Commerce Marketing: Understanding Mobile Marketing and Omni-Channel Shopping in India

A summary report from the Criteo Exec Connect roundtable, Bengaluru, India, October 26, 2017, organised in association with the Internet And Mobile Association of India (IAMAI)

exchange4media News Service 12-January-2018

A summary report from theCriteo Exec Connect roundtable, Bengaluru, India, 26th October 2017, organised in association with the Internet And Mobile Association of India (IAMAI)

The explosion of Mobile, Apps and Omni-channel shopping in India

India is experiencing a massive growth in the use of mobile, which is changing consumer behaviour and in turn having a massive impact on digital marketers, brands, marketplaces and technology vendors.

According to a study conducted by Criteo, mobile shopping apps, in particular, are becoming extremely popular within the country. Three quarters (74%) of respondents said that they have installed two or more shopping apps on their phone, while more than 60% buy goods from online marketplaces on mobile between 2-5 times a month. Overall, four fifths (80%) of shoppers in India say they feel as comfortable and secure using mobile for online shopping as they do while using desktop/laptops.

“We’ve seen a very steady rise of app installs from early this year onwards. This is not just happening in companies operating out of India - app developers across the world are seeing a ton of downloads coming from India”, said Sanjay Trisal, Country Manager for the India branch of Appsflyer, an international marketing and analytics attribution platform.

To understand the nature of this new mobile phenomenon, Criteo and the Internet And Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), a not-for-profit industry body which aims to expand and enhance the online and mobile value-added services sectors in India, hosted a roundtable with leading digital marketing professionals in the region. Representatives from Titan Company, Ajio, Furlenco, RedBus, bigbasket, Voonik, Max Fashion, Nykaa, Appsflyer, Zivame, and Shopclues came together at Criteo Exec Connect Bengaluru, seeking to broaden the understanding of the mobile phenomenon within the country.

With mobile, the way that brands can market to potential shoppers has been disrupted completely. Mobile gives brands the opportunity to understand so much more about how their target consumers behave as shoppers in different channels and retail environments. At the same time, this has also added significant complexity in the best way to achieve marketing success.

Vishwanath, CMO, of Voonik, an online fashion marketplace for women, gave an overview of how the industry has changed in India. “30 years ago, business to consumer (B2C) businesses were all about advertising focused on building general awareness to large sections of the population. This channel of distribution has evolved significantly today. Today, we see that some part of customer decision-making is now made at the point of sale. This is where shopper marketing started - when you realise it's not all about winning the awareness battle. There is also an equal battle to be fought in-store or online. With the proliferation of mobile devices and the increasing popularity of apps, traditional notions of shopper marketing have changed completely.”

Meera Iyer, Head of Marketing of bigbasket, India’s largest online grocery retailer, commented: “When you think about the classic definition of shopper marketing in the offline world, you would focus on visibility in-store, or having someone manning a counter and giving free samples, all led by specific brands in a store. A footfall to the store however would easily convert to a sale for some or the other assortment. In the online world, conversion of a visitor to your store is not a given. In fact, the best of portals manage to only convert 15% of their visitors. This means that shopper marketing has to be totally rethought.”

“Almost all of marketing can be done on an e-commerce platform, especially for a small brand. Today, companies like bigbasket and FlipKart are now doing their advertising on the distribution channel. Shopper marketing is now a lot wider because it includes both brand building as well as smaller brands looking to make an immediate impact.” Vishwanath, CMO, Voonik.

Jiten Mahendra, Head of Marketing at Max Fashion, believes that brands should create an omnibrand strategy instead of focusing on an online vs offline strategy, as more new physical platforms will evolve further. He also believed that brands should focus on engaging with consumers differently without losing the core brand proposition. “Today, customers are spending a huge amount of effort on research before they come to buy the product. The conversation between brand and consumer has transformed from a monologue to an interactive discussion. The digital revolution has helped the customer which is facilitating ROPO (Research Online Purchase Offline). We see around approximately 60% of our business coming to us from those who’ve already researched us.”

“Selling happens at various phases. It’s not just about one environment where you give your best offer and then the customer buys from you. Some interactions with brands are taking place physically, and some are happening online. The decision-making process is happening somewhere in this phygital space. That's where the evolution of shopper marketing is going for us.” - Jiten Mahendra, Head of Marketing, Max Fashion

Hitesh Malhotra, CMO of Nykaa, a beauty retailer player in India, commented: “The old equations of accessibility are completely ruled out now. On average, people have six to seven shopping apps. How do you ensure that you get them to your site, and what differentiated experience are you providing? Shoppers in the olden days were just looking for a catalogue, and they were quite happy with it because it was really convenient not to have a retail store. Now, there are a plethora of online companies and the whole point has changed from convenience to pampering. How do you convince them to come back and make repeat purchases?”


Companies need to invest in retention and loyalty to succeed in a competitive mobile landscape

It is clear that mobile is making a huge impact on marketing, but the problem for many retailers lies not in the ability to adapt to that platform, but to excel in it. The increasing accessibility of mobile and far-reaching nature of online marketing has made e-commerce extremely competitive. In the past, only the big players could afford large media buys and distribution – but today, many brands can do the same with the help of digital advertising and smart distribution. However, it is far easier to acquire customers today than it is to retain.

