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ASCI releases advertising guidelines for fairness products

The new guidelines will ensure that advertisements of products in this category do not depict people with dark skin as somehow inferior to those who are fairer. The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), a self-regulatory body for the Indian advertising industry has released a set of final guidelines for the advertising of skin lightening and fairness products after seeking industry and public feedback to a draft it had issued earlier. ASCI's new guidelines will go a long way in ensuring that advertisements of products in this category do not depict people with dark skin as somehow inferior to those who are fairer.

The following guidelines will be used when creating and assessing advertisements in this category:

  • The advertising should not communicate any discrimination as a result of skin colour. These ads should not reinforce negative social stereotyping on the basis of skin colour. Specifically, advertising should not directly or implicitly show people with darker skin, in a way, which is widely seen as unattractive, unhappy, depressed or concerned. These ads should not portray people with darker skin, in a way which is widely seen as, at a disadvantage of any kind, or inferior, or unsuccessful in any aspect of life particularly in relation to being attractive to the opposite sex, matrimony, job placement, promotions and other prospects.

  • In the pre-usage depiction of product, special care should be taken to ensure that the expression of the model/s in the real and graphical representation should not be negative in a way, which is widely seen as unattractive, unhappy, depressed or concerned.

  • The advertising should not associate darker or lighter colour skin with any particular socio-economic strata, caste, community, religion, profession or ethnicity.

  • It should not perpetuate gender-based discrimination because of skin colour.

Commenting on the new guidelines, Partha Rakshit, chairman, ASCI states, "Setting up these new guidelines for skin lightening and fairness products will help advertisers comply with ASCI code's Chapter III 1 b which states that advertisements should not deride any race, caste, colour, creed or nationality . Given how widespread the advertising for fairness and skin lightening products is and the concerns of different stakeholders in society, ASCI saw the need to set up specific guidelines for this product category.”

IRS 2013: No Doubts Here

The Media Research Users Council (MRUC) has removed the voluntary abeyance on the Indian Readership Survey 2013. The Indian Readership Survey (IRS) 2013 was released on January 28, 2014. The release attracted differing views on the accuracy of the data forcing the Readership Survey Council of India (RSCI) to request subscribers to hold the study in abeyance and undertake a revalidation exercise. Subsequently, a sub-committee for revalidation was established with two co-chairs representing publishers and ad agencies. The sub-committee unanimously concluded that the methodology used to conduct IRS 2013 was in order and decided to commission a Process Audit. The committee, after viewing several proposals agreed to award the audit to Praveen Tripathi, an expert on large-scale studies of media consumption behaviour. It was decided that the findings would be discussed by the heads of the four industry bodies - the chairman, RSCI, chairman, MRUC, president, INS and chairman, ABC - before making any decision. The audit was conducted in two stages. Stage one involved direct back-checking of respondent homes after which a much broader and deeper Forensic Statistical Analysis exercise was carried out to identify and isolate both fieldwork compliance deficiencies and incidences of occurrence of Unusual Publication Incidence (UPI) in respondent interview records. After intense deliberations and a careful examination of the audit report, it was unanimously decided to lift the voluntary abeyance placed on the Readership Survey.

