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Ford India has launched a new campaign for their latest launch ‘Ford Freestyle’- India’s First CUV (Compact Utility Vehicle). Partnered by WPP’s GTB (Global Team Blue), the proposition ‘Josh Hai Dil Main’ celebrates the passion to follow one’s heart, for a regret free life.

Commenting on the campaign, Rahul Gautam, VP - Marketing, Ford India, said, “Ford Freestyle is a world-class product that aims to meet aspirations of young, new age ‘Optimist’ customers… who are progressive, risk takers, fiercely independent and love taking chances in life. The launch campaign takes the Ford brand platform of ‘Feels like Family, for a Change’ forward by pegging the brand on family values of ‘inclusiveness’ and ‘happiness’ that fuels our target mindset to follow their heart with passion and lead a regret-free life”. He added “The all new Ford Freestyle, with its powerful (Josheeley) 96 PS engine, and loaded with capabilities like ARP (Active Rollover Protection) is the perfect ally for today’s new age Optimists
Insight Behind the campaign:

Shedding further light on the insight behind the campaign, Gautam said, “These new age customers live by the motto - “I would rather take those chances and follow my passion, than lead a life of regrets.” -- Something that inspired us!


The genesis of the campaign finds its roots in the unconventional & progressive mind-set of Ford audience called ‘The Optimists’. And taking a unique creative approach, Ford's latest campaign for Freestyle brings alive this audience in the campaign by going beyond stereotypes and showcasing diversity in situations and characters, while being inclusive - a reflection of TG’s open mindedness. They have also fused memorable pop culture metaphors to strengthen the relatability quotient, like using the song ‘Dil Dhadakne Do’ from the movie ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’ as the soundtrack to bring zing to the film and bring to life the ‘Regret Nothing’ attitude.”

This campaign is a celebration of inclusivity and diversity of the bold, free spirited young India. “And strengthens Ford’s brand platform ‘Feels like Family, For a Change’, which is at the core of everything we do, For Freestyle we have Inclusivity, which is a core family value, as a key pillar of the campaign.” explains Gautam.


To bring alive the spirit of Freestyle, Ford has also done a print Innovation with Hindustan Times, One of the Leading English dailies in the country. The innovation titled ‘what happens when a newspaper goes Freestyle?’, has been attempted for the first time in the world, where they have shuffled all the different sections in the newspaper, with Sports sections coming first, as it is a passion of their TG. ‘We wanted to stay true to the spirit of our CUV Freestyle, and use the newspaper medium dynamically and bring in contextuality with the content and relevance to the newspaper sections”. Credit goes to the Team WPP (GTB & Mindshare) to make this unique innovation happen right from idea generation to message creation – added Gautam.

The innovation has started off with a teaser on 26th April – “Ever seen a newspaper go Freestyle” till 28th April and the finally got unveiled on 29th April with dominance across pages of Hindustan Times with contextual messaging appropriately married to the newspaper section and content of the page.
These kind of innovation will surely change the way advertisers had been using print media and will bring in more creativity to the medium.


Rajeev Beotra, CEO, HT English, HT Media Ltd added: “Hindustan Times and WPP group (team GTB/Mindshare) have collaborated for Ford's latest and very promising offering ‘Freestyle’. After a lot of deliberation and exchange of ideas, this innovation is the result of keeping the brand message ‘Freestyle’ at the forefront, where Sunday’s Edition of Hindustan Times went ‘Freestyle’ for its readers by shuffling the sectional sequence, while adding a surprise element to the newspaper. The print industry is uniquely placed in terms of offering innovative opportunities to brands in a credible environment.

Supari Studios announced that its documentary series ‘Doppelgangers’ is the Winner of The Webby People's Voice Award in Film & Video: Sports (Branded) at the 22nd Annual Webby Awards while competing with a crusade of other video series. Supari is the only Indian agency to win this prestigious award this year.

The video was first selected after a 2,000-bench jury siphoned out the best out of millions of videos and then put up for a global People’s choice voting.

