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Broadcaster hikes IPL-6 ad rates by 10%

Having got a fairly good response from advertisers for this year's Indian Premier League (IPL-6 ), Multi Screen Media (MSM), the official broadcaster of the IPL, has hiked its advertising rates by 10%, said a senior company official. MSM had earlier lowered rates by 10-15 % for IPL-6 and was charging Rs 4- 4.5 lakh for a ten-second ad spot. The reduced rates had made the property attractive for many advertisers as brands made a comeback after having given the tournament a miss last year. MSM, which has only 20% of ad inventory left currently, may further hike rates if the tournament kicks off well. As reported by TOI in its March 15 edition, MSM is looking to make Rs 950 crore in advertising revenue from IPL-6, up from Rs 750 crore it garnered last year. Rohit Gupta, president, MSM, told this newspaper that if viewership ratings shoot up further, there is scope of rates going up. The presenting sponsors PepsiCo and Vodafone have shelled out Rs 40-60 crore each while the associate sponsors like Tata Photon, Karbonn tablets, Godrej, Samsung Mobiles, Panasonic, Usha Appliances, Cadbury, Havells and Parle Foods have paid Rs 25-30 crore each for being seen on television during IPL-6. MSM, which will broadcast IPL on SET Max and Sony Six, has also struck large deals with Coca-Cola, Parle Agro, Marico, Berger Paints and Airtel. "The IPL is one of the biggest mass-media properties in the country and gives brands an effective, large scale platform to connect with its consumers," said a Vodafone spokesperson. The telecom operator, which has been associated with IPL since its inception in 2008, will break a 360-degree campaign to drive adoption of mobile internet targeting nonusers of internet. It may not yet be the American Super Bowl, famous for being a huge platform for marketers to launch high-octane advertising campaigns. But this year's IPL will see the two cola majors PepsiCo and Coca-Cola readying for a summerfest, while Godrej will launch a brand new campaign with its new brand ambassador Aamir Khan during the 54-day Twenty20 tournament.Godrej will release as many as nine new ad films around the masterbrand Godrej. "It made sense for us to get back on to the property this year considering we had a huge campaign to break, IPL is a great platform for doing that. Given our purpose and the lowering of rates, it was financially feasible," said Shireesh Joshi, headstrategic marketing at the Godrej group. Soft drinks giant PepsiCo, which is doling out huge moolah around the IPL having paid Rs 396 crore for title sponsorship, bagging pouring rights for eight of the teams and signing on as a presenting sponsor on MSM, will back this up with strategic and high-decibel marketing and activation plans. "You will see us leveraging the property in the most resourceful manner," said Deepika Warrier, VP-beverage marketing, PepsiCo India. It will be launching a series of ads which have been conceptualized by creative agency Taproot. Not to be left behind, Coca-Cola is planning a blitzkrieg of its own despite not being an official IPL sponsor. The cola major will be seen on the telly with campaigns for brand Coke, Limca, Sprite, Minute Maid Nimbu Fresh and Maaza along with its Thums Up brand ambassador Salman Khan launching a new game on the actor's Facebook page. Official IPL broadcaster Multi Screen Media (MSM) had earlier lowered rates by 10-15 %, charging Rs 4-4.5L for 10-second spot Advertisers then rushed in, which resulted in MSM's latest move and, with only 20% inventory left, it may further hike rates The 2 presenting sponsors are paying Rs 40-60 cr each, while the associate sponsors have paid Rs 25-30 crore each.

