"Brands are expected to play a social role"

Today, the focus has shifted from achieving consistency across all touch points to being useful to the consumer, notes Charles Wright, MD, Wolff Olins

e4m by Ruchika Kumar
Published: Oct 23, 2012 8:11 PM  | 4 min read
"Brands are expected to play a social role"

Brands are increasingly becoming more conscious about their existence in a consumer’s mind space. Thus, they should leverage from the data into consumer insights to create a more sustainable marketing space for them to survive, adapt to changes and eventually stay relevant to the consumer, observed Charles Wright, Managing Director, Wolff Olins.

In modern times, in terms of creation of brands, the focus has shifted from achieving consistency across all touch points to being useful to the consumer at large and speak his/ her language. He explained that over the years, the agency’s approach to the brand creation process has been a simple one. It follows a basic rule and that is to move brands into the comfort zone of a consumer, where a strong emotional brand could be forged between the two. He further added that currently, there are certain trends that will bring forth a big shift in the world of branding.

The first of these factors or trends is the context, which may be specific to a certain market like India or may be common among some of the emerging markets of the world. “According to our insight, we can foresee the emergence of strong brands from Asia and India particularly. Also, we expect more and more Western brands adapting to the market environment of these countries,” he added. Thus, context plays an important role in shaping up a brand. He cited an example of the Indonesian market, where the age profile of consumers was no longer young, hence, the kind of products being demanded now, will change drastically after 20 years. Hence, brands need to constantly recreate connect with consumers and adapt to change in consumerism.

According to him, “There is a huge opportunity to create brands based on what is important to the customer. However, the challenge is that a typical customer becomes affectionate towards a finite number of brands, so how should one get into that set of brands. In fact he said it is not just about the brand’s role in customer’s life but its role in society. “Based on our findings in India, we found out that both people and Government expect companies to play a social role and take a responsibility that is broader than the concept of profit making,” Wright shared. He also said that brands should stand for something they believe in and that could be in terms of brand personality and attributes such as environmentally responsible, ethical, riding a sense of pride, value for money and more. Therefore, brands today have a political and social role to play too.

He said that brands today should answer demands that have not been met because unmet needs, which cannot be measured, are often where the solution lies. He added that the next big factor that will drive sea change in branding is data. According to Harvard Business Review, the emergence of data is important as managers can measure and, hence, know radically about their business and thus, translate that into improved decision making. “Numbers begin to give us a bandwidth where answers might lie,” he added. However, he feels that many of his clients who have been bitten by the data bug are still looking into what competition is doing and wasting time in that, instead they should focus on developing their own data. Talking about the impact of technology on consumer and industry as a whole, Wright suggested that brands should create valuable propositions to consumers, especially in terms of online presence.

On being quizzed about the basic difference between Indian marketers and their global counterparts, he stressed that the former were more willing to learn and have enormous ambitions fuelled by highly competitive managers. However, on the flip side, in terms of data usage and market research as well its application, the Indian market lagged far behind the others.

He finally asserted that brands should make measure activities through data and create meaningful engagement with consumers. This can be achieved by positive word of mouth and doing something useful for the customer by understanding what matters most to the latter.

Charles Wright was sharing his views at the Delhi leg of the e4m Conclave on October 22, 2012. The Conclave is presented by Jagran.

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Media icon Pradeep Guha’s statue unveiled on his birth anniversary

The bust was unveiled by Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde; it will be installed at Pradeep Guha Chowk on DN Road, Mumbai

By exchange4media Staff | Jun 7, 2023 11:53 AM   |   3 min read


Commemorating the birth anniversary of the media legend Pradeep Guha, a special ceremony was held to unveil a magnificent bust in his honour. Chief Minister of Maharashtra Eknath Shinde unveiled the bust in the presence of several media dignitaries and the Guha family. Pradeep Guha, fondly known as PG, served as a mentor to countless media personalities across the nation. The statue has been sculpted by artist Jayram Ghopale, known for his large-scale sculpture installations.

