Thursday, February 26, 2009

Advertising... behind the axe effect>>> Part I

Advertisers constantly invent cures to which there is no disease. ~Author Unknown

The Ad war is always on, fiercely and ferociously with all the Khans and Bachans, Gangulies and Tendulkars, as weapons on either side in this battle of ideas, designed and executed by ad agencies through various media in varying combination, for the corporate with loads of money, in pursuit of attaining their business objectives-sales volumes, profit or competitive edge.

Advertisements are generally considered as torture or at least an unwanted intrusion in between our valuable hours of infotainment says my class where I last taught Marketing and this topic accidentally came into discussion… Is it so? Not exactly was my answer (biased that I am to the ad world)….. Some recent studies, I told them reveal that many people, youngsters in particular see commercial breaks as more interesting and entertaining than the main programmes in between where these ads peep in…. There the class got struck.. they didn’t protest and it looked that they to an extent agree to that study… The variety of Pepsi ads related to a world cup cricket some years back was chosen as the most interesting TV show by youngsters and college students in a survey conducted in Chennai city at that time… It was shocking for the researcher but that was it…

What does this mean? Does that mean that these ads are doing their jobs? They are reaching their intend targets and are driving people in herds to drink Pepsi or Coca Cola? It doesn’t matter, which brand… come summer the cola sales are up and this summer is no different….. “What is Coca Cola?, it is really water and syrup. But the stuff about the brand is so big and Americanized and refreshing it makes the product really big” … now who doesn’t know that and yet why people buy the yankee stuff and gulp down?

The hype and hoopla created by the continuous and persistent influx of advertisements, termed as ad campaign so influence the consumers psyche, that there will be no place for logical reasoning or to be more genuine many a times logic slowly hides behind hype and slowly fades into oblivion … Repetition is the key and our ad guys know it… Joseph Goebels , the propaganda guru of Adolf Hitler is the inspiration for the Ad world… “tell a lie and it shall remain a lie”.. said he… “but repeat it and it becomes the truth”

Advertising, as per the American Advertising Association, is “any paid form or non-personal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods or services by an identified sponsor”. In the process of advertising, the partners at work are the sponsor (manufacturer/marketer), the ad agency and the media, with the consumer or the prospective consumers as the target. The degree of compatibility and like levels of thinking between these partners is the most important ingredients towards success. The agency creates message contents for the sponsor, and executes through the media to the target audience and such messages should be able to gain attention, hold interest, arouse desire and elicit action as far as the audience is concerned…

Regardless of whether an advertisement uses rational or an emotional appeal, regardless of the USP or ESP used, ads work, only if it is identified and owned by the segment of the audience for whom they are designed and executed. New ideas may be resisted or even be counterproductive if the message is poorly designed. This becomes a headache for international marketers in particular because of the cultural, linguistic and racial variations from continent to continent, country to country and even within a single country.

As per Keegan, there are five international product and promotional strategies namely ‘Straight Extensions’ – into the new market, “Product Adaptation” – as per the new market, “communication adaptation” –for the new market, “Dual Adaptation” –where the product and promotion changes for the new market and “Product Invention” – creating new products ….Read your Marketing text books guys… It is a wonderful Model by Keegan….

Theories apart, in practical market, every new entry is a nightmare for the sponsor and the agency, through which they communicate to the consumer. Successful ad agencies do their homework keeping in mind the cultural difference and behavioral pattern of the target audience … But it is easier said than done… This home work thing… is it not??

Tail Piece:-
Ram: I can't understand why you failed in business...
Guru: Too much advertising
Ram: What do you mean too much advertising? You never spent a dime on advertising.
Guru: That's true, but my competitors did.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Fun Gun !!!

"The bastard husband of mine wanted me to sleep with the landlord because he lost the rent money playing poker," the housewife told a neighbor.

"You didn't do it, did you?"

"I have to admit I did -- though with certain misgivings, I might add. What I haven't done, though, is tell my husband the rent is paid up for six months!"

Now that explains this simple stuff called Client Agency relationship in Advertising....

