Consumers & Brands

Marketing is all about narrowing the focus

Creative Love Letter — December 15, 2009

Creative Love Letter

Creative love letter…

Courtesy: Yogesh Dawda

Recently I got an e-mail saying Creative Love Letter, when I saw the mail I had some preconceived notion about it, that it will have same things what love letter always has with few changes here and there but seriously to my surprise when I saw the letter it was simply mind boggling. Yes it has same things what a love letter should have but the differentiation point is, the writer got tag lines of different brands together and made a love letter. He has written a love letter or a letter about love bringing together different tag lines. Few tag lines are not currently used by these brands nonetheless what a connection he has made. As this blog is all about brands, I thought I should share the love letter with you guys. The writer is unknown for me but I can see he is mad over brands.

Click on the images to enlarge it

An online viral which got more than 5.3 million viewers — November 12, 2009

An online viral which got more than 5.3 million viewers

As I have said earlier in my blog, Online is getting bigger and deeper day by day. The amount of time we spend online is startling. There is Facebook, Orkut, Yahoo, Rediff, Hotmail, Youtube, now a days we shop online, share our views on blogs, we tweet. There are so many things to do Online.

People have built their brands through this medium. There are many mediums to market the brand but the most effective and cheap medium is Online.

But you need to know the trick to market your story or your product or your brand or your resume or anything else; few people know how to use it, many don’t.

What if you are Sony or Dell or Michael Jackson or Steve Jobs or Lindsay Lohan ? You name the medium and you have that, you can market it through every possible medium.

PR, Print, Outdoor, Internet, TV, In-films and there are multiple options as well.

But the problem arises when you are not a biggie, if you are a common man, don’t have the money to spend on these mediums. But you have a remarkable product or a brand.

What you will do, How you will market it ? Which option you will use ?

Online is the one.

You can reach to millions of people around the globe, but the point is why they will waste their valuable time and look at what you are telling them to look at.

Is there somthing interesting for them ? is it unique ? something innovative, something which they have never seen, something which makes them enjoy, something engaging…. It can be completely wired but the story should be convincing enough for the person to read it or see it.

There are few companies who have promoted their product or brands or themselves through online and they have succeeded in it.

I would like to share few online marketing case studies coz they are easy to understand.

Burger King –‘Whopper sacrifice’ is a Facebook tool where users have to de-friend people from their friend list in return for a free burger. At the end of the campaign, there were a total of 233,906 users who found themselves dropped from their friends’ friend list.

Blend Tec –‘Blend Tec’ makes different types of blenders and these blenders can be used to make stuff like cappuccino, milkshake, making whole vegetables and fruits juices, grating cheese, chopping onions and much more.

They came out with videos called ‘Will It Blend’, The videos feature Blendtec CEO Tom Dickson liquefying a range of items that are divided into the “Try this at home” and “don’t try this at home” sections. In ‘don’t try this at home’ section features some unusual items that portray the power of the blender from 50 marbles to handful of golf balls to a new iphone .

After being released on YouTube the videos exploded, receiving over 1.7 m views. The traffic to the company’s website, with Alexa ranking jumped to 108,000 spots in the end of 2006.

BMW: ‘BMW FILMS’ BMW assembled a cast of A-list directors and actors & developed scripts within the basic framework of having a central character that helped people through difficult circumstances using deft driving skills—in a BMW.

Of course it’s BMW so the production cost was super high but promoting videos was almost free.

More than 10 million films have been viewed from 2 m people registered on the site, with 60% of those registrants opting to receive more information via e-mail.

Sunsilk: ‘Sunsilk Gang of Girls’ – India’s first girl online community website. The website has digital makeovers, group blogs, talent shows, job discussion board for girls, chill out zone and many such things.

  • Hindustan Lever claims 2,500,000 registrations to Gang of Girls site
  • 25,000 girl gangs,
  • 200 million hits,
  • 12-13 million page views every month.
  • The concept got re-launched for rural parts of India as “Sunsilk Saheli”

You might be aware of these online marketing campaigns, they are unique in their own way, at least they were when they got launched.Picture1

Like these campaigns (ones which I shared with you). Before few days, I came across one of the finest online marketing campaign done by a guy called Juan Mann, a man whose sole mission was to reach out and hug a stranger to brighten up their lives. And his campaign name was ‘Free Hugs Campaign’.

