MediAvataar's News Desk
Publicis Communications, in its commitment to bring in world-class solutions for its clients, has launched Prodigious in India. Prodigious is Publicis Groupe’s specialist production company that produces and delivers video, digital and print-led branded content. Prodigious India will offer its services across all Publicis Communications agencies including The Leo Burnett Group, Publicis Worldwide (including Marcel), Law & Kenneth Saatchi & Saatchi, and MSLGROUP.
Speaking about the launch of Prodigious, Saurabh Varma, CEO, Publicis Communications India said, “There has never been a better time to announce the launch of our own specialist production division. We hope to make Prodigious a major player in production in India in the next three years. To that end, we have made deep investments and put together a team of the best talent, technology and equipment to deliver world-class quality content for our clients. I am confident with Prodigious we have the most progressive content production company in India.”
Loris Nold, Global COO of Publicis Communications, said, “Launching Prodigious in India was incredibly important to add to our existing footprint in the region, including China, Singapore and Australia. It’s exciting news for our clients and agencies.”
Jean-François Valent, CEO, Prodigious Worldwide added, “With the launch of Prodigious not only are we capable of offering our global clients with valuable local capabilities, but we are also opening new doors to local clients as we provide the support of our 3,000-people and 37-location strong network to Prodigious India.”
Prodigious’ first initiative in India is the introduction of its video content stream, to be spearheaded by Vandana Watsa.
Watsa is a business-focused creative professional with experience in advertising, BTL and television content creation. She has worked across the advertising and television industries for over 15 years – in client servicing at agencies such as Rediffusion and Enterprise, and as a director for ad films and TV shows at UTV. She was also programming head at Times Television, post which she founded her own production company.
Speaking about her new role and her vision for Prodigious, Watsa said, “We have huge ambition for video production at Prodigious, and it is backed by the work we have done for some of the country’s biggest brands – Thums Up, Bajaj V, McDonald’s, Jeep, Amazon – over the past year. The team of executive producers, directors, line producers and editors is hand-picked by us, and it is only going scale up in the months to come. I am excited to be a part of the global roadmap and Saurabh’s vision for Prodigious. I am confident of making it a reality.”
Star India and Viacom18 win top prizes in entertainment marketing and design
Mumbai, 18th May 2017- PromaxBDA India, a global association held its 14th edition at Taj Santacruz, Mumbai celebrated a 2 day event with fantastic Boot camps, workshops, conference and the much awaited PROMAXBDA Awards. Sapangeet Rajwant, VP of Marketing, Viacom18 opened the conference with a special note on the work that PromaxBDA India has successfully been doing of inspiring the ‘creative talent and marketing brain’.
The Masterclass sessions were full house. Director of Marketing, ITV Reemah Sakaan enlightened the delegates on her session – Bravery in Branding. Rob Middleton (Astro) presented World Gold, the top global works presented across all regions and Richard Holman (Holman + Hunt) took everyone on an entertaining journey of great works. The Keynote by creative artist, Mr. Bingo shed light on his previous work and his recent book ‘The Hate Mail’ to a packed audience.
PromaxBDA 2017 unveiled the MUSE and ISIS awards across 54 categories at a gala ceremony. Top awards were bagged by Star India, Viacom18, Sony Pictures Network India, and Zee Entertainment covering a large spectrum of celebrated campaigns.
On a successful show, Rajika Mittra, Country Head (India), PromaxBDA said, “It was such a delight to see the audiences embrace new ideas and submit exceptional creative and design work at the Awards. Introduction of new categories, specialized workshops at Boot Camps and a fantastic show of international and local speakers at The Masterclass further enhanced the success of the event. It’s extremely encouraging to see the community growing and being inspired – that's what we stand for.”