The awe-inspiring bust was revealed at the Cricket Club of India, South Mumbai. It will be installed at Pradeep Guha Chowk on DN Road, Mumbai, in the next few days. This location holds profound importance as it stands adjacent to the iconic Times of India building, an organisation that Guha was associated with for nearly three decades.

Magnifying the significance of the event and paying tribute to Pradeep Guha's enduring legacy, the event was attended by personalities like Subhash Ghai, Diana Hayden, Poonam Dillon, Smita Thackeray, Ramesh Nara, and Bhupendra Makhi amongst others.

Eknath Shinde conveyed his heartfelt tribute to Pradeep Guha, stating, "Today, we celebrate the life of a visionary who pioneered the concept of "celebrity status" and brought revolutionary changes to the media world. He showcased the future of the media field and possessed the ability to shape the present. We are fortunate to have been a part of his work. With deep gratitude, we unveil the Statue, symbolizing his enduring impact. As we honour his legacy, let us embrace change and build upon the foundation he laid. Together, we shape the future, inspired by Pradeep Guha's remarkable journey."

MK Anand, MD & CEO of Times Network, expressed his gratitude to the Chief Minister for facilitating the approval of the statue stating, “The approval for PG’s statue in Mumbai signifies a monumental occasion, as he becomes the first individual in over two decades to receive such an honour. Grateful to CM Shri Eknath Shinde for his guidance and assistance in the endeavour that has ensured that Pradeep Guha gets his rightful place among the legends."

Actor Manoj Bajpayee, who hosted the event, said, "During a difficult phase of my professional career, Pradeep Guha stood by me like a pillar of strength. He never wavered, even when my path seemed uncertain. With his constant encouragement and valuable connections, Pradeep breathed life into my fading aspirations. Today, as we gather to celebrate his remarkable life, I humbly express my heartfelt gratitude to the media visionary who believed in me. Thank you, Pradeep, for being my guiding light."
Papia Guha, reflecting on what would have been Pradeep Guha's 71st birthday, shared heart-warming memories of their marriage and highlighted their shared values of hard work, integrity, and giving back. She expressed “We believed in hard work, integrity, and giving back. Little did we know that Pradeep's impact would extend beyond our immediate circle. Today, we stand in awe as his memory is honoured with a chowk in his name and a bust, surpassing our wildest dreams. Gratitude overflows as we acknowledge the Hon’ble Chief minister, Eknath Ji Shinde, Manoj for hosting this evening, the skilled sculptor Jayram Gopale, and the relentless efforts of M.K. Anand and his team. We are deeply moved by the presence of those who have travelled from different corners of the world to be here today. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to each one of you.”

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BBC to pay Rs 40 crore to make up for their tax evasion in India-Reports

The broadcaster has reportedly admitted that they evaded taxes in India from 2016-22

By exchange4media Staff | Jun 6, 2023 9:44 AM   |   1 min read


After tax authorities claimed they have  uncovered irregularities in the BBC's accounting books in India, now The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has reportedly admitted that they evaded taxes in India and are now committing to pay Rs 40 crores in tax arrears. 

According to a report by India.com, the BBC has agreed to cough up Rs 40 crore to make up for their tax evasion over a period of almost 6 years – from 2016 to 2022.

It must be noted that in February 2023, the BBC offices were surveyed by tax authorities for 3 days. After the survey, the Finance Ministry had issued a statement explaining the depth of tax fraud committed by the BBC.

The statement said that the income/profits shown by various group entities under BBC India do not match their scale of operations in India, as the quantity of content in India is substantial. In the raid by the Income tax department, which has been described as a survey, several pieces of evidence were found that show that tax has not been paid on certain remittances which have not been disclosed as income in India by the foreign entities of the group.

