Posts Tagged 'Advertising'

The “Big” Ticket Calling – DLF IPL

Two weeks ago I read an article on Marketing Myopia and deals with how a company narrowly defines its industry and fails to see a potential threat to its business which could eventually be the death knell. For example, Airtel is the big competition for music industry since they are minting more money on Hello Tunes than the turnover of large music albums, telepresence has given  airlines a run for their money, alarm clocks have been largely replaced by the “alarm” function on our mobiles and so on…about how the force that really destroys a business category doesn’t generally come from the “observable” competition space anymore.  Emphasizing that, more than ever now, companies & marketing managers need to keep their peripheral vision “on” all the time.

An interesting observation was made about IPL being the “new” competition to the media industry and how the IPL schedules are affecting the movie launch dates and the business of the multiplexes. Since the past one week, DLF IPL has launched an “open panga” with its mainstream advertising. What is more, unlike what one might expect they are not just going after the media industry, their ads very subtly target anything “entertainment” ranging from travel industry to media. They are proudly proclaiming that all other forms of entertainment are “passe” or “inferior at best” and “sabse bada” ticket is DLF IPL.

So, what do you think, is DLF IPL the “biggest ticket” of all times? Or are there better times to come? For one, they have their net cast wide and the up side only limited by their imagination.

PS: I wasn’t able to find a reference to this article as I had read it in yahoo groups thread – it is titled “Inspired By Levitt’s Marketing Myopia”. If any of you find it do contact me so I can add it to the post. Thanks!

New Categories Seeking Mindspace

What happens when a company from a category does mass advertising (TV, Print, Radio) for the first time (especially on prime time)? It creates space for the category in the consumers minds. We are seeing two such categories going mainstream currently in India and its a big deal for business segments which are so far dominated by brick and mortar business (software services being the exception and they have hardly gone mainstream!).

1. Education Technology – Educomp with their mainstream media (read TV) ads in the past few weeks have suddenly created a category recognition for everybody in the education technology space. Now, every time I talk about education technology people smile back at me knowingly, some ask – “like educomp?” This move by educomp has a potential to create a “generic” brand identification with education technology in India for them and I guess that is what they intend to achieve. However, at the same time it has helped create a business segment for all the other players to identify with in the market.

2. Ibibo – social gaming has come of age with ibibo doing a major splash on TV, Radio and Newspapers inviting one and all to play with each other. Not only are they roping celebrities to invite people, they are also running “on-the-edge” titillating ads on prime time.

So, what do you think? Sign of interesting things to come?

Come Festivities, Come Offers

Festivities – xmas, new year are all round the corner. All the malls and shops are decked up, waiting for the massive footfalls that would happen over the shopping season that will prevail over the next few weeks. Frankly, I love the buzz, it is a nice warm feeling…as if the world can go to naught but I will continue to shop till I drop!

Anyway, the point I was coming to was the “offers” being offered to lure customers to visit malls, stores and spend their money on certain items vs the others. While these work most of the times, I do wish that our retail grows beyond this cycle of limited quantity, cheap offers. What I would really like to see are a lot of variety and reasonable prices. When I compare any international retail store to the ones in India, these two things stand out as sore thumbs. In any category, there is always insufficient variety and the ones that are reasonably good quality are unreasonably priced. I wonder why my money or hardwork is worth less than the ones anywhere else in the world? Why should I get to choose from any less of a variety? Why should I pay for a “lesser experience”? Why should I waste my time browsing aisles that have “insufficient” depth on any given brand? And, most importantly, why should I pay more to get an item off this limited variety?

Our retail cycle will boom when it goes to the level of lot of variety (thereby adding depth in category as well as a given brand) and reasonable price, only to go down the next cycle of offers to get people to buy from those categories too..but I do want to be able to experience that boom part of the cycle to feel like a pampered customer come festivities and then….wait for the offers 🙂

What say guys? Innovation in retail…India is calling. Will Bharti + Walmart be the first answer?

