July 24, 2013 #005
The carriage fee issue is still hanging like a sword around the neck but these are teething problems Raj Nayak CEO, Colors TV
Less than 24 hours after Royal birth, great TVC, great front pages and new products I
t’s Tuesday night as this is written, just about 24 hours since the royal baby was born. And the baby is born in London, in England. The baby is big news, so it makes sense to look out for some great newspaper covers and topical ads which ride on the attention that the royal baby is receiving. Less than 24 hours – and how could you create some above average, some brilliant work in the time available? Especially stuff like the Carling commercial – congratulating the happy parents, hours after the boy was born?
Well, they weren’t created in a few hours. Carling took advantage of the fact that they knew that a child would be born the moment the pregnancy was announced. They had as much time to create the communication as it would take for the baby to be born – all of nine months. And they took these months to create the communication, ready to publish it to YouTube and to their own website the moment the Royal announcement was made. As this is being written, the commercial has had over 150,000 views. The Oreo ad, too, could have been created ages ago, kept in readiness for the birth. The blue element in the bottle cap was probably one of two that they had in readiness, and as soon as they knew it was a girl, the pink one would have been junked.
What does it take to create the Aston Villa HRH shirt? Nothing at all, it’s just the idea. The execution would take no time. Keep it ready, and hit ‘publish’ as soon as twitter tells you that the baby is born. Of all the front pages that you see here, only the Daily Mail uses an image that was shot after the birth – that of Prince Charles. So all the other front pages could have been designed and kept in readiness for the magic moment. It’s not just private industry which attempts to ride the wave – the Royal Mint is on it, too. For £28.00, you could buy a lucky silver penny, “Held in a charmingly illustrated gift card” and is “A gift you can personalise with a thoughtful message”. And then they hustle you to decide quickly: “High demand order now to avoid disappointment,” the website says. Everything adds up – and what we’ve covered here is just a drop in the ocean of commercial opportunity. “The birth of the royal baby could add over 240 million pounds to the sluggish British economy as consumer spending gets a boost, analysts say. The growing interest throughout the world in the first child of Prince William and Kate Middleton, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, has significant implications for retail sales and suppliers, according to a forecast by the Centre for Retail Research,” reports The Economic Times. What would the opportunity of winning the World Cup cricket have been? What is the value of leveraging the next edition of the IPL or the inaugural edition of the Indian Badminton League? Did we miss a trick when in the AbhishekAishwarya marriage? The birth of the royal baby presents all with a current and exciting case study – and an opportunity for brands and communications professionals to learn how to profit from events which matter to their consumers, however unconnected they may be to the brand.
Clockwise from top Carling released this TVC on YouTube immediately after the announcement; The Times brought out a special edition; Prince Charles was photographed after the news; Oreo created a digital viral and Bottom Aston Villa welcomes a new, royal fan
Discretionary spending down Consumer confidence in India indexed at 118 in Q2 2013, a two-point decrease from Q1 2013 (120), and a onepoint decrease from Q2 2012 (119). These are consumer confidence findings from Nielsen. India has slipped to the third most optimistic country, after Indonesia and the Philippines indexed at 124 and 121 respectively. Of most concern is the drop in Discretionary Spending & Savings. Investing spare cash in savings, buying new clothes and technology products has seen a dip compared to last quarter. Slightly more than half (53%) of respondents in India indicated they would invest their extra cash in savings; the same quarter last year saw three in five (62% in Q2 2012) consumers using savings options. Buying new clothes has dropped to 34 percent, from 41 percent in the Q1 2013, while 33 percent indicated they
would invest in new technology. In the same quarter last year, 38 percent looked to procure new technology and 33 percent were keen on new clothes. The intent to invest in mutual funds has also seen a dip to 25 percent from 33 percent in Q2 2012. Nearly two in five (77%) respondents have changed their spending habits. The steps include saving on gas and electricity (50%), spending less on new clothes (50%) and cutting down on telephone expenses (36%). When it comes to saving on dining out and entertainment, this quarter sees an eight percentage point increase from last quarter in consumers cutting down on out of home entertainment. The shift is toward entertaining at home, with 18 percent consumers indicating they will entertain at home, versus 21 percent last quarter.
