Author Archives: Anandan

About Anandan

I am presently employed as Associate Director (Paid Media) at Performics.Resultrix, a Publicis Groupe company. Prior to this role I was employed with HCL Technologies as Senior Manger (Digital Marketing). My earlier digital marketing assignments were with ZenithOptimediaIndia (Publicis Groupe) and AdGlobal360. You can follow me on Twitter @anandan22 for all conversations on digital marketing.

Diwali Facebook Video Campaigns – 2017

Who would afford to miss out on the Diwali festive season? Every organization (read: marketing department) eagerly awaits for this mega festival to arrive. Its a bumper opportunity for them to launch products, offer discounts and do what not to ensure the sales bells rung the loudest. In today’s era a vital weapon for marketing / brand managers is to launch a good storytelling emotional video campaign around the festive season and capitalize on the sentiments. There wasn’t any difference in this year’s Diwali festive season. Many brands came with really good emotional video campaigns. Here is a list of some best Diwali Facebook Video campaigns that I came across this year.  The storytelling has been varied by each one of the brands – some have focused on family celebrations, some have focused on gifting their parents / siblings / spouses etc., while some brands have focused on societal agendas. I have tried to comment  my thoughts on each one of them. Let’s see in how many cases your and mine thoughts match!

 

Airtel India –

They took a strong stand against increasing pollution. The softer element in this Diwali Facebook video by Airtel was the joy that kids derived by watching stars on the sky, thanks to the solution driven by Airtel’s technology. This campaign had everything in it – strong reason behind the video, effort by the brand, proof of concept and most importantly a clear messaging to viewers on what they were supposed to do after watching the video. As and when this blogpost was written, the video had received over 10 Mn views on Facebook and around 7,307 people took pledge to fight against pollution. I liked the comprehensive thinking behind this campaign and results were hard to ignore. However, in a realistic scenario, its hard to believe how many of these pledges were really adhered or will be adhered to in future.

Reliance Trends –

This Diwali Facebook Video by Reliance Trends, overall conveys the message of unity within family and celebrating the joyful moments with each other in family. The key reason why this video stood out from others was the execution. The scriptwriter / copywriter should be appreciated for the beautiful analogy he/she has tried to bring between each type of fire-cracker and each personality within every family. #NayiWaliDiwali video absolutely deserved the 12 million+ views and over 19.4k+ shares.

Pantaloons –

Pantaloons Diwali Facebook Video has tried to cover their every possible target audience. The video starts with various sad situations in which different protagonists are present. The high energy video quickly showcases the range of products available with them and how shopping at Pantaloons could help everyone get over their grim moments. It isn’t an emotional video, but kind of peppy video that gained 10 million views.

Lenovo India –

Gifting parents just with the festive context and gifting them with a much deeper purpose could be very different. And, Lenovo India exhibits this difference in this emotional storytelling Diwali Facebook Video that has gained over 12 million views and 38.3K+ shares. The campaign hashtag #GiftThemAFuture is itself strong and kind of probes the users to watch the video overall to understand what kind of future does a son gift to his father. Watch it!

Coca Cola –

The first time I saw this video ad on TV, I was confused on multiple parameters. First, this ad looks more suitable for Rakshabandhan than for Diwali. Secondly, the brand integration of PayTMmall looks way too intrusive (seems PayTMmall gifted Coca-Cola with a fat cheque!!). Its a vanilla Coca-Cola storyline where celebrations with family and friends are incomplete without their product, which is also evident from just 6.7 million views.

Tanishq –

This 2 minute Diwali Facebook video by Tanishq is crisp, fast, has cool music in background, showcases good emotional connect and most importantly focuses on their latest product range – Shubham. Tanishq started its Diwali campaign well early around the hashtag – #TanishqWaliDiwali. They had a well-planned content calendar introducing their new Shubham product range, highlighting their association with Padmavati movie etc. It is surprising that the video didn’t touch even 1 mn views, may be they didn’t focus much on paid video advertising.

