Festive Marketing during Diwali

With the vibrancy of the Diwali season seen almost everywhere, there is huge competition among companies to increase their sales irrespective of their products and marketplaces. Festive marketing is the strategy used for marketing during festive seasons where emotional buys are the focal point of festive marketing. Ad campaigns, Discounts and Offers are the prevalent traditions of festive marketing which results in surge in sales. mPower brings you the most popular ad campaigns this festive season.


This short film campaign by Pepsi-kurkure will surely instill the feeling that your parents feel you delay meeting them citing work or parties or family issues. Diwali is here and for all those people who live away from their parents due to their work or any other reason have an excuse to run back home. You don’t need an excuse to go home, do you? But, life can sometimes become so tangled up that we forget the things that matter most to us, our parents. Pepsi has made a very emotional short film, albeit a bit long at 7 minutes 15 seconds, but this is one video that you can spare your time because it is worth it. A small drama of sorts that happens year after year during the festive season of Diwali when parents yearn for the love that wish to share with their ‘grown up’ kids while their kids may not always appreciate them and their simple demand of spending time together on Diwali.


Rigorous ad-campaigns are also taking place in e-commerce landscape with big e-commerce players like Snapdeal and Flipkart playing their part. With big billion day by Flipkart and counter strategy by snapdeal has brought healthy competition in this space with e-commerce wars. E-commerce players are leaving no chance to capitalize the markets this Diwali. Snapdeal comes up with 1 + 1 offers this season. The roles of comedy nights with Kapil i-e dadi(Ali asgar) and Manju sharma(Sumona) are well portrayed in this ad to communicate the 1+1 offer by snapdeal.


Tanishq, a jewelry brand of Tata group has come up with a campaign of “Sunehri Diwali” as people feel auspicious to buy jewelry during the festive season. The new campaign is set in a typical Indian household on Diwali day. A 25-year-old boy walks up to his mother’s room with a tiny golden pendant that he has purchased. He has bought it for his mother with his first Diwali bonus. But as soon as he steps in, he sees that his father has just gifted her a large, beautiful necklace. Seeing the excitement on her face, the boy begins to have second thoughts about his own gift. For a moment, he doubts whether his mother will even like the tiny pendant he has bought, sensing how happy she is on receiving a large ornamental piece. He somehow musters up the courage and presents the gift to his mother that has been bought with his Diwali bonus. Taken aback, she walks up to him slowly and looks closely at the pendant. Without holding back her emotions, she wishes her son a ‘Happy Diwali.’ He too rejoices with the feedback, and realizes that his doubt about his gift was unfounded. For his mother, the little pendant was the biggest and most precious gift that she could receive – a fact that is evident on her face when she tries it on.


As sweets are the integral part of Diwali festival, “Sugar Free Natura” the low calorie Sugar substitute connects it with Diwali sweets. At the backdrop of lighting and diyas, Sanjeev Kapoor as the central role of ad makes it more appealing where he pitches to celebrate Diwali with family and sweets by making it with Sugar free natura. Sugar free- a product of Zydus wellness has also made such kind ad campaigns earlier this year during Holi.


As it’s the season of holidays and people spend maximum time at home, the Television players are targeting at improving their viewership this season. Star Gold comes with the unique campaign of Diwali bonus, as Diwali bonus is common across most organizations, which connects the people at a large. By watching movies in Star Gold and playing contests one can be eligible for the gifts and prizes, which is so called “Diwali Bonus”. The campaign starts with a Bhajan where people pray for Diwali bonus and Star Gold fulfills their wishes by gifting with prizes.

Time is a precious thing yet we don’t realise it until it is lost upon us. In this digital age dominated by screens of varying sizes, little do we realise how time passes by between work, home and information consumption. With the constant notifications, the urgent emails coupled with the impulsive nature to capture every moment and share with our social connections, one often forgets to spend uninterrupted quality time with their loved ones. The ad concept is based on the lovely moments of a young couple. This festive season of Diwali, Titan Watches is on a mission urging consumers to gift the ‘Gift of Time’ to the people who matter. Through a campaign called ‘This Diwali gift time’, the brand has launched an ad film. The commercial is set in a city close to the Eiffel Tower. A happy Kalki is staring away into the brightly lit horizon set against the Eiffel Tower, from her terrace top and enjoying the Diwali celebrations happening close by. She is soon joined by Akhil who notices the celebrations and the Eiffel tower and proceeds to capture it on his mobile phone. As he continues to click a picture of her, Kalki gets miffed and asks him what she must do to get his undivided attention. He says she gifted him the phone, to which she replies with the question, would he gift her his time if she were to gift him time? The confusion clears soon when Akhil realizes she has slipped a watch onto his wrist and he says yes. The commercial ends with the line, ‘lamho ka taufa, apno ke liye’.


In this new Diwali ad film by KitKat India, which the chocolate brand is referring to as the Diwali Music Video 2014, you will see four minutes of pure storytelling featuring someone who is really millions of miles away from home – an astronaut. The four minute film is set inside a spacecraft where things are floating along with a young female astronaut. She is missing her family and makes it a point to peep outside when the spacecraft moves over India. As the days and months pass by, you see a sad astronaut away from home, but fulfilling her dream. She is seen touching through a soft board containing photos and other memories of her loved ones. A song with Hindi lyrics relating to the scenario starts playing alongside. The story moves on till it is Diwali day finally. She receives a package from home with a KitKat inside it. While she takes a bite from the floating KitKat, she peeps out to look at the earth again. The whole of India is brightly lit up, bringing a big smile to her face.


