Masala Digital

Marketing Masala in the Digital Age

Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Welcome Change!

Welcome Mr. Obama…it has been a long wait!

  • Filed under: News
  • Mumbai Terror and the role of new media

    Mumbai suffered one of its worst terror nightmares these last 3 days when armed terrorists took over strategic spots in Mumbai, leading to a bloodshed yet unparalleled in its gruesomeness.

    While the terror attacks received worldwide media coverage, it was no less covered extensively by citizen journalists and common people who used a host of digital mediums to add to the story. Internet, and new media tools, came on the forefront as reliable tools to track the terror drama.

    wiki_mumbaiA wikipedia page was constantly updated by vigilant users, providing a single point of reference.

    Many twitter feeds contributed to real-time reporting & status update, which were utilzed heavily by the administration, media as well as citizens to get regular updates as well as channelize real-time help.


    Twitter feed for Mumbai

    Twitter-fed list of useful local numbers

    Post the attacks, these feeds have become the buzz-ground for discussions, opinions and to plan next steps to solve the problem at its roots.

    image A google maps page also became a ready reference guide, especially for people outside India to get a real-life perspective of where and how things were happening.

    image Vinu’s photostream was picked up by Fox News & CNN as well as multiple channels to provide real-time updates on all that was happening.

    image Over 2000 videos have flooded youtube post the attacks.

    image The MumbaiHelp blog has updated lists of all relevant helpline numbers as well.

    Just what money can buy…

    Thanks to Sean, I just caught this on youtube..

    Goes on as an attempt to say what money can’t buy…but halfway through the video, just what all it can really!

    Great work Bill. You wont be missed much, however.

  • Filed under: Events, News, Videos
  • 3G vs VoIP?

    Just a thought – if India keeps waiting for 3G…next auction date for spectrums is in Jan sometime it seems…will VoIP take over video calls, the prize 3G candidate for business?

    Telcos have long looked at video calls as the prime motivator for expensive 3G subscriptions, and handset manufacturers have kept pace with ensuring availability of video-call enabled handsets.

    So probably they wont pull out, but does it make sense for telcos to pay such huge spectrum fees when available 2.5G/EDGE Internet is good enough for video & voice VoIP?

    Digital or Die!

    Original article here:

    Digital or Die

    By Rebecca Lieb, The ClickZ Network, Sep 26, 2008

    One of the most crammed, standing-room-only sessions at MIXX this week featured the media directors of top agencies, including Digitas, Mediaedge:cia, Neo@Ogilvy, and MindShare. As they talked targeting and how they were spending millions of media dollars for their respective rosters of blue-chip clients, online media trainer extraordinaire Leslie Laredo leaned over to whisper in my ear, “Not a single person on this panel is over 30.”

    Whether her observation is literally true is moot. The point is these senior agency executives are young, much younger than their typical counterparts on the traditional media side of the table.

    Why? Are old dogs so adverse to learning new tricks? Because certainly at MIXX, as well as at OMMA last week, bemoaning the digital talent gap was a cry that emerged early and often.

    It’s not just old-timers on the traditional agency side of the equation who are stubbornly resisting the shift to digital. It’s an issue across the media landscape. Their reluctance was perhaps somewhat understandable in the go-go ’90s and in the sober, austere, bleak era around 2002.

    But now?

    Still, I’m seeing traditional publishers cut back on digital endeavors (and digital staff) in a desperate and futile effort to sustain their flagging, dead-tree legacy brands. I’m seeing digital executives going to senior management with requests for back-end tools, such as content management systems and social media software, only to learn their corporate overlords have no idea what all that stuff is, much less what it’s actually used for or how it can benefit the business.

    And I’m seeing some of those print publications flatline. Friends who have been print journalists for decades are panicking in the face of cutbacks, early retirement, consolidation, and plain old extinction.

    But they’re not learning digital skills. A critic friend stays up nights over the fact his paper is due to shutter at month’s end. When I inquired about his online skills, he replied that even the most fundamental elements of a story, such as hyperlinks, were determined and executed by the online editor. He doesn’t know how to do any of that stuff.

    An entrepreneur behind an online publishing startup, meanwhile, recently posed a hypothetical question: “If you could hire a top journalist with 20 years’ traditional experience or someone fresh out of J-school who knew the Web cold, which person would you hire?”

    No contest. Hands down, I’d make the kid an offer.

    New media is becoming old hat. It’s a fact of life. OMMA and MIXX were packed, refreshingly, with new faces. I’m speaking next week at MIMA in Minneapolis, another sold-out interactive marketing event. Newfound interest in and support for digital advertising is heartening, yet there’s still an astonishing degree of pushback across the media industries.

