Last updated : February 15, 2008
Everyone has a definition of
buzz marketing in their pockets, but it continues to remain an enigma. At Buzz Power, an initiative organised by agencyfaqs! and Kingfisher Airlines at the ITC Grand Central in Mumbai on February 14, honchos from the world of branding took a shot at decoding the mammoth implications of the term 'buzz' on brands and consumers - not an easy task by any measure. Moderator Meenakshi Madhvani, founder and managing partner, Spatial Access Media Solutions, took the bull by the horns, asking, "Do we truly even understand what buzz is?"
Perhaps one of the few successful examples of a buzzy brand is Gmail, an email service from Google, which, when launched, was made desirable through its exclusive 'by invitation' proposition. "Google didn't spend a dollar on promoting Gmail," began Madhvani. Quite astonishing was the fact that people were bidding for Gmail accounts even on eBay! While that example was refreshing, Madhvani's question remained unanswered.
However, marketers need not bring out the loudspeakers yet because there is a difference between buzz and noise, Nadkarni cautioned. "Noise is a monologue of advertising, while buzz is a dialogue with consumers," he said. For instance, a media blitzkrieg without a story to tell, hype without delivery or contorted unreal/boring stories are sure-shot roads to disaster. According to him, a brand must have enough layering and mystique thrown in, so that a consumer craves to know more. Elements such as novelty, intrigue, relevance (to popular culture) and entertainment make for a perfect buzz recipe.
Ad veteran Ravi Deshpande, chief creative officer, Contract Advertising, gave buzz a mathematical connotation. "It's all in the idea," he explained. Deshpande came up with the equation: Idea = (Simple + Pure + Original) x (Power of New Media). If Richard Branson stands for showmanship, Taj Mahal stands for love, and Mahatma Gandhi for non-violence. Through case studies of brands such as Apple, Gmail, Harry Potter, YouTube and Tata Nano, he reiterated his point that behind every success story, there is a single idea. Deshpande didn't support Nadkarni's idea of layering because, he said, "it dilutes the buzz exercise".
Next, Malhotra presented the six point Buzz Agenda. Firstly, one must build buzz into one's product. An example close to his heart was Kingfisher's personalised and never advertised valet service. Secondly, he emphasised on building buzz in one's advertising or de-buzzing competitors. A recent outdoor hoarding in Mumbai was a testimony to Malhotra's theory: When Jet Airways spoke of a change in its outlook, Kingfisher promptly put up a counter hoarding above it, which read, "We made them change". "This almost got passed around as a viral," Malhotra laughed.
Topical buzz (capturing the buzz moment) was elaborated well through the example of the launch of the airbus, A380, by Kingfisher, which became a hot topic of discussion, giving consumers the impression that Kingfisher was going international. Creating a buzz property such as the Kingfisher calendar and a buzz icon such as Vijay Mallya adds buzz to the brand. Malhotra wrapped up with the theory of forming a 'Buzzard' community that goes beyond the use of a product.
Before one knew it, the advertising for RmKV started resembling a reality show of sorts.
As a result of the campaign, awareness about RmKV's 50,000 colour sari went up tremendously, giving rise to many imitations and a lot of media hype.
The event was sponsored by Kingfisher, NIA and Orienta Cine Advertising.First Published : February 15, 2008