realme gets Shah Rukh Khan as brand ambassador

The first product Shah Rukh will endorse is the realme 11 Pro Series 5G

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: May 25, 2023 12:59 PM  | 1 min read
Shah Rukh Khan

realme has announced superstar Shah Rukh Khan as its brand ambassador for the realme smartphones.

This collaboration further reinforces the brand's commitment to inspiring the millennial generation and setting new benchmarks in the smartphone industry.

The first product Shah Rukh Khan will endorse for realme is the realme 11 Pro Series 5G, a testament to the brand's dedication to providing cutting-edge technology to its customers. With this collaboration, realme is poised to continue thriving and growing in the future, while staying true to its 'Dare to Leap' philosophy

Shah Rukh Khan shared, reflecting on the collaboration, “realme’s 'Dare to Leap' philosophy truly resonated with me. The brand's unwavering commitment to pushing boundaries aligns perfectly with my own pursuit of excellence. Together, we aim to ignite innovation and fuel the growth of realme globally. I am looking forward to joining the realme family as their brand ambassador and hope to inspire others to embrace challenges, take bold steps, and achieve greatness.”

Commenting on the association, Tao, Chief Marketing Officer at realme India, stated, "We are extremely excited to have Shah Rukh Khan on board as the brand ambassador for the realme smartphone category. His dare-to-leap spirit perfectly resonates with our brand's philosophy. With this collaboration, we aim to reach new heights of innovation and redefine the smartphone experience for our users."

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Worth a shot: Why are brands teaming up with non-cricket sports?

e4m explores the audiences' interest in sports other than cricket and how it is working out for brands

By Tanzila Shaikh | Jun 2, 2023 9:05 AM   |   6 min read

football

India has always been a cricket-loving country. Anything related to the gentleman’s game has always got all the attention, not just from sports lovers but also from brands & marketers. However, over the years, the country has developed a liking for non-cricket sports such as wrestling, kabaddi, football and hockey as well, and brands obviously are too happy to follow the audiences. For instance, this year’s Pro Kabaddi League will be sponsored by vivo, a brand known for investing big in cricket.

India’s fondness for sports, both cricket and non-cricket, is visible in the business numbers as well. According to GroupM ESP's Sporting Nation report, the Indian sports business surpassed Rs 14,000 crore in 2022, showing a growth of 49% over 2021. A total of  Rs 9,500 crore was spent on the sports sector in 2021. 

Why the sudden interest in non-cricket sports?

According to R Venkatasubramanian, President - Investments at Havas Media India and Managing Director - Havas Play, brands have sided with sports, both cricket and others, as it is the best way to connect with the audiences. “Post-Covid and with the opening of the economy, there has been a large influx of funds from FII and other direct investments into startups and established brands that are in their expansion mode. These brands have identified sports and live events as one of the fastest mediums to gain quick momentum and establish connections with their customers. Association with sports helps them drive home their communication and quickly gain a consumer base,” he explains.

The fact that India's sports budget for FY 2023-24 saw 11% increase from the last financial year is also encouraging brands to look for good returns from their investments here. “The sports budget reached Rs 3397.32 crore this year. The money is being spent on the development of sports in the country, and this will make sure that India is going to be the next big sporting nation,” adds Venkatasubramanian.

The thought is echoed by Shantanu Ghosh, Senior Director - Sports & Live, Wavemaker India. “For the game to become popular, the team needs to do well, and India has done fairly well in sports in the last few years. A sport builds its audience through multiple aspects, like players’ performances or history of the sport in the country. If we consider badminton, the popularity started growing after some players won international events. A feat on the global platform causes the popularity of the sport to skyrocket, like cricket became hugely popular post India’s win the 1983 World Cup.”

Similarly, In 2021, Neeraj Chopra made a world record in The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games which opened many brand association opportunities for him, making Indian audiences turn their attention to other sports. 

Investment in other sporting events

The FIFA World Cup, WPL and Women’s Cricket World Cup were some of the most celebrated sports events this year in India, apart from cricket and IPL. 

