Community Marketing vs Blogs vs Influencers: Guide for driving brand advocacy in 2021

Convosight compares the three most preferred channels for effectivenes

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: Jan 12, 2021 12:28 PM  | 12 min read

Brand communication has changed drastically. There used to be a time when Marketing for a brand or product meant communicating with consumers across all stages of the Marketing Funnel. 

However, the advent of Digital Media has led to a disproportionate focus on the Awareness & Conversion parts of the funnel, with either "Reach" or "Landing Page visits" as the key buzzwords, often ignoring the “Consideration” part of the funnel.  

But, regardless of our fleeting attention spans today, our shopping journeys are about more than a cool brand visual, top 3 features, and the price point. 

The route to Advocacy is via Consideration.  

As a brand, you would want consumers to get to know you and what you stand for, which involves educating your potential audience about the brand & differentiating it from the competition.  This has been the crucial missing piece in today’s marketing communication…Consideration!

But while brands are not answering the questions, consumers are still doing the exact same thing they have been doing since the dawn of consumption … Asking each other!  

"Word of Mouth" (WOM) as a term is perhaps as old as when the first sale was made. People turning to others for advice is a tale as old as time, and even the Digital Age has hardly changed that. 

So while brands tend to have focused largely on Awareness & Conversion legs, consumers have unearthed new ways of getting digital recommendations through channels like Instagram Influencers, Product led Blogs and now more recently in Digital Communities created by consumers passionate about the pain point. 

Obviously, these shifts have not gone unnoticed by brands, and over the last 5 years or so, there has been a concerted effort to work with such advocacy channels. It began around 2012 with Blogger collaborations, getting well-known bloggers to write in-depth reviews & experiences with the brand. By 2015, “influencers” were added to the mix, with the rise of Instagram celebrities.  Both these channels are a step towards building consideration and advocacy. 

Since about 2018, we have also seen the emergence of another channel known as Digital Communities, which has enabled WOM driven marketing to increase even further, due to the network effects built into community platforms such as Facebook Groups.

Exploring the New-Age Advocacy Channels:

  1. Influencer Marketing
  2. Blogging Platforms
  3. Facebook Groups/Community Marketing

The above three channels are perceived to be the de facto 'word of mouth' sources of the consumers, and are meant to drive consideration, loyalty & advocacy.

But are they all created equal?

This Ultimate guide intends to help you determine the key differences between them & their importance in the Advocacy journey.   

Let's have a look at each of these in detail.


Influencer marketing means getting your brand endorsed by people who have a significant following on Social/Digital Media.

Since people "follow" these individuals, the underlying assumption is that these people would have "influence" over their followers' choices.

However, the issue with celeb influencers is that the brand mostly gets overshadowed by the celeb.

 A product endorsement by a celeb is almost the same as a Celeb-advertisement on Traditional Media.

People follow celebs for their lifestyle, not to hear about their product choices. What a brand gets ultimately is "Reach". Is it more relevant than Paid Reach on Facebook? Glance at the comments on a celeb post, and check for brand relevance.

Zero, or thereabouts? Well, there's your answer.

Now about the "Reach" itself, the Organic Reach of Instagram influencers varies from 25% (10-50K followers) to 14% (>200K followers). Even if a brand is paying for "relevant" reach, the actual reach is as boosted as a standalone brand post/advertisement.

However, category-related topical influencers do help in creating not only awareness but also consideration. The watch out here is that influencers often endorse competitive brands in the same category. Eventually, followers tend to disbelieve these seemingly "real" brand experiences, which can be understood by reduced comments in brand-included posts.

Brands have now started investing in real-life "Micro Influencers", who potentially have relevance across a huge range of categories, from Baby Care to Health & Nutrition to Beauty & Hygiene.

There is, however, a key point of caution, which is the Comments : Likes ratio, often lesser than 5% in such posts. Such numbers certainly do not point towards 'consideration’.

The takeaway here is not that the influencer is not relevant, but that the nature of the platform itself does not support conversations. Platforms like Instagram are Broadcast channels, with mostly "One-Way Communication". Consideration needs convincing. And that does not happen without Two-Way Communication, where each doubt & concern is discussed & clarified. However, a multi-influencer campaign will go a long way in driving ‘awareness’ for the brand.

Here's an example of a branded influencer post.




