The kidult generation

Who are kids? Nobody who is 8-12 years old considers himself/herself a kid. Kids to them are less than five years old who have not yet started going to a proper school. Kids are those who watch Doraemon, Barbie and Chhota Bheem. Kids are those whose mothers help in homework. Kids are those who are still into board games, art & craft and soft toys and spend most of their time at home. The ones who go to tuitions on their own are adults. The ones who have a 9 AM – 6 PM day out like their dads and sometimes moms, are actually adults. The ones who like Shin Chan and Power Rangers are adults.

Those who were once considered the latchkey generation, today is the kidult generation. Kidult is not kiddie. Kidult is cool. Kidult is aspirational. Kidult is something what the adults do, done in a child like manner. The coding is very adult for everything they do – eat, wear and play with. They have Facebook accounts, they have ‘cooldude’ and ‘hotgal’ as email ids. They chat on the net. They understand logic. They are the Smiley SMS Gen as the only language they converse in is visual. They read visually and communicate in abbreviations. And  that is why they hate language (Marathi/Sanskrit/Hindi) as a subject but love Math, Geometry and Speech and Drama. Brevity is in their DNA. Short attention span is the key trait and subjects that demand objective and logical answers are nice. Long sentences are their bane. The power of expression of words is lost on them. Potter’s wand is finally mightier than the pen.

Mobile phones (read smartphones and tablets), MP3 (read iPods), Play Stations (read PS3 or Wii), Laptops are the kidult ‘gifts’ they demand and get from their parents. All these are expensive and adult like. Gone are the days when Pokemon cards and Tazzo collectibles were traded. Now GTAs, CS and Soccer games are the mobile apps they use and share. Or better still play against each other – not face to face but online in front of two PCs in the same room!

Certainly, they are growing older younger. And adopting the adult way of life much earlier. So the toy laptop morphs into a real one as soon as they start going to school. As they grow older, they quickly move away from animation to live action, from kids’ channels to GECs and from fairy tales to reality – all this while we still call them kids.

Then should we market to them in the same manner as we do with the adults? Certainly not. Avoiding long copy and providing visual text apart, within this age cohort are smaller homogeneous behavioural sub segments.

Copy, Create and Conform are the three key cognitive behaviours across this age cohort. The youngest age of formal school goers viz 7-9 years is prone to copying role models. Hence Hannah Montana, Power Rangers and Michael Jackson define what they like and do.  The next segment of 10-12 years old are the most creative. As indeed was Harry Potter when he entered Hogwarts or Mowgli when he was sent to the man village. Brands can get them to co-create new concepts and start an indelible connection and engagement with them by creating a unique experience for them. The last cohort of 13-15 years is the one that chooses to conform to what the cohort as a whole does. They dress alike, behave alike and sometimes even look alike. Their parents become less and less influential and peers become more and more important. As is evident with Harry Potter when he formed Dumbledore’s Army, a secret study group, to teach his classmates the higher-level skills of Defence Against the Dark Arts that he had learnt.

Brands must understand whom they are targeting when they say kids. And for starters, they should stop addressing them as kids. As they are kidults having fun with their own versions of kidultery across various ages.

via Pitch — The kidult generation.


Study: Only 1% of Facebook ‘Fans’ Engage With Brands – AdAge

For a few years now, brands have been touting frothy Facebook “like” numbers as evidence of their social-media acumen. But how many of those fans are actually bothering to take part in conversation with brands?

Not too many, as it turns out.

Slightly more than 1% of fans of the biggest brands on Facebook are actually engaging with the brands, according to a study from the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute, an Australia-based marketing think tank that counts Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola and other major advertisers as its supporters.

To get to these findings, the researchers used one of Facebook’s own metrics, People Talking About This, the awkwardly-named running count of likes, posts, comments, tags, shares and other ways a user of the social network can interact with branded pages. It was unveiled last fall as a way of giving advertisers a sharper look at at the level of activity on their pages.

Researchers for the institute looked at this metric as a proportion of overall fan growth of the top 200 brands on Facebook over a six-week period back in October and they found the percentage of People Talking About This to overall fans to be 1.3%. If you subtract new likes, which only requires a click and in the minds of the researchers are akin to TV ratings, and isolate for more engaged forms of interaction, you’re left within an even smaller number: 0.45%. That means less than half a percent of people who identify themselves as like a brand actually bother to create any content around it.

You might assume these are damning numbers. But this isn’t necessarily the case.

