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Wednesday, August 1

The World of Adike and More 1

Few days ago, I noticed my Nike and Adidas deos jostling for shelf space in the bathroom. It felt strange. There was a time, about a decade back when I was a great Nike loyalist. Fed up on advertising case studies, hand-me down brand myths and real + planted PR stories, I adored the brand!

A few years later, when I was working at TBWA Mumbai, I switched allegiance(though never gave up the Nike brand-citizenship:-)to Adidas. The imagery and some of the more hand-crafted stories of Adidas grabbed the mindspace!

Then came a stage when I wore Nike sneakers. But I loved the Adidas TVCs more. But now when it comes to accesories and apparel. Things like SALE, the shop ambience, the call-of-the-mall urges and last mile communication swings the deal...

The above image of the two erstwhile adversary brands led me to the following thoughts...I felt how I approach brands has dramatically changed in the last 10 years !!

1. Today last mile dictates most of my brand purchases - from toothpaste brands to apparel, durables and consumables!

2. Very often image-led advertisng is for entertainment and aesthetic consumption alone. The purchase is on rational parameters, convenience and value-based offers which have nothing to do with the image.

3. I am not loyal to 'only image' anymore. To a brand, or to its philosophy. In most cases it's a consideration basket of brands that I date. Multiple brands for the multi-tasking mind and the multi-avatars that we don...Brand relationships aren't monogamous any-more!

4. But occasionally I give into 'Flash Brands'. Theses fast rising-from-nowhere people and product brands, backed by manipulative marketing and a combo of PR + Buzz + the shared UGC technology available. Harry Potter, Shilpa Shetty, iPhone can all be bracketed under this cluster...

5. Personally, I value brands that have authentic stories...Decades of image manipulation(and here the fatigue is more because of greater proximity to the branding/ advertising process) have left me cynical about most brand messages.
Tag-lines don't work with me. Neither does hype or manufactured statements.

6. The other thing which has fundamentally changed is that I expect my brands to be inconsistent and surprise me. This is a marked departure from the 'consistency is King' school of thought...
Brands now need to be more creative than consistent in their final expressions...

7. I feel much of the puerile research that happens around us dates the consumer intelligence and evolution by a zillion years. In a digital age, we are trying to measure atomic clock movements of consumers realtionship with brands with vernier callipers LOL

Many a time we ask the wrong questions, in the wrong context, in the wrong way. Then we interpret them wrongly, draw wrong conclusions and recommend wrong things. Then reapeat this chain!!

There are some other thoughts around Adike which I will capture in the sequel to this post...

P.S. I wish to label all the new dichotomous thoughts around brands under 'Adike'

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