This festive season we should be able to get 100% jump: Kashyap Vadapalli, Pepperfry

Pepperfry, the online furniture company, is giving a big push in its latest 360-degree campaign 'Diwali Toh Sab Ke Liye Hai' for which it has allocated Rs 20 crore

Pepperfry diwali

After a decent response to ‘Why Wait for Diwali’ Pepperfry is back with their Diwali campaign known as ‘Diwali Toh Sab Ke Liye’ where it showcases that it has something for everyone. Through this it looks to assert itself as the market leader in the category, as spelt out by its CMO Kashyap Vadapalli.

He explained, “We have product for every kind of use case, demographic, design and price point. The point we are trying to make is that we are specialists in the field. That’s a claim not everyone can make. Our understanding of the category has evolved on the basis of lots of data we have acquired in the last six years. Also, it has a strong festive touch from creator perspective.”

The 360-degree campaign which happens to be substantially bigger than the previous one ‘Why wait for Diwali,’ will run till November 10. Pepperfry has allocated Rs 20 crore for the same.

With big investment the target is also bigger this year. Vadapalli informs, “In the last couple of years Diwali month brings around a jump of 60-80 per cent over the previous quarter. With this push we should be able to get 100 per cent jump. As a business we are growing 75 per cent y-o-y.”

The media plan is specific to each market. Vadapalli shares, “We are doing radio and cinema in top six cities, outdoor in Mumbai, Pune and Hyderabad.  TV is national (English Entertainment, Movies, English Infotainment, and select regional HD/SD channels/properties). It’s a big push from our side. If we generate additional interest in the brand and bring it top of mind during festive season then opportunity for growth is huge. This is not only online through our app but also from stores.”

On ground Pepperfry has planned events like stand-up shows and musical nights at their Pepperfry Studios (stores) in Delhi and Bangalore across three weekends before Diwali.  “The traffic and conversions from these cities are fantastic for us. It’s about getting people to understand in greater detail of our offering.”

The creatives on YouTube, TV and cinemas will be refreshed around October 22-23, Vadapalli informed. “Radio and outdoor will remain same. We looked at every market and decided media activity accordingly,” he said.

The television commercial has been conceptualised by Law and Kenneth Saatchi and Saatchi. It captures how people from different age groups, varied walks of life and diverse communal beliefs celebrate the joyous occasion of Diwali in different ways. Whether it is a family celebrating over dinner, group of friends bonding over a game of cards, a woman getting dressed for a party, or the varied reactions children have to firecrackers, it portrays countless aspects of the festivity and depicts how the concept of home goes beyond mere spaces to spark a feeling called home for everyone.

“The story is about the people in the ad not the furniture, here the objective is to not give attention to the category (since it’s already there) but we have just the right product for you,” Vadapalli signs off.


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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

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.

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. 

PMAR 2019: 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.


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

by Anjali Thakur
Published - 1 day ago
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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TRAI tariff, web measurement & data privacy will be big disrupters of 2019: Vikram Sakhuja

At the launch of Pitch Madison Advertising Report 2019, Vikram Sakhuja, Group CEO, Media & OOH, Madison World, spoke on how media verticals will look in future, 3 disruptive events of the year & more


‘What’s in store for media in the near future,’ was the topic that Vikram Sakhuja, Group CEO, Media & OOH, Madison World, shared his thoughts on at the release of the Pitch Madison Advertising Report 2019. He commented that how media will be shaped in the future will depend on how advertisers, media agencies and media owners use the different mediums across the fundamental media objectives.

The Media Objectives

Reach: Sakhuja noted that though television’s reach is close to 200 million homes, only a handful of advertisers - FMCG, political parties and telecom - are concerned about reaching both urban and rural homes. He says, “Reach has got to be the most important thing to get more trials and more users, but yet, at an India level, we are reaching less than half. The question to ask is whether 60% reach among urban is better or 95% reach in a particular market.”

