Ageas Federal Life Insurance has launched its latest campaign – ‘Dreams’ featuring its brand ambassador, Sachin Tendulkar. It aims to inspire parents to recognise their child’s unique dreams and encourages them to nurture these dreams at every stage of their life.

The campaign is digital-led and has been conceptualised and created in partnership with VMLY&R India.

The film shows a young boy carrying the physical form of his dream with him. The ‘dream’ can be seen just by him until he meets Tendulkar who tells him that he too can see the dream as he himself once dreamt of being different things.

With the help of VFX and various animated storytelling tools, the campaign film helps to bring the young kid’s dreams to life. It highlights a child’s perspective while also giving out a message to parents.

Karthik Raman, chief marketing officer, Ageas Federal Life Insurance said, “We want to empower parents with the tools and information to make the right financial decisions that will benefit their kids. Our latest campaign is a unique approach to take as an insurance company because it tells a heartfelt story of a young hopeful child and his vivid yet evolving dream.”

“he fact that a child’s dream keeps evolving is what makes financial planning even more crucial to navigate tough economic times and unforeseen circumstances,” Raman added.

Spinny has announced its brand new campaign, Go Far, featuring its brand ambassador and strategic investor, Sachin Tendulkar. The series of films celebrate India’s spirit to dream big and make things happen. The campaign will run on digital platforms along with a strong presence across TV, radio, OOH and OTT platforms. It will also be aired during Asia Cup 2022 on Disney+Hotstar, and on StarSports.

“We believe in life and in your choices, go far. You should be able to buy a car that you actually, really want to buy, that you know would make you happy. With Spinny, we’d go that extra mile, go far at every step to make it happen for each of our customers, including Sachin Tendulkar. His first car would make him happy in a way that is rooted and real and we made it happen. A car is a special purchase for a home and our endeavor is to make it extra special for each of our customers,” Niraj Singh, founder and CEO of Spinny, said.

The campaign explores how different people go beyond boundaries for love, dreams, self. As per the company, Go Far as a campaign is personal, relative, hence featuring different people and their stories to push beyond the comfort zone to get what they really, truly want. “Whether it’s a family celebrating a new car and a new house or an elderly couple focusing on a dream they ignored for many years; the journeys represent a very individualistic take on pushing boundaries,” the company added.

“A car to me is more than just a mode of travel. It’s my second home, my co-passenger in the journey as one explores life and goes places. Our car reflects us, sometimes complements our personality. When Squad Spinny re-created my first car, it was therefore very special. The team had put in a lot of effort and gone great lengths to bring back special memories of my first car. Spinny values the emotions behind car ownership and strives to provide an experience with timeless values of trust, transparency, and integrity,” Tendulkar stated.

Luminous Power Technologies announced its range in solar. The latest TVC featuring the brand ambassador-Sachin Tendulkar, talks about using solar seamlessly through fun yet impactful way.

Developed and conceptualised by 82.5 Communications, the TVC demonstrates the convenience that Luminous brings in with its range of solar products, making it the go-to product with its catch line, “solar hai lagana toh Luminous ko hai bulana.”

The TVCs will be aired on TV channels and shows. The campaign will be leveraged on the brand’s social media handles. It will also be promoted on all Luminous’ social media platforms i.e.- Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

Ruchika Gupta, chief marketing officer, Luminous Power Technologies, said, “We created the “solar hai lagana toh luminous ko bulaana” campaign to showcase the brand as a one-stop-shop for all solar-related queries. This ad aims to combine consumer insight and storytelling, and I hope that you all resonate with it.”

Preeta Mathur, creative head, 82.5 Communications India, said “Let no one cast a doubt about solar. The film talks to those who are contemplating the thought of installing solar in their houses but haven’t taken the first step yet. Enters the team of sun and Sachin to put a stop to all the confusion and let the world know that Luminous is the one-stop solution for solar, solar hai lagana toh Luminous ko bulana.”

