Guest Column: Creating ‘happily ever after’

Great stories aren’t created by the swish of a wand. There is a storyteller’s code that brings the story to life, says Vijay Subramaniam of Disney-UTV

e4m by Vijay Subramaniam
Published: Feb 12, 2013 7:01 PM  | 6 min read
Guest Column:  Creating ‘happily ever after’

Storytelling is the heart of our business and will always remain the key to making human connections with kids and adults alike. I am a believer in great stories, that is why I was drawn to this business in the first place and that is why I continue to love it. Stories that we grow up with form an important part of a family’s DNA – be it a book, a movie, a TV show, a short play or a memorable experience. TV, today, forms an integral part of family entertainment – a vehicle for great stories and lovable characters delivered right into your living room.

Take the example of Mickey Mouse; when we think of him, we think of friendship, loyalty, fun, bravery brought to life through a wonderful story. A well-crafted narrative draws out his persona that we not just relate to but form a relationship with. He represents storytelling in its true form.

While we would all like to believe so, great stories aren’t created by the swish of a wand. There is a storyteller’s code that brings the story to life – one that can transcend generations and enthrall the entire family any time of the day in any part of the world.
2012 saw all of us in the kid’s business relive the magic of wonderful storytelling in multiple ways. Here is how…

You’ve got a friend in me: Kids and their families speak to us all the time and voice their preferences, their recommendations and their entertainment choices. These choices very clearly mirrored a need to find excellence in all that they do while being entertained, make meaningful connections, their hopes, dreams and aspirations, their coming-of-age experiences and the need for escape to a fantasy world.

Kids sought stories and engagements that helped them express themselves, believe in themselves and follow their dreams. And while doing so, they chose stories of family, togetherness, friendship and aspirations; they embraced technology and actively pursued engagement with their favourite stories and characters whenever and wherever they wanted.

We, at Disney Channel, heard their voices, listened to their recommendations and strived to bring them content that reflected their preferences – be it the characters in our popular show ‘Best of Luck Nikki’ – each of them going through extremely relatable situations or the antics and pranks played by the very adorable youngsters – Karan and Kabir, like every other in boy in that age in ‘The Suite Life of Karan and Kabir’ and many such other content initiatives. Walking lockstep with our fans, we presented them with a whole host of options that were both entertaining and endearing.

Strong bonds build strong brands: Every story – be it a timeless classic or a contemporary one that has been attributed as ‘great’ – is heartwarming and everlasting; one that can entertain viewers from age 2 to 80, has to have the ability to reach out to the viewer and build a deep emotional connection at every level of engagement. Take for instance, classics such as ‘Cinderella’, ‘The Lion King’ and such other titles showcased on our ‘Magical World of Disney’ block. They appeal to the brand new generation of kids today, establishing new connections and are equally enjoyed by their parents who get to relive their childhood and revisit their fondest memories. 

We look to build these strong ties with our consumers in everything we do and in every story we tell – take baby Nikki’s journey in ‘Best of Luck Nikki’ – from being a pampered baby to now becoming the big sister to the new baby in her family;  the complementary relationship between the two brothers Phineas and Ferb, that take them on the most imaginative adventures; Gaurav Juyal, our vibrant host of Art Attack, providing fun to follow instructions, positive reaffirmation and motivation, egging everyone along to make their next masterpiece – every action demonstrates spectrum of emotions expressed that make the entertainment relatable in  the real world of our consumers and their everyday experiences, leading to strong emotional connections with them.

In return, we are rewarded with their loyalty and trust in Disney channel, the brand. This is of utmost importance to us in our journey with them. In the future, consumers are going to turn towards strong brands to lead them and help them navigate the wide universe of entertainment in a digital world and we believe that our brand will be their preferred choice in doing so.

Local flavor expands universal appeal: For any story to be memorable, it is imperative to get the local texture right to bring a greater sense of belonging and identity. Disney is known world over for its wonderful stories with universal themes and values, endearing characters. Adding local relevance and bringing in local idiom only enhances its appeal further. We took the rich narrative of these stories, added a strong local dimension to it and created successes that both kids and families enjoyed and continue to do so. Best of Luck Nikki, The Suite Life of Karan and Kabir, Luck Luck ki Baat, Raksha Bandhan with Phineas, Ferb and Candice, and many more stories that work brilliantly, is engaging, built around universal themes such as friendship, family and togetherness, with a rich narrative that most importantly told in a manner and language that best appeals to our audience.

Curiosity leads, creativity follows: TV is a forward looking business – the next story, the next episode, the next character and the next season is what matters and this curiosity is the difference between a successful show and a truly memorable one.  Walt Disney once remarked, “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths”. Our childlike curiosity fuels our creativity which reflects in our content, our marketing engagements and any interaction we have with our consumers. 

