MediAvataar's News Desk
From awareness campaigns to HR initiatives, ANN reaffirms itself as a responsible news network
· On the day of Janta Curfew, ABP News Network was the most preferred News network in India (Source : BARC, 15+, All India, 22 Mar 2020)
· ANN was the #1 News Network during PM Modi’s address to the nation on 24 Mar 2020 (Source : BARC, 15+, All India, 24 Mar 2020 – 20:00 – 20:30)
· ABP News touched 217 Mn Viewers at All India Level (Source : BARC, 2+, All India, Wk 12, 2020)
India’s leading media conglomerate, ABP News Network, has once again come to light as a ‘People-first’ news network, having taken numerous steps to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on our society. As corporates face an unprecedented business crisis, ANN has paved its way towards an effective coping strategy and created a positive societal impact through its novel, yet prudent initiatives.
Just like health workers have been risking their lives to treat and give care to COVID-19 patients, and government authorities have been working tirelessly to control the spread of the virus; ANN has showed its valour and solicitude by helping spread timely and appropriate information on COVID-19 and made a special effort to help those in need.
One of the most heartfelt initiative from ANN is ‘Senior Patrol’, which has been carried out in collaboration with Robinhood Army (RHA). Senior Patrol is targeted towards helping the most senior and susceptible members of the society. Under this initiative, they deliver essentials like food, medicines, etc. to senior citizens amid the lockdown, in the safest way possible.
ANN Reporters have been on the frontlines in delivering every piece of information to the viewers. This includes an exclusive report on COVID-19 testing kits, wherein ANN reporters visited a pathology lab to help viewers understand the workings, proceedings and components of the Mylab testing kit.
Consequently, through continuous efforts, minute-to-minute updates, and comprehensive insights on the pandemic, ANN’s digital platform has garnered a whopping 15.7 Billion Impressions in the month of March (Source: YouTube Analytics), attesting their dominance on the digital front. This has further strengthened the trust & faith viewers have in ANN’s sui generis content.
ABP News Network was also the #1 News Network during PM Modi’s address to the nation on 24 Mar 2020. (SOURCE: BARC, 15+, All India, 24 Mar 2020 – 20:00 – 20:30)
To strengthen the consciousness on the pandemic and ensure the safety of the people, ABP News initiated a message driven campaign called #CoronakoDhona. The campaign was successful in spreading awareness on the preventive measures against the spread of the virus through the impeccable reach of their news channel & social media platforms. Driving home the message of good hygiene, millions of viewers took part in the intensive campaign, which accrued 5.42 mn interactions and 132.79 mn views on Facebook.
Renowned ABP Anchor, Rubika Liyaquat also expressed her solidarity and support towards PM Modi’s recent social strengthening activity of lighting a diya on 5th April.
Various innovative steps were also undertaken by ANN such as ‘Live Bulletins from Home’, to ensure that anchors could work effectively from a safe space.
Renowned ABP Ananda Anchor, Suman De also conducted a live show from home, instilling the important message of ‘staying home’ amongst the viewers.
Furthermore, with an intention to eradicate fake news and debunk myths on COVID-19, ABP News took special programming initiatives such as ‘Sachchai ka Sensex’, to apprise the viewers about the facts and separate them from the misleading medical information, rumours, falsehoods, etc.
Another special segment on ABP News called ‘Ghar Ghar Big Boss’ was telecast to subtly share a message on social distancing & staying home, wherein celebrities were interviewed from the their respective homes, to create a sense of calm and entertainment for the viewers amid the non-stop cheerless news-cycle.
The regional channels of ANN, i.e. ABP Majha, ABP Ananda, ABP Asmita & ABP Ganga have been equally pertinent in creating a positive societal impact through their thoughtful initiatives.
ABP Majha’s specially-curated show ‘Corona Parishad’ was one such step. The unique show featured eminent doctors from Maharashtra like Padmashree Dr. Tatyarao Lahane, Dr. Avinash Phadke (Head of SRL Diagnostics), and Dr. Pallavi Saple to impart knowledge to the viewers. Through this show, the doubts and concerns of the viewers were completely addressed along with a thorough understanding of COVID-19.
