Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Help Tsunami Victims

All of you must have heard about the devastation that the earthquake and Tsunami have together caused in the South East Asia. I am donating 25% of the proceedings of the sales of the comprehensive directory of Advertising Agencies in India that I have compiled over a period of 3 months of research. The direcotry is available for a small reasonable fee, just $99.00

The Indian Advertising Agencies Directory is in XLS Format with different spreadsheets for different cities. The fields include - company name, contact person, address, phone, fax, email and website. There are over 700 Advertising Agencies of India included in the database, which can be immediately emailed to anyone interested.

I would like to emphasise once again that 25% of every sale will be donated to Non-government organisations working for the rehabilitation of the Tsunami victims. Interested people may buy online through PAYPAL, now!

Monday, December 27, 2004

Update on Directories

Hi people,

I know that I am running behind schedule but it's better late than never :-)

After the Directory of Advertising Agencies in India, I am currently compiling the following directories, which will be available for sale by end of January 2005.

  • Directory of PR Agencies in India
  • Directory of Publications in India
  • Directory of Media buying Agencies in India
  • Directory of Direct Marketing Agencies in India
  • Directory of Marketing Research Firms in India
  • Directory of Event Management Companies in India
In case any of you is interested in getting any of the above directories in a hurry, please contact me for more details by leaving a comment. I will intensify work on that particular directory and get it compiled earlier than the others. Any one interested?

Sunday, December 26, 2004

NDTV's Business Channel to be named 'Profit'

'Profit' is to be the name the Prannoy Roy promoted New Delhi Television Ltd. The details for Profit are "almost" finalised. Profit is proposed to be a 24-hour business channel and is expected to start beaming into Indian homes from 10 January 2005. The company is toying with the idea of including the NDTV brand name with the name Profit for the channel. The overall head of the channel would be Vikram Chandra who currently doubles up as CEO NDTV Convergence, besides being the senior editor of NDTV. Other editorial people who would form the core team would include the present NDTV business editor Shivnath Thukral, Ashu Dutt and Manvi. The channel has come up with a swanky new studio in its Delhi office and has also hired several professionals. A point of note is that NDTV is not looking at overtly leveraging the existing infrastructure and manpower of the two existing channels NDTV 24x7 and NDTV India for the new business channel. A decision seems likely that the proposed business channel would be a pay channel. "On the programming part, NDTV will have everything that such existing channels have and more," an industry source familiar with the developments says. The programmes will also have an international component, including live feeds from the US and the Europe. Apart from hardcore news bulletins and business related affairs, the channel would also have lifestyle programmes aimed at appealing to the audience which would include anyone and everyone over 18. There would be a significant but short element of news all the time on the channel. Looking at the feel and look of the present NDTV channel, the aim of the business channel would be to have a world class product run but the cost of production operations will be kept tight under control. NDTV has already secured permission from the government for uplink of the channel from India. The permission came through on 14 December. The NDTV board had approved launch of a separate business news channel in May. The company had made an application to the information and broadcasting ministry for uplinking permission for the same in September. The fight for the business news channel has begun, it seems. The Raghav Bahl-promoted Television Eighteen Ltd (TV-18) is pressing ahead to meet a new deadline for launching a Hindi business news channel by next month, while Zee Business, was launched on 30 November.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Deccan Herald Advertising Seminar 2004 takes a look at 'Branding' in today's context

