Friday, October 24, 2008

Brand Raj Thackeray – A case study

Remember how the strategy planners talk about ‘brand personality’ and ask you stupid questions? If Mercedes were a person, who would it be, etcetera.

Well I’m thinking the other way round. If Raj Thackeray were a brand, which one would he be? Sprite, I think. MNS dilaaye naukri ki aas, baaki sab bakwaas.

No, seriously. This guy makes for the perfect case study. He entered the market as a ‘me too’ product. Shiv sena definitely had the first mover’s advantage. Enter MNS with the same positioning, same strategy, same everything. So how to gain mindshare?

I have a strong feeling he’s seen the DDB campaign for Avis. “We are no. 2 so we try harder.” We give the Marathi manoos far more than no. 1 does. We not only go after the cabbies and auto drivers but also target the railway exam candidates.

Ambush marketing. When you come in late, you have too much of marketing to catch up on. So, their flags were seen everywhere. In far greater numbers. They were even put up at signals and on the top of hoardings (a first).

Creative communication:
The layouts of their banners were far clearer and made for better visibility. The competition, on the other hand, had pictures of two personalities, a tiger and too much copy. MNS banners had only one picture. And far more compelling lines.

His speeches were far more entertaining, therefore, appealing to the masses. Endearing, maybe? Where the senior Thackeray only had issues to rake up, the younger leader had people to pick at. “Be specific,” says David Ogilvy. This young man had Amitabh and Laloo to talk about. He even made his speeches more audience-friendly by adding mimicry. He actually had the audience in splits. I’ve even see him maro double-meaning lines. Youth-friendly, perhaps?

In fact, he’s done complete 360-degree campaigns. Public transport guys, railway people, shop owners and what not. In fact he even went for on-ground activities. Can you forget the instant changes in signboards all over the city?

And when things started slowing up a bit, a promotional activity. The arrest. (Read – the violence that ensued). And the subsequent bail.

He even went viral. Check youtube if you don’t believe me.

And now; like any good brand; further acquisition, expansion, attracting a greater target audience. I’m referring to the Jet Airways thingy. And he snatched the opportunity from under the competition’s nose. Talk about being in the right place at the right time.
Top-of-the-mind recall. High eyeball count. Heavy visibility. Attracting great tie-ups. Full marks on branding. Effies anyone?