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Thursday, 14 September 2017 00:00

Midas Awards & Skitish Media Present Funny Money

New York Festivals Midas Awards & Skitish Media Present Funny Money: A Night with James Altucher and Live Comedy

Stand Up Performances by Comedians Yamaneika Saunders, Joe List, and Mark Normand

New York Festivals® Midas Awards® for the World’s Best Financial Advertising™ with Skitish Media will present Funny Money, a night of networking and comedy featuring author/entrepreneur, James Altucher and performances by standup comedians, Yamaneika Saunders, Joe List, and Mark Normand.

Join the Midas Awards and Skitish Media on September 27th at 6pm at Stand Up NY for an evening of cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and networking and entertainment. The entertainment kicks off with James Altucher, founder of Reset Inc. and co-founder of StockPickr sharing his personal insights on branding and continues with hilarious sets performed by three of the comedy world’s most talented and recognized young comedians.

“This event is an opportunity for creatives and executives who work in financial advertising as well as on the brand side to take an evening off, connect with their peers, hear James’ perspectives on branding and perhaps take life a little less seriously with the help of these talented comedians,” said Scott Rose, Executive Director, Midas Awards.

Altucher will take to the stage to discuss his unique views on Branding based on his experience as a successful entrepreneur, investor, and writer. He has started and run more than 20 companies, some which failed, several of which he sold for large exits, in addition to also running venture capital funds, hedge funds and angel funds. “Effective branding is about doing,” said James Altucher, “it’s about showing that the brand and the customer can communicate honestly, that they understand each other and that they relate by speaking directly to each other in a two-way conversation. Brands can create conversations by being their authentic self, by showing their true personality, by honestly revealing what’s important about the brand and what is of interest to their audience. Tools like youthful advertising and comedy have proven to be instrumental in creating an authentic conversation and developing a relationship with consumers where brand speak and listen.”

The author of eleven books including the motivational bestseller, “Choose Yourself,” Altucher has inspired people both in person through hundreds of events and through weekly Q&A Twitter sessions on topics including money, stress, fear, and much more. His writing has appeared in major national media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, ABC, Elephant Journal, Tech Crunch, Forbes, and CNBC. Altucher’s blog, The Altucher Confidential, has attracted more than 10 million readers since its launch in 2010.

Also Performing at Funny Money:

Stand Up comedian, Yamaneika Saunders has been featured on NBC's Last Comic Standing and AXS TV's Gotham Comedy Live, and competed on Season 2 of Jeff Ross's Roast Battle on Comedy Central. She co-starred in Oxygen's Funny Girls, a docu-series. Saunders was a series regular on Comedy Central's animated online series In Security and has been a guest star on numerous shows including: The Jim Gaffigan Show, Comedy Central's The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, and TruTV shows Comedy Knockout and Friends of the People. Her voiceover work can be heard on Inside Amy Schumer.

Comedian Joe List has been featured on Conan, The Late Show with David Letterman, and was a finalist on NBC's Last Comic Standing. List had his only half-hour comedy special on Comedy Central and his albums 'So Far No Good' and 'Are You Mad at Me?' can be heard regularly on Sirius Radio. In 2016, he opened for Louis CK on his international tour throughout the USA and Europe including three performances at Madison Square Garden.

Mark Normand, won Caroline’s, NYC’s premier comedy nightclub, March Madness competition winning the top comedian slot over 63 other comedians. Normand has performed in his own Comedy Central half-hour special, appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, TBS’s CONAN, as well as INSIDE AMY SCHUMER, TruTv, Best Week Ever, Last Comic Standing, and @Midnight. He released a Comedy Central album titled "Still Got It." Voted the Village Voice's "Best Comedian of 2013", Mark appeared on “John Oliver’s New York Standup Show” in 2012 on Comedy Central and was picked as one of Comedy Central's "Comics to Watch."

Skitish Media is Midas’ partner in Funny Money. They are a creative agency located at Stand Up NY Comedy Club. Skitish leverages its deep roster of comedic talent to create engaging and funny content for brands.

The web show is presented by Tata Salt, co-sponsored by Godrej Nature’s basket and Thryocare and Cloud Nine as knowledge partner

The first episode of refreshingly original content with captivating and informative videos went live on 8th September’17

Firstpost, India’s largest and the premier platform for digital news, analysis and opinions, has been the front-runner in developing and curating innovative content for its audience. The digital platform has grown significantly in the past years and now, taking its expansive content portfolio a step further, Firstpost.com launched its first ever web show – 9 Months in collaboration with Tickled Media’s theindusparent.com - the largest online content and community platform for parents across Asia. 9 months, India’s first and only comprehensive web series is a one-stop destination that will answer all questions about pregnancy. Presented by Tata Salt, co-presented by Godrej Nature’s basket, Thryocare and Cloud nine as knowledge partner, the first episode went live on 8th September’17 and two new episodes will premiere every Friday on www.firstpost.com and on www.theindusparent.com

Meghna Pant, who is an expecting mother herself, will host the show. The series, 9 months will witness discussions on topics like what changes women can expect in their body throughout pregnancy, the necessary nutrition and exercise required, whether expectant mothers can travel, critical tests and medications to take among many more important topics and also bust myths that have been prevailing over the years. The show also features an enthralling ‘Cookout series’, where women are led through interesting recipes to tackle those pregnancy cravings.

