Monday, June 29, 2015

Ad-dicted || Miss

Lava Iris X8
Ad agency: Shop Ad Agency

Positioning Statement: We put the art in smart

Comment: This new ad by Lava for its Iris X8 mobile phone shows a girl meeting a boy in a flight training academy. Both of them misunderstand each other to be the instructor and board the airplane in this confusion. While on air, both realize that neither of them is the instructor. Panic stricken on what to do next, they take out a Lava Iris X8 Phone and switches on something which looks like a flight training app! Following the instructions as they appear on the phone screen, they manage to avoid a crash and save themselves. As the phone saves their day (and life), the ad comes to an end.

Verdict: Miss

Launching the phone with the airplane flying app as its positioning highlight misfired the entire strategy (if there was any). Unlike other mobile ads which either highlight phone features or try to connect emotionally with the audience through a story, this ad lacks any of the success ‘mantras’. The ad lacks plot and anything else that would have otherwise made for a good ad. It fails to  generate any interest for the phone, thus serving no purpose.

Ad-dicted || Catch

Ad Agency: Lowe Lintas and Partners
Positioning: A wedding to remember
Client: Tanishq

We live in a country where marriage is seen as the new chapter of once life.A lot of emotions are connected with the institution of marriage.and we cannot deny the very fact that we live in a male dominating society. Since ages ago,a man can have multiple marriages and even today the concept of remarriage of a man seems completely fine but the same vision blurred when it comes to women.Tanishq latest flick,with the premise of remarriage as the backdrop of the storyline,the heartrending advertisement depicts a little girl on the occasion of her mother's wedding while the mother hushes up the girl's signal to join the couple in the pheras, the father seeing her evident disappointment take her in his arms and the three make their rounds arounds the sacred fire portraying wedding to remember.


Tanishq, has successfully managed to create a sound of a young and bold women depicting her uniqueness of choice, ideas and design. Through this advertisement Tanishq targeted the young women of today who are looking for differentiation in design through a progressive and bold story. This ad not only breaks the old norms but also create the new one's where a women is free to feel and take important decisions of her life. The background Music and the scenario created in this ad only highlight its optimism and the passivity of message through emotions is the show stealer. Tanishq with its latest flick has managed to stand completely out of the queue of brands of jewelry and has successfully established itself as the institution, connecting emotions with their product and are selling happiness widely. This ad definitely make us sit back on our couch and ponder the beauty of emotions draw in a single thread and thus making it a must watch.


Brand Watch
Heinz Fiasco
The Heinz fiasco has been in the lime-light for months now- so many focussed articles and dedicated blogs have popped up in a few months to discuss the same.  Heinz has final come up with an official apology to its consumers for it. It apologised to consumer in Germany after a QR code on of one of its bottles contained a link to a pornographic website. According to Heinz -the code was out of date and the company was taking steps to prevent it happening again,
The QR code, was placed on the back of the bottle and was required to be scanned by people using a smartphone in order to access content online for an online competition. The link was supposed to direct to a site where participants could design a label for the bottle of Heinz Tomato Ketchup Hot. This was done as part of a promotion by the company but instead fired back as the URL was hosting porn.

Kalyan serves as a learning to other brands
Kalyan Jewellers recent ad campaign serves as lesson to most brands. There recent ad screening Aishwarya Rai as the brand ambassador and a malnutrition, dark and lanky kid serving as a servant in the back was seen as racist and pro-child labour.

Nestle trying to reposition the brand
Nestle is planning to come up with a brand new snack that will serve as an alternative to Maggie ad will help the brand in repositioning it as more healthy. According to their upcoming plan-b their new product could be a either a ready-to-eat  or ready-to-cook food. This will involve launching the old classic Maggi noodles in a new format. According to Nestle- Food has never been safer. More than the product, it is the public perception, they have to work on. The only thing that interests them, right now is to have their product back as soon as possible and to clear up the  controversy. According to Brand Finance, Maggi is expected to lose more than two hundred million dollars in brand value after the FSSAI ban.
Coca-Cola ‘s happy association with Mad-men
Coca cola has been associated with the American TV series mad-men for years now. The T.V show has always created a rosy picture for the brand and it was with this trust that the brand allowed the television series to use its hill-top advertisement without asking any questions. At last, the entire ad of 60 seconds was run and was used to put an end to one of the most successful series in the country. To Coca-Cola this proved to be was an amazing, unexpected gift.


