We are constantly looking at alternate content and programming initiatives: Kamal Gianchandani, CEO, PVR Pictures

The CEO of PVR Pictures talks about the new partnerships, the GST effect on theatres, selling off its stake in blueO and more

e4m by Misbaah Mansuri
Published: Aug 16, 2017 8:15 AM  | 5 min read

The first two episodes of American television series ‘Marvel's Inhumans’, shot entirely with IMAX cameras, are slated to premiere exclusively in IMAX theatres across India for a two-week window beginning September 1, 2017.  As per the partnership between IMAX Corp and PVR Ltd, announced in April this year, the television series will also be showcased in PVR’s top grossing cinemas in the country. 


Kamal Gianchandani, CEO of PVR Pictures, spoke to exchange4media on the upcoming screening, effect of GST and the multiplex chain’s recent agreements with Smaash Entertainment Private Limited to sell its stake in blue0 entertainment.


Inhumans is going to be the first television show to be shot with IMAX technology. As a partner, how well will the Indian audience resonate with this?


We have done this for the first time and with all these experiments, there is some degree of uncertainty. But this is Marvel we are talking about. It is an entity which has had a super successful track record of delivering unique cinematic experiences which have resonated with a large audience. I think it will do well but I would not read too much into numbers. I would see it as a first step in the right direction of creating a new market, offering alternate content and alternate programming opportunities. Even if the numbers are not like a feature film, we wouldn’t be too disappointed. 


How do you think this partnership will affect the business?


IMAX, Disney and Marvel have been working on several initiatives and this is one of them. IMAX is constantly trying to push the envelope, come out with innovative ways to package content and make the whole IMAX and audience relationship more interesting. We are the exhibitors and at the retail end, trying to augment and amplify the opportunity that has come by. Also, we are trying to take it to the last mile and present it to the audience in the best possible manner.


How do you plan to penetrate, with respect to such screenings in a country like India, where Bollywood is pretty much all the rage?


Currently, there are 10 IMAX theatres in India. PVR has four, Cinepolis has two, Inox has one and two with Sathyam in Chennai. So, there are 10 leaders operating from a commercial perspective. With PVR, it is slated to premiere in September and the number of shows would depend on what else is left to play on IMAX screens during that point of time. However, we will do our best to push it so that this initiative has a fair opportunity to utilize the potential and we want to make sure that we profile it right.


Can you tell us if there are any more collaborations with IMAX at this point?


To be honest, this whole opportunity has been created due to Disney, Marvel and IMAX engaging at multiple levels. Our contribution is not much in creating this opportunity but we are hoping that we do it independently because we also run a distribution business. We are constantly looking at alternate content and programming initiatives and we hope that IMAX would look out for more of such initiatives and opportunities in near future. There would be more to see as we go along. 


What prompted the decision of signing definitive agreements with Smaash Entertainment Private Limited and selling off PVR’s stake in blueO?


blueO has been a non-core asset which has been with us through the business to a certain scale but with PVR, our distribution and exhibition business is growing at a stupendous pace. There is enormous amount of opportunity within India. We are also looking at other countries like Sri Lanka. We felt that we needed to focus on the core business in a lot more sharper and focused manner and somewhere down the line, we felt that blueO was not strategic in our endeavour to grow our exhibition business. The timing of its launch was right but now with the change in landscape dynamic, we thought that it was time to part with that asset and give it to somebody who could take it to the next level.


According to you, how has the effect of GST been on the theatre business?


I don’t think that the effect has been bad. GST is just a change in the direct taxation structure. It’s a new system and every new system comes with its sets of anxieties and pain points. Initially, it takes time for people to comprehend how to make full use of it. We are in that transition phase. Our view is that it is a very positive change coming about and it will have initial hiccups but this is something which will have a domino effect on other aspects of business. This issue of having to deal with multiple tax systems, a lot of complicated and discretionary powers left to government offices which manage these tax systems, will see a lot of improvements which is good for business in the long run.

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Mahesh Babu to represent Techno Paints

The actor will be the brand ambassador for a period of two years

By exchange4media Staff | Jun 7, 2023 3:13 PM   |   2 min read


City-based Techno Paints on Wednesday announced the appointment of film actor Mahesh Babu as its brand ambassador. He will be the company's brand ambassador for a period of two years.

