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Thursday, 07 September 2017 00:00

MEC and Maxus merge to become WAVEMAKER

The new billion-dollar revenue, media, content and technology agency to be created from the merger of MEC and Maxus will be named ‘WAVEMAKER’.

Making waves happens when media, content and technology come together - activating against our unrivalled purchase journey understanding for the clients we represent.

The brand mark WAVEMAKER reflects the agency’s heritage, born from WPP and GroupM.

Tim Castree, global CEO of MEC and Wavemaker, said: “Our purpose is to provide advertisers with the power to transform and grow their business through our Purchase Journey obsession; and importantly to do this through the integration of Purchase Journey insights and data with [m]PLATFORM, GroupM’s proprietary global audience technology. Our Wavemaker brand and positioning is a compelling manifestation of that purpose.”

Kelly Clark, global CEO of GroupM, added: “Wavemaker is an exciting new global agency brand with a powerful proposition for clients. Tim and his team have the full support of GroupM’s scale, resources and expertise.”

The brand, along with a new visual identity, will go live locally as the merger completes in each country, to be finalised by January 2018. Wavemaker will have offices in 90 countries and over 8,500 employees. Major global clients include L’Oreal, Vodafone, Marriott, Colgate-Palmolive and Paramount.

Thursday, 07 September 2017 00:00

Introducing the LinkedIn Audience Network

A new way to reach even more professionals with your Sponsored Content campaigns

One of the biggest challenges for marketers is reaching the people who matter most to your business. While LinkedIn Sponsored Content has always let you reach a professional audience in the newsfeed, what if you could reach even more professionals by promoting your content beyond LinkedIn -- on other premium apps and websites where those same professionals also spend their time?

Today, we are excited to announce the LinkedIn Audience Network, a native advertising network that enables you to reach even more professionals with your ads by placing your Sponsored Content on high-quality, third-party publishers across mobile and desktop.

The LinkedIn Audience Network is designed to increase your marketing footprint beyond the LinkedIn platform so you can extend your campaign’s reach, deliver on your budget more easily and get your content in front of the right people, wherever they are.

To date, more than 6,000 LinkedIn advertisers have participated in our Audience Network beta program. On average, these advertisers have seen a 3-13% increase in unique impressions served, and up to an 80% increase in unique clicks. This means that advertisers running campaigns in the Audience Network are reaching new people they hadn’t yet engaged on one of LinkedIn’s owned and operated properties.

For example, Hiscox, a financial services and insurance provider, improved their campaign reach and performance by running their Sponsored Content on the Audience Network. “When we reviewed campaigns that ran on the LinkedIn Audience Network, we saw a level of engagement that was nearly 4X greater than the benchmark for the financial services industry,” said Gyawu Mahama, U.S. communications and marketing manager at Hiscox.

Understanding your campaign performance is crucial to measuring your advertising ROI. When you deliver ads on the LinkedIn Audience Network, you can download performance reports that include clicks, impressions, and engagement that your ads get specifically through the network. This allows you to compare your network performance to your onsite performance.

At LinkedIn, it’s our top priority to promote your content in a high-quality and brand-safe context. To that end, we’ve taken measures to ensure brand safety within Audience Network placements and give you control over your network campaigns, including the ability to block IAB categories and upload custom block lists.

One of India’s biggest superstars, Akshay Kumar turns 50 this year and has done over a whopping 120 films in his glorious career.

With one of the highest number of hits and eight movies in the Rs. 100 crore club, Akshay Kumar’s films across genres have been consistently successful at the Box Office and have broken several viewership records on television as well. With a marvelous career spanning over 25 years, Zee Cinema will treat the Khiladi’s fans with his films every Saturday at 9 PM under the on-going property ‘Shanivaar Ki Raat Akshay Ke Saath’ On his birthday, Zee Cinema, World’s Largest Theatre for Hindi Movies showcases the romantic musical Andaaz for the first time on television on Saturday, 9th September at 9 PM.

