Media innovations: some illustrations

While ‘The Influentials’ (on Page One) took sometime in the making, asking media agency honchos to pick the best media innovation from the last one year was a relatively easier task. With competitive pressures, thinking out of the ordinary, probably comes easy. Or maybe with Goafest just round the corner, the best work is already top of the mind.

Indeed it was an eclectic mix when we asked media agency heads to vote their best. Group CEO, Madison, the favorites were Saffola and BBC World Service Trust. Last year on world heart day, the refined oil brand tied up with six radio stations in Mumbai to spread the message on heart care. The task was to coax listeners, who are otherwise passive and lethargic about their health to spare a thought for their heart. With all radio stations playing the sound of heart beat in a particular time band minus any music or jingle. It created a good impact with about 8,000 people opting for a cholesterol test after listening to the campaign.
Public service campaigns also figured on the top of the heap. The president, TIME chose an in-program placement done by her agency for Colgate to promote the dental care brand’s oral health camps. The difference here in was getting the lead character of popular serials on Star Plus to espouse the merits of such an initiative without sticking out like a sore thumb. If the serial was Baa Bahu Aur Baby, then the camp would be spoken about in a comic situation which goes well with the theme of the program. It was a welcome change from print and TV and is cost effective compared to paying for commercial spots. The result an increase of 35% registrations for the oral care camp which was much higher than the response generated otherwise.
Another example of steering clear of pure TVCs to create recall is Tata Sky’s ‘pausing’ live TV, which according to, CEO, Maxus India is one of the best innovation last year. “Tata Sky’s ‘pause’ feature happening during a live cricket match. To me the scale of cricket, integration of product live on TV and first time ever makes it sound very big. And the fact that it showed you, sometimes do not need TVC’s to sell the product benefit and can happen on Live TV is learning by itself.

CEO, Lodestar Universal it’s the work done by Mudra for TVS Scooty Women on Wheels which he lists as one of the good work done last year. It is a very good example of women empowerment. TVS wanted to create relevance and need for the brand among women in smaller towns and non-metros. The Scooty Institute was set-up to promote learning riding a two-wheeler among women, with promotion done through leaflets, posters and calendars in local language.

Other interesting innovations include a branded paper bag by a pharma major to pack medicines instead of the usual plastic bag. Another interesting outdoor campaign was a campaign done by Euro RSCG for Good people India, a talent sourcing firm, where exterior window cleaning lifts on skyscrapers were branded with the message ‘Jobs Available’.

Similarly a hoarding by Bingo in Mumbai caught the eye due to the bright colors and a rotating triangular potato chip to promote its variant Mad Angles. Meri Saheli magazine recently introduced audio jingles along with its print ad. The magazine page had an audio chip attached that plays the advertising jingle. Or look at the recent Tata Nano pre-launch phase when the company unveiled a teaser campaign in leading dailies like The Times of India by branding the news briefs column as ‘Nano News’. If you are not in the headlines, a little bit of innovation surely gets you there.