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Zirca Digital Solutions launches 'Request for Brief' initiative for marketers

The agency has created an in-depth yet easy-to-fill format that helps brands get to the heart of their marketing problem and address it quickly

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: Jun 10, 2020 3:28 PM  | 2 min read
Neena Dasgupta

The ongoing global pandemic continues to bring the best-laid business plans to a halt. While it’s natural for brands to hit the panic switch, every bit of assistance count. In difficult times like these, Zirca has launched “Request for Brief”, a unique initiative as a proactive response measure for the marketing world.

Typically, when brands call for agencies to pitch campaigns, they release an RFP - request for proposal. It’s an exhaustive document that outlines their challenges, competition and communication needs. Trouble is, at a time like this, brands don’t have the bandwidth to send out detailed requests. Which is where Zirca saw an opportunity to expedite matters and move towards a solution.

As part of proactive digital outreach, Zirca Digital Solutions has created an in-depth yet easy-to-fill brief format that helps brands get to the heart of their marketing problem and address it quickly. All you have to do is define your business, take stock of existing challenges, your competitive scenario, target audience, communication must-haves and more. Fill it, email it, and the best brief gets a strategic creative solution from Zirca – free of cost.

Speaking about this initiative, Neena Dasgupta (CEO and Director, Zirca Digital Solutions) said, “In these trying times, digital isn’t just the most cost-effective, but the only medium to plan a swift marketing response and emerge unscathed. Now marketers can make the most of it – with a brand partner who makes life a lot easier. We are looking forward to receiving a lot of briefs.”

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Team Pumpkin retains Vega Helmet’s digital media mandate

The agency will handle social media management and performance marketing for the brand

By exchange4media Staff | Dec 7, 2022 11:39 AM   |   1 min read

Pumpkin

Team Pumpkin will handle the social media management and performance marketing for the brand.

In continuation of a successful relationship, the digital media mandate of Vega Helmets has been retained by Team Pumpkin to continue its role in handling the social media management and performance marketing for the brand. The agency will also be responsible for digital strategy, campaign ideation and execution, aligned with the brand’s mission and vision in the digital space.

Girdhari Chandak, MD, Vega Helmets, said, “We are delighted to continue our successful relationship with Team Pumpkin. They have been exemplary in helping us grow and actualise our organizational goals by leveraging the digital ecosystem with their creativity and innovation. We look forward to this association for the days to come.”

Swati Nathani, Chief Business Officer, Team Pumpkin, said, “We are elated to continue our strong partnership with Vega Auto Accessories. The brand’s ethos of innovation and excellence is something we at Team Pumpkin truly resonate with and it has been a pleasure to work with them. The team is overjoyed with the extension of the mandate and we look forward to adding more value by working together.”

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Govt asks Google to stop showing ads of betting firms

A letter has been sent to the search giant by the MIB in this regard, according to media reports

By exchange4media Staff | Dec 7, 2022 8:58 AM   |   1 min read

betting

Nearly two months after advising online platforms to refrain from promoting offshore betting firms, the Indian government has now reportedly asked Google to stop displaying surrogate ads of such companies in its search results.

According to a media report, the ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB) has sent a letter to the search giant in this regard.

The report states that the authorities have noticed that though ads of these companies have stopped appearing on TV channels and OTT platforms after they issued an advisory on the matter on October 3, they are still running YouTube and Google.

“We have asked Google to stop this immediately," the report quoted a senior ministry official as saying.

On October 3, the government urged TV, print and digital media platforms asking them not to publish advertisements of online betting platforms on online and social media.

The online advertisement intermediaries were also advised not to target such advertisements towards the Indian audience.

“The advisory had been issued for the reason that betting and gambling is prohibited in most parts of the country, and pose significant financial and socio- economic risk for the consumers, especially youth and children. Accordingly, the promotion of offline or online betting/gambling through advertisements is not advised in the larger public interest,” it stated.

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Has digital become the new flag bearer of advertising?