Source The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions
2 Anant Rangaswami
July 24, 2013 #005
issues of the day Looking closely at the Reebok-John Abraham game
“Reebok India has signed Bollywood actor John Abraham as its new brand ambassador as the sportswear brand looks to revive its operations in the country after shutting down hundreds of outlets last year following a financial scandal, The Economic Times reported. “Reebok will launch a campaign with the actor across media platforms (print, outdoor, television) for their running and training gear during the upcoming festive season, Adidas Group India said in a media release,” the paper added. A Bollywood star for a sportswear brand? Why not a sportsman or sportswoman? They already have, for example, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Gautam Gambhir. Why not another? Perhaps Reebok has learnt from the best of the IPL. When Lalit Modi created the IPL, he saw an opportunity in marrying two hitherto unconnected passion drivers for Indian consumers: Cricket and Bollywood. If cricket was, till the IPL began, (largely) the male sports fan’s passion, the added elements of Bollywood, in the form of film stars, TV stars, celebrities from all walks of life, the cheer leaders, the
appearances of team owners and players on the Hindi general entertainment channels and on news TV and the repeated mentions in the entertainment supplements made ‘cricket’s’ appeal far more broadbased than it had been: it now appealed to not just the men and the boys but also to the women and the girls. The success of the IPL formula (the construct of cricket + entertainement) has been replicated in cricket-playing nations across the world with similar objectives – broaden the appeal of the sport as far as the consumer is concerned. That brings one back to Reebok and John Abraham. There was a time, decades ago, when only sportspersons spent money on expensive, premium sports shoes and sports wear. To the sports fan, smaller brands such as Bata North Star and, later, Power, were more than adequate (and still considered a splurge). But in a country like India where the size of the population actively involved in participating in a sport is miniscule, brands such as Reebok must find a way to market and sell beyond the professional range, and tap into the ‘amateur’ consumer market.
And professional sportspersons, while they press the right buttons when targeting the active Indian sport-participating consumer, would do little to excite the nonsporting consumer – and there are a lot of them. Every single person who regularly visits a gymnasium is a target. Every single person who jogs or walks regularly is one. In urban India, that’s a large market. So Reebok has looked for a brand ambassador who talks to these consumers and finds him in John Abraham. Abraham is fit, he is a Bollywood star, appears often on TV, is a south Indian living in Mumbai and acting in Bollywood films, making him ‘national’. So while the professional sporting ambassadors such as Dhoni will help Reebok reinforce their reputation as a high performance sportswear and sports shoes brand, John Abraham will help establish the brand as one that is cool to be seen in when at the gym, at the jogger’s park, playing amateur/fun badminton or tennis at the neighbourhood club or just plain walking. That’s a large market – and from Reebok, this is a clever move. Actually, it’s more than that. It’s a lesson in how savvy and smart marketing can get a
brand to appeal to and become attractive to a new set of consumers that did not look at your brand earlier – without any changes in any other element in your business. There is no change in the manufacturing process, in the supply chain, in the product range, in the distribution network, in the pricing. All we will see is a change in one aspect of Reebok’s marketing and advertising. Low-investment, innovative ideas have been used earlier to target a brand new demographic. In the Reebok instance, the solution has been found in the choice of brand ambassador. In the explosion of the shampoo market in south India, the solution was found in the creation of a never-seen-before SKU, the sachet. The book market has exploded thanks to an innovation in distribution, thanks to eCommerce brands like Flipkart. In all the cases mentioned, the gainer was the entire category, not just the innovator. Thanks to Reebok and their choice of John Abraham, it’s not just Reebok which could gain – it’s also their sister brand, adidas, and their competitors, Nike and Puma. Let the games begin.
“Digital: high single digit or low double digit spendˮ
What relevance is there for a company like Unilever to attend the International Festival of Creativity at Cannes? Keith The Cannes festival stands for creativity and excellence. We are a big brand, we have 400 brands across the world and one way of nurturing and building our brand is through advertising. We need to break through the clutter in this world and creativity is a way of doing it.
