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Somair Rizvi, General Manager - ZenithOptimedia speaks to team Brands Magazine and FHM Pakistan on
Digital Interviews

Exclusive Interview with Somair Rizvi, ZenithOptimedia

Somair Rizvi, General Manager – ZenithOptimedia speaks to team Brands Magazine and FHM Pakistan on the changing perspectives and dynamics of the rapidly growing digital media.

BM: Being a part of the media and advertising industry from the start of your career, what major changes have you observed with the passing time?
SR: Things are different now. Before it was more about who is showing up on the cover page or whose ad will show during prime time. Now it’s about who will see you on their mobile phones first. Digital has expanded so much over the last 10 years that every strategy that you make for print or radio or even TV, which by the way is still king, you have to find a link with digital. Because what your consumer will see or hear on any medium they will go and give their view on digital media. So that’s the main difference now. It’s gotten more complex and more connected and more challenging.

BM: What challenges did you and your team face with the boom of digital media in Pakistan?
SR: We had to adapt. There was resistance initially, which is a given with every kind of change in one’s life. But we learned. We accepted, adapted, and moved on. In two years’ time ZenithOptimedia Pakistan is now contending with the leaders of the digital industry. It was a hard way up. But we had to gather the technical knowledge, the right skill set and then figure out how to apply it in integrations with traditional media plans.

BM: What are your major achievements and contribution to the digital industry so far?
SR: We launched Pakistan’s first ever interactive print media campaign with the integration of Blippar for L’Oreal. We also won a PAS last year for the best in digital for a campaign that was solely run on digital using the power of entertaining content. This was for Garnier. Last year we also gave Pakistan’s first integrated Ramadan Live Transmission for Qarshi. The remake of the national anthem using the Moto Z smartphone is something really close to us. Our contribution to the industry comes from us trying to educate our clients on the importance of digital and showing this to them through results that the medium brings – if thought out well.

BM: With the diversity of digital media, what new changes do you want to introduce in the sector?
SR: It’s important for planners to understand both the conventional and the digital media side. This divide in specialized resources needs to end now. That’s the only way they can suggest and create powerful integrated campaigns. Content needs to have the highest priority – making digital media plans might still be easier, but thinking of a content that spreads organically is where the magic lies. Also the integration of technology backed solutions is critical for all linked with Digital / Social media.

BM: What is the USP of AdcomZenithOptimedia with regards to the rising digital media?
SR: Integration – As an agency, we were known for our strategy and creative work, coupled with media planning and buying and now a full service social and digital agency – so integration of skills, talent, passion and ideas is what sets us apart – and with our global network backing we have access to a plethora of tools and learning programs that are exclusively available to us and our clients.

BM: How did you train your team? What training sessions were conducted in order to keep the team updated with the digital variations?
SR: Like I mentioned with ZenithOptimedia we have a number of tools & training programs that are available to us exclusively. Our teams are in touch with the region and our head office in London and they are trained on job on how to upskill themselves and get a grasp over the tools and platforms as they are part of the overall services we provide. There are modules available for Social, Digital, Tech, Search – you name it. Also the global ZO partnerships with the likes of Google, Facebook, etc. helps in getting the latest info and learnings that are being applied globally.

BM: Do you think that digital media has overshadowed electronic and print advertising?
SR: Not TV as it is still king even on a global scale, ruling the media sphere by 80%. Print has gotten affected but there are ways of creating integrations to keep the momentum going there too. Digital is still nascent. It’s growing and it will keep booming, but the traditional mediums will continue to have their own importance in Pakistan.

BM: What new ventures do you have with regards to digital advertising?
SR: Won’t say new ventures but more like we’re now talking to our clients on the importance of owned assets and content upscaling and integrating tech solutions, much like many other gurus of the digital marketing realm have done. We feel it needs to be consistent and collective effort in order to grow the industry. As for ventures, keep a look out for Adcom ZO on your social assets – there’s a lot in the pipeline

“CONTENT NEEDS TO HAVE THE HIGHEST PRIORITY AS THINKING OF A CONTENT THAT SPREADS ORGANICALLY IS WHERE THE MAGIC LIES.”

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