Exclusive: Sandeep Goyal writes from Jaipur on WPP Stream India 2014

The Co-founder & Vice Chairman, Mogae Group is intrigued by the concept of an 'unconference' & the vibrant democracy of ideas competing for attention at WPP Stream India 2014

e4m by Sandeep Goyal
Published: Feb 14, 2014 9:21 AM  | 2 min read
Exclusive: Sandeep Goyal writes from Jaipur on WPP Stream India 2014

I almost passed up CVL Srinivas’ invite to Stream. But I am glad better sense prevailed.

Here I am in Jaipur, at the WPP Stream India 2014: an ‘unconference’ like never before. Frankly, the concept of an ‘unconference’ intrigued me. In 30 years of being in the business, I had never heard of something like this.

‘Unconference’ is simply (or not really as simply!) an unstructured conference that allows the free-flow of ideas without the constraint of plenary sessions, keynote speakers, pre-planned break-out workshops. It is a conference without a strict agenda (‘unagenda’, really). The participating delegates actually decide the flow and format of what is discussed, what is debated, and what is discarded.

There are nearly 300 delegates here representing a broad spectrum of digital domains. From native mobile ads to disruption on the personal smart screen; from 3D printing to Big Data; from Communities to Dashaavtaars... the Big Boards at the venue offer nearly 80 slots for those with ideas to discuss, and disseminate. You put up your idea, block a slot and then hope there are enough takers for what you have on offer. I am lovin’ it. What a vibrant democracy of ideas competing for attention!

The ‘unconference’ at Stream also has other interesting stuff – there is a Stream Band, a Gadgetathon, a Tech Lab, a Midnight Cook-out and late night film screenings – enough to keep everyone immersed, involved and engaged.

My friend, Arzan Khambatta, the famous sculptor, conducted a well-attended workshop on 2D versus 3D thinking. Shekhar Kapur has been waxing eloquent on films, communication, and un-thinking.

With so much to choose from, and so much to do, I am already in un-sleep mode!

The author is Co-founder and Vice Chairman of Mogae Group.

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Adland gets Jamtara-ed! Job scam has industry on guard

Scammers have been posing as recruiters from top ad agencies to lure people in with promises of plum jobs and projects, swindling money from them in the process

By Tanzila Shaikh | Jun 9, 2023 9:13 AM   |   6 min read


Here’s a headline we never hoped to write, but the Indian ad world has now been beset by the scammer problem. Scores of Indians fall prey to phone scammers every day. Newspapers are rife with stories of bank accounts being wiped out or credit cards being swiped for ungodly amounts. Technology is evolving too rapidly for people to keep up with, making the general public susceptible to scams, spams and crimes.  

Taking a leaf from Netflix series Jamtara, sweet-talking scammers have been targeting people pretending to be executives from top Indian advertising agencies. Conversations typically start on WhatsApp and are then continued on Telegram. The modus operandi is to lure people in the name of jobs, win their trust by paying for one or two jigs and then later coaxing them to invest in cryptocurrency. Victims of these scammers have lost a lot of money in the process. 

It’s unclear why only ad agencies and executives are being targeted by the scammers. Ogilvy’s Chief Talent Officer Monty Bharali believes that the criminals are cashing in on the hard-earned reputation of top agencies to increase the likelihood of response from the victims.  

Said a dentsu spokesperson: “Fraudsters have been representing themselves as denstu employees or agents. They send such messages in connection with subscriptions to social media channels in exchange for monetary returns, jobs in dentsu or similar matters and offer monetary returns.”  

Rita Verma, President & Head – HR, DDB Mudra Group, said, “The rise in scam calls or texts offering fraudulent full-time and part-time jobs under the company name is a concern for us.  

"Post the pandemic, WFH has become a big lure for people to get scammed. There have been many lay-offs and there are many desperate for employment who fall prey to such activities," said Krishna Iyer, Director - Marketing at MullenLowe Lintas Group. "Posing as an ad agency has become one more way to bait the unaware. The scammers just cast the net wide and there will be some fish to catch."

