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Archive for Advertising / IDENTITY MARKS

March 17, 2010

A sign is an entity which signifies another entity. A natural sign is an entity which bears a causal relation to the signified entity, as thunder is a sign of storm. A conventional sign signifies by agreement, as a full stop signifies the end of a sentence. (Contrast a symbol which stands for another thing, as a flag may be a symbol of a nation)
The way in which a sign signifies is a topic in semiotics and philosophy of language, see also meaning (linguistic).
Any given signifier or symbol is dependent upon that which is intended, expressed, or signified in a semiotic relationship of:
• signification
• significance
• meaning
• or import.
Thus, for example, people may speak of the significance of events, the signification of characters, the meaning of sentences, or the import of a communication. These different relationships that exist between sorts of signs can help people and sorts of things that are signified can be called the modes of signification.
The range of uses of signs is varied. They might include: the indication or mark of something, a display of a message, a signal to draw attention, evidence of an underlying cause (for instance, the symptoms of a disease are signs of the disease), a character for a mathematical operation, a body gesture, etc.
A trademark or trade mark is a distinctive sign or indicator used by an individual, business organization, or other legal entity to identify that the products or services to consumers with which the trademark appears originate from a unique source, and to distinguish its products or services from those of other entities.
A trademark is designated by the following symbols:
• ™ (for an Unregistered trade mark, that is, a mark used to promote or brand goods)
• ℠ (for an unregistered service mark, that is, a mark used to promote or brand services)
• ® (for a registered trademark)
A trademark is a type of intellectual property, and typically a name, word, phrase, logo, symbol, design, image, or a combination of these elements. There is also a range of non-conventional trademarks comprising marks which do not fall into these standard categories.
The owner of a registered trademark may commence legal proceedings for trademark infringement to prevent unauthorized use of that trademark. However, registration is not required. The owner of a common law trademark may also file suit, but an unregistered mark may be protectable only within the geographical area within which it has been used or in geographical areas into which it may be reasonably expected to expand.
The term trademark is also used informally to refer to any distinguishing attribute by which an individual is readily identified, such as the well known characteristics of celebrities. When a trademark is used in relation to services rather than products, it may sometimes be called a service mark, particularly in the United States.[2]
A logo is a graphic mark or emblem commonly used by commercial enterprises, organizations and even individuals to aid and promote instant public recognition. Logos are either purely graphic (symbols/icons) or are composed of the name of the organization (a logotype or word mark). An example of an abstract mark is the blue octagon representing Chase Bank, while an example of a representational mark is the “everyman” icon of PBS. Examples of well-known logotypes (word marks) are the striped IBM design, Mobil written in blue with a red “o” and Coca-Cola written in flowing red script.
In the days of hot metal typesetting, a logotype was a uniquely set and arranged typeface or colophon. At the level of mass communication or simply in the high street a company’s logo is today often synonymous with its trademark or brand
Logo design
Logo design is an important area of graphic design, and one of the most difficult to perfect. The logo (ideogram), is the image embodying an organization. Because logos are meant to represent companies’ brands or corporate identities and foster their immediate customer recognition, it is counterproductive to frequently redesign logos.
Color is considered important to brand recognition, but it should not be an integral component to the logo design, which could conflict with its functionality. Some colors are formed/associated with certain emotions that the designer wants to convey. For instance loud primary colors, such as red, are meant to attract the attention of drivers on highways are appropriate for companies that require such attention. In the United States red, white, and blue are often used in logos for companies that want to project patriotic feelings. Green is often associated with the health and hygiene sector, and light blue or silver is often used to reflect diet foods. For other brands, more subdued tones and lower saturation can communicate reliability, quality, relaxation, or other traits.
Brand name
The brand name is quite often used interchangeably within “brand”, although it is more correctly used to specifically denote written or spoken linguistic elements of any product. In this context a “brand name” constitutes a type of trademark, if the brand name exclusively identifies the brand owner as the commercial source of products or services. A brand owner may seek to protect proprietary rights in relation to a brand name through trademark registration. Advertising spokespersons have also become part of some brands, for example: Mr. Whipple of Charmin toilet tissue and Tony the Tiger of Kellogg’s.
Types of brand names
Brand names come in many styles. A few include:
Acronym: A name made of initials such as UPS or IBM
Descriptive: Names that describe a product benefit or function like Whole Foods or Airbus
Alliteration and rhyme: Names that are fun to say and stick in the mind like Reese’s Pieces or Dunkin’ Donuts
Evocative: Names that evoke a relevant vivid image like Amazon or Crest
Neologisms: Completely made-up words like Wii or Kodak
Foreign word: Adoption of a word from another language like Volvo or Samsung
Founders’ names: Using the names of real people like Hewlett-Packard or Disney
Geography: Many brands are named for regions and landmarks like Cisco and Fuji Film
Personification: Many brands take their names from myth like Nike or from the minds of ad execs like Betty Crocker
The act of associating a product or service with a brand has become part of pop culture. Most products have some kind of brand identity, from common table salt to designer jeans. A brandnomer is a brand name that has colloquially become a generic term for a product or service, such as Band-Aid or Kleenex, which are often used to describe any kind of adhesive bandage or any kind of facial tissue respectively.
T.Padmanabhan, Ist M.A. Communication, PSG CAS.