So how do leading marketers build stronger relationships with customers in this challenging landscape? For Alokedeep Singh, Head of E-Commerce & Digital, Titan Company, India’s leading retailer of watches, jewellery, eyewear and accessories, retaining loyal customers is all about facilitating repeat purchases and making sure that they are not just reached out to, but reached out to correctly. “At Titan, we have one of the largest loyalty programs in the industry. When our customers buy, we give them points which they can redeem. However, while we have the programme implemented both across online and in-store, we are thinking of new ways to optimise it every day. With retargeting, it’s not about chasing the consumer and following him. We want to always add value, and ensure we are finding the correct ways to reach customers at the right time, rather than chasing them after they have come to research us.”

Seema Chawla, CMO of Ajio, an e-commerce marketplace in India, believes that the key to brand loyalty is through providing a great personal shopping experience: “We have incredibly loyal customers. We got obsessive about the way the merchandise moves out, how is it packaged instead of focusing on appeasement and brand recovery. I think we are really obsessive about every non-measurable touchpoint. We make sure that if our customers receive something bad from us, they get something back and are taken care of as well. We've discovered that if they've bought once from us, they're almost guaranteed to come back. And if we see even one tiny social media message from anybody talking about their experience with us, we will always reach out to them.”

“Loyalty is not influenced easily. I don’t believe you can throw money at people and expect them to be loyal. There are two aspects we measure, for success in loyalty: one, how do you get customers you have already acquired to keep coming back to you, and second, how do you increase the share of wallet of these retained customers over time. As a start, you need to use data to understand customer behaviours that affect retentions. For example, we have found that the more diverse the first purchase basket is at bigbasket, the greater the stickiness. Our monthly average basket value is ₹2500. But for loyal customers, its 3X, at ₹7500 - this is a big difference.” - Meera Iyer, Head of Marketing, bigbasket

Jiten Mahendra, Head Of Marketing at Max Fashion, believes that building loyalty in fashion is all about community building: “We are going into the social CRM space where we cluster customers based on their social behaviour. We want to create communities – tribes – where people can get excited about products together instead of us hard selling. We are also exploring a full omni-channel perspective with click and collect – I’m sure this will play a very important part in loyalty moving forward.”

For Aishvarya Chanakya, Vice President Of Marketing, Furlenco, a furniture rental company based in India, retaining loyalty in the furniture business is a completely different ball game: “We get customers staying with us for 16 months – this is the norm. They’re loyal in some sense because they are committed to pay a monthly rental. We want to focus on how we make the “16-month customer” an “18-month customer” next time, and a “20-month customer” in the future. Moving groups of customers from 16 months to 18 months has a huge unit economics impact if you look at it from a larger P&L perspective. While we have an acquisition marketing team which is looking to build awareness and new engagement with us, we also have an equally strong retention marketing team which is tasked with keeping our existing 30,000, 40,000 customers engaged.”

“Loyalty is a different ball game altogether for us. It is about constantly communicating and finding better ways and newer ways to communicate with existing customers. Give them better value, make them feel like they are part of a community. We want to ensure that they don't churn out of our family.” - Aishvarya Chanakya, Vice President of Marketing, Furlenco

Rajiv Kondal, Director of Digital Marketing for RedBus, an online bus ticketing platform based in India, comments: “Retention is the holy grail for RedBus. It’s a whole programme for us, and we have a four-pronged approach. Firstly, we have a cashback scheme alongside a semi-closed RedBus wallet – which creates some stickiness. We employ our referral and ambassador programmes, which gain customers which are even more loyal. We have also introduced product features around the user experience which differentiates RedBus – such as live bus tracking, seats for ladies, and so on. The fourth one is working with technology and partners - we are trying to implement a predictive lifetime value (LTV) model to increase the probability that where we are spending higher, we are getting higher LTV. That’s how we drive retention.”

Apps versus Mobile Sites - which platform should brands choose for success?
Mobile plays a huge part in driving consumers to businesses and instilling loyalty. Arif Ehsan, Associate Director - Digital Marketing at Shopclues, an Indian e-commerce marketplace, believes that mobile is absolutely essential to businesses everywhere: “Mobile is our bread and butter - almost 90% of the business is mobile. Apps and mobile sites are both crucial for us. Everything new that we're trying to do is built on mobile and built for the future. The problem with mobile web is the funnel - the experience is not that great, people have connectivity issues, and this creates further problems. The repeat rate that I would see on app is almost 5-6 times of what I get on my mobile site. The focus for me is app, while trying to build and bridge the gap between mobile web and app. So we're working on two fronts here.”

Vishwanath, CMO, Voonik, weighed in on the differences between mobile apps and mobile websites and urged brands to build better apps than stick to mobile sites. “When I look at Google Analytics, the mobile site looks easier on acquisition while the app has a lot of friction - the fact you have to download it creates a natural barrier.”

“I think companies should seize the opportunity to build a good, differentiated product on the app which helps to solve the category problem. I see most apps as locked in mobile sites. They are the same, except that you have a login so they can track you. But I’d love to see product innovations that which allow for a better category experience. This could be via personalisation or via better visualisation. This is where the next product opportunity lies.” - Vishwanath, CMO, Voonik

Seema Chawla, CMO, Ajio agreed that there are untapped opportunities in apps. “The app forms the lion's share of what we sell. However, our research shows that some female consumers and repeat users prefer to sift and keep adding to cart on mobile, but do a final checkout on a tab or desktop because they might want to see it on a bigger screen. From a marketer's perspective, we do want to get to a point where we can make that a truly personal experience, because when it's sitting on a personal device, then the expectation is that you'll know me because I have let you into my digital home. That's what we're working towards at Ajio.”