This popular influencer has 52K followers. This brand post got:

Likes: 760

Comments: 38

Comments as % of likes: 5%

Queries on the product: 0

The brand gets awareness, but the post metrics point towards lesser impact on consideration

That being said, YouTube Influencers are a good route for a brand, if only for the content's permanence. Good brand- endorsing videos will gain views over time, boost, & eventually rank higher in search, or be seen via Discovery Ads. Directed at an in-market audience, these will drive consideration for the brand.

Quick Tips to drive Consideration via Influencers Marketing:

- Check the Ratio of Likes to Comments for an influencer; should be at least 95:5

- Check Percentage of Category Relevant Comments; should be at least 70%

- Prolonged collaboration showcasing usage as part of lifestyle instead of one-off posts

- Use relevant YouTube Influencers, esp. whose videos rank on 1st page of search


Note here that we have said "Blogging Platforms", & not "Blogs."

It is important to understand the difference between the two since the argument for one does not hold true for the other.

Blogs work! There's absolutely no denying it. No matter what is said about the 'death of long-form content', blogs are a source of information for people searching for a specific solution or advice.

From asking if a particular nutritional drink has too much sugar to whether a motorcycle brand is a good value for money, Google is a channel people turn to for answers (No surprises there), and that's not going to change anytime soon (if ever).

A well-written blog that answers those questions in an approachable & informative manner will most likely help create consideration for the brand in question. There are tonnes of informative blogs across almost every category written by enthusiasts and category experts, that will work well for your brand. The trick is to find the ones that work!

Of course, for that, the Blog has to figure in the 1st page of Google Search!

If you have invested in a Blogging Platform, and your blogs don't rank on google, then all those blogs are NOT working for you. It's a good time to make that check. And if you find blogs of some other platform featuring relevant content, then that's the platform where you should put your money. 

Blogs on your own website work really well for SEO purposes. But blogs on a platform that shows you thousands of views without even featuring on Google begs the question: Who exactly is it who's reading? If you cannot logically map what the reader’s path towards reaching your blog content is, it is better to steer clear of such "High View" platforms & invest in those that will make your brand rank higher when a customer searches for information on most universal of platforms, i.e. Google.

Here's an example of a branded blog on Google platform. 

Category & Brand relevant Searches on Google reveal the platforms that will most likely influence Consideration

Example of Brand Blog on a Blogging Platform that does not feature on Google Search:

This blog has 34 K Views, 21 Likes, and 1 Comment.

A question to ask: Will this help the Brand?

Quick Tips to drive Consideration via Blogs:

- Type brand/category queries on Google. Platforms appearing on page 1 that provide information & insights on your brand/category are your go-to platforms

- Use Blogs on websites for SEO. Get backlinks from credible sites hosting brand's blogs

- Check "Views" vs "Comments" on Branded blogs. Be wary of <1% Comments :Views 


 Before we get to Community Marketing, let's first understand what a Community is.

Whether physical or digital, a community is a "tribe" of individuals who have come together for a common cause. That cause could be a pain point, a passion, a hobby, a profession or even a life-stage.

The advent of the Digital Age expanded the scope of the number of communities an individual could belong to. No longer restricted by geographical boundaries, every persona of an individual finds voice within a different community. An author who is a mom and into fitness can be a part of 3 different communities, on Literature or Publishing, Motherhood or Parenting, and a Fitness Group.

Each of these communities caters to a specific need of hers. She can connect with peers relevant to that specific interest or life-stage, and be a part of conversations specific to her respective persona. Communities are where "real" conversations happen, and members have open & transparent discussions without the innate social media fear of being judged or trolled.

Imagine if a brand could find its way into those conversations and position itself as a solution to the discussed issues.

Imagine the wealth of conversations that the brand would then influence while also ingraining itself within the community's specific interests.

That would drive consideration for the brand, as it starts to feature in and drive conversations. What if the most preferred solution to building Immunity in children would be a particular brand of Nutritional Drink, and the most likely solution to hair fall a certain brand of shampoo? Well, that's advocacy right there.

So where do these communities exist in the Digital space? Well, you have Discord, LinkedIn & Telegram, among others. But the absolute biggest community out there is…you guessed it, Facebook, or specifically, Facebook Groups!

Today, Facebook has 1.8 Billion people connected by over 70 Million Groups. It really doesn't get any bigger than that!

In fact, Mark Zuckerberg has stated that Facebook is making communities on the platform at par with friend connections, putting Groups at the app's centre. In his own words, "Groups are at the heart of the experience."

Now more than ever, Facebook Groups are most important for brands aiming for Organic Engagement.

