India is an important market for us: Lynette Pang, Singapore Tourism Board

Lynette Pang, Assistant Chief Executive, Marketing, Singapore Tourism Board, in conversation with exchange4media, revealed STB’s marketing plans and ad spends for the upcoming financial year, their recent campaign, top four growth markets for them and more

Following the unveiling of the country’s unified brand “Passion Made Possible” by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB,) a series of promotional activities kicked off in India which showcased its talents, music, food, films and more. Lynette Pang, Assistant Chief Executive, Marketing, Singapore Tourism Board, revealed STB’s marketing plans and ad spends for the upcoming financial year, their recent campaign and top four growth market sectors for them. Excerpts:

What were your key strategies for executing your recent campaign ‘Passion Made Possible?’

A year and a half ago, we launched our marketing strategy. Back then, there were three key problems in our marketing strategy. One was to tell the right story, the second was catering to our fans and the third one was rethinking the channels and execution. In my conversations with my CEO, we spoke about how brands are synonymous with humans and also need health checks. We discussed how you can’t take your brand’s health for granted. So, to keep a check on our brand, we carried an extensive global study to know what people really think of us.

A couple of things emerged from the findings of the study. We learned that travellers want to know what’s real and authentic about Singapore. Locals wanted to know real stories about Singapore. Another big learning that emerged was that people saw Singapore as a place where things happened. That’s how our campaign ‘Passion Made Possible’ was born. One key strategy we had in terms of execution was telling people’s stories and featuring them as core connects with the brand to showcase our destination.

What were the different layers of storytelling that you utilised for the campaign?

In terms of our content strategy and how we tell the stories, there are three layers. The first layer is the brand film called ‘This Is Where’ which gives you a deep perspective on the attitude of the place. The second layer is what we call ‘Passion Tribes’ and is passion-based content because ultimately when people search on the Internet, they search based on their likes. That’s why we have content for the explorer tribe. The third layer is where we have the deepest storytelling. Here we first target consumers based on their passion and film the ads on their personalities, beliefs and passions.

How has 2017 been for the STB? Also, what will be your marketing and brand-building plans for 2018?

India is one of our top four markets and in 2015, our visitorship from India crossed the 1 million mark. From 2015-2016, there was a growth of about 8 per cent. For the first eight months of 2017, there has been a double-digit growth. So far, 2017 has been very positive for India. As we know Bollywood is big in India, we did two movie projects which were Dear Zindagi and Badrinath Ki Dulhania. The reason why we went ahead with these was due to their relevant story-lines and how these movies reacted to the issues of the day.

In the coming months, you will see different elements of Singapore brought here based on the trends and passions of Indian people. We also have a chef from Singapore who will be recreating Singaporean cuisine at Impressario. For 2018, we are looking to go beyond the usual and also build on our campaign “Passion Made Possible.” There is a new strategy going forward and with Passion Made Possible, I’m encouraging teams to look at unlikely partnerships with lifestyle brands as partnerships are very important for us.

What are the top four growth markets for you?

They are Indonesia, China, Malaysia and India. India is a very important market for us and we see a lot of growth from the family segment. It’s an important market for us, especially in the cruise sector, and we would love to see how we can work more with Indian partners and media.

How are you planning to expand your digital footprint?

From a marketing perspective, we are expanding more on the digital front. We make sure that our social and web platforms are up-to-date in terms of content and technology. We are also continually adopting the latest in terms of segmentation and targeting.

As a tourism board, we are investing significantly on two fronts. One is data and the next is content. We are also improving the infrastructure for both. We’ve launched a big data hub. It helps us with looking at consumers, trends, etc. The other piece is what we call the content hub where we have information, content and visuals about Singapore. Our global partners can get information about the country that is updated to the minute. We are trying to stay relevant in terms of digital marketing, infrastructure and technology. We’re investing significantly on these.

Tell us about the projects and promotions you are planning to woo more tourists from Tier I and Tier II cities of India.