E-COMM initiating conversations on Twitter
The new age e-commerce companies are taking on each other on social media platforms like Twitter. Sometimes it seems like just bantering but on few occasions  the Companies might get into an ugly brawl. Be it the recent tussle between Amazon and Zomato or the casual flirtation between Snap deal and Free charge, the brands are surely loving it and taking it as an opportunity to show themselves as cool and witty to the new age customers

Dabur to hire Star-comm Media vest
Dabur India has given all its media duties to Starcomm media vest group (SMG). In the words of KK Chutani, executive director, marketing, Dabur India, “Dabur has adopted a fresh approach to its media strategy with a focus on the younger  generation and emphasis on use of digital media as a way to create the right impact”. SMG has become the first agency in the history of Dabur to solely take care of the entire media planning and buying. SMG is keen to help Dabur deliver the business goals

Digital is solving problem
Going digital in the music industry is surely helping the Industry fight piracy. There are lot of music apps with Saavn leading the pack in India. The India-New York based start-up is spending a lot on advertising with brand ambassadors like Ranbir Kapoor on board. Saavn has hired McCann as its creative agency and has also tied up with Prasoon Joshi for its campaigns and help improve user engagement further. It is currently competing with Times Internet’s Gaana and Airtel wink in the market.

Brand launch-

Xo lo to launch its online only brand Black in June

The Noida based company backed by Lava is also entering the online-retail only segment in the mobile phones category. A sub-brand Black will have 5-6 handsets launched in this year. The First phone under this will be launched in June with a dual rear camera and priced below Rs 15000. All upcoming mobiles will also be in the range of 10000 to 20000 and will be 4G enabled.

Mahindra to launch the new face of XUV 500 in the end of May
Mahindra XUV 500 facelift is all set to launch on 25th may. The changes made in the car have been strictly cosmetic like the new alloy wheel pattern, the L shaped  chrome finished fog lamp etc. The other features like the engine churning out a hefty 140bhp and 330Nm of torques while also being fuel efficient by returning 15.1km/l remain the same. The company has a lot of hopes to capture the market with the improved version of the XUV 500.

Jab they failed || Failure of Orkut

Everybody is busy today. Some people are busy with their work, some of them with their families and some of them are busy doing nothing but everyone is busy. So it is natural that you may not know what your best friend is up to after he moved to Mumbai or what is happening in your favorite cousin’s life cause he is so busy making his career. You may also like making new friends and see what is up with your favorite Band or actor or sportsperson. A Social Networking website fortunately, covers all the above needs. Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, are all such websites which make it possible for you to know what your loved ones are doing, finding new loved ones and also making sure that your loved ones know about you. Google’s Orkut, was one such website. Unfortunately, it is not there anymore. It saw its last day on 30th September, 2014. Only 10 years old, died very young. There was a time in India, before Facebook came into picture when everyone who knew about social networking was on Orkut. Even I started social networking with Orkut. Everyone was happy with it but then all of a sudden it saw a sudden decline in its users. Let’s find out why did this happen.
Orkut wasn’t evolving fast enough. If compared to Facebook, the user interface of Orkut was a little complicated and didn’t come up with new features as fast as Facebook. If you observe, Facebook keeps coming up with minor changes all the time which shows us that Facebook gave importance even to the smallest things which made the experience for the user better, the option of showing ‘how you are feeling?’ while posting a status is one such example. Also ‘Scrapbook’ which was a public chat option on Orkut which was similar to the wall on Facebook was not as much fun as it is on Facebook. Privacy settings of Orkut was also one of the issues. It had very basic settings and didn’t think about a situation where different people would want different settings. Because of this people started moving to Facebook. Scaling up was also an issue. The initial version of the website had too many technical issues ad it wasn’t made a serious project but only as a pet project which People in Google are allowed to do. Even after it became popular there were still issues and users could find the famous error page ‘no donut for you’ too many a times. This just proved that for a huge company like Google where simultaneously there are multiple projects taking place Orkut was just another pet project and hence wasn’t given attention that it ideally deserved. Orkut also could not come up with a concrete strategy of monetizing itself. Like Facebook has successfully made it possible for advertisers to post ads and not particularly spoil the experience for the users. Orkut never had a plan as to how will it start making money and therefore from the early stages it was clueless about this issue. Even when it was doing well in 2009 it didn’t have a plan to make money from advertisements or any other source.

Learnings: Internet has made the world smaller than we can even imagine. One can talk to her friend in Greece while sitting in China and order food from a place from somewhere in the city and also give a review about it on social media. But there is a negative side to it as well from an organization’s point of view. If you falter at any moment be ready to bear the brunt on social networking websites like Facebook, Twitter etc. Even these websites aren’t saved from the public outcry. They have to manage issues related to privacy, experience given to the users and make sure that no public sentiment is hurt. The biggest learning here is that for a social networking website experience of the user is everything. Things should only get simpler and better for a user which Facebook has successfully managed to do so far. Also, a long term view as to how will the website be scaled up and how will it generate revenue should be thought of. Snapchat had a plan and we can finally see It in action with short advertisements already started in the western countries which generate revenue for it. 