KXIP's gets aggressive on sponsorship front

It's hoping to pocket a king's ransom this year. IPL franchise Kings XI Punjab is eyeing 30 per cent growth from team sponsorship, buoyed by the encouraging response it has got from advertisers.The franchise co-promoted by Bollywood actress Preity Zinta, Dabur's Mohit Burman, Wadia Group's Ness Wadia and Apeejay Surendra Group's Karan Paul has roped in 14 brands as partners. That's way up from the 11 it had last year.KXIP has signed NVD Solar as title partner for three years till 2015 to replace direct-to-home (DTH) operator Videocon d2h had taken the lead sponsor status for last year's IPL."We will manage a 30 per cent revenue growth in terms of sponsorship this year. Almost 65 per cent of our local revenue comes from sponsorship. We were not happy with revenues we managed last year. We felt that there was scope for improvement," KXIP COO Col. Arvinder Singh.The franchise has got eight new partners this year in addition to the six existing partners which have renewed sponsorship deals.Apart from NVD Solar, those who have signed on the dotted line with the KXIP team include Lux Cozi as Official Comfort Partner, ACC, Arise Inverters and Batteries, Raindrops Basmati, USL and McDowell's no. 1 as Official Team Partners.Kingfisher as the Official Good Times Partner, Pavilion Sport as Official Licensing and Merchandising Partner, Noida University as the Official University Partner, Mountain Dew as the Official Beverage Partner, Meshi Creations as the Official Entertainment Partner, 92.7 Big FM as the Official Radio Partner, Kabirz as Official Food Partner and TK Sports as Sportswear Partner are others who have decided walk hand in hand with the KXIP team during IPL6.Singh also stated that the franchise dealt directly with sponsors this year rather than going through agencies. KXIP reached out to almost 60 advertisers for team sponsorship."So we created a team that approached companies which made a big difference. Half of the deals done were managed by directly talking to them. Last year we had 11partners while this time we have 14 partners with two partners taking two spots each. Some deals took three weeks to close this year while others took a couple of months. Some deals are for a year while others are for three years," he stated.Singh adds that it is a question of sitting down with clients and understanding their business objectives. "We have to match their objectives with our marketing parameters. We see if there is synergy in what we are doing and if a tie up is mutually beneficial. Different companies have different goals some want visibility, others want activation while some want to use our platform for better fan engagement."Singh explained that NVD Solar came on-board as title partner as the company since it is expanding its operations to North India. "They will launch products using the franchises players as a platform. On the other hand, Lux Cozi does activation with their wholesale and retail people. They run gratification contests where people can see matches," he added.NVD Solar managing director Saibal Hazra was extremely gung-ho about the assoction. He said: " KXI is one of the most dynamic IPL teams. We wish them all the luck for the upcoming tournament and hope this association can reap benefits for both the parties."The franchise has meanwhile gone ahead and launched a loyalty programme to strengthen its bond with supporters. Other initiatives like launching a mobile application, a live in-app FanWall and an initiative with the Punjab Police to support women empowerment have also been instituted to engage with fans and contribute to the society.Clearly, Kings XI Punjab has got its act together on the partner front. Let's wait and watch if it will match that performance on the field too.

Digital advertising set to rise to over $75 billion by 2017

Digital video ad spending growth is coming from mobile, including tablets. Mobile video will account for just 12.6% of all digital video ad spending this year, or $520 million. But it's growing much faster than desktop-based digital video ad spending, at a pace of 112.4% vs. 35% for online video this year. eMarketer expects growth for both types of digital video to moderate in coming years, but predicts the mobile portion of the pie will continue to increase at a faster rate. By 2017, 29.7% of all digital video ad spending will go toward mobile ads (including ads served to tablet devices).eMarketer forms its estimates of ad spending based on the analysis of various elements related to the ad spending market, including macro-level economic conditions; historical trends of the advertising market; historical trends of each medium in relation to other media; reported revenues from major ad publishers; estimates from other research firms; consumer media consumption trends; and eMarketer interviews with executives at ad agencies, brands, media publishers and other industry leaders.Digital advertising can't stop the rise of US TV ad spending, though the pace of growth of TV ad dollars is much slower. Still, eMarketer predicts US advertisers will spend $66.35 billion on TV this year, up from $64.54 billion in 2012 and set to rise to over $75 billion by 2017.That's a compound annual growth rate of 3.7% between 2011 and 2017—far short of the growth of digital advertising spending, but enough to keep total television ad dollars far above the amount going to the entire digital ecosystem, including all ad formats served to PCs and mobile devices.Digital video ad spending is growing particularly fast. eMarketer estimates spending on video ads served to PCs and mobile devices will reach $4.14 billion this year, more than twice 2011 levels. By 2017, spending will more than double again, to $9.06 billion.

