today's AMAZING TV AD : honda's "cog" 2 minute tv spot

for more on this, go to this post :; april 14 post.
the inspiration is mount pinatubo when some years ago, all of a sudden, after decades of being dormant, it decided to erupt, spewing debris and ash several kilometers high, blowing ashes to float everywhere, far and wide, turning the skies gloomy gray as far away as metro manila, hundreds of kilometers away, covering metro manila streets and rooftops with thick ash. the pinatubo eruption was so powerful that its ashes changed the color of sunsets not only in the philippines but also worldwide.

that's what happens when clients and advertising agencies decide to run ads not worthy to be called advertising. its dark, its huge and very irritating and unfortunately, everywhere!

all they are doing is wawam! what a waste of advertising money!

here is a first row view of Philippine Advertising and Philippine Marketing.

mount pinatubo erupts shooting ashes several kilometers high, then floating to blanket many other towns hundreds of kilometers away

new comments from WAWAM! readers

click to view comment in full. also, give us your own comment on any of the posts.

please note that comments are being posted here on a delayed basis, unfortunately, by a few hours from time of posting, so it seems. that is due to two things : (a) all comments are being moderated and (b) this program shows the comments on a delayed basis, not real time.

if you want to read the latest comments, go to the post itself and click "comments".

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Super Bowl ads: The best of the past 24 years

the super bowl is where you show the latest and hopefully the greatest. not only is it because it's the most expensive ad spot in the year, it guarantees an audience and more importantly being hailed as one of the greatest is great bragging rights for the ad agency and creatives.

view here the best :

Saturday, February 16, 2013

valentine ads that will turn you red in the face, for better or worst

beer on valentine's? that is not the usual alcohol usually considered during velantines. something italian or some bubbly perhaps but not beer. 

this heineken ad gives beer a new respectability and yes a romantic twist to what happens when you see the bubbles coming out of the chilled heineken. romance with a beer, that works very well.

this ad got replies from a lot of people in my timeline in twitter, all of them ladies.

a girlfriend who wanted to be an ex bought ad space in a place where her boyfriend goes to buy his lunch at work. in that ad space, she told her boyfriend she was breaking up with him, complete with the boyfriend's name and some important information like where his stuff are. for sure the boyfriend would read the message, plus a few more hundreds who go to the same place, the ad space was rented for a month.

and the replies from the ladies in my twitter timeline was unkind and in disagreement with laura. your take? 

this ikea promo ad is for what i think is just a brilliant promo for ikea.

it's an ads that reads the habits of its target market very well. call it consumer insight that hits home and sits very well on reality among the target market. aside from roses, chocolates and dinner, what else do you do on valentine's day to celebrate the day of love? 

this promises to give a free crib for babies born exactly nine (9) months from valentine day 2013. 

for sure this ad will give smiles to couples who read the ad and will generate such an abundance of brand loyalty and goodwill among those who goes to ikea to claim their crib. 

my only want on this ad is this - it should have been a full page ad in the leading newspaper with better graphic design and copy. that is really a minor point. on its bare bones design and copy writing, it is still a brilliant ad and promotion. 10 stars plus one!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

applying mass consumer marketing & advertising to the intangible "family planning" product

this will be a first of a series of articles that will explore how hard core mass consumer marketing and advertising have been successfully applied to a near intangible product called "family planning". the product "family planning" is actually a mindset and a practice and something you cannot buy like a detergent bar for washing clothes that you can get in a supermarket or sari-sari store (neighborhood store),

while family planning can eventually take the form of real and tangible products like condoms or pills which has real brand names and packages that can be bought in retail and drug stores, what the effort intended to do was to get the target audience to buy in or believe in "family planning" and for the same target audience to decide to use any one of family planning methods available.

previous efforts have been done in the past decades to promote the use of family planning behind which millions of US$ have been spent. advertising and other efforts were also used like working with the medical and governmental health organizations or agencies.

coming from a background of working only with hard core mass consumer marketing and advertising, we employed and applied the principles, tools and thinking used in selling products like toothpaste, detergents and sanitary napkins on to the product called "family planning".