Sumanto Chattopadhyay, chairman and chief creative officer, 82.5 Communications India, said “Sachin is the evergreen brand ambassador for Luminous, complementing the inherent credibility of the brand. And who better to partner him than Mr Sun in convincing the consumer that Luminous is the right way to go solar.”

Spinny, full-stack used car platform, has launched its first national marketing campaign with the brand promise of “Khushiyon Ki Long Drive”. Highlighting the brand’s vision to turn the car buying and ownership journey into a simple and delightful experience, the ads feature Sachin Tendulkar and PV Sindhu. Conceptualised by Spring Marketing Capital, the campaign encapsulates the joy of adding a personal car in the journey of life.

Over the past few years, pre-owned car sales have witnessed an increase in momentum, gaining traction especially from young Indians in top cities. On the back of factors like greater value for money and wider choice of vehicles available in near-mint condition on full-stack digital platforms, pre-owned cars are steadily gaining popularity, Spinny said in a press statement.

In this campaign which comprises two films, Sachin Tendulkar and PV Sindhu, representing Spinny, provide assurance to a family who are about to buy their first car while the family gets advice from neighbours, relatives – pretty much what happens when a family decides to buy their first car.

The film also strategically encapsulates Spinny’s full stack features that contribute to creating a seamless vehicle purchasing journey including online research and test drives from home. The finalized car is then delivered at their doorstep – signifying the start of their Khushiyon Ki Long Drive.

Elaborating on the campaign, Suvid Bajaj, Head of Marketing – Spinny, said, “It was a memorable experience to work with our brand ambassadors Sachin Tendulkar and PV Sindhu on this campaign. Sachin is our strategic investor as well and he was fully involved with our idea. The idea of our campaign is to strike a chord with the young buyers and their life journey. Through this campaign we wanted to highlight the joyous story of millions of buyers, who work hard, save bit by bit and then invest in a car of their own. With Spinny’s strong focus and positive response to services, a film with PV Sindhu will be released as part of this campaign as well. Sindhu is deeply involved with Spinny as she started out as our customer and now of course a captain of Squad Spinny.”

Speaking about his involvement in the campaign, Sachin Tendulkar said, “Our country is becoming younger and our ambitions bigger. I am very happy to be associated with Spinny – a team which aspires to create solutions the right way. The team has adopted timeless values to achieve excellence in their business – trust, transparency, and integrity. This is one such story of a family on the start of their Khushiyon ki long drive with Spinny.

Mrinmoy Mukherjee, CEO, SRT Sports Management (organisation managing Sachin Tendulkar), said, “Throughout this journey, we wish to bring to life several interesting stories of human aspirations. Khushiyon Ki Long Drive is just the beginning”.

Arun Iyer, CCO, Spring marketing, said, “Buying their first car is one of the most exciting journeys for a family. We have attempted to weave a relatable story of a family starting their aspirational journey with their first car, while also informing our viewers why Spinny is the best destination for a used car purchase. Having Sachin Tendulkar narrate the film brought a feeling of trust and reassurance to it, and we hope that our viewers love our campaign as much as we do.”

The digital campaign will run via Spinny’s own social and YouTube channels along with a strong presence across other digital platforms. It will also be aired during the upcoming IPL 2022 on Disney+Hotstar, with Spinny on board as the associate sponsor. In addition to this, the brand is working on a second ad with a similar storyline featuring a customer and brand ambassador PV Sindhu.

Ageas Federal Life Insurance has launched its #FutureFearless campaign with brand ambassador Sachin Tendulkar. The #FutureFearless campaign was conceptualised and created in partnership with VMLY&R India. It is a digital-led campaign using social media platforms, influencer pages, and different digital media like OTT platforms and news sites. “Our aim through this campaign is to use Tendulkar’s example to encourage parents to wisely plan for their children’s future. We are going through uncertain times but with financial discipline and timely investment in life insurance, parents can help fulfil the fearless dreams of their children,” Karthik Raman, chief marketing officer and head, Products, Ageas Federal Life Insurance said.

