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The campaign crosses 2.9M views!

The 2nd leg of the campaign, #NoConditionsApply, a revolution kicked off by Calcutta Times aimed at changing the division of tradition is creating waves across the country.

Crafted by FCB Ulka, the campaign has been released in print and on social media platforms.

The campaign, is based on the 400-year-old tradition of Sindoor Khela the last day of the auspicious Durga Pooja, an annual Hindu festival. The Sindur: that married women put in the parting of their hair, to indicate their marital status.

During the festive time, the warrior goddess, Durga, is worshipped by the Bengali community in India, for a period of 4 days at the onset of autumn. On the last day of this vibrant, rich, communal celebration, married woman endorse the goddess’ and their own marital prosperity by applying Sindur on to the idol’s face and then to each other. It’s a mad riot of vermillion celebration. It’s about a fertile world, a wedded world, a world that acknowledges the wifeness & motherness of a goddess who has just slain a demon. But while the married women come together the rest of sisterhood looks on…uninvited.

“This movement wasn’t for those who had opted out. It was for those who had been pushed out. It was about erasing a line not drawn by them, but by others. About two dots of red with no barrier in between. Me & my other sister. My transgender sister. My widowed sister. My sex worker sister. My outlier sister. It was about equality in symbology. Because after all, that is where it all begins and where it all flows back to. Every progressive, inclusive thought is only as powerful as the ritual it permeates. At least in a country like India – where ritual is everything” said Swati Bhattacharya, Chief Creative Officer, FCB Ulka.

Shedding light on the theme, Rohit Ohri, Group Chairman and CEO, FCB India said, “I have a special connection with this campaign. Having been born and brought up in Kolkata, Durga Puja was something I always looked forward to in my growing up years. Sarbojanin Durga Puja was how I always remembered it. Sarbojanin means for everyone. So Durga Puja was for everyone but Sindoor Khela wasn’t. Swati, Chief Creative Officer FCB Ulka and a feminist, created this campaign about social inclusion for TOI. Inclusion cannot be conditional. And so #noconditionsapply was the perfect articulation to spark off this behaviour change campaign.”

Speaking on the occasion, Sumeli Chatterjee, Vice President, Brand TOI said, “#NoConditionsApply is an initiative that is close to our heart and existence. There is a lot of talk of diversity of gender, this highlights the need to have diversity even within the gender. While we have hosted this inclusive Shindoor Khela initiative in Kolkata, the messaging is relevant to every occasion and every festivity. When we talk of Gender Equity, we cannot limit our conversations to only ambition and opportunities; we need to talk about inclusion in Festivals, Celebrations and every walk of life that will allow everyone to walk that step together. No Celebration can every be complete without including one and all.”

A couple of weeks ago I suggested that I would come back to the idea that there is a right time to advertise to someone. Right now the marketing world seems to have decided that the right time to get a message to someone is as close to point of purchase as possible, but is that really true?

As you may have realized, I have been giving a bit of thought to how people make decisions recently. And it reminds me that much as people’s decisions are shaped by emotions and context, individuals try to make the right decision; the one that will have the best outcome for them. This means that people will try to make up their own mind about what to buy, particularly if the purchase is expensive or risky.

Increasingly, however, we have the ability to reach people with advertising close to the point of decision. While the targeting may still not be as accurate as marketers might like, the chances of reaching someone close to making a purchase are probably improved. The only problem being that if someone cares enough about a purchase to exhibit behavior indicative that they are about to make a purchase – searching, reviewing, checking out websites – then they are likely also trying to make up their own minds about the purchase and will be more likely to discount the information provided by advertising.

Unfortunately reaching people at the time when they are most likely to consciously deliberate their choice - comparing brands in terms of features, benefits and prices - means that advertising needs to be more forceful than it might otherwise. Tangible claims and price discounts are more likely to sway someone’s deliberations. And all too often the price discount prevails at the expense of the brand’s profits.

Of course the ideal is combine strong predisposition to buy with a strong call to action. Then all someone might need to sway the purchase is a reminder of what the brand stands for. I remember being told that “America’s favorite” had proven to generate more sales when used as a point of sale claim than any price discount. Effective activation is all about triggering the right associations at the right time not creating them from scratch.

Brands grow by building salience, informed by perceptions of difference and affinity, through advertising, online content, reviews, PR and word of mouth. Given the diverse reasons why someone might consider a brand, it is important to ensure the brand is salient in relation to different category entry points for different people. This is where the true benefit of today’s targeting technology can really make a difference by ensuring that a timely reminder is delivered, triggering positive predisposition previously built through brand advertising.

I believe whether a message is right or not depends on when it is delivered before or during search and shopping.


