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BW Businessworld

The Halo Effect

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We have seen some real fun stuff emanating out of brand rivalries. Who can forget the deliciously witty Cola Wars fought across media platforms (“We Love Coca-Cola” — Pepsi, 1 April 2000). Or, the recent Times Of India versus The Hindu ad jousting in Chennai. Then, there are brands that have taken the fight all the way to the courts. But now, lawsuits aside, strategic duels amid corporate rivals seem to be undergoing a ‘sweet’ transformation. At least going by their behaviour on social media. 
Brands have suddenly become quite etiquette conscious. They are now congratulating rivals on product launches. Appreciating their opponents’ strengths. Enjoying virtual tea parties. Is it a revolution in the making? The most recent instance being that of Microsoft congratulating Sony on the latter’s Playstation 4 launch. Microsoft, which competes with Sony in the game console market with its Xbox offering, showcased its sportsmanship via Twitter. The message was re-tweeted some 15,000 times. Now, it just happens that the company is soon to launch its own game console — Xbox One. At a time when video game enthusiasts were talking primarily about the Sony Playstation launch, Microsoft’s ‘goodwill gesture’ has created enough pre-launch buzz for the Xbox One. 
Earnest or opportune, social media is clearly making corporates change brand marketing strategies — Pepsi might just ‘friend’ Coca-Cola soon.
Retired, But Not Out
Sachin Tendulkar may have retired, but he is still scoring high. Micro-blogging site Twitter has revealed that #ThankYouSachin saw more than three million tweets as on 18 November. While the little master has no dearth of female fans, according to Asterii Analytics, 87 per cent of the tweeters were male. Tendulkar’s tweet thanking his fans for their support was re-tweeted more than 16,000 times — a record for a tweet from India. Seems like there is no stopping the Master Blaster.

Zoom Factor  
Photo messaging application Snapchat sees more than 400 million photos and videos (largely photos) uploaded every day. It has pipped Facebook in terms of daily photo uploads (350 million), according to news portal Business Insider
Food Food
With 57 per cent users talking about food-related content, it is the most discussed topic on Pinterest, according to social media knowledge portal Digital Insights
Growing Up 
The 54-64  age bracket is the fastest-growing demographic on Twitter. It has grown 79 per cent since 2012, according to US magazine Fast Company
Ajit Ranade
“Not caring about inflation is like going into battle without caring for the wounded, the dying and the dead!”
Brahma Chellaney 
Strategic Thinker
This has remained a puzzle: Why US plays down the nuclear threat posed by Pakistan but exaggerates the Iran threat?
Illustration by Anthony Lawrence, Compiled by Vinay Dwivedi
(This story was published in BW | Businessworld Issue Dated 16-12-2013)