KFC is taking a new approach to its marketing: crowdfunding.
For its latest stunt, the fast-food chain is asking people to pitch in and fund, via Indiegogo, one of five ideas in a so-called Innovation Lab. Customers can also offer creative advice. (Well, they are forking over money).
Should a project become fully backed by supporters, KFC will produce the funded idea. For smaller contributions, the company is offering KFC Innovations Lab-branded swag, such as sweatpants or a … 3-D puffy sticker pack. If a project doesn’t reach its target goal, all contributions will be refunded to individual supporters.
The ideas that people can contribute to include “Kentucky Fried Hot Tub,” which, as of Tuesday afternoon, had raised $95.
Another is “Colonel on Ice,” an ice-skating show that would tell the story of how Colonel Harland Sanders founded the chain with only a 6th-grade education ($45 so far).
People into geo-tracking might be drawn to “Little Colonel Locator,” which as of Tuesday afternoon had raised nearly $600. It features a location-tracking necktie (it works if the person wearing it is within 100 feet of a smartphone).
KFC worked on the lab with its agency, Wieden & Kennedy Portland.
The chain is already well known for stunts. It’s currently running a campaign featuring Colonel Sanders as RoboCop to protect its secret recipe. It has even offered free bowl haircuts in Brooklyn, New York to promote its $3 Famous Bowls meals. And it has created items such as Colonel Sanders-styled pool floaties and a log that smells like fried chicken while it’s burning.
NEW DELHI: ET Money has clocked Rs 2,000 crore of mutual fund sales on its app, registering a nearly twentyfold increase in sales of the financial product over the past fifteen months.
The online financial services platform had started offering investors the choice to invest in direct mutual funds a few months ago and has witnessed exponential growth ever since.
“The growth in value of transactions is due to the pace at which we have launched innovative offerings for the customer and the addition of direct mutual funds to our platform,” ET Money’s chief executive officer Mukesh Kalra said. ET Money’s ability to provide customers a wide range of solutions, including loans to meet short-term funding requirements had increased the platform’s credibility and users confidence in the app, according to Kalra.
The Times Internet-backed company started operations two years ago as an app that linked into the user’s SMS log and enabled him/her to maintain a roster of monthly expenses. It has added multiple features to become a full-service financial services provider on the phone over time. Times Internet is a subsidiary of BCCL, the publisher of this newspaper.
Within a short span of time, ET Money has struck collaborations with over twenty asset management companies to offer a range of over 1,000 mutual fund schemes. It also has a tie-up with RBL Bank to provide loans to customers and recently introduced a liquid fixed deposit scheme that offers higher interest rates in comparison to traditional savings accounts.
“We are aiming to grow to Rs 5,000 crore of mutual fund transactions in the next 12-18 months,” Kalra said, expressing confidence that the movement towards investments in financial assets by people who have disposable incomes will create the right conditions for his business.
Over the last 18 months, ET Money has introduced a slew of industry-first offerings like SmartDeposit with Instant Withdrawal, Paperless KYC, One-tap Portfolio Buys, SIP Registration without First Installment and Option to Skip SIP Installments.
It has also launched a unique feature to enable existing investors save agent commissions on their existing mutual fund investments by instantly allowing them to switch to direct plans.
With an aim to play an integral role in a modern Indian’s financial life, ET Money has expanded its offerings providing instant personal loans through its app along with Insurance products via ETInsure. This has helped to grow it’s total transactions across all services to an annual figure of over Rs.2,100 Crores which is growing at 200% every six months, the company claims. The ET Money app is available on Android or iOS.
Popular online payment platform Paytm has said that its users would now be able to track the performance of their mutual fund investments on its subsidiary portal Paytm Money for free.
Investors would have to upload their Consolidated Account Statement (CAS) generated via Karvy Fintech on Paytm Money to track their all investments in their portfolio on the Paytm Money app, the company said in a statement.
Paytm Money claimed of registering over 1 million users within six months of launch.
Mutual fund investors putting their money via multiple channels including asset management companies, banks, advisors and distributors don’t get to look at the performance of their investments cohesively under a single platform.
Investors who haven’t invested via Paytm Money app can also track their daily portfolio performance irrespective of their channel or the mode of investment.
“We received many requests & feedback from Paytm Money users to be able to import their external investments to our platform. This assists an investor in keeping track of all investments in one place, further helping in their investment decisions,” said Paytm Money whole-time director Pravin Jadhav.
