Admark’s Weblog

Archive for November 2008

The market has always been flooded with ads showing the competitor product in bad light when compared to the company’s products. Mostly, this has been displayed in the form of similar coloured product packages or name initials shown in the ad against which the advertising company shows its superiority (functional or emotional). While the viewers could identify, the competitors could never win the legal battle.

But that wasn’t enough. The latest Horlicks – Complan tussle sees both products compared in the Horlicks ad. Well, Complan decided to come up with an ad claiming that Complan consumers grew taller at a rate twice than the growth of the non consumers.

Horlicks has now arrived with an ad which entails a discussion between two kids and their mothers. Both the products are compared based on the nutrients, the claims and finally the price. The “Taller Stronger Sharper” campaign of Horlicks is used to counter the claims of Complan ( and pretty convincingly if you’d ask me!). The ad communicates the price advantage of the product and the functional benifits. Overall, it shows the supremacy of the brand over the competitors.

Two pointers out here..

1. Such ads can only be allowed if the claims are clinically substantiated. For example, the Horlicks claim of “Taller Sharper Stronger” is a clinically proven claim. So its an example of how research helps in branding.

2. Such ads are justifiable when there are two major players in the market. In this case, Bournvita is a competition which has not been targetted directly. Is that a great idea?

– Nemo


The key to success for any brand in the digital environment is to adhere to the four factors responsible for the success of the digital-bred brands:

  1. A brand must represent and demonstrate comprehensiveness in whatever market it’s in.
  2. It has to make some aspect of life easier or more convenient for consumers.
  3. The brand experience has to be fun, engaging, and worth sharing.
  4. And, in an age when all is visible, earning the trust of consumers is of the essence.

BTW do remember: Bringing your brand online isn’t just about building websites!


Adage points to a good piece on how package-goods company Reckitt outperformed heavyweights like Unilever, P&G. Some snippets –

Globally, Reckitt has posted 10% organic sales growth so far this year,
besting all peers. And in the past five years, it has beaten all
competitors with average organic sales growth of 8% and net profit
growth of 17%, according to data from the company based on Credit
Suisse analysis.

Surprising if that is, then consider this –

The company spent nearly 90% of its media dollars on TV last year.

Half of improvements in gross margin get invested in increased
marketing spending, said Mr. de Groot, and the other half drops to the
bottom line.

Even as some competitors cut or slowed marketing spending amid a
turbulent economy, rising private label and high commodity costs in
recent quarters, Reckitt didn’t. Its spending in July and August
(excluding outdoor) was up 10.8% from a year ago, according to TNS
Media Intelligence, and spending through August puts it on pace to
increase its 2007 outlay of $402 million by about 10% for the year.

And the results say –

Since January 2007, Reckitt’s all-outlet share of household categories has risen five points, to 29%, Mr. de Groot said.

The company culture –

The nine people on the company’s global executive committee come from
seven countries, as do the top 10 U.S. managers. The top 400 managers
(those getting options and restricted shares) come from 50 countries.
And of the top 50 global managers, 79% work outside their countries of
origin, and 95% have had at least one global transfer.

Instructive piece – do read.

Earlier I had mentioned about the 5th P of marketing, the paanwaalah. Sample these statistics about a company which tapped into the rural market in Uttar Pradesh avoiding the harsh words –

You need large investments and the creation of a feasible infrastructure. From here

Earlier –

Number of retailers – 50,000

Number of distributors – 500

Years taken to build this – 20 YEARS

Now –

New retailers added – 20,000

New distributors added – 500

Years taken to achieve this – < 1 year

This is the story of Tata Tea’s “Gaon Chalo” (Hit the villages) campaign. They tapped into the reach of the NGOs to reach the rural market. What happened then?

Consolidated market share change for Tata Tea – 6% points from 18 % to 26%

Consolidate market share change for HUL – > 6% down from 23%

After the paanwaalah it seems to collaborate with the NGOs. Interesting space to watch. Read on at BusinessWorld.


O’yes the deep voice, the tiltillating music is back. O&M has stuck again and has found gold again for Asian Paints. But this time the concept is outside in.

Lets go back to old campaign

Har ghar chup chaap se yeh kehta hai ki andar usmein kaun rehta hai?
Chhat bataati hai yeh kiska aasmaan hai.
Rang kehte hain kiska yeh jahaan hai
Kamron mein kiski kalpana jhalakti hai?
Is farsh par nange pair kiske bacche chalte hain?
Kaun chun chunke ise pyaar se sajaata hai?
Kaun is makaan mein apna ghar basaata hai?
Har ghar chup chaap se yeh kehta hai ki andar usmein kaun rehta hai?

This campaign was all about inside out and the motive was to show how the home makers decorate their homes (and not houses) . It retains the focus on the personas that live in a house and the entire script goes inside out, from the house to the external world. The whole script is about the persona and it never talks about the colours.

This campaign was all about “har ghar kuch kehta hai – andar se”. Cut back to the present –

Kaise ek makaan chupke se ghar ban jaata hai
Kyun uss ghar ka darwaza hardam khula nazar aata hai
Kyun padosi apne ghar se zyada iss ghar mein nazar aate hain
Postman bhi sirf naam dekhke chitthi le aata hai
Exams se pehle bachhon ke best friends padhne yahin kyun aate hain
Rotiyan yahaan pe kabhi ginke kyun nahin banti
Kyun Holi khelne poora mohalla yahin par jut-ta hai
Kyun Diwali ka pehla pataka yahin se choothta hai
Kyun cricket mein haarte haarte India yahin pe jeet jaata hai
Kaise yeh ghar sabki zindagi mein rang laata hai
Har ghar chup chaap se kehta hai…Ki andar ismein kaun rehta hai.

