Saturday, November 1, 2014

Maggi Masala Noodles 2014 – Bringing Spice to Life

I like this Maggi Masala Noodles TV ad because of its simplicity and single-mindedness, it does not say much but effectively communicates the message that Maggi Noodles is for everybody. Maggi Noodles was introduced in India more than 25 years and is going strong. When this product was launched it was targeted at the urban household, small children being the consumers and the mother being the provider and the one to decide. Over the years new variants were introduced which targeted various segments of the market – such as the health conscious, the fun loving, the aged, the young and the adventurous; so today Maggi Noodles caters to people belonging to all age groups, geographical locations but the core target

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Power of Red


The current Eveready ad campaign Give Me Red featuring Akshay Kumar reminds me of the original Give Me Red campaign 22 years ago, fortunately I was able to find the two ads on YouTube. The energy levels in those two ads were high and the same is being maintained in the current Akshay Kumar campaign. The essential difference between the old and the current campaign is that the old one was promoting Red Eveready batteries whereas the current one is promoting a range of rechargeable products launched by Eveready Industries India Ltd. The battery plays an important part in the performance of these products.

When the Give Me Red campaign was first launched at least 22 years ago it attracted a good deal of criticism, the first TV commercial was not considered a proper ad for such a product category, this ad was later followed by another one which seemed to be equally outlandish; however  both ads did get noticed and made Red Eveready top-of-mind. The campaign did not seem to talk about the product and did it not say as to how the consumer would benefit from Red Eveready batteries. The Give Me Red ad campaign just did not make any sense. An ad campaign is supposed to sell a product but this campaign did not seem to be doing so. The visuals such as the bar scene, where red coloured drinks are shown to be passed on did not seem to be serving any purpose except for some entertainment.

The first ad

The second ad

On the positive side these two ads were highly energetic, in this there was no doubt. Another negative point was that Give Me Red was in English. Since the major market for batteries is in rural India and smaller towns it did not make sense to have an English ad; apparently there was a mismatched between the message and the target audience. Most ads relating to products like batteries, those days, would talk about reliability, longer lasting, and more power. In sharp contrast here was a battery ad campaign which only said Give Me Red! However the initial rejection turned into acceptance among TV viewers as they gradually got used to the ad and perhaps enjoyed it and understood it. Creatively Give Me Red was totally different kind of a campaign which stood out in the clutter, the execution was superb. To my mind the ads did convey the product benefits though not in the traditional way but at a subliminal level.

The present Give Me Red campaign and for that matter the earlier Akshay Kumar campaign have similar energy levels as in the 22 year old campaign; Akshay Kumar is known to be a action hero with high energy, so there is an association with the product. However the fact remains that the Give Me Red campaign cannot be in any other language but English, I wonder how the small towns and rural India are reacting to this current campaign.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Ad History - 2

Ad History is a new feature I started in this blog last month and this is the second installment. I would like to share some old ads which I have been able to lay my hands on and as I mentioned in my earlier post (Ad History -1) the ads featured here are not necessarily memorable but are pretty interesting.

Year: 1973
This Cinthol Soap ad was scanned from a magazine called Star & Style published by Indian Express, if I remember right; it appeared in many other publications in the 1970s.

Year: 1993

The above ad features young film director and actor Shakher Kapur, if you wish to know more about him please click here.

Year: 1963
Year: 1981
Television was introduced in Bombay on October 2, 1972; TV at that time was black & white. If I remember right Weston TV was launched sometime in the late 1970s. Television ads those days usually talked about the basic features like good sound and picture quality. None of the television brands of that time exist today.

I do not recall the year of the above Wills press ad, the fact that it features young Mohd. Azaruddin and Anil Kumble may indicate that this ad appeared sometime in the early 1990s.

The above Zenith Computers ad appeared in the year 1995. It is rather difficult to believe that personal computers those days came with RAM of 1 MB and 4 MB.

I will try to share more vintage ads next month.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Fogg Body Deodorants – A Good Reason To Buy

I always believe that if you have something to sell you must be able to answer a simple question – Why should my target customer spend his hard earned money to buy my product? – The question appears simple but the answer may not always be so; the marketer must give the target customer a good reason to buy if his ad campaign has to work. In a highly competitive situation there are several players making similar claims and all or most competing brands are capable of satisfying the needs of the target consumer equally well because there might be no significant differences in the physical and functional attributes of products of competing brands. In such a situation marketers go beyond the physically characteristics or functional aspects of the product in question and position the brand/product on entirely different platforms – lifestyle, aspiration, pride, fear and many more or in other words take the emotional or psychological route. In this post I would like to discuss the advertising of two deodorant brands – Fogg and Axe.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Ad History - 1

I won't be reviewing any ads here but would like to share with my readers some of the old ads I dug up. I have randomly selected some ads, these are not necessarily memorable or path breaking ads but to me they definitely are part of Indian advertising history.

Perspectives Nov 6-7, 1993
Perspectives was a supplement of Metropolis on Saturday, Bombay edition - published by The Times of India, it does not exist now.

Filmfare June 14, 1963

Half a century ago Colgate-Palmolive tried to get into the baby care business but was unsuccessful, perhaps Johnsons & Johnsons was too strong a competitor for them.

Filmfare June 14, 1963
Halo Shampoo was a product of Colgate-Palmolive and was among the top selling even in the 1980s, the sales declined when several new multi-national brands entered the Indian hair care market. I wonder if the company lost interest in the brand.

The Bharat Jyoti, Sunday, March 25, 1973
The Bharat Jyoti used to be the Sunday edition of The Free Press Journal, Bombay.

September 1993

Bombay Times June 23, 1995
I have loads of old ads in my collection, some dating back to the 1950s, I will try and share as many of them as possible in my future posts.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Life Insurance Ad Campaigns – Creative Insights


Life insurance companies and banks face similar challenges when it comes to advertising; the plans or products offered by insurance companies or banks are usually very similar so making a distinction depends heavily on creativity in advertising. In this post I will discuss advertising in the Indian life insurance sector; I plan to discuss bank advertising some time later. 

There are two dozen life insurance companies in India; possibly in future this number could increase. LIC is the market leader, this financial year it is aiming to retain 82% market share according to reports. That leaves only

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Mustard Oil and Bengalis – Connecting with culture & tradition

This post is about two Bengali TV campaigns, both are mustard oil brands targeting the Bengali population; one is Emami Healthy and Tasty Mustard Oil and the other is Nutrela Kachhi Ghani Mustard Oil. The Emami campaign comprises four ads while Nutrela is a single ad campaign.

In a product category such as cooking oils which is essentially a commodity, positioning brands is a challenge. One mustard oil is no different from the other so no differentiation can be shown in the advertising in terms of physical characteristics; differentiation is possible only in the label design and advertising. The target audience in both campaigns is exactly the same and the essential message is also the same, which is about enhancing the flavours of Bengali food. Despite the similarities both campaigns are based on different consumer insights, hence are significantly different for each