August 06, 2008

Paanchvi Pass - SRK on your car

My good friend Nirav shared his experience with Shahrukh Khan's Paanchvi Pass*. No, he didn't watch the show but was involved in a great Viral gimmick. In his own words below

Here's the pictures of the "paanchvi paas" promo tools that we talked about a few weeks back. These 2 glasses were stuck on to the bonnet and back of my car by someone at a crossing, and I spent a good 20 minutes trying to shake them off by sverving the car. On reaching office I took them off and found the magnet which said "Magnet sticks to Iron – a Class V question – SRK Saying Paanchvi Paas"

Nice innovation, but don't know how effective. My guess is less effective than normal outdoor media. But the fact that we were talking about it proves that the innovation at least worked.

What do you know?? Crazy things like this do get talked about!!

* Paanchvi Pass is the Indian version of "Are you Smarter than a 5th Grader


July 07, 2008

New mail id, yet again!!

Yahoo’s newly launched ymail/rocketmail has gone viral with kaunhoonmain. The only reason to get a new mail id is that you haven't got your chosen id in earlier portals. This viral plays on that aspect. Pretty cool. This actually got me thinking of getting myself a new id. Decided I was too lazy after all

First seen on Let me know what you think


June 30, 2008

Pepsi vs Nescafe - Who is Cooler

Image Source - Fundivision

Both have branding on the building rooftops, but did you even notice Pepsi in this photograph. I like, do you?


May 04, 2008

Social Networks - Friend vs Follow vs Fan

This blog is a result of an interesting discussion with Nithya of Muziboo fame. Muziboo is a young startup, which reaches out to the musician in everyone. Finally there is a space which goes beyond encouraging just young bands to encouraging individuals interested in music. More on Muziboo in another post

This network is based on common interests in music, and not necessarily on an existent friend network. In such a situation, it is not necessary that you know an individual on the site in person, but you might still want to be updated on new music or live events planned by the musician.

To remain updated there are really 3 options that Muziboo can provide - "Add as Friend (like Facebook), Follow (like in Twitter) or Become a Fan (like in Stumbleupon)

Add as friend seeks reciprocation, while the other 2 do not. Add as a friend seeks to strengthen bonds, while the others allow weak bonds to co exist.

Which one do you think is most appropriate for Muziboo? If you used this platform and found a cool musician which option would you choose to connect and why?


April 08, 2008

Honda Accord - You could just get beaten

Its creative hell to better ads like the original Honda Accord ad. This one comes close with a simple message, communicated effectively - "Honda loves solving problems". Neat, very neat!!

You decide which one is better, the old ad is below


April 02, 2008

Justin Timberlake - Dragged & Beaten!!

If you are a fan, I am sure you are here in horror. Alternately if you are someone like me, then you will really love to see Justin getting hammered.

But the main reason I love this ad is because Pepsi was targeting sales with this promotion and yet added back to brand imagery. Its a real struggle to say you are giving something free with your product and yet make a cool ad that appeals to your TG. You feel like reaching out for a Pepsi, not because they are giving you something free, but because they created an entertaining ad.

For the record, Justin - here's a whack from my end (After all a sip is all it requires)


April 01, 2008

Be ambitious - Aim Higher !!

An Indian gaming portal had launched this amazing ambient ad. They see to play on a the competitive streak inherent in every gamer. They created 4 levels in a men's restroom. If you are a true gamer, you have to beat level 4.

So how high would you aim? (Hint - I don't really want to know :)) )


March 29, 2008

This is a big ad!!

This blog has focused on ambient ads and not TV commercials. If there has to be a start, I can't think of a better one. Now while you watch this one, let me grab a beer - in fact a Carlton Draught would be just fine


March 20, 2008

Zuritel car insurance - Can ads get more relevant !!

Well this ambient ad is interesting, one of the few examples of ambient where a real consumer problem is sought and relevant advertising delivered to the consumer at the right time.

Zuritel is a car insurance firm trying to push a policy which covers damages up to 3000 Euros. The strategy they adopted was to find cars, with little dents across town and just sticker them with a "what a pity" symbol as shown in the photograph below.

This is as targeted as you can get in the offline world. Let me know your verdict


February 27, 2008

Money for Nothing and the Chicks for free

Mark Knopfler penned the lyrics for this song by listening to delivery men crib about their jobs while watching MTV. Thats an awesome excuse for bad lyrics. Just to be non controversial, let me say "innovative lyrics". The title though, could well have been inspired from a trend that the modern world is now seeing.

It doesn't matter if you aren't a rockstar, or even Bill Clinton for that matter. You can still get chicks for free and make money doing absolutely nothing. As some of you might argue, chicks for free is a moot point. For this very reason, there is a Statutory Warning at the end of this post.

The Internet is free, So are many other things
The internet has long been a leader in distributing free content, but it would be naive to dedicate a post to how information is now available for free.

What we are increasingly seeing is the offering of everything free, right from photograph prints, free air tickets(thanks to advertising on Ryan Air) to free phone calls and messages(thanks to skype,Jaxtr etc) and even free student textbooks.