Organic? Yes, you heard it right! All engagement in a group is 100% Organic. There simply isn't any way to "boost" anything on a group. If the topic is 'engaging', it will lead to 'conversations'.

Brands engaging fruitfully with these groups will be rewarded with conversations, ever-increasing 'Brand Mentions' within these conversations, recommendations & testimonials.

All of this is driven by what is called 'Community Marketing', done typically via 'campaigns' run by the group admin & moderators, designed to subtly integrate the brand within relevant category conversations, increasing the brand's association with category over time. Moreover, such campaigns have a cascading effect, with Admin posts resulting in conversations and UGCs by the group members.

When a brand gets consumers to start creating & sharing content for it, and defending their choices in a conversation-led medium, the brand is well-positioned towards creating advocacy.

Here's an example of brand campaigns within communities (or what we call community marketing)  

A Branded post gets 77 Reactions & 174 Comments! Nature of Post is Usage Linked & not promotional Comments are more descriptive

One post leads to additional posts, with Brand Impressions & Engagement increasing in a cascading manner.

Quick Tips to drive Consideration via Facebook Groups:

 - Selecting groups where category relevant conversations are already taking place

- Try to integrate brand messaging in the language of the group; Avoid being "Brand-y"

 - Understand tangible metrics for activation & do not measure success in "Reach", "Likes."

 - Track Category conversations, Brand Mentions & Brand Share of Voice & Sentiment

- Work with partners that can provide scale in execution & tracking like Convosight


Balcony vs Hall Communication Approach

In layman's terms, the regular Digital Marketing channels like Facebook Pages/Ads, Instagram, YouTube, and even Influencers are examples of the "Balcony" approach to communication. The communication format is like someone giving a speech on dais and is essentially one-way. You measure your success by the people you see in front of you. You do not really know if your message "landed" or not. 

On the other hand, Communities or Groups, are like the hallways of college campuses or offices, where the actual points of interest are being discussed & debated. This is where people talk about what matters to them. Groups provide an opportunity for brands to talk to their consumers by "becoming one of them". Here you measure success by understanding if consumers talk about you at all, and of so, what & how much? 

So, to realize their aspirations of driving consideration and finally advocacy, brands need to come to terms with measuring conversations, mentions & sentiments rather than the age-old definitions of "Likes, Shares & Comments". The Digital landscape is changing and the challenge for brands is to evolve similarly, or get left behind. 

Parting Words

 As marketers, we have to employ every tool in our toolkit. But it pays to understand what each tool is meant for, and what might be the most optimal use of each. 

Digital Marketing is not a surrogate for the TVs & Radio of old. It is a universe in itself, & each element within this universe has its own unique playbook. Brands would be best served by recognizing this differentiation & then mapping each channel's advantages to the brand objectives. 

But, if you are a brand on a quest for advocacy, then Community Marketing is not a medium you can ignore. 

Convosight works with more than 25 national and global brands as the preferred partner to drive ROI based campaigns via Community Marketing



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Pet care brand Wiggles redefines positioning with new brand identity, Lovemark

The new logo is symbolic to Wiggles’ relationship with animals, the company said

By exchange4media Staff | Dec 5, 2022 4:55 PM   |   4 min read


Pet care brand Wiggles has introduced a refreshed brand identity as it turns four. The brand will now be known as Lovemark.


“Synonymous with the brand purpose and journeying towards becoming India’s committed #PartnerInPethood, Wiggles’ new identity leading with the ‘W’ titled ‘Lovemark’ is inspired by, a heart signifying unconditional love, infinity signifying unending commitment and a tick mark that signifies making smart choices. Wiggle’s Lovemark is symbolic to the unconditional and infinite love and lasting imprints that animals have on humans,” the company said.


Conceived by Ideosphere for Wiggles, Wiggle’s new identity has a smart and modern appeal and is designed to reflect the brand’s friendly, and approachable vibe. With a mission of driving responsible pet and animal care by enabling audiences to understand them better, Wiggles is focused on creating a better world for pets and animals by providing expert driven, backed with science products and services to ensure that pets and their humans live their healthiest, happiest lives, they said.


Speaking on the brand’s new identity, Anushka Iyer, Founder and CEO, Wiggles said, “Pets are our kids for us and always will be an emotion that is now increasingly shared by my fellow Gen Z and millennials. And we want nothing more than our pets to be happy, healthy and safe. With this vision, we started Wiggles in 2018 and set out to revolutionize the pet healthcare industry. Our first logo- which will always be special to me, was about recognising and celebrating the relationship between pets and their human parents. We wanted to convey a brand that acknowledged the spirit of unconditional love in all our offerings and backed by the credibility of veterinary expertise. Our journey over the past four years has been greater than ever expected, we have listened to pet parents across the country and have grown to meet and raise standards of petcare to now offer not only pharma but also food and treats, health and wellness and even services.”

