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Friday, January 11

Who Needs Advertising When You Have a Nano!

By now you must have heard & seen it all. The Buzz. The Bytes and the hottening Bazaar for the Nano.

The giga byte Nano surround sound!!

I can't remember when was the last time I really got excited about a car launch(actually any product)!!

A friend called me excitedly as CNBC broke the launch story from the Auto Expo...

In the evening I caught up with a high-decibel and a not-so-high quality debate on NDTV with Suhel Seth, R K Pachauri(noble winner), Sunita Narain(Centre for Science & Environment) and Medha Patkar...

Had a debate about the Nano with my wife in the morning over chai! Thought about it(about the road congestion, about buying it, about gifting it:-) about getting it's ad account) all through yesterday!!

Sample the headlines in the various dailies today...

HT - H/L : Small wonder
Body Copy : It is green, it is global, it is Indian. It costs a lakh and it
is called the Nano.

TOI - H/L : Tata Reinvents the Wheel
Body Copy : Others said No. Tata said Nano

HT Mint - H/l : Tata Small Car Throws a Big Punch
Body copy : Ratan Tata's personal quest ends in a winner!

ET - H/L : Nano Second to None
Body Copy : Dream car's brush with history

Indian Express - H/L : 1 lakh car drives 1 billion dreams
Body Copy : Little Nano, the big thing!

As I open my gmail in the morning, my friend and benevolent spamster - Ramakant has already sent me a Nano pix and sound bytes & another friend has sent some stories about the making of the Nano!

However, in sharp contract to the Giga Buzz, the paid ad by Rediff(Full Page in TOI) was quite mediocre(though the car looks beautiful in the layout), low on energy and perhaps quite unnecessary!

The Rediff Nano ad reads...
H/L : It's here. The new Tata Nano
To end all speculation, debate and talk!

Okay, thanks for telling me that!! But Mr. Advertising Agency, you are 24 hours late, got nothing new to tell and need a better copy-writer. Try HT, Indian Express...

Of course, I maybe too immersed in the Nano; but so is the nation...And as communications people, who need to have a pulse on the nation's psyche...this ad should have been done differently(if at all)

Quick thoughts on how I wud have done it...Actually, no why give ideas for free:-)

But the point is it would have paid(like hell) to take into account the context of a national frenzy around a dream car. Plug into the conversation of the people. And I don't mean higher SEC people who e-mail, search, blog, twitter, orkut, facebook it only!

Plug into even the choupal conversations, the adda, udipi, nukkad conversations...(Maybe it's all coming around the corner. Maybe this rant is a bit early...)

But for God's sake, add something to that conversation. However, Nano it might be or get out of the way and save some precious media budgets!

Let TOI, Aaj Tak, Dainik Jagran, Punjab Kesari and Saamna do the job well.

Nano is a small car but a big paradigm shift! Can advertising build a philosophy around the car?

It's not so much about positioning. In the long run, it's more about the new priorities and the complex questions (environmental, ethical, etc.)that the Nano will throw up!

Can Nano be the desire to celebrate 'Less is More'. Of reducing the carbon and other foot-print, of using less resources....Then communication has a role!

Otherwise, to sell a cute 1 lakh car, who needs advertising!!


Kapil said...

Manish, this was an enlightening article indeed. Digging out the power of communication more than just selling is something so big. And it reminded me of Airtel's new commerical - Barriers break when people talk.

Manish said...

mere communication can't really sell in this new world to sophisticated customers...

we need to create newer roles for communication!