The Disney experience was brought to life by making viewers relive the story with ‘A Suite Life for You and Your Family’ inspired by our show ‘The Suite Life of Karan and Kabir’ wherein lucky families spent an entire month and led the five star life of Karan and Kabir. Similarly, the audience was thoroughly entertained rather refreshingly with favourite characters Donald and Daisy Duck jiving to popular Bollywood tracks. And then there was Disney Channel’s Jet Set Go, where a special plane carried 38 families from across the length and breadth of the country, to the happiest place on Earth – Hong Kong Disneyland, where they created and shared their most wonderful memories together. We went down newer path, evolving with our consumers at every stage that made every engagement entertaining and unique to both kids and families alike.

Happily ever after: Great storytelling, compelling experiences that create fond memories, stronger emotional connections through local narrative and top notch quality driving wholesome family entertainment will continue to drive us through the New Year. The magic continues. Do stay tuned.

The author is Executive Director, Kids Network, Disney-UTV
 

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Bharat Express news channel unveils signature tune

The tune that combines classical and contemporary elements will be featured at the beginning and end of each news broadcast

By exchange4media Staff | Jan 28, 2023 12:01 PM   |   1 min read

bharat express

Bharat Express news channel set to be launched on the 1st of February 2023 has announced the unveiling of its original signature tune composed by the biggies of the Indian music industry who have composed for the likes of Gangs of Wasseypur and Kabir Singh. 

The captivating tune combines elements of traditional Indian music with contemporary sounds to create a unique melody that soothes your ears and ignites your mind. The tune will be featured at the beginning and end of each news broadcast, as well as in promotional materials for the channel.

Bharat Express plans to come with a bang with a focus on comprehensive news coverage of everything under the sun, from remote villages to the crisis of Venezuela, stock market to onion prices, and gadgets to galaxies.

The chairman, managing director, and editor-in-chief, Upendrra Rai, said, " Signature tune is the hallmark of any news channel and we have selected this one after rounds of consideration by the music team. We are confident that the tune will become synonymous with the Bharat Express brand and its objectives and will help us stand out in the crowded news landscape; and most importantly, people will connect to it."

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Shobhna Yadav quits ABP News

Yadav started her career with India TV in 2003

By exchange4media Staff | Jan 27, 2023 5:26 PM   |   1 min read

Shobhna Yadav

Shobhna Yadav who was associated with ABP News and face of some of the most popular evening shows on the channel has quit.

Highly placed sources have confirmed this development.

It is worth mentioning that in the last 40 days, several major steps have been taken to strengthen the editorial and managerial staff of the channel. It is also learnt that the cost efficiency and KRAs of the people working in the organisation are also being assessed and accordingly decisions are being taken.

Yadav started her career with India TV in 2003. She has also produced a bollywood film ‘Dear Maya’ in  2017 in which Manisha Koirala played the lead role.

The popular bollywood film ‘Batla House’ is based on the real life story of Shobhna Yadav and her husband Sanjeev Kumar Yadav who is a nine time gallantry award recipient.






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Gunjan Taneja quits WION as VP & Head of Global Sales

Taneja joined WION in August 2020

By Ruhail Amin | Jan 27, 2023 1:45 PM   |   1 min read

Gunjan Taneja

Gunjan Taneja, Vice President and Head of Global Sales WION has stepped down from her role.

Taneja confirmed this development to e4m. She joined WION in August 2020 and was associated with the channel till Novemeber 2022.

Prior to joining WION, Taneja was Sales Director at Republic World for over three years. She has also served two stints at NDTV and worked with Aidem Ventures and Zee Media in the past.

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Zee Media’s Daiba Pradeep Roy joins Mitwa TV as National Sales Head

Roy has more than 21 years of experience in media sales.

By exchange4media Staff | Jan 27, 2023 12:00 PM   |   1 min read

Daiba Pradeep Roy

Daiba Pradeep Roy who was the National Sales Accounts Head with Zee Media Corporation has joined Mitwa TV as National Sales Head.

Mitwa TV is a new age subscription free premium OTT platform for 45+ Crore audiences spread across Hindi Heartland. Roy will lead the sales team nationally and be responsible for revenue generation at MitwaTV.

A veteran media professional, Daiba has more than 21 years of experience in media sales. Prior to his tenure in ZMCL, Pradeep was heading the Business Team, at ETV a Subsidiary of Network 18 Media, where he was designated as Business Head.