There are lesser instances in Bollywood where a single film presents two female debutantes; that too competing beauty queens. However, director Suneel Darshan introduced Miss Universe Lara Dutta and Miss World Priyanka Chopra in Andaaz and gave Hindi Cinema two prolific faces. Suneel Darshan commented, “I had come across a picture of Akshay and Lara together in a magazine. Lara did not look like the text-book definition of Indian beauty and was very contemporary. And combined with her strong command over Hindi she was locked for the role. Priyanka Chopra once walked into my office for some work and the way she carried herself; I knew she was the perfect fit for the character. I realized that the entire perception of female beauty would change once the movie hits the screens.”

With Akshay Kumar in the lead, this was the first universal hit of 2003 and the rest as they say is history. The music album of the movie is another highlight and the composer duo Nadeem-Shravan gave popular hits including Rabba Ishq Na Hoye, Kissise Tum Pyar Karo, Yeh Pyar Toh Hai Ek Dhoka and Aaj Kehna Zaroori Hai that are still celebrated today.

Raj (Akshay Kumar) shifts to Dehradun with his family and befriends Kajal (Lara Dutta). Growing up, Raj falls for Kajal but fails to express his feelings. He leaves for his Air Force training and returns only to find out Kajal getting married to a businessman Karan Singhania (Aman Verma). Dejected, Raj shifts to Cape Town and meets a vivacious Jiya (Priyanka Chopra). Upon his family’s insistence, Raj agrees to marry Jiya. During a visit to her family, Raj encounters Kajal, now a struggling widow. While Raj pledges to get Kajal back to life, their growing fondness bothers Jiya who happens to be Kajal’s sister-in-law. What happens next changes their lives forever.

‘Shanivaar Ki Raat Akshay Ke Saath’ celebrates the magnificent journey of Akshay Kumar with his time-honored hidden gems that will telecast for the first time on television.

 

Daughters of Mother India” Earns Recognition as Most-Awarded PR Program of the Year 

Weber Shandwick, one of the world’s leading global communications and engagement firms, has been honored with the top ranking on The Holmes Report’s 2017 Global Creative Index, marking the second time in three years that the agency has been recognized as the industry’s leading creative firm. Weber Shandwick’s “Daughters of Mother India” campaign with filmmaker Vibha Bakshi also earned top honors as the most-awarded PR program of the past 12 months.

The Global Creative Index is The Holmes Report’s annual benchmark of creative excellence in PR, ranking work and campaigns from more than 25 leading public relations, digital and marketing awards programs around the globe. According to The Holmes Report, the rankings this year factored in the “expansion of public relations work across multiple categories of advertising-oriented programs, such as Cannes Lions, recognising agencies designated for 'idea-creation.’”

“Creativity is at the core of our business. It’s not just about big ideas; we’re focused on ideas that create impact, earn attention and engagement, and help move our clients’ businesses forward,” said Andy Polansky, Chief Executive Officer, Weber Shandwick. “We’re proud to once again be recognised as a leader in creative excellence in what has clearly become an increasingly integrated marketing services landscape. We celebrate this honour with all of our colleagues and client partners around the world.”

Wednesday, 06 September 2017 00:00

Why Wisdom Can’t Be Taught

In the pursuit of wisdom, executives may find themselves taking off their masks to become truly authentic and reflective leaders.

I cannot teach anyone anything, I can only make them think.” - Socrates

The day after becoming the CEO of a company facing turbulent times, David had a dream. In it, while walking on a beach he discovered a bottle. On opening, a genie appeared offering him a wish in exchange for her freedom. Eschewing riches, fame or a long life, David opted for the one thing he knew he needed to help him guide his people in the best way possible. He chose the gift of wisdom.

In today’s hyperactive digital age, attaining wisdom is a challenge. With tablets and phones and their various apps constantly vying for our immediate attention, it is increasingly difficult to find the time and mental space for making meaningful connections or engaging in the deep conversations, reflection, emotional awareness, empathy and compassion, necessary in its pursuit.

Indeed, it is an unfortunate fact for many leaders in David’s position, that while wisdom requires education, education does not necessarily make people wise. As Professor Charles Gragg noted in his classic case study “Because Wisdom Can't Be Told”, the mere act of listening to wise statements and sound advice doesn’t necessarily ensure the transfer of wisdom.

