The city’s biggest festival was recently concluded and it was full of crowds and colours and food and fun! But the other stand out feature of Durga Pujo, other than the pandals and the idols of course, is the sheer amount of marketing, advertising and publicity involved. And we aren’t just talking about the publicity that the various pandals do of their Pujos but of the brands and sponsors lining up every street, every open space and every fencing across the city.
One will witness everything from banners, hoardings, drop downs, pillars, framed banners and gates! All covered in advertising material. Recent trends have ensured that even the inside of the pandals and sometimes the idols itself are covered in or decorated with sponsored materials. Sometimes the ornaments worn by the idols are sponsored as well as part of extremely innovative marketing! So many adverts, and such creativity all around.
Arguably the most viral advert/publicity this year was the stunning kilometre long ‘alpona’ on Lake Road, by the Samaj Sebi pandal. The artwork was created by hundreds of art students with the support of a corporate house and the splendid creation added to the visual extravaganza.
There were some other brilliant adverts, Tanishq and Century Ply ads come to mind. Century Ply made a touching advert about the clay artisans, the unsung heroes of the festival. Check out their advert here.
Durga Pujo is many things to many people but to marketers, it is also an amazing advertisement opportunity, where the entire city is part of the tableaux!
Do you know what’s common between them? Actresses all? Well, not all of them are. Oh, we get it! They are all members of either the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha or have been at some point. Yes, that’s true. But there’s something else as well. Not got it yet? Think again!
Here, we will give you a clue. Sing along, why don’t you? Hema, Rekha, Jaya aur Sushma… Got it right? Of course you did. Hema, Rekha, Jaya aur Sushma, sabki pasand Nirma! One of the most famous jingles and advertisements in Indian television. Did Nirma actually give ‘doodh si safedi’? It doesn’t matter, does it; because even decades down the line, people remember the jingle and the advert. That is the kind of recall value most marketeers hope for, this once in a lifetime kind of phenomenon.
The company was started by Karsanbhai Patel in 1969 out of a small room and within decades it was one of the most successful brands in its industry. The product itself, pricing and distribution was responsible for its success as much as its marketing was. Such simple, direct lines and a memorable jingle.
What made Nirma go national was its earthy TV ads. A lively montage of young men and women singing and dancing, cutting across regions, cultures and income groups was so very relatable to audiences. The three oft cited reasons for the success of the brand’s imagery were the catchy jingle, the characters of Hema, Rekha, Jaya and Sushma, quintessential housewives, and the mascot of the Nirma Girl.
One of Indian marketing’s success stories; sabki pasand Nirma!
Over the past decade, Durga Pujo has transformed from a festival into an industry. We’ve all noticed the transformation, but it was so smoothly executed by various corporate bodies that we didn’t even feel the transformation happen. Do you remember Pujo in 2006? It maybe a tad blurry, but Panchami surely wasn’t such a big deal back then. Some schools would give over on Panchami. Some even had exams up to the day. It was always a quiet affair till Shashti, and rather low key.
The Pujo crowd’s penchant for pandal hopping and boasting about how many fancy pandals and idols they caught a glimpse of began only on Shaptami. Panchami now is a completely different affair. It’s as crowded and congested as the last three days of Pujo. Corporate bodies recognized the pandal hopping trend as a great opportunity to increase brand visibility and awareness and wanted to capitalize on that.
So have you ever wondered how this super-commercialization of the festivities began? Well, Bengal and parts of East India have always been big on pre-pujo shopping and we have seen brands that battle it out during the frenzy with ridiculous discounts and deals on purchases. But the commercialization of the festivities is something relatively new. Once the marketers realized the potential of pandal-hopping, they had to find out ways to increase footfall and thus began the revival of the trend of award ceremonies. By giving out various awards in different categories to organizing committees corporate bodies created a buzz around already popular pandals.
They heavily publicized the award ceremonies and the hook worked. More and more people lined up to see what all the hullabaloo was about. Hordes of curious bystanders, jam packed like a can of sardines and enveloped on all sides by relevant branding that never failed to tug at the mostly Bengali crowd’s heart strings and capitalize on the Pujo sentiments. If you remember campaigns like Fevicol’s “Don’t get stuck like Fevicol, keep moving…” or Hot Wheels’s “I’ll enter the pandal directly with my car…” or Eno’s “Learn to deal with/digest large crowds, loud noises and taxi refusals… Unfortunately all these are rough translations of perfectly captured sentiments expressed in Bengali. Once they got the ball rolling marketers realized the importance and the potential of experiential marketing in such a context and thus came a slew of on-ground activations that thoroughly engaged the consumers, like Thums Up’s “Aamader Pujo” (Our Pujo) campaign or Bru’s “Jegey otho” (Stay awake…) campaigns that involved not just sentiments but perfect incorporation of the products at the venues.
