Advertising in Recession

Some advertisers tend to pull back on advertising during economic downturn. I see several advertisers are contemplating to cut down on advertising and few have already done so. This knee-jerk reaction is natural amid news of slowing economy, job losses, turmoil in auto sector and sub-par (read sub-prime) performance by the financial sector. I believe that retrenchment decisions are largely influenced by emotional and psychological stimuli from the external environment. I would digress momentarily to share a joke with you in support of the above premise. A friend, Ahad Rasheed, sent this joke and I quote with some additions.

 

An old man used to sell hot dogs. His eyesight was weak so he neither read newspapers nor watched TV. All he did was selling hot dogs and he sold lots of them and had a good income. Old man son graduates from a business school and joins him in business. He tells his father that economy is not doing well and he should save some cash, as Cash is King! The old man started buying fewer buns and meat, closed his shop before sunset to save on Hydro bills and consequently his sales went down. His brother retired from a government job and had seen the old man prosper by selling hot dogs. So he wanted to invest in hot dog business too. He seeks old man advice. Guess what, the old man advised; the economy is slow and hot dog sales are down. It is recession!

 

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From the “R” word to “D” word

We are paying the price of unabated spending on homes and consumer goods during last few years. Cheap and easily available credit (sub-prime lending), stable consumer goods prices, and technological & productivity gains created excesses and fueled the economy for most of current decade. Thus we got caught up in a housing boom in 2000 and onwards similar to the dot-com boom of 1990s.

Excessive sub-prime lending in the United States has taken its toll with rampant defaults on mortgage payments resulting in write-offs and tightening of credit by commercial banks. This checked the growth of Real Estate market. Simultaneously, oil prices rose to unprecedented level crossing US$140 mark in July 2008, which along with increased staple food prices sparked inflation. This decreased the consumer purchasing power and slowed down the demand for capital goods. Spillover from economic downturn south of border has adversely affected Canadian economy, especially the economy of Ontario, which is heavily dependent on sales to the US markets. In 2007, 83.5% of the total goods exports from Ontario were to the US<!–[if !supportFootnotes]–>[1]<!–[endif]–>. Furthermore, exports declined due to stronger Canadian dollar, while layoffs in auto industry further contracted the Canadian economy. Read more of this post

Yes, you can

Today a client graciously asked me if he could reprint and use one of my recent posts. I told him to use any of my posts, if he could mention the source.  

I would also like to advise you to feel free to reprint or use any of my posts and articles, as long as you include a credit line.

Thank you,

What Every Good Marketer Knows About South Asian–Canadians

Inspired by Seth Godin’s “What Every Good Marketer Knows” I have come up with my list of What Every Good Marketer Knows about South Asian-Canadians:  

  • South Asian-Canadians are the biggest visible minority in Canada at 1.26 million
  • Ontario has the largest South Asians-Canadians population – 794,170 people
  •  British Columbia has second largest South Asians population – 262,290 people
  •  More than 80% of South Asian-Canadians live in the provinces of Ontario & British Columbia making it an easily accessible market segment
  • South Asians population constitutes 25% of the visible minority group 
  •  By  2017, the South Asians population will increase by 50% to 1.8 million 
  • South Asians Canadians families spend 23% more on groceries than other households in Canada 
  • South Asian population is younger than overall Canadians. On average, 73% are between the ages 25 – 49 years versus 46% of overall population 
  • South Asian-Canadians have an estimated spending power of $12 billion and 80% of this could be targeted by focusing on Toronto and Vancouver markets Read more of this post

Creativity in Outdoor Advertising

 

 

Creativity by Subway in Outdoor advertising

Creativity by Subway in Outdoor advertising

 

This is an interesting billboard advertisement. Subway leveraged the often used and misused sex appeal creatively to attract attention and followed it with a short & direct statement. They used the advertising elements nicely – big heading, short copy, no clutter, nice layout, black letters on light background – making it easier for passersby to register the message. The big bold heading made good the absence of an image. The ad, however, looks like a tactical maneuver per se and not a part of a campaign. Still you bet the ad had a higher recall and built brand equity.

It enforces the advertising fundamentals that creativity is the king and copy matters. Please comment, what do you think of it?

Family is most important for South Asians

Earlier this month I asked South Asians what they like. I used e-mails & social media (Facebook, Linkedin and Blog) to pose this questions. Mostly Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis living in Canada, the USA, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, the UAE and Saudi Arabia responded. Many non-Asians also commented. Altogether, I received about 100 comments. Two interesting and distinct findings of the survey are; (i) the family came out as the major consideration by majority of the respondents of South Asian origin, (ii) comments from non-Asian respondents were very different from the preferences shown by the South Asian respondents highlighting a lack of understanding of South Asian culture by the non-Asian respondents.

Further detail and analysis of the outcome of the survey are as follows: 

(i) Majority of the respondents mentioned that family is most important to them followed by relations (relatives or relationships). It shows that marketing communication leveraging family, family values and relationship themes would have an “emotional connect” with South Asians with a greater possibility of striking a chord with them. Based on this survey, as South Asians are family oriented, they would mostly move together and could be reached at family events and melas in large numbers. Furthermore, it could be safely deducted that word-of mouth publicity will be effective in South Asian market segment. Read more of this post

Why this Blog?

Several times I have been asked the reason for starting this blog. Though I had alluded to it in the About page of this blog, I think it will be useful to provide additional perspective here.

When I started marketing integrated media (print, direct & online) for South Asian market segment, I observed that many corporate clients were deliberating on the What, Why, Where, How and When of the emerging market segment. I thought the best way to facilitate clients and add value to their marketing efforts is to share with them the information, research and analysis on the multicultural markets, advertising and other relevant topics. Hence this blog was initiated with the objective of adding value to clients by keeping them informed about latest marketing information, trends, developments and ideas.

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