Tuesday, June 28, 2005


Here is a list of the Initials used by companies to signify the Legal Entity that they belong to, in different countries:

Monday, June 27, 2005

Brand-o-Mania - Top 100 Global Brands of 2004..

Interbrand and BusinessWeek recently published the Top 100 GLOBAL Brands - A list of the Best Brands in the world, in accordance with the value they promised in the markets.

The Title is promising - "Here's how we Calculate the power in a name"
Though originally I had heard of the Michael Berkin's Model of evaluating the Brand Value - which Currently Infosys and Coca-Cola are using, a similar method is used by Interbrand also.

The method, in short, calculates the profits of the company due to the "brand" - reduces the investment made on the promotions of the brand - and then, after reducing the taxes, dicscounts the value to present day earnings (NPV)

Then, there is a multiple added - A modification factor - Brand Strength Multiple - to this value to finally come out with the Brand Value.

A similar method is used by Interbrand also. Just that the documentation has been done differently. The procedure mentions that the value is calculated "on the basis of how much they’re likely to earn in the future. Then the projected profits are discounted to a present value, based on the likelihood that those earnings will actually materialize"

A major difference is that there are certain "Eligibility criteria" that Interbrand had laid out, which entailed disqualification of some of the favorites (including my favorite!)
To qualify for the Evaluation, each brand
- must have a value greater than $1 Billion,
- get atleast a third of its earnings from Exports, and
- have publicly available Marketing and Financial Data

This left out Visa, Wal-mart, CNN, etc from the hit-list!

Also, parent companies and Airlines weren't included, because of reasons you would find on their Report.
Here is the complete list of the Rankings

The Top 5 last year Remain the Top 5 this year-
- Coca-Cola (1)
- Microsoft (2)
- IBM (3)
- GE (4)
- Intel (5)

Nokia (8) lost the market to Samsung, and thus, the Ranking to Disney (6) and Mc Donald's (7)! Yet, it remains one of the only 2 non-US companies featuring in the Top 10 !

Toyota (9), the other non-US company, did some aggresive Innovation and Expansion processes to rise 2 positions to Number 9 this year.

And finally, at number 10 comes the Smoking Zone - the Leader in Cigarettes - Marlboro (10), which pitched for higher Sales, inspite of rising Tax structure!

Incidentally, not even a single Indian Brand features in the Top 100... which is not much of a surprise though! Hmm... Are Indian Brand Managers listening?

Sunday, June 26, 2005

|P+| ~ Issue*4

On time-this time... Weekly collection of 20 Brand Pills and a P-Ad Dose :-)
Here they are...

This Brand was acquired by Morepen in 2001. It was originally a brand of Boots Company PLC. What is the name of the brand?

This company is famous for training Marketers. Steve Case,Steve Ballmer,Meg Whitman,Scott Cook,Jeff Immelt - all have, at one time, worked in this FMCG. Which company am I talking about?

Rapidex English course were the first to use him as a model to prove to people that lack of knowledge of English was in no way going to inhibit them from reaching the top. Identify their model
(Kapil dev)

It was first introduced in 1974 on a pack of Wrigley’s gum,and have served quite well since then, in providing product identity. It has certainly delivered the promise of providing manufacturers and retailers the ability to exercise greater control of their merchandise pipelines. What am I talking about?
(Bar Codes)

This Cincinnati, Ohio based company launched a new brand message in April'05 - "Outthinking. Outdoing". What is the name of the company?
(Convergys. The new brand message inculcates the interplay of its business expertise (thinking) and performance (doing) – backed by over 20 years of experience.)

Which company manufacturers the "Onida" and "Igo" Brands?
(Mirc Electronics)

The latest Ad launched by Pepsi in India is the "Oye Bubbly" Ad. The 60-second ad articulates the philosophy behind Pepsi's popular tagline Yeh Pyaas Hai Badi and comes from the insight that the thirst for a Pepsi is so intense that even inanimate objects lust for it, PepsiCo said in a statement. It features Shah Rukh Khan in the Ad and a lot of animation. Which agency has created the animation characters for the Ad?
(The characters have been created by Studio Glassworks, London)

Tata Tea recently went through a re-launch of its offerings. It featured 2 celebrities for endorsing a new mass media advertisement campaign. Who are they?
(Tennis star Sania Mirza and prominent playback singer Sunidhi Chauhan)

Acme Clothing bought Acme Global and Acme Hospitality last year. What was it renamed as this year?

Which Ad Agency conceived the idea of the "Express Yourself" campaign of Airtel?
(Rediffusion DYR)

The 11th President of India is Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam. What does A P J stand for, in his name?
(Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen)

She designed the Swoosh Logo for Nike. What is her name?
(Carolyne Davidson)
Nike is Greek for victory and is also the Greek goddess of victory. The name came in a dream to Jeff Johnson, Nike's first "real" employee and replaced the original name of Blue Ribbon Sports. It beat out Phil Knight's own name change idea of "Dimension 6." However, the company did pay Carolyn Davidson, a graphic design student at Portland State University, $35 in 1971 to design the trademark "swoosh."

This company adopted a different Advertising Strategy. It sponsored an episode of the television show “24” on the Fox cable channel last season, giving consumers 54 minutes without commercials, but adding a 6-minute, adventure-themed ad broken up into two segments at the beginning and end of the show. Which company was it?

