Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Amul : The taste of India : Utterly delicious too.

Brand : Amul
Agency DaCunha Associates

Baseline : Taste of India

Amul has used the hoardings and advertising to perfection. Taking cues from new films, celebrities, the creatives are fun to watch. More over Amul has sticked with the creative messages throughout.

They like to call it as TOPICALS

Given below is the history of Amul TOPICALS from their site

Amul Butter Girl
(Edited from an article by Mini Varma published in The Asian Age on March 3, 1996The moppet who put Amul on India's breakfast table )
50 years after it was first launched, Amul's sale figures have jumped from 1000 tonnes a year in 1966 to over 25,000 tonnes a year in 1997. No other brand comes even close to it. All because a thumb-sized girl climbed on to the hoardings and put a spell on the masses.
Bombay: Summer of 1967. A Charni Road flat. Mrs. Sheela Mane, a 28-year-old housewife is out in the balcony drying clothes. From her second floor flat she can see her neighbours on the road. There are other people too. The crowd seems to be growing larger by the minute. Unable to curb her curiosity Sheela Mane hurries down to see what all the commotion is about. She expects the worst but can see no signs of an accident. It is her four-year-old who draws her attention to the hoarding that has come up overnight. "It was the first Amul hoarding that was put up in Mumbai," recalls Sheela Mane. "People loved it. I remember it was our favourite topic of discussion for the next one week! Everywhere we went somehow or the other the campaign always seemed to crop up in our conversation."
Call her the Friday to Friday star. Round eyed, chubby cheeked, winking at you, from strategically placed hoardings at many traffic lights. She is the Amul moppet everyone loves to love (including prickly votaries of the Shiv Sena and BJP). How often have we stopped, looked, chuckled at the Amul hoarding that casts her sometime as the coy, shy Madhuri, a bold sensuous Urmila or simply as herself, dressed in her little polka dotted dress and a red and white bow, holding out her favourite packet of butter.
For 30 odd years the Utterly Butterly girl has managed to keep her fan following intact. So much so that the ads are now ready to enter the Guinness Book of World Records for being the longest running campaign ever. The ultimate compliment to the butter came when a British company launched a butter and called it Utterly Butterly, last year.
It all began in 1966 when Sylvester daCunha, then the managing director of the advertising agency, ASP, clinched the account for Amul butter. The butter, which had been launched in 1945, had a staid, boring image, primarily because the earlier advertising agency which was in charge of the account preferred to stick to routine, corporate ads.

One of the first Amul hoardings
In India, food was something one couldn't afford to fool around with. It had been taken too seriously, for too long. Sylvester daCunha decided it was time for a change of image.
The year Sylvester daCunha took over the account, the country saw the birth of a campaign whose charm has endured fickle public opinion, gimmickry and all else.
The Amul girl who lends herself so completely to Amul butter, created as a rival to the Polson butter girl. This one was sexy, village belle, clothed in a tantalising choli all but covering her upper regions. "Eustace Fernandez (the art director) and I decided that we needed a girl who would worm her way into a housewife's heart. And who better than a little girl?" says Sylvester daCunha. And so it came about that the famous Amul Moppet was born.That October, lamp kiosks and the bus sites of the city were splashed with the moppet on a horse. The baseline simply said, Thoroughbread, Utterly Butterly Delicious Amul,. It was a matter of just a few hours before the daCunha office was ringing with calls. Not just adults, even children were calling up to say how much they had liked the ads. "The response was phenomenal," recalls Sylvester daCunha. "We knew our campaign was going to be successful."

For the first one year the ads made statements of some kind or the other but they had not yet acquired the topical tone. In 1967, Sylvester decided that giving the ads a solid concept would give them extra mileage, more dum, so to say. It was a decision that would stand the daCunhas in good stead in the years to come.

In 1969, when the city first saw the beginning of the Hare Rama Hare Krishna movement, Sylvester daCunha, Mohammad Khan and Usha Bandarkar, then the creative team working on the Amul account came up with a clincher -- 'Hurry Amul, Hurry Hurry'. Bombay reacted to the ad with a fervour that was almost as devout as the Iskon fever.
That was the first of the many topical ads that were in the offing. From then on Amul began playing the role of a social observer. Over the years the campaign acquired that all important Amul touch.

