Sunday, November 27, 2005

How to Lose Sales in two words?

A nice perspective on Marketing to Women Online by Holly on How to Lose Sales in two words - the Power of Personalization

An answer to "Can you lose sales in two words?" with women ..... two words that would ensure loss of potential customers instantly, and obviate any chances of converting women prospects.. are
"Dear Sir" - incorrect addressing to women can turn disastrous for the Salesmen. "The moment she reads it, the deal has gone!". In this world of personalization, every consumer presumes that the salesman knows about him, or at least a bit about him....But if I perceive that the other person does not even recognize my gender, it works against the deal, very much against! This is where online marketing, with virtual transactions and perceived customers, can prove to be risky. There are no tangible impressions, no audible transactions and no visible purchases....none to identify the gender of the customers! In such cases, it is imperative to stay conservative, and if not, at least not presume details!

Though online marketing is still in its nascent stage in India, the potential of women consumers, and their role in the Urban Markets as "Buyers" and Rural Markets as "Influencers" is unquestionable. Looking ahead, every marketer who targets women online needs to keep this in mind ...the first shot can very well be the parting shot!

Thanks for the insight, Holly!

No wonder the latest custom in Business Communication has been modified to cater to this risk! After the end of Male Chauvinists, here comes a brand new era of neutral personalization (or maybe end of Presumed Personalization, talking the "Read Between the Ps" lingo!)
"Dear Customer" replaces the reverential "Dear Sir" and "her" dispels any dilemma presented on the "his/her" status.

Not sure how many men in India would like to be addressed "Dear Madam"! Probably, most of them would be willing to ignore it for their wives? or girlfriends? ;-)

[via WonderBranding]

Golden Rules ...Freakonomics!

Found an interesting blog today on Business perspectives and thoughts that impact day-to-day businesses. 800ceoread's blog surely provides an insight into what leaders of today think and do, that makes them what they are!

For instance, an entry on the blog "Don't trust, Just Verify" mentions the Golden Rules of a few leaders. Originally covered in Business 2.0, it talks about the "Golden Rules" that leaders follow in their business.

Warren Buffett's Golden Rule is "There Can't Be Two Yous"

"When you get out of bed in the morning and think about what you want to do that day, ask yourself whether you'd like others to read about it on the front page of tomorrow's newspaper. You'll probably do things a little differently if you keep that in mind. "

Also, Steven D Levitt, co-author of Freakonomics avers "Don't Trust, Just Verify"

"So much of what we hear and what we're taught turns out to be false on closer scrutiny. Whether it is expert advice, what you read in the paper, or what your mother told you, if it is important, take the time to figure out for yourself whether it is really true. "

His perspective is probably reflected in his book. Though I had not heard of "Freakonomics" till I came across this review, a close look definitely makes it an interesting piece to look out for. Will talk more of this book, once I catch hold of an edition, but it suely sounds an exciting pick! Read the review and you would understand.
Check this...

"Through forceful storytelling and wry insight, Levitt and co-author Stephen J. Dubner show that economics is, at root, the study of incentives - how people get what they want, or need, especially when other people want or need the same thing."


"Freakonomics establishes this unconventional premise: if morality represents how we would like the world to work, then economics represents how it actually does work."

Must say.... That's Business! ;-)

Friday, November 25, 2005

Levi's Europe - The Ice-cream Van

Saw a nice contrast in the Ads across Europe and North America. The latest Ad on “501 Jeans with Anti-Fit” in Europe features a mild playing guitarist, with the Anti-fit jeans; winning mutual admiration and awe from his audience, the musical is ‘different’, and a story line has been built around an ice-cream van, in a series of 4 Ads, as part of the campaign.

and here are some glimpses from the Ad….

On the other hand, the same brand in North America features a completely different presentation, with a set of 3 vignettes as part of the campaign. This campaign is running across the US and Canada. Catch the Ad tomorrow :-)

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The Wired Cult...

Got to know about 2 New books for the Wired Cult, written by Leander Kahney - the Cult of Mac and the Cult of iPod
[via the Cult of Mac blog ]
I do not know much about the books per se, but I really liked the front covers of the Books. A unique collectible to be paired and put together! :-)

A sneak peek of the coming edition of the Cult of iPod can be viewed at the Cult of Mac Blog

Furniture from currency notes?

Business Standard reported an interesting innovative initiative in the Recycled Goods Category, in its article “Now Furniture gains currency”.