Manvinder Singh 'Vindi' Banga resigned from the Chairman's post at Hindustan Lever last week. Who took over from him?
(Harish Manwani)

KSA Technopak is a premier global solutions provider focused exclusively on the leading consumer products suppliers, retailers, and health care organizations. What does the abbreviation KSA stand for?
(Kurt Salmon Associates)

It is a famous US Apparel Brand, and the only company with a question mark after its name. It was the hip jeans of the 1980s. What is the name of the brand?

Which company won a case against Cybersquatting, engaging in abusive behavior over a website, with respect to its website in UK?
(Apple, with it's I-tunes website)
There is an interesting story behind this incident.
People who want to use Apple's popular iTunes service in Britain must go to the Web page www.itunes.com/uk, not www.itunes.co.uk. This site is owned by Benjamin Cohen, a 22-year-old British entrepreneur. He is the founder of CyberBritain, an Internet company that registered www.itunes.co.uk in November 2000, two months before Apple introduced its iTunes music store. Last November, Apple offered to buy the domain. When the two sides could not agree on a price, Apple appealed to Nominet, the British registry for Internet names, and was eventually awarded the domain.Nominet ruled that, by trying to capitalize on the iTunes domain, Cohen was the party engaging in an abusive behavior, commonly known as cybersquatting. "Apple wrote to my lawyer, who is also my father, offering to buy the domain name for $5,000," said Cohen. "That would barely have covered our legal costs." He suggested an amount equivalent to $94,000, "a sum which includes a premium since I don't actually want to sell it." Nominet ruled that Cohen's fatal mistake was not what he did when he registered the domain so much as what it did with it later. According to Nominet's investigation, Cohen subsequently sent an e-mail message to Napster, a rival music service, in October 2004 asking if it would be interested in buying his iTunes domain. The message said that Cohen's company owned and registered the name before Apple introduced the iPod. Napster was not interested in Cohen's offer but Nominet's expert ruled that the e-mail message had showed "abusive intent." Nominet then awarded the domain to Apple.

The name of the brand meant Energy. It was packaged in Red colour, since the Rural markets were targeted and Red denotes auspicious. Which Brand is this?
(Tiger Brand, launched by Britannia)

STAR TV recently launched a 24-hour Bengali News channel, along with a local Bengali Newspaper. What is the name of the Newspaper, and the Channel?
(Anand Bazar Patrika - launched STAR Ananda)

Which company is the world's largest manufacturer of biscuits and cookies?

That's for the Brand Pills...For the P-Ad,this time, it is a non-Amullic Ad. This was the Ad of the Day a few days back on www.agencyfaqs.com.
It is an Ad of King Richard Shirts.
An excellent blend of shades. The Tagline reads "Stay Fresh this Summer".
Good choice Agency FAQs.. gets my vote too!

Friday, June 24, 2005

[MP] Click-Through Fraud

An interesting question came up on the Marketing Profs a few days back.
What is Click-through Fraud, and what are the ways in which we can prevent it?
A little research from my side did give an insight into the topic. Here is the thread.

Category: Pay-per-click (PPC) Advertising
Click-through Fraud is a major bottleneck in traffic Measurement on your website. The Search engines set up programs, or hire third-party vendors to automate clicks and surfing on your website, thereby increasing the hits on your site. This fabricates the numbers, giving the impression to the client that his website is being sourced and marketed well by the Search Engine.This increases the revenues for the Search Engine, which is paid on a per-click basis, which in turn, shares the revenues with the third-party contractors.

The prevention Mechanisms are similar to Credit-Card Industry mechanism, wherein Any Fraudulent Transactions trigger a tag against the Transaction, which is stalled and later, investigated for.

One can measure the clicks vs. Sales ratio over a period of time. Also, the pattern of the click-throughs is studied - wherein if a pattern appears with clicks made at regular intervals from the same location (every 2-4 seconds), a flag is set indicating the source to be suspicious, and suspends it position!It is a slightly difficult task, since human clicks can also be sometimes marked suspicious owing to different clicks from different parts of the world at the same time. Identification of the host IP would help here.

A Google Search for Click-through Fraud led me to an insightful article published last year on ZDnet.com
Few take-aways from this article -- 20% of the Advertising expenses still go towards unknown consumers.
Sources of Fraud:
(i) "bots" or programmed robots
(ii) hired workers
(iii) Competition

Another Link given by another Expert is also helpful - Check it here. But most of it is covered by ZDnet.com.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

|P+| ~ Issue*3

Am 2 days late. Here are the 20 brand pills for this week:

What concept evolved from a major embarrassment that Frank McNamara faced in a restaurant while entertaining his clients?
(Diners Club Credit Cards)

A by-product of World War II was the discovery of this soap-like product by a famous consumer goods company. The product, made from a soap-like molecule without the potentially irritating alkaline element, is a ph-neutral, mild cleansing product. This product was first introduced in the US in 1957. How do we know this product?
(As Dove, the "beauty bar" from the Unilever Company)

This Company was started in Czechoslovakia, in 1894 and established itself in India in 1931. Today it is the most common name in the shoes Industry. Which Company is this?
(Bata, founded by Thomas Bata. It started manufacturing shoes in India at Batanagar in 1936. The Batanagar factory is the first Indian shoe manufacturing unit to receive the ISO 9001 certification in 1993)

Boman Irani and Vijay Kadam featured in a very common series of Advertisments that ran for almost 7 years. Which company is being referred to?
(Krackjack – They played in the series of Krack and Jack)

Brothers born into a family of wealthy Sephardic Jews in North London, their surname meant "watchmaker" in Iraqi Arabic. They joined forces while in their early twenties to set up their business. Who?
(Saatchi and Saatchi)

Which product was first certified by ISI?
(The Indian National Flag)

Which famous hospital chain of India sells an accident insurance cover called "Dost’?
(Apollo Group of Hospitals)

Which bank issued cheques for the prize money in the TV Game show Kaun Banega Crorepati?

