Saturday, May 28, 2011

India's top 5 Marketing Campaigns

Disclaimer 1: If you want to get into an intellectual debate, please go elsewhere. I have too low an IQ to get into one.
Disclaimer 2: If you are a marketing major looking for some GAS, Dude get a life. Or like my boss says, Get a GF – you will learn everything there is to know about marketing.
Disclaimer 3: Like all posts on this blog, take this post seriously at your own peril

Reading my blog, I am embarrassed at the lack of content. So this time I decided to come up with a post that is perfectly aligned to my career mission and vision (GAS lol, rofl). Now whenever I have read or heard some corporate honcho talking about marketing they always start with the clichĂ© – “We proved all management theories wrong and created our own story”. I wonder if all successful products and companies proved the theories wrong, why are we forced to study these theories in the first place. Chuck it, it’s a different debate all together.

I pondered hard on few of the most successful Indian campaigns I have seen in recent history and tried to come up with a list of the best. So here is the list of my top 5 (in reverse chronological order)-

5. JK Super Cement – “Vishwaas hai isme kuch khaas hai” – I am sure all you perverts remember this ad. Just in case you don’t, here is it
I am sure Sigmund Freud had an Indian lineage. Otherwise we wouldn’t have produced such revolutionary ads. This threw all marketing concepts of using emotional connect (sexual appeal) for only low involvement products out of the window. This campaign simplified interpretation of all marketing concepts and summed up into one single simple solution – Get a struggling super hot model in bikini, buy cricketing ad slots and your campaign is a hit.

4. Zandu Balm – Has there ever been a better example of subliminal advertising in history than this?? Even though they deny it, I am sure Zandu sponsored it. “Munni Badnaam hui” has ensured that whenever a guy is in some distress, he will remember Zandu Balm. Sales figures revealed that Zandu Balm sales rose immediately after the release of the song. As soon as the song started to fizzle out, Zandu in a token gesture sued the movie makers to keep the song in news for a month longer than it should have. I seriously hope that Kotler recognizes this campaign and “Munni” gets its place in all future Kotler editions, a place it richly deserves.

3. Hakim Usmani – This is easily the best example of Out of Home mass advertising. While most OOH campaigns are never noticed, you would have seen or read this campaign even as a 10 year old. Using dilapidated houses besides railway tracks meant that they have one of the world’s highest No of views to investment ratios. (Unfortunately, my friends are not as sporting as me and would have some real mean comments about this one. Therefore, I would not comment any further. Use your own jurisdiction)

2. IIPM – Love him or hate him, you have to concede that IIPM is brilliant at one thing – marketing. It has achieved any marketing god’s dream – Selling an inferior product at a huge premium. It has transformed the “My dad is an ATM, I am cool (read as loser)” generation into “My dad is an ATM, I am an MBA (now an educated loser)” Few things I really like about IIPM are –
• It has decreased the gap between the haves and have-nots. Now UP’s desi lala can tell his munim (CA) – “Arre kaha aapne apne bĂȘte ko MBA karne Kozhikode bhej dia, Mera beta to Delhi mai MBA kar raha hai. Use free laptop bhi mila. Uske college ka bhi naam kuch II karke hi hai”
• Being a sort of wannabe quizzer myself, I am delighted that IIPM has brought fun back to Business Quizzing. Have you seen how gay the quizmasters of other institutes are??? They will show you someone’s underwear, two random logos, a male model and ask you to connect the pics. The worst part is that you will find people answering such questions.
So what if Sharukh cannot answer the question, Connect – KKR, Red Chillies, Circus and Baazigar. Atleast he brings the oomph factor to quizzing. There were more girls at IIPM quiz “show” than the number of girls combined in all other quizzes(atleast 1000) I have been to.
Obviously there are questions about ethics, authenticity etc but I am not going to question it. Being masters of marketing, I am sure IIPM ads would be appearing next to my blog which will help me earn 1 or 2 dollars. And I will (just like TOI, NDTV and all other media channels) never say anything against somebody who is bringing me revenue.

1. India TV – Great Management thinkers always talk about “Identifying your TG and positioning your product to suit their whims.” Obviously, they have not seen India TV. India TV has managed to do what no other product has achieved in history. It has managed to be present in more than two categories at once. For a large portion of the country it is a news channel, for others it is the televised version of, for few other publicity hungry youngsters it is a sure shot way of coming on television. Imagine a youngster who is not good looking has no singing or acting talent but wants to star on a reality show. He can simply call India TV and they will help him create some news. I am sure Pagal Patrakar (from the fakingnews fame) gets 90% of his ideas from India TV. Arindam Chaudhari “fans” will argue that IIPM should have been at number 1 position but I would like to end with the India TV headline that sealed the top spot for India TV.
On the day of the royal wedding when all channels were busy showing the mundane wedding India TV ran a special 30 min show with the title - “Kya Kate Prince William ke liye dhood ka glass layengi??”

I guess that rests my case.

PS 1: The only reason i wrote this was to change my resume point to "Marketing Blogger" from just "blogger" Might help in getting more shortlist :D

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Tragedy of being 25+ in an Indian BSchool

One of my DCE friends(2007 batch) has got into IIM this year and the poor soul is extremely excited about this screw up. The mean streak in me has decided to convince him that the world of Bschools is not that kind for the 25+ community coming in. So in case you are one of those, please look away, you are not going to like the reality check that is going to follow.

If you are an aspirant with heavy workex walking into a Bschool after slogging in the IT sector for years, you are most likely to have the following dreams -
• Investment Banking or a FMCG marketing job
• Having fun in a class with more than 33% girls. (For an engineer, it is like living a dream). Some of you might even have aspirations of finding your life partner at a Bschool.
• And most importantly – Huge packages and the future of a classy lifestyle.

On the last day of office you tell your boss and everybody around – “Fuck you IT, I will never return”. And then this is what happens to you –

• You will be nicknamed “Dada”, “Grandpa”, “buddha”, “Baba”, “Oldie” on the very first day of college. Mean freshers(like me) do it to eliminate you from the battle for the cutest female. Ignore them, you cannot help it. Get used to your nickname; it will now stick with you for a lifetime.
• In the first 15 days of hell (known as induction), you will be harassed by some senior whom you ragged when he was your junior in graduation. He will take strong revenge for all your misdemeanors in engineering college and you will regret being a bully as a senior.

• 80% of the 33% girls you are excited about would be at least 4-5 years younger than you. They will at best treat you like ANNA (elder brother) if not uncle.

• 99.99% of the 5% girls of your age would already be committed, married or engaged. The balance 0.01% are single because of a reason. (Use your own judgment to guess why. I refrain from making any racist/sexist/biased comments on my blog)

• In the initial days, you will arrogantly smirk at the global, far from reality “gaseous viewpoints” - your stupid younger classmates have. Very soon you will realize that only such “gas” points are appreciated in the Bschool world.

• Being the most experienced and by that logic most responsible guy in the batch you will be given all the “Non CV point” responsibilities like escorting drunk guys(only guys) back from party, arranging all fun trips and then haggling with the bus driver about the route when the other irresponsible kids are having fun in the back.

• Going back to classes would be extremely difficult after 4-5 years of working. Because despite all the fun, there is a whole lot of studying that happens in classes. Unless, you are a ghissu of the highest order you will most often end up at the bottom rung in academic ladder. And this will end any hope you had of getting an I-bank shortlist.

• If you were one of those irritated by office politics and wanted to run away from it by getting into a BSchool, you are screwed. BSchool politics will put to shame, even the worst of Politicians. Every institute has its own Karunanidhi(commonly known as the “Placement Secretary”) and its DMK family. My sincere advice is to become his family’s Dayanidhi Maran in the first year itself.

• Two years is a long time, the really pretty super cute girl in the next building will be married by the time you come out of “college”. She will call you informing you about the news this way – “You know, I had a crush on you. But then my parents were forcing me to get married and you went to complete your MBA. I could not have waited for 2 years. But now I am happy. "Insert name of any guy you hate" is a nice guy. Not an MBA like you, but still I am very happy. IT engineer settled in US etc.”

• Banks and FMCG companies will conveniently ignore you because of your age. (Wait, which other companies come on campus. Don’t worry, desi group companies & IT companies would definitely give you a shortlist :-))

• You will be married or engaged months after your studies. So in effect, your bachelor life with assured monthly cash flows is effectively over the day you walk out of your current job.

• Perhaps the most damaging one – When you come out of a Bschool you will most probably end up in Mumbai (THE most expensive city in the world) with no bank balance, fresher at a job with an enormous bank loan (unless you were at FMS of course :)) to pay at the ripe old age of 27. And all this after having lived a completely fun filled life in Gurgaon, Hyderabad or Bangalore at less than half the salary packages pre MBA.
Can it get any worse???

PS: Dedicated to all my friends who went to B school as a 25 year old.
PPS: If you are a 25 something heading into a Bschool, please don’t take this article too seriously. I am just kidding. Wish you all the best for your MBA.