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- Dec 13, 2018
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MediAvataar's News Desk

MediAvataar's News Desk

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During the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) State of the Industry Address at CES® 2019, CTA announced 16 out of 61 countries are leading the world in having the best environment for innovation according to its new 2019 International Innovation Scorecard.

This year’s Innovation Champions are Australia, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Israel, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.

During the CTA keynote, the Netherlands’ State Secretary for Economic Affairs and Climate Policy Mona Keijzer, the U.K.’s Secretary of State for International Trade Dr. Liam Fox and Estonia’s Minister of Education and Research Mailis Reps joined Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA, onstage to accept the Innovation Champion awards on behalf of their countries.

“These countries are world-class leaders in growing innovation,” said Shapiro. “When it comes to technology and policy, they value disruptive innovators. To be leaders in innovation, nations must drop protectionist rules and end barriers that limit them from creating the next great startups that will change the world for the better.”

The new Innovation Champions include first-time honorees Germany and Israel. Germany climbed into the highest tier thanks to improved new business growth and widespread access to telecommunications and online services. In Israel, over half (51.5 percent) of its workforce is employed in high-skilled jobs, almost half (46.8 percent) of its college students earn degrees in STEM fields — second only to Singapore – and 4.3 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) goes toward research and development (R&D), more than any other country on the Scorecard.

Overall, Innovation Champions typically outperform other countries in measures of Freedom, Broadband, Entrepreneurial Activity, Resiliency – a new category to quantify the degree to which a country’s government and society are sustainable – and Self-Driving Vehicles.

Meanwhile, three former Innovation Champions dropped in the 2019 rankings. Austria’s top individual tax rate of 55 percent, the Czech Republic’s 15 percent year-over-year decline in R&D investment and Portugal’s decision to pressure short-term rental websites to share their data with the government moved them down to Innovation Leaders this year.

Other 2019 trends include:

Small countries tend to lead in R&D investment. Israel and South Korea spent the most of their GDP on R&D, with more than four percent, followed by Switzerland (3.4 percent), Sweden (3.3 percent) and Austria (3.1 percent).

On each continent, the countries with average download speeds above 18 mbps also ranked highly overall.

Eight of the 10 most resilient countries — graded on criteria including the visibility of supply chains and strength of digital and physical infrastructure — are European.

None of the 38 returning countries saw its Self-Driving Vehicles grade drop. In fact, many have further encouraged self-driving vehicle development by deploying self-driving public transit vehicles or preparing to build international test tracks. Year-over-year, we have seen more countries adopt laws allowing SDV testing.

The U.S. and China dominate in unicorns – domestic startups valued at USD 1 billion or more – created in the past decade, per 10 million people in population. The U.S. leads with 133, China has 120 and the third-ranked U.K. has 12.

Sunday, 20 January 2019 00:00

Top Trends From CES 2019

CES is about showcasing the latest tech innovations, which doesn’t always correlate well with what people want. Yet this year the key gadgets seemed more aligned to the current zeitgeist.

Digital Serenity

People today seem more stressed, tired, overwhelmed and distracted than ever because we’ve added more media and choices to our lives. From brain wave radiating massage chairs to brain calming headsets to apps aiding mindfulness, there seemed to be a range of products to help us retain calmness. Brands that help us decide and navigate choice will be more important than ever.

Chinese Imagination

Historically, we’ve seen Chinese companies mirroring what was developed elsewhere, but this year we saw them offering more innovative products – TV companies like Changhong and TCL, drone makers like DJI and handset makers like Huawei seemed to have some of the most outlandish, interesting, bold and pioneering designs – proving brands need to look east for inspiration and in all sectors.

Modular Upgrades

Software can improve products overnight, but not hardware. This year we saw an array of physical add ons to enhance older devices – from parking sensors and adaptive cruise control to FIBARO which connects older devices to Z-Wave, a wireless communications tool used for home automation. Brands should think about the long-term feeling of ownership vs. what they buy once.

Assisted Living

Technology has primarily focused on the young, healthy, wealthy and curious. Changing demographics have led to more tech solutions for the fragile/vulnerable – new wearables for the elderly, an array of personal safety devices (smart canes; Hyundai’s walking car) and the rise of voice as an interface. Brands should work with technology to help solve problems faced by the many, not the lucky few.


