Café Coffee Day: First Indian Brand on foursquare

While having a cup of coffee yesterday at CCD next to my work place, I got to notice this. So, foursquare is in alliance with Café Coffee Day now:

Cafe Coffee Day has launched this offer on 17th Feb 2011. Check in at foursquare and you can get a 15% discount on your 3rd check-in. If you are the Mayor, CCD will serve you a free coffee and 20% discount on every 3rd check-in. As of now this offer is only valid in Bangalore outlets, but they slowly plan to roll it out in other cities too. (via)

Finally foursquare has started tie ups with Indian brands too. With this offer, Cafe Coffee Day is the first Indian Brand on foursquare to have its own Brand Page! In fact it’s good to see this CCD offer, I had created an account on foursquare long back but have not been active there for some or other reason. Maybe it will influence users like me to finally be active with my check ins, after all who would not like to have a free coffee from an outlet where you end up going almost daily :).

Location based customer targeting has been there in India for quite some time now. CCD itself had tied up with Nokia last year for a two month long location based advertising campaign where it was targeting consumers based on their location and then driving them to the nearest CCD outlet. Nokia users with models like N97 and above were served CCD ads on the weather or events page. Clicking on the ad gave users two options – click2web which took them to CCD’s Facebook page and click2route which directed users to the nearest CCD. Now with sites like foursquare which are specifically meant to keep a tab on customer’s location, marketers can leverage these better to serve ads or promotional offers at any particular spot. Even though the user base is not huge as of now and audience type is quite niche but this definitely seems to be one of the interesting newer ways to reach out to the consumers on the move. And you never know, when this niche will actually become mass esp. with promotion triggers from brands and acceptability of more similar services like Facebook Places which may pick up momentum in India as well.

Would be interesting to observe the future trend for this medium, as of now I must check in to foursquare whenever I’m visiting the CCD outlet next :).

A quick take on 2010 & wish you a happy new year!

Well, a lot has happened in 2010 for Indian Marketing and Media industry. While I will come back with detailed posts on some of the brand case studies which created impact this year, but as of now here goes a quick take on my “likes” & “dislikes” for marketing incidents that occurred in 2010

  1. A rebranding which I liked : Indian Rupee Symbol
  2. A rebranding which I disliked: Airtel
  3. A marketing trend which I liked: Social Media becoming mainstream, few predicted this but not many were sure or convinced about it till last year.
  4. A brand which completely wowed me: Flipkart
  5. A brand which always delivered what it committed to me: Indigo
  6. A new product /service which I started using in 2010: Online luxury shopping portals and totally addicted to
  7. A old category coming out with newer marketing techniques: Books, wow what innovative marketing stories in Indian Literature Industry.
  8. An ad which really created a buzz: Volkswagen Vento talking newspaper ads
  9. An ad which I hated : IBIBO, JK Cement Swimming Pool ad
  10. Ad which I liked for its social messaging: ”’Tata Tea Choti & Badi Patti’ and ‘Tum Chalo Toh Hindustand Chale by TOI

I may update this list later if some more related points come to my mind, till then do drop in comments about the stories which you liked or brands which you hated in 2010.

With this last post for 2010, here’s wishing all my readers a very happy and prosperous new year! May you have a rocking & great 2011!

India leads ad spend growth in Asia-Pacific

Indian consumers are spending more and so it does not come as a surprise if Neilsen’s recent report states that India is leading the ad spend market in overall Asia. Indian consumers have now the pocket to spend and the willingness to upgrade; be it any class of the society there is this inner need and aspiration to move up to the next level of lifestyle amongst most Indians. They are aware of the global trends and are looking at mediums to garner more info about latest products & fads. Lots of Indian & global Brands do recognize this ambitious consumerism in India and are not hesitant now on spending their bucks at the right place. They know that as long as they are able to create that appeal, fulfill their needs and cater to their aspirations, they will get the results on their spends. Here are some interesting facts from the report which further highlights the increasing statistics of ad spend in India:

According to this survey, India saw a 28 % year-on-year growth and a 32 % growth in the second quarter of 2010 as compared to last year in ad spend on mainstream media (via). Overall, across the 12 markets in Asia Pacific the Q2 ad spends showed a 15 % lift over Q2 2009, and a 17 % lift in the first half of 2010 over the same period in 2009. Of significance, is the fact that after the first half of 2009 which saw a minimal 3 % lift over 2008, the first half of 2010 recorded an impressive 20 % increase over the ‘pre- global financial crisis’ period of 2008. India recorded a 33 % increase in the first half of 2010 over the same period in 2009.

