New techniques needed to build brands

5 April 2013

GOA: The advent of cheap DVRs and the growth of social media are transforming the advertising and marketing landscape in India, according to the head of Hindustan Unilever.

Speaking at the Goafest 2013 Advertising Conclave, and reported in Campaign India, Nitin Paranjpe said: "We need to start reinventing the model of building brands."

Paranjpe observed that much had changed in the world of advertising in terms of the mediums and the technology. "But at the heart of it, nothing has changed with advertising. How we do it has undergone significant change."

He pointed to the falling price of DVRs. "Once the DVR comes in, there is virtually no ad played at home on TV," he noted.

Paranjpe also said he thought the price would fall further, potentially to Rs300, and that recording facilities could become a standard feature of set-top boxes. "It's not just possible, it's very likely to happen," he stated.

One outcome of this trend, he suggested, would be the end of the 30-second TV commercial as the pre-eminent advertising vehicle.

UK adland veteran Trevor Beattie last month similarly announced the death of the 30-second TV commercial and declared that five seconds is the new unit in TV advertising.

Such ads, Paranjpe noted, form "only a third of the stimulus towards a purchase decision." The remainder, he explained, comes from "the residual value and collective experience of the consumer – that comes from the experience of the product, and from collective information from the past".

Word of mouth has traditionally been an important factor in this area and Paranjpe said he was impressed by the possibilities of social media as "electronic word-of-mouth".

"Social media challenges the assumption that we are the creators of content," he added. "What we put out is actually a small fraction."

Finally, Paranjpe advised that truth was a vital commodity in the modern world of brand building.


"You have to win the trust of the consumer. If people trust you, we know that they will have more loyalty, they will buy more, they will recommend your brand more," he added.

Data sourced from Campaign India; additional content by Warc staff