MediAvataar's News Desk

MediAvataar's News Desk

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Sir Martin Sorrell has stepped down as Chief Executive Officer of WPP with immediate effect.

Roberto Quarta, Chairman of WPP, becomes Executive Chairman until the appointment of a new Chief Executive Officer.

Mark Read, Chief Executive Officer of Wunderman and WPP Digital, and Andrew Scott, WPP Corporate Development Director and Chief Operating Officer, Europe, have been appointed as joint Chief Operating Officers of WPP.

Sir Martin will be available to assist with the transition.

The previously announced investigation into an allegation of misconduct against Sir Martin has concluded. The allegation did not involve amounts that are material.

In accordance with his at-will employment agreement, Sir Martin will be treated as having retired on leaving WPP, as detailed in the Directors’ Compensation Policy. His share awards will be pro-rated in line with the plan rules and will vest over the next five years, to the extent Group performance targets are achieved.

Roberto Quarta said: “Sir Martin has been the driving force behind the expansion of WPP to create the global leader in marketing services. During this time, the Company has been successful because it has valued and nurtured outstanding talent at every level – within and well beyond our leadership teams. On behalf of the Board I would like to recognise these achievements and thank Sir Martin for his commitment to the business over more than three decades.”

Sir Martin Sorrell said: “Obviously I am sad to leave WPP after 33 years. It has been a passion, focus and source of energy for so long. However, I believe it is in the best interests of the business if I step down now. I leave the Company in very good hands, as the Board knows. Mark and Andrew and the management team at all levels have the knowledge and abilities to take WPP to even greater heights and capitalise on the geographic and functional opportunities. I will particularly miss the daily interactions with everyone across the world and want to thank them and their families for all they have done, and will do, for WPP.”


Friday, 13 April 2018 00:00

Why Difference impacts brand growth

The high-profile bankruptcy of Toys R Us is the most recent in a long line of brands that failed to adapt to changing times.

From a consumer perspective, habit and existing positive attitudes may keep the incumbent brand staggering on for a time but eventually people recognize they are missing out and go elsewhere.

It's interesting that from a consumer perspective the same set of brand associations that identifies a dying brand also identifies a disruptive brand. The chart below shows the brand equity profile of disruptive and dead or dying brands as measured by BrandZ™. The disruptive brands include Tesla, Uber, Dollar Shave Club, Airbnb, Free, Netflix and Facebook. Among the dead and dying brands shown are Borders Bookstore, Blockbuster, Pontiac, Circuit City, Nokia and MySpace. Relative to their existing customer base, disruptive brands are far more likely to be seen as different from the competition – dead and dying brands less so.

The same is true of everyday, non-disruptor brands, but to a lesser degree. An examination of 2052 brands measured in BrandZ between 2014 and 2017 found that 6% grew significantly and 5% declined. On average, the brands that grew tend to be perceived as different, the brands that declined are weaker than expected. Note that the brands which decline tend to be more salient than expected but, unfortunately, being top of mind with the consumer in a buying situation doesn't guarantee being chosen if better differentiated or cheaper alternatives are available. People do sometimes deliberate on their purchase decisions, particularly for more expensive or riskier choices. This is when a different and meaningful offer wins the day.

The origins differentiation might differ between the truly disruptive brands and the everyday. The disruptors rely on some form of functional advantage to make their product or service simpler, more convenient or cheaper which will ladder up to positive affinity for the brand. Everyday brands, particularly in established categories, may struggle to find a meaningful functional advantage, but purpose, design and marketing can still help a brand stand out from the crowd and make an emotional connection with its potential customers.

In marketing, it has become popular to dismiss the importance of perceived difference, but this analysis reminds us that when it comes to longer-term success differentiation is still important. Every marketer should be looking for ways to make their brand seem different so that it's the obvious choice when people do deliberate on their purchase decision.


Written by Nigel Hollis, Chief Global Analyst, Kantar Millward Brown

Unprecedented growth of 37% over last year's opening game

The opening game of the VIVO IPL 2018 tournament broadcast across the Star Network and live streamed on Hotstar has recorded the highest ever viewership in the history of the tournament. The inaugural match of the 11th season played between the Mumbai Indians and the Chennai Super Kings registered a blockbuster viewership on television of 6,355,000** impressions (India Urban, Males 15+AB) which translates to a 7.21 rating percentage (India Urban, Males 15+AB) on the Star Network. This is an unprecedented growth of 37% over last year’s opening game. These are simulcast ratings of the original telecast aired on Saturday April 7th at 8 pm across a bouquet of 10 channels (Star Sports 1; Star Sports 1 HD; Star Sports Select 1 SD; Star Sports Select 1 HD (English); Star Sports 1 (Hindi); Star Sports 1 HD (Hindi); Star Sports 1 Tamil (Tamil) along with Suvarna Plus (Kannada); Jalsha Movies (Bengali) and Maa Movies (Telegu).

On Hotstar, the platform posted some of the largest numbers ever with a 42 Mn reach on opening day which was 2.3x of last year. This record has since then been surpassed on Tuesday, April 10th, by the CSK vs KKR game setting a new global record in sports viewership on digital with 5.5 Mn simultaneous viewers. In fact, if Hotstar were a television channel, the rating on the opening game would have an approximate average television percentage rating of 3.1.

