Tag Archives: Marketing & Communcation

Advertising Age's David Klein on why marketers don't need media, and more thoughts…

I spent a good part of the day at a bunch of exchange4media initiatives, starting with the Pitch CMO Summit , followed by an Impact One-on-one between Advertising Age’s Publishing and Editorial Director David Klein and Madison World‘s Chairman and MD Sam Balsara.
Later in the evening Pitch magazine felicitated 25 top marketers (actually 28) in an award ceremony.
I was able to spend some time with Sam about the social media journey in India. He had some brilliant suggestions but the key takeaway for me was that ‘we’ – active participants in the social media space – are focusing a lot of energy on trying to ‘convert the converted’, whereas the task may lie elsewhere.
I was also able to spend a useful few minutes with David.
Do read the proceedings of the day’s happenings on exchange4media. I am sharing below some extremely valuable assessment/ tips on the digital space (in the US) that David shared with the audience, before the one-on-one.

  1. Marketers as media owners – via the databases, online communities they own, giving them the power/ opportunity to circumvent mainstream media companies
  2. Radical transparency – angry customers can impact brands – we are talking hard hits on stock exchange – case in point the United Breaks Guitars which impacted United Airlines’ stock. Similarly positive impact through customer endorsements
  3. Global Meritocracy – both bad, and, good work will find its way across continents. Cases in point Burger King’s controversial Goddess Lakshmi Ad; Piano Stairs by Volkswagen, respectively
  4. Crowd-sourcing
  5. Social Media and the feedback loop – click here if you are not clear about this
  6. Vendor relationship management – not a big trend yet, but as part of social business, collaborative/ social technologies are bringing many stakeholders together
  7. Location based marketing
  8. The rise of the creative technologist- creative minds who understand/ can leverage technology will be in demand

I agree with David on all counts. What about you?
For those of you who still haven’t seen the Piano Stairs video, here you go 🙂 – enjoy.

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Aegon Religare Star Child TVC got a potent mix of E Factor and Messaging

I have earlier written about the E Factor in advertising, combine it with cutting edge messaging and you’ve got a winner.
Most parents try everything to ensure that their children are able to live their dreams, unlike many that they themselves could not. You know anyone who didn’t grow up dreaming of becoming a movie star/ rock star/ star cricketer/ footballer? I don’t. Powerful insight converted into a memorable an interesting series.
Don’t you love these 2 TVCs from Aegon Religare? I am sure there others in the making…

One of my colleagues suggested that the message “???? ????? ????? ?? ?? ???? ?? ?? ?? ??
???” seem to suggest that we want out children to live ‘our dreams’. I interpreted it as, everyone wants their children to be the ‘star’ that they themselves could not, rather than associate it with a particular activity/ vocation. I agree that it is subject to interpretation. What do you think?

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Mythologic (more like Folksologic this time) episode 2: Baloo, the Miser.

mythology 2.gif

This one is really a simple folk tale from a book by Children’s Book Trust that I recently bought. The comparisons just flashed in my head based on a client engagement earlier that day. Keeping with the text in original form, I have kept the language simple. Read on…
The rules:

  1. Translating from source – the original is in Hindi- I will use text in colour brown
  2. Rest of the text, by me, little as it will likely be, in colour black 🙂

Baloo, a trader, lived in Gujarat. So stingy was he with money that he didn’t like spending money even upon himself, leave alone others. Coming back from work one day, he spotted a Date tree with rich fruits hanging near the top…he was tempted.
The question now was, how to reach the top? Paying an expert tree-climber would cost money, and he didn’t know how to do it himself. Preferring to save money, he decided to climb the tree himself, and somehow managed to reach the top.
Just as he was reaching out to finally pluck the fruit, he looked down, and nearly fell – land seemed far away, he hadn’t noticed how far he had come, and now he had no idea how to get back down.
He looked around for help, finding none, he started to pray to God. He promised that if he reached to safety, he’d feed a thousand brahmins.
The prayer seemed to have bolstered his strength and somehow slipped down a bit, land seemed closer by…and “feeding a thousand brahmins for ‘just this much’ does seem a bit steep, five hundred should suffice,” he thought.
Five hundred became two hundred, and then even less. Finally when his feet touched the ground, he heaved a sigh of relief and promised to God that he will feed ONE brahmin, for sure.
On the way back home he kept thinking about ways to keep the cost of feeding the brahmin as low as possible and decided that the trick would in finding someone who ate really little.
He reached his village and after some asking around, was told that Janki Das, a brahmin, ate very little. What he did not know was that Janki Das was also a very sharp and wicked creature. When Baloo extended the lunch invitation to Janki Das, he promptly accepted.
Baloo reached home and told his wife Shyamali about the promise and about Janki Das coming for lunch the next day. He also advised her to keep the cost as low as possible.
Next day, which was the weekly bazaar day, Baloo thought he would be better off doing business to make up for the loss incurred on feeding Janki Das, and decided to let his wife fulfill the lunch commitment.
When Janki Das, the brahmin, saw Baloo leave for work and landed at his place early, smelling an opportunity. Shyamali was surprised to see the guest come so early. Janki Das told her “I thought let me see if you need any advice on how to prepare for the feast, so enroute to the temple, I decided to stop at your place.”
Shyamli listed all items on the menu; Janki Das appeared pleased but cautioned her that while he is coming for lunch alone, quantities for about 10-12 people needed to be prepared. He also advised Shyamali to prepare 3 different sweets to please Lord Ganesha, the remover of hurdles.
Later when Janki Das returned for lunch, he advised Shyamali to offer 2 gold coins as to please the Gods. “Baloo didn’t mentioned anything about the coins,” thought Shyamali, but not wanting to displease the Gods, she got the coins and offered them to Janki Das.
Janki Das ate his fill, and packed the rest for his family. On the way out, he demanded 10 more gold coins as his dakshina (traditional gift given to a priest as part of a religious ceremony). Shyamali was baffled and knew that her husband wouldn’t like this, but, again, didn’t want to displease a brahmin either.
Janki Das, satiated, reached home and warned his wife that an angry Baloo would likely come home and explained a few things to her…
Baloo reached home late evening and heard the episode from Shyamali. Livid, he rushed to Janki Das’ place, armed with a thick stick.
As soon as Janki Das’ wife saw an enraged Baloo coming at them, she started to cry out loudly, beating her chest “You poisoned my husband, what did you feed him? If anything happens to him, you won’t be spared by the police, I promise you that…”she cursed.
Taken aback, Baloo was now terrified. “Please don’t speak so loudly,” he pleaded and continued “Why don’t you call a doctor?”
“Call a doctor? Where do I have the money for that. Give me 10 gold coins so I can call for a doctor,” said the wife.
“If he dies, you will be dead too.”
Baloo asked for the priest’s son to accompany him back home, and , trembling, handed over 10 gold coins to the boy.
“God, save me please – I will feed a 1000 brahmins.” he promised.
So what are the learning?

  1. Some clients are penny wise, pound foolish
  2. They’d rather get conned by a dis-honest party than pay an honest expert, their honest fee
  3. Some clients have short memories – amnesia hits as the crisis passes, until it hits again

Encountered a Baloo, a Janki Das yourself? 🙂
Keep writing.

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Financial Express – Brand Wagon features India Social Media Report

Last Tuesday’s (9 June 2009) Financial Express featured findings from the India Social Media Survey Report – Edition 1 in its Brand Wagon section.
Here is a JPG of the coverage.
View image

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Releasing 'India Social Media Survey Report – Edition 1' in digital format.


The wait is finally over…
We had released the findings of India Social Media Survey Report – Edition 1 in a hard copy format at the India Social Media Summit, end March.
The report, available for sale through exchange4media costs only Rs. 1500/- and consists valuable pieces stories and case-studies (you can send us requests for purchase at socialmediasurvey@blogworks.in and we will forward them to the e4m team).
However, keeping with our promise of sharing knowledge for the benefit of the community and marketers, we are today releasing an online version of the survey findings! 🙂
The Social Media Survey Report- Edition 1 attempts to capture insights and learnings from Corporates and Marketers of India, to get a sense of what’s really happening on the ground in the rapidly evolving social media environment.
Results and analysis will surely help understand how peers, from across India, view social media (SM) impact on marketing & communication. This will allow the industry to benefit from shared insights and make for educated decisions.
The survey , undertaken by us jointly with exchange4media.com in Dec 2008 & Jan 2009, takes a deep dive into questions that matters to all of us:

  1. Does Social Media enjoy credibility?
  2. Does Social Media impact business?
  3. Is Social Media based used as a sales tool? Or as a buzz tool? Or for engagement?
  4. Do you believe that Social Media impacts purchase decisions?
  5. Do marketers understand Social Media?
  6. What about Agencies? Do they?
  7. Are clients spending money on Social Media?
  8. Do they intend to? 🙂
  9. What are the top metrics that marketers believe in, while calculating RoI
  10. And much more…

Find out what our respondents said? Were you one of them? 🙂 Some sample slides are here:

You can download the full report by going here. Hope you find it useful.
Do share your feedback and any errors you might notice, by writing to us at socialmediasurvey@blogworks.in

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