India looked forward to Amul's evocative humour. If the Naxalite movement was the happening thing in Calcutta, Amul would be up there on the hoardings saying, "Bread without Amul Butter, cholbe na cholbe na (won't do, won't do). If there was an Indian Airlines strike Amul would be there again saying, Indian Airlines Won't Fly Without Amul.
There are stories about the butter that people like to relate over cups of tea. "For over 10 years I have been collecting Amul ads. I especially like the ads on the backs of the butter packets, "says Mrs. Sumona Varma. What does she do with these ads? "I have made an album of them to amuse my grandchildren," she laughs. "They are almost part of our culture, aren't they? My grandchildren are already beginning to realise that these ads are not just a source of amusement. They make them aware of what is happening around them."
Despite some of the negative reactions that the ads have got, DaCunhas have made it a policy not to play it safe. There are numerous ads that are risque in tone.
"We had the option of being sweet and playing it safe, or making an impact. A fine balance had to be struck. We have a campaign that is strong enough to make a statement. I didn't want the hoardings to be pleasant or tame. They have to say something," says Rahul daCunha.
"We ran a couple of ads that created quite a furore," says Sylvester daCunha. "The Indian Airlines one really angered the authorities. They said if they didn't take down the ads they would stop supplying Amul butter on the plane. So ultimately we discontinued the ad," he says laughing. Then there was the time when the Amul girl was shown wearing the Gandhi cap. The high command came down heavy on that one. The Gandhi cap was a symbol of independence, they couldn't have anyone not taking that seriously. So despite their reluctance the hoardings were wiped clean. "Then there was an ad during the Ganpati festival which said, Ganpati Bappa More Ghya (Ganpati Bappa take more). The Shiv Sena people said that if we didn't do something about removing the ad they would come and destroy our office. It is surprising how vigilant the political forces are in this country. Even when the Enron ads (Enr On Or Off) were running, Rebecca Mark wrote to us saying how much she liked them."

There were other instances too. Heroine Addiction, Amul's little joke on Hussain had the artist ringing the daCunhas up to request them for a blow up of the ad. "He said that he had seen the hoarding while passing through a small district in UP. He said he had asked his assistant to take a photograph of himself with the ad because he had found it so funny," says Rahul daCunha in amused tones. Indians do have a sense of humour, afterall.
From the Sixties to the Nineties, the Amul ads have come a long way. While most people agree that the Amul ads were at their peak in the Eighties they still maintain that the Amul ads continue to tease a laughter out of them.
Where does Amul's magic actually lie? Many believe that the charm lies in the catchy lines. That we laugh because the humour is what anybody would enjoy. They don't pander to your nationality or certain sentiments. It is pure and simple, everyday fun.

What I like most about the Amul brand is that they have been consistant over the communication campaign and brand strategy. AMUL has positioned itself as " Taste of India " and have ensured that their communication is in line with their positioning strategy.

Now since Amul has unveiled its global ambition, we have to see whether they will change the communication strategy also.

More on Amul in later editions......

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Sona Chandi Chyavanprash: Trying hard: Not smart

Brand : Sona Chandi Chyavanprash

Agency : Ambience Publicis

Base line :Sona de surakshit tan, chandi de tez dimaag.

Chyavanprash is a 300 crore category with Dabur owning around 60-63% market share. The rest is held by Emami, Himani and other companies put together.
The competition has been hotting up in this category . This is due to the increase in demand for the health foods in the country. The root cause for such an increase in demand lies in the Psychographic profile of the Indian consumer. In other words, because of the changing lifestyle of Indian consumer.

Himani wants its share in the growing pie of this market. Dabur has roped in Amitabh Bachchan to endorse the product. So to compete with the big B, there is no other choice but Shah Rukh.

Shah Rukh makes perfect sense because of the unstoppable energy he has and the dream run he has at Bollywood.

Himani wants to get the share in the premium segment of the chyawanaprash market.

Sona chandi is positioned in the health platform offering both physical and intellectual well being.

Regarding the communication, as with Tata Indicom ad, the agency failed to impress even with the bubbling Shahrukh which could be blamed on the poor execution of the ad. With Shahrukh, Himani could have made a headway across the market , but alas.......

Monday, November 21, 2005

Coca-Cola : Thanda nahin hai?

Brand : Coke
Agency: McCann

Baseline : Piyo sar Utha Ke

Well ........

Marketers some times behaves like fools !!!!!!

Why the hell one should change their best positioning statement ?
Every one loved the " thanda " campaign, there were rave reviews about Aamir and Coke. People looked forward to the next Aamir avatar .........

Then it was a surprise.. there is no thanda but some blabbering about drinking coke " Sar Utha ke?

Coke never had good time with respect to its advertising in India. Never in their second life in India, they have delivered good campaigns. Pepsi always scored with their campaigns like" Ye dil maange more" Yehi hai right choice baby", " Nothing official about it".

