It is a certainty that when there is any discussion about media advertising, particularly, television, the word fragmentation will feature. So much so that, it can be called the latest addition to media cliche.
Cliche or not, it is a reality and has made subtle and not-so-subtle changes in the way media is planned and bought in India.
Before we see what these changes are, let us first de-mystify fragmentation. Does it mean people are watching less TV? No it does not.
The quantum of TV watched, measured as gross rating points (GRPs) has remained stable in the first quarter of this year as compared to the same period last year.
The top channels actually have a 3% higher share this January-March versus last year. And the channels in top 10 are identical, barring Star Gold in 2008, which moved out of the top 10 slot after the launch of Colors in mid-2008.
GRPs are stable, top 10 channels are stable. So, where is the fragmentation?
However, when a brand buys advertising time on TV, it is with specific programmes and the number of programmes bought rarely goes beyond the top few. And this is where fragmentation rears its ugly head.
Take a look at the average viewership of the Top 10 programmes across the most popular national and regional channels (see figure 1). This decline in key programmes’ viewership is seen across the hitherto-unaffected southern regional channels, too (see figure 2).
With the exception of new entrant Colors, Sun TV and Zee Telugu, all television channels have recorded a dip in their top programme viewership. And the decline has been pronounced, at around 20% in most cases. This drop in loyal, appointment viewing week-on-week is the biggest cause of concern for advertisers.
Channels still are holding good at a cumulative level, which is often a market metrics of performance. But the fact that it requires more advertising time, and hence increased spends to reach that performance level is less obvious. This drop of the key programmes means that the 2008 media schedule will deliver lesser if implemented as it is this year.
The gap can be bridged in two ways:
1. The traditional long tail- i.e. add a number of programmes of low individual ratings that will cumulatively add to the plan. This usually tends to be inflationary as media costs of the top programmes do not reduce to the same extent as their viewership drop and hence adding a long tail will mean additional costs.
2. Stop television where inefficiency steps in and add other media to the mix, especially those that offer greater consumer engagement.
Increasingly, marketers are realising better returns in consumer engagement as against the traditional long tail and are opting for different types of activities that enhance TV weights with greater precision and higher involvement.
While this is definitely not a very new phenomenon, it has become more mainstream and more often than not is a regular part of brands’ media activities.
In the campaigns that my agency, Mediaedge:cia, has executed in the first quarter of 2009, there are two significant examples that demonstrate this.
1.HDFC Standard Life Spell Bee
2. Nivea Visage as an associate sponsor of Femina Miss India 2009. The HDFC Standard Life Insurance Children’s Plans are designed to encourage parents to save for their children’s education.
Spell Bee, the internationally acclaimed television show, served as a very strong property for the brand to partner with and directly engage with parents of school going children. Over 1.5 lakh students across 650 schools in 11 cities participated in the Spell Bee. The activity included both on-ground engagement and amplification through televised airings of the events.
Similarly, Nivea Visage, as an associate sponsor of Femina Miss India, activated the sponsorship across major cities through wild card entry events for Nivea Visage princesses. The girls who won these Nivea Visage events gained entry to the Femina Miss India final 30 and participated in the mega final in Mumbai. Two of the three winners, Ekta Choudhary and Shriya Kishore, were Nivea Visage princesses, who entered through the wild card event. Here is the case where a brand has changed forever the lives of two aspiring young girls. The strength of this engagement is something that a long tail addition to television can never match and for this reason, chasing rating points beyond efficiency levels is becoming less attractive.
If I were to hazard a guess about where we will be next year this time, I will say television will be more fragmented. However, there will be high-ticket, high-interest television events that will sell at a premium and will create consumer interest; the ones that will find the going tough are the middle-of-the-road average programmes, which can be easily sacrificed for a more engaging activation.
In a traditional sense, a library is a large collection of books, and can refer to the place in which the collection is housed. Today, the term can refer to any collection, including digital sources, resources, and services. The collections can be of print, audio, and visual materials in numerous formats, including maps, prints, documents, microform (microfilm/microfiche), CDs, cassettes, videotapes, DVDs, video games, e-books, audiobooks and many other electronic resources.
The places where this material is stored can range from public libraries, subscription libraries, private libraries, and can also be in digital form, stored on computers or accessible over the internet. The term has acquired a secondary meaning: "a collection of useful material for common use". This sense is used in fields such as computer science, mathematics, statistics, electronics and biology.
A library is organized for use and maintained by a public body, an institution, a corporation, or a private individual. Public and institutional collections and services may be intended for use by people who choose not to — or cannot afford to — purchase an extensive collection themselves, who need material no individual can reasonably be expected to have, or who require professional assistance with their research. In addition to providing materials, libraries also provide the services of librarians who are experts at finding and organizing information and at interpreting information needs. Libraries often provide a place of silence for studying, and they also often offer common areas to accommodate for group study and collaboration. Libraries often provide public facilities to access to their electronic resources and the Internet. Modern libraries are increasingly being redefined as places to get unrestricted access to information in many formats and from many sources. They are extending services beyond the physical walls of a building, by providing material accessible by electronic means, and by providing the assistance of librarians in navigating and analyzing tremendous amounts of information with a variety of digital tools.
The first libraries mainly consisted of published records, housed in a particular type of library, called archives. Archaeological findings from the ancient city-states of Sumer have revealed temple rooms full of clay tablets in cuneiform script. These archives were made up almost completely of the records of commercial transactions or inventories, with only a few documents devoted to theological matters, historical records or legends. Things were much the same in the government and temple records on papyrus of Ancient Egypt.
The earliest discovered private archives were kept at Ugarit; besides correspondence and inventories, texts of myths may have been standardized practice-texts for teaching new scribes. There is also evidence of libraries at Nippur about 1900 BC and those at Nineveh about 700 BC showing a library classification system. Another early organization system was in effect at Alexandria.
Over 30,000 clay tablets from the Library of Ashurbanipal have been discovered at Nineveh, providing modern scholars with an amazing wealth of Mesopotamian literary, religious and administrative work. Among the findings were the Enuma Elish, also known as the Epic of Creation, which depicts a traditional Babylonian view of creation, the Epic of Gilgamesh, a large selection of "omen texts" including Enuma Anu Enlil which "contained omens dealing with the moon, its visibility, eclipses, and conjunction with planets and fixed stars, the sun, its corona, spots, and eclipses, the weather, namely lightning, thunder, and clouds, and the planets and their visibility, appearance, and stations",and astronomic/astrological texts, as well as standard lists used by scribes and scholars such as word lists, bilingual vocabularies, lists of signs and synonyms, and lists of medical diagnoses.