“Our mission of doing right by pets and animals has always been deeply rooted in all that we do, even if it means constantly going above and beyond because we believe in doing right by our pets and community animals- from the day they come home to seniority. And that is what our new identity is all about as it is a rebranding that is holistic and not just by means of design. Our new Wiggles Lovemark is a visual signifier of our passion and commitment to not just unconditional love but also making the smart choices forever for our pets and animals, because they deserve nothing less than our best, always.” Anushka concluded.

Speaking on crafting Wiggles’ Lovemark, Aniruddha Atul Bhagwat, Co-Founder and CEO, Ideosphere said, “It is always challenging to define a differentiated space in a cluttered, highly competitive industry, like the booming pet care space. We wanted to ensure the new brand identity complemented the core purpose of Wiggles, to be better towards pets and animals, and for the identity and messaging to be able to connect to the emotion, passion and story of the Wiggles brand. It was truly a collaborative journey of discovery with the Wiggles team, and we are excited to see how the audiences respond to the change.”

Prashant Kohli, Vice President, Brand Strategy, Wiggles said, “The brand refresh goes far deeper than the visual identity and messaging. The strategy that led to this identity, forms the guiding and organizing principle for our business and helps chart a growth path. We've started our journey by reframing and re-organising Wiggles from a product and service brand to a 360 ecosystem for petcare, built as a house of brands. Driven by animal lovers, pet parents and experts who've dedicated their professional lives to reimagining petcare in the country, we understand first hand the problems that plague this category. We’re super excited about consolidating, launching and growing sub-brands that solve the most critical and relevant problems for Indian pets and their humans - from good, clean, healthy nutrition to holistic, compassionate, smart health care and more.”

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We want to double our business in India by 2025: Lionel Thoreau, The Body Shop

Thoreau, CMO - The Body Shop, shares thoughts on the brand's business vision and why its activism isn't skin deep

By Ritika Raj & Tanya Dwivedi | Dec 5, 2022 1:52 PM   |   5 min read

the body shop

In an endeavour to put its money where its mouth is, British skincare and beauty brand The Body Shop recently introduced its biggest skincare range with the ingredient 'Edelweiss' revamping the ‘Drops of Youth’ collection. On the occasion of its launch, Lionel Thoreau, Chief Marketing Officer, of The Body Shop said that the brand is sticking to the belief of founder Anita Roddick that businesses can help shape and drive change in our society for the better.

The company that positions itself as a ‘change-making’ beauty brand reviewed its ‘Drops of youth’ collection and its messaging, which could be problematic in the context of insecurity around ageing. 

Sharing the insight behind the new collection, Thoreau said “We thought it was not the right thing to call this product Drops of Youth, but we wanted to rejuvenate it, upgrade it, and make it better and at the same time we wanted to change the name. It was a big commercial bet but we believe it was worth it because we really wanted to be aligned with our values. That's why we have relaunched and made sure that our customers always feel at their best whatever their age.” The brand believes that customers understand that the brand is back to its roots and values - one of the key values being to promote their self-esteem and well-being.

Activist messaging and its impact on the target audience

Thoreau defines the brand’s target audience as "ethically engaged people, especially women." He added “It's people with this mindset - where they love beauty products, they want to have high-performing products, but at the same time, they care about the values that we care about. That's really our core target. It's not only the demographics but a kind of psychographic attitude in all. People who believe in things like sustainability, environmental protection, and social equality are also important in society are our TG.”

Activism and sustainability have been central themes of The Body Shop's messaging for its consumers and it works for them as a brand. The Body Shop has recently launched the Youth Activism campaign, the core insight of which lies in the ethos of the brand.

Shared Thoreau, “We know that humanity is facing big issues and the young generation cares about things like climate change, social inequality, gender inequality, but they don't have a say about it or it’s not enough. What we want to ensure is that they are part of the political debate and they can have their say just like other generations.”

This is the first time that the brand is partnering with the United Nations and is working with NGOs in each country to ensure that the political goals that qualify for this campaign are relevant to the local context.

In India, they have defined two goals. The first is to make sure that young people get registered to vote and The Body Shop aims to add 25 million new registrations. The second goal is to help youth become a part of the decision-making.

