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May 13

Marketing Magazine of IIM Shillong

Ms Babita Baruah Executive Business Director, JWT Delhi

Volume 4 | Issue 11

FROM TEAM MARKATHON paying high price; are never tired to go and find the product themselves and they never look for promotions. One such

Dear Readers,

brand is Rajinikanth, who has been the undisputed box office We are curling closer towards the warmth of May. Air is fresh

darling for more than three decades in South India. Do read

and sunny. And when the bees are busy hoarding their honey,

the cover story for a punch-packed article, similar to his

most of you, our beloved readers, would be busy in their


internships. For some it would be a comeback into the

In this month’s Corporate Vartalaap we got a little candid

corporate world and for some it would be a dream beginning.

with Ms. Babita Baruah, Executive Business Director at JWT

All the marketing enthusiasts out there would be going great

Delhi. In this short and sweet tête-à-tête, Ms. Babita Baruah

guns putting all their marketing knowledge into action. We

speaks about her life and time in the competitive field of

hope Markathon would have helped you gain at least a little

branding. She also spills some beans about her forthcoming

amount of that knowledge. Biggest business news of April

book. Flip through the pages to read this intellectual piece of



be the Quarterly

earnings report



Corporation. It reported its first dip in profits in almost a

Also we have the usual sections to keep you engrossed till the

decade bringing end to one of the greatest winning streaks in

last page. The Bookmark section will review you about “Data

modern era, at least for now. Also for all the sports fans

driven marketing” by Mark Jeffery. Radical Thoughts will

around the world, there was no shortage of excitement. Alex

speak about the most debated ‘Apple failing or not’ story.

Ferguson’s Manchester United has already won the EPL with

Addicted will yet again give you a beautiful analysis of two

still one more month to go. In India, our own IPL’s sixth

trending advertisements. Team Markathon congratulates the

season is making us glued to our TV sets with action packed

winners and all the participants and you people make us what

matches. Also it is turning into a battleground for the latest

we are.

Cola war. Pepsi has spent crores of rupees to bag the title

With a host of exciting stuff lined up for you, waste no time in

sponsorship and Coca cola is coming up with so many

taking on this delightful journey as you flip through the pages

strategies to bypass the anti-ambushing laws and to capitalize

of the latest edition of Markathon. As always, do send in your

the moment.

feedback/suggestions to

Yet again, the enthusiasm of the participants has been mindblowing. Our team is having tougher time every month in

Sit back and enjoy this issue!

deciding the

Happy Reading!




enthusiasm and

constructive feedback will help us only getting better and better in providing you with a cornucopia of marketing

Team Markathon

knowledge. This month’s cover story is quite offbeat. It is about a film star who has become a cult brand in the film industry. Our friends at IIM Shillong have written a stupendous piece of article on the journey of the brand Rajinikanth right from the launch to this day. There are certain brands, which has defied all the laws of marketing. Except for the product P, they never follow the other P’s of traditional marketing mix. People never mind

THE MARKATHON TEAM Editors Ashok A Kamalpreet Singh Saluja Pallavi Prateek Gaurav Shashank S. Tomar Swikruti Panda

Creative Designers Sushree L. Tripathy Vaibhav Annam

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Is the New Buzzword for Marketeers? Anshul Khandelwal | Prafull Srivastava Indian institute of foreign trade The globalization of economies and trade intensification has lead companies to communicate with consumers of different languages and cultures. It has increased transnational commerce, particularly due to the trade agreements that have become operational. Thus, it has become more common for companies to be selling their products to customers in foreign countries. That is, a company based in France might be doing business in Chile, Kenya, and South Korea, while another company based in South Korea may be doing business in Australia, India, and Jordan. Within the framework of international marketing strategies, advertising plays a key role. It has to resolve a dilemma which can be summarized in the following question: How can a company sell a standardized product to local and different consumers? Should the companies tailor their advertisements for each individual country or region that they do business in, or standardise their advertisements for a global audience? This is a dilemma that every company faces. On one hand, standardisation leads to cost savings, building a single brand image, and maximum exploitation of a good marketing idea. On the other hand, it’s a wellknown fact that customers worldwide have different perceptions and likings owing to the geographical, religious, cultural and behavioural differences. To tap this nerve if the companies customize their promotional strategies specific to region, the communication may be more effective and lead to a larger reach. But this will incur more time, cost and effort. So there will always be a trade-off. According to a survey, several reasons were

given by the fortune 500 companies as to why they undertake localization of their campaign. to meet regulatory or legal requirements increase value of brand To reach more customers in markets they already‌ To meet local customer expectations Value in percentage 60






Localization due to legal or cultural norms: In most of the Muslim countries you cannot show women and men in close contact or women in scanty clothes. That’s why Coca-Cola shot its ad in 1989 with women in fully covered clothes adhering to Muslim norms and when the Brazilian version of the same ad had to be shot the models had to change into bikinis! Also several categories of products cannot be advertised directly in a country because of the legal



markathon|may 2013 strategies also differ. To reach more customers in markets they already compete

norms. For Example: Alcohol. In such cases the company has to localize its promotional strategies and advertise in a more subtle way. To increase value of brand Living standards are different in countries, a product which is a mass product in one country might be positioned as a premium product in another country or it may be targeted for different age brackets. Consider Volkswagen Jetta. Aside from the fact that the model used to be named “Bora” in Europe, Volkswagen also adapted its advertising strategy for the local market. If you compare the commercials, you will notice a subtle difference in approach. It’s the same car, same campaign, yet the German commercial is clearly targeted at an older demographic while the American version is focused on price and attainability, aimed at a younger audience. Another such example is of Levis. While it is positioned as a mass brand in the US, it is looked upon as a premium brand in India. Hence the advertising

One such example is Google’s Doodle. Perhaps no company captures the taste of its local customers better than Google. There is a doodle for every occasion, for every country. From Diwali to Christmas, Thanks Giving day to Kartini Day and from India Winning the cricket World Cup to Spain’s crowning as the FIFA Champs, there is a customized doodle to capture the visitor. Google Doodle is not just for fun but a serious business initiative for Google as it has shown to shoot website traffic to more than 130% through organic Google search mechanism alone. Different interpretation of symbols, nonverbal and indirect verbal expressions When a company designs a logo the first thing they consider is their target audience. What are they looking for in a product such as theirs? What are the tangible and less tangible benefits to them? How can the company make this promise both with and without words? Answering these questions helps the company to build a brand that is attractive to their target customers. In this pursuit some companies have even localised their logo!! 7up is one good example of this. Although, the American and German 7up logos look similar they are notably different. The American logo design is angled for a feeling of movement. It uses a slightly lighter, cooler shade of green with the red dot in the centre of the word. The German version uses a sleeker, more modern numeral with shiny bevels and the word ‘up’ in the centre of the red dot. It is more of an image than a word. Both logos are appropriate for their audience and the way the brand is marketed in the region in question. Americans like a little fun and youthful charm in their soda pop brands. This logo certainly delivers that. If you look at the German 7up website, they are promoting the sparkling beverage as a simple, clean choice. Their



logo design is a good representative of that brand. The German brand might not work so well in the United States for another reason: it is vaguely reminiscent of the 7-11 minimart logo that people are so familiar with on this side of the world and no one wants a cheap gas station flavoured soda! In addition, many European markets prefer a simpler, more business-like look. Logos marketing to this audience must be more minimalist and ‘adult’ than those that are so successful in the United States. Another example is an advertisement for an American fast food franchise, which showed a quintessential Anglo-Saxon American character, a colonel who had a goatee beard, and was pointing his right hand towards the audience while making a victory (v) sign with his fingers, that would have little resonance among a Saudi audience. All this arises from the fact that some countries are high context while some are low context. They may have different levels of individualism. So if a company wants to fine tune their communication they have to localize and keep these issues in mind. Localization due to regional differences For example, in many international alcohol advertisements, probably produced in the U.S., the drink is consumed out of a glass filled with nothing but ice. However, Trinidadians commonly choose from a host of mixers to add to their drink. Another example is international advertisements for confectionaries, which are often targeted to children. However, in Trinidad women are the main consumers of confectionaries, so

