MediAvataar's News Desk
A modern take on Bhagwad Gita
MY FM, the radio arm of DB Corp Ltd., launched a unique concept around the holy Bhagwad Gita for the new-age generation. The new show “Gita Darshan”, sponsored exclusively by LIC, will have a modern outlook on the holy scripts and will be aired as a daily 15-minute capsule every morning.
Gita Darshan will feature Krishna’s Sudarshan-Chakra as the main host and will give solutions to current day-to-day struggles that the new generation faces. The solutions will be inferred from different anecdotes that Lord Krishna shares with Arjun in the battlefield of Kurukshetra. Just like Arjun gets perplexed during the Mahabharat and seeks Lord Krishna’s guidance, the current-generation has a lot of unanswered questions to their daily confusions and looks-up to peers and the internet for guidance. Unlike Lord Krishna, the internet’s bandwidth for such solutions is very limited. Gita Darshan brings back all the life-lessons given by Krishna and fits them in-sync with this generation’s problems. The packaging of the daily capsules is done to cater students and young professionals of new India.
Commenting on the concept, Mr. Rahul Namjoshi, COO, MY FM says, “The pandemic has affected everyone physically, emotionally, and mentally. This is the time now where each one of us must rise and show full energy of ours to bounce back. Since the Bhagwad Gita is the age-old solution to anything under the sun, we thought this year people need to understand its essence more than ever.”
Study spans 16 countries, including the UAE, building on 2019 report examining the role of long-term friendships on happiness and well-being
Snap Inc. today released its second global Friendship study, interviewing 30,000 people across sixteen countries—including several in the Middle East—to explore how the COVID-19 pandemic and other global issues have impacted friendship. Seventeen experts on friendship from around the world also contributed to the report.
While friendships have been challenged due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 63% of those who were surveyed in the UAE said that their relationships with their closest friends haven’t changed, whereas 37% of them say they have.
Hussein Freijeh, General Manager of Snap Inc. Middle East, said: “As friends around the world navigate the new normal of social distancing, this year's Friendship Report shows us that during the COVID-19 pandemic, visual communication has become more important than ever.
Talking in pictures and videos layered with creative tools like our augmented reality Lenses, Filters, and personal avatars Bitmoji, help Snapchatters express themselves and interact visually. They serve as an essential connector when meeting face to face is not an option and at this difficult time, have enabled Snapchatters to feel closer to their best friends even as non-Snapchatters feel more distant.
“We hope that new features like our Friendship Time Capsule will continue to help Snapchatters stay close with their best friends and support one another.”
The Friendship Report sheds new light on how COVID-19 is affecting friendship and what other major events in life also have an impact, including:
COVID-19 has brought some friends closer together, but also made some of us feel lonely.
Friends are our first line of defence against loneliness, and we generally make our best friends in childhood; on average, we have known our closest friends for at least half of our lives.
Most of us have lost touch with a close friend from childhood, with the majority wanting to rediscover that close connection.
While most of us are keeping connected better through digital communication channels, we still need to develop our friendship skills to help us learn how to maintain friendships over distance and get back in touch if we do lose contact..
Experts from around the world have provided advice and tips on how to do this, while Snap has also created a new Friendship Time Capsule to help Snapchatters celebrate their friendships.
The impact of COVID-19
Six months after much of the world has put in place social distancing restrictions, friends are having to find new ways to stay connected, and the long term effects are only just starting to become clear. “This is the biggest psychological experiment ever conducted, and we don’t know yet how it’s going to end,” commented Lydia Denworth, journalist and author.
Two-thirds of friends say they are using online channels to communicate more than they would have before COVID-19 (66%) and for many those conversations have been deeper (49%), rather than focusing on surface-level topics. It appears digital communications are key to staying in touch when we’re apart, with a vast majority (79%) saying that they have helped friends maintain their relationship, regardless of age.
Even though there’s been an uptick in outreach to friends, COVID-19 has also led to loneliness for some. Two-thirds of those we surveyed said they’ve felt lonely since the pandemic started (66%) - 8% higher than pre-COVID-19.
