Marketing Idea No. 207 – Zoozoo and Zoozooisms

For one whole month, it seemed the world cares nothing but Zoozoos. And we can feel it even now, when the ads and the iconic figures are not on air.

So what can we call this Zoozoo phenomenon? A brand building masterstroke? Or a case  study of failed advertisements with very limited effect on actual results?

Lets start with facts.

1. Vodafone needed something that can de-touch themselves from the clutches of the Hutch “Pug”. I guess, the Vodafone executives are sick and tired of the Pug, after all they paid three times the asset value for the hutch brand simply because of its pull created by the iconic pug.  Now with the success of Zoozoo, Vodafone India finally can claim about something thats their own.

2. Like it or hate it, Zoozoo itself has become a phenomenon. The number of Facebook fans of Zoozoo have swelled to 3,07,072 (as on June 17, 2009) far surpassing the number of fans for cricketing and Bollywood icons like Sachin Tendulkar and Amitabh Bachchan, legendary superheroes like Superman and even comic characters like Asterix.

3. Before launching the Zoozoo campaign, Vodafone crossed Airtel in monthly sales for the first time in their history. But after the campaign, Airtel has gained back some ground.

The real test of effectiveness of Zoozoo lies in its objective achievement. Yes, this campaign didnt generate the sales number to justify the return on the massive investment. Yes, this campaign will never create the pull for Vodafone value added services or increase revenue to that extent.

These were never the objectives of this campaign, therefore we shouldnt judge the effectiveness based on these parameters. What this campaign set out to do is create some much required buzz around the brand and break the clutter among the frenzy surrounding the IPL. Did they succeed?

Hell yeah. In fact, the IPL 2 will forever be remembered as the season of Zoozoos.

This brings forth the most important question of all. Should brands spend money in times of recession purely to generate buzz, not to generate sales?

The answer lies in the depth of brand war chest. If you got money, why not. If you dont, tough luck.

Marketing Idea No. 206 – Micheal Jackson and the art of branding to everyone Black or White

The greatest trick that Micheal Jackson ever pulled on this world is asking them to “Beat It”.

Here’s a man who sang in his own terms, danced in his own terms, lived and died in his own terms. And you can be Black or white or any shades of gray in between, you cannot deny the tremor that the world felt with every click of his moonwalking heels.

As the messages pour in from all corner of the world, we make a silent tribute to the biggest brand in music. Here are a list of things that the world of branding can learn from Micheal Jackson.

1. The power of rituals: When you hear the word Micheal Jackson what comes to your mind? Moonwalking, screaming, those crazy socks and shoes, signature pelvic thrusts, great videos etc. These are nothing but rituals that reached an iconic status after 20 years of doing it over and over again. Thats the power of rituals. He did it over and over again until he completely owned it from now till infinity. Thats what iconic brands do. They own things that none else can own.

2. The power of differentiating: His was the breakaway voice. In today’s world of wannabe rockstars and painted up divas, he showed the world what originality can do for your brand. His was the most original voice coming out of radio. When the world was spending money on distributing LPs, he spent millions on music videos. He tore up the cliched concept of music vidoes as a sort of pseudo-concert. He said, like all video based medium, music videos should have a starting, a middle and an ending.

This kind of original, bold thinking can do wonders for your brand.

3. Dont segment. Unifiy: Who was Micheal Jackson? Is he a black singer with a big mo-town presence? Is he a cross over artist with a fantastic R&B vocal? Is he the King of Pop?

Thats the strength of Micheal the brand. You cant typecast him. There is none that ever lived (Yes not even Elvis my friend) whose tunes helped people to swing from Alaska to Australiz, from Japan to Madagascar. He was the first ever truly globalized personal brand. He was the Coca Cola of music world.

Thats why the label “King of Pop” is not fitting for Brand Micheal. He was simply the greatest entertainer that ever lived. And when it comes to entertainment, there is no segment. There is no segmentation, only unification because everyone needs entertainment. And thats the strength of Brand Micheal. Everyone belonged to one music genre like Pop, Rock, Progressive Rock, R&B etc. But he belonged to entertainment. Thats what good brands do. They position themselves in a way, that makes all the people in the world stand in one common pedestal having one common need for one one common brand.

Marketing Idea No. 205 – Mediocristan

What is mediocre?

To answer that lets talk about Transformers: revenge of the fallen. Here is a film that has got some of the worst reviews in history and to be honest, it is really a bad movie. But it ended up becoming the second highest opening five day grossing film of all time, only behind the awesome Dark Night.

The million dollar question is, how can a mediocre movie earn overwhelming profit when a great movie earn hardly any profit? The simple answer to the mediocre question is, most of the people in this world are mediocre. And they are not concerned about the greatness of the next best oscar winning movie. Because they are interested in mediocrity, not greatness.

Most of us want a safe mediocre career. Most of us prefer mediocre, middle of the road products. We dont want great intricate products. We want simple mediocre solutions.

So next time when you wonder why so many follow such brainless music, watch brainless films and buy safe products….you have to know my friend…you are the minority…not them.

We live in mediocristan. So cater your communication and products to mediocre people, not to the great people you love to hang.