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Some ponderings over Marketing world, some comments, and yes... the pyaas for the gyan !
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I have moved

Dear Patrons,

Finally I have given in to my friends' persistent advice to move my blog to Wordpress. Blogger vs Wordpress debate had been going for too long and I admit that Wordpress surely has many advantages over Blogger. Fortunately I have been able to import all my posts and comments at the new address.

I have moved my Marketing blog to following URL:

I have brought my technology, marketing and finance blogs under single blog - Business blog. Please update your Blogroll and bookmarks (if any!).

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posted by Jas @ 12:03 AM, ,

When ads forget the connect, focussing on gloss only

On Indian TV sets, two banks are having their re-branding advertisements running. Ideally its not an easy task to change the image of a PSU bank which has been there for long time and has already made a place in people's mind. It can be good or bad, but people have that image firmly in the mind. So one would see the re branding effort to be having a high marketing cost and some of the big ad agencies are roped in to do the magic. And as Union Bank of India and IDBI takes on to refresh their image in this financial turmoil, lets see how one strikes the chord with customer and how one strikes the chord with only viewers while customers are left out in gloss.

Union Bank of India
New Tagline: Your Dreams are not your alone

Background Info
This $13.45bn assets worth bank is one of India's largest state-run banks and is also listed on theForbes 2000. It was inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi. Starting September 01, 2008, UBI has changed its corporate logo to identify itself differently in changing times.

Best part about the ad is that it is related to a normal middle class family.The TG (Target Group) group for this bank is largest group of people who would be depositing their savings and maybe salary too, essentially Indian Middle class. These people doesnt calculate the exact benefits in terms of money but focus more on safety of deposits. So the campaign should ideally be targeted for emotional connect and thats exactly where this ad campaign scores. The situations are taken from life of an oridinary person where they are overpowered with emotions from a family member, when this is feeling is connected with bank using tagline 'yours dreams are not your alone' it conveys the point home that bank worries about your hard earned investments as your family member would. 

Endpoint, it drives the point home with the intended customer and hence the money spent on marketing should result in increase in sales; so I would give it 5 stars.

IDBI (Industrial Development Bank of India)
New Tagline: Not just for big boys

Background Info:
Established in 1964 by an Act of Parliament to provide credit and other facilities for the development of the fledgling Indian industry, IDBI is currently the tenth largest development bank in the world. Some of the institutions built by IDBI are The National Stock Exchange of India (NSE), The National Securities Depository Services Ltd. (NSDL) and the Stock Holding Corporation of India (SHCIL) IDBI BANK , as a private bank after government policy for new generation private banks.

IDBI Bank, true to its name, was mainly an industrial development bank. It has now started focus on its retail banking operations (earlier it was more on Corporate banking, SME solutions and agricultural loans) and hence the campaign. The ad shows that two kids are playing football when the ball lands somewhere beyond. When they go to retrieve it they meet a pachyderm and retreat.

Next day when they start to play, the same elephant comes now with a kiddo elephant.  The baby approaches the ball and starts playing with the kids. And comes the tagline – Not just for the big boys.

Am sure most of the people will like the ad, thanks to the affection angle and presence of a kid elephant. I agree its fun to watch, but the good charm ends here. How many of the viewers will goto IDBI bank on viewing this account and put their savings there? How many will understand that ad wants to convey to its target group, same middle class, that not only big corporates but they too can use savings account there and other investment services. Even if its for upper middle class, I really dont see any effect; unless the ads start coming in channels like NDTV, Moneycontrol and Economic Times. Nevertheless the targets will be given to sales team for opening accounts and it has to be done by hook or crook. So eventually the money spent on marketing wont contribute efficiently to balance sheet. I would give 2 starts to it.

Also whatever they do on media, it needs to be backed by warm customer service in the branches as marketing isnt just advertisement alone! (remember Kotler?)

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posted by Jas @ 5:08 PM, ,

Now loyalty programs in search engine

With information gaining vital importance in our daily lives, many people have started saying that we have entered an information age since last few years. IT companies are covering the distance between zero and billion in the shortest time for any company. The media has seen a bursting high in last decade as information has never been so easy to interchange, and when information is bombarded in our lives so heavily the next major thing is searching for the right information. So stress has been lately on how to structure the information, index it, make relationships between various information units so as to have a meaningful search. To reach this we need heuristic information, where the 'thumb of rules' are identified from experience.

