afaqs!

Buzz Power 2008: Airtel, Kingfisher, Reliance declared Buzziest Brands of the Year

By Chumki Sen , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Marketing | February 15, 2008
Airtel also won the award for the Longest Buzz, and Zapak for the Newest Buzz

Airtel, Kingfisher and Reliance & #BANNER1 & #were declared the buzziest brands at the Buzziest Brands Awards 2008 ceremony on February 14 at the end of a day long initiative organised by agencyfaqs! and Kingfisher at the ITC Grand Central in Mumbai.

Airtel was top of the heap after winning the Buzzy Gold. The telecom provider struck a hat-trick in spite of the fact that, each year, it had a different runner-up competing with it for the top spot. Airtel had 58.7 per cent voters voting for it, and its victory was confirmed when four of the six jury members voted for it and helped it surge past the voters' favourite, Reliance.

C Radhakrishnan, Airtel,
receiving Buzzy Gold Award
The Buzzy Silver went to a brand which is known more for the buzz around its chairman, Vijay Mallya, whether it is for taking over Air Deccan or for tying up with NDTV GoodTimes or even the yearly launch of the brand's high profile calendar. Kingfisher secured third place in popular votes, but zoomed to second place boosted by four votes from the jury - its overall voter percentage was 54.5.

The Buzzy Bronze went this year to Reliance, which was at No.5 in 2007 and at No. 13 in 2006. This year, it secured 42.8 per cent votes and was pulled down to third place only because it received only two jury votes.

Idea made its first appearance on the Buzziest Brands list, at fourth place. The idea of going beyond caste, religion or even name was certainly a big idea for Idea, as both surfers and the jury have acknowledged. Surfers voted Idea to seventh place, and the jury gave it three votes, taking the voter percentage to 34.1.

Nokia, which was No. 2 in 2007, finished up at No. 5 this year, with 33.8 per cent votes. Popular vote placed Nokia at No. 4, but it ended up with a lower rank after the jury vote was taken into account.

Vikram Malhotra, Kingfisher, with
the Buzzy Silver
Though online brands were excluded in the first two years of the awards, this year, it was impossible to ignore brands such as Google, which was discussed throughout the seminar. The online search engine brand was placed at No. 9 by the voters; however, two jury members voted for this extraordinary online search brand, and it ended up with a voter percentage of 25 to pull it up to No. 6.

The only media brand which has done consistently well in the buzziest brands poll is The Times of India. It had slipped to No. 13 in the surfer vote in spite of the huge Lead India campaign, which concluded only days ago, but two jury votes restored it to No. 7, which is where it was last year, too.

The name Tata is being linked to its new car, the Nano, at every forum in the country and the day long conference was no different. The voters too were expectedly impressed and voted it to No. 5, but with just one vote from the jury, it steadied much lower at No. 8.

Kaushik Roy, Reliance Industries,
with the Buzzy Bronze
At No. 9 was Happydent, helped with some great advertising which generated buzz for the brand. The voters put it at No. 6, but only one vote from the jury settled it at No. 9.

ICICI was No. 10 on the list, a place it occupied in 2007 also. Both popular vote and jury vote placed it there, with a total voter percentage that was a little higher than last year at 16.1 per cent.

Motorola, which was No. 4 last year, dropped to No. 11 by both voter and jury estimation. Coca-Cola has always done better than rival Pepsi in the poll. In the first two years, it stood steady at No. 11. This year, popular votes for it shrank and it fell to No. 14, but a single jury vote brought it up to No. 12.

Girish Shah, Reliance ADAG,
with the Buzzy Bronze
The last winner of the Buzzy 10, Hindustan Unilever, stood at No. 21 last year. But this year, probably because of the promotion of its new name, Hindustan Unilever came up to No. 13.

Apart from topping the chart, Airtel also won the trophy for the Longest Buzz. It has stayed at No. 1 position for three years in spite of having a different, strong No. 2 nipping at its heels in each of the three years: Hutch in 2006, Nokia in 2007 and now Kingfisher in 2008.

Zapak received the Newest Buzz award from agencyfaqs! for creating so much excitement around online gaming within just a year of its launch. Although Zapak could not make it to the Buzzy 10, it got strong support from surfers who placed it at No. 19.

Conspicuous by its absence from the list of winners was Vodafone, particularly as Hutch, the brand whose business it took over, was among the top three in both 2006 and 2007.

A possible reason is that the brands were chosen on the basis of search on agencyfaqs! through the year; since Vodafone came on only in November, its searches fell short of the required number.

The Buzziest Brands of the Year Poll, which began in 2006, has seen growing participation in the last two years and begun to raise questions about what leads to brand buzz. So, here's how it worked.

The short list of the brands was arrived at based on the search on agencyfaqs! throughout 2007. There were no invitations to entries. The competition among brands was neck-to-neck when they reached the short list of 60. Since the contest was not based on any product category, it got even more difficult because it is difficult to allocate buzz by category.

There were three top awards: the Buzzy Gold, the Buzzy Silver and the Buzzy Bronze. The next 10, from No. 4 to No. 13, received the Buzzy 10 awards. Two more awards were given: the Longest Buzz for a brand that has done consistently well over the last three years and the Newest Buzz for a new brand that has done exceptionally well in the polls.

This year, there was a six person jury (see list attached) to bring in a deeper dimension to the polling process.

The event was sponsored by Kingfisher, NIA and Orienta Cine Advertising.