A Honda Mobilio went past our car when I was going for a meeting along with a friend of mine. He wanted to buy Mobilio few months back, but his interest in buying a new car died for some reason. He said I don’t see any hoarding of Mobilio now that we used to see earlier. I thought for a moment and said this is the age of short living. I told my friend that everything is now short-lived, including the marketing and promotional campaigns. For a moment we thought if companies have reduced their marketing and advertising budgets. But no, they haven’t. They have just tuned their campaigns to the consumer behavior of today’s generation.
My friend, being an aspiring film director, talks a lot about what’s happening in the industry and we often gossip on this topic. We talk about Christopher Nolan to Quentin Tarantino to Karan Johar’s of the world. The day has come when a movie’s success or failure is decided by they the end of the 2nd show on the first day. If the movie runs full for just those three days (Friday, Saturday & Sunday), they technically make the money spent on making the movie. This is the trend in the movie industry today. If it runs for another week, then technically it’s a super hit and another week qualifies it to be a blockbuster. 20 years back, a movie has to complete 50 days to be called a hit and 100 days to qualify to become a blockbuster. That’s because the no. of shows used to be proportional to the no. of reels made. The movie would first be released in metros & class A towns, then the reels would go to class B towns after few weeks, and then to C and bigger villages later on. They used to make limited no. of reels based on producer’s capacity, reach and analysis. Today, a movie can be simultaneously broadcasted thru satellite to even 5000 cinema theatres. Imagine, if a movie is played in 1000 theatres for 12 shows, it is 12000 shows. If they run a house full, you got your money back! I will leave the math to you 🙂
This is not a trend that’s started by a marketing company or a film producer; this is the paradigm shift in the mind of the consumer. He wants everything fresh and now. James Bond rightly said that tomorrow never dies. Consumers are being short-lived for everything; be it movies, food, cars, watches, pens, bags, garments, shoes and unfortunately relationships too. Let me not touch upon the dicey ones, but that’s precisely why we see so many food courts opening, the different type of restaurants, so many cars (in various segments), clothes to wear just once, etc. If Sholay would have been released in this generation, I am sure no one would watch it more than twice. But 30 years back I am sure nobody would have watched it less than 10 times.
Actually, today’s consumer is a lot more restless. When I say he is always looking for something fresh, I meant he is looking to forget the previous one. Thirty years back I used to have about 5-6 toys and I really enjoyed playing with them for almost months together. Today, I have a full cupboard of toys for my kids and they still feel bored. I am sure it’s the same with most of you. That’s the pattern and we can’t help.
Today’s marketers who know this trick (am sure most of them are) play to their advantage. That’s why we see the whole town pained in red when Airtel launches something new. It doesn’t even last for a week though! So is the case with the iPhone hoardings, car manufacturers, real estate builders, FMCG companies, hospitals, healthcare, insurance, so on and so forth. The trick is that they spend 80% of the budget in that initial short stint (being it a day or a week or maybe a month) to get due attention of their target segment and capitalize in that limited time. The beauty is that it’s been working wonders for most of them. Hyundai Creta wouldn’t have managed to get an order book of more than 54,000 cars just during its launch campaign (two months). Meaning, the company can just worry about the delivery, because the sale is already made for the next 12 months. This definitely doesn’t mean its an easy task or you just work for just those months, but what I mean is that the efforts can be restricted to few months (pre and post campaign) and get the most out of it. All you have to do is to start a few interesting campaigns with good content and online presence! Things will get done on their own thereafter, as the digital world is waiting to do something. It will talk/tell/advocate your product to your own target segment, without even your effort or involvement. Isn’t that amazing?
We will see a lot more of these in the near future. “The world changes him, or he changes the world?” How does it matter; consumer always wins.