We have marketing partnerships in these cities be it cinema-buyers, OOH or print campaigns. For Tier I, we will work with key strategic partners like Thomas Cook, MakeMyTrip, SOTC and Flight Shop. For Tier II, we will work with regional partners alongside our stakeholders to do more shows and push our messaging.

How have you planned your ad spends for 2018?

We will be spending significantly on films and its digital distribution. That doesn’t mean that traditional forms of media will be ignored. TV, print and outdoors are also an important part of the consumer mix. Going ahead, you will also see a focus on PR as that’s where the bigger stories come from.

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Essenza Di Wills launches campaign to introduce new fragrance

The brand has launched Mikkel Verde, a new evening wear fragrance for men


ITC’s premium fragrance brand Essenza Di Wills has launched Mikkel Verde, a new evening wear fragrance for men.

The fragrance has been introduced to consumers through a film. The film juxtaposes the real and the breakaway world that the protagonist yearns to explore. The film opens with the protagonist questioning the physical existence of life caged between walls, pillars and posts whilst his soul wants to break free. The fragrance stimulates the mind to escape the rigid reality and begin a journey to discover the wild unknown. In this cinematic ad-film, Mikkel Verde presents a discovery of your true essence and soul!

Talking about the product and the campaign, Sameer Satpathy, Chief Executive, Personal Care Products Business Division, ITC Limited, said, “Mikkel Verde embodies a fine balance between enigma and elegance. This newly launched fragrance is a unique addition to the repertoire of Essenza Di Wills’ portfolio of fine fragrances. The experience of Mikkel Verde has been interpreted by Denzil in an intriguing film that explores and celebrates the eternal quest for adventure.”

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Parle to launch #HealthIsNotAChoice campaign for its health brand Nutricrunch

The digital campaign is aimed at encouraging people to embrace the ‘health is not a choice’ philosophy


Parle Products is all set to launch a digital campaign - “#HealthIsNotAChoice” for its newly introduced health brand, Nutricrunch under its Platina division. The campaign aims at encouraging people to embrace the ‘Health is not a choice’ philosophy.

The campaign began with innovative posts across Parle Nutricrunch social media platforms and print advertisements across leading newspapers. All the posts strongly advocate treating one’s health and well-being as priority and showcase that one might have options for a lot of aspects in life but one’s journey to good health must not be compromised.

 As a part of the campaign, three digital films will be launched to build awareness about the health benefits of consuming Parle Nutricrunch. The films showcase Parle Nutricrunch as a versatile product that be consumed by housewives who are the gatekeepers of good health for families as well as fitness enthusiasts, working professionals.

Speaking about the campaign, Mayank Shah, Sr. Category Head, Parle Products, said, “In today’s fast-paced world, consumers are constantly looking for different ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Nutricrunch offers just that with its diverse variants like Nutricrunch Lite Cracker, Nutricrunch Digestive, Nutricrunch Honey & Oats. Each of these variants have unique health benefits and make for a brilliant healthy snacking option. #HealthIsNotAChoice" campaign is an endeavor by Parle Platina to encourage Indians to stay fit and make an informed decision about their well-being”.

Each film has a unique key message that resonates well with a specific target audience.  A working professional discussing the stress at work and how Parle Nutricrunch Digestive enriched with superfood Jowar helps in maintaining a proper sugar balance with its antioxidants properties. A housewife talking about how she begins her day on a healthy note with Nutricrunch Lite crackers which has no added sugar, no trans-fat and no cholesterol.  A young fitness enthusiast discussing how Nutricrunch Honey & Oats makes for the best pre-workout companion with its high-fiber content. 

The company in a statement said, the health biscuit and cookies category has been growing at 12-13% per year and is now a sizeable portion of the market at over ₹1,000 crore giving Parle Products more opportunities to tap into the semi-premium and above segments that fetch high margin.

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HDFC Life's new campaign showcases inspiring real-life #Bounceback story

The campaign focuses on the real-life story of Darpan Inani, who lost his sight due to an illness, and yet bounced back to become the highest rated visually impaired chess player in the country


HDFC Life Insurance Company Limited has launched a new brand campaign which focuses on the real-life story of Darpan Inani, who lost his sight due to an illness at a very young age, and yet bounced back to become the highest rated visually impaired chess player in the country.