This company started in 1929 by manufacturing sweets and toffees. After 10 years, it started manufacturing biscuits. Today, it is the market leader of the Biscuits market in India. Which company is this?
(Parle Products)

As Procter & Gamble's Promotion Department Manager, he changed the way Brands are managed. The system provided more specialized marketing strategies for each brand and Procter & Gamble's brand management system was born. He is today considered one of most respected names in the market. Who is being referred to?
(Neil McElroy)

DAGMAR is a common term used to establish and evaluate Advertising goals. What does it stand for?
(It stands for Defining Advertising Goals for Measured Advertising Results. This refers to a process of establishing goals for an ad campaign such that it is possible to determine whether or not the goals have been met)

In the 1860s a pharmacist developed a food for babies who were unable to breastfeed. His first success was a premature infant who could not tolerate his mother's milk or any of the usual substitutes. People quickly recognized the value of the new product, after his formula saved the child's life. Soon, it was being sold in much of Europe. Who is the person being referred to, and what is the product?
(Henri Nestlé developed Farine Lactée Henri Nestlé, later transforming into one of the biggest names in FMCG – Nestle!)

Pepsi-Cola used this site to launch one of the largest online-offline consumer promotions ever, PepsiStuff.com. It featured Britney Spears Pepsi in the commercial, which was featured simultaneously the premiere during the Super Bowl of 2002. It is known as one of the best examples of fusion Marketing. Which is the site?
(Yahoo! Properties and Yahoo Home Page was used)

Which brand used the movie Road as an endorsement media?
(Tata Safari)

He came from Chorwad village in Gujarat's Junagadh district, where he was born on December 28, 1932. He is known as the father of equity cult. Who is he?
(Dhirubhai Ambani)

Which company launched Innova, India’s first three row seating passenger car?
(Toyota Kirloskar)

Tupperware India unveiled the world’s first expandable storage solution. Available in a lavender shade, the product comes at Rs 390. Just 2 cm high when flat, it expands to three different heights enabling 950 ml of space for storage. What is the name of the product?
(Go Flex)

This agency, based in New York, recently rebranded itself by abbreviating its original name, which is being used for almost 140 years! It is the world’s fourth largest advertising agency. What is the name?
(J Walter Thompson, now rebranded as JWT)

Which company owns the Fruit Juice Brand Libby's?

In the R-T-D (Ready-to-drink) market, it claims to be the market leader with an overwhelming 80 per cent share. Which company are we talking about, and what is the name of the brand?
(Bacardi Martini, which owns the popular brand – Bacardi Breezer)

From this time onwards, I would also be adding another regular to this post - "P-Ad" - MY pick of the Print Ad for the entire week...
Though my initial thought is that I would consciously not include Amul Ads only, since I have started admiring it - on a regular basis, but - Watch out!
Here is This week's P-Ad:
Nawab Pataudi has been charged for hunting. He had been running from the Police for almost 15 days, though now, he has been granted bail of Rs. 50,000/-

Monday, June 20, 2005

Serving more Ps ....

It increased from 4 to 5 initially, with an addition that Marketers identified with the Luxury Sector. There was one addition to the Traditional Set of Ps.

Now, the "family" has grown to 8 here also!
Reiterates the very basis of this blog - As long as Marketing Continues, there would continue an evolution to Extend .... The Bridge of Ps !

The 8 P's of Marketing for the Hospitality and Travel Industry :
- Product
- Price
- Promotion
- Place
In addition to this Traditional list, following have been added:
- Packaging
- Programming

- People
- Partnership

For the Luxury Sector - Another P was added to the list of 4 , making in all 5 Ps
- Product
- Price
- Promotion
- Place
- Placement !

And if you still havent got Psyched out, here is a list of 5 P's of Marketing of Professional Service Business, that I found out at www.actionplan.com
- Positioning
- Packaging
- Promotion
- Persuasion
- Performance

P-Mania is contagious......

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Financing More Ps in Micro-Finance

As I mentioned, how long can you keep on harping on the four Ps....
Just read about the 8 Ps of Marketing in Micro Finance

Price - Quintessential parameter for this business. You need to decide the price points you can offer, and the corresponding tax rates. You would need to know the demand, and decide the profit/sustainability objective using strategies (like cost- based, cost-plus, demand-based and break- even). It looks at behavioural attitudes, perceived value, prestige etc.

Product/services provided -Proper segmentation of the product, and evaluation of factors like ideas, concept creation, adaptability, cannibalization, sampling, surveys, prototyping, and of course, quality. Is it a new product? What is the advantage it commands, with respect to its competition?

Place/distributions/location of operations - One needs to make sure that the service/product is accessible where and when it is wanted. It includes the spread of the Sales group and POS.