“Mobile has become the key facet of anybody's browsing behaviour - a vast majority of our business comes from mobile. Even though our focus has been on websites, we realised last year that there is a great opportunity to be seized with apps. A huge part of customer engagement is coming on app first then to website, and we see it as a key growth component for us and we will continue to adapt to challenges in this new environment.”, said Naman Gupta, Head - Digital Revenue & Retention, Zivame, a women’s e-commerce marketplace based in India.

Aishvarya Chanakya, Vice President of Marketing, Furlenco, shared her company’s experiences with mobile sites and apps: “We did both a mobile site and app, and found that the mobile site always converts worse than your app. We also found that exact copies of the app on a mobile site perform worse. For us, app installs mean that we get more loyalty. Our subscription management gets that much stronger, and we have a connected bunch of consumers we can keep talking to. Apps are a loyalty retention tool, which is not the case for one-time acquisition kinds of businesses.”
Although Furlenco and the leading digital marketers at Criteo Exec Connect India saw great opportunities for sales, reach and retention on apps, they reminded professionals to take an omni-channel approach. Aishvarya added: “Desktop behaviour is still fairly high – while 40% of our sales come from our app, almost 50 percent of our business is from desktop. We find that desktop behaviour still exists and maybe it's the nature of our shoppers as well. Our app converts phenomenally. It's the best asset that we have. In which case – should we buy desktop traffic or mobile traffic? Mobile traffic is way cheaper and easier to buy, but desktop traffic is more expensive simply because your pool of competition is higher in desktop, and the audiences who are accessing desktop are diminishing at this point of time. We always have to strike that balance.”

Alokedeep Singh, Head of E-Commerce & Digital , Titan Company, also believes that an omni-channel approach is key. “We are seeing customers getting used to even buying big ticket items like watches and jewellery on mobile. We don't have an app yet, but we have a separate mobile site. Jewellery at Titan is a very involved category and sees a lot of multi-device use. Consumers now buy watches, jewellery, accessories, perfumes with the same ease on mobile, however the desktop isn't going away in this category.”

To Rajiv Kondal, Director of Digital Marketing, RedBus, the mobile site is still very relevant as it is the perfect platform to reach consumers on lower end mobiles. “For RedBus, more than 65 percent of sales are mobile, and out of that 80% is app driven. Apps have been the focus for us on the last three years, but for the next wave of growth, what we've realised is that mobile is the channel of discovery for new users. We are trying to reach users who have lower speed connections and lower end devices which are not optimal for apps. Mobile web is acquiring certain importance in terms of discovery - the idea is to reach tier 2, tier 3, tier 4 cities in India.”

In this new age of Mobile and Omni-channel marketing in India, measurement is key

While the leading digital marketing professionals at the roundtable agreed that an omni-channel approach is the best way to move forward in India’s changing landscape, they also reiterated the importance of measurement.

Hitesh Malhotra, CMO, Nykaa believes that understanding customer behaviour through data is key to improving customer retention. “Looking at the app, and customer behaviour around the app, is very important. There are two gaps in understanding today. Firstly, what is the motivation to the person to download the app? Secondly, what is the sales pattern? Buying in-app is easier than buying through a mobile site, and mobile is the only internet device for some. The harsh reality is that no matter who you are - even if you are Amazon, if you are no good and offer a bad experience on mobile or app, people will uninstall you.”

Rajiv Kondal, Director of Digital Marketing, RedBus commented: “The idea is to capture the shopper at the right moment. Whether it’s getting the audience surrounded, whatever analytics or marketing tools you're using – you are basically ensuring that you have a wide-reaching re-engagement programme for the people who are in market but you're not able to convert yet. I think there are a lot of finer points to it than before.”

“As a digital marketer, I think attribution is the first piece of the puzzle you have to figure out. Without that, you can't start. If I’m a brand, it would be invaluable for me to be able to understand and target users who have interacted with my brand across many other marketplaces. I’m not sure how we can manage this with the data sharing policies implemented by various marketplaces right now, but to have that ability to retarget users across various platforms would be absolutely invaluable.”, said Nikil Parachure, Head-Digital, Ajio.

“People are comfortable on mobile - that's a given. What you need to figure out as a marketer – especially as a performance marketer - is to be able to attribute where and how that conversion happened. The same customer who left the product on the cart on the desktop may end up finishing the purchase on the mobile and vice versa. We talk about multi-device behaviour, we talk about content across different devices. At the end of the day, it’s crucial for to measure our spends on customer acquisition” - Alokedeep Singh, Head of E-Commerce & Digital , Titan Company

Key Takeaways: Collaboration and Commerce Marketing are the keys to success in this age of Mobile Disruption

The impact of mobile has significantly affected the e-commerce market in India, and companies all around are feeling the change in audience habits, behaviours and preferences.

Despite the challenging landscape, Criteo Exec Connect Bengaluru emphasised valuable insights for success in this new, hypercompetitive age of shopper marketing. Key takeaways include:

• The need for flexibility: Brands must prioritise flexibility and openness to adapt to this new shopper marketing landscape, in order to stay competitive.

• The importance of loyalty and retention: Although new technologies make it easier to acquire customers, marketers must invest in loyalty and retention to be successful, or risk being left behind as consumers jump to better options.

• Omni-channel is key: Regardless of the ongoing debate between the effectiveness of app, mobile sites and other platforms, they all play a big part in Omni-channel marketing – something that marketers must prioritise for ongoing success.