Vivo India –

Instead of a common brand ambassador integrated Diwali Facebook Video campaign, Vivo showcased a day in Kiara Advani’s life. This single 2 minutes video has two parts to it. The first part is focused on all perfect selfies that Kiara clicks around with various family members, while the second part showcases on realistic moments or rather #OutofFocus moments as defined by Vivo. I liked the storytelling aspect in this video where the brand emphasizes on the valuable realistic moments of life rather than just the photogenic moments that we share on social media platforms.

Nokia Mobile –

In today’s high mobile intrusive life, every parent has a common complaint that their kids don’t spend much time with them. Nokia seems to have leveraged on this insight to come up with this 45 seconds Diwali Facebook video campaign. The video showcases how a son gifts his availability to his mom on the Diwali day. 10 million+ views on the video seems to indicate that video struck the right chord amongst the audience.

One Plus –

We have heard about various instances of organizations humanizing a brand. While here, One Plus has humanized the ‘Diwali festival’ itself. The festival has been projected as a chirpy young girl who fulfills all regular Diwali activities like delivering sweets, crackers, approving leaves, sending shopping discounts etc. However, Diwali itself loses its brightness by the time it fulfills all other’s wishes and hence is awaiting for a partner to illuminate her celebration. That’s where the One Plus product enters the story and becomes an ideal partner for Diwali. Unlike family oriented storytelling saga, One Plus has lived upto the expectation of a young and vibrant brand with this 2 minute Diwali Facebook video campaign.

LG India –

LG India’s 40 seconds video to me looked like a typical Indian TVC. Video is shot with typical Diwali background and the theme seems to be, to highlight range of products. The video all products from LG’s portfolio – refrigerator, TV, washing machine, oven, laptop, speakers etc. An okayish video in terms of appeal, but looked promising considering product awareness point of view.

Amazon India –

Amazon started off the Diwali campaign well in advance to create awareness about its Sale events and products that one could buy from them. If you follow hashtags, #KaroMilkeTayyari and #DiwaliKiTayyari are followed one could realize the well thought through content calendar that Amazon had in place well before the festive season.

The 104 seconds Diwali Facebook video by Amazon was very straight-forward showcasing a family scene where they order all possible Diwali shopping items from Amazon. The Amazon delivery boxes integration, product showcase and the mobile app showcase in itself exemplifies the breadth and ease that Amazon offers when it comes to online shopping.

Flipkart –

No matter how long Flipkart keeps advertising with kids personified as adults, most of us just keep loving it. Flipkart’s short 30 seconds video was just about reminding people about Big Diwali Sale that occurred from 14th – 17th Oct. A few Indian traditions of handing over invitation after having removed footwear, including flowers along with marriage invitation and use of Shubh Labh are a soothe to one’s eye.

FabIndia –

Festivals are not just about present celebrations, but also about remembering our childhoods days on those festivals and reliving them. FabIndia’s fabulous video showcased how a married women recollected her Diwali celebrations and now in present time sees herself in her daughter. This 1 min 40 seconds video, with over 1.2 million views is a pleasant campaign that touches the softer element of one’s life.

Olacabs –

Olacabs stuck to a societal contribution objective. I would say its a bold move by Olacabs to motivate people to use metro, bus, train as alternate modes of transportation and lend a hand in reducing air pollution. Unlike other brands that focused on their products, Olacabs decided to ride on societal benefit angle. The text heavy video was a clear standup amongs the cluttered Diwali videos with usual festive background, Indian traditional music and attire. Its appreciative to see them leverage #FarakPadtaHai hashtag across various campaigns to build brand awareness and reinforcement.

GoAir –

GoAir off late has been engaging in coming up with emotional video campaigns. If you missed their this year’s Rakshabandhan video campaign, have a look now here. This time with Diwali Facebook video, GoAir celebrates the spirit of its crew members and empathizes with them. The storyline focuses on how a mother gets surprised by GoAir to travel on a flight in which her daughter is a crew member. Mother prepares Diwali delicacies for her daughter, so that the daughter doesn’t miss out on delicacies while serving her duty during Diwali.