Catalyst, the 19th Deccan Herald Advertising Seminar 2004, featured stalwarts from the worlds of advertising and marketing redefining brands and brand building. The seminar saw advertising and marketing honchos speaking on various topics related to the power of branding. The speakers included Titan Industries COO - Watches Bijou Kurien, Lowe-India national creative director Balakrishnan R (Balki), Macann Erickson Delhi president Santosh Desai and Bajaj Auto Ltd VP business development and marketing Ramchandra R L. Kurien in his keynote speech spoke of the various persons in an organization involved in brand building. Speaking on the topic "Building a Titan", Kurien recounted how brand Titan was built from 1987 onwards when 80 per cent of Indians owned mechanical watches against a almost 65 per cent of persons around the western world who owned quartz watches at that time. Balki spoke on the "Cutting edge Indian work" in advertising. Balki felt that localized communication of an international brand was the next step in advertising. Balki said advertising could take advantage of the differences in the regions instead of focusing an ad towards the entire country. Desai dealt with "Connecting Brands with life". He said brands were repositories of symbolic meaning. Desai said spoke about how brands today make a statement about the users. Speaking on the power of brands, he narrated how brands have been making us believing in ourselves, in other people, in today and in tomorrow. Ramchandra R L spoke on "My brand building experience". He spoke of the strategies evolved by a losing market leader in a two wheeler market when it entered a new segment - motorcycles- which now constitute 80 per cent of the two wheeler market in India and the efforts involved in their Pulsar brand capturing 55 per cent of the market share in its category. Trent Ltd GM Himanshu Chakrawarti spoke on "Building a brand". He spoke on the efforts involved in building a distinguished brands and creating an awareness of this chain of stores owned by the Tatas.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

CavinKare gets aggressive

CavinKare has unveiled its aggressive marketing strategies to expand its customer base. The company is planning for road shows, television commercials and customer contact programmes. As a part of its plans, CavinKare has relaunched its fairness cream ‘Fairever’ and is also looking at generating trials by distributing samples through popular magazines across the country. CavinKare will unveil the television commercials of the relaunched Fairever in last week of December followed shortly by the road shows starting in the southern India. CavinKare's Fairever is the second leading fairness cream brand in the country. The product has a share of only eight per cent in the fairness cream market that is worth Rs 700 crore.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

ICICI Bank and CNBC TV 18 announce Emerging India Awards

ICICI Bank and CNBC TV-18, have announced the launch of Emerging India Awards, an initiative to recognise the contribution of Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to the growth of the Indian economy. Only those SMEs that launched operations before January 1, 2000, and have a net worth of a maximum of Rs . 50 crores are eligible for contesting for the awards. ICICI Bank and CNBC-TV18 have tied up with CRISIL, India's credit rating agency for designing and executing the evaluation process for the awards.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Deccan Chronicle's IPO a success

The initial public offer (IPO) of Deccan Chronicle Holdings, received a tremendous response from the market and was oversubscribed more than 7.7 times. SBI Mutual Fund, State Bank of India, Pru ICICI Mutual Fund, Reliance Mutual Fund, Sundaram Mutual Fund and Punjab National Bank are reported to be among the biggest bidders. The IPO is expected to yield between Rs 130 crore and Rs 155 crore for the company, as it comprised 8,013,100 equity shares, priced at Rs 162 to Rs 194 a share. Deccan Chronicle is an English daily and ranks among the market leaders in Andhra Pradesh. The capital raised is planned to be used for financing new printing facilities, and venturing into new territories and future strategic initiatives and acquisitions.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Directories of Indian Advertisng, PR, MR companies and more...

Hi people, After the Directory of India's Advertising Agencies, I am currently compiling the following directories, which will be available for sale by end of December 2004.
  • Directory of Indian PR Agencies
  • Directory of Indian Publications
  • Directory of Indian Media buying Agencies
  • Directory of Indian Direct Marketing Agencies
  • Directory of Indian Marketing Research Firms
  • Directory of Indian Event Management Companies
Anyone interested in getting any of the above directories in a hurry, can contact me for more details by leaving a comment. I will intensify work on that particular directory and get it compiled earlier than the others. Any one interested?

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Print Media Policies to have a new face in India

The first meeting of the group of ministers (GoM) on print media policies is likely to take place during December 2004. The controversy over International Herald Tribune (IHT) getting published from India led to the government take the decision to form the GoM as the current government guidelines do not permit foreign newspapers to be printed from India. The GoM is also expected to lay down the definition of ‘news and current affairs publications’ and ‘specialty/technical journals’. At present, ‘news and current affairs’ publications are allowed up to 26% of foreign direct investment (FDI), while specialty/technical journals can go up to a maximum of 74% foreign investment and a clarity on the definition may clear the way for many publications awaiting foreign investment for their expansion plans.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

