The IV National Advertising Forum took place in Moscow from 26-27 November. The large-scale business event in the media and communications field was held in a new format in the film center Oktyabr. This year the program consisted of 30 professional sessions and 300 speakers, representing more than 200 companies. More than 3,000 people from the media and advertising industries participated in the forum.
Gazprom-Media Holding acted as the chief partner of the event. Fourteen representatives of the Holding - top managers and heads of business divisions - took part in the forum’s themed sessions and events.
Ecosystems and digital media transformation
November 26 was a day of strategic sessions during which forum participants discussed the ecosystem of the media communications industry, opportunities for the development of the market and their own companies, as well as the transformation of the advertising economy fundamentals.
Deputy general manager of Gazprom-Media Holding, Alexey Krasnov, took part in the strategic session “Ecosystem of the media communications industry”. He talked about the digital transformation of the Holding, which is bringing about new approaches to management, new tools and technologies.
“The criteria of success of any transformation is a clear understanding of what you are doing and why. We entered the digital transformation process two years ago. Our goal is not to lose our audience reach and seek new sources of income,” he said. “TV is our traditional business. It brings a profit and is an important part of the media mix. At the same time, media consumption is changing. It is growing due to online content. And we need to know everything about our target audience. To do so, we are creating new competencies and continuing to invest in them. Along with this, we are combining our digital assets into a single product and beginning to offer it to our customers.”
Alexey Krasnov noted that Gazprom-Media regards digital transformation as “the creation of new businesses next to traditional business” because it captures the emerging audience, which watches TV content online.
What awaits the radio market
A large-scale radio summit was also held as part of the National Advertising Forum. Yury Kostin, general manager of Gazprom-Media Radio and vice-president of the Russian Academy of Radio (RAR), opened the event. He spoke about the Academy’s digital initiatives to promote the radio segment and the strengths of the radio platform.
“The growth of the radio market is possible due to the new services available for the advertiser and the audience. Radio is technology, the testing of new ideas, platforms for broadcasting, and distribution in all environments. But the successful future of any media is in content and in brands.”
Two more representatives of the sub-holding took part in the special-interest sessions at the forum. Olga Mikhailova, director of Gazprom-Media Radio’s digital department, spoke at the session “Mixx: Digital audio ad”, while Yulia Andryushova, head of Gazprom-Media Radio’s department of business communications and analytics, spoke at the “Regional advertising” session.
Media content and user interaction with the brand
The second day of the forum was dedicated to special-interest sessions about brand development, marketing communications at the state and regional levels, as well as new technologies and tools in the advertising industry.
Representatives of the Holding’s OTT-platforms took part in the session “Media content: Battle for money and audience attention”. Julia Mindubaeva, general manager of the Start video service, spoke about the results of the current year and plans to attract subscribers to the platform.
Meanwhile, chief producer of PREMIER Studios, Nelly Yaralova, spoke about the main criteria in selecting projects for production. “For us, there is one criterion - the script has to be interesting and well written,” she said. Speaking of video platforms, she noted that the market will consolidate in two to three years and instead of seven to eight online movie theaters there will be three to four services remaining.
Director of cross-media communications at Gazprom-Media Entertainment TV, Evgeny Galimsky, took part in the session “Adtech. Startups, corporations, investors, consultants - the impact of technology on the advertising market”. He talked about current trends in user-brand interaction, noting that the consumer is becoming more demanding in regards to brands and is ready to experiment with new products. He also spoke about the D2C (Direct to Consumer) trend and Gazprom-Media’s experience in expanding their presence in this segment. The Holding has already invested in the projects STARVIT, Happy Monday, Nappy Club, Catery and Native Rent.
TV sponsorship: Proven effectiveness
The results of the studies on the effectiveness of TV sponsorship were presented at the session “Sponsorship - the brand’s efficient friend”, which was moderated by the general manager of Gazprom-Media Sales House Ekaterina Veselkova. She presented a joint study with Kantar on the effectiveness of sponsor advertising and spoke about which of the brand’s tasks can be solved by sponsorship, all the while backing her words with real life case studies.
"Sponsorship is effective for well-known as well as young brands, which are just entering the market. It also affects all stages of the sales funnel - knowledge, purchase intent and the purchase itself,” she said.
New TV and mobile advertising technologies
The session “Mixx: Advanced TV”, dedicated to new technologies on TV, was held as part of the National Advertising Forum. Its moderator was Dmitry Pashutin, head of the digital division at Gazprom-Media Sales House. He noted that interactive television became a reality this year, and talked about the benefits of Advanced TV for viewers.
“It is important to understand that there was a coming together of two media - interactivity in TV broadcasting, which formed into an advertising product last year, and video advertising as part of Smart TV, which appeared a little earlier and started to develop quickly. Last year, we combined all this into a single advertising space,” Dmitry Pashutin said. He emphasized that this is “an opportunity to interact with an audience of 39 million people in Russia”.
Roman Antonenko, commercial director of NTV channel, also spoke at the session. He gave examples of successful campaigns on the channel that used Advanced TV. In 2019, NTV became a pioneer of interactive technology, which ensures the viewer’s close communication with media content. The first experiment took place on the TV channel this summer on the air of the lifestyle programs Chyudo Tekhniki (The Miracle of Technology) and Eda Zhivaya i Mertvaya (Food Dead and Alive ).
“Interactive TV technology allows you to extend marketing communications with the consumer. This is an unobtrusive, ecological and measurable method, which the viewers do not push away, and our case studies confirm this. Twenty-five percent of viewers are willing to make spontaneous purchases directly from their TV, and 34% do not rule out such a possibility,” Roman Antonenko said.
Artem Pulikov, general manager of Kvant company took part in the panel “Mixx: Mobile advertising”. According to him, almost all the media in which advertising is placed, is attributed at the moment and can be counted. Through the use of attribution, it is possible to find out the impact of particular media on purchase choice. He also noted that the most difficult is to measure the indicators of television advertising, but thanks to mac addresses on mobile devices it is possible to find out about the viewing of particular advertising on TV by a specific viewer.
“Digitization and growth in smartphone use will help to solve the task of measuring TV advertising. If a person has a Wi-Fi router and TV box at home, such a set makes him visible to digital metrics,” Artem Pulikov said.
Marianna Ivanova, head of Gazprom-Media Sales House’s legal management department, spoke about the legal aspects of advertising activity in a separate panel.
Labor market trends
Erika Kuyantseva, HR director at Gazprom-Media Holding, took part in the HR summit at the National Advertising Forum. She spoke about new projects aimed at developing the Holding's employees. This year Gazprom-Media was among the first media companies to launch an intra-accelerator within product teams. Its goal is to give participants an opportunity to find and test new directions for developing their products. In effect, an accelerator is a hypothesis test. The project’s curators use specific methodology to help participants create product hypotheses and test them.
Erika Kuyantseva also noted that at the moment IT companies “strive to become media, while media is buffing up in IT”. As a result, Gazprom-Media now competes with large IT companies when recruiting new employees to the Holding.
“IT specialists, developers, data scientists are interested in working with us - they can quickly see the results online,” she noted.
The second day of the forum wrapped up with a presentation of the festival “Cannes favorites in Russia” - the showing of the most talked about ad clips. General manager of NTV channel Alexey Zemsky opened the presentation, while the host of the program Tsentralnoe Televidenie (Central Television) Vadim Takmenev revealed the ideas and secrets behind the frames of the world’s creative masterpieces.
The first day of the forum also featured an awards ceremony for the winners of the industry prize “Top Business Communications Managers”. Four top managers of Gazprom-Media Holding made it among the industry’s leaders.