based on tracking data comparing pre and post, the effort has been very successful, able to achieve historical highs on awareness on family planning and even increased usage.

this will deal on the very first part of the whole marketing and advertising effort on family planning that was conducted in the country.

first to be conducted were a series of qualitative research, focus group discussions in metro manila, davao and cebu among several groups of women and men with varying age groups. and marital status. the qualitative research was done to gain possible consumer insights for the development of advertising that will promote family planning use, advocacy work and public relations efforts. equally important, the qualitative researches were conducted to serve as inputs for the design of the quantitative research that was going to be done nationwide.
these charts are only a small portion of the whole research but it is quite telling on where the minds and hearts of pinoys, specially filipina women are in relation to family planning to themselves and their families.
the first part of the FGDs (focus group discussions) was a discussion on values and dreams of the respondents for their families.
an interesting methodology was designed. a drawing of a tree with roots, trunk and leaves were placed on the board. respondents were given post it pads where they were asked to write on them the values they believe in, those that are important for them or their dreams. they were asked to put the post its on the board, place it anywhere inside or outside the tree. once everyone has done this, their answers were processed and discussed with the moderator.
where the respondents placed the post it in relation to the tree had meaning to them. post its placed outside the tree meant whatever was written there was not very important for them. those placed on the leaves were more important and down to the roots. to the respondents, those they placed on the roots were the most important for them.
"why pinoys who are single or married need family planning in their relationship", click here to read full article:

qualitative research like focus group discussions are very helpful in developing advertising campaigns, specifically in crafting the consumer insight. but because we are all consumers ourselves, we find it easy to say that we know the consumer. using our own experiences and perceptions as legitimate target audience attitudes and experiences, there is the temptation to use these in the advertising that we develop.

based on previous attempts at guessing what consumers feel and think about certain things, we have been proven  wrong most of the tine. also, using our own experiences and perceptions necessarily give  a very narrow view of what the target audience feels and thinks. we want consumer knowledge to be thick, robust and expansive to borrow terms from consumer research.

and it is this goal of having consumer information that is thick, robust and expansive that the design of the FGDs was made of. 

going in we assumed that pregnancy is most probably one of the most important events for couples who are in a relationship. we knew that getting pregnant will involve very major changes in a person's life, if not for men, it  is certainly so for women. we wanted to know what aspects of their lives will be affected by pregnancy. 

it is this reason that the first topic discussed in the FGD was about the respondent's values or those that are important to them. we wanted to get some base data or information about the order of things in their lives as far as values and priorities were concerned. 

in getting at these, the direction given was we wanted some projective technique to be used. we felt that direct questions will not do and that a projective technique (in this one, respondents were asked to stick their post its where they wrote their values on a drawing of a tree)  will get us a lot more. 

projective techniques make it easier for respondents to respond to the questions and the ensuing discussion.  more importantly, the discussion afterwards in explaining what they wrote and why they placed the post it in that particular spot in the tree would be good start points for the moderator to probe the respondents.   

the second question, "what will you think or feel if you find out you are pregnant today?" was meant not only to come as close as we can to mimicking real life situations that couples experience, it was also meant to shock and put the respondent out of kilter. we wanted to be controversial at this very early stage of the FGD. actually the way this was described was, we wanted to get "violent" reactions from the respondents. 

the theory was getting controversial or eliciting violent reactions from the respondents is one of the best ways to get thick and robust responses from them. we were hoping we will push the respondents to extremes and corners that will enable them to think better and yes, say a lot more than the usual. 

from these thick and robust responses, we will then collate them and form a cohesive and sensible whole from which we can draw the consumer insights that will be used for the advertising and other marketing efforts we were going to do for family planning.

the design worked very well. 

you could actually feel the tension and excitement among the respondents after the second question was asked. all of them became very livid and attentive and resulted to them giving excellent answers to questions or opinions to issues brought about by the moderator or by their fellow respondents. 

key here is tailor fitting the design of the research to the goals you want to get from the research. it is also important to understand the topic that you are researching. we knew pregnancy is a sensitive topic for many pinoys, specially women. talking about pregnancy will also need talking about sex and their sexual practices. these are topics that many filipinas do not usually want to talk about specially among strangers. being a sensitive topic demanded a design that overcomes this as a barrier.

more on this next....

