The screens on which we consume media are getting smaller and so have our attention spans. So it becomes all the more important for the creative fraternity to hook the viewer with attractive campaigns. Best Media Info finds out how
BestMediaInfo Bureau | Mumbai | February 2, 2017
The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and KPMG’s report titled ‘Digital–The new normal of marketing’ says India is one of the fastest growing advertising markets globally with an estimated growth of 15.5 per cent in 2016.Though the share of digital advertising spend remained low at 12.7 per cent in 2016, it was one of the fastest growing mediums at an expected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 33.5 per cent (2015-2020), expected to cross Rs 255 billion in 2020.
Social media is a big part of digital campaigns. A large chuck of digital marketing budgets is put away for social media. According to Satish Ramachandran, Senior Vice-President, Healthcare and Interactive, FCB Ulka Healthcare, today almost 40 per cent of advertising spends are going to social media.
But with all the mileage, reach and user engagement, social media is also a platform where people lose interest quick and it is a herculean task to hold onto eyeballs. Creativity is important for any media. But how integral is creativity and a strong idea and story for a platform like social media?
“Creativity will be very important in any communication. I think it is very important to understand the different creative needs of different mediums. If you look at TV ads I believe that they require creativity on two fronts. One is that creatively are you mining out a certain consumer insight so that the consumer feels connected with your message, with the situations that you are showing. The second area is how creative are you in communicating your message, how are you dramatising it. So there are two parts, the insight part and the dramatisation part,” said Sumeet Narang, VP, Marketing (Motorcycles), Bajaj.
“In the case of a TV ad even if your insight is not that great but your dramatisation part is good, you can still get away with it. But when it comes to social media you don’t have the option of bombarding people again and again with it. If they don’t like what you are presenting they will move on. For social media to really work it is important for that message to be shared by people and therefore you can’t just rely on the dramatisation of your proposition. You need to very creatively connect with people and therefore the area of insight and how creatively you are able to mine an insight gets amplified several times over in social media,” he added.
Ramachandran feels social media is all about creativity. Commenting on the factors and properties essential for a social media campaign, he said, “If the creative is not in line with what the consumer wants to see, if there is no entertainment value and if there is nothing in it for the consumer, then it will not work at all.”
Chintan Ruparel, Co Founder and Chief Creative Officer, Terribly Tiny Tales, believes that the two essentials to keep in mind while developing any social media campaign is relatability and virality.
“Virality comes in when you have something that hasn’t been seen before and that which you want to share and relatability is essential to virality. If something relatable is said in a fresh manner, it becomes viral.”
But have brands and marketers been able to use social media to its true potential?
“This is a question that is often asked of many new levers of marketing. My view is that when it comes to digital, this question becomes a little irrelevant. Because even if brands haven’t been able to tap much into the medium by the time they build that capability, the whole medium will have changed. On digital, there will always be a majority of brands that will be playing catch up and there will always be some brands that will be leading the way.”
Ramachandran believes that social media platforms are constantly evolving and advertising agencies are also trying to keep pace with this volatile medium.
“Social media is a constantly evolving platform and from an advertising agency’s point of view we are also keeping pace with this changing platform. So, there is constant learning that is happening across the various social media platforms. Some brands are able to use these platforms to their true potential and some are not and it all depends on what the brief and the objective is. A lot of changes are happening and we are not stabilised yet. So I think we have a long way to go.”
While newer platforms like Snapchat and Instagram are making their way into the consumer and brand psyche, Facebook still towers over all the others by the sheer size of its numbers.
But do social media campaigns result in offline sales?
Both Narang and Ramachandran agree that they do.
Giving the example of a campaign they ran for a real estate player in Goa, Ramachandran, said, “We did this campaign for our client Tata Housing and for their property in Goa. It was a large project in Goa and the first objective was to sell around 200 houses. We did our research and found out that everybody likes to talk about their time in Goa and tag pictures and things like. So we actually built the entire campaign for Facebook and we partnered with Facebook for the same. So the story we highlighted was that no one finds accommodation in Goa when you really want to go there so our message was that here was an opportunity to Goa on one’s won convenience. And while our target was to sell 200 homes we ended up selling 230 houses. That was the power of our Facebook campaign.”
Kartik Iyer, CEO, Happy mcgarrybowen, feels that each medium has been given a role and the role of social media is relationship building.
“Social media’s role really is to build the relationship with the consumer because here the consumer has chosen to follow you. It is also a feedback platform, you have to be prepared to hear what your consumer wants to say.”
Iyer also feels that the one major pro of social media is that it allows one to create a following.
“If you say the correct things you can increase your following not just through money but by the strength of your content which no other medium offers,” Iyer added.
But is there one fool-proof formula that one must swear by? “There is no one formula unfortunately. You really have to look at the interest levels of the brand’s target group or TG and what is it that you want to create and it varies from brand to brand.”