27 January 2023 03:49



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The Indian advertising and marketing industry has been witnessing some high decibel moves over the past few months. News of agencies firming up their leadership teams, to that of prominent names making an exit, have been constantly doing the rounds in the media.

Amidst this action, what catches the attention of the industry is news of adlanders looking out for greener pastures in other marketing disciplines or outsiders making a switch to test waters on the advertising side of business.

One such senior name that has parted ways with advertising to pursue a career shift is Asheesh Malhotra. He leaves his role as President at Bates CHI & Partners to join GolinOpinion, the PR division of PointNine Lintas as Executive Director. This marks a significant shift for Asheesh, who’s spent his entire career in creative agencies, as he ventures into the landscape of PR. At GolinOpinion, he will lead the strategic planning function and oversee the agency’s social media centre-of-excellence, the Bridge™.

Commenting on his appointment, Vikas Mehta – CEO, PointNine Lintas said: “Convergence of marketing disciplines is here to stay. An omni-channel marketing plan today is incomplete without elements like advocacy and conversations. To stay relevant, PR firms need brand practitioners in addition to PR experts. Asheesh has built blue-chip brands while working with India’s two most respected agencies, Lowe Lintas and Ogilvy. We’re delighted to have him back in the Lintas family and look forward to his contribution in further strengthening PointNine Lintas’ PR service-stack.”

Asheesh joins GolinOpinion from the Ogilvy group where he was President, Bates CHI&Partners heading their Mumbai and Delhi offices. He was earlier a unit head looking after a large Unilever portfolio as well heading a global hub for Castrol and BP at Ogilvy. A new business junkie, he was also leading the growth agenda for Bates. Prior to that, he spent fruitful eight years in the Mumbai office of Lowe Lintas, leading the ICICI Prudential and J&J businesses.

As Executive Director, Asheesh will report to Ameer Ismail – President, GoinOpinion & Chief Growth Officer, PointNine Lintas. Welcoming Asheesh to the agency, Ameer Ismail said, “We have a vision to redefine PR. I am delighted that a senior professional, strategist and well-respected leader who has worn many hats in advertising is going to lead this audacious vision. As a part of this goal his experience in defining milestone campaigns for brands will further the kind of bold work do for our clients. His experience in planning, equips him to lead and build out our Explorer community. I am excited to have him on board.”

Speaking about his new role and his change of heart from the world of advertising to PR, Asheesh said, “The sands of the communications industry have been constantly shifting. Credibility of brands, people and institutions is being challenged every day. In this thin-skinned world, PR holds a huge responsibility of being both a shield and the statesman that shapes conversations, communities and culture. The ecosystem of PR is hurtling towards a change too: From a mere press relations role, PR has to lead a deeper engagement with the society and its stakeholders. I intend to bring my experience and insights on consumers and brands and integrate them with the PR mandate. This is in fact, a great opportunity to reshape the PR industry through a credible, measurable and effective model of engagement. GolinOpinion is at the forefront of this change and has been constantly investing in the tools that help brands and institutions cope with the new age of PR. This made my resolve to be part of this journey, even stronger.”

Responsible for a national mandate, Asheesh has joined GolinOpinion with immediate effect and will be based out of Mumbai.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017 00:00

The Youth of Today: What clicks with Gen Z?

Understanding what clicks with Gen Z

There is a common expectation that Gen Z, the generation born between the mid-1990s and the early 2000s, are just an exaggerated version of millennials. Do a quick Google search about Gen Z’s behavior and you’ll find definitions such as “millennials on steroids”, and descriptions of people who don’t have a sense of digital privacy.

How Gen Z use media

Gen Z are commonly described as digital natives – inseparable from their mobiles. Based on AdReaction, our annual research into people’s media habits and receptivity to marketing, it’s clear that TV remains an important medium to reach them, as they watch TV for about 1.8 hours daily. But mobile is where they spend most of their screen time. On average, Gen Z spends 3.5 hours accessing the internet on their mobile daily – about 13 percent longer than the average millennial.