“I don’t think it’s a bad thing,” said Karen Nelson-Field, senior research associate for Ehrenberg-Bass Institute who describes herself as a “Facebook advocate.” “People need to understand what it can do for a brand and what it can’t do. Facebook doesn’t really differ from mass media. It’s great to get decent reach, but to change the way people interact with a brand overnight is just unrealistic.”

In the background here is the thinking of Andrew Ehrenberg, the late mathematician who was highly skeptical of conventional marketing wisdom. In dense statistically-oriented papers, he cast doubt on concepts such as brand loyalty and was never sold on the persuasive power of advertising. Now his disciples advocate achieving broad reach through mass media. Brand growth, they maintain, is attained not by reaching a few loyal fans but a larger number of light and medium buyers. In this understanding of the marketing and media worlds, social is just another media channel useful for its reach rather than any notion of engagement.

This research jibes with that thinking, as does a separate study from Ms. Nelson-Field looking at the distribution of buying behavior among Facebook fan bases. In that study, she used web-based consumer panels to examine the behavior of Facebook fans of two unnamed repeat-purchased brands, in the chocolate and soft-drink categories. The key finding was a much greater occurrence of heavy buyers in the Facebook population than in a more general population of customers. The study also found that purchase frequency didn’t increase after someone became a fan.

In other words, Facebook fan bases skew toward heavy buyers rather than the more casual shoppers that a brands needs to reach in order to grow. Again, unless you’re someone who believes marketing on Facebook alone constitutes a full strategy or you’re lining up for the inevitable Facebook IPO, this isn’t all bad news. Facebook does provide good reach and its audience of loyal fans is good for market research and word-of-mouth advocacy.

If there’s an overall caution, it’s against, in the words of Ms. Nelson-Field, “putting a disproportionate amount of effort into engagement and strategies to get people to talk about a brand, when you should be spending more time getting more light buyers.”

via Study: Only 1% of Facebook ‘Fans’ Engage With Brands | Digital – Advertising Age.


Team RKS BBDO’s ‘Touching Story’ wins over India

It all started when Rashmi Ambastha, a writer at RK Swamy BBDO, came to know about a short filmmaking competition, called ‘48 hours Film Project’, being held for the first time in Delhi. The competition, organised in more than 100 cities around the world, is already quite a rage among short filmmaking fans in India and has been running successfully for the last four years in Mumbai. Ambastha then shared the idea of making a short film with her friends from Client Servicing, Account Planning, Designing and Writing, at RK Swamy BBDO, and thus was born ‘Junkyard Productions’ under the confines of the agency. As a befitting compensation for the discovery of the competition on Google, Ambastha patented herself as Team Leader (and now also lays claim on the tag of Founder-Member) of Junkyard Productions.

With their theme ‘Mockumentary’, a character Dhooniya Lal, and a mandatory dialogue ‘I Love Delhi’, team Junkyard Productions got down to create ‘A Touching Story’ in just 48 hours. “Rashmi discovered the competition and pulled us all into it. And we were lucky that there were no Monday presentations on that golden weekend – as we now call it,” reminisced Ankur Suman, Brand Design Director at RK Swamy BBDO, who wrote the script for the film and also called the shots as the Director.

So how did the team manage the film along with pitches, work and deadlines? Suman shared, “Being in advertising we have been acclimatised to late night working and adhering to absurdly short deadlines. That practice helped us a lot. Now in hindsight, I can say that we treated it as a pitch, not consciously though! The other aspect that became our strength was phenomenal team work. People stuck to the tasks assigned to them, without poking their nose in areas handled by others. It ensured smooth functioning. We managed our resources well.”

But what none of these amateur filmmakers knew at that time was that they were making the most award winning film of that competition. The sweat and efforts of those 48 hours got team Junkyard the Best Film, Best Actor, Best Writing, Best Use of Dialogue and Audience Choice awards, along with the grand prize of Rs 1 lakh, at the 48 Hours Film Project. Since then, the film has travelled to many cities, being screened in Vadodara, Darpana Art Academy in Ahmedabad, Blue Frog and Jai Hind College in Mumbai, Poorvi Sanskriti Kendra and India Habitat Centre in New Delhi, and even the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) held in Goa. The film has also been nominated for Jaipur International Film Festival 2012 and will be screened there.

And with all the attention that the film has received, Dhooniya Lal aka Abhishek Dubey, Copywriter with RK Swamy BBDO and also the lead actor in the film, has suddenly come in the limelight. Having written copy for brands like Parryware, ONGC, Roka, and Revital, acting was altogether a new experience, said Dubey, adding, “I knew I could do it, but I never expected such a phenomenal response. The ‘Guard’ personality has been sticking to me since then, but that happens with actors, isn’t it?”

KS Chakravarthy aka Chax, National Creative Director, DraftFCB Ulka, who was one of the Jury members at the competition, called the Junkyard team’s effort outstanding and added, “I am absolutely delighted to learn that this was created by a team from an agency. I had no idea. Bravo, people! The outstanding aspect of this film is the basic premise – an ‘untouchable’, who becomes a security guard, whose job all day long is to run his hands over people, and does so almost as vengeance. Then the writing – the ‘mockumentary’ aspect – is brilliantly handled.”

Chax also urged creative heads in the agencies to support endeavours like these. He remarked, “I think such a forum is an outstanding opportunity for young creatives to whet their skills in almost all aspects of film making, from scripting through direction through post. I really think every NCD should take a leaf out of this young team’s book and actively encourage agency teams to participate, providing the funding and logistical support – I am certainly going to do so at Draftfcb Ulka. Telling a story in 6 minutes is probably the best possible training for telling a story in 30 seconds – it is long enough to force you to flesh out characters, back stories, pacing – and yet short enough to teach you discipline. And because of the time constraint, it focuses on the creative essence rather than gloss and glitz.”

Suman called the response to the film “overwhelming and intoxicating” and added, “The organisation gave us full support in terms of infrastructure and encouragement. Though there was nothing official about this effort and it was purely extra-curricular, RK Swamy BBDO was very supportive and the doors of the office were opened for us through those 48 hours. And when you are shooting a film about a security guard, you need the doors to be opened literally as well!”


Film Credits:
Script & Direction
: Ankur Suman
Cast: Abhishek Dubey, Abhishek Kumar, Harsh, Pankaj, Vibhor, Amita, Suraaj, Ankur Suman
Cinematography: Arnab Datta Chaudhuri, Rashmi Ambastha
Production: Abhishek Kumar, Amita Khanwal, Harsh Chitra, Harsh Shinde, Pankaj Bora, Vibhor Bajaj
Editing: Asheesh, Garima Arora (Invicta)
Music: Vaibhav Saxena Productions
Sound: Invicta & Vaibhav Saxena Productions

via Team RKS BBDO’s ‘Touching Story’ wins over India.


Marketer of the Year: Coca-Cola | Special: Marketer A-List – Advertising Age

In its 125 years, Coca-Cola has been one of the world’s most dependably good marketers. But there have been rougher times, as Joe Tripodi isn’t afraid to admit.

“We honestly believe that the company, probably 10 years ago, lost its way through arrogance, hubris,” said the chief marketing and commercial officer at Coca-Cola.

In mid-2007, as Mr. Tripodi was leaving a successful run at Allstate for the beverage giant, his challenges as outlined by Ad Age at the time included: reverse Coke’s perception as a sluggish, hidebound marketer; find some consistency with its advertising — and agencies; and reduce its dependence on its flagship drink.

Today, with a team of both relative newcomers and company veterans, including lieutenant Wendy Clark, senior VP-integrated marketing communications and capabilities, Coca-Cola is it again. It’s a marketing model not just for mega multinationals looking to share best practices from around the world but also a case study for how upstart and mid-size brands, of which Coca-Cola has amassed many, can use creative stunts and strategic partnerships to get a lot done on a smaller budget.

And 2011 was a year for the record books.

Continue reading Marketer of the Year: Coca-Cola | Special: Marketer A-List — Advertising Age


Starbucks Forges ‘Moments of Connection’ By Offering Experience | Special: Marketer A-List – AdAge

Coffee Marketer Doesn’t Spend Much on Advertising, but Gets Closer to Consumer With Digital, Social Media

Starbucks has long been something of a curiosity in the marketing world because it has spent so much less on traditional advertising than other big chains. And yet, it’s been doing better than what almost anyone expected from it a few years ago.

By 2007, the average number of transactions per store fell, and a leaked memo by then-chairman Howard Schultz said that some of the chain’s decisions “have led to the watering down of the Starbucks experience and what some might call the commoditization of our brand.” Mr. Schultz placed some blame on himself, and pointed to the disappearance of the in-store coffee scent and the mass-chain feel of the stores as downfalls.  In January 2008, Mr. Schultz again took hold of the chief executive reins and announced sweeping plans — including the closure of underperforming stores — for the ailing company’s turnaround, pinning much of its comeback on customer experience and innovation. Since then, the chain has unveiled a number of successful products, including its surprise hit oatmeal and what it called the first innovation in the instant-coffee category in decades, Via. It’s also upped its traditional marketing tactics and bet big on digital and social media.