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Homo mobilia

March 2, 2010 at 1:31 pm · Filed under Advertising, New Media

‘Marketing disruption’ — the phrase that has set alarm bells ringing for marketers across the globe — is a direct outcome of the rise of millennial customers and their love for the new medium.

In the first session of CII Brand Summit 2010, a panel of eminent speakers, comprising Dave Evans, consulting director, 20:20 Social; Andrew Robertson, president and CEO, BBDO Worldwide, USA; and Arun Tadanki, managing director, Yahoo! India tried to demystify the term, ‘millennial customers’; and thereby, evaluate the present status and future prospects for new media in India and abroad.

Millennial customers have unique characteristics, stated Evans. According to him, they are the key drivers of the society, who have grown up with Reed’s law and believe in collaborative intelligence. Technology is one of the truisms of their lives, which has gifted them a democracy of access. In India, the panel predicted, the power of internet is only going to intensify with technological development and broadening of the mobile phone industry.

Going a step further, Robertson defined the millennials as ‘Homo mobilis’– a new race that has emerged from the tools of mobility.

He also stated that no matter how much technologically advanced the millennials get, but their fundamental needs as a consumer would remain the same.

They would do what they do the best — live life sensibly. Therefore, the best way to connect to these millennials would be through creativity.

“Any creative content that can effectively engage consumers, and is faster, easier and cheaper, will work out. Therefore, marketers need to acquire behaviour based strategies; they should come up with ideas as big as they can be defined in a text message and also craft the snot out of it. Do not ‘target’ your audience, instead seduce them, engage them and make them participate in your communication. Consider ‘digital medium’ not just as a ‘new medium’, but a language to create experiences and to share emotions. We do not just need to understand or speak the digital language, but have to dream in it,” he said.

Although internet in India is growing by 20-25 percent a year (as compared to traditional media, which has a growth rate of 3-4 per cent, in terms of new audience) and around 5 lakh new consumers join the brigade everyday, marketers are yet to make serious investments in this space. And, the reasons are certain myths still associated with internet and internet advertising. Tadanki busted some of these myths about the digital medium.

The first myth, Tadanki stated, is that today’s marketers are allocating their ad spends rationally and giving equal importance to new media. According to Tadanki, most brands spend the least in online marketing, even though they know that the biggest percentage of their consumers are hooked to the medium 24×7. He believes that it is time for marketers to do a reality check on this.

The second myth, as per Tadanki, is that the internet is a niche medium. In his words, only 1.5 percent of the country’s population reads English newspapers, whereas 5 per cent population uses the internet. However, every year, around Rs 6800 crore is spent in the form of advertising for English newspapers, which caters to just 1.5 per cent of population. And for the 5 percent consumers on the internet, the total ad spend is just Rs 650 crore.

The perception that internet is all about young consumers, Tadanki said, is the third myth. He acknowledged that the medium is much fragmented; yet, he added, it is the only tool to target one’s consumers as per their interests; whereas traditional media gives no chance beyond demographics.

Tadanki condemned marketers who believe that online advertising could be done with a meagre budget. He pointed out that the trend is for marketers to accord maximum priority, and funds, to traditional media such as TV, print and radio; and whatever they are left with at the end of this, to the digital medium, just to ensure their presence there. “Investing for the heck of investing is no solution. Every medium needs the right level of investment to generate desired results,” explained Tadanki.

Talking about another myth, Tadanki stated that the internet is not just a medium for lead generation, as is mostly believed; there is much more to it. Its biggest bonus is that it’s a measurable medium. Tadanki further asserted that creativity on the internet is quite possible, thanks to technological advancement. “The popular belief that a good ad can only be made for TV or newspaper no longer holds true. Technology is already with us, all we need is equal dedication and importance from the marketers, so as to create an effective online campaign,” he added.

Submitted by A.K.Shardul. Extract from the brand reporter.