Radical Thoughts || The secret behind the art of successful ad-making

Successful ad-making is a subtle art. One that requires the designer to have a consummate understanding of the nation’s heartbeat or atleast the target audience’s pulse. The O&Ms and the JWTs of the world strive to unravel the many secrets of this Pandora’s Box but what is the tool that allows them to do so? This is where semiotics comes in. Semiotics is the study of the signs, symbols & their significance in human life. To fully understand semiotics one has to understand the cultural nuances of their target audience. Valid arguments can be made that a plethora of cultural backdrops exist in our nation however one has to understand that these cultures are interwoven through a common link. It is this link that is the crucial key to the lock. This tiny thread that can unravel the Pandora’s Box & provide the seeker with an idea that can appeal to all.

The old Bajaj ad with its extraordinarily catchy tagline of “Humara Bajaj” & the oh-so-delicious ‘Jalebi!’ ad by Dhara cooking oil are delightful examples of semiotics executed to sheer perfection. Let’s take them one by one. The “Humara Bajaj” ad established Bajaj scooters as the stalwart of its time, with the ad not only showcasing the importance of the scooter in the life of the common man but also capturing the everyday routine of India & the special position the scooter held at that time as the family’s personal mode of transport. The ‘Jalebi!’ ad is all the more special because it invokes nostalgia in the adult viewers by painting the perfect picture of a child’s delight at the mention of his favourite sweetmeat – Jalebi! With the roles portrayed to perfection everyone in the target audience is able to relate to the ad which is exactly what was intended. That’s not to say however that semiotics was only applicable in the 80s & the 90s of the previous century. There are a number of examples that still depicts the application of semiotics & its all-capturing characteristic. The “mauka-mauka” ads that played upon the Indo-Pak cricketing rivalry appealed to every Indian regardless of whether they were a cricket fan or not & the latest “Aur dikhao” ad by also has a similar attribute as it wittily highlights the desire of most Indians to have more choices at their disposal even when a particular option has appealed to them.

Ishtihaar || AGILE MARKETING – quick and effective

In today’s world with technology growing at a brisk pace, no business plan or business strategy is perpetual. With the introduction of new, small but audacious firms having a dynamic approach to their business the big behemoths are under threat of revising their business strategies periodically. A new business term “agile strategy” is becoming a buzz word in the corporate world which is revolutionising the orthodox thinking of various businesses and their modus operandi. Customers today are becoming very peculiar to their needs and are not ready to compromise on their existing options. They are more inclined towards the individualised tweak of the product and the entire campaign by a company starts revolving around the individual needs of a consumer and hence the agile marketing which takes care of the two way interaction with the customers and use their existing limited resources in the best possible way to cater to the largest number of the consumer base. The orthodox methodology involves designing a mass campaign for a large consumer base and be indifferent to the individual requirements of a consumer. This perception of the marketers requires to be changed and agile marketing plays a handy role in doing so by reaching out to each individual customer and trying to provide them the highest levels of satisfaction.
The very first step in agile marketing is to use existing resources to satiate consumer needs in the best possible way. Most of the other marketing concepts remain the same adapting to the changing demands of consumers.
Agile marketing revolves around needs of a consumer. As the needs of the consumer and the experience of the customers in buying and using the product becomes a decisive factor for a company while designing their advertisement campaign the priorities for a marketer begins to change with the trend from the existing and robust strategies. It all works on aligning marketing with the business and sales goals of the organisation along with doing the job at a brisk pace and then documenting the results with transparency and a lot of accountability.
In agile marketing, a company starts with the marketing backlogs which is the list of all the potential activities which a company can do. The backlogs go on to become the “wish list” for the company and they have to work hard to fulfil this wish list. Unlike agile marketing other strategies break the target into various minute pieces and tries to achieve them sporadically.

