Consumers & Brands

Marketing is all about narrowing the focus

Close your eyes and you will find BMW. — December 14, 2010

Close your eyes and you will find BMW.

What an ad. Superb use of technology, it can only be done by a brand like BMW who likes to give pleasant surprises to the consumers.

This cannot be shown on television coz of technology incapability that’s why they might have chosen alternative option which is cinemas. Doing it in Cinemas they didn’t get the reach like mass media but with the idea like this, automatically people will talk about it and gets huge word of mouth without spending high on media. Person sitting in India came to know about the ad with the use of free media what more a brand wants.

The message what they gave was awesome but audience were more keen about the innovative idea, how they saw the brand logo after closing their eyes.

I think this is first ever advertisement which didn’t had any brand presence in it but was more effective than all other brands.

The idea has so much of talkablity, each & every person who has seen the ad will talk about it with their friends, relatives etc.

I think its beautiful to think of such an idea, after seeing the ad I feel that people in west are so open to new innovative ideas and have balls to go ahead and execute it

Go Air!! Go Away.. — December 8, 2010

Go Air!! Go Away..

Recently for official work I had been to Uttar Pradesh a northern state in India.

Considering the time factor I had decided which airline to go with rather taking decision on a particular brand. So as per my schedule I took Indigo airlines for Delhi and while returning back from Lucknow I took Go Air.

As per Indigo’s new commercial they have explicitly emphasized ‘On Time’, but trust me in the airline industry it is very difficult to be ‘On Time’. In the airline industry to stand on this proposition is very difficult and once you communicate it then a brand has to fulfill it otherwise customers will start criticizing about the brand.

‘On Time’ is a very strong proposition to stand and if they fulfill the proposition for certain period of time then it will be set in the consumers mind for years to come. Due to some genuine reasons the flight’s getting delayed then I am sure customers will understand the situation and forget it.

To start with I will share my experience with the Indigo airline, while going my flight was on exact time even it landed Delhi airport on the mentioned time.

But over here I am not trying to promote Indigo but I am here to share my experience with Go Air, an airline brand, both are low budget airlines but are poles apart from each other.

While I was returning back from Lucknow to Mumbai via Delhi, there was no direct flight available so had to come to Delhi first and then to Mumbai. My flight from Lucknow was at 7:45 p.m. so I had to reach airport by 7 p.m. anyhow coz as per new rule we have to check-in before 45 minutes.

Now at 5 p.m. I am getting a sms saying “sorry sir your flight has been delayed and now it’s scheduled at 8 p.m.

I was nearby to the airport so thought that I should go to Go Air airport desk and ask them the reason behind the delay but as expected they didn’t know the exact reason for the delay.

So I went to airport at 7 p.m. knowing that flight will take off at 8 p.m. to my surprise flight got delayed again and now it was at 8:45 p.m.

By this time passengers were really pissed but didn’t react to the entire situation. After sometime flight got delayed again now it was at 9:30 p.m.

Passengers were angry like hell and caught the in-charge manager of Go Air and fired the hell out of him.

With crowd I was also tired, angry and frustrated so showed my anger on the guy but deep down I knew that it’s not his fault.

What can he do in this? He is not responsible for the havoc, he is just following orders but he is the person who is answerable to the passengers, he could have managed the situation in a different way by arranging refreshments or dinner for the people or by just convincingly saying sorry to the people and making them understand that it’s not his fault. Over here passengers forced the manager to arrange for food for them and made it sure that flight was not going to get delay any further.

But to tell you the fact, flight took off at 10:30 p.m. till that time Go Air guys didn’t do anything to make the passengers happy.

Were there any opportunities to make the passengers happy? 100s of them but the manager’s responsibility was over after giving passengers to eat and passengers also were relaxed because they got something additional out from these guys and accepted the fact that they have made a wrong choice.

So should I go ahead with the story or this is more than enough, this is nothing if you read about my flight from Delhi to Mumbai you will go crazy, it was a connecting flight so it was Go Air again. After reaching Delhi we had to catch another flight so airhostess mentioned to one passenger that ‘passengers travelling to Mumbai have to go out of the airport and go to ‘x’ terminal’. Rather communicating this message to one passenger they could have given it to all just informing it through speakers. So now I am out from the Bus and walking towards the airport (no clue where to go) just following the tribe.

