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The undisputed leader in the lifestyle and travel segment, FOX Life is ready to take on the home décor and interiors’ space with its brand-new show ‘Design HQ’, with the award-winning architect, interior designer Ashiesh Shah.

The show will give its viewers a never-seen-before inside access Design HQ premieres 7th September 2017 every Thursday at 10pm only on Fox Lifeinto the homes of Bollywood A-listers such as Hrithik Roshan, Aditya Roy Kapoor, Jacqueline Fernandes, Sussane Khan, Masaba Gupta and others.

Design HQ will reveal personalized design inspiration behind celebrity home interiors along with some candid, fun conversations with Ashiesh on all-things-design and more. The show also features a fun DIY segment with Ashiesh, wherein he shares simple hacks on how to “design your own space” and live the celeb life!

Talking about the concept of Design HQ, Shruti Takulia, Creative Director, India Productions, Fox Networks Group, said, “With Design HQ, we bring forth a new facet of lifestyle – design and home décor, for our aesthetically inclined viewers; a natural extension of the channel’s already broad lifestyle bouquet spanning food, travel and fashion.

“From Hrithik Roshan talking about his vending machine to Aditya Roy Kapoor’s confession about his ambient bachelor pad, or Pernia’s penchant of having various shades of white and mirrors in her house to a quirky rickshaw installation at AD & Sabina Singh’s abode – Design HQ is all about revealing design stories coming straight from celebrity homes.” Shruti added

Talking about the experience of Design HQ, Ashiesh Shah says, “I am delighted to collaborate with Fox Life and Conde Nast Video to create India's first-of-its kind design centric TV show. Through the episodes, I take you to some very fascinating yet private homes of my celebrated friends. Everyone likes to see and have beautiful space and this show will definitely help the viewers take back some interesting DIY hacks and tricks to re-create a home the celebrity style!

"The field for business print in India is quite small, and I respect (most of smile) the players in it. They are trying out new things, in terms of content, packaging, communication, digital avenues, 360 degree activation, etc.; which is good for the industry. However, in the larger context of the competition I’d referred to, it’s a continuous learning curve for me." Said Moneesh Chakravarty, Marketing Head Business Standard.

In an interview with MediAvataar India, Moneesh shred his idea of a perfect conversation between a brand and the consumer and how the changing media landscape has made him push the envelope of marketing even further.

Here is the complete Q&A....

MediAvataar: Some of the biggest changes that have taken place in the print business over the last few years.

Moneesh: The biggest change, which I feel has led to most of the rest, is there has been an increasing information overload in the last few years and an excess of media platforms to consume it. People take in what matters to them on the fly, on any medium convenient at the time of consumption. The news ‘paper’ is just one of them.
This basically means that print occupies the same space as other traditional and new age media, and vice versa, in terms of both consumers and advertisers. The lines within and across media formats are blurred.

MediAvataar: With the changes in readership pattern over a period of time how has the marketing strategy changed?

Moneesh: The media agnostic, on-demand, consumption scenario puts a huge premium on creating a strong brand. One the readers can relate to (which ‘speaks’ their language in both content and communication) and generates enough conversation to stay around the top of mind, will most probably be the brand of choice.

To give an example, we did a repositioning earlier this year. With a new baseline ‘Insight Out’, the communication route features a character - Jay, who gives his take on various issues related to the business-scape and other current happenings, in the form of topical sketches. The issues and tonality are relevant to our readers, and evoke conversation. The overall premise makes us a bit lighter and more contemporary.

A greater focus and efficiency of marketing efforts is another evolving perspective. Ad-spends aren’t going to increase (anytime soon, at least). Whereas, better ERP/ CRM systems and digital analytics have enabled knowing both print and digital readers more than ever. This means we can write and do more of what really matters to our reader base.

MediAvataar: The current generation knows exactly what they want to consume, how do you shift gears for such strong headed TG?

Moneesh: What kind of content they want to consume, perhaps. From which media brand, maybe not. The millennials have some brand loyalty in that, but the extent of generic consumption is far bigger. Shift some of the latter to your brand and you’d have increased your base considerably.

Mapping the day in life of a consumer and being present at the touchpoints helps. Many of our relatively younger readers and potentials sample the newspaper, website and social media through the day. Some may not read us but follow on social media, and other permutations like that. Our topicals, featuring Jay, are published in the day’s paper, posted a few times on Twitter and Facebook, put as banners on the website, and embedded in relevant digital stories; in an attempt to cover multiple touchpoints.

For the newspaper, we try to ensure the product’s visibility at the places that matter. Our IndiGo edition is one such case.
On the content side, analysis and opinion pieces on trending issues are posted on the website real time, and often feature high on search results. When people search a topic, land on a story and see its worth, they come directly to the website the next time or subscribe to it.