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they need locally produced advertisements that are targeted towards women. Degree of Localization Instead of choosing between complete standardisation and localisation, another option is to standardise strategically and incorporate local elements wherever required. Likewise, many multinational companies choose to create a single marketing idea-typically conceived by the American branch of its advertising agency, based in a city such as Los Angeles or New York that is then tailored for specific situations in the various countries where a brand might be doing business. For example Coca cola had a global campaign of bringing happiness. The theme of the ads were same just the setup was changed according to the countries. Or companies can have the same advertisement and just translate it to local languages. This is more feasible in today’s world because of bridging gaps between the countries. Today stars like Messi, Angelina Jolie, and David Beckham are known worldwide and people can relate to them. Also there are many firms which help brands fulfil their global potential by providing not only first class translation services, but by offering full localization packages that embrace local language, culture and brand. They not only just change the language but provide up-to-the-minute local market insights, as well as translation, subbing and proofreading skills. For Example: Story. So depending on the palette of the customer, either you can export an authentic Chinese dish for the Indian customer or you can serve him a Punjabi tadka Chinese version of the dish!



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Zeeshan hassan IIM KOZHIKODE With the emergence of new technologies comes a whole new avenue of supplementary and complementary products which try to create and snatch a space in the market for themselves. One such recent trend has been the development of smartphones with platforms such as the Android, iOS, Windows, Blackberry etc. No sooner did this technology came into being, the techies around the world channeled all their thoughts to find out ways to reach to the newly created market. This was how the inception of the mobile app took place. The penetration of smartphones in the world market has been increasing at phenomenal rate thus it makes sense for the app developers to cater to the needs of this fast and dynamic group of people and lure them into embracing their apps. Quite recently there has been an explosion in the IM (instant messaging) apps due to the entry of WhatsApp and the likes. A possibility to attain huge profitability lies ahead and so is the kind of effort required that goes into it. Making the app fulfilling one’s need is one thing but marketing it in this nascent market is the most crucial aspect. A lot of new tactics have been used in both online and offline space resulting into success or the marketing liability for the companies.

Any day, the purpose of a texting app is to make people using it to “stay connected”. This is why people download it so that they can get in touch with others in as easy a way as possible. This is a Win-Win situation for both the company and the subscribers. The company will attain more popularity if it can expand the boundaries of its market and at the same time the users will have bigger social circle and people to talk to if they connect to more people. The company also will be able to provide the users better facilities and functionalities if the user base raise fast and accepting and appreciating the company’s offerings.


perspective Following are the various successful strategies used by app companies to attract and retain users (The details obtained are by observation of the social media campaigns and otherwise).

WhatsApp Initially, WhatsApp did not do any type of promotional campaign. They prized their privacy. They were just a bunch of engineers with a motto “Less talk: Let the product speak for itself. Later on, it took the help of a big PR company called Covered Co. for strategic positioning and marketing development by being covered in top tier press releases and social media marketing. Also they helped it in designing goodies like t-shirts, bottles etc. to be distributed at various events. WhatsApp started off on social media with posting things like the importance of apps in general on smartphones, top 10 android app updates for the week, top ten iPhone apps, updates about new smartphones coming up etc. Then it moved to more WhatsApp specific news like, WhatsApp was chosen the best overall app in Mobile World Congress. Then WhatsApp TV ads and other promotional campaign started coming up. They also started posts for openings for employment in their company both (permanent and for the interns), this showed the company is in a healthy state and is growing exponentially, thus requires more and more people to keep pace with its projects. The users also are frequently updated about the latest version launch of WhatsApp and the reviews about it. So they get to receive the first hand information of the app and also get to discuss the same with others. In its latest updates they said ‘we are really excited about the partnership with 3HK and new Roaming Pass we have introduced together for customers to benefit most when roaming and using WhatsApp!’, as a show of their customer centric mindset. It also started a WhatsApp confession page which has attained more than 40,000 likes and with more than

markathon|may 2013 3000 confessions. Since confession pages at different levels were gaining popularity, WhatsApp took this opportunity to develop the buzz. People like to read confessions and the admin keep showing up and asking people to try to speak their heart as much as possible. People also get pegged at WhatsApp jokes page which keeps posting funny pictures and text jokes making people keep returning to it and keeps reminding people to “keep laughing and make more friends” implying the more use of WhatsApp and also by posting funny conversation snapshots of the WhatsApp itself. This received one of the highest responses from public in terms of likes and comments. Another “WhatsApp stuff” page is there which usually contains some fun, creative, philosophical and as well as intellectual videos. Apart from this a number of movie and TV serial related news and clips are displayed. They would also sometimes take videos of some novice performers from YouTube and post them on the wall telling to rate the performance out of 10, thus a lot of discussion goes into it. A number of funny commercials and Indian ads are also showcased. Quite frequently tells the users to “Download Our App And Share Links With Ur Friends”. The official blog of WhatsApp keeps updating the customers how to obtain the best of the app and the reasoning behind the various features of theirs service in addition to the latest add ins. The posts from the founders like “Why we don’t sell ads” gives a personal touch to the customers and tells them that everyone in the hierarchy is concerned about their well-being.

Wechat With numerous features, the most fascinating being the shake-shake feature to meet new people by shaking your phone



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simultaneously with another random user, WeChat was initially branded as Weixin in China in January 2011 was re-branded in April 2012 with globally acceptable name of WeChat. Today it caters to more than 100 million users. The strategy for WeChat is to get the coverage of the existing product/service and bringing out additional features on a regular basis with upgraded version of the application. Approached by Starbucks, they collaborated with it, putting question to fans: “How are you feeling today?" the response was in the form of an emoticon and then Starbucks replied with a song to match their mood. Campaign added to Starbucks 270,000 WeChat friends in 4 weeks. WeChat on social media has created country specific pages on Facebook like WeChat India, WeChat Australia, WeChat Malaysia, WeChat Thailand etc. among the first were the Indian and Australian pages. In general it gave the WeChat updates of launches, asking users what they enjoy most about WeChat, and WeChatApp tip of the day to better the customer experience. WeChat India contains India specific promotions like use of mythological characters, Hinglish expressions, cricket players, political parties and their members, Rajnikanth jokes, movie clips and photos, Indian festivals etc. They keep reminding people to send voice messages. They also providing updates about several contests conducted by them using their QR code on Facebook. It showed the WeChat snapshots where people are talking to each other about WeChat services, thus giving more credibility to the customers about the cool services provided by the app. Another contest where a question was put “What do you think has been India’s proudest moment since independence?” and prizes were distributed to touch the heart strings of the Indian’s. A near similar thing happens on WeChat Thailand but in the local vernacular i.e. Thai and on the WeChat Malaysia page with a mix of English and Malaysian language. In Malaysia, they tied up with dominos so the

Simultaneous promotion of movie and WeChat

users get 1 Regular Pizza when they purchase it at Standard Menu price. Indonesia is a country with lowest internet penetration rate so WeChat aired TV ads and it claims to have started adding 90,000 new users per day after this.

