Posts Tagged 'Branding'

Innovative Ad Formats, Irritating too!

Now when I’m watching TV I don’t know whether I’m actually watching a movie, its promo or an advertisement of a product (not even remotely related to the movie!). Not that I care, but in my mind there was a sense of separation between content and advertisement and slowly but surely, it seems to be fading, a step at a time.

While it is interesting to see innovative ad formats, for example Asian Paints doing an ad jig with Karthik calling Karthik actors and using the movies song too, it is equally irritating when I no longer know what I’m being fed. This is where most of the movie content is headed for sure, in-built advertisements. Product placements were not a new phenomena in the movie world but by pulling the actors, movie concept and song out of context ads are daring to create a grey world of their own. I’ve not even begun to talk about the risks involved if the movie were to flop, right?

What do you think? Is it a good idea to have ads revolving around a movie concept timed with its release and leveraging on its promotional activities?

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!

Ariem Technologies – My Journey So Far and Job Openings

People have been asking me how my new job has been, so far? It is about time too. It’s been more than 2 months since I joined Ariem Technologies (thanks to Sateesh Andra, who introduced me to Ariem).

Before I go on and talk about what I do, let me take a moment to talk about what Ariem does.

We believe in simplifying access to information for the masses. Our first product is for the education segment and specifically, targeted at the teachers to help them reach the internet and create audio/visual content in a very simple way and deliver it in the classroom using our gadget. This truly helps bridge the digital divide between the teachers and the students. The simple appreciation, I’ve seen over the past few weeks in the eyes of the students for their teachers when they show them audio/visual content created by themselves, is testimony to the power it delivers to the teachers. And as far as the teachers are concerned, it is so simple to use and intuitive that they don’t feel that they are using something very complex.

Ok, now back to what I’ve been up to. We are trying to enter the school segment with a solution that on one end can be termed as affordable technology and on the other, is simple and extremely effective in delivering what a teacher would want to do in 90% cases – that is use audio/visual content to enhance the learning process in a classroom. We are developing several channels to convey our message and we’ve been approaching the schools directly, attending expos and conferences, maintaining a digital presence to spread the word. I’ve worked on creating the marketing collateral and the digital presence (the website is still work in progress, so if anyone wants to talk to us about it, I’m all ears!!!) and directly approaching the schools with our solution. Will keep posting more…as we go along.

In the meanwhile, we are looking to hire people – telemarketing, sales executives and trainers.

So, if you are a fresher or have some BPO/KPO/Admin role experience and want to work for an exciting startup, please do write to me for the telemarketing role.

For the sales role, we are looking for candidates who are passionate about making their career in the education industry and have had any kind of previous sales experience (FMCG, Insurance etc..). Again, if working for a startup excites you, do write to me.

For the training role, we are looking for current/ex-teachers who are passionate about training as a career. 

These roles will be based out of Bangalore, India. You can reach me here or send an email at Looking forward to hearing from interested folks.

The Idea Ad Does It Again

Just when I thought it was impossible to better the “what an idea, sirji?” ad. The creative agency Lowe Lintas does it again! Unlike the other telecom companies in India that focussed on limited and neighboring concepts of connectivity, availability, creativity they took on a larger concept of “creating change” and so far have been doing it in style and have tackled topics related to fitness, education, democracy etc… 

With the new ad around “save paper” and “prevent deforestation”, they are continuing their theme in style. However, I admire them upping the ante on creativity with this ad. It is truly fresh and refreshing and I love the punchline where they put a spin on “paid” as the hindi word for “tree” and ask the tree that has Abhishek Bachchan’s face which is about to be cut whether it is a “pre-paid” or a “post paid”. Pretty innovative!!! I will not bore you with details  – here are the videos for you to watch.

And of course, congratulations to Abhishek Bachchan and Idea Cellular on winning the award for the “Best Celebrity Endorsement of the Year” at the first edition of NDTV Tech Life Awards. Well Deserved!!!