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

12 years ago, Kodak was warned on what to do to avoid Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing

12 years ago, sometime in september, 2000 a powerpoint presentation was sent to the chief marketing officer of eastman kodak. the above was one of the first few slides in that presentation.

the slide talks about the fast changing competitive environment that kodak was in. at that time, the internet and digital photography was just starting to grow rapidly and in effect changing the way people share pictures. the engulfing change was altering consumer habits in dramatic ways that was making kodak irrelevant and not even one of the choices consumers had on their list. consumers were still taking pictures, with stand alone digital cameras and digital cameras in cellphones. they were taking more pictures than ever but they were no longer having them printed  to be stored or shared with others. the digital pictures either stayed in their cell phones or shared digitally through the internet or from one gadget to the other. that means kodak was quickly being taken out of the picture taking habit.

it was a quickie presentation - not based on any business data or consumer research but just observations in the market and the author's own personal experience. the idea was to have a start point discussion of the marketing challenges that kodak faced then and how with more work, consumer research and analysis of business data need to be done from which the strategies and thinking contained in the presentation were to be changed, adapted or implemented by kodak.

read more about it here and take a view of the complete powerpoint presentation. -

Monday, February 21, 2011

manny pacquiao's red horse beer tv ad - cheap shot for a world champion

this one is one of manny pacquiao's numerous tv ads. it's one of the latest if not the latest. latest means the public and that is about the whole philippine population have been mesmerized with the pacman's latest heroic exploit as a world class boxer. pacquiao's greatness as a boxer has not escaped filipinos, their admiration of him overflowing and unprecedented for any sportsman in the country's history.

airing a cheap tv ad such as this one does not make sense to us at all. the ad has absolutely cheap and amateurish production values. the set looks real cheap, like an amateur set designer did it. the frontage of the bar and the inside obviously look like a set. it is as if it was intentional. the over-all look and quality of the set defies logic - sets not supposed to look like sets. walls are not supposed to look fake. sets are meant to give the sense of reality, that the characters are actually inside a real bar and the walls are real walls, the structures looking like real structures. in this ad no such effort was made.

the lighting of the tv ad did not help either. the lighting instead of hiding or masking the fakeness (yes, that is a new word) of the set was showing it off in all it's glory. the lighting designed seemed to have made an effort to show every detail of the fake and poorly done set. it did not help in building character for the set and the characters in the tv ad, it made a very strong effort to show its flaws.

and that is just on the set and lighting.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

cebu pacific's dancing flight stewardess youtube video - opportunity for a new brandsell advertising

this youtube video as of this writing has gotten 6 million hits at youtube since it was posted. that makes the video a viral success. but it is an unintended success for cebu pacific as they had nothing to do with its posting, an airline passenger posted it there.

cebu pacific is now top of mind. it is the kind of awareness that brand managers dream about - it's impact wide, it's fun and its free publicity. will it generate business for cebu pacific? it should, but we do not know how much it would be. it also helps that its key competitor, Philippine Airlines is having problems with their own flight attendants who are threatening to go on strike.

actually this video getting so much attention is hurting PAL as much as it is helping cebu pacific. the cebu pacific flight attendant being as fun and engaging is an extreme contrast to the PAL flight attendant who appears to be embattled and combative.

what is the next step? we were thinking this is an excellent time for cebu pacific to air a new tv brandsell advertising featuring the same flight attendant who is featured in the video doing exactly the same dance steps. the flight attendant in that video is very good looking and did an excellent job with her dance, she can be the next commercial model star in philippine advertising. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

mead johnson's brand and corporate image hurt by product recall

the nightmare every product manager wants to avoid just happened to two of mead johnson's milk products - a recall ordered by the FDA due to not meeting fat content standard, saying it is of "inferior" quality. 

