Saturday, 5 April 2014

My Confession & Ads with a Soul - Part 1

My Confession & Ads with a Soul - Part 1.

THREE Different personalities ONE Brand - Nike

Its the season of Confessions (of all sorts) at College. For the first - years, the academic year ends, and a loooooong break to follow before we could really hang-out with friends again. For oldies like me, its GAME - OVER, the end of two years of bliss. So I thought I had some confessions to make.

My Confession

Soccer does not interest me at all. In fact, I hate Soccer. I was forced to follow Soccer during my graduate days at MIT because I did not want to feel left out during conversations and arguments which involved Derby - Matches, Red - Devils, League points, El- Clasico & blah blah blah. I had 2 room - mates, one was a Chelsea Fan and the other AC Milan fan. It was from them that I picked up few famous names like Kaka, Mourinho, Ronaldinho and Pato.

Cricket was no more the "Cool thing" among the Boys in college and so I used these 4 words to develop my vocabulary in Soccer to "Belong to the group of MEN" in college. It was said that Cricket was for "Gentlemen" and Soccer was for the REAL MEN." My behaviour continued at BIM, were friends from Cities like Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai, Coimbatore and Delhi displayed the same fervour for the sport.

Requirements to be Part of the group of "REAL MEN"

  • You must Patronise a franchise, I chose Arsenal, because it sounded similar to Arjun, and the manager of the team is Arsene Wenger He is a permanent manager, so easy to remember both the names. Other teams like Man U & Barcelona were overcrowded with Fans so there was no point of differentiation.

  • You must know a few players other than Ronaldo, Messi and Rooney. Kaka and Pato helped me, but I also started following Arjen Robben, again for the obvious reason "Arjun = Arjen"

  • You must own a Jersey and other merchandises of your favorite team to show your Patronage, So I bought an Arsenal Away Jersey numbered 14 & named Henry. So one more name added to my vocabulary.

  • Use social media platform to learn more about the sport, keep updated, follow a few clubs, post and share videos of super goals, assists & saves and ads showcasing celebrity players, etc..........

  • Time and again change your profile pic to a famous or a trending player.

  • One must actively participate in conversations involving soccer in a group and share the same news in another group.

 What is there to Business, Sports & Rivalries

This behaviour of mine helped me not only be a REAL MAN, know more about this beautiful game and the nations playing the game, but also know a few Brands in the Soccer Universe.

Teams like ManU, Barcelona, etc were the Global Brands in the Soccer Universe and leading sportswear brands like Adidas, Nike and Puma were sponsoring kits to these teams just to associate with the brands and reach out to the fans piggybacking on the glory of the teams they sponsored the Jersey.

Hence, the 3 stripes, swoosh or the puma on the football kits of famous teams and players and also the fans became a common place. These brands dominate the soccer market with 80% market share between them and an annual soccer - related sales of $2 billion each (Source: Reuters)

What is there in business or sports without rivalries, Adidas claimed that Soccer was in its genes and it owned the sport. The German brand claimed authority over the game and has been the official sponsor for the FIFA World Cups from 1970 and has extended the deal till 2030. On the other hand the close rival, Nike from the land of Marketing (read as USA) will provide kit for hosts Brazil and a total of 10 of the 32 finalists this year - outscoring Adidas and Puma in that regard. (Source: Reuters)

Nike - The King of Ambush Marketing

Due to the place of origin effects, the marketing campaigns from this American brands have always outshined its arch rivals Adidas and Puma especially during major sporting events like the olympics and the FIFA World Cups.

Infact, the 2010 Nike's epic "Write the Future" Campaign became one of the most successful ambush marketing efforts in history.

According to a YouGov BrandIndex survey of consumer perception in the U.S., U.K. and Germany, Nike had benefited from the FIFA World Cup 2010 more than any other brand despite not being an official sponsor of the event. The Brand saw the largest uptick in positive consumer perceptions among measured brands in the U.S. and the U.K., and it placed fourth in Germany, behind Coca Cola, Emirates and Adidas according to the BrandIndex survey. (Source: Mashable)

The campaign never showed the FIFA world cup or anything related to it, but still won the hearts and awards for the best campaign.