As a brand, HDFC Life has always stood for pride, encouraging independence through self-reliance. The brand has always highlighted the hard-to-replace-individual who not only provides for his/her family but also enables his/her loved ones to #BounceBack from any challenges they face.

The film showcases the inspiring story of Darpan, whose eyes were affected by the Steven Johnson Syndrome at the age of 3 years, causing him to lose his eye-sight. But this did not stop him from pursuing his dream. According to Darpan, chess is a game of vision and not visibility, thus allowing him the opportunity to compete in the game as any other competitor would. He not only excelled at the game but also went on to become the first visually impaired Indian (in his category) to win the Creon Open Chess tournament, in France in August 2018. Playing a pivotal role in his success, Darpan's family encouraged self-reliance and pushed him to #BounceBack from the situation and to live a life of pride.

Speaking about the campaign, Pankaj Gupta, Chief Marketing Officer, HDFC Life, said, "This story of self-reliance strongly resonates with HDFC Life's proposition of 'Sar Utha ke Jiyo'. Through this ad, we want to leave our viewers with the message that anyone can #BounceBack, despite challenges and limitations. All they need is the right kind of support, encouragement and financial preparedness. Darpan's parents imparted a valuable life lesson on self-reliance, serving as a backbone to his success and empowering him to conquer all odds and achieve his dreams.”

Add to this, Rajdeepak Das, MD, India & Chief Creative Officer, South Asia, Leo Burnett, said, “Darpan Inani’s story is about human resilience. His spirit of never giving up embodies HDFC Life’s ‘Sar Utha Ke Jiyo’ ethos. This campaign touches upon the very human behaviour of bouncing back, and it is people like Darpan Inani who inspire us to do our best in any situation. This work is purely Humankind and we hope it will move our consumers into the importance of having life insurance.”

HDFC Life plans to take its new campaign to the customer through different platforms and intensify the brand experience. Apart from television, the film will be supported by other media such as print, radio, OOH, DTH, cinema, live media with a significant focus on digital and social media.

Prepare your family to #BounceBack with HDFC Life:


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Akshay Kumar’s road safety call: An unusually funny & witty govt ad that stood out at PTA

The three-film 'Sadak Suraksha Jeevan Raksha' campaign created by Helios Media, was adjudged the Best TV Commercial at the recently held exchange4media’s Prime Time Awards


Think of a government ad. What is the picture that comes to your mind? Most likely, it will be a no-frill serious film delivering the message in a preachy way. Not your fault. That’s the kind of government ads we are used to watching. Wit, quirk, humour or entertainment are definitely not the features we associate with ads of the government. And so, if a government ad is adjudged the Best TV commercial at the prestigious exchange4media’s Prime Time Awards, defeating hundreds of entries, it definitely calls for a thought. 

The ad in question is the Transport Ministry’s road safety campaign with Akshay Kumar. And most of us who have watched it will surely not disagree with the jury. The three-film 'Sadak Suraksha Jeevan Raksha' campaign was created by Helios Media in collaboration with Bharat Dabholkar, Kiran Vernekar, and Sayali Kulkarni. It was directed by R Balki. 

The ad film is a complete shift from the usual serious style of government ads. The films, which see Akshay Kumar turning into a traffic cop, have a very quirky and humorous approach to the serious issue of road safety. And lines such as ‘aapke baap ka road nahi hai!’ give the coolest of commercials a run for their money and of course leave the audience wondering if it is actually a government ad. 


So how did this non-government-like government advertisement come into being? 

It wouldn’t have happened had it not been for Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, says Divya Radhakrishnan, Managing Director, Helios Media. 

Sharing the story behind the making of the campaign, Radhakrishnan, says, “There was a lot of contribution from Mr. Gadkari. He took a very keen interest. In fact, he approved the script in just 5 minutes. He was very clear that we should not make the ad like a typical government ad. He wanted us to make it like the way ads of brands are made. Working for this ad was a fabulous experience.” 