Across the region, advertising spends are highest on television, but the largest proportion of India’s media spend was garnered by newspapers. Newspapers are also the highest ad spend growth drivers in India, growing at 32 % year on year; the highest percentage growth for newspaper ad spends across all 12 markets covered in the Nielsen survey. Overall, newspaper ad spends grew by 17 % year on year in the region.

Television followed newspapers in spend growth and grew at 24 % in India and 16 % regionally. Amongst mainstream media, magazines saw an 8 % Y-O-Y increase in ad spends in India and a 9 % growth across the 12 markets in the Asia-Pacific region.

Recent posts at

Have not updated my new posts on here, so providing the links to some of recent posts at PI:

WoMM – The Evergreen Strategy for Free Marketing: “Word of mouth” marketing is an age old concept now and from bigger organizations to start ups, almost everybody wants to take this free marketing path. While some think that WOM is something which will happen on its own, some go ahead & incentivize their customers to spread the word and then there are some who take extreme steps of contracting paid outsourced help to create positive word of mouth for their brands. Despite this being “known-by-all” concept, how many startups are there who genuinely have been focusing on this free marketing route and targeting the consumers who can be influencers for fresh leads? Read More…

India to overtake China in mobile market by 2013 [Report]: As per a latest report by London based Informa Telecoms, India’s mobile subscriber base is set to rise to 1.159 billion by the end of 2013, thus making it the world’s largest mobile market. While India is poised to have phenomenal growth, the market in China is actually set to slow down. By the end of 2013, the number of active mobile subscriptions in China will be 1.106 billion. Read More…

Voice Blogging Service by Airtel – Voice is a Commodity: Bharti Airtel has officially unveiled its voice-blogging service now enabling Airtel subscribers to share recorded voice updates with their friends and family members. Read More… – Online shopping portal exclusively for women: Joining the ecommerce trail now is Oyegirl – an online shopping portal for women. Though is yet another online shopping portal but this one is different in a way that it’s targeting only women and as their introduction reads – it is India’s first ecommerce portal exclusively for women. Read More…

Indiatimes launches HiBuddy, Voice Blogging Service: We had earlier written about voice based blogging service by Airtel. Now Indiatimes has introduced a similar voice-based social networking and blogging platform, called ‘HiBuddy’ for Reliance mobile phone users. Read More…

Facebook reaches 12 million user base in India: While Facebook crossed 500 million user base mark worldwide, it has also shown very positive growth in India and has touched 12 million mark as on yesterday. Users in India are uploading more than 53 million photos in a month and even mobile usage has increased nine-fold in the past year. Read More…

Consumer Confidence Index – Indians are Super Confident: While it was 127 in last quarter, it’s 129 for this quarter; Indian consumers remain most upbeat in the word despite food prices crisis at home and improving outlooks elsewhere. With a two point increase, at 129 points Consumer Confidence Index is the highest in India in the latest Nielsen Global Consumer Confidence Survey followed by Indonesia and Vietnam both 119 index points. While India is ahead for last two quarters, but up till Jan’2010 it was actually Indonesia which was topping the list. Read More…

The art of communication

Sometimes even the most important thing can be communicated in such a simple way and an interesting communication always adds to the beauty of any promotion campaign.
Visited the Café Coffee Day next to my office and the two cappuccinos served for me and my colleague looked like this 🙂

Need I write anything more? Nahi na…the messaging on coffees brought smile to my face and personally speaking, I liked it.
Myntra, a Bangalore based personalized merchandising company has done a tie-up with Café Coffee Day to promote its IPL special t-shirts and jerseys in CCD outlets. Instead of the whole outlet being painted with danglers or streamers, this was the communication to me as a customer and my immediate reaction was – “what’s this about, can you tell me more details”? As a customer it appealed to me at the first exposure itself and made me curious enough to ask for details. No heavy bombardment with the messaging yet the connect with a potential customer established at the first point itself 🙂

Bad product & worse marketing : IBIBO social games

The worst thing that can happen to a bad product is good marketing…but what about the case where the product is bad and the marketing is even worse? Hmmm…then I guess it becomes a case study on brands like IBIBO with title – “how not to market a product”. No, seriously wasn’t balti ad enough that IBIBO has come out with yet another innovative campaign “why play akele”? Not one, not two, rather they have a whole series of creatives for this campaign but what is interesting is to decide which one of these can be crowned as the worst of the lot? This or this or OMG this i.e., the aunty ad on radio, well my vote clearly goes to aunty ad on radio! Every time I listen to this one on 94.3, I can’t resist myself from changing the channel, even if it means listening to kannada songs for a while on mirchi. I detest this ad so very much!