Frequency: On this media objective, Sakhuja raised the point of “do we truly understand media frequency as a concept or is it just belting it out.”

Share of Voice: He also raised the question on whether a brand should need a share of voice over a campaign or over the fiscal.

Impact vs Regular: Impact helps break clutter and bring awareness, however it comes at a massive premium. While new advertisers such as start-ups looking to make a quick mark in the Indian market opt for impact strategy, legacy marketers historically have approached impact in a more judicious manner. “The question to my mind is do brands have an impact strategy,” he notes.

Weeks on Air (WOA): WOA or continuity, says Sakhuja, is the variable that is traded off the most. It is felt that it is better to have a campaign that is noticed over one that is always on. He says, “There are only a few brands who are always on TV, social, display search and performance, but most TV and almost all print, radio, out-of-home and cinema activities are sporadic and behind specific marketing initiatives rather than always on. I have always wonder why WOA is not given more importance and why WOA is only given importance on search, maybe SEO, TV and performance.”

Sakhuja also laid down how each media vertical will look going ahead.

Television: As per Sakhuja, television will continue to be the base medium for building awareness and consideration and more TV channels will launch in the future. He also said that the rates/10 seconds will not increase and may even fall. The fragmentation in the sector will lead to increase in CPRP (Cost Per Rating Point). If one were to look at competitive CPRPs within a genre, it will cost more to reach less. The occasional super premium impact programme, like IPL, will have be a tribal moment to command a value.


Digital Video: Digital video will grow on back of OTT, Youtube, Jio and other video consumption/sharing platforms. Sakhuja says, “Digital video has two roles. On advertising, the TV versus Digital video debate will be of one supplementing or complementing rather than one replacing the other. But when it comes to content, video will have a solo run and will grow as brands embrace content assets. As we embrace more and more content, the entire aspect of using video as scalable assets will grow.”

Social Will Overtake Search: Social is seen to be the biggest beneficiary and will grow on the back of content, psychographic targeting and outcome deliverables that have already been established itself in the past few years. “Here again, its growth is only going to be stunted by the brand’s ability to create content assets. Search will grow but more modestly as Cost Per Clicks (CPC) go up, the RoI on Search reduces and in the process Social will overtake Search,” he says.

Print: According to Sakhuja, Print will have a bumpy ride and will remain the medium for call to action and announcement of new news unless it reinvents itself. This category will bear scrutiny of effectiveness more than any other medium. Comparisons will inevitably be made with digital, and newspapers will struggle to balance yield with outlays.

Digital Display: Digital Display will continue to grow but less than video. With contextual, performance oriented, rich media, tech enhanced nature of banner marketing, digital display will win the battle versus print. He adds that voice will emerge as a display medium.

Radio, Cinema &OOH: Sakhuja says that radio and cinema will grow as outlays remain modest and local marketing importance grows. Out-of-home will grow, courtesy the traffic count measurement which helps planners find out impressions at every site and cost per thousand for these impressions.

Sakhuja states that if current trend continue, by 2021, digital will be the dominant second medium, overtaking Print, with Television remaining the leading medium.

However, he says that three disruptive events - TRAI tariff pricing of channels, digital data measurement & data privacy and two changes in marketing –  integrated marketing and increased localisation – will play a role in how advertisers market their brands and will have an impact on the industry.

TRAI Tariff Pricing of Channels:  The implementation of the TRAI tariff order will reduce the number of channels a consumer receives from 350 channels to around 150 channels. He says, “Once the extraneous channels that are not selected goes down, the individual channel reach will reduce, the average time spent (ATS) will go up and overall fragmentation will reduce.” This could also result in more channels becoming free-to-air and leading to a possible increase in carriage fee. There will also be more consumer experimentation, with consumer opting in and out of channels on a monthly basis. He adds, “Today there is a high degree of substitution possible between channels and media planners could switch channels and get the same reach. In the post TRAI world, we will need a combination of channels to build reach and no two channels will be completely substitutable. Life will also be more dynamic. Using the past four weeks to predict the next four weeks, something that media agencies do, will become very challenging. This is going to be a good time for a media planner to make a difference.”

