Growth in real India is for real now.



Emerging economies are providing the growth to the world GDP than the developed ones is a fact known to all. In fact it’s the emerging markets who miraculously helped the recovery of the world economy. Ditto is true to India, while urban markets are saturated like the developed ones its the rural markets which have become the growth engines in many a sectors. FMCG to Automobiles to Durables to Telecom every sector is looking towards the hinterland.

With 20% plus growth in FMCG, Unilever is believed to be investing heavily by recruiting rural sales force and by increasing retail presence, according to a recent report DTH sales contribution from rural is as high as 60%, talk to any marketer the same story. What does all this mean? are we prepared to this shift of consumer mindset?

Sheer change in numbers are mind-boggling from a mere 200 million urban middle class to almost 700 million heartland’s new consumer class. The stimulus package for rural employment which is close to $8.5 billion is what I believe is doing the trick. For the first time in independent India’s history government is really infusing money into rural system. In next couple of years you will witness real India emerging with gigantic consumption, to illustrate whats in store; look at the rural BPO’s in Tamilnadu and Andhra Pradesh which are significantly cheaper because of low overheads and infrastructure cost.  Now look at the economic and consumption impact of education sector’s growth. What “Bangalore” did to urban India is what “Kizhanur village” is going to do to rural India.

In short education and employment with infusion of money by government is bridging the gap between the villages and cities. Imagine 700 million mobile phones ringing at the same time, and now imagine the cash registers..

The pace at which life in a smaller town is changing is unbelievable, young guys are the changing agents powered with education, a mobile phone connection and exposure to big city ambitions are influencing the mindset of elders. This changing India is difficult to understand as this India is diverse and deep.

Why do people pay more?


This day and age even brands have become commodities, middle class invasion from the BRIC nations especially  China and India forced the world to give cheep and best products. This lead to a discount warfare, literally eroding margins. Holding on to margins and costumer’s loyalty had become the new change. The more you discount your brand the more margins gets eroded along with its brand equity & loyalty.

How do you get out of this rut? ask brands like Apple & Coca Cola. There are two reasons why people pay premium: 1. Aesthetics. 2. Emotions. Now look at any brand in the world which commands a price or image premium would hang on to one of the above.

Selling aesthetics. Take fashion, lifestyle or technology brands and look at the successful ones they all manage the aesthetics very well right from the product design to positioning to merchandising there will be a consistent visual or sensory appeal which goes beyond rational reasoning. While products and technologies are commodities in the market, esthetics commands premium and the consumers are willing to pay a little to a lot for this differential. Remember its next to impossible to create product differentials which makes sense to the consumers. Apple, Gucci, Armani, Swatch, Samsung, Ferrari, Puma, Fendi, D&G and more follow this path.

Building an emotional bond. Zippo to Harley Davidson to Cadbury to Coke to McDonald’s to Mercedes to J&J to Whisper their are many brands who find an emotional purpose in your life. Why do grown up men cry when they lose there Zippo? why do people kill themselves to own a Harley? why do we forgive even if there are worms spotted in your Dairy Milk Chocolate? why do we put money in a bank which just went bust? An emotional bond with the consumers buys blind faith, loyalty and willingness to pay more.

Neither Apple sells technology nor Cadbury sells glass and half of milk.

Why Piyush Pandey is the greatest Indian Ad-man ever?


Piyush Pandey was recently been conferred AAAI lifetime achievement award, an honor usually reserved for retirees. Piyush is still a practicing creative person in short a working legend. He is Indian advertising’s greatest, I will place him above Subhas Ghosal, Alyque Padamsee and Mohammed Khan for simple reasons: he single-handedly changed the target audience from elite British Indians to middle class heartland bharatvasi’s. And also for putting Indian advertising amongst the global greats. (I had the privilege of working with all the above legends except Piyush.)