Digital advertising’s market share in 2022 touched 48.8%, while TV rests at 36%, according to recently released GroupM This Year Next Year 2022 report

By Kanchan Srivastava | Dec 7, 2022 8:44 AM   |   7 min read

digital

Digital advertising in 2022 has surpassed all projections made at the beginning of this year, if GroupM’s year-end report is an indication.

According to the year-end report titled ‘This Year Next Year’ 2022 released on Monday, digital AdEx now accounts for a whopping 48.8% market share in advertising; TV represents just 36%. At the beginning of 2022, GroupM had estimated that digital will capture 45% share in advertising, while TV will remain at 39%, a unique proposition that surprised the advertising and media industry. Pitch Madison Annual Report 2022 had made similar predictions of digital advertising leaving behind TV in AdEx.

Despite dwindling market share, TV advertising has grown at 10.8% rate this year and is expected to grow at 13.8% in 2023. Digital advertising will see growth rise from 17.3% in 2022 to 21% in 2023.

Meanwhile, India’s total ad spends have reached $14.9 billion (approx Rs 122,000 crores) exhibiting nearly 15.8 percent growth and expected to grow at 16.8%, the media agency claimed.

TV Vs digital

TV has been losing its share of the ad pie over the last three years, while digital has been gaining. From 29 per cent market share in 2019, digital AdEx share grew to 38 per cent in 2020, 41 per cent in 2021 and touching 49 per cent in 2022.

Meanwhile, TV’s market share which remained above 40 per cent so far, has slid to 36 per cent in 2022, claims TYNY year-end report. It has added fuel to the ongoing debate on digital versus TV that has rocked the media and advertising industry for the last couple of years.

According to Mona Jain, CRO of ABP Network, the growing dominance of digital is a reality. “Well, this is a reality, and one can see that through the campaigns being released. Digital is taking dominance and many brands when planning campaigns are also looking at only digital communication - hence the forecast,” she noted.

Jain believes that television still works as a “reach generator” but increasingly digital is also being perceived as not only providing reach to campaigns but also providing enhanced frequency efficiently. “But I don’t know how effective it is and if the brand campaigns are able to create enough visibility and impact and create a sustained recall for the brands,” she quips.

Anil Uniyal, CEO, BQ Prime, said, “This trend does not come as a surprise. Advertisers will move where the audiences are. It has been consistent with the shift in consumption patterns of audiences over the last decade but the last 2-3 years have seen an acceleration, in light of the pandemic and shift of key businesses becoming digital-first as well.”
 
The shift towards digital is not a new development as we have seen over the last few years. Since 2016 digital advertising has grown by over 300%. Today Digital consumption growth has outstripped all other media consumption, he adds. 

Macroeconomic factors

One of the reasons for the shift to digital could be the stress on the economy and factors like the war and rising inflation leading to reduced margins for advertisers forcing them to be conservative and run only sustenance campaigns - where digital works better from an efficiency and outlay point of view, Jain explains.

Jain further adds, “The categories that are spending money like auto, pharma, e-commerce, and mobiles are redirecting money to digital. While FMCG is still spending on television and did report growth but with reduced margins, they too used television judiciously and focused on the efficiency of delivery and hence were limited on impact buys.”

According to Ashish Bhasin, Co-Founder and Chairman, RD&X Network, in adverse market conditions where advertisers are looking at conserving spends, brand spends are often delayed and curtailed. “Brands are undergoing a rationalization phase where every penny is accounted for,” he says.

Shift was inevitable

Marketers believe the shift towards digital video was inevitable as the number of connected users continues to rise across the length and breadth of India.

Rajiv Dubey, Media Head, Dabur India, shared, “With almost as many smartphone devices in hands of people as much as the TV universe, the change was bound to happen. This change will be felt across e-commerce platforms as well as unified payment systems become accessible to a wider population.”

The growth of digital has been consistent over the past decade with two big inflexion points. The first was in 2016 when Jio’s launch crashed data prices in India to amongst the lowest in the world. This together with the increase in smartphone penetration, estimated at over 600 million users, spiked digital consumption dramatically, shares Lloyd Mathias, Business Strategist and Investor.

