Posts Tagged ‘Ambient Advertising’

You’ve probably seen the ‘boyfriend chair’ in clothing stores for bored shopping companions. Now IKEA has taken the concept one step further by creating a “crèche” for retail-weary men, complete with Xbox consoles, pinball machines, continuous televised sport and free hot dogs. MÄNLAND is being trialled for four days this Father’s Day weekend [Sept 2 in Aus.] as a male-only play space to hang out in while wives and girlfriends peruse the aisles. Publicity manager Jude Leon said the idea was modelled on the Swedish furniture giant’s existing child play area, SMALAND. Ms Leon said women were given a buzzer to remind them to collect their other half after 30 minutes of shopping.

Madman Thoughts:

More of a Marketing Strategy than an advertising one, but a rather interesting case study for Indian retail industry. Quite often we have seen sporadic attempts of coffee shops being setup, for e.g. Shoppers Stop or the Java green coffee at Reliance web worlds. Is there any consumer insight to support these? Or are they a part of the whims and fancies of management?

With consumer research, always been on the back burner, I fail to understand when will these retail giants step-up to the challenge of providing consumers more “reasons to enter” the store. They aren’t selling experiences but commodities, something our dear Steve Jobs never did. And with the online world going berserk, none of our stores offer shareable experiences.

The most daunting task lying with our big retail honchos is the lucid fact that neither one has managed to develop a distinct positioning in the minds of the consumer with the sole exception of Big Bazaar which means “Sasta/Value for Money/Cheap”. And, McDonald’s does a great job with its happy meal and Rs. 10/- softy. The kid has a reason to enter and the parents get the perception that McD’s offer Value for Money.

But, sadly our Pantaloons, Big Bazaar, Lifestyles, Shoppers Stop and others, just don’t care to give us a “Reason to Enter!”

Kishore Bhai, am I wrong?


The most beautiful concepts, are the one which attract the TG and not annoy them. Durex concept executed in Taiwan, surely falls in the same category. I don’t have to say much on this, the transcript of the entire thought is as follows:

Taiwan category sales volume was in decline. To increase condom purchases we needed to remind our young audience of the risks of unprotected sex —task effectively done in other markets via sampling. Given the cultural taboos in Taiwan, regular promoters in the streets were not being able to achieve the daily contact goals. We had to find a new and more effective way to get our products into the consumer hands to start conversations. All Taiwanese generations frequently consult fortune-tellers to know their fate in wealth, health and specially love. With a very limited budget we created an unbranded fortune-teller machine called “Xerud” and placed it in bars, nightclubs and karaoke bars where the inhibitions are lessened. “Xerud” handed out predictions related to one’s sexual life and relationships together with the most relevant sample condom based on the forecast and the product benefit. The sample pack also contained educational tips about safe sex. In average a street promoter handed out 23 samples an hour while “Xerud” handed out an average of 77. Most importantly we’ve softened inhibitions and started meaningful conversations. The full campaign was led by sampling but also had a TVC, print/online ads, online predictions, a Facebook page and in-store POSM. The impact on the sales volume was a 4% increase while the category sales volume was in negative growth, -5%. The Durex market share also reached an historical high in February 2011 with 54.7%.

A young man was left duct-taped to a pillar in the center of Serbian capital city Belgrade, as if it was result of a last night’s prank. Shocked and confused passers-by did all the media work via social networks within only a couple of hours. All national web portals, newspapers, radio and (competitive) TV stations reported about the “bizarre” event, generating around 100 000 euros media coverage. Following “Pranked” weekend had the highest ratings in history of MTV Serbia. Production euros spent: 50. Media euros spent: 0.

Simple, effective and to the point communication. the viral effect does the entire work. To understand and develop Viral ideas, the following attributes ( borrowed from Seth Godin’s Blog ) have to be considered and mulled upon :

What makes an idea viral?

For an idea to spread, it needs to be sent and received.

No one “sends” an idea unless:
a. they understand it
b. they want it to spread
c. they believe that spreading it will enhance their power (reputation, income, friendships) or their peace of mind
d. the effort necessary to send the idea is less than the benefits

No one “gets” an idea unless:
a. the first impression demands further investigation
b. they already understand the foundation ideas necessary to get the new idea
c. they trust or respect the sender enough to invest the time

Once, we have our answers and fit the frame-work around these ingredient points, the probability of creating viral ads/ideas would definitely boost.

Nonetheless, being a media darling also helps, an ambient idea inevitably would need a “media steroid” shot in-the-arm, making it more valuable to consumers as well as advertisers. Therefore, post the plan of a great idea, we often tend to forget to dip it to main line media or add a PR angle to the same.  Is it true or am i just blabbering?