India is becoming a hot spot for sports leagues. There is great scope for prosperity with tournaments like ICC World Cup T20, Indian Premier League, Women Premier League, Pro Kabaddi League, Indian Table Tennis League, ISL and Futsal. Categories such as online gaming & betting have brands like dafa news, Fairplay, Winzo, and Pari News making huge investments in terms of sponsorship. Also, there are emerging sports like kabaddi, football, and others,” points out Venkatasubramanian

On a similar note, Jigar Rambhia, COO at Sportjo, also shares that audiences, as well as sponsors, are open to exploring new sporting avenues apart from cricket. “People are watching cricket but India is now ready to explore other sports as well. Who doesn't want to watch a good sporting league? We are doing quite well now, compared to what we were doing  5-10 years back,” he opines.

“It's difficult, but it is getting there by the year. Five years back, if I went to a brand and asked them to invest their money on a non-cricket property, they wouldn’t think much. But today, they are willing to listen and even invest to a certain extent. Non-cricket sports will never reach there in terms of money but the good thing is brands are now willing to explore,” he explains.

This year saw many startups withdraw their sponsorship in IPL and some fantasy sports and online gaming brands become leading sponsors for this season. According to Ghosh, “A lot depends on the company and brand objectives when it comes to deciding on investing in sporting events. For fantasy sports brands, it becomes a relevant option as their business is dependent on sporting events.”

Adds Venkatasubramanian, “Investment in sports is growing and will continue to grow. Sports offer fresh entertainment and excitement every time a game is played. Though marketing budgets have tightened up, faith in sports as a medium has kept its momentum with investment across sports and leagues,” 

“A brand like Tata Group has strengthened its presence across sports by buying the title sponsorship of IPL and WPL. Also, FMCG brands like Amul, Nestle, Bingo, and Himalaya Pharma have been doing consistent investments across sports events through league or team sponsorship. Their main focus is to create relevance through content and engagement with their key TGs utilizing sports talents and celebrities associated with the teams,” he mentions.

The Future

In a country like India, where cricket is equated to religion, perhaps the possibility of any other sports taking over seems impossible. But experts paint a different picture. “With increased investments by brands in sports, Indian athletes performing exceptionally well and increased support from the government, the future of sports marketing is extremely bright,” feels Ghosh.

Rambhia too agrees. “I think the next 10-20 years will be great for Indian sports. We will see many non-cricket stars in the future. India will soon be a sporting superpower.”

“With newer leagues for sports like women's cricket, handball, hockey  and various cricket leagues like ILT20, SA20, Road Safety and Legend League, a fair amount of interest and investment is guaranteed. Though these leagues will take their time to get into momentum, emerging sports like PKL, ISL and PVL are becoming part of brands’ marketing calendar and making advertisers work on a tactical approach to cash on these sporting opportunities,” sums Venkatasubramanian.

Sports is a sunrise industry and is expected to grow very fast, he asserts.

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We aim to grow Himalaya Ashvagandha by 3X the category growth rate: Vikas Bansi

Himalaya’s head of OTC business spoke to e4m regarding their new campaign around stress, the expected growth rate from the product, health MarTech and more

By Nilanjana Basu | Jun 2, 2023 8:38 AM   |   5 min read

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“The Himalaya Wellness OTX range is a budding portfolio with high growth potential,” Vikas Bansi, the Head of the OTC business, Himalaya Wellness Company said in a conversation with exchange4media.

Through three ad films and a campaign titled “Ab Stress Nahi, De-stress Kijiye”, Himalaya is looking to raise awareness about mental health and the impact of stress. Bansi spoke to e4m about the growth of the campaign, the trickiness of mixing mental health awareness and marketing and the ROI expected from the campaign.

The reason behind the campaign, Bansi said, is to draw people’s attention to this modern-day problem and highlight the fact that there are multiple stress triggers that often go unnoticed or may seem common.

“These trigger factors, however common they may seem, lead to stress that can affect one’s health, behaviour, and overall quality of life. Building on this insight, the campaign brings common triggers of stress into the spotlight and emphasizes the role of Himalaya Ashvagandha in minimizing stress in daily life and helping bring calm,” he pointed out.

Excerpts:

Tell us a little bit about the campaign and how it was built

For this campaign, a 360° approach was deployed where the three critical pillars – consumer, trade, and ethical – were activated, allowing us to reach the right target group for the brand.

