Wednesday, March 31, 2010

What Pun to sell PUNTO

Ad By: Bates 141

Fiat Grande Punto in India is Left Out !
Italy's leading car maker Fiat Motors and India's most acknowledged car maker Tata Motors had a joint venture to come into Premium B segment hatchback car with new Fiat Grande Punto. It has indeed brought a change in hatchback cars in India with its design from world renowned Giorgetto Guigiaro giving consideration to having a crafted style for its aerodynamic and sporty presence. The car is launched in India with 3 engine options- 1.4 litre Fire Petrol, 1.3 Litre MultiJet diesel and also 1.2 litre petrol (so as to reap in the excise benefits). The 4 varying trims- Active, Dynamic, Emotion and fully loaded Emotion PK are priced in range of Rs. 5- 6.5 Lakhs. With such pricing and positioning, it competes with rival models from Hyundai and Maruti. Earlier, when Fiat has come up with anything, they have tried to mould themselves according to need of "Developing Countries". This time when they come with Grande Punto, they understand the way Indian automobile industry is emerging, and so are cautious for not repeating the mistakes thereby targeting specifically "Indian market".

When such an high understanding is reflected in entire marketing by taking care of Product, Price, Place then how can the other P of 4P's be ignored- Promotion. While they act so cautious in bringing their product to India, how can they show a product which is not for India. Fiat Grande Punto is shown thru a video on television wherein it is shown to excel and leave behind all other vehicles. But when they show this, they are showing a "LEFT HAND DRIVEN" vehicle. Targeting Indian market which is a right hand driving market and asking them to buy the vehicle by showing a left hand driven vehicle. Though you might be saving on your marketing expenses but you have dealt with a very high opportunity cost. If the ad reflects that you are not concerned about Indian regulations, then how can the product be trusted for its performance, how can it entice anyone when you are not sensitive to their thinking. The ad otherwise certainly show the claimed sporty character of vehicle but unfortunately no one in india would be able to flaunt that sporty character with the left hand drive (No Pun intended !)

Everything counts! Every P is important or else its just left as Pun! The consumer is very intelligent today and the target segment for this vehicle is certainly very learned and informed people. When they make a decision for high involvement product, they tend to notice every small and smallest thing related to it. Taking the communication casually is a big thing for the audience to notice which might forbid them to become consumers.

India is Right !

Saturday, March 27, 2010


Ad By: Not Sure (Share if known !)

Ad By: Rediffusion Y&R

Sharman Joshi ad- Airtel (In Air) & Nokia (No Notice)

Sharman Joshi, the youngest and the most confused idiot of 3 Idiots is now on spree to bring attention of everyone towards their mobiles. He is such an awesome actor that he can bring life to any product or any service. And thats what we are seeing these days. The product Nokia and the service Airtel both are the dominant players in their own fields within telecom industry.

Sharman Joshi was seen on television sending sms to flatter a girl and with his cute act, he took no time to become discussion topic everywhere. Everyone knows that Sharman is saying "Baat karne se hi baat banti hai". There are series of acts now, one better than the other but each one leaves with a grin that defines the cuteness of ad campaign. Like came the Zoozoos of Vodafone, now the Sharman Joshi ads of Airtel are on top of mind for everyone capturing a big share of heart and holding giant sized share of conversation and voice. They have indeed taken the attention with these ads, but Airtel has also changed their communication with them. Earlier, they said "Express Yourself" which carried a better emotional connect than todays "Baat karne se hi baat banti hai" which is more practical. It is a wise decision to take the most vibrant endorser in a dynamic style having a concept which connects with each that constitutes audience. Having made such wise decisions, there was not much of a need to change the tagline "Express Yourself". It somewhere weakens the brand image. It is acceptable that the new tagline is giving a theme and bringing a stronger bond but with such high standard of marketing, definitely there are ways to separate the theme statement and the tagline.