Finally reached the terminal and asked at the desk, What’s the scene about Delhi flight to Mumbai? Can you guess what reply I received? No prize for guessing it right.

Flight’s delay for 45 minutes.

Imagine, by now I had crossed all my patience and wanted to fire the hell out of the company. Not because flight is getting delayed but nobody is bother about the scenario. Not even single soul from Go Air is concerned about the passengers.

Is this a way you treat your customers or passengers? Then I seriously think you don’t know how to operate a brand.

This is not over yet, I landed at Delhi airport around 12:15 p.m. and flight got delayed by 45 minutes and took off at around 1:30 a.m.

After boarding the flight I sat on my seat finally hoping I will reach Mumbai & have a good night sleep but to my surprise the nightmare was about to start.

There was this beautiful girl who entered the flight and came towards my seat I was like okkkk & ‘she looked into my eyes & asked me’ SEAT 13E? I said yes.She replied then this is my seat’.I told her no this is mine’.

Guess what? We both had same seat number on our boarding passes. I thought what a beautiful coincidence it was (let’s not get into that…!

This didn’t happen with me only but with all the passengers who got their boarding passes from Lucknow.

Luckily airline was not full there were empty seats to accommodate all of us but that didn’t solve the issue. People were not ready to listen; there were few of them who abused the air-hostesses. Few of us just went to the seat which were empty and sat knowing the fact that it was a business class but still the air-hostess had the audacity to tell us that the seats are for business class you guys cant sit there (Please note: seats were not occupied by anyone).

Ofcourse I didn’t get up from the seat and after all this shit happening, in no time I passed out.

So you might be thinking what time did I landed Mumbai? It was around 3:45 a.m. reached home around 4:30 a.m.

Now I wrote this open letter to Go Air authorities not only to showcase that you guys suck or have badly screwed up with me and with all the passengers who were travelling on that flight. I also wanted to tell you that how can you have tackled this situation and still would have lived in our minds rather dying a cruel death.

Other companies can also read and get an idea what a customer wants when situation like this happens. Ofcourse these things might not happen on day to day basis with your brand, provided you are not Go Air but whenever it happens try this out, it’s just logic and thinking from the consumers perspective.

If the following things would have been done for the passengers then they might have thought to forgive you and would have given you a second chance. But now it’s next to impossible, the only reason they will fly Go Air is if they face time constrain and have to reach somewhere on ‘x’ particular time and there are no other airlines available on that particular time.

I think they should have done these things:

  1. First SMS passengers informing about the delay. (which they did)
  2. Second SMS saying sorry for the inconvenience occurred.
  3. Unambiguously informing passengers about the delay.
  4. Giving the passenger an approximate time of the next flight and if they are not sure about the timings then please don’t give it. They should mention it clearly that they don’t know the exact timing and as soon as they get any idea we will inform the customers.
  5. If the flight is getting delayed again then informing the passengers that they are really sorry for the inconvenience occurred, passengers can get fresh with the Go Air refreshing kit and will be serve some refreshments.
  6. After arranging for refreshments Go Air executives should gather all the passengers in one area and inform them about the reason for the delay and also inform them about the next steps they are planning to take.
  7. At Delhi airport one executive of Go Air should have accompanied with the passengers showing the way for the Terminal ‘x’.
  8. In the flight Delhi to Mumbai, it was major goof up, airhostess can’t do anything about the chaos and in this situation they should be more polite and more understanding towards the passengers.
  9. After landing to Mumbai airport they could have arrange for some refreshments again and a senior person from the staff could have come and apologized to all the passengers.
  10. In the end after a day or so, one sms should be sent to all the passengers accepting their mistake and showing their empathy towards all the passengers, this would have done magic.

If Go Air had followed these points I think passengers might have considered this situation as a genuine problem and for sure given them one more chance to prove them.

I would like to tell the senior authorities (specifically of Go Air) if you want your customers to be satisfied and if you want your passengers to be loyal to your brand and if you want they talk good about the brand to their friends, relatives etc etc. then you try and follow these simple logical points and see the after effect.

