08 January 2008

Case Study: Nike Mean Streets

Navonil Chatterjee, JWT Planning, Bangalore shares the thinking behind the award winning Nike TV commercial, on behalf of the Nike Team in JWT Bangalore.
Hardly a Walk in the Park : The Challenge
In a country where the Jordans, the Federers, the Nadals and the Rooneys could not help Nike much, it was imperative for the brand to be associated with Indian cricket in order to make inroads into the market. Besides, Reebok and Adidas had a head-start over Nike and had also signed up almost all the major cricketing superstars of India. It was in this challenging environment in December 2005 that Nike successfully bid to be the official apparel sponsor of the entire Indian cricket team for a period of 5 years.
The team sponsorship undoubtedly gave us an opportunity to drive visibility, credibility and even acceptability for the brand. But the biggest task for us was how to make the brand stand apart from a plethora of other cricket-based commercials? Especially given the fact that in India almost every third ad - from soaps to bikes, from shampoos to cars, from credit cards to televisions, from colas to insurance - features one cricketer or another!
The Search for a Point of View (POV) : What JWT DidWe soon realized that to stand out in this cricket clutter, we needed to have our own unique POV on the game itself. What was this game truly about? We contacted every possible stakeholder of the game in trying to answer this one question …We asked ourselves … what are the greatest moments of cricket for us?We debated … what stood out in these moments?We interviewed … top Indian cricketers like Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Jawagal Srinath, Anil Kumble and also met past Indian greatsWe spoke … with cricket commentators like Harsha Bhogle and Charu SharmaWe observed Cricket Crazy Kids training at the National Cricket AcademyWe wrote … to cricketers and coaches in every test playing nation in the world to check their take on the game, and even did focus groups amongst some of them …Character Over Cover DriveAfter tapping through all the responses, we realized that the abiding moments of cricket are those where character prevailed over cover drive, temperament took precedence over technique, fighting spirit reigned over flamboyance and grit glowed over timing.
Moments like Kumble bowling his heart out with a fractured jaw, Sehwag refusing to play it safe and risking a six when approaching a triple century, Yuvraj and Kaif relishing the pressure in the Natwest run-chase or the VVS Laxman-inspired epic turn-around against the all-conquering Australians at the Eden Gardens.We realized that cricket is not just about skill and brilliance and timing alone.
It is about context, about handling pressure.
That it is not just a game of bat and ball. Rather, it’s all about balls.
And it is from this realization that Nike’s POV on cricket was born: GUTSY CRICKET!
Celebrating Gutsy Cricket : The Communication
Our commercial then when went on to dramatize that POV instead of indulging in the usual ‘Come on India’ kind of jingoism. However, given that cricket is a religion in India, in the brand’s first foray into the Indian market, we chose to ‘CELEBRATE’ gutsy cricket instead of making it grim and over-intense. And an Indian traffic jam served as the perfect amphitheatre for this celebration of a spectacular and yet gutsy brand of cricket.
Just Did It : The Results
The effects of the commercial were clearly not gone in 120 seconds. Sales showed a 40% growth in the activity period over last year, 60% of the Nike Team India jerseys were sold out within 10 days of the launch, Nike got the maximum free media coverage (around 180,000 USD).
There was unprecedented buzz – the commercial was displayed 16 times on a YouTube page and had close to half a million hits. It became the most debated ad on agencyfaqs. There were communities in Orkut and innumerable number of blogs on the ad.

Watch Out India 2008: Adip Puri, JWT Planning, Mumbai

Question. What do Deepika Padukone, Green buildings and Foreign universities have in common?
Answer. All of them feature in the 80 big things to watch out for in India '08.
We start this year with an interesting initiative on the lines of “Eighty things to watch out for in 2008” released by JWT, New York. India planners have started compiling a list of 80 Big things to watch out for in India 2008.

In no particular order
1.Young new filmmakers
2.Indian pride/jingoism
3.Farah khan's triplets
4.Rahul Gandhi/as a mass leader in the Rajiv Gandhi 1989 mould
5.Narendra Modi as Prime Minister
6.Mini metros
7.Foreign universities in India
8.Chinese students in India
9.Indian students in countries other than USA ,UK ,Australia
10.Citizen governance/civil society action
11.Brand social responsibility
12.Green buildings
13.Diesel cars
14.Family /friends reunions
15.Facebook in Indian languages
16.Blank Noise Project
17.SMS banking
18.One Lakh Rupee Tata Car
20.Deepika Padukone
21.Climate change
22.Increase in non-biodegradable wastes
23.60 seconds of fame for anyone
24.Instant spirituality (or its fixes thereof)
25.Experimental relationships (bi-curious, f**k buddies, etc)
26.The increasing ‘Friends’ syndrome
27.30ies (even 40ies) is the new 20ies
28.Male grooming industry
29.Small is big in car designs

We invite you to add your thoughts to this list.Look through your telescope and do tell us the people/events/ideas or anything big you see happening in India '08.

Eighty Things to watch out for in 2008,JWT NewYork

JWT NY, has released its list of 80 things to watch in 2008.
"These people, products, places, services and shifts will help to define 2008," says Ann Mack, director of trendspotting at JWT."By examining what will resonate with people or drive their thinking and behavior, we can identify larger patterns that will shape all of our lives in the years to come. Love it or hate it, technology continues to be a common thread on our list, it drives the serendipitous randomness that throws up chance connections, groundbreaking discoveries and great business ideas."

