Friday, September 30, 2005

You are Germany!

If you thought that the “feel good” factor can only be attributed to the shrewd brains of the profligate BJP Government and a high-budget campaign can only be their prerogative, think again!

A New Ad campaign has been launched to motivate the Germans, who are facing a crisis situation, as a result of which the confidence level of the country has plummeted over the past few weeks; Resulting in a deep sense of dissatisfaction and skepticism in the minds of the Germans.

Called “Du Bist Deutschland!” (You are Germany) the non-commercial campaign was launched on 25th September and would run for 4 months in print and TV media.

The basic issue that triggered the need for such a campaign is German Mentality! In an article in BBC, the Organizer Bernd Bauer substantiates this argument -
"You know, we simply tend to see things even more negatively than they actually are, and that's where we want to initiate a change and that's one of the reasons for this campaign."

As a result, the campaign hopes to motivate each individual to make their own personal contribution to lifting Germany out of its 'crisis' (Source)
Double spread newspaper adverts urge readers to see themselves as successors to Germany's famous sons and daughters ranging from scientific geniuses – "You are Albert Einstein" – to racing driver Michael Schumacher or entrepreneur Beate Uhse.

It provokes an introspection by every German and asks if he knows his significance in the country.. As a response, the Ad continues to say.. (I really like this line) -
“Unlikely, you say? Then why do you cheer on your team in the stadium if your voice is unimportant? Why do you wave your flag when Schumacher whizzes around the racing circuit? Because your flag is one of many, and out of your voice grows a whole chorus - you are one of many. You are Germany!" (Reference)

In one of the other Ads, as mentioned in BBC, it says "A butterfly can start a typhoon. No one's too small to make a difference," ...Guess, this needs to be reinforced in any place, where people start getting indifferent to the environment and its proceedings!

But a common underlying theme of the campaign is “"Don't ask what others can do for you. You are the others. You are Germany!"

The total Campaign has cost Germany $47 million, which, according to BBC, is the Biggest Ad Campaign in the History of Germany.
It is produced by Star Ad agencies Jung von Matt and the funding comes from 25 blue-chip media companies, led by the Bertelsmann publishing empire.

Over 30 personalities have been asked to endorse the campaign, and include –

• TV presenter Sandra Maischberger
• F1 Champion Michael Schumacher
• Ice skater Katharina Witt
• Goalkeeper Oliver Kahn
• Leading Economist Ludwig Erhard
• Reference to Ludwig van Beethoven, Max Schmeling, Albert Einstein and Newton
(The baby featured shows the potential Germany holds in creating more people like boxer Max Schmeling. I didn’t know about Max Schmeling till I read about this campaign!)

Visit the home page of the official website for the campaign and go to the Campaign Section. The entire campaign has been explicated using nice soothing flash clippings.

Somewhere my German knowledge helped ;-)..

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Innovative Advertising – Ford-ified!

If you are in Belgium, and have traveled within the past 5-6 days, there is a good chance that you would recognize these faces (but a bad chance that you would be reading this blog :-D )
They are Ange and Maria – the New faces of Innovative Advertising.

Titled “Ford Miracles”, the campaign has been designed my Oglivy Belgium. I read the article from Adfab – the entry on First talking Abribus.

It involves an actor who is hidden in some other booth, and based on the response of the audience, he replies, and is reflected in the expressions shown on the character’s face. It looks like the character is talking to you. And you already know Ange and Maria by now, right? Have a close look at them…they might wink at you anytime! Want to try? ;-)

The only issue I think they might face is sustenance. Once people know about the character’s originality, it would not be too late, when they start looking for the “hidden” booth. Also, how long can you hire one single person for a single poster? What if it is a holiday? Does Ange remain quiet that day?

The website specifically designed for this campaign – Ford Miracles is beyond my comprehension, but yes, it is not too aurally inviting – the sound reminds me of the spooky ghostly movies. To add to that, the insecurity that the face might just transmogrify into a jaded ghost terrified the unexposed souls like me, who still cannot completely appreciate the non-existent :-).

Nonetheless, a plus on Innovation! Kudos, Oglivy!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Brand "Sania"!