After many attempts to recycle waste currency notes into eco-friendly manner, an Indore-based company, Rajratan Technique and Technology, has been able to develop innovative methods to use soiled notes for making furniture and doors. Sheets, 32 sq feet in size, of the recycled material would be made and will be very similar to the plywood sheets being used in the industry. The timeline drawn for the development is the end of this financial year, as promised by the company.
The concept is not old for the company, and the industry. Rajratan is part of a wider network of recycling specialists and has been working as dealer for its associate company – DRIPL (Deluxe Recycling India Pvt. Ltd.)

DRIPL had launched its flagship product – ECOLINK, a few years back.
According to its website,
"DRIPL is India's first recycled chipboard manufacturing plant, and its product - ECOLINK – is an internationally accepted recycled material which promises ecological, economic, aesthetic and practical values. ECOLINK is a chipboard made by recycling production waste and used empty cartons of Tetra Pak India Pvt. Ltd, an environmentally - conscious company."
Ecolink can be used in all kinds of furniture – Accessories, Construction and Building, Retail and Kitchen Systems.

DRIPL started this concept after working with Hindustan Packaging and Tetra Pak India Pvt. Ltd. for almost 11 years and the recycled Tetra Pack waste would have been the trigger for ECOLINK. Though DRIPL is located in Bombay, it has its dealers across the country. It just happened that one of its dealers leveraged this opportunity to work towards more applications of the recycled waste!

Recycling and disposal of soiled currency notes is one of the important postulates in the monetary planner for Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Every year, notes need to be destroyed and new ones need to be printed by RBI.
According to the Annual Report of RBI for 2005, under its “Clean Notes Policy

During 2004-05, a total of 11, 752 million pieces of soiled banknotes were processed and disposed off. Of these, Rs.100 denomination banknotes constituted the largest share, followed by Rs.10 and Rs.50 denominations. Mechanisation of verification, processing, sorting and disposal of soiled banknotes through on-line shredding has been a thrust area in currency management. But so far, no manufacturer has evinced commercial interest in such projects, which is why the RBI has been making bricks out of soiled notes for land-filling.

Therefore, there is a huge business opportunity in this line. In an attempt to tap this opportunity, Rajratan has made a positive move in this direction.

The concept is wonderful, and with an aggressive campaign, it can work wonders for the company. But though the orientation is correct, there are some areas that need immediate attention by the Marketers.

First of all, the Marketing efforts are not visible for the company. I could see press releases of as early as 2001, on the website, which implies that the company is almost 4-5 years old. It is quite a surprise then, that since then, there have been only 2 press releases by the firm.
Either it is a B2B initiative, with an established supply chain, and loyal dealers, that DRIPL does not feel the need to advertise, or the market is not good enough.
Recycled applications are in demand, and would be in vogue in a year or two. So, the latter does not hold true.

Also, the website has not been done up properly. Such a unique concept needs to be marketed accordingly, but unfortunately, the “visibility” element has been missing. No advertisements, no online interactive website. Just mere online Presence is not sustainable for DRIPL, if a commercial aspect is what the company is looking for. In India, chances of “Societal Marketing” failing are very less, unless the concept per se, is faltered.

The company needs to work on its branding, utilizing the latent demand in the country. It needs to tie up with RBI and pitch more in PR campaigns. It can work with co-branding initiatives with the major companies in “the Home Furnishings”. A Green India would be a match winner on any day – show it and get the money :-) You never know, you might get some non-soiled currencies also!
Innovative thinking and a good breakthrough nonetheless. Congratulations Rajratan and best wishes for the Currency Collection!

"The Economist" Campaigns

Ogilvy has put up some great work on “The Economist”.
Found these ads on their website, thanks to a nice lead from Freddy’s Blog.
Ogilvy has an excellent pool of creatives posted on their website.
Though this set of Ads is not present in its current portfolio, the archives contain the entire set of the print campaign

Apart from these Ads, I found another interesting piece by Ogilvy and Mather in the Adverblog archives
For this Ad, Ogilvy & Mather Singapore had won a Gold at the One Show 2004.
The brief was based on the "Economist Brain"

And another one from Agency FAQs

Incidentally, the last one, titled "Management Trainee. Aged 42" is a creation of AMV BBDO, and not O & M. Atleast that’s what the website says!
Finally, there is another piece to complete the set – ‘the control by Technology’. Though I haven’t uploaded it here, it can be viewed at the Hidden Persuader’s Blog
The Ads are of intellectual taste, undoubtedly. For the first timers, an elaborate brief might be required :-). Spend a minute on each, and you would discover a bit more of the "intended communication". But, certainly the Ads have been well thought of, keeping the readership in mind, primarily. Nice work!

Found some more of the campaign. These ones are from BBDO.

This sensor-based Billboard Ad (via Billboardom) from Economist won the London International Awards last year (LIAA awards)

And this excellent series of Ads created by BBDO, from Ads of the world . Thanks Ivan!