MessageME The additional features/strategies here are contextrelated, such as photos, locations and doodles. Users can also easily share songs and music/videos with each other straight off iTunes or YouTube. It is one of the apps that have had the quickest growth to reach 1 million users. A great insight drawn is that people love a sharing media for instance in the US alone, more than 10 million doodles were shared, which the company is trying to make its competitive advantage as. They are not willing to put ads on their app but instead thinking of raising money by using stickers which are popular among the Asians and used heavily by LINE and Kakao Talk. Social Media: It started with social media in 2012 launching its beta version of the app. It gave latest updates and functionality of smartphones and the apps in general. Then it moved to more MessageMe specific updates like “MessageMe is faster and easier than traditional text; you've got to try it to get it so check it out now:” twitter links are also given. It shares the links of other tech tracking websites and blogs where MessageMe was covered like Mashable,



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TechCrunch, Bebga, Edublogs etc. The MessageMe blog went live on March 9, official source for all the latest news and happenings with MessageMe. They had a feature where people can connect to each other using their PIN. This resulted in people commenting on the MessageMe page their PIN’s. They also created a buzz where the famous American rapper, Soulja Boy, was shown quoting his MessageMe PIN so that others can connect to him. The HackPSU Contest: MessageMe tried to increase its presence by going to the school students (The lower end of the target market). The students were required to represent their school and get an opportunity to win a FREE iPad Mini. The procedure was- downloading MessageMe and inviting friends from the respective school to the app to create a New Group Chat to represent the school. The HackPSU participants with the largest group for their school will be entered into a raffle to win the iPad. Winning such a contest was a big thing for school students thus it resulted into a large scale installation of the app with less spending. As was said the best feature for MessageMe’s popularity is the doodle facility, so even in their blogs they picked up some of the most creative doodle that were made by the users and showcased in their blog so as to appreciate effort, creating a sense belonging to the company.

competencies. Thus by asking the right questions they will get the right answers. The first step to the promotional campaign is to create

How did others do it?

What are our marketable competencies

How do we market those competencies

awareness about the offerings we are making. This creation of awareness will lead to building of trust if the service shows consistency of performance. Generally this trust building happens mostly by Word of Mouth when we hear about the richness of the service by our peers and colleagues. Thus making a great texting app preferably with differentiation is imperative. After the trust building process, it will result into repeat usage of the texting app which will further help in creating awareness among the user base and expand their network. It is worth noticing that just creating awareness by spamming the customers can backfire as well. So awareness campaign should be done spasmodically.

Creating Awareness

Takeaways We see that marketing in this space is as of yet very nascent in stage. People are still trying to discover how to reach to their customer better. Many of the ads and the promotion campaign that have been tried went viral while a great many of others failed to produce results. In general what the upcoming companies are doing is that they are closely watching the successful companies/campaigns to find out what has been successful for others then see what we have to offer to the customers and finally how do we market our

Repeat Usage

Trust Building

Thus we see a lot can be learnt by looking at these examples to reach to a coordinated and coherent approach. First step is to make a great app and then do consistent pre and post launch promotion with various different channels. With this hard work put in we can built a hugely successful mobile app going viral and claiming large-scale acceptance by the users.


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markathon|may 2013 markathon|january markathon|month

An Interview with Ms. Babita Baruah Executive Business Director, JWT Delhi

Ms. Babita Baruah is Executive Business Director, in JWT Delhi, leading a team that manages Nokia, Nestle and local businesses. She has over 16 years of experience in Advertising and JWT, also having being a part of regional and global JWT network teams — Unilever’s Sunsilk, Knorr, Radiant, J & J’s Listerine and Band Aid, besides a portfolio that spans across categories from FMCG to Finance. Ms. Babita is one of the 12 Indian women recipients of the British Chevening Scholarships in 2004 and a Campaign India “A” Lister as one of the top 500 influential marketing professionals in India for 2010, 2011 and 2012. She blogs regularly on Advertising and takes guest lecture sessions in leading Indian management institutes like IIM Shillong, SP Jain, Mumbai, IIFT Delhi and MDI Gurgaon. She is also in the process of publishing her articles in a book titled ‘Unbehave’.

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Markathon: With more than 16 years of work experience in the field of marketing and advertising, which experience do you cherish the most? Why? Ms Babita: I cherish the opportunity of the British Chevening Scholarship on Women and Leadership in the U.K, in 2004. It was a privilege to be one of the 12 professional women to win this. This has impacted and influenced the way I work, the way I look at challenges at work and in life.

markathon|january markathon|may markathon|month 2013 2013 Markathon: Your paper titled "Effectiveness of Brand Advertising as influencers of socio-cultural trends in India" has been widely read and recognized. In today's era how far do you Brands have a human side feel brands are going to cash in on these and increasingly, this side socio-cultural trends to get their revenue boxes ringing?

is coming to the fore, because of the change in the brand conversations. It is no longer enough to just talk “product”, the brand is much more than a product.

Markathon: In the journey to becoming the VP and Executive Business Director at JWT Delhi, you have to your credit many successful campaigns and brand launches of the likes of Unilever, Godrej, Kotak, Aditya Birla Capital, Kingfisher Airlines, Kelloggs, Wills, Nokia amongst others. Could you share the most challenging assignment you took up and brilliantly accomplished? Ms Babita: To say that a campaign was successful because of me will not be right as all work in an agency is team work. I have been lucky to have some of the most talented advertising professionals as partners, and yes, we have had many successful campaigns to our credit as an agency. Without naming a particular brand, let me suffice it to say that we work/have worked on leading brands across categories- each one coming with its share of challenges. It requires in depth consumer understanding, use of insight generating and branding tools, and finally of course, an impactful campaign; Creativity that works for the brand.

Ms Babita: Brands have a human side and increasingly, this side is coming to the fore, because of the change in the brand conversations. It is no longer enough to just talk “product”, the brand is much more than a product. So brands cannot be isolated from socio- cultural trends. However, it is not with the ambition of getting revenue boxes ringing directly. It is more long term, more a way of expressing the human side that resonates with people and make the brand the preferred choice. It’s like saying we like to hang out with people who are like us, who we like talking to. The conversation then, has more meaning and more credibility.

Markathon: Do you believe that businesses and their marketing communication today can achieve ‘shared value’ without diluting their own brand value? What in your opinion is crucial in achieving this tough balance? Ms Babita: Shared Value and Social good is of paramount importance. As they say, People, Planet, Profit are the 3 Ps. And one cannot coexist anymore without the other. A Brand Value can only be enhanced and never diluted with shared value. But what comes in the way of brands and shared value is the excel sheet and the number game (sighs). A shared value is not a tactical promotion or a CSR- it has to be the brand philosophy. A religion. Only then will it have the impact brands desire from the market.

