MediAvataar's News Desk

MediAvataar's News Desk

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The Weather Company and Times Bridge: Personalizing Weather Data and Climate Coverage in India

The Weather Company, an IBM Business (NYSE: IBM) announced a strategic alliance with Times Bridge, the international investments and partnerships arm of The Times Group.

With its varying climate regions, abundance of agriculture, and drastic seasonal weather shifts, creating a weather offering in India that is locally relevant and backed by scientifically validated raw data is of critical importance. The Weather Company is joining forces with the Times Group to tackle this challenge.

Indian consumers will receive the most up-to-date weather information and localized forecasts on the digital edition of The Times of India from The Weather Company, the most accurate* forecaster in the world. In turn, the Times Group will provide curated content on The Weather Channel app in India as well as in English and Hindi ( and to connect Indian residents with pertinent information, locally relevant articles, photos and video content.

Commenting on the need of this alliance, India Sales & Alliances Leader for The Weather Company, Himanshu Goyal said, “Indians across the peninsula are affected by varying and often extreme weather conditions, therefore it’s vital for audiences to have access to timely and dependable weather information when and where they need it to help them make more informed decisions for daily planning or to stay safe in severe weather.”

The relationship will also enable local marketers to access advanced data-driven advertising solutions from IBM Watson Advertising across both companies’ properties. By leveraging real-time weather data and helping to predict consumer behaviour, advertisers can better determine the optimal time and place to reach a consumer.

Local audiences will have access to:

· Temperature and wind maps for the region, with satellite radar and alerts.

· Forecasts to help with lifestyle and health decisions such as air pollution, cricket

· forecasts, a sweat index and more.

· Daily planning recommendations based on weather conditions.

· Stories, images and videos about the top weather events of the day and weather news.

“At a macro level, the effect of climate change is perhaps one of the most pressing issues of our time. At a micro level, having an accurate forecast helps people plan their wardrobes, commutes, and crops. Building solid reporting institutions around this spectrum is critical,” says Thane Richard, Times Bridge’s Senior Director of Publishing and Creative.

Puri, Varanasi, Tirupati and Shirdi top the list

Spiritually motivated tourism has emerged as one of the most vital components of India's tourism industry. The country is experiencing a shift from visiting traditional religious pilgrimage to travelling for finding inner peace. According to a study by ixigo, leading Indian travel marketplace, more and more Indians are travelling to connect with their religious roots. With a rise in spiritual tourism, popular pilgrimages, such as Varanasi and Puri are witnessing more hotel bookings than other cities this summer.

The study by ixigo reveals that there has been a month-on-month growth of 60% for Puri, 48% for Varanasi, 34% for Tirupati and 19% growth for Shirdi in the hotel bookings. Travellers plan a short-stay of an average two days during their visit to religious destinations. Talking about accommodation options, Indians prefer to keep a low hotel stay budget. Around 82% tourists prefer budget hotels in Varanasi, followed by 78%, 68% and 73% in Shirdi, Tirupati and Puri respectively. Only 32% Indians prefer 4/5 star hotel while visiting Tirupati followed by 27% for Puri.

Commenting on the findings Aloke Bajpai, ixigo CEO & Co-founder said, “Spiritual tourism is on the rise! Cities like Puri and Varanasi not only offer travellers a traditional experience, but also enable them to rejuvenate at Yoga retreats and Ayurveda Spas. Looking at the spike in hotel bookings via ixigo, it’s safe to say that spiritual travel is now being considered as one of the offbeat travel trends in India. It is fascinating to see that young adults are showing quite a high inclination towards exploring indigenous cultural experiences in our country.”

The study also shows that Lucknow tops the list with about 13% outbound train searches to these religious cities followed by Mumbai with 7% and Hyderabad with 6%. Delhi ranks at number four with 5% train searches to these religious destinations.