What are the key takeaways? Keith The key takeaway is the big shift that’s going on around the world for everyone. It’s particularly in the advertising area, traditional and digital. Traditional puts together TV, cinema and newspapers. Equally, digital puts together mobile, social, search and e-commerce. Within all of that, there’s a bigger skew for social and mobile. You have increased your digital spend significantly. How difficult is it to plan digital and what’s the challenge? Keith I’m a great believer of ‘you have to fish where the fish are’ and if people are spending more time in one place, we want to be there. Consumers know and love us on television advertising; I want them to love us on the social and mobile platforms also. Our spend in digital will be over 30 per cent in the US because people are spending 30 per cent of their time in that area. In India, it will be a high single digit or a low double digit because that reflects the reality there. But then, it’s growing fast. That will make us invest more. As consumers move to ad-free platforms like NetFlix, how is communication going to change and what is the challenge for brands like you? Keith There have always been platforms that didn’t have advertising but there are lots of opportunities to build brands all over. Take Dove Sketches, for example. This is now the most viewed branded film. It’s crossed 200 million people around the world. It’s an entertaining film because it talks to the people about real beauty and self-esteem. So, while there might be some areas that people switch in, like NetFlix or Sky, there will still be big opportunities for brand builders to build really engaging content. You have to find ways of being creative. That’s why being here at Cannes, seeing this marvelous creativity and inspiring all the teams is important.
about putting people first. It means getting our marketers to really engage with people their whole lives. It involves urban, digital and mobile. It’s about putting people first and building brand love. We have brands like PureIt, which are powerful brands. It is also about unlocking the magic and logic of marketing. We first launched in India because we wanted to have a big and important market that we could work with. That led to it rolling out around the world. We have now reached around 75 per cent of our marketers who are engaged in ‘Crafting brands for life’.
and digital media help people connect and engage with brands. If your brand is one dimensional, it’s very difficult to get any sort of conversation going. If we take Surf Excel, for example, we could say, "It washes your clothes better". And indeed, it does. But that doesn’t give it enough depth. Won’t it be nice to start a talk about ‘dirt is good’, about a whole wonderful relationship between a mother and a child? Send your child out to experiment in life and if the child gets dirty, don’t worry about it, Surf Excel will clean your clothes. This adds different layers to brands and makes them deeper.
What is your strategy while competing with local brands in countries? Keith We look at it in two levels. We have global brand development with teams that are building brand positioning and brand architecture. And then, we have very local teams in India, Brazil and China, who are focused in building the brands in those particular markets. We try and serve the customers better, not focusing too much on the competition. So, if I can make your hair absolutely superb, you will come back and use my product again. That’s the solution – serve every consumer perfectly, whether it’s washing clothes, cleaning dishes or even washing yourself.
What is the challenge with social media when you’re faced with criticism? How do you deal with that backlash? Keith People have a voice and that’s what I think is fantastic about social media. Now, whether you’re in a café or you go back to your school, there are people who voice positive and negative. The only difference is that you can see it more in ads, so we’re more connected.
How important is it for you to communicate what you stand for in your brand building? Keith We do it in different ways. We want to double our business; we want to serve these two billion people who are going to arrive on the planet between now and 2050. But, we also recognize their needs. We have seven billion people on this planet so what we need to do is sustain. We want to reduce our environmental footprint and increase our positive social impact. That’s at the corporate level. So, a part of ‘Crafting brands for life’ is to put a purpose around sustainable living into all our brand positioning. If you think about it, social
So the Facebook number doesn't bother you? Keith No, it doesn’t. I would obviously want it to be higher, but it doesn’t bother me. What we were trying to do was engage people in social media and then find an NGO approach to go to the poor and be able to give them a fresh drink of water. My target was to get 75,000 people. We’ve done that and I’m very pleased.