Online ad market at Rs 2,940 cr by 2014: Report

The online advertising market in India is projected to reach Rs 2,938 crore by March 2014, according to the findings of Digital Advertising in India report, by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB International.The online advertising market in India, comprising search, display, mobile, social media, email and video advertising, which was valued at Rs 1,750 crore in March, 2012 has grown by 29% over the previous year to reach Rs 2,260 crore by March, 2013.As in 2012, search and display advertising continued to form a large portion of the overall pie in FY 2012-2013. However, their percentage share has declined somewhat owing to the rise in the mobile, social media and video advertising. Even though traditional media like television and newspapers still remain the preferred media for seeking information and entertainment and hog more than 80% of the advertising market in India, the Internet has been steadily increasing its share of the advertising pie. Spends on digital media have steadily increased from just over 1% of total Indian advertising spend in the year 2005 to nearly 7% in 2012.The report finds that by March 2013, search advertising constituted about 38% of the total online advertising spend, translating to about Rs 850 crore while display advertising form a sizeable 29% (Rs 662 crore).Advertisements on mobile phones and tablets have grown from a 7% share in FY 2011-2012 to 10% of the Indian online ad market in FY 2012-2013, totaling to spends of around Rs 230 crore. Social media, email and video advertising constitute 13% (Rs 300 crore), 3% (Rs 68 crore) and 7% (Rs150 crore) of the online advertising market, respectively. The BFSI, travel and auto sectors continue to be the top 3 spenders in online advertising. Increased spending by ecommerce players has been one of the highlights of the online advertising industry in FY 2011-12. Their share of spends is estimated to decline in 2012-13.

'Romba Nalla' way: South Indian characters the new bestsellers in advertisement 2013

The South Indian 'Anna' is on the march, and if recent television commercials are anything to go by, the Indian marketing industry is welcoming him with open arms. From Kareena Kapoor's 'Romba Nalla' approach to selling the Mahindra Duro, Dhoni's missing pillow in the Gulf Oil commercial, the Rajnikanth look-alike in the Finolex commercial and the Idea commercial featuring a South Indian dad enjoying Holi South Indian characters seem to have replaced the Sardarji and Punjabi Munda stereotypes that have so far been the stock-in-trade for Indian commercials. "Over a period of time, even stereotypes start getting predictable. So the advertising industry is always on the lookout for a fresh stereotype and the south Indian character is the latest in that series," explains Partha Sinha, managing partner, BBH India. What's prompted this detour down South? Brand consultant Harish Bijoor believes that marketers are simply trying to tap into those markets. "Marketers have realised that there are still enough opportunities to pick and choose strategies for the south," he says. Projecting a diverse and culturally inclusive brand image can only help national brands, of course. "Advertisers are looking to implement more cultural representation and diversity and South Indians make for a good opportunity as they have so far been under-represented in the advertising world," says Santosh Desai, CEO, Future Brands. That is changing though. From viral hits like Kolaveri Di, to movies like Endhiran, Northern India is now being exposed to more South Indian influences than ever before and that is something that marketers are keen to capitalise on. "It's because of the impact of the media from the south. Today almost 50% of the movies and content that Bollywood produces is derived from South Indian sources," says KV Sridhar, CCO India Subcontinent, Leo Burnett. However, while their increased popularity might be a good thing, the advertising industry still tends to treat South Indian characters as stereotypes."Advertisers are still caricaturing South Indians based on their idiosyncrasies, their language, behaviour and spending pattern," says Anand Halve, co-founder of brand & communications consultancy, Chlorophyll.Take the Centerfruit commercial by Ogilvy India. It shows a Tamil eatery looking to hire a waiter. The winner is the candidate who starts off clearly enunciating each item on the menu, but then, much to the eatery owner's delight, his speech degenerates into a tongue-wagging garble on seeing Centerfruit chewing gum. The ad may be trying to live up to its slogan, kaisi jeebh laplapaayee but it also seems to be propagating the stereotype of the South Indian as one whose language sounds alien and incomprehensible. "Interesting characters are what makes an ad engaging. South Indian characters have become the most popular because they have interesting accents, attires just like the Sardarjis used to. In a funny ad, we will exaggerate these characteristics; while in a normal ad, we will try to portray them normally," justifies Rajiv Rao, national creative director, Ogilvy India.While the industry may still believe that stereotypes serve a purpose, as more and more South Indian characters gain popularity, it remains to be seen if they'll opt for diversity in their personalities as well.