Written by Tom Goodwin, Head of Innovation, Zenith

The Gender-Equality Index identifies companies committed to advancing women in the workplace

WPP was today named an industry leader in the 2019 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index (GEI) which recognises companies committed to transparency in gender reporting and advancing women’s equality.

Bloomberg’s 2019 index includes 230 firms from 10 sectors, headquartered across 36 countries and regions. Assessing information against a globally-established threshold, the GEI looks at how companies promote gender equality across four separate areas: company statistics, policies, community engagement and products and services.

WPP is the only company among its peers to be included in the list.

Mark Read, CEO of WPP said: “As we continue to build a culture at WPP that is inclusive, collaborative and diverse in our talent and in the work we create, we’re proud to be recognised in the Gender-Equality Index as a leader in our industry.”

Peter T. Grauer, Chairman of Bloomberg and Founding Chairman of the U.S. 30% Club said: “WPP’s GEI inclusion is a strong indicator to its employees, investors and industry peers alike that it is leading by example to advance ongoing efforts for a truly inclusive workplace.”

93.5 RED FM, India’s most awarded private radio station, launches an eye-opening anti-air pollution campaign called ‘Kolkata Ki Hawa Tight’.

This campaign spreads awareness about the declining air quality of Kolkata as the city has recently topped the national air pollution survey. Amidst the growing air pollution crisis RED FM takes it upon itself to educate Kolkatans about the repercussions of their daily activities that add up to deteriorate the air quality of Kolkata. Setting their goals to mitigate air pollution with every little step, RED FM jocks have pledged not to take their cars out for a week and encourage listeners to use public transport or share their ride. RED FM has always been ahead of its peers when it comes to picking up topical issues and spreading awareness about them. From anti-air pollution in Kolkata to plastic ban in Mumbai, RED FM shows the way to tackle environmental issues with much élan.

To take this mission a notch higher, jocks are pooling rides with the listeners and going on-air during the ride. In fact, RJs Praveen, Nil, Nilam, Abhishek, Rashmi and Sharique will conduct their individual shows from listeners’ cars for the coming week, so that they can bring out the ground reality faced by fellow Kolkatans regularly. Additionally, RED FM is running a recurring on-air contest where they play ‘atmakathas’ of various city monuments, buildings and popular areas, in which the listeners need to guess the place jocks are talking about. This contest emphasizes on the campaign tagline ‘Jald Sheher dikhai nahi sirf sunai dega’ which underline the fact how the heavy smog is taking a toll on the visibility aspect making it difficult for people to see further beyond few metres. Apart from that, creatively this contest teaches the listeners to practice on how to navigate and understand Kolkata via sound as well as to keep in mind the fact that they will be unable to see the city soon if they don’t act on it now.

Commenting on the campaign Nisha Narayanan, COO, RED FM, says, “Pollution levels in Kolkata has reached an all-time high, emerging as one of the most polluted cities in India owing to heavy traffic, emissions from industrial and household sectors. This year the city is experiencing its highest pollution spell with the air quality worsening considerably as compared to previous years. RED FM being a ‘station of expression’ has always been the voice of its listeners and taken up issues that are socially engaging, the recent spike of pollution in Kolkata being one of them. ‘Kolkata Ki Hawa Tight’ is RED’s way of highlighting the same in a very ‘Bajaate Raho’ way where we are trying to make everyone aware of small but essential steps which can help to save up on fuel, electricity and energy and help curbing the air pollution levels.”

Speaking on the initiative RJ Praveen RED FM, says, “Kolkata has never faced such a crisis before and as a responsible citizen who can reach out to millions via radio, I feel I have to step up and do my bit. Our team collaborated and researched elaborately to collate all the information about several areas in Kolkata from the listeners. For the on-going and coming week we are doing multiple outdoor campaigns with creative hoardings and on-air shows where listeners are actively participating to spread the word and sensitize each other about health hazards and economic liability that present air pollution crisis holds for all of us. Above all, the presence of Kolkata in the list as one of the most polluted city in the world, is a matter of ultimate shame for us; because we have failed to keep our city clean. Now it’s time to turn the table and fight air pollution head on with our campaign.”

