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Monday, 05 February 2018 00:00

More Local News on Facebook

People tell us they come to Facebook to connect with friends. They also say they want to see news about what’s happening in the world and their local community. This month, we’ve announced changes to prioritize posts from friends and high-quality news sources. Today, we’re updating News Feed to also prioritize local news so that you can see topics that have a direct impact on you and your community and discover what’s happening in your local area.

We identify local publishers as those whose links are clicked on by readers in a tight geographic area. If a story is from a publisher in your area, and you either follow the publisher’s Page or your friend shares a story from that outlet, it might show up higher in News Feed.

To start, this change is taking effect in the US, and we plan to expand to more countries this year. You can always choose which news sources, including local or national publications, that you want to see at the top of your feed with our See First feature.

What This Means for Publishers

As we announced earlier this month, we expect the amount of news in News Feed to go down as we focus on meaningful social interactions with family and friends over passive consumption. We are prioritizing local news as a part of our emphasis on high-quality news, and with today’s update, stories from local news publishers may appear higher in News Feed for followers in publishers’ geographic areas. This change is one of the many signals that go into News Feed ranking. For more, see our Publisher Guidelines.

There are no constraints on which publishers are eligible, which means large local publishers will benefit, as well as publishers that focus on niche topics like local sports, arts and human-interest stories. That said, small news outlets may benefit from this change more than other outlets, because they tend to have a concentrated readership in one location.

This is just the beginning of our efforts to prioritize high-quality news. This update may not capture all small or niche-interest publishers at first, but we are working to improve precision and coverage over time. All of our work to reduce false news, misinformation, clickbait, sensationalism and inauthentic accounts still applies.

Our Commitment to Local News

We’ve worked closely with local publishers through the Facebook Journalism Project over the last year, visiting newsrooms around the world to provide training and support for journalists, as well as building products that work for their publications and readers. Local news publishers participated in the majority of our collaborative product tests in 2017, including support for subscriptions in Instant Articles; call-to-action units, which are prompts for readers to like a publisher’s page or sign up for an email newsletter; and a new breaking news format in News Feed.

In addition to prioritizing local news, we are also testing a dedicated section on Facebook that connects people to news and information in their community, called Today In. We are testing this in six US cities and plan to expand in the coming months.

These efforts to prioritize quality news in News Feed, including this local initiative, are a direct result of the ongoing collaboration with partners. Our goal is to show more news that connects people to their local communities, and we look forward to improving and expanding these efforts this year.


Written By Alex Hardiman, Head of News Product and Campbell Brown, Head of News Partnerships at Facebook

Monday, 05 February 2018 00:00

Video- The ‘Wazir’ of Digital Movement

Take a deep breath and now let’s go back in time. Year 1999, a late evening walk in the by lanes of my colony, I was head held up high, hearing every sound, the cars, people chatting in their balconies, someone watching TV loud enough for me to hear few dialogues, old Hindi movie numbers, absorbing the nature, the sounds, the air. In 2000, due to peer pressure I purchased my first mobile handset, take a wild guess….yes. The Nokia 3310. Features, we all know. Thankfully had got a corporate plan while working in, then known as GE Capital, so the bills were somehow doable. Slowly, things around me changed and today when I look back, I am happy to have been a part of this evolution which infact is marked by a marketing revolution.

According to a recent report, the Indian Digital sector is expected to cross Rs.2000-crore mark by 2020 from Rs. 8,490 crore at present, more led by OTT and digital advertising. Currently Digital Media contributes approximately 14% of the total ad spend in the country, however by 2019 it is expected to be about a quarter of the ad expenditure.

The past quarter saw a continuation of recent audience patterns, including growth in digital video viewership overall (particularly in viewers of premium-length content), erosion of the pay TV user base and especially strong digital video adoption among young adults.

Mobile continues to overtake desktop as the preferred device for digital video viewing, but home-based viewing on connected TVs is also a big draw. Subscription video-on-demand providers are licensing their apps to as many device platforms as possible, including traditional cable boxes.

Full-length TV shows and movies dominate digital video viewing, but the legions of content creators who emerged on YouTube are also flexing their muscles and increasingly exploring social video venues.

The augment in the acceptance of digital video with thee online video audience in India expected to reach 450 million users and replacing US as the 2nd largest market behind China.

