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BW Businessworld

Democratising Creativity: Amin Lakhani, COO, Mindshare South Asia, GroupM

At a time when digital media consumption is accelerating, Amin Lakhani, COO, Mindshare South Asia, GroupM’s media agency looks favourably on the slew of new launches, and homegrown brands, in the short video content space. In a chat with Noor Fathima Warsia, he observes that the times ahead promise clutter-breaking marketing solutions from such platforms.

Photo Credit : Ritesh Sharma

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Excerpts:

With the TikTok ban, it appears the market is ripe for existing players to up their game and for new players to stake a claim. While we are seeing some signals of shift in audience behaviour, will advertiser money shift as well?
It is still too early. It has barely been 20 days now since the TikTok ban to notice any decision making tends. However, the principle remains the same. Consumers or audience eyeballs follow stories and money will follow eyeballs. These three are connected. As consumers become more evolved and are exposed to newer, better and engaging story formats, the platform will attract more audience.

TikTok as a platform did create a change in the ecosystem for the content creating industry. Now, when it is not operational in India at present, it opens up opportunities for either product launches or existing players to ramp up offer. However, for advertiser monies to shift, we have to still see if the new platforms are brand safe, have measurement, bring incremental reach, and whether the consumer experience on the platform is as good or equivalent to earlier platforms.

We are seeing established media companies launching products and also new players — does one have an advantage over the others?
In terms of pedigree of experience, for sure, Zee is the oldest, and arguably the platform from the Times Group as well. But that is not sufficient condition to be successful. Google and Facebook were new once. All of these platforms are at the same starting line from a user experience standpoint. The initial advantage perhaps is that platforms that have other media products in play will be able to leverage it better to access consumers, giving them some headroom towards sampling. The real test still is if a consumer takes on the platform.

We are speaking so much about atmanirbharta. Will marketers make a choice from that lens?

Marketers will definitely put value on Atmanirbhar Bharat. It is a virtue to be proud if. Their objective, however, is to ensure their organisations are in line with this vision. The marketing play will have to support this company goal of staying on the path of atmanirbharta.

Are you seeing more clutter-breaking solutions come into play with this outburst of content platforms, short video taking a lead in that present? 
There is no doubt about that. The success of TikTok has really paved the way. It has caught the attention not only of the consumers but also of the marketing community. Once you have hit the sweet spot, the trajectory is towards growth. Also, the digital nature of these platforms is a great leveler. It will enable people in India’s heartland just as much as it would in urban India, thereby democratising creativity itself.  

This article was first published in the print issue of (10 July - 25 July) BW Businessworld. Click Here to Subscribe to BW Businessworld magazine.