When the CEO of a travel site decides to co-produce a Kangana Ranaut starrer...

An interview with Nishant Pitti, CEO and Co-founder of Easemytrip, where he tells us about how he came to co-produce a Kangana Ranaut film

Dolly Mahayan 22-August-2017

In an interview with exchange4media, Nishant Pitti, CEO and Co-founder of Easemytrip, speaks on entering Bollywood, India going cashless, the future of digital travel and his upcoming film, Manikarnika starring Kangana Ranaut. Edited excerpts:


Does franchising help you to expand business?


Yes, definitely. When we started our business in 2008, we focused on a franchise model. At that time we adopted a different strategy where we contacted cyber shops, local vendors, and coffee shops for increasing footfalls. We have seen good results and we found working with channel partners is always profitable. It not only helps you to expand business but also reach out and connect, which is the main reason to partner and channelise growth.


How is Easemytrip different from its competitors? 


Well our travel offerings make us unique, another one is transparent and dedicated services. One such example is a convenience fee, which is charged by most of the companies present in the market, but we don’t believe in that. We don’t wish to burden our customers for the same thus we do not charge any convenience fees which straightaway gives the benefit of Rs 200-300 to the customer.


 Another example is that of our call centre. We have an in-house call centre so when a customer is calling, he is not talking to a call agent, he is talking to an EaseMyTrip direct employee. Most importantly, the transparency in transactions, interactions and maintaining a relationship is what has helped us reach where we are today.


Why did Easemytip foray into the film business?


We wanted to explore other markets beyond travel and realised that there is a lot of potential in the Indian film industry, which has not yet been explored completely. Tourism and films are connected to each other. They both have an impact on the audience and both create memories to cherish lifelong. So it was easy to make a choice. In fact tourism through films have a bigger impact if done wisely like the Switzerland in Yash Raj films, Spain through Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and recently Khatron Ke Khiladi on TV and more. So thinking on those lines we first took the production rights of Madaari, a subject based film where we were travel partners. The response was encouraging and we had a great experience. From there, we went on to the distribution of films, production and now we are co-producing Manikarnika, which is a big budget film. We really think that our expertise from travel background and our capabilities to turn any business into a profitable one, give us an edge.


Makemytrip and Yatra have a strong presence on television, how do you plan to counter this?


We have been doing promotions on TV, but we used a bigger medium for promotions as we wanted to carve a niche for ourselves. We used Indian films as a  platform for promoting the brand, we are producing big budget films like Manikarnika, where we are putting in so much effort to be visible in a prominent manner. We have done a TV campaign on NDTV 24x7 recently, we did banner ads on DTH platforms like DishTV and Airtel. We were partners in IIFA as well, where Bollywood actress Katrina Kaif and other celebrities talked about EaseMyTrip.com. Also, we are coming up with more B2C campaigns that will have the right mix of all mediums, not just TV.


Any plan to launch a TVC?


Yes, it is there in the pipeline and we will surely come up with an interesting TVC soon.


In 2016, tourism contributed around 9% to India’s GDP, do you see any improvement in this figure post demonetisation and GST?


According to data, Travel & Tourism generated INR 14.1 trillion in 2016, which is the world’s seventh largest in terms of absolute size, the sum is equivalent to 9.6% of India’s GDP. Additionally, the sector supported 40.3 million jobs in 2016, which ranks India second in the world in terms of total employment supported by Travel & Tourism. The sector accounts for 9.3% of the country’s total jobs. After the government implication of GST, the Tourism sector is most likely to pick up. The benefit is that multiple taxes will be replaced by one single tax. The sector may benefit in the form of lower tax rates, which should help in attracting more tourists to India. 


Do you have a loyal customer base? Can you share some details of how much of the footfalls on your site actually turn into transactions?


Yes, we have a loyal customer base which is definitely our plus point. Out of website traffic we have a conversion rate of 12-15% and those who have done booking from our site have booked more than twice from our website, which is a great achievement for us. We can proudly say that once a person has visited our site, he will definitely visit again because of the unparalleled services that we offer.