These stats are quite enterprising to believe the way digital ecosystem has evolved. I recall the times about 12 years back when Mobile inventory and terms like WAP were the new age words. One who did not know ‘WAP’ and the meaning of ‘inventory’ in context of Digital space and someone who could not pronounce it as well as we did, is someone we used to not make friends with (well that’s on a lighter note), however there has been an existential burgeoning question - how to make digital video monetization better while bringing utmost value to the client.

With over 355mm internet users, almost 40% YOY growth @27% internet penetration, India is a marketplace which no country can ignore. Also, mobile data prices in the past 2 years has dipped -48% as incumbent carriers responded to Jio’s low pricing. Broadband subscribers in India is accelerating upwards 85% with key players like Jio, Bharti Airtel Vodafone, Idea, BSNL. The OTT players are changing the game with the advent of Amazon Prime, Hotstar, Jio TV, Ozee amongst a whole bunch of players.

Now, since we have talked about some bright numbers on top, it’s time to look at the challenges that we see being faced in the evolving Digital Video space. The good part, I will not talk about the tech challenges because Technology is eroding challenges. Let’s look at some challenges in perspectives in our business marketing -

Creative brief and the Creative itself

One thing that I see has evolved in the slowest pace is a ‘brief’ and both media agencies and publishers could channelize this better. We may know what we may want, however most times we are not able to put down a proper campaign brief. The good part- it is simple. The key aspects that need to be highlighted are – End objective of the video/campaign, Key target audience, highlights of the product, timelines and the icing on the cake- measure of success. And…. being handled by a team who are cognizant of how to belt out a creative that has maximum chance to relate with the audience. That augments the video’s shelf life.

The Hawks-eye focus

Once upon a time, there used to one advertisement. Today a video advertisement may have another video advertisement waiting to be clicked. That’s okay with marketplace getting bigger and demand of inventory in the rise with programmatic making things easier and well, may be slightly difficult in terms of transparency in measurement. However, what I understand is we are not paying 100% attention to our audience today, as we used to say 15 to 20 years back. We need to stress more on our hawk’s eye focus on seamless consumer experience of a video and not only in terms of an advertisement, but a longer term connect.

Advertisers’ Demand for Inventory Outpaces Publishers’ Supply:

Premium publishers are increasing their investments in video, developing more sophisticated strategies and placing video content in more prominent locations. Publishers are also creating more vertical-oriented mobile video content, which can contribute to a more personalized consumer experience than horizontal orientation. These efforts aim to generate more quality video inventory for brand advertisers. Supplementing this content with highly contextual data will further amplify the value of the inventory.

Industry Standards and Metrics- Shaping up the Measurement

Budding nature of mobile video, as we see it - disparities exist in standards including pricing, metrics such as viewability, and what constitutes an actual video ad. Mobile video formats extend beyond pre and post-roll clips on webpages to include in-app ads, auto-play ads within newsfeeds and new formats that might emerge tomorrow. By eliminating manual direct sales and implementing programmatic strategies, publishers can increase the amount of easily measurable pricing trends and viewability metrics, which will strengthen buyer confidence.

Brand Custodian – Decide

There was a time when Brand ownership was with 2 parties – The Brand itself and it’s one lead agency that used to have the experience and history of building that brand. The sub-challenge here is people are meaning to pay for idea generation from multiple houses. With the collaborative approach, more expertise and content houses that ever, is it confusing the Brand? I believe there is still time where Brand decides on this clearly. We need someone who can evangelize the Brand in it’s core essence and that itself helps churn out –‘in the box’ ideas. I anyway do not understand why people talk about ‘out of the box’!

Before we end, let’s do a quick look at on the type of formats in video advertising. Thought it may help do a quick 15 second refresher so that we can realign our thoughts to think on the lines of ‘Experience’ being the new King, ‘Customer Journey’ being the new Queen and ‘Video’ being the ‘Wazir’ of the new Digital movement. Play it well!

According to the IAB, In-stream is a larger category that includes both non- Linear Video Ads and Linear Video Ads.

Linear- Pre-roll, Post-roll, Mid-roll, Interactive video

Non-Linear- Overlay Video Ads, Non-Overlay Video Ads, Companion Ads, In-Banner Video Ads, In-page Video Ads, In-text Video Ads and Connected TV video ads.

