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Thursday, 17 August 2017 00:00

Making your video work without sound

So a couple of weeks ago I sounded off about Facebook’s plans to enable sound automatically in its New Feed. I suspect my reaction is not that unusual and that advertisers still need to think about how their video is going to communicate without sound.

It seems odd to be writing about how to make silent videos more effective at a time when some of us are learning how to use verbal commands with devices like Alexa, but billions of people are still spend time watching video on Facebook. This is a huge opportunity for advertisers if they can tailor their video to engage people’s attention quickly and still deliver a compelling impression without the help of voiceover, music or sound logos.

Last year Digiday reported that of the 8 billion daily video views on Facebook 85 percent were viewed with the sound off. And my suspicion is that this proportion is going to hold good even now. Turning the sound off in the app may not be easy but after the first unpleasant surprise blast, my bet is that many people will be motivated to figure it out. What evidence do I have that this will be the case? Well, funnily enough it comes from the nice people at Facebook. Early last year a post by Facebook Business stated,

“In mobile-feed environments, people prefer having the choice to opt in to sound. Our research found that when feed-based mobile video ads play loudly when people aren’t expecting it, 80% react negatively, both toward the platform and the advertiser.”

But, of course, that research is over a year out of date now, things must have changed right?

So what do advertisers need to do? First off, not simply running your TV execution is the News Feed. Our research finds which a cheap option it is risky, many repurposed ads simply bomb. And guess what? Facebook Creative Shop agrees that ad recall is stronger when the creative is tailored specifically for mobile and are busy helping advertisers turn TVCs into effective mobile videos. Better yet, advertisers should consider whether to use sound at all and create soundless video bearing in mind these three findings from our research:

Grab attention immediately.

You have less than three seconds to engage people’s attention. What is going to be the cue or trigger that gets people to stop scrolling and look at your video? It could actually be that your brand is compelling enough to get that attention on its own.

Work with the mobile mindset

With sound off people pay more attention to visuals so work hard to maintain interest. Those overhead videos from Tasty have a horrid fascination in part because they are speeded up and you know the pay-off is coming soon.

Use captions wisely

Facebook’s internal tests show that captioned video ads increase video view time by an average of 12 percent but do not reply on them for communication, make sure the action delivers the impression and features the brand.

Whatever you do with your video, remember, people appreciate brevity, keep it short. And if that sounds like a huge challenge and you are not sure your video is going to work well, remember, we can help check it out ahead of time.


Written by Nigel Hollis,Executive Vice President and Chief Global Analyst at Kantar Millward Brown.

According to the KANTAR IMRB survey commissioned by American Express®, 42% consumers* are willing to pay a premium for prompt customer service.

On the other hand 31% would be willing to pay for service that listens to them/acts on their feedback and 27% would be willing to pay premium for service that is available everywhere.

The survey titled Decoding Customer Service for Indian customers, reveals that if premium had to be paid, 53% of respondents would pay a premium of 20%-40% in return for better customer service. At the same time 83% agreed that they would pay a premium for a brand that keeps its promise. On the other hand, 66% of consumers would discontinue using a brand or product due to poor customer service, while 71% would stop using if the quality of the product or service depreciates. This suggests that delivering excellent customer service experience along with consistent quality is imperative for any brand to retain customers.

“Trust, Security and Service are three key pillars that we focus on to build strong relationship with our customers. Our survey clearly highlights that these are the key elements in building a differentiated experience to keep consumers loyal and invested in a brand. At American Express, service is at the core of whatever we do and this is built on a foundation of trust – the trust our customers place in us,” said Manoj Adlakha, Chief Executive Officer, American Express Banking Corp., India.

The online survey, which was conducted among 1577 urban Indian customers across Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune, Kolkata and Delhi/NCR, reveals that Indian consumers give high preference to digital ways of interacting with the brands. 81% agree that they prefer to access product information digitally rather than in person or through a phone call, and 48% prefer resolving their queries online while 47% prefer resolving queries over a phone call or mobile SMS.

With social media becoming the mainstay of modern-day life, being present on social media and garnering positive traction has become a must-have for brands today. The survey substantiates this observation by revealing that 80% respondents agree that they discover and learn about brands through social media

To be able to cater to the expectations of customers, companies must work towards reduced turnaround time, and development of multimodal touchpoints for engaging with the customers. Of the total respondents surveyed, 87% say they expect instant access to the service they have purchased or subscribed to. While talking to a customer service representative over a phone call is the most preferred mode of communication, followed by connecting through digital mediums such as email and online chat. 62% of those surveyed stated that customer service and availability of instantaneous issue resolution across multiple platforms is a must have digital feature to retain their loyalty to the brand.