Do you see online travel agencies as a growing market in India?


Online and digital platform is the future of India. With the emergence of plastic money, digital transactions and use of digital platforms for business is going to help the OTAs expand their reach to tier2, tier 3 cities in India. Now there will be volumes in business and there will be transparency in business, which will further boost sales. We really appreciate the Government’s efforts to make India a cash-free nation by introducing so many policies for digitisation of businesses, which is definitely going to benefit our industry in the long run.



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Ranveer & Deepika- The next power couple for brands?

Guest Column: In the past, Bollywood power couples have always been the first choice among brands in India says Pranay Swarup

Pranay Swarup 7 hours ago


Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh (read: DeepVeer) have tied the knot on November 14 after they took to social media, last month, to announce their wedding dates. The wedding officially marks their entry into an exclusive club of ‘Power Couples’ which includes the likes of Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli, Ajay Devgan- Kajol, Akshay Kumar- Twinkle Khanna and Saif Ali Khan-Kareena Kapoor.

By definition, a power couple is a relationship consisting of two individuals who are each successful and influential in their own right. Companies use these couples to gain mass awareness for their brands and products. Brands are aware that consumers and fans show a keen interest in staying up to date with celebrity relationships. They play to this consumer insight by creating campaigns that feature influential couples. And by tapping into a power couple’s reach and impact, brands can target each partner’s unique following and voice.

In the past, Bollywood Power Couples have always been the first choice among brands in India. This is evident when we look at Anushka-Virat who have appeared and boosted reach for Indian ethnic-wear brand Manyavar, Ajay-Kajol for Lifebuoy, Akshay-Twinkle for PC Jeweller and Saif- Kareena for Metro Shoes, respectively.

Interestingly, Deepika and Ranveer currently work with brands that have conflicting interests. Here are 5 Rival brands that Ranveer and Deepika have endorsed in the past:

1. Make My Trip V/S Go Ibibo Over the course of 2018, Ranveer Singh has appeared in multiple Make My Trip ads, along with Alia Bhatt. Meanwhile, Deepika Padukone is the brand ambassador of Go Ibibo, another app which lets you plan your travel.

2. Oppo V/S Vivo Amid intense competition in the smart-phone industry, Deepika and Ranveer are seen endorsing Oppo and Vivo respectively.

3. Kotak Mahindra V/S Axis Bank In the banking space, Ranveer Singh was appointed as the brand ambassador of Kotak Mahindra Bank earlier this year, while Deepika Padukone has been the brand ambassador of Axis Bank since 2014.

4. L’Oreal V/S Head & Shoulders Deepika, in 2017, was announced as the global ambassador of beauty brand LOréal Paris, joining the likes of Jane Fonda, Blake Lively, and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. Whereas, Ranveer became the face of anti-dandruff hair-care brand Head & Shoulders in 2016.

5. Asian Paints V/S Nerolac Deepika Padukone has been closely associated with Asian Paints, while Nerolac Paints roped Ranveer Singh as their brand ambassador.

Now, this raises a question; will their past associations affect their future endeavors together? We think not. According to us, between Deepika and Ranveer, there could be three entities, two of them would represent both of them individually and one together as a power couple. The stars could then continue their individual endorsements and take up new businesses together.

Both Deepika and Ranveer have a strong individual impact on consumers and the wedding will only scale up their brand value as a couple. For brands that are trying to target young married couples and youth alike, the combined brand value of DeepVeer would prove to be a very lucrative and tempting opportunity.

Ranveer and Deepika have a combined following of close to 90 million fans on social media. They are the new celebrity royalty couple after Virat-Anushka, we can expect to see them coming together to endorse brands in the clothing, jewelry, fitness, luxury, and home products space


(The author is the Co-Founder and CEO of Chtrbox)

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views of exchange4media.com.

