Hey folks!

My friend is a great mimicry artist. He loves imitating celebrities and creating content around them. But he might soon get into trouble if he tries to imitate Anil Kapoor. Because the actor recently went to court to protect his personality rights.

What’s that?

To put it simply, nobody can use his image, likeness, mannerisms or voice to make money without his consent. You know the way he says ‘Jhakaas!’, people can’t just say it the same way for stuff like ads or content creation. If they do, they could end up in a lot of trouble.

Celebrities do this to stop the public from misusing their identity. Even Amitabh Bachchan filed a suit to protect his name, voice and images.

But that doesn’t mean that you can go to court to protect a mannerism you have. Even if you open your arms like Shah Rukh Khan every time you feel happy, it’s only Shah Rukh Khan himself who can protect it. And if he does, you might have to stop imitating him at least in public.

Here’s a soundtrack to put you in the mood 🎵

Waqt Ki Baatein by Dream Note

Thanks for recommending this Tushi Nema!

A couple of things caught our eye this week 👀

Burger King sides with Coca Cola

Burger King may soon shake hands with Coca Cola, its new beverage partner. And if that happens it may be the end of a 10 year deal with Pepsi, Coke’s bitter rival.

Now that isn’t really a big deal since quick service restaurants (QSRs) keep switching in and out of partnerships with beverage companies. In 2018 for instance, Domino’s Pizza and Dunkin Donuts dumped Coke for Pepsi. Even when Subway opened in India, it served Pepsi. But a couple of years later it switched to a decade long deal with Coke. And since 2018, it’s back with Pepsi again.

And the reason why QSRs keep hopping between Coke and Pepsi is because having just one beverage partner makes things easy. Dealing with multiple distribution networks can be expensive. And since restaurant businesses run on wafer thin margins, it makes sense to just stick to one. They get a discount on the beverage supplies and can even use their beverage partners’ marketing network to pep up sales.

But here’s the thing. Pepsi and Coke need QSRs more than the other way around. Because their contracts are usually long term. This means that they get a loyal consumer base for a long time. And nearly 5-8% of Coke or Pepsi’s Indian sales come from this channel. This percentage is even higher globally. As much as 35% in the US. So, beverage companies are always vying to keep their contracts alive.

Coke is the more dominantly served beverage at QSRs globally. But that isn’t the case in India despite Coke commanding over half the Indian fizzy drinks market. And now that global markets are almost saturated, Coke might want to aggressively up its Indian market share.

How will Pepsi fight back? Well, that would be interesting to watch.

Fun fact: In 1999, Pepsi tried hard to steal Burger King from Coke in the US. But Coke defended its position by shelling out nearly $500 million more (than its previous contract) to renew its deal with Burger King. Analysts believed that this was an expensive deal since it was not only overpriced but also generated lower revenues for Coke. And that’s apparently what Pepsi wanted. Pepsi's strategy was less about increasing sales volumes and more about making this business pricey for Coke. Wicked much?

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A paid OTT subscription with ads?

If you have an Amazon Prime Video subscription, you might want to set aside more money to keep it running ad-free from 2024. Because Amazon will apparently start showing ads on Prime Video soon. And removing them will come at a higher price.

Now, Amazon will first introduce this in big global markets like the US, UK and Germany followed by other countries later that year. And this could actually work in Amazon’s favour in a price-sensitive market like India.

But, wait why will people pay more to go ad-free? Only the premium OTT buffs will do that, right?

Yeah, but when Amazon onboards new subscribers it might attract a lot of price-conscious viewers to its ad-supported plans. That way it will pocket revenues from both advertisers and viewers as well.

Just look at SonyLIV’s India model. It offers both ad-free and ad-supported plans because surviving on just the subscription-based model isn’t viable. Streaming platforms spend upwards of ₹50 lakhs per episode for shows. So as they add more titles, it can drive up content costs by as much as 30% annually. And since 40% of SonyLIV’s revenues come from advertising, ad-supported plans are a great way to mint more subscribers.

Even Netflix and Disney have come up with similar models for the same reason. And market research proves this point. According to TAM Media, a research firm, AVOD (advertising video on demand) will grab nearly 40% of the total digital ad spends in the next 5 years from 29% currently. It just means that more people will sign up for ad-based paid OTT services.

This isn’t just a strategy that serves OTTs but advertisers too. Because a study suggests that advertisements placed on premium OTT platforms lead to higher product and brand recall than ads on smaller mass-market services like television.

Quite a smart strategy, no?

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ITC loves work-from-office

This week CRISIL, a credit rating firm rolled out an interesting report. It said that people returning to the office could actually push cigarette sales up by 7-9%.

You see, cigarette sales dipped during the pandemic when people were working from the comfort of their homes. But this (financial) year office occupancy rates are expected to be close to 70% as compared to 40% last year. And this move could push smokers to smoke more. Not just because of work pressure but also because colleagues might want company when they’re going on their ‘sutta breaks’ (a Hindi slang for smoke breaks).

And guess who likes this trend?

ITC of course!

You see, over three-fourths of ITC’s business came from the cigarettes business in the last quarter (Q1FY24). And this revenue rebound from work-from-office may actually help the brand cover its extra costs. This year’s Union Budget hiked duties on cigarettes, which may not have hurt tobacco companies too much. But input costs for tobacco companies may have gone up by nearly 25% over the last 3 years.

So even with pricier cigarettes, the demand may not dip after all. Quite an ironical business push eh?

But hey, smoking is injurious to health. So make sure you’re reading and sharing this story responsibly.

Jargon of the day ✏️

Some of you wrote to us asking us to break down difficult words from the world of business and finance. So we thought of making a jargon series that we hope you’ll love. Here we go!

Readers Recommend 🗒️

How To Solve It by George Pólya

Were you one of those who hated solving for ‘x’ in school? Well, this book recommendation by our reader Nidhi Dhanani might actually explain how the mathematical method of proofs or finding an unknown variable can help in real life situations. You might want to just win a game or even build a bridge. And this book could help.

Thanks for the recommendation Nidhi!

Finshots Weekly Quiz 🧩

It’s time to announce the winner of our previous Weekly Quiz. And the winner is… 🥁

Rahul Jain! Congratulations. Keep an eye on your inbox and we’ll get in touch with you soon to send over your Finshots merch.

And for the rest of you, here’s your next chance to grab the winner’s crown. Click on this 👉🏽 link, answer all the questions correctly and tune in next week to check if you got lucky.

Until then, don’t forget to tell us what you thought of today’s newsletter. And send us your book, music, business movies, documentaries or podcast recommendations. We’ll feature them in the newsletter! Just hit reply to this email (or if you’re reading this on the web, drop us a message: morning@finshots.in).

See you next Sunday🖖🏽!

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