"For the past 22 years, we have been successful in offering quality paints and quality painting services to business to business (B2B) segment. We executed over 1,000 projects in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and rest of the country.

Prince Mahesh Babu's image as youth icon will help our company to expand. We are extremely confident of establishing ourselves in the Indian retail paints market," said Akuri Srinivas Reddy, Founder of Fortune Group which owns Techno Paints brand.

Eyeing 25% market share:

We are targeting 25 per cent market share in the Rs 12,000-crore paints industry in Telugu States, said Srinivas Reddy.

"We will achieve this target in 12-18 months. Our products will be available for sale at 5,000 touch points. We are already making 2,000 shades of paints. We have added 1,000 shades more recently.

We introduced colour banks to immediately supply whatever colours customers want. Only MNCs are offering this facility. We recently introduced products such as wood adhesive, tile primer, wood polish, water proofing compounds," he explained.

Fast delivery: To provide timely supply of paints, Techno Paints established 25 depots. "We set up 50,000-sft central warehousing facility in Patancheru. At present, we have a manufacturing capacity of 1 lakh metric tonnes. Our new plants in Palnadu and Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh and also in Odisha will start production next year. With this, our capacity will increase to 2.5 lakh metric tonnes," said Srinivas Reddy.

Major project from govt : Recently, Techno Paints bagged a major project from the Telangana government. Under this, the company took up the painting works of 26,065 schools under Mana Ooru-Mana Badi and Mana Basti-Mana Badi project. It completed over 80 real estate projects in the last financial year and has 140 projects in hand now. It has 250 employees with as many as 4,000 painters working directly or indirectly for it.

The company started the production of solvent-based enamel paints in the last financial year. It is manufacturing special textures, finishes in collaboration with Italy-based Rialto Colors. The company clocked 100 per cent growth in 2022-23.

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Slow down and savour the yum-side of life, says Tata Sampann's new campaign

The campaign promotesnTata Sampann Yumside's ready-to-eat and cook range

By exchange4media Staff | Jun 7, 2023 2:22 PM   |   2 min read

yum side

Tata Consumer Products has announce the launch a new campaign “Aap Prem se khaiye, Duniya rukegi” for Tata Sampann Yumside’s range of ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook products. 

Commenting on the launch of the new campaign, Deepika Bhan, President - Packaged Foods, Tata Consumer Products, said, "At Tata Consumer Products, we understand the needs of our consumers for convenient meal options that do not compromise on taste or quality. With Tata Sampann Yumside, we are proud to offer an innovative range of delicious and easy-to-prepare meals for those who seek convenience. Our new campaign 'Aap Prem se khaiye, Duniya rukegi' encourages everyone to cherish the happiness that comes with every delicious meal and take a moment to enjoy their food, no matter how busy, or in the case of the film adventurous their day may be- indicating that the world can wait! Tata Sampann Yumside represents a significant opportunity for Indian consumers who are seeking convenient and tasty meal solutions. The Yumside range complements our core portfolio of offerings in the foods category and opens up newer opportunities in this fast-growing segment. We are confident that the Tata Sampann brand will help amplify the differentiation and quality credentials of the products. This will help us synergize the foods portfolio better and take the new TATA Sampann Yumside range to the next level of growth, strengthening our presence in the RTE and RTC categories.“ 

Tata Sampann Yumside products includes 18 ready-to-eat variants and 5 ready-to-cook variants. The hero product of Tata Sampann Yumside's ready-to-eat range is the Cheesy Pasta, a one of a kind pasta that can be heated to eat in 60 seconds. Along with this delectable option, the range also includes 22 other variants, designed to make meal preparation a breeze for lunch, dinner and snacking. The Tata Sampann Yumside offers delicious meal options spread across 4 broad sub-categories – international cuisine, Indian cuisine, appetizers and ready to cook gravies

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Disha Patani is the brand ambassador of Xiaomi India's Redmi audio and mobile accessories

The upcoming launch of the Redmi Buds 4 Active marks the first campaign as part of her association with Xiaomi India

By exchange4media Staff | Jun 7, 2023 1:06 PM   |   2 min read

disha p

Smartphone company Xiaomi India announced Bollywood star and fitness enthusiast Disha Patani as the brand ambassador for its range of audio and mobile accessories. The upcoming launch of the Redmi Buds 4 Active marks the first campaign as part of her association with Xiaomi India.