Have Fun Guys!!!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Advertising & Recession- Why should it coexist? ...part III

6. Advertising makes you innovate

What is advertising for you?
Innovate the reason to advertise when you see the slump. Tell yourself what it is for you.
A tool to react to competition?
A tool to keep your brand growing?
A tool to keep your buyer informed?
A tool to announce new products? Variants?

If you advertise only because your competition also does and they cut back during recession, you also do it. But remember the competition’s objective may not be yours even if both are in the same category. Pepsi and Coke are selling cola and in the same war but the strategies need not be same. One is the leader and one is the follower. Even if, or to see it the other way round it is better to keep the marketing spending on particularly if your competition has cut it. And in any case the grounds to advertise during the happy season may not be the same to advertise during sluggish times. It has to keep going.

7. Seeing is believing

More so during dull times this rule is applicable. When you are not to be seen, as compared to your omnipresence when the boom was on, you will be seen with suspicion. The brands are friends as well .The friend who disappears during bad times will not be trusted. The customer needs to be constantly told how you are with them and how much you are working to help them by supporting them with cost effective offerings.Imagine a B2b firm who disappears from a trade show that they are part of year after year one year due to recession, just to cut costs. There can be better ideas to save money but one needs to think beyond the obvious. To quote Zyman “If you don’t stay on top of the situation, you will be right back where you started: building the brand from scratch. The logic is simple.

8. Advertising is an Investment in Success

Advertising gives you a long-term advantage over competitors who cut back or cancel advertising . A survey of more than 3,000 companies found that advertisers who maintained or expanded advertising over a five-year period saw their sales increase an average of 100 percent, and companies that cut advertising grew at a less than half the rate of those who advertised steadily.Competition is competition pre recession, during recession and post recession. The pie of the market cake that is yours, to keep it intact at least, advertising has to go on. And even other wise for second and third players in a given market, it is the right time to change competitive positions by wise spends, extra pressure and use of creative strategies. Looking for cheaper creative and cheaper production however because recession has come, will end up in a disaster and make your brand look cheaper.

9. Advertising Keeps Your Business Top-of-Mind during recession

With Shoppers with lighter wallets roaming in malls from store to store comparing prices, quality and service, top of the mind recall has become more important than in good times. Some may even stay at home postponing buying decisions unless it is that pressing or that extra ordinary. Advertising must get in touch with them progressively through the complete decision-making process. Your name must be fresh in their minds when they decide to buy .
Now that is a dream which to be true, you need to be seen, constantly and consistently. Bigger brands many a times make the mistake of switching off their engine after they have attained a certain height. It is ostensible, what will come about in such a case.

10. Advertising Gives Your Business a Successful Image

In a competitive market, bad news travel fast both within the firm and outside. Advertising kills rumours by telling the buyer and the market place of your buoyancy and vibrancy and that in turn boosts the morale of everyone from the employee to the buyer. The more so when there is a crisis situation, the ad agencies that handles you will be more bothered about the ROI, the media spends will become wise (particularly in commission based fee structures) media efficiency can be improved and asked for, and the brands will get constant attention by the agencies- both creative and media, which otherwise would have been even lacking.


Advertising is a tool to successful marketing and brand building. There cannot be two opinions about it. It is a question only when bad times come and recession looms. This is an opportunity for marketers to redefine business and strike new paths than to resort to easy ways like cutting the marketing budgets. The ten points above is just to direct the reader’s attention to the fact that Advertising during Recession is not an oxymoron but instead something which can co exist. As the saying goes “when the going gets tough, the tough gets going” and only the tough gets going.

To quote Prof Andrew Raseghi “ If you are already in the process of tightening your belt anyway, you might as well consider investing in a new pair of pants.”

Also read.. my other blogs ---- Confusion & Chickencurry .....

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

It pays to advertise !!!

Republished under the best of Adformula series....

The fish, it never cackles

'bout it's million eggs or so,

The hen is quite a different bird,

one egg-and hear her crow.

The fish we spurn,

but crown the hen,

which leads me to surmise:

Don't hide your light, but blow your horn.

it pays to advertise


Why should I advertise?