When Sharman Joshi is becoming news with 3 Idiots and is getting noticed in Airtel ads, Nokia also took him along to endorse their Nokia 5300 Xpressmusic mobile handsets. He is taken along with Adah Sharma, the beauty of 1920 movie wherein the cute couple is out in a store to shop for Adah. She is trying different attires in trial room while he waits outside for her to show different looks. Sharman flirts with another foreigner lady playing different songs on his mobile for this lady and for Adah. At the end, she is annoyed and he again plays another song from his mobile. The ad carries Sharman Joshi, a mobile handset, telecom feel, notorious character, and fun. It carries everything that exists in Airtel commercials. When Airtel has already got so much attention, then midst of this bringing another ad by different brand is like getting enrolled for risk. Nokia has certainly gone unnoticed for majority of audience. The audience has enjoyed the concept and presence of Sharman Joshi with his own peculiar acts but when the act ends they hardly notice what product/ brand it was talking about. It is definitely a very wrong use of your resources. Having Sharman Joshi and Adah Sharma, there are wonders that could have been done by telecom giant Nokia who is known for his expertise in being different. Besides this, the ad is been shot by same cinematographers as movies "Kites" and "Dostana", Mr. Anyanka Bose who generally shoots only film. Nokia is carrying the best with them but still they are left unnoticed. I am sure how many of us have counted this Nokia flirting commercial as one of the ads when counting all Airtel commercials.

Marketing is more about timing.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

PEEK is in AIR thru CEL

Ad By: Dentsu

E-Marketing for E-Mailing !
No end to revolution in technology throwing variety of gadgets in market with spaces in pockets been taken by new devices. Devices that connect you to the world. Everyday we see new mobile handsets coming up which offer so many new tools that we might just not be aware of even after year of usage. When world is busy adapting itself to complexities of technology, there is someone in market who is trying to take us back to simplicity by sorting out different stuff in different devices. The new device "Peek" brought into market by Aircel comes with convenience of checking emails (only emails) of around 3 ids on a phone look alike device. So it tries to capture a vast market between between basic functional device and top end Blackberry market. One end thou cheap but doesn't give facility of e-mailing and the other end thou gives all facilities but is too much of price for masses. Peek tries to make these ends meet. 

Peek is advertised as e-mail handset. Gives a new email alert with a blue light on top and is advertised as thinnest email checking device ever. The device is priced at Rs. 2999 (near to very basic phones and too low as compared to high cost smartphones) but there is a cost of connection - post paid or prepaid which is around Rs. 897 more from the pocket. Keeping safety into consideration, security lock is provided and also all data is deleted if password is attempted to enter more than 10 times in a row. With all this into product and with all the concept in minds, there are certainly many who are convinced about the offer but criticism always take bigger seat than appreciation. So when there has been a dare to bring revolution of simplicity in complex world then there must be some complexity in way it is put across to audience who defines the market. Simplicity there might let it go simply ignored. 

Suddenly came into notice that the sites which are most frequently visited these days has got an ad from Aircel and this time not for saving tigers but telling to Peek. Social networking sites, technology updates, cricket news in times of IPL, all carry the ad for "Peek". "Internet marketing" is the used marketing tool. Target is people who are mostly on go and never want to miss their emails while they are not around their laptops/PCs and who cant afford or not interested in smartphones. When they are using internet they have already checked their emails and are browsing different sites. They might just not realize the need of email handset at that moment and would not understand the significance of product that time. When they are on "go" they might me missing their email and if told them at that time about Peek, then certainly it is impossible for them to underestimate the significance of product. Newspaper ads, magazines, ads in AC coaches of trains, Metros, Television, there are many traditional ways which are more than required to capture the audience. Though these include a high portion of cost but then indulging into non traditional ways to identify new ways of tapping on customers is all whats required to market yourself. 

Marketing is no use if market is not knowing about it.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Met Row of Ads in Metro

Video is to give idea how it all works

Even Dead space speaks now !

The Metros are the much talked about topic in India and especially Delhi where every month some deadline is met to run new lines. It has been a significant source of pride for each one of us who dreams and see India progressing. The same progress has been taken many steps further. Earlier, the tunnels in which the metros were running were only dark spaces which were considerably a dead area for any action. But recently, the aggressive marketers have tapped into this dead area to advertise and to take attention of daily commuters. The concept has been into practice in UK and Europe but is brought to India recently where Kotak Life becomes first one to take on lease the stretch between Chandni Chowk and Kashmere Gate.

