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Thursday, 17 August 2017 00:00

Sahil Chopra, CEO and Founder, iCubesWire

"A positive shift is being witnessed with the skyrocketing demand of digital market. It has become an important part of any brand to bank upon the digital opportunities and explore the online space. With new innovations filling up the market, the future is bright and favorable." Said Sahil Chopra, CEO and Founder, iCubesWire

In an interaction with MediAvataar India, Sahil talked about the ever more important topic- Digital media and how our country is faring in making it a reality for maximum people and read up to understand that how his firm is taking this discussion to a logical end.

Here is the complete interview....

MediAvataar: How do you view the online content space in India?

Sahil: The online content consumption is experiencing a robust growth as content is becoming extremely user driven. There are a few internet media and news companies that have carved their own niche like Scoopwhoop, Storypick, etc. by making the content space sound very exciting and intriguing. Social media pages like Rajnikanth vs CID jokes have developed a business model revolving solely around content. It is a remarkable shift which looks promising for the future.

MediAvataar: What differentiates your firm in its approach to its work?

Sahil: It’s the mantra of transparency in terms of data that makes the interaction with the client extremely transparent. When you are transparent in your approach towards the clients, customers as well as within the organization, it reciprocates in your work. We have been technologically driven with performance marketing for the past 7 and half years. With a bunch of passionate enthusiasts who believe in bringing value to the brand and the go getter attitude of the employees, we are always on our toes to become the strongest organization providing 360-degree digital solutions to clients.

MediAvataar: How important is to keep innovating?

Sahil: Innovation is the essence of growth and it has always been an integral part of ICubeswire’s expansion. One isn’t really growing if they are not innovating their brand in one way or the other. As for us, we started off with email marketing which was discontinued with the downturn in email marketing. Eventually we entered the domain of performance marketing followed by RDX, the agency vertical and have recently launched Instatalk, our product driven vertical as well. We are currently curating one-of-a-kind cutting-edge technology, which will be ready to hit the market in the coming months.

MediAvataar: Where do you see the future of creative digital marketing and communications heading?

Sahil: A positive shift is being witnessed with the skyrocketing demand of digital market. It has become an important part of any brand to bank upon the digital opportunities and explore the online space. With new innovations filling up the market, the future is bright and favorable.

MediAvataar: What has been one of your most a) gratifying and b) bizarre experiences so far?

Sahil: As for me, there is nothing more gratifying than the support of my worthy colleagues and employees. It is pleasing to see the core team who started the journey with me 7 years ago still sitting beside me like a rock. Even the new employees have formed an integral part of the organization and I am delighted to be heading a laudable team of 100 employees now.

While thinking about a bizarre experience, I can recall the industry experts persuading me not to start my company and mocking at the very thought of it. Such incidents have in turn boosted me to perform even better and now I feel proud to have followed my dreams and not getting bullied by someone else’s vision.

MediAvataar: What do you consider has been your greatest achievement in your career so far?

Sahil: Achievements are milestones in the way of success and I am elated to have covered not one but many milestones. The company is earning substantial revenue each year without the support of investors. It is a bootstrap company that has performed well with profits in our kitty now. At the same time, we believe that our journey has just begun and there are many milestones to be achieved.

MediAvataar: How does the road ahead look for iCubesWire?

Sahil: The road ahead surely looks promising as we are constantly widening our horizons. We have a vertical of performance marketing which is at its strongest best along with the agency sector making a mark in the digital world. Now with Instatalk, the product driven vertical which is the artificial intelligence enabled innovation, we are also entering a new segment all together. We are also expanding geographically with the office spaces in Gurgaon and Mumbai extending to Bangalore very soon.

MediAvataar: What is you forecast for 2017-18? How should marketers go about speeding up their digital bandwagons?

Sahil: The forecast is certainly positive and assuring for the digital companies as well as brands. Social media industry has set a momentum, which is sure to accelerate in the coming days. The need for mobile strategy will increase and pave the way for more innovations in the field. There is a vast scope waiting to be explored in the domain of artificial intelligence which has immense capabilities and will scale new heights.


Thursday, 17 August 2017 00:00

Making your video work without sound

So a couple of weeks ago I sounded off about Facebook’s plans to enable sound automatically in its New Feed. I suspect my reaction is not that unusual and that advertisers still need to think about how their video is going to communicate without sound.

It seems odd to be writing about how to make silent videos more effective at a time when some of us are learning how to use verbal commands with devices like Alexa, but billions of people are still spend time watching video on Facebook. This is a huge opportunity for advertisers if they can tailor their video to engage people’s attention quickly and still deliver a compelling impression without the help of voiceover, music or sound logos.