• Understanding consumer behaviour: There is a wealth of untapped opportunities in consumer insights hidden in these channels. Having the right tools to measure and understand consumer behaviour is instrumental in helping marketers reach and convert their target customers effectively.

However, the true key to success in the ever-changing mobile landscape in India is not just through technology, but closer collaboration. The leading marketers that took part in Criteo Exec Connect India believe that brands, marketplaces, and retailers all around must work with commerce marketing partners - who are in sync with the ongoing developments in the Indian market – to truly succeed in performance marketing.

“In a cluttered retail market, brands need scale and personalisation to compete on an equal footing with their competitors. To do so, they must tap into an open commerce marketing ecosystem and use technology and data analytics to help shoppers find products which they want and need.” - Siddharth Dabhade, General Manager India, Criteo

“In a world of butterfly consumers with shrinking attention spans, Criteo’s intelligent retargeting doesn’t just help hold their interest for longer. It also ensures that brands are visible only to those consumers who have shown interest at that moment. It does this without pestering or intruding and with scale and minimum wastage which is what every marketer wants.” - Mohit Hira, Strategy Consultant, Internet and Mobile Association of India.
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MedikaBazaar appoints Dr. Akash Rajpal as EVP, Marketing and Product Management

MedikaBazaar also recently appointed Sanjeet Singh as EVP Operations & Revenue

exchange4media Staff 4 hours ago

medikabazaar

MedikaBazaar, the B2B online aggregator for medical supplies, recently appointed Dr. Akash Rajpal as Executive Vice-President, Marketing and Product Management. With more than 20 years of rich experience in public & private healthcare sectors, Dr Akash with a forte in healthcare operations & IT has executed various PPP, EHealth, Accreditation & operationally challenging initiatives.

An alumnus of Singularity University NASA AMES, Dr. Rajpal, a qualified medical graduate, also holds post graduate credentials in administration, public health & finance. His achievements include receiving 1st NABH accreditation in Western region of India, IMC Ramkrishna Bajaj National Quality Award & Asia Pacific Quality Award. 

Speaking about the new journey, Dr. Rajpal said, “MedikaBazaar is an exciting opportunity where I’m fortunate to use my experience in technology, operations and clinical exposure to understand the supply chain & product need-gaps in the healthcare industry and help leverage my work experience to address them and be part of the company’s exponential growth.”

Welcoming Dr. Rajpal, Vivek Tiwari, CEO, Medikabazaar, said, “Dr Akash has been appointed as Executive Vice President Marketing & Product Management. He has provided many valuable insights which have benefitted the organisation. I’m confident that Dr Akash’s rich diverse set of experience in IT, healthcare operations and business acumen as an entrepreneur himself, will help take the organization to greater heights.”

Prior to this, his entrepreneurial initiative on innovative healthcare financing has got a case study published in Harvard Business Review and he has various papers on healthcare PPP to his credit. His past stints include working as COO at Jaslok Hospital & Research Centre, Head HOSMAC Private LTD, and in various positions at Hiranandani Hospital Powai and Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation.

MedikaBazaar also recently appointed Sanjeet Singh as EVP Operations & Revenue. He comes with a rich experience of supply chain operations from telecom & healthcare industries, and prior to joining MedikaBazaar was heading central supply chain management & procurement at Fortis Healthcare.


 


 

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Have always felt that Twitter is a perfect fit for India: Jack Dorsey

Jack Dorsey, Co-Founder & CEO of Twitter, speaks to Nandan Nilekani of Infosys about his vision for Twitter and the significant role that India plays in the growth of the platform.

Ruhail Amin 1 day ago

JackDorsey

On his maiden visit to India, Jack Dorsey, Co-Founder & CEO of Twitter, spoke to Nandan Nilekani of Infosys about his vision for Twitter and the significant role that India plays in the growth of the platform.

Speaking about his initial journey, Dorsey said he always wanted to make technology work for greater good. “I went to San Francisco at the crash of the internet bubble. I was not an engineer, I was a self-taught programmer. My parents had a computer when I was a kid and I always wanted to understand how to make it work the way I want it to work.”

Dorsey accepted that the evolution of Twitter was being led by the people who use it and that Twitter was making serious investments to understand what all it could become.

“Everything that has made Twitter is actually invented by people who are using it, and that is still the case today. We could do a great job if we could recognise what people want Twitter to be. We have spent a lot of time in the past three years to understand what Twitter wants to be,” said Dorsey.

When asked about the growing polarisation and proliferation of fake news and the fact that there has been a transfer of responsibilities from individuals and communities to social platforms and how he handles it all, Dorsey said, “When it comes to using technologies, it takes time to understand what they are and where they can be used. Any technology at the end of the day is just like a tool. Nation states have become less and less relevant and I think we should not burden nation states or communities with things which we are able to understand. And one of them is increasing the health of public conversation.”

Talking about censorship and social media, Dorsey said, “We have to consider the expectations that people come to Twitter with because it's a public square; it's a place where people gather and they can talk and they can fight, and all these things are expected.  What I expect in a public square, I expect that on Twitter too.”

“However, the problem with that is if you let everything run, some people may not feel safe to be at this public square and they may not feel safe to speak up, and then you cannot see the benefits of having this public square in the first place,” he added.

“In any public square there are concerned citizens; you may see some sort of police force that imposes certain rules. We are also looking for opportunities to encourage people into healthier debates and healthier outcomes.  Our number one priority is to increase the health of this conversation,” said Dorsey.

