You Saw It Online First!
Product commercials in the form of 'webisodes' are launched online prior to being shown on the television. Is the uptake for online advertisements better than that of other media?
The trend of using the Internet as the 'first point of interaction' with a consumer is increasingly catching on. Fortunately, the better quality PCs and increased connection speeds allow for streaming on a relatively larger number of PCs. Using cross media combinations such as TV-cum-print or print-cum-outdoor to launch new campaigns is an age-old phenomenon but the TV-cum-Internet combo is as an effective medium.
Streaming content is a powerful way to target the audience. Many movie production houses worldwide use it to promote their offerings. Using the same technology, we are in the process of launching a service on our website where TV channels can air promos of their latest shows and introduce their wares to the ad fraternity.
The Internet is primarily a youngster's medium. It's interactive-a feature no other medium offers. A well-executed ad on the Net can help the brand provided it's seamlessly integrated into the marketing plan.
Vishal Chinchankar,Business Director, mOne Worldwide Media Buying Agency)
Playing commercials first on the Internet before airing them on the TV is a concept that's still in its initial stage in India. Nevertheless, this trend is catching on rather quickly as there are Web sites that offer this option.
Some major advertisers who use the Internet extensively are dotcoms such as Shaadi.com and Naukri.com. Financial brands such as ICICI and Citibank also use the Internet to advertise as they target individuals with high net worth.
As for youth brands such as MTV and Pepsi, most of their target group comprises the 'Upper Sec A1' or youth from urban centres, hence, online advertising is a preferred option.
Currently, online advertising is popular among media planners and clients and they are exploring innovative ways of interacting with consumers.
The Internet is the only medium that provides for engaging and interactive content; take for instance, the recently aired Pepsi Web commercial. Moreover, the industry has seen a consistent growth year after year in online advertising as advertisers realised its tremendous potential. I see more innovative trends emerging in the sphere of Internet advertising.
Pearl Uppal, Director, Sales, Yahoo! India
Streaming and Flash-based content and promos are used extensively by many companies. The move of 'first contact' with the consumer, from traditional media such as TV and print to the Internet has begun in right earnest.
The recent Pepsi webisode on Yahoo! is a classic example. We introduced the idea to Pepsi and they were eager to implement it. The webisode had a trickle-down effect and the TV promos were widely watched. In fact, on the Web, the television version of the commercial was viewed by more than 1,40,000 users.
In online advertising, the consumer becomes a part of the experience; it also supplements and supports campaigns carried out in other media. This medium has a great reach and is target-specific. The primary audience for advertisers on the Internet is the youth. Hence, online interactive advertisements can leverage the incredible potential the Internet offers.
Yahoo! has a number of Rich Media products on the cards for advertisers that will enhance the viewer experience online. The Pepsi campaign is just the beginning.
A low PC and broadband penetration is not an issue as most metros have a decent broadband access courtesy the ubiquitous cyber cafes. Nevertheless, an improvement in the existing scenario will surely increase reach.
Vikas Gupta, VP, Marketing, Coca-Cola India
The age of Internet marketing is here and every company that wants to connect with its target audience will have to use this medium. We, at Coca-Cola India, have recognised the power of Web promotions, and have made it an integral element in all our marketing communication.
We have also used this platform for film-related promotions-Kuch Na Kaho, for instance. Our site carried movie-specific content, games and downloads. We received an overwhelming response with more than seven million people visiting the site.
Online advertising or 'digital marketing', as we like to call it, is a platform to connect with your audience. Undoubtedly, it's a widely used medium. The target audience of most of our brands is in the age group wherein the Internet and mobile phone usage is the highest. So, it's imperative that whatever we do in the regular media needs to be extended to the digital platform. While Hungama manages the site, the creative content is an output of the consumer or brand team.
Rajat Ohri, Senior Vice President, J Walter Thompson (Advertising Agency)
Using the Internet as a medium to conduct promotional activities is definitely a trend. Advertisers want to connect with their audiences and interaction is the key to retain a brand following and even to build a new consumer base.
It's important to create a buzz around the product and to take the consumer into account during every campaign. The digital medium is a requisite for such an integrated promotional campaign. The Pepsi webisode featuring Shahrukh Khan, a youth icon, was a great hit.
There was a trickle-down effect and the webisode got a large number of hits. The interactive content developed by marketers and advertisers today help to keep consumers in tune with the brand. The Internet gives consumers a choice and brands that are in tune with consumer views will naturally adopt this medium.
Most youth brands today target what we call the 'Upper Sec A1' or the urban youth. This section has extensive access to computers and broadband Internet connections.