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Archive for June 2008

Some of the interesting out-of-home (ooh) campaigns in India:

1. Brand: Times of India | Format: Human Kiosks

2. Brand: Reebok | Format: Billboards

3. Brand: Vodafone | Format: Billboards



The boom in the Indian economy has surfaced a fresh buying hub – the Indian middle class. Still rooted in their traditional ways of shopping, gaining product knowledge and in their ways of life, these customers are surely not going to be wooed by the conventional marketing strategies. Spread across the country, these consumers would not converge to a single buying point. Nor would they be satisfied with the same products. Mass customization and customized service is the need of the day. Or the door is open; we’ve lot more guests waiting. J

One of the problems that companies face with mass customizing is the high cost to service at an individual level. Companies have however been proactive in identifying the group culture of Indians and launched rural programmes to influence group buying. For example, i-Shakti from HUL uses these groups to sell their products. Needless to say, the success has been phenomenal. I would consider more organized selling to be directed to established groups thus influencing buying behaviour and successfully knowing the needs of the particular segment. The products or services can then be customized to these needs.

Self help groups spread across the country are representative of this growing class of Indians. There is thus need of intermediaries which could provide a source of sustenance to these groups and provide companies avenues to increase their sales. Aggregation of small pools of customers would make customer relationship management possible and increase opportunities of growth for the companies.


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Its old.

But its one of my favorite print ads. Simple yet very effective!

Brand: Durex Condom

Somehow condom print ads have a very high degree of ingenuity. Maybe some other day, in some other posts I will put more of condom print ads. Till then, appreciate creativity of this print ad!


Ambush marketing or Parasitic marketing refers to a situation in which a company or product seeks to ride on the publicity value of a major event without having contributed to the financing of the event through sponsorship.

Classical case of ambush marketing in India

When Coke won the official sponsorships rights for the 1996 Cricket World Cup, Pepsi had a plan to win the race off the field. Coke paid Rs. 40 cr to be called an official sponsor, but Pepsi’s brilliant counter ad “Nothing Official About It” clearly occupied more of the consumers mind space.

Pepsi signed up a string of Indian players and used them in TVCs under the catch phrase “Nothing official about it”. They even told their players not to approach Coke drinks trolley during breaks in play. The campaign showed cricketers like Sachin Tendulka rejecting the official drink for a Pepsi. Though Coca-Cola was the official sponsor for the event, Pepsi made the best of it with its briliiant campaign.


So IPL is causing a huge hullabaloo all over and b-schools are doing something about it. We had a tête-a-tête on IPL today. I got to hear some nice words such as –
Audience burnout, player burnout, $1.02 Billion, BCCI, richest cricketing body, city rivalry, IPL v/s EPL, enthralled masses and all that. Oh yes those two words that hit high on MBA vocabulary – perceived value, continuous innovation, improvement. Not that I know what IPL is, professing as much that I don’t give a tiny rat’s arse about it).
One curious thing that hit me in the discussion was the nomenclature of team names. Is there a logic, is there a bias or is there something more? I thought I should explore.

Team names – Sans logic

  1. Kolkata Knight Riders – I don’t know why did they choose this name. The only clue I managed to eke out was that Knight Riders was a serial broadcast in NBC.
  2. Deccan Chargers – No logic it seems (atleast to me). The team is from Hyderabad and is owned by Deccan Chronicle. Is there a link?
  3. Delhi Daredevils – Okay what is so daredevilry about Delhi? Delhi is unsafe for women so the men causing all this pain are the daredevils. Or is it the vestiges of the monkey man saga and idol-drinking-milk-which-spread-through-word-of-mouth? Nothing, zilch.
  4. Chennai Super Kings – Soopper seri, aana Soopper Kings? (Super is okay, but Super Kings?) I guess it has got to do with the past dynasties of Cholas, Cheras and Pandyas. Incidentally these kings rules in the current states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka had separate rulers, I think and hence they have separate teams. Is that logic? Very weak.

Team Name – Weak Logic

  1. Punjab Kings – Okay I accept. North Indians were rulers of great awe and to this day the north-south divide still says North India was more prone to attacks from firangis. Amen !!

Team Names Strong logic

  1. Rajasthan Royals – Doesn’t that fit so beautifully. Rajasthan has a history of royals.
  2. Royal Challengers Bangalore – Notice the departure here. The team name comes before the city that it represents. Ah the wicked imagination one Mr. Mallya. So the brand represents him (forget the alcohol for a minute) and Bangalore and UB go together. I get that it is from Bangalore. But why put the suggestive RC (remember all you engineers and all ye engineers languishing in B-Schools) before the city name? Innovation eh?

Team Name well, hmmm, mmm

  1. Mumbai Indians – It defies the template <City_Represented><No Logic, History, Brands>. Instead it goes on to the next level, the country itself. Mumbai is okay but putting Indians after that seems a bit out of place. So this team has nationalistic connotations. Mumbai at several levels means so much to so many people. But then why not use that, why India? On a different note say I am cheering for several teams. I can exclaim “the Chargers won”, “those Knight Riders gave it all away”, or even “the Challengers look challenged”.
    1. Doesn’t it seem really awkward to say “Yey, the Indians won!”? Aren’t we all that?

If you people do think there is something behind the nomenclature or just your thoughts, ping in.



PS – For my own safety reasons, please consider this post just as a rant. A break from B-School vicissitudes, MBA thinking, anyways you might want to call it. Like whatchamacallit.

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