With India becoming the new engine for digital growth, the role that it plays for platforms such as Twitter cannot be understated.

Speaking about the growing significance of India in terms of driving growth for Twitter, Dorsey said, “Well, that's one of the reasons I am here. I have never been to India and this is my first time here.  I am fascinated by this country not just because it's just the biggest democracy in the world, but also because of the diversity of this country. I have always felt that Twitter is a perfect fit for India. It has a very public culture. It has a very transparent culture. It has a culture of sharing and we have won the hearts of people who are comfortable expressing themselves to the entire world.”

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Mazhavil Manorama has gone digital

Mazhavil’s digital platform has been planned keeping in mind the Malayala Manorama groups strengths & leadership in each vertical - TV, print, online and radio

exchange4media Staff 1 day ago

Mazhavil Manorama

Mazhavil Manorama, the leading entertainment channel, owned by Malayala Manorama group has gone digital. With audience accessing TV content at their convenience on personal devices the content team felt necessary to address their needs.

In the month of August this year, a Digital First' approach was adopted on mazhavilmanorama.com with a video friendly facelift. A well-planned launch with ‘Mazhavil Digital Premieres' wherein exclusive premiere of seven blockbuster movies (which was bought by the channel as World Television Premier movies) was made available for free viewing, on the website much before the same movies were to be telecast on the TV channel. This not only helped drive traffic to the site but also created a huge salience for the destination. Byju’s saw value in the digital premiers and associated through branding and sponsorship and the association paid off.

Mazhavil Mango Music Awards 2018, a leading music awards event in Kerala was the next exclusive content to feature on the website.

With the success of Digital Premeirs & Music Awards there was no looking back and in September 2018, 'Mazhavil Multiplex' was launched - a complete treat for movie lovers with wide range of movies and watching it anywhere anytime. Over 200+ movies will be featured in the platform. The launch has Spinz a fairness cream from Cavincare as the brand partner.

Mazhavil’s digital platform has been planned keeping in mind the Manorama groups strengths and leadership in each vertical - TV, print, online and radio and would run on each of one of them. 

MMTV is all geared up to build a sustainable platform and plans are on to launch an OTT soon. The content will range from TV shows, events, movies, and original web content.

The marketing team has started approaching brands and agencies showcasing the possibilities for brand associations, collaborations & placements and thereby creating TV + digital packages for advertisers.
 

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Amazon Prime Video's Diwali campaign brings alive magic of stories

Film by Supari Studios highlights the importance that stories hold in our lives, through the eyes of a grandmother and granddaughter

exchange4media Staff 2 days ago

amazon prime

Supari Studios has taken Diwali advertising a step further by integrating creative storytelling in its commercial for Amazon Prime Video.

 

The film highlights the importance that stories hold in our lives, through the eyes of a grandmother and granddaughter. We see a young girl in her mid-20s narrating a magical story, using quirky props and interesting story telling devices. At a point in the story, she goes back into her memories, remembering how it was once told to her by her grandmother, on yet another Diwali day, many years ago. The film ends with the realisation that the tables have now turned and the listener has now become the storyteller, trying to rekindle old memories of a grandmother, whose memories are slowly fading away. To enhance the impact of this storytelling, the Supari team very uniquely blended live-action with animation, along with seamless camera movements and transitions, transporting its viewers into a different world altogether. This heartwarming film, filled with ample doses of nostalgia and heart, aims to stay true to the Diwali spirit of family bonding and simple pleasures.

 

Link to the video-

https://www.facebook.com/PrimeVideoIN/videos/1132603983588170/

 

Misha Ghose, Director of the film, said, “For us, this film was an exciting journey that we were allowed to take with our protagonists. The film is about bringing alive the magic of storytelling, which we wanted to be as creative and memorable as possible; so we used puppets, animation and cardboard cutouts and then tried to weave it into the story as seamlessly as we could. Of course the process was quite complicated; we had to sync a ten-foot movable backdrop with lights changing and a puppet reacting, and get all our match cuts that allowed us to move into the animation world perfectly. Getting the whole timing right was crucial and extremely challenging. Overall, our hope was to be able to take the viewer through a journey that was both magical and heartwarming. I think Diwali is a great time to remember how important some memories and relationships are and I’m glad we got to make this kind of Diwali film.”

 

 

Manoti Jain, Executive Producer, Supari Studios, said, “The advertising sector has become increasingly cluttered in the recent past, and brands are looking for fresher and more creative routes to connect with their target audiences. For their Diwali campaign, Amazon Prime Video wanted to steer clear from the cliché Diwali advertisements, and instead emphasise upon the joy that storytelling brings into our lives, which is symbolic of their brand. While conceptualising the film, we decided to retain certain integral elements of Diwali, such as the ‘good versus evil’ narrative and family bonding, while showcasing them in a more unique manner. With storytelling being our primary focus, we turned a simple exchange between a grandmother and her granddaughter into a magical, larger than life experience, by integrating a variety of distinct treatment styles into the very same story. Working with Amazon was a great experience, since they were looking to push the boundaries of creative storytelling, much like we were, and we're looking forward to more such collaborations with them in the future.”

 


Aditya Tawde, Head, Post Office, said, “The most interesting aspect of working on the film was amalgamating live action, 2D animation and storytelling with a puppet seamlessly into a single narrative. While conceptualising the characters and backdrops for the animation portions, we had to ensure that they could be well replicated in the other forms of storytelling as well. We also designed our frames in a way that gave them an international feel, while retaining Indian characteristics and elements in the design. The animation was given vintage filters and made with a colour scheme that invoked a sense of warmth and nostalgia, keeping in mind that it was an exchange between a grandmother and her granddaughter. It was great to finally see all these aspects come together so beautifully in the final film.”

