Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

Cocky Calories

May 27, 2011 Leave a comment

An illustration of “sexy eating” in an ad by the new The V Spot Café+Bar.

One glitch- it’s a sad copy.

Padma Lakshmi's Carl's Jr burger ad, 2009

Facebook ousts Orkut from top slot in India

August 25, 2010 Leave a comment

Rohit Sharma 

Social networking site Orkut finally gave away the crowning glory of the ‘highest number of users in India’ to Facebook. According to comScore, Inc., grabbed the number one ranking in the category for the first time in July with 20.9 million visitors, up 179 % versus year ago. 

“Though Facebook has tripled its audience in the past year to pace the growth for the category, several other social networking sites have posted their own sizeable gains.” said Will Hodgman, comScore executive vice president for the Asia-Pacific region, in comScore’s press release. 

More than 33 million Internet users age 15 and older in India visited social networking sites in July, representing 84 % of the total Internet audience. India now ranks as the seventh largest market worldwide for social networking, after the U.S., China, Germany, Russian Federation, Brazil and the U.K. The total Indian social networking audience grew 43% in the past year, more than tripling the rate of growth of the total Internet audience in India. posted an especially strong month in July, growing 12% versus June, to capture the top spot in the category with 20.9 million visitors. Orkut ranked second with 19.9 million visitors (up 16% vs. year ago). What’s interesting is to see a taking over popular websites like Twitter and LinkedIn. 

Top Social Networking Sites in India
July 2010 vs. July 2009
Total India – Age 15+, Home & Work Locations*
Source: comScore Media Metrix
India Total Unique Visitors (000)
Jul-2009 Jul-2010 % Change
Total Internet : Total Audience 35,028 39,562 13
Social Networking 23,255 33,158 43 7,472 20,873 179
Orkut 17,069 19,871 16 4,292 4,432 3
Yahoo! Pulse N/A 3,507 N/A 984 3,341 239 N/A 3,267 N/A 1,767 3,206 81 1,562 2,960 89
Yahoo! Buzz 542 1,807 233 407 1,550 281

*Excludes visitation from public computers such as Internet cafes or access from mobile phones or PDAs.

Once you go black, you Can go back!

July 19, 2010 2 comments

Rohit Sharma

“I cannot believe its 2010”, a reviewer of the controversial Vaseline Men Be Prepared application rants on Facebook. Another reviewer goes, “Supporting the maintenance of insecurities about the need for lighter skin is one of the most unscrupulous things a company could do to young men and women the world over. UNILEVER = modern world fail.”

Source: Amul

Hindustan Unilevel Ltd (HUL) and controversies go hand in hand. The issue has always remained the same- they want all of us to “whiten” our skin or how many call it, get “fair”. Companies leading products like Fair & Lovely and Pond’s have always kept the women’s skin lightening debate on rage and this time men are also involved.

‘Vaseline for Men’ has launched a unique application on Facebook that asks you to upload your photograph, which you can then lighten and keep as you profile picture. The application has attracted over 900 fans and almost 9000 monthly users. However, the reviews of the application aren’t every appealing- Based on over 70 reviews, the fairness calculator has received paltry 1.6 stars out of 5. Many are offended by the application and demanding it to be removed. 

According to the research agency AC Nielsen, the Indian market in skin-whitening creams for men and women is now worth over US$430 million and is growing at nearly 18% a year.

FICCI, says that the FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) market in India is worth Rs 1200 billion and HUL has a share of Rs 80 billion in it.

Top Bollywood stars- Shahrukh Khan, John Abraham, Shahid Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan have been promoting men’s skin lightening agents for sometime.  

A member of Facebook group called India against fairness creams comments, “The real issue with it, just like with any beauty campaign, is that it’s taking advantage of people’s poor body image to make a profit. But there are countless products and companies that do this every day all across the world. Entire industries are dedicated to it. If you’re going to be upset about one of them you should be upset about all of them.”  

Do you think it’s another shade of racism or merely a marketing campaign gone totally wrong?

5 Examples How Social Media Can Screw You

April 28, 2010 2 comments

Who da thunk it?