In-store activities; the new experiential benchmark

In today’s scenario experiential activities are not just limited to OOH campaigns and installations. Several brands are exploring and investing in innovative and experiential in-store activities, providing in-house brand experience. People memorize and speak about their experiences and if we are able to bring them good ones, they’ll eventually become a believer; a beaker of blessing, helping generate brand loyalty. Puma and Studio.J, Bangalore launched their Motorsport collections, visual merchandise with official licensed products from BMW, Ferrari and Mercedes Benz, aiming to create something out of the box that grabs customer attention at a go. The campaign was executed in a larger than life capacity. 3D interactive installation at the window of the store with a 9 feet speedometer that had LED lights was set up. Acrylic cut 3D letters with an inbuilt motor as well as the Puma Ferrari retail shoes were used in the fringe of the speedometer, as in the logo. The mannequins were dressed with motor sport merchandise. Race track graphics on the floors, Ferrari car in red acrylic and motor sport cat in 3D were arranged with the idea of bringing in the essence of F1 sport live on ground within the store. All these elements together showcased an experiential window, with a giveaway in the form of a memory to the onlookers. Min Chang, President –Asia Pacific at Diversified Agency Services, a division of Omnicom Group said: “It is such a large umbrella. Consumers may not respond to traditional conversation anymore, so you can start with in-store event and activation instead of a TVC; it is more cost effective with social media integration.” A creative and personalized color experience and solution called “Color Cloud” created by Fitch was offered by Asian Paints Color Store: Color Cloud Façade Delhi, India in alliance with Mudra Group, New Delhi. The remarkable lighting installation invited patrons to step on a color bar, which then fills the cloud and the entire store with the particular color. Both the cloud and facade were connected to an inner controller and motion sensor that changed its color when pressed or stepped on it. The customer interaction along with a live experience of what color could do to their homes was offered without even having them to buy a pinch of paint. Guests used RFID “color cards” to collect their ideas with a takeaway of home color magazine. A full range of Asian Paints collection was also displayed; customers could choose the desired combination and visualize their ideas in front of them in just a step. Mumbai based Design Deck associated with SVG, a home furnishing fabric manufacturer where a 49 sq m stand was built to promote and showcase their collection of products along with branding of their retail brand ‘Karma’. Three of their collection lines – Royal, Natural Eco-Friendly and Abstract were displayed with a creative experiential touch. Special catalogue books were accessible to the visitors along with the provision of trying hands on within the stand for product screening. The stand was fabricated and designed to attract consumers and build a connection with its clientele. Another name in this experiential list is Ishana Experience Centre, an ‘experiential’ retail destination at the T3 departure terminal, IGI International Airport, New Delhi Providing services like ayurvedic sessions, astrology, palm reading, music performances and live dances, mehendi application, live craft demonstration along with express spa treatment. Healthy snacks were served keeping in mind the theme. Indian music were also played by live musicians as well folk dances were performed. Free consultation with doctors regarding health was also available. Indian sweet and spices were also given to customers that they could take home. Creative and innovative structures; adding to them an experiential touch is what a brand needs. In recent years, marketers from every sector, from clothes to cars and movies to housing have been aiming to make their brand presence substantial in consumers’ lives. “Clients are hungry for innovative ideas and engagement, if you can show value in your approach or an idea; they are willing to take that on,” says Min Chang, President –Asia Pacific at DAS.

Spikes Asia announces programme of themed forums

The Spikes Asia Festival of Creativity has announced a programme of 14 forums which will take place during this year’s Festival, running from 23-26 September in Singapore. Themed by day, the Forums will focus on specific industry trends and the issues associated with these, offering a chance for in-depth, multi-perspective insights in a learning focused environment. The topics covered include: Creative Talent, Consumer Insights, Creativity in Social and Creativity in Mobile. Creative Talent will look at where true talent can be found, how to keep it and what the structures are that allow creativity to flourish. In these sessions, Al Moseley, President and Chief Creative Officer, 180Amsterdam, will talk about why creative people should lead companies; Katie Chatfield, Creative Strategist at Jack Morton Worldwide will discuss how both a culture and environment conducive to creative thinking can be actively encouraged; Niall McKinney, Founder & CEO of The Knowledge Engineers examines what makes an agency of the future and how agencies need to evolve their talent; and Wunderman’s Martin Conneen and William Manfredi will share initiatives to attract and retain digital talent, drive your data transformation as well as create a real life culture of a world-class connected organisation. With the spotlight on Consumer Insight, Nir Wegrzyn and Bex Deere of BrandOpus will look at gender and marketing and whether thinking about gender is the right approach. Howard Smith, Managing Director at Clarity, will uncover the motivations that shape the unique purchase behaviours of the Chinese Outbound Luxury Shopper, whilst Andrew Ho of Face will share eight key principles for uncovering new ground and delivering fresher and deeper insight. Yonathan Dominitz, Founder of Mindscapes, will also hold a session presenting some of the most creative and awarded campaigns along with the insights behind them. With Creativity in Social as the theme, founder of socialdeviant, Marc Landsberg, will deconstruct social media creativity, sharing best practice examples from around the world to help guide future social media efforts. Also focusing on social, WFA will look at User Generated Content whilst irisWorldwide will turn their attention to the social triggers for sharing. Focusing on Creativity in Mobile, Victor Knaap and Wesley ter Haar of MediaMonks will look at the different ways in which ad agencies from all over the planet are pushing the potential of mobile technology into undiscovered territory. Continuing along this theme, Arthur Policarpio and Bela Gupta d’ Souza of Mobext talk about why they observe a ‘lean start-up’ approach in their agency and TBWA’s Digital Arts Network will invite delegates to be part of an interactive panel experience with a debate that centres on technology and design. “The aim of the Spikes Asia content programme is to provide essential insight, learning and inspiration to our audience, helping them to leave in a better position to drive their careers forward and equipped with the necessary skills and expertise. The forums are a key part of this and we’re delighted to be able to offer this focused and relevant stream of content to our attendees,” says Andrea Hayes, Festival Director of Spikes Asia.

