Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Advertising Insights by Kirit JAsani

April 11, 2016

Kirit JAsani

If something is easy to reach, we tend to use it frequently. That is true with information also. In past 7 months, I have shared information with you on branding and advertising by writing various topics on my blog. I hope; this information would have been of some help to you. However, it is quite possible, for some reasons you may not get connected to my blog precisely when you want to refer a particular post. So, I have prepared a PDF mini book of past 12 posts. Just download it and keep in your PC or iBooks and refer it as and when required.



Following 12 points are covered in this PDF mini book.

  1. How to use customer testimonial in ad?
  2. The power of simple visual
  3. What if your brand name is inspired by a product subcategory?
  4. Demonstrate your key feature visually
  5. Perceived leader is always winner
  6. How long you should continue with same visual?
  7. Should PR precede advertisement?
  8. Is a good brief reason of good work?
  9. It’s Shockvertising!
  10. In Marketing Perception is everything
  11. The critical decision in marketing, line-extension or new brand launch
  12. Marketing lesson in RSS’ move from shorts to trousers



It’s shockvertising!

January 27, 2016
Kirit JAsani

Kirit JAsani

Broadly, an element of shock helps in differentiating your communication. In major cases, it also makes the communication more memorable and grabs immediate attention. But shock is not an easy element to deal with.

If shock is a dominating factor in your advertising than your ads can fall in shock advertising or shockvertising category. By definition it means, ‘deliberately, rather than inadvertently, startles and offends its audience by violating norms for social values and personal ideals’. So, if an ad disregards a tradition, intentionally challenges social or moral code, displays images or words that are horrifying, terrifying, or repulsive it should be seen as shock advertisement.

Horny poleHeavy use of shockvertising is observed in public policy, service, health and cause segments. Here ads are designed to grab attention and create a buzz so awareness of a particular issue becomes a point of focus and it can cut through the clutter of messages. One such public issue is noise pollution resulting from ever increasing vehicle traffic and excessive honking. To address this issue, somewhere in May 2015, 93.5 Red FM in association with the Mumbai Traffic Police launched a campaign ‘Don’t be horny’. Under this initiative Radio Jockeys (RJs) from Red FM talked and discussed various aspects of noise pollution, especially the problem of honking on Mumbai streets with all the listeners, traffic authorities and doctors. In the month of June 2015, Lions Club Thane in association with Thane Traffic Police replicated the same campaign in Thane. Towards the end of 2015, Ahmedabad witnessed many pole kiosks with message ‘DON’T BE HORNY’.

Good initiative! But I am sure this headline must have put many parents and elder members of family in an awkward situation, when being asked by their kids, what is horny? Primarily horny is used for its vulgar meaning of feeling great sexual desire. In no way, it means to make a loud noise using vehicle horn or excessive use of horn or a person who uses a horn beyond a reasonable limit.

Further, perceptual defense becomes of prime importance here. Perceptual defense is the tendency for people to protect themselves against ideas, objects or situations that are threatening or disturbing. This means, if a consumer finds a certain kind of advertising content threatening or disturbing, that message will be filtered out. In many cases, an acronym of French Connection United Kingdom – FCUK is observed as offensive or disturbing; the same way horny might be considered as disturbing by many. For this reason the message ‘don’t be horny’ may get filtered out.

Therefore, be extra conscious, if your communication contains an element of shock. Also don’t use shockvertising too frequently considering its long-term effect on brand.

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Is a good brief reason of good work?

January 11, 2016

Kirit JAsani

Yes, no doubt about that. You dig a little in any good communication piece and soon you will know there was a good brief, a clear brief from the client. But that is only one side of the coin; the other side is equally important, how agency worked on that particular brief.

The level of clarity in brief, most of the time gets reflected in the work. But, still from no brief to ambiguous brief incidences keep on surfacing. I believe, when a client shares a clear brief and agency acts on that brief, the resulting work would be very impactful. In another way, this justifies famous words of David Ogilvy, ‘Clients get advertising they deserve’.