Paytm Money claimed to have partnered with 34 asset management companies covering over 94% AUM of the mutual fund industry.
Paytm’s mutual fund arm operates from Bengaluru and has a team of over 250 members Paytm Money, which aims to become a full-stack investment and wealth management services company, offer users mutual fund investments starting with Rs 100 via systematic investment plan or lump sum mode.
Recently at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Paytm’s chief financial officer said that the company is looking at expanding to 1-2 more developed markets this year. He told Reuters that the company has already found its footing in Canada and Japan while many of its commerce and financial services businesses have started to generate revenue and profits.
The company is also reportedly planning to expand into lending and credit cards services.
Headteachers and campaigners fighting cuts to special needs education call move ‘sickening’
Sally Weale Education correspondent
Headteachers and campaigners for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) have reacted with fury to a government announcement that 16 grammar schools are to split a £50m bonus to create new school places.
Making the announcement on Monday, the education secretary, Damian Hinds, said the 16 schools chosen to receive the additional funding out of 39 applications had been given permission to expand after setting out clear actions to prioritise access for disadvantaged children.
“I have always been clear that selective schools will only be able to expand if they meet the high bar we have set for increasing access for disadvantaged children, and all of these schools have done that,” Hinds said. “As a result, countless more children from disadvantaged areas will benefit from places at outstanding schools.”
Headteachers who have been campaigning for months to highlight the funding crisis in their schools described the move as “ill-judged”. Campaigners who are fighting SEND cuts to their children’s education through the courts said it was “sickening”.
“It’s difficult to stomach the backdoor expansion of grammar schools while inclusive schools are being financially penalised and special educational needs funding is in crisis,” said a spokesperson for SEND Family Action. “Attending these schools is simply not an option for many pupils with SEND.”
According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, per-pupil funding in England is down by 8% in real terms since 2010, causing real hardship in schools. As a result, headteachers are increasingly asking parents for cash donations, with some schools forced to cut staff, SEND support and pastoral care.
Dr Mary Bousted, the joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said the £50m boost would benefit very few children. “Yet again the government shows its complete lack of understanding of the huge funding crisis in our schools. This will be a huge disappointment to the majority of non selective schools and colleges facing financial hardship.”
Headteachers who marched on Westminster in September to bring the financial crisis in their schools to the attention of ministers also expressed their disappointment. Jules White, the headteacher of Tanbridge House school in West Sussex and leader of the Worth Less? fair funding lobby, which represents 7,000 headteachers across 60 local authorities, said all schools deserved better funding.
“When the Department for Education only ever talks about efficiencies rather than proper investment for schools, we are concerned that today’s announcement is ill-judged. In short, it will cost £12,500 to fund each new place under this capital expansion project.
“It seems that the Treasury and the DfE can always find money for projects that suit an ideological direction. At the same time, when the need to fund each child’s education properly arises, we are told that money is in short supply.”
The opening of new grammar schools is barred by legislation passed under Tony Blair’s government in 1998, but the current government has made plain it is keen to increase the number of grammar school places, and in May Hinds announced the selective schools expansion fund, despite fierce opposition from educationalists and policy-makers.
Critics argue that grammar schools are bad for social mobility. Recent figures showed that little more than 2% of grammar school pupils receive free school meals, compared with about 15% in other state secondary schools.
The shadow education secretary, Angela Rayner, said: “Today’s announcement is a stark reminder that the Conservatives have nothing to offer the overwhelming majority of schools apart from more cuts.
“At a time when the chancellor promises only ‘little extras’ for almost every school, the government are handing out millions to a handful of cherry-picked grammar schools which will do nothing for almost every child in the country.”
The government says the 16 grammar schools who have been awarded the additional funds have pledged to prioritise children who are eligible for the pupil premium for admission – these are children from the lowest income families.
More than half of the schools approved have agreed to lower the mark required to pass the entrance test for pupil premium pupils – Altrincham grammar school for boys says a pass will be 10 marks lower for such children – and Chelmsford county high school says 16% of places (30 pupils) will be awarded to girls eligible for pupil premium.
The schools also had to outline measures to improve outreach to children and families who might not otherwise consider applying to grammar school, including free entrance test materials available online and visits to primary schools and mentoring by sixth formers.