MediAvataar's News Desk
From time immemorial, those of royal descent have romanced the extravagant world of vintage cars, haute designers, spectacular jewelry and all things opulent. Known for their love of beauty and style, their lifestyles cast a spell across the world.
Set against a fascinating backdrop of the lifestyles, motivations, hopes, aspirations, insecurities and the mysteries that shroud the Indian royalty of the 1940s, Zee TV’s magnum opus period drama ‘EK Tha Raja Ek Thi Rani’ will premiere on 27th July and air at 9:30 PM every Monday to Friday. The show is a classic romance that explores the dynamics of all that transpired behind the four walls of imperial palaces in an era of Indian history that has not been explored so far on Indian television.
The show has a stellar ensemble cast that includes the strikingly attractive Dhrashti Dhami, who makes a comeback on television as the leading lady Gayatri. The handsome Siddhant Karnik will play the male lead, Ranaji Indravadan Singh Deo, the intense and brooding prince of the royal family of Amerkot. Joining the duo is none other than the noted Bollywood actor who entertained the audiences with her films through the 80’s, the charming Anita Raj. Television's favourite Dadi Sa, the powerhouse of talent - veteran actor Surekha Sikri and the remarkably talented, National award-winning actor Darshan Zariwala will also join this ensemble playing pivotal roles. Playing other interesting parts will be the enchanting Moon Bannerjee and popular actor Akshay Anand. While all these actors have made a distinct mark for themselves through interesting characters they have portrayed over the years, they now come together under one roof to create history on Indian television.
Leaving no stone unturned in taking its audiences back in time to the 1940s, Zee TV, in conjunction with the producers of the show – Sphere Origins and Nilanjana Purkayastha, is pushing the envelope with regards to production values, meticulous research and attention to detail. Bringing the pre-Independence era to life is a team of set and costume designers, engineers, architects and more than 500 workers, who have been toiling away relentlessly, day and night to replicate the look and feel of the period. The grand palace constructed on the outskirts of Mumbai is one of the most expensive sets in the history of Indian television. The palace has a façade inspired from the famous Baroda Palace and is also, currently, the only waterproof set for a TV show. Brimming with elegance, classic charm and grandeur, the palaces, jewelry and costumes pay a tribute to royal families who lived lives of unparalleled grandeur and luxury. Carpets weighing over 2.5 tonnes, chandeliers, antiques, vintage cars have specially been sourced and carved wooden furniture is being crafted to replicate the designs prevalent in those times. Jewelry and royal poshaks for the cast have been sourced from traditional kaarigars of UP, Delhi and Rajasthan. Coaches and trainers have been brought on board to train the cast in horse-riding, polo and the finer nuances of diction, body language and mannerisms of the people from that era. The cast and crew has also shot extensively in the palaces of Rajasthan.
Zee TV Business Head Mr. Pradeep Hejmadi said, “Even when it comes to genres such as history and mythology, a most fascinating period that remains unexplored by Indian television is the pre-Independence era. This vibrant period of India’s history that saw a great upheaval also saw intense drama unfold in the lives of the royalty of the princely states. Behind empty walls of grandeur and fake displays of splendor was hidden the truth of erosion of wealth, insecurities, succumbing to British dominion, depression and bankruptcy. Ek Tha Raja Ek Thi Rani is a story of love set against this most interesting canvas. It aims to give viewers an up close and personal view of the lifestyles and some of the most closely guarded secrets of the rich and royal of the 1940s. It is a work of fiction that draws inspiration from the lives of the royalty of that period. This magnum opus period romance comes in at 9:30 PM, while Qubool Hai now moves to 7:30 PM, further fortifying the early primetime band.”
Producers Sunjoy and Comall Wadhwa of Sphere Origins further add, “The idea has been to look back at a glorious period of history for inspiration and churn out a timeless masterpiece that will entertain and enthrall TV audiences. The most daunting task at hand has been the re-creation of the pre-Independence era and the majestic lifestyles of the kings and queens of the princely states. Enormous research has gone to ensure authentic representation of the era and to create magic on screen. We have on board an ensemble of extremely impressive actors who beautifully fit the parts they are playing. The show will definitely turn out to be a clutter-breaker and hopefully, the biggest fiction show of the year.”
Stay tuned to Ek Tha Raja EK Thi Rani, starting 27th July, every Monday to Friday at 9:30 PM, only on ZEE TV!
CNN-IBN is all set to voice the issues of the metro viewers and bring them to the forefront with its brand new show ‘In Your City’ launched on 21st July, 2015.
The half hour show will focus on six metro cities, i.e., Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Hyderabad.
