Category Archives: Uncategorized

Not Worthy

There are certain things that you come across at various points in your life (hopefully) which immediately gives you a sense of such pleasurable bewilderment that you start wondering if you deserve what you are feeling at that very moment. It could be absolute unbridled love towards you by someone or something you experience someone has created. Regardless, either by fate or providence, and seemingly nothing of your doing, you are just present.

Love, in most cases, hopefully, is more or less deserved; the creation however. This creation is not the creator’s only creation but is unlike any other because this one was created only for themselves. It could be a piece of music, a book, a statue, a building, a painting, an inning, a performance, anything. If you experience it the way it is meant to, isolated from everything else, you get so enamored by it you barely realise that you’ve essentially left your plane of existence and entered the creator’s. That moment, you don’t care about externalities, it is just you, the creation and the creator. The next moment you feel you are so lost inside the creator’s world, you get the sense that you might actually be invading their privacy and maybe you’re not supposed to be there. Maybe you’re not meant to have this experience and it is meant only for the creator and no one else. You are not sure if anything created by a mere human could be so fascinating. Should it be so fascinating? And maybe it is so because that was the sole purpose of that human. You begin to wonder why you deserved to experience what you just did. You’ve never met or will never meet the creator and yet somehow you just entered their realm for the briefest of moments. Are you even qualified to feel what you just felt?
You understood the creation enough to feel all this, you could appreciate it to the extent not everyone can or will. You definitely earned what you felt. 

The creator was probably not brought on earth to create that piece, but maybe to make you experience what you just did.

Why travel?

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Why read a book if the person who read all the words in it is the same person who first saw the cover?

Why watch a film if the person who reads the end credits is the same person who bought the ticket?

Why draw anything if the person who signs it is the same person who saw the empty sheet?

Why paint a picture if the person who washes the brushes is the same person who first drew out the colours?

Why write an essay if the person who puts the last full stop is the same person who wrote the title?

Why travel when you are the same person when you return home as the person who locked the door when you left?

Johnnie Walker short film about its branding

A brilliant one shot film on the Keep Walking idea. As good as a 6 minute case study on branding.

Airtel Vs Vodafone 2

I had posted earlier about the Airtel ads and how they are similar to the Vodafone ads.

I have seen a few more from the Airtel campaign, and I have to say, I don’t get it! Why would Airtel risk doing something like this?

The ads look similar to Vodafone, they don’t look anything like the other Airtel ads, and the most noticable thing in Airtel ads – the music – does not come in until the last 5 seconds! So, how is it helping the ads stay in the viewer’s mind?

Usually, an ad can be associated with a particular brand, if there is the usual peculiarity. Like the music in case of the telecom ads. All of them a peculiar music of their own which have become popular in their own right. However, Airtel (which incidentally has the most popular of these, thanks to A R Rehman), is just ruining it. The least they could have done was flashed the Airtel logo at the beginning itself. Most brands like to keep the viewer guessing about the brand, but in most of these cases they get it wrong. They would be better off by showing the brand earlier on and showing it a couple of more times by the end. Especially in this case where people are confusing it to be a competitor’s ad!

Come on Airtel! You can do better!

And so the Marathon begins…

I have registered for the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon 2010 and successfully begun training today.

I trained with my Jai Hind friend Mohit Saxena and we jogged close to 1.5 KM today and walked 1.5 KM. So on the first day, we have reached half the dream run 😛

Hopefully I will be able to reach somewhere with this. I have to keep this up and convert this into a more complete and longer run. Also, have to take care of my diet to build up the stamina I will need from now on!

Too much to take care of while doing an MBA! Any suggestions and tips?

Would you show a customer choosing another product in your ad?

I am sure about 90% of you would answer no to the above question. Even I would.

But the Bajaj XCD ad shown below, proves to be an exception to the rule and does it quite well. I like this extremely risky idea of showing a customer choosing a different product. The ad in point however, makes it a point to show that the customer who is choosing something else, does not deserve the Bajaj anyways. They show the person choosing an average home and an average woman, so it goes without saying that he deserves an average bike as well. However, the execution of this idea is brilliant. They show him recollecting the old XCD ad which is a glossy, slick, upmarket, young, pacy ad of a biker riding with a girl who just won a fight with her twin to sit on the bike (I do like the earlier ad also, but more on that later). He then goes for the cheaper bike, satisfied with his choice.

It is a brilliant idea to create a position in the mind of the customer and at the same time an extremely risky ploy at these times, especially from Bajaj, which is known to give cheaper and more value for money kind of bikes.

What say?

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Multiple positioning of brand Dove

Dove has always been a brand that has been associated with something special. It signifies treating your skin to a better product which everyone cannot afford. Dove has always maintained this positioning strategy (which makes sense as Dove is more expensive than other soaps too and not everyone can afford it). However, recently after the launch of their range of other Dove products they have changed the positioning of the original Dove product.

