Innovation in TV - Meaningful ideas, Purpose, Progress & Experience

A panel discussion around the innovation in TV advertising was moderated by Vanita Keswani, CEO of Madison Sigma

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Feb 5, 2020 3:31 PM
e4m TV First Innovation in TV Advertising

In the evening session of the exchange4media TV First 2020 conference, experts from the industry held a panel discussion on ‘Innovation in TV Advertising’. Panelists included Archana Tiwari-Nayudu- Director Content and Communication, Upgrad, Pamit Anand- Chief Product & Marketing Officer, OneAssist Consumer Solutions Laxmi Shetty, Chief Sales Strategy and Maximization Officer, Zee Entertainment Enterprise Ltd, Mohit Joshi, MD, Havas Media Group and Vanita Keswani- CEO- Madison Sigma as the moderator.

Throwing open the discussion, the moderator, Vanita, first asked all the panellists a straightforward question -What did TV innovation mean to them?

To which Mohit replied, “A new meaningful idea which if implemented well, builds the brands core. To Archana, it meant the experience along with the emotional quotient. While Pamit said, “I think aside from the novelty aspect it solves a very specific problem for a brand or for a stakeholder brand. Laxmi elaborated that to her it meant progress, “Innovation without a purpose has no meaning, it has to be looked at from each point of view whether it’s the brand, what they are looking for in terms of progress.”

Pointing out the uniqueness in her answer Vanita then asked Archana to elaborate her point of view further, to which she replied, ‘ To begin with you have to stand out, that’s the first lesson on branding and advertising no matter what the medium. When I say experience and EQ, I will give you an example – in 2017 when IPL had launched the whole ad campaign of “Manoranajn ka baap aa raha hai”, it resonated with a lot of us and the way it was created that was an experience. No tool was used, it was only content and I represent the content and the imagination & innovation in content. So, it was an experience which was led by content and creativity. So, when we are talking about innovation in advertising on TV, it’s also very important to talk about content creativity in the messaging.”

The moderator steered the conversation around influencer marketing. The TV protagonist, said Vanita stand for something. Her question to the panellists was about how important influencer marketing was on TV especially since brands connected with TV celebrities only in their TV avatars, unlike Bollywood celebrities who are used by brands in their personal avatars.

In Laxmi’s view, “To me, TV is all about plot and character and not so much about stories, purely because you see features running for more than 500 episodes. The storyline moves at a slow pace but the characters resonate with the consumers, there are communities being created and they believe in these characters, they are aspirational for them hence characters work beautifully in terms of innovation.”

She gave the example of Kum Kum Kundli protagonist who in their avatar work well with the audience set since they look up to them.

The discussion then moved to content and messaging beyond characters for which Vanita asked Mohit’s take in the context of the work they have done for Swiggy around cricket.

Mohit replied, “In innovation, context is very important, here I’ll give the example of Swiggy where context can also be driven by technology today, esp. for brands like Swiggy which are tech-driven, context becomes very imp. So, last year, while they do a lot of innovations around cricket, we did a tech integration with Hotstar where the app was embedded in the Hotstar app itself. It was meaningful for consumers as they didn’t have to go out of the Cricket viewing environment to order from Swiggy, so that’s where context becomes very imp and technology is helping you drive context.” Talking about the debate around the authenticity of celebs, Vanita asked Pamit about what works in favour of the TV influencers?

Pamit said, The A grade celebs are increasingly harder to associate your brand with, as they are associated with so many brands so there is confusion in the minds of consumers unless you are really pumping in a lot of money.”

He further added, “I like the idea of, let’s call them micro celebs or TV leads because they are a lot closer to home, the boy next door or girl next door, they do lend authenticity. My only concern, just to spin this conversation a little bit, is you need to be doing this not for the purpose of novelty. If novelty is the objective then there are a hundred things you can do”

As the conversation progressed Vanita pointed out to a pertinent question, with digitisation entering the ecosystem, could innovation in TV then be looked at in isolation? Laxmi answered with an example, “TV advertising is energised by technology. It was a passive medium but today we are looking at making it an offline to online medium. We recently did a QR code activity with Flipkart wherein whatever the protagonists were wearing, whatever the kitchen scenes were, in order to order those you just needed to click on the product and it would take you to Flipkart. It is allowing you to do ‘call to action’ which TV was not known for. “

The panel then discussed in great detail TV innovation in terms of helping marketers with geo-targeting, lack of measurement, the life cycle of innovation, client-agency relationship vis-à-vis innovation etc.

Summing up the discussion Vanita asked whether agencies have the ability and the power to sell innovations to clients. To which the panel agreed to Mohit’s point of view that it needed to be a collaborative effort between clients, agencies and channel partners.

The e4m TV First Conference was supported by Zee TV.

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