Promotion - What is the target segment you are looking at, and the communication planned for it? This would also include another P - Public Relations.

Positioning - This is somewhat alluded to Promotions and would keep the target customer in mind, and segragate Customers in terms of - Income levels, demography, Family Size, etc.

People - Of course, without them, you leave the transaction complete. Quality needs to be reinforced here, and High Service levels need to be demonstrated.

Process - The Process Description and Functionining got he organization. Turnaround time, processing time, and Arhival and retrieval procedures.

Physical evidence - The Perception of your Office, and the look-and-feel part of it. This would include the Infrastructure and Ambience you plan.

I think, by the time, I redo this exercise, I would have essentially replicated Webster's "P" part !

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Marketing Sherpa – Best Bloggers 2005!

Marketing Sherpa recently announced the Best Blogs in the field of marketing, advertising, and public relations for the year 2005.
It is indeed an insight into the best in the industry, and their perspectives.

The Results and the methodology is pretty transparent, wherein they have mentioned that 2065 votes were received.
The blogs were selected out of 52 nominated Blogs.
Here are the results: Click Here

Most of these blogs are new for me, but a glance at them and a peak into their entries reflects the effort the Bloggers make.

Here is the list of winners and Important Mentions

Category: Individual Blog on Marketing and Advertising
Seth Godlin’s Blog (Winner)

Category: Group Blog on Marketing and Advertising
MarketingVOX (Winner)
Marketing Genius
Church of the Customer

Category: PR
Media Guerrilla (Winner)
Strategic Public Relations

Category: B-to-B marketing
Guerrilla Consulting (Winner)
B-to-B Lead Generation Blog

Category: Small business marketing
Duct Tape Marketing (Winner)
Small Business Trends

Category: Online marketing
Chris Baggott's Best Practices in Email (Winner)
Charlotte Li's Blog

Category: Search Marketing
Search Engine Roundtable (Winner)
Brad Fallon

Category: Niche Marketing
Ypulse - Media for the Next Generation (Winner)
WonderBranding - Marketing to Women (Winner)
Lipsticking- Smart marketing to women online

Category: Readers' choice
Easy Bake Weblogs (Winner)
Collateral Damage (CMO Magazine)

Definitely, a list for keeps. Though I haven’t been able to look into each one of them, with time, I know each one of them would reinforce their expertise and reiterate their position.

One particular take-away from the results was that it was mentioned that most of the blogs don’t stay for long, and people start blogs with full excitement but cannot sustain it. That’s a nice challenge for me, Mr. Editor ;-)

But what makes these Blogs reach where they are? According to Marketing Sherpa, they looked at
(a) the Identity of the blog,
(b) the take-aways that readers had,
(c) the presentation of the blog,
(d) maintenance and the look-and-feel, and finally,
(e) the recall value they enjoyed.

Sure thing, that’s a helpful tip to work on. Hope to see my name in the above list next year! :-)

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Who Let the Blogs out?

Nothing could be more pertinent at this stage on the Amul Hits Page to my blog. The latest 2 Topicals are a portent to my Blog Entries :-D.
Had Done a case Study on Low-Cost Airlines sometime back, and then after that, took up DaCunha for it's Amul Campaign. Had mentioned there that I wanted something on Bunty and Bubbly from them.
"Waiting for one on Bunty and Bubbly or "D", if they don’t put it, I will :-D !
Mr. Rane, are you listening? "
Guess they do listen to me. Maybe Mr. Rane read my Blog. :-)
Here they are!

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

[MP] Mechanical Educational Institute – Pune, India

Nice Problem - on Marketing Profs
This one was interesting, not because of the problem that was on offer, but because the final outcome was incidentally the basis of my assumptions and opinion.
The Questioner wanted to find out the techniques in which he could market an Engineering Institute, specialized in CAD/CAM, with the target segment as the students as well as the Working Managers, who wanted an insight into the subject.
My take on the subject was to compliment the strengths of both the segments, and leverage one competency over the other, to ensure both of them overlap, and share the learning, which would ensue into the USP for the Institute.
This was what I told him:

Just before I give my perspective, I would sincerely hope that you are positioned somewhere in the western belt (Maharashra, Karnataka), since that is where you would find a handful of prospective candidates!
Having said that, here are some of the tips I think might be pertinent to your case:
(Assumption)Your target segment - Engg Students and Practicing Managers

For Students - this is what you could hit at for Marketing
(1) Quality Faculty - A well known Faculty- Subject Matter Expert and Experienced in the industry could serve you as a piggyback on the brand name
(2) Infrastructure - Infrastructural facilities and Inventories reflect the quality of the institute, and are instrumental in forming a perception instantly,
(3) Technical Expertise - Not only in the academic courses you offer, but also you should hold the competencies pertinent to the student courses prevalent in the market ("Knowledge Level" is your core competency!)
(4) Research Options - You should be able to offer and encourage students who would like to get involved in the field professionally, or pursue further education in the same. You should be able to provide data, as well as guidance and mentorship for the same, and facilitate the entire process in such cases. This would again enhance the brand image of the institute
(5) Knowledge Repository/Resource Pool - The institute should be exhaustive (or atleast make a consistent effort in being so) in its library facilities, including forum for learning and resource pool. This is also a part of the Infrastructure I mentioned above,
(6) Industry Interface - I would cover this later.

