Festival Intelligence: Traditional media stands the test of time | M&M Global

Festival Intelligence: Traditional media stands the test of time

In the scramble towards digital, it’s almost too easy for marketers to automatically opt to take the digital route with the promise of better targeting, real-time capabilities and more trackable ROI. But traditional media is still holding firm and, arguably, raising the stakes for its creative potential.

According to Zenith’s most recent Advertising Expenditure Forecast, online advertising grew by 13.7% in 2017 to $204bn and accounted for 37.6% of global advertising spend, a figure which is expected to rise to 44.6% by 2020. By comparison, the breakdown for ad spend across traditional media channels in 2017 was as follows: TV (34.1%), print (14.7%), outdoor (6.7%), radio (6.2%) and cinema (0.7%).

But while internet advertising might be the fastest growing medium by some distance, traditional media still very much has its part to play on the marketing stage and when it comes to both innovation and effectiveness, the opportunities are proving endless.

Delving specifically into the ‘Best Use of Traditional or Ambient Media’ and ‘Best Branded Content in traditional / non-digital channels’ categories from the Festival of Media Global Awards 2018, the FMCG (six) and entertainment (five) categories are leading the charge, accounting for more than half of the total 20 shortlisted entries across these categories. The rest is made up of entries from the travel and tourism, food & beverage, tech, telecoms, automotive, retail and not-for-profit sectors. By region, Europe came out on top with eight entries, followed by APAC and North America (four each), Latin America and MENA (two each).

While most of the shortlisted entries included a blend of media channels, less than a quarter focused solely on just one traditional medium. The most popular traditional media channels used across the shortlisted entries were TV (50%) and out-of-home (45%). In-store promotions, print, radio and events were also covered across these categories.

Sharing some of his key trends and insights uncovered as an awards judge for the traditional media category, Brian Crotty, CEO of OMD LATAM said: “The most successful and awarded campaigns used fact-based / data supported insights that support simple human truths. [The key is to] avoid making the engagement mechanic too complex – in a time and attention stressed world, keep the idea elegantly simple to capture imagination and focus distribution aperture to heighten effectiveness and ROI of measured results.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the majority of entries had a digital or social element tacked on to help amplify the message, suggesting that for traditional media to keep up with its digital counterparts, the power of partnerships must not be ignored.

“Leverage media partners to amplify across touchpoints – to support good business building ideas, they have a powerful PR machine that can multiply results,” adds Crotty.

During a discussion on stage with Snapchat at the Festival of Media Global 2018, Kristen O’Hara, CMO for Time Warner, hailed the power of social partnerships: “We’re living through a time of radical transformation in the business. Every monetisation model has basically been turned on its head. We’ve historically put everything through traditional outlets of distribution. And all of that has changed so much over the past 3-5 years. And I think that’s one of the reasons that we start to think about partnerships in a different way because the world is moving so fast and we can’t go it alone.

“People around the world rely on us every day to be informed, entertained or inspired, depending on what type of content we’re putting out. And really in today’s world, it’s our job to not just meet consumers’ expectations but to exceed them. And we need to do that in every distribution outlet, on every screen and on every platform. Great content alone isn’t going to get us to the promised land anymore. So when we think about key strategic partners in distribution, content and data, we look at companies who are going to help us to think differently, advance our cause and stay on the cutting edge of where consumers are going.”

As the needs and expectations of consumers evolve, online and digital media cannot be ignored. Traditional media will always have its place in the marketing mix but to keep up with the rapid pace of change, we can expect to see more and more traditional media creativity unleashed through digital and social partnerships to amplify the power of the content.   


We put the spotlight on two FOMG Awards 2018 shortlisted entries, which highlight this trend:

No Toilet No Wedding | Harpic | Initiative | India

Shortlisted for: Best Use of Traditional or Ambient Media (GOLD WINNER)


India is a country where 53% of the population does not have access to a toilet; it leads the world in open defecation. At least 636 million Indians lack toilets. With the lack of toilets women need to go outside before sunrise to defecate which is not only a health hazard it also a safety issue. In India, arranged marriages still remain the majorly preferred way for Indians to enter into matrimony where parents decide on a life partner that they deem suitable for their child. Thereafter, being partners they have to adapt their culture, rituals & environment of the male’s household.

Harpic saw a great opportunity to tap into the problem by educating the females to ensure that the house they were marrying into should build toilets. The brand partnered with Dainik Jagran, the leading Hindi newspaper in the heartland of India. With Dainik Jagran it leveraged on circulation strength in the hindi heartland markets.

Harpic intended to strike a chord with families of prospective brides who often list down their priorities in matrimonial classified ads filled with status connotations. It reached out to these families, urging them to include five more words as a part of their matrimonial ad – ‘Ghar mein saaf shauchalay zaroori’ (It is important to have a clean toilet in the house) to emphasise the need for securing a woman’s privacy. In order to encourage more people to come on board, the brand also bore ad costs for families who agreed to incorporate these five words in their ads. 

Read the full case study here.


War for The Planet of The Apes, ‘Battle of the Broadcasters’ | War for The Planet of The Apes | Mindshare | UK

Shortlisted for: Best Use of Traditional or Ambient Media (SILVER WINNER), Best Branded Content in digital channels, Best Branded Content in traditional / non-digital channels, Best Use of Content


‘War’ is the final film of a 3-part reboot for the Planet of The Apes. As with all movie franchises, the later films bring a number of additional challenges – maintaining interest amongst film fans, enticing lapsed audiences and attracting a continual flow of new fans to the latest film. The first thing it needed was to differentiate the new ‘War’ film from the previous two – ‘Dawn’ and ‘Rise’, so as well as a franchise movie it stood up on its own as a major box-office attraction.

Mindshare decided to research the nature of war to help develop a campaign. It found that in a democratic society, we’re constantly faced with choosing sides (including when it comes to war) and that people are scared of choosing the wrong side. The campaign strategy centered on the idea of ‘A Battle For The Mind’. It wanted to tell both sides of the story, build empathy for both narratives and then pose a question to audiences to get them thinking about who’s side they might take in the war.

This led to the heart of the campaign – a propaganda war between Humans and Apes. The agency set about finding ways to produce and distribute propaganda that would present both opposing views equally. To help do this, it came up with a truly off-the-wall creative concept that would pit two real-life media giants – ITV and Channel 4 – against one another in the propaganda ‘War’ in a media first collaboration between the arch rivals.

Read the full case study here.

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