Anirban Roy Choudhury

A client, a media buyer and a digital geek on the 'online-only' ad...

Here's how Nestlé's Chandrasekar Radhakrishnan, Havas Media Group's Anita Nayyar and Leo Burnett's Prashanth Challapalli deconstructed the 'online-only' video at vdonxt asia last week.

"Online, offline is a differentiation in our mind and has nothing to do with the consumer," said Anita Nayyar, CEO Havas Media Group and that remark kicked off the panel discussion "Only Online" at vdonxt asia 2017, a two-day convention focusing on the digital business.

Digital video ads today consist mostly of TV commercials that are run at length online. When will online-only videos become mainstream is what the panel discussed at length. Apart from Nayyar, Chandrasekar Radhakrishnan, head of communications and eCommerce, Nestlé and Prashanth Challapalli, chief integration officer, Leo Burnett were also part of the panel. Ashwini Gangal, executive editor, afaqs! was moderating the session.

A client, a media buyer and a digital geek on the 'online-only' ad...
'What does online video actually mean?', Gangal threw the question to the floor and Radhakrishnan picked up the microphone first to answer the query, "There is a saying in cricket, do not take your eyes of the ball and the ball here is online video." He then added, "For me the most critical point would be, whether any mode of communication that we create will be able to change the metrics of sales."

"If you ask me when should online content start, my answer would be, it should start today. We have not had enough of online content in the past. Which screens are we rendering does not matter but to whom we are rendering is what is key. Gone are the days when brands are only talking and consumers are only listening, now you need to engage with your consumer, "

Traditional advertising is far different from online ones opined Challapalli, "The punch line in traditional advertising comes in last 10 seconds while the maximum online drop offs happen in the first 6 seconds, you cannot wait for the hook to come at the end."

After the initial remarks. Gangal asked about digital strategy and planning and if an only online concept features within that. This time Challapalli took the mic first to say, "Putting your TVCs online is not digital strategy, sad, but true is the fact that this is actually what is happening."

Radhakrishnan though wasn't in favour of complete distortion of fundamentals, "Are the fundamentals of online video different from TVCs, I don't think so, if we distort the fundamental principles we will be in trouble. In my view TV has a lot to teach when it comes to how online video should be created," he added.

"By no means I believe the fact that you should create a different ad for television and a different one for digital that will completely kill the purpose because the message has to be same across all the mediums you go and that is fundamental to every brand. The needle needs to move and for that the metrics has to be demand," said Anita Nayyar and that remark ended the session.