30 March 2020 15:59

MediAvataar's News Desk

MediAvataar's News Desk

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Lens Web Builder is the industry’s first web-based AR Lens advertisement production tool

Snap Inc. has announced the launch of a breakthrough new product – Lens Web Builder. Snapchat’s Lens Web Builder makes it easy for anyone to build compelling, professional augmented reality (AR) Lenses in minutes, enabling businesses to bring their brands to life in a way that is simple, fast, and free.

As the world’s leading AR platform, Snapchat has seen a surge in AR Lens ads, which have emerged as a great way for brands to drive results and engage with Snapchatters in a meaningful way. Lens Web Builder gives businesses the ability to create affordable AR Lenses content with no 3D design experience, bypassing the need to only work with potentially expensive specialist creators or companies.

As the industry’s first web-based AR Lens ad production tool, Lens Web Builder eliminates the need for a standalone AR app. Users need no design expertise, whether in building AR or lens creation, and Lens Web Builder can be accessed from any common web browser. This allows users to create a new branded lens for Snapchat ad campaigns from scratch in mere minutes, with personalization options including 3D objects, effects, animations, 2D assets such as logos, images, and more.

Any brand keen to focus on agile marketing and looking to produce relevant content and creative can use Lens Web Builder to tap into the potential of trending topics such as holidays and more.

Creative agencies can also explore AR content, using Lens Web Builder to test branded AR concepts within the Snapchat camera.

Brayden Ainzuain, Head of Product Marketing – MENA & APAC at Snap Inc., said: “We’ve seen that AR experiences generate strong engagement amongst Snapchatters, making it all the more important for brands to actively use AR in their advertising and marketing to maximize their campaign effectiveness on Snapchat. Lens Web Builder is the result of Snap’s significant investment in increasing the overall accessibility of AR content and distribution. It offers a great way for partners to test new Lens concepts, or visualize their brands in the context of the Snapchat camera, without needing to budget for professional designers. With this new tool for advertisers, we hope to enable brands to take advantage of the growth in daily consumer AR engagement on Snapchat.”

Facebook announced the creation of the Business Resource Hub to support businesses being affected, whether directly or indirectly, by the recent outbreak of COVID-19.

The Hub features recommendations as well as courses to help businesses and brands stay connected to customers and keep their business on track.
As part of these recommendations, Facebook encouraged businesses to take these five steps to navigate the impacts and effectively maintain their operations:

• Keep yourself safe and informed.

Stay up to date by following credible, official sources such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and your local government health department so you can respond quickly to changes that could affect you or your customers.

• Stay in touch with your customers.

Proactively share important information with your customers using email, your website, Facebook Page, Instagram business profile or however you typically connect.

• Try hosting online events.

In case you need to postpone or cancel any planned events as a result of the outbreak, connect with your customers directly on their phone with an online webinar, or organise live sessions using social channels such as Facebook or Instagram.

• Prepare a customer service plan.

In order to be responsive and transparent with your customers during this challenging moment, prepare for incoming questions and requests.

• Provide a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs).

Prepare a list of responses for questions your customers are likely to ask and provide as much detail and reassurance as possible in your answers.
The Business Resource Hub also includes quick and easy access to credible and accurate information about COVID-19 and other resources to help businesses and the communities they serve, stay informed.

Discovery Plus will offer never-seen-before premium shows in 40+ genres including Science, Adventure, Food, Lifestyle & many more

· Superstar Rajinikanth’s TV debut show – ‘Into The Wild With Bear Grylls’ will be launched first on Discovery Plus

· Priced at Rs. 299 p.a., Discovery Plus will reach out to core infotainment consumers in the initial phase

· Launches with one-of-its-kind rewards in association with Google Pay

Discovery, India’s leading and most trusted real-life entertainment network, is set to disrupt the OTT landscape in the country with the launch of ‘Discovery Plus’, an exciting new D2C streaming app, to satiate the unmet need of a differentiated product offering premium real-life entertainment. Priced competitively with an introductory offer of INR 299 per annum, the app has been developed and curated specifically for India. In the initial phase, the company will reach out to 25 million strong base of core TV infotainment consumers across Tier I and Tier II towns (defined as those who watch over 3 hours of infotainment every month).

Furthermore, in order to drive engagement, Discovery Plus is launching with one-of-a-kind rewards with India’s leading mobile payments app, Google Pay. Google Pay users who tune-in to the premiere of Into the Wild with Bear Grylls featuring Rajinikanth on March 23rd at 8:00 PM on Discovery can match the audio for the first four minutes of the show or the promos leading up to the show with Google Pay’s ‘On-Air’ feature, and get a reward upto 100% off on Discovery Plus annual subscription price*.