Sanjay Gupta, Managing Director– Star India, said, “When we reimagined the VIVO IPL 2018, we were confident our immersive, multi-lingual, interactive and technology-driven presentation across TV and Digital would resonate strongly with IPL fans across India. We are pleased with the initial record-breaking numbers, which indicate that all the innovations this year have resonated with fans. As the tournament progresses, we look forward to delivering even greater all-round value to all stakeholders.”

Rahul Johri, Chief Executive Officer - Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), said, “The VIVO Indian Premier League has once again proven that it is the largest media property in this country. This is IPL's first year of partnership with Star India and I am delighted to see with the innovations that we have introduced, viewership has set new records and the tournament is set to reach a wider audience globally than ever before. It’s setting up to be a great tournament with some fantastic cricketing action for the fans who can enjoy the games in 6 languages, live across TV and Digital for the first time. As always, we are seeing a tremendous response from both stadiums and fan parks and the atmosphere across the country has been very encouraging.”

For the first time, Vivo IPL 2018 is connecting with many Indians in their relevant language - six different languages, Hindi, English, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, and Bengali. By leveraging the combined reach of digital and television the tournament will be broadcast, for the first time ever, on 10 TV channels and live streamed on Hotstar with an aim to reach out to more fans across TV and digital in India than ever before. This is one of the first few leagues in the world which has used virtual reality to bring live action from the stadium to the fans at home. This immersive VR experience will make it possible for fans to come closer to the high-octane matches from the comfort of their homes. Along with dedicated language feeds, the network also has the Star Sports Select feed, #SelectDugout, which is a bespoke offering for the ardent cricket fan who likes to stay ahead of the game, too received a positive response from fans who appreciated the presence of legends and the quality of analysis and its overall presentation available across cable, DTH.


**All M15+ AB Urban, Data sourced from BARC Preview

A record for peak concurrent viewers on Hotstar was established during the match between Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders; CDN powered by Akamai

Hotstar, India’s largest premium video streaming platform, leveraged Akamai Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAM), the world’s largest and most trusted cloud delivery platform to set a global streaming record on the Akamai platform for the ongoing VIVO Indian Premier League held in India, for the match between the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on the 10th of April, 2018.

Viewership for the game peaked at 5.5 million concurrent viewers. This is the largest on the Akamai platform for any live sporting event in the world and the largest for any single event online by a broadcaster. This is ahead of the previous high on the Akamai platform of 4.8 million peak concurrent users, established by Hotstar during the India and Pakistan ICC Champions Trophy Final in June 2017[1]. The concurrent viewership of VIVO IPL on Hotstar exceeded the peak viewership of 4.6 million for the streaming of the inauguration of U.S. President Donald Trump in January 2017.

The Vivo IPL experience on Hotstar has been reimagined to be leagues ahead of the sports experience on any platform in the world, with features like Watch’NPlay, a game that tests the viewers’ cricket smarts as they watch a match, as well as VR and social features, that make the experience more immersive than ever before.

“Crossing 5 million on a live sporting event is like breaking the 10-second barrier in the 100 meter dash. We are proud that we are the first to get here. But, of even more importance, we are excited that fans have embraced the immersive sports experience on Hotstar that has brought together live streaming, the expression of fan emotions and an interactive always-on game. This is the future of video online and we are excited to shape it. At this scale, we will be clearly testing the ability of different parts of the Internet to keep up with the dramatic growth in fan followership. And, we are delighted that Akamai has been a partner that has always walked in step with our ambitions and delivered the scale that we seek,” said Ajit Mohan, CEO, Hotstar.

“Hotstar is one of the pioneers in the live streaming industry in India, and has changed the way hundreds of millions of people consume content. With the hyper growth of mobile-first users, it's important that platforms catering to them factor in the right technology to provide an experience that rivals, if not supersedes, a traditional broadcast experience. Akamai’s partnership with Hotstar has changed how people enjoy a variety of content ranging from general entertainment to live sports anytime, anywhere and on any device,” said Parimal Pandya, Vice President, Media, APJ, Akamai Technologies.

Leading Indian financial publishers adopts video strategy to engage with users across 72 countries

Brightcove, the leading provider of cloud services for video, today announced that Equitymaster, a financial research publisher based in India, has selected the Brightcove’s video platform to manage and stream video content on its website.

Equitymaster has over 1.7 million users across 72 countries worldwide. It is India's leading independent equity research initiative and the most preferred destination for consumers interested in investing news and information. Equitymaster’s online portal features videos in a variety of content styles such as marketing content, product knowledge videos, and videos in customer newsletters.

“Many Equitymaster subscribers prefer a more visual presentation of information rather than reading through a written article. Therefore, we are using a video-centric approach to enrich the content on our website. Video tends to create a greater impression in the minds of subscribers; As a result, it’s a powerful asset that can help boost our brand profile and increase engagement with our customers,” Trupti David, Customer Engagement Manager at Equitymaster, said. “We selected the Brightcove video platform because of its robust analytics and bundled content delivery network services, which ensure the highest-quality video streaming across devices. Our parent company, the US-based Agora Group, also uses the Brightcove platform.”

“Equitymaster recognizes the power of video as a content medium for its members, and here at Brightcove we certainly share in that belief,” Ben Morrell, general manager, Asia at Brightcove, said. “We’re excited to see Equitymaster leverage our video platform to deliver high quality video experiences to its user base of 1.7 million and to witness the powerful results of their new video-centric approach.”

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