IMPACT's 40 Under Forty Marketers: Selling A Dream

IMPACT from the exchange4media Group launches the first edition of its ‘40 Under Forty’ list to recognise extraordinary achievers who are 40 years of age and below in the Indian Media, Marketing and Advertising industry

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: Aug 2, 2018 8:55 AM  | 9 min read

The emergence of Digital has transformed not just people’s lives but also the way business is conducted and in particular, the way companies and brands talk to their consumers. From a time in the 1980s when just one ad on Doordarshan during the Sunday morning run of ‘Ramayan’ or ‘Mahabharat’ helped achieve the stated objective to today when marketing activities bombard the consumer on multiple platforms and devices. In this marketing ecosystem, ensuring that the consumer gets the message and garnering the requisite ROI is a challenge and it is here that the young blood in the marketing ranks successfully helped brands navigate the scenario. Also, these young marketers have increasingly taken the lead in making the brands socially conscious - for example, Whisper and P&G have taken on the mandate to break the taboo around menstruation.

IMPACT from the exchange4media Group launches the first edition of its ‘40 Under Forty’ list to recognise extraordinary achievers who are 40 years of age and below in the Indian Media, Marketing and Advertising industry. Below are the marketing pundits who have successfully helped their brands to excel.

Associate Director, Marketing Operations, Indian Sub-Continent, Procter & Gamble
Age: 35

At 35, Abhishek Desai is the youngest leader in P&G India’s leadership team. For his work across different marketing roles in P&G, Desai has won many accolades and top awards at forums like Cannes and the Effies, to name a few. In his over decade long career at P&G, he has worked on iconic brands like Gillette, Oral-B, Tide, Head & Shoulders, Downy, Pampers, Duracell across different geographies including India, Korea, ASEAN, Australia and China.
As part of the India leadership team, Desai played a key role in double-digit top-line and bottom-line growth for P&G India in FY17-18 by enabling strong marketing plans across categories, making India one of the fastest growing markets for P&G globally. He revamped the direct-to-consumer programme for P&G marrying in-depth consumer understanding with new-to-the-world technology to sharply and effectively target consumers directly without traditional intermediaries. This programme is a key part of P&G India’s growth plan and delivered over 30% of P&G India’s growth.

Over the years, P&G India has come to be associated with multiple award-winning campaigns and Desai says that the challenge in being a marketer is balancing long term equity with short term growth. “Creativity is the cessation of mediocrity,” he adds. A passionate advocate for positive change in the country, Desai has been instrumental in step-changing the P&G CSR programme, P&G Shiksha, which has helped support over 1,500 schools and will impact more than a million children. Desai led the launch of the new P&G Shiksha film which crossed 70 million views in just 15 days, making it the highest digitally viewed video for P&G India. So, no surprises that this is a campaign that he takes pride in. Desai says, “For P&G Shiksha, we used our brands’ voices as a force for good, while driving incredible connect with consumers. The video was seen more than 100 million times.”

He has played a key role in developing external alliances to drive growth. For example, alliances with government authorities to educate young girls on menstrual hygiene, college capability programmes to groom young talent and preparing them for employment, hospital partnerships for trial of Pampers diapers, etc.

Desai has also been leading internal and industry effort on brand safety and media accountability. Within P&G, he ensured 100% of digital spends on brand-safe content and creating a culture of spending linked to measurements. Externally, Desai is leading a project for Indian Society of Advertisers to drive industry-relevant opportunities and challenges like digital measurements, knowledge-sharing, etc. Desai also serves as Director on the Board of ISA.

“While working on Gillette, we realized that most consumers considered shaving a chore that they could avoid. We brought shaving out from the bathroom to mainstream conversations via The Shave India Movement. We sparked debates by bringing in perspective from women, employers and key influencers, driving preference for shaving and significantly growing the brand in India.”

Business Leader, Indian Sub-Continent, Feminine Care, Procter & Gamble
Age: 32

Chetna Soni, one of the youngest business leaders in the FMCG industry in India, heads P&G India’s second largest brand, Whisper. She joined P&G (Marketing) in 2008 and has led P&G’s Feminine Care and Hair Care businesses in South-East Asia, Middle-East & Africa and Europe. Soni has been instrumental in accelerating the growth of the businesses she has led, growing market-share in the face of fierce competition and macro-economic challenges. During her last six years in Feminine Care, she has shaped the strategy to drive social change through campaigns focused on women’s issues, especially taboos surrounding menstruation. Soni’s initiatives on Whisper also ensure that over four million girls are provided access to menstrual hygiene products every year, through Whisper’s Health & Hygiene Programme that impacts nearly 40,000 schools across India. To her credit are campaigns such as #TouchThePickle that spoke against period taboos and won a Grand Prix at Cannes 2015 (Glass).