    Across all industries and sectors, in fact. Veteran Web consultant and publisher Larry Chase related a story this week about rescuing a neighbor’s virus-infected hard drive (they’d let their virus protection software subscription expire). The relieved and chastised owner piped up that while they didn’t know much about virus protection, they had just learned how to create an e-mail attachment.

    Clinging to Luddism and deliberate blindness in the face of the digital revolution (no understatement there!) may have been cute 10 years ago. Today, it’s inexcusable.

    Those glib and somewhat arrogant aphorisms, such as “everything that can be digital will be,” have come to pass. In a climate buffeted by a tumultuous economy and tenuous job security, the advertising and media industries really have reached the point of go-digital-or-die.

    The question, of course, is how do you change attitudes? How can media professionals be made to understand and convinced to embrace digital media and Web literacy, e-mail accounts, and the occasional Amazon order? It’s disheartening to watch friends and colleagues lose jobs — as well as their future prospects — before they wake up to this no-longer-new reality.

    So what’s the answer? Some sort of digital Peace Corps? Community college courses? Should companies undertake in-house training initiatives?

    What are you doing? Because friends can no longer allow friends to remain digitally illiterate. Or is the media and advertising landscape going to have to undergo a Wall Street meltdown before people start to change?

    Intel today launched its ambitious “Connected Indians” movement at The Taj Palace, New Delhi.

    connected indians

    Check out!

    The Connected Indians movement aims to be the catalyst for delivering the power of the Internet into the hands of a billion Indians. Intel states that its success will hinge on spirited public and private participation.

    Over the next few months, Intel will mobilize people, resources & infrastructure to facilitate Internet adoption across India.

    Over time, this collaboration will help build partnerships between people, Industries and stakeholders via a complete and connected ecosystem to accelerate the growth of Internet and its benefits to the society.

    The Connected Indian web site is an innovation in itself wherein users can click on an interactive map to locate their co-ordinates, and then post their voice for an Internet-enabled India. Not only that, they can utilize the in-built feature to invite more of their friends and peers from their web contact lists to add in more numbers.

    There is also an India Speaks section that highlights different areas where Internet is making a huge difference in the way people, processes, industries & services in India are progressing with the power of the Internet.

    Intel is following up this movement on-ground with specially-designed “Net Yatras” wherein it will showcase Internet’s benefits to Indians using interactive tools & techniques.

    This is one movement that has been designed with a specific cause in mind and Intel promises that for every 10,000 Connected Indians who register, the movement will donate a PC to selected government schools in rural areas.

    Now that’s what we call a spirited initiative!

    Know more about the movement here.

    Join the movement here.

    Join the Connected Indians Orkut Community here.

    Intel’s partners in this venture include google, HCL, Zenith, Edurite, MAIT, BSNL, Reliance Communications, Tata Indicom, Acer, Intex, Novatium, Wipro, Asus, CII, e-zone, lenovo, NIIT, Tata Communications, Croma, NASSCOM etc.

    It will be interesting to see the kind of products & services Intel will introduce to take this step further & forward. Here’s wishing Intel all the best for the initiative & hoping that more & more brands take such steps towards better propagation and acceptance of technology!


    What is Lively?

    Lively is a 3D virtual experience that is the newest addition to Google labs. It is available through a browser plugin for Firefox and Internet Explorer. It is Windows only for now. Lively does not feature one coherent world like Second Life but splits worlds up into different rooms. Lively was originally developed as a 20% project by Niniane Wang.

    Google Lively is billed as a “chat experience” using avatars. Google says, “You’re about to embark on a chat experience in which you can communicate and express yourself using avatars in your very own space. Choose an avatar and use it to make friends and chat. Create rooms, decorate them to your liking, and make sure to invite your friends over.”
    Choose a Google Lively room

    What all does it offer
    Lively runs completely in the browser and you use your Google account to log in and create your own avatars.

    What all can you do on lively

    Within the world, you can interact with other users, very much like you would do in Second Life. You can also watch YouTube clips on virtual TVs and share your own photos.

    Users can choose from a number of preset animations for their characters, ranging from shaking hands with others, to applauding, crying, etc. By double clicking on certain items in the virtual world, users can also often activate some preset animations such as sitting down on a chair or jumping off a dive board.

    Setting the plugin up and creating an avatar is a very simple process. Creating rooms, too, seems quite easy, as you can quickly import a number of templates to get started. Currently, all virtual items for Lively are for free, but chances are that Google will start charging for premium items in the future.

    For now, the content in Lively is being created only by Google, though over time, they are planning to allow users to start creating their own content as well.

    Rooms can be easily embedded into any webpage and worlds often launch with a basic skeleton of the room within just a few seconds.

