by: Not-Just-Marketing, Marketing Cell at NMIMS
I went to watch Rockstar today, not just because I am a movie buff but also because it had a power packed marketing campaign knit around it. Respect for all that effort made me bunk my official college festival and choose to watch the movie first day first show. Apart from the brands like Ranbir Kapoor, Imtiaz Ali, AR Rahman – a gripping track involving love, lust, fanaticism and stardom, not to mention the numerous women sighing and screaming by the very presence of RK (who says that sex ratio is falling in India, this suburban Mumbai theatre was just defying the Indian HR ministry’s report) – the one thing that made me write this piece was the track which very subtly established the theme “Be who YOU are.”
Watching movies at theatres are a pleasure because along with comfortable, sofa-like seating (if you are fortunate enough) and some eye candy therapy (again, in the hands of Lady Luck), you gift yourself three hours of complete, unperturbed individualism, where You are Yourself and everyone around You is blacked out. So at points where the movie takes a dip in its proceedings, you gain ample time to think over the things going on in the other 21 hours of your life.
In the case of this movie, the theme of “Be who You are” or “I am what I am” led me to realise that the director is smart enough to hit some hot iron here. The You theme seems to be ubiquitous in the advertising and marketing world nowadays. The most recent related campaigns are those of Levi’s Go Forth, Nokia Whats App, Volkswagon Jetta Flyboy among others.
The Levi’s GoForth campaign says “Your life is your life. You are marvellous. The Gods wait to delight in you” while the Nokia campaign depicts a woman making her choice over one of the most burning issues of her life – which colour of footwear to choose!
Similarly the Volkswagon’s Superhero Flyboy focuses on “There’s a place where You belong” These are just a few examples which represent the marketing scenario in recent times. I have learnt that ‘Media is the mirror to the society’ – thanks to those 10 mark, 300 word ‘brief’ essays that would invariably appear in my high school examinations – and now I see it being applied in real markets. Look around and you will find Yahoo, Maaza, Yatra.com, Nestle (Meri waali) Maggi, etc. all milking the same cow (Misinterpretation of this statement on your part and I’ll be the next in line after Shashi Tharoor to face the ire of the public about cattle class comments).
It is not only Ad campaigns; even social networking and micro blogging sites cannot evade “Your” charm. Everyone’s dope, Facebook has its most prominent feature right at the top: “What’s on Your mind?” Mr. Zuckerberg knows that his website needs to facilitate your individuality, before you dive into a sea of addictive updates from others – which explains the ever-recurring phenomenon: staying awake till the break of dawn and then walking in late for next morning’s class. Facebook is successful in its approach which lets you upload your pictures, share your views, show your support and criticize that which you do not appreciate. In other words, it helps you establish “You” among your friends and family.
This leads us to the revolution of Twitter, again a platform where You can be the change. The recent growth of blogs and bloggers also indicates that now the “I” in everyone has woken up. The market better be ready to serve it breakfast in bed. There are already some riders on this wave. Take Raghu, Rajeev, Rannvijay of Roadies fame and you’ll agree that its commendable TRP ratings are inherently owing to the fact that the show insists upon you being “You” rather than anything else. The same marketing strategy of selling You to yourself is fetching huge success for the uncountable reality shows being aired on the television. Some of them are designed to focus on the growth of Your talent, from something good to the very best (Dance India Dance, SaReGaMaPa, etc.) and others let you be You (though obscenely too – Bigg Boss). So, You are the new brand ambassador of the market! What’s unfortunate is that you didn’t even know it and what’s worse is that you are not even paid for being one!
I started this post with movies since a movie is as much a product as any other, coming from an (film) industry, which is being marketed and sold thereafter. The Youbiquitous theme throughout has extensively been garnered in this market. 3 Idiots, ZNMD, TZP, Udaan, Band Baaja Baraat, Kung Fu Panda, etc. – all of them are successful products, have a high recall value and have repeated purchases indeed. Look closely, each one talks about “Being who You are!”
In fact, I now realize why am told, “Tell us something about yourself” each time I face an interview and why it becomes the opening question at all! And after a number of interviews defying the number of centuries that Tendulkar has made, I now know that I am a product and I need to market myself and the best strategy is ”You” indeed! Know who You are and you’ll be through.
Wake up to the fact that You are the new brand ambassador of everything that is up for sale. Next time, feel the light inside, when there is darkness around… (Next time you are in a theatre, that is.)
Note: Today is 11.11.11 Let’s mark it as the Individual’s Day. After all, it is I followed by I followed by I…
By: Gaurav Joshi, NMIMS, Mumbai