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

Sunday, 05 November 2017 00:00

Vodafone Most Valuable UK Brand

Giants of UK industry lead the first BrandZ Top 50 Most Valuable UK Brands

Study highlights ‘innovation gap’ that provides growth opportunities for UK corporations and disruptive start-ups

The first annual ranking of the BrandZ™ Top 50 Most Valuable UK Brands has been announced today by WPP and Kantar Millward Brown. The list includes some of the most famous brands in the world, and reflects the UK’s role as a centre for financial services, energy exploration and communications. Many of these brands are incredibly strong and enduring. They are also successfully keeping step with consumers’ changing attitudes and priorities as the UK prepares to leave the EU – providing value for money by demonstrating quality and longevity, and telling stories that resonate with people’s lives.

Services and infrastructure brands make up half of the Top 50. These brands, from the well-established telecoms, finance and utilities industries, hold eight of the Top 10 places and contribute 66% of the total value of the Top 50.

The BrandZ research reveals that the UK’s leading brands are well-known and highly regarded both at home and overseas. However, consumers do not perceive them as particularly innovative, which puts them at risk from smaller, newer rivals. Innovation plays an important part in value growth: the UK brands that consumers score highest on innovation are almost twice as valuable as those with low scores.

The combined value of the brands in the ranking is US$234.5 billion; equivalent to £173.7 billion. Vodafone is no.1 with a value of $27.3bn, accounting for 12% of the ranking’s total value. It has a strong company purpose – to connect everybody to live a better today and build a better tomorrow. This is expressed through a new positioning, ‘The future is exciting, Ready?’, and inviting people to benefit from new and exciting technologies. Countering a general lack of love for its sector HSBC (no.2) has invested in internal change programmes and service innovations to make customers’ lives easier. These are starting to be reflected in improved customer perceptions, reputation, and brand value.

Exporting is vitally important for ‘Brand Britain’. The Top 50 earn 54% of their revenues outside the UK; for the Top 10 the figure is higher at 63%. The exporters that generate most revenues overseas include ASOS, Dyson, Lipton and Vodafone. Brands that are clear on what they stand for, are innovative, and know how to deliver a great brand experience are better positioned to cross geographical borders and appeal to consumers across the globe.

David Roth, CEO EMEA and Asia, The Store WPP, says: “The potential is high for UK brands to succeed globally after Brexit. They are steeped in heritage, and what it means to be ‘made in the UK’ is held in high esteem by international consumers. By emphasising and building on what makes them loved and trusted, while cultivating a profound understanding of how to be relevant to consumers in each target market, brands can successfully redefine themselves as leading exporters in the post-Brexit world.”

Louise Ainsworth, Kantar Millward Brown’s UK CEO, comments: “The UK’s household names must behave like leaders to protect their value. Fame and scale have sustained them well, but they’re vulnerable to disruption from younger, more innovative rivals. Without losing what makes them loved and trusted, UK brands need to refresh what they stand for to make it relevant to today. They should be quicker to capitalise on technology to make consumers’ lives easier, and communicate their innovations effectively to build perceptions.”

Other trends highlighted in this year’s BrandZ Top 50 Most Valuable UK Brands report include:

• The UK’s leading brands lag their global peers on five measures that lead to long-term financial growth. They score only slightly higher than average across the five – purpose, innovation, communications, brand experience and love – with Dulux, Boots, BBC, Tesco and BA amongst the highest scoring. Over a decade, the UK Top 10 have grown less than a third as fast as the Global Top 10 (66% vs 249%). They’re seen as less innovative than they were in 2006, and are less loved.
• There are 11 banking and insurance brands in the Top 50, contributing 21% of the total value.
• The nine entertainment and telecoms brands account for almost a third of the value of the Top 50.
• Retail also features strongly: the nine brands contribute $25bn to the Top 50’s total value. Tesco (no.7) has improved its performance in the market by refocusing on customers’ needs, successfully improving the experience and service it delivers.
• Trust is about more than being deeply established. The most trusted UK brands – which include BA, Cadbury, the BBC and Royal Mail – are more likely to be loved and recommended by consumers. However relative newcomer MoneySuperMarket, which is not currently in the Top 50, is 22% more trusted than the average brand, showing that newer brands can gain trust too.

The ground-breaking BrandZ UK Top 50 study ranks the UK’s most valuable brands, analyses their strengths, and identifies the key forces driving growth in this market. It is the first edition of an annual report that will track and anticipate the evolving environment for brands in the UK, and chart their changing fortunes.