‘Doppelgangers’ is a documentary series for Red Bull directed by Akshat Gupt. The series explores the parallels that exist between famous international disciplines and ancient Indian art forms. As part of the series, international experts from the fields of motorcycle stunt riding, B-Boying, and bouldering, visit the worlds of ancient Indian art forms that align with their expertise. The international performers meet their counterparts in a first-time introduction to their doppelgangers. Through the course of the series, viewers not only witnessed certain similarities and understood the complexities and uniqueness of each sport but also learnt the sacrifices and passions of the athletes themselves.

You can watch the series here - https://www.redbull.tv/show/AP-1TX9HWH492111/doppelgangers

Akshat Gupt, Director of the series and founder of Supari Studios adds, “It’s a mark of great distinction for all of us at Supari Studios to be awarded with the Internet’s biggest honor. It’s a testament to the hard work that the whole team put in for this series. There is great talent when it comes to creativity in India and we are happy that the world is now noticing that too.”

Commenting on this win, Advait Gupt, Co-Founder, Supari Studios says, “Our focus on the digital domain has allowed us to try unique formats and engagement models. Having won the Webby's while competing globally and being the only Indian brand in the category truly validates our mission of developing content that is recognized globally. We are certain that through the efforts of the teams at Supari Studios we will continue to create compelling campaigns. Our partnership with Red Bull has been nothing short of extraordinary - not only in terms of the nature of our engagement as a content studio, but also through the creative synergies and relationship that we have built with the entire team”.

Flavours of Southern India: A Splendid Journey

The sumptuous taste of history and culture airing 25th April, 2018 on HISTORY TV18

Kathakali dancers in their colourful costumes and eye pleasing make up, the mystical temples and majestic palaces, Southern India is a melting pot of rich culture, history and architecture. HISTORY TV18’S upcoming show ‘Flavours of Southern India’ airing 25th April, 2018 at 8 PM will take you on an aesthetic journey across southern India. The one hour special documentary beautifully encompasses the charm of every southern state.

Overflowing with vitality and excitement, the southern states of India offer myriads of fabulous experiences, ranging from lively arts and traditions, beautiful beaches to sensuous cuisines. Every state has its own intriguing story to tell. Kerala, the garden of India is also home to medical tourism and beautiful backwaters, stories of French colonization are still hidden in every corner of Pondicherry. Flavours of Southern India is a journey into a millennium- old civilization and is a treat to the eyes and the soul of the viewers.

With a history giving prominence to art and craft, Indian culture is a resonation of creative spirit, hard work and freedom. The one-hour documentary is a great initiative to highlight this rich culture and let the viewers experience the picturesque terrains of the southern states of India in the comfort of their homes.

Catch the exciting show of Flavours of Southern India only on HISTORY TV18 on 25th April 2018.

National Geographic, the global expounders of planet conservation, are kick-starting ‘Lights, Camera, Earth’ on Earth Day, 22nd April, a storytelling crusade focused on harnessing the power of the word to help build a better tomorrow.

Fronted by Farhan Akhtar, India’s much-acclaimed story-teller, the drive is a call to citizens to save the Earth through stories that spark change in the world.

With an aim to put the spotlight back on the planet, the movement calls for thought-evoking tales that shine a light on the state of the biosphere. Come Earth Day, interested participants can submit their ideas on the microsite: http://www.lightscameraearth.com/#ab, by clicking on the ‘submit entry button’. Adjudged by Farhan Akhtar and National Geographic, the nonpareil stories would be granted the opportunity to have their narratives produced by and showcased on National Geographic.

Commenting on this initiative, Swati Mohan, Business Head, National Geographic and Fox Networks Group India, said, “We take great pride in our 130 years of change-inspiring storytelling across our magazines, channels & digital platforms as told by our explorers, photographers and producers. With ‘Lights, Camera, Earth’, we wanted to extend this very important mission of planet conservation to our readers, fans and viewers – as we believe that when it comes to a purpose like saving our planet, there are only more stories to be told! We are thrilled to have one the most celebrated story tellers of our times, Farhan Akhtar, be on the jury along with us to help us inspire the next generation of story tellers that will have their stories seen on a national stage.”