Campaigns for conservation and increasing cost consciousness among consumers have resulted in spiraling demand for energy efficient lighting solutions. Consumers are looking for options to cut cost at every opportunity available. Havells brings LED Lighting, saves up to 85% energy, and helps you save money so you all would have a Happy LEDiwali. Campaign starts with a character known as Complain khanna who comes to the power distribution company to gift LED so that they reduce their electricity bills. Complain khanna is known for complaining about high billing rates in his office to the power company.As Diwali is the festival of lights, this is the Best time to come up with the campaign for new product line of LED lights of the company.

 Indian Super Leaguehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ClHap-aG54

The Indian Super League is to football what the Indian Premier League is to cricket. The league runs from October to December, with the finals series determining the champion. And October is also having Diwali this year. So the team blended football with Diwali to create this amazing one-minute promotional video called ‘Yeh Diwali Football wali’. Set against the grounds in front of a brightly lit palace, it features international footballers like Del Piero, Luis Garcia, Pires, Ljungberg, Silvestre, Trezeguet, Capdevila and David James display their football fireworks. The footballers are seen performing some amazing antics like kicking the ball amidst crackers and shooting the ball through fire hoops. One of the footballer also shouts ‘Yeh Diwali Football wali’, from which the film gets its name.


With the aim to go big the chocolate and food gifting category in India, Cadbury has rolled out a new ad film for its Celebrations line of chocolates.  The film’s protagonist is a young army officer who is unable to get in touch with his family during Diwali. He is surrounded by his friends who seem concerned. As they talk amongst themselves, the protagonist’s family surprises him by showing up – with a box of Cadbury Celebrations chocolates. It is revealed that his peers were in on the surprise visit. Lighthearted exchanges follow, as do moments of celebration.The film ends with the voice over saying, “Is Diwali, khushiya le chalo”.

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With the festive season around, mPower brings to you a set of heart-warming & meaningful Diwali-related advertisements that will leave you yearning to spend time with your family. THE KURKURE-PEPSI AD Diwali is here and for all those people who … Continue reading

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Marketing Mantra September Edition – Shortlisted Entry #7 – Prama

Viral Marketing in 2020

“Suraj mujhe woh haseen dard dedo, jise aaj ke baad main kisi doosre ke sath na baant sakun…!” “Dum Laga ke move it. Zor laga k do it, do it” “Girls do it. So do boys…”The dialogue came out in 1998, but how many of us heard it then! As opposed to how many of us heard it in the last one month courtesy Pretentious Movie Review! 474506 atleast. Why? Coz, it went Viral!

Viral Marketing is based on the popularization of the notion that ideas spread like viruses. Creating successful Viral Marketing programs is to create viral messages that appeal to individuals with high SNP (explained later) and that has a high probability of being spread by these individuals in their communications with others in a short period of time. If a Viral Campaign is executed successfully, it can generate a huge amount of excitement for a brand and convert many consumers with minimal financial outlay. However, it relies on the campaign touching a social nerve, which is never guaranteed.

So. What exactly is the future of this Virus?

Many Ad Gurus quote Viral Marketing as the next big thing, the future of marketing, blah blah…. Let’s not blindly be a disciple, but critically analyse the future of Viral Marketing. Here we follow two approaches-Factor Method and Extrapolation

A. Factor Method:

We separate out the different factors that might make or break Viral Marketing. Then, we predict the growth/decline of the factor over time. The idea is that the rise of the positive factors will have an accentuating effect and the rise of the negative factors will have a hindering effect. Finally we see the overall effect based on the comparative rise of the Accentuating or Hindering Factors.

Accentuating Factors

1. Cost efficient: Uploading videos is free as compared to buying television space

2. Target masses with greater reach: Internet is a worldwide market. The Ikea campaign began in Sweden and was shared throughout the globe, same with the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

3. Greater frequency: It is shared through social media with repetitive views and clicks. Greater frequency creates a lasting message

4. Interactivity: Allows for consumer feedback as well as consumer participation in promotion and consequently meaningful involvement. Old Spice responded directly to individual tweets/emails with a personalized video featuring the Old Spice Man. Also the Ice Bucket Challenge-Why did it go Viral? “It’s totally own-able, unique, iconic and simple,” said Max Lenderman, CEO of the Agency School. “It’s so personal because of the calling-out aspect.”

5. Accessibility:  Ease of sharing information is becoming more intuitive by the day through smartphones, tablets and other PDAs

6. Rising SNP: Social networking potential (SNP) is a numeric coefficient, derived to represent both the size of an individual’s social network and their ability to influence that network

Hindering Factors:

1. Nuisance Factor: Marketers are competing with other people who are using the same structure and run the risk of having their message lost among others. It creates so much Internet noise that people get unfocused and delete/ignore messages.

2. Negative Buzz: If a few people start posting negative information about a particular venture on blogs and message boards, others will hardly take the time to investigate whether this negative buzz is warranted and simply pass it on as juicy gossip

3. Ethical Considerations: Many people want to know what the companies are planning on doing with their personal information and may not be interested in participating in a campaign if they think they are providing fodder for spam marketers. Even with tons of privacy policies, there will be some recipients who feel that viral marketing is a sleazy practice.