The campaign showcased Nike's association with Soccer stars and the TVC showcased the Pressure to Perform and the Huge expectations and responsibilities thrust upon the stars at the International Stage.

Being a potential customer of Nike Brand, I laughed throughout the TVC and admired the skills of the soccer stars and developed a positive perception towards Nike as a Brand for Stars and champions, because in the TVC you find that after the Stars failed, they were not wearing NIKE branded products. Hence, NIKE is only for Achievers and Stars.

So, I never thought NIKE represented ME, it only represented my association with a Soccer Team or Club.
All this changed when I saw the latest NIKE Risk Everything Campaign for the FIFA World Cup 2014.

Nike - Risk Everything - FIFA World Cup 2014 Campaign

The Ad with a Soul

On April 1, 2014 Nike launched the first part of its 2014 football campaign #riskeverything, starring Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar and Wayne Rooney. (Source: Nike Football)

The film shows the pressure felt by some of the world’s greatest players as they prepare to play on the world’s biggest stage. Another Epic AMBUSH MARKETING Campaign in the making.

This Ad had a Soul be continued in Part 2

Monday, 24 February 2014

The War Waged by Bricks & Clicks

Yesterday, my friend, Vignesh called me up and asked me to accompany him to buy a new mobile phone for his Dad. I asked him what was the Budget and what are the expected features in the new phone.
He said, " I want Samsung Smart Pro. It costs around 7k. Now lets go!" 

I said, "Great! Since you have already decided what to buy, why dont you flipkart it?"

Vignesh: "flipkart rate is around 6.5k, Store may charge 500 more, but we will buy it at a store."

Now this is new, we had done "SHOWROOMING" from the day e-commerce became the next big thing in India after TCS, Infy & CTS.

Showrooming is the noble practice of examining merchandise in a traditional brick and mortar retail store without purchasing it, but then shopping online to find a lower price for the same item.

The convenience of Home Delivery, Cash on Delivery, and to top it all, "The Lowest price in Town", yet Vignesh had chosen Brick over Click? Its like going to library with a Member Card, to refer a book, when you can Google it in seconds. Is the world really going to end?

Earlier this month the senior officials of 3 major global handset makers had met somewhere in India to discuss on the menace of online shopping. The 3 global handset makers who are fighting in the market place for Market shares called it a truce to discuss how traditional Brick and Mortar channel was hit by "SHOWROOMING". source: economic times.

The traditional retail stores and online stores are waging a "Cold War" between themselves. Its the war to acquire Customers. The online is always on the winning side because they are ready to lower the cost much below the imagination of the retail store. And now the retailers are pressurizing the handset makers to increase the margins from the conventional 8 - 10% causing inconvenience to the handset makers. Else, Retail stores wont stock the handset models which wont get them the desired profits. A classic case of "Channel Conflict"
source: economictimes 

What Vignesh said next was surprising, "I dont prefer 
buying from e-commerce portals as they are not authorized trade partners. Such products could even be fake and hence lead to problems with warranty support." 

He said, "e commerce marketplaces such as Flipkart and Snapdeal is just a platform where numerous registered sellers and merchants sell their products. Even though the registered merchants are on a contract to sell only genuine products using the platforms, still portals have no control over the sellers on prices and discounts." 

I was amused at his statement, "Surely, the e business midterm exam tomorrow had taken a toll on Vignesh."

What Vignesh said was true. Companies such as Sony, Apple, Canon, Nokia and Samsung are planning to issue customer advisories not to buy from e commerce portals as they are not authorised trade partners. Canon India, the Japanese imaging major, had begun appointing authorised online sellers linked to its website. The authorised online partners will have to comply with our pricing norms and if there is any predatory price which can be damaging, strict action would be taken.

Now that was too much gyaan for an evening. I said nothing and accompanied him to an "Authorised showroom" in Thillai Nagar and bought a Samsung Smart Pro.

The best part was that I got a Free Dinner from Vignesh for accompanying him to the store. Now that's a reason to shop from a physical store.