Monthly Archives: October 2009

Absolut hacker

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Indian sports broadcasters need a lesson in strategy perhaps?

When I was 14 years old, I had a pretty tough time dealing with academics. One of the subjects I was a little better at was Math and even in that I pretty much sucked at most of the chapters. So, I decided to practice like hell what I knew best and hope that most of the questions in the exam were from those chapters. This was when my teacher told me, don’t put all your eggs in one basket!

I don’t think the smart alecs at ESPN-Star Sports (ESS) had a teacher like that. ‘Why?’ you ask. Because they decided that if they have xxx million dollars, the best thing to do, is to put all of these xxx million in one stupid little wicker basket called cricket. Oh! I forgot they have one of their xxx eggs in the EPL!

The point is, in the fight against SET, Ten/Zee and Neo, they are trying their best to get the biggest television rights away from the others. So they bid a whopping $975 million for a ten year broadcast rights deal for the Airtle Champions League (ACL). What happened? It Bombed! Advertisers are asking their money back, agencies are saying they will not advertise in the ACL again and all of them want some compensation or the other! This is fine I guess in the short term for a giant like ESS. One might say that they have the next ten years to earn this money back. But what if it flops again? The IPL is with SET, cricket in India is with Neo and most of the other places locked up by Ten. ESS does have the ICC events till the next world cup but is that enough? Maybe they bit off more than they can chew.

The best thing they could have done in this case was move to other sports apart from cricket. Football comes to mind and one might say that they do have the costliest league – EPL. But again, is one event enough? They could have wrapped up the relatively cheaper La Liga as well, but they let it go off their hands. All they had to invest in was the broadcast rights and Sky gives them the rest (presenters, commentary and all). They have the sheer cheek to call them the home of football and start a campaign called ‘I Love this Game’! They say all that with one league? Neo has more football on TV than ESS! Ten even shows Barca TV and ManU TV apart from the UEFA Champions League!

The problem is, none of the sports broadcasters in India are focussed on what THEY want to do. They think they have figured out the Indian consumer better than HUL and everything they dish out is what we want to see! Well, as if we have a choice!

I think the Indian audience is mature enough for a ‘Complete’ sports broadcasting channel. And the sorry part is, as of today, even if ALL of these channels are combined, we still don’t have most of the quality sports from around the world.

Keep Walking…

Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it’s yours.

– Ayn Rand

Marketing the Porsche Panamera

So, what if you are one of the iconic brands of all time having produced products that have become objects of craving and all of a sudden you make something that seems quite hard to sell.

Now imagine this brand to be Porsche. Yup, even they can come out with a stinker of a car which is not exactly a dream to sell. The car I am talking about is the Porsche Panamera. It is by far the ugliest looking sports car I have ever seen! And it will take a considerable amount of booze for any designer to beat that in the ugly scale in the future.

So what does Porsche do? They turn to the marketing department and plead! The marketing department then try to figure out a way to make people feel that the Panamera IS actually a Porsche and it has been made the way it is, for a reason. So in comes its positioning as the first thoroughbred four-seater sports car.

The next step is to drill this positioning statement – Four, uncompromised – into the customer’s head. And for this purpose, they have come out with an absolutely brilliant creative!

What do you have as your resource if you are Porsche? What will convince the customer about this being a Porsche? Maybe showing a FEW of the older path-breaking Porshces will do the trick? Just to be on the safer side, lets say, we show ALL of the 50 Porsche models ever made – together! Sounds great!

So off they went and gathered around every Porsche they could find and made something like a teaser first.

So it sounds and looks quite exciting, the prospect of seeing the finished product. Before you go ahead and see the finished ad below, I want you to think about the problem Porsche is facing marketing this ugly car again. You know they are serious when they are putting the weight and reputation of no less than 50 cars behind just one new car. They are pretty desperate!

The concept of the family tree is quite brilliant and so is the execution. However they could have done without the gimmicky CG animation. At times the ad looks like a computer game. But overall a good strategy to market what seems like an adopted child as one of their own.

Tell me what you think!

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Red Bull did what Mallya should have

Right from the launch of Force India F1 at the Gateway of India, I was expecting Mallya to get one of their cars to India and show it in action here. This expectation increased after the Bandra Worli Sea Link was built. Not only would this have been a tremendous PR exercise for Force India before the Indian GP in 2011, but he could have painted the town in the colours of Kingfisher!

But Red Bull took the first step and a huge advantage by showcasing their might in F1. A good year for them with Vettel doing very well in the Championship and they chose the right moment.

Come on Dr. Mallya, you are shrewder than this! Now you can maybe get one of the cricketers from your team to drive your car to get one up on Red Bull 😛

Make a decision

It doesn’t have to be a wise decision or a perfect one. Just make one.

In fact, make several. Make more decisions could be your three word mantra.

No decision is a decision as well, the decision not to decide. Not deciding is usually the wrong decision. If you are the go-to person, the one who can decide, you’ll make more of a difference. It doesn’t matter so much that you’re right, it matters that you decided.

Of course it’s risky and painful. That’s why it’s a rare and valuable skill.

Perfectly well said!

Nostalgia 2009

Here are some pictures from our Annual Alumni Meet – Nostalgia.

I am posting only a few pictures which include my PCom buddies and other friends. It was damn good fun with all the decoration and everything!

This is one event where we stay up all night before the event to deck up the whole college. And the next day deck ourselves up in suits to face the alumni.

Didn't take a wink in more than 40 hours! Dead tired by the end, but totally worth it considering the last year in college.

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Careers in Marketing

Following is a general and broad list of careers one can have in the field of Marketing. (Courtesy Prof. Ramki who is an MMS marketing faculty in SIMSR and BMS marketing faculty in colleges like Jai Hind, HR, etc.)

For obvious reasons, I would refrain from putting anything in detail and just put the list here. For more details, you can try and contact him as he provides guidance in this field.

So here goes:

  1. Sales
  2. Distribution
  3. MR
  4. Advertising
  5. Brand Management
  6. Retail
  7. Logistics & Supply Chain
  8. CRM
  9. FMCG
  10. Consumer Durables
  11. B2B
  12. Banking & Insurance
  13. Airlines
  14. Hotel
  15. Travel & Tourism
  16. Telecom
  17. PR
  18. Event Management
  19. Media Management
  20. Data Analytics
  21. Marketing Consultancy
  22. Entertainment
  23. Marketing Finance

There is a lot more to it than this list of course. Details like the type of jobs and skills required.

So, hope this helps you in some way.

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A brilliantly well made ad from UK

The quality of film making in this one is mind-blowing. Even though the concept is a brilliant one, it still had to be executed well. And you will not get execution better than this ever!