in the first place, why did mead johnson release a product that does not meet government regulation standards? that is mind boggling and most specially for a company that sells milk products for babies and children. a milk product needs to be perfect specially on the points of view of safety and quality.  these are qualities every mother expects a milk product to be. the other benefits, like making your child smart or in the case of a product of mead johnson a promise of giving 100% nutrition are the added benefits that separate the brand from others.

fernandez, a corporate affairs manager at mead johnson gave a  weak defense of his company. he said the products they were selling met the FDA standards until the FDA changed them. that does not sound like it's a good excuse. the FDA changed the standards without telling milk companies of the change? is that what fernandez is saying?  

we are thinking if standards are changed, the FDA will let the milk companies know about the change ahead of time to give the milk companies time to develop new formulas and to deplete stocks that have already been produced and already in the stores. this change in standards does not appear to be a health risk, so it makes sense for the FDA to allow the milk companies to draw down their stocks. 

perhaps someone in mead johnson forgot the deadline for the switch over to the new stamdard? maybe there are still stocks of the mead johnson products still in the market that were sold before that got caught in the deadline and were found by the FDA in the shelves. we do not know the protocol the FDA follows in the their checks but it is very possible that the FDA would pick up products from the stores to analyze them. 

we think this forgetful mead johnson employee is the real reason for this problem. fernandez in his statement says they are about to release a re-formulated product that meets the regulation. that to us means someone in mead johnson is very forgetful with the reformulation coming in too late. 

this can mean the products in question will be out of the market for sometime as they will still need to reformulate, get approval on the new formula and produce the product.

this will hurt mead johnson's market share for these products. they are hoping this will not hurt the other mead johnson brands in the market. it's a tough situation to be in, mead johnson will need to do some damage repair on its brands and the company. this is not a good thing to happen for brands and a company that sells milk products to children. let's see what they do after this event.

FDA recalls 2 Mead Johnson milk products

By Jocelyn Uy
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 19:05:00 09/21/2010
MANILA, Philippines—The Food and Drug Administration has ordered the recall from store shelves of two milk products for supposedly deficient fat level content, failing to comply with the standards.
In an order, FDA Director Nazarita Tacandong said Sustagen Junior Milk Drink Powder Vanilla Flavor and Alactagrow Bibo Trio Milk Supplement were being recalled because both failed to comply with the standard fat level content per 100 calories set by the agency.

The two milk products are manufactured by Mead Johnson Nutrition Philippines.
Under FDA standards, the required fat content for milk supplements must be between three and six grams per 100 calories.

An evaluation showed that the fat contents of Sustagen and Alactagrow were only 1.5 grams and 1.34 grams per 100 calories, respectively, "thus indisputably making the same non-compliant to the standard of inferior quality," Tacandong said.

She also advised consumers who have purchased the products to return them to the manufacturer or any of its licensed distributors.

Continuous distribution of the milk products would present "gross deception" to consumers and may "present risk and injury to young children," said the FDA order.

Reached for comment, Janryll Fernandez, Mead Johnson Nutrition Philippines corporate affairs manager, maintained that all its products sold in the country, including Alactagrow and Sustagen Junior, have passed stringent FDA health and safety requirements.

"They remain perfectly safe to consume, contrary to the language used in the order," Fernandez told the Inquirer in a phone interview Tuesday.

Fernandez noted that the FDA issued a "Class III order," the lowest level or recall order used for products that have "technical compliance issues" but do not likely to cause adverse health consequences.

In a statement, Paul Richards, the company's president and general manager, said, "safety is Mead Johnson's highest priority and the company spares no effort to comply with the laws of all of the countries in which it operates."

Fernandez added that the fat content of the two milk products were in compliance with FDA standards before it recently adopted additional Codex regulations for follow-up milk formulas.
He added that the company was already taking steps to meet the new FDA
"Mead Johnson is releasing a reformulated version of the milk products that meet the new regulatory requirements," said Fernandez.

