Suraj Ramnath
Digital

Can brands find scale in online video content?

Amin Lakhani, Sameer Pitalwalla and Rahul Kansal discussed this during a panel discussion, moderated by Janine Stein, at vdonxt asia 2017.

On day one of the two day (January 12-13) inaugural event - vdonxt asia 2017, organised by afaqs!, in Mumbai, Janine Stein, editorial director, ContentAsia moderated the session on "Can Brands Find Scale In Content?". The session had three speakers in the line-up with the likes of Amin Lakhani, leader, South Asia, Team Unilever, Mindshare along with Sameer Pitalwalla, co-founder, Culture Machine and Rahul Kansal, head of strategy and marketing, Future Consumer.

Stein kicked off the session by asking Lakhani if brands are leveraging content at scale. Lakhani said, "Yes, some brands are doing so in style and at scale but I think largely, brands are yet to get to scale. Just by doing couple of videos and winning two to three awards brands make some noise but in reality it is far below the benchmark."

Can brands find scale in online video content?
Agreeing with Lakhani's point, Kansal said, "Generally speaking, most people are seeing videos as a fascinating thing and making award winning videos but not as a main stream activity for large consumers."

Lakhani said, "If the consumers are coming online, spending more time, engaging with that content, obviously money will flow in, which brings you to the question, whether consumers are married to a particular platform, and I don't think neither consumers nor advertisers are married to any particular platform. Consumers are interested in good stories whether it's on the 70 mm screen or on a website or mobile screen. As long as it is an engaging story, consumers will come, no matter the time or the format. It wouldn't matter if it is on Facebook, YouTube or any OTT player or a smart phone but if the story is strong enough, people will come and watch it and that's been the experience."

When Stein asked about the online video measurement, Lakhani said, "In my view, the reason why so many people say, and I agree with them, that are we using online video at scale. But the answer is clearly no, and the biggest barrier to that is, we don't have a common measurement system that is applicable to all platforms to understand if this platform will give us the same reach as other platforms. Each person will give his own matrix. If I want to compare the platforms in 2017, I am still struggling. We need a common measurement system."

Pittalwala said, "When we started off, YouTube was the only game in town when it came to large platforms but with the growth of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, it has kind of built our machinery to scale the media business. I don't think we suffer from the measurement system because we are great partners with Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and each of these platforms measure differently."

Kansal agreeing with Lakhani said, "Any data and reports that come in, a standard matrix across platforms will be very useful."

Pitalwalla concluded with his view on measurement, "You don't know what to measure right now. You can measure only when you know what you want to measure."

Event partners include: Adobe (Presented By), Viu (Powered By), Akamai (Technology Partner), Voot (Digital Partner), EY (Knowledge Partner), Unruly (Video Partner), Dropbox Business (Collaboration Partner), Web Talkies (Entertainment Partner), 101India.com (New Age Digital Partner), Culture Machine (Content Partner), 24 Frames Digital (Streaming Partner), Blogadda.com (Blogging Partner), NDTV Prime (TV Partner), Content Asia (International Media Partner), and Advertising Agencies Association of India and The Advertising Club (Community Partners).