Eicher Trucks and Buses –

Eicher’s 5 minutes long Diwali Facebook video is almost like a short film. The key message that brand tries to drive is to avoid driving after alcohol consumption. The video shot on truck driver who prepares to drive after heavy alcohol consumption is intercepted by a group of young people. The driver is discouraged to drive by misleading him into various conversations. Though the conversations are bit funny, it becomes boring after sometime due to excessive length of video. The same message could have been conveyed through a 2 minutes video.

Which of these videos impressed you the most? Did you come across any other video that caught your attention? Look forward to your thoughts in the comments section below.

 

Image Credit: Varshesh Joshi

7 Rakshabandhan (2017) Facebook Video Campaigns – Hits & Spoilers!

Every year the month of August is a back-to-back festive cum celebratory month for the Indians at large. It also means that brands have enormous opportunities to make their mark in customer’s mind during this month. The August month starts with Friendship Day on the 1st Sunday of the month, followed by couple of religious festivals like Rakshabandhan, Janmashtami, Ganesh Chaturthi. An important day in the month when brands could leverage  is the Independence Day that’s celebrated on every 15th August.

Here are 9 Rakshabandhan Facebook video campaigns by brands that impressed me for the uniqueness that each tried to deliver

HPL

Very few of us would have heard about this brand, but their Rakshabandhan video was distinctive. The animated storytelling video touched upon the nostalgic moments that each brother and sister would have experienced while they grew up. In the end video highlighted that distances can’t be deterrent for brothers and sisters to show love for each other.

Nykaa

Nykaa’s three minute film was a clear show-stopper for me, at least from the videos that I was exposed to. This video has everything in it – good script, beautiful screenplay, emotional values and the pleasant suspense one is exposed to, towards the end of video. This video breaks the stereotype that Rakshabandhan is just a festival to celebrate love between brother and sister. The campaign hashtag #BondedByLove well packages the central idea of video that the brand celebrates everyone who protects and supports us in daily life.

MobiKwik

The challenge always with brand managers is to curb their urge in integrating product in every brand campaign that they attempt. The famous mobile wallet brand tries to ride on the most common slang that Indians use in daily life. The script to me sounded very weak and the product fitment in the end of video was definitely a spoiler. Add to that usage of multiple campaign hashtags in the post copy was a sign of desperation from brand to get noticed in one or another way.

InFocus

The smartphone brand chose the context of a fun WhatsApp conversation between a brother and a sister. It was a bit realistic take and within the brand’s zone. However, the best part was they didn’t try to hard sell their brand as part of the festive communication, except the subtle branding on the video background.

 

Sansui India

It always helps to ride on the most popular emotional belief. Sansui India rightly made a bold move to carefully craft and deliver the message of how an army soldier’s sister misses him after his martyrdom and prays for the well-being of all army men in her brother’s regiment. Given the present national context of Indo-China standoff at Docklam, this was a very contextual and emotional video, which could draw tears in few people’s eyes.

GoAir

Well, to some this GoAir Rakshabandhan campaign sounded to be breaking the stereotype, however to me it was no lesser than a PR stunt. The video treatment was natural but somehow I failed to connect with the core message. I mean, its very common that every year ladies tie rakhis to policemen, army soldiers etc. Not sure how much impact would GoAir had driven with this video campaign.

Red FM

The two minute Rakshabandhan video by Red FM is a fun to watch. Its a well scripted conversation between wallet, rakhi and sweets. Each one of them tries to pull other’s leg. The personified conversation between the three key elements of the festivals is interesting. However, it could have been made much more interesting with some level of sophistication. The video recording looks a bit amateur, but the intent is really appreciative.

If you came across any interesting video during this year’s Rakshabandhan day, do share it in the comments section below.

Friendship Day Campaigns

Friendship Day Digital Marketing Campaigns

Friendship Day is yet another key day when we could see brands building emotional digital marketing campaigns. Here is a quick round up of some friendship day digital marketing campaigns that I noticed.

Digital Marketing campaigns primarily could be classified into below themes –

1) Engagement Campaigns (where sole objective is to drive word of mouth and engagement around a central theme),

2) Product-Centered Campaigns (where the objective is to promote a product / service)

3) Emotional Appeal Campaigns (where a brand tries to build a strong bond with the community at large)

A few satire based communication messages were also noticed in this year’s friendship day campaigns.