Co-Founder and CEO of Chtrbox


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Laqshya Media Group partners with Comkeys, France

The business will take the form of a strategic alliance bringing Mediakeys brand to India, leveraging Laqshya Media Group’s local resources and Comkeys international resources

exchange4media Staff 7 hours ago

Laqshya media

Laqshya Media Group announced a strategic alliance with Comkeys, a leading independent international communications group. Together they will bring, Mediakeys to the market. Mediakeys is a specialised international media exchange which works with brands to fulfil and execute across international media budgets.
Out of Home is a $29 billion market, accounting for approximately 6 per cent of the $500 billion global advertising spending. As per a study by KPMG in India and Google, global cross-border B2C e-commerce is set to rise at 25 per cent CAGR to approximately USD1.5tn in 2022 and thus Indian brands are now looking at international markets.
With the consumerism and mobility among Indian audiences riding high, the OOH market is busy and bustling. Advertising expenditure in the outdoor media market, such as billboards and transit advertising, is set to soar this year, clocking 15 per cent growth year on year. Since it cannot be skipped by consumers or blocked in outdoor environments, the out-of-home (OOH) medium has remained the core channel to reach mass urban audiences.
Alok Jalan, Managing Director, Laqshya Media Group said, “The OOH industry is ever evolving, and we have to change according to our clients ever changing needs. Like any other advertising medium, you can’t turn it off or turn the page or throw it in the bin. You can't beat outdoor for sheer audience size, even a handful of strategically placed hoardings can get market penetration that beats any major event! Also, outdoor is high-impact as well as low-cost and they convey the message day or night and rain or shine. To stay ahead of the times, we are privileged to partner with a big international agency like Comkeys SAS of France to bring Mediakeys to India. We will start this engagement with Mediakeys in November 2018.”
Speaking on the partnership, Paul Cahierre, Founder and CEO, Mediakeys said, “India is a strategically very important market for us and our clients. We have been long considering our options to enter this market. Laqshya provides us with the best in class capabilities to further support our growth in the region and to develop growing sales for Indian brands outside of India.”


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Watch: Hyundai India celebrates Children’s Day with Brilliant Kids Motor Show 2018

The brand received 5000 entries, out of which eight top designs were selected and replicated into life sized working models

Dolly Mahayan 7 hours ago


Automobile manufacturer Hyundai Motors found a unique way to celebrate this Children’s Day with the launch of ‘Brilliant Kids Motor Show 2018’. It is an initiative to encourage young students to foster the spirit of innovation and design. Speaking more about it, Puneet Anand, Senior- General Manager & Group Head- Hyundai Motor India, told exchange4media, “The young kids are the actual creators of this vision and why the idea came to us, because we feel the future of this country is well understood by the young budding innovators, our Children, they have a clear idea of what is going to line the future. Today, the cars launched by these students echo the idea of take care of the pollution problem, we as a brand have come forward to bring this vision into reality."
The brand received 5000 entries, out of which eight top designs were selected and replicated into life sized working models. The six-month long campaign was started in July 2018, which will culminate in December 2018.

In the festive season, the company relaunched the popular Santro after a long break. Commenting on the response they have received so far, Anand revealed, “The response has been phenomenal and the product has been already advance booked for four months. We are closing the bookings shortly, so that we can start the fresh bookings from 2019. 65% of the audience for the Santro product is in Tier I and Tier II cities whom we call it as the first time drivers."

Sharing his thoughts on being an active brand on the communication front, how campaigns boost the brand's presence and in what ways, Anand said, “Car ownership is not only buying but an experience and if the brand is able to give a strong experience through various CSR initiatives, it becomes very holistic. Brand responsibility not only caters towards buying and selling, but to adhere to certain issues and therefore Hyundai comes as a formidable, responsible automobile manufacturer to advice and change the behaviour of the customer. Every year we try to bring new concepts which target the audience effectively, we are already making our plans and lot of excitement is in store for the coming year."

Anand also pointed out that the brand is doing every bit to boost its presence on the digital front. “Our focus right now is to expand our digital presence. Indian customers are very dynamic, TV and print will always remain a very important medium for us, but at the same time our focus is more on increasing our digital footprint." 

