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March 29, 2014

When Silence is not only Golden - It is everything, Ask Gillette, KLM and Sunshine Hospitals

What was Gillette thinking about? The advertisement of Gillette is in plain words Jingoistic. It is playing to the most basic sentiments of the people. Most of us understand that cricket is just a game. We also realize that cricket is not war and yes we enjoy winning and winning against Pakistan is Sone-Pe-suhaga. But that is where the buck stops or should stop.

Playing and wining against Pakistan is not winning a war with our neighbors. Nor it is a   war against the Muslims of Pakistan or to that matter Muslims of any county including India. That is why the Gillette advertisement is cheesy and so much off the mark.

The advertisement too seems to be made in a hurry. The stubble is green in color. Why green? Does green mean Pakistan? And prey why green (the usage of green is not an accident). Green is the predominant color in the flag of Pakistan. So Gillette wants Indian Cricket team to “Wipe, them clean”. As if taking the dirty stubble off.

And what does Gillette want to achieve. That too only for a cricket match. Is it not thinking about the millions if not crores of Indian consumers that it is antagonizing apart from the millions and crores of Pakistani and other country citizens? Gillette needs to think many times before biting this genre silver bullet. This is one bullet that could back fire, hurt and injure the shooter – Gillette itself. 

What started out as a lark went horribly wrong. The world is tuned to FIFA world cup and Dutch Airlines thought that they would cash in. And cash in they did - After the match between Netherland and Mexico (which Mexico lost) they sent out a twitter feed. The twitter feed had a picture of an Airport departure sign under the heading 'Adios Amigo'. And next to the word departure was an image of a man with a mustache wearing a sombrero (Mexican hat).

The twitter went viral and Mexicans hated it. A Mexican actor promised that he would never fly Dutch airlines. And rubbing salt into the wound he told his 2 million followers to do the same. Seeing the alarming negative reaction the post was pulled off the net half an hour later. 

The issue became prickly and later in the night KLM issued a formal apology. The lesson is very clear. Do not indulge in something that is sensitive and where by celebrating only with one set of people you would hurt the sentiments of the other set and as a company you want to be in the good books of both sets of the people.

What is Sunshine thinking? It is a corporate hospital. It would need the patronage of people from all parts of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. By supporting the division are they not antagonizing the vast majority of Andhra people living in Hyderabad? They might win the confidence of the Telangana people, but are they not losing the trust of the Andhra clientele. 

As far as I am concerned it is was a absolutely zero sum game.  Sunshine hospital has to realize it is better to be silent rather than to put up advertisements that are controversial. It is better to be safe than to be sorry. 

As if to make amends Sunshine put up another advertisement. The advertisement says 'one moon for Andhra Pradesh' (Chandrababu Naidu the chief Minister) 'one moon for Telangana' (K. Chandrasekhara Rao). Chandrudu in Telugu means moon. The advertisement goes on to say ‘one sun for Hyderabad’ that is Sunshine Hospital. 

A sunshine hospital is being too clever for its own sake. First it supports the division and then it tries to appease the Andhra Pradesh clientele with another advertisement. It is just trying to be safe. This way I think they would have lost the confidence of both the clientele; Andhra Pradesh with the first advertisement and Telangana with the second one. It is caught between a rock and a hard place. Time Sunshine Hospital does focus groups interviews to avoid such controversial advertisement campaigns.

March 25, 2014

Other new catch phrases used in Marketing of automobiles (cars and motorcycles)


      These entire list of catch phrases have been Research and submitted by Madhusudhan Kota a dear friend of mine Thanks a lot Kota for a lovely collection 

1.   TDI: Turbo Charged Diesel Injection used by Volkswagen. TDI allows for greater engine efficiency, and therefore greater power outputs (from a more complete combustion process compared to indirect injection), while also decreasing emissions and providing more torque.

2. CRDI: Common Rail Direct Injection used by BOSCH. CRDI helps to improve the power, performance and reduce harmful emissions from a diesel engine. Conventional Diesel Engines (non-CRDI engines) are sluggish, noisy and  poor in performance compared to a CRDI engine.

3.   AMT: Automatic Manual Transmission used by Magneti Marelli. AMT gives the driver peace of mind of clutch less shifts; something metropolitan dwellers are direly craving for, it is also as fuel efficient as a regular manual gearbox. And it's a cheap technology which doesn't increase the cost of your car too much. Maruti is using this technology and hoping that it will create a differentiator that will be hard to beat.

4.   MPFI: Multi Point Fuel Injection used by most car manufacturers. MPFI  offers operational benefits to the driver of a fuel-injected car including smoother and more dependable engine response during quick throttle transitions, easier and more dependable engine starting, better operation at extremely high or low ambient temperatures, smoother engine idle and running, increased maintenance intervals, and increased fuel efficiency.

