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