MediAvataar's News Desk

MediAvataar's News Desk

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Changes are in keeping with developing business needs and investment in talent development

Coca-Cola India announced the appointment of Asha Sekhar as its Vice President & Chief Digital Officer, India and South West Asia. In this newly created leadership role, which focuses on the company’s journey towards digital transformation, Asha will build foundations necessary for business growth, drive opportunities and strengthen Coca-Cola India’s digital ecosystem. In addition to her new responsibilities, Asha will continue to lead the media and allied marketing functions.

Announcing the elevation, T. Krishnakumar, President, Coca-Cola India & South West Asia, said, "Digitalization is disrupting all industries and redefining the ways companies connect, engage ,communicate and do business. Asha’s expertise in delivering consumer-focused digital experience will help in our journey towards becoming more relevant and future ready.”

 “This new addition to the leadership team of Coca-Cola in India is designed to address developing business needs and reinforces our commitment towards investing in diversity and talent development”, he added.

Asha Sekhar, who will report to Coca-Cola India and South West Asia’s President T Krishnakumar, is a Coca-Cola veteran and has spent over 13 years with the company. In her previous role, as Director - Media, Coca-Cola India & South West Asia, she was pivotal in setting up a separate media function to efficiently leverage marketing efforts in an increasingly complex media landscape.

As a core part of the marketing function, Asha has been a significant change agent for driving media strategy. Some of her many significant achievements include, the inception and later scale-up of Samvaad, an in-house digital experience center for Coca-Cola in India, that delivers consumer centricity for Coca-Cola’s brands, company and customers. She has also delivered some ‘industry-first’ pioneering projects and driven strategic media partnerships.

Prior to this, she worked for over a decade with WPP, Universal McCann, Madison and Mudra, managing media businesses for leading brands. She has developed multi-level engagement with all key segments of the dynamic media landscape ranging from technology platforms to content distributors.

Zenith has bagged the media duties of Welspun India’s domestic business. Welspun Group is one of India’s fastest growing conglomerates with a net worth of $2.3 billion. The business was won following a rigorous multi-agency pitch.

The mandate includes media investment and strategic partnership across print, television & radio.

Tanmay Mohanty, Group CEO, Zenith India says, “Welspun group is one of India’s fastest growing conglomerates and we are pleased to be chosen as the strategic partner for the domestic business of Welspun India. Zenith brings in powerful, integrated communications at scale and we look forward to harnessing our rich capabilities in tech, data, content and analytics for them. We were able to demonstrate a strong understanding of Welspun’s consumers and how we can exceed their business objectives. Zenith looks forward to making a real difference to the Welspun brand, and will cement and support their expansion plans.”

Commenting on the association, Manjari Upadhye, CEO, Welspun India – Domestic Business said, “Welspun India focuses on offering thoughtful living to its consumers. With the domestic brand SPACES, Welspun India is promoting thoughtfulness through home décor. Zenith specialises in transformative, effective and data-driven communications which will be integral to our strategy of building a robust domestic offering through our brand SPACES.”

A US$ 2.3 billion Welspun Group has a global presence in home textiles and large diameter line pipes, and with the infrastructure business in India. The Group has a global presence in over 50 countries with over 26,000 employees across geographies.

Sunday, 23 September 2018 00:00

Innovation trends for effective marketing

WARC, the global authority on advertising and media effectiveness, has today released the Effective Innovation Report 2018, highlighting key trends of the world's most original marketing thinking.

Drawn from the winners of the Effective Innovation category of this year's international WARC Awards, a global search for next-generation marketing effectiveness, the report showcases innovative thinking that has transformed a business or disrupted category conventions to deliver tangible results.

WARC's Lucy Aitken, Managing Editor, Case Studies, comments: "Following our analysis of the metadata around all the entries, we see that despite the considerable challenges presented by innovation, it is an increasingly popular and effective way for brands to grow."

WARC's Effective Innovation Report highlights four key trends that provide valuable lessons to the advertising industry of marketing innovation that works:

Innovation that appeals to influencers

Many of the top-performing campaigns were designed with sharing among millennial influencers in mind to improve organic reach via their personal networks.

"Persuading these communities to invest their influence on your behalf is an acid test of a marketing team's preparation and ingenuity", comments jury chair Christopher Yu, VP Integrated Marketing Strategy, Innovation, and Technology, U.S. Bank.

Campaigns that disrupted received ideas of how to engage millennials and the value of doing so include: Grand Prix winner '7-Second Resumes' for the Ad Council by 22squared, USA; 'Denmark vs. Trump' for Danish political party Socialistisk Folkeparti by UncleGrey; and BBC Asian Network's campaign '100% Asian. 100% British' by MullenLowe London.

"Each demonstrated a clear grasp of Gen Y's digitally native expectations without indulging in technical showboating", added Yu.

Innovation that builds brand equity

Innovation can be an efficient and effective way to build and strengthen a brand's appeal by problem-solving, bringing the brand closer to its purpose.

"Innovation is not about the wacky or the weird, but instead should come from context and build brand equity," says jury member Kate Smither, Chief Strategy Integration Officer, Publicis Communications Australia.

"Innovation is fast becoming a tool modern marketing can use to build brands from equity out, not from technology in," continued Smither.

Stand out campaigns that used brand-led innovation to build brand equity, demonstrating to consumers how they could fulfil their promise or purpose include: 'Odds' for adidas by Taproot India; Pril's 'One-Drop Bottle' and Nissan's 'Camelpower' both by TBWA\RAAD, UAE.

