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Industry stalwarts bullish on TV, consider it the dominant medium in India

Stalwarts in business, marketing, advertising and media got together to celebrate the best in the industry at the sixth edition of IAA Leadership Awards 2018, the flagship event of the International Advertising Association (IAA), in Mumbai on July 27, 2018. The event was presented by Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL). 

As part of the awards evening, a panel discussion was conducted to offer an open platform for exchange of ideas amongst the industry stalwarts. Shashi Sinha, CEO, IPG Media Brands India; Prathyusha Agarwal, CMO, ZEEL; and Sanjay Behl, CEO, Raymond Ltd. The session was moderated by Partho Das Gupta, CEO, BARC India. 

The discussions centered around the television medium in India, what keeps it relevant and buoyant amid the growing march of digital. For the panellists, TV remains the dominant medium not just for entertainment, but for advertising as well. 

Prathyusha Agarwal, CMO, ZEEL, asserted, “TV has been a source of entertainment for every Indian household for decades and continues to be so. As the entertainment powerhouse of the country, we believe only when we come together across platforms, the extraordinary happens. Hence, we are here to provide the best solution to the advertisers.” 

She pointed out that a huge growth was being witnessed in the regional markets and added that connecting with people in their own language had become invaluable. “Fundamentally, TV is and will always be relevant, but it is also a glorious time for marketers with digital and working together to effectively reach out to consumers,” Agarwal affirmed. 

Sharing her optimism was Partho Das Gupta, CEO, BARC India, who noted, “TV today reaches 836 million individuals across India, as we Indians remain TV fanatics. He pointed out that people in South India were spending 4 hours on TV, even as Hindi content continues to rule. “Almost 12 hours of advertising gets telecast in India. 688 million viewers are watching GEC serials while a similar number of 680 million are watching movies, which is a higher number than people who watch movies in theatres. Sports as a genre is also going up. Overall, I would say TV is the biggest dominant medium today and will continue to grow,” Das Gupta added. 

Giving an advertiser’s perspective, Sanjay Behl, CEO, Raymond Ltd, remarked, “Properties that are being watched in India right now are at an all-time high, beating world numbers. Fundamentally, there are two questions in context of media – the first being brand position and second, which medium helps me build my brand. I feel brands are working towards influencing immediate purchases rather than analysing which medium helps in the long run. No doubt, that the reach of TV is high, it is also quick as product life cycles are short and TV gives you a wide reach within a 30-second ad duration. It is also intense as TV as a broadcast medium builds passive engagement vis-à-vis digital disengagement. I also feel quality innovations have been happening in consumption of the media as TV remains the second highest return on investment after paid research. I truly believe TV is and will remain a powerhouse medium in our country.” 

Shashi Sinha, CEO, IPG Media Brands India, noted, “In the media agency ecosystem, there is a lot of discussion on ratings. I appeal that we must look at first impressions to make an actual comparison. What comes easily to traditional advertisers may not appeal to the youth today. I feel TV has a long way to go and is a undernourished medium. However, for people to build brands, India still has a long way to go, so one needs to advertise using TV as a medium.”

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