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` 100/-




nsum o c d n a ing br d o c e D ules! r p i h s n relatio BRAND INDIA DR. SHASHI THAROOR



English Movies Genre SD + HD (19 Channels)

13.0 8.2

English Entertainment Genre SD + HD (14 Channels)

English News Genre SD + HD (17 Channels)


Reach in Millions


Source: BARC, Monthly Cumm. Reach in Millions., M 15 - 40 AB All India Urban, Feb - Sep 2017, All Day 0700 - 2400#resilient #reliable #relevant

#resilient #reliable #relevant

COVER STORY November 2017

Publisher & Editor-in-Chief Annurag Batra Director Amit Agnihotri Director Nawal Ahuja EDITORIAL TEAM

Executive Editor Jyotsna Sharma Contributors Ruhail Amin Aparajita Misra DESIGN TEAM

Art Director

Shivaji Sengupta

Senior Graphic Designer

Joby Mathew

Photographers Vilas Kalgutkar (Mumbai) Suresh Gola (Noida)

14 -- decoding consumer-brand relationship rules --

AD SALES Runa Sinha (National Business Head) - 9810497903

Sneha Walke (VP Special Projects & South Head) - 9845541143


Ashish Kudalkar (Regional Manager West - Sales & Business Development) - 9820541742



NEW DELHI: B-47, Ground Floor, Defence Colony, New Delhi -110 024 NOIDA: B-20, I-Floor, Sector-57, Noida, Uttar Pradesh - 201301 Phone: (0120) 4007700 Mumbai: 301, Kakad Bhavan, 3rd Floor, 11th Street, Bandra (W), Mumbai - 400 050 Phone: (022) 2640 3303/09/14/16 Bengaluru: # 18, 3rd B Cross, Domlur II Stage, Bangalore 560071 CIRCULATION/DISTRIBUTION

Vinod Sharma (Delhi) - 9999447209 Anandan Nair (Mumbai) - 9819445200 On News-stands ` 100/ Printed and published by Annurag Batra on behalf of Adsert Web Solutions Pvt Ltd B-20, I-Floor, Sector-57, Noida, Uttar Pradesh - 201301 Printed at All Time Offset Printers, F-406, Sector-63 Noida, Uttar Pradesh - 201 307 An exchange4media Publication

Cover Image Courtesy: PUMA




BRAND INDIA Dr. Shashi Tharoor

Member of Parliament for Thiruvananthapuram, Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs


Brand-expert & Founder, Harish Bijoor Consults Inc.

Lulu Raghavan

Managing Director, Landor




Pankaj Krishna

Founder, Chrome Data Analytics & Media





Dean, School of Business Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken NJ




Gregory Prastacos




Ramesh Bhat

Advisor to the Chancellor, NMIMS University, Mumbai and Former Professor IIM 78 Ahmedabad



Madhu Dua

Vice President & National Head Marketing JIO













EVP Marketing, Vodafone India







Rajiv Dingra

Founder & CEO WATConsult

Ramesh Jude Thomas

President and Chief Knowledge Officer , EQUiTOR




Yadvinder Singh Guleria

Director - Marketing & HCN Science, Danone India


Himanshu Bakshi


Karan Kumar


Head Brand & Marketing , Fabindia

TÊTE-À-TÊTE Shivjeet Kullar


he’s met during his 25 years in advertising.

FOCUS #resilient #reliable #relevant




Senior Vice President - Sales & Marketing, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd


Krishnan Chatterjee

Head of Marketing, Indian Subcontinent - SAP



Karthi Marshan

Sr. Executive Vice President & Head – Group Marketing, Kotak Mahindra Bank



Vice President, Marketing , Havells India


EDITOR-IN-CHIEF’S NOTE “Trustful people are the pure at heart, as they are moved by the zeal of their own trustworthiness.” - Criss Jami, Healology

We are pleased to bring you the 14th anniversary issue of PITCH. The magazine has been re-launched to mark this anniversary. The new magazine, and even the website, while being editorially led, have a new design. This has been done as part of our commitment to reflect, as always, the business interests of our readers. This issue highlights ‘Relevance, Reliability and Resilience’ qualities that make a brand succeed. I find ‘Resilience’ to be the most crucial attribute – it is the ability to intelligently adapt and stay ahead even during uncertain times. In the current global environment, even fields such as politics, business and economics require these attributes. @anuragbatrayo

Dr. Shashi Tharoor’s article on ‘Brand India’ also encompasses all three attributes. Read about Brand Virat Kohli in the interview with Bunty Sajdeh the CEO of cornerstone. To my mind brand ‘Virat Kohli’ is a prime example of ‘Relevance, Reliability and Resilience’. This issue also has columns by top marketers on various aspects of marketing. The contemporary customer has become more aware than ever before, and the way he makes decisions has also changed dramatically over the last few years. It is imperative that brands take note of these changes and deliver accordingly. A marketer should think from the customer’s point of view, as at the end of the day, the relationship the consumer has with the brand is important. Marketing has evolved and there have been significant changes in how marketers deal with consumers. The columns by marketers spotlight these changes, and also address the challenges and the opportunities of different facets of marketing. They bring into focus emerging trends in the field. Given the way digital marketing is rapidly evolving and has become integral to every marketing campaign this issue has a special feature on AI (Artificial Intelligence) by leaders in the field. Features on ‘cinema advertising ‘, ‘the business of music’, and ‘festival marketing’ among others are also a part of this issue. Happy reading and don’t forget to send in your feedback.

Annurag Batra Chairman & Editor-in-Chief 6 | PITCH | NOVEMBER 2017

#resilient #reliable #relevant

and they said...

#resilient #reliable #relevant

EDITOR’S DESK Dear Readers, For the 14th anniversary issue of PITCH we decided to go back to the basics and examine the key qualities that make a brand stand out. Of course, the two principles that one would think of are ‘Relevance and Reliability’; in addition to these there is ‘Resilience’, and resilience comes from being continuously relevant and reliable. @jyotsna_off

When I think of a brand that has all these attributes, Virat Kohli comes to mind. India’s much-loved cricket team captain, Kohli has been continuously relevant, reliable and resilient. Be it his performance, his social work thorough his foundation (the Virat Kohli Foundation) and even the fact that he endorses only the products that he believes in. For this issue, we caught up with Bunty Sajdeh, the CEO of Cornerstone and Virat Kohli’s agent, to chat about ‘brand Virat Kohli’ and all that goes into managing a superstar brand. Given how important the digital world has become, a significant part of marketing is going to be offering better digital consumer experience to stay relevant. The feature on AI (Artificial Intelligence) underscores its importance in the digital marketing sphere. In this issue, we have columns by Industry leaders and top marketers on a range of marketing topics. They discuss the changing landscape of marketing, the challenges a marketer faces, and also give sound advice that young marketers can benefit from. In addition, we have features on festival marketing, cinema advertising and also the business of music, among others. I do hope you enjoy the issue. Happy reading and don’t forget to send in your feedback.

Jyotsna Sharma Executive Editor


#resilient #reliable #relevant


METHODS FOR CONTEMPORARY BRANDS TO BUILD VALUE Digital technology has changed the marketing landscape, the consumer today has become more aware than ever before, he can learn more and share more, which in turn influences his decisions. All this has rendered brands more fragile than ever before. In such an environment, brands have an even greater need to be resilient, reliable and relevant.


Interact effectively with consumers Effective and simple communication is the key when it comes to interacting with your consumers. Too much communication is tiresome. The way digital technology has changed communication, it is imperative for brands to be on the top of their game. They need to know, which channel works best for their consumers and create an effective communication plan.


Be consistent in anticipating the needs of the consumer

Are you consistent in anticipating the needs of your consumer and meeting those needs? This is an ongoing process, which you have to keep at. The latest Capgemini report suggest that 80% consumers are willing to pay more for better digital consumer experiences.


Be Flexible

Brands should be flexible and ready to adapt. Innovate. Think of the needs of your consumers and be ready to go a step beyond what they would expect.


Embrace your Uniqueness

Understand what sets your brand apart from the others and capitalize on that uniqueness.







2. Airtel

Telecom Providers



3. SBI




4. Asian Paints




5. ICICI Bank




6. Kotak




7. Maruti Suzuki




8. Bajaj




9. Hero




10. Axis Bank




11. JIO

Telecom Providers


Credit : Brand Z Top 50 Most Valuable Indian Brands 2017

#resilient #reliable #relevant





Sports S ponsors hip for the I ndian m arket gr across t ew he boar d at 19.33% i n 20 an impressive

16 to rore/$ 9 41 m

`6400 c

a big jum


`5363.3p up from the crore/$


d in 201

(ESP Pro


perties –


wer India

825 mill

Sports sp



report 20



Bunty Sajdeh is the man behind Virat Kohli’s 100 crore Puma endorsement deal. The star agent had a chat with us about his company Cornerstone, and about the Indian Cricket team captain Virat Kohli.

10 | PITCH | NOVEMBER 2017

JS: Tell me about Cornerstone and how you got into sports marketing?

BS: I started my career in the entertainment industry, but given that sports was always my passion, I decided to take the plunge and started Cornerstone in 2008. The sports Industry is bigger than the entertainment Industry the world over, but in India, it’s the other way around. I sensed that there would soon be a shift here too, and indeed, we are moving in that direction. Moreover, what I found was that sports marketing companies in India usually had a macro level focus- they never really focused on the talent. Here was the opportunity, and that is also one of the key principles on which Cornerstone operates- we focus on the talent.

#resilient #reliable #relevant

Virat Kohli topped the endorsement chart, and had th e biggest part to pla y in cricket endorsem ents, rising from

`264.4 crore to `279.3 crore in 2016. (ESP Properties – Sp

ortzPower India Sp

orts sponsorship rep

ands r b 0 2 h 16 wit 0 2 d e ective d l l n o e c t a a r i V elt with e of b s i h r unde nt valu e m e s r endo crore/

`120.0 million. $ 17.65 erties – SportzPower InrepdoiartS2p0o1rt7s) p

(ESP Pro

#resilient #reliable #relevant



NOVEMBER 2017 | PITCH | 11 Image Credit: PUMA

ort 2017)

INTERVIEW What I liked was that Virat was grounded yet sure of himself. I wanted to work with him but he was already signed up with another agency, which told me I would have to buy out his contract. I didn’t have money at the time, so I borrowed the money from my uncle, and today I believe it was the smartest investment I ever made. BUNTY SAJDEH

12 | PITCH | NOVEMBER 2017

#resilient #reliable #relevant

A big aspect of sports marketing is spotting talent. One has to be almost intuitive when it comes to picking the talent you want to represent. Without the athlete, there can be no sport and therefore, our focus is entirely on the athletes.

JS: What is the Virat Kohli foundation?

BS: I was at home surfing channels on the television, and Star Sports was showing the Under-19 Cricket World Cup that was taking place in Malaysia. It was a live game; I got involved in watching the game, and that’s when I noticed Virat. In fact, he didn’t score many runs in that game but I liked his leadership qualities, his attitude and his personality, and so I asked Yuvraj to introduce me to him. It happened in 2009 at the IPL in south Africa; at the time we met I didn’t talk to him much but I knew he was the right sportsperson for Cornerstone. What I liked was that Virat was grounded yet sure of himself. I wanted to work with him but he was already signed up with another agency, which told me I would have to buy out his contract. I didn’t have money at the time, so I borrowed the money from my uncle, and today I believe it was the smartest investment I ever made. JS: What are the problems

with the athlete management industry in India?

BS: A large number of the athletes in India belong to the interiors of country. Most of them have not even completed their education, and when they start making a name for themselves they are seen only as cash cows. We need to mentor and nurture the athlete and not treat him like a ‘Goose that lays golden eggs’. When we sign up talent, we work with them, we understand their personality, and truly nurture them.

#resilient #reliable #relevant

(ESP Properties – SportzPower India Sports sponsorship report 2017)

JS: How did Virat happen?

BS: It all started with NGO’s and Foundations asking Virat for time and to make appearances at their events. Virat decided to use his influence and his celebrity towards starting a foundation for supporting underprivileged children. The foundation started in 2013. The foundation also partners NGO’s to organize charitable events. In September 2017, Virat Kohli partnered with Industrialist Sanjeev Goenka to launch the ‘RPSG Indian Sports honours’, an award instituted to honour sports personalities for their achievements. As a part of the award, one winner each will be chosen from a variety of sports, and all the winners will be given an award as well as financial support. For Kohli, the motivation was the belief that players from sports other than cricket be given encouragement and proper support to help enhance their game. He announced financial support of Rs. 2 crore annually through the Virat Kohli Foundation. Further, the Foundation along with the RPSG group will be hosting a charity golf tournament this year. This annual day-long event, will see celebrity golfers and corporate executives compete against each other. The idea behind the charity golf tournament is to engage corporates and the proceeds will go towards supporting athletes through the Virat Kohli Foundation. JS: What next? BS: For us at Conerstone we

always focus on what to do differently and better. We are creating a bouquet of sporting services for brands to associate themselves with. For Virat, we are looking at having an array of businesses around him, all of which will be launched by the end of 2018. NOVEMBER 2017 | PITCH | 13


-- decoding consumer-brand relationship rules --


14 | PITCH | NOVEMBER 2017


m I on top of my game? is a question every marketer has asked himself at least once in his career. The answer to this lies in whether your brand is ‘relevant, reliable and resilient’. For a brand to form the perfect relationship with its customers, these three are invaluable attributes. In addition to relevance and reliability, resilience is also an important factor in determining brand value. Resilience is not only about being able to bounce back in the face of adversity, but also the capability of a brand to

stay on top of its game. Marketers have to make sure that they are able to anticipate the evolving needs of their consumers to stay ahead of the competition. The consumer has so many options today that it is no longer enough to just get him interested, the key is to make him stay. That’s what you might call the start of the relationship. The next step is to keep adding value to his life, and you are golden! The way to do that is simple - to think from the consumer’s point of view! #resilient #reliable #relevant

Every marketer must ask himself these three questions: 1. What sets your brand apart from the others? Then, capitalize on that uniqueness. 2. Are you interacting effectively with your consumers? Keep it simple. A straightforward simple approach is usually the best. Too much communication is also tiresome. 3. Are you consistent in anticipating the needs of your consumer and meeting these needs? This is an ongoing process, which you have to keep at. • 79% of respondents in India believe brands can provide stability. --- Are you reliable?

“We live in a world that is increasingly accelerated. For brands to compete, they must understand the forces propelling them forward, build strong emotional and rational connections with consumers and embrace, not fear, the motion around them.” Alan Vander Molen, President, International, WE Communications. The latest WE communication ‘Brands in Motion’ study, conducted in collaboration with You Gov across six markets, #resilient #reliable #relevant

• Anything viewed as “cutting edge” tends to be more loved than hated. It is viewed as a pleasure to do business with such a brand, and is also seen as a benefit to society. -- Are you relevant? • In India, nearly half of surveyed consumers (48%) placed a balance on functionality and purpose both, when it comes to their allegiance to brands. They want their brands to take an active position on issues that provide long-term social value along with being functional. -- Are you reliable, relevant and resilient? NOVEMBER 2017 | PITCH | 15


revealed key factors that brands should be aware of, and can use. The study showed that: A marketer has to understand that at the end of the day, a brand has to add value to the life of its consumer. For example, Paperboat (launched in 2013) kept it simple. They took some of our favorite homemade drinks and presented them in a new avatar. They started out with just two variants and are now at thirteen. Recently, they entered the snack market with the peanut chikki. The products were a win-win and in addition, they focused on their packaging and communication, which turned out to be great successes. They put in a lot of research into packaging; they wanted something other than cans and 16 | PITCH | NOVEMBER 2017

tetra pack containers; what they came up with was not recyclable but had a lower carbon foot print. The interesting design of the packaging broke the clutter on the shelf and made the product stand out. “Initially the idea was to make traditional Indian beverages like aam panna. The product was traditional but we didn’t want to alienate the youth, therefore, our communication had to be a mix of both modern and traditional. The ‘Hum Honge Kamyab’ campaign for example, is just that, a mix of traditional and modern.” – Neeraj Kakkar (Co-founder & CEO, Hector Beverages). According to Kakkar, the challenge was the fact that distribution in India is tough. Trade is fragmented, and logistics are demanding and expensive.

Initially the idea was to make traditional Indian beverages like aam panna. The product was traditional but we didn’t want to alienate the youth, therefore, our communication had to be a mix of both modern and traditional. The ‘Hum Honge Kamyab’ campaign for example, is just that, a mix of traditional and modern Neeraj Kakkar

Co-founder & CEO, Hector Beverages He believes that e-commerce has helped them reach consumers faster. Backed by Catamaran Ventures, Sequoia Capital, Sofina and Hillhouse Capital, Paperboat posted sales of Rs 72 crore for 2015-16, up from 32 crore in the previous year. Nykaa, the online beauty products retailer is another brand that has made itself highly relevant to the consumer. Founded by former investment banker Falguni Nayar in 2012, #resilient #reliable #relevant


CAN BRANDS PROVIDE STABILITY We asked “In a climate of uncertainty, do brands/businesses have the capability to provide stability?”

21% 47%

1. Yes 2. No


3. Not Sure 79% of the 1002 respondents in Inda believe that Business/Brands may have the CAPABILITY to provide stability.




WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR STABILITY We asked “During uncertain times, who do you think is responsible to create stability?” 1. Business/Brands 2. Government 3. Friends and Family







Friends & Family


5. Media



6. NGO’s


4. Educators


24% of the 1002 respondents in India believe that Business/Brands are RESPONSIBLE for creating stability.

Courtesy: WE communication ‘Brands in Motion’ study 2017

#resilient #reliable #relevant

NOVEMBER 2017 | PITCH | 17

COVER STORY they have reached more than 10 million beauty product buyers since inception. Currently, they have eight stores and are planning to take it up to thirty stores within the next six months. Part of their success comes from the fact that they reach customers in

According to Hitesh Malhotra, the CMO of Nykaa, a brand that plans to grow needs to look at providing its customers what they need, rather than achieving the target sales figures. A marketer needs to take into account and be aware of the functional and emotional benefits

smaller towns as well, and for that consumer based in a small town this platform not only gives her a chance to buy her favourite brand, but also one that is authentic. In addition, they create rich social media content, which makes trying out new products aspirational.

WHAT KIND OF BRAND ARE YOU MORE LIKELY TO SUPPORT? Across the six markets we asked an audience of 32,591 to rate on a scale of 1 to 9, are you more likely to support a brand that has a…? with 1 being “High level of purpose/participates in activism” and 9 representing “High level of functionality/provides personal effectiveness”








The majority of responses came back 4,5 and 6…. Meaning BOTH, shouldn’t be surprised given the exponential expectations of today’s consumers.











A balance








47% 42% 37% 26%

9% 4%

9% 4%


28% 21%


11% 6%


4,5,6 Australia



South Africa

7,8,9 UK



Courtesy: WE communication ‘Brands in Motion’ study 2017

18 | PITCH | NOVEMBER 2017

#resilient #reliable #relevant



A brand that plans to grow needs to look at providing its customers what they need, rather than achieving the target sales figures Hitesh Malhotra CMO of Nykaa

of the brand, and the brand promise, when trying to build his brand. For them, the biggest challenge has been fighting fake beauty products that appear in the market, but despite the challenges, they have gone from strength to strength, and have #resilient #reliable #relevant

reported revenues of Rs 214 crore for the financial year 2016-2017. Another young successful brand is Freshmenu. Their motto is ‘delighting through taste’. They wanted to give customers a taste of global cuisine with the ease of home deliveries. “we didn’t really invest in marketing when we started out, it was word of mouth that made the brand grow to where it is at currently” says Aparna Mahesh, CMO of Freshmenu. A key factor that has helped them succeed is the fact that they control the whole experience, from the food to the delivery; they have their own delivery channels. In Bangalore especially, younger people took to it straight away given that it was on a digital platform. The fact that the quality of food was good and the price competitive, helped increase their

popularity even more. The challenge however, was to keep their existing users engaged; they had to come up with a way of doing that. Therefore, they have food influencers working with them now who help them understand trends. Constant innovation in the food, packaging and all the other touch points helps them stay on the top of their game. Aparna Mahesh said that in an effort to keep their existing users engaged, they often have a new menu, and have also launched a bi-monthly food magazine recently. Their plan is to constantly maintain visibility and to bring new people into the fold. They are in three markets currently, and plan to expand their kitchens in Bombay, Bangalore and Delhi.

NOVEMBER 2017 | PITCH | 19


We didn’t really invest in marketing when we started out, it was word of mouth that made the brand grow to where it is at currently. Aparna Mahesh CMO Freshmenu

I had the opportunity to get an opinion from Raj Rishi Singh, Director Marketing, Pepsi, PepsiCo India on what sets a brand apart. Here is what he had to say:

JS: How important is it for a brand to be resilient, reliable and relevant? RRS: To build a strong connect with consumers, it is imperative for a brand to remain relevant. Relevance for consumers is that which connects with them emotionally, and this in turn builds a stronger bond with the brand. Reliability is a key factor for brands to stand out

20 | PITCH | NOVEMBER 2017

#resilient #reliable #relevant

in a crowded market place, and consumers, especially millennials are increasingly looking to define themselves by brands which they look at as resilient and reliable. Pepsi as a brand has always had its finger on the pulse of youth trends. We believe in connecting with consumers in contextually relevant ways, and engaging them with iconic campaigns which have a high relatability factor. For instance, with our most recent ‘Moments’ campaign, the brand brought to life an inspiring thought and encouraged consumers to

Raj Rishi Singh,

Director Marketing, Pepsi, PepsiCo India

celebrate everyday moments of spontaneity. The Pepsi Moments campaign unleashed over 80 of the most popular words that are entrenched in the vocabulary of today’s generation. These were printed in eight regional languages on the brand’s packaging and grabbed the attention of an entire generation. For the on-going festive season, we have introduced a range of limited edition bottles, which feature the festive slogans to connect with the consumer meaningfully. These slogans feature words which celebrate the spontaneity of the festive season, resonating with the youth across India, in five different languages. Through a series of interactive on-ground activations, we have connected with this youth to ensure the brand is a defining part of the nation’s festivities this year. JS: Do you think brands at times go overboard in their effort to attract customers? Too much advertising? Too much visibility?

RSS: For brands to attract

consumers, I believe in the importance of delivering relevant communication by tapping into the right channels vs the quantum of advertising visibility. Whether it’s through advertising, public relations or digital marketing efforts, brands need to have the right communication strategy to reach the right target audience.

JS: What are the upcoming trends in marketing?

RSS: Both brands and

consumers have been impacted by technology. Consumers today spend most of their time on the internet or scrolling through social media. It is important to connect with consumers in this space and tap into the most relevant platforms. We are increasing our focus on curating interesting content for our social media, to get the consumers’ attention and engage with them in the most contextually relevant manner. In addition to this, brands are increasingly driving associations to strengthen their proposition. We have regularly identified like-minded partners through whom we are able to establish a stronger connect with our consumers. We believe authenticity has become the bedrock of consumer sentiment, and these partnerships ensure we remain relevant and authentic in our marketing efforts.

JS: What advice would you give young marketers? RSS: My advice to young marketers is to stay curious and keep re-inventing. The landscape of business is changing every day, and they need to stay abreast with the culture and the changes that are shaping our environment. And let the “consumer” be the pivot of your decisions. All of these successful leaders agree that in today’s competitive environment, a brand that wants to succeed needs to be innovative, communicate honestly and keep it simple. #resilient #reliable #relevant

NOVEMBER 2017 | PITCH | 21



AMIT TIWARI Vice President, Marketing , Havells India



echnology has not only revolutionized how we market products and position a brand but also the speed with which we do them. Every mainstream marketer is required to be dynamic and on top of things to get the job done. The ‘New Age’ has come for marketers where the dynamics of the marketing can change overnight.

Being ‘Digital’ is different from doing ‘Digital’ Contrary to what organizations may think, simply adopting digital strategies does not make them digital. They are simply following what others are doing and embracing digital technologies in an incremental manner. The effectiveness will not be anything to write home about. Being digital requires you to ingrain it in the DNA of the brand. It should break the silos existing within the organizational functions. Digital capabilities need to be part of the team, 22 | PITCH | NOVEMBER 2017

decision-making, and business operations. Going a step further, the marketer should eventually become an advocate, specialist, and evangelist of being digital to the core.

Do not underestimate the power of AI Artificial Intelligence or AI is a term that has become a hot topic in the technology circle these days. However, the fact is that #resilient #reliable #relevant

most marketers may not have concrete understanding of what it is and its reach in the near future. AI is the next uncomfortable reality (for some) that every marketer has to deal with. It is here to stay and transform things as we have never seen before. Our consciousness is the most powerful possession we have, and in fact, it is what separates us from all other species on the planet. The primary role of AI is to mimic this cognitive capability of ours in a limited way (at first) by automating certain tasks that would otherwise need our intervention. We can already see this happening especially in content marketing such as conducting keyword research, personalizing content on websites and email, suggesting blog topics based on data, and so on. In fact, the upcoming laptops and mobile devices have a dedicated AI processor. Ultimately, AI will enable marketers to be more productive, extract predictive insights, and personalize brand-focused engagement. It will also free them from mundane operational tasks and provide them ample time and energy to focus on brand strategies. Provide complete and relevant customer experience End-to-end customer experience is essential in ensuring continued engagement and loyalty. It begins with the product itself and goes on to cover the entire journey of a customer from the purchasing process to post-purchase support and customer relationship. The relevancy of customer experience is equally important if not more. Marketers need to make an effort to know their customers from the data-driven insights and by personally engaging with them. For example, assume that a clothing brand’s major sales come from high-end fashion wearers. Customers who can pay a premium for the latest collection would appreciate the brand more if they are treated #resilient #reliable #relevant

to the finest customer service, given exclusive access to fashion events or insights, etc. Pushing irrelevant sale on a previous year’s collection that may not be up to their taste will fail to establish a connect with them. So, marketers need to adjust their brand experience based on what could be more meaningful to their customers. In other words, they need a holistic approach towards ensuring value for customers.