Scaling in India and going vegan

The Body Shop is entering markets like Varanasi, Imphal, Indore, Bhopal, Patna, Shimla and more. Sharing the challenges behind scaling to smaller cities and towns of India, Thoreau added “As an inclusive, ethical brand, the first thing we need to ensure is to have a portfolio of products which is suited for the needs of Indian consumers. With a large array of products, it's for people of all ages, all skin tones, and all genders as well and for this purpose. I don't believe that we can decide everything from London and that's why we also have local partners that feed us with insights and the needs of consumers here and guide us when we are developing products.”

Talking from a business standpoint, Thoreau said: “We are very ambitious for the Indian markets. We believe that it's a young, diverse, big population and it really matches our values of inclusivity. We want to double our business by 2025 in India. First, we are going to increase our retail network, increasing it by 50%. We will scale from 200 to 300 stores between now and 2025 entering 15 new cities and we’ll keep on driving the penetration this way. We have a new store concept that we call an Activist Workshop which is super sustainable - 90% of the materials used in this store concept are either recycled or upcycled.”

The brand is also working on having a staff which is motivated by these values, which also increases the store's productivity. During the pandemic, the India team also put in place a ‘ship from store’ program that transformed the stores into warehouses and people could just order products from WhatsApp which the brand is now implementing in the UK as well. The brand, therefore, is looking at expanding the retail networks, store productivity, and accelerating eCommerce and omnichannel services.

In the past two years, the brand has started to regenerate its full portfolio to make it much more sustainable from an environmental standpoint. By 2023, The Body Shop aims to be a completely vegan brand. Sharing insights on the same, Thoreau added “Animal welfare is important to us and this combined with the fact that the meat industry is one of the greatest polluters, becoming vegan was a very natural next step. It's not only about claiming that we are vegan just because our formula does not contain any animal-deriving ingredients. It's also about ensuring the same in the process of creation, development and manufacturing and that we are also being audited and controlled by an independent body. The idea of animal welfare and veganism is already deeply rooted in Indian culture. It started in India and now it's growing across the world.”

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AM/NS India reimagines a future of possibilities in new campaign

iProspect India has created a multi-media campaign architecture with an aim to accelerate the brand's key vision in the market

By exchange4media Staff | Dec 5, 2022 1:45 PM   |   2 min read


ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel India or AM/NS India has launched its first corporate campaign titled titled ‘Reimagineering’. The word is a fusion of reimagination and engineering - two key levers that will shape India's growth and development over the next several decades. AM/NS India is a joint venture between ArcelorMittal & Nippon Steel - two of the world’s leading steelmakers.'

Dentsu iProspect has been mandated with the responsibility of the media planning, buying, and 360-degree dissemination of the campaign.

The campaign's objective is to raise awareness and build imagery of a global new-age steel manufacturer committed to creating a brand-new future for the industry, people, and the planet. iProspect India has created a multi-media campaign architecture with an aim to accelerate the brand's key vision in the market. The campaign covers key touchpoints such as television with dominance in the news genre and front jackets in leading English and vernacular dailies to drive credibility. As a result, AM/NS India is associated with the ongoing FIFA World Cup as one of the digital sponsors. The campaign also drives conversations through social media touchpoints, 60-second musical spot-on radio, and innovative OOH executions to bring the brand propositions of 'Reimagineering' and 'Smarter Steels, Brighter Futures' to life. 

Speaking on the campaign, Bibek Chattopadhyay, Head - Communications, ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel India said, “We embarked on a journey almost a year back to craft the corporate identity and design for AM/NS India - a venture between ArcelorMittal and Nippon Steel, two of the most valued brands in the metal and mining space worldwide. With the 360-degree campaign, entailing media formats, we unveil a Young, Dynamic, Smart, Thoughtful, and Global architecture that elevates the brand presentation. Reimagineering - one world that eloquently puts forth our ambitions for the market we are privileged to serve - is rudimentary to our concept and reflects our brand philosophy, 'Smarter Steels, Brighter Futures'.” 

Vinod Thadani, CEO, iProspect and Chief Digital Growth Officer, dentsu Media added, “We are extremely proud to be part of this amazing campaign. The beauty of the campaign is in synchronization of 6 very impactful KVs, a powerful and visually delighted TVC with melodious background score and multiple format renditions across touchpoints. We planned the campaign such a way so that each touchpoint complement each other to establish the core proposition of the brand. I am confident post this campaign, AM/NS brand awareness will be enhanced significantly.”