The brand primarily built awareness among end consumers through digital, influencer, and radio campaigns. A series of three advertisements were created, each targeting a different consumer cohort – middle-aged men, working women, and youngsters.

These advertisements highlight the after-effects of stress, where the protagonists experience sleeplessness, tiredness, and anger, respectively, when exposed to certain stressors regularly. The communication is reinforced by the doctor talking about the benefits of Himalaya Ashvagandha in helping manage stress better.

The awareness campaign was further amplified by maximizing the reach via L-band ads on leading national and regional news channels. In addition, the key influencers of the purchase decision journey, doctors and retailers, were targeted through extensive sampling to drive familiarity with the product along with trials.  Taking the campaign a notch further, CMEs and 35 + RTMs on “stress management” were also conducted across the country to engage with doctors.

How is Himalaya working on the sensitivity of the topic while creating awareness for the campaign?

Stress can be a sensitive topic for many individuals. Some people may openly discuss their experience with stress but many still find it challenging to freely talk about what is causing them stress and how it is impacting their lives.

This is why, the Himalaya Ashvagandha campaign has approached the conversation around stress with empathy and understanding. We have tried to make the viewer feel comfortable by treating the stressors and their impact in a non-judgmental manner and as something that is normal and faced by most people around us.  However, we have also taken care to not trivialize the problem either. Having a doctor back the need for a natural intervention for stress management has given consumers confidence in our message and it also helped balance a light-hearted story with the seriousness required for a conversation around stress.

When it comes to mental health awareness and marketing for related products, what kind of marketing mix works best?

Though mental health is an extremely sensitive topic, mental health issues, stress, and anxiety have become extremely prevalent in today’s society. It is important to bring these conversations in front of as many people as possible so that individuals can learn to identify issues and seek timely help and support to resolve them.

That being said, the marketing mix would entirely depend on the problem the product is aiming to solve, its price, positioning, and channel availability in the market. Digital media should definitely be a part of the mix since it allows you to customize communication, improve relevancy, and reach the targeted consumer cohort.

What kind of ROI is expected from this campaign?

We aim to grow Himalaya Ashvagandha by 3X the category growth rate.

Can we expect an uptick in ad spends from Himalaya for the rest of the year, regardless of the rising economic uncertainty?

The Himalaya Wellness OTX range is a budding portfolio with high growth potential. In the categories we are present in, there is immense room for new players to gain traction and hence we will continue to advertise our focus brands to create the required lift in consumer demand.

As a wellness company, what are your thoughts on health MarTech?

The health care sector in India has seen significant digital transformation of late. MarTech can potentially change the marketing landscape in this industry by improving how companies reach and engage with potential consumers. It can help improve patient experiences, deliver personalized care, and drive positive health outcomes.

It offers companies the ability to gather and analyse at scale, patient data, market trends, and consumer behaviour patterns, all of which are critical to developing products and services with real value for the consumers and also for ensuring marketing effectiveness.

However, it's important to note that while health MarTech presents numerous opportunities, it also comes with challenges. Privacy and security concerns, data governance, and regulatory compliance are crucial factors that need to be carefully addressed to ensure the ethical and responsible use of technology in health care marketing.

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Video is the new audio: Debjani Gupta, Zoom

The Country Marketing Leader for Zoom in India spoke to us about tapping into the Indian market, the platform’s latest offerings for marketers and more

By Shantanu David | Jun 2, 2023 9:23 AM   |   4 min read

Zoom

While Zoom has become ubiquitous to today’s professional lexicon, its very ubiquity can give consumers tunnel vision around its applications. With over 300 million daily active users, Zoom revenue is expected to reach between $4.370 billion and $4.380 billion in 2023. The virtual meeting and collaboration platform generated $4.09 billion in revenue in 2022, up from $2.65 billion in 2021.

India is the company's second-largest market globally, behind the United States. Though given the vast difference in the populations of the two countries, the room to zoom in India is potentially enormous. exchange4media spoke with Debjani Gupta, Country Marketing Leader for Zoom in India, about tapping into that market, the platform’s latest offerings for marketers, and why there can be too much of a good thing.