Majority of those, who are responsible to give brief understand the importance of clarity in brief. But when Spotlight Communication was working with Italia Group, I found Mr. Nandan Deshpande (then brand manage) was exceptionally good in giving a clear brief. His brief for creative always intended to result in a piece of communication, which can connect the target audience in a correct sense. While working on Piccolo Porcelain Mosaic, Mr. Nandan briefed our agency for one campaign targeted to architects and Interior designers. He was clear; Architects and Interior Designers always need freedom in creation. We have 70 colours, 5 sizes and 2 looks in Piccolo Porcelain Mosaic. Essentially we offer a wide choice. If the campaign can connect this freedom with choice of colours we can expect a good result. It was a crystal clear brief.

Now, that was our turn to come out with a creation which stays true to the brief. We proposed a campaign with a line ‘More Colours More Freedom’. In this campaign all creatives were developed in black-white treatment, except the colour in core visual. Visuals were selected, which are normally seen in black-white e.g. Penguin. We changed the white part of Penguin with various colours and associated it with the headline More Colours More Freedom! This solution stayed on brief and worked for the client. I must say such an effective campaign would have not been realized without a clear brief by Mr.Nandan Deshpande.

Piccolo 01


More colour 3 ads

So, if you are in a position to give brief, be damn clear in your brief. If you are expected to work on a brief, justify the brief in totality.

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Perceived leader is always a winner

October 20, 2015
Kirit JAsani

Kirit JAsani

Most of us would have studied on typical blackboards of school. We would have read textbook and practice books. Undoubtedly, at some point in our schooling days, we would have used educational syllabus based supplementary books such as Navneet Guide (Digest), Workbooks or 21 most likely question sets. However, in recent past these blackboards and textbooks have undergone a radical change.Navneet-Publication

Now classes are turning digital. School teachers show various videos and animations to their students to explain subject content. So who would lead this digital race in an education sector?

Short answer, the brand which gets succeeded in generating a perception of leadership inside the minds of target audience would surely lead the race.

Navneet Education Limited understood this very well. While printed syllabus based supplementary books have their own importance, digital textbook material would be an enhanced way to explain the content. So, Navneet took an absolutely right branding way by creating eSense Learning Pvt. Ltd., a digital education subsidiary of Navneet Publications. Under this new venture, they launched brand TOP SCORER.

Top Scorer logo

This brand TOP SCORER offers online smart learning packs for Grade 1 to 10 students in CBSE, GSEB and MSEB. Here students can buy complete study pack or selected chapters as per their wish. This total material is having ‘audio word by word as per the textbooks’ and further they are supported with 2D and 3D animations. There is a facility to take test, check results and detailed analytics in every respect, for example, a student would know where he or she is standing in the entire state!

In my opinion, in terms of product offerings, TOP SCORER happens to be the finest in all available options of digital study material. Now, the brand will require establishing their leadership in digital study material the way their parent company Navneet Education Limited did in print segment. For that, TOP SCORER would require communicating their differentiation very clearly and with more frequency to the target audience. At this point, TOP SCORER can take the highest advantage of their fantastic differentiation ‘Audio word by word as per the textbooks’ as in a long run this may not be an exclusive advantage. For easy acceptability of product, TOP SCORER would require students and their parents to believe by using this product; study concepts will be clearer and results will improve significantly. Nevertheless, such claims are believable only when being communicated by a leader. So TOP SCORER needs to emerge as perceived leader in this segment, and I see all the possibilities of that thing happening.

Still, best of luck to TOP SCORER. For more details on this product visit


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Which colour should be selected for your brand?

February 10, 2010

Kirit Jasani

Article published in Marketing Master Mind – February 2010, written by Kirit Jasani.

Which colour should be selected for your brand?

When companies want to launch new brands, they normally select the colours which seems to go with the product category, or a colour which is being used by their competitors. By doing so, they underestimate the power of colour and miss the opportunity to be a unique brand. Here is a detailed guide on how colour selection should be done for a brand, as it forms a very important part of the branding element in the long run.