According to Radhakrishnan, even Akshay Kumar was a big contributor.

“He gave a lot of inputs. He wanted the film to be made very well so that the message is delivered properly. In fact, he did not even charge for it. All that he wanted was a good director so that the film comes out well. It was he who suggested Balki as the director,” she said. 

Radhakrishnan feels it is the “sleekness of production and the way the message has been communicated” that make the films stand out. 

Remembering the thought process that went into conceptualising the ad, she says the biggest issue was how to bring novelty to a message, like ‘wear a helmet’, that has already been delivered to people many times.

“When we got the brief for road safety, we tried several concepts. They were all good, but we felt that that the message was not getting through. That’s when we zeroed down on humour and cracked the concept.”  

The campaign has achieved good popularity on social media, receiving 4 crore views. “And this was organic. It was shared just from Minister Gadkari's and Akshay Kumar’s handles. This is a one-of-its-kind response,” mentioned Radhakrishnan.

The victory at the Prime Time Awards was obviously a sweet moment for everyone involved in the making of the ad. But with a government ad winning an award like this for the first time, it was a special moment even for the ministry.

“It was the first time that an ad made by the government of India has won such an award. It was such a heartening thing for them (ministry) that Mr. Gadkari called us to his office and honoured us.”

A campaign that delivers a social message in an entertaining way is probably a campaign done the best way. We hope to see many more such ads in the future, especially from the government. 

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Sara Ali Khan becomes the new face of Veet

With its high decibel campaign #PullItOff, Veet aims to resonate with the confident and vivacious girl of today


Veet, the hair removal brand today announced Bollywood’s new actress and presently the most popular face, Sara Ali Khan as its new brand ambassador. The brand also launched its new campaign #PullItOff that will focus on communicating the ease of a quick three-step process of hair removal. It complements the attitude of a modern girl of today – who dreams big, lives it up, and seeks the best in whatever she does. She is confident, spontaneous and vivacious; qualities that Sara Ali Khan perfectly embodies.

Veet Cold Wax Strips are one of the simplest ways to wax that do not require wax heating since it comes pre-coated with a special GelWax which grips the shortest hair and not the skin making hair removal super-simple, and not a chore anymore. Conceptualized by Havas Worldwide, Sara’s first ever TV commercial will raise awareness on the ease of using Veet Cold Wax Strips with three simple steps: Peel-Apply-Pull, it’s so easy that anyone can #PullItOff.

Speaking about the new campaign, Pankaj Duhan, Chief Marketing Officer, RB South Asia Health said, “We are pleased to welcome Sara Ali Khan to the Veet family as the brand’s newest ambassador. Sara exemplifies vigour and determination of a strong-minded new age woman who is unfazed by challenges. She is young and brings a freshness that will resonate with our target audience. We understand that the consumer today is looking for quick in-home solutions and Veet Cold Wax Strips are the perfect answer that can help achieve salon like finish by following a simple three-step process.”

Commenting on her association with the brand, Sara Ali Khan said, “I am thrilled for my first ever brand endorsement with Veet Cold Wax Strips. What makes this even special is the fact that I personally have been using Veet products for the longest time. Veet as a brand has always resonated with me for their spirit of innovation in the hair removal category. Every woman radiates beauty from within. #Pullitoff is not just a product statement for me, it underlines the attitude of a modern girl who takes everything in her stride and makes the best of it.”

Sara Ali Khan has created a name for herself with films like Kedarnath and Simmba and is quite popular among the youth. With constant acknowledgment from the audience and her fans, she is an actress who is uniquely expressive and inventive in everything that she does. Hence, Veet believes that young girls of today will relate well with Sara who is ready to make her mark in the industry.

The association with Sara Ali Khan will spin a holistic, 360-degree marketing campaign across print, digital, outdoor and television.

