Sunday, September 18, 2011

Namesake or fake !

Ad By: Automobile companies

The name on the automobile shows its identity.

Automobile and Telecom are two industries that seem to never saturate, be it their brands, products, ranges, prices or be it their advertisements. Considering the size of respective target markets, automobile has less competition to match up the need and want of its customers as compared to the telecom sector.  Automobile sector has to tactfully handle its strategies to reach its market as it needs to invariably understand that the spending capacity of its target customers is way too dynamic with today’s economy. With such a changing and responsive environment, automobile has to be ready well in advance to reach the right target market at the right time.  To identify this right target, the market can be defined in specific manner based on certain parameters - demography, socio-economic parameter, geography to name a few. Once identified, automobile conceptualizes all the marketing strategies around the same.

The demography and socio-economic are such parameters that are indirectly reflected and communicated through the role plays in the advertisement, that are part of entire marketing. Geography is another parameter that is directly addressed and noticed in most of the automobile advertisements these days. When an automobile company designs its tv commercial, it displays the product and its features. While the product is shown, the camera shooting the commercial is unable to miss the number plate put on the vehicle (this also emphasizes that it is not allowed by law to drive a vehicle without its registration plate/number plate). Few companies choose to put the name of the model there and others put a number plate that shows the registration of the vehicle at a particular state. As seen in the advertisement of Ford Figo- Tamil Nadu (TN) registered car, Ikon & Fiesta- Delhi (DL), Maruti Swift- Karnataka (KA), Estilo- Uttar Pradesh (UP), SX4- DL, Honda Accord- Rajasthan (RJ), Jazz- Maharashtra (MH), VW Polo & Jetta- MH, Tata Nano & Indica- MH, Fiat Punto- MH. In a country with almost indefinite number of states, it is interesting to see how an automobile company decides on a particular state for its entire communication. There can be only three reasons to choose one amongst many- the company wants to reach customers in that particular state, the company manufacturing unit is present there or the company is headquartered there. In case, none of them is the reason for same, then it definitely leads to a sense of association or else a sense of apprehension for those who notice.  If there is no compulsion of putting a registration number there, the brand should undoubtedly try to avoid the same for not losing on an association that could have been otherwise possible.

The name (of the state through registration number) shown in the advertisement should be for sake of reaching its specific target market else it stays meaningless and somewhere come across as fake communication.

The name in the advertisement talks about the strategy.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Tool called "We make the tool"

Ad By: Saatchi & Saatchi

Lenovo is just making the tool !
Whenever a brand decides to market itself, the first question in everyones mind, even of a non marketer is who is the target audience. The entire communication is designed keeping the target audience at the center but how many communications actually read out that "You" are the target audience. The purpose of every marketing strategy is to take the attention of audience, create an interest towards the brand, resulting into a desire for the brand and an action from the target audience of being associated with the band. However, most of the brands are unable to complete this journey by either not taking the attention or else not able to create an interest after taking an attention. There is no end to creative designs and ideas that become the point of discussion for all viewers but usually all those creatives are the discussed point and not the product or brand. 

Lenovo comes with a creative which took the attention only with its content, the content that took the space on entire ad space for its huge font size but more than that it took the space in mind of its readers for the message it convey. The message says "We make the tool, you make them do"and it is so simplistic in nature that it reaches the readers mind in a very subtle way. Lenovo doesn't brag about their technology or expertise in their offerings, instead they say that all they offer is just a tool and is not worth anything if the customer is not with it. The customer do the thing that makes a tool worth what it is. This communication suddenly makes the reader and ultimately the consumer feel special. There is a brand who is not just telling about its proficiency and is just not saying that customer is god but is making a perfect balance. The customers won't be able to do things they want to if they don't have the right tool and the tool would be of no use if it doesn't have its doer.

Its difficult to be simple and strong. Lenovo is perfectly making a strong communication with a very simple creative. If any brand is able to make the audience feel special and is able to sustain the attention beyond that moment of notice, then the audience in itself becomes the brand ambassador for life.

Consumer is making the tool do ! 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Flush the Confusion !

