Thursday, October 9, 2008

When Madonna spilled the beans.... a.k.a losing out on a century of trust

The framework defined in the previous blog was reinforced with a couple of brilliant campaigns in this IMC class. I missed the first ad, though I managed to jot down points related to the campaign. I have always felt it to be part of the Tata Family and do believe that the ad to promote TATA values, whichever it may be, has to be good( Instant Brand recall to me because it showcases the spirit of community and fair-play through its association with football, to the unknown it may not appear so! The only link I could find on the net was


Interesting commentary on the website: “What the Tata Group plans to showcase through the ad is that it has a long-standing history of upholding its deeply ingrained value system even in trying times. In today's competitive times also, the Group has shown that goals can still be achieved by believing in core values and principles.”


The BMW 5 series ad


To be frank, it is not an advertisement. An innovative campaign is in the form of media-short films BMW was brilliant in execution of the concept. Part of six, it was released on the net and sent to TG via a CD. One of the video short films was directed by Guy Ritchie. A typical Ritchie film filled with embarrassing surprises. Full of attitude, what disturbs me is the coherence of the message and the length of the campaign (video-tisement). Perhaps the coherence is established with the other ads in the series.


Madonna and her attitude dominate the film, the driver is intermittently the hero, and the vehicle is emphasized, what about the logo…no need to showcase it. It’s the final shot which provides some relief. But many consider it classic. Considered, a pioneering campaign which tries to target a new set of audience for BMW, I am not sure if it deserves all the kudos. But then the numbers speak for themselves. The positioning has changed to cater to a younger crowd. According to Wikipedia, after the series began, BMW saw their 2001 sales numbers go up 12% from last year and the movies were viewed over 11 million times in four months. 2 million people registered with the website and a large majority of users, registered to the site, sent film links to their friends and family causing the site to go viral and sales to skyrocket.


The Brand Values: Positioning versus Perception debate


We were asked to put in adjectives for the company where we worked. What we felt about the place. The result, our opinions while now were what the company actually stands for as communicated to us. For people who have been working long in the company, it tends to get distorted by the values they think they would associate with the company.


We also did a sensory branding exercise which illustrated how a product can be marketed by appealing to the senses! I’d like to have a watermelon green candy now.


Hand Sanitizers


Finally a hand sanitizer assignment, how will you sell a range of products called hand sanitizers to the hinterlands where there is a huge latent demand for such a product but an almost nil awareness.


While others came up with interesting strategies to market the product, I was wondering how this can become a unique proposition by changing the format. How about a ‘Haath saaf karo, Chutki mein!’ campaign, where a mandatory 2 minute exercise on using hand sanitizers at school is done. The after-effects can be used to generate institutional sales. How about hygiene being then marketed as part of CSR to companies? A product cannot be sold as bigger than that. Think of how ITC’s initiatives to buy waste paper from corporate houses will revolutionize the industry. Others in the class did some crazy stuff as well, and interesting names emerged: hawa-hawaaii! Now that’s a desi exotic brand name.

 The Habits Pyramid

Any product has to be looked through the perspective of this pyramid. If it is a habit, then you would have to spend resources on changing them for the better. Demographics will help you realize how difficult it is to broker in change. Often targeting a new idea to a younger generation is removing resistance to the change.


As far as the launch campaign assignment, it has moved to a new territory. Crazy ideas from marketing cells, events, films, art to creating a campaign on the same activity at a grandiose level- Marketing India to investors. That rings a bell. Incredible India! here I come.

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