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Economy Will Fuel Spending Surge This Holiday Season

The holiday season is almost upon us and a recent study The Harris Poll conducted with OpenX uncovered strong consumer confidence metrics that should translate at the cash register this year as more than 80% of consumers plan to spend the same or more on gifts this holiday season than they did in 2017.

The surge in shopping intent is in keeping with the mindset of today’s consumer. Most consumers feel the economy is doing better today than it was a year ago, and 75% feel it will get even better next year. 41% of millennials, more than any other group, plan to spend more this year.

According to the report, while this is good news for marketers, brands still need to pay attention to certain consumer behaviors in order to make the most of this holiday season. How shoppers consume content, research products and ultimately make purchases is changing significantly, posing opportunities for brand marketers to adapt in order to better engage consumers in today’s highly fragmented media environment.

55% of consumers are on their smartphones for at least three hours a day, and more than a third of millennials and one out of four parents spend 6+ hours on their smartphones daily. 25% of consumers watch no live TV. Millennials watch less than half as much live TV as the average consumer.

As content consumption habits shift further online and into mobile, shopping habits are shifting as well, and it is more important than ever to build omnichannel engagement programs that meet consumers where they are watching content, and where they are choosing to make their holiday purchases. With consumers taking greater control over when, how and where they shop, mobile and digital shopping have now reached parity with in-store shopping and consumers plan on spending nearly an identical amount in-store and online.

Millennials and individuals making more than $100k year both over index towards digital and plan to do more total shopping online than in a physical location, and millennials and parents are inclined to shop from their mobile devices, with both groups expecting to make about one-quarter of their purchases on mobile devices.

“Consumers are confident and plan to spend this holiday season,” said Dallas Lawrence, Chief Brand Officer at OpenX. “The big changes we see this year involves how shoppers consume content and how they plan to spend their holiday dollars. The shift away from traditional television content to mobile is fueling a strong surge in mobile holiday shopping this year. Whether it’s the 1 out of 4 consumers who now make mobile purchases weekly from bed at night or the 10 percent who are now using smart speakers to help research holiday purchases, consumers are shopping in new and unique ways, relying on mobile in particular, and advertisers that have developed smart omni-channel strategies to reach the always on shopper will have the happiest holiday returns.”

The survey also highlighted changing consumer perceptions around key shopping events like Black Friday. Less than half of consumers believe Black Friday is the best day to get deals, and many consumers have strong negative associations with the day, with 60 percent finding it overwhelming. Most consumers say they plan to skip what has traditionally been the biggest shopping day of the year all together in 2018.


Source:The Harris Poll

Objective of the Campaign

The Honda City, with its 20 year legacy, has been one of the most celebrated sedans in the country. For over 7.35 lakh customers, the City is the symbol that best resonates with their stature and world view.

The objective of this campaign was to drive consideration by re-affirming the leadership high ground of the Honda City with young sedan intenders.

Brief received from the Client

For over 20 years, the Honda City has consistently built relevance for sedan intenders. The task for this campaign, therefore, was to appeal to the desires and ambitions of the younger, progressive, more assertive Indian.


When we observed and understood young sedan intenders, we found that they aren’t swayed by mere style and glamour. Gravitas sans personality isn’t an option either. They aspire to have a point of view that’s decidedly worlds ahead, they aren’t content to follow but want to assert their leadership and are more confident than ever about demonstrating that stance and presence to the rest of the world.

The idea, therefore, was to pitch the Honda City as the sedan of choice for this customer. Given the rich legacy of leadership in the category, the unmistakable stamp of credibility, substance and style that comes with a Honda, the City stands tall as the perfect companion for our customer to assert his/her identity.

The campaign, ‘Forget the Toys’ is a statement that’s reflective of not being swayed by superficial pomp and making choices that are truly in keeping with one’s ambitions – and that make one stand head and shoulders above the rest. The campaign is led by a film that shows the protagonist looking down at the cars below from his high office.