Regards to the Practicing Managers, most of the points are same as above, except -
(1) Industry Trends - apprise them with the industry trends, something that apart from building competencies, they can apply it in their work profile as well,
(2) Research Applications - Will come to this later,
(3) Networking - Who wouldnt take this one?
(4) Market Surveys - This is where they would realize where the market is moving, and what is it that they need to work upon - study of prospective clients, etc.

Interestingly, with the kind of target segment that you are looking at, you can compliment one segment with the other. This is alluding to the (6)th point for Students, and (2)nd points for Practicing managers: The practicing managers can share their experience and learnings from the industry (and that is where, I feel, you would be instrumental in facilitating this) and give a heads up on the Market Dynamics and the Business Application of CAM. On the other hand, the field research and the technical applications along with the innovations is what they would look for, and get it by the students of your institute.

Then, I came to know that the institute is planned to be set up in Pune. Advantages and Market offerings:
Being in Pune gives you a distinct advantage of being in the hub of the Industrial Area. You could look at
(a) tapping most of the organizations in the MIDC Area, which would serve as an input to your Managers
(b) Interfacing with students from top engineering colleges in Pune, to start with
(c) To enhance visibility, my personal suggestion would be to visit the colleges as a guest lecturer, which would reinforce your subject knowledge,
(d) Few students would be able to accomodate and Afford the quality sessions that you offer. Only students "genuinely" interested in the Subject would be willing to take up your offering.
To this, I would suggest you could begin with offering scholarships to reputed colleges, offering free sessions to all the students, and continued sessions to "premium" students.This would encourage students to pursue specialized sessions, and get interested in your course.
You could speak to the Heads of Department of these colleges to work out the details.To conclude, you could leverage this etablishment to tap the non-metro areas of Maharashtra, which offer varied student populace and interest in this field!

Interesting Problem. Fetched me 125 points.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

|P+| ~ Issue*2

Next lot of my pick of some of the Interesting Brand Questions, compiled from various sources.

In 2002, the US-based Bakery Manufacturers' Association's charts showed that this company G was rated as the largest selling glucose biscuit brand in the whole world in terms of volumes. Which Company is being referred?
(The company is Parle G. The others - Oreo from Nabisco and McVities from UK-based United Biscuits)

Which company, when associated with the popular TV Serial Kaun Banega Crorepati, enjoyed almost 20% increase in its sales?
(Britannia, when it associated the 50:50 round with its range – Britannia 50-50)

Which is the world’s First Credit Card?
(Diners Club – the founder Frank McNamara started it in 1950, specifically for Restaurants. 14 restaurants in New York accepted it. The cards were made of a paper stock with the accepting locations printed on the back, and not plastic)

In Feb/Mar 2003, the sales of condoms in the red light area of Mumbai tripled. The reason behind this has been a successful case study in the field of advertising. What was the ad?
(Balbir Pasha)

What is the full form of MP3?
(Motion pictures experts group layer 3)

Who is the brand ambassador for the National lottery board of Srilanka?
(Mandira Bedi)

She designs jewellery for her husband’s costume jewellery export firm Artex. Who is being referred to?
(Priyanka Vadhera, for her husband Robert Vadhera)

Lintas was working on a brief for a bike to flaunt its great mileage and great
power. The client brief clearly stated that no one would be interested in figures
and hence figures should be avoided. They were asked to come up with a term for
a ‘wow’ bike encompassing both great mileage and great power. What resulted?

This company was called Lutsuko and later changed its name to something that literally means 'to lose money'. Which one?
Sony, it's name was considered a tongue twister, and had to be changed.

The first Xerox model was called the Xerox 914. The next model to come out was called the Xerox 813. Why?
(Paper sizes (9 x 14) and (8 x 13))

Parx Cottons belong to which parent Brand?

What is the name of the LINUX LOGO?
(TUX - A Penguin)

The MacDonalds clown is called Ronald McDonald all over the world, except in Japan. What is it called in Japan?
(Donald McDonald)

In WW II British tanks were known by a specific name because the steel used to manufacture these tanks came from this place. What were the tanks called?

A brand called Niranjan Tooth paste was in the news a couple years ago for advertising itself as what?
(100% vegetarian Toothpaste)

Which company was awarded an honorary Oscar in 1954 for "Contributing to the advancement of the Motion Picture Industry"?
(Bausch and Lomb)

What is the middle name of Azim Premji?
(Azim Hashim Premji)

In Windows NT..what does NT stand for?
(New Technology)

This product is considered the best of its kind. The first one was completed in September 1968, took four years and $1.5 billion to build, and the effort almost sank the company and threw the city of Seattle into a depression. 7000 men worked to make it. What?
(The Boeing 747)

Which brand name derives from the Japanese name for the Chinese goddess of Fortune?
(Canon - from Kwan-Jin, the Chinese Goddess of Fortune)

Wondering how many of us would have known about the MP3's full form? ;-)

Friday, June 10, 2005

[MP] Indian Credit Card Industry – A Perspective

A question was asked a few days back on the Credit Card Industry in India, and how to market that in the Indian Markets.
Based on the limited experience in the Credit Card Industry, following were some of the inputs I had to offer:

My Response

To study the Credit Card Industry in India, from my experience and perspective, you would need to tap the following resources and ideas:

(a) There have been quite a few White Papers published on the Credit Card markets in India - You can refer to the backdated issues of Business World/BT/Student Papers/Indiainfoline (I am not sure of the date though).
My take is that why start from scratch when someone has already put in effort to collate data. You can leverage that and work on it.
(b) Get in touch with a few front-line executives who would be able to route you to the correct resources - to get information on these.
(c) A major chunk of the market of Credit Cards is held by HSBC and ICICI. You should read up on these banks specifically.
(d) What are the loopholes in the Credit Card Market today - to get this, do an analysis of the policies and the business startegy that Indian Banks like PNB and HDFC are following. If you carefully observe, you would identify the competencies that they lack, and the AOIs they need to work upon.