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‘GEC genre ad volume went up in 2022’

According to a TAM AdEx report, 2022 saw GEC claiming the highest share, 28.5%, in overall TV ad volumes since 2018

By exchange4media Staff | Jan 27, 2023 8:50 AM   |   2 min read

TV

The general entertainment channel (GEC) genre witnessed a 2% increase in ad volume in 2022 compared to 2021. According to TAM AdEx - Rewinding 2022 for GEC Channel Genre on TV report, 2022 had the highest ad volumes since 2018, with a 29% increase in 2022 compared to 2018.

As per the report, the third and fourth quarters of the year 2022 saw more ad volumes than the first and second. The report also stated that 2022 saw the highest GEC share i.e 28.5% of overall TV ad volumes since 2018.  

During both 2022 and 2021, Hindi GEC topped with more than 20% share of the GEC channel genre’s ad volumes. The top five subgenres accounted for around 69% share of ad volumes during 2022. 

Meanwhile, the count of categories and advertisers on the GEC genre dropped in Q3-Q4 '22 over Q2’22, whereas the count of brands peaked in Q3 '22. As per the report, Food & Beverages sector topped with 28% share of the GEC genre’s ad volumes, followed by Personal Care/Personal Hygiene with 20% share. Additionally, Biscuits and Aerated Soft Drinks were the new entrants among the top 10 categories. 

HUL, Reckitt Benckiser and Brooke Bond Lipton India retained their top three positions as advertisers during both 2021-22. Coca-Cola India and Procter & Gamble Home Products were the new entrants among the top 10 advertisers in 2022. Also, over 2800 advertisers were present on GEC on 2022. 

Meanwhile, over 800 exclusive advertisers were present on GEC with  Ullu Digital leading the list in GEC genre followed by Mangalam Matrimony.com.

Over 5600 brands advertised on GEC in 2022 with Dettol Antiseptic Liquid leading the top brand list followed by Harpic Power Plus 10x Max Clean. Also the top four brands were from Reckitt Benckiser (India).

 

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‘IPL on TV provides scale and impact for brands across categories’

At e4m TV First conference, a diverse panel of brand leaders touched upon how associating with IPL on television brings instant reach at scale and unlocks newer audiences for their brands

By exchange4media Staff | Jan 25, 2023 7:20 PM   |   4 min read

tv first panel

IPL on television has been an advertiser’s delight across categories. The sheer scale of the platform and its ability to drive instant results for brands makes it a preferred medium for impact.  At the e4m TV First conference held in Mumbai on Tuesday, a panel discussion was held on the topic, ‘Television - The chosen destination for IPL viewing.’ The panel was chaired by Vanita Keswani, CEO, Madison Media Sigma - Madison World and consisted of Anjali Krishnan, Head of Media, Mondelez India, Ajay Dang, President, Head - Marketing, Ultratech - Aditya Birla Group, Lalitha Nayak, In Charge - Marketing, NPCI, Nilesh Malani, CMO, Polycab and Girish Hingorani, Head - Marketing & Ecommerce, Cooling & Purification Appliances Group, Blue Star Limited.

Ajay Dang started the discussion with his thoughts on television advertising on IPL, which according to him, is distinct for brands in terms of viewer receptiveness and engagement. “IPL on television is a brilliant platform in terms of the number of eyeballs and effective storytelling of brand messaging. I think as marketers, there are a few shining examples like Mondelez, which have leveraged the platform fabulously well. It is a fabulous platform to engage with viewers.”

Nilesh Malani then spoke about how Polycab built their brand at the back of IPL associations on television since 2018. “At Polycab, the brand building exercise started maybe a decade ago. The philosophy was let's reach out to the heartland of the country from a distribution point of view and supply chain point of view. That's where we started going to consumers and we wanted to reach out in the most effective and faster way. IPL on TV gave us the best reach in the shortest period of time. So that's the reason we chose IPL. Then in 2019, we went public. And again, we wanted to reach out to consumers with a larger portfolio of products. That's where we decided to continue our journey on IPL.”

Anjali Krishnan gave some valuable insights in terms of how brands can best creatively leverage IPL on television. “We have launched all our new campaigns on our proposition of ‘acknowledging the unacknowledged’ through IPL on TV. We’ve observed over the past few years of partnering with Star Sports for IPL that the effectiveness of our campaigns was twice as they were compared to any other inventory we bought. IPL on TV is the ideal platform to launch new brand communications. It gives you a great reach in a very short period. New users that brands want to reach out to are present on IPL on TV. IPL on TV has played a pivotal role in brand building for Cadbury Dairy Milk.”

Girish Hingorani, who has been a strong believer in IPL on TV as a media property since its inception, spoke about how the platform has been a key factor in the success of Bluestar over the years. “We’ve been advertising on IPL on TV since 2008 and have leveraged the platform every year since. IPL on TV brings the country together and associating with a platform like this brings a lot of gravitas to a brand. We have focused on consistently creating good content and IPL on television has provided the largest platform for us to launch new communication every summer.”