Last year Digiday reported that of the 8 billion daily video views on Facebook 85 percent were viewed with the sound off. And my suspicion is that this proportion is going to hold good even now. Turning the sound off in the app may not be easy but after the first unpleasant surprise blast, my bet is that many people will be motivated to figure it out. What evidence do I have that this will be the case? Well, funnily enough it comes from the nice people at Facebook. Early last year a post by Facebook Business stated,

“In mobile-feed environments, people prefer having the choice to opt in to sound. Our research found that when feed-based mobile video ads play loudly when people aren’t expecting it, 80% react negatively, both toward the platform and the advertiser.”

But, of course, that research is over a year out of date now, things must have changed right?

So what do advertisers need to do? First off, not simply running your TV execution is the News Feed. Our research finds which a cheap option it is risky, many repurposed ads simply bomb. And guess what? Facebook Creative Shop agrees that ad recall is stronger when the creative is tailored specifically for mobile and are busy helping advertisers turn TVCs into effective mobile videos. Better yet, advertisers should consider whether to use sound at all and create soundless video bearing in mind these three findings from our research:

Grab attention immediately.

You have less than three seconds to engage people’s attention. What is going to be the cue or trigger that gets people to stop scrolling and look at your video? It could actually be that your brand is compelling enough to get that attention on its own.

Work with the mobile mindset

With sound off people pay more attention to visuals so work hard to maintain interest. Those overhead videos from Tasty have a horrid fascination in part because they are speeded up and you know the pay-off is coming soon.

Use captions wisely

Facebook’s internal tests show that captioned video ads increase video view time by an average of 12 percent but do not reply on them for communication, make sure the action delivers the impression and features the brand.

Whatever you do with your video, remember, people appreciate brevity, keep it short. And if that sounds like a huge challenge and you are not sure your video is going to work well, remember, we can help check it out ahead of time.


Written by Nigel Hollis,Executive Vice President and Chief Global Analyst at Kantar Millward Brown.

According to the KANTAR IMRB survey commissioned by American Express®, 42% consumers* are willing to pay a premium for prompt customer service.

On the other hand 31% would be willing to pay for service that listens to them/acts on their feedback and 27% would be willing to pay premium for service that is available everywhere.

The survey titled Decoding Customer Service for Indian customers, reveals that if premium had to be paid, 53% of respondents would pay a premium of 20%-40% in return for better customer service. At the same time 83% agreed that they would pay a premium for a brand that keeps its promise. On the other hand, 66% of consumers would discontinue using a brand or product due to poor customer service, while 71% would stop using if the quality of the product or service depreciates. This suggests that delivering excellent customer service experience along with consistent quality is imperative for any brand to retain customers.

“Trust, Security and Service are three key pillars that we focus on to build strong relationship with our customers. Our survey clearly highlights that these are the key elements in building a differentiated experience to keep consumers loyal and invested in a brand. At American Express, service is at the core of whatever we do and this is built on a foundation of trust – the trust our customers place in us,” said Manoj Adlakha, Chief Executive Officer, American Express Banking Corp., India.

The online survey, which was conducted among 1577 urban Indian customers across Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune, Kolkata and Delhi/NCR, reveals that Indian consumers give high preference to digital ways of interacting with the brands. 81% agree that they prefer to access product information digitally rather than in person or through a phone call, and 48% prefer resolving their queries online while 47% prefer resolving queries over a phone call or mobile SMS.

With social media becoming the mainstay of modern-day life, being present on social media and garnering positive traction has become a must-have for brands today. The survey substantiates this observation by revealing that 80% respondents agree that they discover and learn about brands through social media

To be able to cater to the expectations of customers, companies must work towards reduced turnaround time, and development of multimodal touchpoints for engaging with the customers. Of the total respondents surveyed, 87% say they expect instant access to the service they have purchased or subscribed to. While talking to a customer service representative over a phone call is the most preferred mode of communication, followed by connecting through digital mediums such as email and online chat. 62% of those surveyed stated that customer service and availability of instantaneous issue resolution across multiple platforms is a must have digital feature to retain their loyalty to the brand.

Besides quick access to customer care, Indians also want their experience to be delivered in a safe and secure environment. As per the survey, 54% of total respondents want the brands to incorporate more mobile security and authentication features. Talking about future capabilities, customers would increasingly like brands to present same day delivery option to them (56%).

Exclusive LFW access on Twitter through live HD broadcast on Periscope of runway shows, #FashionFlock Tweets by designers, and custom LFW emoji

Twitter joins the fashion fraternity for India’s biggest fashion extravaganza, Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2017. Twitter debuts a custom LFW emoji, a special fashion insider crew #FashionFlock, and live HD broadcast of the runway shows on Periscope to bring fashion aficionados the best of Lakme Fashion Week (@LakmeFashionWk).

