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.

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.

How to do Video Marketing? – Women’s Day Case Study

Its been quite a long time since I wrote something. Change in job, additional responsibilities at work, extended work hours could sound excuses but they are true for a city like Bengaluru. Finally, managed to put this blogpost on Women’s Day campaign videos in the draft mode a month back and today completing it. Hope you will like it.

Anandan Pillai - Women's Day

So, like of my other blogposts this one is too an observation led one. This Women’s Day I came across some really cool videos that were, educative eye-opener and some trying to convey a strong messages for the society. The moment I came across them, I started collating them in the draft, as to me they were a good collection on this widely celebrated day to respect and honor women around us.

I don’t believe in writing ‘7 top videos’, or ’10 top videos’ type of blogposts just to satisfy some search engines. Hence, these are not the exhaustive list of videos that inspired me on Women’s Day, but an indicative list that I could come across on that day.

I am sure some of you would have already come across them in the past. If not, don’t miss to watch these videos as each one of them has been prepared with a unique approach, which could guide you for your next video script (if you are a marketer), or will at least make a difference the way we project / think about women.

JSW Group

There are three things that I liked about the video:

  1. Captizaling on the recent famous Olympic wrestler Sakshi Malik. It’s a good strategy to leverage such athletes as that helps in conveying an important message more effectively
  2. The copy writing and the video script has been just sharp. In a simple yet effective manner it has been communication that women are ready to take up any role in the society and they are well prepared for the challenge
  3. At the end of video brand manages to convey in a subtle manner their CSR program ‘Janam Se Janani Tak

Nobel Prize

This is a superb example of how to communicate more information in an interesting manner an yet not compromise on the comprehensiveness. This 2.10 mins video infographic captures all major women who have made Nobel Prize worth contributions in the various fields of life. Simplicity is the key here for a formal organization to participate in the Women’s Day wave.


JaagoRe

Most of us have grown up seeing Tata Tea’s campaigns and full marks to them for their every campaign with strong social message. Even their recent campaign ‘Alarm Bajne Se Pehle’ does raise right questions and compels us the citizens of the country to wake up before its too late. Their Women’s Day campaign too was a great attempt at delineating the various questions that could be bothering young girls who are on the verge of reaching adulthood. Its a strong message to everyone in society that we should respect women and ensure they feel safe in their surroundings.

UNDP India

UNDP’s video highlights the real life efforts that the organization has taken for the well-being of women. The Disha project is a partnership between India Development Foundation, UNDP and Xynteao, well supported by IKEA Foundation. There’s no better way than to make a live impact on the society and showcase the same with real life people. This video showcases the effort that various bodies are taking for the upliftment of women. It also showcases that women are and have to equally come forward and extend their enthusiasm to participate in such initiatives.

Twitter

Twitter took a very professional approach with roots in employer branding. They showcased various women employees in their organization and appreciated their contributions to the organization. Though there was not societal angle in the message but it was good to see an international organization emphasize on women empowerment.

Gowardhan

This video by famous food brand is an eye-opener for all males. We are often used to complain about the food that our mothers, wives, sisters make, but have we ever bothered (very few of us would have done it) to appreciate the food when its cooked perfectly? So, with this video brand motivates men to show gratitude and cook for their lady on the Women’s Day and surprise her. A very emotional message conveyed with subtle script.

Siemens

This video has been my favourite. Though its bit long, but addresses the occasion and also showcases the organization in the best manner. The 2 minutes long film extends gratitude towards its women employees. Its a good employer branding effort and simultaneously highlights how Siemens has been making a difference to various aspects of our life through their various line of businesses.

A.O.Smith India

The last video on my list is a clear stab on all men who try to stereotype women. We have accepted in our lives that some jobs or activities of life are not meant for women. This video highlights few strong examples and tries to remove the stereotype effect that we men try to apply on women. Loved the sarcastic tone of script!

We digital marketers and brand managers do realize the impact of video marketing. However, when comes to an occasion about creating a video, all thoughts fall apart on the messaging the video should convey. Many a times brands end up creating a video that is force fit for the occasion. But the ones highlighted above were very clear with their messaging, communication objective and brand objective to be attained with this contextual video on this Women’s Day.

Hope you enjoyed the above collection. Which one did you like the most from the above? If you came across a better video on Women’s Day, do share the link in comment section.