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Sunday, 20 August 2017 00:00

Interactive storytelling

Netflix is experimenting with non-linear storytelling in which viewers can control the narrative of a show.

Starting with the children’s program Puss in Book, Netflix is testing out interactive plots where viewers can pick their own “branching” narratives. This allows children to engage with the show in a similar way to a choose-your-own-adventure book. Netflix also tested the concept with a July episode of Buddy Thunderstruck, its original stop-motion cartoon from the studio behind “Robot Chicken.”

This concept has been explored before with Clue, a film inspired by the board game of the same name, which was distributed to cinemas with multiple endings. However, Netflix is the first major entertainment platform of its kind to explore this technique. “Creators have been telling stories in non-linear ways for a long time,” Carla Engelbrecht Fisher, Netflix’s director of product innovation, told Rolling Stone. “If they’re telling stories in different ways, what we’re asking is what kind of stories can Netflix do that no one else can do? We’re not tied to the formats of cable networks; our ecosystem is built entirely for interactive devices.”

By implementing interactive shows, Netflix is enabling a two-way conversation between their audience and their media. This interactivity may also encourage viewers to engage more deeply with a show and increase emotional engagement with different characters. Nevertheless, there are still questions about whether it will be difficult to engage adults and whether having this sort of control takes away from what the storyteller envisioned. Experiences around a show will also be personalized, which means that we will lose something shared and discussions around a show will change.

At last year’s Future of StoryTelling summit, Affectiva, a tech company specializing in emotional AI, described their take on storytelling using the concept of “reactive narratives,” dynamic stories which react to our emotions in real-time by using facial recognition. “If they’re interested, you keep going. If they’re not, you change the course of the story,” says Affectiva’s CEO and co-founder Rana el Kaliouby. The start-up is working on ways to integrate emotions into consumer’s experiences with entertainment.

If our entertainment can sense emotion, it can respond to how we’re feeling and tailor our experiences so we get the most enjoyment out of it. Karen Palmer, ‎a multi-disciplinary immersive filmmaker, has experimented with interactive storytelling to create RIOT, an emotionally responsive film that uses AI, machine learning, eye tracking and facial recognition. Inspired by the riots in Ferguson, the film allows viewers to experience the intensity of such an extreme event.

Whether to inspire, engage, or bring awareness to a social issue, interactive storytelling can change the landscape of film and television. Brands across industries can harness the latest technologies to explore the potential of this technique, whether through pop-up consumer experiences or campaigns. By combining technology with their customer data, brands can engage consumers in new, personalized ways and tell stories that keep them ahead of the curve.

Source: JWT Intelligence

Sunday, 20 August 2017 00:00

Nielsen launches Nielsen Esports

Trusted data and insights to support key stakeholders investing in the rapidly evolving world of esports

Nielsen announced the launch of Nielsen Esports, a new business vertical focused on competitive gaming that will leverage the company’s expertise and leadership in media consumption and valuation. Nielsen Esports will provide sponsorship valuation, fan insights, custom industry research and consulting services to rights holders, media platforms and brands around the world that are moving this fast-growing market forward.

Esports has experienced massive global growth over the past few years with major investment from blue chip sponsors, game publishers and media companies, as well as sports leagues and teams. The esports fan base is also rapidly expanding with nearly one in three fans beginning to follow esports just within the past year, according to new Nielsen Esports research.

“There’s a high demand for reliable, independent measurement of value in esports,” said Howard Appelbaum, President, Nielsen Entertainment. “We’re excited to enhance our client offerings and provide the industry with solutions that will help guide and optimize investment decisions in this exciting, growing space.”

Recognizing the need for consistent sponsorship valuation in esports, Nielsen developed Esport24, a syndicated sponsorship tracking service for esports tournaments. The service measures brand exposure in esports tournaments representing a variety of titles, event formats and geographic locations based on the same methodology that allows traditional sports rights holders and brands to quantify value and benchmark performance.

The playoff rounds of major 2017 esports tournaments measured by Esport24 to date, yielded anywhere from $75,000 to nearly $17 million in sponsorship value, emphasizing the need for standard metrics to help industry players understand the value they are providing, receiving, or missing out on, via brand activations in esports.

In addition to Esport24, custom holistic sponsorship valuations are demonstrating significant returns on investments. A recent Nielsen valuation conducted for RFRSH Entertainment on behalf of Astralis, a professional Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team, showed high-profile sponsor Audi received more than a 10x return on sponsorship exposure during the ELEAGUE Finals and DreamHack Las Vegas earlier this year. While live broadcast exposure (Streaming + TV) was the primary driver of value for Audi, nearly 40% of the brand's return was driven by non-broadcast exposure, including mentions and images on RFRSH Entertainment’s and Astralis’ social and digital platforms.

Nielsen Esports will also release global fan insights throughout the year, with a new research offering spanning the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, Japan, South Korea and China in 2017.

As part of this new business vertical, Nielsen has created an esports advisory board of industry stakeholders who will provide insight to help shape the future of esports audience measurement and valuation. Members include representatives from ESL, ESPN, Facebook, FIFA, Major League Gaming/Activision Blizzard, NBA 2K League, The Next Level, Sony PlayStation, Turner, Twitch, Twitter, Unilever and Google YouTube.

