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Archive for the ‘Communications’ Category

This marks the start of an idea I had in mind for long. Why not start a marketing nuggets post that acts a small aggregator of news / views on marketing from around the web (and by definition around the world. With a 10 – 15 word blurb on what the article says).  Let’s start –

Views on Marketing in Apple (via Branding Strategy Insider)

Marketing by exclusivity. The author asks – did you exclude a customer today? Interesting thought.

Danone – Reaching the bottom of the pyramid (via WSJ)

Seems like its always the question of price v/s grammage debate while trying to evolve a model to reach out to the bottom of the pyramid.

Facebook and the rise of semantic web (via RWW)

How Facebook (and other host of companies like Best Buy etc) plugged into Semantic Web via a technology called as RDFa / OpenGraph (in my understanding works in the direction of meta information tagging) which might lead to a powerful tool allowing marketers to contextualize their offering ever closer.

Unrelated note : It also marks the debate between recommendation versus search.

Related note: Best practices for marketing on Facebook happening on 28 July (Organized by Altimeter Group and the influential Jeremiah Owyang)

Some great real-time ads from Nestle (via Google Reader)

Vuvuzela Epic Wimbledon Match

Recent Fastrack advertisement (I so love their tongue-in-cheek boldness which clearly excludes the ages to which the brand does not want to be associated with)


Fastrack advertisement


Let me know – egghead


Living alone in Chennai, one usually frequents hotels that have built quite the reputation for themselves as those who have crossed over. Crossing over not necessarily out of the borders of the state but to North India and the whole wide world.

Such an example is Hotel Saravana Bhavan. They have crossed over to North India and locations in UAE, America, UK, SE Asia and many more. As it happens with the outreach, the traditional idli-dosai-meals menu now has a smattering of North Indian dishes as well.

What follows is multilogue between a bunch of North Indians who arrived to one such restaurant in Chennai for their lunch (I was sharing a table with them munching on a rather over crisp Bhatura).

NI 1 – “What should we have for lunch, bhai log?

NI 2 – “What else but some Idli / dosas? I guess they wouldn’t have any roti-subzi.”

NI 3 – “Or we could have a bhatoora (glancing sideways to my plate).”

By this time the menu cards arrive and the guests promptly start searching for the Bhatoora entry in the menu with no success.

NI 1 / 2 – “I guess they would not call it Bhatoora here. I am damn sure they must be calling it some weird name that the local janta can understand. Anyways if we can’t get it we will have something else.”

NI 3 – <Smug laugh>

Once the waiter comes to get the order and this happens –

NI 1 – “Chole Bhatoore” (In a rather sub sonic voice)

Waiter – <Pause> (Apparently waiting for the guest to tell the number of plates they would like to have)

NI 2 / 3 – “It seems that they don’t have it, let us go for something else”

The guest order some other dish and go on with it.

The interesting takeaway from this incident is three fold –

The guests are saying, without pointing out, that Chole Bhatoore though visible as a dish cannot be found in the menu card.

Also, despite both the parties knowing that what they want exists / can be delivered, they miss out on an opportunity to eat it / serve it.

Misinterpretation of silence is dangerous. While the guests thought that indeed their suspicions were true, they waiter stood there counting for the next input, in the form of number of portions, to be communicated.

The guests ate whatever they did not want to eat and went away. However they went away forming an opinion / an image that indeed this restaurant does not have North Indian dishes at all.

The irony of it all being, I was sitting there eating what they wanted. At one point the guests pointed at an entry in the menu card labelled “Chana poori” and remarking – “Probably this is what they call Bhatoora here”, followed by a guffaw of laughs.

And ahoy, we are not dead. -egghead

For the record –







Of the few very popular terms that you may hear in a marketing class in a B-School or even in the conversations of two marketing professionals, especially in the Advertising World, you would often come across “Clutter-Breaking”. Telling you from my personal experience, this term though signifies “breaking through the clutter (regular) or standing out of the mass”, is so over-used or if I may use the word abused that you need a “clutter-breaking” term to stand out of the usual over-used terms like “clutter-breaking”.

