July 17, 2013 #004
The innovation is back, the buzz is back in the company as far as the Lumia is concerned P. Balaji
Managing Director, Nokia India
In the advertiser vs broadcaster battle, will track two diplomacy uncover a solution? A
senior professional from the media industry summed up the current imbroglio visà-vis TAM thus. We don’t name him, because he is involved in the issue and will certainly be at the heart of the discussions and negotiations in the search for a solution. He asked, “do we need John Forbes Nash, right about now? (While what we actually seem to have is a lot of Ronald Reagans?)”. This is what he went on to say: Two cars manned by aggressive drivers line up facing each other on a short stretch of a narrow road. The midpoint of said bridge is often over a bridge, thereby excluding any possibility of a last minute exit. Upon a visual signal, such as a flag or kerchief being dropped, the two will accelerate toward an inevitable collision, both hoping the other chap will ‘chicken’ out. While the sequence, or variations of it, is stock-in-trade of endless potboilers, this situation, typically called a game of ‘Chicken’, has also been the area of deep academic study by Game Theorists such as John Nash (whom we know and remember largely thanks to Russell Crowe essaying the role in a quasi-biopic, “A Beautiful Mind”). Game Theory is clear on this issue. The worst outcome of the game is when neither driver gives ground. The high-speed collision produces the very worst outcome in the ‘Payoff Matrix’. While the ‘chicken’ might be the object of much ribbing for some time after the ignominy, he survives to play another day, surely a better outcome than death or debility. The best example of an iterative game of chicken that neither side lost (only because they avoided, often by the merest whisker, the fatal temptation of ever seeking to win it) was the long détente of the Cold War. Starting from the Cuban Missile Crisis, all the way to Gorbachev’s Glasnost and Perestroika that brought down the curtains on this phase of World History, a whole planet was for four decades, hours away from MAD, Mutually Assured Destruction. That’s what it is. So where are we now on this issue? As this piece is being written on Tuesday night, matters, overtly, seem grim. Let’s do a quick recap of the sequence of events up to now. The problem began when disgruntled broadcasters, including Network 18, Viacom18, MultiScreen Media, STAR Network, Zee Network, BAG 24, NDTV and Times TV sent letters to TAM stating their intent to unsubscribe from the service. Click here to watch Star India’s CEO Uday Shankar. At this stage, it looked as if we could be in a situation when there would be no measurement reported for the channels in question. A solution seemed to be found as TAM and the broadcasters agreed on new terms – where TAM would report their data monthly and report audiences in absolute numbers and not in channel shares Click here to read the original report on Firstpost. This led to the advertisers being up in arms, stating that they wanted weekly, and not monthly, reporting, and they wanted shares, not absolute numbers. Major advertisers sent cancellation orders to the broadcasters in question, setting a 72 hour deadline for the broadcasters to revert to the existing system. The 72 hours ended yesterday. Broadcasters have bought a bit of time by pointing to the fine print in their terms and conditions of sale, saying that a minimum notice is required for cancellation. As a result, ads of
brands of the protesting advertisers on TV on channels belonging to the abovementioned networks will not disappear overnight. This technicality has provided breathing space to the doves on both sides of the divide to find a mutually acceptable solution. While it initially looked like they were hurtling to an immediate, headon collision, there was already an artificial deadline for a solution: July 25. By the 25th of each month, release orders for the next month go out. If no solution is found by July 25, fresh release orders from advertisers would dry up.
