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Before Mozart’s 25th Symphony

Who wrote the background score for Titan watch advertisements? This was a popular question in the business quiz circuit during my college days.

Photo Credit : YouTube


Vinay Kamath’s book; Titan: inside India’s most successful consumer brand, chronicles the creation of Titan’s ads. Suresh Mullick of OBM (O&M’s earlier avatar) identified Mozart’s 25thSymphony and picked a track from the 1984 award-winning movie, Amedeus, on Mozart’s life. Suresh was so confident that he had a scratch television ad prepared and presented it to the Titan team as an almost finished product. Xerxes Desai of Titan, immediately liked what he saw. The campaign was proposed and approved in its entirety at one sitting. In the mid-1980s using Western classical music for an Indian brand was unheard of, but Xerxes felt the music gave the brand a world-class feel. Mozart’s 25thSymphony remains Titan’s signature tune till date. It’s entrenched so deeply in the public mind that television audiences know it is a Titan ad the moment the music comes on even if they aren’t watching.

Good advertisements don’t push the product down the audience’s throat, they weave music, stories and can be entertaining too. Some manage to capture the zeitgeist and go on to be woven into our cultural fabric. People are fascinated by advertising; many believe that marketing’s only job is to tom-tom the product or service offered by a company. But marketing’s role goes beyond advertising and communications. Going back to Titan, a lot more had to happen before “Mozart’s 25thSymphony”.

Titan used the NRS (National Readership Survey) to estimate the size of the potential market and aspects of consumer behaviour like purchase frequency. Titan’s strategic direction to sell watches as items of personal adornment, not just tell the time, drove many decisions. The team made the decision on product technology; quartz versus mechanical, a decision that defined the company in the years to come. In an era where watches were traditionally sold through distributors, Titan adopted a franchisee model and sold directly to retailers. Because there were no middlemen, they could offer better margins to retailers. Where watch retailers were typically located in older and more congested parts of the city, Titan decided to take the watch showrooms to where consumers flocked, they proactively attracted business persons from outside the watch trade. They also created a unique shopping watch experience for consumers to experience the brand and invested in creating a service network alongside the sales outlets.

When the marketing team’s existence rests on their ability to create “content”, churn communications and manage events, marketing’s function will be conflated with advertising. When marketers invest an inordinate amount of time on just one of the 4Ps, they pay scant attention to the other three. Consequently, “marketing” may have lost meaning within organisations.

Marketing is like an iceberg. Advertising and communications, what’s easily seen, is just it’s tip. What people don’t notice are the other levers of success, that stay at the bottom.

Strategic marketing helps define the problem and shines a light on the path ahead. It defines where you play and where you can win. Segmentation helps map out the market and opportunities available, basis your strengths and resources available, you make the choice of the size of the prize you want to go after. In defining the ‘who’ and ‘what’, strategic marketing defines your business. And winning the prize, not unlike an orchestra playing one of Mozart’s pieces, requires a combination of all the 4Ps – product, place, price, and promotion.

Kaushik Prasad is a marketing professional with over 20 years of experience of building brands, new product launches and digitization. Bibliophile and blogger, he currently leads ecommerce for international markets at Ford

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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Kaushik Prasad

The author is Marketing professional with 20 years rich experience of building brands and new product launches. Bibliophile and blogger, currently General Manager - Consumer Marketing at Ford.

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