Friday, September 3, 2010

case study : how not to do a televised political debate

news reports describe this as "painful to watch", yes we agree it is. it looked like this arizona governor had a major mental block during the debate. there was a short mental blackout at the start of her statement,  she recovered a bit but a much longer blackout occured a few seconds later.

we do not have an idea why these things happen and more importantly we do not know how to fix it during the time it is happening. we have encountered situations where during a presentation we can't find a particular data or paper and what we do is we pretend to have found it and say out loud an invented data or number hoping it is close to the actual one. of the times we did that, it passed.

this is a much different case as on this one she was totally blank. we think that after she stumbled the first time, she could not let the blunder go in her mind. she could not block it our of her mind, possible that she got extremely nervous knowing she screwed up and started to blame herself for the blunder. she became so agitated by the error and the intense self blame she dished out on herself that another blackout, a much longer one occured a few seconds after.

the next question - will arizona voters ignore the twin blackouts and elect her just the same?

Friday, July 16, 2010

toyota's biggest savings promo turn into a customer's biggest satisfaction failure

we have been seeing this print ad for toyota. nothing really special about the print ad, it's a typical promo print ad from the genre of barker, hyper type of promo ads. we have also seen a tv ad for this promo and from what we remember, the tv ad looks like the print ad, also unremarkable. based on just our own observation, it appears toyota has spent the most ad money among all the car manufacturers. most are on promos like these.

the ad we have here is the ad for the extension of the promo, the promo ran in june and this ad announces its extension until july. they could have come up with a different version for the extension of the ad for better impact and awareness. this extension print ad is different from the first version only with an announcement of the extension on the upper right hand corner of the ad.

promos are a good thing or so at least in paper. they are meant to build business. the idea of a promo is that during the time it is ran, the promo will generate incremental business for the brand/company. what happens when a promo turns into a big customer dissatisfaction? here is one example:

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

advertising greed is bad for your brand health

here is one more practice of marketers and ad agencies that i honestly could not understand. we don't even have to go back to advertising principles, we just have to apply common sense.

we call it advertising greed.

globe handyphone customer service telephone hotline - when you call their telephone hotline, they don't immediately connect you to the menu of services you want to know about nor to the customer service agent who is supposed to help you with your problems. what you hear instead is this audio spiel that advertises their latest service offering or promotion. if it is the first time for you to call this number, you need to listen to the whole spiel before you get connected to the person you want to talk to. that is, if by the time the spiel ends there is already a customer service agent who is already free to handle your call. if not, you will here some irritating music on the line.

we really don't get that. the whole idea behind putting up a telephone hotline is to provide customer service efficiently and QUICKLY. during the days before the invention of the term "customer satisfaction" and call centers, it tool a long time to get anything done to help customers on their complaints on the service or get information. the telephone and call center is supposed to eliminate that problem of decades ago.

running that audio spiel violates that very principle of "quick and efficient" customer service hotline. it actually delays it rather than quicken it.

we like advertising but we do not think this is a smart thing to do. the customer hotline is one area where we think it is counter-productive to out an ad in. most people call these numbers to complain about a service or to fix a service problem. it is to the interest of globe and the the appreciation of customers that these are quickly resolved.

we have been watching the FIFA world cup on tv at balls cable tv. what gets us is that when they cut to the showing of ads, the ad break is very long, at least 5 minutes worth of ads. and this is what kills us - some of the tv ads are shown not once, not twice but often times more than 5 times!

what is the point of showing the same ad for more than once? they forgot that you are supposed to develop ads that work even when seen only once by the audience. there is not advantage in showing the same ad to the same audience in the same commercial break for more than 5 times.

it is stupid to expect that the audience will actually watch the same ad 5 times in a row! didn't the ad agency, client and the cable tv operator know all tv sets now come with a remote control unit? it's easy to expect that the audience will click the remote and watch another tv channel while the ads are running. many tv sets have the picture in picture feature, the audience who switches channels during the long commercial break will not miss a thing when the game is put back on.