 

Credits:

Conceptualized and Produced by Supari Studios

Client: Amazon Prime Video

Director: Misha Ghose

Executive Producer: Manoti Jain

DOP: Siddharth Vasani

Creative Team: Akshat Gupt & Mohit Bhasin

Writing Team: Sanmik Cardoz, Richa Rungta, Ankush Salaria

Creative Producers: Ria Concessao, Richa Rungta

Sr. Associate Producer: Madhura Bhasker

Associate Producer: Saloni Dukle

1st Assistant Director: Sanmik Cardoz

2nd Assistant Director: Feroz Ahmed

Line Producers: Karan Hinduja, Kunal Gurnani (Shutterplay Media LLP)

Gaffer: Vicky

Focus Puller: Gagandeep

Assistant DOP: Nitin Dhar

Art Director: Viveka Banja

Art Assistant: Shivani Shilotri

Casting Director: Swapnil Mishra, Neha Bhatter

Costume Stylist: Mansi Patel

Assistant Stylist: Rozy Agarwal

Hair & Make-Up: Tarsha Khorana

Assistant Hair & Make-Up: Angela

Camera Equipment: 1 Stop Cine Digital

Lighting: One Stop Services

Post Production: Post Office

Creative Head: Aditya Tawde

Animators: Harsh Sharma, Shikha Sharma, Pratik Satam, Hiren Gamre, Neekhil Dighe, Shanel Moraes

Illustrators: Pankaj Gole, Adarsh Panicker

Editor: Sarang Aigalikar (Noise Studios)

Colour Grade: Daniel Schmid (Nube Studios)

Music: Rahul Pais & Nariman Khambata (The Jamroom)

Musicians: Joell Mukherjii, Jitendra Harisingh Thakur, Tapas Roy

Sound Engineer: Richard Francis

Sound Studio: Island City Studio

Voiceover: Sneha Suresh

Spot: Ilyas Bhai, Mane Ji, Aarif Ji

Actors: Padmini Sardesai, Anandita Pagnis, Zenia Shastiker

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iProspect India strengthens SEO Practice team with two new hires

Asad Khan and Vishal Shah join as Senior Directors of SEO Practice

exchange4media Staff 2 days ago

asad vishal

iProspect India, the digital performance agency from Dentsu Aegis Network, has appointed Asad Khan and Vishal Shah as Senior Directors to lead SEO practice at the agency.

With more than eight years of experience, Khan has chiefly been responsible for expanding business for the Southeast Asian & Oceania markets and leading strategic planning for e-commerce portfolios. His core strengths lie in formulating data driven integrated search strategies using an agile marketing approach.

On joining iProspect, Khan, Senior Director – SEO, said, “I’m happy to join the iProspect family. The agency’s belief in maintaining an open and transparent work environment, unrestricted access to knowledge and collaborative approach towards decision making is what gives them a competitive advantage and a clear path to continued growth. I'm eager to work with the team and help them grow the business.”

Shah, who has worked across domestic and international markets for more than eight years now, has been instrumental in strengthening core organic search offerings as per technological advancements and market evolution. His ability to plan, execute and deliver in complex brand ecosystems has helped him successfully play the strategic lead on several enterprise clients.

“With a worldwide presence, iProspect has been successful in driving digital performance in every corner of the globe. 20 years of rich digital experience has led the agency to the position that it enjoys today. I look forward to the new set of learnings at iProspect,” said Shah.

On the new appointments, Rubeena Singh, CEO, iProspect India, said, “Reinvigorating the team with new talent is crucial in driving business performance. Both Asad and Vishal have rich experience. With them leading the SEO teams, we hope to strengthen our service suite and accelerate our growth in the next phase.”

Prior to the move, both worked at Performics.Convonix as Associate Directors.

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Google has become more open in the last 12 months: GroupM report

In the second State of the Video report, GroupM delivered many valuable insights into the industry-wide changes that are shaping the video ecosystem

exchange4media News Service 2 days ago

groupmreport

Google has opened up its doors to agencies in light of increasing brand safety concerns, GroupM has said in a report. 

In the second State of the Video report, GroupM said that “Google, for one, has become more open in the last 12 months - as it had to.”

Concerns about brand safety peaked in 2017 and the topic continues to remain one of the hottest topics of conversation between client and agency. In the report GroupM said that the agency has always asked that media partners allow true third-party verification via a tag on the page. “Our most concerned clients demand it and direct investment to partners who comply. Resisting independent verification creates doubt among planners and clients alike as to what’s really going on.” 

The report delivered other valuable insights into the industry-wide changes that are shaping the video ecosystem. The highlights: 

Modernising TV Advertising 

The report that studies the trends in the world of video content, mediums, and advertising drew attention the perils and procedural quagmires of addressable television advertising. 

Ad buying ecosystem on television is “complicated” the report said. “In 2018, we are in limbo between the traditional and the modern. We have a choice: Force-fit digital video into linear mechanisms, systems and pricing structures, or modernise television to look more like digital – targeted, automated and optimised,” the report states. 

Explaining the paradox of modernising television advertising with addressability the report said: Television’s core function is still reach. Data adornments are welcome only if they make that reach more intelligent and more intimate, expanding television’s relationship to sales and downstream financial and performance metrics, as any advertiser on earth would hope to achieve. 

