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Week at a glance: Scarecrow M&C Saatchi; Bharat Dabholkar; HUL top boss

It’s official. After months of rumours and speculation, it is confirmed that one of India’s fastest-growing independent advertising agencies, Scarecrow Communications, has been acquired by the international network, M&C Saatchi. Scarecrow will retain its own identity, but has been rechristened Scarecrow M&C Saatchi. It will operate with full creative freedom, exactly the way it used to. However, as expected, there will be an integration with the global financial processes and compliance practices. 

Adgully spoke to Richard Morewood, CEO, M&C Saatchi, Asia, as well as Raghu Bhat, Manish Bhatt and Arunava Sengupta to know more about the implications of such an acquisition, the strategy going forward, assimilating into a global team, moving ahead as a combined entity and much more. 

Prasoon Joshi, Chairman APAC and CEO & Chief Creative Officer, McCann Worldgroup India, who has been celebrated across India for his contribution to advertising, films and communications, was felicitated with a special award at the Abbys on Day 3 of Goafest 2018. In conversation with Adgully at Goafest 2018, Joshi, who was also a member of the Master Jury for the Abby Awards this year, spoke at length about the process of initiating the Master Jury, creativity and craft, at the crossroads of Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics, nurturing talent for the industry and much more. 

Maverick, theatre & ad personality, the man behind the Amul billboards, animal lover (he once even kept Piranhas in his office), at one time Head of Zen Communications – the very versatile Bharat Dabholkar is all these and much more. Dabholkar left Adgully quite breathless as he shared his various exploits – as ad man, theatre person, observer of people – in his characteristic candid manner, laced with a huge dose of sharp wit. 

Sanjiv Mehta, who is currently CEO and Managing Director, will take over as the Chairman and Managing Director of Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL). This follows Harish Manwani’s decision to retire as Non-Executive Chairman of the company following the forthcoming Annual General Meeting. Mehta took over as the CEO and Managing Director of HUL in October 2013. He has been with Unilever for 25 years and for the last 16 years has led businesses in different parts of the world. 

Zee Media CEO for Regional News Network, Jagdeesh Chandra has made an exit from his post to pursue his interests outside Zee Network. The position and the duties will be taken over by Purushottam Vaishnav, Deputy CEO of Regional Channel. 

BARC India has launched its new service – BARC PreView. The subscription-based service will provide viewership data of a programme just 3 days after its telecast, as compared to the weekly data that is released every Thursday. Star India is the first subscriber of BARC PreView and has used the data for the inaugural match of the ongoing Vivo IPL 2018 between the Mumbai Indians and the Chennai Super Kings. 

The Onida Devil – perhaps one of the most well-known mascots in Indian advertising – returns to the ad world, once again in the latest campaign for Onida’s air conditioners. There have been a lot of comments on the return of the Devil – some are happy at the return of one of the most loved brand mascots, while some can’t believe that the devilish charms have been domesticated. And the advertising fraternity wonders if the Devil will still be relevant for the digital generation that wasn’t even born when he first came on to our television screens. 

‘Bigg Boss’, Colors’ flagship reality show, is all geared for its Marathi avatar. The first ever edition of ‘Bigg Boss’ in Marathi will premiere on April 15, 2018 at 7 pm and subsequent episodes will air from Monday to Saturday at 9.30 pm, while the Sunday episode will air at 9 pm. Adgully spoke to Ravish Kumar, Head, Regional Entertainment, Viacom18, to know more about the Marathi version of ‘Bigg Boss’, the promotion strategy, winning over Marathi viewers, the celebrity house mates and more. 

In an unexpected turn of events, all the remaining home matches of Chennai Super Kings (CSK) during Vivo IPL 2018 have been shifted out of Chennai. Massive protests over the Cauvery water dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have forced the organisers to take this decision. The protests erupted ahead of the CSK-Kolkata Knight Riders match on April 10, 2018, following which the local administration said that it would not be able to provide adequate security under the prevailing conditions. The new venue for the CSK matches will be the Maharashtra Cricket Association’s International Stadium in Pune. 

The Abby Awards at Goafest 2018 saw the best work across Publisher, Media, Broadcaster, Public Relations, Still Craft, Video Craft, Design, Direct, Digital & Mobile, Digital Craft, National Geographic Green Award, Special Abby, Promotion/Activation, Radio Craft, Radio, Branded Content & Entertainment, Out of Home & Ambient Media, Still Content, Audio Visual Content and Integrated being awarded and celebrated by the industry. Adgully joins the industry in congratulating all the winners for their awe-inspiring work and also spoke to some of the winners to share their joy on winning their respective Abby Awards. 

iTV Network has forayed into the Southern India news space with the launch of a dedicated channel for Karnataka – NewsX Kannada. In sync with the NewsX approach to promote ‘News, Not Noise’, the new channel will focus on real issues and highlight matters that concern Kannadigas across the globe. 

Digital first creative agency The Glitch, an independent brand under GroupM, has launched Flux@The Glitch, a specialised new age content division. Flux is a content development and production hub that works in a unique structure built for the modern creation needs of brands around the world. Saransh Agarwal is being elevated to lead content strategy & business for Flux and will report to Varun Duggirala, Content Chief, The Glitch. 

Discovery Kids has joined hands with Rohit Shetty Picturez and Reliance Animation, a Reliance Entertainment company, to launch its latest animation series – ‘Little Singham’. The kids’ channel is leaving no stone unturned to create a huge buzz for the series, which is inspired by popular supercop brand and one of the biggest Bollywood blockbusters starring Ajay Devgn in the titular character. In conversation with Adgully, Uttam Pal Singh speaks at length about the growth of the kids’ genre in India, how ‘Little Singham’ intends to fill in the gap in the genre, the marketing strategy and much more. 

Reliance Animation is powering Discovery Kids’ latest offering – ‘Little Singham’ – with its animation prowess. Reliance Animation has engaged as many 250 animation artists on this project, who have been working for than 6 months to get ready for ‘Little Singham’s’ mega launch. In a brief interaction with Adgully, Tejonidhi Bhandare, COO, Reliance Animation, speaks about the growth of the animation industry in India, the challenges, changing viewer dynamics, comedy & adult animated content and more. 

BARC ratings for Week 14 of 2018 (March 31-April 6) [HSM (U+R) : NCCS All : 2+ Individuals] saw Star Bharat retain its No. 1 spot. Star Plus saw gains as the channel climbed up two notches to be placed at No. 6. Meanwhile, Zee TV’s popular show, ‘Kumkum Bhagya’ moved out of the top 5 most watched shows after being among the top two shows for several weeks. 

Offbeat: Sahil Chopra is the CEO and Founder of iCubesWire, a digital marketing solutions company which help brands acquire and retain clients through web, mobile, email, Videos, Rich Media and so on. He is a highly motivated and adaptive digital marketing professional and Internet evangelist with an expertise in Internet Strategy development and execution. Chopra has over 9 years of experience in digital marketing across multiple traditional and emerging channels.

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