MediAvataar's News Desk
Enables brands to engage with over 320 mn quality customers
Prioritises Quality over Quantity, Real Impact over Vanity Metrics
PepsiCo, Zomato, CRED, Tata AIG, Apollo 247, Lenskart, Cars24, Gameskraft, Harley Davidson amongst over 100 brands to have run successful campaigns during the beta
Bharti Airtel (“Airtel”), India’s premier communications solutions provider, has entered the advertising business with the launch of Airtel Ads – a powerful brand engagement solution.
Airtel Ads allows brands of all sizes to curate consent based and privacy safe campaigns to one of the biggest pool of quality customers in India. Airtel has over 320 million customers across its businesses – Mobile, DTH and Homes. Airtel’s Mobile customers have the highest average monthly data consumption at 16.8 GB and the highest monthly ARPU of Rs 166. Airtel’s fast growing DTH and Homes networks serve premium households across the country.
Using Airtel’s deep data science capabilities, Airtel Ads allows brands to create high engagement and high impact campaigns to the most relevant customer cohorts. This also means that Airtel customers receive only the most relevant brand offerings and not unwanted spam.
Says Adarsh Nair, Chief Product Officer, Bharti Airtel: “Airtel Ads breaks new ground in the USD 10 bn Indian advertising industry. By abstracting Airtel’s unique strengths of quality customers, best-in-class network and world-class digital platforms, Airtel Ads offers innovative channels for brands to reach the right audiences. What truly differentiates Airtel Ads is its razor-sharp focus on quality over quantity and real impact vs vanity metrics.”
Airtel Ads delivers superior returns on brand spends and focuses on relationships with customers rather than just delivering online impressions. Its rigorous compliance with ad-tracking standards and norms allows complete transparency with advertisers and ensures ZERO Ad Frauds in the form of false impressions and clicks.
“Advertising is an adjacency to our core business of delighting our customers with great services. Therefore, we combine the privacy that is paramount to our customers with the trust and transparency that is vital to the brands we serve.” Adds Adarsh Nair.
During the beta phase, Airtel Ads delivered successful campaigns for over 100 brands across multiple categories – FMCG, BFSI, Digital Startups, et al. Early advertisers include PepsiCo, zomato, CRED, Tata AIG, Lenskart, Apollo 247, Cars24, Gameskraft, Vahan, Harley Davidson.
Says Gajendra Jangid, the CMO of Cars 24: “Airtel Ads is a marketer’s delight and offers the most comprehensive set of customer cohorts, including premium. We believe that going forward telco-platforms will emerge as an important platform in the media mix for brands to deliver high performance campaigns in a digitally connected world.”
“As a brand, we are always on the lookout for more engaging and authentic ways to interact with our customers. With Airtel Ads we were able to build a high level of engagement and traffic on our platform” added Pradyot Ghate, VP - Product and Partnerships, Zomato.
Meanwhile Om Jha, Associate Director of Media at PepsiCo India had this to say, “We have had a great experience of working with Airtel Ads, which brings fresh perspective to the advertising inventory available to brands in India. Youth is at the core of our brand strategy, and we always look for innovative ways to interact with them. Through Airtel ads, we ran a focus digital campaign on the Wynk music app for the launch of new packs of 7UP and Mirinda. The outcomes of the campaign were really impressive given the customizable ad formats and quality audience base.”
The Indian advertising industry is expected to grow to USD 19 billion by 2025 from the current USD 10 billion. Airtel Ads is well positioned to capture a meaningful share of the growing pie with its sharp focus on quality.
The family game show starts from 8th March every Monday to Wednesday at 7:00 PM
The show aims to bring together family members from different parts of Bihar, Jharkhand, and Uttar Pradesh to win prizes with their wit and luck
Known for its clutter breaking content, BIG Ganga once again proves that they are the leaders in content innovation in Bhojpuri category. In a first for the Bhojpuri GEC category, the channel introduces Muraitha Maidaan, an entertainment packed family game show. The show aims to bring together family members from different parts of Bihar, Jharkhand, and Uttar Pradesh and give them a chance to win prizes with their wit and luck. The hour-long family game show starts from 8th March every Monday to Wednesday at 7:00 PM.