We hear the man’s voice saying, From here, they all seem like toys… they watch you, they copy you and pretend to be you… but you know, deep down they all know, they can never be you.

The campaign was initiated by impactful OOH advertising across India and the TVC is On Air from 15th Sep along with a full Digital marketing plan.

Rajesh Goel, Sr VP and Director, Sales and Marketing, Honda Cars India said, “The new campaign of Honda City has been rolled out during the peak festival buying season. The campaign celebrates the aura of the Honda City being the most aspirational car brand with a 20 year legacy, over 7.35 lakh customers and has been an epitome of quality. It resonates aptly with the City buyer who makes his smart choices and is more direct and assertive about them.”

Titus Upputuru, National Creative Director, Dentsu One said, “I was standing in my office by the window when this idea struck me. When you look at the world below, you see that everything is so tiny. The ad then sort of wrote by itself. It’s a bold stance and we thought it’s time the brand had a clear perspective on the world around. Only Honda City could say ‘Forget the Toys”

Abhinav Kaushik, Executive Vice President, Dentsu One said, “The Honda City is a true legend that needs no introduction. It is one of the longest running brands in India and therefore keeping the client brief in mind we looked at the brand truth and played on its unique rich legacy, thereby clearly asserting its leadership position. There is a lot of pride in owning a Honda City among the consumers and this pride has been well reflected in the campaign.”

At the board meeting of The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) held today, Mr. D. Shivakumar, Group Executive President, Corporate Strategy at Aditya Birla Group was unanimously elected as the Chairman of the Board of ASCI.

As the member of the Board of Governors for three years, supporting self-regulation, Mr. Shivakumar is an accomplished business leader having spent over 19 years in sales, marketing and general management positions across consumer products and the luxury industry.

Mr. Rohit Gupta, President - Network Sales & International Business, Sony Pictures Networks India Pvt Ltd, was elected as the Vice-Chairman and Mr. Shashidhar Sinha, CEO, Media Brands Pvt Ltd, was re-appointed as the Honorary Treasurer.

Members of the Board of Governors include; Mr. Harish Bhat (Director, Tata Global Beverages Ltd.), Mr Subhash Kamath (Managing Partner, BBH Communications India Pvt Ltd), Mr. Sandeep Kohli (Executive Director & Vice President for Personal Care Hindustan Unilever Ltd), Prof S.K. Palekar (Adjunct Professor & Advisor – Executive Education Institute of Management Technology), Mr. N.S. Rajan (Managing Director, Ketchum Sampark Pvt Ltd), Mr. K.V. Sridhar (Founder & Chief Creative Officer (Director), Hyper Collective Creative Technologies Pvt Ltd), Ms. Abanti Sankaranarayanan (Former Vice Chairperson, CIABC), Mr. Girish Agarwal (Director, Dainik Bhaskar Group), Mr. Madhusudan Gopalan (CEO, Procter & Gamble Hygiene and Health Care Ltd.), Mr. Prasun Basu (President - South Asia Nielsen (India) Pvt. Ltd.), Mr. Sivakumar Sundaram (President- Revenue Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd), Mr. Vikas Agnihotri (Director Sales, Google India Pvt. Ltd.), Mr. Umesh Shrikhande (CEO, Taproot India Comm. P. Ltd.).

Ms. Abanti Sankaranarayanan, the outgoing Chairman, ASCI, said, “2017-18 has been another strong year for ASCI as we have made significant advancements towards building our organizational muscle, external credibility and strong collaborations. Our stringent guidelines, seamless processes and the dedication and hardwork of our Consumer Complaints Council have contributed to restricting the use of misleading advertisements and enhance self regulation. ASCI’s momentous achievements for the year include successful completion of three year-long collaboration with Department of Consumer Affairs, renewal of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Food Safety Standards Authority of India, introduction of “Guidelines for Celebrities in Advertising” and inclusion in AYUSH’s Empowered Committee to control misleading ads of AYUSH drugs. As the Chairman for ASCI for the year 2017-18,

I am extremely proud to be a part of this journey and I am confident that under Shivakumar’s Chairmanship ASCI will continue to grow swiftly and steadily.”