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AdLift wins SEO and Content Marketing duties of

The account was won in a multi-agency pitch

By exchange4media Staff | Dec 5, 2022 12:35 PM   |   2 min read


AdLift, a global digital marketing agency has won the SEO, Content Marketing and Content Writing mandate for packaged foods company Wingreens Farms Pvt. Ltd. The account was won in a multi-agency pitch. 

Wingreens World has a coming together of India's most loved new-age F&B brands like- Wingreens Farms, Raw Pressery, Postcard and Monsoon Harvest. It endeavors to capture changing consumer preferences towards "better for you" products, a segment representing a $1 billion opportunity over the next 5 years. 

As part of the mandate, AdLift aims to amplify the brand and will focus on strong organic growth within business verticals of Wingreens using engaging content and customized SEO strategies. Through careful audience targeting, AdLift will work on making Wingreens World the one stop digital shop for new age customers and help them discover the world of minimally processed, responsibly sourced and healthier eating options. 

Speaking on the new client win, Prashant Puri, Co-founder & CEO, AdLift said, “We are excited to partner with a brand that is on a mission to change the way food is made and consumed. We are all geared up to take this ‘House of Brands’ to new heights with what we do best. With the top SEO and Content Marketing teams on board, we are confident to identify and grow the Wingreens customer base” 

To add, Pawan Sarda, Group CMO & Head of D2C- Wingreens World, said, “It’s no secret that we love all things organic! We are looking forward to AdLift adding more meaning to that word for us by increasing our organic rankings across digital channels through SEO and Content Marketing. We are looking forward to this partnership that lends to our goal of creating a world class enterprise with an omni channel play”


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Ajay Menon and Vimal Chandran team up for Vivo X80 Pro film 'The Birth'

The cinematic campaign film has been shot entirely on the Vivo X80 Pro smartphone

By exchange4media Staff | Dec 5, 2022 12:25 PM   |   3 min read


A cinematic film, The Birth - shot on the Vivo X80 Pro by Ajay Menon and Vimal Chandran has been going around on social media and is aimed to give a spell bounding cinematic experience. This campaign marks the latest and one of the best yet, under the campaign. The multinational smartphone company Vivo has given a platform to all acclaimed photographers of the country under its #Vivographer program. Ajay Menon and Vimal Chandran have been associated with this program for the past 4 years.

The movie depicts the story of an adventurous boy in a small town who explores the prodigious book of his grandmother. As when he keeps anything in the book at night it miraculously turns two in the morning. One fine night, he sleeps with the book open on himself and finds his own doppelganger roaming around in his house the next morning.

Ajay Menon is one of the renowned Indian cinematographers, producers, and photographers of  Malayalam movies while Vimal Chandran is India’s most popular visual artist. The lead role is played by Vasudev Sajeesh who has recently been felicitated with Kerala State Award for Best Child Actor. A fabulous and talented team of Executive Producers, VFX artists, colorists, and other members have created this masterpiece on Vivo X80 Pro without using any professional camera.

Amrita Sharma, Co-Founder of Mixed Route Juice, said, We’ve been working on building a property for Vivo India called #vivographer and it's now running in its 4th year. Over this time we’ve had the privilege of creating content that stood out in all forms and is disruptive in the market. The product and the choice of talent complement each other and work very well to bring out the brand messaging. The film is a brilliantly cut, outstanding piece of cinematography with master artists from Kerala Ajay Menon and Vimal Chandran and they managed to shoot this exceptional piece and all its nuances on Vivo x80.

Yogendra Sriramula, Head, Brand Strategy, at Vivo India said, “As a company, Vivo is known for constantly coming up with new ways to offer our users cutting-edge technology and delightful camera experiences. vivo X series delivers on this promise and is known in the industry for setting new benchmarks. The Vivo X80 series is another addition that helps bridge the gap between smartphone and professional photography by infusing user-oriented innovations. X80Pro has both - extremely strong computational photography capabilities and hardware camera performance to capture perfect video and still images in all light conditions. It is an ideal tool for creating high-quality films owing to its excellent outcomes and beautiful cinematic modes. We anticipate that "The Birth," which was captured on a Vivo X80 Pro, will inspire members of our community to pursue professional smartphone photography and push themselves to discover new limits.”