I believe in the next couple of years Connected TV video ads will be the one the industry will be focussing more on. What excites me about this format is that Ads in this category can be pre-app, as in they play while the app is loading, or in-app, as in they play like more traditional online video overlays or in-streams like pre-, mid-, and post-roll. Some connected TV ads will display right in an app store or menu and they can then be expanded to full screen takeover. Some connected TV ads will offer more information about the specific program being watched. Other formats include interstitial (in between channel changes, program loading, etc) and interactive search results page ads. Connected TV ads will probably take shape a lot like online video ads have done but work more toward enhancing the viewer’s experience by offering more relevant information and ads pertaining to the content being viewed.


Written by Ankoor Dasguupta,Vice President for Marketing, Events and Brand Solutions at SHEROES.

Sunday, 04 February 2018 00:00

Irfan Khan, CEO, Zefmo

"As per the recently released India Influence Report 2018, the survey indicates that brands are today recognizing the fact that influencers can help leverage the position of a brand’s product and increases brand recognition because of consumers leaning on the reviews and expert opinions of influencers to make their purchasing decisions. We also see a widespread adoption of influencer marketing by different brands which highlight the fact that it is becoming an integral part of the marketing mix. In fact, one of the major revelations of the India Influence Report 2018 points towards the gradual maturing of influencer marketing in India with 14 percent of the marketeers suggesting an always on-mode and 16 percent planning to integrate influencer marketing within their marketing strategy." Said Irfan Khan, CEO, Zefmo.

In a Q&A with MediAvataar India Irfan spilled the beans on the latest storm that has hit the digital marketing scene in India and it is certainly here to stay. 
Here is the complete interaction...

MediAvataar: What does Zefmo stand for?

Irfan: Zefmo is a marketplace connecting social influencers across genres with brands of all magnitudes and variations as per the requirement. We are a technology platform that helps influencers to do what they love, experience new products and tell their stories around the brands they live and breathe while getting rewarded at the same time. Thousands of influencers and hundreds of brands rely on Zefmo to spread across their message in the digital universe.

Literally, the word ‘Zefmo’ is a fusion of Zephyr and Movement which stands for changing the course of the winds of influence - in the right direction. We are a Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP), Government of India recognized technology platform and advisory consultancy startup and a ‘Made in India’ technology solution that has been custom built.

It has been co-founded by industry pioneers and leaders, and since our launch, the company has been continuously evolving to help businesses realize the potential of their most valuable asset – their brand. In a very short time frame, Zefmo has managed to build a reputation through outstanding results, quality senior consultants and bestpractice communications strategies and campaigns.

MediAvataar: Why marketers should adopt Influencer Marketing?

Irfan: Every minute, there are more than 3.8 million Google searches happening, 350,000+ tweets being sent, 65,000+ Instagram photos being uploaded, over 700,000 hours of Youtube videos being watched. The world is moving really fast and it is becoming a challenge for marketers to make their brand stand out and reach out to the right target audience to drive a meaningful conversation today.

In such a scenario, influencer marketing is seen by many marketers as one of the best ways to quickly build their brand online and create awareness among their target audience. It involves brands identifying the audience they’d like to market to and then reaching out to the leaders who have a persuasive pull on this very audience. With influencer marketing, marketers are empowered to break the clutter and connect with their audience in a meaningful way through authentic storytelling.

As per the recently released India Influence Report 2018, the survey indicates that brands are today recognizing the fact that influencers can help leverage the position of a brand’s product and increases brand recognition because of consumers leaning on the reviews and expert opinions of influencers to make their purchasing decisions. We also see a widespread adoption of influencer marketing by different brands which highlight the fact that it is becoming an integral part of the marketing mix. In fact, one of the major revelations of the India Influence Report 2018 points towards the gradual maturing of influencer marketing in India with 14 percent of the marketeers suggesting an always on-mode and 16 percent planning to integrate influencer marketing within their marketing strategy.

In an era when people no longer trust big businesses anymore, influencer marketing serves as a bridge between the big and small brands and their consumers based on a trust relationship established over a period of time. And not just this, Influencer marketing is not only the future of evolution in marketing, but it is a trend that is currently expanding at the speed of light.

MediAvataar: According to you how influencer driven campaigns garner more traction than any other?