TV Today gets 'Business Superbrand' Status

The Superbrands India organisation has conferred the Business Superbrand status on TV Today Network for redefining the way news is delivered to Indian audiences. Obtaining SuperBrand status puts the TV Today Network brand in the circle of an elite group that is seen to represent the best practices in brand management; It is the considered to be the Oscars of Branding. A Business Superbrand is defined as having established the finest reputation in its field. It offers customers significant emotional and/or tangible advantages, over its competitors, which (consciously or sub- consciously) customers want, recognise and are confident about investing in. Superbrands is the independent arbiter on branding. The organisation promotes the discipline of branding and pays tribute to exceptional brands. Superbrands programmes operate in over 41 countries. Superbrand status is awarded by an independent judging panel of experts. Business Superbrands Council includes chairman of the council Mr. Anmol Dar, Reliance CMD Mukesh D Ambani, former CEO of Procter & Gamble Gurcharan Das, ED of Tata Sons R Gopalakrishnan, deputy CEO of HSBC Naina Lal Kidwai, former chairman of Ernst & Young K N Memani, Bharti Enterprises CMD Sunil Bharti Mittal, CEO, president & MD of Infosys Technologies Nandan Nilekani, chairman of HDFC Deepak Parekh, chairman of Indian Oil Corporation MS Ramachandran and CMD of Oil & Natural Gas Commission Subir Raha. Each Brand Council member evaluated 854 brands and identified 138 brands that, in their opinion, were qualified to be granted the Superbrands status.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Directory of Indian Advertising Agencies

Hi people, I have painstakingly compiled a comprehensive directory of Indian Advertising Agencies and would happily share it with anyone who's interested for a small reasonable fee, just $99.00 The Indian Advertising Agencies Directory is in XLS Format with different spreadsheets for different cities. The fields include - company name, contact person, address, phone, fax, email and website. There are over 700 Advertising Agencies of India included in the database, which can be immediately emailed to anyone interested.
Interested people may buy online, NOW!

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Publicis wins account of Aviva Life Insurance

Publicis Delhi, has won the major part of the advertising account of Aviva Life Insurance in a multi-agency pitch. Aviva Life Insurance is a joint venture between Dabur and Aviva Plc, UK's largest insurance group. Publicis has taken over the Aviva account from Grey Worldwide, the incumbent agency, which retains some part of the Aviva business. This win of Publicis has come close on the heels of other recent wins that include Censa, a lingerie brand and Ao's, a casual wear brand, both from the Oswal group, Fidelity - the biggest US-based mutual fund company that recently received an in-principle approval from SEBI this July for starting its mutual fund business in the country, and ABN AMRO.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Indian Advertisers target Indian diaspora in US

Jet Airways, ICICI Bank and Reliance Infocomm are among the companies that are targeting Indian diaspora in the US through serious advertising efforts. Indian real estate companies, healthcare providers and the hospitality industry are reported to be keen on advertising to the South Asian community. The growing interest, no doubt, is because of the fact that the Indian Diaspora has shown keen interest in investing in Indian opportunities and the faith in the Indian 'system' and its sustainability is on the rise. India has been consistently scoring high for its rapid development activities, a healthy growth rate backed by sustainable efforts and infrastructure development, and now the rewards are on the anvil.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Another successful year for IITF

The much talked about India International Trade Fair 2004 being organised in New Delhi, India came to a grand conclusion yesterday. Three years after repositionining itself as a business-oriented fair, IITF attracted a large number of foreign firms this year. Over 300 foreign companies from 28 countries participated in the fair this year. the figures are better than last year's tally of 240 foreign firms from the same number of countries and 2002’s count of 140 companies from 24 countries. Most interestingly, there were about 80% repeat visits of foreign participants to the trade fair. The fair also provided a window to showcase India’s prowess in sectors like information technology (IT), power and agriculture.

I'm back :-)

Hi there, people, :-) Yeah, I am back. Please excuse me for not providing updates all through last week. But then again, I doubt if any of the handful people visiting my blog did really miss me at all ;-) But, never mind. A commitment is a commitment and I like to stick by mine. So, I'm back... and I'm here to stay :-) Cheers!