The show will not only bring top headlines from these cities but will also highlight the major issues concerning these metros. When it comes to introducing new formats and programming, CNN-IBN has always been a leader in the genre. ‘In your City’ is also such an initiative aimed at the metro viewers of the channel.
Catch ‘In Your City’ every Monday to Friday @ 7 PM from 21st July, 2015 exclusively on CNN-IBN.
More Than Half of Marketers Say Their Demand Generation Strategies Don’t Measure Up and Are Less Than Effective, Reveals New CMO Council Study
Lack of Consensus on What Is Really a Valued Lead
Call it a lead, opportunity or prospect. No matter what the term, sales organizations can never get enough new business contacts from their marketing groups. The question is how wisely they are used and whether that new point of customer access is qualified, primed and ready to write orders.
A detailed study from the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council and the Content ROI Center finds that most companies are struggling to originate compelling thought leadership content that engages the right customer decision makers and produces quality lead flow that can advance sales performance. Not only do marketers lack unanimity on what constitutes an actual sales lead, but they also are not teaming effectively with sales and business development groups. In most cases, these internal stakeholders lack synergy and alignment on demand generation strategies, themes and advocacy agendas.
Entitled “Lead Flow That Helps You Grow,” the North America-based research was conducted in partnership with NetLine Corporation, a leader in content syndication for lead generation. Key findings from a survey of more than 200 marketing leaders across many industry sectors in North America in Q2 of 2015 reveal that:
• Only 12 percent of marketers believe they have high-performance content marketing engines that are strategically programmed to target the right audiences with relevant and persuasive content. They are also not using multiple distribution and syndication channels for maximum reach, impact and return.
• Most view their content marketing process as ad hoc, decentralized and driven by internal stakeholder interests.
• Just 21 percent of marketers say they are total partners with their sales and business development counterparts when it comes to developing the strategy and measuring the effectiveness of demand generation programs.
• Some 22 percent of marketers believe sales teams are too often a roadblock and detractor and are rarely a contributor to the content marketing value chain.
“Generating demand and ensuring the consistent flow of high-quality, actionable leads is paramount to the success of today’s business-to-business marketer,” notes Donovan Neale-May, Executive Director of the CMO Council. “Sales enablement and pipeline performance remain key mandates as organizations look to fine-tune their content marketing practices to be high-performance growth engines.”
While 75 percent of marketers view the number of downloads or registrations as the most important measure of content marketing success, they admit to many key failings that impact this metric. The top five include:
• Not developing customized content for target audiences (48 percent of respondents)
• Not allocating sufficient budget to create engaging and authoritative content (48 percent)
• Not producing content that is relevant or meaningful to different audiences (44 percent)
• Not reaching the right decision makers across the organization (43 percent)
• Not leveraging the right distribution channels and syndication opportunities to maximize reach (39 percent)
“The quantity and quality of audience-appropriate content directly correlates to the number of leads that will end up in the sales pipeline,” explains Robert Alvin, CEO and Founder of NetLine Corporation. “Content demand generation programs start with the asset but must ensure proper consumption. Syndication and distribution to target audience groups with measurable results is indispensable for a successful content strategy.”
According to 46 percent of the 600-plus marketing decision makers taking part in the CMO Council’s “State of Marketing 2014” study, their greatest accomplishment in the past year was the realignment of marketing to better support sales and improve selling cycles. Nearly one in three marketers admits that maintaining a high-quality sales pipeline is one of their top senior management mandates for the coming year, and half say that lead generation and qualification is the area of business need that will receive the most resources. But despite the improvements in processes, goals and intentions to optimize lead generation and yield, only one in four marketers believes they have made strides in implementing demand-generation systems to better target, acquire, qualify and convert business.
The report also includes the findings of an online survey of 213 respondents (46 percent from companies with $1 billion or more in annual revenue) who provided responses to a wide range of questions, including:
• How would you rate your organization’s content marketing performance relative to the caliber and incidence of lead flow?
• Do you have formalized content marketing strategies and protocols in place?
• How well are you managing and optimizing content marketing processes and practices?
• What are the primary content marketing tactics and programs used by your company?
• Are you fully leveraging all of your content marketing assets, formats and channels to maximum effect? If not, why not?
• How are you tracking and measuring end-to-end content marketing performance?
• Where are there deficiencies, and how are they being addressed?
• How are you currently packaging, promoting and syndicating marketing content?
• Which areas of content marketing generate the most lead flow, and what system do you have in place to nurture and convert these leads?
The Gurgaon office of Ogilvy has recently announced a number of additions to its senior management team.