On a serious note, I’m wondering what exactly could be the reason for IBIBO to go ahead with such a crappy campaign? Millions of money spent just like that, effort wasted without any thought on promoting a product which by nature should have been actually promoted through a viral route. A copied concept which due to lack of any innovativeness decided to take the paid marketing path only leading to further disasters enroute. Neither the messaging is right, nor is the execution. To add to that the overall tone of the creatives is so suggestive & absolutely repulsive for the relevant TG of the campaign. I’m wondering is it me or is it everyone who finds these creatives to be totally absurd and disgusting? I think it won’t be a bad idea to do a quick survey on general reaction towards this campaign & send the results to IBIBO marketing team…maybe it can save us from further tortures of “why play akele” kinda campaigns in future.

Public service initiative🙂 : May I please request all of you to take out few seconds and just give your opinion below? It would be interesting to observe the results, though I don’t have any doubts on the outcome.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in my post are personal & I request readers to express their own judgements & take their own call.

[polldaddy poll=2740294]

Update on 8th Mar’ 2010: This poll is closed now for voting as per the expiry timeline of the poll. I will be publishing the result of it in my next post, for now you can just see the % of results by clicking “view results”

“Paa” Marketing: Auro is the strongest marketing pull

For quite some time, I have not blogged about movie marketing mainly because of two reasons – 1.) I think like all other industries, even marketers from Bollywood were lying low due to economy as well as industry specific reasons and 2.) Like typical herd mentality, all marketers for past few months have been using almost ditto strategies again and again for their movie promotions – same website, social media, contest, reality TV presence etc. etc. Nothing new or innovative was coming out which could be discussed or talked about. But well looks like this monotony is going to be broken with the release of Paa. Not only the trailor but the promotion and presentations too are interesting enough to generate curiosity amongst the audience. Here are some of the new strategies which the marketers are using to promote this movie:

  • Brand Auro: Despite the fact that one of the biggest brands of Bollywood is playing the lead role of the movie, what is interesting is that the movie in all its promotions and appearances is focusing on Brand “Auro” and not Brand “Big B”. The promotion started with a teaser campaign with just a glimpse of Auro and at first look I actually didn’t recognize that it was Mr. Bachchan himself. Since then I’ve seen the promotion of this movie in different reality shows as well as television programs but everywhere it’s Auro who has been the focus and not the star-cast like other movie promotions.
  • Smart messaging: These days in cinema halls you won’t be surprised if you get a sweet chide like – “Stand up for the national anthem, or I’ll tell Paa”, or “Switch off your cell phones, or I’ll tell Paa”. This is how the movie is being promoted in theaters via slide shows and messages. Interesting and surely catchy!
  • Engaging properties: Apart from the regular engagement properties like on-ground events and contests, online website, presence on social networking sites like Orkut, Facebook, Twitter, channel on YouTube etc., this movie has been creating a difference through some other interactive promotions too, for e.g., the apt placement of Auro Dance within the cricket match. During the recent series, whenever a wicket was taken a small figure of Auro used to come on the screen, doing that unique “Auro dance” (you can see this dance on its official website as well). On the occasion of children’s day, contests like “Paa and I” where a child can be the father for a day or “I Love my Paa” was organized and all the contests received enthusiastic participation from the kids.
Good to see a fresh movie theme with fresh marketing initiatives. This is a low budget film and hence not much money has been spent on promotional activities but even with a small budget, I think the movie has created enough buzz in the market due to its intelligent strategies. And who needs a large budget to promote a film which has got 67 year old Amitabh Bachchan playing the character of a 13 year old kid. The most expensive element in this 16 crore film is actually Big B’s make-up which accounts to 10 % of the overall budget; no wonder his looks in the film is topic of such a high interest amongst media as well as audience. Mr. Bachchan’s make up for his character Auro is actually going to be one of the strongest marketing pulls for this movie.

All that glitters may be gold this diwali – Indians to go online for shopping?

Update: Catch my latest post on pluggdin:

  • All that glitters may be gold this diwali: It’s that time of the year again which most Indian marketers wait with bated breath, there is festivity all around and thanks to better market condition, Indian consumers are looking forward to splurge this festive season both in offline as well as online shopping. Read More…

Wish all readers a ‘bagful’ (after shopping ) & prosperous diwali! 🙂