Googly, Woogly, Woosh and Spaaaaaar Fresh

In todays post, I would like to cover two specific advertisements to mention two points – the first one talks about the need for adapting advertisements to different media and the second one will talk about brand building based on customer perception.

1. Ponds Charmis has been running an ad campaign with the song “Googly, Woogly Woosh” (ad here) for sometime now. I recognize the tune and LOVE it, seriously! However, I recently heard (repeatedly) the same tune on radio, without a mention of the product name or any words to indicate what it was about. Left me wondering….with the visuals, the tune in the background adds a lot of value, without the visuals one would need some amount of audio (apart from the really catchy tune) to build your brand on the radio. Else, aren’t we talking about wasted airtime?

2. Spar Hypermarket is running a major campaign on Bangalore FM with the tagline “If it is not spaaaaaaaaaaaar fresh, it is just not fresh”. Again, I love the tagline, it is fantastic and the ads are innovative too. However, one of the major reasons I go to Spar in Bangalore (a really long drive from my home) is because it has one of the largest ranges of groceries and the store is always well stocked. One might argue that there is always “Big Bazaar”. I would say that by limiting the scope of what they offer, Spar has been able to offer a reasonable depth in what they offer and do so in a format that doesn’t feel over-crowded or messy. If they are trying to reach out to the people on a weak spot and build a brand around this specific fact of “freshness”, it might be a good strategy. But if this is how they are trying to build their brand, they might want to ask their customers why they choose to come to Spar vs. other options and build a story around that.

Talking about sticky ads…

This is going to be a quick post about 2 ads that caught my attention. They are not very new but all the same stir the same “wow” feeling in my mind everytime I see them. These can be classified as those rare gems that convey the point, without overdoing it, everytime you see them and embody the essence of the brand extremely well. So here goes…

1. Reebok is running an ad for its easy tone range of sneakers across major cities in India with the tagline – “good for the feet, great for the sole”. It shows a lady’s shapely back with exercise shorts and shoes on her feet. I was caught off guard by the tagline. It was catchy! However, I forgot to click a picture of the ad and hence have been searching for the past few days online to get a picture of the same. Surprisingly, I came across a range of ads that they are running in other parts of the world that have much more sex quotient than the one I saw in India. And this rant came from as far and wide as China and the US. Check them out here and here.

2. Bharti AXA Health Insurance is running an ad with the tagline “why do most insurance companies make life so difficult?” and I agree 100%. Their ads claim that customers will never have to face issues related to cashless hospitalization not being approved in certain hospitals or do a produce a medical check up certificate prior to applying for a health insurance…however, it ends with the claim that you will never have to do a pre-emptive medical check up till age 55. Well, I would rather my health insurance company pay for a pre-emptive checkup every year than a one-time payment owing to sickness that could have been prevented, only if I had done regular checkups.

3. Fly Touch phones – This is a mobile phone company launched from Europe in 2003 and the ads I watched on national TV in India are as close to ridiculous as one can get. If you haven’t seen it or don’t believe me. Hear this out…a pilot is talking about the product sturdiness and a phone drops out of a flight, lands right into his hand and to top this all, there is a girl next to the pilot and he says, ‘it is as sturdy and reliable as you”…whoa!!! I must say, I had thought I had seen the lower limit of ridiculous ads in India, but this pushed the boundary further down…way down!

4. And…the zoos, zoos are back – lovely ads, as usual – though will not make me want to purchase the connection, I love seeing the ads. I especially love the new ad around roaming that Vodafone is running – “why be a tourist in your own country?” – pay 1p/s on roaming. Love this!!!

5. Karbonn Mobiles – I saved the best for the last. Now, this is a mobile company from India. UTL and Jaina group have co-launched this product and the first range of ads I saw was around dual-SIM. While the product is good, the ad was around managing a dual life (two wives…), the ad is funny, but goodness knows what point it was driving home and what segment it was catering to!

Anyhow…I wind down my list now and break the spell around no blog posts for the last 3 weeks with apologies. If anyone has purchased any of the products mentioned above please feel free to post your opinions, would love to hear from you.

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.

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