My last point to Go Air is there is no hope for your brand to live again in the minds of the passenger who were travelling on that day with me, only reason they will travel with you again is if passengers have to reach somewhere on specific time and there are no options available then only they will consider Go Air otherwise you guys are nowhere in the travelling consideration set of the consumers mind.

Sometimes my creative instincts just pops out so this one’s for you Go Air, I would love to give you a tag line “Go Air, Go Away”.

We’re the Blackberry boys… — October 13, 2010

We’re the Blackberry boys…

What an ad, beautiful song, nicely executed and the message is simple and clear. But my worry is with the message what they have communicated. The ad is saying now we are not for corporates we are for everyone, by everyone I meant youngsters.

What few things I have learnt by observing brands and by working with different agencies is brand creates certain perception in minds of the consumers and if brands dilutes those perception by moving away from the core positioning it will affect them in some or the other way. They might enjoy the fruits in the short term but in long term it will damage the brand.

All the believers who don’t believe in line extensions and brand extensions will believe in what I am saying. One of my friend also likes to understand brands and study what’s happening in the market scenario even he has the same view on the step taken by Blackberry. His concern is also the same, why Blackberry diverted its focus from its core positioning? For more on his views, please visit ….. http://myadpsyche.wordpress.com/

But considering Blackberry as a brand and making it such a big move, I thought maybe there is a strong thought behind this move. I kept on thinking what’s the motive behind this move?

I still remember the initial days of Blackberry in the Indian market when my dad’s corporate friends use to flaunt it.

I thought what a differentiation in the clutter market, where you come and say I am the phone only for corporate guys. But if a brand says I am for corporates they too must have features in their mobile phones which are only used by corporates. Email as an option was rapidly moving in the corporate world at that time and BB got an email service feature in it. The BB email service feature was as simple as sending an email via computer or laptops. It was easily accepted and people started believing that BB is meant for the corporates. That’s it BB was positioned in the minds of the consumers as a brand for corporates.

Think about it, a strong positioned brand which is set in the minds of the consumers, why to move away from it?

After cracking my head on this for quite some time I wasn’t getting the answer to my question but one day while traveling in the train, I saw a youngster using BB and suddenly the thought struck me. Think about it BB never said now I have launched new models and new colors for everyone. Different segments of people first started using BB for different reasons that’s when BB came forward and said We are not only for corporate, we are for everyone.

Because of their features people outside the corporate world started using BB.

There are few things which compelled youngsters to use BB:

  1. First being they came out with different models with different price range keeping themselves.
  2. For these products they came out with different colors so people got more options.
  3. Third and main important point was BB messenger technology (BB users can chat with each other for free in which ever part of the world they are) was known to people and it got a huge word of mouth. I came to know about BB messenger through a friend who used BB.
  4. A huge PR generated that BB messenger is going to get banned all over the world because government has difficulty to trace the messages which are communicated through messenger.
  5. Most important point if you look at BB as a mobile for corporates it has nothing do with Corporates anymore, Corporates main feature on which they had differentiated themselves is used by all and that is email service, which earlier was only used by corporates now everyone uses it.

All these factors compelled people to put BB in their consideration set while buying a mobile phone.

So now when everyone is using BB and even youngsters have accepted it so why only stand for corporates. BB now cannot come up with another brand and say hey hi I am from BB called BB YOUTH for youngsters. They could have done this if youngsters would have denied using BB or had some apprehensions using it but they have accepted it knowing the fact it was meant for corporates.

So why not come and openly communicate that we are not only for corporates but for everyone?

I will conclude by saying BB has done a smart move by saying I am for everyone and moving away from the corporate image after having said that I will also say, as they successfully succeeded in moving away they have left the space open for another brand to come and say hey Hello I am for Corporates.

Ofcourse a brand for corporates has to come out with a unique feature or features which are majorly used by corporates. May be they can say I am a mobile brand for corporates because I have the best office feature which is as simple as Microsoft office in your computers or laptops.

Once Corporates uses it and feels that the brand’s office features are really simple and uncomplicated then BOOM the idea is sold.

SUPOR $uper — September 3, 2010

SUPOR $uper

Tell me something, a non-stick pan should be as smooth as silk or if it doesn’t have the smoothness then its fine?

I have no clue about it coz I have never bothered about it, it’s a boring category & a women category. Y should I be aware about it, it’s not my concern, my mom should worry. It doesn’t make any sense I getting involved in the cooking pan’s category.