The film for the campaign uses deep fake AI video regeneration technology to recreate an 11-year-old Tendulkar. In the film, a young Sachin Tendulkar records a message for his older self on being fearless despite the hurdles of the world. At the end of the film, referring to his own childhood experiences, he urges parents not to fear the future but to prepare for it. The campaign aims to encourage timely investment in life insurance to liberate parents from financial limitations and help them to plan for a future for their children.

The company wanted an inspiring figure to convince parents to overcome their fears with better financial planning from Ageas Federal Life Insurance, and who better than the 11-year-old Sachin Tendulkar; Mukund Olety, chief creative officer, VMLY&R India, stated. “While we knew this was something we could achieve using technologies such as deepfake AI, unfortunately, we didn’t have any pre-existing videos of him as a child. Instead of letting that stop us, we found our way through custom tech innovations. We recorded the adult Sachin Tendulkar and de-aged his voice to make sure it had realistic notes and nuances, things people recognise about him today,” he added.

The campaign is created from the #FutureFearless survey conducted by Ageas Federal Life Insurance with YouGov India, which examined the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the financial preparedness of Indian parents in planning for their children’s education, career and other life goals. As per the survey, after addressing medical needs, saving for their children’s future emerged as the one of the top priorities for parents, between the pandemic-led forced cut down on savings and investments. Life insurance emerged as one of the top preferences for parents when saving or investing for the long-term goals of their children.

Stalwarts from different fields will conduct curated lessons on their subjects of expertise

Edtech unicorn Unacademy has launched a new learning product called ‘Unacademy Icons’, where stalwarts from different fields such as sports, arts, business and leadership, will conduct curated lessons on their subjects of expertise.

The first Icons segment, ‘Cricket with Sachin’ , has been developed in collaboration with cricketer Sachin Tendulkar. He will mentor Unacademy Learners through a series of 31 interactive lessons of over seven hours. The curriculum is co-created by Sachin Tendulkar and his brother Ajit Tendulkar.

Speaking to BusinessLine about the vision behind Unacademy Icons, Gaurav Munjal, Co-founder and CEO, Unacademy Group, said: “Unacademy always wanted to democratise knowledge. The founders of Unacademy have been YouTubers since 2010. We were in college when we started teaching on YouTube and the initial idea of why unacademy came into existence was that we knew something that others did not. There was that information arbitrage and that made us realise that if we can get the best in the world to teach something, that will be very different from what you can learn from others.”

Munjal added that there will not be thousands of courses in every category, instead, in each category, the company will partner with the best icon in the world similar to how they have partnered with Sachin for the Cricket category. In future, Unacademy Icons also plans to introduce a few categories such as chess, how to become a YouTuber, and acting.

Pre-booking for Icons will start on February 23, for a subscription price of ₹299, with a one-year validity. The first 10 lessons will be launched on February 28 and subsequent 21 lessons will be released in the following weeks. The lessons will be available in English, Hindi to begin with, and will later be available in Marathi, Kannada, Telugu and Tamil.

The course offers a variety of features such as in-show graphics and animations that make the lessons engaging and interactive. The course curriculum also offers quizzes between each chapter, which will act as notable benchmarks to test the Learner’s knowledge in their course journey.

Talking about the course structure and content, Sachin Tendulkar said: “ Whatever the way I have played and the way my brother has shared his thoughts with me over the years, we’ve tried to implement all those things in various chapters. Plus, I have shared a number of experiences from my international cricket days, and some of these experiences are from my childhood. So, the course is not only focussed on the beginners, it’s also for someone who’s been around for a while, or is a pro-level expert who knows how to play.”

Sachin Tendulkar-backed sports-based entertainment startup Smaaash has raised ₹40 crore (about $6 million) from a clutch of high-net-worth individuals, including Ravi Modi, founder of clothing brand Manyavar, Lakshmi Narayanan, former vice-chairman of Cognizant and Vijaylaxmi Poddar of Balkrishna Industries.

The investment was reported by data research platform Paper.vc and will see Smaaash furthering its physical presence in both domestic and international geographies.

The round comes four months after the firm raised capital from consumer-focused investment firm Sixth Sense Ventures, had reported earlier. At the time, Smaaash was expected to have been valued at about $100 million.