Irfan: It has become impossible for marketers today to ignore the importance of peer reviews, recommendations or user-generated content while planning their strategy. As per a study by McKinsey, marketing inspired by word-of-mouth generated more than twice the sales of paid advertisement and had 37 per cent higher retention rate. Consumers are also no longer interested in marketing tools like advertisements and there has been market revelation that 47% of online consumers use ad blockers which are compelling brand to explore and use influencer marketing.

Consumers today are expecting and demanding for content that are entertaining and informative. And most importantly, we are in an age where consumers trust the experience of influencers, friends and family about a brand while buying it, rather than what the brand says. The consumers of today are able to make out an advert from recommendation and that has changed the whole scenario of marketing strategy.

Influencer driven campaign strategy is becoming an essential and integral part of marketing mix for brands across industries. The world is also changing rapidly and there is an increasing need for brands to instantly connect and build relationship right away, not to lose out on their visibility. This is where  influencers comes in lending their credibility to the brand by endorsing their products and providing the brand awareness and exposure to its consumers. Not only this, influencers also add a whole new level of authenticity to the brand’s digital marketing that is otherwise not easily achievable. There is also another added advantage in engaging influencers in a campaign and that is the built-in authenticity in content created by them which gives brands a human face.

MediAvataar: What would be your advice to the marketers in India?

Irfan: Based on our recent survey, some advice that will help marketer in planning more impactful and effective campaigns are:

  • The industry is shifting from the use of major influencers to macro (typically have over 50,000 followers) and micro (typically have over 10,000 to 50,000 followers) influencers - Marketers in India should focus in tapping micro-level and targeted audience. While it might be exciting to have a top celebrity talk about their brand, we should also remember that celebrities have extremely diverse audience who does not really care about the brand they are endorsing. Someone with following of over 50,000+ comprising of audience who look up to him/her for advice and is much more affordable, easy to work with and above all authentic is found to grab more attention
  • There is a shift in the industry towards an integrated or always-on influencer marketing strategy in campaign
  • Brand should not overlook the follower demographics of the influencers they are engaging. Brands were earlier fixated to demographics like age or income group of the influencers and often overlooked the most critical aspect undermining the whole goal campaign

MediAvataar: Is influencer marketing growing in India, please share some facts and figures.

Irfan: It is growing at a rapid pace. As shared with you earlier, our survey clearly indicates that this year 92% marketers are expected to launch at least one influencer campaign. The popularity of the influencer marketing to drive brand awareness and reputation can be gauged by the insight that 89% of marketers have found the medium to be effective and 62% are planning to increase their budgetary allocation towards engaging social influencers. This is massive growth for the industry. 

MediAvataar: What are the challenges one should be aware of when it comes to connecting your brand’s name with an individual?

Irfan: We always insist on selecting influencers who have domain influence in the brand’s line of products or services. Above all, their content has to be original and needs to resonate naturally to make a bigger impact. This helps in building long-term, meaningful and mutually beneficial association between the individual influencers and the brands. As influencer marketing companies, we have the added responsibility to ensure the credibility on both the sides.

MediAvataar: What is your business plan and who are top influencers on board with you?

Irfan: Right from celebrities to housewives to senior citizens to students and CEOs, we identify current influencers and activate new ones for brands that participate in our campaigns. We are a marketplace connecting over 30,000 social influencers with brands of all sizes and over 25 categories, thousands of influencers and hundreds of brands rely on Zefmo to spread their message in the digital universe. In short, we work with influencers of various types for many different things. We look at the kind of value that collaborations yield for influencers and the brands.

MediAvataar: What is there in the pipeline for Zefmo this year?

Irfan: This year, we are on a hyper drive mode. Our projected growth is going to be around trebling the overall revenue of the company while adding a slew of large clients to our kitty.

MediAvataar: A global trend according to you which marketers in India should definitely adopt. 

Irfan: Visual and Video Content

With photo and video sharing emerging as the fastest growing form of media, Instagram and YouTube will witness massive adoption by the influencers. In fact, in 2017, an increasing number of influencers are adopting video as a medium and have started their YouTube channel as well. This is an indication of both consumer and brand preference inline with the demand for video content.

New York Festivals® International Advertising Awards® has added 14 additional members to the 2018 Executive Jury, bringing the panel up to 35 members from 17 countries. The Executive Jury, an elite panel of Global and Regional Chief Creative Officers will meet in New York City on April 20th to Monday, April 23rd to select the World’s Best Advertising®.