Kapil Arora, Branch Head, Ogilvy Gurgaon: Over the last three years, the office has grown significantly across disciplines and we felt the need to bring in the right talent to help navigate our clients’ businesses through a rapidly changing environment.
Ajay Gahlaut, Executive Creative Director, Ogilvy North: As our business gets more dynamic and interconnected every day, we are constantly looking for leaders who can join the dots effectively and enable a better, more integrated creative product.
As part of this exercise, Alok Sinha has been brought in as President, Planning. With over 20 years of experience across research, advertising, media and digital, Alok has worked with brands like IBM, Unilever and Vodafone. He has also had extensive experience across South East Asia, in a regional communications planning role at Aegis and subsequently as lead on the P&G businesses at Carat, Philippines. Most recently, he led the strategic digital mandate for Mindshare in South Asia, where his focus was on strengthening Mindshare’s planning product and the strong integration of digital thinking on businesses including futuristic projects like the Loop Room
Alok Sinha, President, Planning: It’s a homecoming for me. I’m quite excited at the prospect of bringing a ‘no boundaries’ approach to account planning for clients – having traversed the entire spectrum myself. The communication business is at the confluence of two tectonic forces – content and data. Ogilvy Delhi has some of the most prestigious clients and talent in the country and my job is to try help both our clients and our talent effectively navigate this confluence for business success.
Chandana Agarwal has taken on the role of Managing Partner of the Advertising function. Chandana has been with Soho Square and Ogilvy Gurgaon for over four years now and has been responsible for great work across brands like Philips, Sprite, Taco Bell, Pernod Ricard & Honda, amongst others. In her role as Managing Partner, she will work with Kapil to steward the advertising business of Ogilvy.
Chandana Agarwal, Managing Partner, Advertising: The business and process of Advertising is going through a tectonic change. These are exciting and challenging times and I am all charged and geared to work with Kapil and the leadership team here to ensure that Ogilvy advertising is at the forefront of this change.
Namrata Balwani has been appointed as Senior Vice President and Head of OgilvyOne, Gurgaon.
Namrata moves in from Media2win, a digital agency she co-founded, where she was CEO. A graduate from MICA, she has been at the forefront of media & the digital medium in particular, leading a host of brands to success and recognition across the Abbys, Yahoo Big Idea, IAMAI, Campaign India & many other industry awards.
Namrata Balwani, Senior VP & Head of OgilvyOne Gurgaon: I am excited to lead an amazing OgilvyOne team in Gurgaon. Digital platforms and connectivity, especially mobile, are transforming India at a speed never seen before. This is the best time to not only be a part of the transformation but also lead the charge and OgilvyOne is well poised to do that for all its brand partners.
Kapil & Ajay conclude: We are really excited about these new additions. Between Alok, Chandana and Namrata, we have some of the best talent at hand, to fuel the creative product and to partner our clients in building their businesses.
Mr. Mithun Appaiah, joins iD Fresh Food as VP- Sales & Marketing.
He comes with 12+ years of sales and marketing experience in organisations like Nestle, Seagrams, United Spirits & Britannia. His last assignment was with Britannia, Bangalore as Head of Alternate and Emerging channels.
Mr. Mithun will work towards further strengthening the sales network at iD and focus on building a new team for the B2B vertical too. He will be leveraging his expertise in the FMCG & Beverage industries and will work towards building company's efficiency and charting a bigger course for iD in India and overseas.
iD Fresh Food caters to the Indian ready-to-cook segment using fresh, natural, authentic and traditional recipes. The product range includes Idly and Dosa Batter, two variants of Parota’s- Malabar and Whole Wheat, Wheat Chapati and two variants of Chettinad Chutneys-Tomato and Coriander. The company has its presence in eight cities in India and UAE.
Mithun has been credited on building the on-trade business for United Spirits Limited in his 5 year stint with them as General Manager– Key Accounts. He started his career with Nestle India limited handling general trade sales operations in urban and rural markets.
Mithun is an MBA from IFIM-B where he won the award for ‘topper in marketing'. He has won several laurels for his exceptional contribution to the companies he has worked with. He is a proud father and an enthusiastic cricketer.
Mr. P C Musthafa CEO of iD Fresh Food says, “Mithun, with his varied industry exposure will put together an integrated sales & marketing strategy while ensuring that uniqueness remains intact. His previous roles will help us build our modern trade & B2B segment too. We are delighted to have him on board.”
Commenting on his joining iD fresh Foods, Mr. Mithun Appaiah said, “With rapid changes in consumer lifestyle & trends, preservative free products with the convenience and taste of home cooked meals is taking center stage. iD caters to this space with 100% natural, preservative free products. I am excited and confident about this journey with iD.”