Can you do business without advertising?

It looks familiar, often asked questions ,considering the fact that advertising money is spend on a virtually immeasurable platform.

See this story....

"A man lived by the side of the road and sold roasted chicken.

He was hard of hearing so he had no radio. He had trouble with his eyes so he watched no television and read no newspaper, but he sold good roasted chicken. He did however, advertise in the local newspaper telling people how good they were. He stood by the side of the road and cried, 'Buy roasted chocken sirrrrr 'and people bought. He increased his orders and bought a bigger stove to take care of his trade.

Then his son came home with an MBA from a city college to help him in trade and then something happened.

His son said, "Father, haven't you been listening to what people are saying? If money stays tight, we are bound to have bad business. There is a big recession coming on, you had better prepare for poor trade, if we stay on only with this business".

The old man thought..... "Well, my son has been to college. He listens to the radio, watches television and reads the newspaper and he ought to know".

So, he cut down on chicken orders given to the supplier. He cut out his advertising and took the money thus saved to venture into new areas like dealing with a local wine his sons friends made, and his sales fell almost over night. After a week it was completely gone and the old man couldnt win anything back..

"You're right son", the father said to the boy. "We are certainly headed for a recession".

Every one in business realise the necessity of advertising, which is the main reason we are carpet bombed with so many messages(The MAD [Message A Day] index in many Indian cities equals that of the west)....... The various ways a business can advertise its products is limitless, and today we no longer call it advertising but Integrated Marketing Communications. In booming business most of them do booming advertising too and when slump appears advertising is the first victim. shouldnt it be be the other way round?.

Shouldnt business spend most of its advertising budget when business is slow and cut back or retain only that level to be heard, when business is good?.

Again it depends on the type of relation the Ad agency and their corporate client enjoys..

it depends on how far the client trusts the agency during the fall..

it depends on how far the agency was also the reason for the fall

it depends on how far they could convince the client about why certain level of advertising should be maintained..

Boom or slump, it pays to advertise...Pulsar didnt look male and masculine until they started saying so.. they said and said and the otherwise front fat, ugly looks encompassed masculinity , suddenly.

Even B2B brands like Intel have made it big by careful branding and ,as part of it careful advertising... most of us havent seen an integrated chip which goes in a PC and yet the world believes that without an 'Intel Inside' mark on their PC ,it aint complete....

It is not only necessary that we do, it also is necessary that we tell it that we have done it...

"The man who fails to advertise just because conditions are a little uncertain is on par with the farmer who refuses to feed his cows because the price of butter has gone down."

Also read,,, continuousconfusion & chickencurry !!!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Advertising & Recession- Why should it coexist?...part II

In the scenario that was analysed in the first part, this second part takes stock of why marketers should not cut advertising expenditures as is the norm and why advertising has to go on.
The big WHY?

1. Advertising Attracts New Customers

The market changes constantly. People earned more money, pre recession times which changed their lifestyles and buying habits which cannot disappear suddenly because of recession. Going back is impossible for many, may be some cutting down may happen. The customer may become a bit choosier and may see you in the shelf now. The shopper who wouldn't consider your business a few years ago may become a prime customer now. And same the other way round -the shopper whom you wouldn’t see should be seen by you now. The real estate scene for example- you have to keep advertising because the one who couldn’t afford to buy a flat may be able to at least consider one now and how will he know who is there selling what until you tell him…?

2. Advertising Creates purchase even when it is recession

The more people who come into a retail store, the more opportunities the store have to make sales .How do the store generate traffic without advertising?
Even outside the store, the gap between the need and the want is widening according to the recession figures, leading to deferring of many decisions. This Gap of Thought (GOT) where the marketer plays games to lead the prospect to buy a particular brand over some other brand, has to be kept occupied. You have but to listen to the market, keep scanning for unmet needs and the GOT and fulfill them. Advertising is a great tool for such reaching out.