With this, the total capital raised by Smaaash Entertainment stands at about ₹762 crore, including equity and debt so far.

Founded in 2012 by serial entrepreneur Shripal Morakhia, who was behind institutional brokerage firm SSKI and retail brokerage firm Sharekhan, Smaaash owns and operates digital entertainment centres for sports such as cricket, football and go-karting and also virtual games in 30 centres across India along with the US, China, and the Middle East.

The firm currently manages over 600,000 square feet of area in India. Its operating revenues almost doubled to Rs 103.26 crore in FY17, while losses widened by a third to Rs 32.88 crore, according to regulatory filings made with the registrar of companies.

Shareholders of the company include Tendulkar, sports-focused investment firm Fidelis World and BCCL, which publishes The Economic Times.

Sachin Tendulkar backed virtual reality gaming and entertainment company Smaaash has raised $44 Mn (INR 280 Cr) in a round led by Edelweiss Group’s non-banking finance unit, ECL Finance. The funding has been secured through a combination of debt and equity.

According to sources, the investment will be utilised for overseas expansion and acquisitions. Out of the $44 Mn, ECL Finance has contributed $40.2 Mn (INR 258 Cr). The remaining amount of $3.4 Mn (INR 22 Cr) has been raised from Smaaash founders.

Commenting on the development, a source said, “On the international side, Smaaash has been looking to set up centres in the US and in the Middle East. They already have one centre in the US. They have been looking at cities such as Dubai and Jeddah in the Middle East.”

The development comes nearly seven months after the entertainment company announced plans to raise $31 Mn (INR 200 Cr) from private equity investors for expanding its operations globally. At the time, it was reported that the investment would take place in Q2 of this year.

Smaaash: Marrying Food, Music, Sports, And Virtual Reality

Established in 2012 by film director and producer Shripal Morakhia, Smaaash is a gaming arcade operator with multiple digital entertainment centres for cricket, football, go-karting, bowling and other recreational activities. The centres are currently located across Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Gurugram and Noida, in addition to centres in the US. Smaaash is co-owned by Sachin Tendulkar, who is also one of the investors in the venture.

Currently, Sachin Tendulkar, along with badminton player PV Sindhu, her coach and former badminton player Pullela Gopichand, are in talks with Hyderabad-based healthcare services aggregator CallHealth about investing $6.2 Mn. In the past, Tendulkar launched his premium men’s wear brand, True Blue, on Flipkart-owned Myntra.

In April 2016, cricketer Sachin Tendulkar invested in Bengaluru-based Internet of Things (IoT) company Smartron India, and also became the brand ambassador of the company. He also holds stakes in brands like S Drive (healthcare and fitness products maker), Sach, and Universal Collectabilia (India’s first celebrity-commerce company).

Smaaash originally raised $10.8 Mn in May 2014 from Mauritius-based FidelisWorld through its FW Sports Investment Fund. As part of the deal, FidelisWorld acquired a 39% stake. Later in August 2016, the company was reportedly in talks with Piramal Enterprises Ltd’s Structured Financing Group for securing another $23.4 Mn (INR 150 Cr).

Towards the beginning of August, Smaaash took over bowling company bluO Entertainment, which was conceived as a joint venture between PVR Ltd and Major Cineplex Group of Thailand. The acquisition was made as part of a $13.4 Mn (INR 86 Cr) all-cash deal.

With the acquisition, the footprint of the entertainment company in India is expected to increase from 276,000 square feet to over 600,000 square feet. As per reports, the newly acquired centres will operate under the Smaaash brand.

Most recently, in the second week of September, the sports-based entertainment company acquired 100% stake in SVM Bowling & Gaming, which will, in turn, enable Smaaash to expand its reach across Hyderabad, Mysore, Madurai, Vijayawada, Mangaluru, and Pune.

