A Meet with the Veteran

A Meet with the Veteran

Tete–a–Tete with Mr. Srinivasan K Swami, Chairman, R K Swamy BBDO Associates. Recently,  I attended the YI summit in Trichy which was organised by students from BIM. The speaker, Mr. Srinivasan was an excellent raconteur. He weaved a wonderful story on how many products got revived at the end of their product life cycle. He shared with us how P&G reduced its portfolio to 1/3rd and started focusing on billion dollar brands. He spoke about Neil McElroy  who pioneered the concept brand management.

He related the coke story. Coke in the 50s talked about benefits, in the 70s about symbols and in the 90s about experience. This brand has stood the test of time. He gave examples how some brands rejuvenated themselves.

Lifebuoy saw its market share dip from 27% to 11%, but it’s AD campaign on saving lives from diarrhoea increased its market share. Colgate saw its share plummet from 65% to 48% because of the onslaught of Uniliver but with the slew of product launches it has been able to get back to 55%. Currently it is facing  threat fromPanthanjali’s Dant Kanthi. Mercedes-Benz which was considered as a car for older people transformed its image through  slick advertising.

Then Mr. Srinivasan also shared the story of Snickers and Voltas. One great idea I picked up was  owned media, earned media and paid media. Owned media is to  create your own website while  Earned media is to  do your publicity campaign in newspapers and TV channels. Paid media is as a last step  to pay to get yourself advertised.

I met Mr. Srinivasan during lunch time. He was fun, loving and I could easily connect with him. I gave him a copy of my book which he promised to go through and give me a feedback.

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