Advertising & Practical Thinking

The advertising profession is cold and cruel. The power of practical thinking is a perfect antidote.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Megabrands and Minibrands.

Two giant companies are attacking the marketplace with two diametrically opposite strategies.

The Kellogg Company is creating a megabrand with Special K (, November7) its cereal brand. Chocolate snacks (Special K Chocolatey Delight,) water (K20 Protein Water), snack bars, snack bites, and even watches that calculate calories burned (currently sold in the UK) are adorning the scarlet letter K.

Catering to different “need states,” Special K hopes to become the dominant global “diet” brand.

In the meantime, PepsiCo (, November 9) is launching Fuelosophy, a high-energy protein drink line.

However, Pepsi does not want to be associated with this new brand, nor does it want it to be available at every retail outlet. Fuelosophy, a minibrand, will be available only at one chain, the “darling” retailer brand of a segment of consumers – Whole Foods.

Earlier this year, PepsiCo introduced the Sun Snacks organic line of sunflower-oil chips and cheese puffs, exclusively at Whole Foods.

Pepsi believes this is a unique test marketing strategy and will allow it to determine brand acceptance (success or failure) at a very low cost.

A tale of two companies. It is the megabrands of times, the minibrands of times.

Two very practical strategies.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Oh What A Relief It Is.

The last three days have indeed been a relief. No more mud-slinging, name-calling, absolutely uncalled for negative political advertising on television or radio.

Do not know if a study will be conducted to see if the candidate who was more belligerent about their opponent won or lost the race. The results would be most interesting.

There have been no voicemails with pre-recorded messages from Senators, ex-governors, candidates, or volunteers seeking votes. No obnoxious calls at 9:00 PM with “Hello this your Senator calling you to remember to vote this Tuesday for…”

The US Congress banned telemarketing a few years ago; however, political causes were exempt. Most self-serving!

Well, the next round of national elections (primaries) will start in about 400 days. No, that does not mean we will be free of this nonsense for that long. The next round of local municipal elections will start in less than 90 days!

Good political marketing should be considerate, civil, and caring. There will be less voter apathy.

Remember the “Morning in America” 1984 campaign for presidential candidate Ronald Reagan? Brilliant political marketing!

Thursday, November 02, 2006


This October, a few milestones (kilometerstones reads, and sounds, ridiculous) were reached and they need to be recognized by global marketers.

The US population crossed 300 million. In 1971, this number was just over 200 million. Not too many marketers paid attention to this crossing. Sad!

The DOW Jones Industrial Average rose above 12,000. It closed above 1,000 in 1972.
The population of India has doubled since 1971.

The Sensex (The BSE-Sensex is the benchmark index of the Indian capital markets) rose above 13,000. It was only in 1990 that it reached the magical 1000.

There are now 100 million Web sites with domain names and content on them.

All these numbers have serious global implications.

The Power of a Logo.

In July, a particular candy bar with a distinctive logo (chocolate brown background, a red parallelogram with two of its corners curved, with a white fill-in, and the brand name in a blue, all uppercase italics font) started a ubiquitous out of home advertising campaign with the brand name replaced with words like Sattisfectellent, Nougatocity, Hungerectomy, Substantialicious and Peanutopolis.

Absolutely brilliant!

And the brand, Snickers.

In October, it was revealed that the most popular bottled water in history (in a green glass bottle, that made its entry into the US in 1976) was launching a campaign to attract the younger audience that did not know about the brand.

On the label of the green bottle (an elitist brand in the mid-seventies and early eighties; and, there were people who ordered this brand on the rocks!) the name of the brand is replaced by words Sexier, Crazier, Flirtier, and Sassier.

The brand, Perrier.

Snickers, imitation is indeed the best form of flattery. Kudos to you. Perrier, you are three months too late!