MediAvataar's News Desk
In 1917, Nikola Tesla, one of history’s great innovators, was awarded the Edison Medal. During his acceptance speech, he revealed the secret to his success: “a new method of materializing inventive concepts and ideas.” By constructing a new idea in his mind and considering calculated iterations before generating a final product, he was able to avoid losing steam and preserve the integrity of the original idea.
“ALMOST ANY SUBJECT PRESENTED CAN BE MATHEMATICALLY TREATED AND THE EFFECTS CALCULATED…” - NIKOLA TESLA
Today, thanks to the evolution of technology, there’s no need to use our minds to run these projections. Machine learning and simulators can help manufacturers in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry achieve what Tesla discovered more than 100 years ago. By applying this process of predictive research, successful innovations can be realized without the sacrifice of quality and time.
These are precisely the elements at stake when a product or marketing plan is launched before being truly ready, later demanding course correction. Yet in the current FMCG landscape, where manufacturers are pressured to be more agile in order to achieve growth, quality is sacrificed for speed in the name of being “agile.” So while beta testing in market—when a product is launched in a live setting and only then improved upon and iterated, based on initial launch feedback—is one of several common approaches responding to the call to be more agile, it presents risks.
In previous research, we concluded that it’s the combination of being faster and smarter that ultimately improves the chances of success. Agile market research should help you prototype your ideas in a safe environment and enable you to identify the best possible version of each prototype before you invest in more expensive execution steps. And the concept of predictive research as an agility enabler can increase your chances of success by 3x.
DON’T THINK MINIMUM VIABLE PRODUCTS: THINK MINIMUM SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTS
The temptation to run to market with a new product is almost too great to overcome. Crossing the finish line to get on the shelf and in the hands of today’s digitally enabled consumer may feel like a rush of victory. Not to mention it can remove the pressure from the top to launch more products quickly, with an ever decreasing budget. So what could go wrong?
Through our research, we’ve identified two primary risks that come with launching an initiative using a trial-and-error or “see what sticks,” iterate-in-market approach. Firstly, this method can mistakenly weed out potential winners prematurely and, secondly, increase the likelihood of placing a stake in potential losers or distractors.
After reviewing distribution data across more than 3,000 recent launches in several markets, we found it takes an innovation an average of six months before it shows its true destiny as either a grower or a decliner. Before that, a product’s chance of success is relatively indistinguishable without the right benchmark. So those manufacturers that rush a product to market and then jump in to “rescue” it (or iterate) before the sixth month mark can’t be sure that the product was truly in need of help.
In fact, by going back to the drawing board six months in, they’re adding to the timeline. Realistically, in the time it takes to launch, correct and relaunch a product, it’s likely been a full nine months of waiting, added cost and lost opportunity. For many, the most likely outcome is even more dire: the product has been slated for delisting after irking a preferred retailer. Over time, this pattern could incur irreversible damage to a crucial relationship.
In software development, agile means pushing a minimum viable product to a device upfront. But the cost for the tech industry is typically minimal: an app may have bugs that require updates, but these can easily be sent as they’re developed in subsequent sprints. In contrast, a shaky product on-shelf will not garner nearly as much forgiveness from consumers. Launching a minimally viable product may be acceptable in the tech world, but the effects are drastically different when applied to FMCG. Manufacturers who take this approach face the risk of:
A very low rate of endurance, or longevity in the marketplace, by launching suboptimal products; and
An expedited decline in the rate consumers repeat their purchases.
For physical products like food and beverages that consumers take home to give to their families, what’s really needed is a minimum sustainable product: something that they can be counted on to purchase again and again, in its current state.
The reality is that barely 5% of products with poor experience for consumers endure past their first year. Once in store, a snack cannot—and should not—be beta-tested as if it were an app.
Failing fast once in-market may seem appealing, but the long-term consequences mitigate perceived benefits: cost savings are negated by the need for re-work, and opportunities are lost to learn more about the category early on.
And even if those poor-performing products are adjusted after they’re in market, the online reviews from the consumers who bought the first product aren’t going to disappear.
In short, your product is not the place to simulate and experiment once in stores. By using predictive research prior to launch, paired with a good simulation of marketing support scenarios to boost sales, you will spend less time waiting to see if the product succeeds and trying to apply quick—expensive—fixes.