The brand is using AI and investing sinificantly into Big Data analytics. "We want to understand the behaviour of our customers, so, our resources for the next year will be leveraged most on making a data centre so that we can utilise the existing and future customer data and make very meaningful campaigns out of it," he added.
On marketing spends allocated to the digital medium, he disclosed, “We have increased our digital spends eight times in the last few years. In times to come, digital probably will be as important as TV and print are today for Hyundai."

Correspondent A post-graduate from the prestigious Indian Institute of Mass Communication, Dolly reports on advertising, marketing as well as the digital domain. In her free time, she loves travelling and reading.


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Dentsu Inc. announces Q3 FY2018 consolidated financial results with organic growth of 4.4%

In the first nine months, India remains a stand out performer boosted by a pick-up in project-based work

exchange4media Staff 21 hours ago


In the first nine months, the Dentsu Group delivered total growth of revenue less cost of sales of 8.0 per cent (constant currency basis) and organic growth of 4.4 per cent. The Japan business delivered 4.1 per cent and 4.1 per cent, respectively, in part, due to an increase in digital-related services, favourable results in subsidiaries and new business wins. The international business, Dentsu Aegis Network, delivered 10.8 per cent (constant currency basis) and 4.6 per cent, respectively, partly driven by new business wins in H2 FY2017.

Underlying operating profit declined 4.0 per cent (constant currency basis). In Japan, profit declined due to planned investments in the working environment reforms. At Dentsu Aegis Network, investments in global platforms and systems continue as planned, increasing shared services to enable agency brands to collaborate more effectively. There were no changes to the FY2018 financial guidance announced on August 9, 2018.

Dentsu Aegis Network delivered organic growth of 4.6% in first nine months of FY2018 and 7.0% in Q3 FY2018. The third quarter of FY2018 is the fifth consecutive quarter of improving growth and the best quarterly organic growth figure in two years.

In line with the medium-term direction announced in August, Dentsu Inc. has announced its intention to invest in two listed Japanese mid-sized digital advertising agencies to strengthen its digital capability.

APAC growth:

In the APAC region (excluding Japan), Dentsu Aegis Network reported 2.1% organic growth in the first nine months of FY2018 and 8.2% in Q3 FY2018. The region posted its best quarterly performance in two years, partly due to a turnaround of the China business with spend increasing from Western and Japanese clients. In the first nine months, India remains a stand out performer boosted by a pick-up in project-based work. Elsewhere, Taiwan, Australia and Thailand also saw positive growth.

Toshihiro Yamamoto, President and CEO, Dentsu Inc., said, “In the third quarter of FY2018, Dentsu Group recorded 5.4 per cent organic growth. Dentsu Aegis Network achieved 7.0 per cent organic growth - the fifth consecutive quarter of improving organic growth, and the business in Japan delivered 2.7 per cent. Dentsu Aegis Network has shown strong growth in Q3 FY2018, with September the strongest month in the quarter. The media business continued its strong performance and project-based business continued to improve. We have seen success in FY2018 when we work collaboratively. Increasingly, some of our most successful pitches are those where several of our brands work together to provide a coherent, holistic solution for clients. Growth is becoming broader based with eight of our top 20 markets delivering double digit organic growth.”

He added, “In Japan, we have continued to build and improve our digital services and announced, in October, a plan to invest in two listed mid-sized digital agencies. These investments will bring new skills and enhanced product offerings for our clients. Dentsu will continue to search for investments and alliances in Japan, in line with the mid-term direction announced in August 2018. We continue to generate our own momentum in a challenging market and reiterate the revised FY2018 financial guidance we issued in August.”

- IFRS 15 “Revenue from Contracts with Customers” is applied from January 1, 2018. 
- The term “Gross profit” is changed to “Revenue less cost of sales” from Q1 FY2018. 


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Jerry Buhlmann, CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network to step down

Buhlmann will step down on December 31 but will continue as a special advisor. Executive Chairman, Tim Andree will take over the role along with his current responsibilities

exchange4media Staff 1 day ago

Jerry Buhlmann

Jerry Buhlmann, Chief Executive Officer, Dentsu Aegis Networks will be stepping down.  According to media reports, Buhlmann will step down on December 31 but will continue as a special advisor.