"Nielsen has done a stellar job establishing itself as a popular and respected source for data, making its foray into the esports industry an exciting endeavor," said Kristen Salvatore, VP/Commercial Director, Esports and Event Sponsorships, Twitch. "With Twitch being an online epicenter for the live viewing of esports content, Nielsen's research will tie directly to our community and makes our participation in the advisory board a natural fit."

"The global, digital and young nature of esports fan base audience represents advertising's most highly sought after segment, yet consistent and high quality data has been a challenge to measure and define,” said Craig Levine, CEO of North America, ESL. “As ESL has been pioneering esports for the past 15 years, we have witnessed the incredible growth and enthusiasm of our audience. We're excited to partner with Nielsen and other industry leaders to guide the framework to measure esports sponsorships, shape the industry, and help further accelerate the esports industry overall.”

Stephen Master, Managing Director of Nielsen Sports North America, and Nicole Pike, Vice President of Nielsen Games, have expanded their current roles within the Nielsen Entertainment group to co-lead the global Nielsen Esports business.

Thursday, 17 August 2017 00:00

Sahil Chopra, CEO and Founder, iCubesWire

"A positive shift is being witnessed with the skyrocketing demand of digital market. It has become an important part of any brand to bank upon the digital opportunities and explore the online space. With new innovations filling up the market, the future is bright and favorable." Said Sahil Chopra, CEO and Founder, iCubesWire

In an interaction with MediAvataar India, Sahil talked about the ever more important topic- Digital media and how our country is faring in making it a reality for maximum people and read up to understand that how his firm is taking this discussion to a logical end.

Here is the complete interview....

MediAvataar: How do you view the online content space in India?

Sahil: The online content consumption is experiencing a robust growth as content is becoming extremely user driven. There are a few internet media and news companies that have carved their own niche like Scoopwhoop, Storypick, etc. by making the content space sound very exciting and intriguing. Social media pages like Rajnikanth vs CID jokes have developed a business model revolving solely around content. It is a remarkable shift which looks promising for the future.

MediAvataar: What differentiates your firm in its approach to its work?

Sahil: It’s the mantra of transparency in terms of data that makes the interaction with the client extremely transparent. When you are transparent in your approach towards the clients, customers as well as within the organization, it reciprocates in your work. We have been technologically driven with performance marketing for the past 7 and half years. With a bunch of passionate enthusiasts who believe in bringing value to the brand and the go getter attitude of the employees, we are always on our toes to become the strongest organization providing 360-degree digital solutions to clients.

MediAvataar: How important is to keep innovating?

Sahil: Innovation is the essence of growth and it has always been an integral part of ICubeswire’s expansion. One isn’t really growing if they are not innovating their brand in one way or the other. As for us, we started off with email marketing which was discontinued with the downturn in email marketing. Eventually we entered the domain of performance marketing followed by RDX, the agency vertical and have recently launched Instatalk, our product driven vertical as well. We are currently curating one-of-a-kind cutting-edge technology, which will be ready to hit the market in the coming months.

MediAvataar: Where do you see the future of creative digital marketing and communications heading?

Sahil: A positive shift is being witnessed with the skyrocketing demand of digital market. It has become an important part of any brand to bank upon the digital opportunities and explore the online space. With new innovations filling up the market, the future is bright and favorable.

MediAvataar: What has been one of your most a) gratifying and b) bizarre experiences so far?

Sahil: As for me, there is nothing more gratifying than the support of my worthy colleagues and employees. It is pleasing to see the core team who started the journey with me 7 years ago still sitting beside me like a rock. Even the new employees have formed an integral part of the organization and I am delighted to be heading a laudable team of 100 employees now.

While thinking about a bizarre experience, I can recall the industry experts persuading me not to start my company and mocking at the very thought of it. Such incidents have in turn boosted me to perform even better and now I feel proud to have followed my dreams and not getting bullied by someone else’s vision.

MediAvataar: What do you consider has been your greatest achievement in your career so far?

Sahil: Achievements are milestones in the way of success and I am elated to have covered not one but many milestones. The company is earning substantial revenue each year without the support of investors. It is a bootstrap company that has performed well with profits in our kitty now. At the same time, we believe that our journey has just begun and there are many milestones to be achieved.

MediAvataar: How does the road ahead look for iCubesWire?

Sahil: The road ahead surely looks promising as we are constantly widening our horizons. We have a vertical of performance marketing which is at its strongest best along with the agency sector making a mark in the digital world. Now with Instatalk, the product driven vertical which is the artificial intelligence enabled innovation, we are also entering a new segment all together. We are also expanding geographically with the office spaces in Gurgaon and Mumbai extending to Bangalore very soon.

MediAvataar: What is you forecast for 2017-18? How should marketers go about speeding up their digital bandwagons?