We have seen search engine in text form changing to clusters and tags. But now a new search engine called Scour has been launched to encourage and reward consumers to vote and comment on search results called up from Google, Yahoo! and MSN. taking clues from popular site Digg, Scour allows its (human) members to evaluate, vote on, and comment on the results they receive from the usual major search engines like Yahoo, Google and MSN. Those votes and comments are then available to others in the community to help them decide which results are likely to be most useful or trustworthy.

Scour differentiates itself from other social search, rating and community web sites in that it allows its users vote and comment on search results, provides absolute privacy control, gives weight to each user's preferred search engines, and allows members to redeem their search points for Visa gift cards. By associating itself with Visa, it has entered the well established Loyalty domain.

Points scheme:
* Searching: 1 point;
* Voting: 2 points;
* Commenting: 3 points;
* Friend referral: 25% of each friend's points.

In a scenario cited by, an average of 4.5 searches per day could translate into rewards worth as much as US$25 per year. And, when adding in the value of friend referrals with an average of 3 searches per day for each friend, 25 friends who sign up and use regularly could earn the original member up to an additional US$100 or more each year.

"We're not trying to provide users with an alternative income, but the Scour points programme is a good way for us to reward users for helping to build up the community, to refine search results beyond the ordinary algorithms," concluded Yomtobian. is owned and operated by ABCSearch, a part of Internext Media Corporation.

You can visit the search engine at

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posted by Jas @ 1:09 PM, ,

Billboards, viewerships and efficacy measurement

Billboards have been one of the most favored and ever green options for the advertisers. Eras have passed, technologies are changed and companies have been made or destroyed but advertisers still hang on to this mode although the technologies on it have changed. Gone are the days when just putting a big billboard was enough, now marketers want to know how much of the viewings have been converted to purchases.

As Puru Gupta put it in his blog, measurement of the efficacy of the traditional media is no longer treated with enthusiasm by the industry professionals and new requirements and expectations are emerging for innovation, insight, experimentation, and measurable returns. There is a need for much more precision in targeting consumers. A whole lot of money is being spent on understanding consumer and making sure the product is a bang on.

Now just look at this publication by BCG, Darwin Pays Visit Advertising. According to it, the traditional value chain has been disintegrated and has led to an evolved framework in the advertising industry with “targeted marketing” as their measurable goal (see BCG Exhibit). A concerted effort is being made towards an integrated, holistic campaign across alternative channels. And this surely needs more investment and budget. Measurement is getting much more attention and investment today—as much as 5 to 10 percent of total initial spending. What is being measured is changing as well. There’s no point in determining how many consumers have seen an ad if you don’t also measure how effectively awareness leads to purchase. Many companies are experimenting with new ways to isolate and test the impact of such key factors as the advertising mix, range of coverage, and message on each targeted segment. The results will go into a knowledge database to help ensure that future campaigns projected to generate high returns get ample funding, while those with lower projected returns get cut.

And with the cutting edge technology the measurement has taken a totally new dimension. Companies like Xuuk, TruMedia Technologies and Quividi are equipping billboards with tiny cameras that gather details about passers-by — their gender, approximate age and how long they looked at the billboard. These details are transmitted to a central database. The cameras, these companies say, use software to determine that a person is standing in front of a billboard, then analyze facial features (like cheekbone height and the distance between the nose and the chin) to judge the person’s gender and age. So far the companies are not using race as a parameter, but they say that they can and will soon.

Quividi’s technology has been used in Ikea stores in Europe and McDonald’s restaurants in Singapore, but it has just come to the United States. Another Quividi billboard is in a Philadelphia commuter station with an advertisement for the Philadelphia Soul, an indoor football team. The Philadelphia billboard was installed by Motomedia, a London-based company that converts retail and street space into advertisements. It installed the A&E billboard in association with Pearl Media, a Butler, N.J., company.

Meanwhile, privacy concerns about cameras are growing. In Britain, which has an estimated 4.2 million closed-circuit television cameras — one for every 14 people — the matter has become a hot political issue, with some legislators proposing tight restrictions on the use and distribution of the footage. People when told about the camera get uncomfortable about being captured. Billboards anyway have a old problem, it distracts (but thats what it is supposed to do, no?) and that isn't too good a thing on a road! Whatever, these billboards are here to stay, and for long, way long!