Conde Nast Traveller goes Wild

The magazine launched its first supplement for this year around Wildlife destinations in India and abroad. Conde Nast Traveller, a travel magazine from the Conde Nast Group, has launched a special supplement themed around wildlife. Titled 'Into the Wildlife', the supplement is the first of the year from the magazine. The supplement focuses on travel destinations which offer great wildlife experience not just in India but throughout the world. Speaking about the idea behind it, Divia Thani Daswani, editor, Conde Nast Traveller, says, "We discovered from consumer insights that today people want to go for a wildlife holiday. Instead of going for a 10 destinations, they prefer a single destination and want to immerse themselves in it. We have tried to cater to that need. "The supplement includes Wildlife Bucket Lists, destinations, and inputs from wildlife photographers, big social media influencers, and others. The supplement is approximately 100 pages and includes curated content and advertorials. The advertiser-funded content is around 45-50 pages. The magazine is promoting the supplement on the OOH medium, radio and cross publications of the magazine along with the digital. The OOH sites are in Delhi and Mumbai while Radio One is the radio partner for it. Today, Conde Nast Traveller claims to print nearly 30,000 copies every month. The Conde Nast Group's publications include Vogue, GQ, Conde Nast Traveller and Architectural Digest.

Sony Six wins broadcast rights for the Champions Tennis League

The inaugural league will be held between November 17 and 26 in six cities in India. Sony Six, the sports and entertainment channel from Multi Screen Media bouquet, has won the telecast rights to the Champions Tennis League. The inaugural league will take place between November 17 and 26 and will be held in six cities in India. It will witness national and international tennis talent with each team having top ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) and WTA (Women's Tennis Association) players, captained by a tennis legend. All the games will be featured live and exclusive on Sony SIX and Sony SIX HD. Commenting on the acquisition, NP Singh, CEO, MSM India says, "This will be a landmark event that will put India on the global map of tennis, with some of the world's greatest tennis stars playing right here. It will be a perfect blend of tennis and entertainment that has never been seen in India." According to Prasana Krishnan, EVP and business head, Sony Six, the acquisition signifies yet another endeavour of Sony SIX's that brings diverse sports offerings to the viewers. "We believe that the league will also help young Indian talent to perform on a grand stage." Vijay Amritraj, chairman and managing director of Second Serve adds, "I am delighted that the Champions Tennis League in its inaugural edition will be seen on Sony Six and Sony Six HD. I am also proud to say that our Indian Davis cup players will be alongside the international players, along with two Indian youngsters, a boy and a girl; who will be on the team to practice and gain experience travelling with these top players."

The format - The League will feature six city-based teams playing 12 matches over an eight-day period. The teams will be structured into two groups, each having three sides, which play each other in a 'home' and 'away' format. The top teams of each half play each other in the 13th match. Each team in the Champions Tennis league will feature one male and one female international player ranked amongst the top 25 in the ATP and WTA rankings. Each of the six teams will also have an international legend as their playing captain, apart from a noted top ranked Indian male tennis player. Two juniors, aged under 21 will also be a part of the team, selected by the All India Tennis Association, in order to give them exposure and the experience of playing with some of the best players in the world.

Creative experiential campaigns by fitness brands

With an aim to encourage people to stay fit, several brands have taken to experiential to enforce their point and leverage their core values. EE identifies 6 creative instances of brand communication where experiential is used as a medium by fitness brands. Get ready to be motivated or embarrassed, either ways you’ll be raring to work out by the time you’re done reading.

Nike: Nike, in an experiential marketing tactic, prevented people from sitting on park benches by removing the planks where people could sit and leaving only the backrests. These benches were set up in parks with Nike’s logo and “RUN” written on the backrest. The motive was to encourage people to run and work out rather than sit on the bench and rest.