Besides quick access to customer care, Indians also want their experience to be delivered in a safe and secure environment. As per the survey, 54% of total respondents want the brands to incorporate more mobile security and authentication features. Talking about future capabilities, customers would increasingly like brands to present same day delivery option to them (56%).

Exclusive LFW access on Twitter through live HD broadcast on Periscope of runway shows, #FashionFlock Tweets by designers, and custom LFW emoji

Twitter joins the fashion fraternity for India’s biggest fashion extravaganza, Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2017. Twitter debuts a custom LFW emoji, a special fashion insider crew #FashionFlock, and live HD broadcast of the runway shows on Periscope to bring fashion aficionados the best of Lakme Fashion Week (@LakmeFashionWk).

The new emoji with Lakme Fashion Week is the first ever fashion emoji for India, with a unique local spin. The emoji represents a chic ‘desi’ outfit and can be activated by simply Tweeting with the hashtags #LakmeFashionWeek, #LFW2017 and #FashionFlock. The emoji will go live on the 16th August 2017, which is the first day of fashion week.

Additionally, Twitter is also launching #FashionFlock in India for the first time, bringing together ten fashion insiders from fashion designers, makeup artists, and other prominent personalities, to give live updates from #LakmeFashionWeek to fans on Twitter. Attendees of the event and fashion fans around the world are invited to Tweet during the week using the hashtag #FashionFlock to follow or join the conversation on Twitter, and get closer to the shows that matter most to them. Here’s a list of accounts that will be Tweeting out exclusive #LakmeFashionWeek content with #FashionFlock:

Keya Madhvani, Head of Music & Lifestyle Partnerships, Twitter India, said, “Twitter is the best place to see and talk about what’s happening in the world of fashion. Everyone wants to know more about the latest styles at LFW, about the who’s-who, what they are wearing and who they are wearing. With the first fashion emoji in India, #FashionFlock and Live HD broadcasts via Periscope, we aim to provide digital front row access to this close-knit community bounded by the love of design and all things fashion”.

A real-time reflection of what’s happening around world, fans on Twitter began flooding with sneak peeks as well as official announcements of what lovers of couture and fashion can expect from this year’s edition, and will continue to be the digital VIP pass for the most awaited fashion week in India.

Dentsu One, the creative agency from Dentsu Aegis Network has rolled out a new campaign for Honda Jazz titled ‘Sexy and I know it’. The campaign is essentially a series of short beepsodes narrating a story, with Honda Jazz being in the centre of the plot. The beepsodes star Rohan Joshi, Sarah Jane-Dias and Tahir Raj Bhasin portraying roles in resonance with today’s generation.

With a clearly differentiated form-factor and an enviable feature list, Honda Jazz has won thousands of hearts in the given demographic. As the clutter in the premium hatch-back segment intensifies, it is imperative for Honda Jazz to adapt and resurrect the connection with its audience –who are evolving subconsciously at a constant pace. Hence making it pertinent to cognise their changing mind-set and initiate a new and resonant conversation.

The progressive Indian youth is more dynamic than ever, exploring and pursuing their insatiable passions. For the youngsters, conventional is out. Being seen as a part of is not as important as standing out. Uniqueness is what makes them interesting. Ordinary is mundane, for them it’s about being Anti-Ordinary that’s what sets them apart, that’s what makes them Sexy (in the contemporary context).

The appreciation of sexiness of this emerging cohort led to the new campaign: ‘Sexy… and I know it’. With this conviction it was not difficult to connect the wide array of features of Honda Jazz that compliments its patrons’ sexy attitude! Together, the undeniable practicality of Honda Jazz combined with the invincible attitude of this generation resulted in a fresh and resounding narrative.

The campaign is already a runaway success with the first ‘Beepsode’ garnering over 1 million views in just 3 days.