As Manzoor mentioned, you WOULD NOT get this data from the banks, naturally, since
(i) Banks dont openly discuss Business Strategy, especially when it is for a Nascent potential market like Credit Cards,
(ii) Nobody is comfortable in discussing his/her weaknesses!

(e) Also, I would suggest another aspect that you need to look into - International Markets. The US is a much maturer market for Credit Cards, and a few steps behind is the European Market.

In fact, that is where the revolution in India is routed from. If you can study these markets a bit, you have all the information laid in front of you - The Past, the Present and the Future. What the market was in US a couple of yeard back, thats the face of the Indian market today. Study that market, and you would get your answers.

Lastly, and this would be significant for you in reading the markets: Whereas in the US and Europe, most of the Credit Card processing is handled by Processors (First Data,etc), who in turn interact with Visa/Mastercard/Amex, in India, most of the banks are their own processors - and interact directly with Visa/Mastercard/Amex.So you would need to tap the Credit Card Division of the major banks itself, the ones I mentioned before.

Finally, just to sum it up, this is what is my take on the Achilles heel of the Credit Card industry:
1) Consumer Spending power: This is catching up with the growing economy, hence, the boom in the market,
2) Lack of established Merchant Services: At POS, the processes are still not streamlined,
3) Security - Major AOI for Credit Cards - As the Numbers increase, this is one area that one needs to work upon,
4) Competition - both from a national perspective, with discounting offers, and new entrants, and from International Perspective - with foreign players expediting their Indian Ventures,
5) Consumer behavior - This is the quintessential reason for the Market dynamics - One needs to tap the "Security" aspect of the Indian Consumer - wherein the Consumer spends more than he has in his pockets...to put it crudely! This perception is what is being gradually changed in the market.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

|P+| ~ Issue*1

Starting today, every week, I plan to put up a new Pill for the Market-eaters, er, Marketers! The weekly dose of 20-25 questions should fill your apetite. They call it “Brand Equity” – I call it “P+”…. Weekly dose to energize and rejuvenate your Brand Genes!
Collected from various sources, here is the first set presented to you of P+:

Large quantities of Sunlight soap had begun to be manufactured at the original Levers soap factory in the UK. A large part of the residue was soap, good in quality. Lord Leverhume added rich red colour to it to produce a germicidal soap. Which brand are we talking about?
Which brand derives its name from Laxmi, the goddess of wealth?
What famous brand name is derived from a combination of two words, which mean 'dead' in French and 'one' in German?
Which was the first ever brand endorsed by Sachin Tendulkar?
(Band Aid)
Which company introduced the successful Aspirin tablets in 1915?

Which was the first airlines to introduce Business class in 1979. ( This is also the 2nd oldest airlines in the world)?
…and what does the Australian airline stand for? - (Queensland And Northern Territories Air Service).
The famous brothers Jake, Abe, Sam , Harry, sons of Benjamin who emigrated from Poland to USA in the late 19th Century are behind which famous brand/company?
(Warner Bros)
Which famous Indian brand would you associate with Jagatjit industries?
What is the Mascot of Nerolac Paints?

Who owns the water brand “Pure Life”?
ADIDAS was named… after the founder Alfred Adi Dassler
Which Indian newspaper advertises with the line "Why settle for anything else"?
(The Statesman)
What food item was patented in 1830 and called ‘Dr. Miles compound Tomato extract?
(Tomato Ketchup)
Which brand created a sensation by sticking a Ford Cortina to a billboard at a busy junction in London?

What was advertised with the slogan "You press the button and we do the rest"?
The name of which Japanese company literally means ’50 Bells’?
Who actually built a bridge in Sri Lanka for the film "Bridge on the River Kwai"?
Which luxury car's name means 'lightning' in Italian?

and finally....
The English translation of this Japanese brand means 'Three Oceans'?

Next lot, Next issue !

Friday, June 03, 2005

"Topical" Iceberg...

Having spoken about the creator - the Ad Agency, and the Ramayana behind it, time to talk about the creativity - the Strategy behing the campaign!