Brand advocacy goes both ways Every marketer knows the importance of brand advocacy among customers. What they often miss out on is how vital it is to first internally put in place a mechanism to turn employees into brand advocates. The better aware they are about the brand’s positioning, organization culture, products and services provided to customers, the better they will be able to contribute meaningfully to the marketing function.

Every marketer should be an entrepreneur Entrepreneurs constantly evaluate their decisions and resulting performances, and continuously adapt and adopt new strategies. Marketers of today need to be on their toes like entrepreneurs when it comes to

managing the digital. The beauty of real-time data analytics lies in its ability to give you instant information on what strategies are working and which ones do not. Unlike earlier times when the measure of marketing success depended on receiving creative awards, successful marketers of today constantly measure and tune strategies real-time.

Data, analytics, & SEO The internet makes digital happen, and in the digital world, Google literally owns the search market share on the internet. A new age marketer must be proficient in SEO and SEM. On the analytics side, the marketer will also use the mastery of analytical insights to craft product design and customer experience. Great brand stories will be told, and engagements will be created. If content is king then analyticsdriven insights will be the queen, and the amalgamation will be of greater importance than the individual. An effective new age marketer will go beyond employing the traditional push and pull marketing techniques. Only those brands will emerge successfully that are run by marketers who are equipped to handle the paradigm shifts taking place in the world of marketing. NOVEMBER 2017 | PITCH | 23



Dr. Shashi Tharoor

Member of Parliament for Thiruvananthapuram, Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs


here’s a new buzzword about these days about our country: “Brand India”. It’s an idea, says the subtitle of a recent book, whose time has come. There’s already a Foundation to brand India, and the phrase trips lightly off the tongues of assorted pontificators. But what is that idea? What, for that matter, is Brand India? A brand, the marketing gurus tell us, is a symbol embodying all the key information about a product or a service: it could be a name, a slogan, a logo, a graphic design. When the brand is mentioned, it carries with it a whole series of associations in the public mind, as well as expectations of how it will perform. The brand can be built up by skilful advertising, so that certain phrases or moods pop up the moment one thinks of the brand; but ultimately the only real guarantee of the brand’s continued worth is the actual performance of the product or service it stands for. If the brand delivers what

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it promises, it becomes a great asset in itself. Properly managed, the brand can increase the perceived value of a product or service in the eyes of the consumer. Badly managed, a tarnished brand can undermine the product itself. So can India be a brand? A country isn’t a soft drink or a cigarette, but its very name can conjure certain associations in the minds of others. This is why our first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, insisted on retaining the name “India” for the newly independent country, in the face of resistance from nativists who wanted it renamed “Bharat”. “India” had a number of associations in the eyes of the world: it was a fabled and exotic land, much sought after by travellers and traders for centuries, the “jewel in the crown” of Her Britannic Majesty Victoria, whose proudest title was that of “Empress of India”. Nehru wanted people to understand that the India he was

leading was heir to that precious heritage. He wanted, in other words, to hold on to the brand. For a while, it worked. India retained its exoticism, its bejewelled maharajahs and caparisoned elephants cavorting before the fabled Taj Mahal, while simultaneously striding the world stage as a moral force for peace and justice in the vein of Mahatma Gandhi. But it couldn’t last. As poverty and famine stalked the land, and the exotic images became replaced in the global media with pictures of suffering and despair, the brand became soiled. It stood, in many people’s eyes, for a mendicant with a begging-bowl, a hungry and skeletal child by his side. It was no longer a brand that could attract the world. Today, the brand is changing again. As India transforms itself economically from a lumbering element to a bounding tiger, it needs a fresh brand image to keep up with the times. The Government even set up, with #resilient #reliable #relevant

the collaboration of the business association the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), an India Brand Equity Foundation. They were tasked with coming up with a slogan that encapsulated the new brand in time for the World Economic Forum’s 2006 session in Davos, where India was guest of honour. They did. “India: Fastest-growing free market democracy” was emblazoned all over the Swiss resort. Brand India was born. But though it’s a great slogan, is it enough? Coca-Cola, for years, offered the “pause that refreshes”: it told you all that you needed to know about the product. Does “fastest-growing free market democracy” do the same? India’s rapid economic growth is worth drawing attention to, as is the fact that it’s a free market (we want foreigners to invest, after all) and a democracy (that’s what distinguishes us from that other place over there, which for years has grown faster than us). But isn’t there more to us than that? In fairness to the smart people who coined the phrase, the more attributes you try to get in, the clunkier and less memorable the phrase becomes. It’s easier for smaller countries that aim for one-issue branding. What do we want the world to think of when they hear the name “India”? Clearly we’d prefer “fastest-growing free market democracy” to replace the old images of despair and disrepair. But surely there are other elements we want to build into the brand: the exquisite natural beauty of much of our country, encapsulated in the “Incredible India!” advertising campaign conducted by the Tourism Department; the glitz and glamour of Bollywood and Indian fashion and jewellery designs; the unparalleled diversity of our plural society, with people of every conceivable religious, linguistic and ethnic extraction living side-by-side in harmony; and the richness of our cultural heritage, to name #resilient #reliable #relevant

In the information age, it’s not the side with the bigger army, but the one with the better story, that wins. India must remain the “land of the better story”. just four obvious examples. Yet it would be impossible to fit all that into a poster, a banner or even a TV commercial. (And we’d still have left out a host of essentials, from ayurveda to IT). The importance of Brand India lies in the fact that India’s claims to a significant role in the world of the 21st century lie in the aspects and products of Indian society and culture that the world finds attractive. The world of the 21st century will increasingly be a world in which the use of “hard power” carries with it the odium of mass global public disapproval, whereas our strength lies in our “soft power”, which lends itself more easily to the information era. Soft power is not about conquering others, but about being yourself. A country’s brand is judged by the soft-power elements it projects onto the global consciousness, either deliberately (through the export of cultural products, the cultivation of foreign publics or even international propaganda) or unwittingly (through the ways in which it’s perceived as a result of news stories in the global mass media). National brands, in other words, are created partly by governments and partly despite governments; partly by deliberate action, partly by accident. In the information age, it’s not the side with the bigger army, but the one with the better story, that wins. India must remain the “land of the better

story”. As a society with a free press and a thriving mass media, with a people whose creative energies are encouraged to express themselves in a variety of appealing ways, India has an extraordinary ability to tell stories that are more persuasive and attractive than those of its rivals. Branding isn’t just what we can deliberately and consciously put on display; it’s rather how others see what we are. Politically, the sight in May 2004, after the world’s largest exercise in democratic franchise, of a leader of Roman Catholic background (Sonia Gandhi) making way for a Sikh (Manmohan Singh) to be sworn in as Prime Minister by a Muslim (President Abdul Kalam) -- in a country 81% Hindu -- caught the world’s imagination and won its admiration. This is not a Congress MP’s insight: I was travelling in the Gulf on behalf of the UN at the time, and the reactions of my Arab interlocutors to what had happened in India could not have been more gratifying. We weren’t trying to impress the world, but the world said “wow – that’s India.” There’s your branding. So if India wants to be a source of attraction to others, it must preserve the pluralism that is such a civilizational asset in our globalizing world. Our democracy, our thriving free media, our contentious civil society forums, our energetic human rights groups, and the repeated spectacle of our remarkable general elections, have all made of India a rare example of the successful management of diversity in the developing world. But one essential fact remains: what really matters is not the image but the reality. If we can make India a healthy and prosperous place for all Indians, the brand will be burnished all by itself. Then, and only then, might we even return to “India Shining”. NOVEMBER 2017 | PITCH | 25







hen the Indian Premier League (IPL) started way back in 2008, not many had expected it to become one of the most cash rich sporting leagues in the world. A decade later, according to the BCCI’s annual report, the league witnessed 300% growth in revenues in 2015-16. The IPL, in money terms, is now 0.6% of India’s Gross Domestic Product and as a standalone brand worth $5,500million.Over the years IPL has witnessed phenomenal growth in terms of sponsorship revenue and viewership ratio. In June this year, IPL title sponsor Vivo coughed up Rs2, 200 crore for a five year deal (Rs 440 crore per year) with the cricket league. This is a whopping

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554% rise over the previous contract, which averaged Rs 100 crore a year. With its massive viewership base, IPL provides an easy connect between brands and consumers. The brand value and reach that IPL has achieved over a decade has made it the favoritelaunch pad for brands—a phenomena similar to the Super Bowl in the US. Moreover, brandsare attracted to this platform as IPL provides a sure shot way to maximize ROI. The brand recall that IPL offers is unparalleled. Two of the glaring examples are Vivo and Oppo. These Chinese mobile manufacturers were unknown few years ago and thanks to

IPL both brands have become household names. The fact that IPL can make such mass marketing possible, makes it an attractive platform for brands irrespective of the cost factor. Experts believe that IPL will continue to be important for the Indian audience. They also state that the popularity of IPL is unlikely to wane over the next 5 years; rather the success of IPL will inspire other sporting leagues in the country as it has already done and will do well for the overall sporting infrastructure of the nation. The cumulative pull of sponsorship and media rights has made IPL among the most expensive leagues in the world. #resilient #reliable #relevant

According to global valuation and corporate finance advisory Duff & Phelps, IPL in its tenth year is worth Rs 34,000 crore ($5.3 billion) and has posted a 26 per cent increase in its overall business from Rs 27,000 crore ($4.2 billion) last year. The league has seen a three-year CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 13.9 per cent. The total ad revenue of IPL from 2018-2022 is pegged at Rs 10,000 crore, which is much higher than IPL’s ad revenue in 2017, which was Rs 1,300 crore. Experts believe that this growth in ad revenue will be primarily driven by the new ad rates which are expected to go up way further. Some media agencies are even expecting a 10-second TV ad spot rate to climb to Rs 15-17 lakh from #resilient #reliable #relevant

According to global valuation and corporate finance advisory Duff & Phelps, IPL in its tenth year is worth Rs 34,000 crore ($5.3 billion) and has posted a 26 per cent increase in its overall business from Rs 27,000 crore ($4.2 billion) last year. The league has seen a three-year CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 13.9 per cent.

Rs 6 lakh in 2017. While experts have cautioned that advertisers will absorb rate increase only up to a certain point, in all fairness, the picture on this will be clearer only by next year. It must be mentioned that that IPL has a revenue distribution model in place where the BCCI collects hefty revenue from the broadcaster and online streamer, and shares it with the teams after deducting some amount. According to industry reports, Star Sports’ distribution revenue in 2017 was Rs 1,500 crore, but now with IPL in its kitty it is expected to increase by another Rs 1,200 crore. Given the quantum jump in broadcasting revenue this year, IPL teams are also set to reap benefits of this surge in broadcasting revenue. NOVEMBER 2017 | PITCH | 27


READY FOR AN (EVEN MORE) EXCITING FUTURE… We believe that the future success of India on the global stage is highly dependent on the future success of the telecom sector. All the new emerging technologies like Big Data, AI, Robotics, Machine Learning and Convergence are dependent on the connectivity layer that telecom provides


he Telecom Sector which contributes 6% to India’s GDP and has helped power Digital India, is at the crossroads of an exciting future. The narrative is changing beyond voice and data to convergence & AI. As a starting point to understand these tectonic shifts, let’s reflect on the role of the Telecommunications category. Telecom fulfils the fundamental human need to connect, communicate and engage. This connectivity fosters empowerment and inclusion. It is deeply gratifying to see the

transformation it brings to the lives of people when they get connected, whether via our network & customer service or for money transfer via our mPesa services. Today, with 1 billion users, the mobile is the most ubiquitous device in India. Through their mobiles, people access a world of information, entertainment and shopping like never before. The mobile is also becoming their gateway to better education, livelihood, employment, health and governance. And the beauty is - there is much more to come. At Vodafone, we have constantly enhanced our offerings to cater to the evolving needs of our customers –from retail to enterprise – and from voice and text, to data and internet and now M2M & IoT. Today, Vodafone is the largest FDI investor in India having invested over INR 1,34,700 crores & offering high quality connectivity across the length and breadth of the country to over 210 million people with a network of over 140,000 sites. Vodafone is proud to be the co-creator of the telecom ecosystem and a catalyst of the telecom revolution in India. We believe that the future success of India on the global stage is highly dependent on the

SIDDHARTH BANERJEE EVP Marketing, Vodafone India

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future success of the telecom sector. All the new emerging technologies like Big Data, AI, Robotics, Machine Learning and Convergence are dependent on the connectivity layer that telecom provides. Our mission at Vodafone is to ‘connect everybody to live a better today and build a better tomorrow’. For us in India, high speed connectivity & increased mobile internet penetration will result in: Cities becoming smart cities and villages that will be digitally connected with new age technologies and innovative models engaging governments, education systems, healthcare & civic authorities. Virtual reality will transform lives. Trainee-surgeons could perfect their techniques in a realistic environment. The rise of wearables is happening. Smart phones will probably look nothing like todays phones. But instead will be integrated with personal devices like spectacles, wrist bands etc. A recent research by Vodafone recently indicated that the Internet of Things (IoT) is already entering the mainstream for many companies. Connected cars & fridges are no longer science fiction. The future is exciting, and we at Vodafone are looking forward to being at the forefront of this digital world.

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The Biggest Musical Blockbusters of the Year! 8 Singles, 1.5 months, 2.5 Cr Streams.

bas bajna chahiye


Original Songs Music Artists


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FESTIVE SPENDS RESULT IN 40% GROWTH IN SALES FOR BIG BRANDS According to estimates, festive offers attract an average of 40% growth in sales for most brands and almost 300% growth in online shopping. BY RUHAIL AMIN


or brand marketers and brand owners, festive season has always been a great occasion to boost sales. Being a country with a rich cultural diversity, festive marketing in India is observed almost all year round during Holi, Diwali, Christmas etc; whereas, in the west, this is prevalent only between November and January. According to estimates, festive offers attract an average of 40% growth in sales for most brands and almost 300% growth in online shopping. Some recent reports indicate that India Inc. is expected to spend Rs 24,000 crore on advertising and marketing in 2017 alone. This figure will be 10% more than what the industry spent in 2016. While e-commerce companies used to spend big during festive seasons, the trend has changed now. This year sectors such as consumer durable companies, automobile companies, fashion brands and banking companies and Fintechs are emerging among the biggest spenders. Brands across categories rolled out festive campaigns to attract customers in 2017, here are some marketing campaigns that managed to create festive buzz:


In its latest campaign Nokia has highlighted its global brand philosophy of “Unite For”, urging consumers to spend quality 30 | PITCH | NOVEMBER 2017

time with their loved ones this festive season. The campaign has managed to become a top trend across major social media platforms. The campaign has managed to garner over 17 million in less than a month.

and the need to raise one’s voice against such incidents.


Lenovo India’s new marketing campaign “Gift them a future” narrates the story of a banker


Mondelez India’s Tang released its marketing campaign during Eid. The commercial begins with a voiceover narrating how the holy festival of Ramadan should be welcomed every year by imbibing in children the value of doing good deeds and praying, while pouring love through the family’s favourite beverage, Tang. The film ends with the

struggling to keep himself busy after retirement. This festive marketing campaign has become a big hit across digital platforms and has garnered almost 3 million views in less than a month.


To Amazon India launched its #KaroMilkeTayyari marketing campaign to cash on the festive spending. The campaign visuals of a family enjoying Iftaar and Tang’s product shot with the voiceover “Tang, Maa ke haathonka pyaar”.


The brand released its marketing campaign on Holi which played around the phrase ‘bura na mano holi hai’. This marketing campaign was praised for speaking against the ritual of physical abuse against women

celebrates the joy of preparing together for the festive season, irrespective of where the family members are and how Amazon plays the role of an enabler in making this happen. #resilient #reliable #relevant



YADVINDER SINGH GULERIA Senior Vice President - Sales & Marketing, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd



ndia as one of the fastest growing major economy in the world, is seeing a major paradigm shift in “Role of Marketing”. In many ways, irrespective of the Industry one belongs to, the role of Marketing has evolved & transformed in the last few years. The pace of change in the current Indian economic landscape is unprecedented. Yesterday’s spoke markets are the Hubs today & in the emerging new markets, there are so many brands vying for the attention of millions of aspirational customers. With more purchasing power the consumption patterns are changing. Therefore, to match the fast changing ecosystem where disruptions are challenging the set norms, traditional marketing approach is threatened like never before. It reminds me of our childhood when as kids, we would dismantle everything of a new toy we laid our hands on, and start afresh to build something new using our own imagination. Today, disruptions are a reality therefore we have to

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embrace them as aggregators & strategically build constructive destruction as a part of company strategy. Marketing today plays a leading role in taking forward the direction of any company based on its vision & philosophy. We need to have a fair mix of short term & long term strategy – short term for immediate gratification of the low hanging fruit, and long term to seed & harvest in the blue ocean.

While understanding customer needs remains the core part of any marketing strategy, it is moving much beyond only product launches or deriving sales volumes & business expansion for the company. Marketing has to lead alignment of promotion, communication, public & media relation and connect the brand with all stakeholders to make it relevant. The challenge is to arrive at a perfect balance

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of rational & emotional brand connect. The Millennial & #hashtag generation is leading the new wave of consumption. They are constantly bombarded with information 24X7 (Voluntarily or Pushed) all 365 days of the year and every brand wants to hold a pivotal position in the Mind of their prospects. Therefore, Marketers must augment and embrace modern technology & practices. I would like to quote an adage “old keys don’t open new doors”. Organisation as a whole must inculcate a culture of innovation to surpass the competition. Moving away from the ordinary, at Honda 2 wheelers we encourage our marketing team to unleash their full potential and actively promote “Safe to Fail” experiments. To share an example, while Honda globally has been known by the tagline “The Power of Dreams”, the Indian scenario needed a very different approach. Adapting to the cultural narrative, the team brought forward the idea of ‘Sach Kar Denge Sapne’ as the corporate tagline & Honda managed to get closer to the masses on an emotional front. The new Brand identity recognizes India as the centre of global two-wheeler business for the coming times. It also expresses Honda’s vision and our

To match the fast changing ecosystem where disruptions are challenging the set norms, traditional marketing approach is threatened like never before. It reminds me of our childhood when as kids, we would dismantle everything of a new toy we laid our hands on and start afresh to build something new using our own imagination. Today, disruptions are a reality therefore we have to embrace them as aggregators & strategically build constructive destruction a part of company strategy.

intentions towards the future: ‘To share our dreams with others and make them a reality’. We further consolidated our identity with the ‘Honda is Honda’ campaign allowing Honda 2 Wheelers India to reinforce that ‘Wings’ are the true enablers for every Indian who can trust Honda’s legacy of technology, reliability and innovation to chase their dreams.” For brands like Honda, our customer base is fairly spread out over several generations having varied needs. To overcome the challenge of diverse demographics, analytics is the key liberator. Real time data analysis reduces Marketing’s workload drastically providing them with basic understanding of sales pattern & customer behaviour. While traditional ATL and BTL forms of marketing do not return accurate analytics, digital may lend marketing professionals a new lease of life thanks to the presence of real time number crunching. A word of advice to the modern day marketer; Never forget the three “A’s” of adaption – Accepting, Accommodating & Adjusting. We must use our sixth sense to have a fair mix of traditional & new media platforms like Digital. To summarise, between good intentions & intended benefits, lies the Great Wall of Execution. Therefore, the whole game of changing marketing revolves around Simplicity, Concentration & Speed with which the target user can be activated to engage with the brand.

* The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any agency of Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India Pvt. Ltd. Examples of analysis performed within this article are only examples. They should not be utilized in real-world analytic products as they are based only on very limited and dated open source information. #resilient #reliable #relevant

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Brand-expert & Founder, Harish Bijoor Consults Inc. BY JYOTSNA SHARMA

JS: How important is it for a brand to be resilient in contemporary times? HB: The very phrase “contemporary times” means that we live in times that have changed, will keep changing, and will forever keep us on our toes. That is the excitement of branding. Nothing is static. Brands need to be thinking entities that change and morph, keeping in pace with new circumstances, new consumers, new thoughts and new ways of life even. For a brand to be resilient, change is the important word that needs to be incorporated in its DNA. The old way of brandthink, which said that nothing must change is dead, if not dying. Brands that stick to that ethos find themselves re-defined in new circumstances. These are brands that are writing a selffulfilling prophesy of doom for themselves. Brands that do not change are less resilient than those that do. Yes, you must not change your basic brand offering, but you must change everything else, if necessary. You need to change to be relevant, original and innovative. Brand resilience is a verb, and a doing word that wants you to constantly innovate and constantly do the different, if necessary. MNC’s need to understand this and build this new reality into their brand-think. There are three MNC business models here at 36 | PITCH | NOVEMBER 2017

play. MNC’s that watch things happen, MNC’s that make things happen and MNC’s that wonder what happened. There is an urgent need for marketing organizations and corporations to re-define their business models to belong to the active set of those that make things happen. If not, they will be left watching and wondering what happened. If you look around in India itself, you will see very late reactions by brands and corporations to categories such as Ayurveda that they just keep looking at with quaint and cursory interest. The examples are many. This very attitude of “waiting and watching” has caught the biggest corporations in India on the back-foot. This is an error of not only omission, but of commission as well! To be resilient in contemporary times, brands need to listen. Listen to your customers. Listen to your competitors. Listen to the newentrant in the market. listen to the start-up kid. Listen to the upstart. And importantly, listen to your brand-consultant as well, provided he is wearing those real tough and crazy lenses that see into the future rather than into the perfect past and the present. For brands to be resilient in the future, brands need to be less pompous, less dependent on the past, less devoted to the rollercoaster present, and certainly more in sync with change.

JS: Do you think brands at times go overboard in their effort to attract customers? Too much advertising? Too much visibility? HB: Yes they do. Brand-managers and their marketing bosses have a budget to spend. Advertising agencies love to stoke this budget and massage it to a size that is good and safe to enter the market with. Once this budget is built into place, massaged to size, and fitted into the slots of traditional and non-traditional spends, many brand managers believe their task is done. This is totally wrong. The part they have just completed is maintenance stuff that will take care of the next quarter or two. Very few brand managers think of the medium-term future. Going overboard to attract current customers is something everyone does. Every Tom, Dick and Harish is comfortable with this. In the bargain, me-too branding and me-too marketing , me-too PR and me-too advertising clutters the market. The most robustly involved categories of FMCG, auto, durables, e-commerce and education are guilty on this count. Too-much advertising and too much visibility occurs in a market when competition is at a peak and when brands just refuse to talk to the competition. Instead, they prefer to talk to the consumer. And this is where all communication becomes a babble in a complete clutter. This is where consumers are turned off, instead of turned on! #resilient #reliable #relevant

JS: You once said ‘marketers need to learn and practice impatience.’ – please explain. HB: Marketers are essential people who understand patient people. We have lived in the past in a very patient economy. This was an economy (and please #resilient #reliable #relevant

note I use the past tense on this) that had consumers who were patient. Consumers emoted with marketers. Consumers waited in a queue to get what they wanted. Consumers knew and practiced waiting time. Consumers were patient to wait for a week to get

their water-purifier repaired. Consumers were patient enough to watch their favourite television serial six seasons after the US broadcast. That era is done with. The consumer today belongs to what I call the ‘impatient generation’. This generation NOVEMBER 2017 | PITCH | 37

IN CONVERSATION works in new-age industries and earns new-age salaries, believes in the concept of the biological bio-clock as well as the marketing bio-clock. Out here is there is no patience to wait for anything. This is a generation that understands not one, but two currencies. The first currency is time, and the second currency is money. Time is a currency that is respected more by this generation. Time is a currency that is more important than money even. Time is something you can only spend. Money is something that you can spend and earn back as well. Time is something you cannot stand and get topped up. Therefore, this is the impatient generation of my definition. This generation values time more than money. This generation demands that their time be respected more than their money even. Marketers are still in a limbo on this one. Marketers love and appreciate the consumer’s money. They are yet to respect and appreciate the consumer’s time. That is the marketing gap today. Marketers are good at marketing to patient consumers. They just don’t know how to handle and market to impatient consumers. The entire market is impatient today. In such a market, the patient marketer is an incompetence element. Marketers need to reassess their abilities to manage consumer time. Marketers who become as impatient as their consumers, if not more, will flourish. The rest will perish and hang in a limbo of their own making. I am looking for the “Impatient marketer” of my definition all over. Sadly, none to date. I work in the markets of the US, some parts of continental Europe, SE Asia, UK and India of course. I am yet to find a goldstandard impatient-marketer who is matched to this personal norm of mine. I am still looking. The day I find this marketer, I will prostrate before him. I am helping build this format 38 | PITCH | NOVEMBER 2017

Marketers love and appreciate the consumer’s money. They are yet to respect and appreciate the consumer’s time. That is the marketing gap today. Marketers are good at marketing to patient consumers. They just don’t know how to handle and market to impatient consumers. The entire market is impatient today. In such a market, the patient marketer is an incompetence element.

of impatience marketing across some 16 and odd corporations all across. I have been working on some for the past three years. Sad to say that none of these are still up to speed. It will take time, but it will happen. “Impatience marketing” is a format that requires to be imbibed and imbued by every corporation. it is quite like the Y2K change corporations had to go through as the clock turned 2000! Impatience marketing is something everyone needs to embrace. Some will see the clock turn, and some will not. But eventually, everyone will realize what needs to be done. Those ahead in the race will gain more than those who are yet to embrace the future.

