Monday, May 21, 2007

This Ad Touches your Heart and Soul

Ineffable. I shall not give any descriptions here because words cannot match the class of this creation.
I suggest you watch the ad at least twice to appreciate the beauty of the piece. Also visit the websites mentioned at the end of the clip.

Where to have a PoD for your Brand!

Whenever we talk about positioning a brand, the first two concepts that come to our mind are Points-of-Parity (PoPs) and Points-of-Difference (PoDs). In order to have a distinct differentiated offering, having PoDs at the right level in the Brand Hierarchy is important.

A marketer can differentaite his brand vis-à-vis the competitors at three levels:
  1. Brand Attributes/Features
  2. Brand Benefits
  3. Brand Value

It is essential to have the PoDs sustainable. Special attributes or features that a brand claims can be easily copied by the competitors more often than not. It is tougher, but still possible for competitors to match the benefits that a brand offers. But once a brand has created a distinct value in the minds of the consumers, the competitors cannot follow that route.

Colgate Motion is the battery-operated toothbrush that Colgate has launched. If it focuses on its special bristles or the ergonomically designed handle, Oral-B can come out with its toothbrush with the same features anytime. If Colgate Motion tries to differentiate on the benefit of giving “Superior Cleaning”, Oral-B can match that in some time too. But if Colgate Motion differentiates itself on the Brand Value level as a product that is highly-recommended by dentists, no competitor will be able to replace the trust and respect that the brand will enjoy because of the value it will derive from dentist-endorsements. The trust, once developed in the values a brand stands for, is very difficult to break or replace.

Therefore, whenever you want to find PoDs for your brands or products, look for them at the Brand Value level.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

What a Successful TVC Needs....

The aim of any TV Commercial (TVC) is to perform well on three accounts:

1. Engagement
2. Communication
3. Persuasion

The first job of a TVC is to Engage the viewers. How good the engagement was can be measured by testing aided and unaided recall.

Then, the Communication has to be clear and relevant. A TVC consists of different elements. What each of these elements conveys to the audience is extremely important.
Let us take the example of the recently released Levi Strauss Signature Jeans TVC featuring Deepika Padukone.

An example of an element is the part of the TVC where the stool starts following the girl attracted by the fit of the jeans. When the mirror starts walking for the same reason is another element.

Each element in a TVC should communicate something relevant that builds up the impression in the minds of the viewer about the product.

Finally, the TVC must Persuade the viewer to purchase the product. Whether the Signature Jeans TVC and the charm of Deepika Padukone can persuade a college girl viewing the ad will be the final acid test.

It is important to note that the success of Persuasion depends on how well the ad is Communicated which in turn depends on how well could it engage the viewers. Therefore, we can say that these three stages form a continuum and the success of the one that follows depends on the one(s) that precede it.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Billboards by ActionAid India

ActionAid is an international anti-poverty agency working in over 40 countries, taking sides with poor people to end poverty and injustice together.

In India, they are working with more than 300 civil society organizations and over five million poor and excluded people in 24 states and two union territories.

Their focus is on the rights of India’s most marginalized communities: Dalit and indigenous people, rural and urban poor, women, children and minorities. These groups face an acute lack of access to and control over resources, services, and institutions.

The organization pays special attention to those in vulnerable situations such as people living with chronic hunger, HIV/AIDS or disability, migrant and bonded workers, children who are out of school, city-dwellers without a home, and people whose land or livelihood is under threat.

Recently, they installed billboards in Delhi to generate concern for homeless people.

I came across this and thought that I should include it on the blog, not only to display the innovation in communication but also to contribute to the promotion of the cause.

Log onto for more information.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Difference between Word of Mouth, Viral Marketing and Buzz Marketing

Ever tried finding out the difference between the terms “Word of Mouth”, “Viral Marketing” and “Buzz Marketing”? Not many have. And not many know whether there is any difference at all!

In an article titled “The Word on Word of Mouth” by Dave Balter, the writer beautifully delineates the differences between the three terms.

WORD OF MOUTH is the most powerful medium on the planet. It is the actual sharing of an opinion about a product or service between two or more consumers. It is what happens when people become natural brand advocates. It is the holy grail of marketers, CEOs and entrepreneurs, as it can make or break a product. The key to its success: it is honest and natural.

VIRAL MARKETING is an attempt to deliver a marketing message that spreads quickly and exponentially among consumers. Today, this often comes in the form of an email message or video. Contrary to alarmists’ fear, viral isn’t evil. It isn’t dishonest or unnatural. At its best, it is word of mouth enabled, and at its worst, it is just another interruptive marketing message.
BUZZ MARKETING is an event or activity that generates publicity, excitement, and information to the consumer. It is usually something that combines a wacky, jaw-dropping event or experience with pure branding, like tattooing your forehead or your ass, as a NYC health club recently did). If buzz is done right, people will write about it, so it essentially becomes a great PR vehicle.

Let us get this clear by a few examples.

The Subservient Chicken ( is a website developed by Crispin Porter + Bogusky for their new client, Burger King. The website was comprised of a video with a man in a room dressed in a chicken suit. If you just typed in a word in the bar below the chicken, you could make the chicken do all sorts of things. People visited the site again and again. They talked about it and recommended it to others. The chicken was addictive! This was a great example of Viral Marketing. But what it lacked was WOM. Though everyone talked about the chicken, no one talked about how good the burgers were. The sales did not increase.