4. Hard to Measure: Unless the campaign is being handled by experienced individuals, it can be very difficult to determine whether it is worthwhile.

Accentuating factor


Hindering Factor


Cost efficient


Nuisance Factor


Greater reach


Negative Buzz


Greater Frequency


Ethical Factor




Hard to Measure




Greater SNP


As we see, the Accentuating and Hindering, both factors are mostly to rise in the coming years. So, while there will be a steep growth in Viral Marketing, but, the hindering factors won’t let it go beyond the roof and keep it to a tolerable level.

B. Extrapolation (Historical Method):

The Basis of this method is simply assuming that History repeats itself. 2020 is 6 years away from now, so if 12 years doesn’t involve a change in generation, then the progress of viral marketing from 2008 to 2014 can be taken as a rough estimate of the position of Viral Marketing in 2020 from its standpoint in 2014. Compared to the low penetration of Social Networking in 2008, it has become a basic necessity to a major chunk of the population.

So, if anything can be predicted from History, Viral Marketing is bound to get Viral in 2020!

Closing words:

Other than the two analyses, there might be some other factors that are going to influence the future of Viral Marketing

1. Government Regulations: Condom Brand Durex is planning to resort completely to Viral (read cost-free) marketing as its price had to be cut down from 14 to 8 due to Gov. Of India’s upper cap on Condom prices at Rs. 8.04

2. Specific Events: Certain events like Olympics, Fifa World Cup temporarily pushes a lot of Brands to go Online

3. Type of Products: Certain companies cater to a segment of population not likely to become tech-savvy soon

4. Overcrowding: Too much Internet Noise might make lot of companies stay away from the herd

5. Image: Certain companies might stay away from this massy style as it will tarnish their premium image


So, Viral Marketing in 2020 can go down two highly likely paths

(i) Go Viral! Be the future of marketing

(ii) Grow but gradually become stagnant due to overcrowding and temporary rise and fall nature of Viral Marketing

Predicting with absolute certainty will only result in the scripting of a “Love Story 2050” in 2008! So, let time lead us on.

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Marketing Mantra September Edition – Shortlisted Entry #6 – Avinash

Viral Marketing 2020

With the passage of time the meaning and form of marketing has been changing. Marketing is no longer a static process rather has become a dynamic one. There has been a transition in marketing from production orientation to social marketing orientation. Now, viral marketing is the future.

Everyone would be aware of ‘Kolaveri di’. Within three weeks of its release on YouTube, the Kolaveri Di video garnered 19 million views and was shared by 6.5 million Facebook users. It was drawing more than 10,000 tweets daily by the end of its first online week. Having garnered over 45 million views so far, it has proved with its success that viral marketing works in India too. This case study explores what made Kolaveri the sensation it became and lists the elements that make up an ideal viral marketing campaign in India. Viral marketing is the Internet advertising or marketing that spreads exponentially whenever a new user is added. Viral marketing assumes that as each new user starts using the service or product, the advertising will go to everyone with whom that user interacts. Viral marketing has a huge potential not only because of a single factor but due to multi-dimensional factors. There has been an increasing social media penetration among the people. A research shows people in Britain spend more than 8hours and 41minutes using media per day. Habits of people have been changed. People spend more time online for anything or everything that they need.
For example: – People prefer to read news online than to read news conventionally through newspapers.

Viral marketing in 2020 would be a reality due to various reasons. Online is a far more cost efficient for advertisers. (Ex. uploading videos through social media is far cheaper than buying television commercial space.) It can target the masses with its far greater reach since the internet is a worldwide market.
(Eg. The Ikea campaign began in Sweden and was shared and recognized throughout the globe).

Frequency is greater since it is shared through social media with repetitive views and clicks. (E.g. A successfully executed campaign with creativity and humor demands multiple views, such as the Samsung’s The Next Big Thing. This increases the chance of the target viewing the promotion multiple times and creates a lasting message.) There is an element of interactivity which is the key factor of social media marketing is being successful both consumer side and manufacturer side (where he gets feedback through comments and reviews). Interactivity as a key element in a campaign allows not only for consumer feedback on a product/brand, but allows the target to become involved with the brand and establish a meaningful connection with it.  (Ex. Blendtec’s ‘Will it Blend’ campaign allowed viewers to send in email suggestions of what should be blended next.

Old Spice responded directly to individual tweets/emails with a personalized video featuring the Old Spice Man.  Burger King’s ‘Subservient Chicken’ campaign allowed users to type commands for a man in a chicken suit to perform.  The Dark Knight campaigns took interactivity to the next level, and unlocked special sneak peek trailers through fan participation, as well as invited fans to participate in various rallies and events. The list goes on and on, as interactivity is clearly an integral part of a successful viral marketing campaign.) The ease of sharing information is becoming more intuitive by the day through smartphones, tablets and other internet-enabled devices which will make online viral marketing far more appealing than other mediums. (E.g.:- You can scroll down to the bottom of this page and share this to Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ with a single click.)

With all the advantages, viral marketing is a viable option for the future as long as the advertisers reinforce their campaigns with solid execution and integrity. For example is the Valve campaign in which the company provided their fan base an opportunity to impact the release date of an upcoming popular title however in the end could not deliver, which speaks volumes to the fact that execution is absolutely key.

