07 August 2020 02:46


Post by MediAvataar's News Desk
- Apr 22, 2020
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MediAvataar's News Desk

MediAvataar's News Desk

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Keeping its winning momentum intact, L&K Saatchi & Saatchi has won the creative mandate of leading Ayurvedic haircare brand, Sesa.

The agency will manage creative duties for all leading brands under Sesa portfolio including Sesa Ayurvedic Hair Oil and Shampoo, Sesa+ Ayurvedic Strong Roots Oil and Shampoo, Sesa Ayurvedic+ Hair Spa, among others.

The account will be serviced out of the Mumbai office of L&K Saatchi & Saatchi.

Announcing the news, Ashish Bhargava, CEO, SESA said: “Sesa has been a pioneer of the anti-hair-fall category. It is a heritage brand with strong recall and distribution presence. As we build on Sesa’s brand equity, and expand our offerings into newer segments, we look forward to working with Law & Kenneth Saatchi & Saatchi whose strong acumen in the category, combined with excellence in creative ideation and execution will aid us in building a stronger brand narrative.”

On winning the mandate, Charles Victor, Executive Director, Law & Kenneth Saatchi & Saatchi said: “We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Sesa on board. We have a deep understanding of the category and have built numerous brands across regions in this space. We’re looking forward to making a difference to SESA’s ambitions and partnering them in their success.”

A global survey of senior strategists reveals the challenges and opportunities brought on by the COVID-19 crisis

26% of respondents surveyed have seen headcounts decreased, and a further 18% were expecting them down the line. This is just one of the findings included in The Future of Strategy 2020 report, released today by WARC, the global authority on advertising and media effectiveness, following its annual worldwide survey of more than 1,200 senior strategists.

Fielded in May and June 2020, this year's report focuses on the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on strategy, across headcounts, budgets, and the role of strategy during the crisis.

With 69% of respondents agreeing that COVID-19 will fundamentally change the way agencies work, this fourth edition of the report, also addresses what long term changes might result, in a year that has caused significant disruption to the industry.

WARC's Future of Strategy 2020 key findings are:

COVID-19 drives an increasing appreciation of strategy

Brands have had to lean on their strategists more than ever before as the pandemic has forced them to rapidly pivot away from planned marketing strategies.

This enforced agility has resulted in a renewed appreciation of the role strategy plays for some brands, as they have looked to their agencies and consultants for the reassurance and sound advice they have needed to navigate their way through the crisis. Many strategists see now as the time to build on this momentum, capturing the opportunity to lead their clients in different directions while they are open to new ideas.

Brent Nelson, Chief Strategy Officer, Publicis Group North America, comments: "The challenges and emergent questions facing brands are complex and well beyond fundamental communications strategy.The pressing need to account for greater and greater uncertainty has made one thing blindingly clear: the value and need for senior, experienced and diversely skilled planning and account talent."

Strategists have been integral to brands' response to COVID-19: 54% were very involved in their clients' COVID-19 plans and only 1% had no involvement.

Yet, at a time when strategists are reporting high levels of influence, cuts to strategy teams have been common, and further cuts are anticipated.

Headcounts decrease despite the value of strategy increasing

There has been a significant impact of COVID-19 on headcounts in strategy teams, despite strategists telling us that they are in more demand and feel more valued than ever. The impact has been acutely felt at junior levels - reminiscent of the 2008/09 crash.

As enterprises adapt to COVID-19's challenges, the resources that previously were allocated to enhancing diversity and inclusion may come under pressure as every item of capital expenditure is subjected to heightened scrutiny.

Kanika Bali, Strategist, Ogilvy Hong Kong, says: "Diversity means including people across the ethnic, cultural, physical ability, gender and sexuality spectrum. Diverse teams will push to break stereotypes by pushing success stories, being champions for non-traditional casting and to call out group thinking in the advertising process."

Ally Owen, Founder, Brixton Finishing School, UK, adds: "Until we start to see all groups represented, we cannot have balance, and without that balance, can we truly claim to understand all the audiences that our clients need to reach?"

Junior strategists are most at risk of COVID-related headcount cuts. 41% said junior strategists were being made redundant or furloughed. This could result in a lack of new and diverse talent entering the industry.

Budget cuts have a knock-on effect

COVID-19 has reduced the media spend of the majority of brands, which have responded by cancelling or shifting planned work. This has meant a change in role for some strategists, who have had to pivot their focus to advising clients on how to respond and recover.