why do clients and ad agencies do these things? what is the point of advertising greed when the audience has the power not to view the repeated ads with the remote control? or when an ad is forcibly broadcast to the audience who is in no mood to listen to an ad from the service provider?

advertising greed does not make a sale, nor does it build brand equity, all it does is annoy the audience and a definite WAWAM!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

babes in orange mini dress arrested for ambush marketing in 2010 world cup

wow! this is shocking - we did not know ambush marketing can get you arrested! marketers can be criminals after all.

dutch bavaria beer sent a few dozen babes in orange mini dress to watch the dutch games at the world cup in south africa. the beer company paid for the airfare for the babes to watch the game and obviously the orange mini dress. the girls entered the stadium in regular clothes and at a specific time they all remove their clothes to reveal the orange mini dress.

then the girls started the whoopi. how often do you see that many babes in mini dress doing the whoopi in the way they did it? so they got a lot of attention, cell phone cameras took the video, the men around them whooped it up, too. they did not complain, they just enjoyed all of it,

however, there were those who complained - the men at the other of the stadium who were too far to see eye to eye with the babes in orange dress. the other complaint was from fifa who had them arrested.

well, fifa did not have them arrested and charged in court for the mini dresses but for violating the sponsorship and marketing deals for the games. apparently bavaria was not a sponsor of the games. the babes in mini dress were accomplices for the alleged crime.

fifa are such party poopers!

read here:,248867

this we think is excellent ambush marketing. not only because the babes wore mini dresses but the whole idea of ambushing such an event. bavaria obviously got what they wanted - they got the attention of every dutch male in the audience and at home, plus the global audience and everyone else who went to this blog. i bet bavaria beer's brand awareness and likability scores went up the roof after the game.

it made me thirsty for bavaria beer. will get some tonight.

Monday, June 14, 2010

the magic of magicJack in the philippines

if you are in the US, for sure you have heard of magicJack, it's heavily advertised and widely available in the supermarkets. magicJack is a VOIP telephone service where you connect this magicJack gadget into your computer USB and then connect your telephone to the mahicJack. the driver will load and you are ready to call anyone in the US and canada for free.

well, not entirely free but almost free - the magicJack costs $39.95 for the first year, included shipping and for succeeding years you pay $19.95 per year. you can make all the calls you want, in the philippine context you can make unlimited calls to any number in the US and Canada at no cost.

the good news - this works in the philippines, too!we have been using the magicJack in the philippines to call folks in the US on a regular basis. it's used often - an hour or so almost every day and it works just fine. the voice quality is very clear. at times it gets garbled and with an echo but it rarely happens. if that happens, just hang up and call again. it's recommended that no other computer uses the DSL connection when you are using the magicJack as there is at times some interference.

these are really very minor problems. the amount of hours we have been spending using the magicJack to call the US is very much worth the annual fee and the occasional problems.

the magicJack is actually available locally. there is a local company that sells the unit but it is not worth buying from them as it is more than double the cost of getting it from the US while the annual fee is more  than triple the cost in the US.

what is the go around on this horrendous local cost? ask your friends and relatives from the US to buy the magicJack in the US and ask them to have the unit shipped to you in the philippines. once it arrives to your philippine home by courier, you can immediately use it. of course your friend in the US will need to shoulder the initial cost of it. you will probably need a credit card to continue the service after the first year.

a marketing note : the local company selling the magicJack in the philippines unfortunately is just like many other local companies in the philippines - they are terribly profit hungry. just like many other local companies that engage in services or products from the US, this company is too greedy in pricing the product and service twice to three times the cost in the US. but that is another topic.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

apple's new iPhone 4 and iPad - a second chance to market leadership for globe telecoms

we read in an internet posting globe telecoms has slid to 3rd in total number of subscribers recently and have been overtaken by sun cellular. we will not discuss that now here as we still need to verify the numbers but that is a very sad state of affairs for globe.

sun is a crappy service. the only thing going for it is its unlimited calls and text but the service is pretty bad - texts take a long time to reach the other party if it reaches it at all and voice calls are very often choppy and garbled, not to mention frequent dropped calls and "service is unavailable" error messages. we can't even call the sun cell service as good value, nothing much is good about it and its value questionable. "cheap" is the only appropriate word to use for it.

with that profile, you can understand why it is a sad state of affairs that sun is able to overtake globe in number of subscribers. in many ways, it hurts less if the brand that overtakes your brand is superior than yours but for an inferior brand to achieve it, that hurts pretty bad.

