Discover like-minded artists and designers from around India and the UK with Dara, India’s first chatbot for creative professionals. Created by the British Council, the bot helps you connect with potential collaborators and a wider audience for ongoing projects. Believed to be one-of-a-kind, Dara came into existence as a result of the British Council’s Open Call for Digital Arts (2018), and has been conceptualized and developed by Bengaluru-based tech artist Archana Prasad and Sean Blagsvedt, head of international growth of Marco Polo, a video communication app. The project has been funded by the British Council for its objective of democratization of the arts.
Prasad is the founder of Jaaga, a Bengaluru-based firm which provides programmes and spaces for creative people, initiatives and enterprises. She believes that the project is in sync with her own practice. “My work is about creating spaces where the creative community and the technology community can meet each other. While a lot of our work is Bengaluru-centric and based on the ground, with Dara we wanted to create something scalable and online,” she says.
The chatbot has been envisioned as a digital friend with deep networks in the creative sector. The makers hope that with time Dara will be able to connect people across the network through email as well as offline interactions. “Dara could host multiple gatherings across cities, inviting people from her network to meet one another. Another way could be aiding people based in, say, Bengaluru and London initiate conversation online and help them embark on a collaboration,” says Prasad.
Initial research involved inviting around 25 respondents from the two countries, drawing from Prasad’s personal network. They were consulted at every stage of the design process. Two months ago, the British Council organized a dinner for 75 creative professionals. These invitees had a history of cultural and creative collaboration. “They were requested to nominate one-two persons. These nominees were then called in for a second event in May this year and became the registered users for Dara,” says Prasad.
The chatbot works on a progressive web application that leverages any browser, be it Chrome or Safari. Dara is also present on Facebook. The team is considering a downloadable app, but that will have to wait for now. “We have 294 users at this point, with a spike in the last two weeks,” says Prasad.
Short video app TikTok Friday urged its users to leverage the platform to showcase creativity and asserted that it does not endorse or promote videos that violate its community guidelines around inflicting harm on oneself or others.
The statement comes in the wake of a recent incident where a teenager was shot dead “accidentally” when he and his relatives were posing for a TikTok video in Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar district.
“We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing away of one of our community members…At TikTok, we are committed to maintaining a safe and positive in-app environment for our users,” TikTok said in a statement.
The statement further stated that while it encourages users to showcase their creativity, TikTok in “no way endorses or promotes videos that violate our community guidelines that includes harm to oneself or others”.
TikTok, which has 200 million users in India, was in news earlier this year when the Madurai bench of Madras High Court had, on April 3, directed the government to ban the mobile application, as it voiced concerns over the “pornographic and inappropriate contents” being made available through such apps.
However, the Madras High Court lifted its ban on TikTok three weeks later.
USV Private Limited, a leading healthcare company in India, has recently appointed Lowe Lintas as creative agency for its consumer business including SebaMed range of products. SebaMed is a global premium skincare brand from Germany, best known for its pioneering pH5.5 products. The brand has been exclusively licensed to USV Private Limited for marketing their baby and adult care range of products in India.
Lowe Lintas won this business following a rigorous multi-agency pitch. Over the years, Lowe Lintas has developed a deep and insightful understanding of the relationship between mothers and babies. It also has a robust experience in building e-commerce brands and has a successful history of building brands from scratch.
The agency’s key mandate will be to launch SebaMed’s range of Baby and Adult care products across both traditional and digital channels.
Speaking on the partnership, Shashi Ranjan, Head – Consumer Products, USV Private Limited said “We strive to provide an assurance to every mother that Sebamed range of products are superior in quality and are clinically proven to provide the best protection for babies right from day 1. We see immense potential in this category to disrupt the market and hence we needed a partner who can do complete justice to our aspirations. Lowe Lintas had an intuitive understanding of what we’re trying to achieve and came up with a strategic approach which we resonated with and we are really looking forward to a great partnership.”
Commenting on the win, Anaheeta Goenka – President, Lowe Lintas, said, “SebaMed is a great brand to work on, and we are really excited with the mandate! Lowe Lintas is known for creating challenger brands and disrupting the marketplace…and we look forward to the David vs Goliath fight in a category which is synonymous with a single player.” The business will be handled out of Lowe Lintas’ Mumbai office.
Casio India has announced the appointment of L&K Saatchi & Saatchi as its creative agency for the watches portfolio. The account was won post a multi-agency pitch.
L&K Saatchi & Saatchi’s Mumbai office will handle the account.
Kulbushan Seth, vice president, Casio India, said, “We are extremely delighted to partner with L&K Saatchi & Saatchi as our strategy and communications partner for Casio India. Casio has a unique legacy across the world, and since we are going from strength to strength in India, we found it to be the perfect time to collaborate with L&K Saatchi & Saatchi who are experts in their domain and will enhance our creative vision.”
Charles Victor, executive director, L&K Saatchi & Saatchi, said, “It’s not often that one gets to work on an iconic brand and our partnership with Casio Watches has brought quite a few opportunities our way. G-Shock, Baby G and Casio Edifice are just some of the brands that we’re so excited to work on and so proud to partner in India. We look forward to doing magic on these iconic brands.”