Spiritual tourism is one of the biggest untapped markets for domestic travel. Close to 60% of domestic tourism in India is religion-based and to support this upcoming trend, the government has allocated special budgets for creating infrastructure around religious places. In addition, new projects, circuits and train routes are being established to increase tourism at these pilgrimages.

The radio station that will play Mumbai ke favourite gaane all day long to create happy positive vibes

MAGIC 106.4 FM the brand new radio station to hit the Mumbai airwaves is here to give the Mumbaikars some feel-good vibes in the stressful city life. Creating and building on the sentiment of ‘Jee Le Zara’, the radio station aims at making its listeners realise that magic exists in everyday life where one needs to let loose and believe in their magical moment! The aim is to find some magic in the ‘khaamakha’ moments which is shedding the weight of the routine with a random act that’s unconditionally happy! True happiness is not contingent, it is unconditional!

Known to be the ‘city that never sleeps’ and is always on the go, it is time for the citizens of Mumbai to take a step back and breathe. According to a study conducted by Mumbai based health platform Lybrate, 31 per cent working professionals in Mumbai suffer from stress. MAGIC 106.4 FM, a brand-new radio station launched by RED FM aims to give Mumbaikars a much-needed escape from reality. The radio station is going to be more than just music and aims to create a strong emotional touchpoint for the citizens.

Speaking about the launch of MAGIC 106.4 FM, Nisha Narayanan, COO 93.5 RED FM says, “We are delighted to announce the launch of our new radio station – Magic 106.4 FM, our answer to monotony that is fuelled from the hustle and bustle of metropolitan cities. Magic 106.4 FM is an emotion, an emotion of ‘Jee Le Zara’. It is a true celebration of life. In the midst of our chaotic lives we are all constantly looking for that beacon of light, that moment of happiness. With this station, our aim is to introduce those magical one of a kind instances that allow us to find joy in the little things. Making radio a platform which is more experiential for its listeners, Magic 106.4 FM will engage with its audience like never before! All the music, activities and brand initiatives aim to trigger and unconditional sense of joy allowing listeners to Jee Le Zaraa”.

MAGIC 106.4 is an attempt to create A trendsetting, experiential radio station – thanks to the never-before music mix and the first-time-ever content philosophy.

The channel has already hit airwaves on 20th April.

New York Festivals prestigious Executive Jury convened in New York City to judge the 2018 NYF International Advertising Awards.

New York Festivals launched their first Executive Jury in 2011. The decision was made to add an additional jury to the judging mix that would come together as a live jury panel and select trophy winners base on the Shortlist chosen by NYF’s online international Grand Jury. NYF enlisted the industry’s most respected and admired creative minds as judges and provided them with a judging system that allows for careful evaluation, accuracy and the opportunity for debate.

“The New York Festivals’ Executive Jury was one of the first, if not the first, to create an executive board to vote together in all of the Festival’s categories, and that is simply fantastic. Because the jury can have the exact notion of the whole and evaluate each piece in a more careful and grounded way. Obviously, winning becomes more difficult, and this often drives the inscriptions away, but the organizers' courage also fascinates me.”–Hugo Rodrigues Chairman/CEO, WMcCann Brazil.

This year’s judging sessions kicked off April 20th with a jury of32 members strong representing 17 countries. Jurors assembled together sequestered in a darkened room, armed with iPads programmed with NYF’s judging app ready to review shortlisted creative campaigns in all media from around the globe. The Executive Jury, through multiple rounds of collaborative judging,determine the 2018 World’s Best Advertising® award-winners.

2018 Executive Jury member Nicky Bullard, Chairwoman & Chief Creative Officer of MRM Meteorite UK said, “I thought it felt quite grand actually walking into the room, it felt like we were in the United Nations…at first it’s quite daunting just sitting in the dark, doors get shut, ‘oh my god we’ll be here until 9 o clock at night’ You do feel like you’ve been locked away but it’s actually brilliant for focus.”

