Yahoo! India and Mediacom have got together to launch Style Factor, a custom branded content and entertainment site for Proctor & Gamble (P&G). Inspired by ‘The Thread’ on Yahoo! Shine developed for P&G in the USA, Style Factor will bring the latest celebrity news and information on fashion, skincare, hair care and makeup to users in India. Style Factor is available on Yahoo! India Lifestyle.
Campaign India caught up with Hemen Desai, Managing Partner, MediaCom India, for more on the tie up and digital branded content.
Tell us more about this initiative.
It is a tie up between Yahoo and P&G facilitated by MediaCom. It is a property where P&G has tied up with Yahoo and launched this initiative named Style Factor in India now. It has been there in the US since the last four years and is called ‘The Thread’.
MediaCom is the facilitator in terms of approval of content along with the P&G team giving guidelines on how to make it work better.
Style factor covers beauty and fashion and we have six brands from P&G (Pantene, Whisper, Ariel, Oral B, Olay and Head & Shoulders) that are going to partner with Yahoo to create content which the consumers can access. Its going to be branded but educational content that we will offer to consumers. There will be information on skin care, hair care and fashion.
At what rate is branded online content growing in India?
Frankly, in India branded entertainment is very new and all the advertisers today are learning and scaling up. Not everything is known as to how to make it work. There are two reasons. One is that the concept is very new. Secondly, it revolves around the content. The content changes over a period of time because audience interest changes over a period of time.
This same (Style Factor) concept has been applied in the US in the last four years. There are certain things that we could adapt and implement in India, but mainly the content will be customised for Indian audiences and produced locally with an Indian host. There is going to be customisation as we scale up.
Anyways, branded entertainment is new and branded online entertainment is even newer. Everybody is following a similar model that they pilot and scale up. It’s not a big proportion of their budget initially but as things start working, they start investing more.
How big is the branded content practice for Mediacom? And digital content?
It can only get as big as it is for our clients. However, at the same time, we are one of the few agencies who has a dedicated team focussing on branded entertainment. We have a team of two who focus on branded entertainment; they are specialists who come form the field of creative, channels and activation etc. They are experts in this and this is a service that we offer all our clients. We believe it is an area that advertisers should invest in and that’s the service we are investing in by means of creating capability and resources.
You can, largely, switch between entertainment and content. Content could be entertaining or educational. There can be multiple reasons why consumers access the internet: it could be for information, at times for entertainment and at times for education. In terms of the Style Factor tie up, it would be entertaining content because its revolving around beauty and fashion. Some parts could be educational as well. For e.g. Olay would be present in the skin care section and would give tips on fighting ageing. We would need to inform women in an engaging manner and delicately that their skin starts ageing from the age of 25 onwards while she would think it happens from 40. so the skin care section on the Style Factor would have content on how to take care of your skin including ageing and this whole section becomes relevant for us to place our advertising. And thats how Olay total effects (Olay’ anti ageing product) become completely relevant in this section without being offensive to the consumer. Therefore, this would be educational.
For digital content: we have a separate team, which is very large, about a team of about twenty. The team that does branded entertainment also participates in facilitating with projects like Style Factor tie up. There is a specialised team in terms of digital planning. They are also involved in the branded content entertainment. And one person from the entertainment team works as a facilitator and coordinator in such types of projects.Style Factor offers locally produced content, hosted by model and actor Nauheed Cyrusi and will consist of a dedicated editorial team supporting the production of local news online. The site is a showcase for P&G brands in India including Pantene, Whisper, Ariel, Oral B, Olay and Head & Shoulders.