mARKETING cOMMUNICATIONS by fanzhongqing

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									                                                  MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS

                                 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY



                                  RAW AURA: Marketing Communication Strategy of G
1.      Title of the Project
                                                   – Star Raw

2.          Keyword(s)                Brand, Marketing, Equity, Fit, Communication

                               Abstract (Executive Summary):

   In the present day environment with the continuous changes in business structures
   & models, the organizations are expected to attain growth promptly for survival and
   sustained growth in the market. To address these situations it is essential for all the
   enterprises to venture into innovative marketing communication strategies to
   promote their brand.
3. With the varied methods of marketing communications adopted by the Apparel
   retailers & the competitors of G – Star, the necessity of a marketing communication
   strategy arises to strengthen the brand equity & be in touch with the existing
   customers while attracting newer ones.
   During the procedure of development of Brand Extension plan, the brand equity of
   G – Star was analyzed & the new extension was suggested after studying &
   analyzing different possible “fit” of the promotion partners

     The objectives of the study : To develop a marketing communications strategy for
4.
                                         G – Star

     Findings: RAW AURA, the new marketing communication strategy with an aim to
6.   spread the Aura and essence of G – Star Raw to the consumers is proposed after
         evaluating the market & analyzing the chances of the brand in the market.




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                     TABLE OF CONTENTS

S.NO.                   HEADINGS                                  PAGE NO.

 1.0                G-STAR: The Brand                                   3

 1.1                 History and Origin                                 3

 1.2    Current Market Positioning and Target Market                    3

 1.3                Market Performance                                  6

 1.4             Brand Identity and Equity                              6

 2.0    Existing Marketing Communications Strategy                      8

 3.0     Proposed Marketing Communications Plan                         13

 4.0                    ‘Conclusion                                     19

 5.0                 List of References                                 20

 6.0                     Appendix                                       23




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1.0      G – STAR: The Brand

The brand has a rich heritage & history created on the name of G – Star despite being
just 2 decade old brand. The first section of the report covers everything the brand G –
Star stands for since its inception. The section will be divided into 3 parts which will,
look into its current market position and performance of the brand & measure the brand
equity while describing the identity of G – Star and describe the target market of the
brand.




         1.1   History and Origin

The company was a groundbreaker in the Jeans market introducing the concept of
“luxury denim for the streets which awakened the fashion world towards both functional
& symbolic nature of Jeans. (GStar.com, 2010)The awakening was so strong that ideas
transformed raw denim into a fashion statement first nationally in Netherlands 1989 and
then internationally. At that time the product went by the name Gap Star. The products
launched were jeans and men’s wear. It was in 1996, that G Star Raw spearheaded the
market and created ripples in the fashion world. Hence forth the company challenged
the monopoly of many established international players in the global market and
excelled in customers preference for G- Star. The 1996 G – Star Raw collection also
led to the brand going into many international markets. Currently, the brand has
expanded into Womenswear market & also has a product extension in footwears.
(GStar4u.co.uk, 2010)



         1.2   Current Market Positioning and Target Market



The brand has followed a differentiated market positioning strategy where by catering to
a narrow market segment. . The ultimate goal of differentiation is to create a product or
service that is perceived by the consumer and/or industry as unique and having superior
attributes or value. (Fratto, et al 2006)
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Thus the brand always possessed a positional advantage in the market based on
differentiation. (Porter 1985)

The strategy of brands current positioning is highlighted in the image below:




The brand caters to the upper end of the middle market by positioning itself as a
premium high street brand.




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(Modified from Dolan and Simon, 1996)




The brand has created a place for itself due to its unique positioning in the market in the
crowded jeans market which includes the heritage brands, brand extensions of
designers, fast fashion high street brands, value retailers & the recent supermarket
entrants offering jeans at very modest prices. The brand has always catered to the
fashion leaders & innovators who can relate to the innovative values of the brand.

Fashion leaders can be defined as those who are more interested in fashion than other
consumers in the market, who are more confident of their own taste, who are the first to
purchase new styles and, above all, who influence other consumers to adopt and buy
new fashion items (Greenberg et al., 1982; Kaiser, 1990; Polegato and Wall, 1980;
Schrank and Guilmore, 1973). Fashion leaders may verbally influence others and they

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do influence later fashion consumers by at least providing exposure to new styles
(Kaiser, 1990).