JS: A brand you like for its marketing strategy? HB: That’s an easy one! Patanjali Ayurved for sure. The brand, at last financial year-end has

notched up a turnover of 10,560 crores INR from next to nothing. The brand has captured the minds, hearts, livers and gizzards of Indians and the Indian diaspora all over. Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balakrishna have collectively created India’s biggest FMCG success of recent decades. They have redefined consumption patterns across categories. They have brought repute to Ayurveda, and have built competitive marketing nooks for their offerings. They have eaten in to traditional strongholds of consumption like no one else has before. Yes, there are categories they must not be in, such as noodles(due to its dissonance with Ayurveda and the Ayurvedic tone, tenor and decibel), but by and large, I admire the company and its promoters and most certainly Baba Ramdev for what he has achieved in such a short time. Patanjali Ayurved has trifurcated Indian FMCG retail. At one end is the MNC from overseas, at another is the Indian MNC such as ITC Foods with its offerings, and the third frontier is the Baba-cool companies such as Patanjali Ayurved, Sri Sri Ayurved and 23 others.

JS: What are the upcoming trends in marketing? HB: I am excited about the Impatient consumer and the ability to revamp marketing onto the impatient marketing format. I am equally excited about 17 other trends I foresee ahead. I will of course not speak about any of these, as my 97 colleagues within the company will complain in a cacophony, as that is what we make our moneys from.

JS: What advice would you give young entrepreneurs? HB: Believe in marketing. Disbelieve the short-term sale volume. Believe in branding. Listen to your end-consumer. Wake up and smell the coffee of changed marketing circumstances. And act. Act quick and fast. #resilient #reliable #relevant





here is no denying the fact that Bollywood has been for long one the most influential media platforms that we have known. The unmatched power and reach of this medium has over the years been harnessed by marketers through in-film and in-cinema advertising, so much so that the pie of in-cinema advertising has already crossed the Rs 500 crore mark as per KPMG estimates. From coffee, chocolate, instant noodles to health drinks, in-cinema advertising is the perfect place for brands to create visibility for themselves, claims a 58-page elaborate report compiled by GroupM owned Interactive TV, the largest player in theatre advertising of cinemas in the country. The propensity to purchase is higher in theatres, claims the report titled, At a Theatre Near You. The report cites industry sources and claims that with a growth rate of 25 per cent in 2016, the sector has made it imperative to have a monitoring tool like CAM to strategically assist the advertisers. The report cites another GroupM report – This Year, Next Year – which found that in-cinema advertising has been growing year on year by 20 per cent over the last three years.

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Power of in-cinema advertising: One of the reasons for the fast growth of in-cinema advertising has been the effective targeting through captive audiences, unlike TV, Digital and Print. The fact is that marketers always worry about the consumer switching channels, closing a browser or choosing the YouTube ad skip button, but in-cinema advertising guarantees better attention span for the message to be communicated convincingly. This in turn has resulted in developing a great eco-system for brands to communicate with the audiences in the most impactful way. Experts believe that the in-cinema advertising in India is currently approximately at 1% of the total ad-spends and it could grow at 20% to 25% per annum over the next five years. However, innovation and Experiential Marketing will be key drivers for its growth. They also believe that as film content becomes more compelling and footfalls increase, there will be a clear need for brands to capture the in-cinema audiences. A number of brands are increasingly using in-cinema advertising to reach potential customers and all this is because of the sheer scope and range that in-cinema advertising offers

marketers, unlike traditional mediums. Apart from the ads that are shown on screen, the off-screen space, offers plenty of options ranging from seats, lobby, lift, staircase, washroom and interactive zones, ensuring that the message of the brand is not missed by the customers. Explaining how in-cinema advertising has allowed exhibitors to look at a new revenue stream, Siddharth Bhardwaj, Chief Marketing Officer - Head of Enterprise Sales, UFO Moviez, said, “In cinema advertising has grown tremendously in the last few years. Currently it is a Rs 600 crore market which is slated to grow further. The best part about in-cinema advertising is the fact that brands get a captive audience and with the release of big starrer films, there is huge scope for brands to use this platform. Currently, UFO Moviez has over 3,670 screens, with an aggregate seating capacity of approximately 1.75 million viewers and a reach of 1,892 locations across India. Our in-cinema advertising platform enables advertisers to reach a targeted, captive audience with high flexibility and control over the advertising process. Our in-cinema advertising platform also allows small exhibitors who otherwise are not able to effectively monetize their #resilient #reliable #relevant

advertising inventory due to their limited scale and reach to receive a greater share of advertisement revenue than they are able to using traditional advertising methods.” You may have to think twice to recall the first movie you saw in a cinema hall, but the Vicco Turmeric ad that played out during every movie remains fresh in the memory. Such is the power of in-cinema advertising, a sector that saw a phenomenal growth of 25 per cent in 2016 alone. Experts also believe that this steady growth rate has made in-cinema advertising a big talking point amongst the media agencies which are now betting high on the sector.

Factors leading to the boom Experts believe there are many factors leading to the boom, but primarily it is the increase in the number of multiplex screens. Also, there has been an awakening in the advertising and media buying community that in-theatre advertising offers a proper target audience which is captive during the time ads play out. “This means that cinema advertising has a good chance of creating recall value in the minds of potential consumers. As the multiplex segment offers different pricing to attract different segments, ads can also be diversified to reach different segments cleverly. The relatively lower costing of theatre advertising as opposed to other media is also something that adds to its effectiveness at the moment,” says Rahul Puri, Managing Director of Mukta Arts for Mukta A2 Cinema.

More from the report ‘At a Theatre Near You’ The report that goes deep into the minds of the audiences claims that brands placed during intervals have a higher recall value compared to the ads aired before the movie. Interestingly, 50-60 per cent of the respondents interviewed for the report claimed that they paid #resilient #reliable #relevant

more attention to in-cinema ads and that they find them more interesting than TV ads. Another reason that makes in-cinema advertising a hot spot is that an average consumer reaches the movie hall 15 minutes before show time, which allows enough and more branding opportunities for the advertisers to engage with consumers who are also digitally savvy. The report further claims that 71 per cent of these cinemagoers are in the 15-24 years age group. Also, 61 per cent of the total moviegoers come from the affluent class. Interestingly, it’s not the popularity of a movie or stars that attracts moviegoers to the screens anymore. Movie-going has become a habit for many families and 61 per cent people go to the screens out of habit or to spend time with their families.

Keeping the growth story intact With the proliferation of multiplexes, the ticket prices have soared considerably which in turn can have an impact on overall footfalls and thus in-cinema advertising. Underlining the need for a more affordable approach to movie watching experience so that the footfalls keep witnessing an upward trend, Atul Mohan, Editor, Complete Cinema said, “The audiences at movie theatres are very different from the TV and Print and Digital platforms. Firstly they have paid to watch the ads and secondly it is a captive audience which makes the communication more targeted. However, the critical thing to keep in mind is the cost of the movie tickets, especially in multiplexes, which directly impacts the footfalls. It is important for multiplex and theatre owners to keep the affordability factor in mind so that the footfalls for in-cinema advertising keep increasing.” “In cinema advertising is largely driven by major box office clashes. Even factors like

This means that cinema advertising has a good chance of creating recall value in the minds of potential consumers. As the multiplex segment offers different pricing to attract different segments, ads can also be diversified to reach different segments cleverly. The relatively lower costing of theatre advertising as opposed to other media is also something that adds to its effectiveness at the moment. Rahul Puri Managing Director, Mukta Arts for Mukta A2 Cinema

demonetisation, which affected ad spends in other domains, did not have any impact on incinema advertising. The point is that increasingly the cinema is becoming an alternate and reliable channel for the brands to interact with audiences,” commented filmmaker Ajay Arora. Highlighting how brands have increased their spends on in-cinema advertising over the years, Bhardwaj is hopeful that this platform will continue to witness robust growth in the time to come. “The best part about in-cinema advertising is the fact that it caters to a unique audience and allows us to advertise in select geographies with different propositions. As far its scope in the coming time is concerned, I believe it is going to play a significant role as brands have increased their spends on in-cinema advertising given the impact that it generates and the trend is likely to continue,” he added. NOVEMBER 2017 | PITCH | 41



KARTHI MARSHAN Sr. Executive Vice President & Head – Group Marketing, Kotak Mahindra Bank


Any marketer worth their salt must be intensely curious about practically everything. Only when you have a deep understanding about what makes people tick when no one is looking, do you have a spitting chance of really getting under their skin. And that is what marketing is about, it’s about being able to tease out the unmet needs your audience may not even confess to themselves.


id you know that Indian men search the phrase “I want to be breast-fed by my wife” four times more often than the average global man does? If you didn’t, dear Marketer, it is time to wake up and smell the coffee. More importantly, if reading about this made you squirm and look around shiftily, I would advise finding another line of work. There are two reasons why I say this. First, I believe any marketer worth their salt must be intensely curious about practically everything. Only when you have a deep understanding about what makes people tick when no one is looking, do you have a spitting chance of really getting under their skin. And that is what marketing is about, it’s about being able to tease out the unmet needs your audience may not even confess to themselves. Second, for a marketer, no subject can be taboo. Not because the scandalous stuff gets you attention, but because true empathy can only come with complete openmindedness. And a marketer is nothing if not empathetic. The best product and service ideas come when you place yourself firmly in the customer’s shoes, right? At Kotak, my colleagues in marketing demonstrate their open-

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mindedness in a number of ways. They may ask the facilities guy to send them CCTV footage from the branches so they can observe instore behaviour of customers and staff alike, without being intrusive. They may brainstorm with the finance folks about applying cost accounting principles to marketing projects, to help prioritisation. They may offer ideas to the product and business owner to consider redesigning the product so that it costs us less to make, and hence can be priced lower. They may recommend changes in the screen designs of the app, from a functionality point of view, not just aesthetics alone. In other words, we poke our nose in everybody’s business. On the other hand, we are also building a culture where many things that sat in the marketing department’s ambit in the past, are leaving to join other departments, or setting up their own beachheads elsewhere. For instance, customer service via social media now sits adjacent to the phone and email customer service unit, supervised by them. We are even visualising a day when every single branch employee will be a social media respondent to customer queries. Customer analytics sits alongside business, and business analytics. Performance advertising on digital media is run by the sales unit directly, instead of being a media buying service from marketing. Consumer

research is now done by pretty much everybody in the company, including folks in customer experience, service quality, product, et al. The CSR practice wears the brand hat along with the brand heart, to come up with CSR initiatives that are in sync with the brand voice and vision. In other words, we don’t see marketing as anybody’s jagir anymore, in fact we see the marketing mindset as a virus that needs to infect every role, and proliferate freely. On the other hand, because the customer is a click away from interacting directly with our brand, our CEOs, our boards, other customers as well as all other stakeholders like the media, regulators et al, marketers have no choice but to work on making their brands totally authentic in both their proactive as well as reactive communications, broadcast as well as narrowcast. This is surely a new world for marketers. A world that demands mettle with meticulousness, messaging with mindfulness. Into this world, my marketers, let our discipline awake. P.S.Before I sign off, I must share, that the nugget at the start of this piece comes from a brilliant book called Everybody Lies, by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz. A book that makes the point that data science is both accessible as well as imperative, insightful as well as intuitive. Just what the doctor ordered for tomorrow’s marketer. Disclaimer: Views expressed are personal.

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r. Lal Path Lab was the first to introduce Vacutainers for accurate and hygienic testing, the first to introduce blood cell counters and autoanalysers, the first to test hormones, the first to do tissue typing for organ transplants, the first to do HIV/AIDS testing, the first to test for metal toxicity with atomic absorption spectrometer, and also the first diagnostic company in India that had a partnership for sending samples abroad for specialized tests not available in India, and as it grew it was also the first to receive samples from abroad for testing. Established in 1949, by Dr. SK Lal on Hanuman Road in central Delhi, it was first called Central Clinical Laboratory and had blood bank services added to it in 1957. His son, Dr. Arvind Lal took over in 1977, and at that time

they would see approximately 30 patients a day and today they test 55,000 patients a day.Last year, they testbed 13.5 million patients. In 1980, Dr. Arvind Lal started to evaluate if home collection of samples would be possible given the fact that patients had to travel long distances. In 1982, he established decentralized collection centers. Instead of renting space for collection these centers, he offered 20% revenue to people who would organize sample collection from their premises. Today they have they have 189 labs and 1600 collection centers. Further, Dr. Lal’s lab innovated and created special transportation boxes for samples, that could maintain a set temperature of between 2-8 degree Celsius, which was

DR. ARVIND LAL required while transporting the samples from the collection centers. In 2001, Dr. Arvind Lal was appointed physician to the President of India and in 2009, he received the Padma Shri and the Honorary rank of Brigadier in the Army Medical Corps. Over the years many laboratories have come into India but Dr. Lal Path lab has persisted and has continued to grow.

The healthcare industry in India is expected to touch USD160 billion by 2017 & USD280 billion by 2020 (Indian Brand Equity Foundation) • Healthcare has become one of India’s largest sectors both in terms of revenue & employment. The industry is growing at a tremendous pace owing to its strengthening coverage, services and increasing expenditure by public as well private players • During 2008-20, the market is expected to record a CAGR of 16.5 per cent • The total industry size is expected to touch USD160 billion by 2017 & USD280 billion by 2020 • As per the Ministry of Health, development of 50 technologies has been targeted in the FY16, for the treatment of diseases like Cancer & TB • Government is emphasising on the eHealth initiatives such as Mother & Child Tracking System (MCTS) & Facilitation Centre (MCTFC) • Indian companies are entering into merger & acquisitions with domestic & foreign companies to drive growth & gain new markets. Courtesy: Indian Brand Equity Foundation

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ndia’s Gross Value Added (GVA) growth was estimated at 6.1% during the last quarter of the financial year 2016-2017, pulling down the overall GVA growth for the year

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to 7.1%. The much talked about demonetisation of certain currency notes did make a dent on the local economy as production, trade and consumption were impacted. But despite the slight slowing down of growth, India is still considered one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Economic experts from the Interna-

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dicted that this year, the monsoons will fulfil 96% of the normal rainfall expected. But the sector did not just owe its growth rate to the vagaries of nature. New innovations and technological advances mean that farmers are currently better equipped to decide on the sowing dates yielding higher crop productivity. Given that a large part of our country is still rural and dependant on agriculture, the growth of this sector will certainly boost the overall economy. But it’s not just agriculture that’s doing well. Other indicators are also significantly positive when it comes to growth. A bullish stock market set an all time record high of 30,000 points in May 2017. Inflation has also been drastically reduced from over 10% in 2014 to less than 4% at the time of going to publication. Funds are also cheaper in comparison to previous years. REPO rates are down to about 6.25% from a high of 8.5% during 2011-12. Moreover, given that this decline has been continuous, it can also be viewed as an indicator of a steady financial policy. tional Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank are expecting the country to bounce back if the reform process maintains its current momentum.

Despite a slow growth, economic experts such as the World Bank and IMF continue to be positive about India’s economic outlook. 16

Growth indicators include good monsoons for two consecutive years, bullish market, reduced inflation, continuously declining REPO rate and cheaper funds. CHANGE IN CONSUMER PRICE INDEX (BASE YEAR 2012) 6.07 5.47








Apr’ Jul’ 16 16



Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 14-15 14-15 14-15 14-15 15-16 15-16 15-16 15-16 16-17 16-17 16-17 Agri. Sector


Construction Financial and related sectors

Trade and related sector GVA SOURCE: HTTP://MOSPI.NIC.IN

With the exception of agriculture, nearly all other sectors have experienced lower levels of GVA growth or stayed more or less stagnant since the beginning of last year. A good monsoon brought in cheer for the agriculture sector, enabling a good growth rate. This is likely to continue into 2017. The Indian Meteorology Department (IMD) has pre-

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In terms of fiscal deficits too, the picture looks rather healthy in comparison to previous years. A report by India Ratings and Research estimates that there may be a marginal increase in aggregate fiscal deficit to 3.3% of GDP in 2017-18, from a forecasted scenario of 3.2%. Foreign direct investment inflows are also at their peak, going from USD 55.56 billion in 2015-16 to more than USD 60.1 billion in 2016-171 . To a large extent, this increase owes to the relaxation in FDI regulations 1.

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“Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak” – Rachel Zoe


his being the new mantra for generation X, it’s time for the fashion world to buckle up. Growing GDP, rapid urbanisation, an explosion of choices and brands, mushrooming of shopping destinations and rise of e-commerce are undoubtedly some of mega changes that we have witnessed, benefitted from and responded to. The Indian fashion industry, too, has been a beneficiary of the growing disposable income and changing lifestyle of the Indian consumer. The consumer base for fashion industry is not restricted to the stereotypical young, urban and affluent but has expanded beyond geographic boundaries i.e. large cities, age groups and income classes. Rising affluence, urbanisation and literacy have together changed the Indian outlook and are all set to impact the fashion industry in a big way. According to data from Kantar IMRB’s TGI, half the Indian population today likes to keep up with latest trends and the number has grown by 13% in a years’ time. Grooming is the need of the hour. There is a growth of 12% among people who believe that grooming is essential for being successful in life. And categories catering to this need - be it deodorants, face washes or beauty creams, are all showing a double digit growth in the last few years. 48 | PITCH | NOVEMBER 2017

‘Physically’ Different from our Ancestors The average Indian today is taller than his or her parents. Between 1914 and 2014, the average height of Indian men increased by about 3 centimeters, reaching 165 centimeters — or 5 feet 5 inches — while the average height of Indian women grew taller by 5 centimeters to 153 centimeters or 5 feet 1 inch. Even if one were to look at the BMI index, it is fast expanding at both the ends – the underweight and overweight. Kantar IMRB’s TGI data shows that almost 20% of the Indians are underweight while 13% of them are obese and 42% are in the normal range. What this implies is that every three out of four Indians are either normal or obese, whereas all couture culture is designed to target only the skinny. Kantar IMRB’s study of the male wardrobe – MARS revealed that the top problem with readymade garments is the availability of relevant size especially for the tops – across demographics. And the fact that sizes differ by brands is yet another concern which has never been addressed or probably even thought about?

Introducing Men-Lancholy No longer is grooming only for women. They are as much into maintenance as their fairer counterparts. In fact, it is often said that the men today are the women of 80s. Around 49% of the #resilient #reliable #relevant



t is no news that digital ad spends in India are growing and growing fast. As per KPMG India – FICCI India Entertainment Industry Report, 2017, the advertising revenues on digital in 2016 grew by 28% over 2015 (over an average ad spends growth of 11.2%). In absolute terms as well, digital with INR 77 billion advertising spends and a share of 15% is the third largest medium after TV and print. Given this fast pace of growth in digital advertising, marketers now have a pressing need to understand how the medium works when it comes to return on investment (ROI). There are multiple questions that need to be addressed: 1. How does the medium work? Do the rules of other traditional media apply or is it completely different? 2. What does one need to do differently while deploying digital? Are there any dos and don’ts 3. Does this work in conjunction with other media or against them? Are there any synergies one can get by deploying digital? 4. What are the right measures of ROI when it comes to digital? #resilient #reliable #relevant

How Does the Digital Medium Work? Marketers have been in the past treating digital as an extension of traditional media like TV and print as it combines both video (extension of TV) and banners/stills (extension of print). While this might be true from the supply side, the consumers don’t consume digital the same way they consume TV or print. As per Kantar Millward Brown’s AdReaction report, consumers are in a lean-back relaxed mode watching TV. They are most lean forward when they are consuming content from digital. This is probably because of the interactivity that digital offers. The other key difference which seems obvious, but is more often than not overlooked, is that when it comes to advertising, TV has advertising that is broadcast and hence is able to reach those audiences that are in front of the TV at the time of broadcast. When it comes to digital the consumer gets the ad served when he or she is online and hence the opportunity to see (OTS) is more under the control of the publisher. Given all of the above – digital being lean forward, interactive and better equipped for micro targeting – does appear by default that digital NOVEMBER 2017 | PITCH | 49

should deliver better than other traditional media. However the fact is that digital like any other medium has its own peculiarities and one needs to understand how best to deploy digital when it comes to brand building. Marketers often have queries on what their brand should do to ‘go digital’. Marketers should not bother about what their brand can do on digital but check what digital can do for their brand. It does not make sense to just jump on to the digital bandwagon because everybody else is doing it, but it is important to understand what is it that the brand wants to communicate and if at all digital can do that in an efficient manner. Do the rules of other traditional media apply to digital or is it completely different? What does one need to do differently while deploying digital? There are some aspects to be looked at when it comes to deploying digital successfully 1. Measuring ROI on digital – media synergies

and brand fragmentation 2. Consumer behaviour during digital consumption and hence the precautions to be taken while designing the creative 3. Ad receptivity on digital and the importance of ad formats 4. The challenges of effective targeting - Viewability and brand safety

Measuring ROI on Digital – Media Synergies & Brand Fragmentation It has been a quintessential question on what is the correct measure of ROI on the digital medium. Digital, by its very nature, gives marketers the options to measure at an universe level what they have been measuring on TV and other traditional media through sample based surveys: n Reach GRPs or impressions served,



2.2 0.44 0.68 0.93




*Power Score is the prediction of the brand’s volume share based on brand perceptions and Premium Score indicates the premium consumers are willing to pay basis their brand perceptions.

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THE GOOD FORCE Gears of Communication. Wheels of Change.


A Special Feature by:


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hese are exciting times. We are serving and learning from consumers at the same time. We live in a time when we can embrace new toolsets and capabilities that help us do so much more for consumers. Tools and technologies that can learn, relearn and unlearn. While what customers want to teach us hasn’t changed so much over the years, it is within our reach now to be far more connected, aware and

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sensitive to their needs. In a connected world, it is not just about vast quantum of data that we have accumulated but how we combine our understanding of evolving consumer needs to make interactions and experiences fulfilling. This is where I see the largest opportunity to make a difference. If we listen carefully, there are really three things customers want us to learn and execute – fast: Know me, Simplify for me and Assist me – the right way and at the right time. In today’s age of micro moments and mobile first,

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knowing consumers translates to ‘Personalisation’. And, there is so much potential for a brand to build an intimate relationship with consumers. Intelligence driven by technology that lets marketers choose a ‘Hi’ over a ‘Hello’ or help combine unrelated data sets to make product recommendations relevant is key to build a sustainable relationship with customers. Marketers need to learn that knowing customers is not about overwhelming them with familiarity gleaned from data but by being sensitive and context aware. It is really like being aware about how hard you are pressing your customers’ hand in a warm handshake? Knowing consumers means being transparent, available and accurate for them, any time and every time. Knowing consumers at a point in time is as important as it is to keep intelligently learning and changing along with them. Technology now lets us do this by continuous learning and improving experiences for consumers. We need to learn that consumer behaviour is not


linear anymore. Consumer paths and journeys traverse multiple touchpoints and channels before consumers finish what they intended to satisfactorily. Consumers deal with excessive information from media, social, peers and the world at large and have to deal with distortion and complicated options all the time. Cutting the clutter would mean deploying the right technologies to simplify paths and journeys, help customers make choices and lead with content that is as assistive as it is informative. A deep understanding of customer behaviour is now possible through a variety of tools, it is up to us to learn how to join the dots for the consumer. Simplifying for the consumer means keeping the technology ‘under the hood’ while making the

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ride smooth. Customers want us to surface the simplicity by absorbing the complexity. Making paths shorter and decisions easier help customers coming back happier. This is what they want us to learn. Millennials love now and here. This is truly the age of on-demand help. Consumer teach us that they hate being on hold and are comfortable helping themselves. However, in the unlikely event of ever needing assistance beyond self-help, consumers expect help at their finger-tips and by that I mean intelligent help. Help that knows them, recognises what they need help with and is ready with options that can help finish what they have started. Help that is contextual and not persistent and clingy. Truly exciting times to say the least. A sweet spot for customers and all of us to be the best we can for them. As we embrace technology to meet these expectations, let’s not forget that we are marketers first, and as such, need to stay close to the consumer. We have to learn to listen more and choose from technology options wisely. It is within our power to invoke the best of technologies and put it to task. But, nothing complements technology more than listening to what customers want as true marketers. Happy Graduation!

