Had You Known

After finishing my day work yesterday I was just going through some of the interesting logos of popular brands. Logo is usually a reflection of the brand in itself, and so observation and interpretation of logos gives me a
lot of fun.

A glance at the logo of Baskins and Robins reminded me of the reasearch that I had done in college days. It has always been captivating.

You could easily see that they have highlighted their initials by keeping it in the middle with a large typeface. BR stands for Burt Baskin and Irvine Robbins. They were the partners. But the real magic is in the number 31 if you could notice. They have portrayed it since they have 31 original flavours. And they propagate it as ‘one for each day of month’,

Their initials and the range they have is constructed into one symbol,thus making it highly attractive and creative as well. Even the typeface and colours selection which are used are friendly in nature.

Really, hidden things always give surprises, did you get 1?

oooooh, shiny!- War of the shiny ones

I remember fondly the most wonderful era of advertising, the direct challenge. Maybe there is something amazingly romantic about the wars, and thus I like it, in one form or another. If you go back to the most famous wars in advertising, the ‘cold war’ between coke and pepsi comes to the mind immediately. The way coke and pepsi fought tooth and nail over a sweetened carbonated drink was amazing. Who could have thought that a fortune would be on stake over something so simple as a sweet soda. It was sheer marketing that lead to the see-saw of market share. It was a common site to see them have a dig at each other. Making fun of the campaigns of each other, trying to make campaigns of competitors, this was a period where everything and anything was okay. Sprite topped it all by mocking every other drink. Everybody mocked thumps up, and thumps up hit back at them. Wonderful days, alot of business for ad agencies. Most interesting was how apple hit at IBM, Microsoft and everyone else on a regular basis, with the Iam Mac campaign and even before that the Think Different campaign. ( Microsoft made an attempt to counter I am Mac campaign by trying to promote PC users. Needless to say it was a lame attempt. )

Just when I thought nothing noteworthy has happened lately, something completely shocking happens. I have never seen a bigger upset. A few weeks before, I noticed teasers of a supposedly ‘Mystery’ shampoo doing rounds everywhere, on the OOH, Print and everywhere else possible. I didnt think much of it, its a normal teaser campaign I thought. As expected a few days down the line, the campaign was launched and now I was impressed. Dove had used the teaser in an amazing way, by denying the teaser completely. This was different. Their campaign line was/ is “There is no mystery that dove is best ” . This was when the entire teaser series talked about a mystery shampoo helping most women etc. Very creative, but wait, it was not over. After another few days I saw the ad which made me applause and very interested in the whole thing. The ad was by Pantene, saying The New Pantent is the Mystery shampoo. I felt how I had felt when I saw the pirates of the silicon valley for the first time. Dove, somehow had managed to steal the campaign completely. This was a level up from attacking competitors campaigns. I couldnt stop laughing at it for a while!!

But Pantene, I hope isnt going to take this without having a word or two, I expect a wittier reply, an act that will fuel this further. Pantene by no means should sit quiet or ignore this, their reputation is at stake afterall. For a company which came up with You can Shine campaign, it shouldnt be impossible to handle this with care. One thing is for sure though, this open attack would surely drive coming quarter with counter- attacks, and attacks on each other. The rounds have begun, and they will last till the knock outs. Surely, there will be blood.

We are sure you can spot similar stories by yourself~ why not share them with us? you can reply to the same thread and include stories of business rivalries which you have spotted.

Life for lives

During my childhood, I often visited my grandpa’s house in Pune with my mother atleast twice a month, every time we preferred going by bus because that was quite convenient. In the 3 hour journey from Mumbai to Pune bus usually halted atleast twice, and that was the most interesting part of the journey for me, the reason was, I could ask mom for Cheetos, which I loved to have as often as possible, I used to have it excessively, They used a character which was very attractive. His name was Chester, it was a cheetah. I always wondered if he would jump out from the packet.