Tim Andree will take over the role along with his current responsibility as Executive Chairman of Dentsu Aegis Network, as well as being a member of the board as Executive Vice President of Dentsu Inc.

“After nine years as CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network and before that Aegis Group plc, I am very proud of what the organisation has achieved in that time. The highlight for me has been working with a group of very talented people and the impact we have been able to make based on strong team work, a supportive parent company and a dynamic culture,” said Buhlmann.

He added, “Importantly at this time, the quality of the Executive Management Team is exceptional, the business has strong momentum and I’m confident will continue to thrive and grow strongly at a time of disruptive change in the market. Dentsu Aegis Network is a critical part of the Dentsu Group’s growth story and with Yamamoto leading the Group and Tim Andree leading Dentsu Aegis Network, I have no doubt that the future will be very bright as the business moves to the next phase of its development."

Buhlmann led the Aegis Group through its acquisition by Dentsu in 2013, having become Chief Executive in 2010, a year after joining.

Toshihiro Yamamoto, Representative Director, President and CEO of Dentsu Inc. said, “From the start, Jerry has had a bold vision for Dentsu Aegis Network. His drive and leadership has ensured that Dentsu’s acquisition of Aegis Group plc has been an outstanding success. Dentsu Aegis Network is today a highly-integrated and highly-competitive global marketing service group built for the digital economy. Since 2013, Dentsu Aegis Network has doubled its revenues from £1.8bn to £3.6bn and grown organically at twice the rate of its competitors. The Dentsu Board thanks Jerry for this great contribution and leadership.”

“I am delighted to appoint Tim as Jerry’s successor. Ever since joining Dentsu in 2006, Tim has led the globalization of the Dentsu Group. As a member of the Dentsu Inc. Board and also the executive chairman of Dentsu Aegis Network, Tim has a deep understanding of the business’s market proposition, culture and values,” announced Yamamoto.

Andree cited the “remarkable growth’ of the network to Buhlmann and the management team, “I have worked hand in hand with Jerry and the management team over the years and for this reason, the Dentsu Aegis Network management will move to the next stage with strong continuity and stability. We will continue to evolve as the most collaborative of networks known for its creativity, client focus and innovation.”


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Anushka Sharma joins hands with Discovery to promote Tiger Conservation Movement

Sharma who was recognized as PETA’s person of the year 2017 has recently announced her dream project of building an animal shelter

exchange4media Staff 1 day ago


Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma has joined hands with Discovery to promote a global awareness movement to save tigers from extinction. Anushka will promote Project C.A.T: Conserving Acres for Tigers, aimed at raising awareness to preserve the habitat of the declining numbers of the wild tiger. Discovery has collaborated with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) for Project C.A.T.


Sharma who was recognized as PETA’s person of the year 2017 has recently announced her dream project of building an animal shelter.

“Tigers - the glorious wild cats are in real danger of getting extinct and they need our help. As a large predator, tigers are an umbrella specie and play a critical role in ensuring that the delicate ecological balance in the wild is maintained,” said Sharma. “The current situation is a sad reflection of us as human beings. All of us need to reflect how we can contribute to make the world a better place to live and ensure that our future generations too can experience this magnificent creature. I just cannot fathom this world without them.”

“More humane than you think, you could say, almost human, like us,” signs off Sharma in the video.




“Tigers are a revered specie and is disturbing to know that their population has shrunk 96% over the last century and only as few as 3900 are left in the wild across the world,” said Karan Bajaj, Senior Vice President & General Manager - South Asia, Discovery Communications India. “We are excited to partner with Anushka Sharma to ignite awareness about tiger conservation and help promote the global movement to save them. We will use the collective power of our media brands to amplify the message of Tiger conservation.”


As part of the WWF partnership launched in 2016, Discovery’s Project C.A.T. program funds nearly two million acres of protected habitat in India and Bhutan to protect and increase the wild tiger population. This year Discovery has further increased the ambit of Project C.A.T by extending support to WWF for Tiger conservation initiatives in Sundarbans forest located in the coastal region of Bay of Bengal.