Sapangeet Rajwant, VP of Marketing, Viacom18 inaugurated the masterclass sessions and said, "Viacom18 is glad to be associated with PromaxBDA India, since many years now. This alliance has helped us in bringing together a huge spectrum of the broadcast industry on one common platform. PromaxBDA has proved to be a landmark event, which has highlighted new trends and created opportunities along with recognising achievements of industry players"
Lockheed Martin Honored with 2017 Brand of the Year and BBDO Named Network of the Year
New York Festivals International Advertising Awards® competition announced the 2017 award-winners at the New York Show℠ gala held at on May 18th at the renowned Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall in New York City.
The annual event celebrating the World’s Best Advertising℠ was hosted by actress and TV personality, Debi Mazar and kicked off with a cocktail reception followed by the awards ceremony and an after-party at the Ascent Lounge to honor trophy-winners. The spotlight was on the 2017 award-winners as they celebrated with advertising creatives, Jury members, press and guests from around the globe.
The 2017 Executive Jury of Global Chief Creative Officers, and Executive Creative Directors, and NYF’s first-annual Film Craft Executive Jury, comprised of some of the most creative, technically advanced filmmakers in the industry today, selected the World’s Best Advertising award winners from the Shortlist chosen by the NYF’s 400+ Grand Jury members from 75 countries.
The combined 2017 Executive Juries awarded 8 prestigious Grand Prize Awards, 56 First Prize Awards, 155 Second Prize Awards, and 261 Third Prize Awards.
The prestigious 2017 Best of Show Award was awarded to “Meet Graham” Clemenger BBDO Melbourne’s Public Service Announcement for client Transport Accident Commission Victoria.
Graham is part interactive sculpture, part educational tool, and a catalyst for a global conversation; he illustrates how our bodies would need to change to survive a car crash. Using decades of road safety data and medical research a trauma surgeon, a road safety engineer and a renowned artist the human body was re-designed for survival against a low impact crash. The award-winning entry was in the spotlight scoring 2 coveted NYF Grand Prize Awards 3 First Prize Awards, 1 Second Prize Award, and a Finalist Award.
James McGrath, Chief Creative Officer with Clemenger BBDO Melbourne had this to say about earning the Best of Show Award, “It is a great privilege and humbling for us to join the lineage and legacy of New York Festivals. We are thrilled to be awarded Best of Show, we want to thank our creators and makers of course but most of all our clients, whose bravery and genuine belief in solving real world problems inspires us”
Lockheed Martin, American global aerospace, defense, security and advanced technologies company was honored with the New York Festivals 2017 Brand of the Year Award for their commitment to creativity and innovation. Creative work submitted on behalf of Lockheed Martin was honored with two Grand Awards, as well as 6 First Prize Awards.
“Field Trip to Mars” was an incredible opportunity for us to reintroduce Lockheed Martin’s brand philosophy of innovation in order to push boundaries, go further and be pioneering in everything we do," said Nettie Johnson, Vice President External Communications, Lockheed Martin Corporation. "We are grateful to our partners at McCann and honored to be recognized with such a prestigious acknowledgement of our efforts."
BBDO was center stage earning the title of 2017 Network of the Year for the fifth year in a row. The award is presented to the agency network that achieves the most awards and produces the finest caliber of work. In total, 22 global offices earned an impressive 2 Grand Prize Awards, 7 First Prize Awards, 12 Second Prize Awards, 15 Third Prize Awards, and 78 Finalist Awards. In addition, the network was recognized with the United Nations Department of Public Information First Prize Award and 2 UNDPI Finalist Awards.
“It’s important to us that so many BBDOs in the network are represented,” said David Lubars, Chief Creative Officer, BBDO Worldwide, “because it proves that our claim of being a 'global boutique' is true; there are a lot of great BBDOs around the world."
The Regional Agency of the Year Award is awarded to an advertising agency that earns the highest score for entries in all competitions across all mediums. This year’s Regional Agency of the Year Awards honors the following global agencies: Europe - Heimat Berlin; North America - McCann New York; South American - AlmapBBDO, Sao Paulo; and Asia Pacific - Clemenger BBDO Melbourne.
The 2017 Executive Jury awarded the following prominent agencies with Grand Prize Awards for their exceptional entries:
ACTIVATION & ENGAGEMENT: McCann New York, “Field Trip to Mars” for Lockheed Martin.