Shock Nahi Lagega – Havells’ promise to Indians

Havells has launched a new ad campaign with the tag line “nahi lagega, nahi lagega shock”. The ad is well done this time round and really conveys the message very well. Their previous set of ads with a tagline – “shock laga kya?” – always involved people receiving an electric shock from the switch and mocked the customers. Compared to the previous message, the new one is a well-thought out, positive message and cleanly conveys the advantage to the common man.

However, what set me wondering is the promise of “nahi lagega shock” itself. Now, a switch manufacturing company can only do so much if the electrician himself has not taken care of the grounding and earthing, right? So, although the message is clean and clear – I would really like to see a) how they will ensure that their positioning and the common man’s experience is not tangential and b) what are they doing to ensure they really deliver?

Anyhow, kudos to the twist on the message, which really makes the ad build on the brand image, instead of just mocking at the customers.

Note: Havells advertisement was for RCCB and MCBs which are circuit breakers that can mitigate the impact caused due to a large electric shock. It is not sufficient to prevent it.

Jewellery Ad’s Golden Tail Effect

In many an articles in this blog, I have repeatedly asked (myself loudly, mostly :)) who buys stuff seeing the various obnoxious and oft-repeated ads dumped at the consumers, day in and day out. One of the reasons that jumps out is brand building, of course. But, it seems like a general marketing hoo-ha, not something that can affect us at a sub-conscious level, not something that can make permanent behavioural changes in our buying patterns, not something that can cause us to want things different from what we used to before we were subjected to the ad agency consipracy.

Well, when you look at it from the three lenses above, the jewellery industry in Kerala (India) jumps out at you. You name it there are so many of them (Bhima, Joy Alukkas, Alappatt, Josco to name a few…), the coverage on the billboards in Kerala not withstanding they are extending their reach to Chennai and Bangalore too! In the past, they might have flourished as a natural investment option for all kinds of money flowing in from Gulf countries for the families back home. But, there are other kinds of people living there, who don’t have as much money, who probably want to invest in other instruments other than Gold, but wherever you turn in Kerala, the bedecked, bejewelled faces are smiling at you – as if asking – “Do you like this?”, “Do you own this”, “Your worth is defined by how much Gold you own”, “I look good in gold, you will too” and more…phew!

At a subliminal level, the society itself begins to value gold more than the rest of the country does. People begin to see it as a mark of status, something they should own as a must-have. People begin to think that because everybody around them wants it, they must want it too and if they have money, the only right thing to do is to buy gold. It requires quite a bit of grit and determination to stay put in your resolve not to buy it, if you don’t want to, to begin with.

Anyway, kudos to the ad dollars that have shaped the psyche of an entire state and are expanding their wings further north.

Aircel Launches Youth Plan

Aircel (the 4th player in the telecom game, after Airtel, Vodafone and Idea, with majority presence in South India)  recently launched a Youth Plan…before, I go into the package details, think about it for a moment. Which is the segment that’s extremely price sensitive, could be a first time customer and does not really care about the quality of calls or signal availability? – The Youth Community – they want more SMS, more local calls, call groups at cheap rates and more at the lowest possible price. So, here comes Airtel with their “Youth Plan” delivering a package of 4500 free SMS, local call groups at 20p/min and more…at Rs. 150.

How does this help? Well, one of the new joinees in my group recently opted to go with Tata Docomo and not only that it is impossible to reach him, the call gets abruptly dropped several times while the conversation is going on and I’m told that the line is busy! But, he has no complaints, he doesn’t pay for anything more than he talks (by the second). Now, Aircel (which is likely to be most threatened of its position by the new entrant) with its youth plan is taking Tata Docomo head on in its very (possible) target market.

PS: I had mistakenly heard this advertisement to be for Airtel and hence written my post accordingly. I have corrected my mistake and redone my thoughts to account for the fact that it was actually launched by Aircel and not Airtel. Alas, what is in a name, huh!