The incoming Chairman, Mr. D. Shivakumar, said, “I want to thank Abanti for her stewardship. We live in changing times with respect to information, media and trust of society. ASCI has been built on the foundation of self-regulation and the wisdom of the previous chairmen and the board. It’s my privilege to do the role now”.

The Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) established by ASCI is an independent body (majority of its members drawn from civil society members like consumer activists, lawyers, doctors, educationists), the CCC met 47 times during the year and deliberated on complaints against 2641 advertisements. Complaints against 1177 advertisements were upheld, while for 483 they were not upheld. The significant increase in the number of complaints as compared to 2016-17 numbers (2300) is largely due to ASCI’s Suo Moto Monitoring project viz. National Advertisement Monitoring Services (NAMS). The Independent Review Process (IRP) received a very favourable response and 30 IRPs were conducted during this year.

In the age of digital disruption, every company needs to think differently about their business – both to grow beyond their core markets, and to head off competition from new entrants. But often the exact skills that helped companies succeed in the past prevent them from finding success in the future. At Xerox we have reinvented the company multiple times as technologies and markets change over time.

While today’s chapter in our history is still being written, we have found several ways to think differently about our business. These six insights may be helpful to other companies with a similar need to transform and grow beyond their core business.

1) Focus on what your customers want, not what you make

Your customers buy from you for a variety of reasons, the most important is that you help them achieve the outcomes they want. But it’s all too easy to lose sight of that and focus only on improving your product or service to keep up with competitors. This tunnel vision can prevent you from helping your customers achieve their outcomes in new and better ways and exposes you to new entrants that have figured this out.

With this mindset, you focus on how to deliver your core value to your customers in new ways. For instance, auto manufacturers will still be around in the future, but they are starting to define themselves as “mobility services companies.” They will increasingly deliver transportation as a service that meets the needs of young people who have little interest in car ownership.

2) Innovate in business models, not just technologies

It’s also important to create business models that make it easier for your customers to adopt new products faster. The original growth story of Xerox with the plain paper copier was as much a business model innovation as it was a new technology. Xerox launched the product with a leasing model to make it easier for customers to buy an expensive piece of office equipment that was unknown at the time. This is an especially important consideration with new technologies, because they are often expensive to produce until they can gain economies of scale. In mature markets, a business model innovation can also change the value proposition, and competitive dynamics, in an industry that has shifted focus from features to outcomes.

3) Create a unifying vision of the future

All of your employees want your company to grow through innovation, and they all have ideas on how best to do it. It can be helpful to create a unifying and directional vision of the future to focus your employees’ ideas and energy. By defining a high-level but actionable vision that is aligned to your strategy, you can harness the creative energy of your employees with greater productivity.

4) Look both “inside out” and “outside in” for new opportunities

There are always many potential directions for innovation, and it can be difficult to evaluate and prioritize a large opportunity space. We have found that one effective approach is to look both “inside out” to apply your core capabilities in new adjacent markets, and “outside in” to identify new digital disruption opportunities sparked by new technologies.

Many companies stop with the “inside out” analysis. But it’s also important to understand how the world is changing to identify emerging, non-obvious market opportunities from the “outside in.” In our analysis, we believe the next major technology revolution is the convergence of the physical and digital worlds. This creates massive opportunities to transform how work gets done.

Our world has reached a critical mass of connected devices, collectively known as “the Internet of Things (IoT).” Sensors and electronics allow machines to perceive the physical world. Now enter machine intelligence, or what some call “narrow AI”, in which machines can understand and make decisions in domains that we have modeled with a high level of fidelity. Now you have a feedback loop that enables real world, real-time optimization. Add to that loop the machine’s ability to work collaboratively with people in knowledge-intensive workflows and learn from us. This area will be a very fertile ground for innovation over the next decade.