MediAvataar: What according to you is a perfect conversation between a brand and the consumer?

Moneesh: The same as all good conversations – one in which both are communicating on the same plane! A brand needs to seem approachable and respond (in real time, nowadays) to consumers whenever they need to.

Take Business Standard, for example. We are specialists in economy and finance. Which means, the brand can be a conservative professor to the consumer.

However, being a ‘knowledgeable friend’, or a ‘mentor’ who is closer in age and empathy, would make it much more approachable. We have always tried to tilt towards the latter, and the repositioning makes it more so.

MediAvataar: Is print medium getting more difficult to market than ever before?

Moneesh: Yes, and no!

As I’d mentioned we face a larger competition, whereas we know our readers better. While consumers have a lot of choices, it is easier to customise content and marketing strategies for them.

MediAvataar: How do you look at the competition?

Moneesh: The field for business print in India is quite small, and I respect (most of smile) the players in it. They are trying out new things, in terms of content, packaging, communication, digital avenues, 360 degree activation, etc.; which is good for the industry.

However, in the larger context of the competition I’d referred to, it’s a continuous learning curve for me.

MediAvataar: What has been the biggest challenge for the company so far?

Moneesh: Being a stand-alone media company is a challenge, with conglomerates occupying most of the field. However, it gives us the opportunity to be streamlined, and occupy our domain in the best possible manner. We faced this at Red FM (except the South) as well, with whom I had a long stint until last year. And it’s a great example of what well-planned content and marketing can do for such a brand.

MediAvataar: What is there in the pipeline to forward to?

Moneesh: Last year, we were the first among the larger media companies in India to initiate premium digital subscriptions. We look forward to creating more value for our premium subscribers.

Also, the new communication route lends itself to possibilities, especially in digital.


Grey Group Singapore are heating things up with an exciting new campaign for Weber-Stephen Products – the world’s premier manufacturer of charcoal, gas, electric grills, and grilling accessories.

Titled ‘SkyGrillers’, the first wave of the campaign debuts the all-new Weber Q Series of gas grills - focusing on balcony grilling in high-rise and land-scarce Singapore, with the objective of making barbecuing accessible for one and all. An ode to grill lovers who understand that grilling transcends the food, #SkyGrilling brings the backyard into the balcony, taking grill culture to brand new heights, and celebrating the bonds built with people coming together from all walks of life.

Commenting on the launch, David Owen, Director of Marketing, Weber-Stephen Products (North & Southeast Asia) said: “We are delighted to introduce the Weber Q series grills to Singapore’s urban landscape. We hope to bring the joys of backyard grilling to those living in high-rise residents in the city. Weber’s easy-to-operate and compact Q series gas grills are ideal for balconies, without the hassle of charcoals or the worry of wet weather conditions.”

Tim Cheng, Chief Creative Officer, Grey Group Singapore explained: “A memorable Weber experience is beyond just the barbecue. In our urbane garden of towering skyscrapers, a Grill with a View is the perfect campfire that brings friends and family together. By sharing some of our Sky Grillers’ experiences in this new content series, we hope each film will inspire more people to put on the aprons and take up the tongs.”

Weber-Stephen Products is a global account on the Grey Group portfolio, and handled across three offices (Denmark, New York, and Singapore), with Grey Group Singapore responsible for all marketing support, digital, and BTL activation initiatives locally in Singapore.

The CK Birla Group announced the appointment of Swati Bhattacharya as Group Brand and Communication Head.

Swati Bhattacharya is responsible for the Group’s Communication and Brand strategy and will help shape the company’s narrative as it moves towards the next chapter in its story of value creation. Swati comes to CK Birla from General Motors India, where she had served as Vice President of Corporate Communications. She was earlier Vice President- Corporate Relations, Public Affairs and Branding with Ingersoll Rand and Head of Corporate Relations at Agilent Technologies prior to that.

Commenting on her appointment, Swati Bhattacharya said, “I am pleased to join the CK Birla Group, one of India’s oldest and well-respected business houses. The Group’s enriched legacy and strong commercial footprint has delivered outstanding growth and value for its stakeholders. I look forward to building upon that legacy and reputation.”

Sunday, 03 September 2017 00:00

Will Advertising Be Dead by 2025?

It might sound extreme to suggest that advertising could die but if serious actions aren't taken soon the advertising industry is going to turn off consumers for good. Receptivity to advertising is essential for marketers to build brands and encourage purchase.

