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June 21, 2018

Boring FIFA World Cup Matches - Food for thought - Is the world's most beautiful game doing enough to attract viewers interest!

And you thought that world was a fair place - People shouting from the tops of roofs wishing so should understand that fairplay and meritocracy are things are used conveniently and as and when needed. Sample this. The world's most popular game Football's world cup is on and there are RESERVATIONS IN PLACE even for countries playing in the world cup. 

For the not so sports inclined readers there are a total of 32 teams playing in the FIFA world cup and they are divided into eight groups of four teams each. The four teams play a round robin league where they play each of the other teams once. 

The top two teams from each group progress to the group of sixteen or the pre-quarter finals .And from that stage every match is a knock out with the winning team  progressing and the losing team getting eliminated. 

Simple Meritocracy rules say that the best 32 teams should play the world cup. But sadly that is not possible as FIFA is a political body and has to pander to its VOTE BANK.

9th        placed   -           Chile,
17th                   -           Netherlands,
18th                   -           Wales,
19th                   -           Italy
25th                   -           USA
26th                             Austria
28th                   -           Slovakia
29th                   -           Northern Ireland
30th                   -           Romania
31st                    -           Republic of Ireland
32nd     placed   -           Paraguay not playing .

What is galling is champion teams like Chile and Italy not playing.

And playing are

Serbia                -           34th
Australia           -            36th
Iran                    -           37th,
Morocco            -           41st
Egypt                 -           45th
Nigeria               -           48th
South Korea      -            57th
Japan                 -            61st,
Saudi Arabia      -           67th Place

Coming at the tail is Russia at a fantastic rank of 70! And they are hosts and they need to be accommodated.

The paradox is all the teams from Serbia to Russia are simply to fill in numbers and get eliminated in the group stage itself. But because of the quota policy we get to see "blink you see, blink you miss the action' football matches which are very boring. Food for thought FIFA!

June 12, 2018

Marketing lesson for the day Advertisement we have been waiting for - Pretty 24

This I feel is the advertisement that we all have been waiting for. Pretty 24 hits all whitening creams right in the solar plexus! Coming of age of Indian advertising and hitting where it hurts the most. It is time we Indians don't feel inferior about our colour, rather we should celebrate our colour for which most westerners pay a fortune to get and call it tanning! We Indians are naturally tanned.

May 29, 2018

Marketing lesson for the day: Common sense is not common – Kohinoor’s - Meeta Pan, Kala Khatta, Juicy Strawberry and Silky Chocolate

My often repeated idiom -  Common senses is not very common. Kohinoor has introduced a new set of Condoms and to build up excitement and awareness of its new offerings, it gave them very saucy names, Meeta Pan, Kala Khatta, Juicy Strawberry and Silky Chocolate.

On the face of it, my readers might ask me, what’s the big deal? It is the worst deal. Kohinoor has every right to name the product as it likes and it is up to the Customers to like the products or not. But the product display in a medical shop raises the hackles!

As usual it was Madhusudan Kota who brought it to my notice. Let us remember it is not at a place that is secluded and away from the prying eyes of small children. But the display is right at the POS and very much in the face.

The product names appear innocuous but are very close to Meeta pan a toffee, Kala Khatta is a brand of ice-cream and worst of all Strawberry and silky chocolates look like brands of chocolates. Product categories that belong to the children and names that they are familiar with.  

What happens if the children demand these products from the parents? Imagine the embarrassment a mother would face if her small son or daughter ask for them seeing the product display! How does she explain the products to her inquisitive children?
Customers should not be put through such embarrassing situations, Kohinoor. Use some other media and don’t let your products embarrass people. In the modern world the possibility of a loyal customer changing into a virtual vigilante is just a Facebook post or a photo share away! You could become viral for all the wrong reasons!

May 26, 2018

Marketing Lesson for the day: Real Me from Vivo - Mark of desperateness!

My students always ask me “why are you so fascinated with Marketing?” It is the only area where changes happen every day and one can observe and learn. Observation can pay rich dividends and one of the sharpest observers is Madhusudan Kota my ex colleague at SSIM. Kota is pursuing his PhD under my guidance.

Kota has just send me a photo. Take a look. This is the new Mobile phone offering from Vivo and its name ‘Real Me’. Innocent branding or cute name. No way Sir!

This can be called “Desperate Marketing”. Generally, such desperate tactics are indulged by local or even micro level competitors trying to cash on the brand names of their famous competing brands by aping their names. Examples galore; Coolgatte, Nirwa, National Panasound, Adibas, Black Labial, Coma, Saniya an many more. To get more fun and knowledge follow the link.

When small players do it, we can all laugh and say ‘desperateness of a small player’. Those are counterfeit products and customers can avoid buying them. But when Vivo does it, it appears sinister. Look at the font it looks like Red Mi.

For all the hype created by VIVO with its association with IPL 11. Red Mi is the king when it comes to online sales. And everything is fair in love and war and Vivo goes for the kill and names its product Real Me. I am not impressed. How would Red Mi retaliate? Your guess is as good as mine. But my two bits of advice to Red Mi -  Don’t do anything. Be quite and serene. Imitation is the best form of flattery.

May 20, 2018

Marketing lesson for the day: Confused Cinema Celebrities! - Switch to active Life style (Protinex) from Thums Up. I AM CONFUSED!

I was having lunch and was watching Dookudu at the same time. An advertisement was being beamed during the break. And it had the Prince of Telugu cinema, Mahesh Babu propagating the virtues of a healthy drink “Protinex”. He went on to say that Protinex is very good for people and warned us all “Glibly” that other protein drinks that we are drinking are not good and that we a should drink only Protinex.

“Wonderful, Prince”, I said to myself “very smart and very good. Till today you have been the brand ambassador of Thums Up have been asking up or rather goading us all to drink Thumps Up and be adventurous. Now you yourself are saying that other protein drinks are not good. What about soft drinks, especially Thumps Up? Does that mean that your earlier endorsement of Thums up was wrong, or is both good drinks good and should we drink both drinks simultaneously”.

Oh Celebrity endorsers, have common sense. Your audience is watching and seeing the laughing stock that you are all becoming! Try to build a brand and a brand image that is long lasting. Once you start endorsing all the products that approach you, your loyal fan base and even general public will stop believing in you. It could be the death knell for the brands that you endorse!