For other strategists, particularly freelancers, the pandemic has caused a dramatic reduction in work.

Amelia Torode, Co-founder, The Fawnbrake Collective, comments: "The impact that this panic is having on strategists is profound, deeply short sighted and is being felt acutely by freelance strategists. But this will change. Great strategists are sense-makers and meaning-makers and in this confused and confusing new reality, the two things that businesses are most in need of are good sense and meaning."

87% of strategists said their clients have reduced budgets due to COVID-19.

Short-termism and a shift in purpose

There has been a huge shift to short-termism as a result of budget cuts and a need to drive sales quickly as recession bites. Strategists feel this is a real threat to their role and the value they are able to provide.

At the same time, both at a business level and at a brand level, clients have needed advice on what their brand can and cannot credibly say and do - particularly regarding their 'purpose' - at times of crisis. Many strategists feel now is an opportunity to change purposeful marketing for the better.

Jean-Claude M. Kikonge, Director, Strategy Lead, Cossette, says: "As an industry, how we talk about "purpose" needs to be recalibrated away from its current generic cause-related meaning, to what it has - and should've - always been: actual "reasons to be"."

COVID-19 is exacerbating the trend towards short-termism. 72% of respondents said their clients are focusing more on short-term strategies as a result of the crisis.

Summing up, Amy Rodgers, Managing Editor, Research & Rankings, WARC, says: "WARC's Future of Strategy 2020 report reveals that strategists have been crucial to the pandemic response and have had a chance to shine.

"However, staff and budget cuts are a threat to the discipline. Additionally, the shift to short-termism brought on by the crisis to stimulate quick sales is leaving strategists feeling that their role and value are under threat."

ZEASN, the world’s leading provider of OTT and Smart TV solutions, announced a partnership with América Televisión, the highest-rated television network and the biggest broadcaster in Peru. The deal brings its online video streaming platform América tvGO to tens of millions of ZEASN enabled Smart TVs.

América Televisión is a Peruvian television network that has been broadcasting non-stop for 61 years. It is the largest audiovisual content creation and distribution company in the country, with more than 100 TV stations in Peru, an international channel and a 24-hour news channel, as well as various digital platforms that bring the Peruvian audiences’ favorite content to millions of people every day.

Its video streaming offering, América tvGO, enables subscribers to view América Televisión programming including news broadcasts, local entertainment and domestic sports or Video on Demand (VOD) on their desktops, smart TVs and mobile devices. Through this collaboration, the América tvGO app will be available on selected ZEASN supported devices, including Philips (2017/2018/2019/2020 select models), AOC (2017/2020 select models) televisions. Users can download the app from the ZEASN Smart TV App Store from now on.

Within the app, users can enjoy the fascinating entertainment such as Novelas (Al fondo hay Sitio, De vuelta al Barrio, Dos Hermanas, Los Vílchez, Chapa tu Combi and many more), exclusive Series like Escápate con Andrés Wiese, who travels Perú and its wonderful landscapes, Korean Novelas (Descendientes del Sol & Cásate conmigo), Newscasts (Cuarto Poder, Domingo al día, América Noticias, América Deportes and more), reality shows such as the now international Esto es Guerra, and Magazines (En Boca de Todos, La Banda del Chino, El Reventonazo and more).

“We’re incredibly excited that América Televisión chose ZEASN to scale their Smart TV reach, as one prominent and well-established broadcasting network, América Televisión is the perfect partner for our Whale Eco to strengthen its footprint in the LatAm market,” said Jason He, Chief Executive Officer of ZEASN. “By working with us, América tvGO can focus on rapidly expanding their audiences and monetizing their diverse streaming content in the most effective way. We're looking forward to helping them further develop their OTT business.”

Jose Fernando Hernandez, Chief Digital Officer in América said: “We are always looking for new distribution channels and platforms to deliver our content to our audience and working with ZEASN will allow us to expand the reach of our digital services to a growing mass of Smart TVs. Our programming is by far the most searched upon content in Perú, and this alliance will benefit millions of customers”.

Beijing ZEASN Information Technology Co., Ltd. was established in 2011. The company focuses on the intelligent home industry, it is the world’s leading OTT and Smart TV solutions provider. Through self-developed cloud services and tool products, ZEASN has established the Whale Ecosystem with global developers, content providers, service providers, and top tier manufacturers.