When you have to create a brand name thousands of ideas can be explored as there are innumerable alternatives. But when it comes to the selection of colours, the choice is comparatively limited, and some of them may be inappropriate for one reason or the other. In such a situation the normal tendency is to choose colours similar to those being commonly used by the industry or by other brands in the product category. And this is where a classic mistake of branding is done. The basic underlying principle of branding is that you have to differentiate your brand from those of your competitors. To understand this more clearly, let us explore further through a practical example.
Electrotherm (India) limited is a multidivisional ISO 9001:2000 certified company. it has a division, known as Electrotherm Renewable Division. The first product of this division is a solar water heater; and R&D is in process for other products related to wind energy, etc. This division was in plans to come up with a new brand of solar water heater. They had done all the home work. The brand name had been decided as “Electra” and the logo was ready too! But the colour scheme was in question, and the entire brand identity had to be reviewed again. This is not a good practice, as the time and effort required on the part of a brand management agency to rectify it, could sometimes exceed that taken for the original creation.

The Logic of Colour
What colour might the company have selected initially? Yes, you have guessed it right – ‘green’; and this is the classic mistake. You would say, what is the problem in selecting the colour green? It is very logical because the division is working on renewable energy, which is otherwise identified as ‘green energy’, and hence the choice of colour is quite logical and meaningful. True, very true, but branding requires focusing on consumer perception, rather than on logic.
The perception related to colours was inculcated in our minds when we were children, and began drawing and colouring. In the primary school the child at sometime draws natural scenery with trees, leaves, water, mountain, birds, the sun, etc., and the child is taught to colour the picture using the appropriate natural colours. If a child is applying red colour to leaves the teacher immediately corrects the child – “No dear. Always remember leaves are of green colour.” And the kid changes it to green. Since that time, green stands for leaves and trees, brown for mountains, blue for water, black for birds, orange and yellow for the sun, etc. Once the mind has accepted green for leaves, it is next to impossible to change the association. This logic is extended when the same kid grows up and becomes a business head of brand manger of a company. He would think leaves means green. Absolutely true!

Why not Green?
We had an opinion that Electra should not go ahead with the green colour. Because branding is a long run process and to achieve success in the long-term, you need to differentiate; stand for something specific and colour is one of the elements that facilitate the same. A new brand should generally avoid adorning the colours which are already put on by someone else. But this is, at times, really difficult to implement because there is only a limited palette of basic colours. Red, Orange, Yellow, Green and Blue are the basic distinctive colours, while black, white and grey are neutral colours. It is always advisable to select from among one of the basic colours, rather than going in for a mixed colour. But the question here is which colour should one select?

Each colour is different, and each one has a significantly different impact when it is viewed. Colours, which are at the red end of spectrum, focus slightly in front of the retina, and, therefore the objects in those colours seem to travel towards us. Colours, at the blue end of the spectrum, are focused slightly behind the retina, and objects in those colours seem to move away from us. Orange, being at the red end of spectrum, has got properties similar to red; and green, being on the blue end of the spectrum, behaves almost like blue. Yellow is at the middle of the spectrum and is neutral on this dimension. Thus, Red is the opposite of blue, and orange is the opposite of green. Red is considered the colour of excitement, and blue is considered to represent stability.

While selecting the colour for a brand name or logo, the brand manger or CEO normally aims to be in tune with the category, rather than creating a unique identity. Usually, the safe colour to select is the one that is symbolic of the category you want to be in. But, what if someone else has already occupied the space with that colour, much earlier than you? This hard truth is overlooked most of the time by managers and CEOs, and they end up selecting a colour which puts the brand in a cluster among others, thereby making it difficult for it to stand out uniquely and distinctively. This was the case with Electra too.

Why is Blue the best colour?
A new brand should not occupy the same slot already appropriated by the competitors. If you are trying to fight with the established leader, then the basic guideline is – “Always be the opposite of the leader.” When you look at the leading players of the solar water heater industry on the colour spectrum, what you would see is that ‘red’ is occupied by SunRay and V-Guard, ‘Orange’ is taken by Warm Stream and Gilma, and ‘Yellow’ is used by TATA BP Solar. Thus, there was no point in selecting red, orange or yellow colour for Electra as the objective was to have a unique identity. Among the prominent primary colours, the only choices available were green and blue. Electra had already prepared a brand identity using green, thought it was not entirely in green, but used a mix of green and black. (Exhibiti: 1)

Exhibit 1: The initial Logo proposed by company personnel


However, anyone entering the renewable energy business was likely to use some shade of green. Thus, it was possible that several new players would ahve green in their logo, packaging, in their collaterals, on their websites, etc. Therefore, by selecting green, Electra was likely to end up placing itself in a clutter of green, establishing a unique visual identity would become difficult. If the target audience is confused about the identity or cannot recall then brand, sales prospects would be vastly diminished.