Some chats that we came across of scammers are posing as agencies: 


Agencies fight back

With scammers name dropping agencies, the onus is on advertising companies to warn people against the scammers. Many agencies as well as top executives have taken to their social media platforms to spread awareness about the scammers.  

He assured that the agency has been doing its bit to prevent more people from falling prey to these scams. “To start off with, when we first encountered this misuse of the Ogilvy name, we lodged the necessary formal complaints with the cybercrime cell, we have also made sure using our social media handles we communicate to any potential victims that Ogilvy India doesn't extend such communication to offer such jobs and services via such entities. We truly believe that everyone must stay vigilant against what clearly seems like widespread fraud,” said Bharali.  

"As soon as we receive queries regarding suspicious activities a prompt response is sent advising recipients not to engage. We also publish warnings on our website to discourage any involvement. As an agency, we take all necessary measures to protect our company's reputation. Additionally, we work closely with our legal advisors to initiate appropriate legal action against the scammers, while also reporting the matter to the Cyber Crime Unit for further," said Iyer.

Even denstu assured that it has been working with the law enforcement authorities to report such matters as and when they crop up. 

“None of the entities or brands of dentsu pay people for writing reviews or subscribing or liking to channels on any digital platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, or for such jobs in dentsu. You may report such fraudulent incidents by writing to us at Connect.India@dentsu.com. Any money transaction for any such actions is at your own risk and dentsu will not be liable for any such loss or damages,” said the spokesperson.  

Verma clarified that the DDB Mudra Group does not approach or encourage individuals to plant reviews for products or services. “Moreover, the DDB Mudra Group will never ask for any kind of monetary investment or compensation in exchange for jobs.”  

To counter the menace, the Group has been placing great emphasis on cyber security training with multiple refreshers in a year. “While we have safeguards in place, courtesy of our incredible IT team, identifying threats at an individual level works best. Data security is a modern necessity, and every individual must practice it”, she said.

Mirum India CEO Hareesh Tibrewala shared a four-point method to identify scammers.  

“One, check the email ID from you got the message very carefully. Most of the time, the company name will be misspelt in the email ID,” he said. 

“Two, verify from the company website if there is actually position available that is being offered to you and does that position require you to pass any test if at all. Three, check on Linkedin the profile of the person offering the job to see if it is a genuine profile. And four, normally no reputed company will ask you to take some specific certification (that requires upfront payment) before applying for a job,” shared Tibrewala. 

But to a sophisticated scammer, the sky is the limit when it comes to ingenuity. 

“I have seen cases of very sophisticated scammers who will go to the extent of creating a duplicate company website (with some misspelling) as well creating numerous fake Linkedin profiles of people in the organisation so as to sound very authentic. In this specific case, the only way one realized that this was a scam was because the company domain name and the recruitment agency domain name were registered on the same day in the name of the same person,” he said sharing an anecdote of his experience.

Reiterating Tibrewala's point, Iyer said that no legitimate organisations request upfront payment and that itself should serve as a red flag. "Seek clarification or further information directly from the company. Checking reviews or feedback from multiple sources. Be cautious when encountering text messages offering payment for watching videos or requests for upfront payments or offering jobs from unfamiliar phone numbers or email addresses. Trust your instincts and seek advice from trusted sources if any offer or situation seems too good to be true. If you come across any suspicious activity, report it immediately to the appropriate authorities. Stay vigilant to reduce the risk of falling victim to such scams," he concluded.

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Zomato withdraws its 'casteist' commercial

Unintentionally, we may have hurt the sentiments of certain communities and individuals, the company said in a statement

By exchange4media Staff | Jun 8, 2023 6:23 PM   |   1 min read


Restaurant aggregator Zomato on Thursday withdrew its 'Kachra' ad campaign after it received severe backlash on the internet.

The campaign, which was released on the World Environment Day on June 5, featured actor Aditya Lakhia known for his role as “Kachra” in the 2001 movie Lagaan. In the film, the actor was seen transforming into objects such as stool, lamp, and hand towel. The film also mentioned the amount of plastic used in the production of these items.

