Thursday, April 24, 2008

IPL - heady concoction of Cricket and Bollywood...

If one were to name two things which has over the years captivated the interests of we Indians it would be ...................Bollywood and Cricket....

IPL with the new twenty-20 format tournament running currently has managed to capture both these interests, the presence of huge number of Bollywood actors in the Stadium is adding to the glamor of cricket. The following for the tournament is seen to be believed. On the inaugural day I was unfortunate enough to be stuck near the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore. Any doubts that the skeptics had about the success of the tournament would have been silenced in the traffic jam....

There are many things which are in favor of the tournament including the shorter format of the game, which makes it more exciting. The timing of the matches, from 7-11 pm, is also a added plus as it is the prime TV watching time at home. But questions were raised on whether the format of having cities compete against one another make sense to Indian viewers, and the ads shown initially did not help much either...... But then as one of my friend said " In India even if Galli Cricket is shown live , people would watch it", and he was proven right, seeing the crowds in the stadiums and the TV ratings of matches...

The question of how does one decide which of these new events would actually be succeed and how much to invest in purchasing air-time , sponsorship ...if it succeeds then even before you react the prices are hiked. Seeing the success of the tournament Sony Max has hiked the rates of 10 sec ad slots from 2.5 - 3-4 lakhs, Link.

I think predicting the success of new events be it IPL or KBC or the new show panchvi pass... would always remain more of an art...

The issue of how the franchises would make money is one which would be answered as the tournament progresses, link

Additional Links

Article in business standard gives us a good over-view of the issues related to sponsorship of IPL Link. ET on mix of cricket and bollywood, link

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Maggi Noodles a 25 year journey in the Indian Market

In the early 1990s the entry many multinationals into the country triggered the debate of the long term view many companies were willing to take in a developing economy. The often quoted example use tItalico be that of Kellogg's Corn Flakes, and how the company had a 25 year plan wherein they were willing to invest in changing the eating habits of Indians.

One company which has achieved a reasonable success in introducing a more or less alien food and succeeding is that of Maggi Noodles... To check out the success of the brand check out the following it has among the Kids, there is even a orkut community on Maggi Lovers.

It is a far cry from the initial launch days when Maggi was distributed free in schools to promote trial , I am talking about 1980s during the launch period. The company made an attempt in the mid-90s to change the formulation of the product , which was outright rejected by the consumers and the company had to go back to it old formulation and the company had to do a massive communication campaign .....

Today India is the largest market for Maggi Noodles. But the brand has turned profitable just recently, so it has been a long haul for the company in the Indian market.

After remaining a single variant (Miada one with variants) for close to two decades, the last couple of years has seen many new launches coming in. It all was triggered by the successful launch of Maggi Attaa Noodles...

Now we have the rice noodles in Maggi and the most of recent of all the cup variant. The journey and success of Maggi Noodles is some thing worth noticing for a marketer, as one can learn a lot , the oft ignored reality that brand building is a long term business ....

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Market Update 17.03.08

An update on the what's happening in the marketplace through the various supplements across business newspapers,,,

The Strategist covered the relaunch of Cinthol, with the new Rithik Roshan ad breaking in ...In one sense Cinthol has been one of the older truly Indian Brands with its long association with the Bollywood Male Icons like Vinod Khanna, ... and even Imran Khan at one point in time. The article traces the company's effort to regain mind and market share..... Link

The second interesting article is the analysis of Barclay's ad campaign, in which the concept of mobile banking is being sold....

In Brand Equity this week the HP's revival is discussed with the man behind the it - Todd Bradley. Issues on how the two merged brands are being targeted at separate segments and the philosophy behind the computer is personal again is analyzed ... Link

The Catalyst had a new edition in the regular Marketing FAQs of Harish Bijoor , where he answers questions on the future direction of sale and marketing in India, and questions on Branding in India. One can read more of him on his website as well as archives in Catalyst, Link. As a regular reader of his columns over the years and having listened to many of his presentations, I would rate him among the best in his understanding of Indian markets and branding issues in a must read

Ad ‘guru’ John Philip Jone's email interview , Link

Another interesting article on heightened activity in the Tea category, the article traces the initiatives of market leader HUL as well as the regional players like Wagh Bakri.....Link

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Fascination with Orange and Fairness

If one were to watch the TV commercials which are running across the channels, 'oranges' and 'fairness' seem to hogging the prime time. The interest in orange was triggered by the high decibel launch of the Minute Maid by Coke, and Pepsi followed it up with Tropicana twister. Now even the summer ads for fanata also revolve around the orange blast. This is interesting as in India it is Manago which is the King ,the most preferred flavor when it comes to juices...

The second common theme which is running across most of the cosmetic ads 'Fairness' either the added advantage of fairness in the usual creams, face wash or new launches addressing the fairness segment. This segment has seen a lot of activity even in the men's segment, the latest entrant being Nivea fairness for men. In women's cosmetics today fairness has become a integral part of the portfolio, far cry from the days when it was HULs Fair and Lovely which was the only player. Maybe players in the cosmetic industry have realized that 'Fairness' is a large segment of the market which they cannot afford to ignore......

And the start of summer has also triggered this rush into the fairness segment.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Asian Paints Samplers

I was observing the latest offer from Asian Paints, Samplers. They are small 200 ml paint packs which can be bought at Asian Paints Colour World outlet, which can be used to sample how the colour would look on the wall and then the final decision can be taken. It offers a low-risk small trial pack so that customers are more comfortable in taking their final decision.

This is innovation is the latest one in a series of innovations that the company has been doing for decades now. Infact they have been leading the paint industry through their innovations.It was one of the first company to come up with 50 ml and 100 ml paints packs for rural markets where consumers needed very small quantities. Then they also were the first to come up with the tinting machine option , "Meera Walla Yellow" campaign would remind readers of the initiative. The consumers could pick and choose a shade in at the dealer, who would mix the appropriate colours and deliver the paint. It had a two fold impact, reduction in inventory at the dealer point, because now he could manage with the base and few other additives, and for the consumers , he need not move from one outlet to the other in search of shades.

Then came the Asian Paints Home Solutions, wherein a consumer could give a call on a toll-free number and avail services of trained painters who would provide all services needed. Any one who has gone through the hassle of getting his house painted would realize the benefits that such a service offers for consumers.

The success of these initiatives can be assessed by the fact that all other players in the industry have followed Asian Paints in offering similar services to consumer.

All these initiatives have kept the consumer interest at the forefront, be it in providing samplers, or the total bouquet of services of painting houses to the increased choice through the tinting machine option

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