Friday, October 3, 2008

Marketing Lessons To IIM Kapoor - Concluded With Aloe Vera

[Continued ….]

“Me: Pay attention. There is no such company as a shampoo company. All the shampoo in our country is made in one giant vessel in Tuticorin district of Tamil Nadu and it’s made from Cow poo which is why the end product is called Sham-poo.

Shampoo from this vessel is sold to companies such as yours which put it in different colored bottles and prices it any which way it wants.

It is then up to marketing dodos such as your self to come up with a gimmick that attracts people to buy the shampoo.

In reality,Every one in the country basically uses the same shampoo but pays different amounts for it.

IIM Kapoor: I don’t understand ‘gimmicks’.

Me: It’s quite simple. Let me explain with an example. In 2002 women stopped buying Indian shampoos. That was the time when one marketing professional created the myth of a magical herb called ‘Aloe Vera’.

Soon every shampoo company simply branded their shampoos with labels like ‘Fortified with Aloe Vera’ or ‘Contains the Soothing Essence of Aloe Vera’ or ‘Enriched with Aloe Vera’ and so on and so forth.

Indian women started to buy shampoo leading to record sales for shampoo companies.

These Women were simply paying for normal shampoo with the supposed injection of Aloe Vera.

IIM Kapoor: But isn’t that fraud?

Me: No son, its marketing.

IIM Kapoor: Didn’t the government suspect fraud?

Me: They did at first and instituted a commission to check the validity of Aloe Vera and found the plant to not exist at all. Shampoo companies agreed to pay the government a certain share of their sales and that finally led the government to back off, accept Aloe Vera as a legal plant and introduce it in Botany textbooks.

IIM Kapoor: If Aloe Vera is a myth, what about Multivitamin 564 as I read on a bottle of Pantene shampoo.

Me: That too.

IIM Kapoor: What about PRO PROTEIN 87Y?

Me: Doesn’t exist.


Me: No, doesn’t exist.

IIM Kapoor: Extract Of Planet Mars Mountain Cactus?

Me: No.


Me: Doesn’t exist.

IIM Kapoor: Aquatic Sea Mist with Fragrance of Lemon?

Me: Definitely doesn’t exist.

IIM Kapoor: Oh shit! My entire faith in the shampoo system has been based on proteins and vitamins that don’t exist.

At least is Anti-Dandruff a truth or a myth?

Me:It’s a half truth. An anti-dandruff shampoo never cures dandruff, it only causes it. If an anti -dandruff shampoo actually worked then no one would ever buy an anti-dandruff shampoo ever again.

IIM Kapoor: My boss told me to come up with a campaign to market our new shampoo. A shampoo that contains the essence of SKY RAIN and new hair enriching molecules called ‘SEXY OXYGENIZERS’.

I am disappointed to learn that there are no hair enrichment molecules called SEXY OXYGENIZERS.

Me: Don’t be sad!

IIM Kapoor: Can’t you at least tell me a way to market Sexy Oxygenizers, till I change my job?

Me: Well, there is a whole segment of the shampoo world which is still unexposed to the marketing world.

IIM Kapoor: What???

Me: The Animal World.

IIM Kapoor: That’s brilliant!

My market research indicates that Monkeys need shampoo.

Camels need shampoo.

Whatever this thing is, it needs shampoo.

But I’ll start with a series of ads focusing on the Lion.They'll look something like this:

Or like this:

IIM Kapoor: You’re amazing Rakeshji and a marketing genius!

Me: Yes, I’m a marketing genius because I know the markets very well.

IIM Kapoor: I’ll get ready to kidnap Alyque Padamsee and Prahlad Kakkar.

Me: Do you know where they are?

IIM Kapoor: No, but I’m sure they’re in the nearest TV studio yakking their mouths off. ”

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