Ad By: Mall Revenue Generators 

The area most frequented and most ignored.
In todays time, hangout for people in and around metro cities is the nearest or farthest (for experiencing a change) mall to them. Counting the footsteps in each mall irrespective of what it offers is possibly an employment avenue now. The malls are competitive in terms of outlets they offer, the carpet area they have, the aesthetics, the crowd, the food court, and even the washrooms. When the uncountable crowd reaches this competitive mall, there is a high probability of more than 50% of them to visit the washroom of the mall. Without a need of experience, it is certain that the washroom for men and women, both are equally good platforms for advertisers. While there would be hundreds of ad in a mall but they wont take our attention the way less than ten ads would take in a washroom of a mall. 

When the walls of a place where you are present completely for a specific purpose are filled with supposedly washroom centric brands, then there are no doubts about the attention taken by those advertisements. Till the time attention remains on the advertisements, it is insightful and definitely talks about the kind of brands the mall support. But the moment, it is observed that the brand in the ad is different from the one used, it ruins the entire image of the brand in ad, brand in use and the marketers of mall. In one of the premium malls of Vasant Kunj, Delhi, it shows the shower fittings of brand Grohe in the advertisement but the fittings used otherwise are from different brand. Definitely, the mall would not have showers fitted and thus can be debated about the difference in brands. But at the same time, when a brand is placing its ad in presence of another brand which belongs to same domain, then it dilutes the image of each brand. Grohe comes across as unconfident of their other range of products and seem to be certain about showers only thereby not placing their product in the right place but just the ad of the product which has no use there. 

Generally, placing such ad does not make a difference to the brand as hardly any one observes what they see and what they use at such places. But it is definitely an onus on the brands to understand where they are placing themselves while positioning themselves in the market. More so, it is an onus on the marketers of respective malls who portray themselves to offer the best. They should certainly make sure that what they advertise they believe in it. It is no less like Ranbir Kapoor advertising Nissan but driving Volkswagen. So, audience is smart today to notice even the unnoticed and hence it is very much necessary to make sure the avoidance of any such confusion of brands. 

The area most frequented is also most significant. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Balance mind ! Scooter can wait!

Ad By: BBH

Try to convince them about balance !
TVS Wego is certainly trying to convince its audience about the balance feature that the new scooter has. The usual ingredient of an automobile advertisement are present in this ad too so as to make sure that it is served right. Handsome guy driving the vehicle, smart girl always happy to be pillion rider, interesting background music, beautiful roads that are seldom found in India, some crowd who are present on road for sole reason of ogling at girls (not the product) and last but not the least- the product itself. TVS Wego thrills everyone watching this new ad that highlights the USP of product as its balance. They create a pleasant surprise story that ends with telling the balance of vehicle as reason behind this setup. 

The ad starts with complete calmness when two couples are minding their own business and are being responsible citizens by stopping on the red signal. Suddenly, everything changed - the calmness vanished, the life of two couples turned into ego of two ladies, responsible citizens became irresponsible passionate dancers who even forgot their helmets for their passion of dance. Two ladies look into each other's eye and one look to other lady made the guy lucky. They realized that the men they have is better than the other one and each lady shows some move to other that how smart she is to do impossible things on a scooter. They don't care for safety, for traffic rules or regulations, for the guy who is actually riding the scooter when she is making all efforts to wobble it, don't even care about the third lady hand that comes in between. The point of focus in the entire ad and in the background music is that how proud the lady is about herself and her partner. The entire ad didn't talk responsibly about the product but instead was a clip to show the human nature wherein girls hold ego in front of each other and guys hardly care about anything whats happening on their back.

The dance poses, the moves, the flexibility of ladies indeed at the end gets justified when it shows that because they were on TVS Wego they were able to do all these tricks. But certainly, the concept is not full proof. If they had to highlight the balance, they could have shown one scooter supporting the feature and the other one failing to do so. When a vehicle is talking about balance, then the viewer is not interested in knowing that would he fall if he dances on the vehicle. He is interested in knowing if vehicle would be able to balance his body in difficult situation or in bad road conditions. The ad doesn't even show that ladies are proud of their vehicle, the way it comes across is that they are proud of themselves only. It only showcases a shallow mind of the riders in the ad and not specifically the balance of vehicle. Even if we ignore all these, an automobile company can not afford to miss on safety regulations like wearing helmet. 

When can't convince them, confuse them!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Ad aches with Quakes !

Ad by: Times of India (Delhi | Gurgaon)

Once upon a time there was a NEWSpaper.

