One of the things that a life during MBA has taught me is that going forward a large part of my time awake will be spent in going through emails. It was one such ordinary Monday morning that I woke up to a barrage of emails from professors and an endless number of committees. But one mail caught my attention. ‘P&G has sent you an Amazon Gift card’ the subject line read and my happiness knew no bounds, it was my first time winning a prize during my 4 months stay here at SPJIMR pursuing PGDM.
Flashback two weeks, CIIC had an announcement to make. After an amazing session with Book My Show CEO ‘Mr. Ashish Hemrajani‘, the CMO and Commercial Operations Leader of P&G India ‘Ms. Sonali Dhavan’ would be visiting our campus. As a student of the marketing specialisation, P&G is definitely a holy grail for placements and to add to that some of the senior most leaders from such an organisation sharing her experiences and views is an opportunity not to be missed. The talk was planned on ‘Marketing Ideas in Today’s World’ and was accompanied by two exciting competitions. The first was an ‘Ideas competition’ where participants had to send in plans on ‘How should Gillette convince youngsters that Shaving is cool’ and the second was the best tweet competition. I decided to try my hand at the ideas competition. The deliverables were simple. One just had to send a write-up on their idea via a google form and the top three would be selected to pitch their idea to Ms Dhavan.
A day of brainstorming while attending lectures didn’t land me up with anything concrete. But then on the long walk from the Acad block back to the hostel, it suddenly struck me, why is it that men are hesitant to shave and try out new facial hairstyle; is it just because they are afraid of the uncertainty of how the end result will look. So why not take that uncertainty away with an app that uses augmented reality to suggest new looks that will suit your facial structure. And Voila! I had my idea up on paper and submitted. Shortly, a day later, I was delighted to know that my idea had been selected amongst the top 3 and I had to pitch it during the event.
In came the evening of 14th October, the dome was full to its capacity with over 80 participants across all specialisations. The event started with a quiz that tested the batches knowledge on P&G, and the right answers were rewarded with chocolates. Ms Sonali Dhavan arrived right on time in the hall and was greeted the SPJIMR way with a loud and long round of thumping. She started right away with an insightful lecture on what makes a good brand communication and videos full of examples of good as well as bad communication attempts. Ms Dhavan made sure that she made the lecture interactive and everyone who answered her questions was rewarded with P&G goodie bags!
The session was followed by the pitch by the 3 finalists of the ideas competition. First up was Ms Shruti Kothari who had a wonderful idea of ‘#MowforMom’ which urges a guy to get a clean shave just to impress and make his mom happy. A perfect ad campaign for mother’s day!. Next, I went in with my IMC of ‘log kya kahenge’ and finally, we had Ms. Neha Gupta with a series of funny situational ideas where having a beard would just make things awkward and so it was best to go ahead and get a clean shave. Post the round of pitches, the judges declared the results where my idea bagged the first prize, while Shruti and Neha were second and third respectively. The winning tweet was declared as well and Rishi Gupta won the competition for his tweet full of wordplay on various P&G brands. The event ended with prizes being distributed to all the winners and was followed by an informal chat with Ms. Dhavan. Overall, it was a wonderful experience and every attendee had a lot to learn and take away.
Fast-forward back to today I am still browsing through the Amazon catalogue deciding what to buy with my prize…….
About the Author:
An entrepreneur, debater and a lover of technology, Shashank Rane is currently pursuing PGDM in Marketing Management from SPJIMR, Mumbai.