It would seem that advertisers were left with no option but to resort to the extreme step of sending cancellations. And they’ve also instructed us not to send fresh ROs for the month of August to these 8 broadcaster groups Sam Balsara
Chairman and Managing Director, Madison World
What this would mean is that the revenues of the broadcasters are under threat, and the brands lose media options through which to carry their messages to consumers. Will it come to that? Media agencies, who are in the advertisers’ corner in this battle, suggest that, a) a solution is needed and b) there could not, in a curious way, be a better time for this issue to blow up. Madison World Chairman and Managing Director Sam Balsara shared his views on the situation with us. “It would seem that advertisers were left with no option but to resort to the extreme step of sending cancellations. And they’ve also instructed us not to send fresh ROs for the month of August to these 8 broadcaster groups.” One can get a sense of the advertisers’ discontent with the current state of affairs from a reading of the statement of Dabur India Ltd Senior Executive Director (Consumer Care Business) Mr. Devender Garg, “As advertisers, we have been voicing our discontent with the decision of some broadcasters to opt for monthly release of TAM ratings. In the absence of clarity from TAM on reverting to the weekly reporting of ratings, we are suspending all ads for the time being and are studying the situation to chart the future course of action. The fact remains that in the absence of any TAM data, it will be difficult for advertisers to plan their media strategies and schedules.” If that sounds ominous, Balsara brings a calming perspective to the situation. “Let’s face it. Its the month of July, and it is a dull month for advertising. So
in a way, advertisers aren’t concerned about their activity for some time. However, the honest truth is that I think both need each other. Of course, the difference is that it’s a cost for the advertiser and a revenue for the broadcasters. Having said that, both need each other and hopefully, the broadcasters will see reason and discuss this matter with an open mind with the advertisers and come to a solution pretty soon.” Balsara reminds all that the issue has more stake holders than advertisers and broadcasters. “I think there is an urgent need for the three interest groups, the broadcasters, the media agencies and advertisers to sit together on a table, and come to a settlement that works in the interest of all three parties. I think what the advertiser is reacting sharply to, is the unilateralism of the broadcaster. I think the advertiser has taken serious umbrage at the broadcaster’s unilateral action,” he says. There was room, Balsara feels, for broadcsters’ concerns to be addressed without recourse to unilateralism. “I think this is the reason why we have set up the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) in the manner it has been setup. And media agencies and advertisers made a magnanimous offer to broadcasters saying that the two issues that they had could be referred to the BARC techcomm. And we would go with whatever decision BARC’s techcomm takes. However, I believe that having earlier agreed to this arrangement, the broadcasters decided to go back on it.” (BARC is the body touted as the institution which will take over television audience measurement in the country, so while major constituents of IBF are in dispute with both the ISA and AAAI, there is a long term commitment that they have to each other. The Indian Broadcasting Federation (IBF) has 60 per cent stake in BARC, while ISA and AAAI own 20 percent stake each) Hopefully, statesmanship will rule, and the issue, for the moment, will be resolved. But what of the longer run? Over the years, many broadcasters have had issues with TAM on various aspects of the reporting and the measurement. The complaints have been individual, rather than as a body of broadcasters. TAM’s failed strategy in trying to appease individual complainants rather than deal with the larger issues has resulted in this sorry state – and needlessly made itself the villain in the piece. At the core of the problems is the fact that the number of peoplemeters is woefully inadequate, thanks to the funds available being woefully inadequate. This is a problem that will not go away even if the touted TAM substitute, BARC, does get its act together by sometime next year. And if the peoplemeter shortage can be addressed by the two major stakeholders, the broadcasters and the advertisers, agreeing to increase investments, the core issues in the current dispute – whether to report weekly or monthly and whether reporting of audiences should be in shares or in absolute numbers – are differences driven by business imperatives that clash, and money and technology have no role to play in a solution.
Sam Balsara, Chairman and Managing Director, Madison World
It’s a tricky situation, as each warring side knows how high the stakes are – and that they have no solution but to live with each other. Starting today, there are two occasions on which
they will meet, one official and the second a celebration. Tonight, at a BARC meeting, and again on Thurday at an IAA meeting to felicitate Pradeep Guha.
Both are opportunities for track two diplomacy, as the guests are advertisers and broadcaters – and hopefully, a solution will be found. Because one has to be found.
2 Anant Rangaswami
July 17, 2013 #004
issues of the day Learning from the death of the Times of India Crest
When a media product dies, there is little we do to understand why it happened. The most common diagnosis is, ‘it didn’t work’. What didn’t work? Did the content not work? Did the packaging not work? Was the pricing right? Was the circulation/ distribution up to the mark? Was the marketing strategy well thought-through? Was there a marketing strategy in place? Was the sales team aligned to the product? These are the questions that should be asked – and then we’ll have an answer very different from ‘it didn’t work’. There’s a wealth of information available in stories of failure, perhaps more valuable than the stories of success. For anyone in the media business, especially in the niche, premium or special interest media business, the answers to ‘what went wrong with the Times of India Crest’ would be a gold mine. Sadly, it is unlikely we ever have the answers – as The Times of India will not share them (should they have them). Barely had the news that the last issue of Times of India Crest would be this week found mention on twitter was the baby being thrown out with the bath-water.