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The Reach bags major contracts for Kumbh Mela 2019

Assigned with the prestigious task of creating various public facilities during Kumbh 2019 in Prayagraj (Allahabad)

exchange4media Staff 1 day ago

reach kumbh

BTL and Experiential Marketing agency ‘The Reach’ has been assigned with the prestigious task of creating various public facilities during Kumbh 2019 in Prayagraj (Allahabad) from January 15 to March 4, 2019.


Kumbh2019 is expected to witness a footfall of 120 million to 140 million devotees.


The Reach has been mandated to create following public utilities by Kumbh Authorities

  • 1000 Changing Rooms at the Ghats
  • 300 Hand Washing zones
  • 300 Water ATMs
  • 100 Mobile traffic barriers
  • 50 First Aid cum Medical Zone.


Kumbh Mela is included in the “Intangible cultural Heritage of Humanity” list by UNESCO. Vijay Kiran Anand (IAS) Prayagraj Mela-Adhikari (Kumbh Mela), said, “The Authority intends to provide essential services and smooth experience to pilgrims. For this they were looking to partner with like-minded agencies, which can fulfill the requirement of this grand pilgrimage. We all are binded by one vision, which is of achieving the vision of Divya Kumbh and Bhavya Kumbh 2019.”


Omprakash Tiwari, Managing Director, The Reach, said, “Kumbh Mela is the largest congregation from all walks of life across the country and abroad. It is the best and the fastest medium for a brand to find connect with millions of its TG at one shot.”


Tauquir Zaidi, Chief Advisor & Consultant, The Reach, believes this to be just the beginning. He adds, “The Reach has been continuously expanding its network since its inception three years back. Apart from ground activation, the team is already working on various projects related to Impact Assessments, Urban and Rural surveys, Data Collection and Product Sampling.” 



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From special cartoon shows to child editors, channels celebrate Children’s Day

TV channels across the country go all out with special programming and activities for Children's Day

Neethu Mohan 1 day ago


Apart from the regular kids' shows on channels, TV channels in the country have dedicated a special space for the little ones on this Children’s Day.

Nickelodeon India, the children’s TV network owned by Viacom 18, kicked off its Children’s Day celebrations from November 10th. The entire channel got a makeover with Children’s Week bugs, Astons, Bumpers and Idents. The entire week saw Children’s Week special content with the premiere of Gattu Battu’s first TV movie and a mini-movie of Shiva! Along with this, the kids were treated to Motu Patlu Blocks every day.

On the digital and social media front, the channel conducted a social media contest asking kids to choose their favourite Motu Patlu movie which will be aired on 14th November. Funny and quirky GIFs and posts kept the momentum alive on social media.

Even on the website, the children are having a gala time with the All-New Children’s Week Special Slime Jump game! Bringing alive the very essence of Nickelodeon, the children get to choose their favourite toon who will get slimed! Bring out the inner child in you and click on the link to play Slime Jump. Nickelodeon’s Children’s Week will also get amplified through fun engagements at select schools and a special celebration with kids at the Angel Express Foundation.

The market leader in the Malayalam news channels Asianet News is celebrating Children’s day in an innovative way. They implemented a session called 'Child Editor' in between the regular bulletins and have chosen kids to do live bulletins. The Kids Editor session in the channel started on November 10th and will be aired till November 14th. Asianet News has chosen 14 children to do14 live bulletins for 5 days.

Manorama News, another major player among the Malayalam News channels, also has a devoted space for the kids as part of their Children’s Day celebrations. The channel telecasts a special story session called ‘Innathe Kanmanikal’- news stories about specially-talented children, between the regular news bulletins. Apart from that, they are running a special show on the Children's Day and a group of kids will be visiting and having an interactive session with the famous Malayalam Children’s writer CP Pallipuram.

Kushi TV, the Telugu Television channel from Sun Network hosted an event in Vijayawada on Nov 04, 2018 to celebrate Children’s Day. The channel premiered fresh series such as Mad Hatter, Bat Pat, and Turning Mecard for the first time for the audiences of Vijayawada.

