Right from creative brilliance to Phase 3 to social media integration, India Radio Forum 2012 made the gathering practice every bit of all which the radio industry is and vouches for.
The event concluded yesterday, 22nd May at the JW Marriot, Mumbai with much gusto and saw a stupendous participation with speakers and panellists enthralling the audience by their forward looking comments.
Radio is playing as loudly as ever, with new licenses, new digital options, new funding sources and a host of innovative ways to connect with a wide range of audiences. And not only in India, around the world, the radio dial is being revitalized and recognized anew as a valuable part of the media and content creation mix.
Radio's long history means many of the questions about listening and hearing have already been answered. But new media environment means as many remains to be answered.
The conference flagged off with the panel discussion named CEO ROUNDTABLE: LETS GET THE BIGGER PICTURE.
The panel consisted of Apurva Purohit, CEO Radio City, B. Surendar, Sr. VP & National Sales Head Red FM, Harshad Jain, Business Head Fever FM, Asheesh Chatterjee, CFO, Big FM and Joy Chakraborthy, CEO Oye FM, moderated by Atul Phadnis, CEO What's On India, looked at the industry's current strengths and weaknesses and discussed strategic options, how the radio situation can be improved in the coming years and what are their expectations for the next 3 years.
Here is what everybody had to say:
Apurva said “We own the content but the day is not far when we will become mere distribution pipelines.”
Talking about value creation for stake holders:
Apurva stated “It is said that Radio is difficult to sell, we take pride in the fact (laughs)”
When asked to define the state of Radio three years down the line all the panellists had forward looking things to say of course!
Harshad cited “Three years from now, radio will become the primary medium in the marketing mix. It will be the time when quality will matter far more than the quantity and certainly in much cheaper prices than TV”
“It will be the time where the medium is going to hit the point of inflection.” He added.
According to B. Surendar “the medium will not only be 4 times but 6 times bigger in 3-4 years”
Joy quoted that “We are putting lot of efforts in pitching, but are too less for the results to show. A TV only put half the efforts and makes more money. Largely there are very few agencies selling radio, they should take us as the partners.”
On the stake holders supporting and getting value from the medium Apurva said “Old companies are faithful. We need to realise that it is an only free entertainment medium having 30% geographical reach, which is huge and makes it much more accessible than TV.”
These industry biggies certainly delved into the intricacies of the medium and as the torch bearers showed the ray of hope.
Measuring the impact created by radio is one thing that is most responsible for the downturn of the medium, talking about “IT'S THE MESSAGE, NOT THE MEDIUM: GROWING YOUR ADVERTISING REVENUE” was Jason Brownlee, leader International Development, RadioGAUGE. He cited numerous examples on how they market radio in UK. He also revealed the most important creative attributes that make radio commercials more effective and explained what this teaches us about the unique qualities of radio as an advertising medium.
After the insightful note came a blow that made everybody hit the edges of their seats to DESTROY THE WORLD!
Pete Bishop from The Shop showcased clips from Car Horn Orchestra that channel V used in UK, gave a bit of advice on How to Destroy the World through a Oscar winning animation film, suggesting a pun in making people realise the effects of global warming thoroughly. The video also glass cased the flurry of brands we are attached to and how one day everything would be submerged in the ocean, the only thing floating all over would be these brands and their signages. Simply amazing no wonder the clip won an Oscar.
Social media is soaring in India and across the globe; we have around 4.5 million people who are on Facebook and few millions on Twitter as well. Touching upon the topic of SOCIAL MEDIA AND RADIO discussions nearly made everybody wonder that radio being the older social medium has an old relation with Social media and there is lot of give and take to be done.
A great panel consisting of Premjeet Sodhi, COO, Lintas Media Group, Raj Nayak, CEO, COLORS - Viacom18, Satbir Singh, Managing Partner & Chief Creative Officer, Euro RSCG and Tushar Vyas, Managing Partner, GroupM South Asia, moderated by Suman Srivastava, Founder & Innovation Artist, Marketing Unplugged revealed several things that stirred a revolution in the audiences.
Making it an interactive session, Suman requested for audience reaction to start off the debate.
Raj said that he is addicted to social media to an extent that he has been restricted at home to use it beyond an hour and having and integration of radio or for that matter television with social media to create a buzz is not a bad idea at all in fact the trend would pick up in the years to come.
RJ Ankit from Big FM gave some hands on experience with social media. He said that Facebook or Twitter is one place he can interact with his listeners and a day is not far when these followers would decide the whole playlist for the shows and the programmes would become pure popular.
Without a doubt Social media is changing the way we communicate with our target audience, create content and share information. A huge part of our listener’s everyday lives – whether it’s a poke, a tweet, or a pin - social media platforms enable people to connect in new ways, and businesses to work more innovatively.
With an increasingly diversified media landscape and new planning strategies before us, there are considerable opportunities for radio to command a larger share of voice and to become an integral medium in the overall marketing mix.
In the next panel discussion about MAXIMISING RADIO'S ASSETS: HOW TO GAIN SHARE OF MARKET SPEND, an august panel of the media buyer and direct clients dug out the real meaning of radio and how it definitely could be better with few things incorporated in the measurement and pitch.
Apurva Purohit, CEO, Radio City moderated the session with Arpita Menon, Head - Media Planning & Buying, STAR TV, Kartik Sharma, Managing Partner, Maxus, Shubha George, COO, MEC, Shubhranshu Singh, Marketing Director India & South Asia, VISA and Vinay Bhatia, Sr VP Marketing, Shopper's Stop Limited on the dias.
The important thing that surfaced: said Shubha George, COO, MEC “Radio is currently selling itself the day it starts marketing, clients and agencies would take it seriously.”
Vinay Bhatia explained that how his company bought radio but it dint work for him and said that “clients love innovation and if you could put something interesting not usual on the plate there will definitely be takers”
After all the discussion and deliberation came an exciting breather in the form of THE RADIO PITCH CHALLENGE.
This was the second year of the challenge where in planning teams from media agencies are invited to pitch a compelling and effective presentation to the distinguished judges. As part of the pitch, the teams have to demonstrate a clear understanding of the objective, challenges, highlighting the use of media platform and the effective role of radio in the campaign.
Each team talked about that one product or service for 5 minutes or less. They presented 16 slides with only 15 seconds per slide, ending with a minute long promo.
Out of these well presented pitches, mindshare took away the runners up trophy for Pepsi Change the Game campaign where they changed the game with making the key cricketers like MS Dhoni, Raina and Sehwag coming on radio and becoming an RJ for a day and share the personal and professional gossips. Certainly changed the game for Pepsi!
The winner was a campaign designed by Maxus for AskMe.com. With limited budget and resources they pulled off a simple theme with such brilliance that it got them highest scores on the judging sheets.
The winning team was awarded 2 tickets worth over INR1,00,000 to the 2012 Singapore Formula1 Grand Prix. Huge one indeed!
The RadioPitch Challenge was opened to the five media planning participants who were on the nominees list of ERA's 'Most Outstanding Use Of Radio In An Ad Campaign' category.
Talking about the ERA for the evening:
Red FM walked away with the best station award and RJ Malishka’s queen tag remained intact with her getting the best RJ award this year as well. Most of the regional awards fell into Radio Mirchi’s kitty. Big FM also bagged awards for its creative brilliance largely felt by the common people with Big Green Ganesha and may others.
With this most awaited radio evening coming to an end, industry people came all out in support of their teams and created an environment of healthy competition which is binding for any medium to grow.
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