What is the key to engaging with people without putting them off? Keith You won’t please everyone all the time. Things that catch people’s imagination, by definition, have a point of view. If you’re bland, you won’t offend anyone but you won’t engage with them either. If you have a point of view, there will be others who have a different perspective and it’s quite healthy. What worries me is if you get scale, which we haven't. So now, you’ve got 200 million people watching the Dove film. If we had millions of people pushing that back, it would worry me. So having people with different views is good.
What’s the next big thing that we can expect from Unilever? Keith The next big thing for Unilever as far as marketing is concerned is the whole area of mobile. The fact that we’ve got six to seven billion mobiles in the world makes it mass media. When I went to see Waterworks in a small village in Bhopal, people did not have running water, sanitation or electricity. Then, you go into the house and the head of the house takes out his mobile phone and uses his torch to show you the way. This really makes you think – even in areas which are TV dark, people have mobiles. Electricity is a problem but they get their mobiles charged often. This one by one connectivity is a really exciting area. We’ve done some good campaigns in India with Wheel on mobile bringing entertainemnt and Bollywood actors to people who share jokes. I think we’ll see a lot more of that. We’re going to see a big change with mobile going forward.
You announced Waterworks last year. It’s been a year and you’ve had less than 10,000 participants on Facebook. Would you call it a success or you disappointed?
Storyboard's Pavni Mittal spoke to Unilever's Keith Weed at Cannes. You can follow Pavni on Twitter at: @pavnimittal
According to a recent report that I have here, Unilever has reduced its compensation to agencies. Keith It depends on what you mean by compensation because there are a lot of different things that go into it. There are different things that we have different business arrangements with. Have a look at the agencies; go to WPP or one of the other big agencies and you will see their successful business. It’s a cycle; we help each other to be vibrant and successful. Why did you choose India to launch and pilot ‘Crafting brands for life’? Can you tell us about the project? Keith ‘Crafting brands for life’ is an internal marketing approach that talks
Keith: We have done our pilot phase and learnt a lot. If you were to speak to the NGO, they’ll be happy that they’ve got 75,000 people protected with pure water. We’ve made sure that what we do now is take this forward. It’s going to be interesting.
Storyboard's Pavni Mittal with Unilever's Keith Weed at Cannes
July 24, 2013 #005
the really long interview
CEO, COLORS TV
Colors TV CEO LS ‘Raj’ Nayak has now spent more than 20 years in satellite television, beginning with STAR TV when it launched in India. He’s seen the industry change from a two-player one, when STAR and Zee were the only private channels, to the 600 channel environment we are in today. When he started with STAR, cable operators ruled, there was no digital, there was no DTH, there was no TRAI, there were no PeopleMeters. Today, as he heads Colors TV, one of India’s largest channels by revenue, much of what his channel does is followed by others. Storyboard editor Anant Rangaswami spoke to him on issues that matter, including the 10+2, digitisation and the future of the television business. What are the major changes that come to mind from the past 2-3 years? Raj There have been significant changes in the past few years. I have been in this industry for almost 21 years now and the dynamism that has taken place in the last three years hasn’t happened before. If you ask me to list down the changes, the thing at the top of my mind is digitisation. I think you should laud the move. Ambika Soni was the Minister then and she pushed for it, even though there was a lot of opposition from different stakeholders. I don’t think people understood its impact. People are finally beginning to realise that everybody down the value chain stands to benefit. It’s a big thing but still, the fair share of revenue in terms of subscription hasn’t happened. The carriage fee issue is still hanging like a sword around the neck but these are teething problems. I’m sure that over a period of time subscription revenues will go up and carriage fees will come down. There’s no magic wand. So, that’s a significant development that has taken place. FDI in retail is another change. We haven’t seen its impact yet but over a period of time, we’ll see the results. Then, there’s the 10+2 (the TRAI mandated 10 minutes of commercials + 2 minutes of channel promotions per clock hour) system. It has its positives and negatives. From a broadcasting point of view, it’s the best thing in the long run for the industry, because unless the pipe gets narrower, the prices will never stabilise or the price yield can never go up. You’ve seen what happened when Kingfisher airlines dropped out – air fares have gone up. This is good for the industry in the long run because unlike airlines where there are 4-5 players, here you have 600 players. This is why you need to narrow the pipeline. But having said that, the timing is of the essence. In digitisation there was a phasing done where you set a sunset date; that should also be done for the 12-minute inventory cap.