“Yeah, everybody knows us, but everybody knows us mostly for meetings. And that is my challenge, as a marketer as the brand is so visible. And when you go to somebody and say ‘I'm from Zoom, and this is what we do,’ before I complete the sentence they say ‘Oh, we know. You don't need to tell us’,” she says wryly, while asserting they don't know the entire suite of solutions and products the company offers.

“We have meetings, chats, hub spots (a casual virtual meeting room where you can bump into your colleagues and chat) and Zoom Calendars. Then you have SDKs and APIs so that you can plug into your own platform. Then there is the events platform: webinars, events, sessions, and then you have internal communication tools like Zoom chat, whiteboard, and more.

“So, we have to do a lot of education. The brand is visible, people understand the brand but my KPI is to ensure that information on all the available products in India for our customers and potential customers is out there and people are aware of the entire Unified communications as a service (UCaaS) platform.”

The need for that “enterprise telephony” is growing, as companies realize the challenges in getting employees to return to offices full time. According to The Flex Report, based on data from over 4,000 companies employing more than 100 million people globally, the share of people in the office full-time dropped to 42% in the second quarter of 2023, down from 49% in the first quarter. Simultaneously, the share of offices with hybrid work arrangements hit 30% in the quarter, up from 20% the previous quarter.

“Modern companies have realized that getting employees back to work after we have had a taste of what we can do virtually is leading to dissatisfaction right now,” says Gupta, pointing out that most professionals have realized they can do their jobs from anywhere.

“As long as I'm productive and effective, and implement all that I’m supposed to do, it’s fine. I’m an adult and the whole organization runs on trust and company culture, she says, observing that if you have the right culture and you trust your employees to do what they're supposed to do, and the employees are doing that there shouldn't be any issues.

“At Zoom, we actually are looking at redefining the entire concept of employee experience, and also customer experience because if you empower your employees, it also helps you resolve customer issues more effectively. And then video is the new audio. Even people on the road are not on phone calls, they are actually on video calls, whether it’s with friends and family or work or even a service call centre,” she says.

While Zoom webinars have been there for a while, Zoom Events, which was introduced last year, is a key area being focused on. According to the company, Zoom Events is a virtual event management solution built for marketers, which allows up to 50,000 view-only attendees & 100+ interactive panellists. Zoom Events’ built-in tools promote networking and enable real-time feedback, so attendees can enjoy the same benefits of in-person events while at home.

“We now have something called Backstage; so when you go for an event, you need to prep your speakers right before they go on to the stage or go onto a panel. The same thing is replicated there. Zoom Sessions is a smaller version of Zoom Events, a more comprehensive enterprise version. As marketers, the time and resources that we spend on production and branding for an event is quite significant. All that is taken care of by Zoom Events because we have features on that platform that allow brands, event organizers and marketers to just plug and play,” she extols.

Another exciting development is the Zoom Phone, which was just given its license by Indian authorities and promises to bring all those features together into one secure universal device. “But we keep innovating and ideating, so there will be more announcements soon,” concludes Gupta. 

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Haier becomes Official Partner of Roland-Garros tournament

The sponsorship arrangement with Roland-Garros Tournament will expedite the implementation of the brand’s innovative home solutions in overseas markets, the company said

By exchange4media Staff | Jun 1, 2023 3:15 PM   |   1 min read

hair

Home appliances brand Haier is the official partner of the 2023 Roland-Garros Tournament, which officially commences in Paris on May 22nd

As a top-tier grand slam, the Roland-Garros Tournament enjoys global recognition. Haier’s sponsorship of this esteemed event will further enhance the brand's global exposure, the company said.

Haier’s sponsorship arrangement with the Roland-Garros Tournament will expedite the implementation of the brand’s innovative home solutions in overseas markets. 

This partnership with a premier sporting event will offer Haier a new platform where global users can learn about Haier’s comprehensive smart products and solutions, expanding the user base and accelerating the global deployment of smart homes.

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Farmley announces Rahul Dravid as the new brand ambassador

The dry fruits and nuts brand wants the association to talk about its commitment to quality

By exchange4media Staff | Jun 1, 2023 12:06 PM   |   2 min read

Rahul Dravid

Dry fruits and nuts brand Farmley has announced former Indian Cricket Captain Rahul Dravid as its first brand ambassador.

