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Television advertising confers legitimacy and prestige, says this AIMC alumnus 

Pranjal Nagar, Brand Servicing Manager with MullenLowe Lintas Group, explains why some of the big brands still have the hots for TV advertising which costs double than its digital counterpart.

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Born and brought up in Mathura, Pranjal Nagar had completed his Chartered Accountancy. However, he always had a fascination for advertising and marketing.  And that’s what inspired him to join Apeejay Institute of Mass Communication (AIMC) in 2018. The AIMC alumnus explains, “In Apeejay I got the exposure and opportunity to learn in depth as to how brands operate in the advertising world. I understood the in and out of branding on a practical level, what are the roadblocks, what are the opportunities and weaknesses as well as what could be the challenges I may have to face when I enter this industry.” During the campus placement, Pranjal got hired by Contact Advertising, one of India’s leading integrated advertising agencies as a management trainee. He also tried his hand at media planning and worked with GroupM, world’s leading media investment company for sometime. At present, Pranjal is working with MullenLowe Lintas Group as a Brand Servicing Manager. In an interview, he highlights how some of the multinational companies still consider TV advertising as a benchmark for their campaign success. Edited excerpts: 

What interests you about the advertising sector? Any anecdotes you wish to share?

I have never skipped an advertisement on TV. I was more interested in watching the advertisements instead of the movie. I knew the advertisements by heart. Like the Surf Excel ad of Lalitaji, Fevicol and Cadbury ads. Then there were print advertisements. All of them were so intriguing. So I was really inspired by how advertising and marketing play a key role in changing the perception of the potential consumers thereby either creating a brand name or disrupting it. Let’s say, till yesterday you didn’t even know that a certain brand exists but suddenly you become aware of the brand and build a trust. That’s the power of advertisement.        

Are digital platforms or media killing television advertising? 

There are a couple of reasons why big or ambitious brands have the hots for TV advertising which costs double than their digital counterparts. These are:  

It works well – Brands are doing it because people are watching it. In some ways, the question we are raising here answers itself in a very self-explanatory manner. 

It’s part of a bigger bucket – Nowadays, TV ads are part of a bigger marketing plan where the role of TV is very specific. Television is still an excellent way to grab eyeballs, generate numbers in terms of reach while creating brand awareness. The message is hammered in the minds of consumers thereby increasing recall rate bit by bit. Whereas, social media can be used in different strategic ways.

Legacy and prestige – Because of the high numbers involved and visibility, TV confers an element of prestige and legitimacy on the advertiser. If an ad is on TV, there is an unspoken comfort factor that comes in the mind of the audience that the brand must be authentic. 

Wider audience – Digital platforms work on the concept of targeting where they play safe but small, showing their ads only to the target audience to create value for money. However, on television it’s an all- out show, the stakes are riskier but the audience base is wider, so there is a bigger chance of getting conversions and occupying the mindshare of even those audience who are sitting outside the fence.

Storytelling – The freedom and the effectiveness of making film commercials for some products and services is way more impactful and memorable than creating a series of posts. Telling your brand messaging by weaving it as part of a story in a filmed piece.

Backlash – Nowadays, we see several brands getting mixed up in controversies because of their social media campaigns which run into troubled waters because they seem to offend a particular section of people, negative and hateful comments, reposting against the brand are being written for a wider audience to see and leave an impression in the minds of a potential target audience. Whereas in TV, a viewer cannot directly revert for the world to see, although in the past there have been cases of television commercials running into trouble, but the extent of damage in those cases is seen to be somewhat less.  

So, can we say big companies still consider TV advertising as a benchmark for campaign success? 

While working on a few TVCs myself, I understood the reason why agencies and clients go for TVCs. I learnt about the importance of brainstorming during strategising the campaign, the power and the miracle of creativity during ideation and storyboarding,  the enjoyable chaos and mayhem during production and the excitement during launch. The answer isn’t really black and white. It’s not as much about “choosing” TV over digital but to harness the effectiveness and power of both to make a campaign successful in the long run. Brands with big balances go all out in maximising their reach on every platform – be it TV or digital media.  Still, when it comes to mass advertising, TV commercials are still considered as the holy grail for mapping campaign effectiveness and reach. 


What do you think is the future of TV commercials?

I feel TV advertising will continue to hold dominance and generate brand awareness and campaign success, if done smartly. We all saw how smart TV advertising can do wonders for your brand in the case of Cred and Dream 11 during IPL. Not just the big ones, but the smaller ambitious brands also raised the stakes by launching their first campaign on television and saw far more conversions than what they were getting on digital platforms. Social media will also hold its ground and will be a pillar of support to TV advertising to create maximum impact.

Harshita is Assistant Editor at Apeejay newsroom. With experience in both the Media and Public Relations (PR) world, she has worked with Careers360, India Today and Value360 Communications. A learner by nature, she is a foodie, traveller and believes in having a healthy work-life balance.

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