When Richard Branson wanted to launch his mobile services in America, he wanted to create a splash, a buzz. It was decided to drop Richard Branson from a skyscraper into Times Square in New York City at rush hour — naked. At the same time, have two hundred people, dressed up in red spandex suits, running around handing out product samples and information leaflets, and otherwise scaring the hell out of the commuters running for the five o’clock train. And you know what? They pulled it off. Okay, so Branson was in a nude suit and he was actually lowered on a crane. But those guys in the red spandex managed to hand out thousands of flyers and many people missed their five o’clock train. Overall, the Buzz Marketing was a raging success.


Google did no marketing, they spent no money. They created scarcity by giving out Gmail accounts to a handful of “power users”. People started talking about the benefits of having Gmail accounts and thus they started lusting for these accounts. This was effective WOM that led to the success of Gmail.

So what is the easiest way to tell these mediums apart? Viral and Buzz marketing are the cause. They are manufactured marketing initiatives that are intended to capture people’s attention and get them talking. They can certainly be effective at cutting through today’s cluttered marketplace, but when they become pervasive, they just become part of the noise. Word of Mouth is the desired effect. It is a natural and honest occurrence, and it is very difficult for a manufactured marketing message to create it.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Even the Church needs to Market itself!

It is a well known fact that the popularity of the church has been on the decline. Probably the biggest challenge facing the Pope is to revive the glory of the church that it has been losing of late.

The church has finally realized that just like any other business entity, even it needs to market itself! The CedarCreek Church has launched an aggressive campaign to promote itself. In order to attract people’s attention, eye-catching billboards showing defamation of the church by Satan have been installed.

A website named aims at reinforcing the faith in God and attracting people towards the church.

The website clearly shows an act of repositioning the church’s image to match the interests of the people today. The language used in the texts is very “common-language” so that it can hit a chord with the target group. A more modern and open-minded image is displayed which is evident by the following extract from the website:

“Come casual, as you are. Tattoos, piercings- not a problem. Whether you’re married, single, single again, you are welcome at CedarCreek and we’re here to help you in life’s journey. Oh yeah, if you have kids, they’ll love it too.”

There are also live online-feeds available at One can also find out information about any events that the church is organizing at all of its campuses.

Visit the website at:

Print Ads for Pedigree Light

Came across a couple of print ads for Pedigree Light. Very creative indeed! Must see...

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Great Ad: American Express

Innovative advertising is what you need to make an impact, to break the clutter. American Express did just that to great succes in this advertisement. A highly recommended view on Youtube. Follow the link given above.

From Taditional AIDA to Engagement Marketing

The communication mix and the touch points for the same are identified according to the objectives that marketers aim to achieve at a particular stage in the buyer's purchasing process. Traditionally, the model that has been followed is the AIDA model that stands for four stages in which the consumer might be with respect to the product : Attention, Interest, Desire or Action.

This model suggests that firstly it is important for the marketer to grab the consumer's attention towards the product, secondly generate interst in it, thirdly induce desire in the consumer for the product and finally make him act and purchase the product.

The word that is taking rounds in the marketing world today is that this model has become obsolete. Experts contend that this model treats the consumers or the shoppers as subjects and directs marketers, the subjects, to target the objects through their communication mix and strategies.

The concept that is being endorsed as a replacement to the AIDA model is called Engagement Marketing. The mantra is to engage the consumer or the shopper with the product and the brand rather than directing communication or strategies to him/her. For the increasingly evolved consumers of today, it is essential to make them a part of the product and brand experience, to make them touch and feel the offering at every stage.

Theoretically, there are said to be four types of engagement: Media Engagement, Ad Engagement, Engagement Marketing and Brand Engagement.

Media engagement provides a context that can facilitate this engagement. The relative preference of one media over the other sets a platform, and engages a consumer to a particular set of media. The next step is to connect with the Advertisements, known as Ad Engagement, where the consumer relates to the ad and receives a personalized meaning out of it. Once the connect has been established, a stimulus must be provided to the ad to give it personal relevance. This is done through Engagement Marketing, which reactivates the associations and symbols at a time when the consumer is ready to move from the emotional, subconscious form of engagement to an active form.The last step, Brand Engagement, ensures sustainability and loyalty towards the advertised Brand. This happens when the messages and experiences blend into a combination culminating into a strong association with the brand per se, and not only the communication.

A practical example of Engagement Marketing can be stated as the Shopper Engagement Programmes (SEPs) that many marketing firms organise. A Promoter Girl at a leading hypermarket requests you to spare a few minutes. Then she makes you play a small game about Colgate Maxfresh that involves answering a few multiple-choice questions on whether you like bungy jumping, scooba diving or rafting and the sorts. After the game you are told that you fall in the category of "Lime Fresh" people based on your answers. After this game you are given a free sample of the toothpaste.

In the above example, the shopper is made to engage with the the brand (freshness and adventure) through a game and then made to "Try" the product through a "Trial Sample". This is nothing but an example of Engagement Marketing.

Next time you read Koetler, appreciate the concepts. But at the same time, question them and try to see if there is anything better at hand!