The receptivity problem

There are two vicious circles which seem to be fueling the receptivity problem. The first is the "share of voice" arms race as brands clamor to be heard. This tactic has been encouraged by the proof that ad awareness impacts brand saliency and sales. Increasing clutter tends to lower ad awareness response, and with so many new channels available clutter has been increasing significantly. So brands shout louder and more often because they're afraid of being out gunned by their competition. Brands know that increased share of voice – over time – leads to increased market share but do they know that too much frequency in too short a time frame can have a negative effect on brand perceptions?

The second issue is that consumers are suffering targeting torment. As online response rates have dropped, the reaction has been to target consumers more frequently and more intrusively. Millward Brown's AdReaction Video report, a 42-country study, gives us genuine insight into the perils and promise of targeting. Consumers have a highly negative reaction to targeting that is perceived as intrusive stalking, but a more positive reaction when targeting is based on relevance and topics of interest.

The AdReaction Video study demonstrated that giving people more control over how they're served ads increases receptivity. Two good examples of giving people more control are YouTube's Trueview and WeChat's Moments system.

Failing to give consumers control can have a very high cost. It was recently estimated that 50% of Europeans will be ad blocking in 2017 and that the US will hit the same level by 2018.¹

What to do?

The advertising industry needs to understand that continuing to boost the volume and intrusiveness of advertising isn't going to engage the audience any better. We need to adapt to a new reality. Here are some suggestions for a better way forward.

Get more emotional

Brands need to change what they value and develop a more balanced way of defining success. Neuromarketing has shown us the importance of emotional connections. BrandZ, a global study of consumers' opinions of brands, puts a dollar value on brands based on their impact on brand strength, brand growth, and their ability to charge a premium price. Emotional measures should have equal weight to the transactional ones that appear to have become the favored – myopic – way to define "performance". Share of heart should be as important as share of voice, emotional connection as important as transactional response.

Demand quality

Currently there is no real value placed on the improved return on investment of less cluttered and higher quality online publisher environments. Less clutter means stronger response to advertising but it takes a brave publisher with a great sales team to push down this path, and make it work economically. Therefore advertisers need to play a bigger role in requiring and rewarding placements with less clutter, and more evaluation work to prove their value. This will improve the audience experience, protect receptivity and perhaps quell the blockers.

Max the mix

In today's world brands need to assess and then use the right moments to talk. This means using the media mix to increase the likelihood of reaching a receptive audience and identifying entirely new moments to talk through media. Millward Brown CrossMedia studies show that brands using a media mix – which extends to PR and point of sale for example – increases brand uplifts. The award-winning print campaign by Nivea in Brazil, which gave parents the ability to track their children's whereabouts on the beach using a print ad and a smart phone, is a good example of a brand finding the perfect moment to talk.

Engage, don't threaten

Audience targeting needs to become more qualitative because if it's used in the right way it can be positive. The Millward Brown AdReaction Video study showed that consumers themselves are slightly conflicted in what they want and the sources of data that they're happy for brands to use. The solution is for brands to use data to target judiciously and to focus on the consumer's experience of what they are delivering over the volume of interactions they deem to be "engagement" (which may simply be irritated consumers clicking to try to clear the ads away).

Listen to the consumer

Positive consumer feedback should be the test before any content in any form in any media goes live. However you choose to measure it, the consumer voice matters. It's a small price to pay for a more assured return on investment, and to avoid worthless advertising pollution.

Go native

Native advertising – sponsored branded content – has more potential than is currently being explored. Media owners have some amazing skills which advertisers should work with to make the format work better, rather than allow it to become ad spam. A great example of effective native advertising is a recent partnership between Netflix and the New York Times, as part of the promotion of Orange Is the New Black, the show that looks at issues faced by women inmates in the US penal system.

Be remarkable

It might sound obvious, but now more than ever, when there is so much competition, brands need to focus on creating truly remarkable ideas and experiences in order to cut through. Good creative lasts a long time and delivers a higher ROI. The 2011 People's Car project in China was remarkable in the way that it harnessed the creativity of the audience by creating a conversation about what a car could be, which then drove users to a Web site where they could actually build the car of their dreams.

If advertising is going to have a future, we should act now. The most precious asset for advertisers is the audience's willingness to engage with their brand. Advertisers and media buyers need to change if they want to communicate with a receptive audience.

Key Takeaways

Consumers are becoming increasingly fed-up with advertising intruding in their lives, but their receptivity to ads is critical to success.

Share of voice, noise, frequency and intrusion shouldn't be used as a substitute for thought and effort to create emotional – and transactional – connections.

Understand what the consumer finds valuable and deploy it creatively across a range of touchpoints to deliver a more positive advertising experience.


Written by Sue Elms,Head of Global Brand Management,Millward Brown

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