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The unbeatable Brand Shikhar Dhawan

On Dhawan's 37th birthday, let’s take a look at the evolving social media presence and brand image of the star cricketer

By Medha Jha | Dec 5, 2022 9:11 AM   |   4 min read

Shikhar Dhawan

Known fondly as "Gabbar", Indian cricketer Shikhar Dhawan is turning 37 today. The left-hand opener has been named as ODI captain for Newzealand and he is also the captain of the IPL team Punjab Kings.

Known for his flamboyant personality, Dhawan has evolved as an influencer on social media platforms which has won him fame in the endorsement world.

Brand Image

Optimism has always been Dhawan's most defining quality among fans. His response to success and failure with a smile signifies his positive outlook and has inspired many a meme. 

As an athlete, he comes across as real on and off the pitch. His proven stature as a cricketer over the years and his relatable personality establish an automatic connect between him and the people at large. 
Whenever he is on the field, batting or fielding, he keeps the fans and audience involved and engaged. His high-five celebration is iconic. He has multiple standout traits which allow him to be always connected with the audience.

Dhawan has evolved and matured which goes hand in hand with his consistent performance, bringing him a big appeal across geographies, gender and age groups, which are strong elements in his brand image. 

He has had a long career where he has been integral in the Indian team setup with numerous match-winning performances. He has had a very interesting brand journey, given his flamboyant batting and brands in that space looked at him from that attribute. But, with his growth, also came a growth, sustenance, impact and reach in his brand value.

His appeal and performance ensured that he was never irrelevant to brands. So, while Shikhar signed new deals, he renewed many too.

Social Media relevance

Nikhil Bardia, Head of Sponsorship Sales and Talent, RISE Worldwide that manages brand endorsements for Shikhar Dhawan shares his insights: “Currently, Dhawan is one of the most sought-after professional athletes currently. His social media followership of over 35 million, is one of the highest in the current set of active Indian cricketers. The evolution of social media has opened up many avenues for brands. At RISE Worldwide, we always look at unlocking the maximum value in brand-athlete partnerships. With Shikhar, we have an athlete, who is a widely loved personality and his followership on digital media is immense and relevant. This makes him a credible influencer in the endorsement space encouraging brands to partner with him to reach out to a large audience in a much more impactful manner.”

“Dhawan currently has a very fine balance between full-time endorsements and digital deals. He has had a very interesting, sustained brand journey. While he continues to garner significant interest and now also with recent captaincy stints, there is an increasing demand from brands, to leverage his creative input and impactful social media content, to sign digital deals,” Bardia adds.

Dhawan has evolved his social presence, especially on Instagram to bring out a lighter more engaging persona and highlight some never-seen-before sides of Dhawan that fans adore. This has led to him collaborating with other influencers and creating engaging content, making him one of the standout cricketers in terms of engagement via Reels.

Simple and engaging, Dhawan's creative content also seems to resonate with fans. The engagement numbers are high, creating a real connection with fans and making the cricketer a highly demanded celeb for brands to leverage for reach and ROIs.

During IPL 2022, Dhawan's reels created cumulative views of 111M ( the most during the season) and total engagement of 12.7M, one of the biggest in the season.

He has collaborated with influencers as well as using his wider network such as the Reel with Team India that had Rahul Dravid at the end, and the other during the recent IPL with Preity Zinta. 

Brand Endorsements

Dhawan currently has a portfolio of over 15 brands spread across sectors like sportswear, footwear, audio & wearables, ed-tech, 2-wheeler EV, perfumes and real estate amongst others. In addition to this, he is a few ongoing and yet-to-announce deals in his "brand" wagon. 

He is working with Jio, Nerolac Paints, Mutual Funds Sahi Hai, GS Caltex, fantasy cricket application Dream 11, Zero Risque, Fever FM, DB Dixon, StanceBeam, Boat, IMG Reliance, Ariel India, Kurkure, Lays, Oppo, Nerolac, Alcis Sports, Vedantu Learn and V Star. 

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'We're imbibing a culture that makes us think more like a startup and less like a bank'

Shoma Narayanan, Managing Director - Group Strategic Marketing and Communications, DBS Bank India tells us all about the new campaign, brand ethos and the challenges of being a foreign bank in India

By Ritika Raj | Dec 5, 2022 9:06 AM   |   5 min read

shoma narayanan

DBS Bank India recently announced its brand campaign ‘Live more, Bank less’ that underlines the bank’s belief that a different kind of bank is needed in a post-pandemic world- a bank that is more technology and sustainability-focused. In 2018, as it turned 50, DBS told customers it wanted them to ‘Live more, Bank less’. Four years on, the brand has launched the second leg of the campaign to show consumers how it is more than just a traditional bank.

