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The New Stuff

Season of makeovers

Well, looks like it’s a season of makeovers going on currently. Oh, I mentioned makeover and you are already thinking of some new style statement for women? Hmmm, I’m, sure most of you must be, but nah I’m not speaking of some new hair coloring trend or new apparel style in vogue…I’m speaking of the latest trend in Indian Marketing Industry - the trend of Indian brand makeovers.
Two weeks ago, I saw the new logo and communication of Godrej, then last week it was Shoppers’ Stop and now it’s CEAT which has gone for a hip & happening colored logo.
Honestly speaking I was just shocked to see the 112 year old Godrej logo changed. Having worked in their brand management team earlier, I know how rigid Godrej rules were as far as changing corporate logo was concerned. They strictly wanted to adhere to only traditional color (earlier it was blue then it became red) and despite every new brand manager convincing about a funky logo, the top management never allowed to experiment with it. So, suddenly a bright colored nice looking new logo was a very pleasant sight for my eyes. Here is the official statement of Godrej which states that the re-branding exercise was undertaken as it felt the old brand was not as relevant to young India.(source: As a consumer as well as marketing professional, my take on this - I liked this change J. Estimated money (mentioned in official releases) to be spent by the company in communicating this makeover: Rs. 100 crore!
Now speaking about Shoppers Stop logo change…I am absolutely confused as to why this logo change and what major difference will this new logo design bring to the company? I mean its same black & white color except that it’s rectangular in shape as compared to the earlier elliptical one. Well, from brand perspective I understand that it has been done keeping so called international designs in mind but well, but to a normal consumer I’m sure it must not be looking like any major change as such. And they are spending huge money in communicating this change by advertisements, hoarding etc. Here is the official statement available on agencyfaqs, for this makeover: “Change is essential. Our consumers are changing, their preferences are constantly evolving. They are getting younger. And so, we have to change along with them.” — B S Nagesh, Customer Care Associate & Managing Director, Shoppers’ Stop. “The simple but classic new logo without the old elliptic ring, which has an international look and a timeless appeal, carrying the new baseline ‘Start something new’ prods customers into taking a step ahead to upgrade themselves to the next level in life.(source: Well, well doesn’t it look like somehow fitting in a justification for this change? As a consumer as well as marketing professional, my take on this – It looks almost similar to me as in no major change at all as compared to the previous one. Estimated money (mentioned in official releases) to be spent by the company in communicating this makeover: Rs. 20 crore ($5 million)!
And the latest one in race, CEAT logo change? Oh why did they do this? The logo was created in 1958 & this is the first time since then that the company has changed its logo. But do they really needed to change their earlier logo? Here is the official statement for this change: Paras K Chowdhary, chief executive officer, Ceat, says, “The new logo symbolises the strategic transformation at Ceat. It also reflects the fact that though Ceat has a long and proud heritage, the attributes that bring it to life for our customers are as fresh and new as ever. It represents the company’s vision of leading the industry in delivering best in class products, innovations and services to consumers.” (source: Well, even if they decided to change the logo thinking to bring in some freshness and strategic transformation, they can’t go this wrong in deciding the creative representation of it. I think the earlier logo was very expressive and clear about the message which CEAT wanted to communicate for its tyre brand – born tough. New one just looks like another “me too” logo. As a consumer as well as marketing professional, my take on this – The new logo is NOT good, new font and color are ok, but please bring back that rhino and “born tough” line. No info available on money to be spent on communicating this makeover but year lots of TV ads are airing on prime time television.

Big B n blogging, another marketing gimmick?

The news is everywhere across media, and almost every channel and website is speaking of this new entrant in blogosphere. Big B has taken to blogging now!!! Well, we were aware of Rahul Bose, Shekhar Kapur and Aamir Khan being pro bloggers but now Amitabh Bachchan too. This is really surprising but what’s more surprising is the blog site which Mr. Bachchan has selected. Umm, his selection surely doesn’t look natural. Doesn’t a thought come naturally to our minds as to why BigAdda? Now come on, don’t ask why not a wordpress or a blogspot or his own personal URL and why ? I think it’s pretty simple to guess. Arrey still didn’t get it…after all bigadda is a reliance entertainment company yaar & we all know the strong connection between Big B & ....!