Saturday, November 20, 2004

The uninitiated traditional (offline) brand managers ;-)

Indian website owners and brand custodians are still far from realising that there is life beyond regular branding exercises and a whole new world is waiting to be discovered, that of online branding. I recently put together a PR pitch presentation for one of the major exporter of apparels and online branding was an integral part of the same. It was, perhaps, the most uninitiated prospect in my career, who just wasn't ready to even hear about it. All that he wanted to know was how my agency can help him catch the attention of importers from abroad, in short, how many exposures or column centimeters in the foriegn media. I had to spend a good half day going through details with this gentleman's son and numerous demo searches on google and yahoo to make him understand how they work and they could be of immense help to his company to develop prospects. Obviously, he would have to hire professionals, us, to handle it for him ;-) But alas! Try as I might, I couldn't breach the man's defenses and we didn't get the business. To tell you all the truth, I was willing to take on the challenge for just enough dough to cover my expenses and not make any profit, just to get to prove to them that it CAN help them develop business at just a fraction of cost they would would incur to hire an agency and put out Ads in foreign press or through traditional PR. But it wasn't to happen. I am hopeful that soon enough the brand managers in India will wake up to the fact that a well thought out and professionally executed online branding campaign can bring them astounding results. Till then, my search is on...

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Money for eyeballs

SaharaOne, the new television channel of Sahara India Pariwar, distributed a whopping Rs. 1,00,00,000.00 among its lucky viewers in a single day. The contest called 'Ghante Ki Tuning Jamegi' on SaharaOne, brought a twist in many a lives. While Manoj Kumar Sharma from Moradabad UP won Rs 50,00,000, Abhilasha Sharma from Dehradun took away Rs 20,00,000. Similarly, Inder Pal Singh and Surendra Kumar from Haryana and Sanjay Dubey from Farukhabad, UP, won Rs 10,00,000 each. SaharaOne’s Ghante Ki Tuning Jamegi contest is based on a simple format. All the viewer has to do is watch the channel every hour, and count the number of times an electronic bug appears on screen, catch up with the anchor on a tollfree number at the end of the hour and tell the number of times the bug has appeared. The viewers also needs to answer a simple programme-related question. Looks like after the not so successful Sahara TV, Sahara Group doesn't want to take any chances with this new channel and won't stop at anything to buy viewers attention! ;-)

Senior Builders to launch Hindi Weekly soon

Delhi-based real estate group, Senior Builders, has announced that it will launch a Hindi news weekly in January 2005. Senior Builders had, sometime ago, announced its diversification into media with a niche television channel.

The news weekly being planned by Senior Builders will be an 84-page all-clour glossy magazine and would focus on politics and crime. The initial print run of the magazine is planned to be 1,00,000 copies and will essentially be targeted at Hindi speaking states. The national distribution of the magazine will be taken care of by India Book House.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Saif Ali Khan Appoints Grapevine

Jut came across this intersting tidbit. Saif Ali Khan, one of our leading film actors, has appointed Grapevine, the celebrity representation division of Mahesh Bhupathi's Globo Media Solutions to manage his career and business interests. Grapevine has undertaken to manage and market Saif Ali Khan's brand endorsements, personal appearances, concerts, stage shows and other commercial activities. More details >

Celebrity Endorements Overkill

One of the most noticeable trends in Indian advertising has been the plethora of celebrity endorsements. Diverse product categories, from toiletries to telecom, hi-fi's to hotels, ready-mades to razor blades, insurance to diamonds, everyone seems to be roping in a "Brand Ambassador" to sell their products. If one takes a look at the brand ambassadors who have been contracted so far, they are either from the bollywood (our answer to Hoolwood) or cricket. This is because movies and cricket are what move this nation. While there may be different reasons for the companies to chose these brand ambassadors, the main reason is to make the brand stand out and to facilitate instant awareness. Using a celebrity is also supposed to lend instant credibility as well as aspirational values to the brand — a hope to get people to follow the Pied Piper. So, when, for example, our most celebrated cricket icon, Sachin Tendulkar endorses everything from tyres and cars to Pepsi, Visa, Adidas, Boost, stock trading portals and music systems. The question is - Can he really be all of these? Or the overkill of celebrity endorsements will finally prove to be counterproductive for the various brands using them? I believe that the Indian advertisers should use brand endorsements judiciously and only when the endorser and the category are a natural lifestyle fit, for example, sportspersons endorsing footwear or energy drinks. It will not only help us, among the audience, in relating to the advertisements since they will be all the more believable but also go a long way in establishing the brand's credibility. Any comments, people? :)