BUT apple's latest - the iPhone 4 and iPad is here. globe is the exclusive partner of apple in the philippine market for the iPhone. we assume it will continue to be so for apples newest toys.

the iPhone 4 by all measures, that means the tech reviewers are going crazy over the latest version. it will have a new OS (iOS4) and has new and really great features. to name a few - a great display, longer battery life, a gyroscope and 2 cameras (back and front facing). almost all the tech reviewers this new iPhone is apple's best and a sure winner for consumers.

the other is the iPad which has taken the market by storm. before launch, it was a product nobody could place. people were excited about it. almost any new apple product excited people but this one was hard to place where it can be in the tech market. apple launched it and it was an instant success. it has sold 2 million units in just 2 months and it continue to escalate. by all accounts, the only barrier for further growth in unit sales for the iPad is the speed by which apple's factories can manufacture the gadget.

what this means is that apple has 2 excellent products that globe can use to spring it's subscriber base up. but the question is- has globe learned it's lesson the first time it launched the iPhone in the market?

the launch of the original iPhone was also an instant hit in the US market and in most markets it was sold. it was first sold in the US and apple stores had long lines of consumers waiting outside apple stores to get their hands on it. almost all of these consumers who lined up were there from the previous night, all of them camping out during the night just so they are able to get their hands on the iphone.

no such crazy adulation occurred in the philippines when globe launched it here. we have previously written about it before here and we said the reason for the absence of excitement for the iphone was the pricing strategy that globe adapted for the iphone. globe bevame greedy - they over-priced it so much so that very few could afford the iphone,

we also wrote that globe could have used the iphone as key marketing tool to get leadership away from smart. globe then was second to smart.

with the iphone 4 and the ipad appearing to be a real winner technologically and by techies acclaim, perhaps globe will be smart enough to bring back the sun into their subscriber base by doing the right thing the second time around. (pun intended)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

creating a string of successes through timing - the iPhone and the iPad

in this week's news, steve jobs said they started to developed the iPad ahead of the iPhone but they decided to launch the iPhone first and shelved the iPad work in the meantime.

it is hindsight but we think it was a brilliant move.

the iPad competes in the tablet sub segment of the computer market and during that time many tablet brands have failed. apple may very well have failed too if they launched the iPad then.

launching the iPhone ahead of the iPad was a good move as the iPhone was unique in the market it was getting launched into, its success in the market place was easier and more assured. there were no other cellphones during that time that had the features that the iPhone had. uniqueness is one of the key success factors in the launch of any new product.

the iPhone also prepared and in many ways built a lot of anticipation and excitement on the iPad. by the time the iPad launched, consumers have become familiar with the new touch technology that the iPhone had. apple also was already hugely successful with the iTunes and the app store. these were critical partners to the success of the iPhone. with consumers already knowing the success of the iPhone iTunes and the app store, the iPad became a very easu sell to consumers.

the sales numbers on the iPad are impressive - it has sold its 1 million unit much faster than the iPhone did and many analysts are now revising their sales projections on the iPad, more units than previous estimates.

launch timing in this one helped the success of a new product launch.