Looking back at the fond days, I realise the reason for my childhood fantasy was a very clever use of the character. You might have had similar experience at your age too.
Well let’s play a game, what do the following symbols make you recall-
It was very easy, wasn’t it? Now lets try the same for a few celebrities.
Amitabh Bacchan
Shahrukh Khan
Sachin Tendulkar
KareenaKapoor
I am sure you must have come up with at least a handful of brand names for each of them.
While launching brand with a celebrity does give you a brand recall if done well, it cannot be as loyal as a mascot is. A mascot will never leave your side, always with your brand throughout everything. Like Peter Pan, it never ages, forever young, and achieves the same for your brand. However we notice so many brands favoring celebrities over mascots, It may be because these celebs in most cases are themselves quite popular brands, and this popularity is actually used by other brands to uplift them by simulating the image of the ambassadors in their favor for the nonce. In short they may be greedy about instant results. A celebrity comes with a package, so you can convey a lot of things just by hiring the right person. But they are poor to pour life into the brand.
E.g. Juhi Chawla is the brand ambassador for Wipro baby soft pants. I am sure you don’t even recall a glimpse of it, as she just explains the need of pants. On the other hand we have Mamy Pocko pants where they have used a mascot called Poko-Jang. In the final phase of commercial it calls the brand name in sweet manner. So it influences mothers a lot, the reason is that character has life and it has brought the same to the pants,(thus making it one of the leaders in the market.)
These Mascots play such a significant role for a brand that it becomes the most illustrious identity of the brand; a glimpse of the mascot takes enough to remind us about the Brand. Very few companies have brought them back from the oblivion.
Today the Indian market is growing at a rocketspeed thus not trying hard enough to pour life into the brand. It literally gears down the usage of mascots which really has a magic to fuel up the brand for the long innings. We don’t have enough time or enough vision I guess. Still at times when brands like Hippo re-create the same magic, I enjoy a momentary visit to childhood.
(P.S.Unlike Shiny Ahuja, your mascot will rarely get in trouble or put your brand image in trouble. :P)

Check out the Goodies

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Where did my soup go??

When bread crumbs drain your soup…

When I was a child, I used to hate the tomato, along with a million other things like broccoli, spinach and carrot. Needless to say, mom was never impressed by my antics, and could not fathom the depth of my hatred for all things vegetable. In an inspirational moment she thought of a functional cure for my dislike. She would often make me drink soups of afore mentioned unmentionables. Of course as I grew up, I found myself fortunate, and in bliss of various delicacies which she whips up till date. Still, it stirs up a few interesting memories when I have any kind of soup today.

Like any advertiser, my mother faced the same monstrosity. The target audience was least interested in buying her tricks. Then in an eventful dinner at the diner in town, she found her insight. An offer which I seemed unable to refuse. Mom ordered a tomato soup for herself and with it came the bread crumbs which she asked me to try. As something completely new, I was taken aback and in that moment of weakness I fell victim to the bread crumbs. Viola!! I loved them to my mother’s delight and surprise. This begun a new saga in her attempts to keep my nutrition up to the mark. She actually never had to do anything but see to it that a few extra bread crumbs were put in my soup. I used to devour it gladly, just like your TG takes to the hottest offers. You give them a real nice discount and they are all for your brand, at least that’s how it seems.

A few months down the line in my adventures with the tomato soup, I learned that bread crumbs are food sent from heaven. I used to take liberty in putting as many in my soup as possible. One fine day, I looked in my bowl and realized there was no soup in it, just the bread crumbs. I was happy, yet curiosity took better part of me, and I asked my mother where my soup was. She said its in the bread crumbs. She found it too amusing I guess. Another few months down the line, she thought it was time for her son to grow up, and learn that bread crumbs are just for fun. So she asked me to have soup without the crumbs. I was skeptical but I did give it a try. I found it okay but somehow till date I never enjoy it without the bread crumbs dipped in it. Guess mom went a little wrong in making me eat the soup with the bribe. I was never really in love with the soup; rather I couldn’t have been because I was too absorbed in the crumbs, just the way soup was absorbed in them!

Thing to learn is, people never really stick with you permanently as long as they like your brand for what it stands. Offers are good to grab their attention I guess. Sometime during the relationship building with new consumers, offers should be replaced by genuine advantages, which gives them the real taste of the brand. Otherwise its human to misidentify the offer for the brand, making the brand handicapped of the offers. Balance is again a key to know where to stop offer bread and improve the taste of soup. Obviously it must be done well  before the crumbs absorb the soup in the bowl.Slurp!

Return of The Bugman!!!