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Advertising in India/2009

January 6, 2010 at 1:55 pm · Filed under Advertising

An analysis by afaqs.com

News >> Advertising
Rewind 2009: The highs and lows of Advertising
Devina Joshi | afaqs! | Mumbai, January 04, 2010

The year 2009 began on a note of uncertainty. The slowdown had reared its head towards the end of 2008, and there was no doubt that 2009 would be a tense year — it was just a question of how much.

Calendar year 2009 saw a 12 per cent drop in ad spends over the previous year.
Furthermore, the financial services sector and automobiles showed significant de-growth in terms of spends (source: Spatial Access Solutions).
However, advertising time grew significantly, thanks to the fact that many channels were launched and some existing ones dropped rates to boost volumes.

Due to the downturn, things took a turn for the worse in the first half of 2009, although thankfully, the situation was nowhere near the ‘Doomsday’ kind of predictions made in 2008.

However, clients did tighten their purse strings, agency margins got squeezed, many diversifications were put on hold, and the only conversation that happened through the year was that of cost control, cutting headcount, freezing increments and doing away with unnecessary expenditure. A lack of head hunters ensured minimum staff churns within agencies, and perhaps, some of the key movements that took place were those of people moving out of the industry as a whole.

Furthermore, a number of sectors simply stopped advertising, such as those related to private equity or the equity market, real estate and travel.
Creative’s leap

Almost a dozen or so top creative professionals were bitten by the entrepreneurial bug in the first half of 2009. They left large networks to start their own agencies — a move that may have been seen as impulsive or whimsical by some top agencies.

As KV Sridhar aka Pops, national creative director, Leo Burnett India, puts it, “Not many of these new ventures are good enough. If mainstream ‘failures’ start out on their own, how can they be successful?” He is quick to add that the Aggi-Paddy venture, TapRoot India, is an exception, with the duo working on accounts like The Times of India, National Geographic and projects for Nirma and ITC.

Bobby Pawar, chief creative officer, Mudra Group, is a bit more circumspect. “It’s too soon to pass judgment…a few of them have tasted early success, while others might take some time to gather steam,” he shrugs. “We will rightly know if these shops started by creative people are getting traction, after they have been in business for a couple of years.”

Santosh Padhi aka Paddy, co-founder and chief creative officer, TapRoot India, feels there’s room for everyone, and not every player started out for the same reason — that of being disgruntled with larger networks.

The slowdown, in fact, may have been quite a boon for start-ups, as many marketers were willing to enlist the help of new talent. The bad times for the economy, thus, became an opportunity for the newbies, who offered a price advantage over the big guys.

Another development was that the dual NCD structure became even more popular in 2009 over 2008. Ogilvy India was the latest to fall prey to the trend, with creative duo, Abhijit Avasthi and Rajiv Rao jointly taking up NCD-ship.

While some see the dual NCD structure as a suitable ’scale’ answer to the length and breadth of accounts an agency has; others are of the view that this is an effort to “please everyone”, and not risk losing a top creative hand to the competition.

As Arvind Sharma, chairperson and CEO, Leo Burnett India, puts it, “The view that any agency is too big to have a single national creative director seems like a justification of some short-term arrangements. If the argument was really true, the United States of America should have had 10 Treasury Secretaries this year.”

Zoozoos and more

The manner in which Vodafone’s scrawny little characters captured the IPL Season 2 had people sit up and take notice. Vodafone and agency, Ogilvy, followed this up with a few more Zoozoos-led campaigns towards the end of the year, and detractors murmured whether this was too much of a good thing.

Pops of Burnett feels that the Zoozoos are a remarkable achievement for Indian advertising, and in fact, are now a talking point in people’s lives, much like the pug. “It is a hugely popular piece of communication and has become a part of popular culture, which is no mean achievement,” adds Pawar of Mudra.

While the Zoozoos have their share of supporters, Gupta of Aprais offers the flip side. “The Zoozoo is a great creative device, and a significant departure from the usual TV advertising. But at the end of the day, this was innovative only in terms of communication, not brand delivery,” Gupta deciphers.

At the retail and customer service level, he says, the brand reality didn’t match its communication feel; and at the end of the day, there’s only so much a communication device can do to add to brand imagery.

On the awards front, although India didn’t manage a Grand Prix like in 2008, JWT’s Nakka Mukka campaign for The Times of India, Chennai, turned out to be a golden goose, fetching two golds at the Film Lions at Cannes in 2009. Zoozoos, however, failed to impress the juries there.

Zoozoos aside, the telecom category made noise last year as a whole, with new launches such as Aircel and Tata Docomo delivering the decibels. Existing players Airtel, Idea and Reliance Communications continued with their usual high scale of advertising.

