OPINION | Getting back in the groove

Woke up Saturday morning to three and a half false covers of Bombay Times. Beginning with Myntra.com, followed by Lifestyle and the third was for Fassos. The half that followed was taken by Shobha Assar jewellery.  Both Myntra and Fassos ads wanted people to download mobile apps. None of them had AR factored in – is it already a dying trend?

Wondered about the effectiveness of second, third and the half false cover yet once again, but convinced myself that advertisers would not be here if they did not see RoI in it. However, what I really liked was what Bombay Times had done to their logo Eid Mubarak. Triggered by it, rushed to see what google would have done to its logo – nothing! A bit disappointed and wondering why!

Followed Breakfast and TV. Was enthralled to see Mr Bachchan go Kabaddi, kabaddi, kabaddi. The day before, he was there promoting firstcry.com with a hairband in place.  The man fits everywhere!

Strange what being back to media journalism does to you. If a month back, I had seen these three false covers on Bombay Times - I would, perhaps, have focused on the one that interested me and moved on. Would I download an app, looking at a print ad? I do not know, my sixth sense tells me conversion from print to digital is still quite low.

Now that I am trying to find a slot (literally) in media journalism again, thought process has changed. I find myself wondering whether Fassos ad would have been more effective if integrated with food section. Why is Myntra creating so much noise in print media, when it has even dumped computer in favour of a mobile app!  Also, how soon would they have their e-shop back? Is India ready for a mobile app only store – in my view, maybe for books but a dress, a washing machine or even footwear – which I zoom as much as I can even on my laptop before buying it? Though my mobile is often mistaken for a tab!

On the other side, a Fassos app would be wonderful for those who do order from them or desire to! Order in a jiffy, no busy routes, and no messages! Apps, I am somehow convinced work better for frequently needed services than for anything else.

As for Lifestyle, since radio just promises to take off year after year but does not do it, print focused on the local market is the best bet for retailers.

This year’s, This Year, Next Year report by Group M predicts a 4.1% ad spend share for radio (total expected spends 2,007 cr). Would the favour digital is getting from the new Government be another pain point for radio expansion is anybody’s guess. The other media that expects to see a shrunken share is Print from 37% to 34% (Rs 16, 875 cr). TV still reigns supreme with close to 46% share and digital would grow by about 37% though on a small base and would account for 9.51% of the total ad spend.

Thinking out loud, one wonders how many video ads are watched in full on digital platforms – and how many skipped as soon as one is allowed to skip? How is this factored in when talking about effectiveness of a video ad! I have DND on and don’t see very many mobile ads, except from ecommerce sites I frequent – that too on SMS, which hardly anyone checks now. Of course, unless it is time for an update from the bank or one has bought a product online and is wondering when it would be delivered. But then, to confess, I do not know the nitty-gritties of mobile advertising and should not comment on it. As for social advertising, the third key driver of digital advertising – isn’t there a distinct overlap with video here, at least of late?

Anyways, let us get back to Mr Bachchan. You know you are back in business, when you think of him as one of the most powerful Indian brands ever. From baby things to Jewellery to Government initiatives, he can sell everything convincingly. | By Ritu Midha



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