In September 2017, Soni brought on #SitImproper to drive awareness and trial for the new Whisper Ultra Soft, through a campaign that challenged society’s definition of lady-like conduct and the proper way for women to sit. In January 2018, when conversations around menstruation were at an unprecedented high, Soni decided to leverage it to increase Whisper’s share of voice through #WhispersBreakSilence. The campaign talked about girls’ first period stories, reminding them how Whisper had set them free and that they could help someone else break the silence around periods too.

“After interacting with consumers across geographies, age groups and socio-economic strata, I realized that consumers will always reward brands that demonstrate an intimate understanding of their lives and weave those insights into their products and the way they speak to them. Understanding one’s consumers better than anyone else is the hallmark of great brands and campaigns.”

VP, New Product Development, DS Group
Age: 31

Shashank Surana, VP, New Product Development, DS Group, has played a significant role in one of the most recent successful brand launches from the company - Pass Pass Pulse candy, a raw mango hard-boiled candy with a tangy salt-filled center. Within a year of launch, the brand crossed the Rs 150 crore mark and changed the dynamics of the segment, which registered a growth of 23%, a high in many years. Launched in 2015, Pass Pass Pulse candy was initially tactically promoted and established through various BTL activities and strategically promoted on the digital platform. Last year, Pulse became the No. 1 candy of India, crossing the Rs 300 crore mark.

Surana’s role comprises market and brand research for new products; overseeing branding, marketing, packaging, and envisioning product cycle and positioning. He has successfully added to the growth and expansion of DS Group and contributed to the Group’s foray in the confectionery segment with mini gums Chingles in various flavours.

Surana has also worked at EY and while involved in industry and company specific research and building valuation models at EY, the process of product development caught his fancy. He says, “In a moment of sudden inspiration, there was a strong revelation of wanting to be involved with a product/brand right from the ideation to the time the consumer buys it and of course fathom the response to it. That was the light bulb moment for me and the DS Group gave me the right opportunity.”

“Right from ideation of Pulse candy to pricing, packaging, placement and the promotion, it was an exciting expedition for the team. Pulse candy redefined the hard-boiled candy segment, which had seen little innovation. Defying the pricing barrier of 50 paise, Pulse was launched at Re 1 and soon become the No. 1 in its segment. A category disruptor, it is one of the most successful examples of brands that were initially built through word-of-mouth with social media facilitating the reach.”

Marketing Director, Western Snacks, India Region (Lay’s TM, Cheetos, Doritos & Uncle Chipps), PepsiCo India
Age: 39

In his 15 years of end-to-end brand-building experience at blue-chip FMCGs like PepsiCo, P&G and Gillette, Dilen Gandhi has built several hundred million dollar businesses and achieved record market shares. Apart from India, he has market experience spanning ASEAN, Middle East & Africa and worked across varied categories from Salty Snacks to Sanitary Napkins & Diapers to Fabric Care to Men’s Grooming.

Among his key achievements, Gandhi led Lay’s India to a spectacular turn-around since 2016, from a de-growth of 4% in 2015 to over 20% growth in the past 18 months, making Lay’s not only the fastest growing, most profitable brand in PepsiCo India but also making India the fastest growing market for Lay’s Worldwide. What helped boost numbers was the recent Lay’s Real Flavours Of Life campaign. “It’s the first time we’ve articulated this iconic brand’s point of view and the in-markets results have been truly fantastic,” says Gandhi. He also successfully launched Doritos in India and achieved market leadership within eight months of launch. He also built Pampers India from $25 million to $100 million in sales in the time-period 2008-2011.

What excites Gandhi as a marketer is the “privilege of meeting hundreds of people during consumer research at their homes”, whom he would not have ordinarily met or spoken to. “It has taught me that the work we do in marketing makes a real, even if small difference to actual people’s lives. From the mother who cried when explaining how Tide makes washing clothes so fast that she can spend more time with her sick child, to the schoolgirl who wasn’t afraid to discuss periods because of Whisper, to the teenager whose life wouldn’t be complete without a packet of Lay’s shared with friends - the stories I’ve heard from real people have inspired me and continue to inspire me daily,” he says. Before donning the marketer’s hat, Gandhi worked at the NGO, Child Rights & You.