Spanning over eight weeks, the game’s format allows all members of a family comprising of a female, male, and a child to participate both solo as well as a family unit. Through 24 episodes, families from the region will battle it out every day to be weekly as well as series winners. The family to reach the top at the end of the series will be crowned as the region’s first Muraitha Winner Family with incredible rewards. Taking the entertainment quotient higher, the channel will rope in a popular Bhojpuri personality to host the show. Furthermore, viewers will also be able to participate online through Big Ganga’s digital pages from home and stand a chance to win prizes.
On the new show launch, Samrat Ghosh, Cluster Head East, ZEEL said, “It is our constant effort at the network to bring content which is diverse as well as unique. BIG Ganga has created a niche for itself in the category by constantly pushing its boundaries when it comes to content. This is indeed a moment of pride for all of us as the channel is introducing a first family game show in the category…in which families can participate together all across the regions. The show not only will entertain the audiences but will serve as a platform for consumer connect activities for sponsors.
Amarpreet Singh Saini, Business Head, ZEE Biskope and Big Ganga said, “As a brand, we have always believed in innovating and experimenting with content, which is also our key differentiator. Muraitha Maidaan is a Bhojpuri offering not only as a first in the category but also bringing many other firsts in the form of local games of the region now being presented in an innovative avatar to the audience invoking relatability and pride. The show will be adorned with regional symbolisms of cultural pride across all the elements as well as the nature of gratifications designed for the participants. Not only will the game show allow families to connect with each other and also strengthen their interpersonal bond but will connect regional audience through a unique Bhojpuri format that is evolved from their own roots and lifestyle”.
BIG Ganga has consistently upped the game of entertainment for its viewers through its offerings while also engaging with them. The channel is known for entertaining the audience with its unique content all around the year while adding value in their lives through family-oriented offerings, festive events and shows like Jai Chhathi Mai, MemSaab no 1 etc. With more and more in the bucket to offer, the channel is aiming to redefine entertainment and original content for its regional audience through a new family game show MuraithaMaidaan, upcoming Faguaa Holi special among others.
The move highlights the brand’s increasing focus on women’s category
For over 85 years, Levi’s® has been obsessed with making the perfect pair of jeans for women. The brand that invented the original blue jean in 1873, the iconic 501® and the first-ever blue jean for women in 1934 has constantly revolutionized women’s fashion forever and continues its journey. Today, the brand is as relevant as ever across the world, constantly asserting its authority on style by introducing new range fashion fits.
With the keen objective to attract new generations of women consumers with a relevant fashion-forward offering in line with the brand DNA of quality and comfort; Levi’s® is taking the next step in its journey.
Levi’s® is proud to announce a strategic partnership with internationally acclaimed actor and global fashion and youth icon, Deepika Padukone.
Padukone will be seen spearheading the new campaign focused on an all new range of fashion fits from Levi’s®.
Commenting on the association, Deepika Padukone said: “Authenticity, Originality and Honesty are values that the brand has been built on and are values I identify with the most! For those unaware, I have always been a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl. The right pair of jeans not only make me feel comfortable but also confident!
I am absolutely honoured and delighted to be associating with one of the world’s most iconic brands-Levi’s®.”
On having Padukone on board as ‘Global Brand Ambassador’ Sanjeev Mohanty, Managing Director- South Asia & MENA - Levi’s® commented: “We are absolutely thrilled, Deepika’s personality shines through a balance of being bold, authentic, true and uncompromising that perfectly fits with our brand values. She is not only a style icon but also an inspiration to the youth and women globally. With her on-board, we are confident of strengthening the brand further especially when we are strongly focusing on leading the women’s category.”
For Levi’s®, this year will be about statement-making shapes like high-rises, on-trend loose fits, and the runway returning wide-leg bottoms. Fans of Levi’s® will now have more reasons to buy with its new for the moment range of fashion fits with its new High loose range of fits, while it’s Bootcut and Mile-high fits are favorite’s among consumers.