Another category to have made its presence felt in advertising hallways was DTH, with Reliance Big TV and Airtel digital TV joining the likes of Tata Sky and Dish TV. “In a single year, the category had more innovations than any other: time shift, high definition viewing, direct reception without a set top box, and constant price deals. This is possibly the fastest growing category in India,” observes Naresh Gupta, executive vice-president, strategic planning, Publicis India.

Brands Inc

Some major brand developments in the year included Maggi’s 25-year anniversary campaign, Fevicol’s golden jubilee communication, Coca-Cola’s ‘Open Happiness’ reveal in India, Aegon Religare’s high visibility campaigns in the insurance space and the launch of iconic brands, Harley Davidson and Volkswagen in India.

A few well established brands experimented with how far they could stretch their communication premises — examples include the Surf Excel ‘Dog’ ad; the Tata Safari Dicor ‘What would you remember?’ attempt shot in New Zealand; and Happydent Wave’s ‘Elephant’ commercial. But not many from the industry view these attempts as creative leaps in the right direction.

“Apart from these, I also think Coca-Cola was not that impressive last year, and I’m purely comparing it with its own work in the past,” says Paddy. Pops adds Pepsi to his list of brands that lost their way in 2009; while Pawar of Mudra hands the ‘trophy’ to Dicor for becoming “too self indulgent.”

The year also saw several brands go in for makeovers, including Dalda, Videocon (’Experience Change’), Onida (with its dropping of the Devil), and some Dabur brands (including a revamped Dabur Honey). To many, these are brands that generation after generation has grown up with; and a change was inevitable to stay relevant to its changing consumers.

“All these are brands that need Version 2 of their branding, and for my money, Videocon has the lead,” says Naresh Gupta.

But not everyone feels that change is always a good thing, as there’s always the risk of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Sunil Gupta of Aprais opines that any brand that keeps trying to change has something seriously wrong with it, and is unsure of how it is trying to come across to people.

“This is a case of image dyslexia, not image makeovers,” he says. In the case of Videocon, Gupta questions the consistency of the brand’s advertising over the last five years. From ‘Germ-free homes’, to ‘The Indian Multinational’ to ‘Experience Change’, the brand has been experimenting with its positioning rather frequently. “And this, I suspect, with a different agency every year,” he grins.

Further, some feel the Devil farewell by Onida could have had an alternative, had the property been used differently. “It takes ages to build a brand, its values, tonality, etc. It’s important to stay relevant to changing mindsets, but one certainly cannot drop brand properties, such as the Amul girl, which continue to entertain,” says Paddy.

Other key debates in 2009 included the Pepsi-SRK split, the Tech Mahindra takeover of a shaky Brand Satyam, and even the ad industry’s internal issue of The Economic Times reporting the GoaFest awards news out of turn.

“I think the dethroning of STAR Plus by Colors was more significant an event,” says Ajay Chandwani, director, Percept Limited. “Similarly, the Tiger Woods-Accenture split had more tongues wagging than the Pepsi-SRK one.”

Basu of Saatchi gives a comic spin to events, when he says that the most striking debate of the year was “The Free Press Journal sending out a mailer in November to ad agencies for special rates on ‘Creative’ ads.”

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Advertising Agency of the Year 2009

December 17, 2009 at 12:09 pm · Filed under Advertising

Advertising Agency of the Year 2009

Effies 2009: Ogilvy India is the Agency of the Year; JWT follows

Biprorshee Das | afaqs! | Mumbai, December 17, 2009

It is celebration time well before Christmas and New Year for Ogilvy India. The agency garnered a total of 120 points and took home the Effie award for the Agency of the Year at the Effies 2009.

The positions were reversed as JWT India, with 50 points, came second after winning the top spot at the Effies 2008. Ogilvy India was the No. 2 agency last year. Lowe Lintas and the Mudra Group, with 45 and 35 points, respectively, were third and fourth this year.

The Ogilvy camp wouldn’t stop cheering as they headed to the podium to collect their awards. The agency picked three gold, five silver and five bronze metals. The points system of the Effies awards 15 points for each gold, 10 points for each silver and five points for each bronze metal.

Ogilvy India won one gold metal for the Sprite Seedhi Baat, No Bakwaas campaign, shortlisted in the Consumer Products category, while the ever popular Vodafone Zoozoos fetched two more gold Effies for the agency. The Zoozoo case study, Vodafone Zoozoos - The story of an iconic campaign, won gold metals in the Services and Integrated Advertising Campaign categories.

The agency won the silver metals for Center Fresh (Keep the Mouth Locked), Limca (Fresh Ho Jao), Bajaj Pulsar (Pulsar Mania), Vodafone (Happy to Help) and Vodafone (Vodafone Zoozoos on your mobile). The five bronze Effies were for Pond’s (The Cinderella Effect: The Journey from Mass to Class), Sakshi (Move to Tomorrow), Vodafone (Chhota Credit), Vodafone (Happy to Help) and Tata Sky+ (Tata Sky+ Launch).