Through this collaboration, Farmley reinforces its enduring commitment to quality, authenticity, and excellence.

With his distinguished career as a cricketer, Dravid has not only earned accolades for his incredible sportsmanship but has also become a role model for millions across the globe. Dravid would be seen endorsing the dry-fruits range for the brand.

Commenting on his association with Farmley, Rahul Dravid said “People these days are rapidly moving towards adopting a healthier lifestyle and they put a thought into whatever they consume throughout their day. They like to read and get themselves educated about different products available in the market, and choose what they think would be best for them, in terms of both health & taste. Farmley's commitment to sourcing the finest dry fruits and nuts resonates with my personal belief in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I look forward to representing Farmley and contributing to their mission of delivering premium, adulteration-free products to consumers.”

Welcoming Rahul Dravid onboard, Abhishek Agarwal - Co-Founder, Farmley said, “Having him on board with Farmley is heart-warming, and we are proud to welcome Rahul Dravid to the family. Being a celebrated cricketer, Dravid has always been committed to being healthy, which helps us rightly position ourselves as a brand that believes in keeping the healthy in the dry fruits & nuts segment intact by eliminating the middlemen and offering adulteration-free products. With Rahul's support, we aim to further expand our brand presence and connect with a wider audience, while upholding our promise of delivering premium and pure dry fruits & nuts."

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Alia Bhatt shines in Nihar Naturals Hair Oil commercial

The ad samples the Baul song 'Boro loker biti'

By exchange4media Staff | May 31, 2023 3:23 PM   |   2 min read

Nihar Naturals Hair Oil

Nihar Naturals Hair Oil, the market leader in eastern India, has launched a new TVC featuring its latest brand ambassador, Alia Bhatt. The campaign revolves around the message of Shundor Chul, Shobaar Odhikaar and highlights Nihar Naturals’s position as a progressive brand committed to making beautiful hair accessible to all.

The TVC begins with Bollywood superstar Alia Bhatt being serenaded by a group of Bauls, ethnic wandering minstrels from Bengal, who ask her the secret to her long, lustrous hair. The Bauls then take the serenade – a take on the popular song, “Boro loker biti, lo lamba lamba chul”, created by legendary singer-songwriter Ratan Kahar – to another girl stepping out of a bus with equally gorgeous hair while Alia looks on, thoroughly enjoying the scene 

Alia then demystifies the mystique and presumed “magic” around beautiful hair  and reaffirms the brand stance that beautiful hair is every woman’s right. The ad ends with Alia revealing the secret to beautiful hair- Nihar Naturals, with coconut and methi (fenugreek), gives thick, beautiful hair.  

Speaking about the new campaign, and the association with Alia, Ms. Somasree Bose Awasthi, CMO, Marico Limited said, “Whenever we see beautiful hair, we attach a certain mystique to it, often playfully comparing the process of maintaining them to magic. With this ad campaign, we want to highlight how beautiful hair is not a result of any magic but the goodness of Coconut & Methi in Nihar Naturals Hair Oil which gives thick beautiful hair, becoming the right of every woman  . Alia’s natural charm and presence is perfect to highlight this proposition and we are confident that the latest campaign will further strengthen the brand amongst the target audience.” 

Commenting on her partnership, Alia Bhatt said, “I am so excited to be a part of the Nihar Naturals family and partner with a brand that truly believes that being beautiful and progressive go hand in hand!”

The film was conceptualised and executed by Team WPP.

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Reckitt to move out of dentsu

As per sources, the brand has shortlisted Wavemaker and Initiative

By exchange4media Staff | May 31, 2023 2:41 PM   |   1 min read

reckitt

Consumer products giant Reckitt is set to move its account out of dentsu. Sources have confirmed the development to exchange4media.

e4m reached out to dentsu for a confirmation on the same but is yet to receive a response. The brand has already shortlisted Wavemaker of GroupM and Initiative of IPG. A final decision on the same is expected this week.

The FMCG multinational has marquee brands like Dettol, Mortein, Strepsils, Harpic, etc., in its portfolio and has operations spanning more than 60 countries.

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