Prime Time Awards by Exchange4Media Group were held on 28th Jan 2015 at ITC Grand, Parel

The Awards function was timed to perfection and organised with an diligent timeliness and economy that was appreciable of people's time and patience. Sponsored by Zee Entertainment and Powered by FOX International Channels, the event got off to a flying start with awards being presented in several categories that were hitherto neglected in the mainstream awards spectrum.
Prime Time awards, a unique initiative by Exchange4media group main objective is to recognize and reward the best television advertising work being done by clients, Advertising and Media agencies and broadcasters.
The four main categories under which the best in the television Advertising Industry were rewarded included 'Campaign of the Year,'  'Creative Advertising,' 'Media Planning,' and 'Broadcaster Awards.'

The Event began with a Panel Discussion Themed 'Is Television future Ready?'
 with esteemed panelists including Sam Balsara(Madison World), Karthik Sharma(Maxus) , I V Krishnan(TAM Media) , Sagnik Ghosh( V.P Mrktg, Axis Bank), Roland Landers( head,Corporate brand, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd)   opining on Changing trends in TV viewing, Online disruption with mobile becoming the first screen for content consumption, how the prime time environment is changing and how niche categories are offering a stronger case for attracting ad spend.  

The discussion centered on the disruption getting caused with mobile becoming the first screen for content consumption and how the prime time environment is changing because of this. To start of proceedings, Krishnan put forward that the three major changes being seen in the broadcasting industry are digitization, shift in consumer behavior and change in content seen on screen. "In the days of analogue broadcast, a new channel used to hog the prime brand; in the digitized world there is much more order. A channel no longer depends on distribution but on MARKETING to capture attention; this has been the biggest change," he opined.

According to him, we are now seeing a clear segmentation of viewership and hence targeting in terms of content. In his words, "The way a 4-year old watches TV is much different than how their parent or elder siblings used to watch TV."

The moderator opined that the future would see content cluster around apps. In answer to this statement, Landers agreed that content has to be future ready even if TV was not. He suggested that one way to do this was through the process of storytelling. The second way, he said, was to continuously think about social engagement.

The TV has long been the favoured medium for advertisers. Even today, we see sectors like e-commerce spending big MONEY on TV since it is considered the best medium to reach and build "trustworthiness" among consumers. In recent times, this medium has come under attack as new media like digital and mobile start taking more and more money from advertiser budgets. Does this mean that the era of TV supremacy is over? Not really, opined industry veteran Balsara.

"If you want to build a brand today, you cannot do better than TV. The honest truth is that for brands, TV is the best medium," he said. He further added, however, that a few years ago, TV was enough for brands but today, it is not enough to create a successful advertising or business plan by just using the television. "Try building a brand with other media and without TV is an uphill task. For the next three years atleast I don't see any big brands being made without using TV," he said.

When asked for a MARKETER'S perspective, Ghosh agreed that TV helps to build trust and not being on it will hurt a brand. "The multiscreen world and all the new options like DMP, programmatic, etc. have just increased the challenge for us because we do not know where to put in the budgets," he said. In answer to these points,  Sharma opined that it does not necessarily have to be an either/or situation and the rise of a new medium does not have to spell the end of another.

Sharma put the entire argument about "multi-screen" world and "second screen" in perspective. According to him, the fundamental change in the world was about screens but this did not change the fact that content still remained king. "For the last 30 years we have been used to certain type of 'screens' but mobile has changed the game. In the end , content is the key that will unlock success. The opportunity is to see these all the different platforms as screens since they are just that—platforms. Just taking content from TV to mobile is not going to work. We are in a phase were we need to rethink and reinvent not only content creation but also planning," he said.

The conversation now veered to the importance of content with Sharma pointing out the Netflix model. He asked Landers how Zee approached the matter—whether they believed in a "one size fits all" philosophy or went for hybridization of content. In response, Landers said, "We try to have a circular relationship with viewers. The challenge is to be available to all kinds of viewers and so you cannot have a "one size fits all" philosophy."

Balsara also asked Landers, whether, as a broadcast company, they expected to see revenue from TV decrease in coming years. To this Landers responded that it was not expected in the near future but, as he put it, "We are gearing up for it in the coming years once things like 4G come up."