Then came the Thanda matlab "Coca- Cola" campaign which blew the hell out of Pepsi. Well how can anyone own some thing like " Thanda". Similar to XEROX, Coke was trying to own a whole category as such.

Then Coke changed the campaign , Why?
I don't have the answer may be the creatives in McCann may have it.

The current campaign speaks nothing. I use a straw to drink Coke, so how can I drink coke sar Utha ke?
Most of the time when I tried drinking directly from the bottle, I had encountered some unpleasant taste of "rust" from the cap of the bottle. What about the South Indians and othe non Hindi speaking consumers? Will they be impressed by the base line?

An opportunity lost for Coke . they had one BIG IDEA in " Thanda Matlab Coca-Cola "and they blew it off

Saturday, November 19, 2005

A revolutionary product: Killed by poor advertising

Brand : Tata Indicom True paid

Baseline : Do more live more

The product from tata indicom prepaid is revolutionary since it "talks"about the incoming free for two years even without recharging ( not sure about the fine print). A great marketing idea that is similar to the campaign of Reliance Infocomm 501 mobile campaign which changed the Indian telecom industry for the better.

Earlier prepaid cards were having a disadvantage of having to be recharged everymonth which proved to be a disadvantage and companies had to ensure that they reach every point of the market and distribution reach was a deciding factor. This new product ensures the flexibility of the consumer to wait and purchase the coupon at his convenience.

But the campaign is nothing but a waste of money. I cannot comment more on the ads with prize catch of Kajol and Ajay Devganm. The message appears to be comic but ...... well I reserve my comments.

There is no clue as to who the target customers are?
Business class/ students/ professionals/ laymen , no idea? My dear marketing friends at Tata Indicom, please think about this.

It is a good product and unless the message is seriously executed. The product may sell because it is good, but just wait for Reliance or other firms to take this idea and make a market out of this. Just like the concept of " golden eye technology" was developed by videocon but executed with perfection by LG.

All the best Indicom.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Raymonds: The complete Man :A complete campaign

Raymonds : Expressions : A Complete man

Headline: Leadership comes naturally to those who do not stand on ceremony.
Subhead: Presenting Expressions

Bodycopy: Fine suiting fabrics that are skillfully woven from a unique blend of fibres derived from nature like Bamboo, Casein, Soyabean, Tencel, Linen, Silk, Cashmere, Mohair and Angora.And super 100s and 120s merino wool. So light, smooth and supple, it's perfect for the gentleman who is at ease with himself and the world.

Baseline: The Complete Man.
Agency: R K Swamy/BBDO
Client: Raymond

Source :

Brand Count :4

Raymonds has struck a right cord with the positioning of "A complete man". Expressions range however is promoted as an aspirational brand emphasizing on the finer qualities of a complete man. This is a very sound strategy that allows the brand to expand using the core values .

The strategy has been executed perfectly using commercials showing the metrosexual qualities of a man. The current series of print ads tries to add the leadership quality to the complete man.

Raymonds also like not only sober personalities but also dynamic go getters to use the brand. So this range is essentially targetted at young achievers, not necessarily conformists.

Although I have reservations about the quality of print ads, since the brand is in line with the positioning, All is well.....

Key words : Brand, Positioning, Marketing strategy, Indian Brands.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Surf Excel : Dirt Is Good:So Is The Idea

Brand : Surf excel
Agency : Lowe

Baseline : Dag Ache hain " Dirt is good"
Brand Count : 3

Surf has been in the market for a long time and has effectively managed its product life cycle with the help of product innovations and great marketing strategy.

The recent campaign of surf excel with the base line that says "Dirt is good" comes as a pleasant surprise to the Indian consumers

We were associating Dirt with Bad. Advertisers too had established dirt with some thing to avoid at all costs.

Even our cricketers seldom dive in the field because it would soil their white dress and we have seen our Cricket players, sorry Cricket models escorting ball to the fence in their spotlessly clean dress. Dag ache nahin hain!!!!

I am not sure why HLL tries to shock the public by saying that dirt is good, may be it is to shock the public and we are pleasantly shocked.

This campaign has a huge significance. It says
It is ok to soil your clothes
It is ok to play in the mud
It is OK to enjoy life
Surf excel hai na!

There are innumerable spin offs that surf can do with this campaign . I will say that after " Lalithaji" ,This is the next "BIG IDEA......

Hats off to Levers and Lowe

Key words : Brand, Positioning, Marketing strategy, Indian Brands.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Toyota Innova: Classic case of celebrity endorsement

Brand : Innova
Company : Toyota
Agency: Densucomm
Brand Analysis Count: 2

Toyota Innova is an interesting brand. Interesting because it redefined the MUV segment in India and also it replaced the famous Toyota Qualis . Innova was launched in 2005. It replaced the successful Qualis when the sales of Qualis was at its peak.