While most Indonesian consumers are predominantly on Facebook, Gen Z’s social media tastes are more diverse, with an almost equal proportion accessing Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram daily.

But it’s not just about time spent or where they’re spending those hours. In Project Wayang, a series of conversations with consumers across Indonesia, we heard from different generations about their aspirations, values, and daily lives. We learned that mobile is so integrated into Gen Z’s daily lives that it has become a very personal space. Their phone is an extension of themselves, almost as if it were an extra appendage.

There are two important implications of this sense of personal space:

First, ads need to be mindful to not breach that personal space, or they risk a backlash. On mobile, if an ad interrupts or annoys someone, it is likely to generate negative sentiment. This explains why our research shows that Gen Z regard unskippable or autoplay video ads less favorably than other generations do.

Second, and contrary to popular belief, Gen Z places strong value on digital privacy. Our research shows, for example, that most of them are very careful about what they share online. This is partly because their parents are online and on social media as well – something that the previous generations in Indonesia didn’t experience.

So, how do we engage with Gen Z? What kind of advertising would they be more receptive to? In answering this question, we’ll look at two key aspects: using the right content, in the right format.

The right content

The basic rules of great advertising still apply – a captivating story and relevant humor remain the most decisive elements in an ad for Gen Z. But there is more appreciation of visual design as well as good music among Gen Z. In fact, when we asked what made them more likely to pay attention to branded content, visual appeal came out on top.

Oreo’s “Open Up” ad is a great example of how a simple but touching message (open your heart to people that are different to you), packaged in delightfully playful animations with exciting music, is able to climb up to No. 1 on YouTube Indonesia’s ad leaderboard.

Marketers should not only rely on traditional formats though. Gen Z’s attitude is more positive towards content such as tutorial videos and product reviews. A number of make-up brands have gained success by using make-up tutorials, for example. These new types of advertising are less interruptive and offer help and information, which is clearly appreciated by a generation that primarily seeks information online.

Another important distinction is that Gen Z prefers social media celebrities over regular celebrities in branded content. This echoes a fact revealed at the South by Southwest (SXSW) 2016 conference and festival: out of the Top 10 list of influencers Gen Z took note of, nine were social media stars. If the same question were asked in Indonesia, the list would probably follow the same pattern.

The right format

Gen Z is characterized by a shorter attention span than their older cousins. When most Indonesian millennials were teens, the main source of daily entertainment was primetime TV cut down by Dunia Dalam Berita, the nightly news broadcast. This is vastly different to the current Gen Z, who have unlimited sources of entertainment at their fingertips. They are used to paying partial attention to multiple types of content before choosing which one to watch. Thus, while millennials and Gen X – the generation a little older than millennials – prefer video ads to be about 11 to 20 seconds long, Gen Z wants them even shorter.

But that doesn’t mean longer videos wouldn’t work. It’s all about purpose. Without question, grabbing Gen Z’s attention early in a video is paramount, if longer videos want a slice of their time. Another strategy that works well is to tease, using shorter videos to pull them into longer content.

In our global study, we learn that Gen Z’s tech savviness enables them to appreciate formats such sponsored filters and lenses, or more complex ones such as augmented reality. While these newer formats aren’t yet common in Indonesia, the global results present a good opportunity for marketers here to become early entrants.

With technology enabling more targeted advertising, marketers have a larger opportunity to create more personalized content for their consumers. Thus, it is more relevant than ever to be mindful of what clicks with Gen Z.


Source: Kantar Millward Brown

Wednesday, 16 August 2017 00:00

Leo Burnett India bolsters key leadership

Saraswathi and Gaurav, join as Executive Vice Presidents in the New Delhi office 

Leo Burnett India has strengthened the senior leadership in its North operations. The agency has appointed Saraswathi Laxman and Gaurav Dudeja as Executive Vice Presidents. Based in New Delhi, the duo will report to Samir Gangahar, President - North, Leo Burnett India. Their last stint was as marketers; Saraswathi comes in from ABP News where she was the Marketing Head, while Gaurav’s last role was as the Head of Brand and Marketing at Fortis Healthcare.