In 2020, Companies and organizations would be busy in making viral videos rather ads for TVs or newspapers. Most of them would be focusing on making viral video for simple ads too with the technology and resourced that is available with them. We might have ‘house for rent’ classified in newspaper replaced with a viral video for it in an youtube channel. Ads and ad campaigns might be competing for likes and hits rather TRPs. There would be daily record brakes of no: of likes and hits very often and also new figures and landmarks set in the field of Viral Marketing. Social media platforms would increase their servers and technology to accommodate viral ad campaigns. People might be more interested following the mannerisms and tag lines of the ad campaigns rather than that of dialogues and mannerisms in movies.

Overall, viral marketing campaigns have provided a fresh addition to the ever diverse advertising industry. With so many successful campaigns, it is hard to overlook the impact this type of marketing can have. As technological advancements continue to develop, advertisers are provided limitless opportunities to reach consumers through smartphones, tablets and other internet-enabled devices. With this in mind, online viral marketing can target individuals no matter where they reside. For these reasons, it was the group’s consensus that online viral marketing will not only be a player as the most used medium by 2020, it will be the leader.


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Marketing Mantra September Edition – Shorlisted Entry #5 – Arathi Mohan

Viral marketing in 2020

“Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill” — Buddha

Is viral marketing just glorified word-of-mouth over the internet?  Or, like the microscopic virus, is there more to it than meets the “eye”?

The term ‘viral marketing’ was coined by Steve Jurvetson and Tim Draper in 1997. The term is used to denote the rapid rate at which information (formal or informal) is disseminated across already existing social networks of friends, relatives and colleagues.  Human nature guides us to avoid risks by following herd behaviour, even when it involves making big purchases with our own money, especially when it comes to purchases of consumer electronics like mobile phones and laptops, white goods like refrigerators and washing machines and automobiles. We tend to feel safety in numbers.  When a lot of people in our circles recommend a particular product/service, one thinks that he/she can be guaranteed of good returns. Marketers utilise this particular aspect of human nature. The key lies in targeting the opinion leaders in a particular community.

Opinion leaders have exceptional influence over others in a community. Their opinion is much sought-after. Marketers are harnessing the power of the internet by using email as the means of connecting to present and future clients. The email is inexpensive, can address a wide audience in a short time, can be selectively targeted and has a relatively high response rate. However, the problem of spam is becoming very pervasive. I am sure we are all familiar with the annoyance of looking at a crowded mailbox. Spam is any message sent by a person unknown to the recipient. Most of us do not think twice before deleting such mail. This is where it is important to get people familiar to the prospective customer to endorse the product to him/her.

Mass media like advertising is effective in marketing communication when it is necessary to inform the market base about an innovation in the field. Interpersonal communication and network effects are important for persuasion. The key to success is to “generate a buzz” in consumer networks.

In his book The tipping point”, Malcolm Gladwell has stated that for any social phenomenon to reach critical mass or to attract sufficient number of followers, three factors are required: a set of exceptional influencers; stickiness factors to make the message memorable; and a environment conducive for the change.

The environment is ideal for viral marketing. The internet penetration rate in India is around 20% while it is around 46% in the U.S. Even though it may seem that India lags behind developed nations when it comes to internet usage, the number of people turning to the internet is increasing every year. In 2013, there was a 31% growth in internet users in India as compared to 2012. According to an Ericsson report released in May 2014, India will have 500 million mobile broadband users by 2020.

However, just as there is a tipping point for effective viral marketing, there is a saturation point as well. In a research paper titled “The Dynamics of Viral Marketing” by Leskovec et al., conclusive evidence has been found that shows that a prospective client may not be ‘converted’ (i.e., the customer connect may not translate into an actual purchase) every time he/she is exposed to the “virus”, i.e., a member of his/her network who has already been converted. Instead, the research found that although the purchase probability does increase initially with the number of recommendations received, this quickly saturates to a constant and low probability. This shows that customers are often immune to recommendations for products that they do not really want or need. Often, the customers respond only to those recommendations for which they have willingly signed up for, after having gone through product and merchant reviews. Often, most people sign up for recommendations related to their hobbies/leisure activities, from something as general as books, music and movies to more exclusive and niche activities such as calligraphy and stamp collection. This shows that more often than not, recommendations are welcome to the extent that they are asked for.

 It is interesting to note that a small fraction of the products accounted for a larger percentage of recommendations in purchases made at e-commerce giants like Amazon. This is a deviation from the well-known Pareto principle or the 80-20 rule, which states that top 20% of the products account for 80% of the sales revenue. The study found that the top 20% of the products contribute to around half the sales. At Amazon.com, around 20-40% of the revenue comes from outside the top ranked 100,000 products. It is impossible to effectively reach out to a niche audience using traditional mass advertising methods. More selective targeting and customisation of the message is required in such cases. This is a void that the clever use of viral marketing can fill.

Recommenders are often given incentives in the form of discounts for the number and quality of their referrals. Depending on the number of their contacts that they successfully “infect” with the “virus”, the incentives they receive also increase. However, the companies should be cautious so as to avoid excessive incentives, which may spur influencers to make undesired recommendations which could undermine their credibility in their network.

So, there are opportunities galore in the market for the relatively new and infectious phenomenon called viral marketing. The key to success lies in understanding the specific needs, interests and opinions of different customer networks, identifying the key influencers and customising recommendations for each individual in the network. Viral marketing can produce different effects from network to network, product to product and time to time. Marketers should identify the potential and harness the power of networking.