What does digitisation do for the state of health of the broadcast industry? Raj It does a lot of things. Today we still produce content for ₨7-8 lakh per episode for a fiction program; that’s ridiculous. You see a lot of time wasted in terms of close shots, music and things like that because everything’s to do with money. The value, the high quality production we haven’t seen yet is because most broadcasters are bleeding, though there are exceptions. There’s no real investment going into content.
ACCEPTED dotcom since 1999
The (TAM) sample size is low, there are anomalies but we’ve lived with it for the last 14-16 years. Making the reporting monthly or weekly does not solve the problem. I can understand why the niche channels asked for monthly ratings One of the biggest benefits of digitisation is transparency. The government, the last mile operator, the MSO, the broadcaster – they’re all going to benefit. But the biggest beneficiary is the viewer because when you start making money, it goes to your bottom line and then I think there will be an increased investment in content. How does increased revenue on the subscription front impact your relationship with advertisers? What do you think will happen? Raj I come from a sales and marketing background so I believe that irrespective of your position – strength or weakness – your relationship with your advertiser should always be the same. It should not fluctuate. Though, from a broadcaster’s point of view, we’re so dependent on advertising today that even if we want to make changes, we need to think twice. I think the dependency on advertising will go down and it will be a healthy financial position for broadcasters to take content-based decisions independent of revenue pressures, especially news broadcasters, where they won’t get swayed by commercial considerations.
Are better performing channels, today, better targets for investments since the whole revenue pie seems predictable thanks to digitisation? Raj Definitely. If you’d asked me two years ago whether I should invest in a media company, I wouldn’t know what to say because I wouldn’t know where it was headed. Today, there’s a definite road map. There will be teething problems, that’s a reality. But this industry has players who are well entrenched in their niches. I think this is one industry that will grow by leaps and bounds. More people want to watch a program at a time that’s convenient to them and not when the broadcaster airs it. Watching it on platforms such as Youtube or on over-the-top devices is going to increase. What does that mean to you? Raj Look, at the end of the day, I’m a content creator. This does not dampen me. I’m a platform and the way we’re evolving, even as broadcasters, is that we realise today’s multi-screen approach. People watch on laptops, smartphones, iPads; we realise that. This makes us evolve and we start creating content that will be specific to that medium. It’s already begun. How will you monetise this? Raj We’re already monetising it substantially. If you compare it to the television revenue, it may be a pittance at this moment but it’s a medium that’s growing. As a representative of the broadcast industry, what are the 3-4 things that concern you the most at the moment, looking at the future in the next 5-6 years? What are the areas that you would personally spend a significant amount of time on? Raj My spending a significant amount of time might not really help because the competition is so intense. As a broadcasting fraternity we make a lot of noise saying that we’ll do things together but the truth is, we don’t. There are many areas where we could cut costs and come together for the benefit of the industry but we don’t do it, though I understand the competitive compulsions that might not allow it. Having said that, one of the biggest challenges I see is talent, both in terms of artists and good script-writing. I don’t think we’re nurtured it as an industry. I don’t believe that in 1.2 billion people we don’t have talent or good script or comedy script writers. The problem lies in our ‘herd-like’ mentality – we don’t look beyond what’s available. We ape other channels and use the same people. We haven’t come together as an industry to nurture and build talent. What are the other concerns that you might have? Raj The other concern is that we’re evolving as an industry and a lot of ad hoc decisions are being taken on and off. We need to sit down and decide where we want to go and how to go about doing it. There should be a method to the madness. The current issue over the dispute between broadcasters, advertisers and advertising agencies in the context of TAM reporting, whether it should be CPRP or CPT. What is your reaction to this? What do you think is the way out? Raj On the CPT front, it’s the right thing to do. I don’t see it as being disputed. Around four years ago Vikram Sakhuja and Shashi Sinha made presentations to the IBF members and I was also a part of these