To make matters worse, TV viewership shrank by 12% in 2022 with a sharp decline in consumption in major genres such as Hindi news channels (-21%), General Entertainment Channels (-23%), Movies (-11%) and Regional GECs (-3%).

Is a drop in viewership responsible for AdEx's shift to digital? Jain denies. “I don’t think it is essentially because of a drop in viewership- you do have programmes and genres of channels still delivering high numbers, nationally and regionally.”


Low cost, innovative formats

Digital advertising enables smaller advertisers with limited budgets to slice and dice consumers for their relevant segments, experts point out.

Mathias says, “SMEs can target consumers at a much lower cost than mass television buys where segregation of audiences to the level of personalisation is not possible.”

Mona Jain echoes the sentiments, saying, “Probably digital platform’s ability to innovate and create impactful communication at lower outlays to a targeted audience and also quantification of the same could be the reason for the shift.”

Besides, digital advertising moved beyond simplistic formats to more evolved formats like influencer marketing and social commerce. All these are contributing to moving the advertising pie toward digital.

TV plus digital

Bhasin insists that it is “digital plus TV '', not “digital versus TV”.

“Both TV and digital are growing in India. India is still in fact a fast growing market for TV. However, digital is growing faster than TV and its growth momentum will continue for two main reasons-5G network and addition of 250-300 million new internet users soon from small towns and rural India,” Bhasin says, adding that TV will continue to grow as it offers reach while digital helps in performance driven marketing.

Bhasin, however, clarifies that platforms that offer good content would grow, others won’t. “Content is not just king. Content is the emperor now. For users, channels or platforms are not important. They stick to good content. Going forward, channels offering good content will rise,” Bhasin opines.

New platforms

Decline of TV share is blamed on the rise of OTTs, short video platforms and social media platforms, all of which are competing for the share of time spent by the TV audience.

“Advent of CTV, as modern TV boxes are getting internet enabled, is opening the user to a plethora of quality content from the various OTTs.  Short video apps have also eaten into the share of time spent and eyeballs of the TV audience. This shift is also mirrored by the shift in ad spends on the medium,” said Sajal Gupta, Sajal Gupta - Chief Executive - Kiaos Marketing.

He added that CTV and OTTs also allow sharper targeting which makes the media reach out a lot more effectively and reduces wastages.

Matthias agrees. “The switch from linear TV to digital has accelerated significantly during the pandemic. Also, the growth of digital video – YouTube, Instagram Reels, and short format video such as Tik Tok clones like Moj, Josh, MX TakaTak, Chingari, and Roposo have attracted eyeballs in a short attention span world,” he shares.

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e4m-DNPA virtual roundtable: Experts to shed light on publisher-platform relationship

The roundtables are the precursor to the e4m-DNPA Future of Digital Media Summit & Awards to be held in January

By exchange4media Staff | Dec 6, 2022 8:45 AM   |   2 min read

dnpa dialogues

With deeper internet penetration, the growth of digital media is unprecedented. In a bid to shed light on the future of digital media, the opportunities that it brings and the challenges that lie ahead, exchange4media and the Digital News Publishers Association (DNPA) are organizing the second edition of the virtual roundtable conferences with international speakers. The virtual roundtable will be held on December 9, 2022 from 6 pm to 7:30 pm IST.

The second edition of the e4m-DNPA Dialogues will see experts discussing the topic: ‘Decoding the Publisher- Platform Relationship’. The speakers, who are thought leaders from various countries, senior journalists, publishers, technology leaders, legal professionals and other stakeholders, will discuss the issues involved in creating an ideal relationship between news publishers and Big Tech platforms in rebuilding the business of journalism.

The e4m-DNPA virtual dialogue will cover the requirement of a new focus on solutions. DNPA represents the digital arms of the country's top media companies working in the areas of print and television.

In a bid to maintain the quality of journalism, the publishers are seeking a level playing field between themselves and online platforms and are trying to create a more sustainable foundation for the preservation of high-quality journalism.