Enlisting award-winning creative leaders from all regions insures that NYF’s Executive Jury offers a 360-degree global perspective of the industry today. The advantage of judging on a panel with 32+ like minded peers who are at the same career level provide the jurors the space for passionate, opinionated discussions. And reviewing all media across all competitions allows jurors to focus on the creative work and gives them the opportunity to review and debate the year’s advertising efforts.

Swati Bhattacharya, Chief Creative Officer for FCB ULKA India had this to say about the jury, “When you look at the lineup of the jury, you want to belong to that list. Everything that gets spoken or felt in the jury room will add to my life as a CCO and also to my craft as a writer.”

“The NYF is one of the most respected awards in the world. The Executive Jury is a selection of the most known and highest awarded worldwide creatives,” said Doerte Spengler-Aherns, Chief Creative Officer, Jung Von Matt /SAGA Germany.

Each year, agencies and brands submit innovative campaigns and compete on the world stage for the ultimate recognition, the honor of earning a trophy…a symbol of the ultimate in creative excellence that is celebrated by both agencies and brands.

The two-tiered judging system that emerged back in 2011 brings together two powerful juries by combining the shortlist selected by the Grand Jury and the trophy round determined by NYF’s Executive Jury. Each entry is given the utmost consideration.The two distinct panels of internationally respected creatives cast over 400,000 votes to select the World’s Best Advertising.The Shortlisted creative work that advances has already been carefully screened by the Grand Jury and deemed worth of advancing towards trophy consideration before moving on to the Executive Jury stage of judging.

“I consider the New York Festivals to be one of the major creative festivals in the world, so naturally it’s an honor and a privilege to be part of the jury. But beyond the prestige, I think that one of the most interesting things about the festival is that fact that the members of the jury get to judge all the categories. This gives us an overview of international creativity, but also and above all, the possibility to assimilate the rules of each category and therefore best judge the pertinence of the ideas.”— Jean-Francois Sacco, Co-founder/Chief Creative Officer,Rosapark France.

The Executive Jury begins its process of reviewing the shortlisted entries across all media utilizing NYF’s unique three-criteria judging system: Idea, Relevance, and Execution. The system is weighted as follows:40% of the vote based upon the concept/idea, 35% is graded on its brand and market relevance, and 25% is determined from its production/execution. The thorough process results in the jury determining the winning selections for First, Second, Third, and Grand Awards, in addition to Best of Show.

“New York Festivals has this 3-tier process that makes you judge the merit of each idea in the three aspects… the 3 aspects are very important. First of all, the idea itself needs to be surprising, needs to be different, needs to be new, but that’s usually as far as awards shows go. The next thing that you judge is relevance, and relevance it tricky because it could be relevance of the idea to the problem or the idea to the product or the idea to the brand… but once you establish what relevance is going to be for you it’s really useful. Execution and craft and the way things are done is the difference between success and failure. If you have the best design and best idea and you build it badly, your building will fall. So, I really like how it makes each of us think,” said Jose Miguel Sokoloff, Global President/Chief Creative Officer, UK MullenLowe Group UK.

Injudging all the entries together across all competitions, NYF’s system addresses the issue of inconsistency with respect to the final results that might occur when you have divided juries. And, using the three criteria not only improves accuracy, it changes the way in which NYF’s jury members evaluate each entry thereby providing more accuracy with their scores.

“I like breaking the judging system down into the three categories. It forces you to think about if you are unclear or say like a certain aspect of a case or idea, it allows you to tailor your feelings towards what you like about it… and that is a really nice way to judge,”commented Graham Lang, Chief Creative Officer, JuniperPark/TBWA Canada.

“The judging system is quite creative, and the quality of discussions is very very high because all the people are above the CCO level and they know very well what the point is of the work,”–Masaru Kitakaze, Worldwide Chief Creative Officer,Hakuhodo Japan.

NYF’s judging process received numerous accolades throughout the 4 days of sessions, Mick Blore, Chief Creative Officer for McCann Worldgroup South Africa commented,“I’m really enjoying the judging process for a number of reasons, first is the fact that the judges here are all equal there’s no chairman or chairperson of the jury which I think allows for less lobbying and less competition and more honest judging which I think is important.It’s refreshing because a lot of the other shows don’t do that,” said Blore.