But as brand says non-stick cooking pans so ofcourse there might be a need for this kind of a product that’s why it has been in the market. After looking at the activity it’s completely clear that cooking pans should be smooth and not rough.

Let me show you the video of a brand who made this boring category of cooking pans an interesting one, it made it interesting for everyone not only women. In the end its all about top of mind recall when u go to buy a product. Right? So y not make everyone aware about it even kids for that matter.

Idea was really clutter breaking & the beauty is in the simplicity of the idea.

Here is the video of the on-ground activity done by a non-stick brand in China.

Have a look at it.

How’s it?

The idea is so simple they have created a skateboard zone where professional are performing their skateboard tricks and on their back they have these shapes created of eggs, fish etc. Showcasing egg or fish or something else is getting cooked.

It’s a breathtaking site, imagine something like this happening inside phoenix mall or in-orbit mall of mumbai or at a central place where there are high number of people walk-ins.

Isn’t it a breath taking site, won’t u stand for a while & look at what is happening ?

The idea intrigued the consumers & had a talkability value to it.

I always felt on-ground activation has to have four mandatory points to make the idea beautiful.

First it should attract the consumer, like what this idea did & my earlier article had a brand called KLM they also did a similar activity for their Economy Comfort Product with a man sitting on an invisible chair and Manchester Airport. https://itsallaboutbrands.wordpress.com/2010/05/20/btl-idea-with-an-atl-effect/ if you want to read the article.

Second necessary point is engaging the consumers. Consumers should be engaged and involved with the activity.

Both the brand KLM and SUPOR they manage to engage the consumers to the great extent with the respective ideas, be it person sitting on an invisible chair or professionals playing skateboards on a huge skateboard zone.

In both the activity people stood for a while tried to figure what these guys are doing & once they got it they started clicking pictures and started sharing it with their husband or friends or children or whoever they were accompanying with.

Third point and the most important point is to educate consumers about the product, this is the right time to inform them about the product because they are ready to listen. They are already mesmerized by seeing the activity.

Fourth another and the last important point is to make the idea amplified with other people who have not watched the activity or are not aware about the activity. We all know it is an on-ground activity so it has lesser reach then mass media campaigns. Total number of people touched are very few compared to any mass media campaigns.

So how can we make the idea reach to other people and make them feel the same way like what people have felt while watching the activity live. Think about it, it’s simple,

Similar way like I got it. Internet.

I think this idea suffice all the four important points which are crucial for an on-ground activity and lastly SUPOR increased sales by 20% with spending of nothing as compared to mass media campaigns. What else a brand needs from an activity ?

SUPOR the activity was $uperb.

Taj Mahal a Love Symbol or a Shiva Temple. — August 4, 2010

Taj Mahal a Love Symbol or a Shiva Temple.

Purushottam Nagesh Oak (March 2 1917 – December 4 2007), commonly referred to as P. N. Oak, was an Indian writer and a Professor, notable for his historical revisionism based on the ideology of Hindutva.

Intent on rectifying what he believes to be “biased and distorted versions of India’s history produced by the invaders and colonizers”, Oak has written several books and articles on Indian history and founded an “Institute for Rewriting Indian History” in 1964.

To know more about P.N.Oak visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purushottam_Nagesh_Oak

Let’s see what he said about Taj Mahal in his banned book The true story of Taj Mahal. Few days back I received a mail saying hidden truth of Taj Mahal and thought to share it with you coz its very interesting.

In his book Taj Mahal: The True Story, Oak says the Taj Mahal is not Queen Mumtaz’s tomb but an ancient Hindu temple palace of Lord Shiva (then known as Tejo Mahalaya).

In the course of his research Oak discovered that the Shiva temple palace was usurped by Shah Jahan from then Maharaja of Jaipur, Jai Singh. In his own court chronicle, Badshahnama, Shah Jahan admits that an exceptionally beautiful grand mansion in Agra was taken from Jai Singh for Mumtaz’s burial.

The ex-Maharaja of Jaipur still retains in his secret collection two orders from Shah Jahan for surrendering the Taj building.