Veet with Sara Ali Khan

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Kurkure signs Taapsee Pannu as brand ambassador, unveils new positioning

‘Khayal toh chatpata hai’ underlines Kurkure’s efforts to recognize the Indian homemaker, who has been the center force in bringing families together


Snack brand Kurkure has roped in leading Bollywood actress Taapsee Pannu as its brand ambassador. The announcement is strategically timed as Kurkure embarks on a new journey with its new positioning – ‘Khayal toh Chatpata hai’, celebrating progressive thinking that young Indian homemakers bring in to traditional Indian families.

The company in a statement said, “With a promise to add more fun and excitement to family time, the brand rings in a new mantra, together with the boundless energy of Taapsee, who stands synonymous to the essence of Kurkure.”

‘Khayal toh Chatpata hai’ underlines Kurkure’s efforts to recognize the Indian homemaker, who has been the center force in bringing families together. The new positioning highlights progressive ideologies that the homemaker holds today; from breaking conventional barriers to new-age thinking which embraces modernity while being anchored in tradition.

Sharing her excitement on coming onboard as the brand ambassador of Kurkure, Taapsee Pannu said, “I am extremely excited to be associated with India’s much-loved, and my personal favourite snack, Kurkure. It has been an integral part of my family ‘masti’ moments back home in Delhi and during my breaks while shooting in Mumbai. I have always admired Kurkure for its family and fun orientation. And, as the brand takes on a new positioning of ‘Khayal Toh Chatpata hai’, I look forward to an exciting and chatpata journey with Kurkure.”

Talking about Kurkure’s new positioning and having Taapsee on board,  Jagrut Kotecha, Vice President – Snacks Category, PepsiCo India Ltd, said, “As Kurkure enters a new and exciting phase with ‘Khayal Toh Chatpata Hai’ positioning, we are thrilled to be carrying forward this journey with Taapsee, who resonates well with the brand philosophy. With the new positioning, we aim to celebrate the forward-thinking brought-in by today’s women and Taapsee who is an inspiration to them; and has proved her strength and mettle by taking on unconventional roles, in movies or beyond, is a natural fit.  We welcome her to the Kurkure family”

Taapsee, who has been reigning in her back to back film successes, through this collaboration will be seen in a series of advertising and marketing campaigns. The first in the series, Kurkure has unveiled a new advertisement campaign featuring the actress in her bubbly and chirpy avatar.

In the film, Taapsee, is seen representing a new Indian homemaker, a bahu, who shares her excitement, with her family, on receiving a job offer. Unfortunately, her excitement meets denial from her aunt, who recommends her to take up a hobby at home. As the bahu battles with the disappointment, Kurkure comes to her rescue, as its spices and flavours become her driving force to encourage the aunt to think beyond the conventional. With every bite of Kurkure, Taapsee is seen taking on the task of convincing her aunt of her professional choices, in a witty and fun manner. The film concludes on a positive and happy note, wherein, the family is seen enjoying a pack of Kurkure and the aunt supporting the bahu to venture out and pursue her career and passion.

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Mondelez India celebrates Valentine’s Day with ‘pop your heart out’ campaign

Mondelez India has also partnered with Gully Boy, building in co-branded promotions to create high impact digital buzz during Valentine’s Day


Cadbury Dairy Milk Silk, India’s premium chocolate, enjoys a special place in the hearts of consumers. Having created several occasions and represented a plethora of emotions, Mondelez India is geared up with a special offering for this Valentine’s Day. By amplifying its existing ‘Pop Your Heart Out with Silk’ campaign, Mondelez India recently launched a new heart-warming digital film, ‘Cadbury Silk Unsaid Stories’.

Talking about the marketing strategy for this Valentine’s Day, Anil Viswanathan, Director, Marketing (Chocolates), Mondelez India said, “We received an overwhelming response with the ‘Pop Your Heart Out With Silk’ campaign which was introduced last year. With the recently launched Cadbury Dairy Milk Silk Unsaid Stories, Mondelez India takes forward the narrative of breaking the hesitation around the expression of love. As leaders in chocolate gifting, we endeavour to identify new occasions and empower customers to convey the right emotion with our products.”

