Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Synapse 2K5 at IIM Kozhikode

The seminar sessions of this year were kicked off by Synapse 2K5 – the marketing seminar, with a bang. For once I was glad that I was a senior here :)

Though I am majoring in Marketing, due to classes and some other priorities, I had to be choosy about the sessions I wanted to attend. Finally ended up attending the two sessions by Harish Bijoor and Balki.

The session by Bijoor was very much unlike his columns. I find his columns a little boring. But the talk had me asking for me. A simple and entertaining discourse on Rural marketing was the agenda. His mentions about Raja lipstick, Priya and Lovely and talcum powder usage which hinted at the potential of the rural market made me wonder why it has been left untapped save the foray by a few big players. Maybe the huge investment required to set up a distribution system that can span all of India’s villages is one of the reasons. Some of the other reasons according to Mr. Bijoor, were the absolute disinterest of the marketers (read MBAs from premier B-schools) towards the unglamorous work of developing a campaign for the rural markets – they feel the action is in the urban market. Another factor was the complexity involved in understanding the rural population – well, blame it on our diverse culture. Well, considering that I didn’t even think about taking rural marketing as my elective – but I had my own valid reasons for the same, the thing about MBAs’ poor perception about Rural marketing does hold good.
Whatever it is, at the end of the session, I wished that we had Mr. Bijoor as a visiting fac for some of the marketing courses.

Btw, guess what's the name of the book Mr. Bijoor is working on?
Customer Orgasm.

The next session by Mr. R. “Balki” Balakrishnan from Lowe was a melange of ads and their synopsis. Don’t we all love ads – especially the ones which have the comical twist at the end? What made the session interesting was not just the ads – we have the Advertising and Sales Promotion classes for that – but the discourse of the psychology behind those ads. Finally, got to hear about the making of the Liril La-ira-ila ad – a drastic change from the girl in bikini ad series. According to Balki, this new add was made targeting the middle aged (35 -40) customers, conveying the message that Liril can bring in that little passion that has been lacking in their lives. Well, one thing is that the pair in the ad looked more like a couple in honeymoon than a middle aged couple who had a dearth of passion in their lives. Also, it remains to be seen how many couples would have watched that ad comfortably in their living room sitting along with their children or their parents. I know for sure that the channel would be zapped if my parents happen to come across it. Am sure most of the middle class Indian households would do the same. Is such an ad successful?

Read here what the other speakers had to say at Synapse 2K5.

Off topic 1 – One more blessed day I got to see the rain in all its glory. Just like the other day, today evening I got to see this huge cloud moving across the valley – sweeping the area underneath with heavy rain. And in just a minute it had crossed the valley. It was almost like a curtain pulled across from one side to the other. Only that, I was watching it with my mouth open, rather than walking away. Too bad I didn’t have my camera ready to capture the video.

Off topic 2 – For all those who wanted to start blogging but dint know which software to choose, here’s a neat comparison chart on the features offered/not offered by some of the popular Blogging Software.


abhinav said...

A marketing seminar is a neat idea.what with finance being in vogue , especially here at C , i feel like a chimp in a mall with my marketing subjects.wish we had better faculties for mar.n i know ive been tagged with the book meme , n i hope to do something about it.soon.

Girl With Big Eyes said...

Hey take your own time. I finally did justice to one of the tags after a delay of 2 months :D

Well, tell me about feeling like a 'chimp in a mall'. Finance is very much in vogue at K too. The current joke doing rounds in K is that if you are not a Fin major you are not doing an MBA!!

But then the Mark seminar is the realisation of a dream my the Mark enthusiasts. All it takes is a small group of focused people to make such a thing happen.

Anonymous said...

GWBE,plz check out this Would be interesting to see how a yuppee MBA takes such articles

~Someone,who leans a bit to the...

prasun said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
prasun said...

Mr. Bijoor may have given a lively presentation, but there is an inherent contradiction in whatever he said. The very fact that the rural market potential was created was because the marketters approached with an "urban" approach and developed needs in them for things like powder and lipstick. so this new potential that he is talking about is actually the result of the "exploitation" he abhors so much

Jupe said...