ABP Majha also conducted exclusive interviews with Maharashtra Health Minister, Mr. Rajesh Tope, on the government’s plan of action to tackle COVID-19 and with Mr. Anil Deshmukh on lockdown measures to help fight this battle.
Similarly, ABP Ganga was on the forefront in generating maximum awareness on the pandemic and spreading cheer amid the overall gloom of COVID-19. An engrossing segment on ABP Ganga called ‘Corona Ke Karam Yodha’ was telecast to throw light on the unsung heroes of COVID-19, whether they are policemen, doctors, or any other individuals. This was successful in kindling the essential message of social cohesion & global solidarity to the viewers, in the time of crisis.
Another significant initiative was that of ABP Asmita, wherein educational lectures were conducted by experts for 9th standard students on Science, English, and Math which were telecast from 2:00pm to 3.00 pm from 19th March to March 28th on the channel.
The Honourable Chief Minister of Gujrat, Mr. Vijay Rupani, also appreciated ABP Asmita’s coverage on COVID-19.
On the organisational front, ANN took an abundance of caution to ensure the health & well-being of their employees. They did so by implementing a number of steps including regular office sanitisation, video conferencing in lieu of in-person gatherings, E-invoicing to ensure timely closure of estimates, POs, invoices etc., and Work from Home measures.
Despite a myriad of challenges posed by the pandemic, ANN’s comprehensive business continuity protocols have ensured seamless operations of all services as efficiently as before. This all-encompassing approach has not only safeguarded the health and well-being of all stakeholders but also prevented any disruption in business operations, allowing them to fulfil their responsibility during this critical period.
Additionally, as a measure to encourage social distancing, ANN Reporters have set an exemplary example for the viewers by using a mic with a stick while interviewing. Numerous interviews were also carried out via WhatsApp videos.
Speaking on these ardent initiatives, Mr. Avinash Pandey, CEO, ABP News Network said, “At ANN, we measure the impact and success of our organisation through the kind of influence we have on our viewers and the larger society. For us, nothing comes above the support & aid to people & communities in the time of need. COVID-19 has emanated a sense of disruption and despair worldwide. Through these initiatives, our aim was to safeguard the health of the people, spread maximum awareness, create a positive societal impact, and most importantly, fulfil our long-standing commitment to deliver the best at all times.”
Wendy brings unparalleled experience with significant client-side leadership roles alongside running global agency network.
This pivotal appointment further bolsters DAN’s ambition to deliver data-driven, tech-enabled and ideas-led integrated solutions to help clients.
LONDON – Dentsu Aegis Network, headquartered in London, today announces the appointment of Wendy Clark as Global CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN).This pivotal hire follows a transformational period focused on growth and scaling the business globally and builds on DAN’s objective to deliver world-class marketing services and integrated solutions which are data-driven, tech-enabled and ideas-led.
Wendy brings almost 30 years’ of industry experience as a delivery-focused leader, having worked for global brands such as The Coca-Cola Company and AT&T, as well as industry-leading agency roles. She joins Dentsu Aegis Network in September 2020 from Omnicom Group where she held the role of Global President & CEO for DDB Worldwide. Prior to Omnicom, Wendy spent seven years at The Coca-Cola Company in global and regional operating roles, culminating in her promotion to Coca-Cola's President of Sparkling Brands and Strategic Marketing.
Wendy Clark, comments: “It’s both an incredible honor and deep responsibility to join DAN at this crucial time. Given such unprecedented global change it’s more important than ever that we’re completely focused on creating insightful, informed, important ideas for brands, businesses and their customers.”
“The focused investments made by DAN over the last few years to acquire and grow the right assets, talent and capabilities, enabling modern marketing solutions, is undeniable and ready-made for today’s marketplace and beyond.”
“It is hugely compelling to me to help continue Dentsu’s rich legacy of constant innovation and industry leadership over the last 100 years. I’ve had the privilege of working for brands and companies with powerful heritages and that’s informed my enduring belief that great brands and companies benefit from having a foot in their past and a foot in their future. It’s a massive competitive advantage that Dentsu has decades of know-how and experience that serve both as a foundation and a built-in benchmark to continue to drive the company forward.”
“I genuinely can’t wait to meet the 42,000+ associates of DAN later in the year – when the world emerges from this significant period of change and turbulence - so we can roll up our sleeves and get to work creating value and impact for our clients, together.”
Wendy is recognised for her modern leadership approach that includes her celebrated philosophy ‘lift as you climb’ translating to taking talent with you as you grow. It is this inspirational style that has been widely acknowledged by the industry including having been named Ad Age Executive of the Year (2017).
Wendy will report to Tim Andree, Executive Chairman, Dentsu Aegis Network and will be appointed Executive Officer Dentsu Group Inc. at the same time as she joins the business in September with the approval of the Board of Dentsu Group Inc. Tim has been Executive Chairman of DAN since its founding in 2013, adding the CEO role to his responsibilities for the past 15 months, and he has lead the search process.
Tim Andree, Executive Chairman, Dentsu Aegis Network, comments: “Following a thorough and considered global search, I am happy to welcome Wendy as our new CEO and look forward to working together to drive our ambitious agenda forward. With her combined experience of walking in the shoes of the client, coupled with her leadership in running a large global creative agency network, Wendy is the stand-out choice for the role.
“Her experience is hugely complementary to DAN’s growth plans over the coming decade where Dentsu’s long-standing history of client-centricity combined with an ability to deliver fully integrated solutions will be critical. Wendy will join us as the world is emerging from a period of unprecedented challenges. I am confident that her strong leadership style and comprehensive experience will inspire our people, connect with our clients to help drive their brands forward and continue our focus on providing integrated global solutions while building excellence into every part of the rapidly changing marketing ecosystem we serve.”
Purpose built for the digital age, Dentsu Aegis has focused on acquiring relevant, high-performance businesses globally in high growth areas including data, brand commerce, customer experience, performance marketing and social & mobile. As the most acquisitive agency group Dentsu Aegis Network has welcomed over 177 acquisitions in the last six years, most notably, the Merkle acquisition placing Dentsu Aegis Network as the market leader for data, analytics and CRM.
Toshi Yamamoto, President & CEO Dentsu Group Inc. comments: “This is a key time for our business as we bring Dentsu Aegis Network and Dentsu Japan Network closer together for the benefit of clients and our people. Our philosophy is that innovation can come from anyone, anywhere, and it is clear Wendy shares our passion for discovering new and better ways to solve client challenges and will be motivating and inspiring for our global workforce. Her blend of global marketing experiences makes her the ideal leader for the role and importantly will allow her to marshal our world-class capabilities to align with changing client needs.”
Tim Andree has been on a health-related leave of absence since January. Tim returned to his role as Director of Dentsu Group Inc. last month and will return to his other roles at Dentsu and DAN in a phased approach. During this period, Toshi Yamamoto continues as Acting Executive Chairman & CEO, Dentsu Aegis Network, in addition to his role as President & CEO Dentsu Group Inc.
The CMO Growth Council – a body that features some of the industry’s top talent, and is run by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and Cannes Lions (WARC’s sister company) – has the long-term mission of tackling the biggest issues in marketing. COVID-19 is a new, but pressing, addition to this list, Catharine P. Taylor, WARC’s US commissioning editor, reports.
In a special session on March 24th, a group of senior marketers from the CMO Growth Council held their first virtual meeting to share how the companies they serve are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This task force’s stated objective is “to be the force for action that will help chief marketers shape intelligent practices and provide functional guidance for managing through the COVID-19 crisis.”
And its overarching principle for brand custodians to follow is to look inwardly to help outwardly.
Specific strategies differ, but the assembled senior marketing executives, who dialed in from across the globe, showed their collective focus is on:
assessing how their operations can help ameliorate the crisis;
understanding the appropriate role of advertising.
As a rule, advertising is not the front-and-center issue in the near term, as companies have to contend with business fundamentals such as safeguarding staff members and ensuring their supply chains are getting customers what they need when they need it most.
That said, recognizing the core human concerns of employees and consumers is paramount right now – and it is here that marketers can play a central role.
A case in point: some executives on the call suggested that what is currently called “social distancing” should be reframed as “physical distancing” (a repositioning now supported more broadly as the pandemic unfolds), as this definition highlights that people are still making connections with one another, even as they are physically apart.
Other suggested guidelines for managing the crisis included the following:
Communicate and care for employees first
As Bob Liodice, the ANA’s CEO, said, “A lot of what I've heard so far is: take care of the inside, take care of your companies, as well as take care of the people to the best extent possible. Keep them motivated. Keep them engaged. Obviously, keep them safe.”