AVANT GARDE: Clemenger BBDO Melbourne, “Meet Graham” for Transport Accident Commission Victoria.
BRANDED CONTENT/BRANDED ENTERTAINMENT: Tohokushinsha Film Corporation, Japan “Gravity Cat” for Sony Interactive Entertainment / Gravity Daze 2.
DESIGN: Ogilvy & Mather New York, USA “The Refugee Nation” for Amnesty International.
FILM - CINEMA / ONLINE / TV: adam&eveDDB New York, USA “Buster the Boxer” for John Lewis.
FILM - CINEMA / ONLINE / TV: Tohokushinsha Film Corporation, Japan “Gravity Cat” for Sony Interactive Entertainment / Gravity Daze 2
OUTDOOR / OUT of HOME MARKETING: McCann New York, USA “The Field Trip to Mars” for Lockheed Martin.
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENTS / COMMUNICATIONS: Clemenger BBDO Melbourne, Australia “Meet Graham” Transport Accident Commission Victoria.
Each year, New York Festivals, in partnership with the United Nations Department of Public Information, appoints a UN panel to select public service work that exemplifies the aims and ideals of the United Nations. The 2017 UNDPI Jury honored the following entries: McCann New York, USA “#MakeWhatsNext” for Microsoft earned the UNDPI First Prize Award; T/A POL, Norway “25 m2 Syria” for TV-Aksjonen NRK + Red Cross + IKEA was awarded the UNDPI Second Prize Award; and Leo Burnett Melbourne, Australia “Reword” for Headspacewas honored with the UNDPI Third Prize Award.
The UNDPI Jury also awarded the following entries with Finalist Certificates: “Switch it Off” Amnesty International, Ogilvy Germany; “Girls of Paradise” Mouvement du Nid, McCann Erickson Paris; “Check it before it's removed: naked breasts on Facebook against breast cancer.” Pink Ribbon Deutschland, DDB Germany; “Evan” Sandy Hook Promise, BBDO New York; “A Table to End Hunger” The Hunger Project Australia, McCann Sydney
93.5 RED FM, India’s most awarded and largest private radio network added several more feathers to its cap at the prestigious India Radio Forum (IRF) by winning 23 awards across 43 award categories. The awards won included the prestigious Best Radio Network in India and Popular RJ of the year People’s Choice Award that was introduced for the first time this year! Thus, 93.5 RED FM continues its trend of being the most dominant player at the India Radio Forum this year as well.
IRF is an annual event that celebrates the best creative work in the Indian radio industry. It is a one-day event that talks about the latest industry developments in the Indian radio industry. IRF selects the best creative talents in radio craft, that are honoured at the post-forum awards ceremony every year. The event was scheduled at Qla, New Delhi.
Speaking about the awards won Nisha Narayanan, COO, RED FM said, “RED FM is honoured to win the maximum awards at the India Radio Forum including the best network of the country and also the most Popular RJ of the year Award by Raunac: People’s Choice! Red FM has always been receiving tremendous support from both the listeners and the advertising community, which makes it a leading brand in the country. This makes RED FM’s popularity enormous. It’s rather humbling to get so many awards for the team; it is a recognition of the work we do. The strength of RED FM lies in the innovative ideas and aggressive thinking that we believe in. We hope to receive such continued support from the community. It is particularly encouraging to see that the IRF team is continuously trying to evolve the format by introducing newer award categories. We look forward to a greater volume of awards in the coming years too. Bajaate Raho!”
Talking about the winning categories, B Surendar, Chief Operating Officer, RED FM/ Suryan FM , said ‘’We are elated to get a thumping victory at such a prestigious forum for the radio industry and to win awards across all categories. Radio has reinvented itself at a stupendous rate complimented by other new age digital options to reach out to its target audience. Today it is the second fastest growing sector after internet in India. While Digital is growing exponentially, private FM radio is the only other medium in India which is expected to grow at a healthy rate of 14-15%. This is fuelled by FM expansion in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities.’’