March 22, 2010 Leave a comment

Rohit Sharma

The world isn’t perfect without Prahlad Kakkar…

Or is it?

Post IPL snub, Mandira Bedi sets a feminist statement – protests through a ‘clothes burning movement’. In case you missed it, the brand is called Shree Ganesh.

JK Cement reported huge profit recently and we reveal their secret. The ad is pretty much self-explanatory.

From Bikini to Burqa

February 19, 2010 Leave a comment

Rohit Sharma

If Disney can do it, so can Mattel. Disney brought in a black leading lady as its princess in “The princess & the frog”, Mattel, now hopes to reach out to Muslim girls worldwide through its ‘Burqa Barbie’. The idea is novel- the doll went undercover for a charity auction in connection with Sotheby’s (auctioneer) for Save The Children, a few months back, when Barbie celebrated its 50th anniversary.

A "western" Barbie

But why burqa? After the launch, there were swarms of online protests when people questioned Mattel’s choice of a symbol of oppression. President of the National Organization for Women NY said, “Women are forced to wear the burqa or risk being murdered. Mattel should be ashamed. Making a profit by selling a doll that is clearly wearing a symbol of violence is not acceptable and there should be a public outcry to take this doll off the market.”

Someone in an interview to made fun of the new doll saying, “The message with Barbie for women is you can be whatever you want to be… I have a Barbie in a wheelchair that was only out for six weeks.”

Mattel which reported a 3% slump in the worldwide gross sales for the Barbie brand clearly seem to be desperate.

American writer, Phyllis Chesler said, “Will clean-cut Ken now come (pun intended) with four burqa’ed Barbie doll wives?”

Thai flavoured marketing

February 8, 2010 Leave a comment

Rohit Sharma

Cabbages & Condoms. Pic courtesy-
Cabbages & Condoms. Pic courtesy-

How many reach out to public with a relevant social message and a marketing agenda cleverly packed together? Miles away in Bangkok, Thailand,  Mechai Viravaidya runs an amazing restaurant chain, ‘Cabbages and Condoms’, which gives “information about safe sex in a funny, palatable manner!” The Times of India Crest carried an interesting piece, written by journalist Sharif D Rangnekar, about this restaurant with many flavours! Read it here.

Oh Yes They Did

January 21, 2010 5 comments

Rohit Sharma

For one of the world’s most renowned pizza joint that rule 55 countries including USA, it will be hell of a task to tell everyone that, “Hey, We aren’t that good!”

But that’s exactly what Domino’s Pizza has been telling everyone since last month.

In a not so traditional form of advertising, Domino’s has launched an almost 5 minute ad that focuses on an array of bitter complaints from customers, shows Twitter and Facebook users criticizing the pizzas (customers said Domino’s pies were even worse than microwave pizza and “totally void of flavor) and the company President admitting to their mistakes.

( New Domino’s Pizza – Oh Yes We Did. )

The company that reported net income of US$17.8 million in US, in October last year, is in no mood to take criticism down low – the chain decided to start refurbishing its recipe about 18 months ago. But for a 50 year old company, how ingenious would it be to wash its dirty linen in public saying what we’ve been feeding you for years is just crap? The ad boasts of company’s confidence of staying as the pizza king but moving the focus from speed and reliability to their deteriorating hold on taste seems indigestible.

Haagen Daazs’ Howler

December 17, 2009 4 comments

Rohit Sharma 

Marketing plan gone bad… really bad!

American company that plan to open 30-40 counters in India says on its arrival – Sorry,  foreigners only!

Read this

Would you eat there?

The Pink Money

August 31, 2009 Leave a comment

Manre Ad ScanRohit Sharma

The phenomenal gay ruling has not only opened the gates to a breath in fresh, liberated air for the gay community but also paved way for commercial opportunities for the industries. The change might take a while to perch but the way to cash in on the ruling is beginning to roll. Here’s an article in Hindustan Times that talks about an imminent change in the mindsets, at least that of corporates.  

(Left: An ad published in Delhi Times by Manre- Saket and Absolut)