Time again, Amul has been cleped as a “Social Observer”, with the Friday-to-Friday star coming out with a verdict on the most talked about topic in the country, and of course, what it means to her in her own “priceless” world! (that’s where Amul is derived from – Amulya=priceless in Sanskrit)

"Only a serial or event that is very popular or very unpopular and controversial will feature on the Amul ads," "We try to identify the most popular aspect of a serial in terms of a particular character, a catch line or an event that got the common man talking about it. There has to be something about it to make it stand out from the rest," – This is what you would get from the creators of the Ads, on the Advertising Strategy they follow for Amul Campaign.
Another area where Amul has expanded its multi-media campaign, including TV, press, hoardings, is Internet - putting its creations on the web.
Discussed in Strategist, the article explicates that on the Internet, Amul's topical campaigns are converted into banner ads and advertised on the web. Says Jayen Mehta, head, marketing at Amul in Anand, "Displaying our topical messages on the Web has helped us revive our relations with thousands of Indians residing abroad.'' Bharat Pandya, senior group head, da Cunha Associates-the agency that handles the campaign-confirms that not only do the banners lead to brand enhancement, but also result in a significant click through to the Amul site, where people are treated to recipes, and more topicals.
This is reiterated by Bharat Dabholkar, Ex-MD of DaCunha Associates, who comments on the present trend in the business of advertising, elucidating that agencies are now moving in two directions. "It is either the big global agencies with big brands, offering all services or there are these local creative hot-shops,'' he says. He believes that the concept of a mid-sized Indian agency is disappearing fast. "Either you are a global agency or a you are a specialist,'' he adds.
Incidentally, as I was preparing this write up, there was a nice article in ET on 30th May, on the Importance and Relevance of Humor in Advertising. Talk of the wonders humor does to the brand, and not talk about Amul? Check this -

Encouraged by the response to Fevicol and Amul advertising, a number of brands like Alpenliebe, Center Shock, Sprite, M-Seal, Idea Cellular and Lehar Kurkure have adopted the strategy to take the humour route regularly quite successfully. Not only are the ads are working for them but are also picking up loads of awards at advertising events too.
Theoretically speaking, what is it that pulls the consumer towards this form of advertising:
Based on an initial assessment, it should be:
(a) Humor that entails Interest towards the advertisement, and subsequently, the brand.
(b) Top of the mind recall for the brand,
(c) Consistency in the campaign, similar to the legendary RK Laxman’s “Common Man”
(d) A different perspective to the things that stress your brain, and pointing to events in a lighter vein.
(e) The intention of the Advertiser seems to be more of arousing humor for the consumer than trying to market it’s client’s products. This ensures a certain level of acceptability in the consumer’s mind. This is then leveraged to market the product.

Thus, the features or attributes per se are not marketed, but just the brand name and likeability for that brand, which is converted to sales at the POS itself. Even Da Cunha avers that it is the product’s taste and price that are the linchpin, with ads just ensuring high recall
“There’s a constant dialogue between the product and the consumer. As an icon, she’s contemporary – she changes every day with the world.”

An excellent persistent effort I must say. And this is not something that reflects my line of thought, but something that is evidenced by the national and International recognition given to the Agency. 2 years ago, the Vice-President, Mr Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, conferred the "Dr Kurien Award" for 2001-02 on Mr Sylvester daCunha. According to Business Line, the Chairman of daCunha Communications Pvt Ltd, was given the award at the 33rd Dairy Industry Conference here "in recognition of creating unique brand images for Indian dairy products as well as keeping alive the Amul butter campaign for four decades".

The consistency also fetched the campaign an entry into the Guinness Book of World Records, for being the protagonist of the longest running campaign ever . The clock currently says 39 years! A part of the credit is attributed to the client also.
In an article in Magindia.com, Da cunhas mention that they have the perfect client in Amul’s Dr Verghese Kurien who has always given them complete support, inspite of repeated protests and criticism.
There are other forums also, where Amul has been a front-runner. A couple of blogs have discussed Amul – one by Jivha and a nicely covered entry by Nimmy.

Work-wise also, Da Cunha has a different style of functioning.
On other occasions, Amul has made a conscious effort to enhance visibility –
Da Cunha Came out with a special Topical - "Vande Matramul" on the 50th Anniversary of Independence Day
It also started another campaign - The search for an Amul Butter Girl and an Amul Cheese Boy, which ended in January 2000, in which the Gujarat Cooperative Milk and Marketing Federation(GCMMF) announced the real life Amul Butter Girl and Amul Cheese Boy through a national Amul Surabhi search contest.

That’s the story of Amul. Before I end this, how can I sign off without decorating this article with topical” iceberg? These are my pick of the stars, and for the rest of them – Refer to the Hits of all the Amul Ads
"Picture" this:
Affiliate Marketing – Critiques on fellow brands

Airlines – Since I have covered those areas, am morally bound to cover the Amul perspective too ;-)

a latest naughty one – Mallika

And finally, for the movie buffs..Can you get them all correct? ;-)

Waiting for one on Bunty and Bubbly or "D", if they don’t put it, I will :-D ! Mr. Rane, are you listening?

Amul moPPet ..driven for years…and years

A brand that has been discussed time and again, and has been talked about by more than 3 generations. A company that relies only on a single theme behind its advertisements, for 39 Years continuously? A Theme that has one of the highest brand recalls ever? An effort that has been internationally appreciated for its consistency, wits and innovation…
A brand .. the utterly butterly delicious… which, in true sense, is an Adman’s creation!
It might sound clichéd at the onset, but I wont be talking about Amul, per se (though that’s an interesting case study in itself), but more so, the Admen and the Agency behind this creation. What has been the history behind this revolution? An epiphany or a market research? A creative big bang, or an innovative insight? Who are the drivers of this moppet? What is the Advertising Strategy of the agency? Let me seek some answers in this Ps than frame questions….