The new emoji with Lakme Fashion Week is the first ever fashion emoji for India, with a unique local spin. The emoji represents a chic ‘desi’ outfit and can be activated by simply Tweeting with the hashtags #LakmeFashionWeek, #LFW2017 and #FashionFlock. The emoji will go live on the 16th August 2017, which is the first day of fashion week.

Additionally, Twitter is also launching #FashionFlock in India for the first time, bringing together ten fashion insiders from fashion designers, makeup artists, and other prominent personalities, to give live updates from #LakmeFashionWeek to fans on Twitter. Attendees of the event and fashion fans around the world are invited to Tweet during the week using the hashtag #FashionFlock to follow or join the conversation on Twitter, and get closer to the shows that matter most to them. Here’s a list of accounts that will be Tweeting out exclusive #LakmeFashionWeek content with #FashionFlock:

Keya Madhvani, Head of Music & Lifestyle Partnerships, Twitter India, said, “Twitter is the best place to see and talk about what’s happening in the world of fashion. Everyone wants to know more about the latest styles at LFW, about the who’s-who, what they are wearing and who they are wearing. With the first fashion emoji in India, #FashionFlock and Live HD broadcasts via Periscope, we aim to provide digital front row access to this close-knit community bounded by the love of design and all things fashion”.

A real-time reflection of what’s happening around world, fans on Twitter began flooding with sneak peeks as well as official announcements of what lovers of couture and fashion can expect from this year’s edition, and will continue to be the digital VIP pass for the most awaited fashion week in India.

Dentsu One, the creative agency from Dentsu Aegis Network has rolled out a new campaign for Honda Jazz titled ‘Sexy and I know it’. The campaign is essentially a series of short beepsodes narrating a story, with Honda Jazz being in the centre of the plot. The beepsodes star Rohan Joshi, Sarah Jane-Dias and Tahir Raj Bhasin portraying roles in resonance with today’s generation.

With a clearly differentiated form-factor and an enviable feature list, Honda Jazz has won thousands of hearts in the given demographic. As the clutter in the premium hatch-back segment intensifies, it is imperative for Honda Jazz to adapt and resurrect the connection with its audience –who are evolving subconsciously at a constant pace. Hence making it pertinent to cognise their changing mind-set and initiate a new and resonant conversation.

The progressive Indian youth is more dynamic than ever, exploring and pursuing their insatiable passions. For the youngsters, conventional is out. Being seen as a part of is not as important as standing out. Uniqueness is what makes them interesting. Ordinary is mundane, for them it’s about being Anti-Ordinary that’s what sets them apart, that’s what makes them Sexy (in the contemporary context).

The appreciation of sexiness of this emerging cohort led to the new campaign: ‘Sexy… and I know it’. With this conviction it was not difficult to connect the wide array of features of Honda Jazz that compliments its patrons’ sexy attitude! Together, the undeniable practicality of Honda Jazz combined with the invincible attitude of this generation resulted in a fresh and resounding narrative.

The campaign is already a runaway success with the first ‘Beepsode’ garnering over 1 million views in just 3 days.

Commenting on the campaign, Titus Upputuru, NCD, Dentsu One, said, “Jazz is such a great car. It’s sold all over the world. In India, people tend to get carried away by the bells and whistles and ignore the real deal. We wanted to give Jazz its due. A great car must have a great attitude. All Honda cars have great engines. Plus they have all the technology and innovations that make them the best. For instance, Jazz offers great versatility, it has seats that can go completely flat so you can use the space as you like. We wanted to inform about these things in an innovative way. At Dentsu One, our mission is to innovate the way brands are built. So we came up with this quirky mockumentary. Hope people will like it and begin to see Jazz in a new light”

Abhinav Kaushik, Senior Vice President, Dentsu One, said, “The Jazz is the outright definition of a world car. Its legacy, its looks, its features and most importantly its attitude, all amalgamate to define that. Coming from Honda, the product is assured to offer the best in technology and stand differentiated from the competition. So the challenge was simple, how do we make the communication as unique and differentiated. The audience for the Jazz has, since its launch, become much younger since its earlier launch. Seeing as our audience largely resides in the digital sphere we felt it best to knock on their door. We came up with a series of quirky, real-life webisodes that allow us to walk the talk with the positioning centred on our consumers in a manner most relatable to them.”

Navneet Kaur, Sr. Manager Marketing and Communication, Honda Cars India Ltd. said, “The Jazz platform is one of the most advance platforms which is why consumers swear by it. The Honda Jazz’s legacy as an international car has pitched it as a notch above the competition. The Jazz buyer is getting younger and younger, and he sees merit in the product’s versatility in usage at his current life stage. As such it is important for us to match pace with the young consumer in our positioning of the car. We saw great merit in catching our prospective consumer in the environment most comfortable to them which is why we were excited about the beepsodes.


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