5) Break traditional tradeoffs to deliver greater value

With the emergence of digitalization in the age of the Internet of Things and Machine Intelligence, our customers have grown accustomed to personalized experiences that are also low cost. Consider your experience with Amazon, Netflix, Uber or Lyft. Digital natives, who now make up a large percentage of our customers and employees, demand these types of experiences in their personal and work lives.

In every industry, companies have to rethink competitive strategy. Formerly, we were forced to think in binary terms of either high quality or low cost. Digitalization means these tradeoffs no longer exist, because digitization adds the “and” to our strategies, i.e. high quality AND low production costs; personalization AND efficiency. Researchers (and marketers) have to rethink how we deliver on the “and” promise.

6) Adopt agile and open innovation

Inherent in the act of pursuing new markets is a lack of historical data to plan for the future. Innovation for new markets requires a human-centered, agile process that focuses on rapid learning and iteration, with explicit hypotheses and experiments to create new business options.

In addition, companies will likely not have all of the required technical expertise, so it’s important to look outside for innovation. However, when you pursue new markets, it’s a mistake to equate open innovation with technology sourcing. When there is high uncertainty, you can’t treat innovation partners like vendors. You need to share more information and manage intellectual property (IP) rights with a longer-term strategic view. Focus on what you really need to protect. Allow your partners to have sufficient IP rights and opportunities that will generate the return they need. These focal points allow them to share the risk with you.


There is never a one-size-fits-all approach to growth, so these ideas are meant to be a starting point for you to think about ways you can mix and match to suit your specific situation and goals.

Expanding into new markets is hard because it requires investment trade-offs from your core business into new, uncertain opportunities. These practices can help you produce a greater volume of new growth opportunities that excite your employees, fit with your abilities to deliver them, and are aligned to important growth trends in the world.


Written by Lawrence Lee, Vice President, Incubation and Strategy at Xerox

With the holiday season in full swing and Affluent increasingly searching for unique experiences rather than growing their material possessions, the luxury travel market is booming. What are the travel trends among Affluent worldwide?

Because of their immense spending power, Affluent are highly rewarding customers for travel brands. Not only does the average Affluent make five roundtrips a year, they are also not afraid to splurge during their limited time off. Even in still developing markets like China, Affluent travellers already spend over $9000 on international leisure trips a year.

Expenditures on international leisure travel in Asia Pacific region

Searching for exclusivity

With emerging middle classes in different parts of the world increasing the number of tourists globally, what this lucrative target group craves most is exclusivity. Now that we travel more frequently and further than ever, destinations that once used to be unexplored territory are now becoming increasingly crowded.

Especially young Affluent singles and young Affluent without children are looking to discover places off the beaten track. For example, 77% of the European Affluent Millennials say they value exploration and discovery, and 79% enjoys going to new travel destinations. Relatively popular among this target group are safari’s and trekking adventures, luxury spa holidays and active sports trips.

Most popular travel destinations for leisure trips for APAC and US Affluent

If European Affluent want to get away from the crowd, they should avoid Spain: over 5.4 million of them have planned a holiday to the Spanish mainland in the next year. Also popular are the United States (4.5 million) and Italy (3.6 million). Upcoming destinations for adventurous European Millennials include the Seychelles, Colombia and Peru, whereas countries like South Africa, Namibia and Malaysia attract rich babyboomers, that offer exotic getaways with high levels of comfort.

Travel Destinations Next 12 Months for European Affluent

So where do these Affluent travellers stay? Four star hotels are the most popular choice for Affluent in the US and Asia. Respectively 38% and 36% prefer this type of accommodation, although there are clear differences between age groups. For example, luxury boutique hotels welcome an increasing number of Millennials: 1.6 million young American Affluent typically stay in this type of accommodation. Cruises remain popular with the older target group, with a total number of 3.8 million regular passengers in the US.

For frequent travellers like the Affluent, the world is their playground. In Europe, 57% of the Affluent describe themselves as global citizens. Especially women are internationally-minded: almost three-quarters of all females say they are interested in other foreign cultures, compared to only 67% of the male Affluent.


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