Using captured temples and mansions, as a burial place for dead courtiers and royalty was a common practice among Muslim rulers. For example, Humayun, Akbar, Etmud-ud-Daula and Safdarjung are all buried in such mansions. Oak’s inquiries began with the name of Taj Mahal. He says the term “Mahal” has never been used for a building in any Muslim countries from Afghanisthan to Algeria. The unusual explanation that the term Taj Mahal derives from Mumtaz Mahal was illogical. Her name was never Mumtaz Mahal but Mumtaz-ul-Zamani,” he writes”.

Taj Mahal, he claims, is a corrupt version of Tejo Mahalaya, or Lord Shiva’s Palace. Oak also says the love story of Mumtaz and Shah Jahan is a fairy tale created by court sycophants, blundering historians and sloppy archaeologists not a single royal chronicle of Shah Jahan’s time corroborates the love story.

Furthermore, Oak cites several documents suggesting the Taj Mahal predates Shah Jahan’s era, and was a temple dedicated to Shiva, worshipped by Rajputs of Agra city.

For example, Prof. Marvin Miller of New York took a few samples from the riverside doorway of the Taj. Carbon dating tests revealed that the door was 300 years older than Shah Jahan.

European traveler Johan Albert Mandelslo, who visited Agra in 1638 (only seven years after Mumtaz’s death), describes the life of the city in his memoirs. But he makes no reference to the Taj Mahal being built.

The writings of Peter Mundy, an English visitor to Agra within a year of Mumtaz’s death, also suggest the Taj was a noteworthy building well before Shah Jahan’s time. Prof. Oak points out a number of design and architectural inconsistencies that support the belief of the Taj Mahal being a typical Hindu temple rather than a mausoleum.

Many rooms in the Taj Mahal have remained sealed since Shah Jahan’s time and are still inaccessible to the public. Oak asserts they contain a headless statue of Lord Shiva and other objects commonly used for worship rituals in Hindu temples Fearing political backlash,

Indira Gandhi’s government tried to have Prof. Oak’s book withdrawn from the bookstores, and threatened the Indian publisher of the first edition dire consequences.

Now after reading this what you say about TAJ MAHAL, you believe in which story ? the story which has been told to us in our history or the story which has told by Mr. P.N. Oak ?

Ideally the current government should open the sealed rooms of the Taj Mahal under U.N. supervision, and let international experts investigate. There is only one way to prove a research wrong just prove the research findings wrong.

If government knows that Taj Mahal was built by Shah Jahan for his beloved Mumtaj & they have enough evidence about it than why not they are proving Oak’s findings wrong?

Why are they not opening those doors which are sealed?

Why Indira Gandhi’s government tried to threaten publishers & banned the book?

To all these questions there are no answers but in the year 2000 India’s Supreme Court dismissed Oak’s petition to declare that a Hindu king had built the Taj Mahal and reprimanded him for bringing the action, saying he had a “bee in his bonnet” (strange idea or notion; also, an idea that is harped on, an obsession) about the Taj.

Let’s assume if Mr. Oak is right in his findings but the government is in such situation that they can’t disclose the truth, it can change our cultural and political scenario.

I only like to say that these facts will remain always be a myth & will always be open for discussions. In this world somewhere someone will be discussing about these issues. Few will agree with Oak’s findings & few will say that he has a bee in his bonnet.

Many things will change if Oak’s findings are proved right,

the world will come to know few facts which are hidden in the Indian history.

children will learn true history instead of the crap.

But finally I think Taj Mahal or Tejo Mahalaya the beauty of Taj will never go in vain. Number of tourist visiting Taj Mahal will also not decline, what will change is, the reason, the reason of visiting TAJ.

BTL idea with an ATL effect — May 20, 2010

BTL idea with an ATL effect

I know it’s been long that I have uploaded any blog but I guess I was waiting for some great stuff and I think, I finally got one, for me it’s a kick ass idea.

Recently I got a mail saying ‘An advertising Puzzle…. Must see’when I opened the mail it was written

A _ _ _ brand that puzzled everybody at the Manchester Airport!’Will tell you the brand name in sometime.

Below it was written ‘Can you figure out how this Man is sitting?’ and a video link next to it.

When I saw the video I was completely stunned, seriously speaking this kind of BTL activity I have never seen in my life.

Have a look at the video and you decide by yourself what do you think about it?

