Ananya Saha

Moving beyond the commercial break

Advertisements have become the new fad for producers, moving from the commercial break to the programme itself

The world of advertising will just not be ignored. Earlier, you got to see it between programmes, but now it has reached into the programme itself. What are we talking about? The programmes on the ad world on news channels!

While this concept was pioneered by the English business news channel, CNBC TV18, with its programme, ‘Storyboard’, other news channels such as NDTV Profit were quick to follow with programmes such as ‘All About Ads’. Even Hindi news channels such as Janmat have jumped onto this bandwagon with a show called ‘Commercial Break’.

While ‘All About Ads’ on NDTV Profit features ad world news, an interview with an ad guru and ends by playing out an international ad, ‘Commercial Break’ works on the same lines by focusing on the profile of one ad agency. It also talks about the top five ads, but goes a step further by asking viewers to comment on a certain ad.

Markand Adhikari, vice-chairman and managing director, Janmat, says, “We started off with ‘Commercial Break’ on Janmat to round off our programming mix. But then it made sense also because the ordinary viewer is as much interested in an advertising programme as he is in other entertainment news, be it of the film or the television world.”

He adds, “Today, advertisements have become a part of the common man’s life. It’s very difficult to ignore them.”

Media planners such as Basabdutta Chowdhuri, COO, Madison Media Plus, feel the same way. Chowdhuri says, “It wouldn’t be right to say that these programmes are only meant for advertising professionals. Rather, I would say that these shows are for the evolved audience, who watch them like any other entertainment based programmes.”

However, Shruti Verma Singh, host and producer of ‘All About Ads’ on NDTV Profit, says her show targets advertising professionals primarily, but that there are also advertising and management students who watch the programme.

So, what do these channels need to reach the desired audience, whether the target group be professionals or laymen?

Preeti Nair, executive creative director, Lowe, says, “Though this is a nice concept, the channels would have to market and advertise their shows much more aggressively. They also have to be a lot more crisp and add more of the news component. After all, advertising is all about spice and the shows have to be spicier so that both the advertising professional and the common viewer can be equally interested.”

Nandu Narasimhan, creative head, Grey, says he also feels that the shows lack something. “The anchors and the guests are all good, but to be meaningful, the shows have to be longer in duration. Right now, they just scrape the surface in a 10-15 minute talk or debate with most of it being edited out. If their aim is to inform people about the advertising world, a small talk won’t help,” says Narasimhan, adding, “The debates should go on to allow the details to come out.”

To reach out to a wider audience with a new concept might be the mantra for now, but definitely, ad shows need to break the established mould sooner rather than later.

© 2006 agencyfaqs!

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