Friday, May 20, 2011



Badnaam Munni, the controversy surrounding the song, and the popularity of the song worked wonders for Emami owned Zandu Balm; sales doubled during July- September 2010 quarter. Then, the company decided to use Shiela Ki Jawani to sell Boroplus. And now, Emami is funding the entire cost of a Bhojpuri film song that will mention its Himani Navratna extra thanda hair oil. The idea behind all this: cut through the clutter, reach out to core consumers directly, uplift their mood, and make them buy the promoted brand. Also, media penetration being low in markets for these core consumers – rural UP and Bihar residents – the movie itself will act as a good medium to reach them. Finally, Emami has also entered into a co-branding pact with the movie Dum Maro Dum to promote its talcum powder brand Navratna Cool by using the grabs from the title track of the movie.


All voluntary purchases are dictated by our attitudinal disposition towards an item. So the job of a marketer is to create (when non-existent), enhance (when Brands like (from left to right) Zandu Balm, Boro Plus, KFC and Dabur Chyawanprash are coming up with ads that are helping them to cut through the clutter, reach out to core consumers directly, uplift their mood, and make them buy their products low), maintain (when sufficiently high), or even change (when negative) the right kind and quantum of attitude. Dabur has identified 30 villagers in Bihar & UP who will work along with Bhojpuri actor Ravi Kishan, as ‘immunity ambassador’ for promoting Dabur Chyawanprash. Indianisation of cricket in the form of IPL has meant a heady mixture of film personalities and sports, and a mela atmosphere at the matches. And with IPL setting the pace, hockey is now set to get a faster, truncated avatar with a 6, 8 or 9 members a side team, with matches of only 30 minutes duration, music on the field, and an increased pace of the entertaining game. There will be a new title as well – International Super Series. Reason: The marketers (whether Dabur or BCCI, or the World Hockey Federation) have a common aim, that of ensuring favourable altitude towards the marketed brand.

But when a customer is not interested or involved in processing marketer’s information at a deeper level, his mood itself can create the right kind of feeling towards the marketed brand. While not as intense as emotion, a mood is an affective state that is general and persuasive. A stimulus can create a positive or negative mood; this in turn can affect consumer’s reaction to any other stimulus he happens to evaluate. A person in good mood naturally likes something; the opposite is also true. Domino’s Pizzas sold about 30% more when the ICC Cricket World Cup was on recently. Mood can bias attitudes in a mood congruent direction. Consumers in a good mood tend to give more weight to positive information when evaluating a product. So Close Up toothpaste has designed an advergame Fire Freeze in which you are supposed to kiss your colleague, but without getting caught. Gaming combined with the wide reach of DTH TV is the ideal route to involve youth, the target audience and orient them positively towards the brand. HUL has online games for its deodorant brand AXE as well.


In restaurant business there is something called ‘menu engineering’. This refers to the design and strategic placement of dishes to increase consumer spend. Thus, when people are short of money during tough economic times, the menu should be short, with simple descriptions, and the prices printed right after the dish details and not in a column on the right hand side of the page since the latter practice leads to direct price comparison. Even the menu type size needs to be carefully chosen: in a dimly lit restaurant, unless the target diner is Gen Y, a large and clear format is required. Get the customer into ‘right’ mood for ordering. Not only the menu card, the overall ambience also puts the customer in a certain mood. Warm colours are more likely to draw customers to an outlet but can also create tension. Cool colours on the other hand are more relaxing, but are not so inviting. So when the goal is to stimulate quick purchase, warm colours are more appropriate (like in CafĂ© Coffee Day, McDonald’s), in health clubs, sports stadia, et al, where a high level of activity and energy is desirable. Cool colours are more suited when the goal is to have consumers feel calm or spend time deliberating (hospitals, fine dining restaurants). Apple’s stores, for instance, are decorated in white and shades of grey so as to provide a clean, uncluttered environment for showcasing high tech products.

Buyer behaviour and consumption patterns
Consumers may also like a brand better when they are put in a good mood through an advertisement or any other mode of communication. When ads for Huggies disposable diapers picture tender moments between babies and parents, they also generate positive feelings for the brand. Why do you think Johnson & Johnson is able to sell its ‘overpriced’ baby products to not-so-rich Indian mothers? – Through control on consumer/ buyers’ mind due to its highly liked and recalled commercials.

Besides, today’s customer wants to experience a brand in real time. Vending machines should deliver candies to condoms to cans of soft drinks; pop up retail space is a must wherein companies offer an experimental area for sampling the brand. There should be online/mobile platforms allowing users to get opinions on quizzed brands in real time.

Thus, a marketer has several opportunities to induce positive moods in consumers, ranging from service encounters to point of purchase contacts to marketing communication. Total Mall at Bangalore offers a free pick up and drop service to customers. Max Retail has employed NIFT graduates to help buyers select their wardrobe. Lifestyle and Madura garments promise to homedeliver the garment of your size in case not immediately available in the store. Consumers linger in stores with a pleasant ambience, increasing the probability of purchase. In marketing communicationboth the media and the message can influence the consumer’s mood. Both KFC and McDonald’s have introduced products that are heavy on spice, since spicy food is a staple for many in India. KFC has positioned itself as a youth oriented brand with teens and young adults as its main targets. The Nick channel has licensed Dora, one among many adorable characters that it has, to Colgate, while the brand has recently tied up with McDonald’s. Soon SpongeBob Happy meals will be a part of the fast food joints’ menu. Nokia, after witnessing a steady loss of its marketshare in India, is trying to rope in Shahrukh Khan and Priyanka Chopra as brand ambassadors, since the two can communicate the ‘trust’ factor to the target buyers.


Today’s girls no longer believe in fairy tales, nor are they waiting for the Prince Charming to arrive or being swept off their feet. In DDLJ, Raj comes to India looking for his Simran. Now, Saif Ali Khan and Deepika Padukone opt to go their separate way instead of maintaining a long distance relationship in Love Aaj Kal. Movies like Break Ke Baad, I Hate Luv Storys, and Love Aaj Kal have altered the love games. Now couples throw break up bashes in Hindi films, which earlier were all mushy affairs. With the changing stance of the society towards premarital sex, breakups, and divorce people have stopped swearing by love tales. The attitudes have changed. Thus, the marketer needs to create the ‘right’ mood in the potential buyer to influence his purchase.

So, how does understanding the customer mood help marketers? Well, it provides moods cues to aid in consumer information retrieval, and it helps create positive mood states in retail or other purchase settings; this in turn should hopefully culminate in actual buying behaviour.