RED FM’s Rj Raunac on his big win says “Thanks a lot India Radio Forum awards 2017 for giving me this honour and choosing me as the Popular RJ of the year. I will take this moment to say that I will be eternally grateful to Superhits 93.5 RED FM for giving me the opportunity to speak to my listeners every single day. Every morning when I take up a social issue that is relevant to the city, I silently thank God for the team I have, without whom this wouldn't be possible.”
As the political climate continues to grow more divisive, brands are getting thrust into the middle of debates many would prefer to avoid. In January, Toyota was attacked for expanding in Mexico to sell more vehicles to Americans. More recently, Nordstrom experienced whiplash for dropping Ivanka Trump’s clothing line. Corporations and brands typically like to remain apolitical. But in this highly polarized, culturally-charged and social-mediatized moment, where people expect their brands to represent them and their values, can brands sidestep politics entirely? Saying and doing nothing can unintentionally send a message to stakeholders, employees and consumers that the company or brand is indifferent to the issue at hand. And many of the issues being raised have direct implications for businesses. Brands and their CEOs, often the most concrete manifestations of a brand, are having their actions, announcements and affiliations put under the microscope like never before.
The recent executive order regarding the immigrant travel ban and the rhetoric around it is a case in point. The ban, which took place a week prior to the Super Bowl, resulted in brands wading deeply into political waters on both sides of the aisle. From celebration of Mexican avocados to a rerun of Coke’s ‘it’s beautiful’ campaign, immigration was all the rage… literally. Take Anheuser-Busch: Although the American immigrant story of the founder Adolphus Busch was apparently in the works for months prior to the travel ban, its airing led to a call for boycott by those who felt the ad was overtly political. 84 Lumber, a relatively unknown building supply company, ran ‘the Journey’, an ad considered so political by FOX that they refused to air the long version. The edited teaser, which suggested that viewers check out the full story on their website, crashed their site as 6 million attempts were made during the first hour to view the entire ad. The ensuing debate pitted the company’s intention to ‘symbolize the grit, dedication and sacrifice’ of their employees with anger at the promotion of illegal immigration.
With so much contestation on both sides, it can seem like there is no right way for brands to take part in the conversation without fear of reprisal. We at Kantar Added Value don’t believe things are quite that black and white. A brand’s decision on whether to take a bold stand, try to reconcile opposing points of view or stay entirely out of the fray will quite naturally depend on who that brand is. It’s not about politics. It’s about Purpose.
Airbnb’s campaign #weaccept, which explicitly promoted diversity and acceptance, aired during the same Super Bowl as the controversial ads mentioned above. Yet it, along with their initiative to provide short-term housing for displaced people in need, was mostly met with praise. Sure, a few Twitter trolls expressed outrage at what they deemed a ‘politically charged’ message. But all in all, Airbnb got off relatively unscathed. Why?
For one, this pioneer in the sharing economy has built its entire brand around the idea of belonging and community. It therefore was perfectly coherent, to see them take a stand against an order that runs counter to everything they stand for. And Airbnb’s young urban cosmopolitan target would expect no less.
Of course, in any situation, brand owners will want to measure the risks and rewards of speaking up. But risk mitigation isn’t as simple as it used to be. With the rise of social media and real-time communications, brands are expected to behave more like humans. And humans don’t just do what they think will maximize their ROI in the short term. Their behaviors are rooted in values and personality and so should any brand worth its EPS be. Brands, like humans, need to know what they stand for. The clearer a brand is about its raison d’être, the easier it will be to align quickly and convincingly on a course of action.