Product-led innovation that drives growth

Innovating thorough products is a popular way for brands to strengthen their appeal and stand-out to attract new customers.

"This year's winners show how changing your product can drive growth and bring new customers to your brand. Instead of only looking to change other people's behaviour, perhaps we should first change our own," observes jury member Joseph Smeaton, Planning Director, DDB Sydney.

Saregama's 'Carvaan' for older Indian consumers by The Womb, and Royal Caribbean's 'Seek Deeper' by MullenLowe US, that stimulated demand for cruises among a younger crowd by using Snapchat spectacles are good examples.

Utility that helps build connections

Brands benefitted from being 'in service' to their audiences through the creation of useful tools, products and services as opposed to traditional campaigns.

"By starting from a perspective of utility, by being in the service of others, you can reach new audiences, find new relevancy and change perceptions," says juror Howard Pull, Strategic Development Director, MullenLowe Profero.

He cites IDFC's 'Bank in a Box' by McCann Worldgroup as a stellar example of brand utility that helped build connections.

Sunday, 23 September 2018 00:00

Cities are the new nations

New report examines increasing importance of cities as centres of power, and how to influence them

Cities, not nations, are increasingly the focal point for professional marketers, as their economic and cultural power grows, according to a new report from international communications agency, Grayling.

New Nations takes a deep dive into what makes cities tick - where the tastemakers are, where the money is, and the opportunities for marketers to achieve a greater return on their investment by taking a city-centric approach.

In any city, there is a delicate ecosystem of influence and impact

Grayling’s global head of strategic services, Jon Meakin says: “Brands and corporations are waking up to the opportunities inherent in the emergence of cities as ‘the news nations’. But much like countries, no two cities are the same, and it is important to understand the overlapping spheres of influence and how to navigate them.”

The report identifies four ‘nodes of influence’ common to most cities, and the weight of influence and impact each has on the others - and ultimately on city dwellers themselves: The media; social influencers; government; and special interest groups.

“The relative weight of these influences varies from city to city,” adds Meakin. “Understanding how to break in to these complex networks requires intelligence, insights and connections.”

Jonathan Shillington, Managing Director, Middle East says: “Successful marketers must recognize the power inherent in ‘the new nations’, and understand the care and attention required to leverage the different nodes of influence. Here in the Gulf this is so important, with such distinguishing social and economic characteristics in each of the region’s great cities requiring tailored local communications approaches to achieve impact. Worryingly this is not always appreciated by international brands targeting the Middle East.”

New Nations is part of Grayling’s ‘Advantage Series’, a research and insights programme that addresses some of the major reputational, regulatory and communication challenges facing organisations today.

Saturday, 22 September 2018 00:00

Interbrand strengthens India leadership

Lajja Marjadi as Executive Creative Director; Kiran Jadhav joins as Creative Director 

Interbrand India today announced the appointment of Lajja Marjadi as Executive Creative Director and Kiran Jadhav as Creative Director. Holding key portfolios, Marjadi will be responsible for bringing strategic creative direction to the agency’s regional operations, ably assisted by Jadhav.

“Interbrand India is the youngest within the global network, and yet has been the fastest growing one. We have the top 5 branding assignments of the decade as our showreel. Our engagements of Godrej, Mahindra Global Brand, JIO, Infosys and Britannia have made us the leading Brand Consultancy in India. I am confident that with Kiran and Lajja on board, the next decade will be a remarkable journey too. Kiran’s expertise in applying the principles of design to insights into consumer behavior coupled with Lajja’s rich background in bringing alive the top F&B brands of the country, will hold us in good stead as we look to expand our horizons on pursuing new relationships,” said Ashish Mishra, Managing Director – Interbrand India about the appointments.

Marjadi said on the occasion, “My area of focus has been the food & beverage space. And in this new role, I am confident that I will be able to bring the thinking to a wider spectrum off clients. This is going to be an exciting phase, and I am looking forward to it.”

Speaking about his new role, Jadhav said, “Interbrand has been showcasing some cutting-edge work across the world, and it is a great opportunity for me to lead the company in India. I am looking forward to some exciting times ahead.”

Lajja comes with over 20 years of experience in marrying space design and visual appeal; her body of work include high-end restaurant projects like Olive Bar & Kitchen, Fatty Bao, Ek Bar 212 All Good, The Bandra Project & The Runway Project by PE as also restaurants in New York and Sydney. Her repertoire extends to fashion (Hello, Femina) and diverse lifestyle brands like Taj Jiva, Kuoni Travels and Viari Retail. Kiran Jadhav, a Post Graduate from National Institute of Design has moved into the role of Creative Director and will report into Lajja Marjidi. With a decade and a half experience, Jadhav has worked on some prestigious and unique assignments including the redesign of India’s morning staple – The Times of India newspaper across cities. In addition, he has worked with clients across industries including Hindustan Unilever, Future Group, Dr. Reddy’s, Bacardi, ITC, Safari Luggage, Mahindra Two Wheelers, Mahindra Tractors, Tata Nourisco, Amul, Caratlane, Organic India and more.

Some of the key relationships at Interbrand India include HP Lubricants, HNB Bank, Anchor by Panasonic, Vaibhav Jewellers, Bajaj CV, Britannia, Jain Farm Fresh, Unimoni formerly known as UAE Exchange, DIMO & Haldiram’s. Both Jadhav and Marjadi will be based out of Mumbai. Interbrand India has also worked with brands like Godrej, Jio, Infosys, Mahindra and Bajaj Auto to become India’s top branding consultancy.

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