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  • How Lays could have co branded with the movie SHOLAY 3D

    Every individual working in the advertising domain would like to be remembered for one breakthrough campaign in his/her lifetime. Same was the case with me when I started my career in advertising field after completion of my post graduation. As an amateur marketing professional straight out of college, I was buzzing with ideas. I started my advertising career with Percept group with one their divisions called as P9 Integrated (doesn’t exist anymore). Though I had a small stint in the company I found the place as a nurturing ground for ideas. In P9 Integrated, I was working in the merchandising department that catered to movies. The company was well known for in film brand placement. If you are hearing this term for the first time, it simply means strategically placing a brand in a movie either for brand awareness or for brand recognition. In 2011, I was working with a team that was working on the pitch for one of the iconic movies of India – SHOLAY. Jayantilal Gada (Producer of Sholay 3D) planned to re-release the movie in 3D for the millennial. His idea was to showcase the current generation what it meant to grow up with Sholay. You will rarely come across a person in India who is not aware of all the famous dialogues such as: “Tumhara naam kya hai Basanti?” “Kitna inaam rakhe hai sarkar ne hum par? Poore pachas hajar” Ye haath muje dede Thakur……. Before I get into the details about the campaign here are few facts about SHOLAY: The film was the first to enjoy a 25-week run in over 100 cinemas. IIt took 40 retakes before the scene featuring the line "kitne aadmi they" was finalized. Mc'Mohan's character Sambha had only one line the whole film, but he is still remembered as "Sambha" The rocks around the area are still referred to as Sholay Though released on August 15,1975, sholay was launched on 2nd October, 1973. Rocks are now a major tourist attraction in the locality. Shekhar Kapoor quoted "There has never been a more defining film in the Indian cinema. Indian film history can be divided into Sholay BC and Sholay AD". We, as a team, started brainstorming on the ideas for Sholay 3D. We were looking for brands that could either be part of the movie or be a part of promoting the movie. I, being a fresher was bit shy to share my crazy ideas with more experienced people the room. During that course of time, I happened to see a Lays packet in my colleague’s hand. (Ting!!!! euphoria moment) . I shared the idea with my team “What if we get Lays on board? If you notice both Sholay and Lays have the word LAY in common. Bang on. Lays introducing an exclusive taste & packaging for Sholay Buy Lays pack to find out fun facts about Sholay Are you Jai or Veeru? An online campaign on social media talking about traits of both personalities and asking the user to take a fun test to get the result. SMS the code inside the pack to get a chance to meet the cast of Sholay – Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra, Hema Malini and Jaya Bachchan. With all these ideas of mine I was confident (to be honest over confident) this would turn out to be big. Like Sholay had a twist where Jai dies, my campaign in making got a twist. The movie got into trouble due to the copyright held by the Sholay Media and Entertainment Pvt Ltd. Ramesh Sippy the original director of the movie was in dispute with his nephew Sasha (son of Vijay Sippy) over the copyright issue of the film.Times of India report I was very much disappointed as all my hard work went in vain. With a pinch of salt, I moved on too. Months later, Percept Ltd decided to shut down the division P9 Integrated. I moved to another agency and carried on with my crazy ideas The official trailer fo Sholay 3D was launched on 7 November 2013 and was finally released on 3rd January 2014. As per box office report, the movie didn’t do well as expected. Movie critique Rajeev Masand quoted ”The movie was targeted to the current generation but completely ignored to make the noise." Though I never got an opportunity to be part of Sholay 3D again but this un executed campaign has a special place in my heart. Do you think, if the producers had used these ideas it would have become a successful movie? Would love to hear from you. #Branding #Advertising

  • ZOHO targets SME's with its VAT integrated accounting software

    The year 2017 has been a progressive year for the UAE's economy. Mainly due to the increase in the GDP from 2.1% in 2016 to the current 3.4% in 2017 (source: Gulf News). One another reason for this optimistic growth is the introduction of Value Added Tax (VAT) on majority of the products and services. It was partly implemented in month of October on carbonated drinks such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi. From January 2018, VAT will be rolled out completely throughout sectors. Before I share my thoughts on how ZOHO is benefiting from this tax implementation, let me throw some light on what exactly is a value added tax? Value-Added Tax or VAT is a tax on the consumption or use of goods and services levied at the point of sale. VAT is a form of indirect tax and is used in more than 180 countries around the world. VAT is an in direct tax and it will help the government to increase it's revenue. For multinational companies and large corporations, VAT isn't a new thing but for micro, small and medium sized businesses (SME) this is a big deal. This is where ZOHO comes as a dark knight savior to the SME's. ZOHO is a well known global brand for its Customer Relationship Management (CRM) application. I have personally used one in my previous role and I have to admit it's quite a useful tool. Over the years, ZOHO has grown from just a CRM to a full fledged Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) tool and challenging the market leaders such as SAP, Oracle, etc. In UAE, ZOHO has clearly defined it's target audience i.e small and medium sized businesses looking for full fledged accounting software. With VAT just around the corner, it's the perfect timing from the software company to make the offering to the market. ZOHO is known to have subscription based model with all its products. The accounting tool is not different. Here is the snapshot of the pricing in the UAE market. As part of their awareness strategy , ZOHO recently launched its first commercial in the UAE. Watch the commercial here The ad has a humor quotient and draws the attention of the users. The ad shows a boss asking for his accountant who is not seen in the office. The account known as ''Kutty'' provides the information to his boss with few clicks on his phone indicating how simple is the accounting tool. It will be interesting to see how it helps SME's to file their VAT returns in 2018. Do share your thoughts on how ZOHO can ease the VAT implementation. #Marketing #Business #UAE

