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Wednesday, 09 May 2018 00:00

Data and Privacy. How much is enough

When a trainer at a workshop many years back, showed a packed audience a dozen ghost sites in the background secretly tracking a user on a famous airlines website, it did create panic. Social media websites had just started to become the darling of Digital marketing folks then. Data and Privacy laws since then have continued to remain unclear, uncertain yet glorified.

With the big Facebook breach, we digital marketing and advertising folks are expected to relook at the equation. It also becomes important to understand how we reached here, the extent of the mess and the areas that concern us as we tread the path going forward.

Some of these below areas concern us:

- Our regular tools and our approach to consumer segmentation, targeting and content seeding.

- ‘How much of data’ is enough and where does the ethical boundary end.

- Practices of unethical fans acquisition and data brokerage rampage.

- Finally, what the consumer wants and the code of ethics.

Let’s take a step back. Is this data breach something new? Haven’t companies helped clients acquire fans at cheap prices or data brokers with their ability to use big data - connecting dots mapping users' personal information and making inferences for granular targeting.

The key question is if it affects Digital marketing and communication? Yes, but not much, just minor hiccups and some adjustments. We need to understand the real problem. Is it Facebook or how we approach Data and the "deep insights” we demand from these Social networks? We know, our pitches to brands rests on the richness of consumers’ data and insights we derive, then leading to the ideas we built on top of them.

Most of this is around the consumers ‘personal information’, a traditional planner or a digital strategist spending weeks to uncover consumer characteristics, their actions and insights. Folks in Digital have always been beneficiary of gaining access to vast amount of user’s personal information, including other aspects like IP, location, Device etc. Most ad networks blindly flock to Google and Facebook because these giants promise granular targeting. As an industry we may have crossed several lines too. We are all responsible for this insane world, we have landed ourselves in.

While we discuss this topic globally, both brands and consumers are in a fix today. Technology and its terrible dependency has made consumers to live in a state of continuous ignorance. Their data exposure starts from their browsing history and goes deeper exposing their likes, tastes, preferences and actions. Additionally, this problem is compounded by Social media giants whose entire premise is based on capturing consumer data details of which consumers aren’t really clear about.

Now with GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) in Europe, and multiple other steps, we hope consumers will know what data is being collected and have the ability to remove their information from the servers if they want to.

We as marketers need to rethink targeting, tracking, privacy, data collection and its ethical usage, all over again. We need to clearly ask, how much of data capture is enough. What is that opt-in or opt-out request likely to be? For once, imagine a No-Data World (NDW), where we have broad segments basis which we devise campaigns and come out with innovative, non intrusive ways to reach out to the consumers. Think how we operate in a kid’s world. Advertising may need to get more creative and create deeper meaningful experiences. It may find it a bit difficult to change and adjust, even thought its minor; while consumers will seemingly adjust too, to a privacy based experience going forward knowing clearly what happens to their data.

Facebook or No Facebook, the data privacy issue needs a wider discussion, though we hope these social giants will take positive steps themselves as opposed to being forced by enforcement agencies. They have a responsibility towards society. Facebook did publicly apologise and ensured this won’t happen again.

Making users believe its all about connecting the world and then hiding privacy terms under complex reams under settings, needs to go. The era of Mass Customisation and Micro Addressability is being revoked and the future is about to change, yet again. Let’s be honest, to start with!


Written by Rajeev Sharma, Founder, Awrizon - a performance driven Digital Consultancy.

BigMuscles Nutrition, India’s fastest growing nutritional supplement brand, has appointed L&K Saatchi & Saatchi (an integrated communications agency and part of Publicis Groupe) as their Creative Agency on Record (AOR).

The agency will be responsible for creating their launch and sustenance communication and will have their creative mandate. The account will be handled by the agency's Mumbai office.

About the association, Charles Victor - Executive Director - L&K Saatchi & Saatchi India, says, "BigMuscles Nutrition is at a stage where they want to take the brand to the next level and be known as a serious contender in the Nutritional supplement category. We are very excited to partner with them to chart out the next chapter in fitness among India’s youth."

