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July 31, 2013

Brand equity and Brand loyalty - Examples of Marlboro and Harley Davidson

This blog entry is about a brand  that transformed the idea of smoking and of Machismo. Yes I am talking about Marlboro the ultimate advertising dream created by Leo Burnett. The image of the ruggedly handsome cowboy with chiseled features and the rough and ready looks went a long way in creating the ultimate male icon. The image of the cowboy lighting the cigarette with a big block of wood I am sure would have launched many a youngster into the habit of lifetime smoking.

Readers would be astonished to know that Marlboro was originally a cigarette that was created for the women. The dead give away - the red tip filter. The red tip filter was to protect the women smokers who otherwise would have lost the redness of the lipstick had the filter been white. That is what the advertisers can conjure. They can create dreams and built their castles on the sale of dreams. 

One brash American had gone to the headquarters of Philip Morris, the makers of Marlboro and demanded that he be allowed to see the Chairman of the company. To his enormous surprise he was allowed to meet the chairman. 

The brash American says with out battling an eye lid  “I want to buy Philip Morris, what is the cost?"

The Chairman of Philip Morris was in his elements. He wanted to humor this brash American (so what if he is a upstart and acting silly) . He smiled and said "Well we could strike a deal at 5 Billion US dollars"

The brash American was taken back by the figure. He said demurely "That a bit steep, what if I only want the brand name of Marlboro?"

"oh only the brand name, Marlboro! Well sir you can have it for 10 billion US dollars",  

Needless to say this answer bowled the brash American and he was speechless.

The lesson from the anecdote – brand equity. A company is not the buildings, the infra structure, the people and the products. It is about the image the company occupies in the mind of the customers and what is its perceived value. The higher the perceived value the higher the brand equity. Indians have understood this concept very well. The shopkeeper selling his shop to the new owner demands "Goodwill” Goodwill being the brand equity of the shop. 

Similarly the customers of Harley Davidson are legendary for their fierce loyalty to the brand Harley. We all have heard of many examples of their fierce loyalty transcending into their daily life. Harley users dress differently and are a law to themselves. They have their own communities, clubs, rules, regulations and rituals. They wear leather clothes and are heavily muscled and sport tattoos. 

A shop floor in charge admonished his subordinate (incidentally a Harley user)

“Look at you, your dress is awful. If you don’t dress properly I am afraid I will have to fire you”

The response from the Harley user? Instead of changing himself he changed the job. This is the ultimate customer loyalty. Where the person and the brand have merged. They have become one. An ultimate dream for any marketer! 

July 26, 2013

Dreamers Media Will Pay the customer’s Car EMI

Dreamers Media and Advertising has launched an interesting scheme for Out Of Home (OOH) advertising. The company will pay the EMI of the car which the customer buys through them, in return the customer will have to allow Dreamers to run advertisements.

All of us have seen radio taxis with advertisements  on them, which helps the taxi companies in boosting profits. Dreamers is trying to do is quite a similar thing and this can benefit those who don’t care much about what the exteriors of their cars says or has on it.

So how does it work? The customer decides a car he wants to buy (up to a maximum of Rs. 6 lakhs) and pay 25% as down payment on the 5 year loan. The car will be brought through Dreamers who will then pay the first three years EMI on the vehicle. The remaining 2 years EMI will have to be paid by the customer. Any one who travels a minimum of 1500 kms a month is eligible. The company will cover 40 to 60% of your car’s exterior with advertisements and the customer has to keep your car clean and not tamper with the stickers or VTS (a device which tracks how many kmshave been driven by the customer)

Dreamers Media and Advertising is targeting customers from middle income group who have an annual income of less than Rs. 10 lakhs. The stickers used on the vehicle will be Vinyl printed using eco solvent inks. Clarity about other terms like in cases of dents and accidents as to who will bear the cost of replacing the stickers is still not clear .