  1. Leskovec, J., Adamic, L., & Huberman, B. (n.d.). The Dynamics Of Viral Marketing. ACM Transactions on the Web, 5-Es.
  2. Phelps, J. et al.(n.d.). Viral marketing or electronic word-of-mouth advertising: Examining Consumer responses and motivation to pass along email. Journal of Advertising Research, December 2004.
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Marketing Mantra September Edition – Shortlisted Entry #4 – Dibyendu

 Viral Marketing in 2020

Viral marketing has generated a lot of excitement recently , in part because it seems like the ultimate free  lunch: Pick some small number of people to seed your idea, product, or message; get it to go viral; and then watch while it spreads effortlessly to reach millions. Unfortunately, for every high-profile example of a successful viral product—FlashMobs, the Star Wars Kid, or Narendra Modi’s election campaign of “Abki Bar Modi Sarkar”—there are many more attempts that fail. But if it hits the right chord then it becomes instant hit and provides the product huge visibility and boosts its sale by manifold.

History of Viral Marketing:-

The history goes deep into 1990s when the concept of virus/viral marketing came to forefront. The  pioneer of this street smart approach was Hotmail which was the first free web based email service provider. When Hotmail first began, they decided that the best way to entice new customers would be to reach the friends, family and colleagues of each user they had. So, in the footer of each and every email that was sent from a Hotmail account, the Hotmail team placed a link that read something like this: “Want a free email account? Sign-up for Hotmail today!” And yes, believe it or not, this strategy went, as we know call it, viral. The days have passed and people have found out new ways to spread the buzz. Social media like Facebook, Youtube have become powerful tools of spreading the word.

Viral Marketing Currently:-

In current market scenario marketers prefer this cost effective way to reach the market. A video on  Youtube have the potential to reach a population as large as a million people (sometimes even more) in a single day. Be it ALS ice bucket challenge or ‘Dumb ways todie’ or Dove real women real rewards campaign, the viral marketing strategy has worked wonder. In B-School poster making or video making competitions are often graded on its potential to go virus or the efficiency of the participant to drive it to become viral. No of likes on Facebook or Youtube serves the purpose of grading.

Future of Viral Marketing, Revolution 2020:-

The potential of viral marketing as a concept has established itself and now it is time for it to deliver results never seen before. Previously an advertisement campaign was made keeping in mind the target group of people and the value proposition of the product but now it has become absolutely essential to add a pinch of salt which would provide the video a potential to go viral. Now day by day it is becoming an absolute necessity for the companies to have a dedicated team designated to generate creative campaigns which could generate a huge buzz. The firms will pay professionals who can create a viral campaign rather than investing on celebrities and make a campaign of high budget.

The role of technology would be of absolute importance as that is the most powerful media now to carry out viral campaigns. Organizations like Google, Facebook or other e-commerce website uses complex algorithms based on artificial intelligence to locate target groups depending on surfing habits, ordering habits, interests etc. If a person wants to see a video which is not of regional nature then depending on the person’s current geographical location the advertisements are projected else the flavor of the regional video is used to choose the ad. Once the group is identified the companies throw targeted advertisements to them. The possibility is more that the person with interest in bikes would share a video of bike stunt and trigger a viral campaign. The algorithms would surely undergo changes to attract specific group and precisely trigger the campaign. People are having more and more exposure to smartphones and tablets which are making the users virtually 24*7 available to the marketplace and also provide the user an easier medium to share information or ideas. It is gradually zeroing down the gap between the campaign and users and thus increasing a synergy. Now all that is needed for a campaign is not to be boring! That’s it.

The thinking process of people is changing. People are becoming more dynamic and open to try out things. Now campaigns do not find target group rather people find advertisements of their choice. People spend a large share of their leisure dedicated to social networking sites or surfing internet on a broader scale. People are becoming aware of social causes and happy to lend a hand to spread more awareness. They try to keep themselves up to date in respect to whatever is happening around them and thus try to reach to the campaigns. This phenomenon make viral marketing an exciting field to play with as it has an enormous potential at its disposal to change the way of marketing altogether. A day would come when there would be two types of campaign: 1. Viral Campaigns, 2.Flop Campaigns. This would put even more performance pressure on people working as the maker of those advertisements. Market competition would increase in multiples as it would become a high risk ground to play.

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Marketing Mantra September Edition – Shortlisted Entry #3 - Pranjal Nigam

Viral marketing in 2020

When a pebble is dropped in a pond it creates tiny waves spreading outwards. But just imagine each wave travelling faster with geometrically increasing intensity than its preceding wave, it would break hell in that pond isn’t it. A strategically well designed viral marketing works on similar lines when a small marketing ploy transmits like a wildfire and scales up its intensity in no time proving even better than core marketing strategies. A classic example would be recently popular ALS ice bucket challenge which picked up pace in no time and not only spread awareness about the disease but generated huge donations worldwide which would never be possible otherwise with conventional marketing strategies. Gone are the days of traditional advertisements in digital and print media which were used by marketers to market their product and services. It’s an era of viral marketing and it’s evolving with such an enormous speed that we can only imagine what quirky and eccentric ways would be adopted by marketers for viral marketing in 2020.