At the event, they also showcased its prime properties such as Heidi (3D), Robot Train, Garfield, Yoko etc, acquired from different parts of the world. Apart from premiering kids shows, the channel conducted game activities that reinforced the parental care that every child would need and to show the parents how unique each child is and to help every child appreciate himself. The program will be telecast on the channel on November 14. They have also chosen two children to visit the radio station and be a part of a radio show.

Colors Gujarati hosted a special show named ‘Rasoi Show’ as part of children’s day special. The show witnessed the participation of celebrity chef cooking his son’s favorite dish and the cooking expert done a show with a guest girl where she has cooked the guest’s favorite dish.

Colors Marathi is celebrating Children’s Special Week from Monday to Wednesday. The Children’s Day week was celebrated on kids reality show, Sur Nava Dhyas Nava Chote Surveer. The show had a mime act, which was presented by Mudra Group and highlighted the style of judges and participants. The show had a Thank You moment where parents expressed their gratitude and love toward the participants. The celebration also witnessed a magic show session by magician Jitendra Raghuveer. As part of the celebrations, the show didn’t have an elimination this week.

Kannada Prabha, the Kannada daily has launched Fancy Dress page for children. They have invited parents to send photos of their kids wearing fancy dress attire and the best 14 photos were published in the Children’s Day special edition page of Kannada Prabha.

Senior Reporter, exchange4media, Bangalore Neethu reports on media, marketing and advertising industry. In the past she has reported on start-ups, education and health sector for over 6 years.


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We want to lead in every category that we enter: Herjit Bhalla, Hershey India

Hershey India enters highly competitive premium biscuit segment with the launch of Sofit Protein Cookies

exchange4media Staff 1 day ago


Hershey India has forayed into the $800 million premium biscuit market, particularly in the better-for-you segment, with Sofit Protein Cookies. Targeted towards the health-conscious working professionals in metros, the biscuits will be widely distributed across stores and e-commerce portals from November 14.

Available in three flavours, these protein cookies are the second product launch from Hershey India after Kisses last month. According to media reports, the launch of the new products is part of Harshey’s plan to invest $50 million in India.


Talking about the latest launch, Herjit Bhalla, Managing Director, Hershey India, said the need to have a “unique differentiated good quality product” resulted in protein cookies. He shared that the company is in early stages of building the portfolio further.

He added, “Consumers already associate Sofit for its protein benefits, and we believe that there is a white space in the category, i.e. a delicious cookie with benefits of protein. As a result, Sofit was the best bet to enter this big biscuit category.”


The MD has set its ambition high. “The ambition is to be a leading player in every category we enter.”

On the competition in the category, he said, “It operates in the premium category so everything else that sits there is in a way an alternative that consumers can choose to.”


In due course, a 360-degree marketing campaign for the new product featuring brand ambassador actor John Abraham will roll out. Bhalla pointed out that there will definitely be a greater push on digital.


He shared that Hershey’s “focus brands” have been growing at nearly 50 per cent. Sofit has logged a growth of 20 per cent per annum since Hershey’s entered India in 2007. “On Sofit, we have a CAGR of 20 per cent for 10 years,” he shared.


The total biscuit market in urban India is $2.8bn, growing at 10 per cent while the premium end is roughly $800mn growing at 17 per cent.


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Deepika-Ranveer: Will we soon see brand ‘RanDeep’?

As Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone get ready to tie the knot on November 15, would we get to see them coming together for brand endorsements?

Dolly Mahayan 1 day ago


One of Bollywood’s hottest couples Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh have become the talk of the town as they are all set to tie the knot on November 15.

Well, it is no secret that marriage between celebrities only adds to their brand value. Saif Ali Khan & Kareena Kapoor as ‘Saifeena’ or Virat Kholi & Anushka Sharma as ‘Virushka’ are already proof of the success of a couple’s brand value in India.

So, could we see Deepika and Ranveer following suit? While everyone is trying to find out any possible information about the much-talked-about wedding, we thought of checking out the brand value of the two stars and understand the difference that the union will bring about.

