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Local Planet launches an APAC network to address the needs of 21 diverse markets in the region; Percept Media part of the 9 country network

Local Planet, the world’s largest privately-held agency network, has launched an APAC hub with nine leading independent agencies. Local Planet was established in 2016, uniquely combining the best-in-class, best-in-market, and most progressive independent agencies in the world with the purpose of helping clients seize growth opportunities globally through local excellence and expertise. Local Planet is the world’s only owner-managed international agency network, now operating with 117 offices in 67 markets worldwide. The major shareholders include Horizon in the U.S., and in Asia, Percept in India, BlueFocus International in China and Nunn Media in Australia. All of which are the largest independent agencies in their respective markets. Local Planet’s combined turnover is US$16bn and it has already achieved a global market share of 4.6%, making it the fourth largest agency network in the world. Local Planet now services 46 international clients across its markets and regions and has won over 230 awards in the last year alone. In 2018, independent agencies won their largest share ever of international pitches, US$2.7bn (20%) of the US$13.4bn which moved agencies (Source: COMvergence/RECMA).

Local Planet has now created an APAC nexus in Singapore to drive the union of nine leading independent agencies, servicing 21 markets across APAC in strategy, media planning and buying, performance marketing, brand consultancy, e-commerce, content creation and production, mobile marketing, social media and data analytics. “For decades and decades, traditional global networks have merchandised a deeply oversimplified view of Asia and its people – a view that is homogeneous, uniform and frequently Western. As 3 billion Asians are an integral part of the global economy, Local Planet is designed to flip the whole picture and take a local up approach. We are a network of local giants who’ve built credibility exactly with this local up view of what clients deserve”, said Martyn Rattle, Global CEO of Local Planet.

"As one of the founding members of Local Planet Network we are proud to share the launch of Local Planet APAC. This completes the go to market network. Local Planet will help us bring best in class media and content solutions to clients looking to break the clutter in the digital driven market. Allowing us to offer the latest in tools and technology solutions for diverse needs customized to the domestic market,” said Ajay Upadhyay, Director Local Planet International and Director Percept Media.

“Local Planet brings a seamless, local up model to a complex and digitally advanced region, simplifying yet respecting its cultural and technological diversity to the benefit of both regional and global clients”, stated Andreas Dannenberg, Founder and CEO of Ad-Comm Group, Japan.

Local Planet APAC agencies include Percept in India, Nunn Media in Australia, BlueFocus International in China, Media Muscle in Indonesia, Ad-Comm Group in Japan, Entropia in Malaysia, The Huddle Room in Philippines, The Media Shop in Singapore, and Nasmedia in South Korea, all of which are the best in class, fastest growing, and most respected independent agencies in their markets. “I am delighted that Local Planet has been able to bring together such high quality, talented and successful owner-managed agencies to form a powerful and ambitious new network across the Asia Pacific, in order to help service clients who want to expand across the region and, in fact, the world. I am convinced that the entrepreneurial spirit and drive of our individual agencies will now be replicated at scale in order to help many clients unlock and maximize local opportunities in order to achieve regional success and growth.” added Martyn Rattle, Global CEO of Local Planet.

“Local Planet represents a unique alternative in an increasingly standardized category - local expertise paired with a proven global experience, a fresh perspective underpinned by entrepreneurialism and dynamism”, explained Holly Zheng CEO and President, BlueFocus International. “Joining the Local Planet network allows us to get the best of both worlds, by providing clients with deep local knowledge coupled with the strength of a global network. As part of the network we share knowledge, insights and tools with other leading independent agencies to help drive client growth”, added Matt Nunn, Founder of Nunn Media in Australia. “The Local Planet model will fuel media innovations and bring about a solid foundation to accomplish remarkable things. Being part of the world’s leading independent network lets us propel our clients' need for growth to greater heights”, said Jessica Toh, CEO of The Media Shop, Singapore.

“The First Dance with a Star” - Khushi Singh Chaudhari speaks on Celebrity presence at Indian Weddings in an exclusive interview with LuxeBook

Marriages are made in heaven but are made to be a ‘heavenly affair’ on earth. The business of turning reality into a fantasy is pegged close to $50 billion. It is growing by 20% per year as per a KPMG Report. 3,400 people in India, as stated in a Forbes article, have a High Net Worth of more than $50 million. Out of that lot, 1,500 are estimated to be worth more than $100 million – the sixth highest in the world after the USA, China, Germany, UK and Japan. With such potent spending power, the Indian crème de la crème tends to take marriages very seriously. Seen as an image building exercise, these events are nothing short of a PR blitzkrieg.

And what’s better than a show of power; to be able to beckon the powerful or to be able to wield influence over the influential? Besides getting married on an isolated island or having a convoy of 25 Harley Davidson for baraat, managing a Shah Rukh Khan to Katrina Kaif to pretend that they are ‘family’ or roping them in for entertainment acts is the ultimate trump card. Bollywood and weddings in India have always been inextricably intertwined. One of India’s biggest blockbusters, Hum Aapke Hain Kaun..!(1994) was a celluloid marriage that went on for three-and-a-half hours. Then onwards, be it the clothes or the décor, or even the rituals of stealing the groom’s shoes or as seen in 2013’s YehJawaani Hai Deewani, performance stand-offs between the bride and the groom’s side, Bollywood is the ultimate wedding reference guide. The idea is to look like you walked straight out of a film. And what’s better than having a star walk with you to make that fantasy more believable; to come and waltz with you and be seen by the world as glamorous and classy.