But why viral marketing is becoming so much popular within enterprises to market their product and services so much so that marketing agencies are hired just to design such ploys only. We have to delve a little deeper to find out the causes. Consumers are showing increasing indifference and even resistance to conventional forms of advertising such as TV and newspaper ads. With evolution of social media the very existence of these traditional media is under huge threat. Secondly it’s highly cost effective because it breeds on various free and existing network channels. Once the information reaches opinion leaders and product innovators they then themselves become the propagator of the information and hence the market the product. It also provides effortless transfer from one viewer to another. A mere mouse click is needed to share the information. With these prodigious benefits a successful viral marketing campaign is today’s every marketers’ dream.

No doubt viral marketing has a great future and it is here to exist and proliferate but what would be its features and in what manner it would be used incoming years still remains topic of interest. Not every viral marketing campaign is successful and with surge of these campaigns the success rate would go down further. Primary challenge would remain to identify the target customer segment and how to reach them most effectively. Word of mouth and social media are the two most effective channels but how to choose the first audience. With strong network effects, it is critical to access not only customer’s intrinsic value (how likely he is to buy the product) but also his network value. Network value is proportional to the number of people he commands a positive influence. Even if his intrinsic value is low and he has a high network value, it is worth marketing to him as he’ll propagate a chain reaction. Facebook and other social websites have already started such data mining to gauge the customers that rate high on network value. In 2020 we can expect marketers to have intensive detailed data on network chain of every person present on internet and his network value and this would be probably most valued data.

Other sources are dedicated knowledge-sharing websites, chat rooms and discussion forums. Knowledge-sharing sites are product centric and contain detail reviews of new products. E-commerce retailers have already incorporated knowledge sharing features in their websites where consumers can rate the product and write reviews. Motorola tied with Flipkart to sell mobile phones in India through Flipkart only. Ratings and reviews of the phones played a crucial role in marketing of Motorola. In 2020 we could very well see this to become almost a trend with products being directly launched on E- commerce websites. With huge surge in E- commerce retail business these websites also are another and more credible source of consumer buying habits. Customers have accounts on these websites which are often linked with social websites. This provides a unique opportunity to combine both the data and accurately quantify customer’s intrinsic and network value. 2020 would definitely witness a much more colluded and collaborated version of e-commerce retailers and social networking websites and hotbeds of viral marketing.
Another feature that would be a much more widely used in viral marketing in 2020 is “people who bought x also buy y” feature. This is a unique way to make customer aware of a completely different product which matches his lifestyle. In 2020 each customer would be recommended a unique list of products suitable to his lifestyle. As much as internet can help in creating awareness and recommending customers what to buy and what not, but it cannot completely substitute personalized recommendations one receives from human sources. It is human nature to get interested in what friend buys than what anonymous person buys. In 2020 we could very well see viral marketing done by incorporating means to associate with other beliefs and vogues that people associate themselves with. Many viral marketing campaigns nowadays are weaved around a social cause or a burning issue. 2020 will witness such campaigns associated with all sorts of tangible and intangible entities that a certain group of customers relate to. Music, art, sports, drama, fashion trends these all would be media of viral marketing and much more exploited to market their products in unique ways. By this time you can very well imagine a popular actor in a sitcom or a rock band guitarist displaying a tagline t shirt of one of the new launched brand.

Viral marketing can have its disadvantages as well. If not used appropriately it can prove to be counterproductive as well. It can also be used as a ploy for ambush marketing by competitors. 2020 will probably witness high number of ambush viral marketing campaigns where the motive would be to deter consumers from buying a certain product. In all Viral marketing contains huge prospects in the year 2020.


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Marketing Mantra September Edition – Shortlisted Entry #2 – Sindhuja A.



What is with the buzz word “Viral Marketing”? Any internet advertising or marketing that multiplies exponentially as and when a new user views gets added is known as Viral Marketing. This is done based on the fact that each user interacts with one or more persons to whom it spreads. These techniques use social media and networking sites to increase brand awareness or the cause for which the marketing is carried out. Since it self-replicates as a viral process with each user activity, it is appropriately termed as ‘Viral Marketing’

Andreas Kaplan, Professor of Marketing, ESCP Europe Business school calls upon three factors that are imperative for the success of a good viral marketing: The messenger, the message and the environment. When these factors are critical for any type of marketing, why is that viral marketing occupies a special position in the current modes of advertisements? The answer is simple: People spend more time on social media than print, radio or television. Reaching out to consumers has never been this simple, provided the strategy is right. In that case, let us examine the strategies for a correct execution of Viral Marketing to make a mark in the year 2020.

1. Give a valuable product/service for free
Nothing works like the word “Free”. Initial forms of viral marketing utilized this as the mantra. Classic example is that of Hotmail.com, which gave free web-based e-mail services for free. This in turn induced many more users to spread the word across to their friends circle, who started using the service as well.

2. Effortless transfer to others
Why do doctors advise us to stay away from people who have cold or cough? It is because viruses spread easily when they are easy to transmit. Similarly, viral marketing has to be simple, easily transmittable through multiple media and short to hold on the interest.

3. Huge Scalability
Scalability is a must for the success of viral marketing. Many companies start the marketing campaign with little efforts to analyze the scalability. Once again, Hotmail had a scalability problem because once the virality spreads, the company will need enough mail servers for the increased number of users.