The brand takes pride in delivering to the needs of fashion leaders by constantly
innovating products to charm their target customers. G – Star also gives great focus to
the detailing and differentiation of the products on important factors like design, wash,
cut & fabrics. Based on a research conducted amongst the existing customers of G –
Star, it was known that the brand respects the customers right to sport other products
along with G – Star. Also the brand gives an impressive store environment which gives
an image of a luxury brand & establishes itself firmly on the upper middle market
segment of premium high street brand. (See Appendix 1)




       1.3    Market Performance

The company G – Star has a turnover of more than $1 billion and the brand is sold to its
customers from about 5,860 points of sale in 70 countries apart from the online sales &
mobile applications developed by the brand in the I- phone.(Hume, 2009)

“New brands like G Star, Seven for All Mankind, Juicy Jeans, Miss Sixty, Rock and
Republic and Hug have been performing particularly well as they further expand
the edges of the jeans market by offering designer fashion or ethically
manufactured products.” (Mintel 2007)




       1.4    Brand Identity and Equity

The identity of the brand has been reciprocated in the tagline of the brand – “Just the
Product”. (G Star Raw.com) The focus on the product has been evident in each &
every virtue of the brand. The brand has always followed the idea of transforming
perspective decisions into reality giving out of box thinking in fashion a new meaning.



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The brand pushed the realms of Jeans fashion industry has always been a product &
raw material based brand revolving its identity around denim. (GStar.com, 2010)

The brand follows the Brand Conceptual Model which proposes that every brand image
should be based on a brand concept or a brand-specific abstract meaning. In its general
form, a brand concept can be either symbolic or functional, and thus comprises one
aspect of a brand’s image. (Park et al 1986)

G- Star has ensured that the image of the brand is developed in tandem with its core
beliefs and all its brand management ventures. The company which started as GAP
Star changed its name to G – Star Raw in order to find more appeal in the global market
& highlight one of the key virtues in its products i.e. rawness. (GStar4u.co.uk, 2010)

There are many other brands which promote more & less the same values as G – Star
in different price point market positions such as AG Jeans, Fornarina, 7for all mankind &
Replay, but the key competitors of the brand are Diesel & Energie as both of them are
denim focused, catering to the same target market at more or less the same price tier
segment. The brand has managed to maintain its market position by distinguished
identity and superior brand equity. (Wood and Pierson, 2006)

The consumer oriented approach to brand equity identifies the importance of marketing
communications of a brand (Wood, 2000). The brand loyalty of the customers has been
built through the quality of the product, constant innovations & fresh, stylish yet
functional look over a period of last 20 years. Loyalty to a brand has been offered as a
core component of customer-brand relationships (Fournier et al., 1998). The perceived
quality of the products is a place where G – Star never compromises & the brand
awareness is spread through the detailed specifications of the product & the innovations
carried out in the style, cut & fabrics




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(Aaker 1991)




2.0   Existing Marketing Communications Strategy

The brand has mainly used development of promotional alliances as a marketing
communication tool to communicate to its customers indulging mainly in inter-industrial
partnerships for marketing promotions. (Ahn et al, 2010)

PSFK consultant Francisco Hui says it is a formula that works. “Brands and retailers
coming together to create new experiences for people is a win-win situation,” he says.
(Handley, 2010)

The crossover phenomenon gave the designers, marketers, and brand managers found
new sources of inspiration to communicate with their customers. The customers are
pleasantly surprised to see the products they support featured in novel and innovative

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ways. The crossovers enhanced the brand positively. The brand has implemented all
the 4 models of Crossover collaboration. (ZTE, 2010)




Model 1: Brand to Brand Collaboration

      RAW Defender: The collaboration which saw Land Rover’s most hardcore
       vehicle fitted out to a unique G – Star specification was a result of the shared
       aesthetic of supreme functionality & fit – for purpose construction provided by
       both the brands in their individual products. The brand teamed up with the
       automobile giant Land Rover to provide the customers with the unique
       collaboration. ( GStar.com, 2010)

      RAW CANNONNDALE: It is a top line bike stripped down to its purest form
       incorporating high quality materials, supreme functionality, clean aesthetics &
       subtle design which are the shared hallmarks of both Cannondale & G – Star. (
       GStar.com, 2010)

Model 2: Brand & Designer Collaboration

      MARC NEWSON: The collections with supremely technical & high quality
       garments have been extremely successful for both the brand & the designer. The
       collaboration began in 2003 & has been continued since then. The collection
       utilizes the rich experience of Marc of designing in a wide range of disciplines
       from bi cycle to concept of car & restaurants to the interiors of private &
       commercial jets. ( GStar.com, 2010)
      ZHANG DA & QIU HAO: Both these designers are based in China. . They were
       given a G – Star Arc jeans to customize however they want as a part of “ARC
       ART programme”. (Raw Magazine, 2010, pp. 18-19)




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Model 3: Brand & Artist Collaboration

      ANTON CORBIJN: The innovative promotional campaigns by the ace
       professional photographer have given the brand the much needed freshness &
       cutting edge in the communications & promotions as well which matches their
       product philosophy to the core. (GStar.com, 2010)

Model 4: Brand & Celebrity Collaboration

      The brand has not believed many celebrity collaborations & has always focused
       on their product as the USP. But at times they have dished out celebrity
       collaborations which have suited their brand image & representation of their
       products.