The aim of the ad, according to the company, was to highlight Zomato’s recycling efforts. However, netizens termed it casteist and insensitive as in the film, the character “Kachra” belonged to a lower caste background.

Rolling back the film, the company issued a statement saying they had no intention of hurting the sentiments of any communities or individuals. They clarified that the campaign was solely intended to raise awareness about “recycling plastic waste” on World Environment Day. 

Unintentionally, we may have hurt the sentiments of certain communities and individuals. We have taken down the video,” said the company.

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Alia Bhatt is up-for-life with mCaffeine’s new campaign

The campaign is conceptualized and executed by Wondrlab

By exchange4media Staff | Jun 8, 2023 6:05 PM   |   3 min read


mCaffeine has announced the launch of its new campaign, ‘Up For Life’, featuring Alia Bhatt. With a humorous twist, the campaign unveils a warning that accompanies the use of mCaffeine products, making its users easy to spot in any scenario.

The digital campaign showcases youth icon Alia and mCaffeine's crowd-puller, the Coffee Body Wash, which revolves around the theme 'Too Much To Handle!' This campaign presents a series of ads aimed at highlighting the unique and energizing qualities of the brand's caffeine-based products through Alia's portrayal. It includes two brand films, one featuring Alia grooving in her own space, while the other showcases her fresh style of greeting, characterized by eccentric energy.

Speaking about mCaffeine's body care range, Alia said, “To be honest, I absolutely love mCaffeine's body care range. It really boosts my energy and prepares me for the day ahead. Simply put, it keeps me charged up! The main reason behind this is the presence of Caffeine, their key ingredient, which not only revitalizes my skin but also invigorates my senses.”

Responding to the vision behind 'Too Much To Handle' and the buzz surrounding it, Tarun Sharma, CEO & Co-Founder at mCaffeine, said, “In this campaign, with Alia, we are defining the after-effects of using mCaffeine's Coffee Body Wash range. The experience that comes with the Caffeine rush is surreal. It pumps you up so much that it becomes difficult to handle! It helps you bring out your true inner self and gets you ready for life.”

Adding to this, Vaishali Gupta, Chief Growth Officer and Co-Founder said, “We have always pledged to distinguish our products from what the industry has to offer. The inclusion of our single yet hero ingredient, Caffeine, has carved a niche that sets us apart. It is not only the benefits of Caffeine that help create an impact but also the energizing after-effects it adds to an individual's lifestyle.”

Amit Akali, CCO & Co-founder, WYP Wondrlab India said “mCaffeine is a unique body care product. That’s why we adopted a unique quirky tone of voice with crazy situations like getting an MRI. The point is that someone’s energy isn’t just infectious but makes them the life of any situation. Alia’s natural enthusiasm and fun personality were just the perfect brew.”     

The brand believes that Alia truly embodies their brand persona and the 'Up For Life' theme. She is relatable to their consumers and admired for her vibrant, go-getter personality. With her zest for life and ability to balance personal and professional commitments, she epitomizes living life to the fullest. Their vision with this campaign represents all those who seek the energizing effects of Caffeine, embrace the excitement of each day, and strive to make a positive impact. Their thoughtfully crafted products, including the range of Coffee Body Washes, empower them to seize opportunities every day.

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Kellogg’s HERSHEY’S Chocos' launch TVC revolves around a kid and his dog

The launch is being supported by a Pan-India campaign that will span over two months.

By exchange4media Staff | Jun 8, 2023 5:49 PM   |   2 min read


Kellogg’s and HERSHEY’S have teamed up to launch the new Kellogg’s HERSHEY’S Chocos®. Through a strategic licensing partnership with HERSHEY’S, Kellogg India is introducing a co-branded Chocos® cereal variant to provide consumers with a new chocolatey experience, the company said.

The launch TVC of Kellogg's HERSHEY'S Chocos® revolves around a young kid and his dog friend, who together express their excitement and love for the new Chocos® variant through an engaging conversation. The launch is being supported by a Pan-India campaign that will span over two months. 