4. Leveraging upon common attitudes
Some common attitudes among consumers are to be known as cool, intelligent, a person of elite tastes, and so on. Consumers always go for the products or services that boost their image. Functionality, in 2020, will take a backseat in comparison to hedonic consumption. Capturing such behaviours and designing models that satisfy such consumers will be the need of the hour in 2020.

5. Tapping upon existing networks
According to many social scientists, each person has around 8 to 12 people in their close circle of friends or family. The theory of six degrees of separation also suggests that every sixth person in the world is connected. Rather, they are six or fewer steps of introduction away. Utilizing this set of existing networks becomes essential for a viral marketing campaign to succeed.

The success of Kolaveri Di song and ALS Ice Bucket Challenge are only a case in point. The perfect use of viral marketing made the song and the campaign successful among the viewers/listeners. Every aspect of viral marketing – be it the messenger, the message or the environment have been properly captured these cases.
Especially, what worked with ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was that “It was own-able, unique, iconic and simple” as quoted by Max Lenderman, CEO of the agency school. He adds, “It is highly broadcast-able, yet it is so personal because of the calling-out aspect. Also, what worked here was ‘SLACKTIVISM’: The feel-good factor obtained by doing something that is not hard to do, and yet get a sense of making a contribution.

With increase in importance for Mind Share as a part of Market Share, consolidation may take a backseat. For instance, Pinterest has grown bigger in a very less time than Flickr which was once a preferred choice. Much the same can happen with social relationship management too. This will be a big ground where Viral Marketing can extend its reach.
Democratization of Social Influence
It is expected that by 2019, around 4 billion registered users out of which around 1 billion being serious and active users on the internet will drive the market. This indicates that “Key Influencers” will be around thousands or even millions of people. Democratization of Influence will definitely be the next big step for Viral Marketing.
Re-design of Brand Presence
Businesses will start redesigning their CRM, ERP, and HR Tools to support social web presence. When buyers look for brand presence on the social web, static brand websites will start moving towards online presence. Openness in IT, transactions and communication of messages to the consumer will be the order of the day. This can also reduce time-to-market which is currently outweighing patent protection.

Overall, Viral marketing will create a social revolution of sorts in 2020. Just like how the industrial revolution of the 17th Century modified the way goods were produced, Viral Marketing in 21st Century will give a transition to the way goods and services are sold in 2020.

1. C Long, RCW Wong, Information systems 2014 Elsevier, Viral Marketing for dedicated customers, Volume 46, pp. 1-23
2. Dr.Ralph F Wilson, The six simple principles of Viral marketing, Feb. 2005, Web Marketing today
3. www.afaqs.com

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Marketing with fun

Have you ever imagined a Tupperware box being used as an alternative to pass messages to a pretty girl in class? Or a hair clip being used to slurp noodles in the mess for the lack of forks and spoons?

Well, the companies that market these should have indeed paid a visit to IIM K on 12th July, 2014, to witness the wacky, innovative alternatives of objects as mundane as buckets & a sweat-shirts. MAD Ads (brought to the students of IIMK by none other than mPower, of course), an event that encouraged budding marketers to come up with unconventional, non-traditional (and as many words with the prefix ‘non’ and ‘un’ that you can think of), something that left the coordinators wondering if they would ever use these products again. Why so? Well, some things can’t be disclosed. You need to witness them to relate to them.
2 rounds of fun, creativity (and of course a rationale)- MAD Ads witnessed it all. From inventing jingles for L’Oreal Noodles, Mortein Bread & Bajaj Nail Polish, to developing an entire ad for a nontraditional use of handkerchiefs & buckets, these 12 teams from PGP18 did everything for the spirit of their section.


But, if all this makes you feel mPower is just a fun-place to be, think again. We do have our share of serious business & through BrandPower we reiterated the same. 6 teams battled out to give an effective branding strategy for the 3 flagship events on campus: Echoes, Backwaters & Calicut Marathon.

Right from Kotler’s basic STP strategies to elucidating the budget for advertising – the teams fought out to develop the right branding strategy for these events.

We’re sure these events not just ignited the marketer in all the participants & spectators, but were also instrumental in waking up the child & the CEO in them.

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7 Marketing lessons from NaMo’s campaign

How many of us reading this post right now are from the era where promotion of almost all activities including pre-movie releases, advertising and campaigning for the impending elections were all done using insensitively blaring loudspeakers attached to an auto-rickshaw that used to move around the city/town at the most annoying hours of the day? Or, when individual party members used to visit each and every household in the vicinity, enlightening the apparently ‘ignorant’ masses about their clean, bright party members contesting from that area. Well, most of us may just have heard of such happenings, never experienced them, thanks to the speed at which Marketing methods and its channels are evolving, over time.

The hue and cry that has been raised over the 2014 elections by citizens, journalists, fanatics and political parties alike, is surely going to be responsible for making India a better country. If we try and look closer on issues, we realize that this phase has taught us many lessons, an important one being ‘Marketing, irrespective of how good or bad the product is, is inevitable’.

Until a few months back, Mr. Narendra Modi was a household name just in India. But, of late, he has become famous internationally, owing to the positive and at times, negative publicity that he received throughout the entire campaigning journey. Very recently, his interview with Mr. Arnab Goswami (Chief Editor, Times Now) had gone viral with the hash-tag #ModiSpeaksWithArnab trending at the #1 spot worldwide and receiving more than 30Crore Tweets within hours of the official telecast. Here, the question worth pondering is whether it was Modi’s Gujarat Developmental model and is impeccable oratory skills responsible for transforming him into a cult-figure within months? Or was there something else that complimented it?