To read about Free Hugs Campaign visit:

The video which is shown on Youtube is simply amazing and worth watching. In this age of social disconnectivity and lack of human contact, the effec20061030_101_284x218ts of the Free Hugs campaign became phenomenal.

The concept is so unique that it got more than 52,000,000 viewers on Youtube. and the guy got a chance to meet Oprah Winfrey. What else you want…

Online is huge and has billions of users, we just have to know how to use it. If we know how to use it, we can build our product or brand only through this medium.

I hope you guys got an idea of Online marketing and seriously speaking this guy has done nothing great. He has taken our idea and gave an english name to it. Munna Bhai use to say it ‘Jadoo Ki Jappi’ Mr. Juan Mann has said ‘Free Hugs’. 😉 it’s always the other way round though.

Have a look at the video, I loved it and am sure you will like it too…

2012 – A Viral Success ? — November 11, 2009

2012 – A Viral Success ?


Early this year, the news floated that the World will end in the year 2012, there are many reasons for the same,

Few came out with, the new century would bring about total destruction, and no one would survive,

Few believed that Earth is slated for another ice age, which will kill off all living things.

Others said, according to astronomers, billions of years from now, the s­un will become a red giant, expanding to a size larger than the Earth’s orbit and consuming Earth in the process. Even if the planet somehow survives, the sun will eventually shrink, becoming a white dwarf and gradually cooling off until it can no longer warm anything in the solar system.

Many doomsayers hang onto the idea that this ancient calendar is a ticking time bomb signalling our fast-approaching demise during the 2012 winter solstice.

But here’s what NASA scientist David Morrison at the Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., told Discovery News.

Oct. 22, 2009 — contrary to what you may read on the Internet, the world is not going to end in 2012. A rogue planet named Nibiru is not on a collision course with Earth. And a solar flare won’t toast the planet.

It’s all fiction, though the makers of the film “2012” may lead you to think otherwise.

“I don’t have anything against the movie. It’s the way it’s been marketed and the way it exploits people’s fears

Morrison has launched a counter-attack through his “Ask An Astrobiologist” online column, which he says has gotten more than 1,000 questions about the end of the world.

Scientific misinformation about 2012 has been ramping up for a few years, with more than 200 books and 1,000 Web sites purporting to explain various doomsday scenarios.

Sony Pictures is behind a particularly viral campaign to build publicity for its upcoming apocalyptic movie “2012,” which debuts on Nov. 13.

The company has set up an interlinked family of Web sites and Facebook pages to infuse a sense of reality to its fictional work.

The point is Sony Pictures have marketed the movie in an amazing way; it created the hype about the story which was fictional and made it look real. The promotion of the film now looks like; it’s a true story which is surely going to happen in 2012.

The end which might happen, which might not happen, the myth has been made factual and pushed in the minds of the people just to promote a film. Amazing way to market anything, it’s completely innovative thinking, in the world of Global Warming where people are scared of not taking any step to protect the environment, scare them and scare them to the core. After that, hype the release of the movie and say WE WERE WARNED.

There might be something happening in 2012 as per medieval calendar, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen for sure.

The story got authenticated coz of different media channels promoted it; news channels are the only credible medium where people have some trust to it, they believe them and what they show but now a days they run after innovative stories which gives them high TRP. It’s not far that media channels will not be left with any credibility amongst people.

After effect of the news is, people everywhere around the globe are scared that 2012 the world is going to end. 2012 the year is top of the mind in the consumers head but come on guys you can’t spread panic around just to promote a film.

The problem is people are going to watch the movie any which ways, it’s the best entertainment for the people around the globe there’s no doubt about it, but the fact remains I am writing the story coz they have scared people around me, they have scared the world. The bad word has already started spreading.

Mr. Morrison assured that nothing is going to happen in 2012, we don’t know how true that is but if seriously nothing happens in 2012 then who would be in trouble? Can you guess???? Sony Pictures, I doubt, the trouble will be faced by media channels ofcourse not directly but indirectly and the credibility of media houses any which ways going down, they are pushing it more down.

Be Aware: The End is near but not of our Planet…

Tata Sky targeting online customers — November 9, 2009

Tata Sky targeting online customers

Online is getting bigger and deeper day by day, the amount of time we spend online is startling. There is Facebook, Orkut, Yahoo, Rediff, Hotmail, Online Games Websites, Shopping Websites etc. Phewww, in the offices the scenario has changed completely, if net is down there is no work to do. It’s like, nets down, lets go home.