Is this idea has a brand recall? My view,I think whoever will see it, they will never forget the brand in their life.

Is the idea innovative? For sure it is.

Is the idea engaging? Cent percent it is.

The idea can be taken to different media channels? Yes it can.

Is the message conveyed properly to the consumers? Yes it is.

Have a look at the video.

So how is it? Liked it?

I loved it.

The idea is so simple, a man, sitting comfortably without any support to his butt and reading the newspaper. The message KLM wanted to convey was

‘Choose your personal kind of comfort’.New, more choice in economy class.

But if KLM would have done something like: the activity remains the same, instead of a person sitting in the air if he would be sitting on an actual airline chairwould it be that intrigued.

There is no doubt that consumers won’t see the activity  but would the idea have talking value to it? Would consumers stand there and discuss it or click pictures? Would they go home and share it with their loved ones? Its unlikely right.

Every medium has certain parameters so does BTL, BTL activity has certain mandatory points and those points should be integrated before executing the idea.

Three essential points are, the idea should be engaging, it should generate excitement with consumers and  should have a brand recall in the minds of the consumers.

With making it simple (like giving an actual chair to the person) consumer might get the message clearly but it would not have the spark in it. It would just be an another mundane idea executed. It is imperative that the above factors are integrated in the idea before executing it. That’s what KLM did they knew if they showcased something which is innovative like this, they will give something new to the consumers which in-turn they will share with their friends, relatives etc.

The idea of sitting comfortably without any support for minutes is unimaginable and this guy is sitting comfortably for hours that’s what made the idea more intrigued to the consumers.

Now KLM guys have gone a step above, consumers present during the activity were engaged and entertained but how to make other consumers aware and engage and excite which were not present during the activity.

One options is we can do the same activity at different airports or at key touch points. But as we know, given the price, online has far more reached then any other medium. With free media the idea can reached to millions of people with no cost, provided the idea is really innovative and it should make the consumers say WTF is this.

But for online audience, instead of sending it directly they made it engaging by saying  solve the puzzle ‘how this thing can happen?’ Figure out how this man is sitting? So for online audience it’s not just an exciting video but on the same time it is engaging.  It makes consumers think more about the activity in-turn pushing the brand KLM more deep inside their mind. The more you don’t get the answer the more you share it with people and try to figure out the solution.

Now across the globe on different websites people are talking about it and guessing how KLM has executed this idea.

I think KLM had done something supersonic and I really appreciate the guy who thought about this and the guy who saw conviction in the idea and allowed him to execute it.

The effort of engaging the consumer to this extent has never done by any brand and I think KLM has done a great job…

Right now I am just waiting for another round of mail with the video (making of the activity) giving answer to all the curious people who were trying to solve the puzzle.

SUBvert – Inspiring interviews of successful people — March 29, 2010

SUBvert – Inspiring interviews of successful people

Few days back my boss shared a website with me called SUBvert and I am glad he did that because this website made me think and helped  me realize what I really want to do in my life.

What is this website all about?

SUBvert is an online magazine and their aim is to interview creative, business and sports heroes, so people can learn about success from these people who actually has achieved it. They publish content that helps people make more money and have more fun doing work that they love.

They have interviewed people like:

  • Mike Shinoda – Linkin Park
  • Goldie – DJ / Producer / Musician / Actor
  • Anthony Bozza – Rolling Stone Journalist and author of several rock biographies

And many others.

We might not know half of these artists but the point is not that, the point is when you read their stories it motivates you to the core. You feel how passionate they are in their work and how dedicated they are to achieve it.

Somewhere down the line it forced me to think, what I am currently doing is what I want to do my entire life or I am forcefully doing it, if I am forcefully doing it then why am I not pursuing what I really want to?

I am sure these thoughts come and go in the person’s mind who really wants to do something but due to some reasons not fulfilling it. The problem with these thoughts is they fades out very quickly. The guy who started SUBvert is very well aware of these things and he doesn’t want people to fade these thoughts and wants them to push and do something about it. He wants them to achieve it.

You can also register yourself on the website where you receive mails saying secret tips which tries to solve all the problems and hindrances of the person because of which he or she is not getting into what their heart and soul really wants to do.

Isn’t it a super  idea of making people realize their dreams and keep motivating them to achieve it.

