Monday, March 15, 2010

Total Recall

Team Markathon | IIM S

As Markathon celebrates one year of existence, we thought it would be fitting for us to come out with a “Roll of Honour” for the world of marketing in the past year. For this we identified 6 fields which we thought were significant and listed out the Top 3 in that particular field. So, here we go…

2009 – The year after recession! The word which spells doom for an industry like Advertising. Predictably the first half of 2009 saw tight ad budgets, since most of the companies were still reeling from the after effects of the recession and were cautious and watchful of their ad spends. But as time wore on, and the latter half of 2009 descended on us, companies were much more liberal with their spending and we got to see a number of path breaking & innovative ads. Let’s have a look at the 3 most popular ads of the year according to the experts:
1. vodafone zoo zoos
The very mention of the name lights up a smile on your face and brings to your mind the image of extremely cute egg shaped creatures goofing around, talking funnily and constantly driving home the message of Vodafone’s various value added services. Undoubtedly, these set of commercials have been the most popular and successful series of ads, helping Vodafone climb the charts like never before.
2. idea’s walk when you talk
This is next in Idea’s series of socially relevant ads. Here it drives home the message of being hale and hearty. Abhishek Bachchan plays the role of a doctor and is asked whether technology is the cause of all health problems. And then he comes up with the answer no its not. He asks people to walk when they talk on the phone. It has a dedicated website, a Facebook application called “Walk when you talk” and a virtual character Zac portrayed as young , cool and lethargic person who chats on his mobile and wants to stay fit.
3. Jaago re–aaj se khilana bandh, pilana shuru
Everyone is more than aware of Tata Tea’s Jaago Re campaign and this time they’ve come up with the message of removing corruption from the system. They go about conveying the message that people take bribes because we give them in the first place. And this TVC ends with the tagline - AAJ SE KHILANA BANDH, PILANA SHURU. This ad was extremely popular and successful since 2009 was the year of elections.

Green Marketing
With the market just recovering from the turbulent recessionary times, 2009 gave marketers a lot to experiment with innovative green campaigns. Changing consumer preferences have definitely compelled industry leaders to relook their marketing strategies and offer unique solutions. Some of the success stories of green marketing in 2009 are described below.

1.Frito Lay’s Sun Chips
Frito Lay’s Sun Chips was one of the efficiently managed sustainable brands of 2009. Launched in 1991, Sun Chips is a healthy snacks brand composed of mainly whole grains and fiber. Their marketing campaigns highlight the green practices throughout the value chain of the product. It uses solar energy instead of fossil fuels for production. Even their packages use renewable materials and are compostable. They have a website called that encourages consumers to share ideas to save the planet. This way the marketing strategy emphasizes on the green aspect of the product possessed throughout its lifecycle.

2. Clorox’s Greenworks
Clorox’s Greenworks provides a diverse portfolio of natural cleaners made with natural plant and mineral-based biodegradable cleaning ingredients. It reinforces credibility through labeling and third party seals which includes EPA’s Energy Star, Design for Environment and the Sierra club. In spite of proprietary considerations, it has all the ingredients listed in the website; this ensured transparency. Other than this, Green Works involves in cause-marketing relationships. Its association with the Sierra club gives a common ground for corporations and environmental organizations to work towards protecting the planet and communities.

3. Kaiser Permanente
Even service sector have realized importance of green marketing. Kaiser Permanente is one of the leading managed health care providers in US. It is taking its “health” mission seriously by eliminating mercury and other toxic products in hospitals. In 2009 its ad campaigns focused on its paperless procedures and online systems and wellness-based green building designs.
All the above examples show the need of a holistic application of green branding. Only when the entire value chain is involved in the strategy, green marketing gives the maximum payoffs.

