Thursday, February 10, 2011

IIPM Prof Rajita Chaudhuri on 'TV: A NECESSARY EVIL'

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Yes, agreed that we all love watching TV. But do we love watching the ads? Do we notice the zillions of them shown during the break? Actually, it’s the “Breaks” that are a problem and not the TV! Like in life, so in marketing, we spend most of our time thinking of the “Break”, be it the break up, or the big break, or the lunch break – or for marketing men, the commercial break! Not for life, but yes, an interesting innovation seems to be happening for marketing men. It’s called “virtual advertising”. A digital image of the product/brand appears on TV screens while one is viewing a sports match or a programme. So, I don’t need to advertise during the break. Rather, digitization helps me insert my brand during the programme. Of course, if it’s a match, the stadium audience does not see the products or the advertisements, as they are, well, virtual! But the TV audience does! This new innovation can be seen during the cricket matches. Since it all happens during the match, nobody can miss it. Advertisers don’t need to wait for the commercial break where chances of getting lost are very high. They can now digitally and very creatively put their ads during the show – virtually breaking the clutter!

Vikram Tanwar, the CEO of the sports management company Planman Stars, who is responsible for getting this technology to India, says that it’s much more effective than the regular TV commercials.

For one, it makes your ad “zapper proof”. It can be changed according to regions. If the programme is being aired in Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, each audience gets to see its own brands in the virtual advertisements. Sponsors can choose to show their advertisements on a country-bycountry, region-by-region, or even market by- market basis! The advertisement can stay on the screen for 30 seconds... or 30 minutes, depending on where and how you insert it. It can come on a virtual billboard, or on the ground, or pop-out from the ground, or fall from heaven, or emerge from the spectators – the way you can innovate is limitless. It’s an astonishing technology, exploiting the simple fact that people pay more attention during a show than during a commercial break – so put your advertisement right there.

This technology debuted in the USA in 1998, and now Zee’s Ten Sports is doing the same with Micromax Mobiles, Royal Stag and McDowell’s “virtually” reaching out to their audiences – before the break!

These advertisements are being inserted in absolutely novel, innovative ways into almost all TV programmes; sports and nonsports. Because it’s so different, the recall of these advertisements is as high as 84%. Since they are interesting, more than half the audience did not mind them.

Virtual is the new way to grab eyeballs this year!


Call it what you may, but TV is here to stay. For even though ‘online’ is at the top of everybody’s minds, it’s not resulting in increased sales or brand building – at least, not yet. The lure of TV is immense and you just need to look at the Super Bowl rates to understand the impact of TV. On February 6, almost 100 million Americans (and many more in other parts of the world) would be watching the game. No wonder, CBS is charging $2.5 million for a 30 second commercial – and all its commercial slots have already been sold out! That’s the power of this media.

Groupon, the company that sells bargain deals online, knows that it’s not the help of Google, but of TV that it requires in order to grow. (Google tried to acquire it for $6bn, but couldn’t) It could not find a slot during the game, but it has settled for the pregame spot. After all, TV builds brands, like no other. Even the internet biggies know it and are not leaving a chance to be seen on it! One man who really needs brand building and knows how to do it is Obama. He, like every year, is not going to miss TV on February 6. No, not watching it, but coming on it. He has agreed to be interviewed on Fox Sports sometime during the fourhour pre-game show. Super Bowl is after all the world’s most watched programme; and no one, not the big brands or even the President, wants to miss it.

If you need to build a big brand, you have to think “TV”. Use your creativity to “virtually” rise up from the clutter. A new way is of course to air your advertisement “break ke pehle” – before the break! It works!
This article is sourced from BLOGGER.COM, click here to read compelete article.

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