He further noted that since the current crisis calls for creativity and ingenuity, it’s also crucial to take care of employees so they can tap into those personal qualities.
Some of the companies represented on the call are in industries that are deemed essential, meaning they have thousands of employees who often deal with the public face-to-face, and who now are finding themselves on the frontlines of the crisis.
For those organizations, in particular, communication with, and care for, staff is a necessity. In fact, the situation is collapsing the wall between internal and external messaging. As one attendee said, “When we communicate internally, we think of it as continuing externally. There is no communication that isn’t retweeted.”
The dynamically changing situation is causing jobs roles to evolve, too, meaning that new training programs and internal procedures may be needed. (Imagine, for instance, being the worker at a distillery who suddenly finds they are producing hand sanitizer, or the customer service rep who now must handle her role virtually.)
One retailer on the CMO Growth Council also noted that while marketing’s usual remit is to be the voice of the customer, at this time, it is also serving as a voice for employees, and feeding their concerns to the executive team as part of daily conversations. By fulfilling this role, marketing is helping to meet employee needs, such as ensuring they have the equipment needed to stay safe.
Look at what your infrastructure can do for the greater good – and unleash it
There has been plenty of news coverage about companies that are turning over their factories to manufacture necessities such as facemasks. But, additionally, many companies are conducting broader assessments of their infrastructure to help in other ways – such as seeing if unused facilities can be used for coronavirus testing or as pop-up hospitals.
One company represented at the meeting, for instance, is effectively shut down because of the crisis. But its shipping infrastructure and expertise is being employed to move medical goods from one country to another more quickly than governments can.
Invest in actions, not ads about actions
There have been many past crises (and good causes) where marketers happily publicized their contributions.
But the present moment “is not a time to score brownie points,” one attendee said. Instead, many agreed, the focus is on “story-doing” instead of storytelling, in the spirit of simply being of service.
One retail outlet, by way of illustration, is giving free sandwiches and coffee to those on the frontlines, but actions such as these are being conducted strictly under the radar.
Remember how multidimensional the human element is
The Coronavirus crisis is impacting people in ways both profound and mundane, and brands need to respond in an equally human fashion.
Of course, helping people materially by getting much-needed supplies to those in need is important, but so is entertaining people who are stuck at home for weeks at a time. As one attendee noted, there is a huge demand for new ways that people can socialize while at a physical distance, with phenomena such as e-clubbing on the rise. For some brands, filling that void may make sense.
One attendee noted there are three areas of need right now for consumers: health, home economy, and home entertainment. Even as the first two categories take necessary precedence, boredom has begun to set in among people who have been under lockdown longer. As such, the need for entertainment is being filled by things like online classes in skills such as dancing.
Don’t be afraid to decentralize, but rely on your company and its partners for ideas
One executive advised that as national and regional governments set up differing short-term regulations to deal with the crisis – from lockdowns to closing non-essential businesses – companies need to be more flexible than usual in their governance rules so that local teams can respond to the exigencies of their markets.
Conversely, enterprises also need to crowdsource ideas from throughout their networks that can help to manage the crisis.
One corporation, for instance, has established a “creativity fund” – open to in-house stakeholders and external partners, such as agencies – that can scale ideas across the company. As part of opening up to a broad group of entities, the focus of the discussion has shifted from originally being about content to focusing on brand and corporate utility that can be brought to people in need.
Filter your messaging through a different lens
Several CMO Growth Council members said they’d killed some marketing programs for being off-message. The exact reasons differed: some communications would simply sound tone-deaf, while other initiatives were slated to publicize COVID-19-focused corporate good works.
One approach has been to refocus budget to public service announcements. However, since the scope of what isn’t appropriate right now is so broad, it was advised that all communications be looked at through a different lens, with an emphasis on communicating – and perhaps overcommunicating – messaging that is truly useful.
A retailer, by way of illustration, noted how the marketing for its loyalty program, which offers extensive discounts, could be thought of as particularly useful during economic uncertainty. But it still needed to be rethought because of its emphasis on driving customers to its stores, which may not be the best approach at a time when people are meant to be staying at home whenever possible.