What about free music thats legal - take a look at qtrax.

The costs of creating and distributing your product and service has become so low that it more often than not tends towards zero per consumer. Revenue is driven mainly by advertising, for example, free phtographs are accompanied with ads at the bottom of the photograph print and free textbooks have ads inserted at chapter breaks.

Free is passé - Now get paid to do what you would do anyway

Its interesting how many services have been launched, which will pay you to do what you would do anyway. Like Agloco for example, which would pay you to browse and 3-2-1mail which would pay you to check mail. You can go here for a more comprehensive list .

It would make an interesting study as to why such services haven't really taken off. It could be that the consumer inherently disbelieves that he can make money out of a service he/she is receiving. One day someone will get the model and the promise right, and this could take off in a big way. More on this in a totally different post.

To sum it up, stuff is available for free, you can get paid for stuff since ads help generate revenue. Just don't be under the illusion that eventually everything will be free. There will always be a large chunk of advertisers, whose products you will have to pay for.

Statutory Warning - If you are lucky (handsome and rich might be other pre-requisitions), chicks might flock to you for a zero acquisition fee (also known as "free"). Nonetheless we would like to inform you that your monthly outflow will not be nil. Your credit cards magnetic strip will certainly undergo tremendous wear and tear to sustain your prized acquisition.

Related Free Articles from the Web:

P.S - I wish I could pay you for reading my article. Though thats a little difficult right now, I am sure its the thought which matters, right? :)


February 04, 2008

The Irony of a USP

Electronics and Convergence
The consumer electronics space is ridden with attempts at convergence. All companies are building more features into existing products and hope to charge more. There are 2 schools of thought, one which favours convergence and the other which says that marketing has always been about segmentation, products will always be more divergent than convergent.

The iPod is a divergent device, while the iPhone is convergent. Is it reasonable to assume that there will be a time when the iPod will be completely subsituted by the iPhone or devices similar to the iPhone?

The consumer loves convergence. Just ask a jogger and he would tell you how sunglasses with an mp3 player are god's gift to mankind.

Marketer has no clue
The marketer is clearly confused. He has designed a great convergence device, with a 100 functions, but the laws of marketing force him to convey just one USP (Unique Selling Proposition).

What happens when the ideal convergence product is created? How will it be communicated. Nokia has attempted to communicate that the Nokia N95 is "Not one thing, but many". Does that statement create trust in the product, does anyone realize what the product can do?

Convergent devices mean different things to different people, and choosing just one route to sell the product could prove sub optimal.

Companies and Online Marketing - Is it about Adwords alone
It brings me to the issue of how these companies market online. The reason this question begs to be answered is that the online medium is where you can engage the consumer and interact with them. It is also the only medium where the consumer actively seeks information and it can be delivered to him. In other words, this is the only medium, where more than one USP can be communicated with ease.

Currently companies are stuck with buying adwords, creating banner ads and hope to redirect consumers onto their site or partner sites to buy. Most of the adwords work only when the consumer has made a decision to buy and is searching for where to buy. It does not influence his buying decision, it only aids his buying process by simplifying it.

How can the marketer move beyond unidimensional communication to creating a group of followers of the brand, who speak and influence fellow buyers more than the marketer himself. It is possible on the internet, and there are brands who have achieved it. But the effort involved in building brands online is much more than just creating an ad and uploading it on youtube (which is probably what a number of companies call innovation on the internet).

Marketing Online and managing People on the Web
Is marketing becoming more about managing people, than managing a brand? Manage people online, who will sell the brand in more ways than you can, who derive greater meaning from your brand than what the marketer projects.

It might mean a techtonic shift in how resources are deployed by companies. There could be huge teams dedicated to just the internet, who actively participate in various forums to educate consumers about the product and influence word of mouth for the brand. The age of unidimensional communication might just become history, and with it all rules of conventional marketing


January 17, 2008

How long will you take to find the needle

Apparently no time at all if luxor has its way. Check out the ad above. Simple thought, great execution and absolutely no explanation required


What good is a hairstyle without a head

Awesome example of ambient advertising. This is a great way to deliver the message "Wear a helmet while you ride". The ad is relevant, connects with the youth and is delivered innovatively, such that it ensures attention. I love it!!


January 10, 2008

India vs Australia Cricket Controversy. What if it were a gimmick?

No one is insinuating that the India - Australia controversy is a farce. A test match has been lost, an umpire has retired and claims of racial discrimination have been made. Be rest assured that these are not the results of a marketing gimmick.

The PR generated from this controversy though, has the sponsors in a great situation. The test match has received heightened publicity levels and more eyeballs from viewers. Even channels who were selling the spot for Rs. 50000 per 10 second spot will increase rates to Rs.75000 for the match at Perth.

"There is no such thing as bad PR" has just been reinforced. This has been repeatedly used by the Indian movie industry. The period one month before a launch will have a rumour of a relationship, an affair, a breakup or an attempt by one of the chief protagonists to bare it all. All controversies & rumours hit headlines and the movie gets prominent coverage, way before its launch. This almost ensures a great first week.