The scheme is open all India. A 24×7 call center has been put in place to ensure smooth functioning of the system. The company is betting big on higher budgets from advertisers, increasing commuting distance and decreasing penetration of newspapers and television. A turnover of Rs. 150 crores is being targeted in the first fiscal.

So what is the benefit? Let’s take the  Honda Brios MT for example. The vehicle costs Rs. 5.55 lakhs (on-road, Mumbai). The ex-showroom price is Rs. 4,89,425/-. Thus 25% down payment will be 1,22,356/-. The pending amount which will be the loan which is Rs. 3,67,069/-. Thus the EMI will be Rs. 8064/- at an interest rate of 12% (Dreamers might get lower interest rate as they will be having higher volumes). Thus Dreams will end up paying Rs. 2,90,304/- and the remaining two years EMI will be Rs. 1,93,536/-. So in total, the customer will end up paying Rs. 3,81,584/- for a Rs. 5.55 lakh car. The customer’s saving will be Rs. 1,73,416/- although he will really end up saving Rs. 2.90 lakhs since the interest payment is there whether you opt for this scheme or not.

There are very few cars which fit in this scheme since most cars go above Rs. 6 lakhs in price. A diesel car will be easier to live with since your minimum running has to be 1500 kms a month.

I have many doubts about this scheme

1.   Will people like this idea?
2.      Will you like being a part of a big advertisement?
3.      What if the company where you are working is a competitor for the company advertised on the car?
4.      What if the general public mistakes youas a representative of the company being advertised and asks you for a demonstration and for free samples?
5.      They might think of you as a travelling salesman?
6.      The general public might think that you are a part of a cab company?
7.      How would the car be taxed - as a private vehicle or a commercial vehicle? 

Drones Delivering Pizzas

Ann Arbor based Domino’s Pizza recently made headlines when the company’s independent U.K. franchisor released a YouTube video of a drone delivering pizzas.

A one-minute video featuring the “DomiCopter” flying over fields, trees, and homes to deliver two pizzas has become hugely popular .

 The story   made national and international news, appearing on websites for CNNMoney, US News and World Report and several other media outlets. Despite the interest, the DomiCopter won't be put to regular use. The project was a one-time deal, according to Danny Bowles, spokesman for Domino’s Pizza Group in the U.K.

“At Domino’s we’re always looking to innovate and find new ways to deliver our pizza and a DomiCopter could fit the bill perfectly,” Simon Wallis, Domino’s Pizza UK/Ireland sales and marketing director, said in a statement. “We are the number one pizza delivery company and we are committed to staying in that position. We had a lot of fun putting the video together. It would be great to think that one day pizzas could fly!”

British creative digital agency T + Biscuits worked on the project. The company said it’s received many inquiries on when people may get pizzas delivered by drone.“You will have to just wait and see…. and then wait,” T + Biscuits.

Chris Brandon, spokesman for Domino’s U.S. business, said there are no plans to use drones here."We heard about the promotion, likely, at the same time you did -- and it does not involve our U.S. stores," he said in an email.

Man Biting Dog - Chennai Express cutout in Airport.

My marketing teacher would always exclaim during presentations "Advertising should be man biting dog and not dog biting man". What he was meaning was a presentation should have a punch and deliver the message in no uncertain terms. Loud and Clear. 

In the era where marketing costs are rising exponentially it is imperative that advertisers give a bang - a big bang for customer's advertising budget. 

Thus the advertising cut out of Chennai Express a typically Bollywood potboiler came as a pleasant surprise. I was on my way to Pune on 23rd night and I saw the cut out in Hyderabad International airport. 

The single strategically placed cutout was a huge attraction. The cut out resembled a train compartment. There were curious onlookers trying to peep into the compartment itself. Needless to say there was nothing in the compartment!. 

I think the bigger element of attraction was the stark contrast between a swank airport and the cut out of a Hindi movie titled "Chennai Express". What a thought provoking creativity. An advertising cut out of a train  in a airport. Talk about figure and ground principle. A very clever idea and a brilliant execution. Hats of to you Rohit Shetty.

