Saturday, May 05, 2012
Akshay Kumar, Cold-drinks, hot-markets and the Hindi heartland of India
Brand endorsers age. Brand endorsers go through cycles of achievement and non-achievement. Brand endorsers have hits and misses. Brand endorsers are human beings with limited life cycles of appeal. And brand-endorsers age. Brands don't. Brands have two choices then. They can either age with their brand endorsers, or they could change their brand endorsers. Thums Up chose.
As of now, Thums Up has many brand endorsers. In many ways, having 4 brand endorsers versus one, is hedging. Each endorser appeals to a different class of consumer. Every endorser has an appeal that could even be region specific. Having 4 brand endorsers in many ways is the ultimate brand revenge on the brand endorser of yore. Brand endorsers, particularly film stars are very promiscuous in their brand endorsements. Some endorse as many as 14 brands simultaneously, changing their clothes, their hairstyles and at times even their accents, tone, tenor and decibel of talk and walk.
Cheekily speaking, the idea is a simple one: if a brand endorser can endorse so many brands simultaneously, why can't a brand take on more than one brand ambassador? After all this is the best hedge against bets that could go wrong with solus stars. This is a hedge on the popularity of stars, hits, flops, region of appeal and more.
With this change, I do believe the brand is looking peppier by the day. This piece of advertising adds zing to the brand. As Pepsi ages in the Indian market, Coke and Thums Up are looking refreshingly younger and younger in their brand profiles. “Aaj Kucch Toofani Karte hain” resonates with the young of this country and their current mood as of now. To “toofani “ then.
India is a very young nation. These states have a solid representation of the young. These states are therefore excellent markets for young-oriented products and services. The robust growth numbers in the education sector is proof enough. Add to it the entertainment market, the market for mobile phones, gadgets of every kind, clothes and accessories, cosmetics, shoes, physical exercise-oriented products, and you have a solid market of the future emerging.
Marketers need to be careful and cautious though. Marketers need to stay humble, talk the language of the people, and offer solutions that are relevant, original and innovative. Marketers need to tailor-make themselves to the market, rather than take their tailor-made solutions to the market. Bottom-up marketing is the mantra to adopt. Not pompous top-down marketing norms that we have imported, imbibed and practiced with lack of success in the past.