Saturday, June 30, 2007

Keeps the viewer engaged beyond 30 secs, at least.

The Kraft Food Holdings Inc’s online campaign for Easy Mac is interesting, though short of brilliant. The Easy Mac Micro Maniac keeps one engaged & interested for a while. Everybody has had an urge to “microwave” stuff which should not be ideally put in the microwave. The anticipation of results and the expected explosion keep you wanting to try different things. Try putting the eggs in the microwave !!

I believe it could have been more interactive and fun, if the list of what could be “microwaved” was user-defined, and went a little beyond the current list. Other sections are interesting but too “commercial”.

View the site here.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

RIP ~ ATL (well almost)

We have been discussing & reading about research which indicates drop in the ATL spends while there is corresponding increase in the BTL (including online) spends by one industry vertical after another. However, the recent research article based on the survey conducted by the Chartered Institute of Marketing, UK – the "Marketing Trends Survey," conducted by Ipsos MORI, kind of made me sit up and marvel at the speed at which the change is happening.

As per the survey only 15% of the marketing budget is planned to be invested into adverting, the balance is opportunities in the “btl and digital” domains:
deep dive into the article here:

However, going a little back in time, the trend was eminent (the scale and speed are stunning) and inline with a different research undertaken by IDC in the US years back, which was focused on the major IT industry spenders, which very clearly indicated an intention to drop spends on both org. personnel and the $ spends on ATL (as much as 20%) while moving larger allocations to Direct. This was 3 years back.

Also very clear where the areas of focus for most marketing decision makers / spenders. They were obviously gunning for tools which had worked and showed the higher returns on
marketing dollars as against the traditional media. This was more so in verticals where the marketing spends were predominantly focused on a B2b or B2 “a well defined C” formats. Lead generation and digital were the areas to place bets on! (refer below) In a way what was projected as “possibilities” in 2003 are turning to realities in 2007.

However, I think the trend has never been questioned in the last decade or so (other than by a few die hard ATL fans). It is also very obvious from the investments being made by media holding companies: they are without doubt investing into marketing services and digital. That’s where the growths are.

The fact that BTL (read promo) outweighs ATL, was established in markets like the US as way back as 03. Well documented in the PMA and Promo study. Below is the image from the study presentation which had shaken all of us then, where-in it was 1st established that Promo spends are higher than ATL in the US.

While the facts and figures are beyond doubt, and the trend is moving eastwards, the reasons for the change in scenario is simple – better and defined ROI, period.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Why Wfactor works so well.

BUZZ works…period.
The trick is how to create the BUZZ around a product or service.

As an agency we started marketing into social networks some years back and developed a nation-wide network of housewives which give us permission to market/ place/ integrate the brands within their social networking times. The tryvertising leads to amazing results, both from the perspective of creating a buzz to also creating retail footfalls.
While the activation is predominantly focused on brands where-in the decision makers are predominantly women – the categories can be endless, ranging from the obvious once like f & b products, household products, women specific product to newer domains like families health care and insurance. The lady of the house influences buying decisions, esp. if she is passionate about a specific brand.
The format allows long encounters with the brand… as against a 30 sec TV spot. There is reason to try the product and experience it in the right ambience, discuss its qualities and benefits, ensure peer endorsement and approval. The group is also very vocal and is willing to share usage patterns, competition product reviews and your own product reviews (so much for vanilla packaged focused group research )
Product placement at the retail front and a clever use of redemption schemes normally ensure extended retail involvement and off-takes. Strategically brands can ensure “no white areas” in the premium geographies and all this while having an ability/option of staying far away from the expensive mass media techniques.
Due to the intensity of the interaction, the consumer not only becomes a buyer, but becomes a brand ambassador, creating the ripple effect within peer groups.

While on a different format P&G had enlisted 225,000 teenagers to tell their friends about brands like Herbal Essences and Old Spice. Last year, figuring the strategy could be just as effective with adults, P&G signed up 500,000 volunteers, all mothers, for Vocalpoint, a program in which the moms evangelize about pet food, paper towels and hair color. P&G gives the women marketing materials and coupons, but they are free to say whatever they like (or nothing at all) about the products. The so-called agents are provided with information about the clients' products and in return give detailed feedback about the conversations they have. Read more about this at,9171,1609809,00.html

Monday, June 18, 2007

The interactive freedom.

What really makes this site stand out is that it goes way beyond only creating / generating a buzz. The content is interactive in the real sense of the word and will draw visitors, ensure that they try out the product – virtually and then buy. It provides an alternate (and may I say better) shopping experience.

While early adaptors of interactive content, like the Subservient Chicken, generated not only buzz, but a good amount of traffic for Burger King – my believe that a lot of “interactive content” pushed in by various brands and agencies is more to do with “me too” buzz rather than looking at an ROI from a good interactive web presence.

My belief is that success has to be found on combination of buzz (to drive traffic) and utility (to ensure ROI). Only buzz to me sounds very much like the “eyeball” game prior to the dotcom meltdown. The buzz needs to be taken over by usefulness or stickiness of the product and MY VIRTUAL MODEL achieves the same in a simple yet exciting manner. Anyone (some of my pals included) who has used this app (if I can call it that), have taken a few seconds to understand and then have stayed online, trying different brands, styles and colors and all on models which are their clones (well almost) – do you want to guess the average time that an individual can spend on this site?

Now imagine the “the long tail” of product line which can be retailed using this model – it is never going to be possible for a traditional retailer to stock the options.

This is the start of the end of brochure-sites on the web.

Excellent use of outdoor.

Innovative use of the SMS technology embedded with an outdoor campaign. The media seems to come alive and interact. Refreshing.