MediAvataar's News Desk

MediAvataar's News Desk

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Thursday, 27 December 2018 00:00

Brands! Take a stand! But do so with caution

The modern day consumer cares about a brand’s products often as much as they care about what a brand stands for, what the brand does and what it communicates. As mainstream brands progressively move towards communicating their position on social, community and even political issues, through advertising, messaging and influential celebrity endorsements, YouGov looked into what consumers feel about this approach.

A recent YouGov survey reveals more than three-fourth (76%) surveyed respondents feel it is important for brands they like/follow to have a point of view on issues related to society. This comes across as being more important amongst people aged above 30 years (80%) as compared to those who are under 30 (72%).

Interestingly, over half the respondents believe that brands should take a stand only on issues that are either relevant at the moment (58%) or that are relevant to the brand itself (52%). On the other hand, a third (34%) feel brands should refrain from expressing their views on political/ social issues. This emerges strongly for those in the age group of 18-29 years, with 37% of them looking at this in a negative light.

Why should brands talk?

When asking those who feel it is important for brands to have an opinion on society-related issues, three-fourth respondents feel brands are obliged to do so as they are able to reach out to the mass public. Close to half said they want to know who they are giving their money to (47%) and like to support brands that share similar values as theirs and lastly they like those brands that aren’t afraid to say what they think (44%). Consumers put a lot of emphasis on their personal values and this association extends to their choice of brands as well. Close to a quarter (23%) stated turning away from businesses who have values they disagree with.

Do celebrities help?

Speaking about celebrity endorsements, around 60% respondents believe a celebrity’s stand on a controversial topic can impact a brand they endorse. 46% went on to say they would distance themselves from a brand whose endorser is involved in a controversy. This thought is dominant among men (48%) and those above 30 years old (51%).

Half the respondents feel brands should hire celebrities who are outspoken and have strong views/opinions, 28% feel brands should just hire the most popular face for endorsement irrespective of the celebrity’s personal views, while 21% feel diplomatic celebrities would make as best endorsers for brands.

What should brands talk about?

Environmental issues, Education, Human rights and Health awareness emerged as the top areas respondents find acceptable for brands to communicate their point of view on through marketing campaigns. Women felt more strongly about these issues compared to men. It is interesting to note that for a little over a fourth of young adults (27%) in the age bracket of 18-29 years, LGBTQ rights is an area they would like brands to express their views on.

Political opinions are the least favoured area for people to accept a brand’s stand on, and this was resonant across all demographics.

Talking about their own behaviour towards brands that take a stand on certain issues, close to 60% claimed they would be more likely to buy from brands that express views they are personally in agreement with. This was the strongest among the 30+ demographic (62%) and women (61%). 56% also feel it will enhance their loyalty towards the brand and would make them publically praise the brand. Interestingly brand loyalty goes further than just the love of a product, with 49% indicating that a brand’s opinion on a specific agenda could influence their opinion.

So should brands take a stand?

While there is strong support for brands voicing their opinions, 63% also believe that brands are guilty of taking advantage of social issues to promote themselves and exploit their audiences, with women feeling this more strongly compared to men. For a little over a quarter, trusting a brand’s point of view depends entirely on the social/ political issue at hand (28%) and the fact that they promote a message regardless of the overall impact on the brand itself (27%).

Lastly, when it comes to taking a stand on an issue, consumers in India would like to see brands sharing examples of their support/ action towards the social causes (46%), followed by brands rolling out marketing campaigns in support of the cause (44%) and finally encouraging followers to take action (44%), come out as the most effective ways for brands to take a stand.

To conclude, although people do want brands to take a stance on issues affecting society, they would want to see more action taken by the brands towards a cause rather than them just advocating a message around it and adding to the noise. Interestingly, the 30+ year olds hold very strong opinions on whether brands should take a stand on issues and there clearly lies a gap in trust with 66% stating brands take advantage of social issues for publicity. People belonging to this demographic hold their values close to them and their purchase decisions are influenced by the same. They are more likely to buy from brands that express views that they personally believe in (62%) and 46% went on to say they would stop buying from brands that have views they disagree with. So strong is their value set that they would even distance themselves from brands whose celebrity endorsers are involved in controversies.

Commenting on this, Deepa Bhatia, general Manager, YouGov India, said, “Our data suggests that while a majority of the people like a brand to take a stand on issues affecting society, they also display a lack of trust on the brands’ true intentions while doing so. Overall, it appears consumers want brands to take action and establish their stand on an issue, rather than just advocating a message. Indian consumers hold their value systems close to heart and are more likely to purchase from brands whose views are aligned with their personal beliefs and values. It is therefore crucial for brands to understand the value systems their target audience is most likely to associate with and to use data to choose not just the right message and action but also the right brand ambassador.”


