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Big brands bypass Indian TV

News, 05 January 2015

NEW DELHI: Major brands are increasingly turning to online video in India, with more campaigns using only this channel or making connected devices the primary screen with TV being relegated to second place.

Afaqs noted that spend on video ads was expected to increase from Rs 330 crore in 2013-14 to Rs 500 crore in 2014-15 and observed that many brands, including the likes of Lenovo, Durex and Pepsi had developed video campaigns that had not been preceded or followed by TV advertising.

For an automotive brand such as Honda, there is a clear logic in targeting digital, as Jnaneswar Sen, svp/marketing and sales, Honda Cars India, explained that around 70% of the brand's consumer base first carried out research online before taking the next step.

"We have been doing digital campaigns since we launched the new CR-V in 2012," he said, when the car was introduced exclusively on the mobile platform.

But he added: "We do not do digital campaigns in isolation." They are followed up by TV and press, and he cited the example of a digital campaign for the Mobilio model, featuring comedian Kapil Sharma, which garnered three million views, "generating buzz about the product much before the extensive TV campaign was launched".

Brands targeting younger consumers are also opting for a greater online presence. "Digital is where the youth is today, both in terms of time spent as well as focused attention, compared to traditional media," said Alok Goel, CEO at online recharging site FreeCharge.in.

"TV is increasingly becoming a second screen whereas a mobile, tablet and/or a PC are the primary screens," he stated.

And brands in low-interest categories are finding they can utilise the medium to attract attention in cost-effective ways that have previously been beyond their reach.

Philips, for example, featured actor Ranbir Kapoor in a two-minute music video wearing clothing enhanced with LED lights, with the lighting brand only mentioned at the very end.

"Branding needs to be placed at a point in the video when the consumer begins to think 'who?'," explained Vivek Sharma, chief marketing officer, Philips Indian subcontinent.

That marks a change from the need to pack a lot of information into a traditional 30-second TV ad. According to Manoj Shroff, producer, Equinox Films, the product itself is taking a back seat as marketers look for better script with potential to go viral.

"This, combined with its economical quotient, makes the digital video a sought-after proposition for marketers," he stated.

Data sourced from Afaqs; additional content by Warc staff