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Showing posts from May, 2008

Jumping Lights - A Consulting Perspective

*Dedicated to Surya Kurosaami aka Kuro - who was longing for such analysis

It was a bright 1p.m Delhi afternoon. The roads shimmered in the sun. I slowed down to a stop at a junction. I was following the law with pride. I held my head high, even though it was getting cooked inside my helmet (read about my special helmet here). A bike passed next to me, standing for merely a fraction. He looked left and right as prescribed in books and jumped ahead. I stared in anger. Some others followed his example. His size turned smaller and smaller, till he merged with the azure sky. Eventually, I dribbled ahead with the remaining traffic.

This is the piteous world of the law-abiding citizens. We roast and simmer, getting garnished with dust and vehicle smoke; While the zippers and zappers are a step ahead, probably enjoying a chilled drink at home before we are halfway through our treacherous route.

Is there no way out?
Yes there is. I managed to switch to the group of outlaws. It ain't easy. But…

What makes Chetan Bhagat a Success

Chetan Bhagat recently (8th May) launched his third book titled 'The 3 Mistakes of My Life'. Is it a success ? If sales are your primary criteria, then yes! His first two books 'Five Point Someone' and 'One Night @ the Call Centre' sold over 7 lakh copies. While this book sold two lakh copies in the first two days of the launch! [Source]

What we'll attempt to do in this post is break down this success into parts, so that it makes sense.

The Book

Remember, this is the 3rd book by Chetan Bhagat (CB). So the story is spelt out quite differently for the launch. Expectations for the new book are defined by the previous experiences with the author, which have been quite encouraging for readers. There have been others who tried to emulate his success - like Joker in the Pack. These have not succeeded. In fact, it was a pain to unearth their book titles. They just didn't deliver.

Of course book number 3 can't purely ride on the success of the previous books or …

Mango Drinks - A comparison of TVCs

To provide some base to the analysis, I'll briefly describe the fruit based beverages market in India- divided into 3 categories shown below.

I personally feel that the consumer does not differentiate between fruit drinks / nectars. Frooti, Maaza, Slice all fight for the same mindspace. The juice category (spearheaded by Real) however has clearly scooped a separate space for itself. If you are preparing the strategy for a product (marketing followed by communication strategy), you need to have an idea about the consumer's buying behaviour before deciding how to action communciation objectives. So here are two suppositions:

1. Beverages are low involvement products. In simpler words - They are low cost and I do not go through extensive information search prior to purchase.
2. There are few differences between the brands - in terms of features, taste, pricing etc

Hence, the brand choice is driven by habit rather than any sort of loyalty. (reference: Assael Consumer Behaviour)

Thus t…

Jashan Mana Le ?

Coca Cola Advertisement (Aired in May 2008)

"The bad thing about television is that everybody you see on television is doing something better than what you're doing. Some people have a little too much fun on television: the soda commercial people - where do they summon this enthusiasm? Have you seen them? "We have soda, we have soda, we have soda", jumping, laughing, flying through the air - It's a can of soda!! Have you ever been standing there and you're watching TV and you're drinking the exact same product that they're advertising right there on TV, and it's like, you know, they're spiking volleyballs,jetskiing, girls in bikinis and I'm standing there -"Maybe I'm putting too much ice in mine." "

Seinfeld (from "204 The Phone Message")

The Garden of Nonsense

A 'family trip' was in the offing. It was rare that the four of us were in the same city and a plan was hastily made. After a few queries we shortlisted a couple of places. Two of my architect friends had recommended this Garden of Five Senses as a decent tourism spot (Rupesh, Shweta - I'll deal with you later :D). Location wise it fit with our plans and thus we made a trip this Sunday. As would be obvious from the post title, it was miserable. Albeit I haven't come across any visitor reviews, the official and tourism descriptions are morbidly saccharine. The truth must be told.

View Larger Map

"Located in Said-Ul-Azaib village, close to the Mehrauli heritage area, The Garden of Five Senses is an attractive park developed by Delhi Tourism Transportation Development Corporation. Visitors can relax, enjoy the park's amenities and take a break from the daily routine of their hectic lives, as well as develop a greater sensitivity to the environment."

Factually, …

Cinthol - Analysis

[Warning - A bit heavy on marketing concepts and jargon. Reader discretion is advised :) ]

Ironically, this product has a tagline '24 hour confidence'. When I read this recent article on Cinthol's strategy, it scared me. In a typical MBA marketing course, we were trained to confidently handle such hypothetical scenarios. Say you are the brand manager of a X year old brand. The market share has dipped from 9% to less than 2% over the last few years. You need to define activities to be undertaken to revive market share to X%. Here's what we'll usually come up with:

1. We'll understand a) what are the new/changed/evolved consumer needs b)perception of our brand
2. We'll do repositioning based on existing brand values and on insights from the previous step.
3. We'll use heavy advertising campaign - print, TVC, Outdoor to communicate the change.
And of course we'll throw in some social networking, a bit of online experience and web2.0 jargon to boot.

(And this…

Memoirs 2002 - Pinky and Me

A play called Pinky and Me was my my first independent attempt in theatre. I came across a few scanned pictures and want to talk about the experience.

Pinky and Me - September 2002
Dramatics at KGP began for me with ETDS - A freshers event with the primary motive of mingling with first year females. The second one was to introduce the enthusiastic kids (facchas) to night-outs and fun-life of kgp. The objective of doing good theatre work was usually relegated to third position. This romance with theatre for me continued for another 3 odd years. Then I discovered I am truly not meant for this art. I quit it then and have been quite happy about the decision.

Pinky and Me happened in my second year. For the play I was the director and voluntarily took no role on stage. I wanted to do a really good job with it!

Script Selection happened a fortnight before the event. This was for English Open-Dramtics. As a contrast to the event's vision, teams were invariably formed from within the same ho…

Happy to Yelp

Did you read this news about the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) issuing a legal notice to Vodafone for indulging in cruelty to animals ?

AWBI claims - "The pet dog was made to run, gallop and chase the school van for a long time on a public road. Thereby, the dog was made to undergo severe pain and suffering due to the exhaustion caused by chasing (the bus)."

Dear AWBI,

It's a dog.
Its name is Rocky.
Dogs are happy chasing objects.
It was the dog chasing the bus and not the bus chasing the dog, which could have been interpreted as bullying behaviour (in which case you could have also filed a complaint against automobiles).
Had the Ad been made for say a Sumit Mixie or Ambuja Cement, then you might have had a point - since a heavy bag or carton isn't a dog's favourite play object.

But the pug is carrying a tie.
A tie!
Get a life you losers.
And find some other way to gain attention.

A Vodafone Fan

In li…