3. Advertising Encourages Repeat Business

Brand and store loyalty is a bye gone phenomenon, maybe except for cult brands. It once did exist but not any longer. To generate newer people in your buying list and to keep the ones already buying from you, intact advertising is a must. The super market where I go, I go back probably only because of the price factor. That is regardless of the fact that I often get confused between value for money and cheap price. I am sure many buyers have the same dilemma. More involved and more frequent customer research is required to understand how consumers are redefining value during such odd times… Advertising can lead people to your brand for sure if it can reach them in believable formats.

4. Advertising stays, recession do not

History and annals of business has enough tales of companies that retained or even hiked their ad budgets during recession and found that at recession’s end they had surpassed their competitors by wide margins. The Kellogg’s and Post cereal companies who raced neck and neck in the 1920’s to dominate the breakfast cereal business story is an often discussed case. The great American depression came in 30’s when Kellogg’s kept on the spend and the competitor saved his money only to fall flat on his face after the depression when the race came to an end . The rest is history. Now that cannot be an example for everyone everywhere but at least that should drive home a point that when you are flying high and when you have a crisis you don’t switch off your engine. Do you?

It is a question of maintaining momentum, once you let it go off, it will be not that easy to reach the same level yet again.

5. Advertising alone does not make the mix

Clever companies don’t just cut ad spend during a slump, but instead they react with rearranged marketing mixes. A lower range variants of the same products to keep the ones in there intact, a price program to keep steady customers unswerving, unique discounts intended to offer temporarily lower pricing (if you have room to do so) etc can be various ways but a sharp cut on ad budgets as if that is the only tool is a fools job. consumers will be looking for more value, so focus more on consistency, durability, safety and performance and less on attention-grabbers .It will take the company no where if marketing is not seen as a sum of all the p’s and if promotion is kept separate and is seen as a luxury.

To be continued >>>>>>>>>>>>.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Fun Gun!!!

An infamous stud with a long list of conquests walked into his neighborhood bar and ordered a drink. The bartender thought he looked worried and asked him if anything was wrong.

"I'm scared out of my mind," the stud replied. "Some pissed-off husband wrote to me and said he'd kill me if I didn't stop fucking his wife."

"So stop," the bar keep said.

"I can't," the womanizer replied, taking a long swill. "The prick didn't sign his name!"

I am thinking of ad agencies that keep going around and around in search of different clients.. sleeping with one and dreaming of someone else...

Anyways have a blasting weekend folks...!!!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Virgin Mobile... Muuaah baby!!!

This week the ad that caught my attention is the new Virgin mobile ad.. free SMS series…Not that they never have got hooked in my eyes before but this time it got hooked a bit longer and stronger…. Right from the launch ads….which in the two-week launch campaign created flutter and a lot of eyeballs to rotate, Virgin aired two commercials where youngsters find ways to win approval in sticky situations.

In one ad, a girl gives a fright to her parents saying she is not interested in men. She cuts a call from a male friend in front of her nervous parents announcing, "I don't want to go to Goa with them," as if to strengthen the point. In a volte-face that takes even them by shock, her parents insist she goes on the trip -- which, obviously, is what the girl had been aiming for, all along.

In the second TVC, a young man who has broken traffic rules wins the compassion of the policeman when his angry father asks for him to be shown no mercy. The 'father' is later shown to be his college mate….. Typical youngistan type ads that made a dent for sure.. ( I am reminded of the Mentos- Dimag ki bati jale de ads..)…

Then the Yo Yo tariff plan ads.. Remember the two young men in a hospital bed…

Well the point is made.. it is for the THINK HATKE TYPES… the young and young at heart… if others (read its as OLD ones) are not liking the ads which smells irreverence and is spiced with arrogance and insensitivity that is simply because they don’t fall in the intended TG that virgin wants to reach.. The TG likes it and that is what matters…

Why the young men and women…? Which Richard Branson jumped from a Mumbai hotel (Drama and Branson are like twin brothers) on March 2008 prelude to the launch of Virgin he would have really know the facts and would have been sure that it is not easy to take the millions of mobile users in India to Jump along with him….The mobile services market in India is already crowded -- operators offering GSM and CDMA services account for about 250 million subscriptions (source: Trai) and the category leaders have had a decade to build their brand equity. High-decibel launches, ad campaigns and lower-than-you tariffs may not be enough to win customers….