The first help which a company gets by adopting agile marketing is to break the jinx of thinking in a traditional fashion and start thinking on new lines. The biggest advantage of agile marketing is that it reduces any misunderstanding between marketers and consumers. In agile marketing, the marketing team meets with the “executive management for sales” for 30-60 minutes & then decide upon what are they working on and sets up a new priority. The team tries to add new ideas to the backlog (wish list) and starts working on the same as soon as possible. The duration of this work is 2-4 weeks.
This duration of 2-4 weeks is called a “sprint”, after the sprint is over a review team is called upon which comprises of the executive management and the sales personnel who take a call on the work of the sprint team and different thoughts are shared at the same platform following which remarks are given. The entire review system is done in order to keep the sense of transparency and accountability intact. The review for such a sprint becomes important as it clarifies how the priorities work and what all new fundamentals are to be added for the future in order to make such a sprint successful.
For the marketing team it becomes very important to have a fair knowledge of the customers’ requirements and their take on the products or the services offered. In this short span (sprint) of 2-4 weeks the marketers are the best judge to understand the ongoing trend. Thereafter a decision is made regarding the existing marketing strategies and what all changes in the strategies and the priorities can be brought about, in order to cater to their consumers in the best possible way with the existing limited resources.
There have been many instances when a company’s marketing wing came out with a new technology and the marketing campaign for the same, for a very small period of time and tried to gauge the thinking of consumers thereby trying to build upon the genuine responses received from their customers.  

So, for a company, big or small, “Agile Marketing” is effective.

Brand Story || FedEx

You would have looked at the logo of FedEx several times. Have a look at it again. Do you see something peculiar?
No? Try finding the arrow. Yes, that forward arrow between E and x. That is the beauty of the FedEx brand. It talks about moving forward towards the future.
Founded in 1971, the company started as a courier delivery service but it has grown into the 5th largest airline in the world. With over 656 aircrafts in air, FedEx has pioneered the art of overnight delivery.
FedEx was not always FedEx. It was called Federal Express for over 2 decades from the day of its inception. In early 1990s, the company had made such a mark on the package delivery market that its name was almost used as a verb. Customers started calling it FedEx instead of Federal Express. Hence, in 1994 the company rebranded itself. The name of the company was changed to FedEx Corporation.   
FedEx is not a normal package delivery company; it is a premium courier delivery and supply chain solution provider. You will have to shed out 200 bucks instead of 40 if you wish to send a few documents weighing 100g from New Delhi to Mumbai via FedEx. Now why  FedEx commands such a premium?
Firstly, FedEx guarantees timely delivery of a product, similar to the Dominoes’ Pizza. Its delivery network spread across 220 countries is so strong that it guarantees that it will return all the money paid by the customer back if the parcel is delivered 60 seconds later than the committed time.
Secondly, it ensures no wear and tear of a product. You can send things as delicate as a mirror through the FedEx channel. It has even delivered Beluga Whales and Dolphins from one place to another. They were alive and healthy after reaching the destination. A large number of luxury carmakers use the FedEx Custom Critical to transport delicate windscreens and engines from one country to another.
Thirdly, FedEx spends billions of dollars each year as marketing expenditure. FedEx also sponsors various sports that share the attribute of speed, reliability, precision, teamwork and flawless execution. It has association with NFL and NBA teams. It also has a racing competition named FedEx racing. FedEx also broadcasts television commercials all across the globe.
Now, all this marketing ensures customer delight. There are thousands of e-commerce businesses that ensure customer delight by using FedEx as a channel partner. People in USA are delighted to see a parcel arrive with FedEx (the premium package delivery service).
Over the years FedEx has developed brand architecture and naming system in such a way that it extends the FedEx brand without compromising on its integrity. FedEx Express, FedEx Ground, FedEx Freight, FedEx Custom Critical, FedEx Supply Chain Services, FedEx Office all use the same FedEx logo but with a different color. This ensures that the company can leverage its existing brand image even after creating a significant differentiation in the product offerings.
FedEx is not just a combination of logos, good colors, a few videos and event sponsorship but it is a powerhouse of great customer service. In year 1994, it became the first package delivery company to provide online support through its website. It was able to receive orders through its website and also able to assist its clients at any time they wanted.
FedEx is a player in commodity business. Package delivery has been there since ages. Its innovative methods have ensured that it continues to charge a premium for the amazing service that it has to offer the world. The constant investment is branding saves the company from getting into a price war with its competitors and hence ensuring profitability. 
FedEx is a pioneer in the industry. It has always led the change in the market place and has displayed amazing results to the onlookers.
However, it might face some challenges to position itself well in the emerging markets of the world. It will be difficult to command the same level of premium from the price sensitive customers.
Also, cab aggregator services like Uber can disrupt the market with a new kind of delivery system through cabs. Ola Cabs in India has started Ola Chef, which delivers food to customers. FedEx can actually gain some cost advantage by partnering with cab aggregators for the last mile delivery.
All said and done FedEx is an awesome brand. It is a great case study for young marketing enthusiasts like us to learn and get inspired from.