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Tuesday, November 14

Big and Stupid

The Goliaths rule the world today. Well almost!

They control the networks and the software platforms. And even the template of this blog. They control our thoughts and search engines as well!

But some brands/ marketers/ companies are smart enough to successfully camouflage the ugliness of their monstrous size with attitude, rampant PR and clever brand speak. And then there are the 'Big and Stupid' brands. The 'Big Moose' archetype! Looks like the newly launched 'Big FM' is one of them.

The 'Big Noise' that the ADA group Radio Channel is making suffers from a surplus of media budgets and a deficit of ideas!
Yes, they are going to be 'Big'. A 45 station pan-India foot-print. By early next year, Big FM will be present across India from Srinagar to Trivandrum and Surat to Guwahati.

That's good! The channel is also going to invest upto Rs.40 million for transmission equipment, infrastructure and licensing!!

But, dear Tarun(Katial-the COO of Big FM) please invest in better creatives and brand strategy as well!

One couldn't have missed the splash across most newspapers today. Haven't seen the TVCs if any. It triggered some thoughts...

1. As I said, there is a fat media budget without an idea. I think 'Radio' is a very personal medium. Almost like a close friend. Don't know how 'Bigness' as a virtue enhances personal experience/ the brand.

2. Whats the role of a tired looking Abhishek in the print ad? It's not even the best looking Abhishek wall-paper! Maybe if they had taken Amitabh, it would have made some sense as 'Big FM' would have been brought to us by the 'Big B':-)

3. Jigar(my colleague at David) pointed out that the campaign breaks with the headline - 'Bachpana Chhodo, Aa Gaya Big FM. Ironical that they had to break this on Children's Day:-) Maybe, this small fact just escaped their collective 'Big Minds'.

4. Radio is not 'chai'. So, the tired-sounding tag-line 'Suno Sunao, Life Banao' actually has no real insight/ meaning/ even slogan value!

5. I can understand 'Big' being a virtue if the offering is a mart like Big Bazaar. The promise could stand for the 'economies of scale passed on to the customer' or the big convenience of finding everything under one roof!

But in a personal medium like radio, 'Being Big' is just an irritating and irrelevant way to announce your arrival.

Tarun, I know you have a 'Big Budget', but what you really need is a 'Big Idea' to make your brand sexy! And perhaps a small agency:-)


pooR_Planner said...

I think its a very common phenomena with Indian advertisers. Big Budget in mdeia spend doesnot always deliver a Big Bang.

And enough has been written on the effectiveness of celebrity endorsement for brands...don't want to ellaborate on that ... Your obeservations are very right ... they roped in 'Chota B' for 'Big,' launced 'Big' on 'Chote Bacho ka Din,' yet urging people to grow up. Gimme a break.

All the more reason why 'Planning' is such an important function for finding a BIGEER IDEA and the BIGGEST EXECUTION for a not so BIG BUDGET brand launch.

Keep ranting!

Anonymous said...

BIG FM's campaign is something like a child given a condom to play with and without knowing wat the real use for it is he uses it for his gaming and playing purposes. Yes they have no clue wat they are talking about. sounds like an immature set of college kids come together one day, won a lottery for an insane amount and dont know wat to do with it so lets launch BIG FM. The crossed out ear teasers with a big bold A on it itself had intrigued me and when i got to know that it was a BIg fm teaser i was more shocked than finding it funny cuz couldnt believe what were or 'ARE' thinking.. its just a bragging trip they have gone on to telling people they are launching in 45 cities but what does that have do with the normal consumer in any case.. Looks more like they are trying to attract people for adult content which in India seems to be a BIG thing..It's so senseless i dont even have words for it..I think they should give some of their money to Adlabs cinemas so those guys can spend a little more and do some good stuff cuz atleast they are a more advertising enthu lot and cant do it ever cuz of the budgets..

pooR_Planner said...

The idea of 'Badon ke Liye,' indeed has lots of merit in it. Sadly, they didn't have a vision to take it forward nor execute it in a manner that could have made the brand look and feel more sexy.

FM Radio, 'Only for Adults' with 'Adult Contents' itself is such a brilliant idea. Atleast for all the sex-straved Indians in our country who would have definitely plugged in their earplugs all day.

Alas, not all Big mouths smell good breathes ;-)

MSword said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dharmendra said...


While I agree the campaign seems wanting in several areas, your evaluaion seems to be very left brained in nature. You have suppressed your right brain in making a fair assessment. For example, your criticism on the word BIG as a name seems a bit unfounded for BIG does not mean physically big. BIG can be reputation, image, pedigree and the like as well. To have a personal friend of this stature is quite doable.

At the same time I do agree that the campaign is very loud and lacks sophestication.

It will create awareness but will find itself wanting in creating desirable associations.


FiNK said...

I'm OK with the BIG fm thing, coz I think it's more of an attitude than stature. But what sucks, and this sucks across all Indian radio stations is that they sound exactly the same. There's no product distinction at all.. image wise, they all say the same thing mostly.. fun, music, bla bla. and when i saw the outdoor teaser for big (for adults only) and then the Abhishek B boards.. major disconnect. in my mind, to build a distinction, there needs to be some intrinsic values in the product (real or perceived) and at the moment, radio is really lacking that here. which is really sad. And I was positively repulsed by the radio mirchi TVC with that annoying guy singing from a pot hole..eeww!!! ok this is a big rant coz I have very strong views on radio and radio adv here in India...

Manish said...

all valid rants kajal...

Manish said...

dharmendra, tell me one friend of yours who use the tag 'Big' to describe??

I don't have any...if i don't count Piyush:-)