Even youngistan customers in India aren’t that easy to be wooed into… Lack of portability is an issue in India and the young chaps whose numbers are there everywhere and who has every one else’s numbers in their SIM would find it difficult to change numbers , even if Virgin is here and comes with sops and pacifiers…

While the bulk of existing operators are all pursuing the same strategy….. to get as many subscribers as quickly as possible Virgin’s strategy is to deliver a more tailored, more relevant offering for a single, distinct segment and that is the young of this country.. with a tie up with Tata Teleservices in place with a brand franchise agreement with Virgin, Virgin has not and need not spend a fortune for establishing networks and hence can afford to cater to a niche which others cannot…There are 215 million Indians aged between 14 and 25 years, of whom 70 million own mobile phones… Mind you this is bigger than many filthy rich European nations….

Over the next three years, this segment may add another 50 million new mobile phone subscribers. Young subscribers may account for less than 30 per cent of the total, but they contributed over 50 per cent of the telecom industry's Rs 50,000 crore (Rs 500 billion) revenues in 2007-08. By 2010, this group is expected to earn the industry over Rs 35,000 crore (Rs 350 billion). Combined with news shall be seen the fact that younger customers are the biggest users of SMS and their handset up gradation cycle too is much more frequent as compared to guys like me…. Now forget all that numbers, the fact is glaring, the segment is not a niche per se at least if we know the definition of NICHE in the dictionary….

How easy was it for virgin? … the segment that they cater to is not that easy… the insights are like a magic wand if properly used… for instance the handset up gradation cycle,,,,, the more the frequency is, the more is the trouble for the CSP particularly if he is into CDMA and not GSM… Tata Tele came with CDMA and Virgin had to wriggle out of this with its new Virgin had to ensure its RUIM (removable user identity module) technology, similar to GSM phones, offering users the convenience of upgrading their phones without having to change their number or re-entering their address book which happens in a CDMA connection and thus dreaded by the YOUNG lads….

Being pocket friendly was the next challenge, which is true both for handsets as well as recharge coupons.. the young man wants COOL sets with looks, features, cutting-edge technology and style and at AFFORDABLE prizes….so came vKewl which retailed at Rs 3,999, while vBling sells for Rs 2,500, which was about half the price at which competitors were selling similar handsets. Allowing free incoming calls, no matter whichever is the service provider, even after you have ran out of validity and talk time was a good move in this direction….

Having said all that it is still debatable as to what Virgin is going to be in the big Indian market where the real big players are sweating it out and where the rules of the game are not yet and fully defined… while it unravels let us see the new ad with which I started this post with… conceived and executed by Bates David enterprise it is simple, precise and right there ,hitting the target……

Muuaaahh baby !!!!

Tail piece:-

The precocious teen-ager returned late from school one afternoon and confessed to his mother that he made love to his girlfriend on the way home.

"I'm disappointed in you," his mother scolded. "But for telling the truth, you may go to the corner for a milk shake."

The next day, the boy came home late again, and this time he confessed to making love to one of the neighbors' wives. "Well, at least you're still honest," he was told, and again he was rewarded with a milk shake.

On the third day, the boy strode into the house and proudly announced to both of his parents that he had stayed after school to make love to his teacher. As his mother began to scold him, the father picked up a frying pan,

"Don't hit him," she pleaded. "At least he told the truth."

"Hit him, hell," his father exclaimed. "I'm going to cook him a steak. How long do you expect him to keep this up on those lousy milk shakes?"

For more of Virgin ads click here….

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Advertising & Recession- Why should it coexist? ...Part I

My article as appeared in The Advertising Express FEB 09....


It is recession time and the bad word has suddenly become a reality all over. The marketer is the worst affected among the various parties in business. This statement is not disregarding the fact that layoffs are happening, stocks are piling up and salaries are cut. Come a dull season, but the first thing to get affected however is Marketing and in Marketing it is Advertising- the most non-measurable of the 4 P’s. The reason as always explained is that recession connotes lower sales and hence lower net income.