Early days when online was new, people were scared of shopping anything online due to obvious reasons there was no security of the password. Hacking was big and is still big, but banks are taking all security majors to prevent the password from hackers so people are less scared now.

People by Online air tickets, Online train tickets, Buying books online, Hotel booking etc etc.

Online shopping is growing at super speed.

Recently I came across this ad of Tata Sky. The ad is not about buying Tata Sky Online, the above information was to give an idea to you guys that how internet has grown big and how people are getting into it completely.

The best part of this ad is, its permission marketing, they are asking people for the data and not pushing it through call centre guys calling them without their permission, sending e-mails and various other things which gets on the nerves and it’s not at all confusing, the ad is clear for online consumers, to reinforce their decision of buying Tata Sky and letting them know about the discount price.

It’s like if you see the ad and if you are interested than please give your details. Our call centre guys will call you back.

Let’s look at the ad, it’s a flash ad and has two parts to it:





The message is clear, get Tata Sky in Rs 1,599.

Second part has discount offer of Rs 800 and Aamir Khan.


The information box down is there in both the parts, very crisp and very clear. Simple data not all confusing, if someone is interested to buy Tata Sky, he has to right the name, age, number and city. That’s it.

Tata Sky has done few things superbly:

  • They are getting data base of the potential consumers.
  • They are not forcing them to buy it online or anywhere else
  • They are asking for permission that if you want to buy ‘Tata Sky’ or if you want more information about ‘Tata Sky’ please give your details and we will get back to you.
VOLVO celebrates the 50th anniversary of its 3-point Safety Belt Invention — November 4, 2009

VOLVO celebrates the 50th anniversary of its 3-point Safety Belt Invention

Recently I came to know something new about my favourite brand. Of course the brand name is VOLVO

I never knew VOLVO was the first one to come out with 3 point safety belt in the cars, which we in India have started using it recently.

Let’s look at the history about the invention of Safety pin. It was invented by VOLVO engineer Nils Bohlin in 1958 and patented in 1959, from last 50 years this little feature is there in their cars and in every other car brand in the market.

This proves how narrow the brand focus is, they stood for safety and their actions revolves around safety and nothing else. 3 pin safety belt is one feature which we know but there are other unaware features as well, to name a few:

  • Intelligent airbags,
  • Electronic vehicle stability systems,
  • Roll Stability Control (RSC),
  • Driver Alert,
  • Blind Spot Identification System,
  • Lane Departure,
  • Adaptive Cruise Control with Collision Warning and Automatic Braking.

To go further VOLVO is introducing World’s Safest Car, the 2010 XC60 T6 AWD, which features City Safety, a low-speed collision avoidance system.

This is exactly what a brand has to do, they came up with a story of safety which fits consumers worldview and to authenticate the story they made each and every characteristic of the car revolve around the story.

My point is, brand can take a certain position in the mind of the consumers but they have to stick to that position till the brand lives. They just don’t have to position it, they have to support that positioning through all their actions.

Even after 50 years of automotive safety innovation, the three-point safety belt remains the most effective protection for occupants in the event of a collision. The belt reduces the risk of fatalities and serious injuries from collisions by about 50 percent. The device has saved more than one million lives and is now standard equipment in every car.

VOLVO celebrating 50th anniversary of a feature which was introduced in their car and now used in more than 1000 other brands.

VOLVO can proudly say,

there is a little piece of Volvo in

every car on the road.


Omved — September 18, 2009


OmvedFew days back I was at phoenix to buy few stuff, while shopping I like to see brands which open up daily. There were couple of International new brands, some new cosmetic brands and new apparels brands.

While loitering around I came across this brand call OmVed pure natural living. From outside I really didn’t understood what they sell. But when I went inside, I found all the natural products from: Soap, Herbal teas, Hair & Body massage oils, organic t-shirts, organic cotton bed line, incense, yoga mats, meditational candles, herbal dhoops, shaving gels, Holistic vedic jewellery, magical rudraksh and many other things.

The experience was amazing, soft music + aroma + visuals of these products took me to the different world.

I have never seen such kind of a place in India; of course we get these products in different mom & pop stores but you will never find it under one roof. OmVed has done that, got all the natural products under one roof.