  • Get over 4 P's, marketers are now working on 4 E's

    Rarely you will come across a marketing professional who is not aware of the 4P's of Marketing. These P's were first coined by Jerome McCarthy in 1960. But this was made famous by an American professor known as Dr. Philip Kotler in his book "Principles of Marketing". I personally have one copy of the 2009 edition and for me, it is one of my favorite books in marketing. Before I share what the new 4 E's of marketing are let me first throw some light on our traditional 4 Ps of marketing: Product: A product can be either a tangible good or an intangible service that fulfills the need of the customer. Price: The price determination will impact the profit margin, costing, supply and demand. Promotion: Sharing relevant product/service information to consumers. Place: An ideal location to sell the product that will convert potential customers to customers. Here is an example of a traditional Marketing Mix: In the past decade from 2007 to 2017 marketing function has witnessed phenomenal changes. According to a recent study by Spencer Stuart, " the average tenure of a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) in an organization is less than 24 months. And only 14 percent of CMO's have been in their positions with the same company for more than three years." The new transition in marketing is coined by Brain Fetherstonhaugh (@brianogilvy) of Ogilvy is as follows: From PRODUCT to EXPERIENCE Our traditional marketing instructed us to look for product "features" and "benefits" and promote this to your target group/audience. But in today's scenario where a product lifecycle lasts merely for days, it loses its relevance. For example, a mobile phone. A decade ago a consumer used to keep a mobile phone for an average tenure of 2-3 years but if you look at the current trend it lasts only till a new model comes up. Marketers need to overcome the marketing myopia when it comes to their products/services. A company can only survive if it is thinking about consumer experience and not merely promoting the benefits. Do you know where and when are your customers available? Do you know what category are they looking for? Do you know what influences their purchase? Do you know what happens after they buy your product or service? These are few questions that will give you answers for enabling customer experiences. One of my favorite branding experiences was planned and executed by Coca-Cola in 2013 with their Happiness without borders campaign. In this campaign, people from India and Pakistan could interact with each other via a 3D vending machine. This was its kind campaign that took "Open Happiness" branding to a whole new level. From PLACE to EVERYWHERE One of the most overlooked aspects of traditional marketing is place i.e the marketplace where the product/service is sold. In today's scenario if marketers believe that they can survive by being present only at one place then they are doomed!! With the whole shift in buying behavior, your product/service needs to be available where your customers are. For example, Samsung Mobile phones in India. Samsung is the leader in the mobile market in India followed by Xiaomi and Apple. If today Samsung plans to sell their mobile phones only through their retail store thereby missing the online marketplace it will witness a huge dip in its sales. A recent study showed Samsung sells more phones online than offline retail stores. As a seller, you have to be an omnichannel seller only then you will be able to show up in front of your customers when they need and where they need. From PRICE to EXCHANGE It is not just about the price but the value that is being exchanged with the customers. Why should a customer pay attention to your product or service? What value are you giving to your customer for the price that you selling it? Hindustan Unilever (HUL) and P&G have been doing this practice for quite some years now. These FMCG giants share a small percentage of their sales on philanthropic causes like building a school, making fresh water available for villagers, and so on. The advantage they get by doing this is the "feel good" factor within their customers. It has been noticed people buy more products if the brand is associated with a cause. From PROMOTION to EVANGELISM In our good old traditional marketing, Promotion meant communicating the benefits of the product or services on different mediums like Print, Television, Radio, and the Web. Marketers need to realize that just promoting a brand to its customers will not make them competitive in the current market, they need to do more, they need to influence their customers. Consumers are influential to the experiences of the influencers. For example, Philips Air Fryer roped in Sanjay Thumma who is known for his cookery show VahChef on YouTube. Philips started a six-month-long campaign called "Philips SuperChef" which managed to get consumer's interest in Air Fryers. Do read the comments under the video. The agency (Ogilvy India) made use of the Social Listening / Monitoring tool to get in touch with people who showed interest in Philips Air Fryer. The whole paradigm shift in the marketing mix is because the market has changed rapidly and consumers are at the forefront of this change.