Data collected online by YouGov Omnibus among 1,010 respondents in India between 28th November-5th December, 2018 using YouGov’s panel of over 6 million people worldwide. Data is broadly representative of the adult online population in the country.

Continuing its last year’s roaring success, Rider’s Music Festival has yet again managed to grab the attention of Delhiites!

On its way to becoming India’s biggest biking music festival, this year the Riders Music Festival (RMF) showcased a perfect line-up of contemporary musicians with different genres of music at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi. From Nucleya’s high octane gig, Lucky Ali’s husky Bollywood charm to Mame Khan’s folk music, Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium saw over 20 thousand biking and music enthusiasts! Adding jazz to the line-up, was Shirley Setia’s filmy vocals with Divine’s new-age rapping and some soulful music with Bhuvam Bham. Strategically placed as the weekender before Christmas amidst Delhi’s winter, RMF brought forth the best of everything!

With more than 30 brand associations and partnerships, 16 + artists and multiple experience zones including flea markets, gaming arena, adventure zones Riders Music Festival is a joint intellectual property by RED FM and Phoenix Live. A two day long action-packed event combining the best of music and motorcycles of course, the festival began with biking groups riding to the event on both days. The venue was flooded with an interesting myriad of grub stations and food trucks to tantalize tastebuds and mixologies of the best concoction for the guests who were present. With tarot card reading counters, bike stunt shows and customizations the guests were left truly mesmerized.

Commenting on the culmination of the event Nisha Narayanan, COO, RED FM said, “The amount of passion shown by the bikers last year at the Riders Music Festival sealed the deal and this year we were back with a bang. To be able to let out, relax, have some delicious food, listen to your favourite musicians and showcase your passion through breath-taking stunts, made for a conducive experience. The first year of Riders Music Festival was a huge success. We knew we had to come back, but with even higher energies. The artists who performed were very carefully hand-picked as we want the festival to be both for the biking as well as non-biking community. It is ‘the one-stop destination for everyone and we are truly grateful for the phenomenal response the fest has received this year too.”

The Riders Music Festival was a wholesome event fulfilling the needs of people with different preferences and of varied age groups. RED FM as a property prides itself in providing entertainment on and off air whether it’s bringing the audience closer to their favourite celebrities or conducting largescale events. For all those who missed it this time, start greasing your bikes to catch the festival next year.


Hindustan newspaper concludes ‘Roz Padho, Roz Jeeto’, Hindi newspaper industry’s innovation.

With the increase in media consumption and emergence of ever-new formats, advertisers are constantly struggling to get the attention of consumers. From simple solutions like contests and teasers to complex innovations, Hindustan has always worked with its advertisers to create value. In yet another first, Hindustan launched an initiative to create buzz and engage its readers with the advertisements appearing in the newspaper daily. 

Called "RozPadho Roz Jeeto", the contest is simple yet effective! Readers have to find a star mnemonic that appears in the advertisements in the Hindustan every day and SMS the name of the advertiser on which the star appeared, to Hindustan. Respondents stand to win attractive daily, weekly and monthly prizes such as sports bags, travel flask, serving bowls, cookware etc. There are even laptops to be won as Mega prizes and a Car as the Grand prize!

"As leaders in our field, we have always strived to innovate and set new benchmarks. We believe the advertisements are an important part of the newspaper, and this contest increases engagement with the ads, and the response has been quite remarkable," says Vandana Krishnia, Brand Head, HT Media.

Saurabh Sharma, Head Hindustan Marketing, added "Roz Padho Roz Jeeto is a unique initiative undertaken by Hindustan, which helps in building brand recall and creating buzz around the brand, and cuts across both consumers and customers. With more than 5 lakh reader responses in just 6 weeks, the activity brings a lot of attention and belief in the strength of Hindustan across the Indo-Gangetic belt we operate in"

Promoted every day in the paper through innovative ads, the promo has generated buzz amongst the readers as well as the advertiser fraternity.

Brand choice is driven primarily by emotion and feeling. People don’t make brand choices based on logical, persuasive marketing arguments (as many in our industry still like to believe), rather the more you feel for a brand, the more likely you are to buy it. But is this equally true for all product categories?

By now we should all know that people tend to choose brands quickly– using their intuitive brains - rather than slowly, methodically and rationally using their deliberative brains. Fast thinking, our instinctive and emotional response to a brand, guides our purchase decisions. But does this imply that our deliberative thought has no influence on the purchase decision at all?