The newly launched OTT service will offer thousands of hours of exclusive content across 40+ genres, including Science, Adventure, Food and Lifestyle, in 8 languages including Hindi, English, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Bengali & Marathi. Discovery Plus will offer Premium subscribers a large selection of never-seen-before Premium Discovery titles, must-watch documentaries, India originals and exclusive acquisitions. Free users of the app will have access to all-time favorites from the Discovery library. Additionally, a unique destination titled ‘Shorts’ will feature hundreds of free short-form videos that will satisfy the new and emerging Indian mobile user looking for infotainment on the go.

The much-anticipated Superstar Rajinikanth’s TV debut show –‘Into The Wild With Bear Grylls’ will be launched first on Discovery Plus at 6:00 am on March 23 much before the television premiere which is at 8:00 pm. Discovery Plus will also exclusive videos including Behind The Scenes for Thalaiva’ s fans.

The content will be curated from the world’s most trusted content brands such as Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, BBC, TLC, Discovery Science, Discovery Turbo, ID, Food Network, HGTV, Cooking Channel, Travel Channel, DIY Network, Motortrend and VICE.

Discovery officials on the launch

Speaking on the occasion, Simon Robinson, President APAC & CFO International, Discovery, Inc., said, “Globally, we are observing healthy trends from direct-to-consumer businesses and Discovery Plus, with its India focused strategy, is a valued addition. The launch of Discovery Plus is a significant development for our business in India and reflects our commitment to this critical market.”

The consumer is spoilt for choice in the scripted content space but doesn’t have a dedicated offering in the unscripted space – a place we intend to fill with the launch of Discovery Plus,” said, Megha Tata, Managing Director – South Asia, Discovery, “Our large global library of 300,000 hours of premium content and expertise in owning passionate communities will give us a huge competitive advantage in the digital domain.”

“In a digital world that’s laden with hours and hours of scripted content, Discovery Plus offers a unique and untapped opportunity for us to build on the trust of the flagship brand and offer content that truly powers people’s passions across verticals as varied as Adventure, Science and Lifestyle to name a few,” said, Issac John, Business Head – Digital (South Asia), Discovery, “Over the next 12 months, the lineup includes premium content across all our key genres such as Into the Wild with Rajnikanth, Expedition Unknown, Coronavirus: The Silent Killer, Food Factory, Mythbusters, Wild Karnataka and Project Runway among many others.”

Developed, curated and priced for India market

Discovery India has conducted multiple consumer researches to find cues to develop a truly diffrentiated product. In a nationwide research conducted across 10 cities, 62% of consumers indicated that they are keen to subscribe to a product that will offer interesting knowledge about the world. Additionally, research from Vidooly, indicated that interest in core categories of factual and lifestyle entertainment on YT, the world’s largest streaming platform went up by 36% contributing to an overall 70 bn views in 2020. This growth and increase in infotainment consumption has been proven in the consumption pattern of the Discovery Plus destination on Daily Hunt App where over the last 12 months, over 40 million consumers have viewed Discovery short-form videos.

It’s interesting to be rare but rare to be interesting

Discovery’s research clearly shows that even though consumers are happy with their current entertainment products, there is still a need for a trusted product that helps them stand out among their peers and that will teach them interesting things about the world. They expressed the need that in various situations in life, knowing something interesting about the world makes them seem smarter and helps them progress in life. This specific need combined with the trust of the Discovery was a strong reason for consumers to prefer Discovery Plus as an app of choice on their mobiles.

App Interesting toh AAP interesting

Discovery has launched a targeted marketing campaign ‘App Interesting toh AAP interesting’ to connect with consumers across the country. Discovery’s network of channels including Discovery, Animal Planet, TLC, DSPORT, Discovery Kids DTamil, Discovery Science, Discovery Turbo, Discovery ID reaches 164** million consumers on a monthly basis and all will promote the newly launched service. In addition, Discovery has planned a strong and targeted digital campaign to reach out to infotainment genre seekers.

*About Google Pay’s On-Air feature:

· On-Air is a feature on Google Pay which lets users scan audio within GPay and earn rewards if their scan matches a target audio. New to Google Pay users can simply download the app to enjoy different types of rewards.

Content

· Thousands of hours of marquee programs featuring our top talent like Bear Grylls (Running Wild with Bear Grylls, Man vs Wild), Josh Gates (Expedition Unknown), Jeremy Wade (River Monsters, Mighty Rivers), Ed Stafford (Into the Unknown), Buddy Valastro (Cake Boss) and many more

· 4,000+ hours of content at launch spanning across 40+ genres in the language of your choice

· Kids-friendly shows like Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman, Crikey! It’s The Irwins, Kids Baking Championship, The Cute Ones, How Do They Do It? The Great Indian Factory & more

· Hundreds of blue-chip documentaries and specials – Racing Extinction, First In Human, The Great Migration, Terra, Sherpa, India Emerges: A Visual History, Apollo: The Forgotten Films

· Exclusives and all-time favorites like Body Hack, Say Yes to the Dress, Food Paradise, Cake Boss, Gold Rush, Savage Family Diggers, Chopped, American Chopper, Deadliest Catch and more

· #MindBlown – a curated destination featuring learning focused collections of kids-friendly science and wildlife content

 

**Source : BARC India (2+ , Jan 2020)

The good news about working remotely is that you can still do so while self-isolated after a skiing trip in the Italian Dolomites. However, unlike humans, brands cannot isolate themselves so easily. With the full effects of the COVID-19 outbreak still to be realised what can management and marketers do to ensure the continued health of their brands?

