Ritu Midha: Could we see more innovations, please?

05 Sep,2013

By Ritu Midha

 

As a media journalist, I keep analysing ads and classifying them under various categories: clutter-breakers, innovative, where is the brand etc. While most ads of a category are more or less on similar lines, a few leave a mark. It might be for their creativity, use of media or purely because they are innovative, and different.

 

The first print innovation that made me sit up and take note in a decade was the Bombay Times false cover on August 27. It was for the movie Boss. For a minute, I though Bombay Times had changed its layout. I picked the paper and opened it in the way advertisers would have expected it to be opened.

 

I wished a brand had done this. Think of the brand recall enhancement it would have created .A brand which is not semi-perishable like a movie, has a longer shelf life. Which is not made or broken by the response of audiences on a Friday.

 

Talking of audiences, they are thronging theatres again РChennai Express and Madras Caf̩ are proof. Advertisers, one is sure are taking note, and one would soon witness more and more of them re-entering cinemas or experimenting with them. In the course of my discussion with a senior industry professional, he mentioned that multiplexes are for upmarket audiences. And with more and more movies catering to these audiences, upmarket brands are bound to go there. Another interesting mention was to the fact that cinema perhaps is the only medium all family members are interested in. Interestingly, they might even watch the same movie but with a different set of companions.

 

Coming back to innovations, I wonder why we see no innovations on television – where the opportunities are far larger than print. Does television feel it doesn’t need to innovate – or is it that we fail to notice innovations on television! The only close-to-innovation thing I can recall is the one-hour Eid show on Colors. Once again for a movie: OUATIMD.  Something different from the stars visiting reality shows.

 

To be honest, I have no Idea whether after the cap on FCT, brands are allowed to create such programming or not. My reasoning if it can be stars of a movie, why not brand ambassadors and endorsers hanging on a channel for an hour?

 

Each genre should look for innovations not only in advertising, but also in terms of programming. However, it being the year of news channels (what with falling rupee, floods, rape cases, border insurgencies, and the run-up to the mother-of-all-elections), perhaps they need to look at innovations far more closely.

 

Considering the shouting (and hence parched throats) that happen on Prime Time news, perhaps a water brand can come in.

 

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