I have segregated the campaigns into above themes as per the patterns that I could relate with.

Engagement Driven Friendship Day Campaigns

It’s an itching moment for brands to plan for an engagement campaign on social media channels around an upcoming opportunity like that of Friendship Day. Here are some of the engagement driven social media campaigns that were planned by some brands.

Kingfisher #KFBeerUp

As far as my memory goes, Kingfisher year after year has been conducting such campaigns where they try to engage various cities in the country to win for #KFBeerUp event. This time they chose Friendship Day.

 

Dell India

Dell came up with four tweets, one each with different scenario and asking users to tag their friends who matched to each of these scenarios.

Mumbai Indians

Mumbai Indians (MI) engaged its fans with a creative contest, where two MI players’ faces where superimposed on each other. A fan was asked to guess those two players and reply with campaign hashtag – #MIBuddies

ICICI Lombard

When will brands get over this selfies craze? Come on guys its such a passe now!

Himalaya India

Himalaya India gave some exercise to brains on a fun-filled joyous moment.

Product-Centered Campaigns

Some brands no matter how hard they try, they always end up prioritizing their products / services over the occasion. Many a times its a conscious decision on part of brand managers, which is always debatable between agencies and the brands. Here are the few brands who couldn’t distance themselves (or managed to cling with their products / services) during this year’s friendship day campaign.

Cadbury’s Dairy Milk

Cadbury’s had a well-planned, simplistic and yet effective content calendar. The central theme of the campaign was around over interference of social media in friendship and how trivial can such a strong bond get into, in these tech savvy days. It all started with a video Facebook Cover Video as early as on 20th July.  This was followed by a teaser post and then with a short 20 seconds video. Regular interest was driven as days neared the D-day with a carousel post and other posts with campaign hashtag #RealDosti. Everything ended with three Facebook Live videos of their live event.

Friendship Day Campaigns

Nilkamal

Nilkamal did try some bit of storytelling, but yes ended up showcasing their products in the most effective manner through this short 20 secs video.

Durex India

Well, this brand never disappoints our expectations!

Garnier Men India

After seeing this video, I just thought, was this the best that Garnier’s agency could do with Tiger Shroff?

Netflix

Especially when Netflix is finding it hard to make its ground in India, I thought they could have done much better than this video, that gives a feeling it was scrambled at last minute.

Emotional Appeal

Domino’s Pizza India

The video by Domino’s managed to showcase the strength of friendship bond by tracing the friendship journey from childhood to adulthood. However, I guess script could have been much sharper to justify the 30 seconds video length. And yeah, product integration towards end was a good fit.

Ola Cabs

This has been one of the best campaigns I have noticed this year. It was indeed well planned with a teaser content (two days prior to friendship day), followed by launch of three 60 seconds videos focused on three psychographic audiences – Job Seekers, Young Nerds, Women Travellers. The key message of sharing a common connection amongst fellow travellers (in a share cab) came out very well with the videos and the hard hitting hashtag – #FarakPadtaHai.

Satire

A satirical communication message was a clearly distinct amongst all friendship day campaigns in this year.

9XM

Firstpost India

We all have different kinds of friends in our lives. Firstpost brought alive all these types of friends through this hilarious video (I am sure you will enjoy watching it!).

A special mention goes to Sudarsan Pattnaik, an International Sand Artist and Padma Shree Awardee’s creation at Puri beach. Riding on current tension between India and China, this artist appealed both countries to join hands and let peace prevail across the border.

 

Which of these campaigns did you like the most? Or have some other favourite campaign that ruled your mind? Share it in comment section, will add it to the above list.

Westernized Education vs Indigenous Gurukul Education (Banasthali University)

This blogpost is a result of two recent instances I was exposed to.

Recently came across this LinkedIn post where the author adjudged westernized education to be ‘chaotic’ and ‘devoid of thinking out of the box’. If you go through the comments section, you would realize that most of them agree to the author’s thoughts. Isn’t it contradictory that most of us were trained as per westernized education methods, but today feel the need for indigenous Gurukul education?