“Never before has New York Festivals assembled an Executive Jury of this magnitude and executive leadership level,” said Michael Demetriades, President and Executive Director, New York Festivals. “NYF’s world-class Executive Jury has a 360-view of global creativity and through four rounds of judging they will determine the 2018 World’s Best Advertising award-winners. The work chosen as trophy winners by this highly acclaimed creative group truly deserve the accolade bestowed upon it.”

Additions to the 2018 Executive Jury:

Cam Blackley, Chief Creative Officer, M&C Saatchi, Australia

Cosmo Campbell, Chief Creative Officer Canada, DDB, Canada

Javier Campopiano, Chief Creative Officer, Saatchi & Saatchi NY, USA

Cindy Yan Chan, Partner/Chief Strategy Officer, Focus Media Group, China

Andy DiLallo, Chief Creative Officer, TBWA Sydney, Australia

Ralf Heuel, Chief Creative Officer/Partner, Grabarz & Partner, Germany

Maxi Itzkoff, Chief Creative Officer, Santo Buenos Aires, Argentina

Armin Jochum, Chief Creative Officer/Co-Founder, thjnk, Germany

Eduardo Maruri, President/Chief Executive Officer LATAM, Grey, Ecuador

Farid Mokart, Creative CEO/Chief Creative Officer, Fred & Farid, France

Britt Nolan, Chief Creative Officer USA, Leo Burnett, USA

Sunmi Park, Chief Creative Officer, Daehong Communications, South Korea

Hugo Rodrigues, Chairman & CEO, WMcCann, Brazil

Taras Wayner, EVP/Chief Creative Officer, R/GA, USA

To view the 35 members of the 2018 New York Festivals Executive Jury, please visit: www.nyfadvertising.com/2018-executive-jury

Since 2011, all entries into NYF’s Advertising Awards competition are viewed by 400+ members of NYF’s Executive and Grand Juries, a brain trust of global creative minds, who collectively cast over 300,000 votes during the two-tiered judging process. Utilizing New York Festivals patented Matrix Judging System, the Executive Jury scores each entry on its own merits with 50% of the vote based upon its concept / idea, 25% stemming from its brand and market relevance, and 25% pulled from its production execution.

The 2018 New York Show℠ awards ceremony and gala will take place the evening of Thursday, May 17, 2018 at the world-class performance space, Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall, Broadway at 60th Street, New York City.

The 2018 competition entry deadline is February 28th.

Scaling infrastructure and digital inclusion represent the next frontier for India, as is apparent by the government’s continued efforts to run programmes like Smart Cities and ‘Make in India’. Despite urbanisation, however, rural markets still account for half of India’s gross domestic product (GDP). This market activity and affluence make it necessary for marketers to continue focusing on them. In fact, some industries, such as two-wheelers and telecom, derive almost half their earnings from the hinterland.

Dissecting the Rurban Market

A large part of this burgeoning opportunity lies in the “rurban” part of India—the urban part of rural areas. This includes markets that are quintessentially rural, yet have the influences of a more affluent urban lifestyle. But while rurban India has existed for a while, there is an increased need for companies to distribute to this market more optimally. With increased availability of macroeconomic data, geospatial data and custom data assets like Nielsen’s retail census, and the ability to combine them using advanced analytical methods, this optimisation is now more possible than before.

The real challenge is being able to identify the affluent clusters. The holy grail would be a precise identification of the Rurban clusters ( including villages) that account for a bulk of the affluence. For instance, Nielsen’s advanced analytics and macroeconomic data reveal that just 33% of villages, numbering about 200,000, account for 80% of all rural fastmoving consumer goods (FMCG) sales. This high concentration exists across various markets and levels of consumer affluence, making it vital for manufacturers and retailers to cater to people in those villages and clusters. Further, these high potential Rurban clusters and villages act as feeder points for the rest of the proximate markets.

When picking the most attractive markets, high-potential villages should not be confused with those that have a high density of population. This is a prevalent practice and is inefficient. Again, our meta analytics clearly establishes that there is only a 50% overlap between villages with high population, and those that contribute high sales, indicating that population is not the sole driver of sales. This is why transportation infrastructure - ease of reaching these markets—is one of the most important considerations in selecting high-potential clusters. Health infrastructure, market infrastructure and mobile connectivity are some of the other important considerations. They indicate prosperity.

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