And what is the probability that anybody jumping into the renewable energy segment will go for a brand identity in blue colour? It is obvious that the possibility is relatively quiet low. Therefore, here was a chance which was not affordable to be missed, and a chance to rectify the classic mistake made by company as the product and not yet been launched officially. Hence, it was advised that the company should have its logo in blue colour (Exhibit: 2)

Exhibit 2: Vaccant space for colour selection by Electra

But there was a question. Is blue a good colour for a solar water heater? Our honest opinion – “May be yes or May be no.” But what is more important here is the creation of a unique identity, rather than looking for what is good or logical. To look at it in another way, the blue identity helped in establishing the fact that Electra was distinct from the existing leading players, and thus avoided the unnecessary exercise of trying to attract people towards something similar to the others.

Font Style and Orientation of the Logo
Along with colour, the identity created by team Electra had a few other problems, such as font type, size and proportion. There is no doubt that it was preferable that the logo had a horizontal orientation (landscape), rather than a vertical one (portrait). However, it had to be of a suitable proportion. But the logo created by Electra was too stretched out horizontally, and was not visually appealing. The attractiveness was also diluted due to the slit font type used in the logo. To overcome these problems, a new brand identity was proposed and the same was accepted by the Managing Director of Electrotherm Renewable Energy Division. In this new logo, a graphical representation of the sun was also incorporated, and it was still in a single colour, i.e. blue (Exhibit: 3)

Exhibit 3: Logo created by agency

The change in the brand identity and its colour served two basic purposes, firstly, it created a different identity among the clutter of solar water heater manufacturers in the market and secondly, it solved the problem of visibility at the retail level. When both the identities of the same height are compared, the new identity turns out to be a clear winner in terms of visibility (Exhibit: 4). This is quite important, because barring minor aspects of some features, most solar water heaters are almost similar; yet, consumers are always looking for something different.

Exhibit 4: The old and New logos compared

The product with new brand identity
After creating a new brand identity, it has to be used to promote the brand in every possible manner, especially when one has selected a different route. All communications should highlight the colour associated with the brand logo, so that whenever a target consumer comes across the brand, he recognizes it immediately, and this provides an opportunity for recall and reinforcement. The brand should establish ownership of its colour.

In the case of Electra, change of colour identity had to start from the product itself, as the division was ready with 2000 pieces, which required a change of colour. The colour scheme of the product in stock was change and the difference in visibility and distinctiveness between the two versions is shown in Exhibit 5.

Exhibit 5: The product - with the old and new brand identities

The company had a positioning line called “the fiery sun”, which actually did not mean much and did not get translated into benefit for the consumer. So, this was changed to “the solar energy expert” as this brand – Electra of the renewable energy division was meant to operate in the solar energy segment only. It might be preferable to have other brands for future business in wind energy and other forms of renewable energy.

Consumers rend to associate with brands which draw their attention and position themselves in a unique way. Therefore, teaser ads were designed and utmost care was taken so that the brand comes to won the blue colour. The teaser ads were prepared with blue colour prominently in the background , and with a contrasting graphic of an orange sun. A set of three teaser ads were used, which said – “ Hum laa rahe hai, suraj ko dharthi par” (we are bringing the sun to the earth), and showed a young family stretching our joyfully to reach out to the sun. They were followed by the main advertisement, which revealed the brand name and logo and said “The solar energy expert, Laye hai Electra solar water heater, ab har roz surj uthar ayega dharthi par.” (We have brought Electra solar water heater. Now the sun will descend upon the earth every day) Refer Exhibit 6.

Teaser ad 01


Teaser ad 02

Teaser ad 03


Revealing ad

Brand colours should be selected considering what colours have already been used by the competitors. If any colours are strongly identified with specific brands, they should be avoided. Also, avoid falling in line with the common colours used in the product category. The purpose of branding is to stand our distinctively. It is advisable to use a single colour (one of the prominent basic colours) in one’s brand identity, rather than using a mix of colours. Once a brand colour is selected, it must be used in all forms of communication so as to establish ownership of the chosen colour.

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