Anyways, I spent some time (or you may say wasted both lines and time) on “clutter breaking” because that is what I observed on streets and buildings around me. It was outside Andheri Station in Mumbai when on a bus stop I saw an advertisement of Religare which had a small kid clicking on a camera. Nothing extraordinary right? What caught my attention was the flash of the camera shown, which was a light which must have been placed in such a manner so as to appear to be the actual flash light of the camera from the front.

Another one was today on my way to Gurgaon, when I saw a Nokia N97 ad that showed the phone in use on a very big screen. What was different from the usual in this case was first a ticker that was supposedly there to scroll news and was indeed scrolling live news! The second one was a field that showed temperature and was actually showing teh temperature at that time. Though these two distinctly stood out in terms of not gelling too-well with the original image, still its a way to catch attention.

Now comes the question of effectiveness. Though, I really had to ponder hard to recall what brand was that kid and camera ad and moreover, what was that ad about, but in case of Nokia N97, I do know now that these are the two features amongst many others in this phone. It maybe the case that Nokia is fresh in mind and it will only take a week or so for me to again look back to even if Nokia was effective but the point I am trying to make here is that there are three very important aspects to OOH print advertising. First, to the slightest of extent possible, yes it pays if it is “Clutter Breaking”. Second, it should be effective! For instance, if you recall one of the recent Parle Musst Stix ad which shows the spokesperson from Parle making consumers aware of how they don’t like to invest money in advertising and instead believe in giving more quantity in their SKUs with a model popping up in the screen with Musst Stix and the spokesperson asking the staff to get rid of her. This ad, though to me seemed to be good, but speaking to a few people I understood that it might not have been that effective as many people mistook it to be a BINGO ad! Now even in our case, if I remember the flash light of the camera but not the brand, nor the context, though clutter breaking and attention grabbing, was it effective? Thirdly, the placement of the ad is very important, which I think both of these brands had (appropriate if not the best spots).

Various brands have used all sorts of techniques to grab attention, sometimes by playing with size, sometimes with colours used, or a surprise factor, distinctiveness , sometimes mere placement of the ad and then a mix of them. Given below are few examples. Enjoy 🙂


If you are wondering what the title of this post means, I am here to make it simple for you. It stands for “Oh My God, I’m Gonna Puke”. Now coming to what it exactly is, it is a phrase used in Microsoft’s new online ad for Internet Explorer 8. Going on to their website, you may no longer find this ad, reason being many users found it to be “offensive”.

Confused? Should be. Actually, the ad tries to highlight one of the features of IE8 which is private browsing meaning there are no traces of your browising session left anywhere in the browsing history or elsewhere. The feature is somewhat similar to what is offered by Google Chrome in the form of “Incognito Window”.

But then whats so offensive about the ad is the meaningless and ugly, rather senseless way of showcasing it. The ad shows a husband and wife sitting on a table with the wife stirring probably a glass of milk and the husband working on his laptop. The husband then stands up and walks away for something when the wife takes permission to use his laptop.

All is well?

What happens next leads to something you may not want to know if you had your meal minutes before. The woman turns the laptop towards her and sees something that sort of disgusts her to such an extent that she pukes!

As if this was not enough, her husband returns and slips because of the slippery floor (slippery because of what the woman did!). In comes a man in the foreground asking “Do you suffer from O.M.G.I.G.P or Oh My God I’m Gonna Puke” and the background still has this woman repeatedly and periodically puking, this time, on her husband lying on the floor. The next 10 seconds of this commercial shows the man in the foreground describing the feature of private browsing in IE while the woman in the background continues to puke on her husband lying down on the floor.

The ad then features the tag line, Internet Explorer 8, Browser For The

A Microsoft spokeswoman claimed that while much of the feedback received for this ad was positive, some customers found it offensive so they’ve removed it.

Well, if you still want to see it, to which I think that you should re-think, here is that “offensive” ad for you. Watch it and tell me if it was “offensive”, if not then how did you feel about it?

– Pikes

I am waking down the memory lane today.

I am a big fan of Apple ads and this particular “Think Different” ad campaign is my all time favorite.