Sahil: The forecast is certainly positive and assuring for the digital companies as well as brands. Social media industry has set a momentum, which is sure to accelerate in the coming days. The need for mobile strategy will increase and pave the way for more innovations in the field. There is a vast scope waiting to be explored in the domain of artificial intelligence which has immense capabilities and will scale new heights.


Thursday, 17 August 2017 00:00

Making your video work without sound

So a couple of weeks ago I sounded off about Facebook’s plans to enable sound automatically in its New Feed. I suspect my reaction is not that unusual and that advertisers still need to think about how their video is going to communicate without sound.

It seems odd to be writing about how to make silent videos more effective at a time when some of us are learning how to use verbal commands with devices like Alexa, but billions of people are still spend time watching video on Facebook. This is a huge opportunity for advertisers if they can tailor their video to engage people’s attention quickly and still deliver a compelling impression without the help of voiceover, music or sound logos.

Last year Digiday reported that of the 8 billion daily video views on Facebook 85 percent were viewed with the sound off. And my suspicion is that this proportion is going to hold good even now. Turning the sound off in the app may not be easy but after the first unpleasant surprise blast, my bet is that many people will be motivated to figure it out. What evidence do I have that this will be the case? Well, funnily enough it comes from the nice people at Facebook. Early last year a post by Facebook Business stated,

“In mobile-feed environments, people prefer having the choice to opt in to sound. Our research found that when feed-based mobile video ads play loudly when people aren’t expecting it, 80% react negatively, both toward the platform and the advertiser.”

But, of course, that research is over a year out of date now, things must have changed right?

So what do advertisers need to do? First off, not simply running your TV execution is the News Feed. Our research finds which a cheap option it is risky, many repurposed ads simply bomb. And guess what? Facebook Creative Shop agrees that ad recall is stronger when the creative is tailored specifically for mobile and are busy helping advertisers turn TVCs into effective mobile videos. Better yet, advertisers should consider whether to use sound at all and create soundless video bearing in mind these three findings from our research:

Grab attention immediately.

You have less than three seconds to engage people’s attention. What is going to be the cue or trigger that gets people to stop scrolling and look at your video? It could actually be that your brand is compelling enough to get that attention on its own.

Work with the mobile mindset

With sound off people pay more attention to visuals so work hard to maintain interest. Those overhead videos from Tasty have a horrid fascination in part because they are speeded up and you know the pay-off is coming soon.

Use captions wisely

Facebook’s internal tests show that captioned video ads increase video view time by an average of 12 percent but do not reply on them for communication, make sure the action delivers the impression and features the brand.

Whatever you do with your video, remember, people appreciate brevity, keep it short. And if that sounds like a huge challenge and you are not sure your video is going to work well, remember, we can help check it out ahead of time.


Written by Nigel Hollis,Executive Vice President and Chief Global Analyst at Kantar Millward Brown.

According to the KANTAR IMRB survey commissioned by American Express®, 42% consumers* are willing to pay a premium for prompt customer service.

On the other hand 31% would be willing to pay for service that listens to them/acts on their feedback and 27% would be willing to pay premium for service that is available everywhere.

The survey titled Decoding Customer Service for Indian customers, reveals that if premium had to be paid, 53% of respondents would pay a premium of 20%-40% in return for better customer service. At the same time 83% agreed that they would pay a premium for a brand that keeps its promise. On the other hand, 66% of consumers would discontinue using a brand or product due to poor customer service, while 71% would stop using if the quality of the product or service depreciates. This suggests that delivering excellent customer service experience along with consistent quality is imperative for any brand to retain customers.

“Trust, Security and Service are three key pillars that we focus on to build strong relationship with our customers. Our survey clearly highlights that these are the key elements in building a differentiated experience to keep consumers loyal and invested in a brand. At American Express, service is at the core of whatever we do and this is built on a foundation of trust – the trust our customers place in us,” said Manoj Adlakha, Chief Executive Officer, American Express Banking Corp., India.

The online survey, which was conducted among 1577 urban Indian customers across Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune, Kolkata and Delhi/NCR, reveals that Indian consumers give high preference to digital ways of interacting with the brands. 81% agree that they prefer to access product information digitally rather than in person or through a phone call, and 48% prefer resolving their queries online while 47% prefer resolving queries over a phone call or mobile SMS.

With social media becoming the mainstay of modern-day life, being present on social media and garnering positive traction has become a must-have for brands today. The survey substantiates this observation by revealing that 80% respondents agree that they discover and learn about brands through social media

To be able to cater to the expectations of customers, companies must work towards reduced turnaround time, and development of multimodal touchpoints for engaging with the customers. Of the total respondents surveyed, 87% say they expect instant access to the service they have purchased or subscribed to. While talking to a customer service representative over a phone call is the most preferred mode of communication, followed by connecting through digital mediums such as email and online chat. 62% of those surveyed stated that customer service and availability of instantaneous issue resolution across multiple platforms is a must have digital feature to retain their loyalty to the brand.

Besides quick access to customer care, Indians also want their experience to be delivered in a safe and secure environment. As per the survey, 54% of total respondents want the brands to incorporate more mobile security and authentication features. Talking about future capabilities, customers would increasingly like brands to present same day delivery option to them (56%).

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