The script still retains the persona based approach and still never talks about the colour, thereby retaining the consistency in the campaign. Notice the shift from inside to outside. The lines now say why people throng to this home, and not how people inside transform the house to a home. The ad campaign also has a faceless quality, never showing any face and instead focusing on the walls. This, I think is the double whammy which is really priceless and really subtle. The absence of walls in the script is more than made up in the video. This one was all about “har ghar kuch kehta hai – baahar se”.

I just have one rant against this beauty. The TV campaign omits some of the lines and thereby curtailing the superb imagery and poetry in the script.

Kaise ek makaan chupke se ghar ban jaata hai
Kyun uss ghar ka darwaza hardam khula nazar aata hai
Rotiyan yahaan pe kabhi ginke kyun nahin banti
Kyun cricket mein haarte haarte India yahin pe jeet jaata hai
Har ghar chup chaap se kehta hai…Ki andar ismein kaun rehta hai.

The abrupt transition from the roti to cricket jars in the ears and somehow I felt something was missing in between, till I found the whole script. The older campaign script was penned by Mr. Piyush Pandey himself and this time those creative duties has been handled by Shekhar Jha.

One word about the music – the soft tiltillating piano is a pleasure for the ears.

The AV for the campaign can be seen here.



Bharti Enterprises (parent company of Airtel) unveiled its new identity on November 4. It was designed by JWT India. Bharti also presented its vision to become “India’s finest conglomerate” by 2020.

According to the official communique, the new logo is youthful and reflects Bharti’s multidimensional character and avenues for growth. The indigo stands for depth and the orange, for youthful passion and energy. The arrows stand for movement that extends beyond boundaries and symbolize swiftness, precision and accuracy.

The core values of Bharti’s refreshed brand are:

Empowering People – to do their best

Being Flexible – to adapt to the changing environment and evolving customer needs

Making it Happen – by striving to change the status quo, innovate and energize new ideas with a strong passion and entrepreneurial spirit,

Openness and transparency – with an innate desire to do good

Creating Positive Impact – with a desire to create a meaningful difference in society.

Bharti is diversifying into number of business. Besides being a leader in telecom business, Bharti has ventured into insurance, agricultural and food processing sector, communications (with Airtel Digital TV). Its JV with Walmart will bring retail stores to India as well. Bharti has also partnered with DelMonte to have presence in the FMCG sector as well!


I know there are lot of brands which are really using social media (or rather tools of web2.0), but these two examples highlight the difference in the way the medium is used for its inherent value.

Story – 1 (Outside India)

Brand – Pepsi

Context – Logo redesign

So the story goes that Pepsi is trying to redesign its logo and what does it do? It creates a Friendfeed room where the social media A Listers, and the long tailers, can comment. It also boxes filled with Pepsi cans(3 different boxes; tracing their “Can” design evolution) to A Listers in social media. So what happens –

The choice to make it exclusive, the undeniable marketing story of seeing the 100 year brand logo evolution of one of the largest brands in the world on a series of cans (which most marketing bloggers would care about on some level), and the generally positively reviewed new logo means that Pepsi will probably get exactly what they wanted from this campaign … for a handful of marketing bloggers who collectively reach a large percentage of the marketing community to all be talking about Pepsi’s new logo. – Rohit Bhargava

I think this is an excellent field to test the waters about the  revamp in design. The friendfeed discussion and the A Lister recruitment is good idea on two counts –

  1. Word of mouth from the A-Listers (influencers) themselves
  2. Community involvement, feedback from the community and the influencers

Here is what the new logo looks like –



The New Pepsi Can

The New Pepsi Can


Image credit – Rohit Bhargava

Story – 2 (India)

Brand – Virgin Mobile

Context – Virgin Mobile Launch

Virgin Mobile is on twitter, I find out to my utter surprise. I peruse through their updates to sense what kind of interaction is going on. Apart from the regular “new promo”, “Sir Richard Branson doing <thisactivity><withthiscelebrity> sort of tweets, do I see regular interaction with the community ?

My answer would be; “an honest attempt”. The person in background tries to keep the core of the brand, which is thinking differently or think hatke, alive (sometimes sounding silly, corny) like –

  1. What would T9 dictionary be in Virgin Mobile?
  2. What is your opinion about Virginity.. oops Virgin Mobile Think Hatke Ads..?

However the question that I am concerned with, is the reach ? The Pepsi story has the A Listers in them but the Virgin Mobile story does not (in addition to the fact that it’s in India and that too on Twitter). Virgin Mobile seems to have all-encompassing social media presence in Facebook, Flickr, Youtube as well which is really surprising.

Do the numbers really add up? I think no (Since March 2008, for 100 updates, it means JUST 3 tweets per week). I am just happy to see brand:that too in India, trying out web2.0. I don’t know whether they have a dedicated person from the organization sitting behind these avenues or is it some retailer doing this (in that case it becomes all the more intriguing).