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KARAN KUMAR Head Brand & Marketing , Fabindia

THE CANDY SHOP REINVENTED For the curious, a world of wonder where CRM, digital and social media marketing converge!


was that child who always stood fascinated in a candy shop – in part wonder and part anticipation. I must confess, I feel the same today when I see myself surrounded by what is on display on the shelves of the digital environment we live in. What is also exciting is that while there are some truisms that we know of, the last words on the endless possibilities of this digital ecosystem have not been spoken yet. The potential interplay of channels and platforms that are available today have the power to facilitate extremely potent consumer engagement initiatives in an ecosystem that is increasingly

in the ecosystem she cohabits for the most part. My nascent experiments on marrying brand-owned, CRMderived customer data with ‘Custom Audiences’ on Facebook have been very exciting. The sheer ability to reach your current consumer on a platform she inhabits, and at the same time, the potential opportunity to reach new audiences (“look-alikes”) who mirror her behaviour, is truly exhilarating! I believe that the efficacy of this route of campaign planning and targeting will be exponentially higher versus the more traditional “spray & pray” approach that marketers have

These are truly exciting times and the last words on the seemingly endless opportunities in the digital ecosystem have not yet been spoken. witnessing abundance of nonlinear and unconventional approaches targeted at the ultimate objective of marketing: the ‘holygrail’ of earning consumer preference by creating brand proposition through better understanding of needs and reaching her with that proposition 54 | PITCH | NOVEMBER 2017

employed so far in conventional media plans. Yet another admittedly exciting experiment of mine revolved around hyper-local targeting of customers and audiences. The genesis for this experiment was anchored in yet another fundamental challenge faced by

almost every retailer who has a large and well spread physical store footprint - using marketing on social and digital media to drive footfalls into stores. The route we took was to white-list our stores on Facebook, and while mapping our customer database living in a vicinity of 3 km to these individual stores in the pilot territory. As a result, we served campaigns on products that were available at the stores to which the audiences were mapped, whilst also providing them the option of getting directions (via Bing maps) to their nearest store. As I mentioned earlier, these are truly exciting times and the last words on the seemingly endless opportunities in the digital ecosystem have not yet been spoken. Infact, I would even caution marketers to guard against and not be in a hurry to find one! It is these endless opportunities that make these present times truly exciting for a marketer to thrive in. We must embrace this massive ocean of knowledge where quite honestly the potential to explore is only limited by either the marketer’s own imagination and appetites or perhaps by the company (of media owners and partners) he keeps. #resilient #reliable #relevant

DIGITAL MARKETING HIMANSHU BAKSHI Director - Marketing & HCN Science, Danone India


‘DIGITAL: CONVERSATIONS WITH PEOPLE, NOT CONSUMERS’ 72% internet users in India are under the age of 35 years which is an opportunity for all marketers. The millennials that we know have grown up surrounded by digital exposure and the trappings of marketing.


ncreasingly, many players in the food sector are foraying into the world of digital, influencing social media conversations. Digital is constantly evolving and shifting, breakthroughs are made every moment of the day, and keeping up with these moments is where the responsibility and the challenge lies. India is all prepped up for this change since we had 373 million number of internet users in 2016 and this strength is mirrored equally in the social media presence of Indians with India being home to 241 million users of Facebook and 22 million Twitter users. The digital medium which is a relatively new entrant in the traditional media mix is gaining ground among marketers in India. Confluence of factors like – millennial population, increase in screen time spends on digital devices and flexible content preferences and formats have shaped the story of digital in India. However, the basic tenets of marketing don’t change with this medium. There is no ‘one’

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recipe for success with digital and social media marketing; but I believe that being relatable and relevant take your brand a long way. ‘Be where your consumers are, and talk to them as their friends would’. Trends come and go faster than you can scroll your thumb across your Facebook feed. It’s a gentle reminder to brand managers and marketers that you are not competing with your market category; you’re competing with every person, brand and ad that you see on any social network. People have moved to engaging and interacting with their mobile screens – and that little device is the gateway for big impact opportunities through conversations, which enable brands to have a two-way dialogue and make a connection. At Danone, we have focused our efforts on this medium to create consumer awareness about issues which are topical and relevant to Indians. Our brands like Protinex have not only managed to target the distinct subsets of

consumers but also adopted the tone and approach of the people we talk to. Our campaigns like # Something missing, or #TakeTheHint challenge for Protinex was conducted at the onset of The Protein Week, and the conversation entailed more than a thousand participants taking the pledge to live a healthier lifestyle. We took a fresh, youthful approach for our fast-moving dairy product Danone Chocolate Smoothie with a rap video ‘Take a Chill Fill’, which helped us connect directly with millennials. The quirky rap set the tone for the young generation to opt for a tasty yet more nutritious alternative to ‘snacking’. 72% internet users in India are under the age of 35 years which is an opportunity for all marketers. The millennials that we know have grown up surrounded by digital exposure and the trappings of marketing. They are evolved and can distinguish between the messages that are plied on to them, which make them a tough demographic to cater to. The key is not to sell overtly to them. They have a predilection for content which is shareable and relatable. If we are able to create content which matches their wavelength, they’re more likely to remember the brand. This is the key in today’s digital world that is dominated by conversations, rather than by ‘hard sell’. #resilient #reliable #relevant

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Aparajita Misra

BY APARAJITA MISRA, EDITORIAL LEAD LOUDEST.IN India’s oldest record company took us by surprise last May 2017, by launching a retro device in the digital age, called Carvaan. If we take a deeper look it involves interesting technology behind the vintage feel. Carvaan is a digital audio player, with 5000 evergreen songs from yesteryears. It comes with in built speakers, defi-nitely cares about your moods, you can operate the library without internet, and not to miss out on Ameen Sayani’s legendary voice on Geetmala’s shadow. It is a multipurpose portable music player which looks like an old radio set with big but-tons, a jog-dial, an inbuilt speaker and a small screen that displays the name of the song being played. With All the “noise” around, marketeers must adapt a unique approach to reaching and keeping their consumers, in this case, keeping your listeners engaged. Making emotional connections in the simplest ways possible could be the great solution to interact. Would you agree that an emotional connection is more important than customer satisfaction?

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Here are 5 key strategies I gathered from the recent launch of Caravan.


First, Data is Vital SaReGaMa has a music repertoire across several genres and languages. Its library has over one lakh tracks. This data assisted them in joining the right data sources, giving them the ability to go beyond whats hot to uncover or bring back old sounds via their latest product launch. It has also helped SaReGaMa in understanding their consumer demand and the unmet gap which was calling to be filled. By building a real-time musical social graph, this record company made the right investments in musical talent, and product, and also assisted in executing a smarter marketing plan that targets specific listeners and buyers. Data is a way for the record industry to deliver better music at a lower cost, creating an improved business model that can be successful with the right data platform. The intelligence derived from Big Data has proven to predict how we listen and buy music in today’s time. With the latest streaming model, the floodgates clearly stand wide open. Compa-nies have access to detailed information such as when, how, where, and who is listening to what. Which was likely to be a big help for Caravan’s birth! As a result of gathering real-time, detailed information and generating unique in-sights across the music ecosystem, Big Data is clearly the driving force in the rise of the music industry in India.


Second, Consider The Experience You Offer SaReGaMa understood the shared understanding of who their most valuable customers are and how to meet their needs. They struck the right chord to engage a forgotten

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BUSINESS OF MUSIC segment of listeners i.e. the cool ones from the 1960s to 1980s. We build brand loyalty by giving our listeners the feeling that they are important to us. There are many levels to this — from using the language they’ll connect with, to treating them like they matter on social media, or in this case by launching a product which made them feel important. Engaging with who they are apart from a hand with a wallet will build customer loyalty.


Third, Humanise & Make it Personal Carvaan, relates to memories, emotions, it relates to the

listener’s moods. It’s re-freshing to experience something that would make you smile. It’s essential to re-member, as a business, an artist, or a manager, that you have to build a connection. It is essential to create a brand experience which is more emotional than cognitive. I still remember tearing up in joy during an AR Rahman’s concert, it was an expe-rience seeded but seemed so natural. The various factors which contributed to this were the sound, stage production, visuals, the dim lights, and lit lighters which accompanied a unique version of my favourite song being sung. It was the consistency, the continued relationship which was maintained by AR Rahman’s team with the fans. That experience until today ignites a certain emotion in me, the thought of it covers me in goosebumps, and I can associate it with a memory. Carvaan, ignites memories,

emotions and ensures a longterm relationship with their listeners. The key is to “humanize” the brand through products and services that solve problems. You want people to get excited about your business, and that can’t happen without establishing an emotional connection. That means treating every touchpoint with your customers like a face-to-face conversation. What information would you share? How would you talk about your products? Would you be smiling? Consumers have a lot of choices. It’s your job as a marketer to give them a reason to care. Bingo! Carvaan definitely was a risk worth taking, well done SaReGaMa!


Fourth, Fulfilling a Need India’s population aged 50 and over is expected to double by 2050 when nearly one-third of its total population would fall in this age group, according to a US census. SaReGaMa, consciously or not took a very important step here by making a neglected segment of our population feel important, by launching a product specially designed for them. From the point of view of meeting an unmet demand. Even from the point of view of having no player addressing this segment when it comes to music, hence opening a unique revenue stream as a record label. In the age of digital, Carvaan is seen as a more personal, tangible and meaningful present than, say, an iTunes voucher. The introduction of Carvaan can be linked to the disposable nature of modern formats like streaming and downloading and the shortattention span generation as well.

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In my opinion, It is all about the process. There are so many distractions in today’s date, we’re always doing 1000 things. Listening to Carvaan is something to do without your phone, it’s something where you can stop and enjoy it and get rid of all the other distractions. It’s the way older generation like to consume music. They will stream and download as well maybe, but people who really pay attention to music like sitting on a couch and listening to a record, in this case, Carvaan. The unmet demand of having something tangible, something real, emotional, and experiential can never be replaced by the online alternatives of music consump-tion. This could be a food for thought, while technology can be immersive and futuristic, Carvaan strikes the perfect balance between then and now.

through retro roots — and it’s called nostalgia marketing. Unless you live under a rock, chances are you’ve heard something about the interactive mobile game that took the world by storm. ‘Pokémon GO’ an extraordinary example of nostalgia marketing done well. But — and maybe even more importantly — the app also offers great insight into the power of coupling nostalgia with modern relevance. Precisely the path SaReGaMa as a record label followed as well. It definitely is too early to judge if the product would take the country by storm, but’ we’ll be watching.

Old is new! Old is Gold! Gold is Evergreen! I can go on with the idioms, but you get the point right? Carvaan undoubtedly was a great way for SaReGaMa’s come back using Nostalgia Marketing!

In the Indian music space, as you might have noticed, there is a rise of cover songs, artists on YouTube, and television, Vidya Vox, Penn Masala, Aditya Narayan, or even multiple brands recent one being “Nexa” considering Monica Dogra, Vishal Dadlani to cover international hits. In the digital age, piggybacking on covers has been a popular way for artists to get attention; this too falls under a category of nostalgia marketing. The numbers have been speaking, more and more YouTube stars are discovered via tributes.

Be it choker necklaces, Harry Potter or Pokémon, the resurrection of vinyl, it feels like a serious blast from the past. As the years go by, we all develop a certain de-gree of nostalgia for our younger days. The games we played, the food we ate, the music we listened to – they all make us feel something. Tapping into fond memo-ries can be an invaluable tactic, especially for engaging your listeners. Globally, smart brands are engaging

On a closing note, In an age of impersonal digital media, building social connectedness through nostalgia is an easy way for companies to leverage the optimistic feelings that often accompany walks down memory lane. Associating brand messaging with positive references from the 90s, 80s — and even the 60s-70s in this case — humanizes brands, forging meaningful connections between the past and present.


Fifth, The Power Of Nostalgia Marketing

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Here are reasons to make it a point to allocate budget for music marketing as you dive into your planning months! BY APARAJITA MISRA, EDITORIAL LEAD LOUDEST.IN


ndia is a land of 27 states, 7 union territories, 122 major languages and 1599 other languages and multiple forms and genres of music. In this vast landscape of diversity it definitely takes more than traditional methods of marketing to ensure visibility, brand recall, customer loyalty and all that you plan to achieve when you sit and allocate your marketing budgets. The music used in your communications has a far greater effect on the consumer than most marketers think. “Music is kind of the unsung hero of advertising,” says Daniel Jackson, CEO of London-based Cord Worldwide, a music licensing firm specialising in music in branding. Believe it, or not! Music plays a vital role in your marketing, it shouldn’t be the lowest on priority as you plan! And by the end of this article I’ll be able to convince you as to why! Here are a few key reasons why you must make music an integral part of your brand marketing!

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FOR INCREASED VISIBILITY Each Talent, Festival and like IPs, come with their own followers and fans! There is a whole existing set of followers of music, and fans who are your potential consumers. Multiply your visibility by artist collaborations and festival collaborations. This can be done via various channels and methods. Ensure consistency once you find your right match! A brilliant example for Coca Cola to establish a cultural

identity with their brand was starting the Coke Studio series. Coke Studio’s channel on YouTube has 1.8 Million subscribers, they average out to 4.5 Million viewers per month! If we come down to numbers in terms of impressions, increased in sales, revenue from digital streams itself, you’d see the true power of this collaboration. Coke Studio series is a great example of a long-term relationship between the musicians and the brand, directly connecting them to joint viewership of fans and consumers. Increased Visibility!

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Music fans are loyal! The formula is simple, the moment you (as a brand) attach yourself to the artist, or a festival, you end up sharing the fan’s loyalty! From consuming digitally, to buying merchandise, to buying tickets, and more, fans are always consuming. Have you ever compared your social media traction to that of an artist with a similar-sized following? The difference is staggering, showcasing a reason in itself to use music in marketing. Kanye West’s Yeezy Boost collaboration with Adidas Originals is a brilliant example to share how fan’s loyalty and brand loyalty when combinedhad the Yeezy Boost 350 Low, West’s second style in the line, sold out in just 12 minutes. West has just

one shoe collaboration, but the entrepreneur and rapper has carefully crafted his fashion image, and his many followers watch him closely. The result of such brand-building has been one of the most-buzzed-about sneaker releases of the year: the Yeezy Boost, which debuted during New York Fashion Week.


FOR POWERFUL ENGAGEMENT When you as a brand plug yourself into a music property (Talent, Festival, Concert, gig series etc), you’re opening multiple modes of engagement via the channel you invest into. It could be the clothes #resilient #reliable #relevant

that the artists wear, or even the technology used at the festivals. From pop-up shops, branded tents and interactive events hosted by relevant brands inside the festival grounds, as well as off-site, digital influencer-driven events that create content to engage both festival-goers and the audiences watching from home, to festival fashion collections, the competition is fierce and growing every year. An interesting example of engaging your customers via music is Ola’s partnership with Apple Music, for immersive incar entertainment experience. It’s was excellent way of engaging their rider, creating a unique experience through the journey via Ola Play Rides. This launch followed in the footsteps of Uber, which had partnered with Spotify in 2014. The integration was present on Uber and Spotify and was available on all Uber and Spotify Premium users on iOS and Android.


FOR CREATING A COMMUNITY, A TRIBE, A CULTURE! Genres and artists, build a tribe behind them. Music fanship is both deeply tribal and emotional. It is driven by sponsorship, events, merchandising, media, social influences, individual stars, and group popularity. It’s very interesting to understand fan psychology, be it in sports or music. The fans are the ones contributing most of the revenue

to the music industry. They’re the fans buying merchandise, supporting artists on Patreon, going to shows, and posting on social media about their favourite artists. Brand’s by banking on a specific music culture can attach their brand identity to support a community. This is will result in sharing loyalty and increase awareness as well as attachment towards your brand, as to the artist. One of the best suited examples would be of Adidas Originals India, that decided

to invest into street culture, constituting of Hip-Hop, R&B, Rap and more. In India, adidas originals was noted investing into independent artists who acted as one of their most influential ambassadors to drive the originals culture in India. Believe it or not, via multiple channels they delivered their support towards street culture and gained trust of a whole community in India. Today they stand to be the only brand India relates to when it comes to street culture. This prove to NOVEMBER 2017 | PITCH | 63

BUSINESS OF MUSIC be not only cost effective, but it saw lightening effects on the rest of the community. People wear Stan smiths and jeremy scott, or Yeezy Boost almost like a jersey representing street art!



Brand recall plays a crucial role in getting more customers to stick with your brand as well as to buy your brand repeatedly. When you as a customer buy a certain product, once the product is finished or deteriorated, instinctively you would like to purchase from the same brand, as the experience it has offered you was pleasant. When you use music for marketing, you’re creating an unaided brand recall. “Unaided Brand Recall Value” is an essential aspect marketeers must look at in today’s competitive business environment as it would mean a competitive advantage against their rivals. A brand’s value is directly connected to its presence in the memory of consumers. There is no better way to establish this connection than via music. Remember the famous tune of Airtel? It already is ringing on your head isn’t it? Doesn’t this often happen whenever you think of Airtel or vice versa? Its a great example of using music to strengthen brand recall.


TO OPEN YOURSELF TO NEWER OPPORTUNITIES While Indian music industry in India is relatively new, its BIG and growing by the day. Social media has removed almost all barriers to entry, allowing anyone to become a successful artist. It’s a a country where film industry drives music industry. There are of case studies that can be implemented and experimented in the music space, when it comes to collaborations. Now Imagine having an energy drink that uses a local 64 | PITCH | NOVEMBER 2017

rock artist’s music in your marketing video. Say the band shoots their own music video, and they choose to drink your product in the video. Then the video goes viral. You may decide to further your relationship with the band and sponsor which states they drink your product on stage at shows. Now their song has become a hit on the radio, and they go on a world tour. Your visibility from sponsoring the band could help grow your business into a worldwide empire. It might sound unrealistic, but it might be more probable than you think.


HEY! IT’S COST EFFECTIVE, WITH HIGHER, FASTER & MEASURABLE RETURNS! You know nothing is for free! But, in this case what you need to consider when you decide to advertise with music is how scalable this cost can be, along with your options.If you want to align with an artist that’s sold millions of albums, it might cost you millions. But, local and regional artists – many of whom will become larger, successful artists – are a great alternative. Local artists on the rise have high levels of engagement and loyalty because their audience is a mix of fans and friends. Plus, the cost of aligning your brand with a local artist is much more affordable than you think.

Indian Independent artists, you’d be surprised to know have a global flavour to them as much as they are culturally rich, fresh and diverse. They have a huge potential to take your brand a long way, you’re talking about a mutually benefitting partnership here and banking on some of the most influential artists. To name a few extremely talented Indian independent artists, Nucleya, Prateek Kuhad, Parekh and Singh, are all GLOBAL! Why not grow with them! Or how about helping some artists grow for that matter? Conversions in this case work like magic! After all it’s influencer marketing, as organic & direct as it can get. Film soundtracks are frequently used to demonstrate the power of music to make an emotional connection. When we think of Bollywood, we think of bright vibrant musicals appreciated and celebrated globally! Music in marketing isn’t just a passive background: whether it’s attention grabbing or supporting your message it still communicates. Here’s what you have to remember, pairing the wrong music with your brand may have a strongly detrimental effect: if consumers interpret the emotional messages of your music as contradicting your brand personality and values they may start to distrust the brand. If Air India used heavy metal, for example, it would contradict their classic image, don’t you agree? #resilient #reliable #relevant



HEMANT MALIK Divisional Chief Executive Food Division, ITC Ltd



RAVI DESAI Director, Brand Marketing Amazon

MEERA IYER Head Marketing Big Basket

M C CARIAPPA President Sales & Marketing Jockey India


For details about the event & speaker opportunities please contact: Priyanka Bhadouria (Sr. Manager Marketing and Events): +91 9540085059 | For sponsorship opportunities, please contact: Runa Sinha (National Sales Head): +91 9810497903 | #resilient #reliable Sneha Walke (VP#relevant - Special Projects & Head-South India): +91 9845541143 | Ashish Kudalkar (Regional Manager West - Sales & Business Development): +91 9820541742 |

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Image Courtesy: All About Music

M Talent Management by Tarsame Mittal brought the entire music community together over a period of 2 days, September 18-19, 2017. The conference was curated with the objective of the need for the music industry to be educated in the music business, and lack of a dedicated forum to create an ecosystem. All About Music, supporting and bringing the entire music community together. The team pulled off first of its kind gathering. Tarsame and team have done an incredible work in curation and bringing the top leaders across all panels. Unlike most conferences, the panels had all industry experts, for every panel category. The team got on board multiple supporters and curators to push the conference. The minds behind the informative panels, workshops, keynotes

included Mr. Blaise Fernandes, President, IMI, Devraj Sanyal, CEO, Universal Music, Vijay Nair, OML, Priyanka Khimani, Anand & Anand & Khimani, Roshan Abbas, Ecompass, Sabbas Joseph, Direc-tor, Wizcraft, Sunny M.R., to name a few. The key supporters for the conference included IPRS, IMI, KWAN, OML, Times Music, Phonographic Digital Ltd., QYUKI, Universal Music, Music composers and association of India and OST. Beyond these leading companies, media partners stepped up and supported the conference too. Arijit Singh, Vishal Dadlani, Shekhar Ravijiani, Amit Trivedi, Ankit Tewari, Sunidhi Chauhan to name a few legendary musicians making the conference experience more grand, and exciting. The other key stakeholders of the music industry included top executive

GURPREET SINGH, CO-Founder & COO, One Digital Enertainment.

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Bacardi Manager, Bacardi Trademark India & South Asia leaders, from all record labels, associations, brands, media, and more. All About Music, a throwback to the “All About Brands in Music: Brand Equity: Opportunity Awaits!� panel at the conference. Music Marketing is a largely new market in India, where artists are seen to be endorsed, plugged into brand requirements and visa versa. The Music industry is one of the oldest industries in the world. This panel at All About Music indeed was very insightful. The session was moderated by Harshad Chavan from MD, Toast Events, he brought out some in-sightful conversations of the expert panelists representing this space. Harshad has been the man be-hind game-changing strategies of experiential marketing for luxury & lifestyle brands in India. in his 8 years of event/ brand marketing career, he has launched 150 iconic, international brands in the country. Today his #resilient #reliable #relevant

VINIT KARNIK, Business Head - Entertainment, sports & Live events at groupm

company is sought to be the one-stop solution provider for cool, innovative & out of the box ideas while creating best practices for the 250 brands he works with. The brands car-ry his ideas world over. The panelists included Gurpreet Singh, Co-Founder & COO, One Digital Entertainment, Kiran Di-cruz, Head of Brand Partnerships & Music Licensing, Sony Music India, Sahith Sethuraman, Brand Manager, Bacardi Limited Trademark India & SouthEast Asia, and Vinit Karnik, Busi-ness Head - Entertainment, Sports & Live Events, GroupM. The session dived into topics address-ing the whys, whats, and hows of the brands in music. We are hopeful we’d be able to take you through all the queries you have in mind when it comes to “All About Brands In Music”.

LIVE ENTERTAINMENT AS AN ECOSYSTEM FOR BRANDS Using concerts as an ecosystem, we have noted a huge development and an influx from the adver-tising community. What is necessary to note here is between the IPs and brands there is a lack of consistency or a long-term vision. The integrated logo unit of most concerts keeps changing year on year. It is only getting tougher to measure the return on investment when it comes to Live enter-tainment sponsored events.

EVENT MANAGEMENT COMPANIES, HERE’S A TIP FOR YOU! Prepare post-event reports, gathering data to enable brands to measure their investment and en-sure it was a mutually benefitting partnership between the event IP & the brand and not just a mere charity or a transaction. This will lead to building retained relationships, shared long-term goals.


hile on the brand’s side we have established the problem remains of the lack of consistency, and in the events and entertainment side, the major problem remains to be lack of data post the event. The Brands do not reinvest into certain IPs also because of after the completion of an event, they do not receive an outline of who attended the event, the key characteristics of the audiences, and a de-tailed or even a generic data on who these people are. This, if provided, would enable them to assess the investment and derive an output, or ROI.

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The Sony Music Way of Engaging Brands! “Creating Music Fans Into Brand Fans” Sony Entertainment takes a 360 artist development approach for an artist. Kiran Dicruz, Head of Brand Partnerships & Music Licensing, Sony Music India, shared the process that the record label, management firm follow while approaching a brand. In the recent past, Sony has sold multiple deals for their

artists, the recent one being Badshah. Where we have seen their involvement in creating the incredible Punjabi hip-hop/ rap artist Badshah. Some of the latest brand engagement noted included one with Tuborg, then also Yamaha. Kiran took us through the process of how Sony approaches brands, The traditional way of approaching a client involved understanding the brand brief,

The Essentials for Brands in Music

trying to see what is the need gap and where you can plug that in. Kiran Dicruz said, The way we do this is more strategic, understand why a client would want to be in music space, say from the content perspective, or strategically say they wish to “invest” into music so that they can grow their audiences essentially to create music fans into brand fans. First, we objectify, understand what the objective for the brand’s investment is. Then understanding the brand’s audiences then create a solution which is more strategic than creative. For us it’s not about artists, it’s about the strategy. Marry the artist into the strategy. We make our clients understand how via music they can reach out to their consumers. The question of the hour: How do the big bucks start flowing in?