Decision makers believe that reducing discretionary expenses such as promotion can be easily made, and there won't be any negative result. This however is not the case when the whole issue is seen in a long term perspective and if the past has taught us, the marketing world, any lessons it is largely that it is suicidal to be cutting ad budgets without any raison d'ĂȘtre.

This article intends to go into this issue that grips the marketing fraternity and to offer reasons as to why it is required to keep the ad budgets on, even in a recession time. It will also underline what Bruce Burton- the founder of BBDO and a great advertising legend once said -In good times people want to advertise, in bad times, they have to.

In a study of U.S. recessions, McGraw-Hill Research analyzed 600 companies from 1980-1985. Those who maintained or increased their advertising expenditures during the 1981-1982 recession achieved considerably higher sales growth, both during the recession and for the following three years, than those firms who decreased advertising. By1985, sales of companies that were aggressive recession advertisers had risen 256% over those that didn't keep up their advertising.

Another study documented a 1.5 point increase in market share among businesses increasing ad spending during recessionary periods. On the contrary during good times , 80 percent of all competition heaved up advertising budgets but resulting in no major growth in market share, because that is what most of the other competitors also did.

This is not to suggest that Advertising has to go on, no matter whether it is useful or not, whether it pays back or not. This is to suggest that advertising should not be seen as just a tool for short term sales, and even if it is before the cuts are made, think as to whether your objectives are defined? And whether with a reduced ad budget these objectives will be fulfilled? Think whether you have done a cause and effect studies on those in the past have done the same and their results?

Think whether this cut will allow competition to overtake you, even if they just maintain their current ad spend? If you are not doing this and just on a cost cutting spree with recession as a reason, disaster will be the result. Sergio Zyman lampoons such companies like Samsung who in 2001 decided to “eliminate unnecessary costs by seeking ways to reduce travel, traffic, advertising and miscellaneous expenses”. When advertising becomes as negligible as other miscellaneous expenses, it is only natural that it gets to see the axe first, when remote signs of a recession appear.

Past recessions have shown that marketers who have taken the approach of “going through this together” with their customers have been more successful at maintaining share and revenue during a recession than their competition. Not surprisingly, value driven brands tend to do better than brands positioned as premium. It is well documented that brands that increase advertising during a recession, when competitors are cutting back, can improve market share and return on investment at lower cost than during good times. This is simply indicating that advertising and recession can co exist at the same time and can turn to be coming out with flying colours as well.

This year as the overall financial year has seen superior growth and with the allocated marketing budgets for the financial year almost exhausted, the slowdown is more of a concern for the imminent financial year than for the present year. But having said that the crisis that is looming us and can get worse according to observers can last long and can go on till April next year and even more, is sending shock waves across industries particularly the marketing one. Ad agencies across are gearing up for a change, with cost cuts by clients about to happen the good ones have realized that in trouble times they too are ready to cut costs and co operate.

To be continued >>>>>>>>>>>>>

Friday, February 06, 2009

The Fun Gun!!!

A little girl was walking along a beach in California when
she came across a man with no clothes on and just a newspaper
covering his genitals.

The little girl said, "What do you have under that newspaper, Mister?"
The man said, "Nothing, it's just a bird, now go away!"
The man thought nothing of her and quickly fell asleep.
Hours later, the man woke up in a hospital bed in excrutiating pain.
"Where the hell am I?"
A doctor replied, "Someone called 9-1-1 and said you needed emergency
help, so we rushed you right over."
"Well, what the hell happened to me?"
"We don't know, son. Do you remember anything unusual happening
to you today?"
The man said, "Well, there was a little girl bugging me just
before I fell asleep."
The doctor sent someone to the beach to see if the little girl was
still there, and she was. The person said, "Do you know what happened
to that nice man you saw here earlier?"
"Well," the little girl said, "I started to play with that nice little
bird that he had and the damn thing spit on me. So, I wrung its neck,
broke its eggs, and set its nest on fire!"