Adidas D Rose Jump Store: Adidas organized the “D Rose Jump Store” in London to promote Derrick Rose’s signature Adidas sneakers. The concept was simple (use Derrick Rose’s presence to create buzz among fans), Adidas took it to another level by adding depth to their activation. In addition to meeting the famous Chicago Bulls point guard, fans had the opportunity to win a free pair of the signature sneaker if they could jump 10 feet to reach them. By having participants jump the same distance needed to reach a regulation basketball hoop, it gave each consumer perspective into the basketball player’s life. Whether participants walked away empty handed or with a new $100 set of shoes, they all had an experience that they will always remember and associate with Adidas.

Slim Fast Diet Drink Bench: Slim Fast Diet Drink installed a small bench in an experiential marketing tactic to promote their diet drink. The plan was simple and implied that if a person who wasn’t able to sit on it would have to lose weight. The main motive was to increase awareness about Slim Fast which also provides Diet Plans to lose weight.

Kellogg’s Special K: Kellogg’s to increase awareness of the Special K installed benches that bends downwards when someone sits on it. The sign on the bench says, “Time for special K, 99% Fat Free”.

Fitness First Rotterdam Bus Shelter: Bus shelters in Rotterdam, Netherlands started its exciting digital roadside deployments of `Fitness First.’ The concept had a weighing scale attached in the seat to show how much the person sitting on it weighed. It was a clever campaign to embarrass and make people work out.

Hyderabad airport a favored advertising destination for premium brands

As the volume of air passenger traffic increases, airport media properties become definitive for brands to showcase their offerings. Airport advertising assures visibility of the brand message to customers and thus has become the most preferred route for most of the brands seeking to connect with the most affluent segment of the population. Recently, Tanishq engaged the high-profile media units namely portrait unipoles, which are a series of five larger than life media units placed in a straight line at Hyderabad Airport. The campaign’s objective is to promote solitaire diamonds among others to target high net worth individuals (HNI) belonging to the SEC A+. The proposal to display the brand at the airport was put forth by the outdoor firm, Laqshya Solutions which holds the ad rights at the RGIA in order to take advantage of the frequency exposure to drive home the point of single minded proposition of a wide range of solitaires that Tanishq has on offer. The creative used puts the solitaires at the centre and conveys the celebratory spirit of an anniversary! The five portrait unipoles are at the Departures tract, a beautiful space in the airport, lined with well-manicured topiary. All the elements put together accentuate the beauty and design of a solitaire, making it as aspirational as it deserves to be. The portrait unipoles are one of the most distinguishing features at the Hyderabad International Airport. Showcasing Tanishq’s anniversary solitaires at the Hyderabad International Airport was a strategic move for the brand considering the international airport is the perfect location to advertise a brand like this to a captive audience that is affluent and discerning. The showcasing of the solitaires at Hyderabad International Airport is part of the campaign executed by Laqshya Solutions across various airports in the country

BACARDI to create graphic novel on its heritage

BACARDÍ has been around for more than 150 years. Since 1862, the Bacardí family has faced earthquakes, fire, revolution, prohibition, and exile. To bring these stories to life, BACARDÍ has collaborated with two of the most iconic names in the world of graphic novels – writer Warren Ellis and artist Michael Allred – to create The Spirit of BACARDÍ, a graphic novel that tells the stories behind the brand and its origins in Cuba. The Spirit of BACARDÍ focuses on Emilio Bacardí – son of founder Don Facundo Bacardí Massó – and his work for Cuban independence in the late 1800s. Emilio Bacardí was repeatedly imprisoned and exiled for his belief in an independent Cuba, but persevered, eventually becoming the first freely-elected Mayor of Santiago de Cuba. The graphic novel also touches upon early challenges the Bacardí family faced and overcame – including an earthquake that destroyed their city and a fire that ravaged their distillery – and ends with the creation of the original Cuba Libre cocktail in 1900. Drops of BACARDÍ Gold rum were added to the inks that artist Michael Allred used to illustrate The Spirit of BACARDÍ. “Working on this project gave me the chance to bring to life a time and a place I’ve never worked with before – Cuba in the late nineteenth century,” said Allred. “I loved the idea of adding BACARDÍ rum to the ink to make it a real part of the graphic novel’s DNA. It’s something I have never done before and makes the artwork unique.” Ellis said, “Storytelling requires great characters, and in Emilio Bacardí we have exactly that. Emilio was a patriot, passionate about his homeland of Cuba. My focus was to bring his drive and determination to life.” Andy Gibson, Chief Marketing Officer of Bacardi, said, “We see The Spirit of BACARDÍ as a fantastic way to tell the stories behind “BACARDÍ Untameable Since 1862,” our new global marketing campaign that inspires consumers to pursue their passions no matter what—much like the Bacardí family did—encouraging camaraderie and strength of character.” ”Authenticity is increasingly important to our consumers, especially millennials. While first and foremost we want the graphic novel to be entertaining, we are also saying something important about our brand; that we have the heritage to back up our attitude,” added Gibson.

