TVSquared Australia: A Q&A with Praful Desai
20 June 2018 • tvsquared
Meg Coyle,
Marcom Director 

This week, we announced the opening of TVSquared Australia. The Sydney-based offices will provide on-the-ground support for the country’s $3.1B TV ad industry. We spoke to Praful Desai, who is heading up the regional office, to learn more about Australia’s TV ad space and where TVSquared fits in.

Praful Desai

Tell us about your background in the agency world.  

For the past 18+ years, I’ve worked with Australian media agencies. For most of that time, I was the Head of Direct at Dentsu Aegis, working with clients like SingTel (Optus, Virgin Mobile), Medibank, Woolworths, AccorHotels, Citibank, Big W, World Vision and QBE Insurance.

Before joining TVSquared, I was the Head of Data and Analytics with Vizeum Australia, focusing on the creation of channel-agnostic performance models for both digital and offline channels. I also worked closely with Dentsu’s global attribution team to develop in-house digital and TV attribution solutions.

Why did you make the leap to TVSquared?

For most of brands I’ve worked with, TV is an integral part of the media mix – driving both brand awareness and direct response. And after learning about TVSquared, I saw just how accurately and quickly TV attribution could be done.

While I came to TVSquared for many reason, it was primarily because TV attribution is not well utilized in Australia. There are many brands and agencies that could leverage this technology to improve campaign performance exponentially. On top of that, the growth of e-commerce and the latest trends in addressable and catch-up TV have created big opportunities within the TV space.

What are some of the challenges Australian TV advertisers are facing?

Australia is a fast-growing market for TVSquared, so the demand for and buzz around digital-like analytics for TV is huge.

Australian brands and agencies are dealing with the same challenges as brands and agencies everywhere – especially when it comes to quickly and accurately proving the value of their marketing investments. When it comes to TV, advertisers know it works, but they struggle to quantify the impact, get visibility into what’s working/what’s not and make the right changes to optimize response.

We’ve been trying to educate the market that linear can be measured and optimized just like digital, and that TV’s role has truly evolved into a performance-marketing channel. It’s no longer only used for brand awareness, but it’s become a primary drive of digital response thanks to the majority of viewers watching with second-screen devices in-hand or nearby.

What are some of the benefits that our Australian customers are experiencing with the ADvantage platform?

Our customers are now getting 100% accountability from their TV campaigns. They get same-day insights into the effectiveness of TV by creative, spot length and region, and then use that information to optimize on the best performing channels, dayparts, programs and days. Some brands are leveraging ADvantage’s predictive analytics to quickly plan and forecast for TV vs. using cumbersome spreadsheets. Others are benchmarking media CPMs across networks and then negotiating buys based on what’s proven the most effective for their brands.

What types of clients are you working with?

TVSquared works for every brand – no matter the size or industry. In the case of Australia, we’ve been working a lot with brands in the telco, e-commerce, financial services, automotive, insurance and retail spaces.

Finally, we always ask this question: what’s your favorite TV campaign and why?

The Optus Fusion campaign – where it offers unlimited calls and 100G broadband data – is a particular favorite. I know it performed extremely well and delivered on all KPIs. Additionally, the campaign used animals within the creatives, which was very well received by target audiences.