The format is new in India & we cant judge right now that it will work or it won’t. It has super potential for sure but you just cant trust the Indian market. Time will decide that this concept will work or no but if you happen to go to phoenix anytime then just don’t miss it, the shop is near Fab India.

Disclaimer: The shop has not been recommended by reference, if you are interested in seeing something which is new and unique in organized retail format than only visit it.

Omved Store

Super Viral. 24th July High Tide Picture. — August 13, 2009

Super Viral. 24th July High Tide Picture.

Recently I got a mail, saying 24th July……. High Tide Picture in Mumbai………..scary man….

Whatever happens in India or anywhere around the world, how do you get to know about it?

There only two common ways, one is through word of mouth & another one is by news.

I generally come to know by somebody first (word of mouth) then I go & check the news. Some people might be seeing the news first then knowing it from someone else.

After few days you receive a mail saying pictures of that particular event. There are people in this world, who likes to accumulate all the pictures & send e-mails to their friends.

I get e-mails for all the events which were occurred around the globe others might have got it as well, to name a few 9/11, 26/11, Tsunami, Earthquake, 26th July & many such events.

I don’t wait for these e-mails to come but definitely if they come in my inbox I go & check it.

Imagine a mail saying 24th July High Tide Picture in Mumbai….. will you not check it, when you know it will hardly take any time & the entire media is talking about it?

One of the media article stated, according to the Maritime Board’s predictions, at 2:03 p.m on July 24th, the tides are expected to rise to 5.05 meters – about 57 cm higher that the high tide of July 26, 2005. This news was floating around on every media channels. I don’t see any reason why people will not check their inbox if they receive this kind of an e-mail from your friend. I too checked it.

It must have taken 15 minutes for that guy to do this & send it to x amount of people.

Once it’s gone there are people who will forward it ahead to someone else & the circle goes on. This is how viral marketing moves around & reaches different strata of people.

Definitely, this mail might not reach your right target group but don’t forget, it has gone to many numerous people. They will indeed talk about it somewhere in their personal meetings & by chance while shopping if they see it at once this picture will come to their mind.

Have a look at the mail which was sent to me. (Let me know what you feel after seeing the pic, in my comment box)



Dettol. One of the most trusted Brand in India, where r u? — August 12, 2009

Dettol. One of the most trusted Brand in India, where r u?


Dettol protecting India for 75 years, since its launch in 1933, Dettol has gained the trust of millions of Indians and has been consistently voted as one of the “Most trusted brands” of India.

But the problem with Dettol is the market, the market is not growing that rapidly, they are leaders in the category, but the market is stagnant. Dettol is educating consumers about hygiene from past so many years in their ads. Starting then and till now Dettol’s advertising has celebrated the role of a mother in protecting her family. Because ‘If she doesn’t take care then who will?’

Why some people in India are understanding the importance of hygiene & others are not, it might be Dettol’s communication, that’s not creating an impact. May be people are not scared or they are not aware that hands are the most exposed part of the body to the environment hence they will be the real reason for any illness.

What should Dettol do to increase their market?

Is Swine Flu a way for Dettol? I think yes.

Doctors are recommending how to be protected from swine flu, one of the main area is to concentrate on the hands says doctors & news articles coz it’s the most exposed part of the body.

Why Dettol is not doing anything to help people, to make them understand, when people are truly mentally disturbed?

Is there a way, of course there is, and certainly there might be many more ideas but need to brainstorm. The following are the basics but never implemented by brands.

Television ad showcasing the importance of hygiene & how to be saved when diseases like Swine Flu attack humans (the ad should be very serious in nature).

Helping consumers who come to the hospitals for check-ups & giving them free Dettol soap or mask (let it be branded by Dettol).

Taking help from doctors to recommend Dettol brand to use it, at least in this situation.

Online dedicated website on swine flu, giving information like:

  • Origin of swine flu,
  • How to keep yourself hygienic in the regular life,
  • Asking people why can’t they keep themselves hygienic after seeing the unseen creature destroying human life?

Going to the schools, checking student’s health & giving them information about the importance of health & hygiene.

It will help them, if they do something like this; of course it will fall under CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) as the management terminology says, it doesn’t matter, in the end you are helping people who are in trouble & people whom you are helping are your existing consumers or potential consumers.

They will see the brand, they will interact with it, they will engage themselves with it and they will think, someone is there with them in the bad situation.