Or check out the Indian media news channel of today. There is a lot of sensationalism and the term "Breaking News" can be hilarious. Drama is everywhere. It is less credible and I hate it at times, but it works for the masses (let me admit, sometimes its just entertaining).

Let us compare this with test cricket. Test cricket in its 5 day format has long lost out to its exciting cousins "one day" and more recently "20-20". What can one do to make this more exciting? How do you drive viewership? How can test cricket get more moolah for the channels? What can the boards do to heighten interest and eventually the game?

Let me reiterate that I am not saying that the current controversy was created. It is sad that this has happened to cricket. Nor am I saying that controversies of such levels should be created just for some extra publicity.

What if we look at something smaller - a "Controlled Controversy", or should I call it "Drama", in test cricket. The objective could be to make the audience relate not just with the game but with the players, their emotions, their antics etc.

Currently, very few members of the team speak to the media. It is controlled, so that one view goes to the media and the public. If freedom of speech were given to every individual player, would their thoughts make greater news than politically correct statements from a captain. People then get to relate with the players, identify with some of them and choose to support or go against opinions/antics.

Such drama, if used well could heighten interest by creating an illusion of greater rivalry. It serves as drama for the viewers. It suddenly becomes interesting.

A highly engaged & involved audience is surely every marketer's dream.

Of course it has to be controlled so that it does not get out of hand and probably curbed in cases of matches between teams like India & Pakistan, where there is absolutely no necessity to create greater rivalry.

Which brings me to the question of Why are India - Pakistan matches / the Ashes more interesting and deliver greater moolah for all concerned? What if that rivalry and passion could be recreated with more teams? What if drama in the sporting world increased? More mind games were played? Does it add layers to the game, the individuals competing and hence increase interest? Yes, there is a possibility of killing traditional sportsmanship, but would you hate it or love it? Would you follow the sport more closely for developments?

Too many questions in this post and no answers. The next time you see a "controversy" before a sports series begins - it could just be someone marketing innovatively.


January 03, 2008

Can New Year Resolutions be used as a Marketing tool?

Well Happy New Year to all of you. I have been a little busy holidaying the past couple of weeks. On New Years, I was contemplating the conventional "Happy New Year to all my readers" but stayed away because I wanted to start this year by doing something different (Not wishing my readers seemed logical :)).

I couldn't ultimately think of anything different because I had a hard time waking up and staying in my senses, but what I do have this year is an innovative marketing attempt from a Recruitment Consultancy below.

These guys have used New Year Resolutions as an innovative way to advertise their offer. They shot an email which was eventually forwarded to me. The mail has been appended below - go through it and subscribe to their email groups if you are in India. I will be doing so.


Wishing everyone a very happy new year. May god bless you with a great personal life. As goes good professional life and career, Green Rootz would surely like to make some contribution.

For all those who have made any of the following resolutions, we are always there to support you:

1. I will not work till late hours
2. I will maintain work life balance
3. I will not succumb to unnecessary pressures of management
4. I will no more accept that "Boss is always right"
5. I will look for jobs with better designation
6. I will look for designations that really mean something and aren't just fancy ones
7. I will look for profiles that justify the designation
8. I will look for companies that put me on high trajectory growth
9. I will no more do monotonous mundane boring work
10. I will move from sales to marketing
11. I will move from marketing to content acquisition
12. I will move from content acquisition agency side to client side
13. I will move from content acquisition client side to movie production house
14. I will look for more strategic oriented profiles
15. I will look for assignments that provides international exposure
16. I will double my salary in the next 12 months
17. I will look for responsibilities that aren't restricted by geographical boundaries
18. I will look for assignments that requires understanding of multiple functions
19. I will not make more than one presentation or pitch in a week
20. I will no more waste time checking and approving artworks
21. I will work for companies with enough cash reserves to support ambitious business plans
22. I will invest more time reading and updating myself with the happenings around the world so that I can explore better opportunities
23. I will not work for companies that don't have employee friendly culture
24. I will not work for boss who is less intelligent than I am
25. I will not work in the company wherein I have already learnt what I could learn.

Go on and make more such resolutions. We will try our best to make sure you keep them.

To keep yourself updated of vacancies in Media, Entertainment & Telecom sector, register with Mediajobs Googlegroup created by Green Rootz. It takes 30 seconds to register if you have gmail id. Click on the link below for the same:

Thanks & Regards,

Harish Jain
Green Rootz Manpower Consulting
2nd Floor, C Wing, R.R. House, Mathuradas Mill Compound,
Opposite Kamla Mills, Near ICICI Bank,
Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel
Mumbai 400 013
Phone: 022 32465007
Mobile: +91 9819 511 007

"We call ourselves Green Rootz because Green is the color of life and Roots are the reason for growth. Thus, all the endeavors of our company are focussed on Growth of Life. 'Z' at the end of Rootz signifies 'new-age; with the time' attitude of the company. Thus, relevancy is at the core of our beliefs"