The actor will be seen performing audacious stunts in the new campaign for the Redmi Buds 4 Active, the ultimate wireless earphones offering exceptional audio immersion.

Extending a warm welcome to Disha Patani into the Xiaomi family, Anuj Sharma, Chief Marketing Officer at Xiaomi India said, “Disha Patani's dynamic and energetic personality aligns perfectly with the essence of Redmi audio and mobile accessories, as reflected in our tagline, 'Rise. Never Fall. We are confident that our collaboration with Disha will elevate our brand ethos and further establish strong connections with our customers.”

Commenting on the association, Disha Patani said, “It’s a pleasure to be associated with the Xiaomi family. I look forward to being a part of this journey and contributing to the growth of Xiaomi India. Together, we will inspire and empower users to embrace the spirit of never giving up, just like the Redmi Buds 4 Active.”

Xiaomi India is taking noteworthy steps to elevate customer experiences by offering products that fulfil their needs. The brand's dedication to delivering best in class technology and exceptional specifications at affordable prices remains unwavering, ensuring accessibility to technology for all.

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War on wokeism: How can brands come out unscathed this Pride Month

Brands that want to be woke in their messaging, must be clear on the possible backlash and still stand their ground, say experts

By Tanzila Shaikh | Jun 7, 2023 9:07 AM   |   6 min read


It's June, the Pride Month, and brands are ready to paint themselves in rainbow colours and create advertisements centered around the LGBTQ+ community. While it is not uncommon to see brands talking about the rights of the community now, it was not the case always. Also, while it's true that a lot has changed in the country, for the good, when it comes to acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community, for many, a discussion about them is still a taboo. And brands acknowledging the rights of the community often have to face criticism and trolling on social media platforms; the most recent one being Starbucks, which had to face the wrath of netizens for its ‘It Starts With Your Name’ campaign.

So, is there a middle path for brands on this road? What could be the best way for companies to talk about the rights of the LGBTQ+ community without hurting the sentiments of their other customers?

The way out 

According to Samit Sinha, Managing Partner, Alchemist Brand Consulting, wokeism is nothing but a progressive, liberal perspective on what constitutes a just society that embraces the diversity of race, religion, gender as well as sexual orientation. 

“I believe that true wokeism, as opposed to pretend wokeism, is not a passing fad, but an unstoppable force that despite stiff resistance from those unable or unwilling to accept change, will ultimately pave the way for the future of human civilization. Brands that are part of the leading wave of these changes will eventually succeed as they will be perceived as pioneers and thought leaders,” said Sinha, mentioning that he loved the Starbucks campaign and saluted their bravery.

Echoing the sentiment, N Chandramouli, CEO of TRA Research, believes that being woke is a state of being, one where the person is continuously conscious, aware and informed on societal prejudices. “A person or brand cannot be woke at times, and not during others. Backlashes, criticism for being woke happen in some cases, but it does not change the wokeness of the brand or person. Brands which include woke in their messaging, must be clear on the possible backlash, and still stand their ground,” he suggests.

Speaking on the readiness of the Indian audiences to accept these campaigns, Shruti Swaroop, diversity inclusion consultant, shares, “If we consider the readiness of the Indian audience to acknowledge the LGBTQ+ community, it's important to recognize that social progress and acceptance of diverse identities is a gradual process, especially in a culturally diverse country like India. Achieving true inclusion may take considerable time and effort.”

Are brands on the right route?

Earlier last year, Dabur also came out with a campaign for its product Fem celebrating same sex love. The campaign was widely trolled for many reasons. Brands are trying to start a conversation around the topic but do they have what it takes to get the right messaging out? 

Nitin Pradhan, Creative Head, DDB Mudra, feels that spreading awareness around issues, whether related to gender, race or LGBTQ themes, needs more sensitivity and understanding than what we, as advertisers and marketers, exhibit. “In most cases, we miss the larger context in which campaigns operate. It’s not really about one campaign and its the response. It requires a deeper level of pre-existing trust and emotional connection between a brand and its core consumers for this kind of messaging to be accepted,” he explains.

“A big brand presumes that the connection exists but the relationship may be quite transactional. The virtual absence of true and unique brand personality and the growing dominance of performance marketing, suddenly followed by an ‘emotional’, PSA-like theme, makes people look at the whole piece with skepticism. No surprise then that it seems like tokenism. We need to ask if the brand has the rite of passage to say this. Does it go with the brand personality? Is there a brand personality? Is there a product or category connection? Why must every brand tick every social issue box in the calendar?”, he explained. 