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posted by Jas @ 9:13 AM, ,

Vodafone pug gets new avtaar

As any marketer would swear, brands are made in years and it takes lot of toil and sweat to maintain one. The kind of the effort and streamlining that it takes to develop a successful brand pushes the brand manager in later years to go by what remains basic to the brand identity. Now it may be the color, the packaging, the association with some event or person or any strong identity or a jingle (remember “Kya aap close up karte hain” or “Raamu tumhare daant to motiyon jaise chamak rahe hain” or music of “You and I… in this beautiful world…”?)

Problem is once a strong brand is built, it produces a drag effect wherein the brand manager would not dare to change any constituent of the brand lest it loses the brand recall; hence he is dragged by the already set associations. One has to always remember that brand exist not physically but only in the mind of consumers. So if there is decline in recall then the brand manager just eroded the brand! But at the same time a brand can’t exist eternally without a change. There has to be an innovation to make sure the brand connects to the present need of consumer and that is the reason why the drag effect can kill.

Now a very valid question may arise – If the brand can’t be changed for fear of losing on brand recall and then brand has to be changed to make sure that it is relevant to today’s consumer needs; it’s a dead end as both are complementary! The answer lies in making the change slowly, in steps and most important of all making the consumer to learn the change. It was best shown lately by Sony Erickson mobile phone ads in India where the logo of company was put between various sentences like, “I (logo) music”. Here the sentences were shown with logo at the places where our mind would automatically put the word as “love”. And then the use was further expanded once people learned to replace the logo with that word.

Coming to Indian telecom market again, Hutch (now Vodafone) is one brand that has tinkered a lot with the brand elements. It is one really successful brand that has kept its customers although it changed some very basics of its brand. Few years back it changed its strongest identity – Orange color. But then there were extensive campaigns which made customers learn the change and accept it. (Many times loyalists won’t accept the change to the brand as they are emotionally linked to it). Then last year after its controversial take over by global giant Vodafone, it was decided to change a series of things – Pink was changed to Red (it clashed a bit with Maroonish Red of Airtel, the market leader in India in same domain), its boy was out of the famous duo of a boy and a pug and its jingle gave way to just the music of the composition.

If you see the latest ad campaign (see video below) that is being shown extensively; even the jingle has gone. Guess whom do they upset with this change… it’s me! Always been a fan of the way the pug was used and how the jingle or even its music was used in ads to join the dots between the changes ; it surely was disappointing to not hear the tone anywhere. Although I also like the new song “…be my side” but then … :)

Here is the latest ad:

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posted by Jas @ 10:16 AM, ,

The baby logos of automotive car giants

It is never too late to have a happy childhood"
- Tom Robbins (American Novelist. b.1936)

Well I guess that quote was heard by some designer having interest in the automotive industry and what came out was a treat to the eye! You must have seen the product and the brand logo of famous automotive giants Ferrari, Jaguar, Lamborghini and Maserati, ever wondered how would these logos look in their younger years? Absurd question, no?

Not for some. Here is a list of all these brand logos when they were 'young' !! And in case you don't know/remember the actual logos, they have been put alongside just for you!

Artists! They never fail to amaze me, a imaginative Piscean :)

PS: Click the thumbnail image below to see full resolution image.


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posted by Jas @ 12:50 AM, ,

DLF - The entertainment's daddy

After the much hyped about auction of players by BCCI and then selling the title sponsorship to DLF and media rights to Sony, here comes another high decibel advert for Indian Premier League (IPL). Famous or say notorious now by the the title - ManoRanjan ka baap - IPL (Entertainment's daddy - IPL) this advert is a big hit. The 75-second TVC which will run all through the 44 days of IPL and is directed by Rajesh Krishnan of Soda Films. DLF IPL kicks off at 4 pm on 18 April.


The ad starts with a lady delivering twins but the irony is that the father of the kids is unknown. The twins are named as 'Ranjan' and 'Mano'. During the next eight years, it’s become the norm for people such as the local pujari (priest), kiranawala (small shop owner) and chapris (roadside romeos) to torment the kids with the question, “Kab aayega tumhara baap?”, and to tease their mother lecherously.

Tired with all this, the three lead a hopeless life. One day the mother thinks its enough and decides to jump in a well; but suddenly the bells in the temple ring and the kids holler for their mother, saying, “Maaaaa! Baaaapppuuuu!” in a typical Rajesh Khanna style. The mother knows that the wait is over. She puts red sindoor in her hair and enters the house. The scene is hilarious as the voiceover says: “Aa gaya Mano-Ranjan ka baap (father). DLF Indian Premier League. Sirf Max par.”