Commenting on the campaign, Titus Upputuru, NCD, Dentsu One, said, “Jazz is such a great car. It’s sold all over the world. In India, people tend to get carried away by the bells and whistles and ignore the real deal. We wanted to give Jazz its due. A great car must have a great attitude. All Honda cars have great engines. Plus they have all the technology and innovations that make them the best. For instance, Jazz offers great versatility, it has seats that can go completely flat so you can use the space as you like. We wanted to inform about these things in an innovative way. At Dentsu One, our mission is to innovate the way brands are built. So we came up with this quirky mockumentary. Hope people will like it and begin to see Jazz in a new light”

Abhinav Kaushik, Senior Vice President, Dentsu One, said, “The Jazz is the outright definition of a world car. Its legacy, its looks, its features and most importantly its attitude, all amalgamate to define that. Coming from Honda, the product is assured to offer the best in technology and stand differentiated from the competition. So the challenge was simple, how do we make the communication as unique and differentiated. The audience for the Jazz has, since its launch, become much younger since its earlier launch. Seeing as our audience largely resides in the digital sphere we felt it best to knock on their door. We came up with a series of quirky, real-life webisodes that allow us to walk the talk with the positioning centred on our consumers in a manner most relatable to them.”

Navneet Kaur, Sr. Manager Marketing and Communication, Honda Cars India Ltd. said, “The Jazz platform is one of the most advance platforms which is why consumers swear by it. The Honda Jazz’s legacy as an international car has pitched it as a notch above the competition. The Jazz buyer is getting younger and younger, and he sees merit in the product’s versatility in usage at his current life stage. As such it is important for us to match pace with the young consumer in our positioning of the car. We saw great merit in catching our prospective consumer in the environment most comfortable to them which is why we were excited about the beepsodes.

The Indian advertising and marketing industry has been witnessing some high decibel moves over the past few months. News of agencies firming up their leadership teams, to that of prominent names making an exit, have been constantly doing the rounds in the media.

Amidst this action, what catches the attention of the industry is news of adlanders looking out for greener pastures in other marketing disciplines or outsiders making a switch to test waters on the advertising side of business.

One such senior name that has parted ways with advertising to pursue a career shift is Asheesh Malhotra. He leaves his role as President at Bates CHI & Partners to join GolinOpinion, the PR division of PointNine Lintas as Executive Director. This marks a significant shift for Asheesh, who’s spent his entire career in creative agencies, as he ventures into the landscape of PR. At GolinOpinion, he will lead the strategic planning function and oversee the agency’s social media centre-of-excellence, the Bridge™.

Commenting on his appointment, Vikas Mehta – CEO, PointNine Lintas said: “Convergence of marketing disciplines is here to stay. An omni-channel marketing plan today is incomplete without elements like advocacy and conversations. To stay relevant, PR firms need brand practitioners in addition to PR experts. Asheesh has built blue-chip brands while working with India’s two most respected agencies, Lowe Lintas and Ogilvy. We’re delighted to have him back in the Lintas family and look forward to his contribution in further strengthening PointNine Lintas’ PR service-stack.”

Asheesh joins GolinOpinion from the Ogilvy group where he was President, Bates CHI&Partners heading their Mumbai and Delhi offices. He was earlier a unit head looking after a large Unilever portfolio as well heading a global hub for Castrol and BP at Ogilvy. A new business junkie, he was also leading the growth agenda for Bates. Prior to that, he spent fruitful eight years in the Mumbai office of Lowe Lintas, leading the ICICI Prudential and J&J businesses.

As Executive Director, Asheesh will report to Ameer Ismail – President, GoinOpinion & Chief Growth Officer, PointNine Lintas. Welcoming Asheesh to the agency, Ameer Ismail said, “We have a vision to redefine PR. I am delighted that a senior professional, strategist and well-respected leader who has worn many hats in advertising is going to lead this audacious vision. As a part of this goal his experience in defining milestone campaigns for brands will further the kind of bold work do for our clients. His experience in planning, equips him to lead and build out our Explorer community. I am excited to have him on board.”

Speaking about his new role and his change of heart from the world of advertising to PR, Asheesh said, “The sands of the communications industry have been constantly shifting. Credibility of brands, people and institutions is being challenged every day. In this thin-skinned world, PR holds a huge responsibility of being both a shield and the statesman that shapes conversations, communities and culture. The ecosystem of PR is hurtling towards a change too: From a mere press relations role, PR has to lead a deeper engagement with the society and its stakeholders. I intend to bring my experience and insights on consumers and brands and integrate them with the PR mandate. This is in fact, a great opportunity to reshape the PR industry through a credible, measurable and effective model of engagement. GolinOpinion is at the forefront of this change and has been constantly investing in the tools that help brands and institutions cope with the new age of PR. This made my resolve to be part of this journey, even stronger.”

Responsible for a national mandate, Asheesh has joined GolinOpinion with immediate effect and will be based out of Mumbai.


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