Terrible tunes and lazy lyrics

Rohit Bhattacharya, Associate Editor, Scoopwhoop Media, talks about what makes cringe pop so popular on the internet

CringePop

By Rohit Bhattacharya

According to Wikipedia, cringe pop is a genre whose music and accompanying videos are “so bad that you can’t stop watching them.” Basically, it’s what happens when you take a song and remove all semblance of melody, harmony and musicality. It’s a form of music personified by off-tune singing, cheap videos, and millions of views on YouTube. In other words, it’s the musical apocalypse.

Let’s go back to the beginning. It all started with the torchbearer - Rebecca Black. She opened the floodgates with a track called ‘Friday’ and the genre was set in motion. Here’s a taster of her revolutionary track.

Kickin’ in the front seat
Sittin’ in the back seat
Gotta make my mind up
Which seat can I take?

Despite the vapid lyrics and displeasing overall musicality, Black’s ‘Friday’ (no pun intended) has racked up 127 million views on YouTube.

Suddenly, the pressure was on - to be so bad that you were good. To make a name for yourself as the best worst thing in the room.

According to clinical psychologist Prerna Kohli, “A cringe video is one involving an awkward or embarrassing situation for one person or more. And the reason for its popularity is people deriving a sadistic pleasure from seeing the humiliation of others.”

Musically gave the movement an extra nudge, and out of the woodworks came Taher Shah. There’s always that one fool at every party who’ll start blasting T-Shah at the strike of 2 am. Depending on your level of intoxication, you’ll either sing this or you’ll leave –

I am like an angel
Mankind’s angel
My heart is like a rose

That’s from Taher’s hit song ‘Angel’, currently at 2 million plus views on YouTube. Mind you, apart from the lyrics, this guy’s also wearing a bright robe, angel wings, and a halo over his head.

Then there’s Dhinchak Pooja. With her signature red scooter and emphasis on autotune, she’s hard to miss. Lyrics like, “Daaru daaru daaru, jo na naache usko maarun cement her place in the annals of cringe. 

There’s audio perfectionists who leave no room for error. Cringe pop, however, seems to be the stark opposite of that, revelling in a state of substandard production. It’s like they made an entire genre out of Saif Ali Khan playing the guitar (remember that?).

Tracks like ‘Sunday Morning Love You’ by Bhim Niroula actually exemplify the catchiness of cringe music. It’s basically an uncle in front of a green screen singing the days of the week. You want to get it out of your head, but it just won’t leave. You’ll be succumbing to the sweet embrace of slumber, and the chorus will jolt you awake like an annoying cousin.

Strangely enough though, while we’re all united in agreeing that the music isn’t good, cringe artists also have a die-hard fan following. People find them entertaining and defend their music as something to enjoy over a laugh.

YouTube and other social media have been the main promoters of these artists. In fact, they clock up so many millions of views that Pooja actually appeared on Bigg Boss! 

We’re in the throes of a cringe-pop zeitgeist - a cultural revolution built on a foundation of awkwardness and cheap production. The most important question of the last eight years has to be - Why do we tolerate cringe pop? Why do we encourage something that causes grief? Psychologist Prerna Kohli claims the popularity of these people stems from a feeling of schadenfreude, which is enjoyment in someone else’s embarrassment.

According to a study by Prof Shifman from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the most successful video memes have six common features: a focus on ordinary people, flawed masculinity, humour, simplicity, repetitiveness and whimsical content.
Another theory however, is that people like Pooja and Taher have capitalised on a market, and they’re just sticking to their formula - a really successful formula.

All we do know at the moment is that ‘Selfie Maine Leli Aaj’ currently has 36 million views on the Tube. Now that might be indicative of a much larger issue, perhaps some kind of mass hysteria. Or it might just have no meaning at all, like life itself.

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Namumkin ab mumkin hai: BJP’s slogan for Lok Sabha polls

Through the slogan, the BJP is trying to convey that the Narendra Modi government has made various impossible things like affordable healthcare and insurance possible

Modi

‘Namumkin ab mumkin hai' (impossible is possible now) will be the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) main poll campaign slogan for the 2019 general elections.

Ads carrying the slogan appeared in several newspapers on Thursday.

 

According to media reports, a website dedicated to providing videos of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speeches at election rallies and official visits on Wednesday posted four such videos with the tagline "Namumkin ab mumkin hai". These videos reportedly highlight government’s schemes related to healthcare, insurance, monthly pension etc.