Above all he is one of the greatest human beings I have met in my career, what can you say? In this pseudo advertising and corporate world, where people hesitate to thank there wife for being an inspiration and support in public, this man brings his mother to the ceremony and proudly introduces her to all honchos present. I always admired people who do not hesitate to show respect for parents and family in public. I can not think of any other Ad-man doing that.

Piyush is a large-hearted man, loves his life enjoys every moment with a hearty laughter. I have never seen him crib about anything. This is what gets reflected in his work and also in his agency, always enjoys and celebrate life. As we at Burnett believe that “creativity has the power to transform human behavior” Piyush showered enough creativity to change the way common people behaved in this country, right from “Luna” finding a place in middle class India to nation celebrating the success of “Pappu” with Cadbury Dairy Milk to Wah! Sunil Babu To Asian Paints to celebrating real life characters in Favicol.

He changed the way Indians looked at advertising, he had created many stars, gave new vocabulary, made people love advertising more than television programming. I can go on and on as an insider what he had done to the Industry and why he deserved the award and this blog.

Martin Scorsese Directs New Chanel Cologne Ad


Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese lends his talents to Chanel to create a commercial for their new men’s cologne, Bleu de Chanel.

Following the classic Scorsese model, a rebellious young actor, played by French actor Gaspard Ulliel (of ‘Hannibal Rising’), refuses to conform to expectations and falls in love with a woman who fuels his work with passion and turmoil.

All that’s missing is the famous Copacabana Nightclub sequence from ‘Goodfellas,’ along with much of his signature violence, though we guess that wouldn’t be appropriate for a cologne ad. Watch It:

Scorsese’s Bleu de Chanel commercial is the latest example of the fashion world tapping famous names to direct their commercials — or “short films,” as the companies have begun calling them. Gucci recently released a preview of the 3-D ad for their new fragrance Gucci Guilty starring Evan Rachel Wood and directed by Frank Miller of ‘Sin City’ fame. The full “film” will make its debut on the MTV Video Music Awards on September 12.

Louis Vuitton tapped director Zoé Cassavetes for a short called ‘Hide and Seek,’ for which she took Vuitton’s summer designs on a romp through London. And Sofia Coppola directed an ad for Dior’s fragrance Miss Dior Cherie, and is rumored to have recently shot yet another for the luxury fashion house with Natalie Portman, a company spokesmodel.

Interestingly, this isn’t Scorsese’s first short: He shot Michael Jackson’s ‘Bad’ video in 1987; the full-length clip runs 16 minutes, but was edited down substantially for television.

Considering that he’s directed 17 actors to Oscar-nominated performances, a role in a Scorcese film is coveted in Hollywood, and Ulliel feels similarly. “Martin Scorsese is a director whom I’ve admired for a long time,” he says. “I see him as one of the great masters of contemporary filmmaking. Throughout the five days of work, he overflowed with energy and enthusiasm and achieved something that truly stands out from other fragrance commercials.”

source:By The Editors of StyleList

“Creativity has the power to transform human behavior.”


This is the new belief of Leo Burnett worldwide. We pride ourselves as a “HumanKind” agency, because we recognize the business of brands starts and ends with people. It is only when you look at a problem through human lens you’ll find an answer which makes sense to human beings. Its amazing when you put people in the centre of things you tend to find answers effortlessly. In this era of people, brands are hardly owned by the manufacturers or marketers hence how do you find a meaningful or purposeful place in peoples lives is a billion dollar question.

We are social animals, what binds us together are religion, nationality, language and shared values. Brands therefore propagating these values are likely to bond with people longterm than those who talk about transactional things.  Brand Tata is a classic example of upholding the values of Honesty, transparency and integrity which are ageless and are still relevant to the brand as they are to society.

HumanKind thinking recognizes the motives behing human behavior and try to tap them for brands. Its a very simple principle of juxtaposing humans and brands together, map the similarities and make people see them. As you can not make people change their behavior to force fit them into your scheme of things you need to understand people and find a purpose to your brand in their life.