The recent TV ads for Dove talks about the benefits of Dove and shows a girl in her early twenties as a user as against their usual use of an educated english speaking, working woman. This strategy has shifted now to the hair products. The new ads for their hair care range has women talking in english (one with an accent even) about how they have stopped hair fall by using the Dove products. So they are now saying, that Dove soaps are not really that aspirational any more. Even though it is the same product and costs the same amount if not more expensive, more people can afford it and it would be better to show the benefits for everyone rather than show ‘very well to do accented english speaking middle aged women’. So, the product I guess has moved on to the next stage of the PLC.

BCG Matrix anyone?

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Airtel follows Vodafone

Vodafone ads in India have consistently used the most appealing elements. Right from the time it was Hutch, they have used the two most appealing elements – kids and dogs. They have been known to create the maximum connect with the consumers as we had once discussed in an Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) lecture.

Not only have they used the two most effective elements, but they have used the two elements extremely effectively. Combined with a catchy jingle, it has traversed every customer segment and managed to create an unparalleled recall value.

Telecom ads have always tried to create an emotional connect and never speak about the service itself. This of course is an exception with the Vodafone value adds and the CDMA networks. The big three, Airtel, Vodafone and Idea have all had memorable jingles which have created the recall value they now have. Airtel has normally used the jingle as the focal point of all their campaigns. However, now Airtel seems to be trying to taking a page out of Vodafone’s book. Their new campaign about ‘Airtel 5’ uses 5 extremely cute kids. Not that the kids are ever going to use the mobile phones, but it is kind of similar to the Vodafone ads. Airtel has used kids earlier too, the one with two kids playing football at the border and the one with the kid who calls his dad on his toy phone after being scolded by the mom.

Look at the pictures below. The first two are the obvious Vodafone ads, the third one is the Airtel football ad and the last one is Airtel or Vodafone?

Is the new campaign with kids too similar to the Vodafone ads? Is the use of too many different themes by Airtel creating confusion in the minds of the consumer? After all, Idea and Vodafone have pretty consistent themes.

HutchVodafoneAirtel_footballAirtel_5

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India launches nuclear submarine

Launching its first nuclear-powered submarine, India became the 6th country in the world to do so. Named Arihant, the 6,000 tonne submarine was launched by Dr. Manmohan Singh. It was entirely built in India with Russian assistance.

Dr. Singh said this is not mean to be any indication of aggression on any country. However, the sea is becoming an integral part of India's strategy. India till now had only capabilities to launch missiles from land or air; this will change once the INS Arihant becomes fully operational in about two years time.

China has recently expanded its position in the sea by helping the Sri Lankan government fight the LTTE. In return, they have got a strategic location in the island country, which is bound to play an important role in the Indian Ocean. This new Indian foray will not only add a new aspect to Indian defence, but also act as a warning to the increasing Chinese naval presence.

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Confused in translation

Everyone who lives in Mumbai is by now used to seeing thousands of hoardings all over the place. It is everywhere! The moment you raise your vision by 30 degrees vertically, you will spot atleast 2 hoardings no matter where you are. This, at the same time of course, is also true for any metropolis anywhere in the world.

No, I have nothing against these hoardings. Actually I do, but that is not what I am pointing at. If you have paid attention to most of these hoardings, the product they are trying to advertise are mass market products, given the reach that these hoardings can achieve. If these products are mass market, the obvious language that they need to communicate in, is Hindi. However, all of these hoardings are in english. Atleast they are written in english. What I mean is, even though they are written in the english language, they are actually Hindi words! Now, why would anybody do that?

I have been seeing this trend for a couple of years now and I am still confused about what the possible reason could be. For example, just two days back I saw a Castrol Activ hoarding. This one was a compliment to the new TV ad campaign with the two Sardars on the bike where the dad is teaching the son to ride a bike. The hoarding has the same picture of the father and son on the bike and next to them is written, ‘Stop – Go Traffic Mein All-Round Protection’. ‘Mein‘ here is a Hindi word which means ‘in’. So, not only is there a Hindi word in the midst, the sentence itself is supposed to be in Hindi. Of course it makes sense to keep a Hindi sentence as all the TV ads are also in Hindi and this is a product for the masses. However, if a person cannot read english, how will he understand it in the first place? And this is true for hundreds of such ads for products, services and the ones that use this the most, Hindi General Entertainment Channels! I mean, ALL their shows are in Hindi! Most of their audiences are non english speaking women! How can you do this to them?

Now the answer to this conundrum might be in the following questions:

  1. Do they mean that only if someone can read english can they buy their product?
  2. Have they figured out that Indians living in Mumbai like believing that a hoarding in Hindi script is unattractive?
  3. Do Mumbaiites believe that Hindi script is LS?
  4. Do the television channels believe they have all the non english reading people wrapped up and all they need to attract are english reading folks who think in Hindi?

The answer might be, that even though people in Mumbai like reading stuff in english and find it more convenient, they still think in Hindi. All their thoughts are in Hindi. This is what makes it easier for them to relate to a hoarding or an ad and most of the people who are driving are anyways people who can read english faster than Hindi.

Ahaan! Maybe I should have blogged about this earlier, I would have found the answer faster!

You think this is the right answer?