The Ads are titled - "The Great Thinker", "Head Support" "The Keyhole" and "Always On", respectively.
There is also a series of Interactive Advertisements, that I got from Adjab on the “New Economist”
It starts with “What’s happened to The Economist?”. As colors change, the line changes to “The new-look Economist with added color” Check the 3-ad series at this link.

Any more Ads on the Economist lately?

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Panadol - One is Enough

Found an excellent Ad on Panadol, a well-known pain reliever.

"Panadol - One is Enough"

Not the product, but the Ad, is an instant eye-catcher. Absolutely hilarious, and very well connected with the tagline. The Bush Family probably does not enjoy a big fan club, which was substantiated by Fahrenheit 9/11, a year back. An indirect mock at them does send indicators to the International Community that we have had enough of him. Rather - them!
No wonder the tagline says "One is enough!" Beautifully associated indeed!

But there is a small risk in such politically affiliated campaigns. Does this mean that only the Democrats would be loyal to Panadol, and would not be appreciated much by the Republicans? Or would everyone take it in the right spirits, and take it sportingly?

Incidentally, discovered that this very Ad received a bronze at this year's Cannes Festival in the print category :-) Choices do meet somewhere!

Panadol is one of the world's leading paracetamol-based pain relievers. In India, it is called Crocin, a commonly known medicine for high temperature.

It is sold in more than 85 countries, including India, where it is called Crocin and Colombia where it is marketed as Dolex.
Could not write earlier, as have my semester examination going on. The worst thing about MBA is the Evil "exams". But, one makes up for it, when you dont know anything :-) Just absolves you of all the tension and apprehensions, when you effortlessly screw up :-)

Butt Naturals..

Have a look at this new Ad I got from a New Blog I recently visited - Good Morning Ad Club. The Ad is from VIP Gym and has been brilliantly communicated.
Check it out ;-) Just cannot think beyond - "Get up and Run"

Next time, make sure you check your seat and sit :-D

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Cadbury’s…the smile on you “Khaamuh Khaan ..”

Cadbury’s India has coded its website (Flash version) pretty well. Though quite similar to Pepsi International in the look and feel, Cadbury has some unique campaigns and products to offer. The best part of the website is – it is pretty well structured, simple and easy navigable.

A small icon from each Ad symbolizes a section on the Site – Chocolates, New Launches, History “Sweet Past” , Advertising, Careers and Current Performance. Good presentation!

It is imperative for an impulse product like chocolates to be presented at every step in order to ensure a high recall. Two simple elements used by Cadbury are – Humor and Emotive appeal. I think these are the 2 most effective ways to ensure a high top-of-the-mind recall for Cadbury’s. In each of their Humor-flavored Ads, the positioning is communicated at the end of the Ad, which connects to the Ad and the brand.
In the Emotive Ads, the emotions revolve around the brand itself – simple dynamics of Advertising – Sweet, yet elegant!

Consider this piece which was started a couple of months back – in the Radio and TV media. Excellent Execution, with the pertinent triggers. An awesome background score in itself was instrumental in enhancing the recall value….
Main Khush hoon aaj khaama khaan… Main Khush hoon aaj khaama khan…” (Don’t know why but am happy today…just like that!)

Notice each expression carefully, and each slide individually...
Though the reasons may be different, but most of us can relate to the expressions and the situations – times when you just feel nice about everything around you…and feel like jumping around, foot stepping, smiling in your own thoughts, humming tunes…and oblivious of the surroundings.. simply when the world looks like a nice place to live in after all – Cadbury’s …bringing happiness around you..
Wow! That’s just like Richard Bach endorsing Cadbury’s ! :-)

A great way to capture the emotions and capitalize on this connect! Good work! Check out the complete Ad and some other wonderful pieces in the Advertisings Section on the Cadbury's Website

Celebrations..on Diwali!

Was wondering what to put on this auspicious occasion of “Diwali” – Ads, Posters, Diyas, Crackers, Gods…what not? There is so much in the market customized for this occasion. So many sales attached to this? In this part of the Marketing world, the season in India would be equivalent to the stakes involved during Christmas.
With a 4-day vacation and multiple occasions pre- and post- Diwali, there is a lot of air time on offer, during which consumers can be lured.
So, what better could I offer than on this Biggest Festival of Hindus, than a sweet box of chocolates? ;-)

Have a box of 'Celebrations', dance, party… and Enjoy with the entire Family. Have a Great Diwali!

Incidentally, the “sweets” attraction brought me to one of the best websites I have seen lately, in terms of campaigns and the layout.
Let me take it up in the next entry. For now, Shubkaamnaayen (Best wishes) and Happy Diwali..!