Commenting on the partnership, Ankit Desai, Marketing Director, Hershey India said, “We are thrilled at the prospect of bringing together two iconic brands that have long been the choice for millions of consumers. Through this launch, we aim to combine Hershey’s much-loved premium, chocolatey experience with the crunch of Kellogg’s Chocos®. We will be bringing this association live across multiple channels and stores, bolstered by an endearing campaign with an intent to bring smiles to millions of consumers.”

Sharing insights on the launch, Vinay Subramanyam, Senior Director, Marketing, Kellogg South Asia, said, "With schools set to reopen, homes across the country will witness the age-old morning rush as kids hurry to get to school and parents hurry to get them ready. During such times, a new offering such as Kellogg’s HERSHEY’S Chocos® will be warmly welcomed by both children and parents. The product promises to be ‘too much chocolatey fun’, making the idea of breakfast with milk even more exciting. In a one-of-a-kind collaboration, Kellogg’s Chocos® and HERSHEY’S, two legacy brands, have come together to create an irresistible chocolatey experience that kids will love! We believe that this new delicious breakfast cereal will provide kids with a satisfying boost of energy in the morning before embarking on their school day adventures. It might even find its way into their school bags as a yummy snack.”  

Shahrukh Irani, Executive Creative Director, Ogilvy India expressed excitement about unveiling a unique TV commercial for the new variant. He said, "How do you convey that Kellogg's HESRSHEY's Chocos® is so much chocolatey fun to have? You let the dog do the talking! The cute banter between the boy and the dog drives home that point and is sure to be too much fun for the kids.”

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Wakefit.co uses AI to bring alive the kid version of Ayushmann Khurrana

The campaign, Andar ke bacche ko jaga, aims to highlight the core benefit of a good night’s sleep

By exchange4media Staff | Jun 8, 2023 4:52 PM   |   3 min read


Wakefit.co has embraced the artificial intelligence wave in its latest ‘Andar ke bacche ko jaga’ campaign featuring their brand ambassador actor Ayushmann Khurrana. The TVC showcases Ayushmann Khurrana in his present age as well as a kid version of him who wakes up every day, full of enthusiasm and energy, after sleeping on a Wakefit Orthopedic Memory Foam mattress which comes with Shape SenseTM technology that takes the shape of your body. The younger version of the actor is seen enacting multiple movie characters that have been loved by his fanbase, along with an added childlike energy. 

The brand campaign was co-ideated in partnership with Spring Marketing Capital, produced by Twilight Entertainment, and directed by Vasan Bala. 

To create the kid version of Ayushmann, Wakefit.co has used Artificial Intelligence (AI) in addition to computer graphics. The brand used Ayushmann's current pictures as input in an age progression tool to create a younger version of him. Using deep learning AI programmes combined with thousands of images of the Bollywood star, the brand constructed a 360-degree CG model of young Ayushmann's face. The TVC blurs the line between imagination and reality by showcasing the energetic kid version of the celebrity in action with true-to-life skin tones and expressions while keeping his resemblance in a seamless manner.

On the release of the TVC, Prateek Malpani, Head of Brand, Wakefit.co, said, “The insight is simple - a lot of our consumers mentioned that they are a much better version of themselves when they sleep healthier. They are more productive, more enthusiastic, more energetic and we all have heard stories on how all of this reminded us of our younger selves. We took a leap from there and imagined what Ayushmann, who’s known to do out-of-the-box projects, is able to do because he sleeps well on a wakefit mattress and wakes up with a child-like energy to seize the day. The countless number of reviews and ratings are testimony of our product quality and experience and hence in this campaign we wanted to concentrate on a much higher order benefit. We are thankful to Ayushmann for his incredible effort and to our audience who have received our past content with so much appreciation.”