The best part is that if you are watching the advert for the first time, you won't get any idea of what is going to happen. The names are spelt as Ranjan Mano, with only once going as "Mano Ranjan". Its not easy to hold on to the idea when you know you have got a winning ad coming out.

Going by the public appeal, this is one of the most funny and clever commercials currently on air. Its a simple idea, executed really well. Ads like this more often than not, go wrong in the execution phase, but this one is bang on the target. That filmi eighties kind of look and dialogs from Indian cinema, perfectly suit this ad.

Rediff wrote that , ‘An industry source said BCCI had allocated roughly Rs 100 crore as its (IPL) advertising budget,’. And aptly mentioned by Adholik, normally with such high bugdets, creativity goes for a toss, because its easy to get all the stars with such money and have them sing and dance, shoot it on camera and call it an ad. But thankfully, things din't become figurative over here.

"The campaign projects IPL more than a sport. It redefines the entertainment by taking this sport to a new level," said Max VP marketing T Gangadhar. The radio campaign has a different treatment as it is a listener's medium. Out-of-home (OOH) hoardings displaying the IPL event have been erected in 150 towns. Besides the channel will have on-ground promotional activity across India as the tournament approaches.

"Males were always skewed towards cricket but with a 360 degree approach our attempt is to get the entire family to view IPL as the matches are scheduled for prime time," added Gangadhar. The biggest challenge is to predict the viewership, admits CD Mitra, CEO, Optimum Media Solutions: "It is a big gamble for all those who have invested in it and also for those who haven't. For most programmes the value and money is preceded by some evaluation. But in case of IPL the variations of prediction are very large."

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posted by Jas @ 8:39 PM, ,

Bajaj Pulsar - Corporate Ad

I had written about a quarter back that how the companies across India are increasingly focusing on the corporate brand identity and not just its brands. The advertisements have been carrying the main logo in the end to make a uniform mental impression and instigate a consumer bookmark. Latest to join the wagon is Bajaj Pulsar.

While Bajaj is primarily known for its line of retro-style scooters in America, Bajaj is a major player in their home country of India back here in the motorcycle market. Their flagship model, the Pulsar, is a very respected motorcycle in India. This bike has virtually redefined biking in this country. Pulsar launched in 2001 is the market leader in the 150 cc + performance bike segment. More than that , this brand changed the fortune of Bajaj Auto Ltd.

In the wonderfully executed latest TVC, the ad gets what it was made for. Good videography, professional stunt riding and well planned choreography make quite a display, even when the riders are mounted on machines with a mere 200cc of engine capacity. In case you were wondering, that 0.2-liter manages 18 horsepower, which looks to be plenty to have fun with, especially as I have been really happy with the 13.3bhp (@8000rpm) from my darling Honda Unicorn.

Story of success for Pulsar starts with the elder son of Rahul Bajaj coming to India and pushing for higher power bikes. Bajaj had been making mainly scooters and had small range of bikes with technological collaboration with Kawasaki. To prove himself, Rahul gave his son Rajiv (fresh post-grad in engineering from Warwick then) made a new plant - Chakan (near Pune). And that is from where a new bike called Pulsar rose from the ashes of Bajaj Scooters! And a good part of the success is also attributed to the 'Definately Male' campaign made by O&M for bike's launch.

According to agencyfaqs, the birth of the "Definitely Male " campaign is interesting. The creative honchos found the new product from Bajaj distinctly different. It was Bajaj's first bike without Kawasaki label. The new bike was an R&D and design marvel. Pulsar was designed by the renowned design house Tokyo R&D. O&M knew that the communication of this brand should also be different.Starting with lot of ideas, O&M stuck upon the Big Idea of India's He-Bike. Although lot of bike take the persona of Macho bikes it was more oriented towards being "sexy". The Big Idea was to position the bike as World's first bike endowed with a Sex ( Gender).Thus born the classic campaign of all times " Definitely Male". The campaign together with the design and performance catapulted the brand into stratospheric sales level.

Bajaj targeted the 18-24 with Pulsar but later found that the brand appealed to a much older audience. This helped Bajaj to change its target audience to 21-35 years.

Unlike its old ways of doing things, Bajaj did not rest with the laurels. It knew that Pulsar is the golden key to control the entire bike market. Hence Pulsar got undivided attention from the company. In 2003 another milestone event happened in the product lifecycle of the brand. Bajaj launched its new technology DTSI. DTSi stands for Digital Twin Spark Ignition which delivered more power and efficiency. The increased performance of the brand took Pulsar to greater heights. 2004 and 2005 saw some cosmetic changes in the brand which excited the customers and thus cementing Pulsar's position in the market.