Secondly, I was part of interview panel at my organization where we were interviewing fresh MBA graduates from one of the management colleges in Bangalore. We interviewed close to 25 candidates and hardly could identify 5 candidates who matched our expectations. No, not from technical point of view, but more from aptitude, presence of mind, decision making, logical reasoning aspects. It was a shocker for all four of us panelists that how could MBA graduates be lacking such basic skills even after being trained by Westernized Education, which is often considered to be superior than Gurukul education.

Well, my interpretation or rather take away from both instances was, increasingly people are feeling the heat of ‘westernized education’ and finding ways to inculcate essence of Gurukul education. The smallest step in that direction would be increasing importance of physical activities and practical training. In addition to these  Gurukul education also ensured youth were sensitized about one’s responsibility towards family, institution and society around. The worry that most of the professionals have these days is commercialization about education, which mostly results into delivery of sub-standard education and hence a large number of unemployable youth with fancy degrees adorning their name. This worry gets piled up into a huge heap and a burden on the society. It also affects the inner self of the candidates themselves.

Amidst all these corporatized educational institutions, there still exists a university which believes in the all-round development of youth. Its none other than Banasthali (Vanasthali) University, situated at around 60 kms from Jaipur. This all-women university was established in 1935 by Pandit Hiralal Shastri, the first chief minister of Rajasthan.

The university believes and has been offering ‘Panchmukhi Shiksha’. It simply translates into Five Fold Education – Moral, Intellectual, Practical, Aesthetical and Physical,  The sprawling university campus, comprehensive education, sports, personal development facilities, well-educated and well-motivated faculty members, disciplined student community ensure an envious Gurukul environment.

I had the privilege of conducting few interactive workshops with first year MBA participants, thanks to the opportunity that Prof. Harsh Purohit and Prof. Ankur Joshi. The MBA division of university is known as WISDOM – Women’s Institute for Studies in Development Oriented Management. This division has been successfully functional for last 20 years and has produced quality management professionals. The most prestigious contribution of the university has been Avani Chaturvedi, one of the first three women fighter pilots in the country. Our interactions always revolved around the increasing focus on Westernized education and the depleting Gurukul culture in the educational institutions. Its heart wrenching to know that even some of the premier educational institutions in the country have started to consider education as a high profit-making business, and thereby compromising on the basic premise of knowledge delivery.

In my two visits to Banasthali University and the interaction with their faculty members, students, I understood that it is one of the universities in India, that has successfully maintained the Gurukul culture. Its just not just the culture that fascinated me, but also the curriculum model. Banasthali University follows ‘Panchmukhi Shiksha’ – Five-fold education model. As per this model, students are trained on various aspects of life like – Moral, Intellectual, Practical, Aesthetical and Physical. The students at this university are exposed to every essential aspect of life and are prepared to face the World in the best manner and lead a meaningful life. The meaningfulness is not just with respect to oneself, but also to the society at large.

The academic coursework for management students at Banasthali University included some unique courses like Indian Ethos and Human Quality Development, Indigenous Management Systems. These distinctive courses ensured students extracted the management lessons from the Indian epics like Gita, Ramayana and Mahabharata. It might sound insane that how could management lessons be derived from the age old epic stories. Let’s not forget that these days even Western Universities are focusing on learning from Mahabharata!

The need of the hour is of inclusive learning, which we (parents, students, policy makers, teachers) have missed to focus in the heed to learn from western education. Prof. Subhash Sharma, one of the key founding members of WISDOM at Banasthali University has very aptly emphasized the need of inclusive learning through his widely circulated book ‘Management in New Age: Western Windows Eastern Doors’. With the help of metaphors like doors and windows Prof. Subhash has beautifully explained that Indian traditional (Gurukul) education has always been inclusive in nature as we welcome our guests through doors, while the western education has been objective in nature, like we peep out of our windows to see outside. The learning needs to be a comprehensive mix of what we could learn from others and what we could learn from our basic roots.

I strongly believe Banasthali University has been oriented towards this mission in a dedicated manner. I hope more and more institutes in this country start focusing on inclusive and subjective learning rather than just westernized objective learning.

PS: This piece is in no way an endorsement for the University, but a realistic feeling expressed by me.