Toyota decided to replace Qualis because of two reasons. Qualis was a major success among the tour operator segment but was not popular at the individual/home segment. Second reason was the increased competition from Chevrelot Tavera which was perceived to be a more refined upmarket SUV.
Toyota also wanted to bring in the latest products in the Indian market. Qualis was only a test product. Further, Toyota wanted to appeal to the individual/home users rather than the commercial segment.

Innova is positioned as a luxury MPV. The brand has the latest technology and is refined to perfection. The brand has roped in Aamir Khan as the brand ambassador. Innova is positioned as a vehicle for all purposes . The brand uses the tagline " All you desire " and the ads are also catchy. The brand is priced at a premium and is targeting families which are SEC A A+ and large in size.

It is already a well debated issue whether celebrities should be used for endorsements. I am of the opinion that the brand should be the center of attraction and celebrity should support the brand and they should not steal the limelight.

Innova has effectively used the charisma of Aamir Khan to promote itself. Recent newspaper reports suggest that the advertisement has clicked.

Let us see why Toyota has used Aamir for its product. The latest advertisement of Corolla with Rahul Khanna suggests that Toyota is bugged by celebrity paranoia.

The basic positioning of Innova is as a getaway vehicle that is spacious, trendy and upmarket. Innova has tried to distance itself from the Qualis ,its successful predecessor which was popular as a Taxi .
So it was necessary that Innova be promoted as an upmarket car that can be associated with the successful. So Aamir make sense. The execution was perfect so was Aamir.

The pricing of Innova was also inline with the positioning with over 7+ variants and priced at a premium.
Toyota would like to see less Innova Taxis and more families owning Innova.The current ad will help them in realizing that objective.

Key words : Brand, Positioning, Marketing strategy, Indian Brands.

Revised on 26/5/08

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Bajaj avenger- Feel Like God

Brand : Bajaj Avenger
Company- Bajaj Auto Ltd
Agency : Lowe

Brand Analysis Count : 1

Bajaj Avenger was launched in 2005. The brand was the sibling of India's first cruiser bike - Bajaj Eliminator . Eliminator had a good start but the expensive price tag of Rs 92000 dampened the enthusiasm of majority of bikers.

More over Eliminator was underpowered with a 125 cc engine and the value conscious customers gave the product thumbs down. The launch of Yamaha Enticer also took some market away from Eliminator initially.

Taking a learning from Eliminator , Bajaj launched Avenger . Avenger can be termed as a rebranding for Eliminator. Avenger sported a 180 cc dtsi engine and came with an attractive price tag of Rs 60,000. The failure of Yamaha Enticer also made the category worth a try.

The new bike is positioned on the comfort platform. The brand comes with the tagline " Feel Like God ". The brand is promoted in both print and visual media. The basic brand premise is that you will feel like god when riding this bike. The big idea is from the insight that cruisers are powerful bikes meant for a laid-back comfort riding.

Cruisers are niche products. The category is virtually new in India. And Indian road and traffic conditions also are not favorable for cruisers. But the changing Indian consumers definitely points to a favorable market for cruisers. More than volume, cruisers also are great image boosters for the company. A successful cruiser can give a positive image boost for all other products from the company.

Avenger, priced at Rs 60000 is definitely attractive in terms of price. With that Bajaj tries to give more than just low price. The Pulsar engine ensures that Avenger has the power.Lack of power was behind the failure of Yamaha Enticer.

The ads of Avenger are well made and definitely motivates a bike enthusiasts to give a test ride.

Smart advertising works well only with good product : plain common sense isn't it? But this is often missed by all marketers. Hope the Avenger lives to the expectation and its customers feel like " god".

Otherwise customers will behave like " God", they will just kill the product.........

