P&G’s new launch and alternate media

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Increasingly, marketers are looking at non-traditional methods to reach out to consumers. Latest proof: P&G is launching a record label in the US. According to this article, they have partnered with international record label company Island Def Jam Music Group to launch a music company tied to its TAG men’s deodorant and body spray. This is seen as an effort by the brand to connect with the urban market by providing opportunities for aspiring hip-hop talent.

Earlier, Pepsi decided to shun traditional media for the launch of their zero-calorie sparkling beverage called Tava (not to be confused with the Carter Road eatery in Mumbai). The product, which is fruit-flavored and caffeine-free, is being aimed primarily at men and women ages 35 to 49.

According to an NYT article on the launch, “There used to be an assumption this target was not online,” said Frank Cooper, vice president for flavored carbonated soft drinks at Pepsi-Cola North America in Purchase, N.Y. “But there’s a group in that category that’s ‘reborn digital.’ They’ve lived through the change and learned to adapt to it.”

I like that phrase ‘reborn digital’ referring to that (ahem) age group (Cough, cough. Wonder why?). It is also important not to club them with the younger lot in terms of online activities. “This consumer spends significant time online, although what they do may differ from the younger consumer,” Mr. Cooper said. “They’re not I.M.-ing their friends; they’re looking at e-mail or looking up information about travel, music, food.” Tava chose to sample the brand among the ‘right’ audience: employees of Apple, Google; celebrities on the sets of TV shows like General Hospital and participants at the Sundance Film Festival. The content of goes beyond pitches for the product, including downloadable songs from emerging musicians.

In India, I think its tough to build traction by being dependent only on non-traditional media, even if the brand is aimed at a niche. There is still a huge dependency on traditional media. Any Indian examples of using non-traditional media effectively for launch?

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  1. One example that comes to my mind – an initiative by Kurkure that I had read about.
    To maintain top of the mind recall among its customers Kurkure had a novel branding initiative – they had a tie-up with South Western Railways in India to have trains called the “Kurkure Express.” These were special trains that operated only during the holiday season. The brand was featured on reservation charts, coach indication slips, and during any announcements about the train. It was a unique way to target families who travel by train during the holidays.

  2. Cool. But they still had the support of mass media to build the brand. I was referring to shunning mass media and using unconventional media to launch a brand.

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