An exclusive series offering guidance and insights to help brands market effectively in India
WARC expands its team in India with Kunal Sinha as Principal Consultant for Advisory and Biprorshee Das as India Editor
WARC's Spotlight India is a new bimonthly series, with each edition focused on a current topic geared towards helping brands market effectively in India. The series is a capsule collection of expert commentary and insights, tackling each subject from a range of angles. Contributors to the series are highly-regarded industry professionals offering the latest advice into what's working.
Launching with the theme "Brand Activism in India", this Spotlight edition is the first of five slated for the year and includes eight exclusive pieces bringing together varying points of view, consumer sentiment, data and expert guidance for marketers to draw upon.
Biprorshee Das, India Editor, WARC says: "As consumers become more vocal about environmental, political and social causes, there is pressure on brands to speak up too. While many worldwide are answering that call, most Indian brands have stayed silent. Brands are still wary about being outspoken and the recent Tanishq case is a clear example. With little escaping the public eye these days, being vocal about issues that plague society has often proved to be risky business.
"That said, should the Indian marketer choose to stay silent and go about its business the way it always has? Or should he or she become braver? The answer will be different for every brand but some core themes have emerged from this edition of our Spotlight series: Any step towards activism needs to be backed up by tangible action that stays true to a brand's core values. And while there is risk involved, as more consumers increasingly become belief-driven in their choice of brands, how can any brand afford to stay safe but silent?
"If there ever was a time to be outspoken and be heard, it is now."
Puneet Das, SVP, Marketing - Beverages, TATA Consumer Products tells WARC how standing up for a cause must go beyond just communicating it in order to be meaningful. Read how Tata Tea issued a "Wake up" call to highlight national issues here.
Over the years, The Times of India has been at the forefront of brand activism with popular campaigns raising pertinent issues. Malcolm Raphael, Senior Vice-President and Head - Trade Marketing, Innovations, Creative Strategy, Times of India explains how the country's leading newspaper leads with social activism at its core and talks about initiatives such as Teach India and Aman Ki Asha.
Chase Buckle, Head of Global Trends, GlobalWebIndex, explains how brand purpose can also be a competitive differentiator amid the spike in online shopping.
Biprorshee Das, India Editor, WARC, spells out why brands need to get proactive about activism.
Ajeeta Bharadwaj, Chief Strategy Officer, Wondrlab, shares why it is becoming increasingly important for India's brands to be vocal about issues, and how to do so the right way.
Ankit Singh, Senior Vice President - Strategy, Leo Burnett Delhi, draws on global parallels to show why Indian brands must stand up for issues and walk the talk.
Ashraf Engineer, Principal Consultant, Pitchfork, takes a look at how it's getting harder for Indian brands to separate their values from their business.
Suraja Kishore, CEO, BBDO, introduces Brand Activism 101, a strategic framework that marketers in India can follow if they want to champion an issue.
The next Spotlight India will be released in April. Spotlight India complements WARC's Spotlight Australia, Southeast Asia and US series, with further market-specific Spotlights being released over the coming months.
WARC expands in India
As brands and agencies in India look to address the challenges ahead, the right insights and expertise to help craft strategies designed for success are critical.
Ed Pank, Managing Director, WARC APAC, says: "To ensure that brands have access to in-depth local expertise and the latest insights, we've expanded our team in India with Kunal Sinha, Principal Consultant, for WARC's new local advisory service, and Biprorshee Das, India Editor."
With a shared vision, Kunal and Biprorshee, together with Iwaton Consultancy, WARC's commercial partner in India, and the rest of the WARC team, will help brands and agencies in India market more effectively.
Kunal Sinha, Principal Consultant, WARC, is an award-winning consumer strategy and foresight expert with experience in driving demand generation, market innovation and engagement in fast growth markets.
Biprorshee Das, India Editor, WARC, is a Mumbai-based journalist with over 14 years of experience writing on varied subjects like finance, advertising and marketing, pop culture, lifestyle and current affairs.