Whether it is a school sweetheart, office romance or a travel crush, Cadbury Dairy Milk Silk breaks all barriers, age and cultural urging people to not let any kind of love go unsaid. The TVC opens with a meet-up where members from young to old are shown narrating their love stories, talking about how letting go of that hesitation could have changed the course of their love lives and ‘only if they would’ve expressed to the one they loved, things would have been different. They receive a bar of the Cadbury Dairy Milk Silk Pop Your Heart Out, nudging them to set aside their hesitation and simply say it with Silk.

Creating interesting new shopping experiences through personalization, Mondelez India has also introduced an e-commerce exclusive Cadbury Dairy Milk Silk Heart Shaped Valentine Gift Pack which contains 2 bars of Cadbury Dairy Milk Silk Plain, 60gm each and 2 bars of Cadbury Dairy Milk Silk Oreo, 60gm each along with a customised greeting card and a photo frame. The classic taste of Cadbury chocolates offers you the reason to celebrate this occasion with your loved one. The limited edition product can be purchased for INR 650 on Cadbury Joy Deliveries and

To scale up the heart-pop initiative and support the digital film and the innovative heart-shaped gift pack, Mondelez India has dedicated a 360 degree integrated marketing campaign which includes TV integrations, high impact outdoor activation, on ground, digital and in-store promotions.

Mondelez India has also partnered with Gully Boy, one of the most awaited movies of 2019 building in co-branded promotions to create high impact digital buzz during Valentine’s Day. For this occasion, Cadbury Dairy Milk Silk has taken over 40 Café Coffee Days across Mumbai, Delhi, and Bangalore to create visibility. Apart from this, the brand has also undertaken strategic tie-ups with Amazon Store, PVR Cinemas, Ola app integrations to ensure maximum reach. Creating salience with the product, and taking it to the next level by being present across all youth relevant touch points like Snapchat, Tik Tok, music apps like Gaana, Wynk, food apps like Zomato and using celeb influencers are making millions of people Pop their Hearts out!

Cadbury Silk Unsaid Stories

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Round 1 of judging for exchange4media group NEONS Awards & OOH conference to begin today

The 9th edition of the awards for Outdoor Advertising and Digital Signage will take place on March 8


The 9th edition of exchange4media group NEONS Awards & OOH conference 2019 for Outdoor Advertising and Digital Signage is around the corner. 

Established in 2011 to reward excellence in outdoor media, this year’s 1st round of judging will start from February 15 to 24. Entries will be judged online by all jury members.

The final round of judging will take place on February 28 in Gurugram where the jury will decide the winners. 

The jury will be chaired by Rakesh Kaul (Jury Chair), President-Consumer Business and CEO - Evok Retail at HSIL Ltd. The other members who will grace the jury include: Amit Sethiya, Head Marketing, Syska Group; Archana Aggarwal, VP-Media, Airtel; Ashish Baja, Head of Media and Marketing Alliance, OLA; Basant Rathore, Senior VP - Strategy & Business Development, Jagran Prakashan Ltd; Bhavana Mittal, Regional Head of Media, Digital and Communications, Reckitt Benckiser, South Asia; Gajendra Jangid, VP-Marketing, Cars24; Gulbahar Taurani, Director Marketing & Business Head, Philips India; Harshavardhan Chauhan, Central Head of Marketing, DLF Shopping Malls; Pawan Soni, Head - Marketing & Programming, National Geographic India; Prashant Desai, Media Head, Hero MotoCorp; Rahul Pansare, Head Marketing Communications & PR from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles; Rameet Arora, COO - Digital Business, Hindustan Times; Rahul Mishra is GM- Marketing, Shemaroo Entertainment Limited; Srideep Kesavan, Director Marketing – Juices, Coca Cola; Sandeep Shukla, Head Marketing & Communications, Jaquar Group; Sonia Serrao, Global Media Lead & Head Marketing Procurement - South Asia, Tata Global Beverages and Suresh Balakrishna, Chief Revenue Officer, The Hindu Group. 

OOH Conference & Awards seeks a way forward for the industry and talks about ways to overcome the challenges when it comes to OOH advertising. 