The news of Crest’s demise was being immediately interpreted as the harbinger of the death of long-form journalism, the death of broadsheet as a format, and so on – with no evidence to support any of the conclusions. There are other print products which rely on long-form journalism and seem to be doing well – Caravan and Open come to mind. The large majority of newspapers in India are broadsheets, so that argument doesn’t work as well. So what went wrong? I’ll try and list the possible causes: • There was little or no marketing of the title. The little that existed was for a short period immediately preceding and following the launch. This, too, was fairly low-decibel. This is a marked departure from the high-decibel launches other products from the BCCL stable receive. • The launch price of just ₨6, coupled with the 40 page issue we saw during the launch phase caused the paper to be born making losses. A higher cover price would have seen lower losses (and lower circulation too, perhaps), and the title would have been healthier
• The overall design looked dated when compared to contemporary print products that sophisticated readers were exposed to on a daily basis • Sales teams found it difficult to sell the quality of their readers as opposed to the quantity of their readers. This, to my mind, was one of the most important reasons for the failure. • The sense one got was that the paper was (journalist-wise) understaffed • As the paper’s pagination shrank, the width of subjects and stories covered shrank as well, seriously diluting the richness available to the reader in the early months. A look at the Crest’s Facebook page will show how, even with the shrinking, the width on offer was still compelling. • There was no attempt, in the almost four year life of the paper, to make any changes or course corrections Overall, one gets the feeling that, prior to launch, fundamental questions weren’t asked and answered. In essence, there was no vision for the paper, no raison d’être. Were these questions asked? • Why are we launching the Crest?
• Who is the core target audience • How does the Crest fit in to the entire stable? • How does it add to the stable? • How will it be monetized? • Which segment of the market is it targeting? • Who are the competitors in this segment? • How is the segment doing? Is it growing? Is it shrinking? Is it flat? • How is this segment doing from a revenue point of view? • Is there a need to physically print the paper, rather than have a digital-only version? Even if the paper was launched in a hurry (which it was), there has been no attempt to try and understand how the paper was doing, which aspects of it were doing well and which aspects were causes for concern. When it ‘wasn’t working’, no one asked ‘why isn’t it working’? That’s the problem. So before writing off long-form journalism and broadsheets, think of The Times of India Crest’s failure as one caused by a litany of mistakes, some of them most basic and fundamental.
Please stop that “Sale, Sale, Saleˮ
The website, Burrp! says there are 85 sale events happening in Mumbai. Fifty in Pune. Around 30 each in the other major metros. How many have you been to? I am not sure about the accuracy of the above data. I am inclined to believe that this is a case of gross under reporting. There are probably many more. But the list did help me analyze the various offers and come up with some thoughts on what retailers ought to be doing. Let’s start with the name. A vast majority of the sales call themselves the “End of season sale”. (Err, what season would that be?) Some are more explicit and claim they are a “Monsoon sale”. A few are called “Clearance Sale”, though it is not clear what they are clearing since some insist that they have “added fresh stocks”. Let’s move on to the thing that really matters. The price. This year, the lucky number is 70. A large number of sales are “up to 70% off”. This “up to” sounds like an admission of guilt and so there are several retailers who prefer to make a more genuine sounding offer. These are the people who offer “flat” discounts on everything in their stores. Of course, the discount percentages have to be lower - 30 to 50 seemed to be the preferred range. In all this cacophony, is there any innovation happening? Is it possible to create some differentiation so that the retail brand gets some benefit? Or is “Sale, Sale, Sale” so perfect that it cannot be improved upon? Well, to be fair there are some innovations taking place. A few brands are offering a two step discount for their loyal customers. So they offer 40% discount to everyone and an additional 10% if you are a member of their loyalty program. Most people I spoke to, thought that they were thus getting a 50% discount in total. Actually that is not true. They are getting a 46% discount, but most people can’t do that math. (Basically they apply the second discount to the net price - so a ₨100 product becomes ₨60 after the first discount and then ₨54 after the second). This two step discount is widely practiced in the USA.