    Here’s how it works

    Choose a Google Lively room

    • From the Room List, click the title of the room you’d like to visit first.
    • Use the tabs at the top of the page to sort rooms by most popular, most visitors, or newest.
    • Once you’ve added friends or created a room, the My Rooms and Friends’ Rooms tabs will also be handy.

    Choose your Google Lively avatar

    • Click My Avatar on the right sidebar.
    • Click the avatar you like and choose Select Avatar (your avatar changes instantly).
    • Once you’ve chosen the one you want, click the X to hide the menu.


    Change your Google Lively avatar’s clothing

    To change your outfit, check out the styles available in the wardrobe picker. Here’s how:

    • Click My Wardrobe on the right sidebar to open your wardrobe.
    • Browse or search the options in your wardrobe inventory and select items to wear. When you double-click an item, it’ll appear on your avatar instantly. You don’t have to close the window to find out if you like the look.

    If you don’t like how something looks on your avatar, go back to your wardrobe, left-click on the item, and choose Remove Item.

    If you want more wardrobe options, add new stuff to your inventory by o quickly change your entire outfit, click my avatar and choose I’m Feeling Lucky. You’ll see the new duds on your avatar instantly.

    Create your own Google Lively room

    • Click new room and choose Create New Room to start the process.
    • Look over each tab and choose what you want your room to look like, the permissions you want to grant visitors, and whether you’d like to play music in your room.


    Lively lets you have the world available where you want it, rather than forcing you to go to a certain space. Or, as Google puts it: “It’s integrated with the Internet. It’s not an alternate destination. Our intention is to add to your existing life.”





    The Solutions|Digitas “We”deo!

    We created a short music video to showcase the India team at the Digitas Global Meet in Paris last month. The video titled “ Right Now @ Solutions Digitas”, is a inspired by Van Halen’s 1991 hit “Right Now”.
    You can view it right here!

    Concept, Script, Visualization, Direction & Presentation by: Nikhil Sarup (Squintedeye Media!).

    If you haven’t seen the original video, watch it here:

    Publicis Groupe Launches VivaKi

    VivaKi – A New Growth Engine for the New Media and Digital Environment

    Paris, June 25, 2008 – Publicis Groupe today announced the launch of VivaKi, a new
    strategic initiative designed to significantly improve the performance of advertisers’
    marketing investments as well as boost Publicis Groupe’s growth in the context of rapidly
    expanding digital markets. VivaKi will be led by Managing Partners Jack Klues and David
    Kenny, both members of Publicis Groupe’s Management Board.

    VivaKi will take advantage of the combined scale of the autonomous operations of Digitas,
    Starcom MediaVest, Denuo and ZenithOptimedia to develop new services, new tools, and
    new partnerships. The strategic move reflects Publicis Groupe’s conviction that a totally
    new and more integrated organization of the  media, interactive, analog and digital
    universes is necessary in order to leverage scale and technological innovation, the key
    determinants of future success.

    Maurice Levy, Chairman and CEO  of Publicis Groupe, commented: “The explosion of
    digital over the last ten years has led to a revolution without precedent in economic history
    — in terms of the incredible speed of change, its geographical reach and its depth (the
    world today has at least 1.7 billion Internet users).  Our societies are being transformed
    before our very eyes: the way people are  educated, gather information, entertain
    themselves, meet each other, dialogue and  do business is being  profoundly influenced
    around the planet by the digital, interactive and mobile phone environments. Our business
    is undergoing equally vast changes. We are witnessing the creation of new global giants
    (such as Microsoft, Google and Yahoo) as well as a redefinition of our business models
    thanks to the blurring of boundaries: geographic, professional, as well as between content
    and distribution or  roles regarding content generation.

    In order to help our clients rethink their marketing and improve the performance of their
    media investments in this new world, we have built a leadership position by integrating
    digital capabilities in all our agencies, by acquiring Digitas and through striking innovative
    partnerships with new players such as Google.

    We are today taking a decisive and transformational step by profoundly modifying the
    Groupe’s organization, by redirecting investments toward digital and by instituting a
    significant change in our professional approach. All these changes will make our agencies
    and networks even more competitive and will help our clients build better connections with
    their audiences by increasing the efficiency and productivity of their marketing
    investments. In reinforcing our leadership in  these new areas, we fully intend to benefit
    from the surge in this sector’s growth  and to win substantial  new market share.”

    The VivaKi Difference

    VivaKi is sharply differentiated by four essential elements:

    1. Scale – this is a key factor unleashing value for our clients as they face large new actors
    in the media landscape. Publicis Groupe today has the necessary size for global
    leadership in its sector. The Groupe is now further leveraging its scale by aligning
    resources and the power of its operations under VivaKi.