The first eight editions were highly endorsed by the industry. This edition will recognise and reward the exceptional work in OOH Advertising and Digital Signage for the period January to December 2018. The awards night and felicitation will be held on March 8 at The Leela Ambience, Gurugram. 

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Time for the media ecosystem to change strategies and adapt: Industry leaders

An esteemed group of panelist spoke about how to adapt in the ever-changing media ecosystem at the Pitch Madison Report unveiling in Mumbai

PMAR Panel

The Pitch Madison Advertising Report, the most awaited report of ad spends in the media and advertising industry was revealed on 13th February 2019. The report was launched by Pitch, in partnership with Madison World.

Sam Balasara, Chairman, Madison World revealed that the growth forecast for the media and advertising industry is 16.4% for 2019. The growth in the media market is at an all-time high and it is time for the media ecosystem to change their strategies and adapt.

The panel discussion with speakers from the advertising and broadcasting sector focused on 'How to improve in the ever-changing media ecosystem'. They also touched on the topic of the relationship between the client and an ad agency.

Moderator Raj Nayak, former COO, Viacom 18 posed a question to the panel about what they think is wrong with the media ecosystem. “We harp so much on accuracy and data. Data is the biggest area of concern for the media industry. As an industry, we still do not have data for mediums apart from TV. A unified system of measurement is required”, stated Subha Sreenivasan, Head of Media Services, GCPL. Anagha Bhojane, Group Brand Manager-Media, Asian Paints comments, “We need to look at data of viewers across media platforms. Media integration should be taken seriously. Getting individual data is potent but we need to look at the data as content measurement and not just a platform measurement.”

The media industry has been playing it safe and doing what works for them. “No matter what ecosystem we belong to whether it is media owners or ad agencies; we need to invest time to nurture and grow. We need to look back and reflect on how we have grown and how an ad agency can improve their relationship with their client. It's about how much time you invest in the media ecosystem. We need to improvise and come out of our safe zone,” remarks Anagha Bhojane.

The key focus area should be consumers. Vikram Tanna, VP, Head of Advertising Sales and Business Head of Regional Clusters, Discovery India says, “ Consumers never fail us. Especially with the video platforms growing and attracting consumers. We ought to create a mass ecosystem, develop and overlap the borders of the ecosystem. The sum of the individual parts is going to be much higher than the individual parts. We need to distribute talent as well. Better talent should be all under one umbrella. Integration will attract a larger audience”.

Digital is one of the rapidly growing areas in the media industry. But the question arises: How are digital platforms recorded? “It is largely based on what platform it is. But we need to unify the data of broadcast and digital”, says Subha Sreenivasan, GCPL. “A lot of money for advertising is going to digital. But it is not that effective. A 90-second Facebook commercial is skipped in one second. On a digital platform, we know that viewers for commercials are very low. It depends on how the business is valued and the new world business depends on the number of users, it is about where the consumers are putting their money and time. The problem arises when we try to pitch one medium against the other. There is a certain comfort of consistency; as long as something is working for us we don’t change things. I have data that the majority of people in the morning while commuting is watching Netflix, the data is impossible to be content with. The consumer is also passing by an outdoor advertisement but won’t pay attention to it. The data record should be of both the platforms. It depends on what data and platforms are important for media buyers”, states Gaurav Jeet Singh, General Manager Media (South Asia), Unilever.

In the media ecosystem, especially in the advertising industry, clients keep moving from one agency to another. What seems to be the issue? There should be a common goal and a strong relationship should be built. Subha Sreenivasan, GCPL, says, “Media houses in the past were about efficacy and efficiency. They were looked at as a service provider. As business started to get competitive the role of an ad agency has changed from a service provider to a partner. If we don’t adapt to this changing role, we won’t survive. We partner with Madison because we have equal stakes and equal growth. Our brands are flourishing together.” “Partnership is essential between the client and the ad agency. In a typical ad culture if you are looking for something which is not a longer partnership but immediate gain, that would ruin a partnership”, comments Vanita Keswani, Madison Media Sigma. Gaurav Singh, states, “It is about how agencies are structured in their thinking if there is a team who only works on pitches. agencies are spending money on teams to keep clients. It is quite a relationship. It is about keeping the client”. The scenario has become about results v/s rewards, where the clients are at the top and not the consumer. The new emerging platforms are the only thing that is changing in the media domain. The key factors to focus on is content and talent. Lack of data measurement in the digital space should be changed.