First things first, remember that strong brands will recover quicker than weak ones. One of the iconic charts from the BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands Ranking compares the stock market performance of strong brands in the ranking to that of the S&P 500. It shows that while all companies were hit hard by The Great Recession, the ones with strong brands recovered quicker and have subsequently grown faster than the S&P 500.

While the impact of COVID-19 may not be as significant as The Great Recession, my suspicion is that its economic impact will be greater and more sustained than that of previous outbreaks, like SARS or MERS. Analysis by Kantar Consulting in China demonstrates that those outbreaks had a negative impact on retail sales growth lasting up to three months. However, the rapid escalation of COVID-19 outside China seems likely to have far reaching consequences on global trade and therefore may have an impact that is longer lasting.

Looking at what has happened in China gives us some idea of what might happen elsewhere. To anticipate the likely impact on consumer spending in China Kantar launched a nationwide survey from Feb 6 till 9 through WeChat. Not surprisingly, the vast majority of people said they would reduce or cancel out-of-home dining, entertainment and travel. Perhaps less obviously, purchases like buying a new car, apparel or white goods are likely to be deferred, as are non-essential items. Sales of essentials like food and drink will be relatively resistant, particularly given China’s well-developed e-commerce ecosystem.

So, what should management and marketing teams do? Number one, put plans in place to continue business and protect employees and customers. Number two, recognise that every business in the same industry is likely to take a hit. How well you ride out the crisis will depend on responding to it more effectively than your competitors. How can your brand best ride out the turmoil? And how can you ensure a swift return to business as usual?

Beyond the immediate response, when facing something like COVID-19 the response to people’s feelings is going to be critical. To do so effectively, management and marketers must suspend their own viewpoint and put themselves in their customer’s shoes. How do they feel? What help might they need – functional or emotional? And how might they expect the brand to respond? People’s response to a crisis is going to vary by their basic attitude to life, and it is important to align your brand’s response with its existing positioning and values or it will seem inauthentic. Ultimately it is about how your brand can improve its relevance in a time of need and defuse any potential concerns related to your business. For instance, home delivery might seem like a great idea but only if the delivery person has sanitised their hands.

Some brands will find an obvious overlap between their core purpose and consumer needs. In 2017, Procter & Gamble provided relief to residents of Southeast Louisiana impacted by recent tornados via its Loads of Hope program, which not only cleaned clothes for free but also gave away free personal care products. However, a brand in a less practical category that has previously positioned itself as fun and outgoing is going to risk undermining its standing if it suddenly starts promoting hand washing. Trivial though it may seem, a better response might be to offer new content that speaks to people’s desire to be distracted from the latest news and worries over the potential for infection.

While it might seem callous to say so, crises can also offer the opportunity for growth. In China, Luckin Coffee began delivering alcohol-based sterilisers and antibiotic hand soap in addition to its beverages and stocking its network of vending machines with the sanitiser products. Whether this proves a successful strategy or not, the demand for DTC services and delivery is only likely to grow in the coming weeks and will likely have a long-term impact on consumer behaviour.

 

Written by Nigel Hollis,Executive Vice President and Chief Global Analyst at Kantar’s Insights Division.

At its meeting today, the Supervisory Board of BMW AG appointed Frank Weber (53) as a new member of the Board of Management. Effective 1 July 2020, Weber will assume responsibility for the Development division, taking over from Klaus Fröhlich, who will retire upon reaching the age of 60.

Frank Weber joined the BMW Group in 2011 as head of Total Vehicle Development and has been responsible for the Rolls-Royce product line and BMW luxury class later on. The mechanical engineer previously held various management positions at other automobile manufacturers, mainly in development.

“We are delighted to have found a very competent successor for Klaus Fröhlich in Frank Weber. As head of Product Lines, he played a decisive role in the success of the extremely popular grand series: the BMW 7 Series, 8 Series, X5 and X7,” said Chairman of the Supervisory Board of BMW AG Norbert Reithofer on Thursday.

“I especially want to express my utmost appreciation to Klaus Fröhlich for his long years of successful service – not just for his time in the Board of Management of BMW AG. For more than 30 years, Fröhlich has made important contributions that have secured the company’s technological leadership in areas such as electromobility, EfficientDynamics, digital connectivity and processes. On behalf of the entire company, we wish him all the best in the future and are confident that Frank Weber will continue this successful course,” added Reithofer.

Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG Oliver Zipse said: “I look forward to working together with Frank Weber. His international perspective and expertise in areas such as total vehicle responsibility and electromobility make him an excellent addition to our Board of Management.”

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