  • After all What is a brand?

    During my post-graduation days, the one topic which really got my interest was Brand Management. I remember the first day of my Brand Management class the faculty addressed the class with a question "What is a BRAND"? This is what some great marketing gurus have to say about BRAND. A brand is a name, term, sign, symbol, or design or a combination of them, intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of the competitor - Phillip Kotler A brand is “The intangible sum of a product’s attributes: its name, packaging, and price, its history, its reputation, and the way it’s advertised.” - David Ogilvy “A brand is a singular idea or concept that you own inside the mind of a prospect.” - Al Ries – Author of Positioning: the Battle for Your Mind A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another - Seth Godin The Difference between Branding and Marketing Branding is contextualized communication that aligns with a company’s values or role in society. If done effectively, brand communication can create an emotional connection with customers and drive them to want to purchase something from your company versus your competition. Marketing is a team effort that consists of understanding the needs of customers and developing a strategy to meet them. This is done by communicating with potential customers about what you have to offer, whether it be through digital channels (social media, websites) or traditional mediums. A brand can be broadly classified into three types: 1) Product Brand Product brands are brands that sell tangible goods, such as cars, laptops, or shoes. These products are sold to people who already know and love the brand and want to buy because they trust the quality of the product. 2) Service Brand Service brands are brands that sell intangible services such as education, yoga classes, or beauty treatments. People who want these services may not have any previous experience with the brand but have heard about it through word-of-mouth or online reviews. Service brands look for new customers through marketing campaigns and partnerships with other companies. 3) Personal Brand Personal brand is an identity that consumers perceive you to be. It is how people see you in the context of your industry and what they think about your skills, personality, and values. Personal branding is also a form of self-marketing as it helps you to establish yourself as a professional in your field and enables you to make more money from your skillset.

  • RUOSH luxury shoes - The perfect example of forward integration

    While flipping towards the daily newspaper Times of India (TOI) I came across a print ad for a newly launched shoe brand called RUOSH. This brand is the first from the house of Sara Suole Pvt Ltd. This luxury shoe brand is a Bangalore-based company and has been in the Indian shoe market for almost a decade. It started as a seller (distributor) of luxury shoe brands like ESPRIT, Kenneth Cole, Louis Philippe, and a few more. Sara Suole Pvt Ltd decided to enter the Indian shoe market with its own brand with a decade of experience behind its back. If you analyze, the company did the right thing by coming up with an in-house brand. Some might feel they are a late entrant on the flip side some might feel it's the right time to enter as the Indian retail scenario is changing rapidly (thanks to the eCommerce boom). At present, the brand is being sold via both formats i.e traditional retail outlets as well as online eCommerce shopping portals like, Jabong, Flipkart, etc. The brand is positioned as an expert in leather shoes with a value proposition on its quality and design. Currently, the brand is running a campaign which to some marketers will be termed bold. The communication used in its ad says "Pity, we don't make shoes for women". With a tagline like this, the brand is putting itself at a risk to attain short-term gain. The risk is of creating an entry barrier for itself to enter into women's shoe category in near future. Though the ad communicates its message clearly with elegance. In terms of pricing, RUOSH is priced a bit on the higher side at around INR 4500 + to compete with its counterparts like Red Tape, Woodland, Kenneth Cole, etc. #ProductLaunch #Marketing

  • Ranveer Ching Returns with India’s first Advertiser Funded Movie

    When was the last time you saw a Hollywood movie which had the lead actor as the savior of humanity? I am sure the answer would be “pretty much every other movie”, isn’t it? Now, when was the last time you saw the same thing in a Bollywood movie? To make it interesting, did you ever see a full-fledged ad movie in India? This is where Ching’s Secret makes the Bollywood entry (whistle !!!!!). Ching’s Secret is a brand from the house of Capital Foods. Ching’s was launched in 1996 and over the years it has witnessed moderate growth until 2 years back when the brand started witnessing a steep rise in sales. Ching’s Secret is a perfect example of having the right celebrity brand ambassador. It’s a perfect mixture of leveraging the celebrity’s success with the right offering. Ajay Gupta (MD – Capital Goods) feels Ranveer Singh is the right face for the brand as the brand is targeted at today’s youth and young housewives, actor Ranveer Singh is the ideal youth icon who has pan-Indian appeal across all age groups. Recently, Chings’ Secret released an ad film. It’s not just an ad film, it's a typical Bollywood masala movie. With the release of the ad movie, Ranveer Singh took social media by storm. The ad movie is termed as India’s first “Advertiser Funded Movie”.The movie also stars Tamannaah Bhatia and is directed by one of Bollywood's most successful directors Rohit Shetty. The advertising budget for the advertiser-funded movie (AFM) is 75 crore ($11 million) which is usually a budget for a big star cast movie in Bollywood. ‘Ranveer Ching Returns’ was released on YouTube on Friday (like most releases in Bollywood), August 19. On Sunday, August 28, there was a world television premiere on Sony Entertainment Television. On the release day, the movie gained 3.5 million views on YouTube. At this very moment, the views have surged to 9 million. Watch India’s first Advertiser Funded Movie here The brand is leveraging all the right hype on social media. Currently, Ching’s Secret has approximately 1 million likes on its Facebook page. The brand has been very engaging with its new campaign on its sleeves. It will be interesting to watch how the brand is able to reap benefits from this big-budget AFM and its impact on sales. Do share your thoughts in the comments. #Marketing #Advertising #Branding