Almost half of people (49%) say that being unable to see their friends has made them feel lonelier, with only a third feeling friends are reaching out to them as much as they would like (30%). In fact, a third of people (31%) felt that social distancing has weakened their relationships with friends.
In total, a third of people we surveyed said that COVID-19 has affected their friendships. With just over half in the UAE saying that it has led to them not feeling as close to their friends (54%). And nearly half of those surveyed agreed with the statement that they felt more distant from friends because they couldn’t spend time in-person (45%).
Laavanya Kathiravelu, who studies friendship and migration, tells us that “although friendships continue to be maintained through apps, phone calls, and other mediated forms of communication, the disembodied element takes away from the full experience of friendship for many.”
This may explain why there was a marked difference between Snapchatters who often communicate visually - and non-Snapchatters - with Snapchatters becoming closer to friends during the pandemic.
Friendship researcher Donya Alinejad describes the importance of visual communication as creating “co-presence” which results in “a feeling of being together when you’re actually physically distant.” Feeling as though we’re actually together is important “for a whole host of reasons,” Alinejad says, particularly “for those who are in need of or require a kind of emotional support.”
The upside is that, with the pandemic causing so much isolation, people genuinely want to reach out and check in on those they care about. Over a third of people (39%) say their friendships are more important to them now and nearly half of us are making an intentional choice to reach out to friends that they haven’t spoken to in a while (48%).
“The lockdown has [had] a kind of funneling effect. You reinforce specific ties and you set others apart. So, it really has strengthened some relationships during this period,” notes sociologist Guillaume Favre.
The one that got away and reconnection
Last year, Snap’s Friendship Report found that friendships, especially those from childhood, have a huge impact on happiness and wellbeing. So, it was surprising to see this year that 79% of us globally have lost touch with a close friend but heartening that 66% say they would like to rekindle their relationship. In the UAE, 75% of Snapchatters said they had lost touch with a close friend from elementary/primary school, and three in four would want to get back in touch with them.
When asked about the reasons for losing touch with a close friend, 49% of respondents in the UAE mentioned physical distance as the main factor.
And we would generally respond positively to one of our best friends re-establishing contact, with the most prominent emotions being delighted (36%), or excited (29%), whereas a minority would feel awkward (14%), or suspicious (6%).
How do we find our way back to close friends? Over two thirds of people surveyed globally (67%) would prefer reconnecting digitally, but only around half of people would know how to (54%). The number one thing people would like to send to their friends, would be a photo of them together (42%), with the number two being a photo that reminded them of a shared memory (40%). Humour also ranks highly, with a third thinking that sending a funny meme or GIF would be the best way to start a conversation (31%). Over a third (35%) would like tools to use to help communicate, especially in tough situations like getting back in touch.
In direct response to these findings, Snap has launched the Friendship Time Capsule, a collaborative photo collage allowing Snapchatters to create a new shared memory between themselves and a friend. The snappable invites users to take a selfie and then send it to a friend who does the same. It then uses Snap’s machine learning to put the friends together and age them up through a series of scenarios in the future. This tool aims to help Snapchatters show they care for friends when they can’t be together, or to act as an aid in getting back in touch with a close friend.
How to be a better friend
There are plenty of resources for people struggling with relationships like family or marriage, but friendship hasn’t received the same treatment. This has left many without the tools or confidence they need to develop and navigate the ups and downs of friendships.
British lecturer Gillian Sandstrom, who studies social psychology, talks about the “liking gap,” where we are prone to think people like us less than they actually do. This bias breeds insecurity about engaging in conversations. We fear awkward pauses and failed connections so much that foregoing the opportunity to start a friendship or deepen a relationship can be the safer choice. People are more likely to like you than you think, so go ahead and be brave.
Listening, staying present, and accepting responsibility are key friendship skills. Honing these skills can take a little work, but with some lessons and practice, our experts agree we can improve our friendships.
About the Report
The Friendship Report, commissioned in partnership with Alter Agents, polled 30,000 nationally representative people ages 13 to 44 in Australia, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Spain, United Arab Emirates, UK and US.
