November 2010
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Different Strokes : Inception

A static print ad suddenly comes to life — with an interactive video of the brand. That’s augmented reality. While sitting in a coffee shop, why would you wait for the server to bring you the menu when you can get it on the mobile phone. That’s Blufi for you. Then, there’s holography and 3D wall projectors that promise to change the way we see signages and OOH. At Cannes 2010, Kate Hyewon Oh, creative director, Cheil Worldwide made a presentation on the technologies that brands and agencies will have to look at in the time to come.

Narasimha Suresh realised how the mobile can become a media platform and technology the enabler. But he wasn’t at Cannes this year listening to Kate. Suresh founded TeliBrahma six years back and his entrepreneurial journey in mobility, he says, comprises applications using technology like augmented reality for brands in India.

“We were always excited by mobile technology — the power of PC in your hand. We believed in several markets including India and we believed mobile technology will leapfrog in these markets,” says Suresh. And like the exponential jumps in mobile users month after month, Suresh claims a 100 % q-o-q growth without divulging the turnover of the company. “The biggest issue was around the hype and expectation. Mobile was predominantly considered as a response generation/lead generation media,” says Suresh of the initial challenges. “Extremely low SMS charges and lack of results delivered were not helping either”, he adds.

Mobile as a communication platform for brands is still largely responsible for lead generation. But TeliBrahma’s president, P R Satheesh, says the solutions on offer integrate with traditional media and ensures brand building across touch points like print, television, outdoors, events and retail. Citing the example of WagonR, Satheesh says the campaign reached more than 5 lakh potential consumers through branded games and interactive brochures. “Or one can focus on a static print ad to download interactive content like a 3D model of a car along with specifications. So there’s rich media experience and sharp targetting,” says Satheesh.

For a new technology start up, getting brands hooked to applications is a herculean task and Satheesh admits that agencies like GroupM deserve credit in propagating the importance of the mobile platform. Integrated solutions may be an abused phrase in the marketing and communications space today, but Satheesh thinks it’s these two words that will fuel TeliBrahma’s growth in the market place.

“Both agencies and brands are looking at mobile and digital solutions.” Talk to ad professionals in India and overseas, and they will say digital is the next big wave. Some say that we are already in the thick of a new digital revolution. However, with the internet lagging behind mobiles in India, the digital wave will hit us through the little device in our hands. And that’s the wave solution providers like TeliBrahma are waiting to ride.

However, the chamber expressed concerns that the growth might be restricted due to the shortage of manpower and specialized training institutes, lack of government funding, hi-tech studios and tax incentives.


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