presentations. Some of us collectively worked towards trying to push through CPT, so I don’t see that becoming a major issue with advertisers. If it has cropped up now, I don’t know the context as I’m not involved in any of the discussions and negotiations. I think it’s an easy issue to address. It just needs two people to sit together and see the positives and negatives. As long as it’s win-win, I don’t see how anybody will have a problem. On the current rating issue, monthly vs weekly, my personal view is that we have to look at it in context rather than give a straight answer. The (TAM) sample size is low, there are anomalies but we’ve lived with it for the last 14-16 years. Making the reporting monthly or weekly does not solve the problem. I can understand why the niche channels asked for monthly ratings. The reporting aberration is really high and the monthly reporting will flatten the aberrations. From a GEC point of view, in an ideal scenario, I think it should be realtime, on a daily basis. How does it benefit a broadcaster to go daily? And, what is the loss for the advertiser if we go monthly? Raj I can give you an answer to the question of the broadcaster wanting to go daily. But an advertiser, as far as I understand makes media plans on an eight-week average. So, from their point of view, monthly or daily should not be a problem. From a broadcaster’s point of view (for non-niche channels), if you look at India today, we don’t ‘can’ programs, don’t do seasons and don’t sell up-fronts. So, a daily or weekly reporting helps from the content perspective because the faster we get ratings, the faster we are able to know the direction we’re heading to. But if we have it on a monthly basis, I would not know what my direction is. For example, I’m thinking that I’m going to Japan and I may land up in Turkey. By the time I’ve realised that I’ve landed up in Turkey, it’s too late for me to come back. So, from a broadcaster’s point of view, especially GEC broadcasters, we should be concerned about having it on real-time.
July 24, 2013 #005
the back of the book
Millions of YouTube views, tv tracker but will you drink Heineken?
The What's-ON report is based on millions of observations seen across multiple platforms
Heineken creates a stunning, entertaining campaign, searching for Legends – and you could be one of them, if you have the balls. This is crazy stuff. I’m not going to bother rewriting it: read it from the press release. Are legends born, or made? Heineken as part of its latest global campaign ‘Voyage’, is testing what men are truly made of when taken out of their daily lives and dropped into the great unknown. Imagine the situation. You are a highly social character, out-going and confident. You get chosen to go on a legendary adventure – something you have never done before a new experience that will test your resourcefulness. But then you find yourself in the freezing wilderness of Alaska – alone on a glacier, with nothing but a giant life-ring, a tuxedo and a plane ticket to get you home – and the airport is hundreds of miles away. This is Dropped. The Voyage TVC which provides the inspiration for the Dropped travel experiment, was recently released globally on the Heineken Digital channels. The film is set in India, and follows Heineken’s Legend as he finds himself in all sorts of awkward and bizarre situations when he loses his pet goat.
As a true Man of the World, he knows how to navigate this new world with ease, even if he finds himself in unfamiliar territory. The Dropped experiment takes different men from across the world and drops them in remote locations with nothing but the most basic of supplies and directions. The result is ‘Dropped’ - a series of episodic adventures following our intrepid explorers on their legendary travel experience. Then comes the current phase. Your itinerary's fine, but Heineken think a last minute change of plans is much more exciting. They found a few people at JFK Airport who'd agree. Would you play Departure Roulette? We’re seeing more stuff like this every day. We saw Diet Coke doing it with the promo for the James Bond film Skyfall. There is no data on how many Cokes this promo sold, but what we do know is that, as of today, more than 10 million people have seen the promo. You can watch the promo here, in case you haven’t seen it. What exercises like these end up doing is to
ensure that there are conversations about the brand continuously in social media – even if the conversations are between consumers who choose brands other than the one you’re promoting. While it might be difficult to measure RoI on exercises like this, it shouldn’t be difficult to measure increases in unaided brand recall. When we do get such data, we’ll share it. Till then, cheers. Have a Heineken.
1. The Dropped campaign 2. The Voyage TVC 3. Destination Roulette Click on any of the images to watch the commercial. We suggest you see Voyage, Dropped and Destination Roulette in that order