Vodafone Essar was adjudged the Effie Client of the Year.

JWT India picked up one gold, two silver and one bronze metals. The agency also won the Grand Effie for its Teach India campaign for The Times of India, which added 10 points to its total tally.

The agency won its only gold for the Teach India campaign. It won two silver metals for its TOI, Chennai (A Day in the life of Chennai) and Indian National Congress (Aam Aadmi Ke Badte Kadam) campaigns. The solo bronze metal was for the Be Special campaign for Kellogg’s Special K.

Lowe Lintas, placed at No. 3, won one gold metal and two metals each of silver and bronze. Lowe won the gold for its Tata Tea Jaago Re! campaign. The two silvers were won for the Axe (Call Me) and Idea Cellular (What an Idea!) campaigns, while the bronze Effies were for the Havells (Shock Laga?) and Tata Tea (Jaago Re!) campaigns.

The Mudra Group won three silvers and one bronze this year. The silver Effies were for the TVS Scooty (Women on Wheels), Union Bank of India (Your dreams are not yours alone) and Shell Foundation (Khidki Amma - Gossips through the window) campaigns. The bronze was for The Economic Times (Power of Ideas) campaign.

The other agencies that left their marks at the Effies this year were Rediffusion, which won four bronze Effies; and Arc Worldwide/Leo Burnett, Bates 141 and McCann Erickson India, which won a bronze metal each.

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Out of Home Advertising

October 27, 2009 at 7:05 pm · Filed under Advertising

Out-of-home advertising in India

Nothing sums up the circumstances in India quite like the figures. Between January and July 2008, There were eight investments in seven months in OOH companies. Since then, not a single investments in an Indian OOH company has been announced. That is, 14 dry months.
Those investments put big bucks in the hands of a few organized players, creating fierce competition for sites, leading to astronomical bids, which the OOH companies naturally expected their clients to pay through high ad rates. With the down turn, OOH companies big and small have been severely wrong-footed..
It wasn’t only bad stuff that happened in 2008, though. Among the most positive things was that OOH was finally accepted as a mainline medium. New advertisers turned to it while the existing ones upped their spend. Newer media formats like digital and street furniture gained prominence.

