Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Picture abhi Baaki hai mere dost!!!!

Excuse me, that line has been taken from OSO and I might infringing some copyrights somewhere. But it is apt for what I am writing about here.

Have you heard about Experiential Entertainment?

Well, that is the BIG THING that has hit me in the last few years and I am going ga ga over the possibilities with it.

It is “the Process of opening a customer’s six senses and leave him agape for a considerable period of time experiencing any form of entertainment resulting in commerce of a different level for the Provider”.

Why am I being very optimistic about where we can go with experiential entertainment? Simply because I truly think that with a little bit of original thought and a lot of hard work (this we always profess to do!!), we can actually think of Products that have never been thought of before in any part of India or abroad.

I have been studying Experiential Entertainment ever since the mall mania hit India and the malls in their hurry to make cash gave out important spaces to top of the line brands that created their own utopia! There was no connect with the customer and we saw the advent of the age where footfalls were in scores but realizations totally messed up. Ex: Bose, Reebok, Wills Lifestyle, Sony World, Samsung Digital, Blackberry’s, W for Women, Satya Paul, Hidesign and a whole lot of others. I do not say they are bad brands. In fact, we all would say that they are top of the line brands that are not able to make headway into the average Indian consciousness because of their look and feel that has frightened the average guy on the street.

Of course, they are an essential part of the Indian mall but going one step forward, they had to be set up in such a manner where the simple tenet of curiosity – entry – browsing – interest – sampling – buy had to be done with the latent view that there is no hurry. Time provides the minds of the customer that unique pleasure – the pleasure of greed!

Ask me why Ladies are better for any retail establishment. I would say that they just have a lot of TIME! Test my observation and see. You will understand that I am right. So, what is supposed to be done if we are to provide time to our mall goers!

Experiential Entertainment is the answer. This is the latest in Hospitality and I have not read it anywhere until now. I just made it all up. But you can get the drift.

Why do we say that when we go for the typical Indian “Masala Movie” that it was “Paisa vasool” or “Mazaa aa gaya” or even “Mast time pass”? Why has Om Shanti Om become one of the biggest grosser of all time in Indian cinema?

Indians all over the globe have always equated Mazaa (entertainment) with Vasool (Value) and Time (as in time pass). This is the ultimate truth of our going out of homes to spend an “entertaining” day. It goes for our Movies, our shopping, our events, our Food and our naachgaana!!

It may or may not be similar for a European or an American. They are societies who have more TIME on hand than us and devote that time to various other pursuits like Theatre, fishing, barbeque, museums, art discussions and other such activities that stimulate the grey cells, activate our latent talent and give them a serene weekend away from their hurly burly weekdays.

It is different with us. Our weekends are not very different from our weekdays. So, when we ultimately get out for some much needed “Mazaa” we want “Mauja hi Mauja”. We want to have the ‘kitchen sink’ of Hospitality and Entertainment to be thrown at us.

I’ll tell you about this friend of mine who eats at a Shivsagar outlet the whole week as he is a bachelor and does not cook. He does not make a single noise through his entire meal at all. But every Saturday night, he and his friends tour the night clubs and bars where he orders for the flashiest Whisky and delectable finger food to accompany his drink. The Whisky is fine but the stewards go crazy trying to solve his food problems! Now, why does this guy have food problems only on Saturday nights? Psychology anyone!

My friend does not get the “Mazaa” and “Vasool” for his time spent at these places. Shivsagar, on the other days is able to provide him all of that on the other days. Strange but true!

Media has converged. So, has Hospitality and Entertainment. Today we just have to be very bold and upfront about our attitude towards our Retail Customer – at multiplexes, malls, Amusement zones, Hotels, Restaurants and Sports arenas. More “Om Shanti Om” type, as I would put it!

How to do this??

Content, boss! Compelling content in all these areas shall keep people engrossed. Like a Reality show on TV, there should be something happening all the time that would enable people to look and experience open mouthed, in wonder, every time, at all times!

You may say that the areas that I have mentioned may have no commonalities in content and so cannot be clubbed together. True yet false! Ask me how?

True because the products are dissimilar and principally cannot be bunched together. False because these are old rules. The new rules are “Any place that welcomes a customer with a concept and wants him to buy into that has to be governed by Content / thought / script / event / feel / senses. Only then the “Majaa” and “Vasool” for the time spent shall come in!

Yes, the world is now the “Masala Movie”!

I have designed methods of making a Mall, a Multiplex, a Movie, an Event, an Entertainment Zone, a Hotel, a Restaurant, a Sports Stadium or even a simple Park work on these precepts.

Entertainment is principally of two kinds – Ground and Broadcast. Movies, for me is a form of Ground Entertainment. Sorry, if I am changing the rules here.

Broadcast, I am not touching upon now.

But, Ground Entertainment has been redefined for ever in India. Are we aware? OK, most of us are. People who are not are getting there. Through trial and error.

First, the forms of Marketing Ground Entertainment changed. We called it Experiential Marketing. Then the content started to change. We are amidst the change even now.

There shall be a day when the success of a mall or a Cricket stadium shall be plotted through content or a story, simply put.

Who would plot this? There shall be a lot of contributors in this team of script writers – Promoters, Architects, Communication experts, Operations, Event Planners, Marketing whizzes, MCs, DJs, Amusement Designers, Movie Producers, Scriptwriters, Special Effects people, Music Composers, Landscape artists and Child Psychology experts!

Oh yes! There shall be a baffling team of people trying to make it worthwhile for you, the customer, to go to such places and have “Mazaa” and “Vasool”.

No, friends, it is no more about the LOCATIONS only. It is about captivating the customer. La La Land for a short while. The “All in One” concept at large! Someone please tell me as to why “Highway Dhabas” do so well!!!!!

They just bundle every kind of food and Masala and present a Unique combination of Food, music, comfort, easy surroundings and Colloquial habitats. The Bundle is what matters!

I don’t profess to be an expert here. Nobody is. Just that I have spotted the trends. Yes, they are very visible. Also, I have been able to spot the ‘Happiness Quotient’ of customers as they converge on content, popular or otherwise!

They define the likeability of an Entertainment product very fast. It is the establishments or content owners who do not see the obvious. Solely because their eye has moved to the collection tills.

Content is forever. Good Content more so! Revenue is transient. It comes. It goes too. So, which is more important. Which requires more Quality measures! How come then that CFOs rule the roost in many companies.

Why is the theme music of a Disco dependent on the in house DJ instead of a top line DJ or Music Composer?

Trends spell interest. Interest brings in Curiosity. Curiosity gets the footfall. Footfall turns into browsing. Browsing turns into a Buy. What I profess here is that we can cement this separate bricks by a product called “Mazaa” and “Vasool” content. This shall customer there for enough time to make that “Great Choice”!!!

Picture abhi baaki hai mere dost!!!!

1 comment:

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