The ability of any brand to power business growth relies on how it is perceived by customers. As the only brand valuation ranking grounded in consumer opinion, BrandZ’s analysis enables UK brands to identify whether they are seen as innovative, and provides clear strategic guidance on how to boost innovation for the long-term and, importantly, use communications to ensure that innovation is recognised as such by consumers. Businesses worldwide trust BrandZ to provide the information they need to measure, manage and protect their most important intangible asset: their brand.

The BrandZ UK Top 50 report incorporates new research from Y&R’s BAV Group, which examines what it takes to build powerful nation brands. According to BAV Group’s 2017 Best Countries report, the UK ranks third best overall out of 80 countries, and scores particularly highly on education, entrepreneurship, power, strong international alliances, and economic as well as cultural influence. How people view the UK is also a strong reflection of how they may view the country’s brands, and the UK’s reputation as a world leader bears significant weight on the global power of its brands.

Sunday, 05 November 2017 00:00

Urban farming 2.0

Supermarkets are finding new ways to show their commitment to locally-grown food.

Delhaize, the leading retailer in Belgium, has launched a vegetable garden and greenhouse on the rooftop of one of its stores in the Brussels area. The produce will be sold in-store and offer customers an opportunity to buy locally. Five kinds of lettuce are currently being grown and tomatoes, eggplants, and zucchini will be added next year. The farm will also serve an educational purpose, offering workshops to schools in 2018.

While urban farming has been discussed in the past, major supermarkets are now making these conceptual ideas a reality. There is a range of benefits to these kinds of farms. Indoor farming can give consumers access to fresh produce year-round—even those who live in dense, urban areas. In addition to greatly reducing carbon emissions, indoor farming also uses less water than traditional farming and doesn’t require pesticides.

“Developing a healthy and high-quality nutritional pattern…is one of the challenges of the Brussels region,” Brussels Minster for Environment and Energy Céline Fremault stated in a release. “This first city farm of Delhaize is therefore an excellent initiative, which fully fits into one of Brussels’ ambitions: to increase local production.”

Earlier this year, French retailer Carrefour revealed a similar rooftop initiative to Delhaize which is managed by students of a local agricultural school. Albert Heijn, the largest supermarket chain in the Netherlands, similarly launched a “Help-yourself Herb Garden” in one of its shops that allowed customers to pick fresh plants. Meanwhile in Canada, IGA became the first store to sell store-grown produce in Montreal, offering 30 varieties of vegetables. Even Target in the US is piloting vertical gardens in its stores.

Infarm, a Berlin-based start-up, is trying to make this a reality for every supermarket. The company created an indoor “herb garden” for supermarkets which houses plants in a protected, nutrient-rich environment. The customer-facing farm connects to an app that monitors important factors such as pH levels and temperature.

“Behind our farms is a robust hardware and software platform for precision farming,” Infarm co-founder Osnat Michaeli tells TechCrunch. “Each farming unit is its own individual ecosystem, creating the exact environment our plants need to flourish.” Los Angeles-based start-up Local Roots has taken a similar approach, using shipping containers to bring urban farms to grocers, universities, and community centres. Their goal is to create a network of community-based farms across the US.

Ethically-minded consumers are becoming more health conscious and starting to question where their food comes from and the effect it has on the environment. It’s imperative that brands respond to this concern and continue to implement initiatives that reduce emissions. Brands that are creative in reducing their carbon footprint will reduce costs, tackle climate change and ultimately attract more consumers looking for fresh, high-quality food.

Star Sports – India’s leading sports broadcaster – set to launch Star Sports 1 Kannada, the country’s first dedicated Kannada sports channel.

Star Sports aims to provide quality viewing experience in local languages for its fans across India. Earlier this year, Star Sports introduced India’s first Tamil sports channel - Star Sports 1 Tamil -paving the way for more regional sports channels.

Celebrating the spirit of the Kannadiga culture is at the heart of the launch of Star Sports 1 Kannada. Karnataka as a region, has shown very distinctive viewing habits and an affinity to differentiated language content. This has enabled Star Sports to create a unique, engaging and most importantly, viewer centric offering for the southern state.

Star Sports 1 Kannada, with its rich line-up of sports properties, will help bring Kannadiga sports fans closer to their favourite sports. The calendar includes live events such as the Hero Indian Super League (ISL), Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Premier Badminton League (PBL) etc. Star Sports 1 Kannada aims to provide fans with region specific quality sports content allowing them to connect with their heroes.

A Star India spokesperson said, “Sports is more engaging, enjoyable and thrilling, when it is watched in a language one speaks. Our strong presence in Karnataka has helped us understand how Kannadiga sports fans like to consume sports content. Kannadigas possess an inherent sporting quality of resilience and an undying desire to always win. Star Sports 1 Kannada, with its extensive line-up of popular sports content, is a resolute step towards bringing these Kannadiga fans closer to their favourite games and heroes.”

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