THE TRUTH ABOUT TRANSFERRING CONCEPTS
In the process of bringing new products to market quickly, manufacturers frequently apply an approach whereby a favorable idea is “lifted” from its global or regional home and then “shifted” and applied directly to other markets, with little refinement. While this may seem like an easy win, research has found that consistent interest for a concept across multiple countries is rare.
The reason for this is that consumer tastes and preferences differ across markets, as do competitive landscapes and market development. In fact, performance typically will match around 20% of the time. Basing launch decisions on one country’s success with the hope that performance is transferable could result in a 20-25% drop in volume potential. And this could be the difference between staying on shelf or being delisted.
At the same time, when action standards are not met in one country, this doesn’t necessarily translate to a failure in another. Therefore, careful planning and considerations are necessary. Manufacturers looking to release a new product in multiple countries shouldn’t try to cut corners on testing across regions by selecting one single market to use as a surrogate prior to launch. Instead, they need to ensure testing is focused on the countries scheduled for the launch.
HITTING HOME THE FIRST TIME
Rather than engaging in risky launch behaviors, a true agile approach is available in a “fail-safe” simulated test environment, fuelled by technology. Simulated test markets can isolate variables in an environment created for that purpose alone. Through this process, it becomes possible to quantify the impact of changes, uncover hidden risks and areas for improvement, and finally unlock the potential to have the best idea, concept and product to take to market from the start.
Learn fast: Machine learning can quickly test thousands of ideas, identifying the best.
Fail safe: Isolate individual proposition changes before launch; adjust prototypes early on
Forecast: Marketing plans can be refined with precision when analyzed properly
Plan: Consider global optimization early on, allowing for local market refinement
This is also true when considering marketing spend. Marketing allocation plans, and the forecasts run from them, are instrumental in determining whether the level of support is indeed enough to keep a product afloat. Bypassing these calculations can lead to a potentially great product missing expectations.
By conducting a simulated sales forecast using several marketing plan scenarios, the result provides enough accuracy and confidence before launch to eliminate uncertainty. To put it simply, it’s choosing the option to save on frustration and move forward with confidence.
INNOVATING IN AN AGILE WAY FOR SPEED AND EFFICIENCY
When thinking of the word agile, the word efficiency should resonate, and not just speed. Efficiency only happens when you trust the direction you are taking when in a rush.
Nikola Tesla perfected his ideas by simulating scenarios in his mind and releasing a solution in a single effort. Conversely, one of his chief rivals, Thomas Edison, failed across several real world trials until finding the right solution. Both are inspiring, but which one do you think is more efficient? The good news is that, using the right technology and research methodology, you can test out your innovations several times like Edison, but in a safer and more controlled environment, while also succeeding to efficiently create a single final version of your product like Tesla.
Written By Erin Dowd, Innovation Partner, Nielsen, and Lynn Quinlan, Manager, Innovation, Nielsen
BBC Culture releases its list of the 100 Greatest Foreign-Language Films. This list, polled from more than 200 critics and experts living in 43 countries, is a celebration of the richness and variety of cinema beyond the English-speaking world.
The critics voted for 688 different films in total from over 60 different countries. The top film was Seven Samurai (Akira Kurosawa, 1954), which was voted for by 41 critics – 20% of those who voted. In all, 67 different directors were represented in the top 100 films.
“The history of film is truly a global one,” says BBC Culture Editor Rebecca Laurence. “And with BBC Culture’s 100 greatest foreign-language film poll we wanted to reflect and celebrate this diversity of cinematic voices and cultures. We hope the list will give our readers plenty to discover – and disagree with”.
East Asian cinema features strongly in the top 100, with a quarter of the films coming from Japan, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, or South Korea. Nearly half of the films are from the 1950s and 60s, and reflect the gender balance of the film industry at that time; only four films in the top 100 feature female directors.
The top 10 films from the list are below. The full list is available here [link tk].