Digital Measurement: Despite the huge growth in digital, this is a medium that still doesn’t have a measurement currency that tells advertisers and planners about digital adex, viewership or listenership. The industry big bet, EKAM, is still to be launched and this could give a currency on digital viewership and integrated viewership between television and digital and redefine the Rs 27,000 crore video market. Sakhuja believes that TV and OTT are going to be increasingly interchangeable and there will be a lot of crossover advertising once both are measurable on the same platform. He says, “TV and OTT content ecosystem will actually allow advertisers to move to a scenario that used to be reminiscent of the private producer days where you could collaborate with private producers, take slots and build brands in a completely different way and have free commercial time (FCT) model that used to exist in the eighties and early nineties. This will allow the narrow cast of the broadcast medium as we can choose markets, gender and age and eliminate wastage in TV broadcast.”

Data Privacy: Access to consumer data will have a profound bearing on how digital marketing will evolve. However, on privacy, detractors say that global digital media giants have the power and ability to manipulate consumer behaviour and profile them if they control the data. On the other hand, supporters say that consumer data has led to contextual, psychographic, programmatic marketing and made messaging to consumer more relevant. However, the crux of this issue is the difference between marketing and profiling. Sakhuja cautions, “It’s ok to target but don’t profile, that’s the underlying word. The difference is subtle but significant as if you cross the line, you run risk of losing targeting and attribution benefits.”

New Marketing Practices:

Integrated Marketing: While integrated marketing has been talked about for decades, the reality is that marketing still acts in silos when it comes to deciding the medium. The focus now is on the consumer journey, the potential media touch-point where consumer is engaged in the activity of listening, viewing, reading, shopping, socialising, learning and gaming. He says, “These are touch-points that brands can exploit and get the consumer to see the brand in a particular way, think about using it, experience and buy the brand or share their views about the brand. Until now 90% of marketing budgets were on brands getting the consumers to see them but increasingly as people start doing journey planning, there will be a point of time where it will be about getting them think about the brand, evaluate and experience the brand.” The biggest catalyst to making this happen will be a common currency called Cost Per Thousand (CPT) across media platforms, and Sakhuja says, that the minute you get everything across the consumer journey on one platform, the result will be amazingly different and this can be overlaid on the outcome piece to get the measuring cost for outcome.


Localisation: Sakhuja believes that India’s heterogeneity needs to be factored much more in marketing plans. The way forward is for brands to fight through the battlegrounds and go from spray and pray to seek and prey as illustrated by regional brands, such as Ghari detergent that started as a regional brand and went on to become a national brand.

On a final note, Sakhuja says that what’s in store for media in the near future is essentially, harder working outcome based marketing. He lays down six forces that will shape how advertising spends market will evolve:

Expansion of the Marketing Funnel:  While media planners are used to making trade-offs between mediums and media objectives to get consumers to see the ad, they will now additionally make trade-offs between getting them to see, explore, experience, buy and share across the consumer journey and marketing budgets will be cut up across this. If that happens, Sakhuja says, that television will lose out relatively while others will gain.

Integrated Reach: Integrated reach will be critical as more media touch-ponts will be required to get reach. Marketers will seek an integrated plans as it will be too expensive to use just one medium to get reach and the need will be for combination of mediums to get reach.

Greater Localisation: Digitisation and channel selection will lead to more localisation. Television will be used as a local medium more than it has been done before. Digital, OOH, Radio and Cinema will continue to work in combination much better than in silos. Print will redefine value the local marketer.

Integrated reach, CPT and greater localisation will lead to intelligent media selling: There will be need to find brand building solutions and media will get more integrated when devices get connected.

Data and technology will revolutionise targeting

We will decode how media works: The combination of marketing analytics and real time attribution, will help stakeholders understand the sequence of media and right consumer behaviour for each category.

