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Saatchi & Saatchi’s Stephen Rothman on mobilisation of ideas

23-May-2011
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Saatchi & Saatchi’s Stephen Rothman on mobilisation of ideas

“An idea is meant to be shared, and if it isn’t shared, it’s a dead idea,” stresses Stephen Rothman, Global Planning Head on Pampers, at Saatchi & Saatchi. According to him, an idea got participative or mobilised when it was meaningful and relevant, where people were willing to engage and share it with others.

On his first visit to India, Rothman is quite amazed at the potential that India has for a category product like Pampers. However, the main purpose of his visit is about conducting a training programme involving ideas that are participative and thus, the need for moving from sheer traditional communication ideas towards mobilisation of an idea.

Speaking on the changing communication landscape, he noted, “Media has become too diversified; TV is effective, but gradually losing the effectiveness that it had. In the Western markets, the younger generation, who are the next consumers, are just not watching TV anymore, and by not exploring ideas that can be spread beyond television, we are losing the potential of the interconnected nature that the digital and Internet spaces provide. Hence, we will have to move from the old marketing model of the 20th century, which was through broad mass media.”

Rothman is specifically excited about India as a market for Pampers, given the high rate of population growth in the country, and added that there was a huge potential where the category growth was coming from.

The ‘mommy’ factor
Comparing India to the Western markets, Rothman explained, “Based on experiences in other markets, our consumers for Pampers can be different in this market. I am very fascinated about what the differences are and who the influencers are. What we are seeing in other developed markets is that our TG ‘mothers’ for Pampers are real connecters. They like to connect with other moms and they value the online space as they are able to do that. So there is an opportunity for brands to helping moms to connect and providing information that is important to them. For example, in the US mothers spend more time on Facebook, gathering information that they need. In many ways, it’s almost like the TV earlier that was on all the time; now it’s Facebook that is on all the time. Thus, for the brand to actually improve the value of their experience shall be the new way to connect and build brand loyalty.”

Elaborating on the purpose of his visit, Rothman said, “This is a part of my first visit to the Asia market. Thus, my visit included Beijing, Singapore and now Mumbai. I am here to get my first feel of the markets and I have had some initial meetings with clients to understand what their businesses are.”

Commenting on the other emerging markets, he noted that besides India, other markets like China, Indonesia and Latin America were spaces where the category was underdeveloped. He pointed out that these were the markets where there were many mothers who still used cloth nappies and were not clear on the benefits of using disposables. “So those are the markets where this particular category is still underdeveloped and are attracting Pampers and other baby care products outside nappies,” Rothman added.

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