Artificial intelligence (AI) transcends digital boundaries in the media landscape, empowering media brands to provide personalised experiences. However, Aditya Tandon, Vice President (Head) - Brand Marketing, News18, emphasised that AI's potential can extend to television as well.
"It can help revolutionise viewership with enhanced content, captivating visuals and immersive experiences," he explained.
Speaking about tech-led initiatives taken by News18 to enhance viewer engagement, Tandon said, “We have tried to curate unique experiences and create deeper engagement with our viewers using the latest tech-enabled opportunities and toolkits available to marketers today. Recently, we launched a unique Mother’s Day campaign on Metaverse. This campaign allowed viewers to celebrate the special day in a manner that was both interactive and immersive. The campaign was very well received and generated a massive reach in just 24 hours.”
“We continue experimenting with the latest stack of tech-enabled tools available to marketers to bring highly creative, engaging and differentiated campaigns and offerings. We integrated AI anchors in events that we recently executed in Chandigarh and Jaipur. This innovation generated a significant buzz in both markets – it was a unique, first-of-a-kind experience for audiences and viewers at both locations. As the leaders in the category, you will continue to see us push the boundary as far as our marketing and product thinking is concerned, using the latest opportunities available to drive engagement with and affinity for our brands,” he added.
Tandon believes that it is a hugely exciting time to be a marketer.
“Over the past several years, there have, over and over again, been paradigmatic changes. The marketing landscape has constantly been evolving with new tools, platforms and environments to leverage. With AI, people are just beginning to see another paradigmatic shift. Not just marketers but the world is only just beginning to realise the power of AI,” Tandon said.
He went on to say, “It truly is a process and a journey of discovery. It is no different for us. We are in a phase wherein we will explore how AI can impact every aspect of our marketing and business plans from challenging creative boundaries to driving ROIs from a better understanding of consumers to greater process efficiencies.”
While explaining what a media brand can do with AI in terms of marketing, Tandon said, “This is a process of discovery for all marketers. We, of course, are committed to fully leveraging all functionality and insights that AI and other tech-led tools can give us. Marketers are using AI today to generate campaigns, create creative assets, sharpen media strategies and analyse consumption to deepen their understanding of the consumer. All of these applications are relevant to media brands like ours as well.”
AI models are also evolving and so is our capability of leveraging them. The ability of AI to deliver better and sharper results and output will improve with time, continuous inputs and learning. At this point, as marketers, one needs to remain alert to the output that may not be entirely accurate, Tandon said.
Marketing is also a lot about understanding the finer nuances – social, cultural and such as well as about emotions, of being able to place the output derived from an AI platform in one’s unique market, consumer and brand context.
"A deep understanding of this is what ultimately results in great marketing work and requires a marketer’s intervention," he added.
While speaking about the challenges regarding brand safety, Tandon said that there is already a lot of fear-mongering with regard to AI and its possible impact in a wide variety of fields.
Furthermore, he added, “This is certainly a process of discovery, but I also feel that this is the case with any significant technological advancement. There will always be the possibility of misuse but there are huge advantages that come with technological advancement. Of course, there have been instances in recent times of deep fakes etc. You do have a situation wherein fake content can be generated and can be attributed to one’s brand. We will have to develop safeguards as we evolve and mature in our usage of AI,” he added.
Tandon also explained how AI can enhance marketing strategies. He believes that AI can have a deep impact across the entire spectrum of the marketing workflow – planning, creative, visualisation, testing, media, operations and consumer insights.
“The biggest and most obvious impact with a direct correlation to enhancing the effectiveness of our marketing strategies can come from AI’s ability to examine, process and understand data and generate intelligent and actionable insights. This can really help sharpen marketing campaigns and aid in driving higher and higher ROIs. It certainly can help with faster turn-around and optimise spending and budgets. For media brands, our B2B outreach is of great importance. AI can help us with much more effective targeting, helping us develop and execute a personalised strategy to run our ABM campaigns for instance with far higher success rates,” he added.
Further, Tandon spoke about how AI can be used to solve viewers’ problems. He said that first and foremost one can use AI to better understand what the viewers need and want to understand and model their habits and patterns better.
“This can help us create stronger products like shows and content that are more in line with what their expectations are from our brand and channel. This can also allow us to continuously innovate, continuously tailor our offering to what our viewers want,” he added.
While explaining what AI can do for TV viewers, Tandon said that in today’s world, the boundary between different platforms and formats is blurring. Viewers move from one platform to another seamlessly, so as a brand, one has to offer the best available experience on any given platform, Tandon said.
“AI can bring a lot of value to the pure broadcast platform as well. It can help put together stronger and more relevant content, it can also help with visualisation and GFX which can wow audiences. As AI gets more and more integrated and widespread, it can help create immersive experiences that can take news television viewing to a whole new level. We are working on a very interesting project even now where we will use technology to bring a highly differentiated offering for our audiences,” he added.