Ananya Saha
Mar 20, 2015

Ad:tech 2015: 'Brands are no longer heroes'

Anita Nayyar of Havas Media, Lowe's Vikas Mehta, Coca-Cola's Deepak Jolly and Vivek Nayer of Mahindra & Mahindra discussed how brands can add value to conversations

Ad:tech 2015: 'Brands are no longer heroes'
Do social media conversations result in sales conversions? Can brands have a control on, or engineer the conversations on social media? These and more questions related to social media were discussed on Ad:tech's panel.
Moderated by Anita Nayyar, CEO, India and South Asia, Havas Media, the panel comprised Deepak Jolly, VP, public affairs and communications, Coca-Cola India and South West Asia; Vikas Mehta, CMO, Lowe Lintas and ED, Linteractive; Vivek Nayer, CMO, Mahindra & Mahindra.
Jolly cited the example of how brands can become a part of social media conversations. He spoke about Coke Zero launch, which was distributed through Amazon. "It created the required buzz. In 48 hours, about 100,000 cans were ordered," he said.
Mehta pointed to how brands cannot engineer the conversations anymore, and said, "The onus is on brands to find conversation and build on it."
He noted how Lifebuoy played a role in creating conversation around health, by picking on a subject of infant mortality. "But it was not a CSR activity. Rather, it was a brand building activity, and led to sales," he noted.
Nayyer asserted, "Brands are no longer heroes. The conversations are happening with or without brands. It is, thus, extremely important to have conversations with fit-of-purpose. Content, while important, should be real, engaging and meaningful." 
Mahindra & Mahindra's Nayer elaborated on how the brand picked on 'adventure' as a consumer trend and built on it with off-roading events and online conversations. He was of the view that each brand needs to find relevant topic where it can fit in, and not force-fit itself into a conversation. 
Trends shaping the media industry
Earlier in the day, Gowthaman Ragothaman, COO, Mindshare Asia-Pacific, made a presentation on 'Trends shaping the media industry'. 
He pointed out how we are living with more data but less sharing of knowledge, and reduced level of insights, coupled with the fact that most marketers are struggling to use the data. 
During his presentation, he said that as an industry we face a deeply inefficient model for native advertising. He said, "Native advertising requires a commercial model for native executions to travel beyond the original publisher."
Campaign India

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