The DNPA Dialogues are held with an aim to find the issues and solutions, and potential publisher playbook into the essentials for news media companies. The dialogues bring together the brightest minds to create the strategies and business models to help quality journalism thrive and encourage open and unconstrained discussions, and provide a testing ground for ideas and possible new policy approaches.

The first edition of the DNPA Dialogues was held on November 25 where the best minds came together to explore the challenges the digital media faces. These roundtables are precursors to the e4m-DNPA “Future of Digital Media Summit & Awards” to be held on January 20, 2023 in New Delhi.

Here is the list of speakers:

Avinash Pandey

CEO, ABP Network

Puneet Jain

CEO, HT Digital

Dr Annurag Batra

Chairman & Editor-in-Chief, Businessworld & exchange4media

Taylor Owen

Beaverbrook Chair of Media, Ethics and Communication, Max Bell School of Public Policy, McGill University

Dr Courtney Radsch

Fellow, UCLA Institute for Technology, Law and Policy

Paul Deegan

President and Chief Executive Officer, News Media Canada

Click here to register for the event.

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A digital mediapalooza in the making?

Guest Column: Rahul Vengalil, ED, Everest Solutions, likens the present situation in advertising to the mid-2010s when brands went after buying efficiency by ignoring planning effectiveness

By Rahul Vengalil | Dec 6, 2022 8:22 AM   |   5 min read

Rahul Vengalil, ED, Everest Solutions

Google and Facebook together received advertising revenues of close to Rs 40,000 crore last year, which is a significant amount. This is more than the outlay in all the TV mediums together, substantially higher than what was put into the print medium as well. As a digital marketer since 2010, I should be jumping with joy looking at these numbers, but the truth is I am not. I am afraid there that we are going into an unsustainable model in the coming days. 

Digital marketing has become a much sought-after career today, from creative to media to data to whatnot. The number of youngsters who want to get into digital media, social media and content marketing has multiplied manifold of late. These are good trends, but unfortunately, I believe there is a bubble in the making. The costs have gone up substantially on one side, but the agency remuneration hasn’t gone up accordingly. If I were to put the key reason behind this, it is the democratization of digital media. 

Let’s sieve through the chaff and really look at reality. Google and Meta increased their revenue last year and are close to Rs 40,000 crore. This entire amount hasn’t been planned and bought by the media agencies in India. It is bought by agencies, influencers, mature startups, SMEs/MSMEs, and many mom-and-pop stores. As per one estimate, Meta has over 8 million active advertisers on their platform globally and a major part of its revenue comes from direct advertisers. It won't be that different in India as well. This means that the advertising budget that is handled by agencies would well be less than half of the number that is quoted everywhere. In contrast, more than 90% of offline media is bought by agencies. In a biz model that works on commission, a lesser number of people are buying almost double the media on offline channels. 

I remember a time early in my career when I was working with a marquee client in India. My retainer for being the digital creative agency was x and the retainer that my counterpart charged then for being the mainline agency was nothing less than 30x. This gap has significantly reduced over the year, but still exist. Digital or more rightly put social media has become the lead medium for every client in India today. The expectation is for every piece of content that is put up on social media to provide the brand’s POV and if possible become viral.

That’s undue pressure on the agency partner to deliver, and mind you, an agency creates everywhere between 15 creatives and 30 creatives each month, that’s a run rate of 1 per day. Compare this with what the mainline agency creates, which is 10 campaigns in a year, resulting in videos, print ads and other collaterals.

What a digital agency creates in a month a mainline agency at best creates in half a year, keeping the studio job outside of the purview for now. Companies are still not ready to create a remuneration parity between digital agencies and mainline agencies today, because the perceived notion is that the 1 TVC or print ad is significantly more important than the content that is created for social media platforms. 