People always add up the two numbers and they think they are getting more than they actually are. Given that people tend to add up the two numbers, it is in the interest of the retailer to increase the value of the second discount. So if you offer a two step discount of 40% followed by 20%, people will think they are getting 60% off, whereas they are actually getting only a 52% discount. Sounds manipulative, but it is no more so than when retailers increase the ticket price of the item and then mark it down for the sale. Even consumers who suspect this is what is happening, still go ahead and fall for the lure of the four letter word, Sale. If you really want to be totally fair to consumers and still make the highest amount of profit, retailers should offer a price guarantee. This basically says that if the price of that particular product ever drops (either in their own store or in a competing store), then they will refund the difference. This takes a great weight off the minds of shoppers. It is now in their interest to buy immediately. Also there is no competitive price cutting between retailers and so all of them make more money. In a recent article in the Harvard Business Review, two professors from NorthWestern University, Sandeep Baliga and Jeff Ely, showed that this kind of price guarantee works well for the retailers and the customers even when the former needs to make some refunds. They call it ‘Purple Pricing’. The idea seems to work particularly well when the item has limited supply e.g. seats in an airplane. Currently passengers feel dissatisfied because one may end up paying much more than another on the same flight. On the other hand, airlines may lose money by pricing their tickets too low. The Purple Pricing model solves both problems. Currently the key challenge in implementing this scheme is that the payment mechanisms from airlines are not set up to offer refunds easily.
Once the software issues get sorted out, both airlines and passengers will benefit. There are probably several other innovations taking place around the world. Please do write in if you know of them. Clearly there is much more to be said than just simply, “Sale, Sale, Sale”. Suman Srivastava is Founder & Innovation Artist at Marketing Unplugged, a firm that helps brands create marketing innovations. Contact him via his website: www.MarketingUnplugged.in
Huffington Post's India launch and other answers
What will be the relevance of mainstream media with the growing popularity of blogs and products like the Huffington Post? Arianna What’s happening now is a convergence where mainstream media is doing more things online. Huffington Post is doing a lot more investigative journalism. We want to pull ourselves to do a long, ten-part series on the lives of returning veterans. There’s a hybrid that’s emerging which involves a combination of the best traditional and new media elements. We've seen CNN and FOX becoming more US-centric. What changes will you adapt to, to ensure a wider global acceptance? Arianna It’s very important to have a voice that is more global in nature. We’re already in the UK, Canada (Quebec), Italy, Spain and France and we’re looking forward to launching in Brazil, South Korea and of course, India. We launched in Japan a few weeks ago and I’m incredibly excited about launching in India. I spent some time in India when I was 18; I studied Comparative Religion in Shantiniketan University. I can’t tell you how excited I am because now, I’ll have a reason to keep coming back. India is my favourite country. What will your India strategy be? Are local languages planned?
Arianna We believe in trying to be as local as possible. Our global editions are always run by local editors steeped in the local culture. We provide the platform — the HuffPost DNA, but they’re run by local journalists in every country. So, when we cover India, we will have a better coverage because we are going to have editors and reporters on the ground. It’s not going just going to be wire stories. We’ve seen that happen already when they were electing the new Pope in Italy. Our coverage of all international editions was better because we had editors, bloggers, reporters and teams of translators who would translate everything in all languages.
Is there a launch date that you've set? Arianna We don't have a launch date but I hope that it's going to be in early 2014. Will local languages be part of this? Arianna I don't know if it's going to play a part in the beginning but that is how Huffington Post evolves — to always keep adding things. As the cost of content goes up, what will be the revenue model for Huffington Post? Arianna The cost of content does not go up for us as we don’t have print. We’re only online. Our monetisation model is always going to be free because we’re advertising
supported, but advertising in different ways, not just in CPM and headline-banner ads. We have entire sections launched that are supported by brands and advertising; advertorials, in India. Take Johnson & Johnson, for example. Their cause is global maternal health. They’ve sponsored a section on global maternal health which is renewed every year. This is not like advertorials for one paper.