There was also a surge in innovations
“The feeling of euphoria that was witnessed in 2007 to mid-2008 led many companies in the wrong direction. Most outdoor companies bid sky-high for various tendered properties. The valuations were unrealistic,” admits Yuvraj Agarwal, executive vice-president, group revenue, Laqshya Media.
As the slowdown took grip, site occupancy plummeted and ad rates tanked. Ashish Pherwani, senior manager, Media and Entertainment (and OOH was hit at least as hard as – if not harder than – other media. Currently, the sector is fighting to raise rates which dropped by as much as 50 per cent.”
Noomi Mehta, chairman and managing directors, selvel One group, adds, “’Lowering prices’ is too gentle a tern are made at times like these. These are normally done by small operators and fly-by-nighteres who are out to make a quick buck and are shaken off by the financial storm.”
Even bigger than the problem of getting business is the matter of collections. The tightening of credit facilities by the banks and delayed payments by clients and OOH specialist agencies have compounded the issue. In the absence of a formal credit policy, every company is facing a liquidity problem and is forced to part with huge discounts and credit notes each year to recover dues. As Mangesh Borse, director, Symbiosis Advertising , puts it, “We are making profits – but only on paper, since payments are delayed by as much as six months.”
Nabendu Bshattacharyya, President, Ogilvy Action, one of the most prominent specialist agencies, says that the problem lies elsewhere, “I strongly believe that 99 Per cent of the clients pay on time if the paperwork at the agency and media owners is perfect. Clients can sometimes get into a real cash crunch but that happens rarely.”
The economic hit has made OOH companies especially carefull about the way they bid for government tenders which , in the past, were considered a quick one short way of gaining size.
Everyone has in their mind the experience of Big Street, part of the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG)which, in August 2008, bid Rs79 crore to gain the rights (for 10 years) to Mumbai’s Bandra Skywalk (a 1.3-Km long, raised pedestrain walkway). Under the changed circumstances, Big street decided this May to Walk away from the contract, forfeiting its earnest money with the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional development Authority (MMRDA). OOH companies have mixed feelings about bidding for government property.
Mehta of Selvel One believes that dealing with the authorities ha its pros and cons. The pros include the scope for ‘ managing’ situations that occur; since accountability is poor, payments can be delayed. Besides, it helps a company build substantial inventory through a single storke. It also guarantees stability since government property is unlikely to be touched by even whimsical changes in municipal policies on outdoor advertising.
The cons, Mehta believes, are the large earnest money deposits and the fact that the reserve (or minimum) price for such projects is high. Large tenders are also fiercely contested to the point of almost guaranteed loss, as seen in many cases.
As if things weren’t bad enough in the established part of the business, they got far worse in airport advertising which has grown only in the few years. Big boy times OOH, which has the advertising rights for Mumbai and Delhi airports, and gets 70 per cent of its revenue coming from there, too, has been feeling the pressure. This paragraph in Entertainment Network India’s (ENIL) Annual Report for 2008-09 is revealing, though the exact figures for Times’ OOH business are unavailable. While stating that Times OOH) grew 11 per cent year-on-year, ENIL managing director, A P Parigi’s message to shareholders, says that the growth could have been far higher had not been a drastic fall in outdoor media spends by companies. The report goes on to say later: ‘…. The OOH business is very capital intensive and has a long return on investment cycle. Huge investments have already been made in the OOH. Others too found the going turbulent. Laqshya Media, which has the media rights for Hyderabad Airport as well as for Colombo, lost money, too.
This had to do with the fact that- apart from everything else- air traffic tumbled in the slowdown. “Passenger numbers started dwindling and the 40 per cent plus growth rates witnessed in airport passenger traffic in 2007-08 turned into negative 10 per cent rates. This led to a loss in valuation for airport properties. To make matters worse, categories like real estate, airlines and financial services virtually stopped advertising, resulting advertising demand contracting,” shares Agarwal of Laqshya Media. The company exited digital screens, which were a drain on its reasources and went through an organizational restructuring exercise to focus on long term growth. It also downsized in verticals like Laqshya Digital Media, where the gestation periods were long.
In fact, in digital media, one of the biggest players, OOH Media that currently claims to operate about 5000 screens in 22 cities across India and reach out to 50 million people a month, has slowed its expansion spree considerably.
Ishan Raina, MD & CEO,OOH Media says, “ when we started off, the game was one of increasing the number of screens. Now the focus is on the number of advertisers: my target is to increase the number of clients from 300 to 1000.”
The good news, he says, is that under pressure, marketers are willing to explore new options. The bad news? Being a new media, digital screens have been hit on pricing. “So we are selling more and adding clients but our topline growth has slowed down as compared to last year – though we are still growing,” says Raina.
While the worst may be over, the good times are still some time away, Says Raina, “Once the client has tasted a low rate, it will take at least a year to increase prices, I expect price pressure on the media industry to continue for two to three years. We have to be very careful about our costs.”
Media owners are hoping that a combination of the festival season and the launch of many new products which has been postponed will see them through till the end of this year. “By that time, the steps the government has taken should hopefully kick in and demand should remain steady. I feel the government itself will emerge as a big advertiser, “ says Mehta.
Pherwani of Ernst & Young certainly thinks so. “There are several media companies as well as some PE (private equity) firms who still have a keen eye on the sector. As it gets more mature, with an increased amount of large public tenders around street furniture, transport and infrastructure, it is placed to grow and attract investment,”
Raina , whose own firm has received findings, points out that what has happened in OOH has taken place with the internet and radio, too. ”This is in the nature of most new business. First, their potential is overestimated in long term.”
Revaluation of properties:
With marketers questioning the rates of OOH property more closely, media owners are reviewing their own investments. In some cases substantial investments have been made to improve the outdoor media format- for example, new international-style bus shelters, digital screens and better airport infrastructure. Here, marketers are more willing to appreciate the logic of higher rates. But advertisers are questioning traditional advertising formats where they are expected to pay more simply because the owner has thrown more money to win the space.
On another front, asset owners now also need to proactively target advertisers, and sell more actively to them around their communication objectives, rather than present themselves as a ‘vendor of hoardings’.
Pherwani of E&Y points out that a major reason for the drop in outdoor site rentals could be the lack of measurability, since marketing managers need to be able to demonstrate the effectiveness of their spends at the best of times and doubly so during a slowdown.
The measurement system for outdoor media, better known as the Indian Outdoor Survey(IOS), was launched in June by MRUC (Media Research Users Council) with Hansa Research. It has been designed to provide audience-led research at par with other media in order to establish traffic, cover and frequency estimates and will aid in planning and buying of hoardings, bus shelters and Kiosks. To start with, the survey has been launched for upbeat about this first industry measurement tool and hopes to see the survey cover other parts out that when transparency grows, so will the advertisers’ faith in the medium, leading to its growth.
Industry veterans got together at the Outdoor Advertising Convention 2009 held in June in Mumbai, to discuss the formation of a credit policy. Industry veterans lid Madison’s discussed plans to work on a detailed credit policy Newspapers Society and the Indian Broadcasters Federation.
The project has been handed over to Soumitra Bhattacharyya who retired from Laqshya early this year as CEO and is now and independent consultant. The aim will be to create a comprehensive credit policy for the industry, which will be presented and negotiated with the Advertising Agencies Association of India for implementation nationally. This will involve review of billing practices, accreditation of agencies, definition of credit periods and terms, penalties for non- compliance and the like.
Companies now approach government projects and tendered bids with caution. Tenders used to be for a few years and this was an issue since OOH firms were reluctant to make big investments if they din’t have a longer term to play with. They are increasingly pressing for – and sometimes succeeding to get – longer – term contracts. This is changing the views of tenders since a long-term tender provides the much-needed stability.
The OOH business in India has traditionally been a fragmented one. Consolidation is inevitable, feel seniors.
Robin Carruthers, director, square Circle Outdoors, part of Sholk Media, points out that there isn’t single player in OOH who can fulfill a client’s need on a pan-India basis. “ This explains the emergence and current position of the Ooh specialist agencies. Most advertisers look for a single-window operation and end up going to specialist agencies which offer them this solution,” he says. E&Y’s Pherwani thinks that firms need to get together and build national networks, which is what larger advertisers are clamouring for.
Carruthers opines that consolidation is not just about but-outs and mergers but also formation of governing bodies where big industry players come under the same umbrella to ensure that all operate within a certain set of guidelines. These steps have been initiated with the formation of the Indian Outdoor advertising Association (IOAA). While consolidation will ultimately take place by way of buy-outs, he believes that this is still some time away.
Agarwal Of Laqshya summarises the situation best when he says,” We’re all dealing with issues that impact our professional and personal lives. What will set people apart during this time is learning what doesn’t work, adapting to it, and making sure not to repeat it once the good time return. Maybe we’ll have our umbrellas ready the next time it rains.”
Source: The Brand Reporter, Sep, 2009.