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CM Eknath Shinde to unveil bust of Pradeep Guha on the media legend's birth anniversary

The sculpture will be soon installed at Pradeep Guha Chowk on DN Road, Mumbai

By exchange4media Staff | Jun 5, 2023 3:47 PM   |   1 min read

Pradeep Guha

The Chief Minister of Maharashtra Eknath Shinde will be unveiling the bust of celebrated media personality and film producer Pradeep Guha at 6 pm on June 6, which is his birth anniversary. Guha, fondly known as PG, passed away on 21 August 2021 after a prolonged battle with cancer.

The bust will be unveiled at the Cricket Club of India and be installed after a few days at the Pradeep Guha Chowk on DN Road, the lane outside the iconic Times of India building, an organisation he was associated with for close to three decades.

Guha was also associated with many industry bodies during his career with TOI. He was the President of the Indian Newspaper Society; Chairman of National Readership Studies Council; President of Advertising Club Bombay; Chairman of Asian Federation of Advertising Associations (AFAA); and later, the first Chairman of the Broadcast Audience Research Council.

He also served as the CEO of ZEE Entertainment Enterprises Ltd and Managing Director of 9X Media Private Limited.

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Creativeland Asia Network acquires 62% stake in London-based Creators Inc

The total deal value of this acquisition is three million pounds

By exchange4media Staff | Jun 1, 2023 5:19 PM   |   3 min read


On its 16th anniversary, CLAN announced Creativeland Studio's acquisition of London-based Creators Inc – in a total deal value exceeding UK £3 million (three million pounds) to solidify its entry into international long and short content production and the expansion of CLAN's global footprint aligned to its vision of building a global creative super ecosystem.

Further, Creativeland Asia Network (CLAN) has launched Creativeland Studios to focus on the growth of its long and short-format cinema and tv content offering – focussing on creating, producing and distributing high-end films, documentaries, television series and audio content.

With this acquisition, Creativeland Studios has consolidated ten active slates, including two titles in production and now will have over 50 titles in its pipeline.

Creators Inc. is a unique long and short format production house with a roster of directors that includes Oscar, Emmy & BAFTA-winning directors such as Guy Ritchie, Cary Joji Fukunaga, Sarah Gavron, Philip Barantini, Colin Tilley, Mark Osborne and many others.

Creators Inc., founded and led by Jani Guest, brings together award-winning industry specialists from advertising, film and television. Creators Inc. use various synergies across these industries to position themselves worldwide at the top of the production market across all formats.

On the back of this acquisition – Creativeland Asia Network has begun its successful foray into CLA’s creative, technology, marketing & media services ecosystem to the global market.

Sajan Raj Kurup's vision for Creativeland Studios is to provide a platform for filmmakers and creators to express their vision and bring their ideas and unique stories to viewers. The acquisition of Creators Inc is a significant step in achieving that vision. With this new global acquisition – the possibilities are endless, and CLAN is ready to take on the entertainment world.

Sajan Raj Kurup, Founder & Chairman of CLAN, said, “At Creativeland Asia – we are on a passionate journey to create a formidable creative infrastructure for the new world where media, technology, creativity and humanity will come together to curate a more entertained life. The core strategic insight for this acquisition is to build on our ability to bring brands, content and talent together – through a consolidated platform. Today, more than ever before, we recognise that content plays a pivotal role in keeping us connected, informed and entertained.”

Jani Guest, Founder & CEO of Creators Inc, said, “Creators Inc. places its incredible directorial talent at the heart of the company. The partnership with Raj and CLA allows us to accelerate the development and production of stories - created by our talent - to entertain, move, and impact positive change. I could not have wished for a better partner as we move forward to achieve our shared visions and goals.

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Media executives Rahul Sood and Rohit Jaiswal launch Brandwith

The company will focus on distribution and marketing for global OTTs in India and South Asia

By Ruhail Amin | May 31, 2023 1:31 PM   |   1 min read


Rahul Sood, former MD of BBC India & South Asia, and Rohit Jaiswal, Ex VP & Head of NDTV Distribution have launched Brandwith in India, covering India and the South Asian region.