A Prime Platform for Advertisers?

Amazon Advertising encompasses tools for buying, search, and display formats. The Amazon advertising suite offers both pure branding and aids to sustain awareness over time through retargeting. Amazon has multiple tools for advertisers from Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands, Amazon DSP, and Advertiser Audiences. 

But Amazon’s Video OTT platform is not primed for advertisers the report suggested. Amazon Prime is almost entirely free of spot advertising, but Amazon does offer ad inventory in Twitch and IMDb, as well as natural breaks in NFL games on Prime in the US and on its website and app. 

“Video advertising is scarce, so Amazon Prime should not be viewed as a significant competitor in the supply of ad inventory,” the report said. 

Amazon video’s potential to complement its proven strengths in product search and e-commerce excites advertisers. But Amazon is dispensing with ads on Prime “to preserve its user experience, but may develop free and themed channels where advertising sits more naturally,” the report said. 

Crystal ball gazing

As the ecosystem gets more and more complex it is “better to get back to basics,” GroupM said in the report. “The purpose of advertising is to create demand and then harvest it. All channels have the potential to contribute to both. They do that best when they create a great user experience for both viewers (users) and advertisers.”

Finally the report advised advertisers to get used to making video that is relevant to the user and the platform use case. “This is essential if they are to benefit from a data-rich, multi-platform world.”

The agency further predicted that linear viewing of ad-supported TV is not going to grow, the economics of ad-funded OTT are questionable and that subscription fatigue is eventually inevitable. The undeniable truth that the report concluded is that: It is only going to get harder to get audiences to sit through interruptive ads.
 

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ZEE5 ties up with NetRange

The ZEE5 app will now be available on all NetRange’s platforms across its global network.

exchange4media Staff 4 days ago

Zee5NetRange

A month after announcing its global soft launch across 190+ countries, ZEE5 on Friday announced a strategic partnership with NetRange, a provider of global Smart TV and OTT ecosystems. The ZEE5 app will be available on all NetRange’s Smart TV platforms across its 100+ global network.

ZEE5 offers multi-genre and multi -language content across 12 languages - English, Tamil, Hindi, Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada, Marathi, Bengali, Oriya, Bhojpuri, Gujarati and Punjabi. Available across platforms, ZEE5 comes with 1,00,000 hours of on-demand content, including Indian movies and TV shows, music, cine-plays and health and lifestyle videos along with a slew of exclusive Originals, across 12 languages. It also has a Live TV offering 60+ popular Live TV channels.

Speaking on the partnership, Archana Anand, Chief Business Officer – ZEE5 Global, said, “Our partnership with NetRange is a natural progression in our vision of bringing the best of Indian language content to audiences globally on any device of their choice. NetRange is one of the pioneers of Smart TV and OTT ecosystems, and we are delighted to partner with them to make ZEE5 available to their users around the world.”

Jan Wendt, CEO of NetRange, said, “As a global content company, ZEE has always been at the forefront of bringing the best of Indian entertainment content to audiences around the world and it is a great moment to have ZEE5 on NetRange connected TVs worldwide.”

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Google reforms sexual harassment policies after mass employee protest

Accepting one of the major demands of the employees, Google has announced that it will no longer force employees with sexual assault or harassment claims into arbitration.

exchange4media Staff 5 days ago

google logo

Taking note of the mass walkout and protest of its employees across the globe over the handling of sexual harassment cases, Google has reportedly announced a number of internal changes in the company.

According to media reports, CEO Sundar Pichai on Thursday sent out a mail to all employees in this regard.

“Google's leaders and I have heard your feedback and have been moved by the stories you've shared. We recognise that we have not always gotten everything right in the past and we are sincerely sorry for that. It's clear we need to make some changes,” reports quoted Pichai as saying in the email.

Accepting one of the major demands of the employees, Google has announced that it will no longer force employees with sexual assault or harassment claims into arbitration. Arbitration will now be optional under the new policy.

"We will make arbitration optional for individual sexual harassment and sexual assault claims. Google has never required confidentiality in the arbitration process and arbitration still may be the best path for a number of reasons (e.g. personal privacy) but, we recognize that choice should be up to you," Pichai is said to written in the mail.

Reportedly, Google has also decided to provide more detail about sexual misconduct cases in internal reports available to all employees. The details will include the number of cases substantiated and the list of the types of punishment imposed, including fines and pay cuts.

Further, Pichai said the company will update and expand its sexual harassment training, and employees are now required to complete training annually instead of every two years. It will also overhaul how it deals with employee concerns.

Google has also taken into account the need to control alcohol consumption, which is often associated with harassment complaints.

The company reportedly specified, "harassment is never acceptable and alcohol is never an excuse." Leaders at the company are "expected to create teams, events, offsites and environments in which excessive alcohol consumption is strongly discouraged," the memo read.

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Online ‘festive season’ sales see 29% YoY increase in September 2018: Oath study

‘Electronics’ is top seller, fueled by demand for smartphones and headphones; Indians between 25-34 lead shopping frenzy

exchange4media Staff 1 week ago

oath

Oath, a Verizon subsidiary, today announced its findings on online shopping trends during the festive season in India. The study uncovers surprising insights into the Indian consumer’s choices and behavior during the country’s main online shopping season, during which top e- commerce brands go to battle with massive discounts and innovative sales.