Leo Burnett India has made these key hires at a time when the New Delhi operations are undergoing a strategic restructuring to leverage the strength of Publicis Groupe’s Power of One strategy. Power of One offers real business solutions and drives growth through integration across all the offices in the Groupe’s network. Operationally, the Delhi office will transition to a two-unit structure with Saraswathi and Gaurav heading a unit each.

Welcoming the new leaders on board, Samir Gangahar said: “It is wonderful to have Saraswathi and Gaurav on board heading the two units within the Delhi office. Both being seasoned advertising and marketing professionals, they understand the need to solve clients’ business problems and will work together with our vast pool of specialists across media, digital, experiential, innovation and production to drive integrated solutions.”

Apart from ABP News, Saraswathi has also spent a significant amount of time with retail brands such as Tata International Wolverine Brands and Trent. However, she is no stranger to advertising, having worked at J. Walter Thompson, Publicis, Lowe Lintas and McCann Erickson. Her body of work on brands such as Hindustan Unilever, Johnson & Johnson, L’Oréal, Caterpillar, Merrell, among others, is vast as it is compelling.

Speaking about her new role, Saraswathi said, “As the environment of communication and clients’ marketing needs is going through a dramatic transformation and evolving dynamically, I felt it was the right time to come back to advertising. The Power of One philosophy being driven by Leo Burnett and the ambition of integration is where the future lies. That excited me the most and made me want to be a part of that journey, and to be part of the team to drive Leo Burnett India to the next level.”

In the past, Gaurav has headed the marketing function at consumer durables giant Philips India, apart from Fortis Healthcare. Like Saraswathi, he, too has spent several years in advertising agencies, the longest stint being with DDB Mudra as the Vice President. In his distinguished career, Gaurav has worked on leading brands like Volkswagen, Wrigley, HBO, Philips, ESPN, Star Sports, Boost, and Reebok, among others.

Said Gaurav about his new innings, “This is going to be my second stint in advertising, and it looks like an exciting time to make a comeback in the industry. Especially at a place like Leo Burnett, where I see an honest attempt to not only drive integration, but also a conviction to develop ideas that come alive in real acts and not just conventional ads. This makes advertising as rich and as interesting to me as marketing has been, with in fact a larger canvas of opportunity across multiple categories and brands. I feel that my time in marketing has added a new dimension to my thinking process, and I’m genuinely excited at the prospect of leveraging it for our brands to create work that’s integrated, effective and memorable.”

Susan Glass Ruse Appointed Associate Executive Director of New York Festivals World’s Best Advertising & Creative Communications

New York Festivals®, now in its 61st year, announced the appointment of Susan Glass Ruse to the position of Associate Executive Director of NYF’s International Advertising Awards competition. Ruse, an accomplished creative strategy leader will work in tandem with SVP Executive Director, Michael Demetriades spearheading the global development of NYF’s flagship competition.

Ruse joins NYF after 19 years with HBO where she served as Creative Marketing Executive Producer developing campaigns for many of HBO’s highest-profile films for use across all platforms.

“NYF is thrilled to welcome Susan Glass Ruse, her extensive background in creative marketing, production, and rebranding coupled with her experience working with both clients and A-list talent provides NYF with an arsenal of strategic skills to expand our brand,” said Ellen Smyth, CEO/Partner, New York Festivals.

“I have great admiration and respect for the ongoing legacy of New York Festivals Advertising Awards and all of NYF’s brands,” said Ruse, “NYF World’s Best Advertising is all about appreciating and honoring the work. There’s an infusion of inspiration and enthusiasm from seeing and sharing great work that I have always found really wonderful and now being part of that on a day to day basis…I am thrilled.”

As lead creative on launch campaigns for HBO, Ruse was responsible for the overall creative strategy and tone for promotional campaigns for many HBO Films’ projects including Behind the Candelabra, Temple Grandin, The Normal Heart, You Don’t Know Jack, Taking Chance and for HBO Series such as Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, The Brink and Entourage.