Celebrity endorsement has always been a hit among brands and over time, we have seen an increase in the number of couples joining the race. These couples are said to charge a hefty amount for endorsing brands and products together.

In the 2017 report by Duff and Phelps titled ‘Rise of the Millennials: India’s most valuable celebrity brand, Ranveer Singh was valued at $42 million. The actor has been the brand ambassador of around 20 brands. It is estimated that he currently charges around Rs 3-4 crore per deal. According to the Forbes list of Top 100 celebrities for 2017, the actor made Rs 62.63 crore during the year, reportedly from brand endorsements.

On the other hand, Deepika Padukone has the highest brand endorsements in her kitty among actresses. She is currently endorsing 18 brands. Padukone charges around Rs 1-5 crore per deal. According to a media report, she quoted a whopping Rs 8 crore for a three-day shoot to endorse an airline brand.

Aman Abbas, Co-Founder Commwiser Consultants, believes, “The Deepika-Ranveer wedding creates a big opening for brands that want to attract young married couples and youth alike. We expect to see associations in clothing, jewellery, accessories and beauty categories to some fun and aspirational brands in travel and tourism, fitness, luxury and home products.”

He adds, “A lot of brands now look for more than just endorsements in ATL campaigns. They are keen to showcase how they are an intrinsic part of these influencers’ personal lives. Wedding being a very personal affair is the opportunity for brands to generate that visibility and trust which is far more valuable than a typical TV commercial.”

However, what’s interesting is that some brands that Ranveer endorses are in a direct competition with brands that Deepika endorses, like Vivo & Oppo, Head & Shoulders & L’Oreal Paris, Adidas Originals & Nike, and Kotak Mahindra Bank & Axis Bank. It would be interesting to see what new strategy these brands adopt after the marriage.

Ranjeet Kumar, CEO Team Pumpkin. "For the movie frenzy millennial, DeepVeer will surely become the next couple sensation after Virushka. Both Deepika and Ranveer have strong individual imprints on young consumers; this wedding will undoubtedly scale up their brand power as a couple. Our agency plans to optimize the added value Deepika and Ranveer will bring together, especially for the brands targeting young couples."

Brand Expert, Nupur Krishna shares, "Looking at brand Deepika and Ranveer I’d say that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. So far, Ranveer’s eclectic and effervescent style and Deepika’s fresh and modern independent woman image, endeared them to their fans mostly from the younger demographic. However, marriage would lend both of them a persona of maturity and responsibility which would open them up to many more product categories. Also, I don't think it would have any adverse effect on them currently endorsing rival brands as individuals. If anything, it would add a bit of buzz as fans would speculate about the differing taste of married couples".

According to N Chandramouli, Brand Expert & CEO of Desire, “When two personalities as different as Ranveer and Deepika come together, it does not have the same context as several other celebrities. In this case, they endorse brands which are competing, banks, phones, paints etc”. “I think both of them will continue to maintain individual brand personalities after their marriage too and not look at common endorsements as brand conflicts are significant and will not add to their endorsement value,” he adds.

“You may see them endorsing brands together only after a couple of years. I think they can extract more value as individuals than as a couple for now,” Chandramouli explains. Both the stars are on the top of their respective games and have now entered the club of ‘power couples’.

And when it comes to endorsements, power couples of Bollywood have always been the first choice of advertisers. Recently, ‘Virushka’ made headlines when they featured in Manyavar Mohe TVC. In the past also we have seen many Bollywood couples sharing screen together for a brand.

Shah Rukh Khan and Gauri Khan appeared for D’décor, while Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Abhishek Bachchan came together for Prestige and Lux. Kajol and Ajay Devgan have done many TV commercials together, including Whirlpool, Lifebuoy and Alpenlibe.

It will definitely be interesting to see how this power couple takes over the advertising world and what marketers and advertisers plan for them. The two are endorsing almost 40 brands together. 

Correspondent A post-graduate from the prestigious Indian Institute of Mass Communication, Dolly reports on advertising, marketing as well as the digital domain. In her free time, she loves travelling and reading.


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