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September 2, 2009 at 7:03 am · Filed under Advertising, Radio


GYAN VANI - Breathing trouble

Despite the vast dominance of Internet and television, the radio
remains a popular medium connecting people across the world. In
spreading education to even the far-flung places, it continues to play a
vital role.

Gyan Vani, an educational FM radio channel, offered by the
Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) is an excellent example.
It was launched in 2001 and operates in several fm stations located at
40 centers. Each Gyan Vani Station has a range of about 60 km and covers
an entire city including the adjoining rural areas.

The medium of broadcast is English, Hindi or language of the region. The network
particularly caters to the disadvantaged sections of the society
exclusively to education and community development.

The first Gyanvani station was inaugurated by the Minister for Human
Resource Development, Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi, and Government of India
on the 7th November, 2001 in the city of Allahabad.

The programme include information relevant to students of pre-primary, primary,
secondary and higher secondary, as well as enrichment programmes for
environmental awareness, women‚ empowerment, legal literacy,
professional education and science education.

In the recent past most of the stations spread across the 40 centers in
the country are functioning without either station managers or assistant
station managers. Majority of the stations are managed by casuals on an
informal basis.

Coimbatore is one among the cities under the care of a
casual programme staff. Station and assistant station managers are
recruited for gyan vani radio stations on a six-month contract which is
subject to renewal.This contract system is one of the main hitch leading
personnel not to opt for this job.

In select cities the stations are not full fledged as they have set up their studios in some colleges on arental basis.As a result the college administration takes sole control of gyan vani, which in turn results in airing programmes related to the
respective college. The staffs employed at such colleges had to get
their salaries from the college management.

The main objective with which gyan vani had been launched has been
beaten since it has been unsuccessful to reach the desired audience of
students due to its weak signals.

Unless IGNOU comes up with measures to bring the broadcast back to form, the notion of gyan vani would soon be extinct.


Rafiq Ahmed, THE New Indian Express,-WEDNESDAY, AUGUST26TH, 2009, COIMBATORE.

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Top 10 Media Agencies

December 23, 2008 at 10:55 am · Filed under Advertising

TOP 10 MEDIA AGENCIES of India as rated by The Economic Times (17 Dec, 2008, Brand Equity).

