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Venkata Susmita Biswas

Articles By Venkata Susmita Biswas

160 Articles

Debate: Streaming with caution

We ask experts if these guidelines could alter or limit the scope of OTT content.

The guidelines are broad and allow platforms to ‘self-censor’, which is a good sign.

Brands turn to ‘character actors’

Likes of Pankaj Tripathi and Gajraj Rao are the new favourites

Character actors often get typecast in films and these stereotypes are reinforced through ads

Detergents get a makeover

The lockdown period saw consumers veering towards washing machines and dishwashers in their quest for self-reliance and convenience, opening up the market to new forms of detergents and fabric care products. The past year saw

Pods are positioned as products that address multiple concerns in one go, thereby replacing detergents, stain removers and whitening agents.

The life goes out of live events

According to the 2021 edition of the FICCI-EY media and entertainment report, the revenue from organised events fell 68% in 2020

Brands are cautious about sponsorships and offline activations because of the looming uncertainty

The tough balancing act

HP led the PC segment in 2020, but supply remains a challenge

HP is riding on the expectation that a hybrid work model could further fuel the growth of PCs in India.

Interview: Vikas Bagaria, founder, Pee Safe

‘We’re targeting a turnover of Rs 250 crore by FY23’

About 40-45% of our annual turnover is set aside for marketing alone, says Bagaria

Consumer durables back in business

Brands launch high-tech ACs, fans and coolers to make up for poor sales recorded last year

The consumer durables segment has not benefited too significantly from the growth in online channels.

Take 5: Sai Srinivas, co-founder and CEO, Mobile Premier League

From Educated to Battlestar Galactica series are amongst his favourite books and TV series

Srinivas’ inspiration is Jeff Bezos

Review Corner

Five recent ads that caught our attention

In less than 15 seconds, and with fewer dialogues, it manages to make a statement.

Recovering from a meltdown

After last year’s washout, ice cream brands are counting on at-home consumption to drive sales this summer

According to a Mintel research conducted in July 2020, 23% of Indian consumers said that they would expect to spend more on takeaway and home delivery of food during the pandemic.

The box office is back in business and Bollywood has plenty to offer

With easing of restrictions, film industry ready for theatres with a string of new releases

Filmgoers are going to be spoilt for choice in 2021 as the release of several movies may clash on Fridays

Booster shot

A new range of immunity products has hit the health and wellness segment

According to a study by Mintel India conducted in May 2020, 57% consumers said they would increase their expenditure on healthcare products

Interview: Ajay Gupte, CEO, Wavemaker, South Asia

‘Brands are doubling investments in content marketing’

Almost 40% of our clients are setting aside budgets for content and advocacy initiatives, unlike only 10-15% earlier, said Gupte

Carvaan 2.0: WiFi-enabled nostalgia

Saregama looks to create additional revenue streams with the new versions of its music player

Saregama earns a 20-25% profit margin through retail sales of Carvaan.  

Influencer marketing under ASCI scanner

ASCI’s guidelines will come into effect by the end of March after consultations with industry stakeholders

Influencer marketing is booming in India on social media platforms and is estimated to be worth $75-100 million as per digital marketing agency AdLift

Desi spirit

Homegrown liquor brands add zing to their blends with local ingredients

According to a study by Mintel India, incorporating regional herbs and spices, and dialling up provenance and ingredient purity are attributes coveted by affluent Indian consumers.

Interview: Nina Lekhi, MD and chief design curator, Baggit

‘Opportunity in mass markets is thrice that of in urban cities’

The company expects its sales to return to the pre-Covid levels in FY22

One-time watch

The pay-per-view streaming biz in India is gathering steam, as BookMyShow and Eros Now, too, join the fray

Typically, films premiere on digital platforms about six to eight weeks after their theatrical release.

Messiah Sonu Sood darling of brands too

Sood is said to be charging about `1-2 crore per endorsement

Automotive brands like Jeep, laundry detergent brand Woosh, maker of personal computers Acer and most recently, leading smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi, have leveraged Sood among others

Fitness test

Can offline gyms make a strong comeback?

Globally, the fitness centre and gymnasium business is under immense stress.

Interview: Sameer Nair, CEO, Applause Entertainment

‘Cost of creating content rising 10-30% every year’

All platforms are uniformly trying to develop original content and be more local

Licence to pivot

Pop-culture merchandise brands diversify offerings and take the omnichannel route to stay relevant

Even though merchandising is a crucial part of a film or show’s marketing plan, the pop-culture products category itself is yet to flourish in India.

Brands leverage chemistry among celeb couples

Real-life celebrity pairs make sense for brands in terms of visibility as well as fees

A star of the stature of Kohli charges about `5-6 crore per day as his endorsement fee, and the rate for a pair could be in the range of `8-12 crore

Fresh faces of cricket attract interest from brands

Brands which are normally risk averse may want to sign up cricketers who have become stars overnight to make the best use of the immediate opportunity

During IPL 2020, Dream 11 ran a campaign which included a host of cricketers such as MS Dhoni, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Jasprit Bumrah, Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya.

India gets a caffeine fix

A variety of D2C coffee brands have entered the market

According to industry estimates, 80% of India’s coffee consumption comes from south India.
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