Continuing with the topic of content, the moderator further asked Ghosh whether they created different content for different mediums. Ghosh replied that it was a mix. To give an example, he pointed out that certain FINANCIAL products did much better on digital medium. "For some products we decided to try gamification which created engagement. We could not do this on TV. So we are seeing those early signs," he pointed out. He also further stated that the expected role of TV was to create awareness and reach but it does not necessarily have to end there. "It can also be used to create consideration. If I can use the TV to make people think that I am the sort of brand they would like to do business with, then this is a very different role that I am using the medium for," he added.
On the topic of taking content from TV to digital, Sharma opined that it would only work if the ad was really, really good. So good, he said that it would become platform or device agnostic but, according to him, most of the ads are not that good.

To round of the discussion, Ghosh opined, what many in the field believe, "People are still learning on the job. The mobile first plan has still not arrived but we are seeing media planners thinking about it."

The shortlisted entries for the awards were announced a week ago. Vodafone, Tata Global Beverages, Maxus, FCB, Madison lead the shortlist for Prime Time Awards. The jury membersSHARE their views on recognising excellent TV campaigns.

CVL Srinivas, CEO of GroupM (South Asia) and Jury Chair, Prime Time Awards, said, “TV, despite being the lead medium, does not have an award that focuses on the medium. A lot of work was done to identify categories, sub-categories and so on. I was fortunate to have a high-profile jury working closely with me and representing both creative/ media agencies and MARKETERS. It was a great experience and a lot of learning for the next year. I am sure this award is going to be much bigger and better in 2016.” 

Keertan Adyanthaya, MD – NGC and Fox International Channels, India, said, “We at Fox International Channels have always believed in reinventing the wheel to build our prime-time slots on both National Geographic Channel and Fox Life. We have widened our plate of family-inclusive content, offering a mix of refreshing local productions and global acquisitions, to suit the entertainment needs of our viewers from time to time. 2014 saw both our channels setting benchmarks in the infotainment and lifestyle genres. At such a juncture, we are proud to associate with exchange4media to launch the Prime Time Awards 2015 and recognise those who have taken a step towards redefining the prime-time success in India.” 

Rohit Ohri, Executive Chairman – Dentsu India and CEO – Dentsu Asia Pacific (South), said, “The judging was done on four criteria – strategy, creativity, execution and results. We had given equal weightage to all and viewed the ads on that basis. While we had those four criteria, carrying 25 per cent weightage each, the one thing we did was went with the campaign that touched hearts and moved people. I think that is what you will see in the final results.”

Speaking on the specifics the jury was looking for, Priya Nair, Executive Director – Home Care, Hindustan Unilever, said, “It is a great initiative by exchange4media. The jury was very happy to look at the entries. While judging for advertising, what we look for is firstly a great idea. An idea that not only stands out and is memorable, but works to the client’s brief. At the end, it has to be about delivering the result. There were some really good results that made an impact in terms of the clients’ brief, building brand SHARE and sales for the business.”

“It is a great initiative by exchange4media to recognise excellent work done by media and creative agencies for television advertising. We didn’t face much difficulty in choosing the entries, though there were quite a few. The one which you really recognise has been voted the best,” said Harish Shriyan, COO, OMD. 

Sunil Lulla, Chairman and MD, Grey Group India, talks about judging the broadcast category, “A broadcaster’s prime role is to strike an engagement (with audience). The jury looked at ways in which a promo sparked the campaigns and communications that were engaging, stood out and made a difference.”

Suresh Balakrishnan, CEO, BPN/Initiative, said, “We looked at the rigor because media planning has a lot of rigor in it. We looked at the rigor that was followed and the original ideas that came in through looking at various aspects of planning. We also looked at whether the campaign had enough scale and that it was truly a campaign that was integrated in its true sense”.
He added, “Considering the awards are being held for the first time, the entries were good. It will improve and we can expect better entries next year.”

KBC Kohima(Leo Burnett), Vodafone Prepaid promo(Vodafone India Ltd), Mahindra Commercial range(Interface Communications Pvt Ltd),Tata Salt Maine Desh ka Namak Khaya Hai(FCB ULKA), Vodafone M Pesa(Vodafone India Ltd), Kotak hunior(Kotak Mahindra Bank), Vodafone Music(Vodafone India Ltd), Born for the Internet(Creativeland Asia Pvt Ltd), makemyTrip(FCB ULKA), yes Prime Minister-The India Story(Madison Communications Pvt Ltd), PO49 IIFA Birth of a Movement Driven by Role Models(Maxus), I know which half of my advertising is a waste(Maxus), When Fans became celebrities(Maxus), PO49 When Media Management changed the role of women in Indian Elections(Maxus)- were the proud recipients of the top awards while MAXUS bagged the best agency award and Tata's the best client! Congratulations ALL!

by Johnson Thomas   


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