Rajan Bhalla, Group CMO, HT Media Limited talks about the decision of awarding its creative duties to Dentsu Impact. Saugato Bhowmik, Business Head, Integrated Network Solutions & Consumer Products, Viacom18 talks about VH1 Supersonic and all that is new at the festival
WITH TEAM DENTSU, I WILL LOOK FOR CREATIVE EXCELLENCE TO DISRUPT THE MARKET: RAJAN BHALLA
HT Media has awarded the creative duties for all its brands Hindustan Times, Hindustan (Hindi), Mint, Shine.com, HT Campus, Career Plus, Study Mate, English Mate and Bridge School of Management (i.e, all except its radio brands Fever FM & Nasha FM), to Dentsu Impact. Rajan Bhalla, Group CMO, HT Media Limited, tells us more about the decision.
On awarding creative mandate to Dentsu Impact: We were too fragmented in dealing with multiple agencies on multiple brands and a lot of our brands have a lot of inter-brand synergies which were not getting exploited to the hilt. We wanted to bring all our brands under one roof so that we could exploit the potential of each of our brands and leverage it better than we have done in the past. We had to make a very hard choice, but I would like to put it on record that each and every agency that has worked with us has produced some outstanding work in the past and that should not be taken away from those agencies which are no longer part of our portfolio.
On Dentsu’s work: Dentsu’s done some wonderful work on brand Hindustan and the creative work done for the multiple launches in the Hindi heartland has been absolutely outstanding. I am happy with their work on the Mint re-launch and they’ve also done interesting work on our digital business, namely Shine.com. The TV campaign for Shine.com with Javed Jaffrey is work we are proud of and it helped the brand grow and become India's second largest job site. It’s a young team that’s passionate about our businesses and the relationship is extremely strong on the back of a proven track record.
Looking Ahead: HT Media has three big Print brands - Hindustan Times, Mint and Hindustan. We have strong brands in the digital space - Shine.com, HT Campus, Career Plus, that are growing. In the education space, our brands Study Mate, English Mate are currently Delhi-centric and we are looking to expand them. In entertainment, we have two radio brands, Fever FM & Nasha FM. We want to create a lot of disruption in the marketplace this year. I would say normal is boring and we will steer all our brands to stand out. We hope that the Dentsu team will come good in terms of creative excellence to disrupt the market.
WE HAVE SEEN A DOUBLING OF SPONSORSHIP VALUE FOR VH1 SUPERSONIC THIS YEAR: SAUGATO BHOWMIK
VH1 Supersonic is transforming, from an EDM-focused festival to a multi-genre festival with the introduction of hip-hop for the first time. The festival, in its fourth edition, is moving out of Goa and heading to Pune. Saugato Bhowmik, Business Head, Integrated Network Solutions & Consumer Products, Viacom18 talks about the Group’s endeavour to make the property a memorable experience, both for the audience and brands.
ON MOVING TO PUNE: Bhowmik clarifies that it is not due to any kind of political pressure from the Goa Government. “We have never had any issues in Goa and have received support and love from the Goa Government. The reason for our move is simple – we believe in providing transformative experiences to our audiences because it is these experiences that establish us as a leading brand. Goa is also a very expensive destination and doesn’t allow us to bring our entire vision to life. So, we did some soul-searching and decided to move.”
ON ADDITION OF NEW GENRES: “The festival this year will see a few new genres of music being featured, including hip-hop. We were earlier an EDM-focused destination. Today, we can call ourselves a multi-genre festival as we feature all genres of EDM - drum and bass, techno, trance, psych, big room house, progressive house, underground, and now we have added hip-hop too.”
ON BRAND ASSOCIATIONS: “More and more brands are trying to get associated with the festival. This year, Gionee has come on board as the title sponsor and the festival is powered by Budweiser. Other sponsors include Fastrack, Mexitos, Ajio.com, Reliance Digital, Bisleri, Spraymint and Dot Shot. This year we have seen a doubling of our sponsorship value. Brands are excited because we are now a multi-genre music destination with a diverse audience base. Also, we are seeing this as an integrated effort to market to that audience. We provide a lot of branded and integrated content, integrated marketing plans, and use our entire network to market these brands across TV, Digital and social media. Sponsors see it as a true value proposition and not just plain-vanilla sponsorship of on-ground which doesn’t work any longer. Today, brands want longevity of their marketing campaigns and we are providing just that.”