July 07, 2013

Creative Logos by Mokokoma Mokhonoana

The meaning behind 12+ Famous logo designs you will see today

Last year I published a post demonstrating some of the reasons why most clients will always perceive logo design as a quick and cheap task.

There’s a lot of time and more importantly thought that goes into a development of a good and functional logo.

I have collected some of the well-known logos with a creative rationale behind their design, which hopefully will inspire other graphic designers and educate clients. Chances are you will see at least one of these logos before you go to bed tonight.


creative rationale behind FedEx logo
If you concentrate your attention on the letters “E” and “x”. The negative space those 2 letters create, form an arrow pointing to the right side. This signifies forward or moving forward and this is what the company does.


creative rationale behind Adidas logo
The shape of 3 stripes on the Adidas Logo represents a mountain, pointing out towards the challenges that are seen ahead and goals that can be achieved.


creative rationale behind Amazon logo
The logo has an arrow pointing from A to Z. This signifies that they sell everything from A to Z. The arrow also forms a smile.


creative rationale behind Apple logo
The apple is a reference from the Bible story of Adam and Eve, where the apple represents the fruit of Tree of Knowledge, with a pun on ” byte/bite”. Rob Janoff, said in an interview that though he was mindful of the “byte/bite” pun (Apple’s slogan back then: “Byte into an Apple”), he designed the logo as such to “prevent the apple from looking like a cherry tomato.”


creative rationale behind Audi logo
The four rings, which make up the Audi logo, represent the four companies that were part of the Auto-Union Consortium in 1932. They were DKW, Horch, Wanderer and Audi.


creative rationale behind BMW logo
The BMW medallion represents a propeller of a plane in motion, and the blue represents the sky. This is because BMW has built engines for the German military planes in World War II. The colors are the national colors of Bavaria, which now forms a part of Germany. (Email update by: Christoph Lauber)


creative rationale behind IBM logo
If observed closely, the IBM logo, also known as “Big Blue”, generates a message of “Equality”. The Big Blue IBM logo, with its lower right parallel lines, highlights in the shape of an “equals” sign. Furthermore, the term “BIG” in the Big Blue IBM logo refers to the company’s size in the market share, whereas, the “BLUE” is the official color of the eight-bar IBM logo.


creative rationale behind McDonalds logo
The idea of ‘arches’ was first introduced by Dick and Mac McDonald as arch shaped signs on the sides of their then ‘walk-up hamburger stand’. From an angle, those arches looked like the letter “M” and thus, were incorporated in the McDonalds logo as a merger of the two golden arches together.


creative rationale behind Mercedes-Benz logo
The star in three corners represents the Mercedes-Benz dominance on land, sea and air.


creative rationale behind Mobil logo
A simple typeface was used to attain exuberance and vitality. Red, being the intense color, evokes the strength and blue builds up a feeling of faithfulness and security for the company.


creative rationale behind Volkswagen logo
The simple logo icon contains the letters V and W: “volks” means “people” and “wagen” means “car”.


creative rationale behind Toyota logo
The Toyota logo contains three ellipses, which represent the heart of the customer, the heart of the product and the heart of technological progress and limitless opportunities of the future. In Japanese, “Toyo” signifies abundance, and “ta” means rice. In some Asian cultures, the rice represents wealth.


creative rationale behind Puma logo
The Puma logo has an image of a leaping Puma, an animal otherwise called a cougar, a panther or a mountain lion. Active both day and night, it is a powerful beast and an expert hunter that can jump to a maximum of 20 feet high in a single bounce. By incorporating the creature in the Puma logo, the company has summarized the complete meaning of its products into a powerful identity. The Puma logo itself characterizes the brand’s reliability and its products’.

250000 visitors for the blog - a very big thank you

Some time in the last two days our blog registered 2,50,000 visitors. It was really great to see so many people like the blog. It is very humbling to see the count of the visitors and their insightful comments. Thank a lot and let me know how we can make this blog even better.