    2. Innovation – by building the VivaKi Nerve Center at the heart of the new entity, Publicis
    Groupe is fulfilling several objectives:

    •  Creating the world’s largest center for developing the new technologies necessary
    to our clients’ future growth

    •  Making the resources of the VivaKi Nerve Center available to all Groupe entities,
    including our creative agencies

    •  Bringing our clients the best solutions to improve performance marketing, relations
    with platforms (MSN, Google, Yahoo) or social networks (MySpace, Facebook, etc),
    as well as integrated media solutions  and the optimization  of data analysis and
    return on investments.

    3. Technology – the approach of Publicis Groupe rests on Open Source systems giving it
    access to all available innovations and solutions. Proprietary tools will however be
    developed, such as Navigator® and Insight Factory®. Links will be developed with digital
    platforms, cable operators, telcos and media  supports to improve exchanges and to
    benefit form leveraging scale.

    4. Talents – with the shaking up of our industry, new more flexible and more diversified
    talents — liquid talents — will be critical. Finding and developing such talent will be a core
    competency of VivaKi, through the new training and career development programs offered
    by its Talent Development Platform.

    The different entities (Digitas, Starcom MediaVest, Denuo and ZenithOptimedia) will
    continue to develop solutions specific to each of their clients, in a totally independent way
    – all supported by the VivaKi Nerve Center and the Talent Development Platform.

    The VivaKi Management Teams

    Jack Klues and David Kenny are Managing Partners of VivaKi, functions which reflect a
    shift from a traditional hierarchical management approach.

    Within VivaKi, David Kenny will focus on identifying advantages linked to scale (VivaKi
    Nerve Center, Talent Development Platform and Technology); Jack Klues will be
    responsible for growing and developing brand-specific solutions.

    According to David Kenny: “VivaKi’s scale creates unparalleled advantages for our clients.
    It allows us to invest in training and developing the best talent, to sustain the strongest
    open-source technology platform, and to provide strong and impactful solutions to our
    media partners.”

    Laura Lang is promoted CEO of Digitas replacing David Kenny.

    Starcom MediaVest, ZenithOptimedia and Denuo will continue to be led by their current
    CEO’s – Laura Desmond, Steve King, and Rishad Tobaccowala.

    Curt Hecht will lead the VivaKi Nerve Center.

    Renetta McCann will organize and activate the Talent Development Platform.

    Said Jack Klues: “Starcom MediaVest Groupe, ZenithOptimedia and Digitas will take what
    they need from VivaKi to strengthen their existing operations. They will continue to operate
    in a completely independent way, developing customized solutions for clients. At the same
    time, these clients will benefit from VivaKi’s ability to deliver proprietary tools as well as
    advantages of scale — helping clients reinforce links to consumers in a more cost effective

    The VivaKi Name

    The name VivaKi is derived from the word “viva” which means life, and “ki” (or Qi) which is
    often translated as energy flow.  According to Lévy, the Groupe sought a name that
    signified a new frontier – a new lead solution in the digital era.

    iPhone 2.0 launch – the marketing hype

    given Apple’s habit of creating a bang, the latest gossip doing the rounds is the launch of iPhone 2.0. Forget about company sponsored leaks, the way apple news spreads, and conclusions derived, is all pure marketing genius. And it’s all go to do with the product’s hype value – and the obsession apple fans have for the brand.  Read more to understand the madness:

    Reasons why Apple iPhone will be launched on 15th June:

    1. Apple 24-hr store closed on May 29th on account of a commercial shoot. The only two times the store was shut previously was when the iPhone and OS X Leopard were launched.

    2. AT&T sent all retail sales employees a no-vacation blackout memo between June 15 and July 15. Being the only carrier for iPhone 2.0, the assumption is valid that its all thanks to the launch. The same thing happened when iPhone was originally launched.

    3. This is the weirdest. Fortune published a report on a major spike in Ocean Containers labeled "electric computers" by Apple. This is direclty being refered to the 3G-enabled iPhone 2.0 that has apparently been shipped from Apple’s two major Asian suppliers!

    Compared to all other brands who love to leak stories, in Apple’s case, the non-leak formula seems to be the most effective!

    Stay glued to your PC on the 15th! Love it or hate it, you want to know what’s next as far as Apple is concerned!

    About MD

    Masala Digital is not just about Digital Marketing - it's about marketing in the digital age. The defining lines of marketing that segregated ATL, BTL & Digital hardly hold any water in the age of integrated marketing that assimilates effective practices across all available mediums to create truly integrated ideas. Masala Digital is the platform for sharing, collaborating and participating to add wings to these thoughts. You too can contribute..check out the "Contact Us" page for more information.