Day one of the seventh Indian Magazine Congress saw two advertisers and two creative heads discussing 'Advertising creativity and magazine media'.
Lutz Kothe, chief general manager, marketing and PR, Volkswagen India, started off with innovations the German company has tried in its advertising in India – including one that was turned down. "My team asked me to advertise on the front page of Autocar India. I spoke to Hormazd Sorabjee, editor, Autocar India, and gave him this idea. He refused," said Kothe.
Kothe went on to say that India was the only market where the niche and general magazine market was growing. Looking ahead, Kothesaid that without doubt, there would be more integration of print with digital. "The simple reasoning behind this is, India has more mobilephones than toilets", he explained.
Kothe went on to show examples of Volkswagen's innoways (innovative ways of advertising) in print in India. These included the 'Talking Newspaper' and 'Post it' campaigns.
BBDO India's chairman and chief creative officer Josy Paul compared the print magazine to a baby. "You need to pick it up and hold it. Magazines have corners which can be touched while reading. The smell gets to you as you carry on reading the magazine. A baby cannot be swiped at like you handle an iPad or some another tablet. That's the difference between print and other media," said Paul, and went on to show some innovative international print campaigns.
Satyaki Ghosh, director, consumer products, L'Oreal India, revealed the importance of print for the brand. "L'Oreal was the seventh largest advertiser on television last year. But, I promise print is still very important for the group and makes up a high portion of our spends. The group will not be leaving print", said Ghosh.
Ghosh explained how print is the only place where a brand like L'Oreal could educate people. "TVCs are 20-seconders and outdoors are passed even faster", said Ghosh.
Noting that print was the one medium where people spend time, Ghosh said he expects publications to partner with agencies to make the core idea bigger. When it came to innovation, Ghosh outlined that it would be done only if necessary: "We don't do innovation for the sake of it. We want to create events."
Confessing his love for print magazines, Sonal Dabral, chairman and chief creative officer, DDB Mudra Group, spoke about his stint in Singapore where he worked on two magazine brands - The Economist and FHM. Showcasing some of the work done on the two brands, he said, "For The Economist, we created sharp puzzles. FHM was a fun magazine that gave us the opportunity to do whatever."
Back in India, Dabral explained the relaunch of Femina by DDB Mudra: "We gave it a refreshed look talking to a girl in the mid 20s. Prior to this, it was more of a ‘moms’ brand. The entire content was refreshed."
Moderator Anant Rangaswami, senior editor, Firstpost.com, and editor, Storyboard, asked speakers for one change they would like to see in magazine advertising.
Ghosh said he would look for integrated editorial campaigns, while Kothe urged ideation. "Bring great ideas and we'll make sure we get the execution," said Kothe.
Dabral responded: "Enough effort goes into the positioning of a magazine. The same effort should go in the content, to make the positioning stay true. If the content is good, ads will go seamlessly (with it)."