Prepare for when the crisis is over
Marketers are using social listening tools to monitor mood, and this approach could prove vital for understanding when the “new normal” will emerge – and what it will look like. While answers are few and examples of how exactly this plays out are effectively non-existent, attendees at the CMO Growth Council virtual session agreed that starting to plan for a post-COVID future is critical.
The group of CMOs will be meeting again next week, and Nick Primola, the ANA’s executive vice president in charge of the initiative, has suggested that interested senior leadership in the marketing and media ecosystem reach out to him if they are interested in participating.
In addition to ANA executives Primola, CEO Bob Liodice and vp Meg Wubbenhorst, the members of the ANA’s COVID-19 task force are: Zaid Al-Qassab, CMO, Channel 4; Dean Aragon, CEO, Shell Brands International and global vp, Shell; Norman de Greve, CMO, CVS Health; Mathilde Delhoume, global brand officer, LVMH; Morgan Flatley, US CMO, McDonald's; Rick Gomez, evp/CMO, Target; George Hammer, chief content officer, IBM; Jodi Harris, global vice president, marketing culture and capabilities, Anheuser-Busch InBev; Jeremy Kees, the Richard J. and Barbara Naclerio endowed chair in business, Villanova University; SY Lau, sevp/chairman of group marketing and global branding, Tencent; Alison Lewis, chief growth officer, Kimberly-Clark; Greg Lyons, CMO, PepsiCo; Marcel Marcondes, US CMO, Anheuser-Busch; Rahul Malhotra, head of brand strategy and stewardship, Shell; Fiorenza Plinio, head of creative excellence, Cannes Lions International; Meredith Verdone, CMO, Bank of America; Deborah Wahl, global CMO, General Motors; Hunter Zhang, director, corporate marketing and public relations, Tencent.
- Credit negative for the Indian Media and Entertainment industry
· High impact on film producers and exhibitors due to the shutdown of cinema halls
· Impact on film distributors, television broadcasters and print media segment to be moderate and felt more over subsequent quarters as corporates curtail their advertisement spends
· OTT poised for growth; however, timely release of fresh content remains a challenge
The coronavirus outbreak is a credit negative for the Indian Media and Entertainment (M&E) industry. While the impact is high for the film production and exhibition segments, it is medium for television broadcasters, film distribution and print media, and low for the distribution platform operators (DPOs). Furthermore, over-the-top (OTT) platforms are poised for growth. Besides direct impact by way of lost sales due to the shut-down of cinema halls, given the adverse impact on the overall economy, corporates are likely to curtail their advertisement spends over the short-term. This in turn will dampen the revenues and profitability of the Indian M&E industry. Additionally, consumer sentiments are also likely to remain weak in an adverse economic environment. Consequently, recovery in discretionary spending is expected to be gradual once the threat of Covid-19 is allayed. ICRA, thus, expects the credit profile of the entities with high dependence on advertisement revenues to moderate in the next one year.
Giving more insights, Ms. Sakshi Suneja, Assistant Vice President, ICRA, says “Film exhibition, digital equipment providers and film production have been worst impacted amid coronavirus outbreak. While the virus fears had already impacted the footfalls in theatres in the month of March 2020 by 30-40%, mandated closure of cinema halls across states starting March 10, 2020 has brought the film exhibition business to a complete standstill. Around 40% of the total costs of the exhibitors is fixed in nature, with lease rental being the major component. Such shutdown of operations is thus a significant credit negative for the industry. However, many of these exhibitors have invoked force majeure clauses in their agreements so that they do not have to pay lease rentals during this period of shutdown, thereby limiting impact on their losses.”
Even after the theatres resume operations post the lockdown, consumers, as a means of caution, are likely to stay away from crowded places. Reduced footfalls will result in lower box-office collections, adversely impacting the revenues and thus profitability of film producers.
ICRA does not foresee any significant immediate adverse impact of COVID-19 outbreak on television (TV) broadcasters as consumers are likely to increase their TV viewing during social distancing. Hence, subscription revenues for television broadcasters are expected to hold steady. The major challenge for the broadcasters would be fresh content production. Given the shutdowns and travelling restrictions, broadcasters will face issue with programming and will have to rely on re-runs as pipeline of fresh content dries up.
