25 October 2007

Brand Chakras Study: Mother India


The Indian Mother-and-Child is now a team with a shared vision, with mothers actively believing they can shape their children’s destiny for mutual benefit, says the latest JWT Brand Chakras™ study.
Close on the heels of The Power and the Glory, which studied the Global Indian, JWT now looks at payoffs that mothers want from their children and vice versa, through Brand Chakras™.

The insight mining exercise was done in eight centers - Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkatta, Kanpur, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Trichur, and covered SEC A, B mothers with children between 8 and 16, through group discussions, and depth interviews with pairs of mothers and their children.

Enabling and empowering, coach and companion, event manager and project manager, motherhood has moved beyond protection, nurturance, compassion and selflessness. The child is now a project and a mission, and industriousness, determination, passion and planning are the dominant traits. The children too are taking the roti- kapada-makaan for granted and are looking to the mother to give them the headstart they need in life and ensure that they remain focused.

Other shifts include: from living for the moment to constantly shaping the future; from child’s success to shared glory; and a clear staking of claims on the eligibility for the fruits of success.

Emotional elasticity, reasonable adult-like conversations, retaining locus of control while appearing to be democratic, love that includes toughness and a steeling of the heart, are some of the mother’s strategies.

Children in return are conscious of the contribution that their mothers make in their current lives by donning the roles of organizer, guide, enforcer, and friend. While there may be the usual squabbles over food, outings and social activities, children do indeed look to their mothers to give them courage, inspiration, help them set and achieve their goals and fill them with a will to win. Mother is both cushion and launch pad… giving new meaning to the famous line “mere paas maa hai”! They seem to be defining success in terms of living up to the mother’s expectations. Though, “itna tenson nahin lene ka” is also something they’d like to say to the mothers!

All mothers showed a strong inclination to Power chakra qualities, but three types of mothers emerged:
The Lifeline Seeker: she has given up hopes of the husband improving their lives and is totally dependant on the child to rise to glorious levels and rescue her; looking for insurance and security, she will do everything she can to help them in this journey, but is clearly establishing her rights to the fruits of this labour.
The Coronation Seekers: she is hoping her child’s achievements will bring her out of a life of oblivion and bestow on her a halo for greater social conquest… the child is an opportunity to make an overwhelming statement about herself.
The Independence Seeker: her striving to excel in the mother role is geared to fostering independence and self-reliance in her child, so that she will have the freedom and space for her own pursuits; motherhood enhances her efficiency and gives her exposure that helps her discover unexplored facets of herself.

The implication for brands is that:
*brands need not necessarily choose between mother or child as target but could talk to the duo; *must reflect the new sets of motherhood values and attitudes;
*need to find a role in the shared vision and future that they are chasing;
*salute the mother, Maa thujhe salaam for a new set of reasons;
*connect with the philosophy of effort and determination that she is trying to instill;
*focus on the 15 Chakra payoffs that children chose from the battery of 60 fundamental payoffs; *draw from the mothers’ behaviour codes across the seven chakras that the study has identified.

While the study focused on mothers, it has revealed three types of fathers too – according to the mothers!

The Genuine Partner: who tries to play a synergistic role willingly taking up activities which are beyond the mother’s competence;
The Conveniently Detached: who is taking it easy, capitalizing on the mother’s high involvement and taking up the provider stance to negate criticism of his lack of involvement; and
The Cynically Detached: who disagrees with the approach, perceives the mother as crossing the line and fostering too much dependance, and feels children need a more hands-off approach.

Brand Chakras™ is the first Indian strategic planning tool that applies the 2000 year old chakra system as laid out by Patanjali, to consumers and brands. This original system of understanding human behaviour based on the seven major nerve/energy centers in the human body has never been used in marketing, and is an initiative of Strategic Planning at JWT India. http://www.brandchakras.com/

For further information, write to Mythili.Chandrasekar@jwt.com

15 October 2007

When was the last time you Ego Surfed?

Have you ever wondered what might come up when you Google your name, your blog or website? Or, how many times your blog has been searched for or looked up ?

EgoSurf.org loves egos and believes they need nurturing! “Egosurf helps massage the web publishers ego, and there by maintain the cool equilibrium of the net itself”, they say!
The ego ranking, they say, is arrived at by using “A highly secretive and complex algorithm developed over months of work, utilizing the best mathematics brains in Weston-super-Mare, to calculate the cubic volume (in cm3) of ego contained in your search engine experience.”

Take a look and enjoy this ego soothing, boosting or crushing experience as the case maybe!


The Prepared Mind

Monica’s super clean obsession hilariously brings out the hidden “control freak” side of the other wise normal individual. A refreshing idea for a cleaning product waiting to be taken?

And the effect our “ super-cleaner “ has on people living with her!