I agree with Bajaj here that its high time they start focusing on the brand image of Pulsar. The adverts now need not to target sales but the brand building - to make Pulsar reach the status of a cult bike. These kinds of adverts, mainly seen from biggies like Nike, Coca Cola, Dove etc make you gasp and maybe even clap! And this ad is no less. Take a look here (ad culled from YouTube)

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posted by Jas @ 12:17 AM, ,

Cannes Winners 2007 - A creativity treat

Last Friday Advertising club of Hyderabad held a special screening of lion winners from Cannes Lions 2007. A three hour show, I expected to meet some people from industry and discuss advertising and the opinions. I had thought of setup as an anchor on a stage and a big makeshift screen. What it came out was a makeshift white screen placed in a pub sans anchor or for that sake anybody. Though it turned out to be a bland affair with continuous play of ads one after another; still it was a creativity treat to see all the winners at same time.

Here are some the videos that I really appreciated. One thing we can observe in these lion winners is that most of these go to the brands which have already established themselves with high brand loyalty and hence they move from sales pitch to the brand building or maintained. For example one can see a consistent outflow of some great ads coming from house of Coca Cola, Nike, Bud Light, Dove, Wonder Bra etc. And then there will be some creative flashes from the ones with no so great advertising budget, and I really appreciate these ads. For example you can find below the ad about the blind student's hostel.

I have put on some videos below, but there are few more worth appreciating, am putting youtube links for the same. Here you go!

Apple´s funny Get a mac commercials, they really ruled the roost. I have placed the Bullet ad by Amnesty international , but there is another moving Signature spot too.

Then there is amusing Smart car´s Backseat. The amazing thing of the Smart commercial was that all scenes were filmed especially for this spot with employees, their friends and families acting as the characters.

The poetic Breathe in, Breathe out for Greenpeace.

Shown at the Superbowl for BudLite, the commercial He has a BudLite. Expressing a guy point of view, it was shown brilliantly!

For Shera Ceiling Board the truely tragic Shakespearian Gecko. It infact was one of the most famous virals of last year. Another highly passed on viral that too won a lion was Happy Dent with the funny and vivid Happy Dent Palace.

And last but not least the hilarious The Breakup by Microsoft. It was shown at the Night of Lions in Germany as an opening for the sponsor of the Cyber Lions.

Now to some inline videos here:

Nike - body by dance (Spanish)

Bullet - Execution (Amnesty International)

Created by Ogilvy. Directed by Tim Piper

Coke Happiness factory


Blind Students Hostel

A treat!

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posted by Jas @ 1:50 AM, ,

Margabi Eye Hospitals go guerilla on carrots

To know what is best for your eyes, come to Magrabi.

These guerrilla campaigns never fail to amaze me; the latest has been by Fortune Promoseven advertising agency of Oman. Established as the first private specialized facility in the Middle East and North Africa, Magrabi has gone to become largest medical care network in Middle East. And as I have written before, the guerrilla works either to please loyalists or to create a new buzz, breaking the mental block created due to advertising noise.

One must appreciate that it was a completely novel idea of using the carrots in supermart to attract one's attention to eye care. Carrots, known well for its high Vit A content are taken to be best natural source for healthy eyesight. But to comment on ad's effectiveness I would like to know about the class to which the store was catering to. Point is that guerilla campaign has to be very customer specific. The place of execution should be one where you will find lot of intended customers. Now to define the intended customers for a private eye hospital, I would say that it has to be SEC A and B; with disposable income high enough to take care of normal family expenses. As Maslow pointed out, your basic needs need to be taken care of before you delve in these issues present on higher side of ladder.

At the same time I feel that the campaign could have been more vocal. Just asking one to come to hospital for knowing what is good for eyes may not move one to go for a check up or catch information from doctors, who are anyway busy enough to sit with you and discuss the good, bad and ugly stuff for eyes! They could have offered a free eye check up or could have arranged for an eye camp and advertised for it. We must not forget that a normal healthy person would not ideally want to gofor check up as there is a kind of cognitive dissonance there, its not the desired state as we all want to be see ourselves fit and believe that bad wont happen.

Advertising Agency: Fortune Promoseven, Oman
Copywriter: Vikramaditya Maity
Illustrator: Renjith pillai
Released: November 2007

Via: Ads of the world

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posted by Jas @ 4:15 AM, ,