ITW Consulting, a global sports marketing company will be the title sponsor of Vista 2020 an annual business fest that is hosted by one of the country’s top B-schools, IIM Bangalore.
The 2020 edition is scheduled to take place on the 31st of October and the 1st of November.
The fest is a showcase of different fields in business and management, including marketing, consulting, finance, and operations. With a rich legacy of excellence for over 20 years now, Vista is one of the preeminent B-school fests in the country. This year, given the current circumstances, the fest will be hosted in a virtual avatar with several eminent speakers interacting with the students along with a slate of business and strategy events and competitions.
Speaking about the association, Bhairav Shanth, MD and Cofounder of ITW Consulting said, “We are extremely excited about this association with Vista. ITW has partnered with IIM for the past two years and it has been a fantastic association. We are always looking at connecting with B-schools, and IIMB in particular is filled with the brightest future marketers and strategists.”
Sasi Kumar Veluchamy, Secretary, Forum for Industrial Interaction (FII), IIM Bangalore, said, “We, at IIM Bangalore’s Vista, welcome ITW Consulting Private Limited, one of the leading consulting and management companies in India as our Title Sponsor for VISTA 2020. We believe that ITW's excellence in challenging the status quo by executing disruptive ideas and their commitment to innovation resonates with IIM Bangalore’s vision of fostering excellence in management, innovation and entrepreneurship. This is our 3rd year of collaboration with ITW and we expect the synergies to grow for the years to come.”
As part of the sponsorship deal, ITW will be supporting the speaker sessions by curating a moderated session with the Indian Chess grandmaster Viswanathan Anand. Additionally, ITW will be present in all the communications, ITW consulting will be hosting a flagship event called “Trojan Horse” with a customized case study that focuses on the company and its industry.
Havas Group India has announced the elevation of Mohit Joshi to Chief Executive Officer of Havas Media Group with immediate effect. This appointment comes as part of the acceleration of the group's overall growth strategy.
Prior to this Mohit was Managing Director Havas Media Group. He will continue to report to Rana Barua, Group CEO, Havas Group India.
Mohit’s 13+ years at Havas Media Group has seen the agency grow exponentially. A seasoned media professional with 20+ years of experience in the industry, he has worked on a wide range of categories and brands. He has successfully straddled strategic planning, AOR management, buying functions and led multi-disciplinary teams across offices for the last many years. Some of the brands include Hyundai, Kia, Swiggy, Tata Motors, Voltas, Voltas Beko, TVS Tyres, Taj Hotels, amongst others.
Mohit is a close observer of industry trends, he is a speaker and moderator at various leadership events including HT Leadership series, Media 360, ad:tech India, IAMAI, e-Tailing India, e4m Conclave, BW BusinessWorld; a judge at awards including Young Cannes, Spikes Asia; contributes to varied publications and is an advisory member of the MMA Forum India. Mohit is also in the mancom of AAAI and IAMAI and is actively involved in many other leading bodies.
Vishnu Mohan, Chairman and CEO, Havas Group, India and Southeast Asia said, “I have had the privilege of welcoming Mohit to Havas almost 14 years ago. A true dynamic leader with an in-depth understanding of consumers, brands, and the changing media landscape.
Mohit’s experience and long association with Havas makes him an ideal choice for the leadership role, as we look to significantly scale our presence in the media space.”
Rana Barua, Group CEO, Havas Group India said “Over the last few years, Mohit has not just driven existing clients and business but has also played a lead role in driving the growth for the agency. He is a passionate and a visionary business leader, who brings invaluable expertise. His long-term vision coupled with his acumen will help us make a more meaningful difference to brands and consumers. I am happy that its Mohit who will lead Havas Media Group into the next phase of growth.”
Mohit Joshi said, “In today’s dynamic and evolving business environment, Havas overall is undergoing a massive change to stay differentiated, relevant and meaningful. I’m excited to take on this huge responsibility and new responsibilities and combating the challenges during this crucial time and I look forward to the next chapter working closely with Rana, the senior management of Havas Group India, my wonderful colleagues and clients and the entire team across the region and all our global offices.”