What does it mean to be wise?

People often equate wisdom with intelligence or being knowledgeable; but all too often, it becomes apparent that being intelligent and being wise are quite different things. The world is full of brilliant people who intellectualise without really understanding the essence of things. In contrast, wise people try to grasp the deeper meaning of what is known and strive to better understand the limits of their knowledge.

Wisdom implies more than merely being able to process information in a logical way. Knowledge becomes wisdom when we have the ability to assimilate and apply this knowledge to make the right decisions. As the saying goes, ‘knowledge speaks but wisdom listens’. Wise people are blessed with good judgement. In addition, they possess the qualities of sincerity and authenticity, the former implying a willingness to say what you mean, the latter to be what you are.

Wise people are also humble; their humility deriving from a willingness to recognise the limitations of their knowledge. They accept that there are things they will never know. By accepting their ignorance, they are better prepared to bear their own fallibility. People who are wise know when what they are doing makes sense, but also when it will not be good enough. Ironically, it is exactly this kind of self-knowledge that pushes them to do something about it.

Wisdom can be looked at from both a cognitive and emotional perspective. Cognitively, wise people have the ability to see the big picture. They are able to put things in perspective; to rise above their personal viewpoint and observe a situation from many different angles (thus avoiding simplistic black-and-white thinking). From an emotional perspective, people acknowledged for their wisdom are reflective, introspective and tolerant of ambiguity. They know how to manage negative emotions, and possess both empathy and compassion; qualities that differentiate them in an interpersonal context.

Ironically, what makes wisdom more important than success and riches is that it enables us to live well. Our mental and physical health flourishes when we are congruent with our beliefs and values. As Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” Wise people are attuned to what constitutes a meaningful life. They know how to plan for and manage such a life. This implies self-concordance, behaving consistently with their values, a journey that requires self-exploration, self-knowledge and self-responsibility.

Age doesn’t make us wiser

So, how can we acquire wisdom and can we expedite its acquisition? Becoming wise is a very personal quest. It is only through our own experiences, learning how to cope with the major tragedies and dilemmas embedded within life’s journey, that we will discover our own capacities and learn how to create wisdom.

Setbacks are memorable growth experiences contributing to a deeper understanding of the vicissitudes of life. Overcoming difficult situations contributes to an increased appreciation of life and the recognition of new possibilities. These experiences enable us to rise above our own perspectives and see things as they are.

Unfortunately, wisdom is not something that automatically comes with the passing of years. While older people may be more capable than their younger counterparts, many never put their life experiences to good use. To acquire the required sense of reflectivity may necessitate the help of others. Educators, coaches, psychotherapists and mentors can play a significant role, not only by assisting with the dissemination of knowledge but by helping those searching for wisdom work through challenging experiences and encouraging them to work on emotional awareness, emotional self-regulation, relational skills and mindfulness.

A number of specific steps can be taken to expedite the road to wisdom. In my work with executives I have found that creating a learning community in which participants have the opportunity to tell their stories, not only has a cathartic effect but also helps wisdom come to bear. While written case studies can be helpful, life case studies narrated by participants have a much more dramatic, emotional impact. Telling and listening to personal stories is a starting point for a deeper understanding of oneself and others, and helps participants learn to hear what’s not being said.

Wisdom and authenticity

A learning community is also a great place to practice open-mindedness. Encouraging participants to step out of their comfort zone and to deal with people who are very different from themselves, leads to a deeper understanding and acceptance of the ambiguous nature of things. If designed in a holistic manner, these communities are a great exercise in humility, giving participants a better awareness of their limitations as well as a greater ability to integrate their knowledge and experiences when dealing with the challenges ahead.

In their pursuit of wisdom, group members will be encouraged to learn from their mistakes, to think before acting and, by taking off their masks, to become more authentic in living their values.


Written by Manfred Kets de Vries, INSEAD Distinguished Clinical Professor of Leadership Development & Organisational Change

This article is republished courtesy of INSEAD Knowledge. Copyright INSEAD 2017

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