The afternoon session of Day 2 of Promax&BDA 2005 saw five speakers taking the audience through sessions on emotive resonance, commandments of Indian marketing and kidology.
Australian design house Ink Project’s co-founder and creative director Ken Lambert kicked off the session by explaining the task that his company was entrusted to by the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS), which is Australia's multicultural and multilingual national public broadcaster in television, radio and new media.
The task in front of Ink Project was to re-brand and enliven SBS as a public broadcaster. The channel needed to create an emotional connection with the audience as it was a different channel – a thinking-man’s channel.
“SBS’ programming was very fragmented, had no breaks, and was perceived to be compartmentalised, righteous, arrogant, elitist, niche, stereotyped, confronting, etc. The revamped SBS station ID and promo package was produced over a six-month period and resulted in one of the most refreshing and innovative campaigns seen on Australian TV in years,” Lambert said.
The SBS re-brand project involved giving the channel clean, fresh and original sequences and a variety of different themes. Lambert explained in detail as to how he and his team had modernised the existing design patterns to break the station’s identity and explore its multicultural boundaries.
The session by Sunil Alagh, Chairman, SKA Advisors, was by far the most entertaining one in the afternoon session. Though, according to the initial topic assigned to him, he was to speak on the top five marketing truths, he instead spoke on the commandments of Indian marketing. His first rule: ‘Thou shalt keep it simple stupid!’ spoke about the various companies having similar mission statements (the usual) and thus, the idea was to keep it simple and not complicating the process. He gave the examples of FedEx, Italia Telecom and Barclays Bank.
In his second rule: ‘Thou shalt beg, borrow and steal’, Alagh said that companies should do anything and everything to become better and more competitive. If one needed to steal an idea like what Apple i-Pod did with Sony Walkman’s idea to become the leader, then they should do it, he stressed.
The third and the fourth rules: ‘Thou shan’t do unto others what you do not want done unto you’ and ‘Never chase a jerry in your life’, respectively, stressed on the fact that the winning proposition was what companies needed to look at and work towards. Delivering the fifth commandment: ‘What you take from others can be taken away from you, what you create can’t’, Alagh said, companies should create their own brand values which created greater emotional value for the consumer.
‘Thou shan’t covet thy competitors’ wife’ was the sixth rule, where he gave the example of how Virgin Atlantic had been able to successfully woo British Airway’s customers. He further said, “In marriage, loyalty pays, but in marketing, only infidelity pays the best.” His seventh rule: ‘Don’t look at how much is in the glass, look at the glass’, was to help a company decide if it needed to look at a particular market where it can create its own winning niche. ‘Thou shan’t not mistake thyself for God’ and ‘Thou shalt worship lady luck’ were the eighth and ninth rules, respectively. As far as the last rule was concerned, Alagh said, albeit a bit cheekily, “Don’t wait for me to give you the last commandment, go ahead and make one yourself.”
The next set of sessions deliberated on kids’ channels and their strategies. These channels in India are really pulling up their socks to make their offerings as India-specific as possible. Testimony to this is the introduction of new shows by Nickelodeon – Kids’ Choice Awards, which is an annual event, Betcha didn’t know and You pick live, already famous in other nations.
Speaking more on this, Nickeldeon's Clarence Tan, in the topic ‘Kids Block: Nick that Sticks’, said, “We’ve had successful shows abroad and we are sparing no efforts to get them here for Indian kids. Through our innovative ‘Nick takes over’ series, we intend to do interesting things. The series can be woven around various platforms like ‘Nick takes over – your room’ or ‘Nick takes over – a home’, with reasons being as wild and strange as ‘my sister snores’ or ‘my brother smells’. The Kids’ Choice Awards has entered its 18th year in 2005, and we have plans to introduce the successful show in India soon.”
In another session, Mubina Ansari, Marketing Head, Toon Disney, touched upon the key characteristics of kids’ behaviour in India, such as the need to be empowered, preference of being a part of the community over that of being an individual, sense of ownership, etc, among others. She also rightly pointed out, “Music is an integral part of kids’ lives. One more trend that is relevant to this segment is that of age compression, which has seen kids being more aware, more responsible and mature. Also, kids in India get bored faster, and friendship acts as the glue as they grow up.”
Adding more, Anand Roy, Senior Executive, Marketing, Toon Disney, spoke about the popularity of the Power Rangers. He added, “Observing the tremendous response to Power Rangers in the US, it was introduced in India in 2004. We are sure it will deliver the desired results.” Among the shows in the offing from Toon Disney are KIM Possible, Code Tod which Roy claimed, took interactivity to a new level.
Stating that imagination was a very important element at Disney, Ansari said that one of the key Disney differentiators was the ability to strike a chord with real kids’ lives. She noted that, “Kids are the best brand ambassadors and work better than the celebrities chosen as brand ambassadors.”
A lot of study is being done to understand kids and one can vouch that these channels are just not kidding.