1. Making sure the artist is giving relevant content to the brand 2. Making sure the brand and the artist fall under the ROI metric system 3. Making sure the deal is beneficial to both the parties at the same time. 4. Making sure neither the brand nor the talent gets degraded at the end of the process. 5. Keeping up with the exclusive brands, sponsorship for festivals.

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“Understanding the core objective of the client, understanding the brand audiences and understanding how the audience is consuming the content given by the brands.”


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hen you do it once it’s just a sponsorship, when you do it 7 years consecutively, you co-create it. That’s what OML & Bacardi did! With time, Bacardi started gaining credibility for it. For years, at NH7 Weekender, Bacardi stage has been the biggest stage with all the headliners, rock acts, and highest footfall at all times. With every year when we go back, we think about how to make it better the next year. How do we take the benchmark up, how do we give the artists exposure, how do we give the

audiences great experiences, content, environment! That’s what drives us, the pursuit of excellence every day. But, if you’re not in it for the long run then I would say there’s no point getting into it said Sahith to the audiences. Harshad to Sahith: How does one get into the lineup? What does it take for an artist to be on the NH7 Weekender platform? Sahith answered All it takes for an artist is to make good music! While it’s important that artist sells the tickets, so the

more people in there, the better it is, but then we can balance it out. It’s a function of what’s going to draw an audience but having to strike a balance between encouraging upcoming artists, if we don’t, we’d have same artists coming year after year, and the audiences are going to get fatigued and the will eventually stop looking forward to it.

HOW “ONE DIGITAL” DOES IT? evolving formula for peak organic


ne Digital Entertainment has amassed over 2,500 content creators and partners with over 20 bil-lion minutes of content watched on YouTube, making us India’s largest certified multi-channel network. Currently, home to some of the biggest names in the Indian media industry, the One Digi-tal Entertainment family caters to content creators’ every

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single need, from planning and strategiz-ing video content to production, syndication, and distribution of the same. Like family, One Digital Entertainment takes care of our own by building up and supporting our creators through innovative collaborations and detailed attention to brandbuilding. In a fragmented content viewership ecosys-tem, they have developed a constantly-

viewership through a harmonious marriage of creativity and technology. One Digital Entertainment bestows brands an allencompassing digital strategy that navigates through the hottest digital and social media platforms. Gurpreet Singh “It’s a journey! it’s not always about numbers, its the influence & impact you make” Today brands are getting smarter than measuring the number of views, they invest into the impact you make, the engagement. There are very few brave brands, who are investing into a long-term vision like Bacardi is. It’s a combination of views and engagement, are consumers actually talking about the brands? We are still at an early stage in this space said Gurpreet. This session extended offline into multiple other conversations via the conference forums. The solu-tion for integrating brands into music in more sustainable formats, with a long-term view and data collection, reporting. NOVEMBER 2017 | PITCH | 71

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For trade enquiries please contact:

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t is going to be 11 years since I became a digital advertising entrepreneur and over 14 years since I first logged onto a social networking site as a teenager. I’ve had the good fortune of working with over 200 brands and marketers on their social media strategy and marketing. It’s been an enriching journey to say the least. Over these 14 years I’ve seen many transformations in how social media evolved. Here is a look back at the evolution of social media marketing in India.

2003-07 The Beginning of the Social Era

Few people will remember but the very first social media platform to grow in India was not Facebook and not even Orkut 74 | PITCH | NOVEMBER 2017

but a network known as Hi5, launched in 2003. By 2004 it was used by every 18 year old I knew. Orkut only started getting popular in 2005-06 and reached its peak by 2007-08. The reason Hi5 failed to scale is because it added too many profile customization features and instead of interacting with each other, users were designing their profiles and hence the social network lost its focus. Orkut capitalized on this slip with its unique scrapbook feature which was all about interaction. But Orkut’s open infrastructure meant misuse of profile pictures and also unnecessary voyeuristic behavior that creeped out the women.

2007-10 –Start of Social Media Marketing I founded WATConsult in 2007 and there were hardly three


to four agencies claiming to provide social media services. Our first work consisted of managing Orkut communities as Facebook was still a very small platform. 2007-2009 is when Facebook started getting popular.In fact, Facebook grew 300% in number of users from 2010 to 2011 i.e. from 7 million to 21 million ensuring that Orkut was no longer the king of social networking. Facebook’s growth through 2007-10 got the big boys of advertising spends like Proctor and Gamble, HUL and Telecom players investing their time and energy (more than money) to run Facebook pages. Around 2010 most big brands had established a Facebook presence and started going after fans and organic engagement. It was a silly era of getting maximum fans but it #resilient #reliable #relevant

was also the first time that brand marketers got to setup a real community with real users and real scalable reach in millions. This got brand marketers really excited. Never before had they witnessed a one to one, or one to many engagement of this level, that too on a real-time basis, on any platform. This was also the first foray of brands into real brand engagement marketing beyond the ROI driven search ads or the visibility driving banner ads that digital provided. In short social media marketing had officially arrived.

2011-14 - Rise of Always On, Realtime and Visual Content! 2011 to 2014 saw the rise of platforms like Twitter and introduction of mobile based platforms like Instagram into the system. Also brands realized that the game had shifted from campaign-to-campaign mentality to always-on content. Brands had suddenly gone from being an entity that rented media space from advertising to a publisher that created its own

media. Always on marketing brought its own challenges with real-time faux pas by brands as well as social CRM growing in importance with consumers starting to use the social media channels for complaints. This led to the birth of a new service Online Reputation Management. Twitter became the largest platform for customer service among all the social platforms. By 2014 content on social media platforms had also changed and there was a clear shift towards visual content. Platforms like Instagram and Pinterest grew on the back of rich media sharing by users. There was also a whole hashtag frenzy with every platform including Facebook jumping onto the hashtag bandwagon. Brands ensured they used hashtag in every tweet or update. While all the consumer led platforms were growing, Linkedin quietly grew into the largest platform for professionals and also borrowed several featured from its social media peers like Facebook.

2015-17 - Rise of Video Stories & Live Video The reach of platforms like Facebook and Youtube have scaled enough for them to be looked at as not just ancillary channels of brand building but as key drivers of reach, visibility and influence. In fact, with digital video consumption growing, the last two years have been significant in showcasing how both long form and short form storytelling content through social media can build the brand story with large audiences. Just like hashtags video stories that were created by snapchat became a part of every social platform. Today Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp all have their version of video stories. Last two years clearly belonged to visual branding via video on digital.

Looking at the decade ahead 2017-2027 – As I look ahead and crystal ball gaze I do see branding and commerce being two key drivers of digital focus for brands but as they do that a few new innovations and formats are likely to disrupt and create opportunities for the mon digital. First one being AI or artificial intelligence which will disrupt and redefine the way customer service and engagement around brands happen on digital. Second is AR and VR which will disrupt and redefine offline immersive brand experiences and connect the digital and the real world in a way that they will merge. Finally, internet of things (IoT) and the data it will generate will bring real-time micro multi factor targeting to digital platforms which will use programmatic to deliver really sharp and timely messages disrupting how advertising is targeted. All in all, the last 14 years will look like a small step compared to the giant leap that digital will take in the next ten years.

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PANKAJ KRISHNA Founder, Chrome Data Analytics & Media



f knowledge has become the quintessential driver of economic activity today-- at least in advanced economies – Artificial Intelligence or AI, is perhaps the most cerebral and celebrated manifestation of that knowledge yet. As Klaus Schwab’s ‘fourth industrial revolution’ gets underway even going beyond regular information and connectivity into an era of internet of things (IoT), AI has come to not only redefine both the personal and professional space of our everyday lives, but it also sets the stage for a future

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widely believed to be dissolving the line between man and machine. How is India, often priding itself as an archetypical knowledge economy, placed in a rapidly evolving AI technology landscape and is the dream run of the Indian IT behemoths under threat? Before everything else, let’s delve into what AI is? Be sure, AI is not a single standalone technology instead, it is an inter-disciplinary universe of subsidiary and parallel technologies including expert

systems, image, speech and pattern recognition, robotics, automation, machine learning, neural networks, natural language processing (NLP), deep learning and virtual reality among others. While each of the above disciplines has its own application and reach, the Indian workplace has certainly not shied away from embracing AI technologies. A report by Capgemini lists the Indian workplace as being already ahead of even developed nations such as Australia, Europe and the US when it comes to #resilient #reliable #relevant

adopting Artificial Intelligence. According to this report, over 58% of Indian companies using AI in India are working with AI technologies at scale. Admittedly, these impressive figures flow from the US firms themselves setting up innovation centres within the country. Yet, the very fact that India has been a centre of their policy focus in this regard testifies to the quality of highly skilled labour readily available within the country to run those innovation centres and leverage their strengths. But this optimism must be qualified with the caveat that while India has a huge pool of talented coders and programmers, there is an acute shortage of AI and neural network experts. On a somewhat separate plain, there have been reports after reports highlighting the imminent loss of jobs at least at the lower end of skillsets and expertise on account of AI in the country. In a report put out by US-based HfS Research last year, the Indian IT service industry, apart from being most severely impacted, is set to lose 6.4 lakh low-skilled positions including back-office processing and IT support roles to automation by 2021. In the same vein, the World Bank has estimated that AI poses a threat to 69% jobs in India with over 40% jobs being susceptible to automation. While the prophets of doom foresee a considerable loss of mechanical jobs such as that of truck driver, petrol pump attendants, waiters, factory workers and office administrators across sectors such as transportation and logistics, hospitality,financial services and manufacturing among others, there are several lower level research jobs in various professions including law, medicine, and education which too face obsolescence. This mood was adequately #resilient #reliable #relevant

captured by software major Adobe’s study covering more than 5000 professionals wherein a substantial 27% in India said they were highly concerned about AI and machine learning. In fact, the CTO of Wipro has publically stated that the transition to the job loss scenario is to happen in a decade and not 50 or 100 years. A PwC report has even predicted that a world-wide student protest will occur in 2022 because of job unavailability. Yet, it is hard to see all this coming so very soon and really impacting the Indian employment scenario as a whole in the long run. Even today, Indian IT companies serve two-thirds of the Fortune 500 companies creating 40 lakh direct jobs in the country. In 2017 alone, the industry has added 1.7 lakh jobs according to NASSCOM. Even within the IT sector, companies are addressing the issue by reskilling their low-skilled employees in higher skillsets such as AI and machine learning. The aforementioned Adobe survey had 59% respondents finding it necessary to update their skills every six months. According to Kelly Outsourcing & Consulting Group India, the demand for AI and machine learning specialists is to witness a 60% surge by as early as 2018 due to increased automation. The intent is to train 15,000 Indians over the next one year in AI. No doubt that there will be a disruption of labour markets with potential loss of employment. The bottom line is that even as there will be a brief decline in demand for low-skilled employees, there will not only be a corresponding rise in demand for highly-skilled professionals in AI, machine learning and big data analytics, but also new kinds of jobs and career prospects. Just as the internet has spawned previously inconceivable new jobs and openings, so will AI.

Furthermore, career trajectories will become fluid and more dynamic with the current sequential system of education. It will not be about getting a degree and acquiring training in one field and then sticking to the space for life. People will be employable for creative thinking, innovation and problem solving in most uncertain and unforeseeable situations. Economically speaking, in the face of recurring recessions across most parts of the world, as labour and capital have been unable to ply the levers of economic growth with same effectiveness as before, AI becomes not just a better substitute for capital and labour but an altogether new factor of production in some sort of capital-labour hybrid form. Thanks to IoT, the humongous and the unprecedented scale of data available coupled with the previously unheard-of computing power is only expected to further refine and fortify the AI systems in ways beyond the realm of human imagination at present. If policy makers in tandem with the private sector ensure that there is access to an advanced and sophisticated communication technology infrastructure backed by an adequate regulatory framework, the possibilities are endless. The education system has to be overhauled to lay the ground for a more AI-driven futuristic career landscape. In fact, whether AI is part of the problem or offers solutions depends on how we make use of the phenomenon. The binary framing of the technology aˋla Musk-Zuckerberg public sparring won’t really be helpful. Just as C-3PO and R2D2 of Star Wars fame represent the force of good, T 800 of the original Terminator symbolises evil. The trick is to embrace the good and reject the evil. NOVEMBER 2017 | PITCH | 77



RAMESH BHAT Advisor to the Chancellor, NMIMS University, Mumbai and Former Professor IIM Ahmedabad GREGORY PRASTACOS Dean, School of Business Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken NJ

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE SHAPING CORPORATE BRANDS 1. INTRODUCTION Artificial Intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing most of the industries the world over. It not only improves operational efficiency by helping companies achieve cost reductions through automating many tasks/procedures and upgrading legacy IT systems but companies are also using it to strengthen their brand promise. Consumers very often are resorting to online internet/ mobile search before their final decision to purchase, and its use continues to increase. AI is becoming a new reality of zero moment of truth when in very early stages of consumer decisionmaking, it facilitates the process by providing real-time gratification and personalized messages to their prospective consumers. These interactions have profound implications for companies as it most often influences consumers in changing their impression about 78 | PITCH | NOVEMBER 2017

a particular brand. AI achieves this by improving data and analytics, enhancing client services and affecting revenue generation. At the same time, AI is creating a new environment, where human decision-making is frequently substituted by machines and algorithms, especially in areas like trading, risk management, fraud prevention, and customer service, with significant implications for the size of the workforce and the skills needed in the future.

2. BUT, WHAT IS AI? AI is an area of computer science focused on creating intelligent machines that function like humans in areas such as learning, decision-making, planning, and speech recognition. It encompasses a multitude of capabilities and technologies, the most popular ones being

the following: a. Data Science, which is an interdisciplinary field aiming at extracting insights or knowledge from data in different forms. It involves techniques such as data mining, visualization, optimization, machine learning, databases, cluster analysis, classification among others. b. Machine Learning (ML) a common AI process involving algorithms that iteratively learn from data, thus enabling the computer systems to obtain insights which are hidden. Deep Learning is a specific machine learning method that is based on learning data representations as opposed to task-specific algorithms. c. There are other technologies associated with AI. Among other things, these include natural language processing, robotic process automation, cognitive analytics. These provide opportunities for the development #resilient #reliable #relevant

of computer programmes to understand human speech in realtime, developing technologies that aim at replacing manual handling by automated processes for repetitive and high-volume tasks, mimicking the thinking process in drawing inferences from a vast amount of data.

3. APPLICATIONS OF AI IN FINANCIAL SECTOR Here are some of the ways that AI is at the core of the current transformation of the financial sector. a. Understanding Customer Behavior Better Data science has been critical in the holistic analysis of customer behavior across multiple channels of engagement, thus enabling financial institutions to have customer-tailored services, while improving on all aspects during a customer’ lifecycle, such as target marketing, customer acquisition costs, customer lifetime-value, revenue and debt collection, churn rates, conversion rates, and more. b. Improving on Credit Risk Evaluation Risk assessment is of great significance in the finance sector. Data science and financial technology have revolutionized risk assessment by making credit scoring much easier and more accurate than before. As a result, credit risk is substantially managed, and the entire process is much faster. c. Improving Security and Fraud Detection Fighting online fraud has been a major application area of AI. By analyzing various data points, machine learning algorithms has the potential of detecting deviant transactions that would go unnoticed, ensuring the accuracy of real-time approvals and reducing false declines. Also, with advanced learning algorithms, such as those from deep learning, new features can be added to the system for dynamic adjustment. d.Providing Automated Customer Support and Improving #resilient #reliable #relevant

customer experience Customer-facing systems such as text chats, voice systems or chatbots deliver human-like customer service or expert advice at a low cost. Powered by natural language processing (NLG) and machine learning algorithms, banking chatbots are an effective method of providing a personalized and conversational experience to consumers and various users in different domains, including helping customers manage their money and savings. e. Financial Advising and Asset Management Portfolio optimization and asset management have traditionally been among the more fruitful fields of application of Data Science. However, the major recent advance here has been the growth of the robo-advisory services. Robo-advisors are digital platforms that provide automated, algorithm-driven financial planning services with minimal human supervision. The roboadvisors can monitor the markets 24/7 and provide feedback. Studies suggest that robo-advisors can offer investors up to 70% in cost savings and typically require lower or no minimums to participate. f. Algorithmic Trading Investment management companies have been using computers to make trades. An increasing number of funds are increasingly migrating towards true AI models using and analyzing large volumes of data. These systems continue to improve themselves over time. These new technologies utilize complex techniques including deep learning and machine learning techniques such as Bayesian networks, and evolutionary computation. High-frequency trading (HFT) has been another important application area, where traders now can scan multiple markets and execute several orders. These technologies help us in developing capacities, unheard of before

and responding to opportunities without loss of time. AI and fintech are having a vast impact on the financial industry. Opimas, a consulting firm, estimates that, by 2025, financial institutions will experience a 28% improvement in cost-to-income ratio. They estimate that the asset management industry will create many new jobs requiring technology and skills that respond to the financial industry’s new age demands. They also expect that current spending on AIrelated technologies will explode from current levels by about 75% without including M&A activity and investments in start-ups.

4. WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? It is certain that, as AI continues to proliferate our personal and professional lives, many issues will continue to emerge, including the potential for mistakes, a general sentiment of distrust towards machines, and concerns about job replacement. Famous technologists and scientists, including Bill Gates, Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, and Steve Wozniak, have argued that the world is rapidly approaching a point where machine intelligence will surpass human intelligence and have warned about this point. We will not remain unaffected by this development and cannot disregard these fears. Still, given that we are already on an accelerated path forward towards an AI-driven world, we believe that it could be most productive to focus on how machines and humans can best co-exist. It is imperative that policymakers remain cautious, gradually allowing new technologies to develop, but always monitoring the consequences, making sure that safety, health, and world peace are maintained, and any other unintended consequences are minimized. We believe that if the above happens, and we build trust and increased satisfaction with AI applications, the world can be a better place to live in. NOVEMBER 2017 | PITCH | 79



MADHU DUA Vice President & National Head Marketing JIO



arketing is all about inclusion - trying to understand the customer psyche, and being alluring & impromptu enough for adoption especially in this Digital Age. Thanks to Digital Marketing, the options are increasing and customer touch points enabling interpretation are also exponentially increasing; it is imperative that powerful technology brands are built on human principles and are people centric, though arrived at through AI i.e artificial intelligence. AI is reshaping the marketing world, and along with digital marketing is a lethal

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combination, that can be used to target customers. Digital Giants like Facebook and Google are already using AI effectively i.e ‘Deep Learning’ technology for more accurate Segmentation and Targeting. Deep learning involves building artificial neural networks which attempt to mimic the way living brains sort and process information. The “deep” in deep learning signifies the use of many layers of neural networks all stacked one on top of the other. This data processing configuration is known as deep neural network, and its complexity means it is able

to process data to the desired degree of refinement. Facebook is using deep learning technology to better detect human faces/living beings, an example is a deep learning image analysis tool, which would learn to recognize images which contain pets, without specifically being

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told what a pet looks like. By analysing a large number of images, it can learn from the context of the image , text and also metadata. With their Deep Text program, Facebook is cracking the code of understanding the nuances of languages. A large proportion of the data shared on Facebook is still text. Facebook uses a tool called Deep Text to extract meaning from words we post by learning to analyse them contextually. Neural networks analyse the relationship between words to understand how their meaning changes depending on other words around them. Because this is semi-unsupervised learning, the algorithms do not necessarily have reference data – for example a dictionary – explaining the meaning of every word. Instead, it learns for itself based on how words are used. This means that it doesn’t get tripped up, by variations in spelling, slang or idiosyncrasies of language use. In fact, Facebook says that technology is “language agnostic”, Facebook builds its business by learning about its users and packaging their data for advertisers (Images, Text & Videos). It then reinvests this money into offering us new, and useful functionalities. For example, video and shopping, which it also uses to learn more about us. It has a huge amount of data on who we are, where we spend our time and what we like etc. With 1.2 billion people uploading 136,000 photos and updating their status 293,000 times per minute – information which isn’t easily quantifiable is put into valid statistical models for computer analysis/ interpretation. Similarly, Google also does Image recognition & language processing and in

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addition, uses deep learning to provide recommendations on You tube. Again, Google Brain is behind the technology used here, which monitors and records our viewing habits as we stream content from their servers. Data already showed that suggesting videos that viewers will want to watch next is key to keeping them hooked to the platform, and the ad bucks rolling in. Deep neural networks are put to work studying and learning everything they can about viewers’ habits and preferences, and working out what would keep them glued to their screens. Hence arm bracing AI to Improve Marketing is critical for the following:

Impactful Ads The creation of targeted/better advertisement is one of the biggest ways artificial intelligence will impact marketing. AI allows marketers to, focus on what messages to show the audience so that brands can create one to oneappeal/powerful ads specific to the target audience. With programmatic accounting for 67% of all global display ads in 2017, AI is needed more than ever to ensure the increased volume of ads doesn’t affect the quality of ads.

consumers are able to seek out and find information more quickly and efficiently than in the past, while brands are continually looking for ways to present their message in a meaningful way.

Evolved Sentiments There isn’t a way that even the most skilled teams of marketers can sort through all of the things customers are talking about on blogs and social media, especially with the growing list of platforms available. AI allows marketers to analyse just what their target customers are thinking and how they feel about the brand. It helps marketers act in a more compassionate manner. Whether or not we are prepared to embrace this changing landscape of AI, it is going to be a big FORCE to reckon with in the Digital Marketing space. Marketers should embrace the multitude of benefits AI can provide and look for innovative ways to allow this technology to work to their advantage.

Smart Search Businesses aspiring to stay competitive need to learn how to integrate artificial intelligence into their marketing campaign, or they will risk being ignored. Digital

NOVEMBER 2017 | PITCH | 81


he 4th edition of the Indian marketing awards is set to take place in December this year. The awards recognise the role of marketing in creating, communicating, capturing and sustaining value for an organisation. The awards will be presented to organisations, individuals and teams that have achieved extraordinary success from innovative and effective marketing practices, taking into account specific circumstances of different industries and the diversity of marketing programs. They celebrate and recognize marketing successes and the building of strong brands through marketing excellence.








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KRISHNAN CHATTERJEE Head of Marketing, Indian Subcontinent - SAP

FROM CMO TO CEO The question is – can the CMO lay claim to leading the front office ?


iven SAP’s solution portfolio breadth, I am enjoying a most interesting journey across the Enterprise - looking at leadership roles and getting glimpses of how these are evolving. Of course, the role I find most interesting (by virtue of personal interest) is that of the CMO. Given that the world’s No. 1 e-commerce and consumer engagement platform is part of SAP’s portfolio (Hybris); by default, I look at the CMO through the lens of business – and I see interesting growth opportunities cropping up here. A long time ago, I was told by a CEO that the business understands only two documents. The P&L and the balance sheet. If a function does not speak that language it starts facing a relevance problem. This is where I have started to see a possible downside as well. Broadly speaking, every Enterprise has a clear back office leader (the CFO), a clear middle office leader (the COO) – but struggles with front office divided into sales, marketing, service, commerce et al. Given the revenue criticality of the front office – the CEO usually defaults into the front office leader, with correspondingly

84 | PITCH | NOVEMBER 2017

frequent oversight issues on compliance, operational efficiency etc. India is poised at a unique cusp. With the world’s largest biometric program, the fastest growing e-commerce and digital payments market, mobile driven smart citizens – it is clear that a well-coordinated and strategic front office will be able to discover exceptional long-term growth, especially in the economic stress we are seeing as the economy convulses its way to the organized sector. This will however demand a new kind of business / technology and operations landscape. Digital business models will need to be designed. We will participate in a new kind of digital economy replete with outcome based models and ecosystems dominating individual players. Machine Learning, AI, Blockchain and all the cool stuff we are hearing about – will define consumer engagement at a scale never dreamt of before. Platform based cloud technologies will create an agile, programmable approach to the way we do business. And the biggest zone of transformation in all this will be the front office. The question is – can the CMO lay claim to leading the

front office ? I would argue yes – on one simple count. Every other function in the front office is highly operations driven – and therefore siloed. The only strategic function which can unify all the elements into a seamless consumer engagement process is marketing. To do this CMO’s will have to realise and act upon five things: 1. In this age of e-commerce and social media, we do not control the narrative. Our consumers do. 2. The real value of marketing is in market making – increasing the addressable market for the business. 3. The only valuable research is when we map the customer journey. 4. Technology is investment – the rest is mostly spend. 5. The most critical competency to acquire is Leadership – the ability to unify functions without a reporting line. Go for it sisters and brothers! #resilient #reliable #relevant




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he success of an organisation is defined by the vision of its leadership. What makes some brands more successful than others is a mix of many factors. Sharing his perspective on the making of formidable brands, Anand Kripalu (CEO& MD, Diageo India) believes that organizational transformation is a key factor

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that defines success in today’s competitive environment. “What we want to be in the future is very different from the past. We want to retain some things for sure and get rid of some things we don’t believe in. Having put in place the required compliance, zero tolerance for corruption, ethical marketing of alcohol we have decided to

make Diageo India a great place to work. We have also made many organizational changes, which is all about changing the hard part of the organisation like structure, role and responsibilities”, stated Kripalu. Sharing that transforming the cultural part was a bigger challenge in the process of organizational makeover,

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Kripalu said, “In fact changing the soft part of the organisation is the hardest part. We are now embarking on creating that cement to make the soft part of the company something that all our people would love to be a part of.” While speaking about the need for brands to experiment and engage customers in an imaginative way, Kripalu explained, “It just goes back to who understands the consumers better. The global trend in beer is not about drinking Budweiser or drinking the same beer every day. It’s about trying different beers. In fact, now the word craft beers are being increasingly used, where you have unique tastes and every pub and every brewer has their own its own unique craft beer. This is how the consumer taste is evolving. I think there will always be a role for central, mainstream brands that deliver the same promise #resilient #reliable #relevant

It has been a tough year for us. I believe it is very easy to be a good leader in bad times, but real leaders are those who are able to inspire their teams in difficult times. and same experience every time. But watch out for the emerging trends where consumers are beginning to take risks and try new things.” Citing the example of the consumer need to try out new things and need for established brands to keep pace with shifting trends, Kripalu added, “A Vodka brand name Tito’s has taken the US market by storm. It started as a craft brand and it proves

how consumers’ tastes are evolving. At home, Paper Boat is a brilliant example of this. Their product ideas are something that we have all grown up with and it brings back memories of childhood. I would say that they have successfully created a brand around consumer understanding, which is better than what most of the big soft drink companies were able to do and that’s how brands evolve.” Sharing his definition of successful brands, Kripalu stated, “Successful brands have a business model that delivers on consumer insights more efficiently than anyone else.” Commenting on the impact of demonetization and GST on businesses across sectors, Kripalu said, “It has been a tough year for us. I believe it is very easy to be a good leader in bad times, but real leaders are those who are able to inspire their teams in difficult times.” NOVEMBER 2017 | PITCH | 87

VIEWPOINT MUKESH AMBANI Chairman & MD, Reliance Industries


Mukesh Ambani, Chairman & MD of Reliance Industries won the Business Leader of the Year award at the International Advertising Association’s (IAA) Leadership Awards in Mumbai held on the 7th of October. He was awarded for his immense contribution to building lasting businesses. Talking about the journey of Reliance and its transformation into a global giant, Mr. Ambani said that for him it has been a 40-year journey. The journey for him started off as a student at which time Reliance was less than a 5-million-dollar enterprise. And in last 40 years, it has grown to over a 250-billiondollar enterprise.

