13 October 2010

"Trendy" India

Trends can be described as ongoing cultural movements or developments. To continuously stay relevant, brands need to be cognizant of cultural movements that their consumers are part of. Planners from JWT India, along with Ann Mack, Director of Trendspotting, JWT NY, in their effort to help their clients stay relevant in a burgeoning marketplace have identified Indian-metro-specific trends that are shaping the Indian consumers in metros and tier 1, tier 2 cities. The chosen trends focus on the fall-outs of new urban lifestyles, delayed marriages, and new codes of moral conduct.
While identifying these trends is important, it is equally important, if not more, to understand the various drivers of the trends, their significance and their relevance to brands, the players involved in the trend and its potential implications.

For details on the trends, a presentation or a session over coffee and donuts, to discuss how these trends may add value to your business through new product and service ideas, communication ideas or even packaging and SKUs, contact:
Shujoy Dutta [Delhi]
Navonil Chatterjee [Bangalore]
Shaziya Khan [Mumbai]
Mythili Chandrasekar [Chennai or Kolkata]

07 October 2010

Marketing to the Right Audience

I've always found visits to the supermarket utterly engaging. Whether it is observing a single man's auto-pilot mode when it comes to grocery shopping or finding out about that product that seems to have hit the sweet-spot-need-state that the category leader has failed to tap - there's always something new to learn during a visit to the supermarket.

On a recent visit to the supermarket, I managed to take this picture without getting thrown out of yet another supermarket.

This is a picture of 2 Korean Nationals buying not 1 or 2, but 54 bars of Himalaya Moisturizing Almond soap. They were initially looking for Medimix soaps but since the retailer had only one Medimix soap bar, the retailer convinced them to pick up Himalaya Moisturizing Almond soaps instead.

Why did they buy 54 of these?
Apparently, because they don't get these products back in Korea. They weren't specifically looking for Himalaya soaps but for any "ethnic" soap with "natural" ingredients. It's not just Koreans... The other day I spoke to an American woman picking up a Chandrika soap who gave me the same reasoning. Well, not the same - she was taking the soap back to the States not Korea.

I remember in the '90s, perhaps even in the '80s, NRIs used to bring Yardley perfumes and talcum powders for their families in India. Seems like, with enough proliferation of foreign nationals in India - the reverse is happening.

The home-grown products and brands that we tend to take for granted in India - some of which are considered "down-market" by some Indian consumers - are the very products that foreign nationals find attractive. The neglected "ethnic" brands would do well to ask themselves the question:
Are we marketing to the right audience?
A change in distribution strategy might not only increase sales, but might also pull-up the imagery of the brands in question.

This effect of an Indian Marketer's products appealing to a foreign audience isn't necessarily restricted to beauty products and "ethnic" brands per se. Food and apparel could well be other categories where this effect could be evident.

So, are you marketing to the right audience?

05 October 2010

Spikes Asia 2010 – JWT Bangalore’s ING ‘Chase’ Film Wins Silver

In the grave-yard year for financial services ING Vysya was one bank that dared to invest in brand building. Partnering with JWT Bangalore, it’s Jiyo Easy (Live Easy) campaign built reach, drove salience, improved imagery endorsements for the brand, significantly bettered category advertising recall norms, broke clutter, generated leads and led to thousands of new account openings in little over a month, all the while giving the popular phrase “laughing all the way to the bank” an altogether different meaning!

The campaign achieved all of this because it provided a simple yet highly relevant promise of ‘easy banking’ in a humorous and highly engaging way. At a time when customers’ lives were pretty stressed out and complicated, it refrained from being preachy, high-handed or mirror-holding, but instead used humor as a recess for the recession. From “ING Who?” to “the bank that makes banking easy” was the vast chasm that ING Vysya’s campaign set out to bridge and it more than achieved its objectives by increasing awareness of the brand and doubling imagery perception on ‘easy’.

Banking advertising has historically been about hardworking people working day and night to keep their customers satisfied. Typically their symbolism had revolved around smiling faces and conscientious handshakes. ING clearly wanted to be the un-bank. We wanted to steer away of category clichés like ‘ROI’, ‘growth’, ‘trust’, ‘partnership’, ‘prosperity’, ‘relationship’, ‘commitment’, ‘customer focus’ etc. We felt ‘Ease’ was both relevant and yet different, since nobody had taken it as a long term platform in India. And though ING only made banking easier, creatively we wanted to peg the brand at a higher plane and therefore extrapolated the brand promise into the creative tagline of ‘Jiyo Easy’ which means ‘Live Easy’.

The awarded film from the campaign places the feature of easy replacement of lost debit cards in an interesting context. Senthil Kumar, Tina Sachdev and Ratindra Dasgupta were the Creative Team that worked on the campaign.