Shoma Narayanan, Managing Director - Group Strategic Marketing and Communications, DBS Bank India in a conversation with exchange4media shared insights behind the new campaign, the promotional plan for the same, the ethos driving the brand, challenges of being a foreign bank in India and more.

Edited Excerpts:

Please walk us through the insight behind the recently launched “Different Kind of Bank” campaign in terms of conceptualization and execution.

We knew that customers needed banking services but didn’t want to deal with the hassles of banking. This required us to offer a banking experience that’s fast, natural, and effortless. Building on this, through our ‘Live more, Bank less’ campaign launched in 2018, we encouraged customers to seize life’s opportunities, and focus on their personal priorities, while leaving the hassles of banking for us to take care of.

Cut to 2022, the pandemic changed people’s perspectives and made us focus more on personal priorities. Now, more than ever, people are thinking about and taking action on issues more significant than individual annoyances. The new DBS campaign in 2022 - Different Kind of Bank reinforces our brand ethos “Live more, Bank less” and reflects our belief that banking has a higher purpose. We believe in rising to the challenge that the post-Covid world demands a different kind of bank.

How are you promoting this campaign? What has the response to the campaign been like?

A large section of our TG is on social media, so we used platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube to communicate our message and engage with them. Through in-cinema and on-location branding at major movie chains like PVR and Inox, DBS Bank India was able to approximately reach 1.6 million people. We also used branch branding, ATM screens and regional offices in our ~525 branches across 19 states to create a reminder medium. To create greater brand awareness, we took the campaign live on OOH by showcasing in key locations across 18 cities, garnering a reach of ~750MN.

The campaign witnessed a healthy score of 76% awareness in our top 5 cities and 82% brand association with DBS. Moreover, Brand Awareness in India for DBS Bank increased from 40% in 2021 to 46% in 2022, a year which saw awareness levels of most competing banks stay constant (as per a Brand Health study run by Acorn).

The campaign highlights and emphasizes start-ups, technological innovations and a sustainability agenda. As a bank and a brand, how true do you stand to these aspects of the campaign?

For us, the campaign is not just a slogan or catchphrase, but the way we live and operate at DBS Bank India. The bank has been on a transformation journey since 2014, imbibing an agile culture that helps us think more like a startup and less like a bank. This is reflected in our focus on being more relevant to customers by upgrading employees’ tech skills, while also adopting productive new tools such as Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.

To advance our sustainability agenda, DBS has led the way by setting some of the most comprehensive decarbonization targets in the industry and is committed to advancing financial inclusion and enabling the movement towards zero food waste. A small example of this commitment towards sustainability is the fact that the outdoor flex materials on which the billboard ads were printed were delivered to DBS-supported social enterprise ‘Greensole’ to upcycle them into useful school bags for underprivileged children.

As a foreign bank in India, what challenges do you face and especially when it comes to devising the right kind of communication?

DBS Bank has been in India for the past 28 years, and during this period India has witnessed a dramatic acceleration in digital consumption, the rising challenge of social inequity, along with the various complications brought about by the pandemic. Instead of getting overwhelmed, we saw that this was a key opportunity to communicate that we are indeed a bank for the times. Post the amalgamation of the erstwhile LVB with DBS Bank India in November 2020, DBS positioned itself as a global bank with a strong local presence that has the expertise and reach to deliver the best of both worlds.

How has your marketing evolved in India over time? How do you ensure your positioning to reflect through your campaigns?

Since the launch of the DBS mini-series, ‘Sparks’ - based on true stories of bankers, DBS has evolved its marketing approach, focusing on our efforts to build the best bank for a better world. Our approach to storytelling evolved from traditional bank advertisements to newer formats like the mini-series that showcases compelling stories from across the region of customers, and partners employees, highlighting the way DBS enables them to live fulfilled. Finally in the latest brand campaign, Different kind of Bank, DBS aims to strengthen our Live more, Bank less positioning by making it clear that the bank is more like a good friend, more like a business booster, more like an award-winning techie, and less like a traditional bank.

What is your overall marketing mix for the Indian market? Please give us a sense in terms of the percentage of budget allocation.

For this specific campaign, the team focused on a mix of OOH, cinema branding, social media, and branch branding. Nearly 80% of the spending was allocated towards OOH/ Outdoor branding across 18 cities. Another 10% towards branch branding (across 200+ branches and counting) and the balance 10% on cinema branding and social media.

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