5.   DTSI: Digital Twin Spark Ignition used by Bajaj Auto. In DTSI instead of one spark plug two plugs are used. Because of this fuel is burnt completely and delivers more power.

6.   DDIS: Direct Diesel Injection System used by FIAT. DDIS allows the fuel to burn more evenly and  thoroughly. For the driver, that can translate to better mileage and greater power to the wheels.

7.  VTT DICOR: Variable Turbine technology and Direct Injection common rail Engine used by TATA Safari. VVT DICOR improves fuel economy, performance and reduces emissions.

8.  CVT: continuously variable transmission Used in India by TVS group is a transmission that can change seamlessly through an infinite number of effective gear ratios between maximum and minimum values. CVT allows a small car to have acceptable fuel efficiency at low cost.

March 24, 2014

Zing thing, PSPO, MSP, EDLP and other catch phrases used in popular advertising campaigns

An advertisement is a story told in 60 seconds. The story has to have a taut screen play and catchy phrases. The sound, the sights and the scenes have to integrate seamlessly to create that memorable advertisement. Just remember “the Zing thing” campaign by Limca. Advertisements use catch phrase sometimes even technical terms to create an aura and mystery around the products It is akin to weaving a web of mystique around the products. 

1. PSPO: Peak Speed Performance Output. This term was used by Orient fans to talk about their products’ USP, a design which can deliver more air to a large area. Orient has designed its motor and blades in such a manner that the fan can cover more area and deliver more air. From a technical term PSPO became a marketing term. A great transition.

2. MSP: Maximum selling Price. A new concept just like MRP which is a concept of maximum retail price offered by the seller, MSP is the maximum selling price is what a customer can get for his products (mostly used and second hand). This catch phrase is currently being popularized by

3. PUF: Polyurethane Foam. In 1958, Godrej was the First Indian Company to manufacture Refrigerators and Godrej has become synonymous with the category. It was a unique selling proposition that customers remember even today.

4. KILB: Kam Insurance Leneki Bimari.  The insurance company Aegon Religare has done the popular KILB campaign. Religare had launched a catchy campaign urging people to guard themselves against the ills of under insurance or 'Kam Insurance Lene Ki Bimari' (KILB). The campaign spear headed by the actor Irfan Khan proved to be very popular.

5. STC: Standard test condition. A term that is very popularly used in automobile sector. For example the advertisement would say “85KMPL” under STC. The standard test conditions would mean a cemented road with a rider weighing only 60 kgs driving at a steady speed and neither accelerating to much not breaking. And to top it all it is quite possible that the driver could drive on 100 ml of petrol and get a mileage of 8.5 Kilometers. That is simply multiplied with a factor of 10 to get a mileage of 85 KMPL. 

6. NTS: Not to scale. Many diagrammatic representations are quite deceptive. They tend to glorify the product. Thus the manufacturer hides under the guise of NTS (not to scale). This way then can get around the tricky issue of challenges from the customers.

7. NQAR Policy: No Questions asked Return Policy. A marketing concept from the USA. It means that the customer can return the merchandise and the retailer would not ask any questions as to why the merchandise is being returned. In simple words the customer should not be made uncomfortable by the probing question of the Customer care personnel.

8. DIY Kits: Do it Yourself kits. A Concept made popular by the Sweden maker of furniture IKEA. The furniture is supplied in knock down condition and the customer has to assemble the same at his house with the help of a illustrated manual.

9. FAQs: Frequently asked questions. A set of question that the customers frequently ask. The salesman has to be well versed to answer these questions to the satisfaction of the customer

10. EDLP: Everyday low prices. A term that is often used by WALMART. Most of the customers tend to procrastinate when buying a product that is not immediately wanted. WALMART dangles the bait so that he/she would buy the product immediately. Every day low prices guarantees the lowest price each and every day.

11. SOHO: Small Office Home Office. It refers to the category of business or cottage industry that involves from 1 to 10 workers. The small office home office has undergone a transformation since its advent of the  internet which has enabled anyone working from a home office to compete globally.

12. ZPTO: zinc pyrithione, PTO or zinc pyrithione is a chemical compound with anti-fungal properties, meant for topical application. ZPTO is an effective and relatively safe treatment for dandruff. It works well on mild and moderate cases  ZPTO also helps in curbing hair fall, where it is caused by dandruff. Used by Shampoo companies.

 13. GSM: Grams per square Metre.  The paper density of a type of paper or cardboard is the mass of the  product per unit of area.

 14. Zing Thing: A brief high-pitched humming or buzzing sound, such as that made by a swiftly passing object  or a taut vibrating string. The Zing thing was popularized by Gold Spot  the soft drink marketed by Parle  Industries. Zing became synonymous  with the youthfulness and excitement.