MUMBAI: The imminent cap on the number of advertising minutes per hour on Indian television channels means that targeting of ads is going to become a necessity, an industry figure has argued.

KA Srinivasan, co-founder of Amagi, a provider of targeted TV ads, explained to Campaign India that there were advantages to brands of all sizes.

For regional brands, "targeting gives them the option of advertising on the national channel in just their region. For national brands, targeting allows them to focus on their priority markets," he said.

For his own business, which began by serving regional brands, he had noted an increase in the number of clients who were national advertisers with regional requirements.

He outlined the benefits for national brands. "It could be to counter local competition, it could be because they want to increase their share of voice in a particular market, it could be because of a sales or promotion-led messaging in a particular market," he elaborated. "Or, even when they are selling different SKUs in different markets, or different variants or brands."

In the case of national advertisers, he went on, "it could be for customising content for different markets, be it on language or offer or something else".

Advertisers were no longer comfortable with spillage, Srinivasan maintained: "They are in agreement that the returns on a higher spend to target better delivers greater value than buying cheapest with spillage and in effect not reaching some markets optimally."

The availability of regional targeting was also leading to the reconfiguration of media planning. He pointed out that there was no channel that could deliver enough reach for Punjab, but when targeting via Amagi became an option, budgets started to get reallocated "not just to Amagi but also to Punjabi regional channels".

Srinivasan reported that retail brands were leading the way in what has become known as "creative versioning", but noted FMCG, consumer durable and auto brands starting to move down this road.

Data sourced from Campaign India; additional content by Warc staff