When IPs and digital platforms merge, it expands the audience base to include a more versatile range of consumers from all age groups, socio-economic backgrounds and regions.
Today, in an era of incredible technological advancement coupled with digital media taking over significant aspects of our lives, every industry has become breathtakingly competitive. Mediocre and ordinary ideas don’t really bear fruit while quality and innovation go a long way.
The growth of digital media is making the entire communication landscape for brands truly integrated and interactive. Until not too long ago, intellectual properties and events were seen as a potent tool by brands to engage their target groups, but restricted the audiences present in a specific location with certain physical boundaries. As experiential as the medium is, its reach was not considered to be groundbreaking despite its co-existence with other media like television and print.
India has approximately 460 million internet users as per a recent report by IAMAI, while smartphone consumption is at an all time high if we go by the suggestive figure of 370 million users. In such a scenario, brands are leveraging the digital wave to better the value proposition of their IPs not just in terms of reach, but also in terms of customising them to suit different tastes and preferences.
Video content — driving intellectual properties IPs and events as communication tools in today’s digitised world are not only retaining their interactive potential, but also maximising their reach. Established events and marquee properties owned by brands are now becoming accessible on the fingertips of communities sitting in other parts of the globe.
It also offers scope for advertisers to attain a more global appeal. To add to this, global video consumption is at an all-time high. VOD and OTT platforms are enabling live streaming of events at a global level. When IPs and digital platforms merge, it expands the audience base to include a more versatile range of consumers from all age groups, socio-economic backgrounds and regions.
IPs also have the potential to reach out to a heterogeneous audience on a national level by extending them to different genres in relevant markets with customised IPs – a more localised offering tailored to suit the respective market.
Conveying brand messages through stories IPs and digital media account for most of the campaigns and viral content over the past decade. The increasing trend observed with regards to the number of web series’ being produced by brands today is a good case in point to drive the larger issue.
As audiences become more mature with each passing day, brands are now willing to come out and talk about concepts that were previously considered taboo. In an attempt to creatively promote the brand through IPs and events, several brands have come forward to sponsor young talent as well. More or less, every prominent web series that was produced last year had heavy product presence, with brands varying from cab services to e-commerce start-ups to clothing giants. By smartly weaving the key messaging of the brand in the narrative of these shows, they are able to penetrate into the minds of target audiences. It is not only one of the many forms of creating an intellectual property on the digital medium, but also one of the most preferred routes as per current trends.
How digital is bringing in a transition IPs in all its myriad forms — events, properties on TV, digital, radio and even retail can generate new revenue streams and also become a meaningful extension of a brand, thereby reducing the dependence on traditional means of communication.
In fact, well established and big ticket IPs are telecast on television as well, resulting in the multiplicity of the reach by leveraging the power of digital media. By going beyond on-ground events and foraying into a 360-degree communication landscape, a brand can achieve a great deal of flexibility in terms of how it wants to present its IP, enabling advertisers to reach even the toughest and most isolated of audiences in the process.
To sum up, digital media has today made brands look at their respective intellectual properties and events through a new lens — to determine how they build it, how their consumers can access it and how they finance it. The advent of digital media is creating more value than ever for every stakeholder in the media and communication pie — brands, advertisers and end consumers.
The author, Deepak Lamba, is CEO, Worldwide Media