Bajaj, Brand Marketing, Fevicol, ICICI Prudential, IPL Cricket, Marketing Matrics, Marketing ROI, Peopsodent, Vodaphone ZouZou

The Brand is Dead, Long Live The Brand!

It was late on Saturday night and I was in the middle of an intense discussion with my friend, Sujith, who heads Account planning for FCB Ulka, Delhi. Sujith was pessimistic about advertising, “There are not many good people joining advertising these days”, he said. More importantly, taking about campaigns, we could count only handful which could be called “Creative” so to speak (Vodaphone “ZouZous” and Fevicol were the ones that came to my mind).

It was a different situation 10 years back. I was an account executive with Lowe; being in advertising was coveted, fueled by passion. As an AE (in advertising parlance) would look forward to ads by Pepsodent, ICICI Prudential, Hamara Bajaj. Brand Marketing was sure fun then and I believe that it may still be for another 4-5 years. Brand will be soon be dead or at best, a niche, limited to categories which are very sensory oriented, say soaps, shampoos, deodorants etc and time such as IPL.

I have my reasons…

The first glimpse of such transition was during my US trip last year. When I saw ads in TV i was bored to death during the breaks- “Come buy from us because we give you 20% discount. 5% additional if you quote this number”. “Limited period offer log on to the website for more deals”. Promotions & discount ruled the scene, benefit related and very “tactical” contrary to what we see here (Mr. Reeves would have been happy to see this set of communication). Recall my agency days, I would hardly recommend this route to my clients. Promotion was a separate brief. Discount is short term, used to propel the sagging sales; diminishes the “Brand”.

Hmm. i guess those were good days. Mass media also needs to be accountable now, and needs to add to the balance sheet; not just move the consumer confidence index.

As marketing gets more scientific, matrices become more traceable (not just through pre and post researches), we would tend to see more rational coming into marketing. One of the better definitions on marketing that I have come across is “Marketing takes care of all those items which are not present in balance sheet, such as brand, customer creation, demand creation etc.”. I’m sure that this definition will change soon.

  • Social media has potential to measure the response within a quick span of time, influence brand and word of mouth.
  • Search engine marketing and affiliate are being used as viable sales channel. Coupons are being used effectively to sell.
  • Lifetime customer value is becoming increasingly more important.

Marketing is changing at a very fast pace, CMO’s job will be more measurable now. The gap between the gut and rational is increasingly becoming thinner. Brand will now be supported with more rational and measurable thinking and manage the quarter end pressures.

Marketing will no longer be dominated by brand, but by communication. The new marketing landscape will keep innovating with new technology integration, making it more accountable, increase consumer control and thereby increase it’s effectiveness.

Brand will be dead soon, Long Live Marketing ROI!


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The IPL Top 5 & Flop 5 TV Adverts

Today newspaper have mention on Anil Kumble’s Book “Wide angle”, Kumble’s display of his s alternative career. The timing is right, as the IPL is hot right now and Deccan Challengers doing really well (The game against Rajasthan Royals was a complete stunner, great strategy and execution).

Amidst Excitement are these small ad breaks; I have no choice but to look at them. Here’s my list of Top 5 and Flop 5 of The IPL Ad Campaigns.

Top 5 (in no order of preference)

Idea Cellular

In a category which has Airtel and Vodaphone, it is difficult to create another entertaining commercial. The standards itself are so high. In this ad, Abhishek Bachchan with a sidekick and a hot secy invites the viewers to “Ungli Cricket”. Quite funny, esp the side kick is hilarious esp the one on drinks. The sidekick gets high and starts slurring.

“Baat Karne Se Hi Baat Banati Hai”. Great script, but could have been complete without Sharman Joshi in it.

Finesse defines this commercial, has no story, but a memorable track and Kalki Koechlin appeal. Imran Khan sizzles. Superb execution!

This time the “Shock Laga” makes the whole family twist. The other ads are also in a similar league- “Uparwala Bachaye Na Bachaye, Havell Fans will save 40% electricity”.

Some of the ads in the series are interesting- the one on Gaming. Masterpiece is created only once. I wonder for how long can they sustain this campaign.

Flop 5 (in the order of preference)

Ranbir Kapur is completely wasted. Have no other words. It’s long, complicated and the edit version doesn’t make any sense. The more I see the more i get convinced of my opinion.

The one that I’m taking about doesn’t have Amir Khan. It has two doors and some arbit action
between the two doors. Fast and absolutely incomprehensible! Luckily Samsung does have that
version on the net!

Max New York Life
The Kid has brilliant expressions, however still haven’t understood the relevance of Shiksha Plan in the whole scheme of things.

Thumbs Up
Death defying commercial, I wish Akshay Kumar did that. In this new commercial, he is being chased by a woman. Must be a client driven initiative (something on the lines of get woman to drink Thumbs up, or a universal appeal blah blah). I guess the woman folks liked Thumbs up and until this commercial. The track also a drag…

Mountain Dew
“Dar ke Age jeet hai” doesn’t make a connect (guess the edit version is too rushed). The thrill of adventure and being on the edge is not there in the commercial.

Slice is the only good commercial from Pepsi’s stable.

Hope someone’s listening!