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Debarpita Banerjee

The biggest challenge in content creation is budget, which has a positive side too, says Debarpita Banerjee, President North and East, FCB Ulka, who has been tasked to head FCB’s recently launched content arm Fuel Content in India.

“Marketers still look at content as low budget, good-to-do, side objects instead of something that will make a huge impact on the brand,” Banerjee said in an interview with BuzzInContent.com.

But Banerjee also sees an upside of this challenge. She feels that low budget also makes it low risk and brand custodians are more open to frequent experiments.

Talking about how Fuel Content will differentiate itself from other content creators, platform and agencies, Banerjee said, “This is not just about fragmented content creation but about nurturing a big idea in the whole content ecosystem to get better ROI.”

Banerjee does not believe that India is way behind the global market when it comes to content marketing. “The world around is waking up to the power of content almost together,” she said.

Excerpts:

What was the idea of launching Fuel Content at this point in time in India?

The definition of advertising and the process of creating brands have changed hugely. Not just in terms of mediums but also in different creative art forms. Any firm specialising in communication and brand building must adapt to these varied forms of storytelling. Clients are more receptive and talent is abundant. Which is why we thought this was the perfect time to launch Fuel Content in India.

Rohit Ohri had told BestMediaInfo.com earlier this year that FCB would be launching its content division in Q1 of 2018. Is this the same division or were there some other plan?

Rohit was talking about Fuel Content. We were looking at the best time to launch it, while settling some big wins, at FCB. Even though we officially launched it in Q4 this year, we started the process of content creation way back in the last quarter of 2017. Almost all our big wins across international and Indian awards have been content ideas.

What are the recent initiatives that the team has worked on in India?

Fuel Content, officially launched now, has already been creating award-winning content this year. If you look at the Fearless Kota initiative for the Horlicks Exam campaign or the refurbishing of the age-old tradition of Sindoor Khela to make it more inclusive, done for TOI Kolkata, both have managed to open up conversations on these reputed brands that hard core selling wouldn’t have managed.

Would the division be working on AoR or a project basis with the clients?

It depends on what the needs for the brands are and what kind of opportunities they can leverage. It will definitely be a mix of both — AOR and project basis.

What will the team composition of Fuel Content in India look like? Would the same team also be working on the advertising front for the agency?

The Fuel Content team is as hybrid as the nature of content creation is. We have people from broadcasting, digital marketing, music and radio content background along with brand strategists, who will work towards integration with the core of the brand. There will always be the core brand team in the centre, which will keep all checks and filters in place so that content stays within some guidelines.

What extra has Fuel Content to offer which other content creators/digital platforms and agencies don’t have in their bucket?

Fuel Content will provide end-to-end solution — starting from brand and communication strategy, to creation, production, content management and, if required, digital media buy and analytics. This is not just about fragmented content creation but about nurturing a big idea in the whole content ecosystem to get better ROI.

Would Fuel Content be editorially driven like content platforms or creators or will work more like agencies’ content arms?

In the initial stage, we intend to concentrate on creating content that brands can seamlessly leverage. Editorial is not a priority right now.

Would you be competing with content creators and platforms or be working in collaboration with them?

Content creation is a hugely collaborative exercise. We are rapidly building a network of content creators — from individual to organisations — who will partner us in creating great content for our length and breadth of clients.

A lot of senior brand marketers and content experts believe that creative agency people can create good ads, but not good content and end up making long-form ads even while keeping content in mind. What do you have to say here?

It completely depends on the talent that is driving it. There are people who think ads and there are people who think ideas and stories that emerge from a strong insight and blend with brands. If you look at what we did with Sindoor Khela, for TOI Kolkata, it was to start a change at a societal level. Every year, it now has the power to refresh itself with more vigour. An idea that the people of Kolkata have embraced and made it their own. It now has a life and momentum of its own.

Even though it managed to address a key business problem, this is not advertising. Or just a long form audio visual. This demonstrates the power of content.

Do you think India is way behind the global market in terms of serving to the brands’ content needs?

I think there might be a little gap if not much. The world around is waking up to the power of content almost together, and figuring out how to merge it with the rest of the communication work.

What are the major challenges that one faces while creating content for brands and how can Fuel Content overcome them?

The biggest challenge one faces in content creation is budget. Marketers still look at content as low budget, good-to-do, side objects instead of something that will make a huge impact on the brand. But then the upside is, low budget also makes it low risk and brand custodians are more open to frequent experiments. Hence, Fuel Content has invested in and built a network of cost-effective production across genres, which will be able to give quality work in reasonable budgets.