How QR codes are being used in experiential campaigns

Gone are the days when traditional advertising techniques were used. Facebook and Twitter have eaten a fair share of Billboards and print advertisements space, but in today’s scenario, QR codes are the next big thing. QR or Quick Response Codes are a type of two-dimensional barcode that can be read using smartphone and QR compatible devices, which will take the user to a website link that is embedded in the QR code. In this technology driven world, several brands are adapting constructive marketing stratagems to achieve their sales targets. The growing trend of QR usage as a part of marketing strategies has enabled brands to offer a unique experiential experience to their customers. The first being WECHAT’s 1,000 kg QR code cake, carried by Vibgyor brand services that read ” Scan Me Eat Me” at Ambience Mall, Gurgaon on this year’s Valentine’s day. Activities like paper dance, balloon dance, tongue twister and other love themed games were played to engage the audiences. Three lucky couples also got a chance to cut the QR code cake. Radio jockey Swati and Piyush of Red FM were roped in for better consumer interaction. On this well thought-out, engaging and creative campaign Ankur Kalra, CEO and Founder of Vibgyor brand services; Delhi said “We had created a gigantic QR code cake weighing more than 1,000 kg. The challenge was to arrange the thousands of cake pieces in the exact same pattern as the code so they could be scanned to download the application. If even a single slice was not placed in its designated place, the entire campaign would have collapsed.” He further added “Brands are yet to tap the full potential of QR codes as a medium. The medium seems to be limited by the hardware that supports it. Smartphones don’t come with a pre-installed QR code reader and the effort expected of a consumer- to download a special application and use it to scan a grid is not proportionate to the results.” On that thought another innovative and experiential campaign focusing on adding value to customer experience was The Buddy Stamp. Turquoise Cottage, Delhi in Alliance with Webchutney; Delhi, India initiated the campaign to enhance the clientele experience and boost sales. On entry people were stamped with a QR code instead of the traditional hand stamp. When scanned, it revealed discount deals on drinks, a list of taxi numbers for night hours and finally tips on how to recover from a heavy night. BMW and Liquid Campaign India made BMW3 Series prototypes with newsprint of QR codes on its bodywork across India. This experiential OOH campaign made use of QR codes to directly connect people to the central campaign platform.

Brand USA to hold buyer-seller meet in India in September

Brand USA will be organizing its' third sales mission to India from September 7 - 13. The Brand USA mission will bring together U.S. organizations and India's travel buyers to provide an in-depth look at U.S. destinations and experiences and thereby increase cooperation and travel bookings.The travel trade mission will provide an appropriate platform for U.S. suppliers to interact directly with India's leading tour operators, airline representatives, travel agents and media. Nearly 43 participants representing 31 U.S. companies including destinations, attractions, hotels and receptive operators are scheduled to hold a buyer-seller meet in Bengaluru on September 8, Mumbai on September 9 and New Delhi on September 12. Jay Gray, Vice President, Global Partnership Development at Brand USA will lead representatives from the Beverly Hills Conference & Visitors Bureau, Caesars Entertainment, Cirque du Soleil, Hearst Castle, Hornblower Cruises & Events, Las Vegas Convention And Visitors Authority and Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board. Also joining them will be Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism, Maxim Tours LLC, Nevada Commission on Tourism, NYC & Company, NYC Partner (Empire State Building Observatory), & NYC Partner (Broadway Collection), Papillon Group, Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau.From the west coast and the south, we have Red and White - San Francisco Cruises, San Francisco Travel Association, Santa Monica Convention & Visitors Bureau, Sans Incredible Vacations, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Simon Shopping Destinations, Starwood Hotels, Tours Limited LLC, Universal Studios Hollywood, Visit California, Visit Florida, Visit Orlando, Visit Tampa Bay, Walt Disney World, 7M Tours and Brand USA.

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