The Dove Onslaught

For the past couple of years, the Dove campaigns on “Real beauty” have been attempting to alter popular perceptions of women and beauty.

In continuation with this theme, Dove’s latest communication, centered on young girls, urges parents to “protect” their little girls from the harmful and self-deprecating messages of the “beauty industry”.

The global debate on the Dove commercial has been on these lines:
Critics state that, as a product, Dove isn’t herbal, organic or even seaweed-based so why is Dove supposed to be pure, safe and most importantly- not a part of the beauty industry? Added to this, Dove urges women to feel comfortable with their natural body contours, while selling anti-cellulite gels. It is still trying to sell beauty products at the end of the day, they say.
Supporters argue that, even if it is to sell beauty products, the attempt to boost the self-esteem of women and urging them to accept themselves “as they are” deserves praise. Their commercials do not feed on the “media-generated” inadequacies of the female form and thereby do not sell on the basis of insecurity or fear.

So is it genuine concern or just clever advertising?

04 October 2007

Any Male In Sight ?

We start a new stream of thought here, looking at men from all angles! Over the next few months we will look at Men and the Seven Deadly Sins, What Men Chase, Male Bonding, Conflicts in Men, and more.

To start with, we bring you the latest wave maker in JWT: from JWT Paris, the feelings of a man looking at the woman welcoming the new member in their family, a portrayal of age-old father-son rivalry for... guess which category?

03 October 2007

Where have all the men gone?

Where have all the men gone? Suresh Mohankumar, JWT Planning, Chennai

Simple, they have turned into cars; if we were to believe Maruti that is!!
But men have been missing from advertising and sitcoms for a very, very long time now. With the lenses being focused elsewhere, the media has been full of stories of the ‘new woman’. It has been so for quite some time now. Some call her the ‘post modern woman’. She is highly qualified and her economic independence has set in motion social tremors that are bound to have far reaching implications.

She is the new super hero or should we say the super heroine. Most heroes through out the history of popular fiction have had sidekicks. Batman has Robin, Sherlock Holmes has Dr. Watson, Bugs Bunny has the hunter, and even Anil Kapoor has Jackie Shroff. So it should come as no surprise that she too has a sidekick. Thirty minutes of TV gazing will tell you exactly who this sidekick is. But unlike the sidekicks mentioned earlier this one is an absolute no-hoper.

Meet Mr. Buddhu. He is out there putting on his act to help sell cornflakes, cars, financial services products, cooking oil, credit cards, tea and pretty much everything else. More often than not, he also happens to be the significant “other” in our super heroine’s life.

There are certain traits that clearly mark him out

- He displays symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. He simply cannot remember anything especially when it comes to dates. Wedding anniversaries, birthdays, or even the date for paying the LIC premium; in fact you can safely depend on him to forget any significant date
- He cannot take a decision. Not to save his life. He needs to be pushed and prodded into it. He can’t even decide when and how to propose to his girl
- It is beyond him to resist temptations of any kind. Even when they come in the form of samosas and jalebis.
- He is absolutely and completely insensitive. He would much rather hear cricket commentary than listen to his wife talk during their anniversary dinner
- He is such a complete dud that he can’t even make out that his house is being cleaned out by goons even when he walks right past them as they carry the loot down the stairs.
- He is so way gone that he completely misses it when some really awesome looking women hit on him
- Taking his mind off something is child’s play. Just get him to drive around a little bit and he will even forget that ten out of hundred is really bad even if its in maths
- His interest in cricket does not mean that he knows how to get scores on his mobile; he needs his son’s help for this.
- It is not just advertising that has been running down men so meticulously. A quick check of the major sitcoms is ample proof that this breed is alive and kicking there. Two and a half men, Everybody loves Raymond, Fraser, The Office, Becker, According to Jim- the list is endless and the attributes quite clear
- Men have an exaggerated opinion of their self worth
- They can’t think of anything other than sex
- They are sloppy
- They chase trouble or rather trouble chases them and gets them all the time
- They cannot express themselves emotionally
- They cannot take a complement or give one well enough
- They are pathetic role models to their kids

The less said on the state of male characters in Hindi Television serials the better.
They are either, puppets moved along by the heroine/ the vamp or completely devoid of morals.

The classic time tested method of story telling, that has been practiced by authors since the time of Ramayana, follows a simple logic the goodness of one’s character gets amplified when it is juxtaposed against the evil of the other. The absolute smartness of the woman therefore has to be juxtaposed with the dudness of the man.

Or should it be? Do agencies and marketers need the help of a caricature ‘him’ to appeal to the woman? Do women really feel more perfect and fulfilled when they are communicated to in such a manner? Isn’t it time to break this stereotype? Isn’t it time that the real men stood up?

Why don't you tell us why you think this is happening in Indian advertising?