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Ad Stand: The time for festivities

This festival season, while brands play the game of discounts and cashback and the consumers rush to fill their homes with cool stuff, Amazon and Google are fighting a battle that may have some interesting ramifications for brands in the near future

This is that time in India when the weather changes, mood changes and festivities come marching in. It starts with Onam down South and moves up north to celebrate Diwali. In between, eastern India celebrates the Pujo and western India dances with two sticks through the night.

As monsoon recedes from the subcontinent, the consumers step out in droves to trigger a shopping fiesta.

This year the shopping fiesta is witnessing a pitched battle between Amazon on the one side and all the competitors on the other side. Flipkart has got its bunch of school kids back on telly, selling stuff on a discount to counter the young adults of Amazon. The travel portals are selling hotels on discount and PayTM is upped the cashback game. This is the first time ever when you can earn money by spending money.

The festivities have definitely come to the media, if not to the market. Even the real estate players have put homes up on ‘sale’.

A game for gender equality

In this entire media blitz what caught my eye this week is a mobile game, and not done by a brand.

BBC Media Action is the BBC’s international development charity. They use the power of media and communication to help reduce poverty and support people in understanding their rights. BBC Media Action’s goal is to inform, connect and empower people around the world.

BBC Media Action has launched a game on an Android platform called Nugget. They have even roped in Priyanka Chopra to push the game. The game is designed to address gender equality among teenagers. Creating a behavioural change needs very different stimulus, especially when the adolescents live by rules that they have just started to explore. Gamification helps them to encounter and overcome a host of issues that would face in real life. Communication has the power to influence deep-rooted beliefs and Nugget is a great way to question existing beliefs and seed better social rules.

If you haven’t, then do look out for Nugget, it's a terrific initiative from BBC Media Action.

The Amazon-Google search battle

Google is the search leader. Amazon is the shopping leader. But what if the world of Internet search and shopping is not so linear? Those who are in the business of search know that the world of discovery and purchase is not linear. It was Facebook first which created an alternative ecosystem for brands to connect with friends. The quasi TV channel kind of system that FB has created has helped it corner a fairly substantial media budget for itself.

Google still is the largest provider of contextual connections to brands. Amazon is now challenging Google on this front. Amazon allows the listed sellers to advertise on it to increase traction. It also has a basket of keywords that brands can optimize on. Amazon not only helps the brands to discover consumers, it even allows them to buy without leaving the platform.

This festival season, while the brands play the game of discounts and cash back and the consumers rush to fill their homes with cool stuff, Amazon and Google are fighting a battle that may have some interesting ramifications for brands in the near future.

From Games to Search, this festival season will bring a new way of engaging with consumers for brands.

(Naresh Gupta is Managing Partner and CSO of Bang in the Middle.)

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of BestMediaInfo.com and we do not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.)

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