Spirit W | Versioning makes communication market sensitive: PFT's Zenobia

In a time when advertising is moving over conventional concepts, methods and mediums, digital advertising is grabbing everyone’s attentions from makers to media planners and clients alike. Though not completely blossomed, digital advertising is fast becoming the first choice for a lot of them. This practice not only calls for higher ‘technology understanding’, but also a sight and vision for using it in an optimum manner.
With about 25 years of experience in the media and entertainment industry, Zenobia step into this uncertain and yet-to-evolve zone. Back in 2007, when Prime Focus bought over United Television’s (UTV) post production studio, the Media Library Management business which Zenobia was heading moved to Prime Focus Technologies.

She has been able to successfully manage and grow the TV Spot Distribution and Media Library business with an impressive portfolio of over 100 global clients including Unilever, GSK, Nestle, Kellogg’s and many more. Under her leadership, apart from becoming a market leader in India, the business has grown to neighbouring markets like Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh with plans to enter Middle East and South East Asian markets soon.

Adgully caught up with Zenobia Noshir Sanjana to get deeper insights of the business she is in and her journey on personal and professional level.

Adgully(AG): Are you seeing a lot of advertising across TV, Cinema and Digital? What are you doing to enable this industry?
Zenobia Noshir Sanjana(ZNS): Emerging digitization is leading to exponential growth opportunities for the advertising industry; both online and offline platforms are seeing an upward trend. While offline platforms have a higher longevity, the interaction is low, which is contrary to the trend for online advertising. The latter is more effective in the sense that it ensures worldwide connectivity in a matter of minutes. Online platforms have come a long way, as has content, and the focus has moved to localization and targeted advertising, to cater to regional tastes and needs. Digital advertising has successfully made a segment for itself in the advertising space, with print and television still being popular with the mass audience.

In 2013, the total advertising spend from various sectors across all media was estimated at INR362.5 billion, within which digital advertising revenue grew by 38.7 percent, occupying a market share of 8.3 percent; this trend is expected to continue in 2014. (Source: FICCI-KPMG 2014)

AG: Can you give an overview of how PFT’s solutions are helping the advertising industry?
ZNS: With multiple challenges faced by the advertising industry, that include last minute deadlines,leavelittle time for shoots and editing process, followed by time-consuming delivery of tapes, and ultimately, a cumbersome process to distribute the content; all these factors often impact the final product.

Prime Focus Technologies (PFT) has made content management a very simple process by enabling advertising agencies and brands to shift from a tape to a tapeless environment, thereby dismissing one of the major problems in the ad industry. PFT’s hybrid cloud-enabled Media ERP technology, CLEAR™,helps reduce the duplication of effort and resources associated with physical media, manpower, logistics and administration – all of which add up to huge costs for managing tape-based deliveries.

Imagine a brand powerhouse like Unilever,GSK, Nestle or Dabur, where each brand runs numerous spots in different media formats in each market, in different languages, every day. Managing movement of content from provider to broadcaster in tape format is laborious, costly, unsustainable and time consuming; and in case you need to reuse the content or to make local versions, for every extra step of the content lifecycle, tape-based delivery is adding to irrecoverable costs. In an increasingly agile world, these processes are still in the primitive tape-mode.

In all this chaos, the CLEAR™ Spot Distribution solution facilitates acquisition and delivery of files from/to the ecosystem. The CLEAR technology platform automatically optimizes bandwidth usage, and provides effective transmission.

What’s also important is that content that is being created needs to be platform agnostic. Quality conversion for Broadcast and Cinema at competitive price and maintaining image quality is key. We specialize in conversion of SD to HD digital formats and use industry standard conversion equipment.We also support aspect ratio corrections and multi-format up conversions, down conversions and cross conversions from any HD format to any HD format including support of resolutions up to 1080p.

AG: How different is advertising on new media? What is PFT’s contribution in bringing a change?
ZNS: Interactions on new media are truly beneficial to everyone today, as there is no limit to who you can reach. It brings along an array of platforms for client visibility. It has already shown tremendous progress, and is poised to grow steadily over the next few years; in comparison, this growth will be faster than any other category within the advertising industry.

PFT’s comprehensive set of integrated services are built around clients’ needs. A holistic set of marketing communications cycle span across elements, such as creative concepts, production, versioning, logistics, and fulfilment of these, across channels, platforms, and regions. The teams are enabled to manage both online and offline assets.

Production: We pre (shoot) and post produce all types of Audio Visual advertising and communications across all media. We produce over 3500 unique content pieces every month which then is published across broadcast, radio, outdoor and online. We can take brand engagements live to audiences through our Live Streaming production services.

Versioning &Transcreation: We can help tailor brand messages for specific target audiences. A full range of culture and legal consulting, local consumer insights and multiple language services capabilities are offered by us. We produce the VOs with native speakers and post produce the individual language versions in a timely and cost effective manner.

Digital: We can create optimized digital brand experiences with our suite of services spanning web development, mobile and tablet integration, SEO, digital publishing, email and campaign management, social media and app development. PFT is a YouTube certified partner for Audience Development.