The message is clear. Through the slogan, the BJP is trying to convey that the Narendra Modi government has made various impossible things like affordable healthcare and insurance possible.

The elections to the 17th Lok Sabha are expected to be held in April and May 2019. The BJP is looking for a second term for Narendra Modi.  

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MoU signed to institute Kalinga-FCC Awards for Excellence in Journalism

Foreign Correspondents’ Club of South Asia and Kalinga Institute of Industrial MTechnology signed the Memorandum of Understanding for 5 years; exchange4media to assist in organising the Awards

Kalinga-FCC

The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of South Asia (FCC), New Delhi, and the Kalinga Institute of Industrial MTechnology (KIIT), Bhubaneswar, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to institute the Kalinga-FCC Awards for Excellence in Journalism.

The MoU, signed by FCC President S Venkat Narayan and KIIT Founder Prof Achyuta Samanta, is for five years (2019-2023). The KIIT will spend Rs 50 lakh during this period on the awards and their conduct and administration.
Five awards, each worth Rs 1,00,000 in cash, will be presented along with a Medal and Citation to the best entries received in five categories: Print, Television, Radio, Photography and Online.

The Awards will be given each year to journalists picked by the Jury as:
1. Print Journalist of the Year
2. Television Journalist of the Year
3. Radio Journalist of the Year 
4. Photo Journalist of the Year
5. Online Journalist of the Year

The FCC invited Prof Samanta, Founder of the Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) University and the Kalinga Institute of Social Studies (KISS) University, Bhubaneswar, to collaborate in establishing Annual FCC Awards for Excellence in Journalism to be given to journalists for their work out of India and other countries in South Asia, namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, and published or broadcast in the global media outside the SAARC region.   

Exchange4media will assist the FCC and the KIIT in organizing the Awards. 

The first lot of the Awards will be given out in March for Articles, Photographs, Radio and TV Programmes published or broadcast during January-December 2018. Entries are welcome in all languages, but must be accompanied by an English translation. The same time schedule will be applicable every year. 

A Jury of eminent media professionals will be formed by the FCC and KIIT to judge the entries. Entries should be submitted either by the journalist himself/herself, or nominated by a third person or institution. The awards will be given to individuals, teams or to institutions for articles/ photograph(s)/Radio/TV broadcasts or a candidate’s body of work during the preceding 12 months. 

The entries for a given year (January-December) should reach the FCC by the end of every February the following year. They should be sent in a packet marked ENTRY FOR FCC AWARDS 2019 to The Manager, FCC, AB-19 Mathura Road, Opposite Pragati Maidan Gate # 7, New Delhi-110001. 

However, this year, the entries can be sent to reach the FCC by March 15. 

Juries will be formed each year to judge each category of awards. The majority decision of each jury will be final. The juries will meet two days before the presentation ceremony to pick the winners, and will be present at the award function in New Delhi in the third weekend of March every year. 

KIIT will be represented by Dr Achyuta Samanta’s nominee Raja Ramesh, while the FCC will be represented by its President or his/her nominee(s) to oversee the work involved in the administration of the Awards, attending meetings and assisting the jury. 

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Delhi HC rejects plea seeking guidelines to regulate online content 

The verdict was mainly based on positive submissions by the MIB and MEITY, says Internet Freedom Foundation

Delhi HC

The Delhi High Court has dismissed a Public Interest Litigation filed by the Justice for Rights Foundation seeking separate guidelines to regulate content on online streaming platforms. 

In a report by the Internet Freedom Foundation, the PIL included web-based shows like ‘Sacred Games’ and ‘Game of Thrones’ for vulgarity, pornography and abusive language. 

The division bench of the Delhi High Court consisting of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V Kameswar Rao delivered the verdict on the PIL dismissing the petition, the report said. The verdict was mainly based on positive submissions by the MIB and MEITY.

The Internet Freedom Foundation says the High Court verdict is an affirmation that “while there is no separate provision for regulating online content, the provisions of the Information Technology Act, 2000 were not only merely applicable but an adequately armed with Section 69 to block illegal content”. 

“While we are concerned with some of them, this is an incremental victory. It prevents a heavy, licensing style system from emerging in the video streaming space which would threaten our viewing choices online,” the foundation says. 