Monday, November 15, 2004

Brand India

The 24th India International Trade Fair (IITF) 2004 opened with much fanfare yesterday. Though the initial crowds were not enough to impress the exhibitors who have participated here earlier, their optimism and enthusiasm were on a high. They are sure that the crowd will swell to unmanageable numbers in the next couple of days and as always, this year's trade fair will also be a roaring success. The trade fair was inaugurated by Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, hon'ble Presedent of India, who exhorted the industry "to think big with the whole world as our market by developing a strong and interactive technology-market-value adding competitive linkage". Calling upon the Indian industry to strive to become multinationals, the President said "We can win if we think we can win and act tenaciously with our clear goals in India to excel in a competitive new world and create India Brand". Now, that would be really something, whenever it comes to that. Cheers to INDIA!!!

Sunday, November 14, 2004

The Devil Returns... Onida's bid to glory...

Yes it's true... the Devil's back!

Mirc Electronics Ltd, makers of the Onida brand of TVs and durables, decided to relaunch its well-known `Onida Devil' campaign. The devil no doubt looks smarter than before but many doubt if it is really a good idea to help the brand regain its lost charm.

For long, the `Onida Devil' has been the face of Onida, along with the catchline Neighbours Envy Owners Pride.

So much so, that Mirc's research showed that the "Onida Devil' continued to enjoy tremendous brand recall value with customers. But is this enough to bring the Devil back in a new avatar, is what the industry is asking.

I'd say yes.

Firstly, MIRC's decision to bring the Devil back has already payed off by grabbing the attention of its audience. We are all sitting up and taking notice. industry discussion forums are full of analysis of the campaign and people like me are writing about it in their blogs. The brand, has no doubt, been rejuvenated.

But MIRC would have to make some more serious attempts not to lose the attention that they've gained and piggyback on it to drive the sales.

the Devil should not only be made to tell its audience that Onida is Neighbour's envy and Owner's pride, but also why?

The Devil should talk to the audience and introduce them to the reasons why they should buy Onida products and that too in a way that it evokes action.

Onida's latest ad, where a soul re-enters the dead body learning that on purchase of any specific Onida product category you can win a Mercedes... is a step in that direction but there is a lot more for the company to do. Their gamble has certainly paid and now it's the responsibility of their Advertising Agency to help Mirc achieve its ambitious sales targets. During the financial year 2004-05, Mirc is targeting a scale of 15 lakh CTVs, 3 lakh DVD players, one lakh washing machines and 25, 000 ACs. Whether or not it happens, we must agree that never before the conceptualisation of 'Onida Devil' has a mascot with 'negative shades' got a brand so much of attention. This time around, The Devil isn't green and mean. He is sleekly suited and suavely mannered. But nobody can deny the Onida Devil his due. He remains one of the most successful and important brand imageries ever spawned in India. And his return is just as significant. What say you all...? :-)