You’ve been very vocal about the portrayal of women in media and society. You’ve held the third Metric conference last week. What role will Huffington Post play in changing women’s narrative, at least in media? Arianna: Our goal with the Third Metric Conference was to help women redefine success in society. Right now, success is defined in terms of money and power and that is a two-legged story. We need a third metric, which includes our wellbeing, happiness, health, wisdom and our capacity to enjoy life and give back. These cannot be afterthoughts. Our goal was to encourage women to think of themselves and help change the world. We like to call it the Third Women’s Revolution. The first was the Suffragettes, giving women the right to vote. The second was giving them a new place in society and that’s still unfinished. What we need now is to change a world fueled by burnout and
exhaustion that’s not working for either men or women. There is a growing feeling that the authority of the newspapers and journalists is eroding. What are you going to do to ensure that Huffington Post does not fall into that trap? Arianna What is important to us is to keep our viewers and leaders engaged, be the centre of conversation. It’s not just about telling our readers how the world is, it’s listening to them. That is going to determine where the authority is coming from. One constant complaint is the ferocity of comments which are especially right-wing. What is the ideal moderation policy? Arianna We are adamant about premoderating comments. We’ve had over 260 million comments since the Huffington Post was launched. We’ve invested in the most advanced technology and we also have human moderators to supplement the technology. We do not allow the worst aspects of the internet to interfere and make the conversation toxic. Storyboard's Pavni Mittal spoke to Arianna Huffington at Cannes. You can follow Pavni on Twitter at: @pavnimittal
July 17, 2013 #004
the really long interview
p. balaji MANAGING DIRECTOR, Nokia India
Times have changed for Finnish phone manufacturer Nokia. The undisputed top dog for years is today, increasingly finding itself in the role of the underdog. While the battle plans to regain lost market share were laid out in 2011, with the launch of the Microsoft Windows based Lumia range, today, the buzz seems to be shifting to the revamped Asha range of affordable featurephones. Launched in May with the ₨5000 Asha 501, the phones will be built in India and exported to 90 countries starting June. How much of a gamechanger does Nokia expect this to be, and what does the company have in store for the mobile phone customer? Animesh Das interviews Nokia India MD, P Balaji, for the answers. What is the intended role for the Asha 501 for Nokia, both globally as well as in India? Balaji There are two parts to our strategy that Stephen Elop, our global CEO, laid out. One was, when we talked about two years ago, about our mid-range and high-end. That was very clearly around the Microsoft Operating System. And today if you look back, in the last six months, we’ve launched eight (models) globally and we’ve already launched five (of those models) in India. These are products starting from around ₨9000 odd, going up all the way to about ₨40,000. So, the innovation is back, the buzz is back in the company as far as the Lumia is concerned. The second thing which we stated two years ago, is to say that it’s about connecting the next billion. And that’s where Asha would fit. Asha, in a very short time frame of about less than four quarters, globally sold over 20 million. This means that the value proposition, the innovations that we brought in at affordable price points, was accepted by consumers at large, and not just in India. And that’s where we said that we need to give it a refresh and give a new look to it. So, if you look at the 501, which we call the new Asha platform, it is innovation to the core at a price that is absolutely unbeatable. We’re talking roughly about 20 million smartphones being sold last year. Look out two years ahead, you’re talking about 75 million smartphones. Out of 180 million phones being sold, 75 million is a good number. And the bulk of the growth will come between the ₨4000 rupees to about ₨8000-9000 range. So, at the higher end of that you’ll end up having the Lumia. At the low and mid range of the affordable smartphones, you will have Asha. Between them, they actually fit in very beautifully from a Nokia strategy of connecting the next billion globally and probably, I would say, the next 100 million in India.
