The intent appears sound, but the execution leaves you cold
'Mango Frooti, fresh and juicy', used to be the hackneyed punch line for Frooti for many, many years. Though it must have worked for the brand, for we still recall it. But realising that the line is long past its expiry date, makers of Frooti have repositioned the brand with a new thought: ‘Why grow up?'. It is clearly an attempt to make the brand more fun and playful, and transport it into the world of laughter and pranks. While the message in itself has nothing to do with mangoes per se (no point, there are already too many mango drinks in the market), the idea is to inject the stagnating brand with some attitude and distinctiveness.
And so they have come up with the 'Juicy mango surprise’ project. What this campaign features is a series of non-scripted commercials. A huge mango prototype (hope it’s made out of extremely light material!) gets dropped on unsuspecting passers-by. On the streets and gardens and other public places. Hidden cameras capture the laughter and masti the prank generates. And the footage then gets edited and converted into TV commercials. The marketer hopes that the prank will deliver attitude, and the mango replica will remind the drinkers that Frooti is still a mango drink.
Here’s my problem with the idea: While the intent appears sound, the execution leaves you cold. The commercials aren’t really funny. You will smile a bit when you first watch a commercial, when some uncles and aunties do a double-take as a missile gets dropped near them. But soon the humour fades, predictability sets in, and the commercials lose steam. In fact, the so-called prank has a very limited potential for a long run, so one wonders where this idea is really headed.
Also, the marketers need to be careful in this ‘reality show’. In these terror-infested times, some weak-hearted dadaji could mistake the giant mango for a deadly bomb, and the resultant hysteria and panic may trigger damage rather than laughter.
Having said the above, one must give credit to the makers of Frooti and its advertising agency for at least daring to think out of the box. The idea is gimmicky and its future uncertain, but one should laud the unusual attempt at creating ads that break the clutter and smash the routine method of creating ads. Should be an interesting case study for other advertisers. Let’s keep an eye and observe what degree of success the brand achieves with this campaign. Though, as I said, I have serious doubts on its efficacy in the long run.
Strong global cues and falling domestic inflation helped to prop up bourses. But the short-term trend still points towards a dip
The market was up today, taking a cue from global bourses. The Sensex ended at 17,503, higher by 123 points (0.7%) and the Nifty ended at 5,254, higher by 38 points (0.7%). The bourse started the day with a surge, but soon pared its gains. It rebounded in the mid-morning session and traded in a narrow range till afternoon. At the late trading session, it was on a strong note and touched the intraday high of 17,532.
Asian stocks edged lower in volatile trade. Key benchmark indices in South Korea, Taiwan, China and Hong Kong were down by 0.32% and 1.1%. Key benchmark indices in Singapore and Indonesia rose 0.78% to 0.5%. Japanese markets were closed for the Showa Day holiday, and will remain closed Monday-Wednesday next week for local holidays. US markets edged higher on Wednesday (28th April), on the bullish stance taken by the Federal Reserve on the US economy, and employment prospects gave some relief to investors worried about possible debt defaults in Europe. Stocks were down earlier in the day after S&P downgraded its debt rating on Spain, a day after its downgrades on Greece and Portugal. The Dow gained 53 points (0.48%), to 11,045. The S&P 500 rose 7 points (0.65%) to 1,191 and the Nasdaq added 0.26 points (0.01%), to 2,471.
Closer home, the annual food price index eased in mid-April. However, the fuel price index went up. The food price index rose 16.61% in the 12 months to 17th April, lower than an annual rise of 17.65% in the previous week, government data showed on Thursday. The fuel price index rose an annual 12.69%, marginally higher than the previous week’s reading of 12.45%. Expectation of a normal monsoon and good harvest in the winter season has helped food prices to soften. The wholesale price index in March touched a 17-month high at 9.9%. The rise in inflation can be attributed to supply-side pressure as the poor monsoon last year dampened the harvest. Prime minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani met for the first time in nine months. A positive outcome of the meeting could help to reduce the tension between the two nations.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs131 crore. Domestic institutional investors were net buyers of Rs324 crore. The rupee was strong on firm equity markets, but month-end dollar buying limited its gains. HDFC’s (up 0.7%) board will consider a stock-split. NHPC (up 0.9%) has signed a joint venture agreement with SJVN and Manipur for setting up a 1,500MW hydroelectric power project. NHPC will hold 69% of the joint venture, SJVN will hold 26%, and the rest will be held by the Manipur government.
SpiceJet (up 1.8%) has received an investment proposal from US investment fund Bravia Capital Partners to help the low-cost airline launch international operations. GAIL (down 1.2%) unit, GAIL Gas, is reportedly aiming to earn Rs150 crore in revenue over the next two years by expanding its network of natural gas distribution in cities. Reliance Cementation, Reliance Infrastructure’s unit (up 0.9%) plans to set up a Rs-1,500 crore cement plant in Karnataka. NTPC (down 1.4%) plans to set up at least three 4,000MW power plants in Chhattisgarh, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh beginning December 2010. Manaksia (up 5%) has touched a 52-week high on the back of its buyback plan. It has set aside up to Rs50 crore for share buyback from the open market through stock exchanges.
MindTree (down 10%) plans to invest about $10 million-$12 million to develop Intellectual Property (IP) for a 3G smartphone based on Google’s Android platform to be launched in the second half of the year ending March 2011.
The Bombay High Court has given Indage Vintners some breathing space. The winemaker has obtained a stay on its liquidation till 17th June
The Bombay High Court has extended the stay order on Indage Vintners’ liquidation till 17th June, giving the winemaker more time to sort out its finances. The company plans to hold meetings with secured and unsecured lenders over the next few days.
According to Ranjit Chougule, Indage Vintners managing director, the corporate debt restructuring (CDR) package of the company has been approved. The secured and unsecured lenders have consented to Indage Vintners’ CDR package.
“All lenders are already addressed in the business plan by (the) CDR. A small amount of lenders, non-licensed lenders and trade creditors are keen to put pressure on the business for earlier repayment which we will address in our upcoming scheme of arrangement under Sections (391) and (394) of the Companies Act, to be presented to the court in June,” Mr Chougule told Moneylife.
There have been media reports that state that Indage Vintners is likely to sell its personal property to bring in capital. However, Mr Chougule has said that the company has no plans of selling its property.
The total debt obligations have been deferred by approximately two years. The promoters of Indage Vintners are to bring in Rs75 crore to Rs100 crore as capital. The total debt of Indage Vintners stands at Rs400 crore under the corporate debt restructuring scheme. This was led by ICICI Bank while the other lenders were IndusInd Bank, Allahabad Bank, UCO Bank, IDBI Bank and Bank of Rajasthan.
The efforts that the company put in to fund its acquisitions in Australia and South Africa, might have been a gamble the company shouldn’t have taken. When the global financial crisis occurred, Indage relinquished any chances of the company walking tall again. The international market did not perform to expectations and its plans to sell exotic Indian wines in overseas markets did not materialise. Domestic demand for international wine also fell far short of the hype created by the industry itself.
On 19th March, when the Bombay High Court had passed the order for Indage to wind up operations, many players in the industry were disappointed with the decision. Bearing in mind that it was the perseverance of Shyamrao Chougule, its founder, who brought international quality wine and champagne to India in the 1980s, the nascent wine industry in the country was saddened by the decision.