Reiterating the Amul (Anand Milk Union Limited) story would be a redundant effort, since it is mostly covered by the company itself, but it is a “must read” . Picture this:
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.
What I intend to cover is – Campaign History, A description of the agency (Da Cunha) and the people behind the campaign, the Advertising Strategy behind this campaign, and finally, cream the article with some “good stuff” ;-)

Who and how was the “moppet” created?
Ever wondered what is written on the right side of each topical that we see? “da Cunha” and some numbers…
According to a special report by Indiantelevision.com on Amul in Sep 03, the Amul butter campaign was launched in 1966 by Advertising and Sales Promotion Company (ASP). Kurian Kurian the then Group Head at ASP was in charge of the account. The account moved to da Cunha Communications later which was founded by Sylvester da Cunha.

And it is this advertising agency, DA CUNHA Communications, that has been handling the account of Amul ever since, for the past 39 years.
Currently headed by Rahul da Cunha, 42-year old son of Sylvester, and the then manager at ASP
So what is Da Cunha all about?
Surprisingly, the agency does not have a website of its own (or it has reserved its public identity), but could collate little data on it from different sources.
Agencyfaqs.com has not updated the details of the agency, since the the email address dacunha@bom3.vsnl.net.in seems to be pretty outdated.

But, iCom has listed the particulars of the agency, that seem to be original.
Agency (Name) : daCunha Communications
Address : Elysium Mansion, Walton Road 4th Floor Mumbai Maharashtra 400 001
Member Since : 1982
Staff : 50
Telephone : 91-22-2832243
Email : dacunha@vsnl.com

The agency is not too keen in revealing its identity, since earlier attempts have not been successful either. According to Sylvester, the person who created the person who created the round-eyed, chubby-cheeked Amul moppet, lurking around in each of the hoardings was the ad firm's Art Director, Mr Eustace Fernandez. They decided that they needed a girl who would worm her way into a housewife's heart. “And who better than a little girl?" said Sylvester. Thus, the Amul Moppet was born. It was initially created in response to the buttergirl used by rival dairy firm Polson to endorse its products., with the exception that this one was sexy, village belle, clothed in a tantalising choli all but covering her upper regions.
The Firsts: Date - Summer of 1967, Place - A Charni Road billboard in Mumbai
Event – premiere for one of Indian advertising’s most deliciously funny creations that introduced the concept of consumer humour or serious things spoken in jest.
The utterly butterly Amul girl was born, and she has not grown an inch since.

Sylvester daCunha’s magic had worked very soon after the hoarding came up, all the best commercially exploitable sites were splashed with the new moppet on a horse. The punch line was, "Throughbread, utterly butterly delicious Amul". It was everywhere on lamp kiosks, bus shelters, hoardings, everywhere one could see. The idea had clicked and the boring butter had acquired a new image, a new place in everyone’s hearts. The campaign was a success and the response phenomenal, recalls Rahul daCunha. Initially, for a year the girl made normal, witty statements. In 1967, the campaign kicked off, for more mileage, by changing to a more topical interest.

I am not sure of this, but as far as I know, the Amul Butter account was first handled by FCB Ulka, and then given to daCunha in 1966., as a study shows. The table gives the accounts of Amul, that are being handled by different ad agencies. I have written an e-mail to Da Cunha for the confirmation. Will update the entry if and when I get a response.

So who are the “men of honor” flirting with the moppet?
Sylvester was with ASP Advertising when the Amul campaign first took off and later when he set up his own firm, the client moved with him. He recruited talents like Bharat Dabholkar. Who had been with Amul creations for 15 years, but later on, moved to theatre and “other things”. Cleped as the undisputed king of satire and having excelled in Advertising, television and theatre, in an interview with Indiantelevision.com, Bharat admits that Amul gave him more popularity : “I was known more for the Amul butter ads.”
Even Kunal Vijayakar, a popular face on television and theatre was at one time, a creative director DaCunha Communications.

Today it is 42-year old Rahul da Cunha and another independent advertising consultant - Manish Jhaveri who are the creative inspirations behind these ads. They conceive and create the AMUL advertisements that you see today, while, Jayant Rane is the artist.
Rahul, the famous writer of popular play Class of 84, and part of the the hi-fi society of Mumbai, confesses that he lives a double life! Advertising by day and theatre by night. He is part of family of traditional advertisers – the Da Cunhas.
Search for Da Cunha on Google and you would find loads and loads of Tristan Da Cunhas and others. Incidentally, barring Mr. Tristan, all the others are related !
The Family has been discussed in a goa journal text, as well as in Times of India almost 2 years back
A snapshot:Hailing from Goa and descendants of Saraswat Brahmins (they were forced to convert to Catholicism in the 16th century by the Portuguese colonisers), the present crop of da Cunhas has won many plaudits in the world of media. Mr. Gerson da Cunha a historian and his younger brother Sylvester, were at one time, head of Lintas and ASP, respectively.
Gerson is famous for his Dalda ad and for recruiting talents like Alyque Padamsee and Shyam Benegal. Similarly, Sylvester's claim to fame includes the immortal Amul campaign.Rahul, Sylvester's son, and his 37-year-old wife Radhika, both dabble in theatre as well. Radhika started her career in advertising as a copywriter.

Thats about the who's who of Da Cunha and History behind this historic campaign. Next up, Advertising Strategy and the Credentials of the agency.
Look up ! :-)