Digital media is so democratized that any advertiser with a credit card can advertise today, and a bunch of friends who understand social media can create an advertising agency. My most conservative estimation is that there are over 3000 digital media agencies (creative and media together) in India today. In comparison, the number of mainline agencies would be significantly lower. The hurdles to start an offline media buying unit is high, from initial investment for tools, access, affiliation, etc in comparison to online where you just need a credit card. The challenges to start an offline creative unit is also comparatively higher compared to the online counterpart, after all, one can also create content using Canva to publish online. 

Just to reiterate, the number of people coming into digital media has increased, the costs of the resources have increased, and the number of agencies doing digital is much higher than traditional, but the amount of media bought by digital agencies has not seen a corresponding rise, the remunerations paid to digital agencies for making content is not at par with traditional agencies (barring few exceptions).

The situation is much like the media palooza of the mid-2010s where brands went after buying efficiency by ignoring planning effectiveness. When agencies are not paid equitably for the amount of time and effort that is being put on the table, the quality of the output will suffer. The conversation should move away from what’s the “best cost” to “what can you do to impact my business positively”. Alternatively, businesses can also lower the expectation from the digital partner, which I don’t think should be even on the table as an option.

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Great Learning launches #ItPaysToUpskill campaign with Virat Kohli

Kohli urges professionals to invest in upskilling as it can be the best investment in the uncertain macroeconomic conditions of today

By exchange4media Staff | Dec 5, 2022 7:04 PM   |   2 min read

Great Learning

Great Learning, a part of the BYJU'S group and a leading global edtech company for higher education and professional training, has launched #ItPaysToUpskill, a digital campaign highlighting the need for students and professionals to invest in upskilling to get high financial returns. The brand ambassador Virat Kohli is seen kickstarting this 360-degree digital campaign by urging professionals to invest in upskilling as it can be the best investment in the uncertain macroeconomic conditions of today.

The entire premise of this campaign is to highlight how upskilling impacts one’s income levels and how those salary increments compound over time. Hence upskilling early on in one’s career can yield tremendous returns and also help individuals meet their financial goals sooner.

“With the looming economic recession and uncertain market conditions, upskilling is one investment that carries zero risk while still providing high returns. This is showcased in the campaign through a series of quirky posts, reels and videos on the Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin handles of Great Learning,” the company said.

Speaking about the campaign, Aparna Mahesh, Chief Marketing Officer, Great Learning said, “The ever evolving nature of work and the skill gaps it creates makes upskilling an obvious choice. But it’s also a decision that is very easy to postpone as there is no instant gratification. Also, there has been no quantification of what people are leaving behind on the table by delaying decisions to invest in upskilling. To solve this, we have illustrated the monetary benefits of upskilling and how they compound over the long term. Research was carried out to curate data that revealed how upskilling in top performing domains can add immense value to people’s careers and their earning potential. The findings were summed up in the Great Learning Upskilling Financial Impact Report 2022 which together with the current market scenario resulted in the narrative that we’re putting out through this campaign.”

 

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Verve Media bags creative mandate for Bharat Alt Fuel

As per the mandate, Verve Media will employ creative strategies to create brand awareness and gain recognition for Bharat Alt Fuel

By exchange4media Staff | Dec 5, 2022 2:55 PM   |   1 min read

verve

Verve Media, a Mumbai based integrated digital marketing agency, has won the creative mandate for Bharat Alt Fuel. The alternative fuel company is committed to deliver renewable energy solutions by focusing on two crucial points - alternative fuels & electric vehicles.

As per the mandate, Verve Media will employ creative strategies to create brand awareness and gain recognition for Bharat Alt Fuel. The agency aims to position the brand to its target audience and communicate the brand's vision through creative content. This mandate offers a great opportunity for increasing its presence on social media platforms which will result in Bharat Alt Fuel being the most trusted and valuable initiative. 

Talking about the onboarding, Vinay Sangwan, Co-Founder at Verve Media, said, “Verve Media has always been active in collaborating with eco-conscious companies like Bharat Alt Fuel. With our plan to create new benchmarks in this category, we believe this decision would bring fruitful results. Our team looks forward to an exciting partnership with Bharat Alt Fuel. “

 

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