R/GA’sEVP/Chief Creative Officer, U.S. Taras Wayner said, “The 3-tier judging was really helpful, being able to break it down between concept and relevance and execution allows you to think clearly through what you think of a project… I think it’s a more honest definition of how a piece was created rather than just saying I love this piece.”

During thejudging sessions there are often entries that deserve to be reconsidered for an award. NYF’s “Mulligan Round” provides theopportunity to present an entry for a second review on behalf of the entry that deserves to be considered by their peers.

“I think it’s a very smart idea, let’s be honest it’s a tough judging process, and sometimes things fall out of your sight and so it helps that someone can raise their arm and put it back in,”added Gerrit Zinke, Chief Creative Officer& Partner,thjnk Germany.

“I think it’s a great idea and it gives you a chance to stand up and talk about it and really champion something. And we all know as judges when someone champions something they might have spotted something you haven’t likewise, if someone challenges something you might think is wonderful…that’s what is wonderful about judging,”said Nicky Bullard.

NYF’s Grand and Executive Juries are dedicated to the evaluation of the work; their ability to recognize trends and innovation ensures each entry is judged thoroughly with the attention it deserves. The trophy-winning work honored at New York Festivals annual New York Show taking place on May 17this the result of this jury’s dedication to creativity.

Graham Lang, who also served on the inaugural Executive Jury in 2011 commented, “It’s been amazing to see the show continue to attract the best work and the best people.”

Executive Jury member Matt Eastwood, who has served on multiple years had this to say, “The thing I have always loved about New York Festivals is that the jury gets to judge everything. And that’s quite rare in a show, it takes a lot of effort and alot more work. But I think it’s really good and the thing that I like is I feel the responsibility as a juror that we are curating a show and have access to all the work, and to be able to curate that, and to say as a collective that this is the best work of 2017. I think that’s really good.”

2018’s award-winners will be announced atthe 2018 New York Show℠awards ceremony and gala taking place the evening of Thursday, May 17, 2018 at the world-class performance space, Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall, Broadway at 60th Street, New York City. For more information and to purchase tickets please visit: HERE.

Grey Cell Public Relations, one of India’s most-trusted Public Relations and Communication strategists has bagged the Public Relations mandate for Crowdera, the free global crowdfunding & fundraising platform.

As Crowdera’s Public Relations Agency, Grey Cell Public Relations will manage the funding platform’s strategic communication and media relations.

Crowdera is a free online fundraising and crowdfunding platform which aims at driving social impact. Its mission is to build a giving economy fuelled by social capital. It helps non-profit entities and social innovators by providing a secure platform where they can raise money without paying any commission or fee.

As a growing platform, Crowdera has achieved several successful fundraisers in the USA and has also hosted many campaigns for Indian nonprofit organizations, filmmakers and startups. It has helped over 2300 campaigns raising over 6 Crores ($1.0M) with donors from 35+ countries impacting over 50000 lives.

Commenting on the partnership, Chet Jain, Founder - Crowdera said “We want to reach out to a large population and the first step towards this goal is to share our journey with our target groups. As a global free online fund-raising platform, we needed a Public Relations partner who believed in our mission to help us tell our stories in a best strategic way. We are pleased to partner with Grey Cell Public Relations, to drive the Crowdera communication and make the brand engaging and relevant to people who want to raise fund for social causes and creative work and those who want to contribute.”

Commenting on the occasion, Madhukar Kumar, Founder and Chief Strategist, Grey Cell Public Relations said, “We are very pleased to add the Crowdera account to our client list bouquet. Through this opportunity, we will get to work for a brand committed for the people, by the people. Crowdera represents an exciting opportunity for the Grey Cell Public Relations team in the areas of Brand Building and Cause Public Relations. We look forward to adding value to its efforts in raising awareness and funding for needs and dreams.”

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