According to Kinjal Shah, Vice President, ICRA, “Corporates are expected to significantly scale down their advertisement spends over the next two quarters as businesses grapple with lower sales and profits, amid Government mandated shutdowns and work-stoppages. This will adversely impact the revenues and profitability of television broadcasters, who derive between 65% to as high as 100% (for free-to-air (FTA) channels) of their revenues from advertisement. Likewise, for the print segment, which derives ~70% of their total revenues from advertisement, a decline in the same will adversely impact their revenues and ability to compensate the newsprint loss, thereby impacting profitability”.
The impact of COVID-19 on DPOs is expected to be limited, at least in the short-term, as subscribers are expected to hold on to their current subscription packages. There might, however, be some deterioration in the working capital cycle for multi-system operators (MSOs), as collections become difficult during the lock-down.
The current lock-down is expected to lead to a surge in consumption of OTT platforms, at least over the short-term, as consumers stay home. While earlier, OTT viewing was largely restricted to the commute time of the travellers, its consumption is expected to spike with people now staying indoors and also on weekends owing to lack of other avenues of entertainment. A shift in advertisers’ preference towards online platforms (vis-a-vis linear platforms) is also expected as they attempt to garner more eyeballs and especially, after the deferments and cancellations of various sports programmes which were to be aired on linear TV. Amid increased demand, the challenge for the OTT platforms would be to ensure timely release of fresh content.
Becomes #1 Player in Mobile App Advertising According to AppsFlyer’s Performance Index
Facebook Commands Retargeting Index and Continues to Top iOS Power Rankings Globally
AppsFlyer, the global attribution leader, today released the 10th edition of its Performance Index. Google hit the #1 spot in the power ranking (Measuring both quantity and quality of app installs) for the first time since AppsFlyer launched the Index in 2015. The search giant’s success can be largely attributed to its performance on Android and its App Campaigns product.
Facebook Remains the Top Performer for Retargeting
Low retention and high uninstall rates across the industry are driving app marketers to increase their retargeting efforts: The second half of 2019 showed a 20% increase in the number of apps running retargeting campaigns compared to H1.
Facebook is in a league of its own in AppsFlyer’s Retargeting Index, thanks to unrivaled targeting capabilities and its proven Dynamic Ads product. Facebook also dominated iOS with the #1 power ranking in 17 out of 19 global segments in the Performance Index across gaming and non-gaming categories.
Google may be second when it comes to retargeting, but it’s growing faster with a 44% rise in its share of the retargeting pie, compared to Facebook’s 5% increase.
Google’s success in the Performance Index can mostly be attributed to its stronghold on Android, with the #1 position in 16 of 23 global rankings across gaming and non-gaming categories. On Android, Google has increased inventory and improved measurability across its numerous assets, generating significant scale and top quality.
Covering the second half of 2019, the 10th edition of AppsFlyer’s Performance Index is the most segmented to date with 252 segments sliced by region, platform, and category (including new categories such as Finance, Entertainment, Travel, Photography, and multiple Gaming genres). Overall, Edition X covers 25 billion installs, and 52 billion app opens of over 16,000 apps.
AppLovin-ironSource-Unity Ads — the Gaming Triopoly
Beyond the Google-Facebook duopoly, a triopoly of networks – ironSource, Unity Ads and AppLovin – has emerged by capitalizing on the on the massive growth in the gaming sector: Together, they controlled 35% of the gaming app install pie in H2 2019, a 10% increase compared to H1. Other players in gaming trail far behind.
TikTok Ads Surge Continues
2019 was the year TikTok went all-in on its media business with the introduction of TikTok Ads. After capturing the #1 spot in AppsFlyer’s previous Growth Index, TikTok Ads is now also the 4th largest media source for Non-Gaming apps. Overall, its share of the app install pie has jumped 120% in Edition X. The app’s success also secured its top ranking in the Growth Index for the 2nd time in a row.
“The data shows that Google’s choice to go all-in on machine learning, while focusing on video and creative to power its App Campaigns product has paid off,” said Shani Rosenfelder, Head of Mobile Insights, AppsFlyer. “When looking at the Retargeting Index, their numbers are even more impressive considering that ACe was only rolled out to some clients in beta. It’ll be interesting to see how it evolves when the product becomes available to everyone.”