Yahoo Mail users will now be able to fill Walmart shopping carts directly from their inboxes - transforming commerce experience for consumers

What you need to know:

Verizon Media captures offline to online customer behavior shifts and creates a more integrated shopping experience for the company’s nearly 900 million users

Yahoo Mail users can now shop directly from their inbox at Walmart, the biggest grocery retailer in the U.S. No other email provider allows users to fill a shopping cart directly from their email inbox- creating an industry first

Verizon Media today announced the launch of “Groceries from Walmart,” making it easier than ever to buy groceries online. Yahoo Mail users can now browse, add to cart, and buy essential groceries from Walmart right within Yahoo Mail. This is the first time ever that email users can fill a shopping cart from their inbox, streamlining their shopping experience from within the mail app they use daily to track promotions, coupons and more.

Most Americans are shopping online for groceries and doing it more often since the onset of COVID-19. A May survey by Inmar Intelligence found that 80% are now shopping online for groceries -- up 40% from pre-pandemic levels. What’s more, almost 60% say that they are shopping for groceries online more often now than they were before the pandemic began.

“Because of the unprecedented coronavirus challenge, online grocery shopping is now the new normal and Verizon Media is well positioned to take advantage of the behavior shifts,” said Guru Gowrappan, CEO, Verizon Media. “We’re proud to partner with Walmart on this industry-first feature, helping Yahoo Mail users more easily browse and buy essential groceries without having to leave their inbox, saving them time and helping them organize their lives through enhanced and innovative experiences within their email.”

By bringing Groceries from Walmart to Yahoo Mail, people can now tackle all of their grocery needs from one place. Last year, Yahoo Mail debuted a new app which included the launch of Grocery View, which helps users save time and money on the essentials. The view shows users the deals at local grocery stores, lets them save those deals to their shopping lists, as well as connect their store loyalty card to automatically apply saved coupons at checkout. Now, Yahoo will give users the ability to shop Walmart’s grocery catalogue at their leisure and add items to a shopping cart within Yahoo Mail for pick-up from their local Walmart store.

“Customers are leaning on Walmart more than ever for us to help them save on items they need the most, but also to help save them time,” said Rich Lehrfeld, senior vice president, Walmart Marketing. “The new ‘Groceries from Walmart’ feature that lives within Yahoo Mail takes one more step out of our customers’ days, helping them shop when, how and where they want.”

Groceries from Walmart makes online grocery shopping smarter and easier. To enhance the shopping experience, users will get personalized grocery recommendations based on their Yahoo profiles. Additionally, the shopping cart never expires. This means that people can keep adding items throughout the week and checkout whenever they’re ready.


dcafé digital Inc, a global leader delivering OTT products, services & experiences, announced that it has named media technology pioneer, innovator and former President of Verizon Digital Media Services, Ralf Jacob, to its Board of Directors.

This appointment is effective immediately and supports the continued growth of dcafé digital by furthering its visionary thought leadership. Jacob brings astute industry experience and a deep understanding of video delivery solutions.

“dcafé’s technology is bar none! Every feature, button or service is exposed as an API which makes integration such a breeze. The UI is logically laid out and adapts to an operators workflow with ease. Their recent success only speaks to their ability to cater to today's demands on handling meta-data. Their approach is particularly of value to the CTV industry with its focus on ACR and contextual advertising. I am excited to be working with an organization that focuses on bringing this cloud-redundant, dynamic OTT authoring platform to the media industry.” said Jacob, about joining the Board Of Directors at dcafé.

During Ralf's tenure leading Verizon Digital Media Services (VDMS), he grew the company's revenue by more than 300% and established VDMS's CDN as the second largest worldwide. The platform became the de-facto standard in the industry for OTA to OTT conversion and is being used by prime broadcasters – Disney, ESPN, ABC, Hulu, Fox, Sinclair, Hearst, Discovery, among others.

Vineet Dhawan, CEO, dcafé digital says, “upLynk’s success precedes its reputation with a coveted customer list. Our journey began by building dcafé for upLynk, a platform founded by Ralf which simplified video workflow like never before. We leveraged this world-class streaming solution to deliver flawless experiences, and now to be able to work with the man himself is incredible. We couldn’t be more fortunate and excited to have him guide us.”

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