If the super-commercialization of Pujo is not something that bothers you, you should definitely jump on the bandwagon, because you know you are a marketer at heart.
Keep watching this space for more – find out next how to use the digital domain to your advantage for Pujo ’17.
Remember, as a kid, when you tried to justify something you shouldn’t have done by saying that all the other kids were doing it too. And your mom’s response was, “agar tere dost kunwein mein ja kudegenge, toh tu bhi kudega?”
Well turns out you are very likely to jump into the well along with your friends. And what’s more, marketeers know this truth and use this every day. The fancy term is ‘social proof’.
In non childhood analogy terms, social proof is influencing you withinformation about your social environment, sometimes subtle, sometimes, blatant. And where do you experience this? Everywhere!
Did you read that restaurant review on Zomato before deciding on a place last weekend? Did the Amazon review influence your choice of trainers? Were you not sure what you wanted to watch last evening and Netflix suggested something based on your watch history? Did you buy that book because it was on the New York Times bestseller list? Did you bet on Chelsea because the expert analytics of Bet365 suggested that they are more likely to win?
If you did all that then congratulations, you just experienced social proofing. (Also, we earnestly hope, you are not betting on sports).
Social Proof may be of five categories
1. Experts – Approval from credible experts in the relevant field, like the bet365 analogy up there.
2. Celebrities – Approval or endorsements from celebrities (paid or unpaid), like the time Mark Zukerberg happened to post about the iGrill and their website crashed because of the number of hits. Mind you, this was unpaid, and the iGrill people didn’t even know that Mark Zukerberg was a customer.
3. Users – Approval from current/past users (ratings, reviews and testimonials). Usually reliable, unless it’s Rotten Tomatoes writing about DC films 😉
‘4. Wisdom of crowds’ – Approval from large groups of other people. Why, according to rivals, Manchester United has so many fans.
5. Peers – Approval from friends and people you know. Why you accepted that ‘black and white photo’ Facebook challenge.
Now you know how simple psychology can be used for marketing!
Virtual Reality (VR) is the next big thing. It’s supposed to change the way you look at entertainment, quite literally! Watching the telly or gaming on your Playstation might be fun and immersive but wait till you strap on a headset and have an overwhelming experience of simulate reality. Check out some of the available videos on the net to have a vicarious feel of things, of course, you ain’t gonna feel it unless you actually use it.
And as with any new technology, companies and agencies are racing to incorporate it into their new age, hip and cool marketing. So did Jaguar, but with a twist.
The Jaguar F Type is a two seat sports car and at the Big Boys’ Toys Expo, Jaguar came up with an innovative and excellent campaign. The campaign won the creative agency behind it, Y&R New Zealand, four Lions at Cannes and amazing amounts of good PR for Jaguar.
Participants were asked to put on a VR headset and have a simulation experience of riding a F Type. Participants were absolutely blown away by the VR experience and then after their reactions were recorded, came the big reveal. The twist in the plot was that the VR headset was a decoy; they were actually taken for a ride. Pun very much intended. But a ride they enjoyed thoroughly!
As Jaguar puts it, sometimes Virtual Reality is no comparison for Actual Reality. And sometimes, marketing campaigns like these are no comparison to regular campaigns.
Check out the video on our Facebook Page!
Pidilite is an Indian company, formed in 1959 and is the largest adhesive manufacturer in India. Although it produces other products like art materials, constructional chemicals and industrial chemicals it is most widely known for its Fevicol brand.
Fevicol was also launched in 1959 and was marketed as an easy to use glue and is available in almost 54 countries worldwide. Fevicol, was a revolutionary product and soon became extremely popular; however, Fevico is equally memorable for their amazing advertising.
Their recent foray into innovative advertising found them displaying all you can take free stuff in one of Bombay’s many malls. The activity, named, ‘The Free Store’ had 87 items displayed and anyone was welcome to grab whatever number of them that they pleased, the only catch, was that they were glued tight with Fevicol. What else. At the end, not one item came unglued, and Fevicol proved again that they are India’s top adhesive, but what they also proved was that marketing can be fun, innovative and unforgettable. Fevicol ka advert hain… bhoologe nahin!