Commenting on the association, Suhel Vats - Director, BigMuscles Nutrition says, "We launched BigMuscles in the year 2009 and it has emerged as the top-most nutritional supplement brand in India over the last three years. L&K Saatchi & Saatchi demonstrated some robust creative work stemming from strong consumer insights. We believe their experience in working with brands globally will help BigMuscles Nutrition compete with imported brands and resonate strongly with audiences across markets. We have faith in their ability to do justice to the mandate."

Wins Advertiser of the Year award with 16 Metals

Mathrubhumi Group Kerala’s formidable media group bagged the highest tally of 16 metals & Advertiser of the Year recognition at the prestigious 12th edition of Pepper Creative Awards 2018, the largest creative awards in South India and the second largest in India. The awards is jointly organised by Advertising Club Cochin and Pepper Creative Awards Trust, at Le Meridian, Kochi.

The awards night opening ceremony was graced by the presence of R Balki, Indian filmmaker, screenwriter and former group chairman of Lowe Lintas (India), along with Prathap Suthan, Chief Creative Officer, Managing Partner – Bang In the Middle, and Dinesh Swamy – Chief Creative Officer, Liqvd Asia.

With 4 Gold, 7 silver, 5 bronze and 1 finalist wins, Mathrubhumi brought home a whopping 16 metals, under its various brands including MB daily, Club FM, MB News & Online vertical, demonstrating its creative prowess that surely matches up to the group’s business growth momentum.

650 entries from 75 agencies across South India, under various categories have been judged during 12th edition of Pepper Awards. Prathap Suthan, Chief Creative Officer, Managing Partner – Bang In the Middle, KV Sridhar ‘pops’ Founder & Chief Creative Officer - Hyper Collective ; K S Chakravarthy, Co-founder and CCO, Tidal 7 Brand and Digital;; Raj Nair, CCO and CEO, Madison BMB; Meera Sarath, CEO and CCO, Tigress Tigress; Atul Kattukaran, renowned ad film maker were the jury members.

Commenting of the occasion, M V Shreyams, Kumar, Joint Managing Director, Mathrubhumi said “It’s been an overwhelming experience to witness win for the group on such a grand industry platform. I congratulate my team for demonstrating such high quality work across such a wide category range. We hope to get more acclaimed recognitions in the years to come”


Ford India has launched a new campaign for their latest launch ‘Ford Freestyle’- India’s First CUV (Compact Utility Vehicle). Partnered by WPP’s GTB (Global Team Blue), the proposition ‘Josh Hai Dil Main’ celebrates the passion to follow one’s heart, for a regret free life.

Commenting on the campaign, Rahul Gautam, VP - Marketing, Ford India, said, “Ford Freestyle is a world-class product that aims to meet aspirations of young, new age ‘Optimist’ customers… who are progressive, risk takers, fiercely independent and love taking chances in life. The launch campaign takes the Ford brand platform of ‘Feels like Family, for a Change’ forward by pegging the brand on family values of ‘inclusiveness’ and ‘happiness’ that fuels our target mindset to follow their heart with passion and lead a regret-free life”. He added “The all new Ford Freestyle, with its powerful (Josheeley) 96 PS engine, and loaded with capabilities like ARP (Active Rollover Protection) is the perfect ally for today’s new age Optimists
Insight Behind the campaign:

Shedding further light on the insight behind the campaign, Gautam said, “These new age customers live by the motto - “I would rather take those chances and follow my passion, than lead a life of regrets.” -- Something that inspired us!


The genesis of the campaign finds its roots in the unconventional & progressive mind-set of Ford audience called ‘The Optimists’. And taking a unique creative approach, Ford's latest campaign for Freestyle brings alive this audience in the campaign by going beyond stereotypes and showcasing diversity in situations and characters, while being inclusive - a reflection of TG’s open mindedness. They have also fused memorable pop culture metaphors to strengthen the relatability quotient, like using the song ‘Dil Dhadakne Do’ from the movie ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’ as the soundtrack to bring zing to the film and bring to life the ‘Regret Nothing’ attitude.”