Underling the vision of Dhirubhai Ambani that Reliance will remain invested in the businesses of future, he stated, “Whatever I am today, and whatever recognition we get, we always stand on the shoulders of my father. He founded Reliance and he believed in the principle that as Reliance we will always remain invested in the businesses of the future and will always invest in talent. Over the last 40 years, we have done that. We believe in the power of youth. One consistent thing is that over the last 40 years, the average age at Reliance has consistently remained at around 30 years.” He spoke about how Reliance has built technology businesses from day one and also propagated technology companies in the energy area. Commenting on the data revolution that his company

Reliance Jio has ushered, Ambani stated that he was proud of what has been achieved at Jio. According to him, his young team has upheld his and his father’s belief that leadership is not about following anybody. Leadership is about setting new standards that nobody else has set. “Earlier India was 155th in mobile broadband ranking, and in the first year after Jio was launched, India has become the number one and the largest mobile data market in the world. We have crossed over 50 crore hours of video viewing on the smartphones. Essentially this market is moving to a mobile and video market and this again is a first in the world. Moreover, that is where the opportunity for a new India, especially for the youth of India, is in the coming years.”

*Excerpts from Mr. Ambani’s talk at the International Advertising Association’s Leadership Awards. 07/10/2017. Mumbai

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#resilient #reliable #relevant



RAMESH JUDE THOMAS President and Chief Knowledge Officer EQUiTOR

There is more than one R in branding


n the 14 years that this gutsy magazine has been around, the world of consumer engagement has turned on its head. Many of the first principles that we got out of B schools with are under intense scrutiny today. The consumer-brand relationship in the 21st century. Really? Ironically, the fundamental question on the lips of many 21st century CEOs is whether brands matter at all today. They rant about the promiscuous millennial and the “discount decade”, driven by opportunistic startups and backed by unbridled effervescence in the private capital markets. So then is there a role for brands in any business now? The flip side of that argument is that there has never been as much choice for the consumer as there is today. With a 9% market penetration, India still has over 60 unique models of cars to choose from, and 133 brands of biscuits, just in the organised sector. Under these circumstances, how can I ever have any business without being able to direct demand exclusively for my products and services? In fact, the three R’s of this anniversary issue (relevance, relability, and resilience) are fundamentally about robust business models; to remain on the investor radar, the entire business needs to be relevant, reliable, and resilient. Self evident truth. The question is, what renders them so?

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You remain Relevant because you always have a meaningful response to a significant consumer need. You are Reliable only because you have consistently demonstrated the consumer’s assurance for depending on you for that need. you can build Resilience only because the market gives you its loyalty under the most trying circumstances. Technology, capital, product, reach? All these can be had for the right price today. But if you don’t own a short code in the consumer’s head for what separates you in a “multiple choice marketplace”, there is little hope for any relevance, resilience or reliability. Is there hope for survival? Don’t forget, these are the days of single digit market share for category leaders. For a moment, let’s dwell on each of the three R’s and explore how they fundamentally influence a business. You remain Relevant because you always have a meaningful response to a significant consumer need -think of why Hyundai continues to be the biggest challenger to Maruti in India. You are Reliable only because you have consistently demonstrated the consumer’s assurance for depending on you for that need - think Indigo Airlines. And finally, you can build Resilience only because the market gives you its loyalty under the most trying circumstances -think of the way Maggi bounced back from the lead crisis. So, here’s the thing, when we value a business, it is primarily these three elements that determine the risk and hence the net present value of

that business. Is it fair to then state that it is essentially the robustness of our consumer connection (or brand) that drives everything else? In other words, weak brands essentially mean little enterprise value. In other words, it is the principal driver of Impact’s three R’s. The Businessweek magazine reminds us year after year that the most influential business assets in a firm’s armoury are its consumer assets i.e. their brands. Last year, the Apple brand’s independent contribution to the firm’s value was approximately 184 billion US dollars. That by itself is more than the GDP of several decent sized economies! Clearly, it isn’t as if brands are irrelevant in the 21st century. In fact, they will be the soulkeepers and the bedrock of any sound business. It’s just that building a strong, valuable brand has become a far more demanding and a complex task in an increasingly democratic marketplace. The cruel reality is that there is just no place for transactional business models in the 21st century. Hence mortality rates will only increase. The market belongs to those who can build all the three R’s. And only brands can deliver on all three. NOVEMBER 2017 | PITCH | 89


MARKETING & BRANDS RELEVANCE RELIABILITY RESILIENCE LULU RAGHAVAN Managing Director at Landor BY JYOTSNA SHARMA JS: How important are reliability, resilience and relevance to a brand? LR: All three factors are extremely important in the context of brands today. The “brand as an image” era is long over. Brands are built through the experience of the brand that consumers have. It is important for brands to deliver consistently reliable products and services which consumers can trust and return to time and again. Things are rapidly changing today. Consumer preferences keep evolving at lightning speed. The market place is very dynamic – competition is intense and disruption can come from anywhere. Consumers are spoilt for choice. There is a multitude of channels. All this calls for brands to be fiercely resilient and adaptive. They must stand true to something but never stand still but constantly look for ways to innovate and evolve. And keep the experience fresh for consumers. In a competitive scenario, brands tend to focus on differentiation but the starting point has to be relentless relevance. If you are not meeting a real consumer need in a unique way, you better not be in business. There are far too many me too businesses out there that are wasting precious resources. JS: How has branding changed in the last few years? LR: Brand management is changing dramatically. Brands were managed as promises. Then we had the construct of brands as relationships. We now 90 | PITCH | NOVEMBER 2017

live in the age of brands being managed as experience. But we are fast evolving into a new model of brand management which recognizes that brands belong to a multi-nodal network of owners and that brands can not be controlled in a rigid way as they used to be in the past. At best, brand communities can be cultivated and nurtured to build the brand. So, for example you would engage with your hard core users in a different way to the occasional users. You would involve the former in co-creation to see how they could help in product improvements and innovations and with the latter you would work to establish how you build greater empathy with them through engaging with initiatives that are close to their hearts. JS: Two projects you liked working on? LR: I really enjoyed our recent brand refresh of Godrej Nature’s Basket. The task involved developing a value proposition for the new business strategy. And then translating that into a refreshed brand identity system to create visual consistency, freshness and stand out across the entire 360 brand experience of the physical stores, online and via communications. We developed the Daily Food Delights proposition to drive frequency and reposition the brand from a specialty grocery store that you occasionally visited to your neighbourhood food market that you would want to visit almost every day. Aligning the brand to work harder for the business is

the most interesting kind of work that we do. Another recent project that I loved working on was the rebranding of Oben Insurance to Digit. This is a brand that promises to totally disrupt the general insurance industry as we know it. It was very interesting to get into the minds of the CEO and his management team to help articulate the philosophy of the brand and to then develop a positioning, a name and an identity that would manifest across all touchpoints. JS: What are the projects Landor is working on currently? LR: All our projects are highly confidential until they are launched so I won’t be able to talk about them. What I can say is that we are working on a broad range of corporate and consumer brands across industries with clients who passionately believe in the value of their brands to drive business value. This is the most rewarding kind of work for us and we are delighted to have clients in India who view their brand as a key tool for growth. JS: Do you think brands at times go overboard in their effort to attract customers? Too much advertising? Too much visibility? LR: It’s critically important to get the positioning and brand strategy perfectly right before advertising. It’s the rigor of the process, which includes consumer understanding through research, insights through analysis, unique differentiation through creativity which are more much more important #resilient #reliable #relevant

to build consumer awareness, empathy and engagement rather than blitzkrieg! This approach also enables proper measurement factors to be put into place providing cost effective returns and therefore greater efficiency all round for a business and reducing consumer clutter as well. JS: What are the key aspects a marketer should keep in mind when engaging with the consumer? LR: Marketing in a holistic sense is in the service of creating sustainable business #resilient #reliable #relevant

value through engaging with customers. And, it includes many vital aspects from what price to sell, how to reach, how to engage,how to ensure loyalty through repeat purchase etc. So, it’s a very complex process. The single minded way to approach this task is therefore to have an understanding of the customer in a holistic sense not just in terms of your product or category but in terms of his or her aspirations, difficulties and challenges in life. And in the modern world of marketing, it’s about providing solutions, not about exploitation

of how to sell the most amount of product at the highest price. It’s all about how to genuinely engage with our consumers and provide value to them or overcome a problem in the complex and fast paced lives that we all live in. It’s also about figuring out how a business can make money through that transaction in a world that is increasingly fragile with the vagaries of the climate. The world of marketing has moved on to having a more sustainable approach. Long gone are the days of the snake oil salesman!

NOVEMBER 2017 | PITCH | 91

THE GOOD LUCK ISSUE - asks industry leaders what ‘luck’ means to them – in the context of their careers, brand stories around good luck, people who they think have been incredibly lucky in the industry, stories around a lucky charm, thing or person in their lives, or even an anti-take on how they do not believe in luck!





FOR ADVERTISING QUERIES DELHI - Runa Sinha I 09810497903 National Head- Sales - MUMBAI- Hemant Somaya | 09820702468 Regional Manager, West - BANGALORE - Sneha Walke | 09845541143 92 | PITCH | NOVEMBER 2017 #resilient #reliable #relevant GM-South & VP, Special Projects -

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Volume XII Issue 3 Sept-Oct 2015


We bring you the best of PITCH from the last 14 years

A look back




Strong brands is the way forward IN A MARKETPLACE WHERE COMPETITION IS AT A brands will have to do much more than fulfilling the basic new high, where a slew of products and services are battling requirements of the consumer. The most successful brands it out for consumer’s mind space, there can be only one embody values and imagery that go much further than inherent risk—the danger of products and services being mere functional utility. In short, brands must deliver expelost in this clutter. That’s why branding as a component of riences, and this is where the greatest challenge lies. Why marketing strategy is gaining importance like never before, brands should create experience? The answer is simple, for we all know that 'when the going gets tough, it’s strong because it’s people who make experiences. Brands that recreate this and take their offerings beyond just physical brands that break through the clutter and keep going'. Somebody has rightly defined a brand as the shortest products will stand to gain. Asian Paints is trying to redefine distance between customer and company; and commodi- consumers' painting experience through ‘home solutions', ty as the shortest distance between customer and price. So, where it delivers not just paints, but a painted home. This is the point to be noted is 'if you are in it for money, customers one of ways with which we can move a relatively lowwill be in it for the price'. This realisation is the first step in involvement category from abstraction to action. Today building brands is both easy as well as difficult. the journey of a commodity to a brand, a voyage which is continuous and never-ending because consumer aspira- Technology has helped us increase the number of contions are never static. Companies are now realising the sumer touch points and thus gain a better understanding importance of creating strong brands that provide real cus- of their needs. But to maintain consistency in fragmented tomer benefits so that they can avoid the vicious practice of markets and multiple media, marketers must adopt new continual price increase due to downward pressure that and better ways of understanding, reaching and connectexists in commodity markets. They are realising that it is ing with consumers. Integrated marketing strategy is the key to keep a 360-degree view of cusdesirable to compete on more than just tomers as well as building synergies price and volume. across marketing tactics. Marketers On building brands, the Ogilvy & must communicate a cohesive message Mather Worldwide chairperson and across media channels. CEO Shelly Lazarus has aptly stated, "a Competition is very good for conbrand is not what you say. A brand is sumers and it is the best mechanism for something that consumers build, just keeping prices low. But it's important to like birds building nests." And one of realise that while marketing and selling the very important raw materials commodities, one must resist the urge required for building this 'brand nest' is to cut prices. Instead one should seek understanding the requirements of the ways to protect the price by offering consumer. Although, I’d by no means more value, finding unique ways to diflike to suggest that the Asian Paints ferentiate and creating powerful brands journey from commodity to a brand is that foster price inelasticity. Moving a complete, one thing that has helped us product from a commodity to branded progress a long way on this road is our Vice-Chairman & MD, Asian Paints involves challenging consumers’ atticontinued focus on the consumer. The interest of the customer was never compromised even at tude and understanding towards the category as a whole. the most trying times. From introduction of small packs So, in short, trusted brands aren’t established overnight but way back in 1960s to a helpline service and more recently are built as a result of a long-term investment in continuthe launch of home solutions to offer consumers a hassle ously delivering the brand promise. If you manage this, free painting experience; we have always kept consumers branding provides an escape from commoditisation as it at the centre of our strategy. In short, it's always necessary moves buying decision away from being dictated solely by price. For Asian Paints, this journey has been worth every to have your ears to the ground. As the battle for hearts, minds and wallets intensifies, mile and we’re still travelling.


104 ❘ Pitch ❘ December 2006 94 | PITCH | NOVEMBER 2017

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Building global Indian brands Can Indian brands cross the borders successfully? Highlights from the seminar ‘Building Global Brands Out of India,’ organised by the Indian Society of Advertisers and Momentum Consulting in Mumbai recently. A report by Saurabh N Turakhia.

‘Shed ethno-centricity, acquire global mindset’ Dr Jagdish Sheth, Marketing Guru & Management Thinker BELIEVE BRANDS CANNOT BE bought in the marketplace, nor can they be manufactured in a factory, but they ought to be earned. The global economy today points to opportunities in the emerging markets, being caused by four forces— economic pragmatism, collapse of Communism, ageing of affluent markets and the flat world. All advanced countries are ageing. The ageing problem can be seen in developed world like Japan and Germany. Last year in Germany, the number of deaths was more than the number of births. With this ageing ■


problem, more passive incomes are being generated. So, worldwide the income-driven markets are turning into wealth-driven markets. This also means we will see more millionaires. The growth will come from emerging markets. The world is flat today. Indian media has all the equipment that global players have. India and China are leading the world and not lagging behind the way they used to be. India is slowly moving from an isolated domestic economy to an integrated global economy. A truly global company loses the country-oforigin identity amongst all its stakeholders. India faces problems like lack of scale, lack of global mindset,

non-supportive government rules and regulations. Global mindset, quality, differentiation through design, strong supply chains and shedding ethnocentricity will help India succeed in making global brands. ■

‘Approach competition like a game of golf, not soccer’ ■

Deepak Ghaisas, CEO, India Operations and CFO, i-Flex Solutions

82 ❘ Pitch#resilient ❘ April 2006 #reliable #relevant

N 1993, THREE OF US CAME together. We realised that we wanted to do something different. We’d have to look at what so far nobody has done. Banking solution was the answer. We got $1million as capital. Of that, $400,000 were contributed by Citibank and rest by friends. From 1993 to 2006, that $1 million has grown to $2.3 billion. That’s the power of a brand. Today, we have 22 support centres. For the past four years, our product has been adjudged the No 1 software. We made a product brand and not a corporate brand. Nobody thought


that banking solutions would come as a product. The responsibility on us was high. We stayed vertically focused. There’s immense pressure in 1998, 1999 and 2000 to get the Y2K business, but we resisted. I believe approach to competition should not be like a football game where you constantly try to beat someone else, but rather be like a game of golf where you excel yourself. It also helps you keep high benchmarks. It is important to have a brand vision too. Just like Intel’s ‘Intel inside’ sticker, we’d like to have every bank branch use our product. ■

NOVEMBER 2017 | PITCH | 95




Biggies Play the BIG Game Shift of advertising dollar from traditional media to online has sent the market in an overdrive, with both media owners and agencies pitching for control ■ By


HE PAST FEW MONTHS HAVE seen some interesting developments in the global advertising industry, especially the online medium. Acquisitions are driving the industry. Now, it all looks set to see a major transition in the role of the traditional advertising agencies and various media platforms. The trend of acquisition started with Google buying out DoubleClick, an online advertising firm with headquarters in New York. Yahoo and WPP followed Google by buying the New York-based Right Media, an advertising exchange, and 24/7 Real Media, respectively. Now, more and more names are figuring in this trend. The latest is Microsoft Corporation paying $6 billion, a 85 percent premium on the market value, to buy aQuantive, a Seattle-based firm that helps advertisers serve up and track many varieties of online ads. Why is there a sudden rush for acquiring online advertising firms? Why is the online advertising scenario heating up? Why are the technology biggies getting bullish in their approach to online advertising? The reason for these can be gauged from the fact that advertisers are increasingly getting interested in the online medium to reach out to consumers in a more focussed manner. Let’s look at the advertising world as a whole to answer these questions. In the offline world, there's a clear demarcation in terms of an advertising agency and a media outlet.With

Steve Ballmer CEO, Microsoft


58 2007 ❘ June 96❘ |Pitch PITCH | NOVEMBER 2017

Larry Page & Sergey Brin Co-founders, Google

tech majors acquiring a sizeable presence in the online space selling, this line is getting increasingly blurred. The traditional houses now face the threat of loosing clients to these new 'technology-advertising agencies' as they have both the creative solutions as well as media platform on offer. Reports on the Internet advertising spend and its pattern suggest that companies known to have big adver-

Sir Martin Sorell CEO, WPP

tising budgets have now shifted their focus to online medium. The recent Interactive Advertising Bureau report testifies this fact. It also explains that consumer-related advertisers account for the largest category of revenues at 52 percent of 2006 online ad revenues, up from 51 percent in 2005. Next are the financial services that stands at 16 percent and computing advertisers at 10 percent. #resilient #reliable #relevant


Pepsi targets the youth

Pepsi enters premium sector with My Can, a snazzy version of its old package ■ By PURNA



FTER A TWO-YEAR LULL, IT IS fizz time again in the cola market. Taking the lead this time is PepsiCo India. In a bid to reach out to a larger, preferably young, audience, Pepsi has unveiled My Can, a repackaged slimmer version priced at Rs 15 for 250 ml. The can is positioned as a handy, sleek pack, which reflects the style statement of today's youth and also gives them a platform to express themselves. "My Cans are part of our 55 different product SKU's we have to offer. Currently 7 Up is also available in the same form. We will be introducing Mirinda and Mountain Dew in the same way," says Pepsi Foods marketing director Punita Lal. "Currently the Pepsi can priced at Rs 25 comprises only about 2 per cent of our total sales. We wish to increase this to about 5-6 percent within two years. The cans served a niche set of audience and have its own style statement. It gives the best product experience and also appeals the youth of today. However, we shall continue to distribute the old version of cans at selected outlets," adds Lal. Brushing aside speculations that the issue of price margins could have prompted the company to introduce the new cans, Lal says, "the total cost of producing an aluminum can is much more than glass bottles, so the question of margins doesn't arise. It is actually a consumer area. Cans are considered to be much more stylish amongst the 160 ❘ Pitch 2007 #resilient #reliable #relevant ❘ September-October

youth and are also very convenient to carry than glass bottles." Towards the end of 2004, Coca-Cola cut retail prices by 15 percent in Mumbai of Coke, Thums Up, Limca, Sprite and Fanta. Pepsi responded in early 2005 by slashing prices of its 2litre and 1.5-litre bottles to Rs 50 and Rs 43, respectively, in the north and south. Pepsi's 300ml and 200ml fizzes were cut to Rs 7 and Rs 5 respectively in Uttar Pradesh. Subsequently in 2006, Coke reduced the prices of its 200ml coke bottles to Rs 8 and 300 ml bottles to Rs 9. Coke has recently ventured into the fruity drink market by launching Minute Maid- Pulpy Orange in collaboration with international brand Minute Maid. The drink is priced at Rs. 25 for 400ml bottle. My Can offers the youth a unique opportunity of appearing on their favourite Pepsi pack. In a unique consumer activation exercise centered on colleges and BPOs, 20 contestants will be selected from all over the country.

