Zubin Tatan, national director, planning, MEC (L) and Ajay Kakar, CMO, financial services, Aditya Birla Group (R)
Have some part of client media budgets moved away from TV in 2013? If yes, who has been the main beneficiary?
ZT: Yes. If you see the changing media AdEx over the last couple of years, digital has grown significantly. Television spends have overtaken print. So revisiting the media mix has happened for brands. Digital has led the growth curve and I believe that money has moved from other media to digital for some brands.
AK: Across the Aditya Birla Financial Services Group we do use mass media in general and TV in particular, to achieve our committed-to-communications objective of creating self-realization among mass India about the advantages of money-solutions in their life. We did not compromise on this objective and the needed budgets during 2013.
Have ad rate hikes by TV channels aided this jump? Has the 10+2 ad cap contributed to this?
ZT: I think brands have been looking for more ROI- driven solutions and have been thinking of altering the media mix even before 10+2. The pace for male-oriented brands have been faster, that is all. 10+2 may be a catalyst but the change had already started.
AK: The fact remains that the TV medium is becoming more and more expensive, as also cluttered. Our belief is that the solution to stand out of the clutter is not to out-shout or out-spend the others. The demand of the times is to focus on more engaging and effective creative. Taking inspiration from Shivaji and his belief in guerilla warfare, to stand-up to the mighty Mughal army, we believe that ‘buying’ of consumer attention is not the solution. We all remember the 1984 commercial, though it was only aired once – and that too many many years ago.
Will the media mix, on average, see more diversification - out of TV - in 2014?
ZT: The buzz continues to be around ‘effectiveness and efficiency’ so media mix will be altered. Looking at the trend, digital will be the big gainer.However, the importance of television will not be undermined. Categories like FMCG, telecom will continue with TV as a large part of their mix and that will not change. They will continue to spend on television and the changes will not be very significant. Smaller categories, male-focused brands and brands with smaller media budgets will look at other options
AK: We don’t plan to compromise on our TV budgets, going forward in 2014. But the fact remains that the TV medium is becoming more and more expensive, as also cluttered. Our belief is that the solution to stand out of the clutter is not to out-shout or out-spend the others. The demand of the times is to focus on more engaging and effective creative. Taking inspiration from Shivaji and his belief in guerilla warfare, to stand-up to the mighty Mughal army, we believe that ‘buying’ of consumer attention is not the solution. We all remember the 1984 commercial, though it was only aired once – and that too many many years ago.
Is growth of online video consumption a factor in budgets moving out of TV?
ZT: The change happening is that ‘multi-screen planning’ is becoming more and more important and advertising across screens (TV, desktop and mobile) will soon be the order of the day. So, monies will be reorganised and reclassified. Online video will be seen in conjuncture with television planning. Now that we can get web GRPs, mobile GRPs, we can measure the campaigns as we do in television.
AK: I do believe that each medium offers a marketer the opportunity to achieve a particular brand objective, with a particular target audience. To that extent I do propogate inter-media fungibility, in a marketing plan. And if these switches happen because of budget constraints, I do see a resulting compromise on the desired objectives.
Thanks to newer opportunities, online airing of our communication is an opportunity that will attract spends.
What other factors will impact spends on TV by marketers? Can high-impact properties, for instance, help TV grow its share?
ZT: Brand integrations, content creation, AFPs will gain more importance as ROI on television will continue to be low.
AK: We do look forward to smarter spending, supported by even greater focus on impactful creatives.