Blast the week end guys !!!!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Fiat Linea- admiration guaranteed!!!

It is a case of love at first sight… this new ad….. which begins with a father and son walking on street with luxury stores ( for a change it is not the same old couple-married or otherwise). The son is attracted by the shop windows with toys and stops by, looking into the stores again and again and the dad pulls him away again and again as if he is in a rush.

Now in the next window it is the dad who gets stuck, awestruck at the beauty of the new fiat Linea and then comes the tag line "Admiration Guaranteed," where the core idea is to showcase the good looks and styling of the new model and it should be said without doubt that the ad does its job… it is simple and yet striking… not anything exceptionally brilliant, neither of the metal type which will walk to glory at Cannes or Abby’s but that wasn’t what ads were conceived as a marketing tool in the first place…..

The mid-sized segment in India (Price ranges between Rs. 3-8 lakh) is heavily fought out by the likes of Ford Fiesta, Honda City, Mahindra – Renault Logan, Hyundai Verna and Maruti SX4 in its category. Heavy competition driven from abnormal growth (automobile market here is growing at 7% per year, but the mid-size car market is growing at the rate of around 20% per year) .The total size of the market is indeed arguable but what is worrisome at this point in time for Fiat, is that after all the brouhaha of its coming for the last two years, especially ever since last year with the Fiat –Tata alliance which came into being, and after letting anticipation run high, with blogs and forums raving on the imminent launch, last month with another C-segment sedan -the new Honda City being launched and which instantly captured the attention of everyone . Now that was hard for fiat… it was like the bridesmaid steeling the groom and yet the bride is late….Worse ,Fiat Linea has kept its lowest price at 8.15 lakhs to the dismay of the ones who waited....

A small family car released in 2007 by the Italian automaker as a world car in Eastern Europe, Latin America and Middle East , the Fiat Linea is now launched in India in several variants, and petrol and diesel options. The petrol version would have a 1.4-litre petrol engine, and the diesel version would have a 1.3 diesel VGT, combined with five-speed transmissions. It will also come in a variant with a 120 bhp 1.4 16v turbo options. Diesel in India for known reasons sells bigger than petrol.

Fiat’s positioning Linea against Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and Skoda Octavia should be a treat to watch.....Can Linea be easily be positioned between the upper C-segment and the entry D-segment sedans? With Linea’s design cues heavily derived from Audi, it has the potential to match them but the price is a bit difficult to comprehend (9.57 lakhs for high end and 8.15 on road for the lower end!!!) keeping in mind that its 1248 cc engine is the same one that is in the fiat palio multijet . Why would people go for a Linea when we got Skoda on the road with 1.9 TDI engine is a question being asked by reviewers ....Mid segment or upper C or entry D…? let the Indian consumer decide….

Ooof..... that was typically atypical of Adformula….. now getting back to the advertising part… the marketing ,product and positioning issues apart… the first impression is cool… and my kudos goes to the creative team which includes Sonal Dabral, Sanjay Sipahimalani, Kaushik Mitra and Joseph Desouza from Bates in India and the production house - Corcoise Films and its director- Prasoon Panday. Now let us hope that the product will live up to the expectation that its communication has generated.

Tail piece:- "Admiration is a very short-lived passion that immediately decays upon growing familiar with its object, unless it be still fed with fresh discoveries, and kept alive by a perpetual succession of miracles rising into view.”

Monday, February 02, 2009

The Fun Gun !!!


...Never buy a 'new' brand of anything because 'it was on sale'....

...If we're in the backyard and the TV in the hall is on, that doesn't mean we're not watching it....

....Don't tell anyone we can't afford a new car. Tell them we don't want one.....

...Whenever possible please try to say whatever you have to say during commercials....

....Please don't drive when you're not driving...

....Don't feel compelled to tell us how all the people in your stories are related to one another: We're just nodding, waiting for the punchline...

...When the waiter asks if everything's okay, a simple 'Yes' is fine.....

The week end was too hectic to have fun, hence the fun gun too got postponed... now start the new week with a bang... !!!!
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