If nothing else, there are product categories where people do seem to think it is important to check out the comparative merits of different brands. A quick look at differences between categories in BrandZ finds that people are far more likely to research or shop online for some product categories than others. The mere act of researching something online implies a degree of deliberation.

When it comes to choosing a bank, I suspect few of us would be content to make a decision based purely on gut feel. In fact, most people do report that they research choices online, ask friends and colleagues for advice, check out rates and fees and so on. In other words, they deliberate on their decision. Even in the supermarket people are forced to make decisions occasionally, for instance, buying for a different need or occasion, someone else, or their habitual choice is out of stock. Even the obvious impact of price promotions suggests that a proportion of people are paying attention to the alternatives available to them and not just buying purely on instinct and habit.

Returning to banking it is possible that people will simply go with the brand for which they have the strongest affinity, but my suspicion is that many will want some proof that they are making the right choice. Santander in the UK called their new 123 Current Account a “blockbuster product” precisely because it gave people a reason to think again about why they might choose Santander. If they had not done so, the bank’s previous poor reputation would have prevented many people choosing it.

Santander needed some credible reason for people to change their attitude toward the brand. I doubt very much that people remembered much about the new account beyond the fact that it paid them money back if they paid their utility bills online but that was enough to get them thinking ‘I better check it out’. Would their subsequent investigation be independent of their emotional response? Absolutely not. But without that initial challenge I doubt people would have included Santander in their consideration set. And besides, academic evidence suggests that if people have an easy rationale for why they made a choice they will be more satisfied with it than if they cannot easily explain their decision.

But what do you think? Are there categories where purchasing really is all about people’s emotional response? What about salty snacks or ice cream?


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

Sunday, 23 December 2018 00:00

Segmenting The Spirits Of Christmas

Christmas is an important time of year for the alcohol industry in the U.K., as off-trade alcohol sales over the 12 weeks of Christmas account for around a sixth of all Christmas fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sales and a third of total annual off-trade alcohol sales. While the festive trading period has always been important, shoppers spent £116m (+2.6%) more on alcohol during Christmas last year than they did the year before—and we expect that figure rise over this festive season.

For drinks manufacturers, reaching their audience with the right ad mix at Christmas is crucial. This can be challenging, as data from Nielsen Media Impact reveals that there is no “average” alcohol buyer. You wouldn’t get a round in without asking which drink each individual preferred, so we’ve outlined some key segmentation tips for brands looking to understand how and where to reach their specific alcohol buyers to gain the upper hand this Christmas.


The Beer Shopper tends to be from a larger household with children, which is less affluent and younger than the average alcohol shopper at Christmas. Beer drinkers watch less TV than other alcohol buyers, but when they do, the top channels they’re watching include E4 and Sky One. Beer shoppers are more likely to be found online on sites such as eBay, Facebook community pages, LinkedIn and YouTube.

The Champagne Shopper tends to come from more affluent households. They are a smaller group, with a strong buyership from 35-44 year olds. Champagne shoppers are strongly represented in southern parts of the U.K.—London is key, along with the South and South East, while Scotland is a key area for Champagne at Christmas. Champagne buyers like to watch Dave, Sky One and E4, and the online sites they’re most likely to browse include Amazon, BBC News and Twitter.

The Gin Shopper tends to come from a more affluent, older, smaller household and are broadly located in the northern parts of the U.K.: the North East, Lancashire/border areas and Scotland. Gin shoppers spend more time watching TV than Champagne and beer buyers, with ITV2, Dave and E4 among their favourite channels. Gin shoppers can be found online on sites such as Amazon and eBay.

The Whisky Shopper shares some similarities with gin shoppers, as they tend to be from older, smaller households, yet there is a strong bias in whisky toward the older 65+ single household. Whisky shoppers tend to be from less affluent households compared with gin and average alcohol buyers and can be found watching Sky Sports, More 4, E4, Spike and 5 Star.

The Wine Shopper shares some similarities with Gin shoppers, as they are generally from more affluent, two-to-four-member households and 45+. Wine buyers are consuming more content online than on TV, and can be found on sites such as Amazon, IMDB, TripAdvisor and eBay. When they do watch TV, BBC News and Comedy Central come out on top.

The Vodka Shopper tends to be found in less-affluent, smaller households, aged 35-44 years old. They are located in the Northern parts of the U.K. (Central and North Scotland and the Lancashire/Borders). Vodka drinkers watch less TV than others; instead, they’re much more likely to be found online on sites such as YouTube, Facebook Messenger, eBay, Instagram, PayPal and Twitter.


Written by By Melissa Cooper, Senior Client Manager at Nielsen

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