“We’re pleased to welcome Susan to NYF,” said Demetriades, “she brings both creative and strategic marketing prowess, diverse production experience, and client services expertise.”

While at HBO, Ruse also served as field and post producer for all aspects of short and longform a/v marketing from initial concept development and design through post production. During that time, she directed behind-the-scene shoots and conducted interviews with high-profile talent, including Al Pacino, Jack Black, Tim Robbins, Diane Lane, Kevin Bacon, John Goodman, Barry Levinson, Susan Sarandon, Queen Latifah, Tom Hanks, Helen Mirren and many more.

During her tenure at HBO, Ruse was an integral part of a small team responsible for two network redesigns of HBO’s on-air look, from concept and design through execution of all network elements. Her early years at HBO found Ruse writing, producing and editing branded image promotions, stunts, and theatrical spots.

Ruse contributes an understanding of broadcasting and brands that only a highly respected creative strategy leader/executive producer can deliver. With over 30 Promax/BDA, New York Festivals and Mark Awards she was also the winner of 2 Promax Top Ten Spots of the Year for the Taking Chance Trailer and Soprano’s Farewell Image. The consummate hybrid creative producer/writer/director, Ruse’s track record illustrates a thorough understanding of the creative process and what it takes to be recognized for award-winning work.

In her new role, Ruse will collaborate with Demetriades on the management of all facets of the competition, oversee the strategy to expand NYF’s global footprint, create strategic alliances to benefit both the competition and its entrants, and recruit prominent industry executives to serve on the 2018 Executive and Grand Juries.

New York Festivals International Advertising Awards will open for entries on October 1, 2017. For more information please visit: www.newyorkfestivals.com


“Woh Jo Religion Wala Column Hai Nah, Usme Hum Bold Aur Capital Me Likhte Hain; Indian”

When Akshay Kumar voiced this line in his much loved film Baby, it instantly triggered a nationalistic undertone amongst the audiences. That’s the impact patriotic films truly have. Bollywood has had many such films that depict patriotism and each of them have been hugely adored by the masses. While we are a few days away from celebrating 70 years of freedom, &pictures, Naye India Ka Blockbuster Movie Channel brings to you another strong patriotic film Naam Shabana in Independence Week special on Sunday, 13th August at 8 PM.

Starring Taapsee Pannu, Naam Shabana is the first official spin off in Bollywood and depicts love for country through the prism of a female secret agent. This film also marks the fourth collaboration of national award winning director Neeraj Pandey with Bollywood’s favorite patriotic hero Akshay Kumar after Special 26, Baby and Rustom. Akshay who headed the squad in Baby plays a crucial role in this film along with a credible ensemble of Manoj Bajpayee, Anupam Kher, Danny Denzongpa and Prithviraj Sukumaran. Backed by stupendous performances, this turned out to be a sleeper hit upon release.

Taapsee Pannu who underwent rigorous training in mixed martial arts, aikido and krav maga says, “Post Baby, I never thought that my character would get such a great response. It is rare that female characters get to be the protagonist in an action film and I am glad Neeraj Pandey chose to make a promising spin off like Naam Shabana. I feel blessed that the team showed so much faith in me.”

Ajay Singh Rajput (Akshay Kumar) guides Shabana Khan (Taapsee Pannu) in avenging her lover’s death. But little does Shabana know that Ajay and his team have an agenda. They choose to train and recruit her as a part of R.A.W, India’s secret agency. With a team of able officers like Ranvir Singh (Manoj Bajpayee) and a secret agent, Om Prakash Shukla (Anupam Kher), Shabana and Ajay set out on a mission to nab an international arms dealer, Mikhail (Prithviraj Sukumaran) and a thrilling chase begins.

Will Shabana be able to prove her mettle during this mission?

Watch an outstanding patriotic film this Independence Week with Naam Shabana on Sunday, 13th August at 8 PM, only on &pictures


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