Bombay Talkies: An ode to 100 glorious years of Bollywood

Ashi Dua may not be a household name yet but she has potential. 28 year old Mumbaikar, Ashi is the co-producer of the highly anticipated film Bombay Talkies which is a celebration of 100 years of Indian Cinema. What’s interesting is Ashi has brought together four Bollywood’s most celebrated young film makers - Anurag Kashyap, Zoya Akhtar, Dibakar Banerjee and Karan Johar.CNBC-TV18's special show Young Turks met Ashi to find out how a film maker with no godfather in the film industry has kept the creativity intact.Hundred years after Dadasaheb Phalke’s Raja Harishchandra hit our screens, a young film maker with no links to the industry is attempting a celluloid tribute. Co-founder of Flying Unicorn Entertainment, a Mumbai based film and TV content creation company, Ashi Dua worked in the TV business with NDTV and Percept Picture Company for a few years before she decided to give light to her Bollywood dream.Dua's debut film Bombay Talkies brings together four of the country’s most talked about young directors, Karan Johar, Zoya Akhtar, Anurag Kashyap and Dibakar Banerjee. Each director will make a 20 minute film on a single theme - how cinema is an integral part of every Indian. Bombay Talkies will open in theatres on May 3 bringing a close to four year journey from ideation to fruition for Ashi.Dua recalls, “I went to Anurag and said, ‘this is my concept and I want you to make a film for us’. He agreed. I wanted to work with Zoya and then, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara had not been released. She had made Luck By Chance and it was a lot about the film industry. I said to her, ‘I have Anurag on board and nobody else right now. This is my concept. Do you think you can do this?’ She said, ‘I wrote a story long time back with Reema Kagti and if you let me shoot that story, I will do your film’. Then eventually Dibakar and Karan also agree.”The idea of Bombay Talkies has won over the hottest names in the industry and for music director Amit Trivedi, this is a labour of love. Accommodating musical sensibility of four different directors while staying true to the era that each film maker recreates, is a tough task.Trivedi says “The film has two most exciting songs as it talks of 100 years of cinema. There is a song on Amitabh Bachchan and is like an ode to him. For the first time, there is a song on an actor. It is called Bachchan. I including Amitabh Bhattacharya, the lyric writer, Anurag Kashyap, Ashi are very excited to create a song on Bachchan.Amitabh Bachchan, Rani Mukherjee, Katrina Kaif, Randeep Hooda and Nawazuddin Siddiqui will be part of the long listed stars that make this film come alive. Despite all these big names, the producers claim this is mid level budget film. Bombay Talkies will be released world wide and distributed to 850 screens. As for her financial expectations from the film, Ashi says she doesn’t have too many.Dua says, “This film is a true passion project, so god willing, if we breakeven and make enough money to compensate everybody’s efforts, we will be very happy. If we make more than that, we will just consider ourselves lucky. But commercially, we are hoping that people watch this film. In this film, it is more about the number of people watching it than the number itself. I don’t know if we will make Rs 10 crore or Rs 100 crore. I just wish more and more people watch a film like this.”While the reviews of Bombay Talkies are yet to hit the press, Ashi now looks to experiment with more commercially viable cinema.

Do news channels ride on brand name?

William Shakespeare had once asked, “What’s in a name?” While the question might have been a rhetorical one, a lot rides on a name when it comes to television channels. The race for TRPs, creating differentiated content, gaining maximum eyeballs, and creating brand loyalty – it depends on which channel remains top of mind of the viewer when he reaches for the remote.General entertainment channels have been able to create a dedicated band of viewers thanks to soaps and serials, creating a continuity that draws repeated viewing. However, when it comes to news channels, there is no such loyal viewership base. In the case of news channels, more often than not it is the credibility of news represented through the content and the news anchors and editors that matters more than the channel’s name.For instance, Star News, which was rechristened ABP News some time back, has continued with its content and the same set of news anchors without losing much of its identity. With the onset of digitisation, people now have more choice vis-à-vis 15-20 years back when there was just one source of news on television. Hence, it has become imperative to have a strong brand that people want to watch.

The brand is the journalist and the content
When asked whether channel name matters to viewers, Surbhi C Murthy, VP, Allied Media remarked, “It’s a question which needs a lot of thinking. We have to classify news channels across all genres and languages, and then classify them into certain categories. Many channels have been around for a long time and have on board journalists who have become frontrunners of the industry and have created a strong brand association.”On whether news channels have moved to a point where people watched the brand, Murthy replied, “Brand, yes, but the brand is not the brand name of the channel. For example, Times Now is a brand, but Arnab Goswami is the brand name and he is responsible for building up this association; similarly, Rajdeep Sardesai is the brand name for CNN-IBN and Dr Prannoy Roy for NDTV. The brand is the journalist and the content.”Murthy further said that news channels do have distinct identities, and that identity is their content, what they are talking about, their opinions and their representatives. “An honest approach towards work is also the identity of the news channel,” she added.There is a difference between how a consumer perceives a news channel and how a media planner looks it, Murthy explained. According to her, “A media planner looks at data mostly as a number, whereas it should be looked as content per se. Changing the brand name doesn’t make much difference, while change in faces and content will hamper for sure.”