A few observations purely personal though...

a. Harish Bijoor is a fake...sorry make that FAKE...the last time he came here, we ripped his pants off..not literally of course...and ever since he has been asking for 20k for a 2 hour lecture which obv. the bania wont pay jes for entertaining his employees :-)

b. Balki is a great man but the latest Liril ad is harakiri....He can justify it with all his smooth talk but the fact remains that it changed Liril's image a little too drastically for everyone's good...Going by his logic, Balki will next have an ad for Bacardi with 70 year old grandpas trying to relive (g)olden memories with 68 year old grandmas...imagine both of them swinging them hips to the music and swigging a couple of rums...taking things the way they come...la la la la....wot nonsense...

ps: The first time we saw the ad as a family, my mom did not swap channels but I could see her eyes boring on my left ear watching my reactions...* sigh * We middle class folks * sigh *

Pranay Rao said...

Priya and Lovely?

beezlebub said...

Oh young one, you haven't seen rain unless you saw the rain in Pune this week!! Apparently we beat Cherrapunji in highest rainfall EVER.

If you are interested in some really good marketing and advertising texts you should check out the Strand Bookstore in Bangalore and Bombay. They have excellent international editions, ones that you typically don't find in India,filled with campaigns from around the world- and most of them are discounted at 60-80%. The store served me greatly while I was studying in Mumbai.

arun said...

Thank God , I stumbled on this blog :)
I am feeling Lucky!

silverine said...

Totally agree with your view on the Liril ad and its impact on a sweepingly broad viwership.Our complex demography makes advertising a real challenge. And marketing guys dont help with their reluctance to trust an agency's gut instinct. Good post.

Girl With Big Eyes said...

Well, you are assuming here that the need for such supposedly urban stuff is created in rural markets only through the spill-overs from the urban campaigns. Never underestimate the power of Bollywood! What Priety Zinta wears in her next flick would be the next big thing in even the remotest villages.

a. I don't think he is a 'FAKE', or whatever you meant by that. His talked sense.

b. Don't go giving ideas like that to Balki :P

c. So what was your reaction? :)

And Yes Mr. Pornoy Rao, Priya and Lovely it is!

Saw pics and heard oodles about the rain in Pune and Bbay. :|

Maybe when I finish reading my prescribled books I'll take a walk down Strand and read some additional material. But for now my RAM is full. Thanks for the tip though :)

Hope you were lucky! or whatever you meant, Arun.

Not just that Silverine, after the talk by Balki, I got an idea of what depth they go into will designing an ad. For example, the complex reasoning explained by Balki about the new Fastrack ad is not at all evident if you watch the commercial, like you would do normally.

Anonymous said...

Priya and Lovely talcum powder, do they sound synonymus :) . BTW Mr Bijoor's choice of words for the name of his new book looks like a hype creation exercise, no offence intended just that he could have used the word ecstacy on the place of what ever he is using. May be that will help in the rural marketing of his book :D

Anonymous said...

Rural marketing as you are right is not very glamorous yet. Why? Because today the brightest of our generation have role models like Mr Paul, Vinod gupta and Big Bill. A job as an investment banker at Wall Street triggers a drool effect among our best B schools graduates. The good news is that there are schools like IRMA which are making the difference and there are people who go to villages in Mercedes and start of programmes like the “Tata Kisan Vikas Yojana” and “ITC e-Choupal”. Our generation is under transition that to at the speed of light (I to cant get Bill out of my mind). Today going to US and Europe hasn’t remained as cool as it used to be a few years ago, Why? Because every Tom, I won’t name this guy (I don’t like the name) and Harry goes there. There are some young people who have new role models like Medha patkar ,Sudha Murthy and a recent entry Sandeep Pandey. The change in the new generation is evident. The new kids on the block (tough it may be only 5% of our brightest, but a movement is always started by few) are not scared to walk the “Road not taken”“ because leaves there are not trodden black. They are realising what Frost immortalised decades ago

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference