Marketing

“Modi – The Marketer” in USA – A Report Card !


_77877532_024106129-1

After noteworthy interactions with Bhutan, Nepal, Japan, China and Afghanistan, “Foreign Policy Champion” PM Modi recently concluded his all-important trip to USA. With the background of Visa-row by Obama Administration and enthusiastic support of NRIs for Modi, this trip was surely an important event, if not historic. Sycophantic Indian media celebrated this event with full-time live coverage of PM Modi’s trip. Rather reporting unbiased and important news from all across the world and India, they chose to be cheerleaders! Nevertheless, contemporary Indian media has been an “Epitome of Exaggeration”. Meanwhile, after keenly following his itinerary, it seems, he had 3 major agendas to push through.

Firstly and importantly, the major agenda was of marketing the “Brand India” to the US Business Community. He scored full marks by meeting the top brass of the world’s biggest corporations in US. Through this effort, he may have induced some optimism into these corporations to come and “Make in India”. Although, Mr. Modi has been trying to allay fears of these investors, he has still loads of work pending, in creating a comfortable business environment in India. I think, that all these corporations will have now huge expectations from the next budget session. They will look forward to important policy changes in India and till then, they will “Wait and Watch”.

Second Agenda, was to step up the “Brand Modi” into an important International Icon. Like Nehru, Indira, Atal and Manmohan, he wished to make a mark by being a change agent in world politics. He failed miserably with that, but he should be excused as this being his first attempt. His fluttering speech at UNGA went unheard in an empty hall. Although it was very unlike Modi, but it seems that the formal setup, global platform and a written speech format got better of him. He did come to his own midway and made some important points, but who doesn’t. Remember even Manmohan Singh recieved much adulation from its international counterparts, previously at UNGA. Funnily, Indian media lost it senses and sensationalized his speech by equating it with National pride. Indian PMs have been speaking at this forum since ages, had put better points with higher impact. PM Modi also unsuccessfully tried his hand in reaching out to US youth at “Global Citizen Festival” rock concert, but ended up boring them.

Third agenda was about International diplomacy and to revive relations with US Government which were turning sour in last couple of years. Mr. Modi averagely performed as we weren’t able to make any new breakthroughs in our relationship with USA. His dialogue with Obama was not even note-worthy by US media. But again, Mr. Modi can be excused as realists weren’t expecting anything from Obama-Modi meet. Breakthroughs like “The Nuclear deal” don’t happen every day as it requires heightened levels of diplomatic mutual trust. US is also on the verge of electing new government, and India may have to wait for their new government to up-rise the relationship.

And yes beyond all this, Mr. Modi, held a “Tamasha” at Madison Square for his supportive NRIs, who left India for greener pastures. He acted upon previous government’s recommendations and appreciably promised important benefits to them. In his traditional style, Mr. Modi ended up entertaining usual narcissistic Indian audiences across the world, through his influential speech.

To conclude, I would say, I am little vary of aggressive marketing of “Brand Modi” and “Brand India”. A overly-hyped brand with no real actions or performance, crashes faster into unrecoverable troughs. “Reel Intentions” are commendable but India need “Real Actions”!

Advertisements

“Modi Sir” – A Good Idea with Doubtful Intentions!


On the eve of Teacher’s Day (5th September) in India, Narendra Modi Government decided to reach out to “All” the students in India, through every school and live interactions. All earlier Indian Prime-Ministers (PM) have been interacting with few selected school students in a formal set-up, on every Children’s Day (14th November). It was a brilliant idea, to take the message across, from leaders like Modi (for his great oratory skills), to each and every school student in India. With the advent of technology, interaction with the Prime-Minister of India shouldn’t be for few fortunate (though bright) kids. Earlier PMs have had been exercising this constructive activity, but never envisioned it to be a great PR opportunity. PM Modi’s team, through this interaction on Teacher’s Day, helped adding more feathers to the Modi’s brand image.

Though from a bird’s eye view, it all looked inspiring, yet there seems to be an underlying attempt of political vendetta. Amusingly and questionably, why Mr. Modi and his team chose to interact with children on a Teacher’s Day? Teacher’s Day is the day to appreciate and express gratitude to all the Teachers across India. Earlier PMs used to award outstanding Teachers across India, on this occasion. To interact with children, just 2 months away, we have “Children’s Day”. Mr. Modi could have also planned this interaction on Children’s day?

And here enters the politics. 14th November, “The Children’s Day”, is also the birthday of India’s first PM, Jawahar Lal Nehru or Chacha Nehru. And incidentally, this year, will mark 125th Anniversary of Chacha Nehru. In an attempt to decimate both the Nehru legacy and “Nehruvian” ideology (and Nehru family too), I believe Mr. Modi preponed this interaction with children. As much as I know of Mr. Modi, he would either like to make 14th November a hush-hush affair, or would escalate his brand Modi into “Chacha Modi”.

Mr. Modi should focus in creating his own persona through his actions and efforts, and not by erasing the legacy of past great leaders. Nehruji, even though a political opponent of RSS, is among the greatest Prime-Minister we ever had, and should be treasured. I am keenly waiting for 14th November this year, to see if my political reading goes correct. Although “The Cynic” in me, loves to get surprised, by Mr. Modi, every time.

Shahrukh Khan : The Desperate Marketer !


Marketing is a phenomena used by companies to communicate with their customers/prospects about their product/service. But when, product has a short shelf life, marketing is more about creating excitement, and generating buzz among the prospects. Marketing of movies faces the similar scenario.

Movies are produced with a specific budget, and has a very short shelf life. To generate profits, the product has to be consumed by the customers within first few days. And thus, these days, marketing plays a huge role in movie budgets. Production houses try different routes like ATL, BTL Promotions and PR to generate buzz among the audience.

I consider Shahrukh Khan a “Desperate Marketer”, as he uses each and every marketing route desperately without considering the profitability and marketing relevance. He has changed the famous 4Ps of Marketing into “Please, Please, Please, Please “. In marketing terms, his marketing style would be termed as carpet bombing, which is loosing its viability in recent times.

An example which I will like to quote is “Ra One”. He bought every media spot, be it television, newspapers, internet or radio. The bullish marketing campaign ran for nearly 3 months. His movie “Ra-One” was co-branded with numerous brands. Shahrukh Khan was promoting his movie on every TV channel, in every function, every mall. With his In-Your-Face marketing of “Ra-One”, audience got really irritated with the movie, even before the movie was released, as every second advertisement was about “Ra-One”. When the movie released, it was a big dud. As a product, movie was also trying to desperately trying to please all forms of audience.

Even before “Ra-One”, in his earlier venture “Om Shanti Om”, he brought each and every star in the Bollywood industry in one song, to create buzz. Even in the first edition of IPL, Shahrukh again used the carpet bombing strategy for his cricket team, “Kolkata Knight Riders”. His cricket team even had a Music Video, which irked other owners to create one for their own teams as well. Though soon factors like profitability and marketing relevance emerged, and these music videos were no more a part of team’s marketing strategy.

Post IPL victory, Shahrukh went overboard in celebrating and promoting his team’s success, in Kolkata. Although earlier IPL champions like Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals never had such celebrations.

I believe, he should take a tip or two, from his contemporary “Aamir Khan”, who has always been lauded by marketers for his ” Intelligent Marketing” of all his ventures.

Lets see if he again goes overboard with his next venture, “Chennai Express” !