NaMo 2

We are all aware of the 4Ps of successful marketing, of which ‘Promotion’ is inevitably the most important one. Well, what better than today’s political scenario can exemplify it?

1. Packaging of products is more important than anything else

Mr. Narendra Modi, a petty chaiwala, as some of his ‘worthy’ opponents call him, knew the importance of being presentable when in business. He hired an international advertising agency to not only help him publicize his ‘Gujarat model of development’ but also to transform his image to that of a leader who everyone can trust. Today, there is no denying to the fact that APCO worldwide, with its ‘professional and rare expertise’ has made Gujarat appear like the most developed state of India and Mr. Modi, every Indian’s saviour. Purpose served!

NaMo 12. Time is of essence, keeping brand recall in mind

If you closely analyse Mr. Modi’s rallies, road shows and interview sessions with leading journalists, you will decipher that there was always a valid reason behind scheduling them on those dates. Most of his important rallies were held just a day or two before those regions went into polls. Be it his most important interview of the season with Mr. Arnab just 3 days before Varanasi went into polls on 12th May or his addressing at Amethi, all highlight just one thing – intelligent organization of events from his side.

3. Take into consideration customer requirements and aspirations

Call him the ‘poster boy’ of BJP’s advertising campaign if you may, but you cannot deny the fact that his magic has definitely worked upon Indian people. India is in such a state today, that the first thing that it requires is an able administrator and a dependable leader. Mr. Modi’s charismatic personality has given India the much needed hope that coupled with his impeccable management skills and lessons learnt from handling Gujarat for more than almost a decade, has made the citizens believe that he surely has the capability to revive India from its present sorry state.

4. Choose your crew wisely

Well, with Mr. Modi a new era has ushered in where hiring image experts and exotic American agencies is the in thing. By roping in ad-makers like able admen of the country – Mr. Piyush Pandey (Oglivy & Mathers fame) and the celebrated lyricists like Mr. Prasoon Joshi (Taare Zameen Par fame) – whose words were eventually converted into catchy jingles like ‘Acche din AAne wale hain’ etc., he has proved that in every possible way, he means business.

5. Choose the right medium

One of the most important reasons for the success of BJP or ‘Modi Sarkaar’ as it is popularly called, is the effective utilization of all mediums of communicating with masses. Be it his conventional yet strikingly engaging ‘Chai Pe Charcha’ sessions, or the Google+ hangouts where millions of fans and naysayers from across the world got a chance to interact with him, or his more than 4.1 Million dedicated followers on Twitter who followed his actions religiously and helped spread the word or their quick tracking down of the DD National debacle, all signify just one thing– He is fit to be the leader of today’s generation.

NaMo 4

6. The sales & marketing personnel should be proud of their product to convince customers to buy it

Mr. Modi’s charisma, partly due to his own persona and partly induced by his PR agency (APCO), gave every single supporter including the lakhs of common people a feeling that he is the right choice for India today. Be it the party-workers or the media or his social media fans – they had gone berserk over him, his ideologies, his principles and thus, were confident of his success well ahead of the final results on 16th of May. He gave India, the much-needed hope (Article preciously published at InsideIIM. Read here– http://insideiim.com/is-namo-just-a-fine-marketing-baron-politics-and-management-series/).

7. Choose the face of your advertising campaigns wisely

The parched ‘Rann of Kutch’ (N. Gujarat) never really found place in our ‘Holiday Destinations’ List’ until everybody’s favourite, Mr. Amitabh Bacchan started endorsing it. Is it that within just a few months’ time, Gujarat tourism, almost magically flourished? Well, Mr. Bacchan is an adulated figure in India and the Government of Gujarat used this fact to their advantage, very smartly positioned Gujarat as the ultimate tourist destination. By doing this, they also managed to subtly highlight the work done by Modi-led Government in this respect, without directly portraying it.

NaMo 3

Now, at this juncture, it would be suitable to discuss a few caveats that anti-Modi personnel used/still use against him (Most of which, I personally find to be very funny) –

- Modi hired an American ad-agency for image building. So, he is a wannabe.

- Modiji is dumb. Why does he have to hire agencies to market himself? If he is so clever, why can’t he do that himself?

- Modi was the poster boy of the entire BJP campaign. There are no other leaders left in the party?

- Ab ki Baar, Modi Sarkar? He is thirsty for power.

- Brand NaMo.. if only, it existed!

- Too much involvement, one man army?

- Modi’s way too outdated for our generation. He is devoid of any ‘Yuva Josh’

- We are a nation who need leaders who have it in their blood. They are sacred. What is wrong in harping on to the achievements of their long-gone forefathers!?

- How can the sacred and intellectual land of India be run by a Backward class Tea vendor?

- Gujaratis take pride in NaMo. They are anyway a dumb race

The hullabaloo (yes! precisely that) of the 2014 elections may have ended on a fairly positive note for some. But, for the people who still believe in any or all of the above statements and are still apprehensive about embracing Modi, I just have one counterargument – He has been entrusted with the responsibility of managing this country by millions of sensible citizens. He is now our esteemed Prime Minister. So, you better show him some respect!

(Originally posted on InsideIIM.com by one of the mPower members)

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