      The brand had a promotional campaign in 2007 featuring Alexandra Maria Lara
       (The Reader) and Toby Kebbell (RocknRolla), stars of the 2007 cult music film
       Control, and was shot by the film's rock photographer-director, Anton Corbijn to
       promote & highlight the “Rock & Roll” ties of the brand & their products. (Hume,
       2009)

      G – Star’s known for its unexpected combinations, but they are rarely as
       surprising as the juxtaposition of Hollywood beauty with chess Grandmaster
       brains in the new advertising campaign. The beauty with brains concept is a
       fashion first like many of the concepts introduced by the brand earlier. (Raw
       Magazine 2010, p.5) The brand selected Liv Tyler and Magnus Carlsen as its
       brand ambassadors to represent the brand to the consumers.




In co branding, intrinsic bases of perception of match-up include “manufacturing skills”
and “physical feature/component part” as intrinsic bases, whereas, the dimensions of
“needs satisfied” and “product usage situations” are explained as extrinsic bases.(Smith
and Park, 1992)


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G- Star was thoughtful in linking both the intrinsic & extrinsic bases of match up with
their collaboration partners ranging from brands to artists to celebrities. Thus the
marketing communication strategies of G – Star did not divert the focus away from their
instead reflected the product with a brighter sheen which was the working principle of
the company.

Another positive marketing communications strategy adopted by the company was the
use of mobile technology by creating “I- Phone application of G – Star. A Research
suggests this positively affects the consumers’ attitude towards mobile shopping due to
the ease of uses & enjoyment which helps the brand develop connection to the
consumers. (Kim et al, 2009)

The brand also uses the print media effectively printing the monthly editions of its Raw
Magazine which are available in the stores. This helps the magazine to be in the minds
of people who visit the stores and also the existing customers of the brand as the
magazine communication has been recognized as the best communication medium to
the target customers lately. (Consterdine, 2009)

The brand also took an attempt in the use of public relations strategy through the RAW
world Chess Challenge where the brand is encouraging upcoming chess players &
chess enthusiasts to play chess with the world no. 1.

The brand also participates in the Bread and Butter fashion show and New York fashion
week which give the brand a great amount of Visibility which helps in reaching a more
international audience - allows editors, writers and buyers from abroad to see the
country's best work at a single time, in a single place (Fortini, 2006)

Another interesting marketing communication feature of the brand has been the
organization of RAW nights which are a series of multi-entertainment platform events
designed to bring G-Star in collaboration with other artists, designers, filmmakers,
photographers and musicians just as dedicated to craft and quality as G-Star are.
(vicestyle.com)


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Strengths

The brand effectively communicates the functional aspects of the merchandise and
always sheds the focus of its campaigns on the products.

The brand has a tremendous blend of collaborations and in house marketing campaigns
through different communication channels.




Weakness

The brand has a great competitor in the market place i.e. Diesel which treats
communication as one of its product (Tungate, 2004, p. 36) and trails the market share
of its competitor who spends heavily in its marketing communication strategies.

The brand ambassadors selected by the brand i.e. t the last two celebrity collaborations
have not been very successful for the brand in terms of following brand philosophies as
the focus of the promotional campaigns shifted towards the two celebrities rather than
being just on the product. The association with Magnus Carlsen in particular did get the
attention of the press & the fashion world for its unique combination but failed to
connect with the customers, many of who had not heard of the chess wizard & found
the campaigns irritating. The data supporting this statement is presented as an
appendix. (See Appendix 1)

This was due to a lack of the “perception of match-up” is often used synonymously as
similarity, congruity, fittingness, match-up, and consistency in brand alliances (Simonin
and Ruth, 1998).

The brand has been effectively built around the keyword of “RAW” and has developed a
great relationship with “Rock and Roll” culture. The brand fails to make use of
developing marketing communications strategies effectively around these keywords.



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The brand also does not focus on marketing communication strategies based on the
emotions something practiced strongly by its major competitor, Diesel whose extremely
successful “Be Stupid” campaign was full of marketing through emotions and
experiences. Successful brands provide consumption experiences with a strong
affective or hedonic component (Gobe, 2001; Roberts, 2005)




Proposed Marketing Communication Plan

The new marketing communication plan is launched with an objective of the further
development of the strengths of the existing marketing strategy and applying marketing
communication tools to overcome the shortcomings or the weaknesses of the existing
marketing strategy in order to maintain the existing customers and attract potential
customers towards the brand.