This website made me realize few points and I think, in some or the other way it will help you do the same.

So for all those who really really wants to achieve their dreams but for some reasons are scared of getting into it, this website is for you guys, http://www.subvertmagazine.com/blog/

Indeed, Creativity has no boundaries. — March 15, 2010

Indeed, Creativity has no boundaries.

One small idea can do wonders for a brand. It is not at all necessary to exploit all the media available to make your brand popular.

Somewhere in this world there is a lawyer called Sabina Stobrawe and she implemented this outdoor advertisement for her brand.

I know the medium used for the ad will be seen by very few people compare with any other media but the ad and the medium selected has high talking value to it. The fact remains, I saw the ad and now I am sharing it with you this itself proves the point that the ad has worked more than any other media.

What’s so unique about the ad? Hmm, I leave it on you to decide that.

How is it? Liked it? I liked it…

Let’s assume few things now.

Assuming this might be a commercial building. Assuming the building is higher than 2nd storey. Hypothetically, I go there for some work on the third floor, standing near the elevator I see this married couple’s picture and as elevator door opens the image goes apart. Till this time I don’t know why this picture is kept there but as soon as I go inside and see the message.

Sabina Stobrawe

Divorce Lawyer

2nd Floor

It wont hit me hard, but when you think about it again couple’s picture, then couple’s picture going apart and then a message saying Divorce Lawyer. The message will subtly hit you, when a married couple is about to apart there is only one person Sabina the Divorce Lawyer.

Simple message but shown in a smart way. It is very unlikely that whoever sees the ad will forget it and.

After seeing the ad I seriously felt, indeed,

Creativity has no boundaries…

Lavender Bough, What’s in the name? — March 4, 2010

Lavender Bough, What’s in the name?

I know it’s quite long that I haven’t written anything.

You can say, I don’t have time to write, hmm busy with loads of work, or you can say, I was just lazy to write, why you thinking, ask me I will tell you, the latter one is right. Sometimes it’s just so difficult to articulate your thoughts and write about something what you like. But I am trying to write as frequently as possible, I think I will start writing at least one blog in a week. Let’s see am not sure as of now. With me its likely to be lazy again.

Anyways let’s get back to the point which I want to share it with you guys.

Where I live there is an area called 90ft road nothing unique about that area. I have passed that street zillion of times from the day I was born but there was nothing unique about it till the time this monster was created. From last few years whenever I pass I feel something different. I feel some master piece has been created.

To give you a brief idea about 90ft road, it is a long stretch of road approximately 6 kms. In that stretch there is small stretch of 2 to 3 kms that stretch is called 90ft road. On one side there are residential buildings and societies and on the other side there is a temple rest it was a barren land but now there is this architectural beauty which has been created & it’s called.

Lavendar Bough

Suddenly a monster was created,

Lavender Bough is where people get married; oooops just kidding Lavender Bough is where people commit suicide. Ooops kidding again, forget it think whatever it suits you.

It’s a one stop destination for marriage people. They have halls for marriages and receptions. Then they came out with their own rooms so the hassle after marriage to go home and get ready for the reception is gone; now its no longer a concern. Of course after reception the hunt for hotels is also gone.

Once you have rooms to stay there is a need of a restaurant so they came out with that as well.

The point is, in this area or nearby areas there is no other place like this. One destination for the marriage day.

Of course there was a need of something like this but is it necessary that it will work if there is a need? Not really right but something worked for Lavender Bough. My question is what worked? Few things. Let’s figure that thing out….

It has to be marketed in a way that people think that Lavender Bough is also an option for these kind of  occasions.

What helped Lavender Bough ?

First the place is so larger than life. If you see from outside it is just magnificent. Mind Blowing is the right word.

See the pic below.

There is no other huge construction besides it. Lavender Bough is the only one. If there is nothing as beautiful around then it gives more appeal to it. Opposite to it, as I earlier mentioned there are old residential societies.

Second in the night when you pass from the place it has this Lavendar lighting (Hutch – pink) on it at three different points. The name is lit with the Hutch – Pink color and two circles above on the terrace are also lit with it. Color is such that anybody who is passing from the street will at least see it once.