Monday, April 19, 2010

the disloyalty that globe handyphone's loyalty and rewards program creates

marketing 101 says loyalty and rewards programs are very effective tools in keeping subscribers happy with your service and more importantly to stay loyal. that means loyalty and rewards programs are meant to prevent existing subscribers from cutting off their subscription with the company and switch to a competitor.

it is also much more cost effective to keep customers loyal than to look for new subscribers. marketing and acquisition costs for new customers is much higher and much more difficult for companies.

what makes all of these critical is that the mobile phone service industry is probably the most competitive mass consumer market in the country. we know this with the unending and heavy advertising and promotions launched by the top three competing companies – sun, globe and smart.

the three competing companies offer unique plans and a full range of options for the consumers to choose from. many of these are value packed, offering very low cash outlay and monthly fees. when the market already competes on price, you know that the market is reaching maturity and is already near saturation point.

the market is also reaching near-saturation point where a large part of the demographics, in practically all segments already own a cell phone and already subscribe to a mobile service provider.

what this tells you is that a mobile phone service provider’s way to market share and revenue growth is to (1st) keep your current customers loyal; (2nd) increase usage of loyal customers through more value added services and (3rd) gain new users.

what is the point then that globe has kept it’s loyalty and rewards program secret from it’s subscribers?

we have been getting some feedback from a yahoogroup we are a member of. members are saying the loyalty/rewards program of globe has been there for a long time, it’s just that they don’t tell their subscribers about it. you only get to know about it by accident – from friends or when you call their hotline number and accidentally ask about it.

apparently, smart is less secretive about their loyalty/rewards program. smart puts it in fine print on your cell phone bill to let you know about it. it is in fine print but at least you are told about it. globe does not put it anywhere in your bill and they don’t tell you about it when you call them. you get to know about it only when you ask them about it.

for me, keeping the loyalty/rewards program a secret from subscribers indicates insincerity. why would you develop a rewards/loyalty program when you don’t intend to let your customers know about it? keeping it a secret from subscribers is very much equivalent to not having one.

we are familiar with rewards/loyalty programs - the SM group has one, mercury drugstore and national bookstore as well. these stores publicize it with posters and their cashiers ask you if you have one. if you don’t , they will ask you if you want to get one. to these stores, it’s not a secret they actively recruit members to it.

the most obvious negative effect of keeping it a secret from subscribers is that the program is not being used as a tool the way it is intended to be used. not having a lot of subscribers using it also says the program is not achieving it’s objectives.

there is a feedback given in the yahoogroup we are a member of - this subscriber has been with globe for a long time, since year 1 of globe operations in 1996. she accidentally found out about globe’s loyalty/reward program from a friend. she calls the hotline number to inquire about it and globe did not even apologize for not letting her know about its existence. disappointed, she closed her globe account and switched to smart. since she moved over to smart, she has gotten 2 new cell phones as her reward and is very happy with smart.

in that incident, the loyalty/reward program that was kept a secret actually caused disloyalty from a subscriber. it achieved the exact opposite of what it is supposed to achieve.

we know that smart telecoms monitors their churn numbers on a daily basis. churn is the result of subtracting the number of subscribers dropping the service versus the number of new subscribers joining the service. having a positive churn means the total number of subscribers is increasing while a negative churn means the number of subscribers is shrinking. a positive churn means increasing market share of number of users while a negative churn is a decrease in market share.

to smart telecoms, it’s important that they continue to grow in market share. a negative churn turns them into a panic and will immediately launch new programs to entice new users or keep existing ones.

that is the kind of marketing that smart does and it shows as smart continue to be the dominant mobile service provider in the country.

smart has an interesting history. smart actually built their market through very aggressive marketing.

smart was not the market leader when they started in the market. piltel which was still owned by pldt and separate from smart was the market leader. globe entered the market and took leadership away from piltel. through aggressive marketing, smart over took both piltel and globe and since that time, smart has not only sustained it’s leadership, it has achieved dominance.

in case globe is wondering why they are unable to get switchers from smart subscribers, perhaps the answer can be deduced from this incident – smart does not keep their loyalty/rewards program secret from their subscribers, they tell them about it. smart users are loyal subscribers because they are hooked by their loyalty/rewards program.

on the other side, in case globe is wondering why they keep losing their post-paid clients to smart – it is probably because they have kept their loyalty/rewards program a secret from their subscribers.

posted here: