Variety

Twitter’s an egg, Facebook an omelette

Harish Bijoor | Updated on March 12, 2018

How do you like your eggs? As Twitter or Facebook?

How do you like your eggs? As Twitter or Facebook?

The 140-character social network is a window to the world's many concerns, which Facebook explores further.

How do you view the difference between Twitter and Facebook in the digital advertising format?

- Kamini Rudro, New Delhi

Kamini, Twitter is a valuable part of the digital marketing toolkit of the modern marketer. Twitter is really a medium that is that much more in sync with the young of today. It is crisp, it has just no time to dawdle, it is to the point, it makes its point and vanishes! This aspect of Twitter is appreciated, at times even more than what Facebook offers. Twitter is no-nonsense, whereas Facebook is a lot of sense scattered all over. It takes time to find and decipher. If Twitter is a focused egg, Facebook is an omelette!

Facebook is a place where all of marketing can converge, participate, post, share, like, enjoy and more. Twitter is just the opposite. Twitter is just the window. It opens up links and pages if you wish to go that way. Twitter, therefore, helps galvanise customers. Hashtags that actually click and trend worldwide or within India, for that matter, make or break your digital marketing plan.

Watching advertisements on the television today with kids present is a difficult task. They keep asking all kinds of questions, and advertisers are not helping with advertisements that keep pushing the boundary of acceptability further and further. What do we do?

- Prema Sahil, Mumbai

Prema, advertising today is most certainly crossing more than the Lakshman Rekha of societal acceptance. This is reflected in the pain expressed and not expressed by viewers such as you. But the point to remember is that the Lakshman Rekha on this was drawn decades ago. Today, however, society is morphing. Consumers find the boundaries of their acceptability norms being shifted and re-jigged. For example, in the old days, the word “sexy” was considered taboo. Not any more.

Suggestive advertising finds its genesis in suggestive cinema. The innuendo is today a big item of usage in advertising that is suggestive. The innuendo in Indian cinema is old hat. Dada Kondke of Marathi cinema was celebrated for his innuendo. This has now finally moved into advertising, decades later.

Advertisers need to, however, stay careful and appreciate the fact that mass media is really mass. It is consumed by all age groups, sexes, and most importantly by the innocent child audience of the country. The 420 million children of India consume the same advertising that the rest of the adults do through mass media. It is, therefore, important to get sensitive. Let's not fast-track the children’s growing up with doses of suggestive advertising. Let them nourish and cherish their childhood, just as long as we did in our times. I agree there is need for restraint.

In the automotive industry, why are companies launching older versions in India and newer versions only for the bigger countries?

- Aftab Alam, Hyderabad

Aftab, this is really not about a bigger country versus smaller mindset. India, in fact, is bigger than most. In terms of population, at least.

The issue is that thus far, India was considered a third-world market. A market not quite ready to embrace the latest and the best. In terms of product, and most certainly in terms of prices. Therefore, auto companies introduced older versions into India and hoped they would work. They did, in the old days. Today is, however, different. Companies need to offer the latest and the best. We have 672 variants of autos on Indian roads today. We are spoilt for choice. Those who bring in old models will do so at their own peril.

I market frozen yogurt in India. What do you see as my biggest challenge?

- P. Dharampal, Ahmedabad

Dear Dharam, yogurt in India is a generic item. It has been known as dahi for hundreds of years, and yogurt finds dominant mention in our mythology, with Lord Krishna being the yogurt prankster of yore. To an extent this is a big disadvantage for yogurt marketers in this country. The product is a bit a too generic, and is made in every Indian home. When a product is that ubiquitous, it remains a commodity for a long, long time.

However, we have a lot to learn from bottled water marketers who have faced a similar challenge in India. The key propositions that you tout need to be strong and ooze value. Frozen and flavoured yogurt brands need to crack this code in India. Brand propositions that work in overseas markets will not necessarily work here, though.

Also, in the ice-cream market there is a caste hierarchy. There are ice-creams and frozen desserts. Ice-creams claim a close relationship to dairy fat or vegetable fat equally. Out here, there is a strong feeling that ice-creams are not necessarily healthy items on the menu for the future. Therefore, frozen yogurts masquerade as poor cousins of ice creams. This is the current effort in India. Further, there is a dominant tendency to make frozen yogurt a lifestyle statement with parlours taking the lead.

(Harish Bijoor is a business strategy specialist and CEO, Harish Bijoor Consults Inc.)

Published on July 05, 2012

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