Third and very important thing which helped Lavender Bough is the acceptance by early adopters they didn’t hesitate to try it. They tried it because of the largeness of the place or it might have happened that on the particular day rest all places were full and they preferred going with Lavender Bough. It is likely that this might have taken place.

People who tried and people who visited their marriage experienced the brand and spread the word about the place to their relatives and friends. Hence, Lavender Bough came into their consideration sets.

Fourth thing what worked was the acceptance of the name Lavender Bough. Where I stay majority of the people are Gujus. You might be thinking Guju area and English brand strange combination. Actually it is but it worked, English name got easily accepted then any other name. Gujus came out with their own unique name for Lavender Bough.

For them it’s not Lavender Bough it is Luuvandar Bauugh. Seriously when you ask somebody who are my mom’s and dad’s age they will tell you marriage is at Luuvandar Bauugh.

Suddenly an English Brand name got familiar with all Gujratis.

I think all these factors worked for Lavender Bough.

  • Of course the need was the main point
  • Then came the Largeness of the place which made it larger then life.
  • Color attracted prospects time and again.
  • Word of mouth played a critical role
  • And in the end ofcourse my favourite Luuvender Bauugh’ the name just killed it.
Why to have wings when you are already on Cloud 9… — January 11, 2010

Why to have wings when you are already on Cloud 9…

When Cloud 9 was recently launched in India with R.P.Singh as their brand ambassador I gave my early comments on the brand.

Last few lines which I wrote about Cloud 9 in my previous blog.

Will the brand ever make it big? May be may be not

Will they ever beat any of their competitors? I have my doubts with that.

I seriously feel Cloud 9 should come out of the sky to the earth and study Indian Consumers before taking any step.

(If you want to read the entire article)

Over a period of time Cloud 9 is doing great in the market, slowly and gradually they are covering the entire market.

First they launched the brand with Shilpa Shetty and got a huge PR buzz and then with R.P.Singh they exploited mass media.

Initially to start with they had flavor of Pomegranate but now they have different flavors like Wild Berry and Red Grapes. If consumers have apprehensions with Pomegranate they can have another one.

With huge advertising spends they got into the consumers mind, now consumers very well know that Cloud 9 = Natural Energy Drink. They know the difference between Cloud 9 and Red Bull, Cloud 9 is Natural Energy Drink and Red Bull is Energy Drink.

As a consumer, if I want to have something I think of the category first and then I think about the brand.

For e.g. I want to drink something, what should I have?

Let me have water hmm no, I will have cola instead or no no I will have white drink arey no no let me have energy drink.

Once you decide on the category then you decide on the brand. Let’s say I want to have an orange drink I will ask for Mirinda or Fanta or whichever my favorite brand is, if Mirinda is not available then I will think of having Fanta.

You want to have an energy drink so you go to the store and ask for it, let’s say, Red Bull and if Red Bull is not available and in the refrigerator you see Cloud 9.  What will you do?

You will either go for it or you won’t…. if brand is properly registered in the mind then probability is higher that you will go for it.

In the end, the game is on distribution. Cloud 9 is bang on with distribution. They are getting more and more powerful in distribution. Wherever you get Red Bull you will find Cloud 9 and wherever you won’t find Red Bull you will find Cloud 9.

Recently Cloud 9 came out with new commercial saying Drink and Drive with Cloud 9. A very simple line but its catchy, now a days traffic guys are catching people who drink alcohol and drives. Here is a brand saying drink and drive but only with Cloud 9. This gave a talking value to the people. Again Cloud 9 penetrated inside the mind of consumers by giving people a talking point to chit chat about.

I don’t know somehow I am liking Cloud 9’s strategy to cover the market. Cloud 9 has exploited all media and they should exploit one more medium to reach out to their consumers and the medium is experiential marketing. Engage consumers and make them experience the brand. Cloud 9 should go to their target audience through different BTL activities. This will make more and more people experience their product and get firsthand experience with the brand.

One more thing I would like to say, if anyone from Cloud 9 reading this blog they should use this line in their communication to have a marketing battle head on with the main competitor, if the main competitor reacts to your communication you have won the battle.

The Line is:

why to have wings when

you are already on

Cloud 9 😉 …

Ashish Shakya

Writer. Stand-Up Comic. Gulab Jamun Enthusiast.

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