Dove for men?

12 02 2010

I’m not someone who’s usually a fan of brand extensions. They invariably tend to dilute the built up brand equity of the parent brand. However, having said that, I do feel that the new mens line from Dove could actually be successful. Here are 2 simple reasons why:

1. Culturally it has become acceptable for men to take care of themselves. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the guys at Dove were working with some numbers that showed quite a few men already using their products (no, I’m not one of them!)

2. In this particular case, dove seems to be very cleverly making positive use of their brand equity, telling men that they work hard and slog all their lives and hence deserve a little luxury for their skin. The ads are also pretty slick…hmm, maybe I need make a trip to the local grocery store!

Now we have to wait and see how the campaign and product actually fairs in the marketplace.


Social Media… measurable?

3 02 2010

Last night I attended a great event on Day 1 of Social Media Week here in Toronto. There was some great conversation, quite animated at times. What I found really surprising however, was the number of people at the event who still didn’t believe that social media’s impact was measurable. I personally don’t understand why people are still so uncomfortable about measuring social media. Just look at traditional forms of media such as television. How would you measure impact? Through GRPs, TRPs or impressions? How would you measure the impact of an OOH campaign? Impressions again? How do you think thats calculated?

When you really think about it, Social Media can actually let you track your prospects movement right from the time they happen to consume your content to the time they enter and complete your sales pipeline. Social Media conversions are actual conversions, not estimates. When someone says my digital campaign had an ROI of x%, its actually quite close to the real number. So, I ask you again, is it really about measurement or is it just a matter of having an open mind and giving something a try?!

The business model of the remix

26 01 2010

I was recently listening to one of my favourite authors’ Matt Mason talk about Piracy as a business model on @SparkCBC. That podcast inspired me to write this post. Mason has inspired me since the day I started reading “The Pirates’ Dilemma”. I have personally used the remix to develop ideas and a business model for a startup that I am currently investigating. But enough about me. I want to use this post to highlight some interesting examples of companies that have embraced remix culture and have developed either a business model out of it or used it successfully in marketing their products/services.

1. The coolest example is of 20th Century Fox’s use of the comedic band GirlzNite‘s video “Die Hard”. Fox’s marketing team realized that this song (which was funny and pretty much summarized the plots of the first three movies) could be an ideal way to get consumers excited about the movie and generate buzz before the release of version 4…and they were right! Here’s the video.

2. Similarly, the BBC embraced the remix by creating the service “Masher” – that allowed users to freely remix their videos (from the BBC motion gallery) and share it with their friends and networks.

…and of course, who can forget the stark resemblance that the first generation iPods had to a certain type of portable radio (refer to one of my older posts).

So whats my point you ask?

Well, in the world of marketing, the concept of the remix can offer us a lot of ideas and help us innovate. Here’s why:

1. The remix is in all of us, because today it’s a part of culture. We understand the remix, we constantly consume it and we repeatedly use it – in our own lives.

2. The concept of the remix is still highly debated and not considered a part of mainstream culture. This gives marketers an advantage – the ability to create tight knit and highly involved communities of consumers.

At the end of the day, the remix is all around us – in hundreds of products and services we consume on a day to day basis. It’s up to marketing and business/product development teams in organizations to look at leveraging the remix to their advantage rather than looking at remixers as thieves/ copyright violators. A huge cultural shift is in order…thoughts?

Guerilla marketing with a social cause!

5 01 2010

Bangalore has traditionally been a city of gardens and parks. However, traditionally, the walls around some of the larger parks in the city have been covered in political posters, spray paint (not graffiti art by any means), movie posters, local municipal and college election campaign posters, religious paintings and messages by local language chauvinists¬†that often used the wall to swear allegiance to the language. All of the above makes many public walls in the city look pretty shabby. However, the Ministry of Tourism of the state of Karnataka (the state in which Bangalore lies) seems to have found a solution. They’ve hired artists to paint images of scenic tourist spots in the state on all these walls.

The net result: A campaign that resembles a guerilla marketing campaign around the city promoting state tourism while beautifying city walls and giving the city a facelift.

Now what remains to be seen is how well it will be executed and if people will respect the art enough to not start postering them again!

From a marketing perspective, I do feel that there is a lot more potential in this campaign than is being realized. A big thing missing is a message – something that makes people feel proud and passionate about where they live. A call to action is also missing.¬† Unfortunately with campaigns like these, until people identify with it and feel passionately about the message being conveyed, it’s very difficult to really achieve phenomenal results.

Understanding your Transmitter / Receiver make-up.

21 12 2009

Here’s a fantastic presentation that you must check out, if you haven’t already! Its the Social Media Study for 2009 By People from Cossette.

While the presentation talks about a lot of great statistics, I had one key take-away from it. If you’re looking to figure out whether nows the right time for your organization to get serious about social media – you may want to start by trying to understand your Transmitter/Receive make-up (refer to slide 31). As the slide indicates, there will be 2 types of Transmitters and 2 types of Receivers. On the Transmitter side, you might want to involve people from your organization, people from external agencies that work closely with you or even certain customers. By figuring out who falls into what category, you might be able to get a better sense of the kind of content you will be capable of producing. The same goes on the Receiver side as well. However, you may not always be able to find clear data. In many industries, social media adoption has been so slow that one can’t base decisions on existing patterns. So, in cases like that you might have to rely on your gut feeling as well…but at least you’ll be able to set better expectations and hopefully meet them one step at a time.

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Canadian Recording Industry faces a $6 Billion Lawsuit!

9 12 2009

What an ironic situation! The Canadian Recording Industry faces a $6 Billion lawsuit.

Unfair copyright laws have been affecting a lot of us and there has been a lot of conversation around copyright reform lately, especially here in Canada. However, traditionally, the recording industry has been heavily in favour of excessively long term copyright laws as it allows them to claim royalty on tracks produced decades ago! The recording industry in the United States has managed to take its paws a step further, by suing and winning lawsuits against two consumers, who were each slapped with millions in damages.

Now, the recording industry itself is being sued and if charges allocated in previous lawsuits (against consumers) are to be taken as a benchmark, the recording industry could owe Chet Baker’s estate close to $6 Billion.

What an ironic situation…although I would have preferred if this had taken place in the U.S – just to make a point.


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Culture and its effects on advertising

8 12 2009

I made my first trip to Las Vegas last week and there was tons to observe from a cultural perspective. This picture below I think encapsulates the culture of Las Vegas.

It’s striking to see how the unauthentic is so openly accepted in Vegas, while everywhere else, we are constantly struggling to prove that we’re the real authentic!

Interesting to note what effect such a culture would have on advertising in the city.

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