Ficci Frames 2016: A debate ensued on tackling the challenges presented by the digital format, which ironically also presents fresh opportunity for advertisers
BestMediaInfo Bureau | Mumbai | April 4, 2016
While broadcasters and networks wrack their brains on business models that help them monetize the contents on offer, advertisers have to choose between platforms for the best exposure for their advertisements. At the moment the digital platform poses both an opportunity and a challenge for the advertiser, particularly because of the online viewer’s option and (sigh) often inclination, to click on the “skip ads” option.
A session of Ficci Frames 2016 dwelt on the issue of advertising in the digital format. The real challenge for the digital advertiser, speakers at the session concluded, was engaging the viewer with good content, to negate that urge to just skip the ad.
Advertisers, the panelists concurred, needed to be more creative in their storytelling to compel consumers to consume the commercial. The Ficci Frames panel was moderated by Sunil Lulla, Chairman, Grey Worldwide, who concluded that as advertising turned more dramatic and interesting, content had to get better.
The keynote speaker of the session was Ran Buck, Vice President, APAC, Taboola. The panelists included Rohit Sharma, CEO and Founder, Pokkt Video Ads, Kunal Lagwankar, CEO, Adsparx, Subrat Kar, Founder at Vidooly, Rajeshree Naik, Co-Founder at Ping Digital Broadcast, Sandipan Mondal, Co-Founder at Zapr Media Labs, and Gurmit Singh, VP and MD at Yahoo India.
Here is what they had to say:
Ran Buck, Vice President, APAC, Taboola:
“Taboola is a company which helps brands understand the consumer better to bring in relevant content to the relevant audience. We study the behaviour pattern of a consumer on different screens to provide them with personalised advertisements. Apart from that, we use native advertising a lot in the US, but India has a long way for that. Also, user behaviour has changed dramatically over the last couple of years. What one needs to understand is the behaviour to bring the right kind of content to him/her.”
Sandipan Mondal, Co-Founder at Zapr Media Labs:
The advertising business will scale up, as more eyeballs are moving towards digital. It has been seen that a lot of video content is viewed on a mobile device and hence, somewhere down the line advertisers will find value in investing in this medium. It is all about understanding them better like Buck said. Apart from that, mobile has a variety of formats. For instance, we did an ad for an auto brand on television and we did something with the viewers of the ad on mobile. The ad was different for different users based on their behaviour.”
Subrat Kar; Founder at Vidooly:
“One challenge in this space is the analysis of data. There is so much data that is available that at times it gets difficult to understand the consumer. Also, we are trying to understand what the audience wants to watch.”
Gurmit Singh, VP and MD at Yahoo India:
“There is a lot of opportunity for advertisers as valuations show that there are many users on the mobile who are consuming video content and this is resonated globally. Advertisers need to become subtle and bring in native advertising. Meanwhile, as measurement continues to be a problem across other mediums, it is not so when it comes to digital. There are apps that track the user behaviour which gives us a lot of data to understand the consumer.”
Kunal Lagwankar, CEO, Adsparx:
“There are three major challenges that an advertiser faces on the digital medium. As a technology enabler for streaming video, the question remains on how one brings the TV experience to the consumer. The second big challenge is the problem of ad blockers. In India, it is at a nascent stage, but globally, they are just killing the business of an advertiser, which is unfair. Lastly, how does one deliver a consistent experience across screens is something that will remain a challenge in the long run.”
Rohit Sharma, CEO and Founder:
“While there are challenges, there are two big opportunities that I see. One is data costs is something that needs to get cheaper. Second one being mobile video. Inserting a mobile video is better than TV, but it has its own pros and cons. When it comes to what format will work on digital, I think the length doesn’t matter The length only makes it a digital video as television has limited spots.”
Rajeshree Naik, Co-Founder at Ping Digital Broadcast:
“In three years from now, 80 per cent of the content will be video. Everyone has to work together for this. The lack of understanding will only kill the business and that needs to be addressed. Also, I think long format works as consumers want engagement. For instance, the ‘Share the Load’ campaign did more wonders on the digital space than on TV.”