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Markathon: As the official blogger of Campaign India The pitfalls to this- well, I have my share of critics. We which has grown to become the voice of media, all do. That’s why the need to be fearless and marketing and advertising community in the focused on what drives us most (says with a Asia Pacific, what is your take on smile). A Brand Value can astroturfing? Does the reducing difference between only be enhanced ‘popular sentiment’ and and never diluted Markathon: Apart from a ‘manufactured public opinion’ with shared value. successful career as a business worry you? woman, you take out time for students at Ms Babita: Journalist William Greider has described Astroturfing as "democracy for hire." I have personally endorsed and believe in direct communication and conversation. Straight from the heart as they say. While I have not been involved in one, I have done extensive reading on this and one of the things that stand out is that this is people-poor and cash –rich. Which means information and messaging will most often be tailored to suit specific needs of those who fund. And therefore the funders gain more than the message recipients. However, I always believe that we ourselves can shape a tool into positivity. For example, Astroturfing can be used for genuine social good causes by various bodies to lend credibility to the message. For instance, say a vocational skills drive by various bodies which creates a solid semi skilled workforce for corporates as well, but creates shared value.

Markathon: Being listed in the "Top 500 Influential Marketing professionals in India” for 2010, 2011 and 2012, what is the one quality you possess and nurture as a marketeer that has driven you along this growth path consistently? Ms Babita: Honesty and straight talk. I have spoken my mind and not fallen prey to shaping my conversations to outguess the corporation or the industry. You see, it is important to be fearless. Fear drives us to areas and actions we would never do if we are not constrained. To me, these values ensure that our relationships with clients and brands are honest and whatever communication we create is credible.

leading b-schools to share your perspective. What according to you should the aspiring marketeer of today focus upon to feel the pulse of their target and bring in solutions beyond time? Ms Babita: I teach to learn. It is my passion. An unfulfilled dream. Teaching helps me get different perspectives and hear the voice of the young. The next gen so to say. Marketers should “stalk” consumers. Period. Hang out where they do. Listen. Participate. Be a part of their lives. I am amazed at how few of us actually spend time on social media- we still regard it as “after hours”. It is not. And not just social media- we need to be everywhere she goes. Unless we shop where she does, laugh with her, cry for her, we can never bring in solutions.

Marketers should “stalk” consumers. Period. Hang out where they do. Listen. Participate. Be a part of their lives. I am amazed at how few of us actually spend time on social media- we still regard it as “after hours”.

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cover story | Brand Rajini

Cover Story

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Brand Rajini

Bhaskar | Nitin | Savitha | IIM Shillong

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cover story cover story | | Brand Rajini Imagine this scene. The Sun is still down. There is a closed gate. Outside, people are thronging the street in thousands, waiting to barge inside the building with the same fury as a raging bull seeing the matador waving a red flag. The frenzy is around a launch. Ask a college goer in USA to guess what it was, and he would say: “That’s the line for getting the first pieces of Apple iPhone 5”. Ask the same question to a college goer in Chennai, and he would not only say that it’s Enthiran first day first show we are talking about, but would go on to brag about how he was there, right at the front of that line. Not only Enthiran, this is a ritual that is followed during release of all the movies of India’s biggest matinee idol, Superstar Rajnikanth. Sky high cut outs, meters and meters of garlands, tons of flowers, gallons of milk poured on his banners and ear-deafening crackers are common during the release of a Rajnikanth starrer, and would go on for a week. If there is any brand in India that can give even Tata a run for its money on its day, it’s Brand Rajini. And we have thousands of reasons for our argument. Results of a nationwide poll conducted by Headlines Today on who is India’s biggest Superstar revealed that Rajinikanth won the poll hands down. (Yes, beating the likes of King Khan, Aamir Khan, Big B and others). Rajinikanth has more than 150,000 fan clubs across the country (of course, few in Japan too), which is more than any other star. And when he was taken ill a year back, the whole of Tamil Nadu offered prayers and special poojas for his quick recovery (including the three of us). During the time of elections, politicians from all major parties would be wary of his statement, which has the potential to decide the fortunes of the election. Believe us, the list will go on. At least in South India, ‘Rajini’ signifies a huge, admired, tested,

markathon|may 2013 markathon|month 2013 loved and even worshipped concept; it is consumed and cherished by consumers of all age groups, genders, communities and religions. Rajinikanth quantum-leaped to super-stardom through wholesome and original entertainment and then evolved and acquired cult status through friendliness, humility and down-to-earth characteristics that every brand dreams of. Brand Rajini is analogous to the much talked about global corporate brands. The only difference is that corporate brands are more prominent, well researched and talked about, while brand Rajini has remained out of the limelight. We now take a look at the launch of ‘Brand Rajini’, 38 years ago. Brand Rajini: the launch Not all brand launches end up being a success. In particular, failures outweigh success stories in the film industry. In the 1970s, the odds were against Shivaji Rao Gaekwad (later, Rajinikanth) ever becoming a Tamil star, let alone becoming a Superstar. It was an era of two matinee idols, MGR and Sivaji Ganesan, holding strong foothold in the industry. Alongside, Kamal Haasan was already grabbing headlines with his versatility and great dancing skills. Finding space between them was not going to be easy for Shivaji Rao, who hardly knew the language. The first ever movie frame he appeared in, carried an ominous subtitle ‘Abaswaram’ (offkey). No one ever imagined that the dark horse who slipped unassumingly into the celluloid world, would later go on to rule the box office while creating his own niche. The launch of Brand Rajini dispels many branding perceptions. Brands are usually conceived for a target audience in mind, but Rajini had none. Brand Rajini did not have the luxury of a big launch, or even a launch for that matter. It did not use its own name but an adopted one (that of an upright lawyer Rajinikanth,

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cover story cover story | | Brand Rajini

markathon|may 2013 markathon|month 2013

portrayed brilliantly by Sivaji Ganesan in 1973 Magnum Opus, Gauravam) Why did Brand Rajini stand out? Differentiation Establishing individuality was at the nucleus of Rajini’s work and speed was the name of his game. Armed with these traits and his exquisite dialogue delivery, Rajini pronounced differentiation loudly to the people around. A comparable differentiated global brand launch would be the launch of transparent soap as early as 1789, by Pears. Narrowing Focus After attracting consumers through its brand differentiation and characteristic traits, Brand Rajini realized that style and substance were the core strengths that needed to be kept in focus. A Brand signifies trust and hence has the duty to live up to expectations. Brand Rajini did so, sometimes even exceeding expectations. Soon, Brand Rajini’s focused style became the talk of the town. Fans tried to emulate elements of his style: twist of the glasses, chucking of the cigarette to the lips, lighting of matchstick using only one hand. Most failed, but those who succeeded presented them in front of their friends with Rajini’s characteristic punch line: ‘How is it?’ (‘Ithu Epdi Iruku?’). Starbucks is a comparable global brand that narrowed its focus to brewed coffee which helped them to establish themselves strongly. Subway, focusing only on submarine sandwiches, while initially offering almost anything for the customer on the go, is another example. Emotional Connect Rajinikanth played a character role in “Aarilirunthu Arubadhu Varai” there were no histrionics. His Hunter’s role in “Thaai Meethu Sathiyam” won him the hearts of MGR fans. In him, the fans of Sivaji and MGR saw a common friend. Brand Rajini won the war but

without a battle. With acceptance from both sides of the coin, there was no need for a toss. From then on, there was no stopping Brand Rajini. Apple does not sell products; it sells the brand, evoking in people’s minds a mix of hopes, dreams and aspirations. Similarly, Rajini’s admirers don’t go to watch just movies; they go to watch Rajini himself. Brand Rajini sells itself - the products are secondary to the brand. Powerful taglines Every successful brand has an awesome tagline. Indeed some brands have taglines which are more famous than the brand name itself. You know which brand we are talking about when I say 'Just do it', or 'I'm lovin' it', or 'Connecting people'. In the case of the superstar, the tagline is replaced by his punch dialogues. 'Yen vazhi, thani vazhi' ('My path, is a unique path'), 'Naan oru dhadava sonna, nooru dhadavai sonna maathiri' ('If I say it once, it’s as good as saying it hundred times'), and other such punch dialogues became such a rage as they were deeply associated with the character as such. Also, unlike normal dialogues which are fleeting in nature, these dialogues

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cover story cover story | | Brand Rajini

markathon|may 2013 markathon|month 2013

consistently appear during milestone moments in the movie.

retains the classic thud-thud sound in its engine as its part of the experience of driving a Bullet.