Termed as in-tunnel advertising, C2E Technology Labs brings the ad in dark tunnels of Delhi by collaborating with Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) and with support of Submedia which is a US based company that has patented the technology for this kind of communication. Earlier there was no technology for utilizing this area because of fear of fire and considering the safety norms. But with technology killing all challenges came up with “Reverse Film” application wherein the thought was to reverse the way audience watch a movie sitting still in the theatres and the film rolls. For in-tunnel advertising, it is the other way with audience rolling and the film is fixed. So the steel made display boxes with dimensions of 1.2m -1.4m in length and 25-40cm in thickness are installed on the tunnel walls which can house the images of ad. The images are placed frame to frame and are lit by the fluorescent tubes placed inside. The boxes are laser cut and keep into account the distance between the audience and image boxes , the speed of train when in front of particular box and therefore the boxes are calibrated for each transit system. Besides metros, elevators and escalators use the similar methods to capture audience attention on a go.

Kotal Life has a 15 sec spot just before it enters Kashmere Gate station when passengers are attentive looking out getting ready for the exit. In the darkness of tunnel, it is almost impossible to miss notice the sudden glow of images. For this 15 seconds ad, 180 panels are put over 200 metre of distance. With over four lakh commuters every day, it is certainly capturing masses and getting noticed where least expected definitely leads to increase brand awareness and brand recognition. Besides these, large portion of commuters are the one for whom this is a daily routine and hence looking at it everyday surely enhances the brand recall. The audience is not distracted with anything else and has no choice of changing the view so they are forced to look and know about the brand. Moreover, it is considerably a cheaper affair than broadcasting a movie ad over television where you are dependent on viewers interest to get noticed. Besides the brand itself, it also leads to a source of revenue for DMRC.

Credit it to technology, marketers, creativity, adaptability, versatility, but surely way to go in advertising.

No escape from advertisements!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Paint is No Magic

Ad By: Ogilvy & Mather

Asian Paints make Magicians sweat !
When we think of paints, we think about the kind of paint, the texture, the shades, the looks, and also we think how long lasting it would be. There are few paints in the market who use bollywood actors for endorsement, others who use kids and few others who use the family. Who so ever endorses the paint but the common element in all of them is "Ghar". Though paint is a need of every infrastructure around us but still almost every paint company shows their paint as an important element of making "home only". In India, paint is not only the timely necessity but also about bringing new life and light. For same reasons, majority of Indian families get into painting their homes during festival season of Diwali. The new look of house is a family affair wherein everyone gets together to decide on paint type and on colors. But at the same time, Indian families are hardly into painting their homes themselves rather they hire external people for doing this job and generally these people themselves suggest the type of paint or paint brand. Amidst this, it is not so necessary to show the paint brand as a "home" building thing and to show that how affectionately families paint their houses "themselves".

May be to take the paint to next step and to show that it is much bigger than just building home, Asian Paints got into advertising their Apex Ultima paint by showing a huge castle. The ad begins with an introduction of a great magician who comes in front of audience with a claim that he would make castle disappear. He shouts "Aabra ka dabra" and the cloth is dropped on floor only to find that a structure of castle is still standing behind him. Everyone is perplexed and confused when he went to touch the wall and realized that its just the paint. Though the idea is indeed striking and different but when you have to verbally announce everything and tell that they are trying to show a particular thing then the whole creativity goes in vain. No idea is great if it has to be explained and is not self explanatory. If a gentleman needs to announce that the person is a famous magician, if a lady has to tell that he is gonna make castle disappear and if another lady needs to explain in the end that its just the paint then the idea is not executed. If the actions in itself would have explained what is happening in that huge set up then that would have really been a great idea with even better execution. The USP of paint is its long life and thats certainly conveyed in the ad but i am not sure if anyone observes the ad completely in first view. It is able to take attention only when it is seen more than once or twice. 

The ad is though conceptually very strong but is not convincing enough. Moreover when magician is shown worried that his magic trick has failed and later he wipes the sweat over his forehead, it gives a negative vibe. Also, the audience today is learned and educated, they know what magic is all about and understand the truth behind it so showing them a magician doing this trick, it is worth thinking that what worth it shows of the product. Asian Paints holds a benchmark when they came with ad having "Sunil Babu". That ad is still remembered for its simplicity and for a subtle humor it carried. They always had superb ideas and concepts but may be in rush of giving higher claims they are taking themselves for granted and missing on execution.

Magicians is surely not the target market segment. 

