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  • The message or medium or more

    The message or medium or more

    Two days back, I attended the exchange4media and Concrea’s Youth Marketing Summit 2011. Neeraj Sanan of MCCS/ Star TV was one of the panelists at the summit. An audience member had a question for him regarding the ways TV content is marketed nowadays using digital platforms. Mr. Sanan had a proper answer supported by a current instance.

    In his explanation, he exemplified a latest case about the promotion of an exclusive footage and behind-the-scenes clip for a Bollywood movie song “Sheila Ki Jawani”, which the Star TV network broadcasted before the movie’s release. Now, the question raised by him was what the most crucial element among the four options is:

    1. A track’s video from a bollywood movie.
    2. A special footage on a track’s video from a bollywood movie.
    3. A special footage on a track’s video from a bollywood movie on a national TV network.
    4. A promotional video on Youtube for a special footage of a Bollywood movie track’s video on a national TV network.

    Now all four have some common grounds but the difference lies in the form. While the first two are pieces of content, the next two are essentially about the medium. The video on Youtube might get rave reviews and thousands of comments but that doesn’t have any direct impact on its TRP or the movie’s ticket sales at theatres.

    The reason being, it is the same old question of what is more important – the message or the medium? The footage on a song’s video can be promoted through a 15 seconds TV commercial or a video sharing website on the worldwide web, but it is the video that is being promoted for both cases. Millions of videos are shared on that same website every day, and thousands of TVCs are shown on the same TV channel, but the number of views of this special footage was significantly higher than other content.

    As per Neeraj Sanan and other panelists at the summit, the ‘message’ is far more impactful than the medium. “There are lots of videos on Youtube, but only one “Sheila Ki Jawani”.”

    So, this discussion ends here? The medium is not essential anymore, or it never was? I wonder what can be the purpose behind uploading the video and footage on Youtube. Only a TVC of the exclusive programme or print ad on a daily newspaper could have given the same outcome. And why are we still having print, digital, TV and OOH for pushing out marketing messages? We talk about reach and frequency, but if every piece of content can be made so impactful and engaging, then should we not care about the medium anymore.

    I remember a maxim by Marshall McLuhan, “The medium is the message”. If that is the case, then maybe we should accept the convergence of the two and not conceptualize them as separate entities. It has to be the appeal of a digital medium like Youtube that helps generating the buzz around a video. Similarly, the reach of an well accepted medium in India like TV can disseminate it to the masses.

    As per my opinion, it is the right channel and the right form of communication that always strikes the chord. And it always happens in union, not through the effort or impact of one single tool.

    Would love to hear what people think about the message, the media and how we can make more out of both.

    Disclaimer: Views of authors are personal and do not represent the views of Blogworks, or any of its clients.

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