 

Oath has several popular media brands in India, including HuffPost, Yahoo Cricket, Tumblr, Yahoo Finance and Yahoo Mail. The findings are based on data points across these brands and an in-depth understanding of consumer behavior based on content consumption by users. Globally, Oath sees more than 200 billion data points every day and reaches one billion people around the world.

 

The online shopping season in India is thought to begin with Dussehra around October and go all the way up to Christmas and New Year. However, Oath data reveals that the online shopping burst begins as early as mid-September, when Indians actively begin filling their shopping carts.

 

Huge momentum in the festive season continues to catalyse the explosive growth of online shopping in India. Sales increased 29% year-over-year in September 2018, setting a record high for India’s festive shopping season online.

 

Indian online shoppers love to buy Electronics online, bargain hunting for festive season discounts. 42% of shoppers bought an electronic item, making it the top selling category. Smartphones and headphones were the most popular items they checked out. In a growing trend, online shopping is becoming a part of “daily life” for shoppers. FMCG comes in second after Electronics as a best-selling category, with shoppers buying their everyday products online, from sugar to shampoo.

 

“The huge volume of data points across our brands gives us a comprehensive understanding of consumers in India and their behaviour. These deep insights in turn are helping our advertisers to make sense of audiences’ preferences and market trends at a very strategic level, to put in place data-driven marketing strategies during this crucial season,” says Erin Chao, Head of Platforms, APAC, Oath.

 

India’s online festive shoppers are predominantly male, at 79% -- in line with the ratio of men and women online shoppers in India. Tech-savvy Millennials between 25-34, with greater purchasing power, tend to shop more online during festivals. They come in ahead of  other age brackets during this season.

 

2018 key insights and online shopping trends during India’s festive season, based on Oath data:

 

  • Online festive shopping begins as early as mid-September. Sales increased 29% year-over-year in September 2018 -- a record high for India’s online festive shopping season.
  • Gen Y leads shopping frenzy: Tech-savvy Millennials between 25-34, with greater purchasing power, tend to shop more online during festivals. They adapt easily to new technology and are bargain hunters who zero in on the big discounts during the festive season. 
  • At 42%, Electronics leads as the top-selling category online, with smartphones and headphones as top buys. Popular smartphone brands in India include Redmi, MI, Samsung and MOTO.
  • At 12% Baby and Toddler products come in second after Electronics. Indians are heaping their carts with diapers, pants and wipes.
  • FMCG is a best seller: Shoppers are increasingly buying everyday products online, like sugar, shampoo, salt and toothpaste.
  • Indian online shoppers pay attention to hair care. Hair conditioner and hair-fall defense shampoos are both popular products. Shoppers also buy beauty products like whitening creams, face-restoring creams, body lotion and UV protection products online.
  • The top growing product category online is ECommerce prime services, with 4X growth YoY. More and more online shoppers are purchasing ECommerce prime services, which signals they not only care about the price, but also the service quality and guarantee.
  • Online bestsellers are well-known brands, implying price is not the only factor, but brands matter to Indian online shoppers.
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Now learn dance moves from Madhuri Dixit on Airtel digital TV

Designed to provide dance lessons to enthusiasts, the new channel will bring together the best of choreographers along with Madhuri Dixit

exchange4media Staff 1 week ago

DWM

Dance With Madhuri (DWM), a dance based online platform by Madhuri Dixit Nene and Bharti Airtel’s DTH arm, Airtel Digital TV, has announced the launch of an exciting Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD) channel – Let’s Dance.

With festivities just around the corner and everyone gearing up to get their dance moves right, customers can now ace their dancing skills with India’s dancing icon, Madhuri Dixit herself right in the comfort of their homes. Available on channel no. 113, Let’s Dance has a large bouquet of over ad free content of over 150 hours with 2200+ lessons taught over 170+ classes.

Designed to provide dance lessons to enthusiasts, the new channel will bring together the best of choreographers along with Madhuri Dixit. Bollywood’s most favorite dancing queen, Madhuri Dixit who is known for her legendary dance moves, will be joined by dance gurus such as, Pt. Birju Maharaj, Saroj Khan, Terence Lewis, Remo D’Souza and a host of renowned choreographers from the industry to teach different dance forms to customers.

Commenting on the association with Airtel Digital TV, Madhuri Dixit said, “Our vision for Dance with Madhuri is to take the expression and passion of dance to everyone. With Airtel Digital TV’s reach, we do believe that millions of people can now learn how to dance right in their living rooms. So excited to launch this service!"

Adding to which, Neeraj Kumar, Business Head-RnM Moving Pictures Pvt Ltd. said, “With detailed courses and well-structured dance lessons, viewers can learn more than 25 different dance forms like Bollywood, Kathak, Bharatnatyam, Jazz, Salsa, Hip Hop, and many more, on this service. With Airtel Digital TV’s in-roads, now, everyone will have the access to learn from the best choreographers of the country.”

Announcing the launch of the channel, Richa Kalra, Product Manager - DTH, Bharti Airtel said, “As a customer obsessed brand, we are constantly innovating for newer ideas to enrich their lives. Launch of Let’s Dance in partnership with India’s most popular dancing icon Madhuri Dixit is one such innovation which is aimed at enabling customers to learn dancing from the best of dancers and choreographers in the country. We invite all our customers to make the most of the new channel.”

In an introductory offer, the channel will be available for Re.1 the first 15 days, post this, customers will have to pay Rs. 45 per month for the SVOD. Customers can subscribe to the channel with a simple missed call to 9109121282 from the registered telephone number of their Airtel digital TV account.

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