Banking On India’s 310 Mn Gamers And Emerging Markets In Middle East
According to Inc42 Datalabs, India currently ranks among the top five countries in the world for online and mobile gaming. As per a Google KPMG report published in May 2017, the online gaming industry in India is estimated to be worth over $360 Mn. Poised to grow to $1 Tn by 2021, the industry will likely reach more than 310 Mn gamers around the country by then. Virtual reality gaming is a fast-evolving vertical in this country.

Recently, Mumbai-based Nazara Technologies revealed plans to offer an IPO towards the end of FY18, making it the first public listing in the Indian gaming space. According to sources, the public offering is expected to raise a total of $156.5 Mn (INR 1,000 Cr) at a valuation of somewhere between $469.7 Mn-$548 Mn (INR 3,000 Cr-INR 3,500 Cr).

Earlier in July, Bengaluru-based online gaming startup Hypernova Interactive secured an undisclosed amount in Seed funding from Kae Capital. The funding will reportedly go into building an e-sports ecosystem for mobile. The online gaming startup also plans to scale their current games in markets like China and the US.

Another online gaming startup Baadshah Gaming raised an undisclosed amount from Casino Pride in June 2017. The funding was raised against a 30% stake in the startup. Back in April, mobile gaming platform Mech Mocha raised $5 Mn in Series A round of funding led by Accel Partners, Shunwei Capital, and Blume Ventures.

In the beginning of the year, Udupi-based gaming startup 99Games secured investment from Japanese investment firm Dream Incubator, along with participation from existing investors Kalaari Capital and Ascent Capital.

Other active startups in gaming space are PlaySimple, Flixy Games, GameXS, RedMonsterGames and more. Amidst increasing competition, Smaaash’s decision to expand operations to the global market is likely a wise one. With the newly-raised funding from ECL Finance and Sachin Tendulkar, Smaaash is looking to accelerate its growth by betting on emerging gaming markets like the Middle East.

Bengaluru: Fashion start-up Universal Sportsbiz Pvt. Ltd (USPL) has raised a fresh round of investment of over Rs100 crore from existing investor Accel Partners.

With this round of funding, the valuation of Universal Sportsbiz Pvt. Ltd has crossed $100 million, the company said.

The funds will be deployed for expansion in product portfolio and retailing capabilities. “With this investment we will be able to accelerate our growth in this high potential, fashion retail space,” USPL founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Anjana Reddy said in a statement in Bengaluru.

Founded in April 2012, USPL’s portfolio of brands include WROGN, a men’s casual wear brand inspired by Team India Captain Virat Kohli.

Imara is a contemporary women’s ethnic fashion brand and Ms Taken, a signature women’s western wearline. Kohli, who is also curator of USPL’s brand WROGN, said, “I am keenly looking forward to taking WROGN to all the right places in India and beyond.”

USPL brands are presently available in Shoppers Stop and online fashion portals Myntra, Jabong and Flipkart, besides exclusive brand stores.

Pursuing its omni-channel distribution strategy, USPL has recently opened company owned outlets in key metropolitan cities of the country. “We are delighted to support USPL’s future plans as they seek to maintain leadership position in India and expand globally,” Partner at Accel Partners India, Mahendran Balachandran said.

Sachin Tendulkar has launched BMW India’s “Skill Next” programme to impart hands-on expertise and to automobile engineers across the country.

The initiative will help the engineering students in gaining theoretical and practical knowledge as the car manufacturer would provide 365 BMW engines and transmissions to various engineering and technical institutes across the country free of cost.

“Skill Next is a vision which we are extremely passionate about. Apart from the theoretical knowledge, the aspiring engineers and the youngsters will have a special opportunity for practical training as well. It is like me playing book cricket without a bat,” Tendulkar said, after launching the initiative at the factory.

Tendulkar, the brand ambassador of the German luxury car manufacturer, has launched the initiative by assembling an engine and a transmission unit along with the students of Anna University’s College of Engineering at the company’s factory in Chennai.

“The learning experience would also be a fantastic opportunity for the students to chase their dreams ,” Tendulkar added.

“There is going to be a big shortage of technical skills in the next 10 years and under this initiative, thousands of students will get access to the technology,” BMW India’s president Vikram Pawah said.