YouGov’s latest report provides an analysis of the global video games and esports landscape across 24 markets
The online gaming industry in India is a fast-growing business, evolving into competitive sports and professional gaming. With a growing community of active gamers, Gaming & Esports industry in India is likely to witness a boom in the coming years.
YouGov’s new white paper, titled ‘Gaming and Esports: The Next Generation’, provides an analysis of the global video games and esports landscape across 24 markets.
Amongst the surveyed markets, India ranks among the top ten gaming countries in the world. At present, seven out of ten (71%) people in India claim to be gamers, playing video games or mobile games on any device.
The percentage of gamers in India is at par with US (71%) and Australia (72%), however, it is lower than the proportions in South East Asian countries.
In India, mobile gamers - playing on a smartphone or tablet clearly outnumber PC or console gamers. Just 12% play on consoles compared to 67% who use a smartphone or tablet.
South and South East Asian countries generally have a higher percentage of mobile gamers and a lower share of console gamers. On the other hand, the leading markets for console gamers are Hong Kong (32%), Spain (29%), the US (28%), the UK (28%), and Australia (27%).
When it comes to category of gamers, India is among the top 10 countries comprising of light to regular smartphone gamers- with 82% of its gaming population playing games on their smartphones up to 10 hours a week, and only 16% identified as heavy and intense gamers (playing more than 10 hrs a week).
China and Taiwan have the most dedicated smartphone gamers with 37% and 34%, respectively, of the countries’ mobile gaming population categorised as ‘heavy or intense gamers’.
Apart from playing games, for an important sub-section of players, watching video games online has become as much of a pastime as gaming itself.
Our data shows YouTube Gaming is significantly more popular among gamers than any of it’s competitors in several markets. Awareness is the highest in Vietnam (74%) and Indonesia (72%), followed by Thailand (68%), Philippines (66%) and India (59%). The same is true about engagement with YouTube Gaming, where once again we see South and South East Asian countries taking the lead.
India ranks fifth globally in terms of awareness and third in terms of engagement with YouTube Gaming. The highly aware gaming audience seems to be equally engaged with the platform, presenting a huge opportunity for game developers and console manufacturers.
Compared to YouTube Gaming, a small percentage have engaged with Twitch or Facebook Gaming (12% each). Twitch is more competitive in western markets such as the US and UK – where awareness for the platform is higher than that for YouTube Gaming.
When it comes to Esports, familiarity in India is low - at 31%. The greatest familiarity comes from consumers in East Asia, with seven in ten people in China (72%), Taiwan (71%) and Hong Kong (70%) describing it correctly as ‘competitive video gaming, primarily in the form of organised/ professional events’.
Large proportions in South East Asia also seem familiar with the term, although European countries’ familiarity with esports varies considerably.
Despite low familiarity, engagement with esports in India is much higher than in the highly aware markets such as the US, the UK, and several European countries. This suggests Indians are more likely to embrace these competitions, once they know more about them, hinting at a bright future for esports in the country.
Talking about the whitepaper, Nicole Pike, Global Sector Head of Esports & Gaming at YouGov, said, “This year the global video gaming industry has captured the attention of brands, marketers, and investors on a large scale. But this year has also highlighted just how quickly things can change in the gaming ecosystem, making it difficult for advertisers and sponsors to know if, when and how to spend wisely – and for gaming companies to determine how much more growth is on the horizon.
“YouGov is primed to play an important role in demystifying this industry for brands through data, which is why our first large-scale, global whitepaper on esports and gaming comes at the perfect time. Our breadth and depth of global tracking, profiling, and custom survey data is industry-leading, and I’m excited to showcase just how valuable the combination of daily performance tracking and nuanced analysis of the world’s gaming audience can be to stakeholders across the gaming ecosystem.
“This whitepaper offers a foundational understanding of gamers – which, given the number of countries, platforms, titles, streaming sites, and competitions at this audience’s fingertips is far from basic in today’s gaming landscape. Beyond our extensive industry expertise, we also explore key trends that will drive continued growth for gaming into 2021, all rooted in data from consumers around the world – the ultimate source of truth for understanding the next generation of gaming.”