After these contestants upload their videos on the Pepsi micro-site on Yahoo!, a nationwide online polling will begin and the top 10 winners will be featured on the special edition of My Can as part of a consumer engagement programme. The current edition features brand ambassadors Shahrukh Khan and John Abraham. Appearing for the first time together, the commercial shows the duo being upstaged by the quintessential Pepsi youth who oozes with the confidence and attitude of the new generation. The film directed by Prasoon Pandey, opens in a cafe where both SRK and Abraham are sitting, chatting idly. Suddenly a young boy enters the café and seeing the two walks towards them. Noticing the boy coming towards them and assuming that he is surely coming for their autograph, the two starts to debate as to who should sign the autograph first. As the boy approaches, both of them smile and lean forward expectantly. But the boy simply makes a gesture indicating they move aside. Taken aback, the stars oblige, only to reveal a Pepsi vending machine behind them. And the boy coolly goes ahead, fetches a Pepsi My Can and walks off to the utter dismay of the two famous heros. To promote the new pack, Pepsi will be launching a multi-media campaign encompassing television, outdoor, radio, web and wireless apart from its usual consumer engagement programme. The creative part of the brand is handled by JWT, while Mindshare takes care of the media aspects. ■ — NOVEMBER 2017 | PITCH | 97




Taking on the titans Competition from established MNCs leaves the home-grown minnows helpless in the mobile space. But riding on its innovative power and strategy of tapping new markets, SpiceMobiles has ploughed its way up on the growth graph. ■ By JAYASHREE


PICE MOBILES, BEING RELAtively a new entrant into the mid and premium mobile handset market in the country, has chosen wisely to penetrate the tier II and III markets, instead of locking horns with leaders like Nokia, Motorola, Samsung and Sony Ericsson in their strongholds. And eventually it has paid off handsomely, thanks to its power to innovate. Coming to existence only in mid2005 as part of MCorp Global, this minnow had its task cut out in the world’s fastest growing mobile handset market, which is dominated by Nokia with nearly 65 percent market share followed by Motorola at 20 percent and Samsung at around 10 percent of the market pie that adds on an average close to eight million new subscribers every month. But today, from the twoproduct entry, it has 16 variations including the country's first dual mobile phone which can use both GSM and CDMA sim cards, in prices that range from Rs 1,500 to Rs 16,000, all looking to ensure maximum value for the minimum money of the less brand-conscious folks belonging to SEC B, C, D, and E consumers. The company is willing to deliver handsets in any given category with additional features at the same price at any time. Starting off with Style International dil phir bhi Indian, SpiceMobiles was able to rightly communicate with its target audience. It is the first company to launch sing tones in the


Payal Gaba, Marketing Head, SpiceMobiles country. Another feature is a universal charger. "We knew that a majority use Nokia. So, charger availability is a big issue. Hence we brought in a phone with a universal charger," says marketing head Payal Gaba. In terms of increasing its portfolio, the company follows a two-pronged strategy. The first is the replacement strategy, as most of the instruments have a life cycle of not more than a year. Secondly, the company adds products to the existing categories, besides introducing new categories. "The dual-sim phone was a new category created by us and now we plan to launch a people's phone at a price

less than Rs 1,000. Then there is a third category to come up soon, the movie phone," adds Gaba. It also successfully solved the problem of space, improving memory even with entry-level handsets. Thus S600 variant had 126 MB memory to store upto 20 songs. The tag of being an Indian company helped the brand to click with the target groups and as Gaba says, they knew Indian consumers better than the multinational companies and it drove them in designing the chips and software. Though still looking for own manufacturing facility still, now it has partnership with Taiwanbased MediaTech for manufacturing the gadgets. It added this tinge to their campaigns too, by picking up Priyanka Chopra hailing from a small town as their brand ambassador. “The former Miss India has good mass appeal. She has done a great job in gaining recognition amongst the masses in the tier II and tier III cities where our current strength actually lies. But now we feel that the brand has to stand on its own in the metros and bigger towns,'' says Gaba, adding it spends about Rs 35 crore on marcom annually. It has laid clear plans for growth, focusing Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan where it has already eight percent share and looking to peg it up to 10 per cent. "As a brand, we want to become at least No 3 by 2010. That's what our vision internally is," says a confident Gaba. ■ —

36 ❘ Pitch ❘ February 2008

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RADIO Places of Listening

Industry Bullish about 2008



Bangalore 4.10 hrs

Bangalore 2.00 hrs


Bangalore 1.25 hrs


Bangalore 1.10 hrs

Time Spent in Listening


82 ❘ Pitch ❘ February 2008 #resilient #reliable #relevant



Source: RAM Oct 2007

The year ended with a promise of an Mumbai Mumbai Mumbai Mumbai even more action-packed 2008 and 3.10 hrs 1.50 hrs 1.00 hrs 1.15 hrs on the revenue front. The Survey Delhi Delhi Delhi Delhi projects the industry to grow by 40 1.50 hrs 2.10 hrs 1.10 hrs 1.00 hrs percent to touch Rs 672 crore in 2008, and says the share of radio in next three years. “Presuming that All growth. Moreover, we are optimistic the ad pie would touch 3.2 percent India Radio revenues stay in the about our own growth too." in 2008. Many more radio stations region of Rs 200 crore and the ad Chakravarthy adds, "we hope that are scheduled to go on air in the industry as a whole continues to news and current affairs will be year, as the government has already grow at 15 percent, over the next opened for private broadcasters. In initiated the third phase of licencthree years, radio will constitute 6.5that case, this will lead to a new ing. The overall objective of the 7 percent of the ad industry," he wave of growth." third phase would be to achieve 60 says optimistically. "Spends on radio have definitely percent coverage of the population Purohit of Radio City says radio gone up and radio today is the most through FM stations. would emerge as a new age option cost-effective medium. In the FM The radio sector is poised to in conjunction with the Internet, broadcasting space, commanding become an Rs 1,200-crore industry activation and mobile platforms. higher advertising rates is the key to by the end of the decade, according With most stations set up and profitability. Radio is becoming an to recent Ficci-Pricewaterhouse focused, 2008 will see radio unfurlimportant part of the advertising Coopers study. With the majority of ing as a truly national medium with mix today. The future will see more licences in phase II going operastability seeping in for new stations. advertisers coming on board," says tional by the end of this year, 2008 is Advertisers in the cities that got Chakravarthy. going to be a very good year for FM stations recently will discover Radio Mirchi's Srinath believes radio and the industry will experithe power of radio, and realise that that the private FM business will ence dramatic expansion in its lisit is an extremely effective medium continue to grow strongly in the tener base leading to major growth in improving traction with their coming years, and should post y-o-y in business and 2008 will be the tipconsumer base because of its growth of over 50 percent over the ping point for the radio industry, as immediate, engaging and per the study. interactive nature. On the outlook for the Develop ments in the regindustry, RedFM's ulatory regime are likely Thomas optimistically Mumbai Bangalore Delhi to lead to a lot more says, "it looks like a very experimentation, newer promising and exciting hrs hrs hrs formats, music and conyear because media and tent innovation. ■ advertising industry is looking for a high robust

Source: RAM Oct 2007

for revenue generation. On the other hand, Srinath of Radio Mirchi says, "relatively small revenue streams can be generated through content monetisation and moving content to the web and mobile. Activation is a relatively small and nascent part of the radio business, albeit growing fast."

NOVEMBER 2017 | PITCH | 99





Change in the Air Can Aircel repeat its success in the Southern and NE markets in the already clogged Delhi with lower call rates alone? By SHILPI GANGULY


HE HIGHLY COMPETITIVE mobile telephony market in Delhi has just become hotter! Having successfully established itself in Tamil Nadu and the North-Eastern circles, Aircel has just entered the Capital late March. The Chennai-based firm hopes to carve a niche for itself in the country's largest and the most competitive mobile telephony market, which already has all the leading names of the industry. The Aircel group is a joint venture between Apollo Hospital Enterprise and Maxis Communications of Malaysia, with the latter holding a majority stake of 74 percent. Aircel commenced operations in 1999 in Tamil Nadu followed by the Northeastern states. Aircel is the eighth operator in Delhi, after Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and others, which together command a subscriber base of 21 million as of February. Delhi being the largest market will be a challenging turf for Aircel. Despite tough competition, or perhaps because of it, the entry of Aircel promises to be exciting. Its introductory tariff plans are cheaper than the incumbents, which may prove to be an attraction to begin with, as its target group are the youth. The other TG are the large migrant population for whom it's offering cheaper national calls. Talking about the target group, chief marketing officer Rahul Saighal says,

"we've deconstructed Delhi to offer services to different population segments. We want to make sure that our strategy remains consumer-centric and relevant to each of these segments." The salient features of Aircel service include VAS services with localised content including a WAP portal page in Hindi for any GPRS handset and an EDGE-enabled network that offers a variety of services along with other value-added services like SMS, music, entertainment etc. As the 3G roll-out can happen anytime after May when a new government would be in place, Aircel, which boasts of a superior network, is giving a lot of

focus on data content, convergence and offering complete customer experience. Explaining the USP of the brand Aircel, its chief operating officer Gurdeep Singh says that Aircel is a national brand with a strong local connect, and attributes its success to the core values of superior connectivity, simplicity, strong local con-

Sandip Das (L), Aircel Director, Lara Dutta (C) and Gurdeep Singh, Aircel COO, at Delhi launch

10 I Pitch I March 2009

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nect and services that provide value for money. "We'll bring these same values to Delhi. Aircel differentiates itself from other service providers by enabling consumers to make a holistic use of the mobile phone by offering data content, convergence and complete customer experience, thus taking them to a completely new level of telephony," says Singh. Marketing head Saighal joins him saying that the Aircel brand primarily defines itself in a three-fold manner— simple, creative and trustworthy. How is the brand going to town, announcing its arrival in the Capital? Its primary marketing strategy is to directly engage consumers with the brand and plans to consolidate its position in the new territory by focusing on relationship building and brand building. This is clear when Saighal emphasises that the Delhi strategy would be need-based and not number-based. This clutter-breaking approach would have innovation and creativity as the principal drivers, points out Saighal.

an operator can fulfill for better consumer satisfaction," explains Singh. The domestic mobile telephony market has been booming since the past few years and continues to perform well even in the face of the slowMarketing Plan down. According to the latest Trai report, the wireless sub To target the scriber base touched 375.74 youth and the million as of February, as large migrant against 250.93 million last population as February. The addition in terms its primary TG of new subscriptions in the  To offer cheaper month was 13.44 million. national calls The market leader Bharti  To follow a Airtel has 4.6 million subneed-based scribers in Delhi as of February, approach, not a followed by TataIndicom with The launch number-based 4.5 million, and Vodafone Essar campaign—It's strategy with a tad over 4 million. Other time to move major players are Reliance and on—is all over the city across various media platforms Idea with 3.3 and 2.4 million, respectiveand sports brand ambassador MS ly, taking the overall current subscriber Dhoni. With this tagline, Aircel is look- base in Delhi to 21 million. Across its 13 circles (excluding Delhi), ing to usher in a new beginning in mobile communication with its disrup- Aircel has a customer base of over 17 tive simplicity by creating relevant and million, such as Chennai, TN, Assam, customised services. Hence, the special North-Eastern states, Orissa, Bihar, tariff schemes targeting the youth, the J&K, HP, Bengal, Kolkata, Kerala, AP large migrant population of the city as and Karnataka. The company also has won licences in 13 more circles when the well as the large business community. To the youth, it is offering the 'Youth new more spectrum was allocated. Pack' for Rs 299 with lifetime validity, These circles include Delhi, Mumbai, community calling at 25p, SMS at 1p, Andhra, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, national calles through VOIP at 25p and Kerala, MP, Rajasthan, Maharashtra & other national calls at Re 1. It offers the Goa, Punjab, UP-West and UP-East. In an age when customers are very migrant population national calls at 50p Aircel-to-Aircel to the North-Eastern demanding, a brand’s true success lies in winning consumers’ hearts. Having states, Bihar, Bengal and UP. "While the mobile penetration in the set a good track record in the South, city is almost 100 percent, there are a lot Aircel's real test will be to replicate that of segment-based needs such as a lower in the most competitive market.  national call tariff for the migrants, that —

March 2009 I Pitch I 11

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NOVEMBER 2017 | PITCH | 101




Old lady


With unprecedented competition in the Indian car market, Maruti Suzuki is revving up its communication to attract the young and all By RUCHIKA KUMAR


ith a blizzard of television and print campaigns, Maruti Suzuki India (MSIL) is revving up its communication amidst unprecedented competition in the passenger car market, particularly in the A2 small, midsize and upper car segment. The company is riding on every possible media vehicle to retain consumer interest in brand Maruti and expand its reach to the potential markets and target groups.

The great CARnival The timely action comes as competitors - Fiat Punto, Ford Figo, Honda Jazz, Hyundai i20, Chevrolet Beat, Volkswagen Polo - in the small car seg-

54 I Pitch I August 2010 102 | PITCH | NOVEMBER 2017

ment challenge Maruti’s dominance with their competitive price range and differentiating style, colour, design and communication approach towards youth. Adding to the list of competitors is Nissan’s hatchback Micra, which is the latest contender in the B plus segment. Priced between `3.98 lakh and `5.29 lakh, Micra competes with the likes of Swift, WagonR and Ritz. That’s reason enough for MSIL to gear up. Maruti’s offensive is built on two pronged strategy: reinforce its traditional strength of low ‘cost of ownership’ and target the young buyers, who form the bulk of new car purchase market, more directly. Low cost of ownership strategy is built around

factors like more mileage, low cost of maintenance, best resale value and Maruti’s core strength of good service network. And it is using cost of ownership as a plank to appeal to the young savvy customers, who are conscious decision makers. Interestingly, the marketing strategy uses both the corporate brand Maruti Suzuki and its best sellers like Swift, WagonR, Ritz and Estilo in different campaigns. However, sources from Maruti Suzuki defend the endeavour as they say, “With a dominant market share, the company is not being complacent and it is not out of fear of competition but a strategy to push its dominance further in the market that MSIL has

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2010 unleashed such aggressive advertising initiatives.” Maruti Suzuki’s volume in the domestic A3 segment grew by 32.5 per cent while in the A2 segment it grew by 11.4 per cent during June 2010 as compared to last year. The sales growth in the C segment was 43.9 per cent over June 2009.

Fuelling it up Beginning with a series of print campaigns on ‘Best Cost of Ownership’, splashed all across English and regional media, including Hindi dailies such as Navbharat Times, Amar Ujjala, Rashtriya Sahara, and Malayala Manorama among others, the company extended the initiative to television. The latest is a series of three TVCs, created by Capital Advertising, as part of larger campaign on ‘Cost of Ownership’. The dimension of the campaign carries unmatched fuel-efficiency as its theme, which reflects in the tagline – ‘Kitna deti hai?’, meaning, ‘How much (mileage) does it give?’ Joy Mohanty, Senior Creative Director, Capital Advertising, explains, “Maruti Suzuki has clear leadership when it comes to Cost of Ownership. The brief for these com-

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MSIL is riding on every possible media vehicle to retain consumer interest mercials was to communicate an area where Maruti Suzuki has traditionally been the leader.” Three TVCs – Tank, Juno and Yacht – have played upon the obsession of Indian consumers with mileage and fuel efficiency, in a hilarious way. In one of the ads, a young man persuades a rich man to buy a yacht by describing its special features, while the buyer quizzes the man with the question ‘Kitna deti hai?’. The second TVC shows a high level military deal going on between a foreign country and India, where the interpreter explains the technicalities of the tank to an Indian Army General; and in the third commercial a NASA scientist explains the specifications of a spacecraft called Juno to a bunch of laymen. The listeners in both the ads too, ask the same question on the amount of mileage such highly sophisticated

machines could offer. “The cost of petrol, and consequently mileage, is something Indians have always been obsessed about. It's something that is ingrained in our psyche. We're constantly comparing mileage figures, whichever vehicle we drive. We leveraged this consumer insight to create 'Kitna Deti Hai?' campaign,” Mohanty adds.

The main drive MSIL has thus extended its communication plan to endorse the residual value that its car brings to customers. A source close to the company explains, “While the initial purchase point is an important factor for any buyer, Maruti extends this satisfaction to the post purchase experience including after sales service, resale value and even personal visits from the top marketing levels to address consumer grievances.” With aggressive ads in Print and TV, the company divides its communication campaign into – product and ingredient advertising and cost of ownership, which runs across its corporate identity as a whole. Product advertising talks about the USP of the car aiming to push the sales of that particular product, while advertising for ingredients focus on the technological aspects of the brand that makes it superior to competitors. For instance, MSIL’s K series engine, which is a common factor among the Maruti Suzuki cars like Wagon R, Estilo and the soon to be launched new model of Alto. Ritz and Swift also have a higher variant of the K series engine. “It is a lighter engine, made of aluminum and has high fuel efficiency. Technologically, it is superior to the

August 2010 I Pitch I 55 NOVEMBER 2017 | PITCH | 103



FEATURE COMMUNICATION On fast track Despite tough competition, Maruti sales have only gone up June’ 09

June’ 10

Domestic sales (units sold)

50,000 40,000 30,000 20,000 10,000 0

Segme ent A2

Segment A3

Segment C Source: SIAM

existing Maruti Suzuki engines,” the Maruti source adds. A report by HSBC Global Research says that the overall cost of ownership of a Maruti Suzuki product is the lowest vis-à-vis competing automobile companies. This is on account of economies of scale and lower cost of spare parts. The company also launched a campaign, driving attention to Maruti Suzuki Genuine Parts, which comprise the accessories and spare parts that offer value for money and quality to the customer. With elements of humour, the latest Genuine Parts TVC, conceptualised by TBWA\India, uses an allegory to represent the importance of original spare parts that are tailor made by Maruti Suzuki. The TVC opens with a shot of a shop selling various human body parts. A man along with his wife approaches the shopkeeper for replacement of his backbone. The shopkeeper hoodwinks the man into trying a crooked backbone emphasising that it is as good as the original, while the man is completely shocked

and uncomfortable with the new replacement. The TVC thus ends with the tagline – ‘Every part is vital’.

Maximum overdrive Advocating strongly on the unmatched value, MSIL assures its customer with its corporate tagline ‘Buy it, run it or sell it, a Maruti Suzuki is unmatched value. In fact you don’t buy a Maruti Suzuki, you invest in it’. Maruti Suzuki explains the concept, “The price of a car is just one-third of

The Challengers ■ Nissan Micra comes with

key plus immobilizer and push-button engine startstop system ■ Chevrolet Beat’s ‘Cars are

not tomatoes’ campaign promotes longer test drive than competitors ■ Volkswagen and MTV

launched ‘Polo Ultimate Drive’, TV contest for car enthusiasts

what it costs you over its lifetime. Running and maintaining it make up the other two-thirds. Take into account resale value and its real cost becomes clear.” It also boasts of being at the top of the helm for the last ten years, when it comes to customer satisfaction (Source: J D Power Customer Satisfaction Index Study 2009). HSBC findings also suggest that price is not the only criteria to influence buyers’ decisions and Maruti has strategic advantage over others on different parameters. “Other important criteria include the ease of serviceability, cost of maintenance and re-sale value where Maruti Suzuki has a strategic advantage over the new players. If price were the only criteria, then General Motors’ Spark should have been the highest selling car at the price point of `3.5 lakh to `4.2 lakh,” states the report. Junichi Minohara, Vice President and Executive Director, Dentsu Creative Impact, adds, “The premium hatchback segment is clearly a market on the move. With a wide array of choices for consumers, it is a segment where consumers look for pleasure and indulgence in all aspects of ownership, right from greater engine power to mileage, from style to space, from overall comfort to the excitement of a great drive.” The creative agency has been able to drive the point in the ‘Choices’ TVC for Ritz. The brief was to structure a midterm, 360-degree campaign to quickly consolidate Ritz’s position as a premium hatchback and the idea was to uncomplicate decision making process while buying a car. “Within the segment of A2 premium, most cars call for a compromise or trade-off on one

56 I Pitch I August 2010

104 | PITCH | NOVEMBER 2017

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2011 aspect or the other of ownership. It adds to complication and confusion in customer’s minds about which brand to go for,” Minohara adds.

Getting younger All the campaigns are twisted to influence young, savvy, value-conscious Indians who increasingly look for cars that can deliver unmatched value - whether you buy, run or sell them. According to Mohanty, Maruti Suzuki has clear leadership on all three counts and the communication plan brings out the core values. With the average age of customers coming down in India, MSIL print campaign focuses on this aspect showcasing today’s youth as independent and intelligent decision makers. The taglines - ‘You don’t need grey hair to spot a good investment’; ‘I’m young but when it’s about spending money, I’m no kid; and ‘I want a car that’s ‘in’ today and ‘in’ when I sell it’ - communicate the same. Additionally, while some of its brands such as A-Star and Alto target young families, WagonR, Ritz and Estilo focus on individualistic youth. Thus the TG for Maruti Suzuki brands is young. The recently launched Eeco, an improved version of its age-old Omni model, specifically targets middle class Indian male

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“Beyond hardcore advertising, Maruti has always tried to connect with people’s hearts” Joy Mohanty, Senior CD, Capital Advertising

“The real challenge for Eeco was to ensure that it does not fall in the commercial use trap” Junichi Minohara, VP & ED, Dentsu Creative Impact

between the ages 26 and 40 years. “Unlike the other car (Omni) in the Csegment that over the years has come to be seen as a commercial and utilitarian product only, the real challenge was to ensure that Eeco does not fall in this commercial use trap and is used by people as a regular usage car,” says Minohara. Besides achieving a sales target of 3,500 to 4,000 units per month, the objective of the campaign was to create an ‘Eeco family’. “Therefore, the plots of the campaign revolve around the TG’s slice of life like holidays, weddings and picnics,” he says. Thus Dentsu Creative Impact roped in popular comedians from television and created a series of TVCs showcasing the Eeco family. A pan India radio campaign was conceptualised with a voice over of Amin Sayani. “It was a deliberate move as we wanted to break the clutter in the radio space, which is currently very crowded. Moreover, this voice has been a part of childhood memories of the current TG and hence would relate to them instantly,” Minohara adds. Agrees Mohanty, “Beyond hardcore product advertising and celebrity endorsement, Maruti has always tried to connect with people’s hearts in its communication.” ■ —

NOVEMBER 2017 | PITCH | 105





The edgy one

From bikes to fairness creams, engine oils and grooming appliances; John Abraham has a wide basket of endorsements. Is it his edgy biker image that’s doing the trick? By Abhinav Mohapatra


etrosexual marketing is on the rise with personal grooming brands launching a bevy of products targeting the male consumer. And model turned actor John Abraham, seems to be a favourite amongst these metrosexual marketers. Garnier and Philips are two popular brands which are

betting big on John Abraham’s appeal amongst the metrosexual consumers. The actor’s endorsement projects are handled by Mates, the entertainment unit of Madison World, and perhaps is one of the highest value association in the industry, pegged at Rs 100 crore. Other than personal grooming products, the actor has also been endorsing brands that strictly have a macho image like Yamaha and Castrol. He has also endorsed youth brands like VIP bags, Fastrack eye gear, Wrangler jeans and family brands like Haier. Recently, he bagged Ultimate Nutrition and Audi as a brand evangelist, since Audi does not hire brand ambassadors. Traditionally, Abraham has had a biker’s image, who personally too owns a wide range of bikes. A biker? According to Roy Kurian, National Business Head, India, Yamaha Motor, a brand that was one of the few to sign the actor as the brand ambassador in early days, says, “John has a macho image. Biking has a direct connect with John. He has the personality with an edge that fits with the technology of Yamaha, so I cannot think of any other actor endorsing our bikes the

36 106 | PITCH | NOVEMBER 2017

“John Abraham has a macho image. I cannot think of any other actor endorsing our bikes the way he does” Roy Kurian National Business Head, India, Yamaha Motors way John Abraham does.” Abraham may not be a big star as Aamir Khan or Shah Rukh Khan are, but they according to Kurian do not fit well with the brand. Abraham has been the brand ambassador for Yamaha since 2004, and also plays an important role on the advisory board of Yamaha. Add to that, Castrol, a brand which too is finding a right fit in Abraham being an avid biker. So entrenched is Abraham’s biker image that when Philips decided to get the actor on board to endorse its personal grooming products, it decided to give away Yamaha RX1 as a winning prize for an online activation. “John is all about doing edgy stuff. He stretches the limits but still is within certain bounds. That is the personality that he has been taking to every space. He is crazily fond of bikes, therefore, we, in an online activa-

Pitch | August 2012 #resilient #reliable #relevant

2012 20% tion, gave off a Yamaha RX1 as a winning prize,” says Arushi Agarwal, Director Marketing, Personal Care, Consumer Lifestyle, Philips India. Abraham co-creates facial styles with Philips grooming products. He is talking to an aspirational youth in the SEC A, B1 and in the age group of 16 – 28 years. According to Agarwal, Philips had conducted a study in eight cities to find out the aspirational youth icon, and Abraham emerged as the No 1 choice. It’s not with Philips that Abraham got into the grooming space. He has been endorsing Garnier’s men’s range for quite some time now. According to Darshana Bhalla, CEO, Mates, there are two more major brands in the pipeline that are ready to lap up Abraham. With such a wide line-up of brands, is the actor looking at moving beyond his stereotypical image of a biker boy? According to Harish Bijoor, CEO, Harish Bijoor Consults, the biker boy image will remain with Abraham and he is not shifting his category from a bike person to a personal care product person. “I do believe that he would be fit for personal category brands and auto category. In terms of TG, he could do well in the cosmetics side as it is growth oriented. He is not the guy who would cater to some ‘housewife in Hoshiarpur’ and is not a durables or a refrigerator kind of a guy, but a motorbike and personal care kind,” he says. Even Anand Have, Founder Chlorophyll Brand & Communications Consultancy feels that Abraham has no image to break away from. He goes on to an extend to say that Abraham is a popular face and that is the only connect that he brings in with brands, especially in case of Garnier. “He has no connect with Garnier but Garnier wants someone who is popular as well as has maintained himself.” Shades of grey: A metrosexual man Piyush Sinha, professor at IIM-Ahmedabad partly agrees with Halve when he says that “Brands have been saying different stories through different people. A brand fit depends more on the storyline than the storyteller or the characters.”

