Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Perception and the magical world of Advertising

Session by Mr.Prakash Dharmarajan, President, Ogilvy & Mather, Chennai

Mr Prakash said, “I don’t want this to be another mundane introduction between us”, Hmmmm,,,, “Introduce your mate towards the left in three words”

It sent us into deep contemplation,,, gasping on three hammering words! Then one by one an arsenal of words poured out. Everyone had their piece of Accolade, Humour and Truth about their neighbour. The prelude completed, just to realise Mr Prakash had almost every name in his mind. Whoopee! He even completed the Brand Association.

With fun and game infused at the introduction, he played a Vodafone TV Commercial. The TVC ended saying, “Change is good”. Thus delivering a subliminal message of freshness and change.
Let’s travel through his session to just get lost into the world of advertising to decipher branding and marketing communications explained using parables by the wizard in lucid simplicity.
He asked, “What is a brand?” Armed with an existing inventory of words assimilated from brand management course ,we unleashed ourselves. One replied “Promise” and another “Signifier”

“He paused”,

He gave us an example based on a market research conducted on two brands, both coming from the same manufacturing plant but named differently but yet one brand outsold the other at a ratio of 25:1. Then he delved into why two similar products, with similar standards had different scale in sales so he questioned customers and even the shop owners about why one out-sold the other. Customers replied that the other had better quality than the other. What??? Better quality???

Sir, you said, “It comes from the same manufacturing unit”

“Exactly” He replied. So???, “we asked”
“It’s all about perception”

Bingo! He unlocked the target of an advertiser- The Customer’s Mind. He then went on to write the word “Nike” on the board and asked us to tell whatever we think about “Nike”, we answered and then he erased “Nike” and wrote “Adidas” with just a few words plucked out we understood the miracle called “perception”

Then he went on to say, “Politicians are supreme brand managers too, every person above 18 are their target market and they are to even fuse into their logo once every five years into our minds”. So for budding brand managers there are lots to learn from politicians too. Ha ha!!!
Now he came out with his commandment,

“No brand can succeed if it creates a perception and does not deliver it”

He then went on to educate us on the Hofstede’s Model. Wow!!! I just can’t explain how he took us through the Hofstede. You should have been there. Half the session was complete and not even a jargon uttered we were moonstruck and recovering, he went on to tell the attributes of Super Star Rajnikant. Like rocket, reigning attributes about him were raining. Picking on their attributes and then pooling in similarities he created the Hofstede!!! And through the Hofstede we visualised the brands which can sign up for The Super Star. Oh My God!!! Pure sure bliss to know how practical his example is!

Towards the close of his session he ended with a sweet example. “Sugar”

So, What is Sugar?
A taste definer, Makes its mark clearly visible, transforming et cetra et cetra.

What does it stand for?
Celebrations and special occasions

What does it give you?
Happiness and energy

Now, we drew a Hofstede for sugar and we gave our suggestions.

With the sharing of opulent wealth of knowledge he signed off making a simple, yet powerful impact. What a session it was, powerful concepts and tools with utter simplicity from a top gun. Thanks a zillion Sir.

Contributed by Alfred Christopher Burgess , Marketing Varsity

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