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Rohit Ohri

Building on the success of its two content initiatives — #NoConditionsApply for Times of India and Horlicks Kota film — FCB India is looking at content as one of the big pillars for its growth. To strengthen its content capabilities, the agency brought its global content production arm FuelContent to India last week.

“The end-to-end content provider for brands brings another great opportunity for us in the form of content as another pillar to propel the agency’s growth,” Rohit Ohri, Group Chairman and CEO, FCB India, told BuzzInContent.com.

With the brands increasingly taking the content marketing route to win the consumers’ mind space and grow brand affinity, Ohri feels the fleeting nature of advertising is giving way to content. “We see too much of advertising these days and nothing really sticks to the consumers’ mind. We have creative scale and often we evaluate all the works done by the industry and a lot of it is really invisible. You see it but you do not remember it. In that context, brands are aiming to tell powerful stories through content,” he said.

Talking about the agency’s approach towards content, Ohri said, “Content is often mistaken to be long format audio-visual. Content is about looking at the media differently. If I want to engage people for 2-3 minutes, I need to tell a story that consumers have not heard or seen before. It has to be engaging and can be interactive as well so that anyone can contribute to that piece. Then the content truly becomes never finished. FCB’s new tagline ‘never finished’ says it all. So, there is always a dialogue between a brand and consumers and our task as agency is never finished.”

A powerful content can achieve what advertising fails to do most of the time and can actually make a turnaround for a brand. Explaining how #NoConditionsApply helped TOI become West Bengal’s No. 1 newspaper brand, Ohri said, “The beauty of it is in the power of what content can do for a brand, which changed the mentality of people and also the 400-year-old tradition, giving way to a new idea. This is the real testimony of what good content can do. At the end of it, this was not just about changing attitude and behaviour. It made TOI the No.1 newspaper in West Bengal as well.”

The Telegraph has been in Kolkata for so many years and was the preferred newspaper. TOI tried through advertising spots to change this perception in the minds of the Bengalis but failed.

Talking about the success of the initiative, Ohri said, “With #NoConditionsApply, we took our message to a cultural event like Durga Puja where conditions were being applied to play Sindoor Khela. We wanted to communicate that in this cultural festival, there should be no division. All women should unite and celebrate this because it is a festival of coming together. So, that became a piece of content that TOI put forth and a lot of people participated in it. It started in one puja pandal last year and grew to more than 150 pandals across India this year.”

Calling branded content a truly defining play for brands going forward, Ohri said, “Content can help create authenticity to brand promises. The big thing that everyone is talking about is authenticity and I think content in itself is something that adds a lot of authenticity to the brand’s communication because you can see through real people’s eyes, through real situations, through everyday lives, what the impact of idea has been.”