Saturday, July 21, 2007

Bhopal Medical Appeal Campaign : A Testimony to the Power of Advertising

Here is one of the eight ads from the Bhopal Medical Appeal Campaign that have been doing rounds in the west since 1994.

Many people say that these ads are too long, and that no one has either the time, patience or enthusiasm to read long copies! But this campaign PROVES THEM WRONG. Not only are these ads read, they also generate enough income off the page to pay for themselves and run a clinic in Bhopal employing a staff of 40.

The clinic and its work are testimony to the power of advertising, because this campaign started without a single penny!

The first ad, a double page spread in the UK's Guardian newspaper ran on a personal guarantee to pay if the ad failed. Happily, the public's response was so generous that that first ad enabled the sponsors to buy a building in Bhopal, hire staff and begin training them. Fourteen years later, the sponsors have been able to give medical care to nearly 30,000 people!

This my friends is the power of advertising!!!

For a look at the other copies and details about the ads, refer to the following link which is also the source of this ad.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Multilevel Marketing (aaproach companies like Tupperware and Avon follow) is different from Buzz!

Buzz is nothing but all the word-of-mouth that exists about a product. This buzz travels through invisible networks where each node is a person.

Experts said that if people can create word-of-mouth about a product, why not use them to sell the product itself. This gave rise to Multilevel Marketing (MLM) where companies like Tupperware, Avon, Amway and Oriflame create distribution channels in the invisible networks. But it is important to note that MLM is not buzz. It has very different objectives and ways in which it operates. To give a clear picture on the distinction between the two, I am including an excerpt from the book “The Anatomy of Buzz” by Emanuel Rosen:

While these programs work for certain companies, it’s important to note that the phenomenon they’re based upon is not exactly buzz. There is a key difference between and a marketing scheme in which friends are supposed to sell something to their friends or recruit them as distributors. While buzz may be stimulated with an occasional incentive, it is usually free from any monetary transaction. A customer recommends a product because she truly believes in this product. Part of her credibility comes from the fact that she has nothing to gain by recommending the product, which is not the case when she is selling it.

Advocates of MLM love to point out the potential for exponential growth that comes with this method. (“If your friend tells two friends, and these two friends tell two friends, you reach a huge audience very fast.”) But in real life this exponential growth is hardly ever reached. Why not? Because many people don’t want to get involved in this type of business and don’t feel comfortable selling to their friends. Most people want to talk with their friends without having to sell them anything. When they meet a relative, they want to hear about the family, without thinking of how they could enroll him as part of their “downline” (the industry term for the chain of distributors one recruits).

MLM is far from gone, however. The very same trends that cause customers to rely on their friends in making purchasing decisions – information overloaded, customer skepticism, and customer connectivity – could help MLM organizations to expand, especially in product categories such as skin care, personal services, and food supplements. There is also evidence that this marketing method is more effective in certain social circles and countries than in others. But as MLM grows, it’s important not to confuse it with buzz. Don’t expect an MLM organization to grow at the rate of an ICQ or Hotmail. It’s a different phenomenon.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Heat Activated Urinal Billboards

The world of Interactive Advertising is endless. It was innovative to see Urinal Advertising changing the face of interactive advetising. But HAUB (Heat Activated Urinal Billboards) have taken it to a new level!!
HAUB uses heat sensitive ink technology. This innovative medium combines high definition colour graphics, hidden by "disappearing ink" delivering an interactive message to a captive audience... A perfect strategy to get your message across.

Used successfully in a "Drunken Driving Campaign" in New Zealand, it is a perfect Billboard to deliver any message to a male audience. Strategically placed in the corner of a urinal, (yes that's correct... studies show that 8-10 males prefer the corner), it's sure to generate interest when a male enters the bathroom.

The heat in a male's urine starts filling colours in the image and thus delivers the message! The automatic flush from the toilet re-sets it for the next unsuspecting visitor... A perfect repetitive marketing tactic.

Very Strong Tape by Penline, Malaysia

Penline is a Malaysian stationary company. They have been coming up with creative and high-impact outdoor and print advertisements for a considerable amount of time now.

Here are some samples from their basket.

The taped billboard shown below has been talked about in the marketing circles quite a lot already.

Shown below is one of their print advertisements. Neat work!!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Identify Network Hubs for Word-of-Mouth Marketing

The structures through which Word-of-Mouth spreads are similar to networks as shown in the figure below. There are certain hubs that are connected to other nodes and it these hubs that spread word of mouth to these nodes.

It becomes important for marketer to target these hubs to spread word of mouth to as many people as possible. In Word-of-Mouth parlance, these hubs are called Network Hubs or Opinion Leaders. According to Emanuel Posen, an expert on the subject, Network Hubs are individuals who communicate with more people about a certain product than the average person does.
To enable marketers to identify these Network Hubs, some common characteristics that are exhibited by these individuals have been observed and identified. The acronym used for these characteristics is ACTIVE:
  1. Ahead in adoption
  2. Connected
  3. Travellers
  4. Information-Hungry
  5. Vocal
  6. Exposed to media

By “Ahead in adoption” it is meant that Network Hubs are early to adopt or reject an idea or an offering than the others.

They are “Connected” in the sense that they are more cosmopolite i.e. more oriented towards the outside world.

It has been observed that opinion leaders generally travel more than an average individual. They make more out-of-town trips. Today, this behaviour is complemented by virtual travelling i.e. surfing more and more websites on the internet.

Opinion Leaders often serve as ‘local experts’ because they are well-informed since they always want to learn more. Because of this trait of theirs, it is not unusual to see many people approaching opinion leaders for advice on what to purchase and what not.

Network Hubs are “Vocal” not because they are necessarily out-spoken, but because they voice their opinions more often.

And finally, they are more exposed to media. This may be true because they read more magazines and watch more advertisements or because they themselves are part of the media. This is why many marketers approach personalities and experts, who are more exposed to the media, to talk about their products in person or in editorials.