Event Marketing
When everyone keeps talking about how the Television and Internet have revolutionized the way we communicate, it is easy to underestimate the importance of direct contact in marketing. Event marketing is one of the oldest forms of marketing and still continues to be in vogue.
1. International Trade Fair
When talking about event marketing it is hard to miss out The India international trade fair, which has only become bigger and better since its inception in 1980? The fair attracts general and business visitors along with delegations from over 50 countries. With hundreds of stalls displaying a wide range of products, the trade opportunities in this fair are immense. The platform it gives to new and established marketers to interact with potential customers is hard to match with other conventional forms of marketing.
2. Auto Expo
The one event which invariably becomes the focal point for automobile industry is the Auto Expo held at New Delhi. The significance of the event is reinforced when almost every automaker tries to come up with the next big thing during the Expo. New players in the automobile industry use this event to gain maximum exposure while entering the Indian market. The presence of Movie stars like Shahrukh Khan and john Abraham in the expo points to how companies are using an integrating marketing strategy of which event marketing is an indispensable part.
3. India Fashion Week
When talking about movie stars its fashion that crosses all of our minds. The India Fashion Week is the biggest fashion event of the country with creations from more than 100 designers. The five day event is the dream platform for Indian designers to market themselves to the world. A large number of business deals are made during the event which is an ideal setting for designers, fashion houses and vendors to meet.
Event marketing is increasingly becoming a prominent component in the overall marketing strategy of most companies. The field has ample room for creativity, which can be leveraged by companies to differentiate themselves in a rather competitive marketplace.
Product Launches
Product has always been at the heart of marketing across various sectors. Excellence of product and its ability to meet consumer expectations was all the more important in last year when consumers were thinking twice before spending owing to economic slowdown. This led to higher degree of differentiation and innovation in the product and services.
1. TATA Nano
No product was more awaited by millions of Indians than Tata Nano. Termed as the People’s car, Nano was commercially launched on 23rd March 2009. The excitement and eagerness of Indian public to own a Nano can be imagined by the fact that it recorded 200,000 bookings in just twenty –five days. The fulfilment of Mr Ratan Tata’s promise to deliver a car at one lakh rupees initiated the race for small car launches by many foreign players in India.
2. TATA Docomo
With its pay-per-use per second concept, the launch of Tata Docomo - second large scale CDMA service – created rip ples in the Indian Telecomm space. It not only captured the attention of half a billion mobile subscribers but also forced major players like Airtel and Vodafone to re-design their tariff plans. Huge investments in marketing coupled with deep penetration through sound distribution channels have increased its total subscriber base to 60 million. Today, in less than a year from its launch, Tata Docomo is country’s fifth largest telecomm brand.
3. Microsoft Bing
Considered to be one of the most potential attacks by Microsoft on Google in recent years, Bing captured 9.3% US search engine market share in less than six months of its launch in June 2009. The attractive background and better image search helped Bing gain popularity among net users. Microsoft tie up with Yahoo is already positioned to gain around 30% market share. But what remains to be seen is that whether Bing eats up into Google’s 63% share or it leads to cannibalization by capturing on Yahoo’s share.

Consumer Trends
In this very special edition of Markathon, the lists we are compiling for you would be incomplete without the mention of what the consumer was thinking about in the year that has gone by. It was a year that started off in the worst manner possible with much of the world reeling from the impact of what was perhaps the worst financial crisis to hit us since the Great Depression but the underlying message of this year was not of despair but of hope and the choices made by the consumers reflected this. We have attempted to capture a snippet of this.
1.Movies and Entertainment
By all conventional marketing wisdom, in times of crisis industries like this suffer the most as consumers cut their discretionary spending. But this year turned all this on its head as the box office set record numbers all over the world as people turned up in droves to escape the despair that was prevailing in the world. For example the US Box office totaled more than $11 billion in receipts and the biggest movie ever made in Hollywood released this year. Even Bollywood had its biggest blockbuster in the form of 3 Idiots this year.

2.Go Green GO!
The recession was supposed to take away the focus from the environment but this year defied that. Even as the world leaders shied away from taking big decisions, this year will always be remembered as a year in which the consumer realized that Green does matter.

3.The Twitterati
This year gave rise to a new term for the lexicon, the Twitterati. They were inescapable and simply everywhere. The first place to get the news was no longer Google or facebook but its cousin that had everyone and his uncle tweeting about matters that ranged from the mundane to the earth shaking. And for this phenomenon the Twitter and its millions of users are the biggest trend that we have observed in the world today.

1. Coca-Cola
Green is the new “black” in packaging!! Coca-Cola, whose stint with pesticides has still not faded from consumers mind, took a major step in their “sustainable packaging journey” with selective global roll-out of its new PET bottle which is made from up to 30% plant materials such as sugar and molasses. The container is believed to be 100% recyclable and has a smaller carbon foot print than conventional PET bottles. Coca-cola is now looking ahead to spearhead global strategy with packaging. In an attempt to consolidate its position in juice segment, worldwide rebranding is being undertaken - beginning the process with homogeneous packing design for their ‘extensive’ family of fruit beverage. The new look planned is based on the logo and colour scheme of the Coke’s flagship juice brand Minute Maid - would include the black rectangle and white background logotype.
2. Absolut Vodka
On the contrary to this, the impact of absence of packaging was very well demonstrated by the Absolut Company which believes that ‘in an absolute world there are no labels’. Absolut Vodka with its Absolut No Label limited edition launched on May 22, 2009 created ripples in the market. The bottle sports a removable sticker with website address for more information and feedback.
3. Kissan Jam
Recession did not have much effect on packaging sector as industry segments like FMCG, Food & Beverages and Pharma were also not adversely affected. With packaging becoming a new differentiating factor for FMCG, the sector looks forward to brighter times. For instance, Kissan Jams, used tube packages with catchy graphics to appeal to the kids & BRU Coffee's aroma-lock packaging was designed to appeal to staunch coffee lovers.
With increasing popularity of the Ready to Eat products, innovation in food packaging was witnessed. This section will now see the use of microwaveable steel.
With the India Packaging Show 2010 coming up, one can expect to see more of such efforts!!

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