Back in India, I really love Airtel ads. Both Airtel and Apple try to play on the emotional aspect and their ads just moves you and engages you in the TVC. But on a different note, I was going through my ad repository and found an uncanny resemblance of the following Airtel “Power of human expression” ad with the Apple “Think Different” ad.

Both have a black and white background. They are not promoting their product/service but are just talking about their positioning. Both are emotional in nature.

They may be similar, but what the heck, I just wanted these two ads to be posted on adMark. Both the ads are brilliant in their execution and are a visual delight.


P.S. In case you have missed out, do watch the Bharti’s (parent company of Airtel) Proud to be India ad campaign. Well its brilliant work from Airtel once again.

I was/am in love with Orkut and never jumped onto the Facebook mania. But some time back, when Microsoft valued Facebook at $15 Billion, I became curious as to whats so special about Facebook. Then during my job interviews, people looked for ideas as to how to market their product on Facebook. Then it just struck me, that Facebook is not just a social networking website, its a phenomenon.

I googled for “Facebook Marketing” and landed up with a cool resource which was an eye opener as to the plethora of options available for marketing using Facebook. Facebook offers many ways to get the word out and bring the people in. Listed below are few means to get started:

I. Tools for Guerrilla Marketers

1. Profile Page
2. Groups
3. Pages
4. Events
5. Notes and Photos
6. Messages
7. Marketplace
8. Share / Posted Items
9. Networks
10. Mini Feed and News Feed

II. Tools for Advertisers

11. Social Ads
12. Integrated Opportunities
13. Beacon
14. Polls
15. Facebook Platform Ad Networks
16. Facebook Platform Application Sponsorships
17. Sponsored Facebook Groups

III. Tools for Application Developers

18. Profile Box
19. Mini Feed
20. News Feed
21. Invitations
22. Facebook Notifications
23. Email Notifications
24. Application Directory

To read more, check out this: The Facebook Marketing Bible

Orkut is also going the Facebook way by including things like status updates, adding applications, tagging etc. But has Facebook gained first mover advantage?


I must admit this is a rant. I must tell this story, however, about my experience with Domino’s Mumbai centres. This is what I wrote to on the Domino’s’ “talk to us” web tab.

I tried to order a pizza from “A” centre to be delivered to my place which is near Apna Bazaar in Andheri(W). First of all the centre respondent, after taking down the entire order, told us that they could not deliver because we ordered for four pan pizzas citing that its not a bulk order.

If that’s company policy – it is okay but whose responsibility is to indicate the same on the website?
We then tried four different centres to get our pizzas delivered. Finally we found the Jogeshwari centre who could DELIVER our pizzas.

My logic tells me Lokhandwala centre would be closer to our place. Anyways that could be the problem of your software. But isn’t indicating “that we don’t deliver until you order zillions of pizza making it a bulk order” Domino’s’ responsiblity.

WHY CAN’T THE CENTRE RESPONDENT HAVE THE COURTESY TO OFFER US HELP AND REDIRECT US TO THE RIGHT CENTRE? Where is your CRM in practice? If this is what it delivers – then it is of no practical use as far as I see. Revamp it. The point is basic courtesy is prevalent in normal life but curiously not in business. Are we customers from MARS?

PLEASE ACKNOWLEDGE THE RECEIPT OF THIS CONCERN ON MY E-MAIL ADDRESS. Otherwise I would think that this feedback is just another web – form. AWAITING ANY RESPONSE.

As you can see I am miffed but two learnings from this episode.

  1. Domino’s has a location segmentation that thinks Jogeshwari is closer to Apna Bazaar in Andheri(W) than their Lokhandwala centre.
  2. Forget CRM, I think the phone respondent could be taught to at least handle customers as humans. We are lost looking for a number from where we can order our pizzas.
  3. Why can’t Domino’s change their website so that the consumer can point out the nearest location on a map (that derives out of their location segmentation software, if any) and spews out a number that will get his order.
  4. If you are setting up centres that deliver only bulk orders, then isn’t it the priority to first apprise the customer of the same.
  5. Best CRM still is extending basic courtesy from day to day life to business as well.

End of rant and Amen!!


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