There is substantial appointment viewing of news channels in India
Taking a different stance here, Janardhan Pandey, Associate Vice President, DDB MudraMax said that perception and evaluation of content and formats are the task of viewers. “For media planners, it is reach, numbers and quality of audiences and not the content, unless the idea is to do some content integration. It’s a simple golden rule that a channel needs to deliver well within required TG at the cost appropriate and be affordable to be prominent in the media plan, leaving less scope for human evaluation beyond numbers, unless the channel is niche or the communication is niche or both.”He too felt that brand name doesn’t matter till the time the news channel has built its imagery, perception and alignment while treating various news developments, stories and documentaries. “Once the ground is made, then there is always a committed size of audience watching a particular news channel for maximum duration and also verifying the news from the preferred channel. These are loyal audiences who trust and agree with the content aired on the channel and vouch for the same. Apart from following the channel content line, the audience also keenly follows editors and reporters for their daily dose of news,” he observed.Pandey further said that while there was a floating audience too that watched a channel, every individual develops a liking or inclination towards a single or couple of news channels and those become his fixed source of news from the long laundry list.According to him, there is substantial appointment viewing of news channels in India, which is also partly due to the channels themselves discovering and rediscovering, aligning and re-aligning their reporting formats with varying degrees of aggressiveness and depth in detailing. Echoing Murthy’s views, Pandey added that news anchors and editors have become the face of the channels, standing for the brand and its virtues. “Fierce competition is also making news channels’ content dynamic, which has unsettled the flow of audience,” he remarked.

It is somewhat to do with habit and familiarity
Meanwhile, supporting both the content and the anchor, Himanka Das, Senior Vice President, West, Carat Media opined, “In the news genre, viewers watch content that is informative. They look for a point of view from the anchor regarding the topic of news or the discussion. As long as viewers find the anchor to have a sensible point of view, there is no reason why people should not stick to the channel.”As in the case of Allied Media’s Murthy and DDB MudraMax’s Pandey, Das too said that viewers become familiar with key anchors on a channel. Case in point is anchors such as Pranoy Roy, Barkha Dutt, Vikram Chandra, who have become synonymous with NDTV 24x7. Similarly, Vinod Dua is identified with NDTV India, Arnab Goswami is identified with Times Now, Rajdeep Sardesai is identified with CNN-IBN and Rajat Sharma is identified with India TV. Each of these personalities has their own way of conducting news with their own panaché which defines their identity.“Also, it is somewhat to do with habit and familiarity,” Das said, adding, “Not that these established anchors move often; having said that, there is no distinct analogy that we can infer that change in news anchor to a different news channel may bring in a shift of viewers.”Das also felt that there is a unified metric for media planners to manage investments, which is evaluated objectively from Television Audience Measurement (TAM) and that perception cannot be a basis for evaluation.

Viewers have a fixed marquee of channels
Mausumi Kar, General Manager, Maxus Global is completely inclined towards anchors. She remarked, “Unlike newspapers, which sell basis lineage and credibility, news channels sell by the brand names of their anchors. So viewers are more likely to tune in to watch an Arnab Goswami or a Barkha Dutt rather than the respective news channel per se. Over time, news anchors establish a reputation which goes beyond the channels. So that when they move to a new channel, that channel rides on his/her popularity.”She further said, “When a news channel is launched, the spiel is that a certain established news anchor has joined their stable. When an important property is being touted, for example, Elections or Budget, the driver for viewership is the anchors. To address the ‘name’ question, viewers have a fixed marquee of channels within which they flip for updates, because the feeling is that there is parity in news reportage except when it comes of special sections run by the reputed anchors.”