The MIB and MEITY have pointed out that there is no need for further guidelines when sufficiently stringent provisions are already in existence, the report said. The court has said that if the petitioner continues to consider content provided on certain platforms prohibitory, it should take it up with the relevant authority. 

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PR Professionals bags PR mandate of NHPC Ltd

PR Professionals will be strategising and executing the Public Relations activities for NHPC at national and state levels

PR

PR Professionals has bagged the national mandate of NHPC Limited (formerly known as National Hydroelectric Power Corp). 

The hydropower company is a Schedule ‘A’ Enterprise of the Government of India which was accorded the Miniratna status in 2008. PR Professionals will be strategising and executing the Public Relations activities for NHPC at the national and state levels.

The addition of NHPC swells up the PSU kitty of PR Professionals which has recently renewed its contract with Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation and National Capital Regional Transport Corporation. 

NCRTC is a government body mandated to implement India’s first regional rapid transit system in Delhi NCR. With an authorised share capital of Rs 15,000 crore, NHPC is a premier organization in the country engaged in the development of hydropower. It does so through Conventional and Non-Conventional Sources in India and abroad.

“Winning the PR mandate of NHPC at the beginning of 2019 has given us a momentous start and we hope to continue with this impetus throughout the year. This is indeed one of the prestigious accounts for us and we are all set to deliver our best,” said Sarvesh Kumar Tiwari, Founder, and Managing Director, PR Professionals.

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BloombergQuint launches ‘BQ BLUE’, a premium news subscription service

Gets over 7,000 paying subscribers in just over a month; BQ BLUE caters to exclusive, investigative, analytical & insightful market reports in a premium multi-media format

Bloomberg

BloombergQuint has launched BQ BLUE, a premium subscription product. It has got over 7,000 paying subscribers in just over a month of its launch. 

BQ BLUE is a hybrid model, offering a mix of metered and exclusive stories. It gives subscribers the opportunity to access investigative and analytical articles, market reports, insights, as well as opinions of industry leaders and experts in a high-end, multi-media format. 

The service also features BQ Edge, India’s first daily video offering that’s behind a paywall.

BloombergQuint will continue to offer 5 articles free of charge per month, following which, users have the option to avail a quarterly or annual subscription using a host of payment modes. Micropayment options are also available, starting at Rs 18, through Paytm and other payment platforms, with subscribers also being able to read now and pay later, using Simpl.

Subscribers will also have access to exclusive Bloomberg Businessweek content. 

Anil Uniyal, CEO, BloombergQuint said: “BloombergQuint has always strived to uphold the promise of quality, accuracy, and integrity in business journalism. BQ BLUE is a big step forward in our attempt towards achieving that goal. Through insightful industry stories, podcasts, data-driven analytical articles, and more, delivered directly and regularly at their fingertips, we can keep our subscribers constantly updated on all that is going on in the business and financial sector of India. This in-depth analysis helps them make real-time decisions.”

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18th edition of India Today Conclave to be held on March 1 and 2

PM Narendra Modi to be key note speaker; other top politicians to include Nitin Gadkari, Piyush Goyal and P Chidambaram

india today

The eighteenth edition of the India Today Conclave will host a range of debates and discussions on a range of issues over March 1 and 2 in New Delhi.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the key note speaker at the Conclave and is likely to speak on the India Story under him.  
Aroon Purie, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of the India Today Group, said, “We are honored to have Prime Minister Modi as the keynote speaker at the India Today Conclave. As India heads towards a major election, it will be a privilege to hear him assess his term and spell out his vision for India at the Conclave.”

The two days will witness national and international minds converge and deliberate on issues across a spectrum of topics. While Boris Johnson — Brexit leaver, politician, historian, journalist — will explain his choices and why the lessons from Brexit are significant for India in a session titled The Devil & the Deep: Bitter cocktails from Brexit; Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping & Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation will speak on his roadmap for the BJP’s political success in the session, ‘My Way. And the Highway’.  

Piyush Goyal, Interim Finance Minister and P Chidambaram, Former Finance Minister are expected to feature in back-to-back sessions in which they will present their assessment of the economy and election promises in front of a common jury of eminent economists and experts. The session is titled Split Wide Open: What ails the Indian economy?