Pitch | August 2012 #resilient #reliable #relevant

“John Abraham is a popular face and that is the only connect that he brings in with the brands he endorses” Anand Halve Co-founder, Chlorophyll Brand & Communications Consultancy

“Shahrukh or Dhoni would have a connect with masses but John Abraham would work for the niche category” Harish Bijoor CEO, Harish Bijoor Consults

In the same vein, he however, says that Abraham is catering to the metrosexual youth, “who is somebody who appreciates shades and is not just black and white.” Sinha finds support in Bijoor’s statement, when the latter says that Abraham is a person who has a very global persona and he portrays an idea, that a macho man can fit into different brand categories too. “He has a very ‘unIndian Indian’ image,” he says. His macho imagery and being a met-

rosexual man, according to Bijoor, makes him a perfect candidate to endorse a product like a fairness cream that has feminine orientation but may not entirely be a feminine product, especially when the model turned actor has a large female following. “He is not a small town man. He is a big city guy. Someone like Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan or MS Dhoni would cater to the masses, whereas the niche category would like to see John Abraham,” he adds. Sex symbol? Meanwhile, Bhalla of Mates adds another dimension to his personality, when she says that Abraham is a sex symbol. “He is the kind of guy who has been comfortable in showing his six pack abs. He has been linked to products that portray a sex symbol or a style icon or a pin up boy. And the recent commercial about men’s grooming and anything to do with looks, comes naturally for John,” she says. Philips hired Abraham largely for three traits – that he is a style icon; someone who is exceptionally comfortable in his skin and is effortless in his style; and who is popular among women. So largely it is a mix of all – his biker’s imagery, fitness and style conscious and a metrosexual man that make him perfect for certain brands. Bhalla says, “If we look at the top 200 advertisers, 150 out of them will not hire brand endorsers if they do not have any tangible benefits. Everyone looks for a rise in numbers and recall.” From the horse’s mouth In the end, what does Abraham feel about his associations with brands? “Brands have been a part of my DNA since the start of my career,” says Abraham, adding, “I have known how they plan and what do they look for in communication strategies. So my aim is to deliver solutions they are seeking from a celebrity endorsement point of view. I align with their needs and do the best to help them get optimum results.” n

37 NOVEMBER 2017 | PITCH | 107




The Talaash continues 18% 24%

Despite blockbusters like Dabangg 2, Ek Tha Tiger, Rowdy Rathore and Talaash, besides others, Cinema failed to attract expected quantum of advertising 18% 15%


Growth %

18% -20%

yEArLy spEnds

2008 ` 129 Cr

2009 ` 103 Cr

2010` `118 118CrCr 2010 Pitch | Feb-March 2013


108 | PITCH | NOVEMBER 2017

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By Abhinav Mohapatra


ith more than 125 Bollywood releases in 2012 and about 12,000 movie theatres in the country, India is the most quantitative movie ticket market internationally, say industry reports. Around 330 crore movie tickets are sold every year in the country. The Indian movie industry, which completed 100 years in 2012, is projected to become a $5 billion industry in the next two years. The year 2012 from an advertisers’ point of view was an eventful one, as many production houses as well as movies took them on board to explore a ‘short-term, long-gain’ partnership. Movies like ‘Talaash’ saw Microsoft Windows 8 coming on board; ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’ saw Royal Enfield, Gibson Guitars, etc; ‘Barfi’ saw MonteCarlo and Prestige ,among others. Movies like ‘Agneepath’, ‘Paan Singh Tomar’, ‘Vicky Donor’,

‘Kahaani’, ‘Gangs Of Wasseypur’ Part 1 and 2, ‘Jism 2’, ‘OMG’, ‘Heroine’, ‘Dabangg 2’, saw innumerable advertisers, sponsoring and powering the hits. That said, cinema belied Pitch Madison Media Advertising Outlook’s expectation of strong growth of 15 per cent and grew only by 8 per cent, but the base for cinema continued to be extremely low, with the medium contributing only 0.5 per cent to the total advertising pie. Anand Vishal, Senior Vice President, Operations and Ad Sales, Fun Cinema says that from an advertising revenue point of view, the year 2012 was excellent. “Our advertising revenue was 25 per cent more over last year,” says Vishal. He further adds that 2012 was the best year for the industry. “Most of the films have really done well and eight movies crossed ` 100 crore plus

18% 18%



l Despite severa nema’s blockbusters, ci the total contribution to ere ad pie was a m 0.53% in 2012

2011 ` 140 Cr Pitch | Feb-March 2013

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2012 ` 151 Cr

business,” he claims. PVR, meanwhile, took its total number of screens to 351 after buying out 138-screen multiplex chain Cinemax for ` 395 crore, which makes PVR the largest player in the industry. PVR, which had the capacity of 50,655 seats, will now be potentially reaching out to more than 84,000 people across 85 locations. According to industry sources, every



growth in 2011, cinema saw only 8% growth in 2012 cinema hall in the Tier II and III cities receives a footfall of six to nine lakh in a year, which the advertisers cannot circumvent. According to Pitch Madison Media Advertising Outlook, the spends of the Indian cinema industry has shot up from ` 140 crore in 2011 to ` 151 crore in 2012. The report, however, had projected the spends to be at ` 161 crore. According to Vishal, clients prefer innovation over vanilla advertising. “For example, Volkswagen lucky thirteen activities, Dettol washroom branding, HDFC National Anthem association, Quikr innovation at our box office window, ITC biscuits sampling are a few,” he points out. Social media is another medium that advertisers and movie makers utilised, keeping the cinema industry in mind. According to industry media sources, more than 35 lakh fans of Amitabh Bachchan on Twitter are cued into his tweets to hear about his experiences on the sets of KBC (Kaun Banega Crorepati). Similarly, when Yash Raj Films promoted ‘Ek Tha Tiger’ on YouTube, it got more than 20 lakh views over two days. Bollywood is using these techniques to grab


NOVEMBER 2017 | PITCH | 109



CINEMA REVIEW 2012 as many eyeballs for upcoming movies. According to Siddhartha Roy, COO, Consumer Business & Allied Services, Hungama Digital Media Entertainment, social networking platforms are definitely important for connecting with the target audience. One can get instant feedback from the audience on the movie and it helps in creating a viral ripple for the movie. One can get real time information and understand the market. But he also cautions that one needs to objectively define how one wants the movie to be portrayed online. “The central theme or the core communication is very important and it should eventually unify all marketing efforts,” adds Roy. A teaser trailer of ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’ was released along with the trailer of ‘Ek Tha Tiger’ on YouTube on August 15, 2012, without revealing the name and calling it a “A Yash Chopra Romance’. The teaser crossed more than 10 lakh views in three days. And when the final trailer was released a month later, it received 10 lakh views on the first day, surpassing the record of the international movie ‘Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2’. Anand Gurnani, General Manager, Digital and New Media, Yash Raj Films says that from a content creating perspective, the objective is to always be present on various touch points through which there can be a connect developed with the consumers, hence these new online and digital mediums act as innovative and interactive platforms to connect with them. “We aim to give every film immense attention before its release to create a space in the audience’s minds that does not merely create awareness, but instead goes a step further to ensure a ‘buy-in’ to the film by creating a sense

“From a content perspective, our objective is to be present on various touch points for greater consumer connect” Anand Gurnani

General Manager, Digital & New Media, Yash Raj Films of anticipation and excitement. All our movies are being actively marketed on online destinations like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, among several others,” he says. “Yashraj actively uses its YouTube channel for the promos and also Meet-n-Greets online with stars, blogs and Google content network, among other tools,” Gumani appends. Other innovative advertising tie-ups were seen when DT Cinemas collaborated with HCL during summer holidays in 2012, engaged with school-going kids in the age group of 8-15 years. HCL hosted a lucky draw, where kids could win HCL tabs and gaming consoles with every movie experience, giving 25,000 students a chance to win HCL ME U1 Tabs and HCL ME Gaming consoles. Fun Cinema’s Vishal says that most of the advertising categories are using the cinema medium very aggressively in their media plan. He adds that the relevant TG is delivered at multiplexes, who have good spending power and

2012 was an eventful year from an advertiser’s perspective and saw production houses and movies explore short-term, long-gain partnerships 70

110 | PITCH | NOVEMBER 2017

are the right fit for the products. Except FMCG, Vishal says that most of the categories prefer cinema in their media plan and drawing a comparison with 2011, the categories that showed more interest in specific genres in 2012 were insurance, auto, internet websites, media channels as well as consumer durables. As per the Pitch Madison Media Advertising Outlook, the growth index of the cinema industry states that the ad-spends have come down from 18 per cent in 2011 to 8 per cent in 2012, which was estimated by the report to have a 3 per cent drop after 2011. According to industry reports, IMAX is planning to have 75 per cent of its business spread across India, China, Russia and Brasil in the coming two years. From an India perspective, IMAX, which has three theatres in the country, plans to have more than 15 theatres by the end of the year. Post the launch of the first PVR Talkies in Madhya Pradesh in 2012, Ajay Bijli, Chairman and Managing Director, PVR, says, “PVR Talkies has been successful in cities across the nation and we hope to receive an overwhelming response from the city of Ujjain. The launch has been planned keeping in mind the growing needs of the discerning audience in Tier II & III cities for a quality cinema viewing experience.” Vishal of Fun Cinema states that the challenge of 2012 was limited inventories with big releases. From an advertising point of view, he says that there is no slowdown in the industry, but in fact the year-on-year growth is 20 per cent. He further adds that the ad rates have not reduced. “In fact, for movies such as ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’, ‘Dabangg 2’, ‘Talash’, ‘Ek Tha Tiger’ and for other block buster movies, we increased our rates,” he says. The contribution of cinema to the total ad-pie in 2012 has been flat with 0.53 per cent compared to 0.5 per cent in 2011. n

Pitch | Feb-March 2013

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Bleak light at Twilight While on the one hand, the cinema industry is witnessing blockbusters crossing the `100-crore mark and number of screens going up in smaller towns, ad-spends growth on the medium is expected to be marginal

By Abhinav Mohapatra


ost industry players seem to be having a positive outlook for cinema in terms of advertising trends in 2013. The opening up of many more avenues for brands and categories make the year look promising. The excitement for not only Bollywood but also Hollywood mega-star blockbusters such as ‘Avengers’, ‘The Dark Knight Rises’, ‘Skyfall’, ‘Twilight’, etc., in 2012 will set the ball rolling for the year ahead. According to the Pitch Madison Media Advertising Outlook, the forecast for ad spends on cinema in 2013 is projected at ` 166 crore, a rise of a mere ` 5 crore.

Pitch | Feb-March 2013

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NOVEMBER 2017 | PITCH | 111



CINEMA OUTLOOK 2013 18% 18%

projected Growth

18% 10%

18% 8%


GRowth %


2011 ` 140 Cr According to report from Nielsen, cinema advertising is resurging in Asia Pacific as advertisers seize the opportunity to engage a captive audience. Regional ad spends in the third quarter of 2012 spiked to 54 per cent, contributing to a 12 per cent global jump. In Asia Pacific, cinema grew 27 per cent, off-setting the declines seen in Latin America and the Middle East and Africa. According to Anand Vishal, Senior Vice President, Operations and Ad Sales, Fun Cinemas, the year 2013 looks very promising for the industry. “We are expecting 20 per cent more

2012 ` 151 Cr

The excitement for not only Bollywood but also Hollywood mega-star blockbusters in 2012 will set the ball rolling for the year ahead business over last year,” he said. Looking at other conglomerates such as Priya Village Roadshow, with over 40 cinemas across 24 cities, PVR has set a target of operating 500 screens by the end of 2015. Of this, around 100 screens will be launched in smaller towns and cities. The Pitch Madison Media Advertising Outlook forecasts the cinema in-

Considering cinema’s ad spends base to be insignificant, its rise in contribution to the entire ad pie from 0.53% in 2012 to 0.54 % in 2013 might just seem peanuts 72

112 | PITCH | NOVEMBER 2017

2013 ` 166 Cr

dustry to grow by 10 per cent. The ‘Festival de Cannes’ or Cannes Film Festival had chosen Goa in 2012 to announce that it is to welcome a large delegation from the Indian film industry to Cannes to celebrate the 100 years of Indian Cinema. The body announced that India in 2013 is to be the third ‘guest country’ at Cannes, following Egypt in 2011 and Brazil in 2012. Considering cinema’s ad spends base to be insignificant, its rise in contribution to the entire ad pie from 0.53 per cent in 2012 to 0.54 per cent in 2013 might just seem peanuts. n

Pitch | Feb-March 2013

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Are Marketers listening to conversations on sociAl MediA platforms? By Kanika Mehrotra


ocial media listening, also known as social media monitoring, is the process of spotting and reviewing what is being said about a company, individual, product or brand on the Internet. Conversations on the social media platforms are gigantic unstructured data. It’s very important for a brand, therefore, to define the targets for a social listening initiative. The new wave of social media marketing overlaps with the PR executive’s ability to converse and build relationships with the consumer. This has led to usage of the vast scope of social media in the digital marketing strategies. Speaking about social listening, Sanjay Tripathy, Senior Executive Vice President, HDFC Life Insurance Company said that social listening is a great way to inform any business effort that would be assisted by input from a relevant social media platform. On being asked about the problem and the difficulty that is created by the excessive conversation on social platforms, Nikhil Rungta, Chief Business officer, Yebhi said “These days there are tools available to extract insights from the billions of conversations happening on social media at any given time. With the help of the tools it is able to get notification about what is said across a range of sites including LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, blogs, and video.

Pitch | February 2014 #resilient #reliable #relevant

Brands can monitor their brand names, products, services, and competitors by keyword and geographic location. The tools help users to identify influencers among the people who are driving conversations. Nikhil further added that the time span in which the brand replies to the negative feedback on social media platform should be a maximum of sixty minutes. It’s very important for the brand to reply. The consumer should feel that his query has been read and would be solved.

uct in the segment in which our product is to be launched in the near future. It is a deliberate leak of the feature in which it has an upper hand as compared to the product to be launched by the competitor. This deliberate leak may act like a teaser and is very acceptable on social platforms” Another Panelist Bipul Kiran Singh, Public Affairs Adviser and brand expert advised the brands to communicate with the audience as if the conversation were between two humans and not between a common man and a big brand. The conversation on any platform should give consumers a feel

Social listening is beneficial not only in one way conversation between the consumer and brand but also on a larger scale Social listening is beneficial not only in one way conversation between the consumer and brand but also on a larger scale. Sudeep Narayan , Marketing & PR Director Volvo said “ Social listening is not just about what people say about a particular brand but also what is said about the competing brands and the response of the competing brands.” Sudeep, with an example, explained how listening to competitors could be very useful. Sudeep said “It is useful to learn that a competing brand is about to launch a prod-

that he is being heard by some human being and not the big brand. If senior officials start responding on social platforms, it can certainly gain more faith of the people. Has the concept of social listening penetrated in the public sector ? Bipul Kiran said “The government sector has still not got active with social listening. They are still engaged in the traditional ways of media. In the political classes its one way listening. Even if the public posts something the replies are not that quick” n

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Flipkart’s success lies in the way they communicate with customers and their promptness in taking action


DIGITAL Innovation for



LIPKART HAS BEEN a major player in the e-commerce space in India for the last few years, having become a major market leader in India. It has set an example for the other e-commerce brands operating currently and for upcoming ones. Figures will not be enough to explain the reach of Flipkart in the country over the last few years. There has been a mix of strategies that have helped Flipkart attain this position. The brand has employed some of the smartest ways to harness digital. In fact, innovation has become Flipkart’s second name. It has created a USP based on customer satisfaction and innovation. This is what differentiates Flipkart from any other company. Flipkart’s USP is customer

114 | PITCH | NOVEMBER 2017

Satisfaction satisfaction by providing roundthe-clock customer services. Connecting with customers has become extremely essential for the company and they consider it their main point of advantage over any other brand. In a move to strengthen the last-mile delivery of goods to consumers, Flipkart recently partnered with the Dabbawalas of Mumbai. According to them, they will partner with the company’s delivery network, eKart Logistics. As of now, one union of the Dabbawalas will collect Flipkart shipments from the delivery hubs and deliver it to customers while picking up their dabbas. Along with this, they also announced that it would create over 2 million jobs through its marketplace and ancillary services in the year 2015. 60 per cent of these jobs will be in the

logistics and warehouse sector. Flipkart aims to scale up their training presence across 40 cities within the next 6 months. They have also been very efficient in using the available technology to their advantage. With a registered user count north of 26 million, Flipkart is an undisputed juggernaut in its space. Ostensibly, over 75 percent of their sales initiate from mobile devices currently. Their app--often among the top 5 most popular apps in Indiahas witnessed about 11 million downloads. Flipkart’s revenue figures are close to Rs 2,846 crore FY2014,(US$ 1 billion in gross merchandise value 2013-14). Along with this, Flipkart is experimenting with sales on single categories. The category specific sale elicited a betterthan-expected response from #resilient #reliable #relevant


Flipkart’s USP is customer satisfaction by providing roundthe-clock customer services

shoppers across the country with a record 3X growth in traffic and 7X growth in sales during the period. The sale attracted more mobile app traffic compared to the website—60 per cent of the traffic and 50 per cent of the merchandise sales were via the Flipkart mobile app. The Singapore-registered company, with operations only in the Indian market, is also eyeing US bourses to raise around $5 billion through an initial public offering (IPO) over the next 1218 months. They appointed Hari Vasudev, ex-head Yahoo India R&D, as Senior VP- Engineering, IT & Analytics for Flipkart’s Supply Chain. Vasudev will lead efforts in building supply chain products and services under technology with a focus on robotics, mobile, IoT& data sciences. #resilient #reliable #relevant

It is close to its third acquisition this year. Flipkart is close to buying mobile app marketing start-up DSYN Technologies. The latest trend in the ecommerce space has been the focus on single platforms. Flipkart and Myntra have disabled their mobile websites, forcing users to install their mobile apps. Flipkart acquired Bangalorebased global mobile network AdIQuity for an undisclosed amount. It’s a mobile ad network enabling app developers and mobile publishers earn revenue from their mobile inventory. AdIQuity also facilitates ad agencies, ad networks, DSPs and other media buyers to acquire global quality mobile traffic and to leverage the opportunities presented in the rapidly growing mobile ads space.

Flipkart, which had an inventory-led format, recently announced a shift to the marketplace model, which is about hosting many retailers on a single online platform. However, industry sources reason that Flipkart may still not have left the inventorybased format and, therefore, it requires significant investments. Major players like Amazon, Ebay and Snapdeal opted for the marketplace route in India as foreign investment is permitted in that format, unlike the inventory-led model. Flipkart, which started off as an online book store six years ago, has widened its product offerings since then, and is building technology that can handle ten times more traffic than it does right now. This requires change in everything from the website to the delivery mechanisms. NOVEMBER 2017 | PITCH | 115




he exchange4media Media ACE Awards recognize Indian media agencies for their work and their contribution to the industry. The Media ACE Awards showcase award-winning work that has helped mould India's media landscape. The Indian media industry has grown significantly over the past decade. And while not much is written about it, the agencies and professionals involved have been the sole driving force behind structuring the media space and its various facets in an ever-evolving landscape. Thousands of professionals as well as young, ignited minds are employed and trained by these agencies to enrich and contribute to the nation’s communication industry.

Sam Balsara Madison World, Nandini Dias Lodestar, Krishna Menon Sakal Media, Vidhyadhar Kale Facebook, Kashyap Vadapalli Pepperfry, Madhav Nene Mahindra & Madhindra

Sanjay Behl Raymond, Sam Balsara Madison World, Pradeep Dwivedi Sakal Media & Nawal Ahuja.

Prasanth Kumar CEO Mindshare

Madhav Nene Mahindra & Mahindra & Karan Kumar-Fabindia 116 | PITCH | NOVEMBER 2017

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Sam Balsara, Founder and MD, Madison World & Nandini Dias CEO, Lodestar UM India

Vikram Sakhuja Group CEO Madison World

Mindshare - Agency of the year

CVL Srinivas, Country Head, WPP India & CEO South Asia, GroupM #resilient #reliable #relevant

Karan Kumar, Head Branding and Marketing Fabindia, Nandini Dias CEO Lodestar UM India-Isobar team

NOVEMBER 2017 | PITCH | 117




itch Top 50 Brands, is an annual property of Pitch, from the exchange4media Group with an objective to unveil the top 5 brands in 10 categories. The list is a means to acknowledge impactful, efficient and commendable marketing practices being upheld by brands in various categories. The process aims to identify the best approaches with respect to idea and innovation, consumer connect, communication impact, execution and results. Hina Mittal Nayar-ProfiliAd; Suresh Narayanan-Nestle India; Manan Shah-Truecaller; Rajashree Birla; Annurag Batra

Rahul Agarwal CEO & MD Lenovo India

Rajashree Birla, Aditya Birla Group

Rahul Agarwal, CEO & MD Lenovo India & Sanjay Behl CEO, Raymond 118 | PITCH | NOVEMBER 2017

S K Tijarawala, Patanjali

Suresh Narayanan MD, Nestle India #resilient #reliable #relevant

Shubodip Pal CMO, Micromax India & Rajiv Kumar Bobal Director Sales and Marketing Revlon India

Yogesh Shinde VP Marketing, Waghbakri Tea

Winners at Pitch Top 50 Brands

Venke Sharma-Star India; Nawal Ahuja-exchange4media Group; Rajashree Birla-Aditya Birla Group; Annurag Batra; Rahul Agarwal-Lenovo India; Suresh Narayanan-Nestle India, Sanjay Behl-Raymond #resilient #reliable #relevant

NOVEMBER 2017 | PITCH | 119

TÊTE-À-TÊTE Shivjeet Kullar on the

10 most interesting people he’s met during his 25 years in advertising.


Syeda Imam – My Guardian Angel

Every idiot needs a guardian angel to survive and mine was this lady. She was one of the best creative directors of her time and a truly aristocratic woman. Time and time again she saved me from myself, though I still remember the first day I met her. She dragged me into the ladies bathroom to show me how Harpic worked!


Subash Ghoshal – The Jedi Master

Many of the young guys reading this may not have heard of him, but they should Google him and read more. He was probably one of the single greatest figures in Indian Advertising History and took JWT (then HTA) to No.1. He hired me in Contract where I remained for 12 years. His immaculate writing, wry world view and super intelligent approach to training people taught me a lot. However, in all fairness this Jedi master would probably not consider me one of his greater gifts to advertising. He, I think, felt that I went to the Dark side of the Force with my brashness, impudence and impatience.


Shah Rukh Khan – MrQuick Silver

I shot numerous films with this Khan and he gave me some amazing insights into the film world. I was always amazed at how quickly his mind worked. He is where he is simply because of his amazing confidence. He always backs himself to win, and normally does. I still remember when he showed me four expressions 1) Head tilted back with smile 2) Head down with eyes up 3) Neck cocked to one side with eyebrow up and 4) Eyes wide open…and told me ‘this is my entire repertoire of emotions’ – I’ve done 50 films by combining one or more of these movements.

Shah Rukh Khan Indian Actor 120 | PITCH | NOVEMBER 2017

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Atal Bihari Vajpayee– Tower of Integrity I wrote the ad campaign that brought BJP to power years back and had to deal with ABV quite a lot. What an impressive person. So much integrity and depth. I remember one headline I had to write about the issue of citizenship between him and Sonia Gandhi. He wanted it to be high impact yet subtle. Finally, we together came up with the line – ‘Don’t vote for him because he was born in India, vote for him because you were.’ His ‘Shabash Bete’ after I cracked that felt like an official Padma Shri Award!


Sunny Leone – The Classy Woman

Now I know that some of you are going to raise your eyebrows but that’s because you’ve never met her. I worked with her on some ad films and was really really surprised. She comes across in a very simple forthright manner. No cynicism. No hesitation and a lot of natural confidence. I mean give her credit – she flew across seven thousand miles and dared to do the unthinkable. I’m not endorsing her acting but her sheer self belief puts her in this list.


Prahalad Kakkar – My Favourite Madman

There was so much crazy scary nonsense I had heard about Prahalad before I went to meet him for a film. How he called a creative director down from Delhi, made her sit down and then left through the backdoor to Goa. How he gave a quote to an agency that was only valid for 15 minutes! The guy sounded like Dracula, Werewolf, Hitler and a Volcano all mixed into one. So when I told him how I thought that a frame he was shooting should be changed I waited for an explosion. But he listened. And told me to direct the rest of the film and went off to smoke a cigar!


Annurag Batra – A hurricane gathering speed!

What can I say about this guy that you don’t know? However, I assure you that he is not on this list because of his connection with the publication. Annurag is one of the most big hearted guys I know and he has such phenomenal energy that he could power a whole city! Within five years I guarantee you he will be among the 3 best known names in media. Then God help us! Lol. Just kidding.

Prahalad Kakkar Indian Ad Guru and Film Director

#resilient #reliable #relevant

NOVEMBER 2017 | PITCH | 121


Ram Sehgal – The Energy Man

Ram was president of Contract when I joined. I guess he realized how strange and foolish I was very early. I still remember having a fight with my branch manager in Calcutta because he didn’t let me travel to supervise my film. I actually wrote a resignation on a napkin in pencil. And he actually accepted it! I was newly married and when I came home to tell my pregnant wife I had lost my job it didn’t go too well. So I called Ram who I finally tracked down somewhere in Indonesia. As soon as I said hello his first response was a matter of fact – ‘What have you done now?’ He saved my job and my child was born to a solvent father. One interesting thing Ram told me is that ‘Advertising is an energy business – the more energy you have the more like you are to succeed.’ I later realized life itself was an energy business!


Neil Johnson – the Man who would be King!

Now I realize that many people haven’t heard of Neil and that’s a pity. If he had stayed on in India he would probably have been one of the best copywriters in the country. He was my best friend and an amazing talent. His quiet almost conspiratorial way of convincing a servicing guy and a client of his work was truly an art. To give you an idea of what we accomplished together. In the five years we worked together in Contract Delhi the teams that worked with me and him won 600 awards! That’s right 600 – national and international trophies.


My Mentor

I generally don’t like to name this person because he values his privacy. But he is the most brilliant mind I have met on the face of this earth (and a few years back was on the list of the 20 most powerful people in India). The strange thing is that when he first says something I may or may not get it – but days and years later the truth echoes. As I grow older I find myself wanting (and succeeding somewhatI hope), to be more like him. Distilled thinking. Never raising your voice. Treating others with respect. Walking with God in your heart. These are just some of the many many qualities he has. His company contacted me to write an ad campaign for which I interacted with him personally and even now 15 years later I go to him whenever I need guidance on something. So for those of you who are setting out on your ad careers I hope you get to meet people like this too. God Bless!

Atal Bihari Vajpayee Former Prime Minister of India

122 | PITCH | NOVEMBER 2017

Shivjeet Kullar was for years one of the best known names in advertising. Through his distinguished career he won more than 100 awards. Some of his best known campaigns are Bole Mere Lipps I Love Uncle Chips, Shahrukh ‘Mayur’ Khan, and the campaign that brought the BJP to power. 4 years back he left the profession to do a start up – – which is potentially valued at $120 million dollars by Deloitte. #resilient #reliable #relevant

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NOVEMBER 2017 | PITCH | 123

I N D I A’ S F I R S T











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Pitch anniversary issue 2017  

ARE YOU ON TOP OF YOUR GAME? Decoding brand consumer relationship rules! BRAND VIRAT KOHLI

Pitch anniversary issue 2017  

ARE YOU ON TOP OF YOUR GAME? Decoding brand consumer relationship rules! BRAND VIRAT KOHLI