There were days when the pages of newspaper were flipped to know about the world. What so ever was small or big that was needed to be known to the masses had newspaper as its source. Today also the same pages are flipped but the purpose is not just "news", but also to know the exciting offers in huge stores in the vicinity, to explore the best travel packages in the proximity. The number of pages are more, the size of same is larger, the colors used are various, and also the list of sources for this content is humongous. When there is no constraint for relevant content then why the advertisements are only way to sustain. The blame is not to the advertisements that are using the space of newspaper but the blame is to those who portray the most significant piece of news as onus because of these advertisements. 

It won't need to check the boundary of own nation to understand the plight of fellow nation, Japan after the quake that shattered the power which was just below the superpower of the world. Each living thing present on this planet is by all means standing along with the nation in this time of pain. Our media sources are reaching to the places for us to know every bit of what is happening or what is not happening there. The front page of every newspaper on Saturday,12th March 2011 talked only about "Japan". But the front page was not the only page, and the quake was not the only subject for the mention. The 6th page of TOI, Delhi wherein 2 pages are dedicated for Gurgaon news (circulated in Gurgaon only) had a huge advertisement. The ad said "Japan Circle trip". The worse part is that this kind of ad (package of Japan) was never seen earlier and this day when the country is in pour of problems, there is an ad for tour. The technicality of procedure of placing the news and advertisements on specific dates is understandable but the people who run such powerful medium should know that what responsibility they hold. Even if the ad was blocked for particular date and section, there was no way that it couldn't have been stopped. It is a shame that even the obvious is complicated for people today and the humanity is just human business now. 

The ad should have been cancelled, if that was not possible, the circulation of paper should have been stopped, if that was also not possible, an additional note should have been given to explain it, if none of this is possible in todays world where solutions come before problems, then the easiest task would have been to shut the business. May be there should be a role of "Human sensitivity" in media house who keeps a check that humanity is not missing in spree of reaching humans. 

These days we have papers. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Break becoming Kitkat Break !

Ad By: JWT

Look for a break in life !
Nestle came up with a chocolate few years back and gave it a positioning which was very rare and very obvious at the same time. They say "Have a break ! Have a kitkat !" and none of us can deny that we crave for chocolate most when we are tired of the routine life.With this positioning they hit two targets- one of reminding people that when they want break they look for chocolate (mostly) and second of making Kitkat synonym to chocolate. So having a negativity associated "Break" is a rare act for a brand and chocolate is about having breaks is the obvious act. The same legacy of "break" and "Kitkat" is been shown in the squirrel ad which has been coming from almost an year. The ad is few of those ads that leave a refreshing impact through the ad story and through the product.

Two young guys sitting in a park with their laptop. One of them is completely engrossed in the work and is shown in a hurry, the other one is already exhausted and is wanting to have a break. It reminds to many youngsters their days when they have lots of work to do in a short time, so they plan to go to a calm and peaceful place (like a park here) so as to have better concentration. The exhausted guy takes a break by taking out Kitkat and breaks one stick in the unconventional manner in which Kitkat was previously shown breaking in all communications. The moment he enters this break, he is in different world. The world where smallest of things are so beautiful, so engaging and so obvious. All of us at some point of time when sitting idle have observed squirrels doing their acts. It is the most insignificant part for any one but if we look at it closely, it is the most significant thing which made us pass our idle time. The moment for that exhausted guy came to a stop, he could see what his still busy friend could not. The connect becomes even more close when the song and dance attached to the act has been the one which is a bollywood number that each and every listener has enjoyed with fun element inside. The ad doesn't irritate the viewer with information flooded about the product, it doesn't tell you to become the best person by using this product, it simply highlights the importance of small break which we all long for. 

Every element of the ad is rightly showcased to make it the obvious refreshing package. We all look for calm places, we all are in rush in our busy lives, we all crave for chocolates, we all notice squirrels, we all sing and dance along fun filled romantic bollywood numbers. Bringing all this obvious in front of us, Kitkat has certainly made a unique position for itself. And with this, for many, break is not just a break but a Kitkat break now. 

Look for a Kitkat in Life !

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Negative connect for Netconnect

Ad By: Grey Worldwide (India) Pvt. Ltd.