After kicking off this past year with a massive brand relaunch, including a new logo that signaled its intent to “think beyond coffee,” the chain has been aggressive in its product rollout. It released a line of Bistro Boxes aimed at offering healthier fare and has gotten more aggressive in the grocery aisle with new products like its K-Cups single-serve offerings. In October, the chain said it would launch a “blonde” roast, its lightest offering yet, in an effort to capture a bigger share of the U.S. coffee market; it also announced an overhaul in its packaging.

In its most recent quarter, Starbucks posted an 8% gain in both U.S. same-store sales and global sales.

Offering products customers want and giving them a good experience is a form of marketing for the company. Annie Young-Scrivner, global CMO, calls the customer experience “moments of connection” — those few minutes the company has with its customers, which can make or break how customers feel. “We have one moment to make [the customer's] day,” said Ms. Young-Scrivner. She added that listening to and engaging with customers “has allowed us to stay very fresh” on customer needs with the help of sites such as MyStarbucksIdea, a forum where customers can make suggestions.

Although Starbucks in 2010 doubled its spending, according to Kantar, it still only spent $97.6 million — just about 1% of the chain’s system-wide U.S. sales. In the first half of this year, it allocated $14.8 million for TV out of a total of $51.8 million, and the upcoming January launch of blonde coffee will include national TV advertising along with digital and social media.

Starbucks agencies are creative shop BBDO, which it’s been with since late 2008, media agency PHD, both of New York, and digital shop Blast Radius, Vancouver.

Marketing initiatives this year include social-media efforts and advertising for Frappuccino — which the company said has been the most engaging product on Facebook in the last year — as well as a digital scavenger hunt featuring Lady Gaga. The chain also promoted its 40th anniversary with, among other things, MyStarbucksSignature, a website that lets customers create customized drinks.

via Marketer A-List: Starbucks | Special: Marketer A-List – Advertising Age.


Anand Halve’s 7 principles for client & customer delight – IMPACT

The customer and the client are two sides of the same business coin. Without one, the other too will not exist. Which means that what is good for one should be good for the other.

Simple, right?

But it doesn’t always work that way because sometimes a client’s representative may feel that something that is in the interest of the customer is against the interest of the client. For example, he may feel that offering a lower price for the product or service, which will be in the interest of the customer, will be against the interest of the client because the lower price reduces his profit.

But such a zero-sum game is true only in a short time-horizon. In the long term, both the client and the customer must benefit, for the relationship to continue. The principles that will help to build strong brands ensure mutual benefit. One way to ensure this mutuality is to consider the following seven hypothetical customer statements. Regularly considering these, and making sure that they are never made, will ensure customer delight as much as they will ensure client delight.

Continue reading Anand Halve’s 7 principles for client & customer delight — IMPACT


Exploiting the possibilities of ‘Digital Influence’

I entered the words ‘Digital Influence’ in Google and within .31 seconds the site threw up 81,900,000 results that linked to my search words. Two immediate thoughts raced through my mind.

One: That it has become almost instinctive and second nature for me to look for anything on the web today! It’s almost like I have come to believe that the web holds the answers to everything possible.

Two: That there’s obviously tons of stuff written about the subject already by many people in the world. What could I possibly write on Digital Influence that could be of interest to our world?

I am no digital expert. But I am a lover of the medium and have embraced it with open arms. Because I feel so strongly about the subject, I wanted to share my learnings about the medium and the potential influence it can have on the lives of our clients and consumers.

Continue reading Exploiting the possibilities of ‘Digital Influence’


Why do brands need mobile apps : Exchange-4-media

When brands started getting Internet aware, they discovered a new elixir – of a medium that provided a double whammy of interactivity and accountability. Naturally, expectations ballooned and interactivity became clutter and accountability became risk distribution. On the mobile however, things were different. Where people were used to the concept of free on the internet, on the mobile, people were made to pay for premium content. This sensitised people to the value of content, whether perceived or real.

Over time, the mobile has gotten the keen capability of being a personal device that delivers relevant and premium material to its user, while keeping them connected and conversant. Mobile phones also got smarter, faster and more capable. Today, smartphones can stand neck to neck with PCs for content consumption and basic content creation. Which is making the digital world about being mobile instead of being plugged in. This opens up a huge opportunity for brands, as the relentless march of mobiles over take PC and broadband users the world over.

We’re now in an era where it’s a given that phones connect brands to their consumers. The imperative question is of how they connect them and how that connect is maximised in its yield for the brand. Above all, mobile phones by design, captivate the audience for a longer duration both in length of experience and quality of attention than any other medium available today.