Superbrands India

Hi Everyone, I would like to draw everyone's attention to a very interesting phenomenon called Superbrands. Superbrands UK, an independent arbiter on branding, has launched its operations in India. The Superbrands organisation promotes the discipline of branding and pays tribute to exceptional brands. Superbrands programmes operate in over 25 countries. Its Indian arm - Superbrands India Pvt. Ltd. has recently published case studies on 101 strongest consumer brands in India in the form of a coffee table book, which is a collector's item. I have bought the book and must say it is exquisite. Check it out on the Superbrands India website. Superbrand status is awarded by an independent judging panels of experts. Different juries exist for the different geographical regions to ensure that only the most deserving of brands attain the credential. In India, the Consumer Superbrands Council includes some of the most eminent marketing, media and advertising professionals in India. They are: Mr. Anmol Dar, President of Frank Simoes Advertising & Council Chairperson, Mr. K.M.S. (Titoo) Ahluwalia, Chairman of AC Nielsen ORG-MARG, Mr. Sunil Kumar Alagh, former Managing Director & Chief Executive of Britannia Industries, Mr. Raghav Bahl, Managing Director of Television Eighteen & Managing Director, CNBC, Mr. Yogi C Deveshwar, Chairman of ITC, Mr. Pradeep Guha, President of Bennet Coleman, Mr. Nabankur Gupta, Group President & Wholetime Director of Raymond, Mr. Mike Khanna, Chief Executive & Area Director, Central Asia of J Walter Thompson, Mr. Piyush Pandey, Group President & National Creative Director of Ogilvy & Mather, Mr. Dalip Sehgal, Executive Director of Hindustan Lever, Ms. Tara Sinha, former Chairperson of Indian Institute of Mass Communications. Only brands that are scored highly by the panel qualify for the status and to be featured in the publication. The shortlist that the panel score is itself derived from a list of thousands of potential brands. The brands chosen by Superbrands India as the Superbrands in their respective categories include - The Associated Cements Company Ltd., Air Sahara, Airtel, Allen Solly, American Express, Apollo Hospital, Aquaguard, Archies, Ashok Leyland, Band Aid, Barista, Bata, Blue Dart, Boost, Boroline, Bournvita, Britannia, Brooke Bond, Business Today, Cadbury Diary Milk, Cinthol, Citibank, Closeup, ColorPlus, Complan, Crompton Greaves, Dabur Vatika, Dhara, DHL, ESPN, Everest, Exide, Fair & Lovely, Femina, Fujifilm, Gili, Godrej Pentacool, Good Knight, Heinz, Hero Cycles, Hero Honda, Horlicks, Hutch, ICICI Prudential, ICI Dulux, India Today, ITC-Welcomgroup, Jaquar, Jet Airways, JK Tyre, Johnson's Baby, Kerala Tourism, Kesari Jivan, Kitply, Lakme, Levi's, Life Insurance Corporation of India, Lifebouy, Louis Philippe, Lux, Luxor, Malayala Manorama, Maruti Suzuki, Monte Carlo, Moov, Nakshatra, NIIT, Nirma, Nycil, Parryware, Pepsi, Philips, Pizza Hut, Raymond, Reid & Taylor, Revlon, Rin, Samsung Mobile Phones, Saridon, Servo, Shoppers Stop, Sify, Star TV, State Bank of India, Strepsils, Sunsilk, Surf, Tanishq, Tata Indica, Tata Motors, Tata Salt, Tata Tea, The Economic Times, The Times of India, Thomas Cook, Timex, Titan, VLCC, Wheel, Whirlpool and Zandu Balm. The case studies of all the 101 chosen brands are available for FREE at their respective URLs as mentioned above, but I am sure that the organisation will soon contemplate making the info available only to its subsicribers. Before that happens, check out the success stories at Superbrands India's official website. Rishu P.S. Submit your weblogs to the Blogorama - The Blog Directory

The Genesis And The Rationale

Hello Everyone, I have created this blog to keep the audience updated on the latest in India's Branding/Advertising/PR/Media industries. India is a fast evolving market for communications agencies and the rules are redefined almost every day. Accounts are won and lost within a matter of few hours by the bigwigs in the Advertising Industry and compared to it, the PR Industry is still in just a nascent stage. Brands are made and driven almost by trial and error rather than research. This blog will keep you all updated on the latest about various brands that have stood the test of time in the Indian market and the brand custodians. I seek to learn a few things in the process and hope that you all will also find it helpful if you or one of your clients has business interests in India. So, I request you all to keep checking this blog out as often as you can. Till my next post... Chao, Rishu P.S. This Blog is listed on Splat Search, LSBlogs & Blogwise Directory