Its not often that you see a super hero around you. Its however a very common occurrence that you see him coming back in a new costume, better masks, and upgraded powers. May it be countless personas that Batman has seen, a few successful stints of Superman, of course closer to home Big B keeps coming back again and again, famously now with Crorepati 4. The point is, there is something alluring with revamps, everybody loves them, if done rightly so. It’s a fine balance between the two that makes any revamp successful. Too little and its hardly a revamp for people, too much and its suddenly something too new to generate nostalgia.

Yes, the latest tool in a markers kit bag is playing up the nostalgia. Suddenly retro themes are everywhere, from Rayban to Raymonds, everybody is riding on the wave. Even the unforeseen Pink Floyd Reunion is on cards, we might as well start wearing frills on our shirts. The most famous usage recently has been the amazing return of the dear Bug, the lovely beetle. Beetle has successfully managed to revamp the model, yet keep it classy enough to remind us of the old days. The car is loaded with new features, yet maintains the curves and character of the old legend that it has for ancestor.

The Addictive quality of nostalgia is maintaining the form highly similar, yet revamping the structure. Check out the Chinese girl release above. Clearly give away about the message. The thing to notice is however that the girl supposedly from the sixties can still parade on the red carpet and pass as stylish( personally of course, the lesser the better, simplicity rocks). The message is clear- Style is timeless, forms change in a way. This is exactly what they have done with the car. Same smoothness, cuteness, and bubbly air as the old one, the essence has not changed at all. The key is to incorporate the old style whilst revamping the brand. Getting the Blend right is a must. Showcasing the retro too much will land you together with a whole bunch of companies who can’t justify the theme. Awful release with Genelia for Fanta is one such example. It doesn’t possess the legacy to carry it off. I guess they just wanted to go with the tide and use the bold colortones of the sixties for some additional brand recall.  Wolksvagon, because of its legacy, does not need to be very obvious about the lay out and composition. Rather, they have placed heavy impact in the close resemblance of two models in the first release. The layout is very modern, with minimal copy.

As the retro takes hold, you will see more and more company going back to the root. Who knows if it will work for them, it certainly has for Wolksvagon. But then again, almost anything works for them. I am grabbing my pop corns to hook on to latest round of adventures by the amazing Bugman.

Curious case of Reverse Aging

Unlike mortal beings like us, brands are immortal if people managing them have the right tools and insights. It’s very important to know when a change is required, and how much of it is required. At times it’s not as simple as moving your cheese around. If right revamps occur on regular intervals, the brand not only reinvents itself, but also grabs attention of an entire upcoming generation which associated old brand with something their parents era. When the right make over is given, the brand becomes cooler, just like a granny who likes listening to rock, uses iPod, and is crazy about an i-pad. However it would be a little awkward if she started wearing microminies, wouldn’t it? This is exactly why brand managers should know where to stop.  Antiquity has too much of value to be given up completely for sake of youth.

So what exactly should it be, if not a complete revamp? Let’s look at some of the sleekest case studies that we at Purple Rabbit keep on talking about.

GODREJ

112 years old logo has been revamped. It really has got a new and fresh look but at the same time they have taken a care of the previous logo style. They just incorporated the colours in it thereby representing something new, blending together beautifully, that’s what we call a master stroke.  Since the brand and the logo were set by their ancestors, they must have certainly added some values; it must have compiled a legendry value in all these years.

So coming up with a complete change might have been an insult not only to them but also to the other public such as shareholders or investors who actually were affiliated to the company for a long time.

So here the actual change could have been vulnerable but they filled in the gap by doing a blend. Very neatly done indeed.

STAR TV India

Moving on, even Star India have reworked on their identity. Since these stereotypical serials are getting watched enormously by bahus, saans and betis of Indian family, changing the overall look of the brand could be damageable. So they wanted their symbol to be as it is but it should have that element which will carry current age thinking simultaneously.

The new logo is in vermilion colour, which stands for woman and auspicious things in Indian perspective. Both these elements had to be carried out effectively thus helping to associate. They have accordingly repositioned themselves as ‘RISHTA WOHI SOCH NAI’ that means relations are not subject to change but with the touch of new age thinking could help to make them healthier.

Let’s hope with this new blend of old and new, they actually get in some new thought in their programs, female stereotypes are such a passé.

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