I am Anna – The Campaign
itle=”anna-hazare” src=”http://www.themarketers.in/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/anna-hazare1-225×300.jpg” alt=”" width=”203″ height=”270″ />Disclaimer: I am neither a supporter nor a critic of Anna and his campaign. I am a marketing enthusiast who chose to look at the whole campaign purely from a marketer’s perspective.
Brand – probably the second most exploited word after ‘love’, everyone seems to have a definition of his own. Let me try my hand at this too. A brand, according to me, is a collection of emotional and functional aspects that strongly influence customer decision.
What was the secret formula which enabled Anna’s campaign to successfully compete against the Manoranjankabaap- IPL, Airtel’shar friend zaroorihai , Vodafone’s Zoozoos , Pepsi’s change the game, and many others?How did Anna and his campaign manage to generate such a strong brand pull? More interestingly, what led to the campaign fizzing out when it seemed to be going nowhere but up?
Let’s analyse the campaign to answer the above questions. Anna’s marketing team seems to have abided by all the rules of branding and marketing, and executed each phase very carefully. Brand Anna was positioned as a (common) man with a mission and an unshakable determination. The campaign was targeted at every Indian who was sick of the prevalent acts of corruption and its insidious effects on the society. It also managed to expand its target audience and awakened indifferent souls leading them to participate.
Brand Anna was the line extension of Brand Gandhi, who had led a similar but much bigger campaign successfully several decades ago. One could not help but notice the similarities in both these brands. The build-up to the campaign was done with proper planning and the launch was in line with the 4Psof marketing. Each every aspect of the marketing mix had been carefully taken care of.
A brand is a store house of trust: Authenticity is acrucial ingredient in the success of any brand and Anna benefited from his mass image of an honest old man who was ready to sacrifice himself for the betterment of society.
The campaign was based on a larger cause: a purpose that was both current and real. Like someone said, if you chase 2 monkeys both will escape. Anna chose to channelize his energy in a unidirectional mode and left other problems like poverty, terrorism to be tackled by other common (super)men. Anna’s USP was not the fight against corruption, but the Lokpal bill.The lokpal bill was the differentiating factor of his campaign. Many a leaders had started movements against corruption but what captured
people’s attention this time was the lokpal bill and the fact that the opponent was someone whom everyone loves to hate – the government..
One more thing striking and impressive about this campaign is the ROI, the only things invested were the time and effort and the returns, needless to say, were ineffable! Next, the place chosen for the launch of the campaign was perfect, Anna was a known figure in Delhi and RamlilaMaidan was the ideal location esp. after all the build-up to the event. Anna’s competition – the government – is not held in high regards by the people and Anna used this against the government. The timing also was perfect as it avoided competition from the ‘god’ & his men; they waited for them to bring the cup home.
Anna’s team should be lauded for displaying excellent media management skills. They managed to keep Anna on top of the popularity charts, and they did this by giving media what it wanted. They used all available media; the rate of number of likes on Facebook was higher than the birth rate in India. SMSes circulated in plenty, the genres of the messages changed, but the theme was constant. All in all, a 360 degree campaign was undertaken and well implemented.
He was everywhere; models in Lakmefashion week, much to our disappointment, covered themselves up anna style and also sported his cap. Small-time sellers now used lines like ‘Anna said no bargaining’ to stop customers from haggling for prices. This campaign also had the support of sub-brands that were strong brands themselves likeKiranBedi and ArvindKejriwal who sustained the interest of the audience when Anna took a pit-stop break.
All good things, like they say, come to an end. So did the popularity of the whole campaign. The campaign had fallen prey to brand fatigue. Also, consistency, which is an important to sustain a brand, was lost. Anna lost his cool more than once, and with it, his major weapon – non-violence.
While some kids with foresight were worried about an extra chapter getting added to their curriculum, others piggy backed on their dads to witness the show live. Some used it to strengthen their writing and debating skills and some used it as a substitute for the regular saas-bahu soap gossip.
For us, the management students, Anna’s campaign is yet another interesting case study after Mumbai Dabbawala’s and Lalu’s business tactics. As for modes of learning the debate of the theoretical versus the practical goes on.(Rahul Kishore Singh, At any give time you can find him dabbling with multiple things. He enjoys doing a range of things, right from gaming to photgraphy, from following sports to practicing shooting, but nothing excites him as much as marketing does!!He can be reached at email@example.com )