Meanwhile, people hailing from the community feel that brands hijack the month and make the conversation around it only for marketing purposes and ignore it consistently throughout the year. 

Sinha notes that what people are able to see through is the difference between genuine commitment to a cause or an issue, as opposed to tokenism or lip service to it. “If brands simply jump onto the bandwagon for the fear of being left behind, then they will not only be doing the LGBTQIA community a huge disservice, but also to themselves,” he said.

However, presenting a different point of view here, Chandramouli adds, “I feel that highlighting issues faced by the LGBTQ community by those who are promoting their cause, only adds value and does not hijack the issue. The more people/brands that speak about it, the more awareness there will be.”

Speaking on the same, Nisha Sampath, Brand Consultant, and Founder, of Bright Angles Consulting, said, “The younger generation is smart to identify this and they won’t buy into it, so brands should work around resonating the conversation with the audience. Brands should see them as a different segment of the audience and that way they should connect with them.”She also said that brands should take initiatives more and do something for them instead of just talking about it. She said, “Brands should walk the talk.”

The future of gender inclusivity in marketing

The audiences are getting used to the conversation and opening their hearts for it by taking baby steps, however there is still a big chunk of people out there who may not agree.

We asked experts what is the future of woke marketing and gender inclusivity communication in the Indian scenario. 

According to Swaroop, “With continued advocacy, efforts and moving beyond performative gestures, woke marketing has the potential to significantly accelerate the process of achieving Inclusion in India.”

While on the other hand, Chandramouli said, “For us to uphold a society that champions inclusivity and shuns prejudices or oppression, it's imperative that a greater number of brands courageously engage in discourse on matters they hold dear, even if it exposes them to potential criticism.”

Sinha noted that we still have a long way to go. “I think we will begin to see more and more popular mainstream brands attempting to normalise the LGBTQIA community in their marketing campaigns as an effort to champion the cause of diversity and inclusivity.”

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Disney Star onboards 28 sponsors for ICC World Test Championship Final

15 sponsors come on board with Disney Star and 13 for Disney+ Hotstar

By exchange4media Staff | Jun 6, 2023 3:10 PM   |   3 min read

disney star

Disney Star, the official broadcaster for the ICC World Test Championship Final (WTC), has onboarded 15 sponsors and Disney+ Hotstar has roped in 13 sponsors across categories ahead of the much-awaited tournament that gets underway from June 7th – 11th, 2023.

Star Sports’ sponsors include Bajaj Allianz, LAYER'R SHOT, Pokerbaazi, MRF, Samco Securities, Jindal Panther Steel, Ultratech Cement, DBS Bank, Atomberg Technologies, Maruti Suzuki, Charged By Thums Up, Hero Motocorp, Cadbury Dairy Milk, Livguard Energy Technologies, Allied Blenders and Distilleries. In addition to the 15 sponsors, Star Sports has also onboarded 40 advertisers and over 45+ brands.

Baazi Games has come on board as the co-presenting sponsor and ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund is the co-power sponsor on Disney+ Hotstar. A legion of national and international brands like Bajaj Allianz, Scaler, Policy Bazaar, Paisa Bazaar, Club Mahindra, Coca Cola, HSBC, Maruti Suzuki, Uber, L’Oreal and Castrol have been signed as associate sponsors.

“The increasing curiosity surrounding the ICC World Test Championship Final between two cricket heavyweights is sure to generate excitement in the country. We have collaborated with advertisers from various domains, across Star Sports and Disney+ Hotstar to help them achieve their desired business objectives through this marquee event. The response has been overwhelming so far, resulting in the sale of all key features well in advance. We are optimistic about delivering an exhilarating tournament experience to our valued advertisers,” said Ajit Varghese, Head of Network - Ad Sales at Disney Star.

"Excited to announce Atomberg’s broadcast sponsorship of the World Test Championship final. Cricket on television has been an integral part of our media mix over the last 2 years and played a big role in scaling up our reach and awareness metrics, ultimately helping the business grow from 25 cr/month to 100 cr/month. And contrary to popular belief, if you can incorporate cricket intelligently in the media mix, it is not prohibitively expensive," said Arindam Paul, Founding Member and Chief Business Officer - Atomberg Technologies.