Proud to be a part of National Geographic’s pledge to save the planet, brand ambassador Farhan Akhtar opined "There is no better brand that can inspire change, and through its captivating stories and visuals, have millions of people around the world want to be a part of it in some way – than National Geographic. Lights Camera Earth is the most befitting platform for storytellers wanting to make a difference and I am glad to associate with National Geographic in their continued mission to preserve our planet. Let's inspire the world, one story at a time."

"The world over, marketing professionals and their communication partners are single mindedly pursuing personalization of messaging and even platforms are driving better conversations. A one-size-does-not-fit-all philosophy help clients and brands become more relevant to its consumers. That’s the key mantra to success in this increasingly connected world." Said Ali Merchant, Founder Director, Triton Communications Pvt Ltd.

In an interview with MediAvataar India, Ali shared his valueable insights on all things advertisng, marketing and more.

Here is the complete Q&A....

1. Advertising has sure taken some interesting turns over a period of time in India, what has been your most liked evolvement in the last ten years?
Advertising has become more dynamic and personalized over the last several years.
More number of purpose driven brands have seen an evolvement over last few years. From Dirt is Good to Share the Load, there are lot of brands which go beyond product and emotional benefits, to create a connection with the consumers.
In terms of social change even what we do for one of our clients Eureka Forbes is worth a mention. Aquaguard the No 1 water purifier created the “Jal Daan” (gift of water) Movement, that urged homes with water purifiers to share their safe drinking water with the lesser privileged who visit their homes daily – like the domestic help, the security guard, the driver etc.
The Jal Daan movement has been able to effectively engage people through a simple, doable solution and create a momentum, which is making a real difference to people’s lives. With the monetary contribution, lot of new Community Water Purification Projects have already been set up.
The concept of “branding” budgets, where performance cannot be quantified, is increasingly being replaced by direct response metrics. I believe this is what has re-kindled the passion and excitement in our industry and brought back the challenges in our profession.

2. Which trends according to you dominated India’s Advertising Industry in 2017?
A trend of human stories being conveyed in the most subtle but impactful manner. Ad Campaigns like ‘Salute Toh Banta hai ’(Officer’s Choice Blue)showcased why being human is our first duty.
Marketers exploring new ways of advertising digitally. One such tool that is gaining momentum is advertising through social media applications such as Instagram Stories.
The ‘Make in India’ movement paved way for a number of swadeshi brands such as Patanjali who capitalized on the “being desi” emotion.
Contextual relevance: While content is important, the context is also becoming increasingly important. For e.g Pee Safe, a toilet seat sanitiser spray brand, associated with the film Toilet- Ek Prem Katha.
Ambient advertising With people being always on the move, connecting with them at ‘moments of truth’ is gaining more importance. With brands connecting with consumers at multiple touch points.To raise awareness of the Calcutta School of Music, various bars of Mozart and Hayden were hung on the wires that hang over a busy intersection of Kolkata.
Social issues : Be it movies or advertising, everyone wants to make a difference. From Padman to ads regarding LGBTQ community ads, players are trying to be instruments of social change.

3. Your view on the advertising spends in India.
Advertising spends will grow over the next 3 years at roughly 9% p.a. This will be led by digital, TV and regional press. Radio and Cinema albiet on low bases will grow at 12-15% p.a.
However, the client’s demand on showing ROI on advertising will increase and this will lead to realistic growths across media. Each media touch point will increasingly have to show good ROI. With consolidation across TV, Radio, Print and Cinema, the investment in research to deliver ROI will grow.

4. Digital advertising has surely seen a soaring growth in India, any advice for the advertisers?
Video content advertising is increasing due to falling data rates as well as the rise in the options of video content players. Moreover, an increase in aggregator services provides new advertising platforms in sync with brand propositions. Augmented and virtual realities are set to focus on bringing down content cost next year in order to mainstream advertisements on the platform eventually.
Although twitter is struggling to grow globally, this trend will not be reflected in India as the user base here is growing, specifically due to influencer marketing campaigns. Instagram will become a more valuable channel for advertising than facebook due to better advertising control feature. Facebook as an advertising medium will become obsolete. My advice to marketers using these media would be to focus on the fact that the power of digital truly comes alive in hyper targeting.