Regional avatars go a long way for Hindi GEC format shows

The regional general entertainment space has been witnessing a plethora of activities with the players focusing on developing content for their regional viewers. Regional content has got a further boost with prominent networks today introducing regional channels to their network bouquet.One of the interesting trends that is being observed recently is the introduction of the regional versions of well know reality based format shows that are telecast on the Hindi general entertainment space.‘KBC’ today has six regional versions, including the Hindi version, on channels such as Mahuaa TV, Mahuaa Bangla, Asianet, Star Vijay, Suvarna, with ETV Network having bought the rights of the format from Sony Pictures Television. Recently, ‘ETV Marathi’ has announced the launch of ‘Kon Hoeel Marathi Crorepati’, the seventh version of ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’ and has partnered with Big Synergy to produce it for Marathi viewers. Similarly the Bengali version of ‘Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa’, which is telecast on Colors has been launched on ETV Bangla. Zee TV’s ‘Sa re ga ma pa’ and ‘Dance India Dance’ have their regional versions in Zee Marathi as ‘Sa rag a ma pa-Marathi’ and ‘Dance Maharashtra Dance’. Endemol India also announced the regional versions of ‘Bigg Boss’ in different languages, starting with the Kannada version on ETV Kannada.Though earlier we had seen regional channels launching regional versions of awards shows and in some cases fiction based series as well, the players on the regional space today are keen on launching the reality based format shows in different markets in a larger way.

The driving factors
One of the significant reasons for the adoption of such formats on the regional space is the fact that regional content is successful in breaking across the language barrier since language sensitivity is a significant aspect for regional markets. According to PM Balakrishna, COO, Allied Media, the regional trend has been on the rise since the last four to five years with marketers trying to reach Tier II and Tier III markets. Regional channels cater to the regional sentiments and it makes sense in terms of economical benefits as well. Due to this, regional channels are able to garner a significant amount of viewership from the individual markets and in some cases more than the viewership numbers garnered by the Hindi GECs.Secondly, post-digitisation there has been a huge amount of fragmentation on the broadcast space owing to the introduction of new channels. Earlier 80 per cent of viewing which was happening from 20 channels has now been happening from 75 channels. Hence it would make sense for the networks to extend the popularity of these properties to the regional markets as well so as to increase their share of the pie.Elaborating on the same, Anil Cheriyedath, Business Director, Maxus stated, “For a production house it makes sense for them to be not limited to only one market and enter bigger markets such as the regional which has a lot of potential. Also, for the regional general entertainment space, it makes a viable proposition. Reality format shows are introduced every quarter by the Hindi GEC channels as a part of differentiated offering in addition to their regular fiction based series. The same is being adopted as part of the content strategy of the regional GECs since the content is popular and is growing, thereby helping in garnering more GRPs”.

Monetisation and Advertising revenue
But today given the fact that the audience base of the regional content has increased, the money still remains on the lower side. Though the regional GEC space has undergone a phenomenal change, monetisation aspect still remains a subject of debate.According to Cheriyedath, everybody is evolving from one market. Regional channels have worked very well in the South market which also has been the strongest. The overall viewership of Bengali and Marathi has also increased. Also there has been an overall increase in terms of number of channels as well. Apart from the aforementioned markets, there are other markets such as Oriya and Bhojpuri which are observing a lot of investments.With the introduction of regional version of the format shows, channels are all set to garner advertisers and brands since the content provides a good platform for them to showcase their brand through in-show product placements, sponsorship deals, etc. Also, brands today are keen on partnering with the regional versions of these shows since it helps them attain more eyeballs and benefits from promotions as well. Since these are well known across markets, brands are able to garner more visibility through the large scale marketing promotions and campaigns undertaken for the shows. Today, with creativity going national and the boundaries blurring, adapting content from the Hindi GEC space and vice versa may be something which will define the way forward for the players on the broadcast space. Though there are various challenges in terms of ownership, distribution, freedom of expression, monopolies, etc., which exist on the space, quality and efficient programming strategy would be one of the key elements that would be instrumental in driving viewership and help change the perception of how the regional space is viewed today.

HT Media launches Singapore edition of Mint

HT Media has launched an international weekly 'MintAsia', Asia's weekly window into Indian business and economy, in Singapore this weekend.MintAsia will come out every Friday and will also be available on stands at a cover price of 6SGD. The weekly would have a print run of 3,000 copies.It is an unbiased and clear minded weekly with in-depth analysis and sharp insights that will keep the global audience abreast of developments shaping the Indian economy and markets.Talking about the idea behind the launch of this paper in Singapore, HT Media CEO Rajiv Verma said, "When we conceptualized Mint, we were always very clear that it would be a regional media brand and I am delighted that, with this launch in Singapore of MintAsia, we have started on that journey. This is a first for an Indian media company."The paper will be unveiled at the IIMPact alumni event in Singapore on 6th April, 2013, by Mr. Raghuram Rajan, Chief Economic Advisor to the Government of India and Mr. R Sukumar, Editor, MintAsia.The content of the paper will be distributed into various sections including Banking & Finance, Policy & Corporate Affairs, Opinions & Views of experts across industries and a lifestyle section from Mint Lounge.MintAsia Editor R Sukumar, while talking about the content of the paper, said, "Singapore is one of the world's foremost financial centres and many decisions regarding investments in India happen here. With our unique Web First approach and a weekly print offering, both backed by an integrated newsroom we will try and cater to the India-specific information needs of the discerning Singapore reader."

