Sunday, December 31, 2006

A Brief Recap of 2006

Today is the last day of 2006. So I decided to make a brief note on all the important 'happenings' in the Indian Marketing, Advertising and Media industry.

The 2006 Hot categories:

Automotive: 15 new car launches, year 2006 was a roller coaster for the 4-wheeler market in India. Luxury car makers like Rolls Royce, Audi, and Porsche formally entered the Indian market. Players were gung-ho about the hatchback segment in 2005, this year mid-size sedan was the flavor. Ford Fiesta is the biggest winner, Honda City is losing its sheen to Chevy Aveo. Honda Civic gained at the cost of Toyota Corolla and Chevy Optra. The entry level car Maruti 800 is now a passé and Alto has taken up that space.

Similarly, more than 20 new launches in the 2-wheeler category. Bajaj Pulsar is a clear winner in the premium bike segment but losing out shares to TVS Apache. Hero Honda Splendor, once the largest selling bike in India has suddenly fallen back with the entry of more mean machines.

Retail: The Retail Monster finally made its presence felt in the Indian market. New players joining in, old players consolidating their business, emerging specialized players, growing hypermarkets, indeed retail was a show stopper. Big Bazaar got bigger, Subhiksha took up 'Morcha against Kharcha,' Food World became Spencer, Rmkv sold more silk sarees, Globus, Westside, Pyramid lost their edge and Shopper's Stop became more exclusive. And more on Indian Retail Yatra, here.

Beverage: A bad year for the cola companies. The pesticide issue stirred up unnecessary controversy and sales were hurt. Fruit and Fruit based drinks gained popularity, Pepsi & Coke increased their focus to tap on this rising segment. Appy launched a new viral. Dabur Real and Tropicana gained while Lipton Ice Tea after all that noise in 2005 is no where in the picture.

Mobile Phones: One of the top spending category in the Indian Media. Sony Ericsson Walkman phone with its fabulous “I (logo) whatever” campaign managed to connect with Indian Youth. They stole the show during the last quarter of this year. Nokia, though a market leader seems to lose out on its communication edge. Motorola, which created KRZR and MING this year, got Abhishek to speak for them. LG Chocolate did find some taker but Samsung is no more to be seen. MMS and Bluetooth are two features which is a must-have feature for Indian cell phone buyers.

Male Hair Grooming: As a category it was always there and Brylcreem was the leader. Enter, Parachute Aftershower and Set Wet Hair Gel, the category is hot and happening. 'Dhoni Style' and 'Spikes' were the two most popular hair cuts in 2006. More brands with similar products will be in the offering .

Gaming: Xbox stole the show, made news and Sify Game Drome surfaced all corners of the Indian cities. Grey market made brisk business selling consoles. Sony, Nintendo, Gameboy are devising their entry strategy for the Indian market. Barbie, Bratz, Lego and other soft toys have suddenly become playmates of a by-gone era.

IT & Cousins: HP made computers personal, Lenovo made the dog dance, Compaq got SRK and for Dell, the shares fell. Apple jolted and played down on price. Laptop picked up, PC went below the 10K mark and more Indians are buying computer.

Web Portals: Job site offered jobs to all, Bharatmatrimony got more and more Indians married, Makemytrip/Yatra allowed Indians cheap travel, Yahoo/Google remained the undisputed rulers and being a member on Orkut become all craze. Well... MSN, Rediffmail and Indiatimes do exists but hardly any users these days.

Indian interpretation of Innovative Marketing – 2006 Chapter:

In 2006, Indian Marketers got innovative in their approach; cause marketing, network marketing, guerrilla marketing and with all those fancy name that adorns the word ‘marketing,’ well, they are copying western formats but doing a decent job.

• Pond’s now stands for, “Violence against Women”
• Elle has taken up, “Breast Cancer”
• Turtle Shirts is “Rehabilitating Endangered Turtles”
• ITC with its e-Choupal Initiative is bringing sunshine to Rural India.
• Wills Lifestyle and Lakme are synonymous to Indian Fashion
• Sunsilk has taken the initiative to connect with pretty Indian girls via Gangs of, Whisper was quick to follow with
• CNN IBN started Citizen Journalism and TOI went all colour by announcing a Fashion Show

2006 Shake-ups (Events and Issues that made Media NEWS):

Industry Related:
• Mittal-Arcelor steel deal
• Tata-Corus steel deal
• Bharti-Wal-Mart Retail Ruckus
• Reliance Fresh entering the Retail market
• How many FM stations do you want?
• Is DTH the end of our Cablewalas
• Sensex crossing 14K mark
• Lalu Prasad Yadav giving lectures at IIM and HBS Students visiting him
• Modern retail vs Kirana Stores
• China vs India
• Lastly, Hutch-Essar-Reliance-Vodafone telecom deal at the end of the year

Politics, Bollywood and Youth Related:
• Medical Students going on strike against Reservation Quota
• Aamir Khan for speaking about Sardar Sarovar Project
• Rang De Basanti and the aggression of Indian Youth at college campus over trivial issues
• Salman Khan sent to Jail for Black Buck Killing
• Munna Bhai’s Gandhigiri
• Sanjay Dutt court case for the Mumbai Blast
• Navjot Singh Sidhu convicted of Murder
• SRK taking over Big B as Don and now Hot Seat Owner in KBC 3
• Is Mamta holding back economic development in WB?