Consistency of Communication

What Rajini offers you is not just a movie, but rather a movie watching experience. The very fact that it is so hard getting a First Day First Show ticket makes it all the more exciting for everyone involved to try and get one. And it almost feels like a mini-victory when the ticket is in hand.

Excellent brands have a positioning in the market which they are always aware of. Coke ads have always been about 'Enjoying'. For years together now, Amul has been following a template of doing a parody on anything which is making news through its cartoon strip like ads and people love it. The Superstar has been the epitome of consistency and reinforcement. Most of his movies fall into a template of good-vs.-evil, with an introduction song, a

fun-filled first half, trouble and pain followed by a climax where the good finally triumphs. Right from the first instant, the audience knows that the hero is going to win, but they still stay glued on to see how. Even the trademark way, in which his name is displayed, right at the beginning of the movie is an example of this consistency. Delivering an experience People know that the coffee in Cafe Coffee Day is overpriced, but still go there because they cherish that experience. The silencer technology which mutes the engine sound in bikes is ages old, but still Royal Enfield

Brand Rajini’s Point of Difference (POD) was that it was desirable, it differentiated and it delivered.

What does Brand Rajini offer for different target

groups? BRAND RAJINI’S VALUE The latest Forbes India’s top 100 celebrity list was topped by Shahrukh Khan and even featured Sunny Leone at number 71 but did not have a place for THALAIVAR (that’s how his fans refer to him as, which means leader). So does it mean that Brand Rajini is not worth it? No! The simple reason can be explained by taking the example of Apple Inc. There is not much frenzy around Apple products throughout the year but before the release of any new Apple product, there is a big hullabaloo surrounding it and the brand speaks volumes for itself. But that does not mean that at other times of the year the brand recall is poor. There is always awe for the Apple products. Similar is the case with Brand Rajini. The craze amongst the media and audience before a movie launch is unparalleled, but during other times of the year too, there is always the admiration for this man. Even though Forbes India knows the value of this brand, it cannot quantify it, as one of the basic parameters - “Revenues from endorsements” is N/A for Rajinikanth. This makes one wonder more about how he

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cover story cover story | | Brand Rajini is still able to sustain the BRAND that he is. Read on. SUSTAINABILITY It’s his other face behind the humungous on-screen

markathon|may markathon|month 2013 2013 made it to the coveted broadcast list of NHK. It was also publicly broadcasted in 2002 in Japan which was something very new to the otherwise conservative Japanese public broadcaster. Since then, Rajini is a name known to every household in Japan. The irony is that the movie was never publicized as a Rajinikanth movie in Japan but after the release of the movie, Brand Rajini grew all by itself. One may think “Why is brand presence in just one country and especially Japan, celebrated so much and written about?“ The answer is that “Muthu” is the first and the only successful Indian movie released in Japan. This is a territory yet to be conquered even by the likes of Shahrukh or Salman Khan and Bollywood is still hoping to tap the Japanese market. A brownie point for the readers: The Rajini brand loyalty is so high in Japan terms, we call this “Brand Power”. but it’s more startling to know that Rajinikanth has not visited Japan even once till now. In marketing In marketing terms, we call this “Brand Power”.

Let’s get down to the 4P analysis of “Brand Rajini” Product: ones that makes Brand Rajini a sustainable and inimitable brand – SIMPLICITY! The man does not like to wear glamorous clothes or use costly phones for that matter. He is content with wearing rubber slippers and dhoti — that’s the real him. Yet another reason why he is the most celebrated brand is his impeccable success record at the box office. This may bring the question of “What about his failure movies then?” But only his ardent fans know what this man has done to shield his producers from financial troubles at such times.

In his early days, Rajini defied conventions and that defined this star. He started having punch dialogues for himself, had his own style for even a simple walk or while flipping cigarettes and these worked wonders for this conductor-turned-superstar. He made everyone feel like a superstar. Also what sets “Rajini the product” apart is his humble nature, simplicity and the variations in the roles he has portrayed over the years.

GLOBAL PRESENCE Every brand tries to target the domestic market initially and then gradually moves towards capturing the global market. But for Rajini, in spite of a not so great nationwide brand presence (read courtesy Rajinikanth jokes circulating throughout North India) the case is different. He has a strong and unbelievable fan base in Japan. The 1996 release “Muthu” started the way for the brand. The movie ran for a record 23 weeks with a 90% occupancy throughout and also

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cover story cover story | | Brand Rajini

markathon|may 2013 markathon|month 2013 and so does Rajini. Unlike the Hollywood and Bollywood heavyweights, he has hardly promoted any of his movies. Brand Rajini is a class apart here as well. He does not seek the audience, the audience seek his divine Darshan and do all the promotion they can. This in turn makes the media do free publicity for his movies. So with all the marketing Gyaan from Kotler et al., 4P analysis has never been so idealistic for any brand right? Well that’s Brand Rajini for you.

Brand Rajini: Decline and resurgence Price: Price was never a bothering criterion for this brand. Producers never hesitated to pay him even if it was a huge sum. Why? Because there was always the guarantee of recovering your money from a Rajini movie in spite of it being a box office hit or flop. He was a man of his words and returned money to distributors and producers if his movie failed. So in such a WIN-WIN situation, the miniscule topic of price never cropped up. Place/ Position: So what’s the segmentation and targeting for Brand Rajini? “UNIVERSAL” it is. Only a very few products can be of same utility to all sections and strata of the society. Rajini is one of those elite products. You could be a class A, B, C audience in a movie theatre but the madness is the same across every fan for every Rajini movie. Such a positioning is another reason behind the success of the phenomenon “RAJINI”.

Now, it seems as though Brand Rajini is immortal. Hold on. There have been ups and downs even for this brand. Let us have a brief analysis on the decline of the brand. Looking through his career graph spanning 38 years, one can identify three periods in which Brand Rajini was on a decline. The years 1979 tough for Volumes films, the fan

and 1980 were Rajini. of

Promotion: Is there a need for any promotion for this legendary brand? Well we don’t think so

10 19

cover story cover story | | Brand Rajini frenzy, non-stop work, new found wealth and other such circumstances - Brand Rajini was going through a rough patch. Rajinikanth was declared by media to be in a critical mental health situation. There were

reports of non-cooperation that disturbed directors. There were reports of violent incidents too. Brand Rajini was in the news for the wrong reasons. With Dharma Yuddam (War for Dharma), Brand Rajini bounced back; Rajini proved that he was not a snuff box and scripted a spectacular recovery.

markathon|may 2013 markathon|month 2013 from the number of movies he has been doing off late or the kind of roles he has been choosing. But why is the brand on the decline? In an era where commercials and endorsements makes or breaks a celebrity’s popularity, Rajini has consciously made the decision not to endorse any product or brand. This literally means that he has not told his audience which car to drive or which energy drink is the secret behind his success. But on the other hand, it also means that there is a decline in the Brand Rajini and eventually audience cannot recall the brand. Ten years down the lane, Sachin can still be in touch with the audience by endorsing brands but the way ahead for Rajini is not going to be smooth. Neither can he act in more movies nor does his personal policy of not endorsing brands is going to help him. So is Rajini bothered about all this? Well we don’t think so. All that he would say is “Aandavan nallavangala sodhippaan, aana kai vidamaatan! (God will test the endurance of good hearted, but will never let them down) “ Will Brand Rajini still survive the test of time? We’ll have to wait and watch.