Agency Indexed score

1.Mindshare 100.00
2.Madison 91.68
3.Starcom 71.94
4.Zenith Optomedia 57.10
5.Allied Media 56.84
6.OMS (Mudra Max) 56.50
7.Lodestar Universal 56.43
8.Maxus 54.36
9.Carat 54.25
10.TME 50.99

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Top 25 Advertising Agencies of India

December 23, 2008 at 10:52 am · Filed under Advertising

The TOP 25 according to the India’s largest selling and World’s second largest selling Business Newspaper The Economic Times (17, Dec, 2008, Brand Equity)

Mccann erickson
Rediffusion dyr
Leo burnett
RK Swamybbdo
Grey world wide
bates 141
Saatchid saatchi
Ambience publicis
Euro rscg
m&c saatchi
Law& kenneth
Tbwa india
Publicis india

Submitted by Mythili.V, II MBE on 22 Dec, 2008.

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September 23, 2008 at 1:27 pm · Filed under Advertising

 Advertising is defined as a paid mediated presentation of information about services, products, or ideas with the specific goal of persuading consumers to act or think in a particular way.
 Advertising differs from news coverage and public relations activities because the advertising message is created, produced and paid for by the advertiser, and the information is clearly identified.
 Advertising has real and social costs. Some people argue that it raises the price of goods. Others fear that it alters social norms; affects the attitudes of children and adults; and undermines the influences of family, religious institutions, and schools.
Early American newspaper that served businesses, shopkeepers, and trades people. These newspapers also contain political news.
Connection between Demand for News and Advertising: Demand for news and for advertising created a demand for newspapers. Early newspapers ads were simple paragraphs of type promoting real estate, services for goods for sale to retailer and consumers.
Mass Advertising:
Advertisement that aim to reach the largest number of people possible.
Advertising Agent:
Agents facilitated more efficient advertising. They bought space in multiple newspaper and magazines and resold that space to advertisers for one price. As a result, companies could reach consumers in different geographic areas without having to buy ad space from large numbers of publications.
Advertising’s Effects on Consumers:
Advertising influence consumers in four ways:
1. It makes people aware of a product or service
2. It provides information about the quality of a product
3. It provides price information about product or service
4. It tries to persuade consumers to identify a product or service with a particular person or activity.
Types of Advertisements:
 Advertisement can be classified in several ways. Two common ones include geographic coverage and purpose of ads.
 Geographic coverage includes national, regional, and local advertising.
 Geographic coverage was divided into national and local.
 National advertisements are ads for products and services that are available throughout the country.
 Local advertisements are ads for companies that serve a much smaller market such as city or metropolitan area.
 A hybrid from of geographic coverage grew during the 1980s.Reginal advertisement are local and regional ads that are placed in national media.
 The purpose of ads includes business ads, public service ads, and political ads. Advertisement fall into three categories: business ads, public ads, and political ads.
 Business ads try to influence people’s attitudes and behaviors toward the products and service a business sells or toward an idea that the business supports.
 Public service ads promote behaviors and attitudes that are beneficial to society and its members.
 Political ads aim to receive a lot of attention because it provides a way of increasing voter identification of a candidate. It also gives the issues during an election.
Advertising online continues to develop, and companies are experimenting with the effectiveness of different types of product services, advertising, and subscription fees.

Submitted by Shiporal, IC, 2008.

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Advertising Industry to slowdown

September 9, 2008 at 12:16 pm · Filed under Advertising

A report on future of AD Industry in India from Business Standard, through Agency Faqs (9-9-2008)

Ashish Sinha | Business Standard | New Delhi, September 09, 2008

The growth Advertisement of India’s advertising industry is set to halve to 10 per cent by 2013, according to the latest projections by Media Partners Asia (MPA), a leading international media research agency. This is, however, in line with a general projected slowdown in the region, the Hong-Kong-based agency said.

India, however, will still grow faster than China, Malaysia, and Indonesia, the agency said. “The compounded annual growth rate of India between 2008 and 2013 will be 12.8 per cent, ahead of China (11.8 per cent) and Indonesia (11.4 per cent),” the report added.

MPA’s projections are significant because they contradict some of the earlier projections made by other international research agencies at the start of the year, showing that the Indian advertising industry would be growing at 18 to 22 per cent over the next three or four years.

According to the report, most of the Asian countries are expected to witness a slowdown in their advertising industry and the Asian markets’ average growth will touch 5 per cent in 2008 against over 7 per cent last year.

The MPA report said: “…the growth of advertising on television and print media will come at a significant cost because of intensifying competition and increasing diversification….Print media will continue to lose market share with the notable exception of India, while newspapers will remain significant advertising platforms in Southeast Asian markets like Singapore and Malaysia.”

This report gains significance as the Indian media and entertainment market is expected to grow at over 18 per cent riding on the back of the increasing penetration of television, cable, direct-to-home (DTH) and the print medium.

“Any slowdown in the ad-industry’s growth has a direct impact on the television and print medium and an overall consumer spending. But the good news is that the growth will be in double digits as suggested by MPA,” said an expert on the media and entertainment industry.

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