Speaking on the relationship between a client and the agency, the more both of the ecosystems match their goals, the more the relationship will strengthen. The common goal on both sides is savings and that should change. Agencies should be partners and not vendors. Commoditizing the partners is where the problem lies. It should be about two partners working in cohesion. “Not everything is hunky-dory in the media ecosystem. We have depended on the ideology that if things are running in a particular way it should remain in that manner and that should be changed”, concludes moderator Raj Nayak.


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Xiaomi clocked US $15 bn revenue in 7 years, Facebook took 12 years: Manu Jain 

At the Pitch Madison Advertising Report event, Jain, Xiaomi Vice President, MD, talked about building the brand with minimal marketing expenditure

Manu Jain

Xiaomi has been a game changer in the world of smartphones ever since it entered the Indian market. Only three years after entering the India marker, the smartphone vendor has a  market share of  27 per cent for Q4 2018. While for FY 2018, it is 28 per cent.

Manu Kumar Jain has been leading Xiaomi India since 2014 and the company has achieved a huge success which also results in Xiaomi becoming the India’s biggest smartphone vendor. At the Pitch Madison summit, Xiaomi Vice President, MD, Manu Kumar Jain spoke about Xiaomi: Innovation at its best. He also spoke about how they built the brand with their minimal marketing expenditure. 

“When we launched this company 9 years ago, we wanted to change how people consumed mobile internet. We started in April 2010 and it started with the biggest statement i.e. innovation for everyone. We wanted to launch high quality products, we wanted to make them accessible so that everybody could enjoy technology. Our business models are lot more evolved, the first product that we built almost 9 years ago was an operating system that we called the MIUI, then we built boost of internet services like MI Entertainment, MI Movies, MI Music etc.”

Jain shared three basic principles that the brand follows. “Whenever we think of launching hardware device, these are the three basic principles that we follow: great in specifications, great in quality and honest pricing. Honest pricing doesn’t mean that it has to be the lowest selling price, it means that we cut off all the possible costs like distribution, marketing capital, inventory etc.” 

Talking about brand achievements, Jain says, “We are the second largest market in the world, world largest consumer IOT platform and probably the fastest growing tech company. In 2018, we had set a target for ourselves by shipping 100 million units, and we achieved that. To reach US$ 15 billion revenue Google took 9 years, Facebook took 12 years, Ali Baba took 17 years, Apple took 20 years but Xiaomi reached that in just about 7 years.” 

“Today, we have more than 100 million internet connected devices. We also have fitness bands, we are the largest fitness device company in the world. Apart from that, we also have smart scooters, smart cycles, smart washing machine, smart TV, probably that is why we were rated as one of the smartest company of the world,” he added. 

Sharing the insights about Xiaomi India’s jouney, Jain said, “Xiaomi India started in July 2014, we started from a very small room with only 6 people. So the first phone that we launched was Mi 3. I remember at that point of time I met a lot of tech experts, telecom experts. And one of the biggest CEOs told me that Xiaomi can never succeed in India. On asking why, he said it was because Xiaomi was a difficult name to pronounce and because we were thinking of selling it online when the entire market was offline. So, the first business plan was very simple of bringing 10,000 phones and selling 10,000 phones. We went through our Facebook page and saw 10,000 people were following us. The first sale was on July 22, 2014, on Flipkart and the site crashed. Flipkart crashed for the first time in its history. About half a million people turned up to buy these 10,000 phones.”  

Talking about the brand’s offline journey, Jain said: “In 2017, we ventured into the offline segment. We launched our first offline store in a 600 sqft store in a mall in Bangalore. On the first day of the launch, we had more than 10,000 Mi Fans and we did around Rs 5 crore sale in one day, that’s when we started building a lot of stores across the country.”

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