“The idea that ‘consumers’ are people first. And as people they tend not to be immersed in your brand as much as you imagine they would. Therefore it’s important to think as a normal person and try and communicate in a simple way.”

This is Part One of the list of marketers from IMPACT's 40 Under Forty list.

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3 ways marketers win with a connected creative-to-media supply chain

Dipali Mahesh, Managing Director, Extreme Reach India, writes on the modern approach to marrying all the brand creative with all the media placements in one platform

By Dipali Mahesh | Dec 6, 2022 10:29 AM   |   4 min read

Extreme Reach India

If the global advertising industry was born today, there is no question that it would be designed with a centralized activation platform at its core where all teams in-house and external come together to execute intricate plans. Imagine a single, end-to-end creative-to-media supply chain with all paths in for assets and every path out to any media type, in any market. Alas, because this industry has evolved over many decades, we find ourselves in a current reality badly in need of transformation to meet the challenges of today’s marketing landscape. The typical marketing campaign process is a dizzying array of multiple moving parts and cobbled-together point solutions. This disconnected operational workflow creates an environment where the likelihood of slowdowns, problems and delays is nearly inevitable.

Turning a blind eye to the less-than-ideal marketing operations has hardly been intentional but it will bring down a brilliant creative and well-architected media strategy. Change is hard, especially with the near-constant pressure marketing teams face to accomplish more and move more rapidly. The good news is that, like tackling a hard puzzle, this last piece is the easiest and it returns powerful benefits.

At the intersection of creative production and marketing operations is Creative Logistics — the modern approach to marrying all the brand creative with all the media placements in one platform with unparalleled control, visibility and insight. By simplifying massive complexity, teams work seamlessly together in cloud technology to move creatively and flawlessly at the speed of media and in compliance with usage rights. Not only does this meet the intense challenges of today’s marketing landscape, but it also prepares the global advertising industry for a flourishing future.

Creative Logistics restores control for the marketing ecosystem, illuminates the end-to-end activation activity and returns insights that drive business for competitive advantage.

Control in the Face of Fragmentation

The forces of fragmentation are very real — from media consumption to marketing tech stacks to exploding demands on content creation. Spreadsheets, file folders and the human brain can no longer handle the enormous task of creative asset management and marrying all the stories with all the media placements. Creative Logistics is the antidote to fragmentation, aggregating all the teams across markets in a flawless relay race to launch, monitor and optimize campaigns.

Complete Visibility Enables Agility

Brands today need more content than ever before, but with the current state of tech stacks, dispersed teams and the wide variety of channels available, that content is often decentralized. And this disconnection puts marketers at the mercy of what they don’t know. With no holistic view of all their creative assets, and who is adapting what for which markets, marketers can’t truly see what’s working and what’s not. They lack a singular source of truth that reveals whether they’ve created too much content, or too little.  A decentralized asset management and deployment construct means that vital insight is lost in the shadows of gap-filled workflows.

Optimization and agility require all the information necessary to make the best decisions quickly. A single end-to-end logistics solution for brand creative provides complete visibility of all team activity and creative asset usage throughout the entire process from production to deployment across all media types in every market.

Insight Reveals Itself

With control restored and visibility firmly in place, the Creative Logistics approach then makes it possible for marketing, agency and production teams to access more data and insights than ever before. The truth reveals itself as a powerful byproduct of the workflow when all the creative is married with the media plan in one activation platform. Creative Logistics illuminates everything brands need to know about creative usage, waste, performance and ROI.

Win with Creative Logistics

Creative Logistics consolidates all aspects of omnichannel campaign activation into one, fully integrated global solution. It is the holistic approach that brings the infrastructure of the industry up-to-speed with the landscape and future-proof operations. Marketers want their creative partners to be focused on the consumer, the brand and great creativity. They want their media agencies focused on the crazy quilt of channels that will deliver brand stories to the best prospects at scale. Nobody wants complexity.

At Extreme Reach, our global creative-to-media supply chain answers the challenges of a complex marketing landscape and an equally complicated infrastructure under the global advertising ecosystem. We’re proud and excited to change the marketing world for the better with the first and only Creative Logistics platform for all.

Did you know that Adstream was acquired by Extreme Reach? Together we solve some of the biggest challenges facing marketers, their agencies and production partners around the world. Find out more here.


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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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