Looks like BigAdda’s cores & crores of money on advertising with hoardings (yes they actually took huge hoardings across cities for promotion of an online social networking site, LOL) & on TV (ROLF, yep there were long television commercials too reminding of friends and networking ?) etc have not worked at all and now they have decided to take one final shot at one of their products viz., blogs. With Big B endorsing their blog and each posts of Mr. Bachchan having comment counter close to 400+, I’m sure atleast one of BigAdda’s categories will surely get noticed now. And the kind of effort which bigadda team is taking for this, there is no second thought that this looks like a planned promotion strategy of BigAdda. Here is an excerpt from Big B’s blog which can make things clearer further:

“The team came over. I educated myself more on blogging and its ‘finer qualities’. As per the advice of some of the fans and ‘co bloggers’ we got into the process of setting up a team to assist me in working my blog more efficiently”.

A team to assist on working on his blog more efficiently!!!!!! Whoa blogging is becoming really serious man! Hmmm quite a strong promo hook by BigAdda team, lets see what mileage they get out of it in future.

Now speaking of Big B’s blog, honestly speaking I liked the content of this blog and the way Mr. Bachchan has written it till now. Though I’m not a die-hard fan of Mr. Bachchan & not sure if he is himself writing the posts or somebody on his behalf is doing it but if he is himself writing it then I must say good effort! The way he has highlighted the contribution of Anil Dharker for his book Icons or the way he has pulled Headlines Today for telecasting Abhi-Ash for 15 mins and still criticizing them or they way he has responded to some of the comments on his posts is quite noticeable & praiseworthy. I just love the poems of Mr. Harivansh Rai Bachchan and the beautiful usage of those poems in Big B’s posts is another highlight of his blog.

Though the idea of Big B blogging on looks very artificial and definitely some sort of marketing gimmick but the content of the blog looks natural. So, hope Big B continues expressing his thoughts like this on his blog and BigAdda gets at least one product right amongst all its failed ventures!

Bollywood on Social Media

After Subhash Ghai’s Black & White promo on Facebook, now Yash Raj Films as well as Devagan productions have taken the route of promo through social media for their upcoming films Tashan and U, Me Aur Hum respectively. Both these upcoming films are having their official communities on Facebook, Orkut and Youtube. Their official communities have promo clippings, songs as well as downloadable pictures of these movies. While Facebook group of Tashan is having more than 400 members, Orkut group is having more than 19,000 members. Orkut group is quite interactive with people discussing their thoughts and casting votes in the polls. Even U, Me Aur Hum group is very active Orkut group with approx 6000 members and very interesting poll questions.
Hmmm, looks like it has become a major trend in bollywood as well to ride the wave of online social communities. Almost every bollywood movie getting released these days is resorting to sites like Orkut, Facebook, Youtube etc. Well, why not? After all, more than anywhere else, that’s THE place where you can catch the young India these days. According to a recent study done by AC Neilson across males and females between the ages 13-35 years across the country, users spend an average of nine hours per week on the Internet, only for personal purposes, and of these nine hours, approximately 25–75% is spent on a social networking site (Source: Express Computer, March issue).

Of late, bollywood has become quite innovative in promoting the films in varied ways. Gone are the days of film promos where the names of actors like Raj Kapoor or Nargis or director like Satayajit Ray itself used to the biggest marketing hook for any film. Now in this age of commercialization and media bombardment, film marketers are trying it all- from traditional media like hoardings and television promos to digital media like exclusive websites to new age television phenomenon like reality shows and now to the latest IN thing, interactivity through social networking sites. With zero media spend and a sure shot way to capture the minds of Indian youth, of course interactive promo on social communities like these has to be the next BIG thing for marketers.

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