Friday, April 29, 2011

TV ratings remain flat for IPL

Through IPL 2011, ESPNcricinfo will be tracking TV ratings using the TAM People Meter, India's leading TV ratings system. This is the second installment in the weekly series

The 2011 IPL continues to struggle to attract viewers compared to last season, with ratings down 21.99% on average for the first 26 games across six key markets. The drop was even steeper over the last ten games, with ratings falling by 27.08%. The likely culprits are cricket fatigue and a lack of familiarity with the teams, say media experts.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Leaders as brands

When we talk about a leader as a brand, the only Indian example that used to come readily to mind was that of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. He was an undisputed, undeniable brand in every sense of the term. This is not to undervalue the contribution of other political leaders like the simple but effective Lal Bahadur Shastri or the charismatic Jawaharlal Nehru, both of whom had their followers. Suddenly the Indian leadership stakes has a new entrant in Anna Hazare. What a leader! If someone can actually move our government and even the normally sluggish Manmohan Singh to action, he deserves nothing but the highest praise and the eligibility to enter the top brand management stakes. While it is understandable if I were to break into eulogistic rapture about his actual achievements I shall carefully desist and attempt to stay with the leadership brand, its characteristics and the learning therefrom for young aspirants. What can we learn from the Annas of the world - about leadership and branding?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Champions on the field!

Intrigued by the headline? The different faces of India are fodder for our columnist this week.

If the sponsors and organisers of the Cricket World Cup 2011 had drawn up a wish list before the impressive opening ceremony at Dhaka, the list might well have included:

Teams from the subcontinent in the last four (well, three of the last four were from the subcontinent)

India beating Australia in the knock-out (ideally it could have been the semi-final but I am not complaining).

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Fill it, shut it and forget the advertising

In the mid eighties I used to be the account executive on the Ind-Suzuki brand as it used to be called those days and used to watch the work of our competitor Hero Honda with fascination and ill concealed admiration. Hero Honda launched a four stroke bike (to the disapproval of my erudite friends in TVS) clearly positioning the new product on fuel economy. The ad campaign which I can still recall had the tag line “Fill it, shut it, forget it”. To put it mildly the consumer forgot all the other brands (well almost) as the new campaign and the new brand took the market by storm and continues to rule the two wheeler roost two decades later. The Hero Honda Splendor has been an enduring brand success, built on a product which works brilliantly in Indian conditions and on the Indian psyche (fed and nurtured as it is on fuel economy) and is an excellent example of clear, single minded communication that has been consistent over the years. Hero Honda, the company did many things right and as a former executive of TVS Suzuki confessed privately to me “the best thing I did was invest in Hero Honda”. Competitors know the value of the company they are competing with right? Just as any team that played Australia in the early 2000s would tell you what it meant to beat them and the collective ambition of the entire cricketing world was to beat them and when they did it rarely it was a cause for wild celebrations. Let’s return reluctantly to our brand story. Suddenly (though it has been brewing for some time now) the two companies have split and Honda will soon launch two entry level bikes even as the Japanese giant is building a new factory in Andhra Pradesh and looks to beefing its distribution presence.