Air pollution is playing havoc with the natural environment leading to drastic effect on flora and fauna of the city. ‘Kolkata Ki Hawa Tight’ will highlight certain specific cases where this city’s greenery has been completely ruined due to haphazard construction work. Along with that it will also showcase how heritage monuments have been pushed to decay by careless human action. Celebrities like Abir Chatterjee, Anupam Roy, Usha Uthup, Rekha Bhardwaj, Parambrata, Srijit Mukherjee, Harsh Neotia have supported the campaign and already participated in the spirometer test. Taking a stand in the beginning of 2019, RED FM team urges everyone to step up and take action right now before it is too late.

Capabilities demonstrate the agency’s diverse expertise to meet the needs of clients in today’s modern marketing communications world

Ogilvy announced today key appointments to its capability leadership team in the Asia-Pacific region as a next step in the agency’s transformation journey.

While Ogilvy operates now as a fully integrated business centered around client needs, developing and nurturing key specialist skills is the role of Capability Leaders. These leaders have the modern marketing skills to meet the changing needs of clients, and demonstrate the depth and breadth of the expertise that exemplifies the new Ogilvy.

“Today, brands are facing unprecedented change and we must continue to evolve to meet their needs”, said Kent Wertime, Co-Chief Executive, Ogilvy Asia. “This core group of leaders reflects the diversity of Ogilvy’s offering and expertise, which is brought together holistically as innovative, integrated solutions that build our clients’ brands.”

Ogilvy’s six core global capabilities are: Brand Strategy, Advertising, Customer Engagement and Commerce, PR and Influence, Digital Transformation, and Partnerships.

The new appointments in Asia are as follows:

Giri Jadhav has been announced as the head of Advertising in Asia. Jadhav is a long-term Ogilvy veteran who started with the network in India, and has held various regional positions based out of Singapore – most recently heading the agency’s global client portfolio in the region. Jadhav will take on the important role of driving the evolution of the Advertising offering in a digital and content driven world. He will continue to be based in Singapore.

Sheilen Rathod is taking on the leadership of Ogilvy’s Customer Experience and Commerce capabilities across Asia. This extends from his current China role in charge of this capability area. These services continue to build upon Ogilvy’s long history of data driven one-to-one marketing services. This includes the fast-growing area of commerce and user experience marketing. Rathod is also an Ogilvy veteran, who has previously worked in Hong Kong before moving to his current posting in China. He now takes on this regional position based in Shanghai.

Ali Kazmi will head Ogilvy’s Partnerships in Asia – also an extension of his current role in China. Over the past several years, Ogilvy has developed critical relationships with a host of partners – particularly digital platforms in China (like Alibaba, and Tencent), international partners (such as Facebook, Google, and Adobe), and Asian homegrown platforms and partners. Kazmi’s role will be to build these and other partnerships and assure that clients have access to deep platform knowledge. He will take on this regional position from Shanghai.

Andrew Thomas will be taking on an increased role in developing Ogilvy’s PR and Influence offerings in the ASEAN markets. PR and Influence services also constitute a significant business for Ogilvy in Asia, and Ogilvy was recognized in last year’s Sabre awards as Asia’s leading PR Consultancy. Thomas will continue to be based in Singapore.

Jadhav, Rathod, Kazmi, and Thomas will join Ogilvy’s capability leadership already in place in the region led by Scott Kronick (PR and Influence), Benoit Wiesser (Brand Strategy), and Jerry Smith (Digital Transformation).

Digital Transformation in Asia entails enterprise level Digital Strategy, and Marketing Automation. Smith will also continue to oversee Ogilvy’s specialist digital agencies such as Verticurl, ARBA, and Pennywise; in addition to maintaining his Chief Operations Officer role for Ogilvy Asia, and his position as Chairman of Ogilvy Consulting in Asia.

“As we look to the new year, Kent and I look forward to partnering with our renewed capability leadership team to continue to meet the changing needs of our clients while also developing a pipeline of talent with the modern marketing skills needed to take Ogilvy into the future” added Chris Reitermann, Co-Chief Executive, Ogilvy Asia.

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