The plan will be to launch a RAW Aura campaign, a marketing communication plan to
connect further with the potential customers. The campaign will see the brand promote
the aura and the values of G – Star through series promotional campaigns through
different channels.

The brand retains its core belief of innovation & being focused on the purpose of the
product & service being provided by them. This time the company will go a step ahead
as it will acknowledge the aspect of emotions in its core belief. “Owning” an emotion can
help a brand to differentiate itself in the marketplace. (Lebel and Cooke, 2008)




The first innovative collaboration will see the brand enter into an alliance with the World
Wrestling Entertainment, a global leader in sports entertainment business also looking
to foray into the UK market through its various tours. The key word of “RAW” serves as
a common ground for both the companies as “Raw” is a Monday night show of the
WWE and instills the same feeling on the target audience of the business as the brand



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does on its target customers. The customer segment of the brand is similar to the
audience watching the show in terms of emotions and behavior.




The collaboration will also be an active part of the sales promotions carried out by the
company as the brand will hand out free passes to the WWE Raw tour in the United
Kingdom.




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Another promotional alliance developed by the brand will be with the upcoming Guy
Ritchie movie “The Real Rock & Rolla” currently in the production stage. The movie
stands for the same feeling of “Rock and Roll” and free spiritedness.




Both the collaborations are extremely crafted keeping in mind the success of previous
collaborations of the brand. Both the brand alliances are analyzed and developed based
on the Aaker and Keller’s (1990) three dimensions of fit between two products in a
brand extension or alliance context:

(1) complementarity;

(2) substitutability; and

(3) transferability

The brand values of G – Star Raw are not only complemented by both the brands, i.e.
WWE and Rock and Rolla series, but can easily be substituted into one another’s target

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market without cannibalizing the profits of the other and also the association of a
customer towards WWE Raw and Rock and Rolla can be easily transferred to G – Star
raw and vice - versa which will be extremely beneficial to both the brands.




The brand will re access its celebrity collaborations and re structure its celebrity
collaboration by including the WWE stars Triple H and Shawn Michaels, also referred as
D Generation X by the WWE fans as they reciprocate the rebellious and innovative
identity of the brand and often adopt ground breaking anti authoritative attitude. A
sample of the poster developed has been shown below




.




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Both the celebrities were assessed against five essential attributes, usually referred to
as 'TEARS' model (Shimp, 2003):

1. Trustworthiness: Both are two of the most popular wrestlers in the history of the
company, hence the honesty, integrity, and believability of the endorsers won’t be
questioned.

2. Expertise: knowledge, experience, and skills of an endorser regarding the advertised
brand. Both Shawn Michaels and Triple H have been using denim as a part of their
wrestling gear occasionally and regularly as a part of their character gimmick in the
business, hence their expertise on sporting G – Star will not be questioned.

3. Attractiveness: Both the superstars are attractive to the audience members with
Shawn Michaels earning the nickname of “The Heartbreak Kid” due to his popularity
amongst the female fans and his good looks.

4. Respect: Both of them are two of the most respected superstars in the history of the
business and have earned their rights at the top of the sports entertainment business by
being in the business for the last twenty five years.

5. Similarity: The two of them were the co founders of the D Generation X, which began
the attitude era of the WWE and were famous for being innovative, rebellious and anti
authoritative and “Raw” in attitude which suits the image of the brand.




The brand will focus on the following the lines of Harley Davidson which has become
the icon of free spiritedness. “They are not selling an automobile, they are selling a
lifestyle.” (Reed 2003)




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A new tagline will be generated which will be used alongside the existing tagline RAW
AURA IS:

“JUST THE FEEL”

This tagline combines the winning recipe of appealing to new customer markets without
losing the loyalty of the existing ones which serves as a win – win situation for the brand
as it will focus on the post purchase experience got by the consumer after the fulfillment
of his functional desires.




                                     CONCLUSION

The brand G – Star stands for innovation & since its inception it has been the pioneer of
many firsts in the fashion industry as stated earlier in the report. The thought of
developing RAW AURA as a communication strategy enhance the image of G – Star
and helps it to capture the minds of potential customers. The history of the company
suggests that it has made a career out of surprising the customers & the fashion world.
This marketing communication strategy is not only going to create a storm in the fashion
world but will also lead to an innovation benchmark in terms of brand alliances of
premium high street brands. The superior marketing strategies adopted by the company
combined with strong brand equity of G – Star Raw will ensure the success of the brand
in the UK market.