Bollywood stars Ranveer Singh and Kangana Ranaut will not only add glamour to the event but reveal personal insights and what makes them both so unique and individualistic in an industry built on PR images.  Ranveer Singh will be speaking on his 7 deadly sins while Kangana Ranaut will be speaking on creativity, kicking ass and rewriting the rules of being a woman in a session titled #BreakingBad. 

The two days will also see an impressive range of  politicians, thinkers, economists, analysts, sports stars and artists who will deliberate, debate and decipher the conclave theme of Hard Choices in their respective spheres.
 

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Zee management in talks with investors: Sources

Comcast and Sony making bids to acquire promoter stake

ZEELlogo

Zee’s top management has been in talks with investors for a stake sale, media reports have said.

Comcast and Sony are reportedly vying to acquire a promoter stake and their bids are likely to be nearly Rs 540-560 per share.

Promoters of Zee may also enter into an exclusive binding agreement this week, reports said.

In an interview to a leading business newspaper last week, ZEE CEO Punit Goenka reportedly said that US companies were at the “forefront” for the stake sale.  Sony Pictures and Comcast were the two names doing the rounds even then.
 

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Tags Zee

TrendLoud bags top honour at Talentrack Awards 2019

This is another award in the digital agency’s kitty

Trend

Chennai’s premier digital agency, TrendLoud hit another milestone, claiming an honour at the Talent Track Awards in Mumbai on Friday. 
They have won a certification of their production efforts in Tamil web series Door No. 403 and an award in the Best Web Series – Regional category with a Special Jury mention for their prowess in the field. 

The third edition of Talentrack Awards received participation from over 500 industry players, including major names like Viu, Zee5, Hotstar, Voot, ALT Balaji, SonyLIV, Warner Bros and TVF apart from other digital-content industry players. 

Amongst such elite company, TrendLoud’s fifth original web series, Door No. 403 won the Best Web Series - Regional (Special Jury Mention) award.
CEO of TrendLoud Mr Chidambaram said, “At this moment, would like to thank TalentTrack, Ernest & Young and other Jury members for this award. It's indeed a great motivation for us to produce many more quality originals in the coming years”. He also thanked Viu for the association in producing this series. 

“Thanks to Vishal for his guidance and support. Door No. 403 remains special to us - it was our fifth production and now we have grown and have rolled out our tenth series,” he said.  The Chennai-based company’s web series stood tall in a talent pool comprising of Amazon's Mirzapur which won a silver & Netflix's highly-acclaimed Scared Games, which won gold.

With another accolade in their kitty, TrendLoud is now looking into developing more interesting concepts and aiming at more such recognitions like this in the coming years.
 

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Independent Committee clears Russell Barrett of sexual misconduct allegations

BBH Global issues statement saying no evidence was found to support accusations against Barrett, Chief Creative Officer & Managing Partner, BBH India 

BBH

BBH Global has issued a statement saying that an investigation has cleared Russell Barrett, Chief Creative Officer & Managing Partner, BBH India, of allegations of sexual harassment.

The statement said: 
"A few weeks ago, unsubstantiated allegations of sexual harassment were published online by a #MeToo campaigner about Russell Barrett, Chief Creative Officer & Managing Partner, BBH India. Given the serious nature of the allegations and our zero tolerance policy towards any form of harassment in the workplace, we immediately began an investigation.

A thorough investigation was conducted by an Independent Committee and found no evidence of misconduct whatsoever. The Committee has fully cleared Russell Barrett of the allegations and any misconduct.

BBH strongly believes in providing a safe, fair and just working environment to all our employees without exception."

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MIB to hold conference of its media units on Feb 13

The opening session of the conference will be chaired by Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore, Union Minister of State (IC), Information & Broadcasting and Youth Affairs & Sports

MIB

The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) is organising the first Annual Conference of Media Units under it on February 13, 2019. The event will be held at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. 

The opening session of the conference will be chaired by Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore, Union Minister of State (IC), Information & Broadcasting and Youth Affairs & Sports.
The ministry in a statement said that the conference aims to give a unique platform to the officers of the Indian Information Service working under different media units to converge at an All-India level where they can discuss and deliberate upon the emerging areas of the evolving communication paradigm. 

Through the conference, the ministry aims to strengthen synergy between the media units in order to ensure last-mile delivery, while simultaneously brainstorm the use of new technology in communication.
The participants will also discuss the ways of using social media to reach target audience groups and push the boundaries of communication outreach in terms of geographical and cultural barriers.
 

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