Brandwith is the representative and distributor of OTT streaming services like Hallmark Movies Now, Curiosity Stream, PBS Kids, Viaplay, and several other highly differentiated brands, including soon to launch Good Times SVOD. Since Brandwith’s inception in the Asia Pacific Region in 2017, the driving force has been to provide the world’s leading brands across genres like movies, general entertainment, factual entertainment, kids, food, lifestyle and sports in the evolving OTT landscape. 

“With paid video subscriptions having reached 99 million in 2022, across almost 45 million households in India, the success of which will require establishing a durable subscriber relationship, our vision is to aid OTT aggregators and their viewers with a diversified offering of the world’s leading streaming services to help increase ARPU and reduce churn,” said Rahul Sood, Founder & MD, Brandwith India.

 “The thoughtfully curated portfolio of brands will help OTT aggregators segment their audience, and super serve the English audience base in India, which has increased from 19m pre-pandemic to 42.7m now as per the latest report by Ormax Media,” he added.

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OTT space is ripe for aggregating: Piyush Gupta, HT Media

During the Q4 earnings call, Group CFO Gupta stated that the company has not yet gone back to its pre-covid prices in Delhi and Bombay; he also announced launch of OTTPlay

By exchange4media Staff | May 31, 2023 8:41 AM   |   5 min read

Piyush Gupta

Apart from just the input cost, one of the other big problems that have been plaguing HT Media is yields, said Piyush Gupta, Group CFO, HT Media. Answering one of the investors during the Q4 earnings call about the results, Gupta said, “The pricing that we had pre-Covid, if you talk about HT in big markets of Delhi and Bombay still has not come back. As a matter of fact, in places it is short by 20% - 25%. Now that's really what is hampering our revenue and taking away the operating leverage from the P&L.”

He added, “Now, as we embark on the next fiscal year, we've already completed the month of May nearly. There's a big program on yield improvement that we have put in place, with which we are hoping to unlock the value and go back to our pre-Covid yields. The paper prices, of course, are coming down, which you will see translating into EBITDA, and therefore PBT and PAT in the coming year. But with the revenue uptick you will see the profitably come back to a pre-Covid, at a very robust level.”

For Q4 FY23 company’s total revenue, stacked to Rs 494 crore, as against Rs 456 crore same period last year, growth of 8%. EBITDA is, however, substantially down 75% primarily due to certain investments that they are making in OTTPlay and the elevated newsprint cost which have hampered us in this quarter. PBT margin, as a consequence, came to a loss of Rs 34 crore against Rs 10 crore earlier and net cash, however, still remains reasonably strong at Rs 935 crore which is a decline of 14%.

"On a full year basis company revenue stacked to Rs 1,862 crore, which is a growth of 11%. EBITDA however, because of the same reason which plagued us in Q4 came in at Rs 13 crore, which is a sharp decline. PBT, therefore, came at a loss of Rs 156 crore and net cash at Rs 935 crore which I have articulated earlier," said Gupta. “Now, if you go by business unit, we look at our print business. On the Print business our ad revenues for the quarter came at Rs 269 crore, a growth of 8%, with circulation revenue growing 12% at Rs 60 crore. Operating revenue therefore at Rs 374 crore, a 5% growth, and operating EBITDA declined by 65% to Rs 15 crore.”

In English, in Q4 FY23 the ad revenue grew 17% to Rs 154 crore. On a full year basis, the growth was 15% at Rs 588 crore. Circulation revenue at Rs 16 crore, a growth of 64%, and for the full year it is nearly doubling itself from Rs 28 crore to Rs 54 crore. Moving on to Hindi, for the quarter our ad revenue came flat at about Rs 116 crore. On a y-o-y basis it was a growth of 8% at Rs 474 crore. Circulation revenue again flat on a quarterly basis, on a full-year basis there was a marginal increase of 5%. 

According to him, for radio business quarterly revenues came at Rs 36 crore, which is an 18% increase. Operating EBITDA, however, came in negative as opposed to Rs 1 crore in the same period last year. The full year, however, was a very different picture. “The full year we saw our revenue soaring 42% at Rs 144 crore, as against Rs 101 crore earlier and operating EBITDA came at Rs 6 crore.”