Sports Related:
• Brazil or Germany but turned out to be Spain in FIFA World Cup
• Pathetic performance of Indian Cricket Team
• Dada is back to the squad
• Wanted more jockeys in Indian Hockey
• Sania please wake up
• Peas and Bhupathi no more Bhai-Bhai
• Is Santhi a girl or a boy?

Celebrity Endorsement:
• Use them, don’t use them
• Use them effectively
• Bring accountability
• Performance based remuneration

Agency Related:
• Dearth of Talent and what can be done?
• Training, the new tool in town
• New media and its effectiveness
• Via You Tube or Picture Tube?
• Agency - Brand’s partner or Client’s supplier?
• Is Omnicom planning big moves?
• Creative Award or Campaign Effectiveness?
• In-film placement of brands reached a new height with James Bond, Don & Dhoom-2
• Why Santosh did what he did?
• Planner and Creative – True partner or fallacy?

This was indeed a great year. Keeping tab of things was not so easy and I'm sure, I've missed out on lot of things. If you come across something interesting which I’ve missed out, do post your comments.

Wish you all a very Happy and a Prosperous 2007.


Anonymous said...

Most of your analysis is based on your personal perception & wishful thinking. For instance, on what basis do you say City has lost to Aveo? City sold 3673 units in Oct06, compared to just 902 units of Aveo. Its not just that month its the same trend since Aveo was launched. (source:
Back your opinions with facts. Otherwise it will just your day-dream).

Divyanand M S said...

Most of your analysis is based on your personal perception & wishful thinking. For instance, on what basis do you say City has lost to Aveo? City sold 3673 units in Oct06, compared to just 902 units of Aveo. Its not just that month its the same trend since Aveo was launched. (source- URL split bcos I doesn't take full url:

Back your opinions with facts. Otherwise it will just your day-dream).

pooR_Planner said...

Hi Divyanand,
Thanks for posting your comment... well ...just to remind you, 'Losing sheen' and 'Lost' are two things all together. Aveo was launched in March'06, till Oct'06 they sold 8714 units...City during the same period sold 29788 units. Consumers now have an extra choice in the Mid-size sedan segment and 'City' is no more the only car in their consideration set, therefore Honda CITY is 'LOSING ITS SHEEN' to Chevy AVEO. Hope I have clarified your confusion.

blaiq said...

Quite a comprehensive round-up of the year, I must say. A good place to jog one's memory about the industry highlights of the last year.

It's a lot more hard work but I would have loved it if each of these points was hyperlinked to reports/articles, thereby helping the reader explore something more if he/she wanted to.

Finally, I was also wondering if you could (as you do it year after year) develop an index - one number - that compresses much of this informtaion and serves as a shorthand of what's important.

For eg., is the number of car launches in a year related to the health of the advertising industry ? (The old what's good for GM is good for America thought.) Or are the number of SMSes sent per mobile phone an indicator of spending capacity?

Once you try compressing information, interesting new hypothesis will emerge and along with them, the ability to predict if you are right or wrong.

It's, of course, easier said than done. But I think it would be a fun task to pursue.

What do you think?

pooR_Planner said...

Thank IQ.
Great suggestion. Infact, I was comparing the trends, spends, insights and conventions of few segment (from an advertising PoV) of the last two year. Yes, developing an index will be very interesting. And I might need your help on that :-) ...

I would love to share few reports & analysis but to be very honest with you and my dear readers, they are confidential. Anyway, I'm planning to start a new section which has reports, datas, stats etc. that has already been made public, so everyone can refer to it and use whenever required but that might take some time. anything to say on "10 things to watch out for in 2007." Today's TOI article made me believe, am on the right track ;-)

meraj said...

enjoyed reading this summation...

pooR_Planner said...

Hey thanks Meraj.

Nitya said...

hey roop,
interestin round of up 2006...! enjoyed readin it, thot i agree wit blaiq about havin more hyperlinks...

Lil belated, but happy new yr!

Hotels in shirdi said...

If you're looking for a pleasant and a memorable budget hotels in shirdi without burning a hole in your pocket,LOOK NO FURTHER!

best hotels in shirdi good hotels in shirdi cheap hotels in shirdi Hotels in shirdi Hotels in shirdi near temple