5. Any global digital advertising trends that you think Indian marketers should adopt or should not.
The world over, marketing professionals and their communication partners are single mindedly pursuing personalization of messaging and even platforms are driving better conversations. A one-size-does-not-fit-all philosophy help clients and brands become more relevant to its consumers. That’s the key mantra to success in this increasingly connected world.
To elaborate:
1. Growth based Data intelligence will be the key in years to come. There are huge data points available through multiple touch points. The clients who are able to convert them into meaningful and actionable work flows will drive their respective categories. This paired with personalization, will be the winner.

2. Human stories well told with Video content will be key for brands to break the communication clutter.

3. Capturing Micro moments, will be critical for brands to navigate a consumer at the last mile. The brands who have the ability to correctly anticipate and address impulsive informational splurges, or micro-moments, by providing the right information at the right time to the customer in need will lead the way. A mobile first approach will be pivotal.

4. A one-size-does-not-fit-all philosophy help clients and brands become more relevant to its consumers. That’s the key mantra to success in this increasingly connected world.

6. Tell us about the shift in Content Marketing today.
There is actually no shift IN content marketing. There is a very pronounced shift TO content marketing. This is a global trend and is becoming increasingly strong in India. Content marketing allows for rich shareable story telling in multiple formats (video, blogs, etc.), and enables scope for great, innovative and fresh creativity.
To reiterate, the shift has clearly been from outbound to Inbound marketing. Instead of chasing people down to show them an ad, content marketers produce the content and let consumers find them. It’s a non intrusive way of reaching out to the consumer. The content allows more time and space to get marketing messages across, than they could in a 30-second commercial or 20-word internet ad. The challenge however is to seamlessly weave the brand story in the content piece, which doesn’t appear to be an advertorial.

7. What are your thoughts on Native Advertising, Video and Mobile.
All the three elements are important to engage with your consumer. However, native advertising is one of the latest answers to companies and brands searching to share experiences with it consumers in a manner that will reverberate well beyond the duration of the video, or spot or blog being used for the messaging. Consumers today have a sense of ownership about the brands they bring into their lives, and therefore want conversations with brands that are meaningful and enduring. Native advertising allows for rich POVs on brands and services. It allows a brand to spread its net farther, and get expert pieces written about it that enables consumers to identify with the brand in an environment that is conducive, non-obtrusive and readily acceptable. The content curation to match the native publisher platforms will be the essence to success, whether its story telling is through text or video. However, a brand cannot survive on this alone. It needs a mix of native and other forms of digital communications to come out a winner.

8. The Indian advertising industry has evolved from being a small-scaled business to a full-fledged industry and it is projected to be the second fastest growing advertising market in Asia after China. Your thoughts on the same?
The advertising industry in India was never really a small-scale business. From the beginning, we have had large MNC agency networks that opened its offices in the country. These grew, proliferated and were instrumental in building acceptance and recognition of advertising as an industry in India. The scenario today is well known, and, as you have mentioned, the advertising market in India is estimated to be the second largest in Asia.
While the industry has grown in terms of scale, a noticeable change has been in the quality of work. With more number of agencies coming in and even smaller ones doing good work, the bar has been raised. Which reflects in the number of awards which India has been winning at the Global level.
I am very bullish about the growth of the Indian economy and therefore very optimistic about the future of advertising in India, starting 2018. The growth indicators are already there, and brands and companies are busy gearing themselves to meet the challenges of a rapidly evolving consumer centric market.

9. What are your predictions for 2018?
• Rural India is where lot of action will be. With radio and smart phones playing an important role in reaching out to consumers
• Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence are the buzz words, which will gain more prominence in consumer’s life. As brands try to leverage to stay ahead of the competition.
• More consumer engagement ideas will emerge - like Interactive storytelling.
• Social issues will continue to be highlighted by more brands.
• Instagram will continue to become more popular and might emerge as the most popular Social media channel.


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