The second instance of signs of decline of Brand Rajini was around the time of release of Baba (2002). A local political party spread the propaganda that Rajini set a bad example for the youth in the movie; theatre screens were burnt; film reels were snatched. Brand Rajini had failed with Baba. But the brand made an unprecedented move by personally repaying the producers and distributors for their losses. By accepting the truth of failure, Rajini won the hearts of many. But predictions that Baba was Rajini’s last, spread like wildfire. Three years later, Rajini would launch his film Chandramukhi in 2005, which would run for 800 days. Brand Rajini was resurrected, yet again. Last but not the least, Rajini turned 62 on 12.12.12 (Yes, his fans went berserk that day, needless to say). But the age signifies only one thing. In spite of being treated as God by his fans, this man will also age and will have to retire one day. It is also clear

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cover story cover story | | Brand Rajini

markathon|may 2013 markathon|month 2013

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1 crore 7 lakh 15 thousand 2 hundred 99. These are the number of ‘likes’ on Vodafone’s Facebook page. In other words, this is the measurable target audience, with which Vodafone has a direct communication link. Cost? Rs.0. Digital Marketing has come a long way from early 2000s, when it was only about advertising. In Prateek Savla the past 5-6 years, the rise of IMT Social Media, Web 2.0 and smartphone affordability, has made it more about the experience you give to your customers, how relevant they feel you are, and, the curiosity you can generate in their mind. Also, it is way cheaper. Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube only require a good internet connection to kickstart your marketing strategy. Globally, traditional marketing is dead. In India, however, it still rules & digital marketing , still in its infancy, is mostly used as a supplement. However, this will change soon, as, the fundamental cited advantage of traditional marketing, that anyone with a newspaper, television or radio can, learn about your brand, is being increasingly threatened by the rise of internet connected socially aware & smartphone totting youth, which, comprise 60% of our population. The fact that internet penetration, has gone from 1.65crores in 2002 to 12.1crores in 2012, and poised to grow to 37 crores in 2015, further strengthens this argument. Pepsi, in stark contrast to its earlier strategies, has created a digital leg called 'Pepsi Shot 60' allowing users to upload films, perform virtual jigs and a range of activities to get them involved, as a part of its new ad message “Oh yes abhi!” To conclude, going ahead, digital marketing will surely transform from its current position of supplementing the traditional marketing, to, being supplemented by it and has undoubtedly, sounded a death knell for traditional marketing.

markathon | may 2013

Digital Marketing is mid-way between the death knell and jumping the gun for traditional marketing. As a death knell can be said as a bell rung to announce a death. But Digital Marketing cannot erode the traditional marketing just like that. There are enormous reasons for the same. Saurabh Kumar Firstly, the number of people NIRMA University who are tech savvy is minuscule in regard to the one who prefer and trust Traditional Marketing techniques. Moreover, there are products which cannot be brought without undergoing manual touch and feel. Jumping the gun is required sometimes for change. This leads to inventions, growth and development. Still in this modern and changing era Digital Marketing is not something which is done too soon. A proper thought must be given before launching a product. Both pull and push digital marketing strategies are used in this case. This is similar to traditional marketing where people either see the advertisement and go for buying or people are pulled by the brand name and its quality. After coming up of lucrative offers from e-commerce websites, things selling have gone innovative. Over all it is an appreciable move and helps to grow and nurture. Just after starting a marketing campaign online the sales may or may not go up. At the end of the day, whether the campaign is Digital or traditional, quality matters at the end. Along with quality, brand, price and satisfaction are the other criteria.

At the end of the day, whether the campaign is Digital or traditional, quality matters at the end

Digital marketing will transform from its current position of supplementing traditional marketing

war zone | eye 2 eye

Topic for the next issue Eye to Eye: “Pepsi' 160 Crore IPL bet: Marketing Masterstroke or Miscalculated Mayhem” Your opinion (view/counterview) is invited. Word limit is 250-300. Last date of sending entries is 18th May, 2013. Include your picture (JPEG format) with the entry 22

markathon | may 2013

war zone | silent voice

Silent Voice

LAST MONTH’S RESULTS Theme: “McDonald’s Health” WINNER: Prafull Srivastava Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, Kolkata Congratulations!!! Prafull receives a cash prize of Rs 500!

Saurabh Kumar |Institute of Management, NIRMA University

NEXT THEME FOR SILENT VOICE: “Sleepwell Mattress” LAST DATE OF SENDING THE PRINT AD: 18th May, 2013 EMAIL ID: Send your entry in JPEG format named as SilentVoice_<Your Name>_<Institute>only This time we have introduced a new rule: 30 % weightage will be given to the popularity of your print ad on Facebook  We will upload your entries on 18th May; send your respective link to you; you need to share your entry and get as many likes as possible for the same before 25th May EOD Remember, only creative and whacky stuff sells on Facebook !! 15 23

specials | ADdicted

markathon | may 2013

Ad-dicted Swikruti panda | iim s

PRODUCT: Dove’s Real Sketches (part of the Real Beauty Campaign)

Sushree tripathy | IIM S

PRODUCT: Park Avenue POSITIONING: “Zara Soongh Ke Toh Dekho”

POSITIONING: “You are more beautiful than you think.” CREATIVE AGENCY: Ogilvy Brazil

CREATIVE AGENCY: Publicis Ambience, India

YouTube Link

YouTube Link:



The ad has been very beautifully conceived showing a former police sketch artist, who is capable of giving real face to someone’s description. To his villa, women come and try to describe themselves, their face’s appearance, as they perceive. Then in a while some strangers who had a short encounter wit/h these ladies are invited in and they try and describe them. So, two sketches culminate for the same woman and each of them come back and notice that their version of others’ description is more affable and congenial. This experience makes them realize that their self-perceptions are harsh. They should start appreciating themselves for the beauty they sprinkle in life every day and feel nice about it.

Every other brand in the men’s deodorant space today conveys, through its ad film, that you can just spray the product and sit back while women swoon over you. While consumers are finding it difficult to distinguish one deodorant ad from another, Park Avenue in its latest campaign attempts to break away from this parity. It shows a man taking the product instead of a woman, along with him as a romantic companion out to dinner, parties, vacations and much more. The ad urges the viewers to spray the new Park Avenue deodorants just once with the line ‘Zara soongh ke toh dekho’ and guarantees you would fall in love with it and carry the product with you wherever you go.



Catch/Miss- Catch

Catch/Miss- Miss

Women, generally perceive themselves as the more resilient ones. They tend to be the first one to love selflessly and sacrifice endlessly if need be. But in the process many tend to lose themselves. They tend to forget the beautiful aura that they are capable of creating with their real beauty. This beautiful ad by Dove has vividly brought out such emotional tumult by this unconventional mode of sketching only by hearing to descriptions. They have used the monotonous mode of description of beauty with a few repetitive adjectives, which defeats their own claim of standing for real beauty. But the message to millions of women to wheedle them to deeply introspect and recognize their wonderful self is extolled.