Actor Ayushmann Khurrana said, “I am thrilled to be a part of Wakefit.co's new brand campaign, which showcases their commitment to innovation and creativity. Collaborating with Wakefit.co has been an incredible experience, as they have utilized advanced AI technology to transform me into my childhood self. This campaign beautifully captures the essence of nostalgia and the importance of a good night's sleep. I am excited to be associated with a brand that values quality, comfort, and the pursuit of better sleep.” 

Sandeep Balan, Partner, Spring Marketing Capital, said “We are delighted to have collaborated with Wakefit.co on this innovative brand campaign. At Spring Marketing Capital, we believe in pushing creative boundaries and delivering impactful campaigns that resonate with audiences. The concept of using AI technology to transform Ayushmann into his childhood self perfectly aligns with Wakefit.co's innovative approach and commitment to excellence. We are excited to see the campaign's impact in inspiring people to prioritize their well-being and embrace a better sleep experience.”

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Infinity Learn launches campaign with Rohit Sharma

In the film, Rohit Sharma Badal Gaya, the cricketer explains the features of Infinity Learn

By exchange4media Staff | Jun 8, 2023 4:16 PM   |   2 min read


Infinity Learn by Sri Chaitanya has teamed up with Captain and Hitman Rohit Sharma to launch an educational ad campaign titled 'Rohit Sharma Badal Gaya.' This collaboration aims to inspire and empower students across the nation, showcasing the transformative power of education for personal growth, stated a release.

The campaign 'Rohit Sharma Badal Gaya' revolves around the premise that Rohit Sharma has been exploring the Infinity Learn app, and is inspired by its features like Live Classes, Self-learn, (CYOT) Create Your Own Test, and Detailed Reports and Analysis. 

“Rohit Sharma begins applying these features in every sphere of his life. He demands the same level of preparation from his staff, coach, and those around him. In a series of four insightful ads, the viewers can witness secret meetings among Rohit Sharma's team members as they try to adapt to his new expectations. However, their covert discussions are disrupted by our Hitman, who patiently explains the features of Infinity Learn and why they are important,” said the release.

The campaign expands to also give fans the chance to win a Rohit Sharma autographed bat.

Commenting on the campaign, Ujjwal Singh, President & CEO of Infinity Learn by Sri Chaitanya, expressed his excitement about the collaboration, stating, " I am pleased to inform you that Infinity Learn is embarking on this journey as well, aligning with the profound potential that lies within the intersection of sports and academic excellence. Infinity Learn has consistently championed exceptional students with outstanding results. Our collaboration with Rohit Sharma aligns perfectly with our vision of ‘Powering Learners’ Success’ to reach their full potential. By combining Rohit Sharma's remarkable journey with our innovative learning solutions, we aim to inspire and transform the lives of countless learners." 

Rohit Sharma, renowned Indian cricketer, and brand ambassador of Infinity Learn by Sri Chaitanya, shared his enthusiasm for the campaign, saying, "My experience with Infinity Learn has been incredible. I've been fortunate to witness their steadfast dedication to delivering quality education and fostering student empowerment. The 'Rohit Sharma Badal Gaya' campaign represents our shared conviction in the transformative power of education. Together, we aim to inspire and ignite the passion for learning in students across the nation." 

The ad campaign, created in collaboration with O’factor, is launched across various media platforms, including digital channels, and social media, reaching millions of students and young learners nationwide. It aims to ignite a spark within every individual, encouraging them to embark on their transformative educational journeys.  


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Theatre doyen Farrokh Mehta no more

Mehta graced the theatre for over five decades

By exchange4media Staff | Jun 8, 2023 1:51 PM   |   1 min read


Theatre legend Farrokh Mehta is no more. He was 90.

Mehta reigned the theatre world for over five decades and was part of several iconic plays.

He juggled his stints as a director at Pfizer and Cadbury along with his active theatre life.

Pearl and Alyque Padamsee, Pheroza Cooper, Sylvie da Cunha, and Gerson da Cunha were among his peers.

He was an active member of the Theatre Group Bombay (TGB).

Mehta once told a publication that along with holding full-time jobs "theatre was always an extra plus" for him.

'Death of a Salesman' and 'A Streetcar Named Desire' were some of his notable plays.

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