He said, “We have taken an impairment in the standalone results, which is all consequent to our radio performance. Though the Radio performance has substantially improved this quarter, and the growth is close to 40%. But given the fact, impairment testings have to be done this quarter, there is a substantial impairment which has come. This is all on our Radio One business and with this and the growth that we are seeing in Radio, we are very hopeful that this is the last time that we have seen this impairment, and from here on Radio will grow from strength to strength. If you look at various other Radio operators, their profitability, indeed, has also been impacted. And you know this is one sector which is directly linked to the performance of various MSMEs and what Covid did to MSMEs, is taking a slightly longer time to recover. But we are very hopeful now that we have seen a 40% growth in this year. Next year we will again have a stupendous year, and a profitable year on our Radio segment.”

Digital businesses in HT Media Group remained flat, with the top line of Rs 32 crore and a bottom line of Rs (22) crore in Q4 FY23. On a full year basis, again, it was flat at Rs 133 crore, with the bottom line of Rs (75) crore.

Gupta also spoke about OTTPlay, which has been in beta stage for about 6 to 9 months. "Now, since we've understood this space, we have decided to commercially launch this thing. What exactly is OTTPlay? As you understand OTT is one of the fastest growing sectors in the Indian media and entertainment industry, it is growing at somewhere between 18%- 20%, as against the other media properties which are growing anywhere between 10% - 15%. If you look at subscription video on demand, that side is expected to reach about INR 16,000 to INR 17,000 crore by 2026, and it is growing at a very healthy rate. This space is now ripe for aggregating," he said.

He concluded, “We've been working in this place for quite some time, and now that we have got the proof of concept, we are investing behind this function which is sitting in our Digital segment of the business and you will see results coming out in this year. 

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Tribes group acquires V-Square Media to create media entity - praNetR Tribes

V Square Media is a Bengaluru-based branding, media and marketing agency

By exchange4media Staff | May 29, 2023 2:59 PM   |   2 min read

praNetR Tribes

Tribes Group, an independent full-service media and advertising group, has acquired Bengaluru-based V Square Media, a branding, media, and marketing agency, and created a new entity - praNetR Tribes.

This acquisition brings together the complementary strengths and expertise of both companies, paving the way for a new era of innovation and growth. By harnessing their collective strengths, praNetr Tribes aims to deliver unparalleled content, services, and experiences to audiences worldwide.

This strategic acquisition will fuel the development of groundbreaking initiatives, leveraging cutting-edge technology and creative storytelling to engage audiences across multiple platforms. With an unwavering commitment to quality content, insightful narratives, and captivating entertainment, the new entity will redefine the media landscape. The acquisition is expected to unlock synergies, drive operational efficiencies, and create a solid foundation for sustained success. By integrating talent, resources, and distribution networks, the combined entity will be better positioned to meet the evolving needs and preferences of audiences, advertisers, and partners.

Recognising the fragmented nature of the ad production industry, praNetR Tribes presents an integrated platform for specialists and technicians to collaborate and work efficiently on projects in conjunction with brands and talent. The leadership teams of both organizations will work collaboratively to ensure a seamless integration and maximize the potential of the acquisition.

On the launch of praNetR Tribes, Gour Gupta, Chairman of Tribes Communication, shares his thoughts, saying, "Together, we will leverage our collective strengths to deliver innovative and compelling content that resonates with audiences globally. This acquisition is a testament to our shared commitment to excellence and our vision for the future of media.”

Lokesh Kumar, CEO of praNetR, comments on the new venture, “This acquisition is a transformative step that will elevate our collective impact on the media industry. By combining forces, we will unlock new opportunities, accelerate growth, and provide our audiences with unparalleled content experiences. We look forward to the exciting possibilities that lie ahead."

Headquartered in Bengaluru, praNetR Tribes operates across markets in India and abroad through the extensive Tribes Communications network.

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