While the ad was a pleasant detour from the myriad of Axe-like ads, a number of flaws at the execution level made this ad miss the cut. The tagline ‘Zara Soongh Ke Toh Dekho’ aims to focus on the actual retail level behavior of consumers while deodorantshopping. It hopes to get consumers loyal to other brands to smell the product at the retail-level once and consequently change their brand preference. While the cast, humour and the look & feel of the ad is very ‘English’, the rustic Hindi line suddenly comes from nowhere and offers the ad a strange appeal. The puzzling combination of an "international English voiceover" and "a very Indian brand promise" may just be what brings this nice premise many notches down.


specials | bookmark

markathon | may 2013

Data-Driven Marketing

The 15 metrics everyone in marketing should know

-Mark Jeffery

Review by Pallavi Price Rs.1719 eBook: Rs.491

In this post collapse economic era, every department under the microscope is looking for results. The challenge of providing concrete results is amplified further in case of marketing due to the abstract nature of branding and awareness, and when times are tough is often one of the first to face the scissors. Marketing in these uncertain times will become much more rigorous and each campaign will have to prove its ROI. And how will you do this, Mark Jeffery, a lecturer at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, has an answer.

Summary Jeffery’s book ‘Data-Driven Marketing: The 15 metrics everyone in marketing should know’ is a result of research conducted with hundreds of marketing executives on return on marketing investment (ROMI) .He lays out his case step-by-step and shows how organizations can deliver significant performance gains from marketing. His survey of 252 firms capturing $53 billion of annual marketing spending forms the foundation for this book. With a key focus on using data to drive profits, he compares and contrasts the leaders and the laggards in terms of financial performance and how they use data to drive their marketing activities. Data driven marketing accomplishes the one thing that is most critical in modern times when it comes to running a marketing organization - using data to drive profits. In his book, the author stresses the critical relationships between business and information technology and how, when joined together, these two forces can truly revolutionize business results and he explains it in a way which is easy to follow for ‘non-IT’ people aswell. Fundamental to the 15 metrics described in this book are the use of enterprise customer, operational and transactional data as the book rightly points out the power of “Voice of the Customer” data and how its continued mining is important to driving marketing strategy. The metrics in the book are defined for both tangible and intangible value parameters and are versatile in the sense that they are industry agnostic and are equally

applicable businesses both small and large. But given all its advantages, first thing that comes to mind when it comes to ‘big data’, is the cost associated with implementing it. Jeffery has a simple solution to this “…you don’t need 100 percent of the data and a multimillion-dollar infrastructure to get stared. The key is to focus on collecting the right data. Ask what are the 20 percent of data that will give 80 percent of impact? Start there. Then show the quick win in order to get executive support and secure funding for the next stage.”

Organization The book is divided into three parts. The first does the ground work including how to overcome the obstacles to data driven marketing. The second part elaborated the 15 metrics to improve marketing performance which include financial and non-financial metrics. There are also metrics to measure customer life time value and how to measure ROI on internet marketing. The third part takes it to the next level by explaining how to use these metrics.

Verdict: 4/5 It is extremely well thought out and easy to understand, and the cases presented in the book highlight the significant impact data-driven marketing can have on an organization. It highly readable and practical but it is a big book and sometimes it becomes dry.


This easy to follow book addresses the 3 key aspects of metrics development, Why you need metrics, What to measure and How to measure. It covers the essential concepts that take marketing from an art to a science. Churn, Internal Rate of Return, Take Rate, Customer Acquisition Cost, Customer Satisfaction, WOM, CPC, CPM and more. However, the book shines in its focus on the forest and not the trees. This is not the book for you if you want to know the complexities of how to measure customer conversion rate or what are the best ways to measure your web traffic. But, if you want to understand how these items fit into your overall marketing picture board and how to put the tons of data available today to work and get closer to your customer — it is a perfect addition to your marketing library.


Intra B school | War of Hasta la vistaevent | Farewell tobrands Marketing Club Batch of 2011-2013

markathon|november 2012 markathon|may 2013 2012

Rushika Sabnis Marketing Club is among the most active and fun clubs on campus. Right from the magazine Markathon to Godsellers to the events are all unique and was a great to be associated in each of them Markathon is a compilation of thoughts and ideas of various B school marketing enthusiasts and corporates.

Sowmya R Marketing Club conducts events, arranges guest lectures and undertakes live industry projects. Markathon
















subscriber base of over 4000. Be passionate about whatever you do, there is

Designing for Markathon was the best memory

no better way of marketing.

for me.

Umang Kulshrestha

Swati Nidiganti Working for marketing club was always so enriching, thanks to the brilliant set of people

Marketing Club, IIM Shillong gave me the


opportunity to











skills and techniques.

Markathon was very close to my heart, for I am


a writer and Markathon was one of the biggest

marketing gimmicks of various companies etc.

motivations to join the club.

because we had read not just to write ourselves

Marketing is a very demanding field, any amount of knowledge can be insufficient, so

gave me

motley ideas, updates,

but also read various monthly entries which proved to be such huge learning for all of us.

the more you read the better.

14 26

Intra B school | War of Hasta la vistaevent | Farewell tobrands Marketing Club Batch of 2011-2013

GSN Aditya Marketing Club is a unique platform that has

markathon|november 2012 markathon|may 2013 2012

Mayur Jain


Marketing Club is a platform which gives you

classroom learning and the real world

passion, liveliness and motivation

Markathon has been instrumental in laying

Markathon leaves no effort in rejuvenating and








the foundation of our club. It gets bigger and

capturing the minds of not only the marketing

better every year

enthusiast but even beyond

Every meeting where we sit down to plan any

My fondest memory in the club would be

of our events and in some cases judging the

conceptualizing GodSellers, an event which


gives IIM Shillong the liveliest day on campus








Priya Agrawal

Piyush Agarwal Marketing






awesome each

group one



passionate about Marketing than the other.


ahead to bring exciting, lively and creative

Marketing is one stream where you follow your instinct, passion and creativity

"Innovation and Marketing" are the only two detailing

freshness of ideas and always goes one step events to bring out the marketing guru in all.

Markathon is a must read for any Marketing


Marketing Club is one club that believes in






The job appeal is more close to heart for marketers and that makes marketing a fun career to pursue.


specials | radical thoughts specials | radical thoughts

Apple is still better than Samsung, Google or Amazon. The best. Ashok A | IIM S I can imagine the amount of hues and cries that would be generated by supporters of Samsung, Google and Amazon and also by Anti-apple gadget lovers on reading this article. Even my club members and friends would call this an extremely biased piece of article, for they know how big a fan of Apple I am. But I pray you not to jump into a conclusion before reading it fully. I am ready to accept the fact that latest Apple products like iPhone 5 and iPad mini did not evoke the usual awe the previous Apple gadgets have generated. And also Apple has reported its first ever dip in profits in almost a decade, though the company attributes it to low margin iPad minis. But to write off a company which gave us the incorrigible iPods, game-changing iPhones and iPads, ever awesome Macs, most convenient iTunes stores, novel retailing experience at Apple stores, as a company of bygone time like HP or RIM or Yahoo is a blatant, half cooked and ludicrous accusation. Apple is still the best and one of the most innovative companies in the world. No other company has the complete strength like Apple – software ( iOS, OSX etc.), hardware ( do I need to name them?) and services ( Apple store, iTunes store, iCloud etc.). Samsung may have good hardware, Amazon may have awesome service, and Google and Microsoft may be big shots in services and software. But remember none of them are as good as Apple when it comes to completeness. Customers are fickle in their expectations. We all know that. Whenever Apple announces a product, they start fantasizing in their own way – credit card thickness, laser keypad, holographic camera and what not. But they fail to remember one thing; Apple gave us the iPods and iPhones not by knocking at the doors and asking what we expect in a music player or in a mobile. Hundreds of best engineers, designers, marketers, directors and one legend understood us and changed the way we used the gadgets.