Ok, ok before you all pull out brickbats, I understand that most of my 9500 hits are from the APAC region, in acute contrast to the events which are predominantly encompassed out of the west.

Candidly, isn’t history repeating itself, from jeans to beer to cocaine and even holidays on weekends ( traditionally, we the poor and developing Asian countries, like the Creator rested only on the 7th day ), everything we adapted from our western relatives .

Ironically, creativity is lagging not miles but decades behind, anyone questioning the traditional wisdom of GRPS, CPC etc is considered to be more of a wise-ass who doesn’t mind his work,but often strays in the land of the unknown ( a place of discomfort for our bosses ).

For instance, the experiential marketing concept executed above, is so true to its brief and ideally what every client begs : low-cost + high impact and talkabilty ( the ability of a message to carry itself across mediums, most of the times for free ).

Giving up ain’t an option, we are a generation in transition with newspapers going digital and everything being uploaded on a virtual cloud, its time to push harder, shout louder and convince better.

But, before we press our point, we need to convince ourselves, not only on the idea front, but also on the outcome. A clear map, drawn before the actual execution, stating 2 possibilities – success and failure should be discussed with all concerned parties ( this ensures ownership of all, in the end protecting our job which pays the bills ).

Ultimately, a leap of faith, is what, will ensure that a thought/concept covered above comes to life, so fingers crossed…  lets jump!

The need to break the routine? Tetley Infusions

Tea occupies only 12% of the Beverage market, so my best assumption is that since Canada is a cold nation, tea as a beverage makes a lot of sense. But, from 1998 to 2008, sales of goods manufactured by the tea and coffee industry decreased 27.4% from a value of $1263.1 million to a value of $917 million. Read full story on

Therefore the need to break the so-called routine, can also be termed as disruptive advertising.

The most important aspect, is the amount of time, the promoter or in this case the basket-guy is able to spend with the TG, without actually invading their personal space or trying to sell something. Although, I am pretty sure that they might have crafted the promoter spiel in a manner to subtly mention the brand and even handover a leaflet or a sample.

Simple, effective and clutter breaking with the coupled effect of WOM + Online Viral effect I must say, IMPRESSIVE!

Translation of the Spanish words in the video

The Entire Plot :

Very popular in a district of Lima, left a wallet with $100 to check the honesty of the people. Wallet contained the name and address of the owner. Out of all the people who saw the wallet more than 70% returned it. Finally when they celebrated,”There are reasons to believe in a better world”.

The Review :

Well, we honestly can’t even tinker with the thought of running this concept  in India, for a couple of reasons:

  1. Honesty is the best policy :It is in heaven! A regular Indian would say so.
  2. Time : Even if we were blessed with 30 hours on your clocks, still finding time to return a wallet was wishful thinking.

But, let us bring this concept under a skeptical scanner :

1. Focus :

Extreme focus Guaranteed! Areas where Coca Cola is weaker than its longtime rival Pepsi, the concept could bring in positive word of mouth and involvement from the community. Possibly at the end of the campaign, a hoarding could be placed honouring people who ended up being amongst the 70% honest category.

2. Viral :

The viral effect of such campaigns through various mediums – blogs, local press, WOM creates close proximity with customers who generally would hardly care even if Tom Cruise was holding the bottle during a fifa worldcup.

3. Part n Parcel effect :

Gone are the days when a commercial run across geographies treating all as one. With the advent of technology changing lives and empowering a 12-year-old to write reviews about his new playstation, either the consumer is a part or your brand is parceled off as a bad memory.

The Culprit:
The famous CPC or CPT model which still prevalent  in our advertising/media houses, speaking against it is as good as shouting the name VOLDEMORT in the world of Harry Potter. Soon, lets hope CPS ( Cost Per Sale ) or CPC ( Cost Per Conversion ) should kick-in in the near future ensuring a gun to the head of the everyone who dare spends a nickel without worrying about the returns.

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose. By any other name would smell as sweet” well Mr.Shakespeare said so and now he is proved wrong.

One of the boldest moves, industry might have ever witnessed. The concept is something to be laughed/giggled/ridiculed on the drawing board, but the reality is such a biatch.
To me, the account director is the guy with the magic wand, even a slightest change in colour is treated like a taboo and a crime punishable by death, by offcourse our dear vitamin M paying clients.

But, what’s interesting about the book store is that, they understood a change in positioning in the mind of the consumer is what they are aiming for, and with a legacy of 100 years it is not only difficult but a task next to impossible. So, I guess being radical was the only way to bring home the bacon.

All I wish to do, is to give a standing ovation to each and every party involved in this beautiful strategy.