Unified measurement system will help drive advertising growth: Madhusudan Gopalan, P&G

At the unveiling of the Pitch Madison Advertising Report 2019, Gopalan, MD & CEO, P&G India listed out three important steps for the industry to ensure growth as it did in 2018


The keynote speaker at the unveiling of the Pitch Madison Advertising Report (PMAR) 2019, Madhusudan Gopalan, MD & CEO, P&G India asked the industry to come together and create a unified measurement system to drive the kind of growth it saw in 2018 and to meet the projections laid out in the report. 

In his address to the audience of industry leaders from the media and advertising sector, he put forward three key steps for industry leaders.
The first, Gopalan pointed out, was to Rise Up: “It is a call for us to break through the clutter the consumer sees today. It is important for us to keep going back to how to win the hearts and minds of the consumers. Everything starts with advertising that begins with consumer insights but still cuts through the clutter the consumer sees,” he said, adding that everyone from the advertiser to the publisher must seek creative ways to produce impactful and meaningful advertising. 

The second step, he suggested, was to Step Up: “We as an industry need to be a force for growth and a driver of growth but it is also important to be a force for good,” Gopalan stressed, adding that five out of ten consumers tell P&G that what the brand stands for is as important as what the brand does for them. A case in point, Gopalan said, was Ariel’s Share the Load campaign and the Vicks Touch of Care campaign. 

Finally, stressing on the need for unified measurement, Gopalan said the last step is to Wake Up. “How can we as an industry deliver advertisements that are relevant to consumers that reaches real consumers and not bots in a safe and responsible way? Having a unified measurement system will be a driver of growth in the advertising expenditure,” he said. 

These three steps, if followed, will ensure that the growth seen in the past year will not be just a flash in the pan, he said. Gopalan also spoke about how the industry has seen serious disruption in the last ten years, in a reference to the ten-year challenge seen on social media. 

“One of the drivers in the growth of the advertising industry in 2019 and in the years to come will be sustainable improvement in consumption. All of us as part of the industry must think about what role we can play to ensure that we drive and grow responsible consumption in our country. This will in turn ensure that we grow the ad-ex at a healthy pace,” Gopalan said, adding that the greatest disruption one sees today is in the ease of access to goods, services and information that has just exploded. Access in terms of smartphones (nearly half a billion have access to smartphones in our country) is one of the key elements driving this disruption. 

Sam Balsara takes ad industry's #10YearChallenge

Over 10 years, the advertising industry has more than tripled, having moved up from Rs 19,582 cr in 2009 to Rs 60,908 cr in 2018 growing at a CAGR of 12%


The inimitable Sam Balsara on Wednesday took part in the #10yearchallenge as he presented the 17th edition of the Pitch Madison Advertising Report in Mumbai. 

The 68 year-old doyen of the media world, who gave birth to the afternoon soap ad slot in India back in the nineties, launched into a comparison of the industry as it was 10 years ago and today. 

Displaying a photo of himself from 10 years ago when Balsara was sporting a mustache, he said, “As you can see, even I have changed, but probably not quite as much as the media industry.”

Over 10 years, the advertising industry has more than tripled, having moved up from Rs 19,582 crore in 2009 to Rs 60,908 crore in 2018 growing at a CAGR of 12%. “Growth came mainly from digital, which grew by leaps and bounds every year and clocked the highest growth rate of all media consistently,” he said.

Digital has gone from a puny 4% share of the ad pie to now claiming 19%, chipping away slowly at the share of TV and Print. Print, which was at 41% of the market, has dropped to 32% and TV has lost 5% share, going down from 43% in 2009 to 38% in 2018. 

“The last decade has seen a significant change in the pecking order of the various media. Digital has made major inroads year on year at the expense of both TV and Print. Digital has established itself as the third largest medium, almost double the combined share of Radio, OOH, and Cinema,” Balsara pointed out. 