’At ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund, we are dedicated to empowering investors with our comprehensive range of mutual fund products. Through Disney+ Hotstar, during the upcoming ICC World Test Championship, we recognize the immense opportunity to engage with our target audience via Connected TV and mobile. Our aim is to generate brand awareness and encourage people to invest into mutual funds. Our association with Disney+ Hotstar ensures a seamless fusion of cricket's exhilaration and the potential for financial growth,’’ said Abhijit Shah, Head of Marketing, Digital and Customer Experience, ICICI Prudential AMC.

The ICC World Test Championship Final will commence from June 7- 11th, 2023 and the tournament will be broadcasted live on Star Sports Network and Disney+ Hotstar.

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Maruti Suzuki appoints AdGlobal360 to run pan-India hyperlocal marketing

AGL has been handling dealer marketing for Maruti Suzuki in North, East and Central India

By exchange4media Staff | Jun 6, 2023 1:57 PM   |   2 min read


AdGlobal360 (AGL), a member of the Hakuhodo family, has won the mandate for managing the PAN-India Hyperlocal Marketing of Maruti Suzuki India Limited.

Maruti Suzuki launched the hyperlocal marketing strategy in 2018 and since then AGL has been handling dealer marketing for North, East, and Central India while the other half was managed by another agency.

Deployed throughout Maruti Suzuki’s vast network of dealerships in multiple locations across the country, this hyperlocal marketing strategy has proved to be extremely effective in helping the OEM strengthen its digital presence, capturing the high purchase intent ‘near me’ searches, streamlining dealer lead management as well as customer journeys, and much more.

Sharing his opinion of this partnership, Shashank Srivastava, Sr. Executive Officer, Marketing & Sales, commented, “The contribution of hyperlocal marketing to our business is significant and digital leads from this program account for nearly 30% of our car sales. AdGlobal360’s are specialists in this and we are looking at a partnership that will collectively help us grow manifold. We look forward to their expertise in managing a program of this scale and delivering effectively on our expectations.”

Speaking on the win, Rakesh Yadav, CEO-AdGlobal360, said, “This is more than a win for us, since we were already managing half of Hyperlocal Marketing for MSIL. This is a validation of our expertise and the value we bring to our partners, MSIL and the Dealers. It is our promise that with our continuous investments in understanding Indian Consumers through our Sei-katsu-sha philosophy, we will keep getting better and deliver better outcomes.”

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King's Kachi Ghani Pure Mustard Oil highlights promise of purity in new TVC

The ad aims to reinforce the brand's position as the preferred choice for consumers who appreciate genuine taste and quality.

By exchange4media Staff | Jun 6, 2023 1:36 PM   |   2 min read


Adani Wilmar Limited (AWL) has unveiled a new TV commercial for its King's Kachi Ghani pure mustard oil. The objective of this TVC is to emphasize the exceptional pungency and purity of the product, highlighting its distinct flavour. By doing so, the company aims to reinforce the brand's position as the preferred choice for consumers who appreciate genuine taste and quality.

The captivating TV commercial showcases the story of a charismatic and respected individual, symbolizing a heroic figure, who is deeply moved by the product's pungency ("Jaanch") and purity. The video playfully captures the deep connection between food, family, and the immense satisfaction derived from using the finest mustard oil in traditional Indian cooking.

Sanjay Adesara, Head of Marketing, Adani Wilmar Ltd, commented on the latest TVC launch campaign, stating that “Kachi Ghani, also known as "Sarson ka Tel", is an indigenous oil to India, being extensively consumed in the northern and eastern regions of the country. Due to its inherent properties and colour, mustard oil can be easily mixed with other oils, a practice that is widespread throughout the nation. Unfortunately, this leads to the sale of adulterated products by local players at significantly discounted prices. Adani Wilmar, committed to fostering a healthy and prosperous nation, aims to counter these local adulterated brands by offering quality products at affordable prices through its King's range.

The King's Kachi Ghani Mustard Oil TV commercial celebrates the authentic flavors of India and reinforces the product's core attributes of pungency and purity, enhancing the taste and elevating the culinary experience of every Indian dish prepared. We understand the importance of preserving age-old flavours, and our product serves as an appealing choice to discourage consumers from opting for adulterated, unbranded oils, promoting the use of quality and genuine ingredients in every Indian household."

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