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Business Creative

May 16, 2011

I am a business guy with some God gifted creativity.
Here is some of my work.

Schulich Marketing Conference 2011 was the grand finale to the academic year 2010-2011. Being the Director of Events, I created this video to invite and inform marketing students about the conference and received a bag full of compliments. The Key note speaker was Marilyn Knox, President of Nutrition at Nestle Canada. I hope you like the video too.

Career Roadmap was the first event organized by Schulich Marketing Association for the first year students in fall 2010 to guide them in choosing their career paths in marketing. It was necessary to explain what the field is all about and what lies beyond the glitter. When the team came up with this concept, I thought of it to be a GPS device or a navigator. Everything else is self-explanatory. The design was well appreciated by all first year students from all sectors of MBA as well as the graduating students and professors.

Career Roadmap - Event 1 (SMA)

Career Roadmap - Event 1 (SMA)

Career Roadmap - The Road

SMAckdown was Schulich Marketing Association’s second event in fall 2010. It was a friendly debate among the professors and the industry guests. The key selling points of the debate were that the most admired marketing professors had agreed to share the stage and the topics were extremely controversial such as Islamic Foods, Sex in Advertising and Privacy on Social Media. When Prof. Robert Kozinets shared his idea of a debate, the first name that struck my mind was SMAckdown – incorporating the Schulich Marketing Association’s initials (SMA). The background picture reminds you of the hard work out and preparation that wrestlers go through for a major fight or an event. This poster was catchy among female students and gathered a lot of buzz before the event. SMAckdown was a record event at Schulich with the most attendance.

SMAckdown - Event 2 (SMA)

Another interesting idea from an entrepreneurship class was a new kind of vodka with infused electrolytes. The purpose of this product was to ensure that the consumers do not suffer with a hangover the next day. This product is meant to save time, energy and allows the consumer to enjoy the night as much as possible and not get restricted by his/her responsibilities the next day. The brand is supposed to be a lifestyle brand and not just an alcoholic brand.
For the smart and sophisticated professional who enjoys socializing and dislikes a hangover, LIVE Vodka offers an alternative to the beverages that leave you incapacitated the next day. LIVE uses a proven formula rich with electrolytes that will help you remain fresh and vibrant the morning after. So that when the fun is over and it’s time to get back to work one feels great and is mentally alert.

LIVE vodka (with Electrolytes)

York Consulting Group wanted to organize their first Alumni meeting and hence asked me to brainstorm with some ideas on how to generate interest. I proposed the pain point of nostalgia and designed the above given poster. The write up creates a nostalgic path from the reader’s current life to his past and a few keywords stress him to remember his MBA days. This elegant poster showcased YCG Alumni to be highly successful and classy and hence got instantly approved by the YCG executive team.

York Consulting Group - Alumni Event

Generating Interest

February 28, 2011

So, how to generate interest in consumers about your product?

Usually all companies leave it to the creative agency to decide what sort of an advertisement would help to communicate their brand message. This blog educates marketers to understand what a creative does with your brand and with that knowledge marketers can better understand the creative side and also can help them guide the creative in the best way.
Why do we need this? There are many instances where the creative agencies have failed to deliver. On top the mind is the new GAP logo episode.

My motive of this blog is to enable you to dissect a promotional advertisement and figure out what chords are they trying to strike. Also, all these tactics should be congruent with the corporate strategy of the brand, like luxury brands should not indulge in slapstick comedy but in subtle humor.
Basically, creative try and influence buyer’s decisions by fiddling with their emotions. Most often the rational decision of buying is turned into an emotional one.

1. Educate them: The very first tactic for several brands might be to educate the consumer about the product. This kind of advertising works best with complicated products or products which are difficult to believe in. Such technological advanced products sometimes require educating the consumer, thus influencing his buying decision. Being able to understand the product, it makes the consumer feel equipped and smart. Nokia does a great job on educating the consumers about different uses of their products and what are the possibilities.

2. Challenge them: Challenging the consumer can poke their ego and make them do something they would rather not do in normal circumstances. This kind of tactic can work wonders with Army recruitment and such activities. Indian Army’s tagline is “Do you have it in you?” This tagline challenges the citizens about having those qualities and attributes that Indian Army requires.

3. Make them sad: Guilt trip!! Most humans have done something or the other in their lives which they regret doing. Make use of their guilt and sell your products. This sounds a bit evil, so let me add some context. This kind of advertising can work best with Non-profit organizations or socially responsible products. A Children’s Aid Fund can make use of this tactic to attract consumers in donating for a cause. P&G UNICEF is a good example.

4. Make them smile/laugh: Happiness is precious. If you can make them laugh, you not only achieve your goal, but make a difference in everyone’s lives. In today’s age of busy life, making someone smile and laugh is a great social service. Along with doing that, if you can sell your products and associate the product with the happy feeling, you have struck Gold! Virgin Mobile uses such marketing tactics.

5. Nostalgia: Humans are full of memories. As they grow old, they accumulate all those moments and go through various emotions. As Don Draper from Mad-Men said, Nostalgia literally means a pain from an old wound; it’s a twinge in your heart far more powerful than memory alone. It’s delicate, but potent. Nostalgia is such a complex feeling that it could work perfectly with luxury brands or brands which are associated with success. I say associated with success, as many successful people always retrospect and feel nostalgic of what they have gone through to achieve what they have achieved. Another Indian clothing brand to illustrate this tactic. Raymonds.

6. Patriotism: This needs no explanation. A formula that many brands use. This tactic is quite useful for domestic brands. Multinational brands might not be able to use this formula much.
Tim Horton’s being a typically Canadian coffee maker has made Timmys a culture and tradition in Canada.

7. Disgust or Scare them: Yes!! You must be wondering, what kind of product would people want to buy if it disgusts or scares them? It’s a risky affair but again, if worked with the right product, it might be quite useful. Scaring users to buy your products has been used by many insurance firms and banks. In the given example, Ontario’s Work Safety and Insurance Board does it with grace. Check it out.

8. Amaze them: This is quite similar to educating the consumer, but sometimes letting the consumer know about your product in a way that they could never imagine generates a lot of interest. This makes them thinking about your product often enough to buy it. The curiosity amazement generates is incomparable. “Will it Blend?” advertisements are apt examples.

9. Deprive them: Aspiration is what that keeps luxury brands flourish. As humans we can never be satisfied, and that perfectly blends into our aspirations. There is no power to human imagination and what a person wants to be. He might be struggling in paying his bills every month, but somewhere deep within he wants to have a lavish lifestyle and owning those luxury products. Even if it’s a dream, it keeps them motivated to work towards it. Brands like Ferrari and Lamborghini make such commercials about their cars, which completely isolates the brand from humans. The brand is way bigger than any associations with human figures suggesting that no human can ever be bigger than those brands. However, I found this interesting product (not luxury at all) using this tactic in advertising. This was quite funny and it seemed to work well too. Nestle’s Yorkie chocolate bar; this brand openly deprives females from buying this product. Check it out.

10. Care for / Love them: The final emotion that can be leveraged is Love & Care. Brands such as cosmetics and body care utilize this tactic. Vaseline, Vicks and other such products narrate a story of love and care that the brand offers to all its consumers. Dove is another good example to use such a tactic. Everybody is beautiful.

Thanks for reading my blog!! This list is not complete, but I tried to capture whatever emotions I could think about. Some are passion points and some are pain points. This is how they are described in the marketing manual. However, I wanted to create a formula. If you know your brand, it’s easier to choose the emotion.