She reached the 34th rank in the world, after losing to Maria Sherapova in the 4th round in the US Open last week. Though she might have lost the match, there is much more she earned from it – fans, respect, recognition, endorsements, and of course, money!
According to an article in Times of India, Sania has become the 2nd best pick for the advertisers for endorsements, and is now positioned with Rahul Dravid, just behind Sachin Tandulkar. The Endorsement Fee has increased to more than Rs 1.5 crore per endorsement per deal annually. On the other hand, Sachin Tendulkar, despite his bad form and injuries, commands Rs 6-7 crore per endorsement.
Preference Order for Advertisers -
- Sachin Tendulkar
- Sania Mirza and Rahul Dravid
- Narain Karthikeyan
- Virender Sehwag
- Sourav Ganguly

Though most of these names are of cricketers, Economic Times mentioned that Corporates have started to look beyond cricket. Attracting attention from Advertisers is often an arduous task, especially for single-member events, like Tennis and Chess.

This has been affirmed by a report in Yahoo Sports , which mentions that the income that Sania gets from Endorsements is relatively very less as compared to her cricket-counterparts. Apart from this, the kind of expenditure she has to make, is pretty different from what a cricketer would need to make -
Total Earnings till US Open - Rs 75 lakhs
Already Spent - Rs 44 lakhs.
“Unlike the cricketers, Sania has to spend not just on her travel - including that of a parent -- but also on travelling coach John Farrington, who charges $5,000 per week. Add to it his business class air ticket and hotel expenses, it's a tough life for Sania -- if you see her as someone raking in the moolah.”

What is Brand Sania Mirza All about?

There are players, and there are good players. There are celebrities, and there are personalities. Where does Sania Mirza fit in? What Clicks with the advertisers, that has suddenly culminated in “Sania Mirza” across the entire nation, as well as, beyond that too.

- She is energetic and young, representing the majority of the consumers in the country, and so connects to a larger ‘proportion’ of the population
- She has emerged as an exception to the society, and is perceived as someone who can come out strongly against the odds! Being a Muslim girl, as well as promoting a non-cricket sport – none of these two tasks is easy, and she has executed them very well. One requires you to fight a cultural battle, with values and morals representing an entire value system; the other requires you to work harder to remain in public focus. This effort, in turn, would reflect on the Advertisers as well.

- She is attractive and so a higher potential to grab attention – a factor that edges her over Rathore and Kartikeyan in the Ad circuit.
- High Confidence and Aspirations – particular brand elements that connect the Gen Y consumers.
- According to Mid-day , “when you take Sania as a package — personality, youth, looks, confidence and game — she would do pretty well by ‘marketing’ standards”.
- Prafull Bidwai, in an article in rediff, avers that Sania “personifies the 'New India' -- someone with tremendous energy and self-confidence and the desire to achieve and excel.”
- There is a more realistic connect to sportspersons, since there is a measurable performance element attached to them, that adds objectivity, and in turn, credibility to their portfolio – ensuring a higher appeal as compared to actresses or models.

Endorsements by Sania Mirza

Her initial 5 endorsements, due to be expired soon - GVK Industries (oldest), Sahara, Atlas Cycles, Tata Tea, and Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh.

Apart from these, she would endorse the following brands -
# Sports Apparel, Lotto – endorsed for 3 years
# Sahara India – They have offered her to join them as a brand ambassador, but the exact relevance is still not clear to me.
# Malabar group - It has opened a new jewelry shop in Bangalore, called Malabar Gold. The showrooms, besides showcasing traditional jewellery collection in gold, platinum and diamonds, will also feature international brand names like Rado, Omega, Tissot and Longines
# HPCL’s Retail Brands – For 2 years, Sania would be endorsing the mega brands of HPCL like Club HP, Power, Power 93, TurboJet, HP Milcy, HP Racer, HP Champion and HP Gas in its portfolio for 2 years.
# She has been appointed ambassador of the 'Save the Girl Child' campaign of the ministry of health and family welfare. Remarkably, this is the first time that a Muslim woman has been assigned the role of raising gender awareness in a society which literally kills millions of female foetuses.
# Tata Indicom, as part of its effort to grow energetic brands and connect with the youth, plans to launch limited edition Signature Series handsets called Sania Fone with attractive features (Source: HinduBusinessline). Sania reflects these qualities and her association with Tata Indicom personifies brand identity.

Couldn’t find more as of now! Am sure the list would keep on increasing with time and with her progress, as she rises up the rankings!

Will continue this analysis with more on Celebrity Endorsements, and their impact!

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Duracell."More Power".

Oglivy & Mather, New Delhi has come out with latest print ads for Duracell

Both the Ads trigger a thought process, but one has to think a bit more than the “average thought period” for other ads. More so, the second Ad can be comprehended only because it follows the first one. Had it been displayed in isolation, it would have become slightly difficult to understand it. Maybe the picture could have been clicked a second earlier, and we could have had a better glimpse of the car ;-)
Anyways, the second one would not be my pick for billboards and hoarding displays, since there is limited duration of exposure to it on highways – and it would not be a very good idea, if BEFORE the message gets to the viewer, he moves past the hoarding!