This campaign is a celebration of inclusivity and diversity of the bold, free spirited young India. “And strengthens Ford’s brand platform ‘Feels like Family, For a Change’, which is at the core of everything we do, For Freestyle we have Inclusivity, which is a core family value, as a key pillar of the campaign.” explains Gautam.


To bring alive the spirit of Freestyle, Ford has also done a print Innovation with Hindustan Times, One of the Leading English dailies in the country. The innovation titled ‘what happens when a newspaper goes Freestyle?’, has been attempted for the first time in the world, where they have shuffled all the different sections in the newspaper, with Sports sections coming first, as it is a passion of their TG. ‘We wanted to stay true to the spirit of our CUV Freestyle, and use the newspaper medium dynamically and bring in contextuality with the content and relevance to the newspaper sections”. Credit goes to the Team WPP (GTB & Mindshare) to make this unique innovation happen right from idea generation to message creation – added Gautam.

The innovation has started off with a teaser on 26th April – “Ever seen a newspaper go Freestyle” till 28th April and the finally got unveiled on 29th April with dominance across pages of Hindustan Times with contextual messaging appropriately married to the newspaper section and content of the page.
These kind of innovation will surely change the way advertisers had been using print media and will bring in more creativity to the medium.


Rajeev Beotra, CEO, HT English, HT Media Ltd added: “Hindustan Times and WPP group (team GTB/Mindshare) have collaborated for Ford's latest and very promising offering ‘Freestyle’. After a lot of deliberation and exchange of ideas, this innovation is the result of keeping the brand message ‘Freestyle’ at the forefront, where Sunday’s Edition of Hindustan Times went ‘Freestyle’ for its readers by shuffling the sectional sequence, while adding a surprise element to the newspaper. The print industry is uniquely placed in terms of offering innovative opportunities to brands in a credible environment.

Supari Studios announced that its documentary series ‘Doppelgangers’ is the Winner of The Webby People's Voice Award in Film & Video: Sports (Branded) at the 22nd Annual Webby Awards while competing with a crusade of other video series. Supari is the only Indian agency to win this prestigious award this year.

The video was first selected after a 2,000-bench jury siphoned out the best out of millions of videos and then put up for a global People’s choice voting.

‘Doppelgangers’ is a documentary series for Red Bull directed by Akshat Gupt. The series explores the parallels that exist between famous international disciplines and ancient Indian art forms. As part of the series, international experts from the fields of motorcycle stunt riding, B-Boying, and bouldering, visit the worlds of ancient Indian art forms that align with their expertise. The international performers meet their counterparts in a first-time introduction to their doppelgangers. Through the course of the series, viewers not only witnessed certain similarities and understood the complexities and uniqueness of each sport but also learnt the sacrifices and passions of the athletes themselves.

You can watch the series here - https://www.redbull.tv/show/AP-1TX9HWH492111/doppelgangers

Akshat Gupt, Director of the series and founder of Supari Studios adds, “It’s a mark of great distinction for all of us at Supari Studios to be awarded with the Internet’s biggest honor. It’s a testament to the hard work that the whole team put in for this series. There is great talent when it comes to creativity in India and we are happy that the world is now noticing that too.”

Commenting on this win, Advait Gupt, Co-Founder, Supari Studios says, “Our focus on the digital domain has allowed us to try unique formats and engagement models. Having won the Webby's while competing globally and being the only Indian brand in the category truly validates our mission of developing content that is recognized globally. We are certain that through the efforts of the teams at Supari Studios we will continue to create compelling campaigns. Our partnership with Red Bull has been nothing short of extraordinary - not only in terms of the nature of our engagement as a content studio, but also through the creative synergies and relationship that we have built with the entire team”.

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