Lalitha Nayak went on to talk about how the demographic profiling for Rupay matched with IPL TV audiences and how the association helped the brand launch new products successfully. “We launched our ‘Rupay - On The Go’ proposition last summer through IPL on television. Demographic compatibility is a key factor for us when we look at platforms to advertise on and IPL on television was a match for us. We advertised on IPL on digital as well, but saw a high recall for the brand after we begun the TV association. IPL on TV is a clutter breaking phenomenon if you can create good content that blends in.”

 

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‘TV is by far the most powerful and effective in building equity and awareness’

At e4m TV First conference, industry experts discusse how TV is still a strong medium over digital media to reach a wider audience in India

By exchange4media Staff | Jan 25, 2023 7:10 PM   |   5 min read

Tv first

Due to the pandemic, digital media has become an easy as well as affordable medium for brands to reach out consumers without much hassle. However, TV still has a strong presence in Indian households. Advertisers across genres prefer TV over any other medium in order to increase their credibility amongst consumers.

At the recently held e4m TV First conference, industry leaders discussed why TV is still a preferred medium and how advertisers are making the most out of it. The panel discussion was moderated by Dheeraj Sinha, CEO & The Chief Strategy Officer, South Asia, Leo Burnett; Chairman, BBH India. The panel consisted of Sambit Dash, Partner - RPSG Capital Ventures, Girish Hingorani, Head - Marketing & Ecommerce, Cooling & Purification Appliances Group, Blue Star Limited, Gaurav Dhawan, Chief Revenue Officer, Times Network, Rajan Amba, VP-Sales, Marketing & Customer Service - Tata Motors Ltd- Passenger Vehicles. 

Speaking on why TV is still is the popular medium, Dash of  RPSG, said, “ I think television is still the key medium for a brand to gain  the trust of consumers and create an impact. What I mean by trust is that it's just human conditioning; when you see an ad for a brand on TV, you think this brand has enough money and so must be having enough consumers and so it's big enough for me to trust. That's where the trust comes from and impact is all about reaching a large audience at the same time.”

While Amba of Tata Motors said, “I think one of the things, that we often forget is that, families take decisions, it's all not always individual. For brands like us, which are high-value purchase brands and where the decision to buy is taken by the family and not individual, TV makes a lot of sense. It's got the most widespread of a penetration in that sense and I think that it allows us to tell stories, the larger screen allows us to tell stories in a family setting in a much more inclusive way than digital does and that certainly help brands like us.” 

Hingorani of Bluestar said, “TV is by far perhaps the most powerful and effective in building equity and awareness. A brand like Bluestar has been built on television over the last two decades or so. We still kept investing on TV because as brand equity cannot be built in private and one has to be reaching out to as many consumers as you can, even if you're a B2B brand. The audio-visual experience that TV gives you, without you having that option of skipping the ads, there's nothing to beat television.”

Dhawan of Times Network said, “What TV does is, it very beautifully helps you address key behavior points so if you want to impact the behavior of any particular market, you will see that TV actually works beautifully. TV has a far bigger impact, you trust the TV word very easily, there's a lot of credibility that come with it. TV even today is the highest reached medium in India as 70% of India is connected through television in one way or the other.”

The discussion then shifted to IPL.

Speaking on the impact of IPL, Amba said, “We've been investing in IPL since 2018 as partners and not just as advertisers. We've seen some tremendous boost arising out of that. But having said that I think that every brand needs to think very carefully about that kind of investment. It is a massive investment and it's a one-time huge investment which can blow you out of the water. If you're a brand looking to make a big impact and you've got something new to offer and you can afford it, it certainly makes sense because you will get that mileage.”

Similarly Hingorani, said, “Bluestar has been on IPL ever since the first season, I've been on every season of IPL. We've been there, we're not a big brand in terms of deep pockets, we have very limited money available but we choose to use it wisely. Of course IPL has a great timing advantage for us because it's the start of the summer season, most of our campaigns are launched on IPL but what we've learned is that IPL is very different from other television advertising. One thing for IPL is that you have to acknowledge the fact that your break hours will be the lowest, which means people would want to obviously wait for the next over so they are not really going anywhere. So that advantage of engagement is there with IPL.”

The panel also discussed about Connected TV and how it is emerging in India but will take time for the masses to follow as people are becoming more accessible to broadband connections. Dhawan said, “It looks very small as we speak because not too many people into it but with the passage of time and improved data speeds, it will catch up. Right now it looks like it is in the sushi category you know good to have it sometimes but can't have it as a daily meal, someday it will become part of your daily meal.”



 

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