Distribution Services: Leveraging CLEAR Media ERP platform, PFT delivers spots and marketing/media materials to major media owners across broadcast, publishers, online, outdoor and radio.

Cloud Digital Services: PFT has the most comprehensive suite of technical services including Archiving, Metadata creation, and Content Preparation Services like QC, Mastering and Bulk Digitization.

AG: Can you explain how the entire spot distribution ecosystem works with broadcasters/cinema and advertisers?
ZNS: PFT has completely transformed TV spot transcoding and distribution process.
CLEAR Spot Distribution workflow is orchestrated to facilitate collection of tapes or files from content providers, followed by QC, digitization and transcoding in the apt format for final delivery to channels. A low resolution copy is made available on the CLEAR Media ERP platform for preview, creative review, cataloguing and Standard & Practices (S&P) reviews. Direct digital delivery of files is facilitated by a network of edge servers located at the broadcasters’ premises. The files are delivered digitally from the CLEAR server to the play-out location. Sending large files quickly, reliably and at a lower cost makes CLEAR a perfect choice for the advertising, and video production communities.

CLEAR Spot Distribution can be integrated with the agency’s order management system and can collect media delivery advice on the back of media release orders. CLEAR works on a white box approach. A customer is notified when content is being delivered at every single stage through E-mail and SMS.

CLEAR enables to push commercials, promos, trailers, film rushes, long-form and other media locally and internationally. It also enables approval of digital content to media players. Security tools include user authorization and authentication, session management, token-based UR authentication and integrated digital rights management (DRM) support. Comprehensive reporting happens on all digital deliveries through the system. CLEAR's intuitive UI makes it easy for even non-technical savvy users to receive and distribute content. CLEAR is agile in deployment and offers a scalable ‘Pay-as-you-Grow’ option. It saves infrastructure costs, avoids expensive VTRs, software, servers, network equipment and bandwidth infrastructure.

AG: How is CLEAR’s spot distribution different from traditional or other spot distribution solutions?
ZNS: CLEAR’s spot distribution infrastructure offers the most comprehensive set of integrated services built around clients’ needs. PFT’s services span the entire marketing communications cycle by providing a one stop solution by covering creative concepts, production, versioning, logistics and fulfilment across channels, platforms and regions. Another defining differentiator is that we are equipped to manage both online and offline assets.

AG: Is Intelligent Versioning the answer for executing global campaigns in regional markets effectively?
ZNS: Brands and service providers face innumerable uncertainties when deploying campaigns in global markets. Versioning is the obvious answer to make a communication market sensitive but it should ensure that language and visual transcreation stays true to the brand’s strategy.

With targeted advertising and localization services, campaigns can be focused on a city or even a specific locality in a city. Due to these changing trends, media planning for a campaign is more relevant than before. With the number of channels in India alone crossing the 700 mark, the reach of an ad campaign can be phenomenal for building or maintaining a brand. Versioning or language dubs for an advertisement in local/regional language and weaving the same with an outdoor and/or print media campaign is a trend, which is increasingly seen in the country and will be targeted to garner maximum recall amongst the masses.

AG: What are PFT’s credentials in creative Versioning and Adaptation?
ZNS: As global brands resort to creating local connect in their ads, tailored brand messages for specific target audiences are the way to go. PFT’s range of culture and legal consulting, local consumer insights and multiple language services capabilities help global brands address their local needs effectively. At PFT, voice overs are done with native speakers and post production of the individual language versions are completed in a timely and cost effective manner. Moreover, PFT’s virtualized content workflows across enterprise and supply chain enables 99.9% control and brand consistency and lowers cost by 30%. Whether it is production, adaptation or distribution of advertising materials, PFT’s hybrid cloud-enabled Media ERP technology, CLEAR™, enables the most comprehensive solutions to brands.

AG: Can you name few of your clients/customers?
ZNS: Prime Focus Technologies has been associated with clients across verticals, to streamline their advertising processes and create a digital workflow. Our esteemed clientele includes names such as Unilever, GSK, Nestle, Dabur, Kellog’s, Vodafone, TATA DOCOMO, Micromax, and TVS, among others.
As a trusted aide of many of the world’s most recognizable brands, CLEAR Spot Distribution transforms brand delivery processes for clients across 5 countries (India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka & South Africa), and in 20 languages. On a daily basis, we interact with more than 900 brand marketers and agency partners who access PFT’s services and technology.

AG: What is your market share in India and globally? Can you mention some of your competitors?
ZNS: Delivering more than 60,000 spots for Linear TV to more than 500 locations and over 10 million files for TV everywhere, makes us one of the largest players in the sub-continent.

AG: Can you elaborate on your expansion plans?
ZNS: Other growth markets PFT is certainly looking at is South East Asia, countries like Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam. Our participation this year at Broadcast Asia in Singapore in June is an effort to gradually make a presence in that market. The Middle East especially the GCC market is also on the cards. [By Aanchal Kohli | Twitter: @aanchalkohli


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