Speaking about the launch, Azim Lalani, Business head, Firstpost says, “We at Firstpost consciously work towards generating high consumer engagement by delivering original and quality content to our audiences. Today, with the launch of 9 Months - India’s first and only comprehensive show, I feel certain that we will create a stronger connection with the audience especially expecting mothers. The strategy is to ensure that the original content itself becomes the driving force to garner traffic on the platform."

The digital platform has emerged highest in audience engagement in the month of June’17 and there has been a 300% year-on-year traffic growth, according to comScore reports from June’16 - June’17.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017 00:00

Are brands resilient or fragile?

A while back the MSI series ‘5 Things I Know About Marketing’ featured Scott McDonald, President and CEO of The Advertising Research Foundation. One of his five things was that brand equity is hard to build and hard to shift – except in a negative direction. But is that always true?

Here is what Scott had to say in a bit more detail,

“Brand equity is a deep repository of consumer thoughts and feelings, built up in very slow accretions. This is a laborious process, accomplished through communication and advertising and, most importantly, by delivering on your product promise.”

The last point is a fundamental truth that often seems ignored by many marketers. The product experience will always speak louder than advertising. Remember what David Ogilvy had to say?

“Great marketing only makes a bad product fail faster.”

Even if you have a good product, great marketing simply amplifies what the brand stands for and helps shape how it is experienced. If the experience is not what is expected, or simply bad, then the slow interaction between what the brand says about itself and how it is experienced is undermined.

But what of Scott’s assertion that brand equity is asymmetrical – slow to build, easy to lose? Scott further states that the asymmetry is exacerbated by social media. It feels like these assertions are true but only a few brands seem to suffer the sort of swift decline suggested. I looked at data on over 5,500 brands measured across a five year time frame in BrandZ and only a fraction of brands declined in a big way. Biggest loser? Nokia. To Scott’s point, the brand was built over time by experience and communication but got sidelined when a new product redefined the category and Nokia failed to keep adapting.

If a strong brand is built on a strong business then that business has to screw up pretty badly for many people to change their minds about it. One of Scott’s other points is that people, at best, pay partial attention to brands. He is right. The sad truth is that people do not care that much about most brands and only think about them when something goes wrong. But that something has to be personal. Something that affects the individual in a way they care about. Then they will complain about their poor experience but until others feel the pain as well the damage will likely be limited.

I believe strong brands built on a great experience are more resilient than Scott suggests but what do you think? Can you suggest brands that really did screw up and went into decline? Please share your thoughts.


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

Gaana, India’s favourite music streaming app, has launched a first-of-its-kind platform to promote non-film music from artists under the brand ‘Gaana Originals’.

The platform will provide mainstream reach to music artists to launch their Original content at the same scale of a film-based music.

The first single under Gaana Originals, 'Tum Hardafa Ho', composed and sung by renowned music composer and singer Ankit Tiwari has already garnered about 1 million streams in 5 days. This puts it in the same league as most popular film songs on Gaana like Mere Rashke Qamar, Chalti Hai Kya 9 se 12, Tamma Tamma Again, Badri Ki Dulhaniya, et al. This is a new record, which also proves that audience appreciation for independent music is paramount, provided discovery and accessibility for such songs are simplified as done by Gaana.

Gaana under its ‘Originals’ platform is attempting to reimagine trends in music listening by establishing a platform to promote creativity and move beyond film-based song compositions. This is the first time ever that artists are being provided a platform to showcase their ingenuity.

Gaana Originals will feature 11 original songs from top Bollywood/Regional artists releasing one song a week. It will showcase ingenious works from best of the Bollywood & Punjabi singers like Sonu Nigam, Shaan, Ankit Tiwari, Neha Kakkar, Sona Mohpatra, Tony Kakkar, Millind Gaba, Sonu Kakkar, Gurnazar, Sachin Gupta and Soham.

Prashan Agawarl, COO, Gaana said, “It is a proud moment for Gaana to launch a platform to help artists launch non-film music in India. Unlike international markets, most music consumption in India is still Bollywood centric and this is our initiative to empower artists.”

Ankit Tiwari said, “As a composer, Original music is very important for me and many of us in this creative field. I really want to thank Gaana for giving us the platform to feature and showcase our independent work, it really means a lot to me. Also, it is so good to see that song has already crossed 1 million playouts on Gaana in just 5 days – growing much faster than compared to few top Bollywood film songs”.

One of world’s leading, most iconic brands-Puma has decided to partner with the DDB Mudra Group for the brand’s creative mandate in India. Under this partnership, the agency will be responsible for the creative strategy and execution for Puma’s marketing communication in India.

Puma has been designing, developing, selling and marketing footwear, apparel and accessories, for over 65 years. Following a long term mission of becoming the most desirable Sport Lifestyle Company, Puma distributes its products in more than 120 countries including India, where it’s the fastest growing sports lifestyle brand. It has also brought on board, India’s best known sports personality, Virat Kohli as a brand ambassador.

, “We firmly believed in new age media and have constantly strived to create our own differentiated patterns and modules; to engage with our consumers. I am confident that our partnership with DDB will help us create more resonance with our customers and bring forward the true spirit of our brand.”

The business will be led by Ranji Cherian, President and Managing Partner, DDB Mudra South and Vishnu Srivatsav, Creative Head, DDB Mudra South.

Quoting on the win, Ranji Cherian, President and Managing Partner, DDB Mudra South said “We intend to bring Puma’s unique voice to life in the sports and lifestyle category. It’s a prestigious account win for us, and a great canvas for our own capabilities and creativity. We’re relishing the challenge and the opportunity to be Puma’s partner in embedding itself in India’s consideration and culture.”


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