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Is It Marketing? - IIM Jobs

Ad By: Compilation of Team (IIMJobs)

What to market on job portal?
Every job seeker and job doer is aware of IIM Jobs today. And possibly major traffic it draws is from post graduates. The job portal differentiates itself from other job portals because of the kind of jobs it shares. Its not just another pool of jobs from companies and consultants but rather a site where top headhunters post the job profiles and mostly for post graduates or experienced people. The layout of site is also very user friendly as it creates no chaos, is hassles free and gives you just what you want with jobs conveniently categorized. There is no need to define your own parameters for job search or to define which location is preferable. Its just the category and everything is in front of you to chose with complete details. The popularity of job is seen from the no. of hits it shows. What you need is simply present and you don't have to get irritated with useless things given.

With such great understanding of your audience why you need to put advertisement on the side columns which are most irrelevant to the audience. The audience is well learnt, well experienced and well informed. It needs to be understood that they are not teenagers who have just graduated and are not sure of their career path of about their choices in life. These people are really not seeking an MBA degree that they should be told about any institute which can make them "MBA". These people are on the website because they are seeking job and not because they should be told that they must take their career to "next level" by enrolling in some course. To some extent, it makes sense to share about the courses on such sites but then the job portal should maintain its USP by making sure what and which course is being highlighted. Probably sharing about short term or part time courses would be more insightful for the audience than to make them realize that you are in need of some change and not in need of addition. Adding to your profile is more convincing than changing your profile. 

Besides the logical aspect, there is an emotional aspect which should be kept into consideration while you are dealing with consumers who are either unemployed or wrongly employed. How exciting it would be for them to see that they have a site from where they can gift their loved ones. Gifting "Valentine Gift Hamper" in month of March showing a teddy that says "I Love You". Is it to add humor that your current job scene might take your loved one away so better gift them something and secure future? Definitely not. When audience is browsing for finding a job they are definitely in no mood of showing their love for anyone. Instead of buying that gift from that website they would pool that money with some consultant at that time. 

Definitely dont market emotions !

Monday, March 1, 2010

High RIN @ Low TIDE

Ad By: Scion Brand Incubation

Ad is to tell or sell?
On Friday (beginning of weekend), all eyes were widened to see ad from HUL for their brand Rin in which they do more than direct comparison with their competitor P&G brand Tide (Tide Natural rather). The ad not only speak the product attributes of Tide which they claim but also hit their marketing theme of "Chauk gaye?" by making the kid speak in end "Ye aunty kyu chauk gayi". When such comparison is being made, the ones who were ignorant about Tide features earlier, they also now know that Tide is about better whiteness, contains fragrance. In about 30 seconds of ad, 25 seconds are given to show "Tide Natural" and only last 5 seconds tell that ad is actually about "Rin". The rivalry between these two brands is on since long when HUL reduced its price by 10-15% percent when Tide was offering 20% extra washing powder. However, here HUL is clearly making comparison with Tide variant "Tide Natural" which is comparative to the Rin price. But this variant comparison is not so prominently noticed in the ad. 

When the market is so cluttered with brands and their promotions then it is unethical on a consumer part to give his verdict if some campaign is ethical or not. There are judicial bodies to frame the laws and to lay fundamentals which define the ethnicity. ASCI (Advertising Standards Council of India) has defined a code of conduct and if a brand is adhering to them then the onus is entirely on consumer to decide whats wrong and whats right. 
HUL has aptly put everything in place by adhering to the facts and also by mentioning "Schematic representation of superior whiteness is based on Whiteness Index of Rin Vs Tide Naturals as tested by Independent Lab" in the footer of the ad which proves they have their facts clear well in place. Also, the timing of the ad has been appropriately chosen on a Friday when weekend starts. Though they have not missed any legal obligation but they remain aware that P&G would surely take them to court. But before the court reacts and hearings start the ad is already spread across consumers by its repetitive forecast over the weekend. 

In past there has been many such instances of comparison- the famous Complan & Horlicks rivalry, global ad for comparison of Apple and PC using Microsoft. Certain indirect comparison we see today for Onida where they playing with words mention about Nokia "No Kia". When there is so much cut throat competition, there is nothing like ethical or unethical in marketing yourself. But the entire purpose of any campaign is to convince your consumer to buy your product. HUL certainly conveys to consumer here that their product is better than the competitor but also if leaves behind a very negative feeling for such old brand "Rin". They exist in the market from the times when there was hardly any competition so certainly they have better ways to communicate their worth than by themselves saying that they are trying to fight with new competition in market. The advertising is getting so creative now that the giant like HUL could have devised a more creative out of the box way to reach its consumers. Comparative marketing is rather turning into negative marketing. 

Sales report awaited !