markathon | may 2013 markathon|january 2013 Apple launched the first generation iPhone in June 2007 and it did not change much to it until it launched iPhone 4 in June 2010. And there is an underlying reason to it. The main idea behind iPhone is to change the lives of the users. And that will not happen only by iPhone or iPad. These iGadgets have given rise to a whole new market around them - App store with millions of apps, whole range of accessories like docking stations, lenses, headphones and paraphernalia of other things to make life easier. When an iPhone user wants to purchase a sound system, he always goes for a good docking station rather than an expensive sound system. A budding musician always can download a music app rather than setting up a music studio, which is not possible for him. So all this in combination makes life easier. When Apple changes its design often, it becomes difficult for these people to change very often and ultimately this difficulty is transferred to the customer as they will have to buy new accessories every time they purchase a new gadget. That is the main reason why Apple keeps the design constant for a considerable amount of time. But technologically it brings a lot of advancements and changes every time – eyesight camera, lightning pin adapter, Siri – all to make life awesome. And critics say innovation at apple is dead. The main argument they put forward is the death of Steve Jobs. No doubt he is legendary but he was not always right. Many Apples execs like Tim Cook, Jonathan Ive and many more helped Apple grow by turning down Jobs’ decision and these people are still there for Apple. In future, Apple will always be great and it won’t be perfect. And the critics who want to believe that innovation is dead and buried at Apple will magnify these flaws. The big 5 rivals of Apple – Samsung, Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Facebook, have never come up with a product which could make us say that Apple should have done that. And Apple is clearly aware of its shortcoming and will try to eliminate them. On its way this year are iPad mini with retina display, a new iPhone, an iWatch and an Apple TV. And it’s going to be one awesome year of Apple mania for every one of us. So Apple is not dead and will live healthy for years to come.

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markathon | may 2013

specials | updates

By Prateek | IIM-S


Tide from P&G. Ghari has been accepted with open arms by the masses. Let’s see what lies in store for Uniwash.

Paint the world B’lue

KTM 390 Duke: Sports bikers dream

Danone group, the French multinational has launched a new restorative water drink branded as B’lue. The drink loaded with vitamins and minerals targets the increasingly fitness conscious segment who want to drink more than just plain water. The brand has been launched in two flavors – Apple and Guava. Being priced at Rs. 30 for a 500 ml bottle, it will be interesting to see if the brand can generate sufficient interest to boost its bottom-line.

After the success of KTM 200 Duke, the Austrian motorcycle giant plans to launch a 375 cc road sprinter soon in India. The street fighter will be offered in a different paint segment than its earlier version has set high hopes for the biker community with one of the best power to weight ratio offerings. It will be interesting to see how its rival, Honda and Kawasaki try to woo customers and the price war that will follow.

KFC launches Lavazza coffee in UK

Dream new, ‘Dream Neo’ After ‘amazing’ people with its latest diesel sedan, Honda introduces its latest 110cc bike called ‘Dream Neo’. With this, Honda aims to woo the mileage conscious, price sensitive customer base which dreams of owning a bike. Honda, the second largest two wheeler selling company looks to capture a sizeable portion of the market share in the bike segment from Hero and Bajaj with its new model.

The war of tweaking menu to rope is customer is getting hotter. After McDonalds successful coffee campaign where it outdid Costa and Starbucks in UK to become the biggest coffee seller in 2010, KFC seeks to join the race with its latest lavazza offering in order to change the perception that it offers chicken-only products.


It’s an AUDI

After Coke Studio, it’s time for PUMA cricket studio

The sedan which oozes style plans to launch a special edition variant of its A6 premium saloon marking sale of 6000 sedans in the country. The special edition looks to delight the customers with state-of-the-art offerings like 14-speaker Bose Surround Sound System, 4-Zone Deluxe Air Conditioning and the likes for an enjoyable experience.

The sports equipment and apparel company launched its cricket studio featuring Yuvraj Singh and Adam Gilchrist. The stars discuss their on and off field secrets and share their views to come closer to their fans. It seems a nice initiative by Puma to engage cricket fans online via their favorite cricketers.

Slice sheds the ‘Aamsutra’ campaign

BRAND WATCH ‘Ghari’ joins the premium bandwagon with ‘Uniwash’


In a bid to destabilize the throne of HUL in the laundry segment, Rohit Surfactants led Ghari launched an all new Uniwash to lure the premium category customers. This comes in as direct competition to Rin from HUL and

The mercury is soaring higher and summer comes calling. Mangoes are the flavor of the season and to cash in on the craze, Slice has come up with a new campaign “Iske Saamne Sab Pheeka Padh Jayega “to urge the customers that it is the best in its category. This comes as a counter measure to Frooti’s new campaign featuring Shah Rukh Khan. It will be


markathon | may 2013

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interesting to see how people respond to Slice’s new campaign sans the sultry version of Katrina Kaif.

AD Watch Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches One of the most talked about campaigns globally from the stable of Ogilvy Brazil has become virally within a few days of its release. The ad features a trained artist drawing two sketches of person: one based on her description of herself and the other based on a stranger’s description of her looks. The ad concludes that you are more beautiful than your perception of yourself. The USP of this ad lies in the fact the brand does not try to hard sell rather focus on its theme of “beauty”. YouTube Link:

Pyaas Badhao with Limca In its latest avatar, Limca continues with the “Pyaas

Badhao” theme. The ad features Kareena Kapoor Khan who urges a young lad to profess his love for his dame. The ad stands true to the ‘pyaas badhao’ theme and connects well with the target audience via its fresh appeal. It will be interesting to see if the ad helps the brand in improving its bottom-line of balance sheet. YouTube Link:

I feel up with 7UP The ad comes in as a major disappointment and fails to live up to its theme of “I feel up with 7UP”. The ad features a girl standing on a road, who is cheered up by a Kathakali dancer by offering a 7UP and performing some dance moves. The feel up theme is never conveyed and the ad falls flat on its face. Overall, a big thumbs down. YouTube Link:

Articles are invited “Best Article”: Anshul Khandelwal, Prafull Srivastava | IIFT They receive a cash prize of Rs.1000 & a letter of appreciation We are inviting articles from all the B-schools of India. The articles can be specific to the regular sections of Markathon which includes:  Perspective: Articles related to development of latest trends in marketing arena.  Productolysis: Analysis of a product from the point of view of marketing.  Strategic Analysis: A complete analysis of the marketing strategy of any company or an event. Apart from above, out of the box views related to marketing are also welcome. The best entry will receive a letter of appreciation and a cash prize of Rs 1000/-. The format of the file should be MS Word doc/docx. We’re inviting photographs of interesting promotional events/advertisements/hoardings/banners etc. you might have come across in your daily life for our new section “The 4th P”. Send your self-clicked photographs in JPEG format only. The last date of receiving all entries is 18th May, 2013. Please send your entries marked as <ARTICLE NAME>_<SENDERS’ NAMES>_<INSTITUTE> to


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IIM Shillong Markathon May 2013  

IIM Shillong Markathon May 2013