A class act - “The super rich do it because of ‘I can do it too’ mentality,” says a leading wedding planner, who didn’t wish to be named. “Entertainment is an integral part of a wedding but calling in Bollywood celebs is for those who want to announce that ‘they have arrived.’ It is the same line of thinking that makes them aspire to a limited edition Louis Vuitton bag. The wedding proclaims their status to their extended families and community at large,” shares the planner who has been two decades in the business and organized weddings for India’s topmost industrialists.

Glance through the Isha Ambani-Anand Piramal and Akash Ambani-Shloka Mehta wedding pictures and you’d see all A-listers posing alongside. Even the reticent Aamir Khan danced with Kiran Rao, and Shah Rukh Khan shook a leg with his wife, Gauri Khan. The guests present, of course, must have been regaled but the true reflection of its magnitude lies in how it sent traditional and social media into a tizzy.

“Getting your wedding splashed on the glossies is a dream for many, but this is tough unless a household big star name is present on the wedding party list. And as these stars are not their best friends, one has to shell out big money to get them to attend, become a part of the wedding and maybe even pass off as a friend of the family,” shares Khushi Singh Chaudhary, Head of Luxury and Weddings, Percept Limited. Her company recently organized the magical Montreux wedding of Tanya Ganwani, grand-daughter of the founder of the Lals Group with London-based Rajiv Varma, heir to one of the largest rice companies in the UK. She confirms that this frenzy to make one’s wedding a star-studded affair has turned into somewhat of a contest. “Each family attempts to make the events more lavish and invite bigger stars to augment their status,” she adds.

All the world’s a stage - Most stars too don’t shy away from such ‘invitations.’ Coming at a price tag of anything between Rs 1 crore to Rs 3.5 crores, these Bollywood personalities look at it as another avenue to perform and connect with the audience. While the most popular are Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone, “high-energy performers like Ranveer Singh, Akshay Kumar, Vishal Shekhar, Baadshah and Mika Singh bring their own flavour to the occasion,” says Bhavesh Sawhney, Director, Wedniksha Wedding Planners. They managed the Sonam Kapoor-Anand Ahuja and former civil aviation minister Praful Patel’s daughter Poorna Patel’s marriage to industrialist Namit Soni.

As the big names charge big money, smaller acts worth Rs20 lakh have broadened into musical gigs and stand-up acts. “It all depends on the stars you sign on and how current, topical and sought-after they are at that point in time. Another determining factor is whether their appeal is regional, national or international,” adds Khushi Singh. The stars too find these to be lucrative opportunities. It is the chance to earn a humungous amount for just an hour’s work. Plus, the visibility and top-of-the-mind recall they get across media strengthens industry network and relations beyond the filmy fraternity, informs Singh. Often, stars change their work schedules if the fee and nature of the event warrant it.

The bottom line is to engage the guests as much as possible. Tejveen Kaur of T’zires that has organized weddings of the Munjal and the Singhania family, says, “A lot of families like the pomp and glamour. They want the guests to be gripped rather glued to just being there at the event. They want an artist that can hold the attention of guests of every age group. The duration of the guests’ stay at a party is truly proportionate to its success, and these stars do great justice to keeping the crowd entertained.”

In the 90s, Govinda could be seen spouting lines from his cult favorites striking the audience by his inimitable dialogue-delivery. Though dance acts have become the most-sought-after performances, music gigs and stand-up acts too draw their own share of following. “A certain star known for his daredevilry may enter from a boom crane or come down a hoist. Another, whose image might have gone through a complete 180-degree makeover may deliver a path-breaking act. All options are there for families to choose from. In fact, some may prefer music artistes as they do a 90-min act than a dance act of just 20 minutes,” says the anonymous planner.

Dealing right - Besides establishing the family’s eminence in society, these events are pivotal networking events. Notes researcher Paul Bhandari in an article for The Conservation, “These weddings then also serve as informal sites of brokering among political and business elites. As a prominent “fixer”, a middleman of sorts for the political and social honchos, whose job it is to introduce influential figures to one another to expand their networks, told me, “The most effective meetings are outside the meeting rooms”.

This professionalism percolates down to watertight contracts too as opposed to the oral agreements of the 90s. “Nowadays, all weddings have planners to ensure that the family gets the worth of what they are spending. Thus, comes in the deliverables contract. It also safeguards them from a situation where the star doesn’t show up due to his/her busy schedule after promising attendance. Stars and talent management agencies too prefer contracts to safeguard the safety and comfort of the star, since there are many cases where the star is put into an uncomfortable position,” adds Sawhney.