1. Seven Samurai (Akira Kurosawa, 1954)
2. Bicycle Thieves (Vittorio de Sica, 1948)
3. Tokyo Story (Yasujirô Ozu, 1953)
4. Rashomon (Akira Kurosawa, 1950)
5. The Rules of the Game (Jean Renoir, 1939)
6. Persona (Ingmar Bergman, 1966)
7. 8 ½ (Federico Fellini, 1963)
8. The 400 Blows (François Truffaut, 1959)
9. In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar-wai, 2000)
10. La Dolce Vita (Federico Fellini, 1960)
The directors with the greatest number of films in the top 100 were:
• Ingmar Bergman and Luis Buñuel, 5 films each
• Akira Kurosawa, Andrei Tarkovsky and Federico Fellini, 4 films each
• Jean-Luc Godard, Kenji Mizoguchi and Wong Kar-wai, 3 films each
This poll included responses from 209 critics living in 43 countries. The countries with the most critics were:
• US (41 critics, 19%)
• China (19, 9%), excluding HK/Taiwan critics
• UK (14, 7%)
• India (10, 5%)
• Canada and Mexico (both 9, 4% each)
The critics spoke a total of 41 languages between them, including Georgian, Kannada, Odia, Shona, Igbo, Lingala and Esperanto.
• 72 (34%) spoke three or more languages. Ten critics spoke five or more languages. Only 68 (33%) were monolingual. The average critic spoke two languages (mean 2.2, median 2).
• We asked the critics to tell us which language or languages they considered their mother tongue. 85 (41%) named English, 25 (12%) Chinese, 24 (11%) Spanish, 13 (6%) French and 7 named each of German and Turkish (3% each). This means that over half (59%) of the critics polled did not consider English their mother tongue.
The campaign celebrates the undying spirit of Mumbai and its ability to make billions feel at home
In the second installment of their popular campaign, Hindustan Times reignited every Mumbaikar's love for their city with #MumbaiMeriHai. While the first #MumbaiMeriHai campaign last year was a nostalgic collection of all things Mumbai, its follow up this year celebrates the feeling of belonging that binds all Mumbaikars to their city. The brand aimed to establish their market position as the mouthpiece for the city as well as its passionate citizens.
The celebratory digital campaign, conceptualized by IdeateLabs, revered every Mumbaikar's affinity to the city by inviting citizens to share what makes them feel ‘Mumbai is not just where you live, but where you’ll always belong.’ #MumbaiMeriHai was initiated with an all-encompassing music video which captured the nuanced way of life in the city. It was accompanied by a contest which encouraged people to sing-along to the #MumbaiMeriHai theme song. Additionally, the campaign invited Mumbaikars to share their stories on what makes them belong to the city through pictures and videos. Both the contests received overwhelming support with Mumbaikars pouring their heart out for the city of their dreams. The best entries were showcased and awarded on Hindustan Time's print and digital platforms.
#MumbaiMeriHai that celebrated the smallest of things which make Mumbai a city adored by millions earned the brand glory too. #MumbaiMeriHai's music video alone received over 3 million views as the catchy song struck a chord with Mumbaikars. Moreover, the campaign, with its interactive contests, received over 30 million impressions on social media and almost 500 contest entries.
Prerna Jha, Senior Marketing Manager, Hindustan Times, says, “Amidst all the bustle of this fast-paced city, Mumbaikars make the city their own through different ways. Through this campaign, we are celebrating the little ties to this dream city that makes everyone say Mumbai Meri Hai. Our communication intent behind this campaign is to highlight how we have grown in this city, how our understanding of this city and its people has grown and as a result, we bring the city to our readers, unlike anybody else.”
Mr. Ashish Rana, Business Head, IdeateLabs comments on the campaign's success,” Every Mumbaikar has a different story and perspective about the city. #MumbaiMeriHai gave them a chance to share what they love about Mumbai. The campaign resulted in a collective sharing of memories by the people who make the city their own. The idea that Mumbai embraces places and people and shapes them translated into social media and resonated with Mumbaikars, making the campaign a success."
Leo Burnett has announced the promotion of Rakesh Hinduja to Chief Operating Officer, West.
He will continue reporting to Dheeraj Sinha, Managing Director, India and Chief Strategy Officer, South Asia and RajDeepak Das, Managing Director, India and Chief Creative Officer, South Asia. Rakesh has been leading Leo Burnett’s head office – Mumbai’s – operations as the Executive Director and Branch Head.