Ads show what we idealize !
The purpose of any ad for any product or service is generally to have a brand connect. The connect to the brand happens only when the viewer is convinced that the brand is telling a story which he would want to have for himself. The audience want to take up only those things which make them or their lives perfect and an ideal one. From having the strongest teeth which Shahrukh tells to having engine oil which Sachin trusts, almost everything is framed around perfection. But with times changing and customer evolving, the perfect stories are getting too cluttered. When everyone tells about the same perfection, the customer is confused about the truth and is convinced about the lie. Audience might want to see what is perfect but would connect only to what is true. The truth is more of practical than correct, is more acceptable than acknowledged. Even if the truth shown is negative side of audience, it doesn't offend them rather it brings them in zone of comfort. 

Reliance Netconnect ad shows how each one of us behaves when our flights land. The wheels just need to touch the runway and we are in process of doing exactly opposite of what the announcement is asking us to follow. The seat belts are loosened, the mobiles are switched on, the luggage overhead might go away with the flight so we fetch it earliest possible. We all do this, some of us agree to it by ourselves, others are forced to do it because of others. Whatever the reasons be, this is a normal behavior of maximum number of consumers. The reason to this behavior is not the attitude of doing wrong things but it is about being impatient for things that are supposedly not making any difference to right. It is impatience which forces each passenger to be first one to get off board. It is impatience which irritates anyone if the speed of net is not fast enough and is making us wait. We are impatient if net is not fast and we would disconnect it numerous times to reconnect it without waiting. Thats what Reliance Netconnect shows that a lady on business tour as shown by her attire, is like one of us who is impatient and wants to stay ahead in life without waiting for minimal things. 

Audience definitely connects to it because it shows the real customer. It shows its fine to be wrong but also subtly puts it across that how the product of this brand could be part of your normal imperfect life. A brand claims of understanding the customer, showing what is part of their lives is much better understanding than telling or making them realize what should be part of their lives.

Ad connects better if it shows what we are than what we idealize !

Friday, January 14, 2011

Add an ad in an ad

Ad By: Various

Benefit to two in cost of one!

The advertisements were generally considered as a platform wherein one product is talked about so as to take attention towards that one product. However, the ad today is not just about product but more about attention. The brand should be able to grab the attention of the audience, in process if the product centricity vanishes then that is taken as worthy. Similar effort for attention is co-branding wherein two brands come together in active and passive format. One brand develops an ad and forms a concept which culminates with discussion about that brand but in the process we also see the presence of another brand (passive brand). The passive brand is not talked about or mentioned but its presence completes the ad story.

The latest ad of Lava Mobiles wherein a guy with some other brand mobile is given candy for a change of money whereas when a Lava mobile user comes for a change he is handed over with Surex condoms (S placed instead of D to keep it obviously unobvious). It is a very strong depiction for defining the target segment for the product. A learned, smart and sensible customer would have condoms and likewise for Lava Mobiles. Though it somewhere leaves an impression of being a male centric mobile. Another example of co-branding is the advertisement for Everyuth face wash where in when the ad starts it shows a set up of an open restaurant with few females sitting across a table. The table places the cans of Sugarfree Dlite and until the face wash is introduced, the strong presence of cans reflects as if the ad is going to talk about the healthy (sugarfree) drink for young females. Both the products being from Zydus group makes the best out of a single platform. More so in the ad with our most widespread endorsers from Cricket. The cricketers endorse a pain relief ointment with Aircel branded team t-shirt. So their communication actively is about ointment but passively without verbally mentioning a word they show their association with Aircel. Such ads are good idea to deliver about a product or a brand when they make the ad story strong and does not interfere with the main concept. But when a product is placed without any contribution to the story then it gives a very lame look to the entire concept and ruins the image for all the products.

A very different and interesting co-branding came across when a brand used the other brand but did not show it or mention it. The mobile handset company Airfone used the already popular and acknowledged couple of Cadbury ad to show their story. The couple in Cadbury ad sits at a bus station and talk about guy’s mom, the same couple in same constume is now shown seated in the bus in Airfone ad. The girl takes the conversation left in Cadbury further in Airfone ad by mention of guy’s mom. The Cadbury ad was already known to audience and it was an amazing act to take the attention without investing much into it. The sequel of ads is an innovative way for a brand which understands its size in the market and thus acts wise by leveraging on a big brand without disturbing the essence of either.

It is an interesting and mature advertisement strategy when two are highlighted on one stage.  It certainly benefits two though unequally wherein it is difficult to decipher which one benefits more.