Just as Team India lifted the World Cup on Satursday night, a SMS went out to mostly journalists saying: “Poonam Pandey’d phone switched off…” Another said, “do you have her address?”
As the 19-year-old, who participated in last year’s Gladrags’ model hunt contest and offered to go nude for the cricket team just before the semifinal against Pakistan in Mohali, went silent, PR and media analysts began to draw a lesson from her publicity stunt.
”I am in love with Poonam Pandey. She’s just demonstrated how opportunistic investment can catapult a brand to become top of mind with one masterstroke,” wrote Sai Nagesh, Executive Vice-President and Executive Business Officer, Dentsu Media, in serious Hindu Businessline.
Not only has she captured the imagination of millions of men across the world, she has also elevated the World Cup finals to an unparalleled edge-of-the-seat ‘drool event’!
Much like Sachin’s straight drives, it’s all about the timing. In a world of integrated and interconnected media, proof of Poonam’s genius comes in the form of this Facebook message from a newfound fan, while all of India is saying, ‘I support India’ – ‘I support Poonam Pandey’, Nagesh wrote.
Opportunistic investment in media has been around for a while in the US, and is being practised in India more recently with a lot of fanfare during this cricket World Cup.
There are advertisers who are only seen during the Super Bowl in the US, and they are willing to spend a couple of million dollars on that alone, while being absent for the rest of the year.
Such properties are great ways to spike GRPs (gross rating points). We’re seeing this World Cup being leveraged with opportunistic investments, and my belief is that such investments are here to stay.
For challenger brands that cannot afford to spend a lot of money to buy the bulk deal packages to be visible through the World Cup, these last-minute spot opportunities on the semi-finals and final are a great way to get a spike on visibility.
Then there are these whole host of long-standing and established brands for which awareness is not an issue, and that have the advantage of being a part of the subliminal consciousness because of their legacy. These brands need not be visible through high-decibel advertising across the year, but would want to gently nudge their consumers from time to time to say that they’re around.
What better opportunity than a high-decibel platform like an Indo-Pak semi-final or a World Cup final featuring India?
The television media universe today is one where bulk ratings have become scarce on even the most watched entertainment channels.
Indian cricket is unarguably most exciting for advertisers targeting the male viewer, and has now been elevated to new high with Ms Poonam Pandey declaring her ‘bare’ intentions in going a few steps further than she did for her calendar shoot. Those visuals won’t be on TV in any case, but then, does imagination need visuals? (This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated April 3, 2011) http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/todays-paper/tp-others/tp-variety/article1594982.ece?css=print
In the meantime, Pandey posted on her Twitter page Monday: “Thanx a Lot All for ur Support!! I am Still on with My Commitments Stay TUNED.” Earlier, she issued a statement saying she would go ahead with her promise only if the BCCI permits.