Key words: Advertising, Brand, Brand Management, Positioning

Revised on 21/05/02008

Joke of the day: making a wish

The Man and the OstrichA man walks into a restaurant with a full-grown ostrich behind him, andas he sits, the waitress comes over and asks for their order.The man says, "I'll have a hamburger, fries and a coke," and turns tothe ostrich. "What's yours?" "I'll have the same," says the ostrich.A short time later the waitress returns with the order. "That will be$6.40 please," and the man reaches into his pocket and pulls out exactchange for payment.The next day, the man and the ostrich come again and the man says, "I'llhave a hamburger, fries and a coke," and the ostrich says, "I'll havethe same." Once again the man reaches into his pocket and pays with theexact change.This becomes a routine until late one evening, the two enter again."The usual?" asks the waitress."No, this is Friday night, so I will have a steak, baked potato andsalad," says the man. "Same for me," says the ostrich.A short time later the waitress comes with the order and says, "Thatwill be $12.62." Once again the man pulls exact change out of his pocketand places it on the table.The waitress can't hold back her curiosity any longer. "Excuse me, sir.How do you manage to always come up with the exact change out of yourpocket every time?""Well," says the man, "several years ago I was cleaning the attic and Ifound an old lamp. When I rubbed it a Genie appeared and offered me twowishes. My first wish was that if I ever had to pay for anything, justput my hand in my pocket, and the right amount of money would always bethere.""That's brilliant!" says the waitress. "Most people would wish for amillion dollars or something, but you'll always be as rich as you wantfor as long as you live!""That's right! Whether it's a gallon of milk or a Rolls Royce, the exactmoney is always there," says the man.The waitress asks, "One other thing, sir, what's with the ostrich?"The man sighs and answers, "My second wish was for a tall chick withlong legs who agrees with everything I say........"

Monday, November 14, 2005

touching the customer

Are you serious about customer service?

Well then answer the following questions

1. How do you communicate to the customers?
2. Who is communicating with the customers?
3. Who listens to the customers?
4. Are they trained?
5. Is the feedback filtered before reaching the top management?
6. How are you handling moments of truth?

" Moments of truth" is an interesting term. These are the moments when the company come in face to face with the customer. If the company fail to impress, that is it!!!

Recently my wife was complaining about the increasing workload at her office where she work in the front office. The reason was that the company has decided ( wisely) to prun the staff. Hence with the limited staff they have to handle an increasing traffic.

By not managing the moment of truth, the company is losing on the longterm for shortterm benefits. Most of the companies try to cut those staff who are handling customers in order to save on cost( Thompson Harvey, The customer centered enterprise, Tata McgrawHill 2003). This will result in lot of dissatisfaction in customers which will eventually hurt the companies longterm future.

It is just commonsense.. You have to make sure that when you meet the customer you should put your best face forward. Have your best employees man the customer touchpoint. Train them and pay them well so that they are happy serving the customer. Companies spend lot of money attracting the customers to them and piss them off when customers meet the company.

to be continued......

Friday, November 11, 2005

Is customer the king?

To continue .....

Looking at the current Indian marketing scenario, I have a feeling that we are moving back in time. Kotler says that in the evolution of marketing ,before the marketing concept became popular, there is a selling concept which states that "customers and businesses, if left alone will ordinarily not buy enough of the organizations products. The organisation must therefore undertake an aggressive selling and promotion effort" ( Kotler Philip, Marketing Management, Pearson Education2003).

In this present scenario, it is true that companies will survive only if there is a super efficient sales force. The reasons are that increasingly every products are being commoditized and there is an increase in the power of retails, information explosion that has given the consumer an unusual power. This has ensured that without an efficient salesforece companies cannot survive.

But is it now an overkill?

Even when companies focus on sales effort, concept like segmentation shouldnot be overlooked. For example, there has been lot of effort on increasing credit card usage in India. Credit card now comes free for life and sales people are just selling creditcards like chocolates .
Is it not wise to look at whether the consumer wants a credit card. Does he like to use one ?
Does he have the ability to pay back?

Recently a news channel showed a mutual fund agent giving discounts to a client from his brokerage. what does that mean?

It simply means that we are not practicing marketing. we are just selling....

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Is customer the king?

As one of my friends remarked, If customer is the king, then why would all companies want him to be loyal?

The real fact is that no company regard customer as the king. It is all about money honey!!
Marketing is creating and exchanging goods of value between the company and the customer so that the needs of customers are met and the company objectives are achieved in that process. So what is happening now is this exchange process.

Marketers tried to attract customers by treating them well and thus came the cliche " customer is the king" . Look around You , you get to know that this is an utopian phrase. It is only economics in play.

It is now the choice of the customer that whether he wants himself to be treated as a king ( and pay for it ) . Last day me and my wife ordered a cake for my kids birthday. The cake was not made according to our specification. I was in my opinion that we take the order. But my wife insisted that we dont take the order and go to another shop.

She insisted on her right but how many of customers do that?

So Demand to be treated as a king and find the company that treats you like a king and enjoy!!!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Dear friends

This is the platform that you have been searching for:This will offer a stage where we can discuss practical marketing problems and find solutions to that problems.Hope you will share the insights from your experience in marketing and sales so that it provides a learning experience to all of usregards