Saturday, June 5, 2010

Breitling Navitimer – Rs. 280338*; Heritage Cow Ghee – Was Rs. 275, Now Rs. 227.

Many of you who read the “Mint” tabloid daily would have seen a surprise over the past few weeks. There is more advertising than ever, naturally since that is what most newspapers are all about. Thankfully, the columns from WSJ (with whom the newspaper has a strategic alliance in India) remain intact although in the last four pages of the paper. There is so much clutter, lots of entertainment, cinema and theatre, et al, what one wouldn’t usually find in a business newspaper such as this. My days are counted, how long I would subscribe to this daily! 


One of the first things (eye-catchy and hence this article) that one would notice is the first-page silo – in advertising parlance, one of the highest money-spinners. Usually located on the right-side bottom of the first page of the newspaper, the rates for this spot are among the highest, given that they receive enormous attention from readers and browsers alike. One would usually notice Luxury Products advertised here as this creates utmost attention in the mind of the reader. While I can’t comment on the history and origin of silo advertising in newspapers, this trend is followed worldwide and is not new in India either.


During the upcoming wedding season in India, it is quite common to see many Watch Brands advertising to enthuse prospective brides and grooms (although the ratio of Women’s vs. Men’s advertisements would be 3:10). What was so catchy today was an advertisement for a wrist watch on Page One – Breitling, credited to be a Pilot’s watch and an aviation enthusiast’s prized possession, for its accuracy and perfection. While the watch itself is a bit intimidating, Big and Loud with so many features on the Dial and usually fits large wrists, it is indeed a trend that’s catching up in India too. Many brands are currently offering the non-traditional large dial that’s selling like hot cakes across models.


Although Breitling doesn’t have a long list of celebrities who officially endorse the Brand, many of them like Brand Pitt have worn them in private occasions and even in movies. What was a bit strange for me is that the advertisement carried the Price of the Watch, quite a rarity in Luxury Brand Advertising. Most luxury brands, especially watches do not mention the price, unlike mass advertising by hypermarkets who mention the prices of the top 20 SKUs so consumers would walk into their stores. Popularly called as “Loss Leaders” these SKUs do not yield higher margins for the Retailers but they attract higher footfalls, usually in the range of 10-15% than usual and eventually converting more of them into consumers.


Many others who regularly advertise such as Tag Heuer and Omega only show a picture shot of the watch with their respective brand ambassadors thereby creating an emotional connect and high aspiration among prospective buyers. While it is common to list the name and contact numbers of Retailers who sell the watches, it was surprising rather strange to see one of the leading watch brands of the world mention their prices on a newspaper!



These are ways suggested by some agencies to seek higher attention but by mentioning the price, not only they would be restricting the potential walk-ins into the store but would also be lowering the standards of the Brand. Hope this trend wouldn’t continue for long, lest we would see prices of Breitling and Cow Ghee both mentioned on the respective copies, one would restrict walk-ins and the other would improve. Retailer’s agencies - choose which one you want!


Been there, Seen that...