The dividing line between a feature phone and a smart phone seems to be increasingly blurring. Which segment really is Nokia looking to drive in order to reach out to the mass of the Indian population? Balaji Two years from now, let’s say 75-80 million (of mobile phones sold) are going to be smartphones. There are still another 120 million people that are still going to be looking at feature phones which have smart-like features. So innovation, at every price-point, is what Nokia’s strategy is. That’s a given. In the smartphone, it will be different innovation. In the feature phones, it will be different. But, we will start to bring those innovations down at lower and lower price points along with services which are our differentiators. That’s imaging, which is big for us, whether it’s music and entertainment, it’s big for us, or whether it’s about mapping
ACCEPTED dotcom since 1999
The final jury and the verdict comes from the consumer, no doubt. What you can do is to make sure that you listen to the consumer and the market before you start to work on the product design assets, we’re going to be bringing them all. For example, what we used to find as mapping assets only in the Lumia phones, are now available in the 501. Now you start to blur the lines between the smartphone and the feature phone, but it’s about making sure that we can connect people with dignity to internet to connect them to their near and dear ones in manners that they never thought was possible before. So, if we can enrich people’s social, professional and personal lives, then we think we’ve made a difference and connect with our consumers. Earlier in the mobile phone industry, you saw a war of devices. Today, do you think that it has changed to a war of the ecosystem? Has the software taken over the handset brand? Balaji The ecosystems are important, no doubt about it. But innovation in hardware and innovation in what you do on the services piece is equally important. So when I say operating system, that’s one dimension of it. When I say hardware, it’s another dimension, and services become the third dimension. All of these become important. The operating system brings in the application developers on to the platform because then they get something to monetize their innovation which they bring to consumers. On the other hand, services then are equally important and therefore, for us, the assets that we create, for example, Nokia Music, when we talk about doing 10-12 million
downloads in India every week, that’s a huge number. And when we say that the entire music industry is backing such an initiative, it also tells you the power of the ecosystem. So, the ecosystem definition is just not the operating system, but it’s now moving into the services domain. Not just the app developers but also the industries. Like I said, the music industry standing behind Nokia music is a very critical part for us to bring that innovation and add value to the consumer. So, that’s where the ecosystem starts to become a larger entity than just the operating system. To reach out to the consumers or to capture their mind space, is the battle really being fought on the marketing front or is it being fought on the technology front? Balaji I think there are three dimensions to it. The tech front is obviously very important because we are an industry that thrives on technology. Marketing is important to make sure that you can get the message out to the early adopters and through them, the rest of the digital medium, to make sure it becomes more widespread. The third dimension, which is often underestimated, is at the retail end. In the global context, it will be the operator stores. In the Indian context, it’s the mobile stores, no matter if they are large chains or multi-brand outlets. There again, the conversion that you get done is an important piece. We do pay a lot of attention to make sure that the promise that is delivered through the marketing message is also brought to life in a retail environment. That potentially allows you to be successful in the minds of the consumers, which is where you win this battle. But at the end of the day, no matter how strong or how big your marketing efforts are, if a consumer doesn’t like a piece of technology, he’s not going to adopt it. So, it really doesn’t matter, right? Balaji No, you’re right. The final jury and the verdict comes from the consumer, no doubt. What you can do is to make sure that you listen to the consumer and the market before you start to work on the product design. That you made the adaptations to bring the best technological packet, and then, make an offer to the consumer. Make sure that the marketing was appropriate to bring to life what you promised. And at the retail store, to make sure that you made all the effort that you could to make a consumer experience. After that, the verdict and the jury is entirely the consumer. You have to basically trust their judgement. If it’s good it’s good. If it’s bad, then you accept it with humility and work on the next release. That’s the way it is.