Continue reading Why do brands need mobile apps : Exchange-4-media


Five things you need to know about running a social media campaign – Campaign Asia-Pacific

Matt Sutton, CEO of Aktiv Digital, shares his experiences in running a successful social media campaign.

1. The APAC region is a great place to be in social media

Social media is the biggest communication revolution since the internet itself. There are now more than one billion people on the internet globally and over half of those are on Facebook.

Asia is no exception. 20 per cent of that Facebook audience are in Southeast Asia – that’s just under 100 million active users. We live in an era of social media and niche content with Nielsen reporting that users spend up to three times more time on Facebook than they do on portals.

The existence of re-sellers that understand the space is also critical. By working with the right re-seller, advertisers can engage huge numbers of highly targeted audiences with video, recruit highly targeted consumers to attach themselves to a brand, and create dialogue with those consumers with quality content.
2. Social is all about engagement

Social media gives advertisers the opportunity to create consistent and on-going dialogues with their consumers. The metrics are different to ‘traditional online’ – by which we mean banners – and revolve around the number of engagements advertisers drive with consumers and the life time customer value generated through the creation of these brand advocates within the social media environment.

Opportunities range from recruiting engaged users to interact with your own brand to running bespoke video and rich media banners to extremely targeted sections of these users to get very cost-effective and engaged consumption of your advertising assets.

3. How do you measure ROI for social?

The most important thing about measuring social media is to keep in mind that social marketing is continuous rather than episodic. Yes, there will be campaigns aimed at achieving some short term results but the focus should really be the on-going relationship with consumers. Just like all other relationships that cannot be measured at a given time, social media efforts need to be evaluated over time.

Another important consideration while discussing social ROI is to note that measurement metrics are being adapted from the last generation of digital advertising. To be able to measure the true value of a social campaign we need to first arrive at new metrics that understand the breadth and depth of social media marketing.

With this in mind, it’s important to work with a re-seller that can define these metrics with you beforehand and provide the technology to track and report them to fully understand your ROI.
Continue reading Five things you need to know about running a social media campaign — Campaign Asia-Pacific


The Importance of Relationships-Madhukar Sabnavis’ Blog | Campaign Asia

I was sharing the podium with a famous film director at an induction session of a mass media course in a Mumbai college recently. The filmmaker spoke first and he spoke of the famous ‘Friday’ fear that most of his fraternity have when their films release. The director waits with bated breathe for the audience verdict. As most film makers tend to make at best one film a year, they go through the pangs once a year. Speaking after him, I unconsciously said in advertising, we have many more such Fridays every year -and it’s so true. Every time a campaign breaks, we don’t know whether it’s a hit or a miss – whether the campaign will jingle or bungle. As individual reputations are not made or broken, it isn’t as high profile as in filmdom; but every campaign does its bit of adding to or subtracting from a relationship the agency builds with the client.

When I joined advertising in the 80s, I believed clients are buying ideas – and good ideas sell themselves. In fact, the concept of relationship building was looked down upon. It conjured up pictures of ‘wining and dining’ and ‘supplicating yourself to a client’ for business. We believed that the need was to earn the respect of clients; love will follow. However, over the last two decades I have learnt that clients don’t buy ideas or solutions alone – they buy trust. Deep down, most clients know that every campaign is a ‘gamble’. How much ever research you do- pre or post, exploratory or evaluative, you will never know for sure how a campaign performs until it hits the market place. An idea presented by a junior doesn’t sound as great as the same one presented by a senior who has had years of successful campaigns behind him. At a superficial level, it might sound as client buying people rather than work- but digging deeper it’s about client buying the faith that the campaign could work because of the ‘authority’ of experience telling him so.

In our brahminical society where knowledge and ideas are kings, it’s not surprising that relationship management is seen as a menial task. There is glory in creation and stimulation but not in the softer skill part of pursuation and selling. However, selling in advertising is not just about helping someone see value in an idea but to make him feel comfortable with it – to hold his hand and guide him to implement it. I remember an occasion when a client approved a script- a daring one. While I was returning from the client’s office, he called back and spoke to me for over fifteen minutes to be reassured he was doing the right thing- it was a right ‘risk’ to take. My creative partner, who was with me in the car, wondered ‘why is he so nervous, he has just to do it’. It hit me that often in release of ideas, client’s risks are much higher than an agency’s. It’s the individual client’s career on the block; it’s the more nebulous reputation of an organization called agency that’s at stake at the same time. We need to remember that clients live with an idea much less time than an agency and a client’s appetite for risk and uncertainty is less than an agency’s.

Continue reading The Importance of Relationships-Madhukar Sabnavis’ Blog | Campaign Asia