E-commerce advertising on radio yet to pick up

According to a report by comScore for Assocham India, India is the fastest growing online market. The rapid growth has changed not only spending and marketing demographics, but also advertising dynamics for e-commerce.To leverage the increasing importance of digital, create loyal user base and strengthen funding options, e-commerce advertising has increased phenomenally. While some of the best creatives are witnessed across television, print and outdoor space, e-commerce on radio is still an unusual pairing.Ashwin Padmanabhan, Business Head, Big FM shared with exchange4media that out of the entire e-commerce fraternity in India, 15 per cent to 20 per cent advertise on radio, that too only for specific campaigns. So, what is it that holds back the industry from utilising one of the cheapest and flexible advertising platforms?

Why is e-commerce advertising on radio not a common sight?
Being a comparatively new medium, e-commerce is still working out the best way to reach out their target audience.“E-commerce itself is a new industry in India. They are currently looking at raising funds and thus, advertising on visible mediums makes sense to them. Thus, till the time they settle and chalk out the best media plan for them, it may take some time,” said Apurva Purohit, CEO, Radio City.While other platforms give the opportunity for mass advertising, radio is more geography oriented. Thus, e-commerce marketers need to be more specific while targeting through radio, which is not something they are looking at right now.Brands such as Myntra, eBay and Jabong have been advertising on radio, however, it comprises more of spots for a particular campaign or initiative, rather than an out an out radio campaign for the brand. Jabong launched a number of pilot campaigns on radio on various stations across different cities. While the campaign received good response in some markets, it did not receive the expected response in a few.“Lack of creatives from radio perspective has been one of the reasons for lack of e-commerce advertising on radio,” added Padmanabhan. He explained that while e-commerce brands can show their product in all the other mediums and provide a brand experience to their consumers, they are not confident about doing the same on radio.

What can be done?
Absence of e-commerce on radio has been explained by a number of reasons, however, does this imply that radio as an advertising medium is not conducive to e-commerce? Highest propensity of people who are radio listeners in terms of duplication is with online and television, giving e-commerce marketers a big opportunity create and reach out to the existing target audience.The best quality about radio is that it can serve as a mainstream advertising tool as well as an effective supplementary medium, thus giving e-commerce marketers a lot of scope for creating a media multiplier effect. “It is proven that after six crores of advertising on television, if the seventh crore is spent on radio, it gives 25 per cent higher audience view,” added Purohit.A radio-only campaign might not be comfortable to e-commerce players for a number of reasons, but experimenting on the medium can open a lot of opportunities for them. “Myntra is currently focusing on digital and television, but we are experimenting on radio. Creating brand experience on two to three touch points helps a lot and thus, radio should be used to create recall value,” said Manu Jain, Co-founder, Jabong.While e-commerce owners focus on digital and television, there are a number of things that radio players can do to make the medium more effective for them. For instance, radio’s geographical trait can be used to create tailored campaigns for particular TG. Radio players can also bank on on-ground activations to help e-commerce players give a feel factor (in literal terms) to their target audience which no other medium can provide.Except being a new industry, e-commerce is no different from any other industry. Thus, effective spots, strong creatives and using radio for its intrinsic strength (media multiplier effect) can help e-commerce leverage radio to its most.

Microsoft escalates advertising assault on Google

Microsoft is skewering Google again with scathing ads that say as much about the dramatic shift in the technology industry's competitive landscape as they do about the animosity between the two rivals.The missive that began on Tuesday marks the third phase in a 5-month-old marketing campaign that Microsoft Corp. derisively calls "Scroogled." The ads, which have appeared online, on television and in print, depict Google as a duplicitous company more interested in increasing profits and power than protecting people's privacy and providing unbiased search results.This time, Microsoft is vilifying Google Inc. for sharing some of the personal information that it gathers about people who buy applications designed to run on smartphones and tablet computers powered by Google's Android software. Earlier ads have skewered Google's long-running practice of electronically scanning the contents of people's Gmail accounts to help sell ads and attacked a recently introduced policy that requires retailers to pay to appear in the shopping section of Google's dominant search engine."We think we have a better alternative that doesn't do these kinds of nefarious things," said Greg Sullivan, Microsoft's senior manager for Windows Phone, the business taking aim at Google's distribution of personal information about buyers of Android apps.Microsoft's advertising barbs could potentially backfire.Even as they help draw attention to Google practices that may prod some consumers to try different services, they also serve as a reminder of Microsoft's mostly futile, and costly, attempts to trump its rival with more compelling technology."It's always the underdog that does negative advertising like this, and there is no doubt that Microsoft is now the underdog," said Jonathan Weber, who has been following Microsoft's "Scroogled" campaign at search consulting firm LunaMetrics.Beyond privacy, Google has been the subject of complaints that its practices are anti-competitive. Today, a group of companies led by Microsoft said it has asked European authorities to investigate whether Google is acting unfairly by giving away its Android operating system to mobile device manufacturers on the condition that Google's own apps, such as YouTube and Google Maps, are installed and prominently displayed.

Online advertising defies slowdown in UK

Advertising spending on the internet jumped 12.5 percent in Britain last year, defying a flagging economy as companies battled to reach consumers spending more time on smartphones and tablet computers.The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) on Wednesday said that a study conducted by PwC showed spending on online advertising reached 5.42 billion pounds in 2012.The study, which used data from companies that had provided information the previous year, said internet ad spending rose 607 million pounds on 2011, with some 323 million pounds due to an increase in mobile advertising.Britain has led the way in moving advertising from traditional areas like newspapers and radio to the internet. A high take up of broadband and the rise of smartphones and tablet computers which allow users to access the internet on the go have helped the shift."Advertisers are increasingly buying integrated campaigns across online and mobile rather than regarding mobile as an afterthought," said Tim Elkington, Director of Research & Strategy at the Internet Advertising Bureau.With around two-thirds of Britons owning a smartphone as of December 2012, mobile advertising now accounts for almost 10 percent of all digital ad spending, compared with about 1 percent in 2009.Video advertising grew 46 percent to 160 million pounds, accounting for 12 percent of online and mobile display in 2012.Demand for mobile ads is likely to increase after auctions for next-generation 4G airwaves earlier this year, which are set to deliver speeds more than five times faster than 3G services.These services will make downloading high-resolution video easier and enable better multi-tasking on the latest smartphones and tablets. EE, Britain's biggest mobile operator, said on Tuesday it was on track to sign up 1 million customers for its 4G service by the end of the year.The consumer goods sector overtook the finance sector as the biggest spender on digital display advertising - accounting for almost 16 percent of display ad spend in 2012.

Twitter lands one of its biggest advertising deals with SMG for major revenue boost

Twitter has struck one of its biggest advertising deals to date with media agency Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG), the companies said, in the social media site's latest effort to boost revenue. The multi-year agreement, which includes preferred inventory and a direct pipeline into Twitter's data feed for media planning purposes, is worth up to hundreds of millions of dollars, according to sources familiar with the deal. They declined to be named because the transaction details are private. "In about 18 months, Twitter has gone from an experiment to essential," said Laura Desmond, global chief executive of Starcom, in an interview about the partnership on Monday. "The deal is about research and experiences on behalf of SMG's clients," said Adam Bain, president of global revenue at Twitter. As part of the worldwide firm Publicis Groupe, SMG buys and plans media on behalf of clients ranging from Samsung Electronics Co Ltd to Kellogg Co. The partnership marks a significant win for Twitter which has been courting Madison Avenue to expand its advertising business. With 200 million users, Twitter has become extremely popular for its effective way of sharing short, 140-character messages. But the fast growing social media site now in its seventh year is furiously ramping up its ability to make revenue in the face of stiff competition from Facebook Inc and Google Inc. Twitter is expected to generate less than $600 million in revenue this year, according to the research firm eMarketer. The partnership with SMG culminated last fall after a strategy planning session between Desmond and Twitter Chief Executive Dick Costolo. SMG is making a push to connect traditional media buys like TV commercials and glossy ad pages in magazines with chatter on social media across the Web. As part of the agreement, Twitter and SMG will co-create a virtual lab to research how people tweet and watch TV. Twitter has also partnered with TV viewership company Nielsen to measure what people are saying on Twitter about TV shows. Additionally, Twitter and SMG will launch a mobile product to survey users in real-time. "We think agencies play a big role bringing interesting new ideas to the platform and we want to support that," said Bain, adding that Twitter plans to form more of these types of partnerships. "We want to create a great framework to measure."

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