Alternative marketing thinking


Archive for the category “Cool”

Eight lessons marketing professionals can learn from Kolaveri

The digital world has so disrupted the business models of newspapers, radio, television, music and even Hollywood that the yin and yang of mass media and mass marketing are flying apart. We are in the midst of total collapse of the media infrastructure we have taken for granted for 400 years.

– Bob Garfield Advertising Age Columnist in The Chaos Scenario, 13 April 2005

Aye, have you heard this weird song. Kolaveri, Kolaveri? Is got close to a million views on YouTube. Is it Malu or what? What does Kolaveri mean?

– Digital Dude Aged 24, 17 November 2011

Screen grab from Youtube

Six years after Bob Garfield provoked the marketing and advertising industry with his seminal piece in Advertising Age, Digital Dude (quoted above) discovers that Kolaveri Di has gone viral on YouTube. Dude does not know Bob Garfield nor has he read The Chaos Scenario. But he is among the millions who have given Kolaveri another view, helping to further shoot the video on to the centre stage of India’s pop culture and unwittingly endorsing the premise of Bob’s book.
Now clients want agencies to do a Kolaveri like video for their brands. Yes we got two briefs in the last two days and are struggling to explain why we cannot do a Kolaveri. What we do have are some lessons from the said video and similar memes.

Lesson 1. You don’t make a Kolaveri. It happens. Amen. Here are, one, two stories from the guys at Jack in the Box, the digital agency behind the viral on how it happened.

Lesson 2. You can’t separate marketing and PR from the agency anymore. Being a movie based video Kolaveri has an advantage over traditional marketing content. Yet reading the agency’s POV on this, PR was strategically used to give the video the traction.  Starting now we need to create all kinds of synergies to get people’s attention. Marketing, PR, HR, sales, service working together, in tandem…

Lesson 3.  Speed is the new element in a marketing person’s arsenal. To read Dhanush’s interview post the success of the song and to believe that the song was written in some 6 minutes. Well that’s as much time it takes to find an empty conference room these days. Speed was on display when W+K decided to bring on the OldSpice Man on to Twitter and YouTube. 180+ videos created in two days. Wow!

Lesson 4. YouTube is the TV channel for urban Indian youth. Mahesh Murthy (look up his 20 new rules of marketing here) and Reem Syed are some of the prominent voices in India who believe how lopsided marketing budgets are with respect to digital media. The impact of Kolaveri Di should put an end to that discussion. In fact this Google Trends comparison between two recent hits, Airtel’s Har Friend Zaroori Hota Hai and Kolaveri shows you that without a dime spent on TV, Kolaveri has blown past an ad that was heavily promoted on all channels, online included. Even in places like Ludhiana and Chandigarh,  Kolaveri beat out the Airtel ad.

Lesson 5. In a low friction world,  we learnt a great idea will have imitators like in the case of Cadbury’s s Gorilla. In India we have struggled to get people to create interesting content that feeds off a rage. Kolaveri is showing us that good ideas will be copied and remixed in real time. What are we agencies and marketers doing to create memes that can be remixed?

Lesson 6. Hum-ability counts, not meaning. Cartoonist Hugh McLeod had something fundamental to say  in this cartoon. Most marketing messages are so overloaded that they lose any humanity whatsoever. The lyrics in Kolaveri are so nonlinear that they start a conversation and further its spread.  RIP Link Test?

Lesson 7. Ideas like these can spawn real time marketing opportunities. Pepsico’s Digital Marketing Head talks about how the best marketing in the future will need to grab real time opportunities that could come by. A viral the scale of Kolaveri could have spawned many opportunities. A line of Kolaveri Di Tshirts. A promo around the song. A smart entrepreneur could have started a Kolaveri Di FAQs page and made some money from placing Ads on the page. Missed opportunities.

Lesson 8. The long tail brings interesting content back into circulation. This one has nothing to do with Kolaveri. But another video that’s been doing the rounds recently, the  flash mob in Mumbai Central has been doing the rounds. The Youtube video has already notched up an impressive 200,000+ views in two days. On the back of this, an older, forgotten one from May this year is getting a second life, for free. The Internet never forgets, but no ad that’s shown on TV can ever have a second coming without the advertiser wanting to rerun it.


Repositioning A Homeless Man

A nice little experiment is underway in Minneapolis where copywriter Todd Norem helped write pan handling boards for local homeless man Ed and reposition him as an independent business. By using retail language and humor people were forced to see homelessness in a new way. As a result Ed’s earnings went up by more than 800%. See the campaign here.

Masks From Artist Yoriko Yoshida.

Just in time for the Swine Flu season, a range of unique, one-of-a-kind Masks From Artist Yoriko Yoshida.

Banks Continue To Innovate ;-)

Cheeky headline that, but a look at some of the best examples of online advertising shows that banks and financial services continue to innovate in this space. The Banner Blog has a nice round up of innovative online banners. HSBC, Barclay’s, Virgin, RBS and ANZ are all part of the list.

Put Your Brand Here!

Wonderful little round up of the best branded apps that have come up for the iPhone.

Financial Literacy Through Advertising

AdCouncil is the place for work that educates and informs people on different things. So it is perfect timing that the AdCouncil run a campaign on financial literacy. Here are links to two campaign they are running at the moment. One for general public, here. And another for young adults, here.

Planning Movies

One of the key areas of study for any good planner is in the area of the human condition. And the one place where many planning pros go to understand this is to the movies. So here are two movies that every self respecting planner should watch. Sideways & Together.

Bank Of Twitter

Bank of America becomes yet another bank to embrace Twitter with a customer service stream. Manned by customer relations specialist David Knapp, customers can tweet him if they have problems with their accounts or general questions. Wachovia, which in August started an account to seek out and serve customers on this micro blogging platform, now has over a thousand followers. While some banks have active twitter accounts, there are others who have created accounts and not followed up on it. Read more in Finextra.

Bankers’ Stories

Another little attempt from a brand to tell interesting stories, not necessarily about itself. Societe Generale has created Bankers’ Stories. Very different from what Amex offers, but unique in its own way. We are not really sure if they had to rely on flash and streaming video to do what they have. But there are beautiful little stories in French (English subtitles) here. Take your own call by dropping by at Bankers’ Stories.

What Gets Clicked

Do the colour, font, image and message of the ad induce online visitors to click ads? A new bunch of companies are trying to find out just this. They are creating hundreds of versions of clients’ online ads, changing these basic elements to see what combination draws clicks on a particular site or from a specific audience. Two companies, Adisn and Tumri are trying to find out, for example, if an ad for a baby supply store is more popular with young mothers when it features a bottle instead of diapers. They have the technology to assemble ads on the fly and have them come up when people are searching. For example for their work on cleaning brand Simple Green, if it’s a woman looking at a kitchen with a stainless steel refrigerator, they can show a stainless steel product. While a basic use of the concept could help identify which version of the ad works best, what advertisers are finding is that the appropriate ad is not static, and changes all the time as content on the page changes. Read more in Ny Times. Also in Wired Magazine, Online advertising. Survival of the fittest. If you are still reading this story, you may want to check out Yahoo Smart Ads.

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