Khushi Singh feels that every profession will have a spin-off once the talent attains a certain status, position, stature, and aura. It is a natural progression of business from being a pure actor to adding additional areas of value add business such as celebrity advertising, ribbon cutting, and attending rallies, parties, functions and wedding celebrations. She says, “Star power is big brand equity and will never come cheap.” Rightfully so!

Bollyboom kicks off the Guru Randhawa High Rated Gabru India Tour 2.0 across 6 cities

Popular singer Guru Randhawa kicked off the much anticipated Bollyboom Guru Randhawa High Rated Gabru India Tour 2.0 across 6 cities pan India. The first phase of the event was held on 18 May in Hyderabad, 19 May in Surat, 25 May in Indore, 26 May in Navi Mumbai, 1 June in Bengaluru, and 2 June in Pune. Details of the second phase are yet to be revealed by Percept Live.

Fans grooved to his chartbusting songs including 'High Rated Gabru', 'Ban Ja Rani' from the movie Tumhari Sulu, 'Yaar Mod Do', 'Patola', 'Fashion', and 'Lahore'. The Bollyboom Guru Randhawa High Rated Gabru India Tour 2.0 not only saw popular numbers from the sensational Punjabi hit-maker Guru Randhawa mesmerize the masses, but also served up a melange of live percussionists, exotic performers and a jaw-dropping experience with visually amazing SFX and state of art Technology. The event also offered a curated F&B and seamless experience for all attendees making the first phase of the India Tour 2.0 a grand success.

Bollyboom is an existing Intellectual property, which belongs to Percept Live, a forerunner that introduced a new genre called Bollywood Electro Music, a fusion of Bollywood music and electronic sounds in the festival market in India since 2013. The first editions have seen live performances by Sonu Nigam, Salim-Sulaiman, Shaan, Shveta Pandit, Shraddha Pandit sharing the platform with DJ Lloyd, DJ NYK and Acid in various cities such as Mumbai, Delhi and Jaipur. In the second edition, Bollyboom did events such as Bollyboom Holi Bash 2017 and another in 2018 with an accumulative attendance of over 10,000. Another massive event called Bollyboom NSCI Nights which pulled a crowd of over 4,500 Bollywood music enthusiasts with DJ Raftaar, DJ Aqeel, DJ Shilpi Sharma, DJ Zulfi Syed and DJ Aman who rocked the NSCI Dome at Worli In 2017. Last year Bollyboom hosted a pop up party offering customers a unique fresh and an exclusive nightclub experience, along with an exclusive guest list and an unforgettable experience at Marriot in Mumbai. Apart from arenas and Pop-ups Bollyboom has hosted multiple club nights in various metro and tier 2 cities.

SUNBURN Festival Officially Announces Its Return to Goa

One of Asia’s biggest electronic music extravaganza SUNBURN Festival has officially announced its most anticipated return to its birthplace GOA. It is going to be an amazing culmination of top-notch electronic music, adrenaline-pumping parallel activities, and experiences in the hedonistic environs of Goa. With a successful Sunburn Goa, 2019 (Klassique) edition featuring an array of stars, Sunburn Festival gears up for a massive homecoming celebration!

Undoubtedly SUNBURN Festival 2019 promises an exhilarating experience accompanied with best of sound design and engineering, state of the art SFX, remarkable pyrotechnics and the best of curated content. Sunburn which enjoys the status of being of the biggest dance music brands in Asia concluded the 12th edition of its annual and last showcase in Pune in 2018. The festival saw one of the best artist line ups, sound design and engineering, and jaw-dropping SFX, the Sunburn Pune festival was the biggest and grandest edition of Sunburn held ever. The main stage also featured 3D fireworks, a first for any music festival in the country. The festival was streamed live exclusively on the Zee 5 app to reach millions of fans across the country. The festival featured 4 stages including the main stage, Cubezoid 4.0 which spanned 300 x 100 feet (as tall as a 10 story building and as wide as the Statue of Liberty horizontally) and had over 7000 sq. ft. of LED and was attended by over 2,00,000 fans.

Percept Live which held the Sunburn EDM festivals in Goa for a decade from 2007 to 2015, shifted to Pune in December 2016 after a standoff with the Goa Government over pending dues. The new players who jumped into the fray and organized festivals for two years pulled out. December 2018 saw no festival in the state of Goa. Some attributed the drop in footfalls in December to Goa having no big music event. Tourism stakeholders are of the opinion that the government’s flip-flop stand on festivals was responsible for investors staying away. Trade body Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG) requested the Government several times not to keep event organizers hanging. Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar has pledged support to music events or programs that will increase the value of destination Goa, but there are yet to be any policy changes regarding this.

After hosting a number of EDM heavyweights such as Martin Garrix, David Guetta, KSHMR, Knife Party, Sander van Doorn, Sasha, Krewella, Baauer, Danny Avila Kygo, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Art Department, Tube & Berger & many more, fans can simply expect a mind-blowing lineup for the return of the Festival’s Annual edition to the serene shores of Goa.

Editorial: Corporate Communications Team P2P is the in-house e-zine of Percept Limited. The contents of this publication have been created with inputs from its divisions and companies. The contents of this document may not be reproduced or circulated without prior consent from the Corporate Communications Department, Percept Limited.

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