Of course there is no instant ROI but it will change consumer’s perception about the brand in an influential way.

It’s a long-term process but it’s the best option any brand can put into practice.

As I always say please comment, to enhance my point of view.

What an Idea Sirjee!!! AIRCEL rocks… — August 3, 2009

What an Idea Sirjee!!! AIRCEL rocks…

Picture1Recently Mumbai faced heavy rainfall & like every time this time also, roads were blocked & flooded. Some areas like Khar subway & Milan subway were impossible to cross. People with no option somehow managed to cross the subway.Picture2

Whenever I see these areas & their condition I feel that, Pakistan has bribed Indian government to never make it appropriate. Forget it let’s not get into that.

Over here I want to acknowledge the idea which was implemented by Aircel. Before that, I like to ask you a question, do you feel there were any opportunities for the brands to do something in these flooded areas?

I think there were number of things to do in this scenario but none came forward & tried to help consumers or at least console the consumers that don’t worry we are there for you.

Instead of Picture3helping them or seeking their attention through some unique ways, brands go to the obvious places & flash themselves for e.g.

They will sponsor festivals where there are 100 other brands present. I don’t understand who is going to see them or remember them?

Instead of sponsoring festivals or have presence where its not necessary, they should do something what Aircel did.

Many of you might know, but those who don’t know what Aircel did on 15th July 09.

Aircel brand placed outdoor ads near Milan subway, having an actual boat placed on it, tied it with a rope & wrote in case of emergency, cut the rope.

Imagine you are stuck in this scenario, what you will think about the activity done by Aircel?

You see a boat filled with people crossing the flooded area & later the boat comes towards you & takes you to your destination.

Will you ever forget the brand name AIRCEL?

Will you ever forget your experience what AIRCEL did for you?

Will you ever forget that there was a brand that did something when you really needed?

Not because they did something which was superb or out of the world but there was somebody who realized the fact that, this area needs attention in rainy season.Picture4

There was someone who thought we should do something for the people who are stuck in that particular place. They showed concerned towards their consumers as well as towards their potential consumers.

Now people are tired, they know government is not doing anything to improve these areas & they are tired of cribbing about it. Aircel took this as an opportunity & offered something unique to the people when they actually needed it.Picture6

This was enough to tip & created a buzz around the town. Entire PR covered it.

It’s a superb way to connect with your consumers & potential consumers. Certainly this activity will lead to more sales.

I don’t know who’s the guy who took the initiative & executed this idea? but it’s simply one of its kind & worth remembering it.

Picture5I don’t know how you look at this idea as CSR? but I say it’s a super marketing idea & if any brands wants to register themselves in the consumers mind they should do something which is unique & worth identifying.

I would like to say What an Idea sirjee!!! Aircel rocks…

Your comments are necessary to enhance my point of view.

Strong content needed for word of mouth marketing — July 8, 2009

Strong content needed for word of mouth marketing

Few days back a buzz went around in my area where I stay, almost everyone in my area knew about that news.

That’s when I came to know that word of mouth is a very powerful tool for marketing. Before I share my view on this topic I just want to share my thoughts about this incident. The news which I am going to share with you is a perfect example for word of mouth marketing but the example is not right to take into this context. You guys will come to know after reading the entire incident.

As I said few days back a buzz went around in my area, the incident happened in a nearby gymkhana where I stay. A person use to visit that gymkhana almost every day for playing cards. One fine day he left his house for gymkhana & while playing cards he suddenly collapsed. Everyone present over there were shocked but after examine by a doctor people came to know that he had a cardiac attack & unfortunately he died.

This news was shared with few people but the incident was so different & unusual than a regular life that encouraged people to talk about it.

I will tell you how it must have happened. They must have shared this incident with their wife’s coz majority of the people present over there were adults or they must have chatted with their friends while travelling & then their friends must have shared with their friends & wife’s & it goes on & on & on. This is how buzz spreads right?

The point I am trying to prove over here is word of mouth is very powerful & the oldest tool in marketing but if a marketer wants to use it to market a brand or a product then it should have some talking value to it.

I will conclude by saying, in word of mouth marketing three things are very very important & i.e.

Content Content Content

Ashish Shakya

Writer. Stand-Up Comic. Gulab Jamun Enthusiast.

Consumers & Brands

Marketing is all about narrowing the focus

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