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                                  List of References

Aaker, D.A. and Keller, K.L. (1990), “Consumer evaluations of brand extensions”,
Journal of Marketing, 54 (1), pp. 27-41

Ahn et al. (2010) ‘Fashion collaboration or collision? Examining the match-up effect in
co-marketing alliances’, Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, (14) 1, pp. 6-
20.

Anon. (2010) Exploring the Links between Brand Name and Consumer Identity [Online].
USA: University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved from:
http://www.wharton.universia.net/index.cfm?fa=viewArticle&id=504&language=english
[Accessed 17th November 2010]

Anton Corbjin, http://www.g-star.com/en/about/#/en-cn/friends/anton corbjin/about/,
Accessed 20 November 2011

Dolan, R. & Simmon, H. (1996) “Power Pricing: how managing price transforms the
bottom line”, Free Press, Detroit

Fratto, G., Jones, M. & Casill, N. (2006), “An investigation of competitive pricing among
apparel retailers and brands”, JOURNAL OF PRODUCT & BRAND MANAGEMENT, 10
(4), pp. 387-404

Fournier, S. (1998), “Consumers and their brands: developing relationship theory in
consumer research”, Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 24 No. 4, pp. 343-73




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Kim, J., Ma, Y.J., Park, J. (2009) "Are US consumers ready to adopt mobile technology
for fashion goods?: An integrated theoretical approach", Journal of Fashion Marketing
and Management, 13 (2), pp.215 - 230

Greenberg, B.A., Lumpkin, J. R., Bruner, G.C. (1982), "Opinion leadership and
innovativeness in fashion diffusion", American Institute of Decision Sciences
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Handley, L. (2010) ‘Brands and retailers take a collaborative approach’, Marketing
Week [online], 24 June. Available from: http://www.marketingweek.co.uk/in-depth-
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Hume, M. (2009) ‘G Major’, Time in partnership with CNN [online], 24 April. Available
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2669,00.html (Accessed 21 November 2010)



Kaiser, S.B. (1990), "The social psychology of apparel", Macmillan Press, New York,
NY

LeBel, J. L., Cooke, N. (2008) "Branded food spokescharacters: consumers'
contributions to the narrative of commerce", Journal of Product & Brand Management,
Vol. 17 Iss: 3, pp.143 – 153



Polegato, R., Wall, M. (1980), "Information seeking by fashion opinion leaders and
followers", Home Economics Research Journal, 8 (5), pp.327-38

Porter, M.E. (1980), “Competitive Strategy”, Free Press, New York, NY

Raw Cannondale, http://www.g-star.com/en/#/en-cn/crossovers/cannondale-raw-bike/,
Accessed 19 March 2011

Raw Defender, http://www.g-star.com/en/#/en-cn/crossovers/raw-defender/, Accessed
19 March 2011

Raw Magazine (2010) ‘Magnus Carlsen’, Raw Magazine, Autumn/Winter 2010, p.3

Schrank, H.L., Guilmore, L. (1973), "Correlates of fashion leadership: implications for
fashion process theory", The Sociological Quarterly, 14 (4), pp. 534-43

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Shimp (2003) cited by Alsmadi (2006) “The power of celebrity endorsement in brand
choice behaviour: an empirical study of consumer attitudes in Jordan”, Journal of
Accounting, Business and Management, 13, pp. 69-84

Simonin, B., Ruth, J.A. (1998), "Is a company known by the company it keeps?
Assessing the spillover effects of brand alliances on consumer brand attitudes", Journal
of Marketing Research, Vol. 35 No.1, pp.30-42

Smith, D.C., Park, C.W. (1992), "The effects of brand extensions on market share and
advertising efficiency", Journal of Marketing Research, Vol. 29 No.3, pp.296-303

Tungate, M. (2004), Fashion Brands: branding style from Armani to Zara, Kogan
Publishers, London

Park, C.W., Jaworski, B.J., MacInnis, D.J. (1986), "Strategic brand concept image
management", Journal of Marketing, 50 (4) pp.135-45

Wood, L. M., Pierson, B. J. (2006) "The brand description of Sainsbury's and Aldi: price
and quality positioning", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management,
34(12), pp.904 – 917

Vicestyle, “ G Star Raw”, http://vicestyle.com/en/gstarraw/home, accessed on: 18 March
2011

ZTE (2010) The Trend of Crossover [online], 21 October. Available from:
http://wwwen.zte.com.cn/endata/magazine/mobileworld/2010/3/articles/201010/t201010
21_193311.html (Accessed 19 March 2011)




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