and-out call to action advertising. We have done quite a few launches as well.  


Do you think large size ads work more than small ones? How important is the position of the ad: front page versus inner pages?


Yes, large size ads work better. The position of an ad is very important. It took quite a long time for us to reach the front page of the Times of India. I think other maketers feel the same way. Having limited money, I tell my team to focus on the page position rather than the size.


Do you think regional publications work better for you than national ones?


The print media is growing because of regional. Economy, in fact, is boosted by smaller towns and regional languages. The future is in going regional.


How can one extract creative juices out of print?


I am a strong believer of the classic advertising approach. We need to give the creative agency some time to really sink in and get a feel of the challenge. Follow a process, make a disciplined brief to your creative agency and give them time.

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