JWT's list of 80 Things to Watch in 2008, in alphabetical order:
1. Africa (foreign investment and development in)
2. Antibiotic backlash
3. Assisted marriage
4. Beijing 2008
5. Blue replacing green as the environmental movement's color du jour
6. Brain exercises
7. British actress Keira Knightley
8. Carbon tax
9. Chinese hurdler Liu Xiang
10. Classical musician Gustavo Dudamel
11. Climate sightseeing
12. Continuation of comebacks (Indiana Jones, The Cure, etc.)
13. Cooperative consumption
14. Couch surfing
15. Country branding (Oman, Indonesia, etc.)
16. Designer Phillip Lim
17. De-teching
18. DJ Tiesto
19. DNA-based exercising
20. E-clutter (and e-clutter consultants)
21. Eco-fatigue
22. E-mail etiquette
23. Facebook suicides
24. Fashion label Vena Cava
25. Foreign government investment (e.g., China, UAE) in U.S. companies
26. French President Nicolas Sarkozy
27. Game 3.0 (gamer-generated global gaming)
28. Google's Android
29. Gossip Girl
30. Gphone
31. Green weddings
32. Higher education online
33. Hip-hop's Retro Kids
34. Humbling of the hedge fund manager (anti-excess post sub-prime)
35. Hybrid taxis
36. Indian actress Deepika Padukone
37. Intellectual luxury
38. Investigating ingredients
39. Japanese designs (Tsumori Chisato, Uniqlo, Muji, etc.)
40. Kitchen appliances as new power tools
41. Lifestyle curators
42. Lipstick trumping lip gloss
43. Manga-inspired clothes
44. Mobile technology explosion
45. Mobulimia
46. Music as awareness driver; concerts and other residuals as cash cow
47. Musicovery (music tailored to moods)
48. Myanmar
49. Nollywood (the rise of Nigerian cinema)
50. Outsourcing to Ukraine (and other Eastern European countries)
51. Pakistan's Benazir Bhutto
52. Pantone's 18-3943 (blue iris)
53. Pets in the office
54. Prius homes
55. Radical transparency
56. Radiohead repeats (name-your-own-price music)
57. Recycling into fashion (Nau, Gary Harvey, etc.)
58. Selfless as the new selfish
59. Sex and the City, the movie
60. Shiny Toy Guns (the band)
61. Skiing in novel spots (Kashmir, Japan, Greenland, Russia, Korea,etc.)
62. Single men saying no to sex
63. Skype sex
64. Smart Cars in American cities
65. SNS (social network service) brand communities
66. Spanish actor Javier Bardem
67. Staycations
68. Sturking
69. Tequila as the new wine
70. The N-11
71. Third screen (the mobile screen) rivaling the first screen
72. Trans-ertainment
73. U.S. gymnast Shawn Johnson
74. U.S. presidential election
75. Vicarious consumption
76. (Video) Gaming Olympics
77. Virtual gifting
78. Wannabe young Internet entrepreneurs (a.k.a. Mark Zuckerbergcopycats)
79. Weak dollar/strong euro
80. Women juggling men

Tech Talk 1: Shaleen Sharma, JWT Planning, Delhi

I remember seeing one of the communications about Toyota that proudly proclaimed Toyota as “The Machine that changed the world”. It did talk about Toyota, but in a way it also spoke about the sheer domination of the automobile category that defined popular imagination for much of the last century.
It is said that Americans romanticized their cars so much that till around 1950’s close to two thirds of all marriage proposals were actually popped up on the back seat of a car!But all this is set to change, with the advent of another machine that people call the mobile phone. If automobiles were objects of romanticization, mobile phones have become the objects of obsession.
The Guardian already estimates that at least 56 different functionalities have by now converged to that piece of handset you hold in your hand.But the question that is doing the rounds now is how is the next trajectory of mobility going to evolve? First came voice, followed by data, text and then came imaging, music and now we have live, real time video streaming!

The question begets the answer that with 3 billion users already logged in-what is the next killer app and how is it going to intersect with the modern day, time challenged consumer?Unlike computing, the innovation map within the mobility eco system is diffused. While Japan is known for its mobile services innovation, South Korea has successfully shown what mobile broadband innovation can do. Telcos in the US are known for mobile applications whereas Europe is taking the lead in design and fashion aspects of the device.
So, where does the centre lie? We have seen intelligent handsets that compute and smart phones that organize your schedule. Now phones will be used to relay information, encrypt data, compress video files and act as real time gaming devices! Recently, Nokia announced its global software and services push, with the launch of Ovi-its music and gaming download portal and MOSH-Social Networking site compatible to mobile phones.
Why would Nokia do so?

There are three consumer trends here:
* One is as Gartner correctly opined, that close to 60% of the value that a consumer pays for is now “services led” and “handset independent”. This means that there will be a complex mobile services ecosystem that will come into play.Surely Nokia doesn’t want to miss that. For example, In Japan, you can already pay your bills, swap your employee card and watch movies with your mobile. This trend is going to explode around the world.
* The second trend is of physical mobility. Nat Geo says that close to 85% of the world population is now always on the move, as compared to 70% in the 90s and 61% in the 80s! Of course, convenience is another big driver and therefore the term “mobile services”.
* The third trend is the web itself. A medium that spews information, is a repository of your personal records like banking and healthcare and is available anytime anywhere.

Serendipitously, the mobile phone is the gateway that links all these three trends seamlessly. Nokia seems to have realized earlier than most.But competition is awakening too. Apple will reportedly open the i-phone platform for other developers to create web applications. Google has recently launched its own standard for mobile operations called Android. The game is getting interesting and my guess is that Google because of its previous experience in web related advertising services is better positioned to leverage this opportunity than a hardware manufacturer like Nokia. But Nokia has always surprised analysts.

Coming up next on Tech Talk: how “mobile services” strategy for different players is going to pan out in developing countries like India.