Update advertising, a Cable Advertising Agency is the only All-India Advertising concessionaire for a lot of MSOs, over 10.7 CR households, spanning across 2192 Class I, II and III towns.
Sharad Alwe, Founder and MD of Update Advertising, is the man behind the success of Update. Over the years Update has made Cable Regional the media choice for corporates pan-India and has now introduced services in rural towns with a population of below 1 lakh.
In this Straight Talk, Sharad Alwe talks about the journey, the evolution of Cable advertising in India and a lot more.
How has been your journey? How did you start Update Advertising?
Cable Movie channels gave birth to the Indian entertainment industry in the pre-1990s period.The Indian viewer at large was craving for TV entertainment and was limited to content on the DD platform.
Within two years, the popularity of Cable Movie channels spread like wildfire and covered the length and breadth of the country.
Cable movie channels offered a relatable content mix of the latest regional movies and started entertaining our 100 CR movie-loving Indians.
In the mid-’90s, an article published in Brand Equity (The Economic Times) showcased that viewership of regional cable channels was 70% higher than the combined viewership of national satellite channels (Star, Zee, Sony)
Till date, movie channels deliver the highest reach, even more than GEC channels.
I saw this as a huge opportunity to connect advertisers to regional and hyper-local consumers.
Thus began our journey of aggregating regional cable channels and creating a unique multilingual narrowcast Ad platform. This was the foundation of UPDATE Advertising.
Tell us about the services offered by Update Advertising and how is the advertisement on cable channels different from satellite channels?
Update Advertising offers a unique Narrowcasting Platform with inventory on 2500 channels Pan-India, covering 29 States, 650 Districts, 92 SCRs and 200+ cities.
What’s relevant here is the bouquet of FTA channels offers regional, relatable and relevant content which is tailored to the hyperlocal viewer.
Our geo-target product allows advertisers to slice and dice basis geo-location and behavioral / media consumption patterns.
Our properties include in-content, call-to-action, logo adverts, and long form brand stories. We also offer STB based solutions such as EPG and boot-up that have high impact, high frequency, with up to 6 Bn impressions per day.
Brands and Marketers can build campaigns basis their specific requirements, whether brand reach out or programmatic needs, and can select top cities, only regional, or a mix of both.
For example, our E-commerce clients prefer targeting their top 60 revenue generating towns. On the other hand, FMCG and Auto clients want district level penetration. At Update, we specialize in building bespoke campaign solutions for brands.
What according to you is more important for a marketer? Mapping trends or setting them?
In today’s digital world, marketing campaigns are extremely dynamic in nature. With the number of mediums that are available to augment traditional TV or Print efforts, today’s marketer needs to continuously map, measure and evolve.
Our flagship product, the Update geotarget narrowcasting platform is built on the same principle, with measurable metrics and real-time data for marketers.
In the current explosion of OTT platforms and digital content all-around a viewer, how difficult has it become for the brands to reach their target audience through cable TV channels?
These mediums are not comparable. Our viewership reach is 120 Mn Households, in over 640 Districts and over 8000 townships Pan India. Post 2019 TRAI NTO, the availability of our channels is 100%.
Advertisements are viewed in a relaxed atmosphere, at home, in a completely unobtrusive manner, on a big screen, with the advantage of being able to communicate the same messaging multi-lingually. We’ve been doing multi-lingual distribution long before Amazon and Google built their multi-lingual strategy to communicate with the many Bharats within India.
While the OTT platforms have decent traction in recent times, In a country like India, where 90% of its population live beyond metros, and regional languages reign supreme, the jury is out on whether they will replace Cable viewership in Households. I believe this is a distant possibility.
Further, small screen display advertising, whether AV or static, has a limited impact, and is quite obtrusive.
How has advertising on cable channels evolved in the past decade?
There has been a complete sea-change, which has led to a significant increase in wallet share and mindshare among brands and media planners.
There have been two significant events.
In 2017, cable distribution was digitised, and we all moved from the analog to digital STB. This resulted in higher reach, quality content, regional channels with superior programming. This allowed for large clients like HUL, Flipkart, Maruti, Vodafone, Nestle and many more to include cable as a serious, scalable medium that delivers the message effectively down to the last mile.
More recently, the TRAI New Tariff Order gave consumers the right to choose the channels they want to pay for, and watch. While this has had significant downward impact on the availability of satellite channels, the cable FTA channels are part of the default channels with 100% availability across India, and we have inventory on 2500 available channels.
Both these events allowed us to build and promote our update geotarget narrowcasting platform, with high reach, high availability, quality regional content, and the ability to message multi-lingually.
What is the most popular Ad which has created buzz on cable TV channels all over India?
Janalakshmi Microfinance wanted to reach out to their main TG, young self-employed women, to help them understand how they can use Janalakshmi’s credit facilities for self-upgradation.
Update ran a long form AV in 8 languages across 11 revenue markets. This built tremendous traction for their day-long workshops, and was a celebrated success.
What are your plans for 2020?
Our plan is to take our Ad delivery mechanism to the next level, with superior targeting technologies, seamless campaign creation platforms, and Live campaign performance dashboards, which will help our marketers build and manage campaigns better.