Dhoni Endorsed Brands – More Damage Than Good

Over the past few years Dhoni has given SRK a run for his top spot as brand endorser, with brands ranging from GE Money, Brylcream, Pepsi, 7Up. Charging up to 4crores for his appearances, he does not come cheap. But does he really have an impact on the brand? To his credit, he does have the fumbling boy next door charm, however, does it really help the brand? What with his poor delivery, no camera presence and lack of a sense of timing! Well, to be fair seeing familiar faces on the TV gets people diverted to the slot the first time around, but what sustains the memory is the ad, the creativity, the punchline, the relevancy and well, sometimes, even the nagging, irritatingly boring persistency of an admaker who thinks he has nailed something – when he is far from it…but you remember all of the extremes, things in between are forgotten. But, as I said in one of my previous posts – here – when was the last time you bought something because your favorite player/actor endorsed it?

Well, with Dhoni’s latest Aircel ad, the ad makers seem to have realized how boring he was in the ad – as they have given him a pass already. Also, since all the negative publicity he garnered a few weeks ago and his popularity waning, I still kept seeing the ads and wondering whether they are not doing more damage to the brand than good and shouldn’t they be taken off air immediately? The media has been slow to react but  two weeks later the ads with Dhoni in it have trickled to zero, like someone wiped out those seconds from a film reel.

I’m a very strong supporter of the creative ads, with a good storyline that sticks with the brand – the advertisers throwing in an Abhishek Bacchan like in Idea or an Aamir Khan in the Samsung ads is just a safety net – the plots are popular not because of them but in spite of them…dont’ get me wrong, they do an excellent job, except, the ads would have been as good, if delivered by anyone else.

Tata Docomo – second pulse rate and no signal

Docomo, the Japanese telecom major, has entered the Indian market in partnership with Tata and a revolutionary pricing – the second pulse rate. That is not the only revolutionary thing they are doing in marketing – their promotion strategy ranges from traditional to new media with the ads tweaked accordingly, but keeping the theme uniform – catchy music, docomo word formation and conveying the brand as well as the 1sec pulse rate message clearly.

The TV and the Radio ads are designed slightly differently. The TV ads are visual treat with the “do”, “co”, “mo” forming and arranging itself to form “docomo”, the music stays in the background. In the radio ads, they have used music to create the same effect of using the blocks of ‘do”, “co”, “mo” to arrange itself into “docomo”. The creativity in the ad is subtle and enjoyable. They have used concepts like seesaw, over water, cat and balancing act etc. for the “docomo” formations. You can enjoy the videos here.

They also have out of home advertisements as teasers – see below and their website provides the necessary social media integration. However, the branch office numbers stated on the website are either not reachable or not picked up when it rings. No amount of advertisements, reaching out, social networking or teasers can compensate for lack of good network coverage and service, though!

However, given the increasing number of players in the mobile services market, the winning bet might be the service and value added offerings in the future. NTT Docomo is the leader in Japanese market in value added services, 3G services and beyond- so I have no doubt on that end for the success of the partnership. However, Tata teleservices doesn’t have a good reputation with service and signal availability/range.  So, it is like driving a fancy car down a dug up road – all the best to Docomo!

Note: However, ever since I wrote about Airtel’s good network strength and signal reach (here) – I have been facing so many issues that I think I would rather adopt a wait-and-see to the unfolding drama in the telecom scene. What do you think?

The Walk and Talk – Idea Ad!

I must say, I’m impressed…the “idea man” is back and this time with the “walk and talk” campaign. Abhishek Bacchan appears as a doctor in the latest Idea Cellular TV commercial and has a brainwave that if talktime = walktime for people, their health scores might improve…

What is more is that it is not just digital campaign, they have an offline effort and it follows in line with their previous efforts at similar on the ground campaigns – ranging from “Participative Governance” to “Education for all”.

The effort is definitely drawing attention as well as ringing true with Indian hearts…will the service step up and deliver, please?

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