It’s interesting you said that because if I take a dipstick survey of the layman or the common man and ask them to name high-end feature phones, they’ll mention brands like Samsung, HTC, Sony or even a Blackberry. Does Nokia have a brand problem when it comes to the high-end smartphone? Balaji I would say that the conversations have started changing in the last few quarters. It was a conscious decision that the company made when we said we’ll go with Windows. From the tail-end of 2012-2013, the momentum has swung dramatically for multiple reasons. If you look at the global operators in US or in China, we’ve been preferred as the choice. Lumia has been picked up, the 920 has been picked up as the choice even over bigger names, so to say, in the high-end sweepstake. In Europe, the big operators chose our phones to bring to their consumers. US, the same thing has happened. So, Vodafone, China Mobile, Verizon, AT&T, Telefonica, all have made a conscious choice to market our device. The second big move which has happened, is with Windows 8. Suddenly, you are now talking about 350 million PCs or notebooks that now, are starting to get rolled out across players with the same tiles interface, live tiles and everything else. It again builds momentum onto us. The buzz is really growing. And with the price point that we’re now bringing the phone down to, the Windows experience down to, by joint collaboration with Microsoft, I think the buzz is truly back. If you look at the (Nokia Lumia) 1020 which was launched last week, you just need to listen to the conversations happening in the digital world. And you realize that people are saying “I would consider this and I would prefer to have a look at Nokia before I make any other choice.” What is the next big thing that’s being cooked up in your R&D labs? And by that, I really wish to understand what is it about the mobile phone consumer of today that you have already predicted? Balaji As a company, we said there are many things that you could focus on but a few that we said we will really excel in. These are Imaging, Entertainment, and Mapping or Location. Our experience is that we create for consumers, the way they experience the world around them, is built around these assets. So, while we pack in a lot of technology elements into our phones, we’re saying that these verticals are broad enough to enrich people’s social, personal and professional lives and the way they interact with the world and with the context in which they live their lives. And so, if that’s the broader thing, we’re saying that the mobile device is that device that allows them to see the world around them in better context than they did before. All of the experiences that we’re bringing to, of the mobile sector and this technology, is built towards getting better and more innovative products at the high-end and also bring their innovation to lower and lower price points. And that’s really what our endeavor is as a company.
July 17, 2013 #004
the back of the book
tv tracker MasterChef is much more than a TV program you love
The What's-ON report is based on millions of observations seen across multiple platforms
Storyboard editor Anant Rangaswami spoke with Matt Utber, founder of The Plant, on the challenges in creating MC's identity You call MasterChef the “world's biggest food communication brand”. How does this statement impact your approach to design, as opposed to if MasterChef was simply a TV show? MasterChef has a subtly different profile and positioning in different parts of the world. The Australian version is quite warm and human and the competitors often collaborate, while in the US the programme has a much more competitive edge. In many parts of the world the brands penetration extends beyond television, while some regions are only new to the brand. We were very careful to understand these differences and build a brand that would be flexible enough to respond to them. Considering that MasterChef is global (we have Indian language versions here in addition to the US and Australia editions), what are the factors you have to bear in mind while developing the strategy? We're very sympathetic to the cultural differences inherent in the brand (my wife is Gujarati, so we often watch MC India!). The strategy we developed for the brand reflects the universal love for food and cooking, the human desire to share and nurture and the programs consistently inspiring stories. Our distillation of the essence of the brand "Inspiring
its audience. This then gives the brand permission to create products in food and cooking that will also carry this mark of quality, trust and integrity, allowing the brand to grow. Is there a comparison you can make to another TV product which was similarly successful? There are some other programs across the world with a similar stretch to MC, such as Who wants to be a millionaire, Big Brother, The Apprentice and X-factor, but none that seem to combine all the factors above in quite such a successful way. MC is now produced in over 40 separate countries globally!
food lovers" aims to embrace food lovers across the world and flow into all of the activities of the brand. We believe all of the major reasons that anyone would want to engage in the brand, either through the TV programs or other products are universal to most people in the world, regardless of their location. If the logo (and the branding) had to be rendered in another language, what are the elements of the identity that would remain constant? The one major element that is maintained graphically across the world is the circular swirl around the "M". Some languages maintain the "M" with a different typeface or language while in Israel, they change the "M" to a character in Hebrew with the supporting text in Hebrew too. When the brand is available to consumers as a non-television product (the crepe set, for example), what is the impact that the TV show has on the consumer in his or her decision to buy? We believe that MC has built a strong reputation for quality cooking and food. There is no prize money for winners (at least in the UK) only the joy of being the best amateur cook in the country. This has built a strong sense of integrity and trust amongst
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Are there lessons brand managers (of products in any category) can learn on brand extensions from MasterChef and how The Plant has arrived at a solution which seems almost endless in scope? The biggest lesson is to find great clients with amazing brands! Seriously though, while MC is an incredible brand, Shine, the brand's owners and The Plant have always been very careful not to extend the brand into areas we felt they didn't have permission to be. So long as the brand is involved with food and cooking, then the rest should be, as you say, endless in scope.