A brands’ position on a given issue should weigh four key considerations:
1. The brand’s core/most loyal consumers: who are they and what matters to them? If you are Hobby Lobby, your right-leaning consumers will be expecting you to stand up for family values, just as a Ben & Jerry’s core consumer will be sensitive to climate change issues. Some brands don’t know where their consumers stand until they find out the hard way. When Uber chose not to hold up the one-hour taxi strike at JFK airport during the height of the airport protests, their users were enraged. When it then came to light that Uber CEO, Travis Kalanick, was also a member of President Trump’s economic advisory committee, the #deleteUber movement on Twitter was born. Uber, a brand that has successfully positioned themselves as ‘your private driver’ is increasingly out of sync with the cultural moment- evoking elitism and selfishness vs. Lyft whose purpose is to be ‘your friend with a car’. Both drivers and passengers appear to increasingly prefer the latter mindset. Brands must also be forward thinking about their consumer base. Earlier this year, a Fox News radio host dubbed Chick-fil-A “the official chicken of Jesus“. The company’s CEO, who previously took a strong stand against same sex marriage, now seeks to expand northward to NY and other left leaning cities. Consumers and employees in these zipcodes have different attitudes and affiliations, thus requiring a rethink on brand targeting.
2. The brand’s values: what is most important to the brand? What does it stand for and what would it be willing to fight for? There was a time when brands didn’t need to know the answer to these questions. No longer. CVS, the pharmacy brand that took the first strong stand against tobacco, logically stood up for affordable care. Patagonia and Black Diamond, long-time supporters of environmental protection, are publicly appealing to the entire outdoors industry to move their trade show out of Utah State, if its leaders continue to support Republican efforts in Congress to transfer or sell federal lands to states. For brands with strong values, doing nothing, or even taking a tepid position, is not an option.
3. The brand’s competencies: Where does the brand have expertise that might be applied to or provide perspective on the issue at hand? A recent report by Weber Shandwick, entitled “The Dawn of CEO Activism,” found that people saw CEOs more favorably if they took a public stance on current issues — as long as the topic was related to the company’s business. (If it wasn’t, the numbers reversed.). In this vein, Mark Weinberger, CEO of EY has offered his company’s expertise to ‘educate’ President Trump on all things related to job creation in the US. Nike, a brand that has promoted women’s participation in sports for two decades, is addressing the Muslim issue from a different angle: their recent launch of a lightweight, highly wearable hijab that doesn’t come untucked when working out or during competitions, is intended to reach a growing market of Muslim shoppers. Another global brand, IKEA, working through its foundation, has developed refugee shelters made from recycled plastic that can be easily assembled in just a few hours (see innovation section for details). Interestingly, IKEA’s DIY expertise has been hijacked by designers seeking to make an anti-Muslim ban statement via a tongue-in-cheek ad for a “Börder Wåll“, offering a fake flat-pack wall, sold with 5,659,344 screws, and a single allen wrench, for a bargain price of : $9,999,999,999.99.
4. The brand’s personality: Finally, the way a brand chooses to address an issue must be coherent with that brand’s personality. A brand’s willingness to get out in front on contentious topics should reflect its placement on the spectrum of boldness. Is the brand an Innocent or a Nurturer, in which case it will likely avoid direct conflict? Or is it a Hero, willing to fight for what is right? Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz, was one of the first to speak out against the immigrant travel ban with zeal, announcing a decision to employ 10,000 refugees in protest. While the press has suggested that Starbucks is risking business, Kantar Millward Brown (full disclosure – sister Kantar company) reported last week that there has been no substantive impact on any key performance metrics. Jeep, more of an Explorer brand, decided to straddle the fence with their ‘Free to Be,’ campaign, launched around the final presidential debate last year. The campaign featured a split screen showing their latest models half in red, half in blue, delivering a message of unification that cut across party lines. To showcase the parallel park assist, one ad proposed to help you “position yourself between two sides.” Lane departure warning ads reminded you that “The left and the right are closer than you think.”
It could be argued that such an attempt to rise above the divisive rhetoric and avoid taking sides is too safe…that such an approach isn’t bold enough to stand out. But the real question is whether the brand is acting in a way that is coherent with what you know, love and expect from it. And whether it is aligning with the core values of its target. Because the only thing worse for a brand today than being invisible is to be inauthentic or irrelevant.