  • Law of Leadership – and (Testing the 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing in current

    Every marketing professional is fascinated by a marketing guru. In my case, the list is long but I would name three of my most favorite marketing gurus – Philip Kotler, Al Ries and Seth Godin. In this post, I will be focusing on learning from a well-known book “22 Immutable laws of Marketing” by AL Ries & Jack Trout. Al Ries and Jack Trout coined the 22 laws that act like guidelines in any industry. This will be a series post, covering brands from India and GCC region. My aim in this blog post is to check if the laws still stand the test of time. Law: Law of Leadership The law of leadership states it is better to be first than to be simply better. There is always a thin line between good companies and great companies. Good companies fulfill the met needs of the customers whereas great companies fulfill the met and unmet needs of the customers. Example, Microsoft, Apple, Flipkart, In the United Arab Emirates, the e-commerce industry is a fairly new sector. In a country where physical retail stores dominate, the current market leader in the e-commerce space is with respect to revenues and market share. leveraged the first mover advantage and fulfilled the unmet needs of the customers i.e convenience and variety. Currently, in India, the fastest growing industry is the eCommerce. But it has also become the most crowded one. The industry got noticed when extended its categories from just books to electronics and lifestyles products. Even before Flipkart began its operations, India had eCommerce companies like that use to sell online. But it was only after Flipkart raising rounds of funding the industry got the limelight. It’s human behavior to remember the FIRST and forget the rest. If I ask you who was the first man to step on the moon? Most probably, you will answer Niel Armstrong. And who was the second? Probably no clue. The law of leadership explains that if your product/brand gets the first mover place in the minds of the customers you become the market leader. Being first gets the advantage over the competition but doesn’t guarantee success. Both the players have gained the first mover advantage and have become success stories. Recently, SOUQ got acquired by Amazon for over $1 billion and Flipkart was trying to acquire at a lesser valuation. Do share your examples for Law of leadership in other industries. This is the first installment of series “Testing the 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing in current times”. Do watch this space for next post. #Marketing

  • ATL and BTL activation for dummies

    If you are a marketing professional or a student and you are not well versed with current marketing lingo you might miss on opportunities coming in your direction. Two such terms are Above the line (ATL) & Below the line (BTL). Are you aware of these? Since, I am also a faculty of marketing at Westford University College, I am often asked by my students about ATL and BTL adverting. So here is the simplified explanation of the terms Above the line & Below the line. Both ATL & BTL are aspects of advertising. The role of advertising in marketing is to reach customers and for this advertiser opts for either ATL communication or BTL communication. Let’s first understand the definition and how was this term coined. ATL can be defined as a communication technique used by advertisers to reach highly untargeted masses. For example, an ad on television aired throughout the nation. On the flip side, BTL can be defined as a communication technique used by advertisers to reach a highly targeted audience. For example, an event planned in college/university categorically targeting the students. In a nutshell, ATL is used for brand awareness and BTL is used for direct response (either direct sale or direct promotion). Now let’s demystify the “Line” in both the communication technique. Back in 1954, Proctor & Gamble (P&G) started paying its agencies different rates as per the promotion activities planned. The line of communication that was chosen for promotion gave origin to ATL & BTL activities. Common examples of ATL advertising are television, radio, print, outdoor, and the internet. Under BTL advertising, you have flyers, handbills, brochures at POS, events, banners, and last but not least internet. You may be confused about how come the internet is part of both communication techniques? The Internet is the only tool that has a reach to the masses as well as selected groups. With this there is a new term that has come to existence in advertising, it is called Through The Line (TTL) advertising. ( I will be explaining TTL in-depth in my next post) Which one should you choose? It depends on your targeting. If you want to reach to masses then you need to go for ATL advertising. You need to have an agency of record (AoR) to plan your ATL campaigns. For example, the Lookup campaign #LookUp campaign by If you want to communicate to specific (targeted) groups then you should opt for BTL advertising. For example, An activation in a cinema hall. Comparison of ATL & BTL Watch out for my next post on Through The Line advertising and how you can benefit from it. Don't forget to subscribe to my blog. #Advertising

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