Referring to the stunted growth of the industry in 2017, the attack of demonetisation in 2016, and possibly the biggest hit to the industry so far in 2008 when the industry saw a massive de-growth, Balsara said, “Over the years, we have seen that adex is quite resilient. But certain mega interventions like demonetisation and GST did temporarily derail it.”

Another aspect he spoke about was government spending on advertising. Government spending on TV & Print has witnessed an over 100% increase in ad spends since the Narendra Modi government has come to power, given the importance they ascribe to communicating with the people. He said that this is possibly a result of the immense success that the ruling party achieved with the support of Madison’s media buying initiatives during the 2014 elections. Balsara said that he expects this spend to receive a significant fillip in the run-up to the general elections in 2019.

Some other highlights: 

  • Number of television channels has tripled in the last 10 years, largely on account of regional and news channels.
  • More than 2,000 new advertisers on TV, and more than 80,000 new advertisers in Print have been added.
  • In 2009, Top 50 advertisers contributed approximately 43% of the total adex, whereas in 2018, this number has gone down to 35%. 
  • In Print, in the last 10 years, contribution by English and Hindi publications in terms of volume has not changed. They contribute to around 60%. However, in terms of growth of volume, ad space in Hindi publications has doubled over the last 10 years. In terms of total volume, Print has grown by 73% over last decade, but significantly, English, which contributed 33% to the volume in 2009, now contributes only 25%. 
  • In TV, in terms of genre contribution, on account of success of IPL and non-cricket leagues, revenue contribution of sports genre has seen a major shift from only 3% in 2009 to 10% in 2018 and contribution of Hindi GEC has decreased by 10% whereas regional channels have seen a growth of 10%, confirming the long held belief that you have got to communicate with your target audience in their language to be effective.
  • Science and data-based planning has finally arrived in OOH: Planning with most sites is being graded on multiple parameters and some baby steps are being taken to get traffic count. Airport advertising has now got firmly established and commands a healthy share of the OOH market.
  • Digital predictably has seen the maximum change, growing in share from 4% to 19% over the decade.
  • Internet penetration has increased from 4.2% to 41.4% over the decade.
  • Facebook has grown from 7.45 million users in 2009 to 280 million today and with WhatsAapp, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Quora and what not, social media contribute as much as 21% of the total digital spend.

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Distell awards its communications business to WPP 

WPP will be responsible for Distell’s Tier 1 brands, including Savanna, Hunter’s  and Hunter’s Edge


Distell, the alcoholic beverages company, has selected WPP as its global partner agency. 

Distell produces, markets and distributes a diverse portfolio of award-winning global and multi-country brands within the ready-to-drink (RTD), cider, wine and spirits categories and is acknowledged as the second-largest cider producer in the world. 

WPP will be responsible for Distell’s Tier 1 brands, including Savanna, Hunter’s, Hunter’s Edge, Viceroy, Amarula Cream, Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky and Scottish Leader. 
Delivered by Team Liquid – WPP’s bespoke and scalable agency solution for Distell – the portfolio will cover strategy, creative, digital, social, media, PR, influencer and in-store. 

Led by Paul Jackson, CEO of Team Liquid, the team will be based in Johannesburg and will draw on expertise from across WPP’s global network as Distell continues to build its international consumer base. 

Donovan Hegland, Distell Global Marketing Director, said: “We have world-class, award-winning brands with ambitions to expand globally and are extremely excited to be partnering with WPP on this new journey. This was a rigorous process and the quality was of an incredibly high standard, but ultimately we were unanimous in appointing WPP, who approached the brief with a great deal of creativity, expertise and passion.” 

Mark Read, CEO of WPP, said: “We are delighted to have been appointed Distell’s lead creative partner in Africa and key international markets as they look to reshape their marketing strategy. Ideally placed to deliver on Distell’s global growth ambitions, WPP’s Team Liquid is an integrated, bespoke solution that brings together the very best talent from across our agencies, markets and disciplines.” 


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