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Conversations are contagious: Richard Pinder, COO, Publicis Worldwide

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Conversations are contagious: Richard Pinder, COO, Publicis Worldwide

Richard Pinder, the recently appointed Chief Operating Officer of Publicis Worldwide, is on a visit to India. In a gathering of the Indian media and advertising fraternity on June 10, 2009, Pinder presented a perspective of marketing and communications in the new world, and the direction that Publicis is taking both globally and in India.

Pinder cited the example of Cadbury Crème Egg communication, and explained how the brand utilised conversations as a medium in its communication plan. He said, “Conversation is the most important and a powerful force for business growth. We see it in our personal life but we often forget it in our business lives.”

He stressed that advice and recommendations have always been the strongest influencers. He added, “Media buzz and online debates are able to take over the traditional marketing of a brand.”

According to him, word of mouth (WOM), as a communication tool, has grown quickly. He said, “WOM is a tool that does not happen just like that – it has to be created. Through WOM, brand communication influences and directs the larger consumer conversation.”

Speaking on the Indian market, he cited the example of Nestle Maggi noodles, and highlighted the recent campaign from the company that celebrated its 50 years completion. The Nestle brand has been an example of changes in conversation over the years keeping the basic brand proposition in mind. He observed, “This campaign managed to get the agenda right in the category conversation.”

One of the other examples Pinder spoke about was HP that changed the conversations of laptops and notebooks, and Orange that changed the conversation in telecommunications.

Pinder concluded by stating, “Every time you see a new concept, ask yourself if the idea is co-creatable, story-able and keeps in the mind the social currency.”


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