Antara Ghosal
Points of View

Points of View: Is the 360 degree solution a myth?

afaqs! spoke to industry experts about the effectiveness of the all encompassing 360 degree approach in the light of media such as television

Brands are always looking for a 360 degree solution but one wonders how honest they are to the concept. With TV still the lead medium, how has the role of other media changed over the years? afaqs! quizzed a few industry experts on the issue.

Nandini Dias, chief operating officer, Lodestar Universal

Points of View: Is the 360 degree solution a myth?
Most communication ideas with large budgets carry mass media ideas on to ring tones, activation and events, content integration and the client's internal literature. From a client's point of view, the 360 degree solution is not a myth at all.

However, often, if the client has a coordinator, the latter reaches out to specialists and creates a 360 degree solution. If the client does not have one, he expects his ad agency to act as the aggregator, knowing quite well that some of the solutions may be outsourced by the ad agency, too.

While ad agencies can cover 90 per cent of touch points through divisions such as OOH (out of home), brand experience and activation, digital, PR or direct marketing, it is possible that they won't have in-house capabilities for innovative, unusual solutions.

Sejal Shah, vice-president (West and South), IMX

Points of View: Is the 360 degree solution a myth?
Consumers are challenging brands on 'mindshare scores' but the challenge is not in obtaining a share of consumers' minds - that can be done with huge concentrated campaigns and expensive clutter-busting innovations.

The real challenge is retaining that share of mind and this is where 360 degree solutions work hardest. I believe that the lack of understanding of '360' lies in its very definition. There is a need to look at this definition in a slightly broader spectrum.

A 360 degree solution need not mean all vehicles firing at the same time on the same programme. This is an ideal scenario but it requires a basic programme which is long term and strong on consumer connect.

'360' is an approach and can be deployed across a time period in phases as well. The moot point is to be able to reach the consumer across various touch points in a reasonable time period to ensure continuity.

Cajetan Vaz, branding consultant

Points of View: Is the 360 degree solution a myth?
The answer in three words is: ''Yes, Yes, Yes.'' But how many advertising folk can say, 'My 360 degree solution was executed in totality'?

Communication solutions are 360 degree at the time of a creative or strategy presentation. However, more often than not, they are murdered in the third degree and lie still in PowerPoint presentations.

Here are three excuses for not doing 360 degree:

• "Brilliant, but can't afford to do all."

• "We won the account, now let's do TV and print."

• "That was the account planner's idea. Kill. Kill."

There have been many successful 360 degree solutions - ones that have been applauded year after year at Cannes, New York, London and Goa. I've seen some brilliant ones as a jury member. "Wow!" I say, "How I wish they were real."

Vineet Mittal, business head, Big Live - Rural

Points of View: Is the 360 degree solution a myth?
Though not widely practiced by clients, the 360 degree approach is gaining traction and acceptance amongst marketers.

Marketers have realised the importance of a core idea being extended across media to leverage and synergise marketing interventions.

The very fact that agencies across the spectrum are embracing this and setting up integrated teams, as opposed to silo-based departments, is a testimonial to this growing and encouraging trend.

We strongly believe in this and have structurally aligned our organisation on those lines. We have been providing integrated 360 degree solutions to our clients that not only integrate radio but also OOH, digital and BTL (below-the-line) solutions to extend the core thought of the brand.

Our campaign - Music se Mileage Tak - for Mahindra Tractors not only integrated on ground activation with radio but also took the core thought to dealer meets and PR across the region.

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