Speaking about the elevation, Dheeraj Sinha said, “Rakesh is the perfect role model for the new-age agency we are building. His leadership on all the three parameters of People, Product and Profit has been stellar. Under his watch, we have consistently seen spectacular work that has won our brands market-share, and glory at platforms such as Cannes Lions, Spikes and Effies. He has delivered high-quality growth for the Mumbai office, leading the teams to win a new business almost every two weeks. The momentum and buzz at Leo Burnett Mumbai are palpable. Rakesh has been an amazing team player, helping push the Publicis Groupe’s Power of One agenda. Leo Burnett Mumbai’s contribution to our services such as Prodigious has helped Prodigious to become the number one ‘agency production house’ in the country within a span of two years. More than anything else, Rakesh has a never-say-die attitude and he always plays the game with a sense of camaraderie that we really value at Leo Burnett.”
In his new role, Hinduja will drive the Power of One agenda for Leo Burnett in the West. He will help build cross-platform solutions for our clients using our services in Entertainment (Publicis Entertainment), Content (Content Factory), Experiential (Arc Worldwide), Production (Prodigious), Digital (Indigo Consulting and Digitas) and Media (Zenith Optimedia, Ecosys and Beehive). He will lead all the functions of Leo Burnett Mumbai to create world-class work, build a high growth business and create a culture where people come to do the best work of their lifetime.
Commenting on Rakesh’s promotion, Rajdeepak Das said, “Rakesh is always there, backing great creative work and making integrated thinking happen for our clients. He has been an essential part of the journey to get where we are today. This elevation is much-deserved and will take all of us to greater heights.”
Talking about his promotion, Rakesh Hinduja said, “I am happy with my journey at Leo Burnett – a new-age, solution-providing ‘Wave 3’ agency. I’m proud of the 'brave work we have done'and I am hungry for more. Hereon, there are a lot of exciting things to do and in quick time. I want to take a critical pause here to thank all our clients and the Burnetters for their belief in me.”
Tom Cruise’s return as the vigilante Jack Reacher to light up the viewer’s television screens this Diwali!
As the festival of lights is around the corner, &pictures has planned for a perfect gift for its viewers this festive season. Bringing to its audience some of the best movies from around the globe, &pictures, Naye India Ka Blockbuster Movie Channel will premiere Jack Reacher: Never Go Back under Diwali Fusion Flicks on Friday, 2nd November at 8 PM with a simultaneous telecast on HD. The 2016 American action thriller film is directed by Edward Zwick and written by Zwick, Richard Wenk and Marshall Herskovitz and is based on the bestselling novel Never Go Back by Lee Child. The film stars Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher, with Cobie Smulders, Patrick Heusinger, Aldis Hodge, Danika Yarosh, Holt McCallany and Robert Knepper essaying pivotal characters.
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, the sequel to the 2012 action thriller Jack Reacher, follows the life of vigilante drifter Jack (Tom Cruise) and picks up from where the prequel ended. After successfully dismantling a human trafficking ring, former military investigator Jack Reacher returns to his old military headquarters to meet Major Susan Turner (Cobie Smulders), his accomplice and close friend. However, Reacher is in for a shock when he learns that she is detained and is accused of spying from Colonel Sam Morgan (Holt McCallany). Susan’s attorney Colonel Bob Moorcroft (Robert Catrini) divulges that she is involved in the murders of two soldiers in Afghanistan, but Reacher is convinced that she is being framed. Reacher decides to get to the bottom of the conspiracy when Moorcroft tells him about the existence of his 15 year old daughter Samantha Dutton (Danika Yarosh). Still trying to comprehend about his daughter, Reacher faces a major setback when Moorcroft is murdered by an unknown assassin and he is framed for the murder. He is soon transferred to the prison where Susan is lodged and together they discover a plot that threatens to destroy the country, while the unknown assassin tries to eliminate Susan.
Will Reacher and Susan uncover the national conspiracy? Will Reacher reunite with his estranged daughter?
To find out, tune in to Jack Reacher: Never Go Back on Friday, 2nd November at 8 PM only on &pictures