Media and entertainment revenue to rebound 27% next fiscal
Strong balance sheets, liquidity to cushion credit profiles of larger players
Revenue of India’s media and entertainment (M&E) sector should script a strong 27% rebound to ~Rs 1.37 lakh crore in fiscal 2022, after contracting ~26% this fiscal1. The time to bounce-back to pre-pandemic levels will be relatively shorter for segments such as digital and television (TV), while print, films, outdoor, and radio would take longer.
Credit profiles of large media companies would be unaffected due to strong balance sheets, liquidity and the revenue rebound, while mid-sized and small ones could see stress, an analysis of over 80 of them rated by CRISIL Ratings shows.
Says Nitesh Jain, Director, CRISIL Ratings Ltd, “Advertisement (ad) and subscription revenues contribute nearly equally to the overall M&E sector’s topline, but since the former correlates strongly with economic growth, the pandemic has had a bigger impact on it. Next fiscal, with strong economic rebound on the cards, ad revenue should grow 31% on-year and subscription revenue 24%.”
The TV segment – contributing around half of the sector’s topline – has recovered fully and will report healthy growth next fiscal. Ad revenue saw a sharp contraction initially, but recovered swiftly thereafter, aided by airing of new content, sports events such as the Indian Premier League and a buoyant festive season. As for subscriptions, TV was resilient even during the peak of pandemic as people remained indoors.
The print segment – contributing a fifth of the M&E sector topline – is recovering, though at a much slower pace, and should be able to rebound fully only by the end of next fiscal. Print is losing share in ad revenue mainly to the digital segment (refer to chart 2 in annexure). Circulation too, especially for English language, could see a loss of 8-10%, because of increased preference for e-papers in metros. However, print companies are rebooting their cost structure and accelerating digital adoption to stay relevant.
Films – contributing a sixth to the sector topline – is one of the most impacted segment. But occupancies in theatres should improve with the vaccination rollout and a strong pipeline of content. However, this segment is likely to remain impacted even next fiscal due to social distancing norms and fear of closed spaces.
Other traditional media – radio and outdoor2 – are seeing persisting pain, and will likely take much longer to recover. This is because commuting as well as ad budgets for micro, small and medium enterprises – the key drivers for these segments – will remain restricted even in fiscal 2022.
Says Rakshit Kachhal, Associate Director, CRISIL Ratings Ltd, “Digital has emerged as the medium of choice. The pandemic accelerated adoption of over-the-top (OTT) platforms, online gaming, e-commerce, e-learning, e-papers and online news platforms. This has meant the focus of advertisers has shifted from traditional to digital media. We expect the digital segment revenue to grow 14-16% annually over the medium term. Its share of M&E sector revenue is expected to double to ~20% by fiscal 2024 compared with last fiscal.”
Given the sharp impact on revenue, cash accruals this fiscal will weaken for all M&E companies except TV distributors. Credit profiles of the large companies are cushioned by strong balance sheets (with most of them net debt free), while those of small and mid-sized media companies have weakened. More downgrades among the latter led to the CRISIL Ratings’ credit ratio (upgrades to downgrades) for the sector sliding to 0.33 in the first nine months of the current fiscal from 0.75 in fiscal 2020. Liquidity pressure may intensify for them if recovery in ad revenue is delayed.
That said, there is a silver lining to this cloud, too. M&E companies have adopted aggressive cost rationalisation initiatives. Besides, the pandemic-led change in consumer behaviour has accelerated monetisation opportunities for these players through integration of digital media into theirf traditional businesses. Some of these aspects can lead to structural changes in business models of the M&E sector over the longer term.
1. Optically, the de-growth this fiscal and growth expectation next fiscal may sum up to a full rebound. But that won’t be true because the 27% growth will be on a much lower base. Industry revenue next fiscal will still be lower than that in fiscal 2020 (refer to chart 1 in annexure)
2. Radio and outdoor segments don’t have any subscription revenue