Visit the website of Duracell, and it does reflect technology..
Specially, “Explorations TV” – a hub of innovations and cool videos. Have a look . Of course, it is “Powered by Duracell” ;-)

Incidentally, the website of Duracell does not have India listed in the drop down list itself!

(Source: Adverblog , and in turn, the hidden-persuader )

Friday, September 09, 2005

Socio-economic Classification - Are we (in) SEC C?

Acknowledgements for this entry go to the interviewers in my last mock-interview, who asked my about the SEC bands and specifics!
SEC, i.e. Socio-economic Classification is a classification made in the urban and the rural sector, to identify the consumption pattern and the household purchase behavior. Based on education levels, occupation, type of household, etc. the population is divided into separate bands, called the Socio-economic Classes.

The Urban Sector is divided into SEC A1, A2, B1, B2, C, D, E1, E2
(Calculated as a function of Educational qualifications of the CWE* and his occupation)

The Rural Sector is divided into SEC R1, R2, R3, R4
(Calculated as a function of Educational Qualifications of the CWE* and the type of the household he stays in – Pucca, Semi Pucca or Kaccha)

Following is the exact division in the Rural Sector:

(Source: Ficci Press Release)

Unfortunately, I have still not been able to find out the exact details about the urban classification.

But According to an article “Targeting New Customers”, the Urban Indian households have broadly been classified as

- ‘high’ socioeconomic class referring to SEC A & SEC B
- ‘mid’ socioeconomic class referring to SEC C, and
- ‘low’ socioeconomic class referring to SEC D & SEC E.

The analysis adds that this classification is pertinent as compared to an income-level based classification, since lifestyle reflects the consumption patterns more closely than the income levels.

Though this might not be the best time to counter this new concept, but supposedly, Socio-economic Classification is not fool-proof, as is elucidated in an article in Exchange media

“SEC is an indicator or a pointer towards the “likely to consume” set but often defies the reality of not pointing clearly towards the “consuming class”, which is the purpose of any targeting by any marketer. The drawback of using Monthly Household Income (MHI) lies in the difficulty of capturing the correct data, as the respondents are hesitant to disclose the correct MHI.”

There is more subjective perspective to the calculation of SEC than an objective one and so is a debatable classification.
An alternative to this approach is the concept of HPI, or Household Potential Index
HPI enables a direct comparison of urban and rural on the same scale. An interesting inference from this classification is that the analysis “indicates that SEC R1 is close to SEC B2 and SEC R2 is close to SEC D of urban.

It divides the population into 3 classes:
a) Upper most segment of the consuming class (the lakhpathis or crorepathis who also spend and consume)
b) Middle segment which is the core target for growth of very many categories
c) The lower most segment, which is the “volume generator” for many FMCG categories and lower end durables and services

A nice concept of “Premium” goods - Something that is “wanted by many” but “consumed by few”. If the penetration level of a good is low, it commands a higher premium.
This ‘premiumness’ in turn should be factored in deciding the classification, which is catered in HPI calculation, but not in SEC method. If penetration levels are low, a high value is given to the corresponding HPI, and mass products have a low HPI.

Such a method can be spanned across diverse households, and therefore obviates any distinction to be made between rural and urban households.

From a Marketer’s perspective – SEC entails understanding the “potential” of markets, whereas HPI indicates the “consumption intensity” of markets, calculated by the average scores of a household.

More on this later..

*CWE = Chief Wage Earner and is the person who contributes the most to the household expenses

Monday, September 05, 2005

More and More Ps

Another addition to the P's off List!
More P's - This time it is 10 P's of Marketing

I am not sure if this list is "Necessary" and "Sufficient" to include all the dimensions of Marketing, or to be more specific - points that can affect the Purchase Decisions.

Will have to delve more into it and comment. Meanwhile, there is already a group of experts with their perspective operating on this topic in Marketing Profs - "What are the 10 P's of Marketing?"

For the records, here is the list:
- Price
- Purchases
- Point
- Partners
- Prizes
- Pro Bono
- Privileges
- Personalization
- Participation
- Presto

How do Partners figure in here? And in Business, does one start with a "Pro Bono" mindset? How do you perform the "Presto" in Marketing?
Loads of questions....but answers would come soon..

By the way ..the way this is going, I can simply cut and paste the entire list of words starting with P here, and call them the Ps of Marketing!