Posts Tagged ‘Gandhi’

The opening lines on the front page of Mumbai Mirror, 18th August 2011.image courtesy www.releasemyad.com

If you have never bribed a traffic cop…

If you haven’t paid donation for your child’s admission…

If you have never bought a movie ticket in black…

If you have paid the entire sum for your apartment by cheque….

If you have not carried out illegal changes in your house or office….

If you have never bribed a government officer….

….tell us of you’ve never paid a bribe in your life. Mail us your story, five readers selected by us get to meet Anna Hazare.

The first six lines were very appealing, a la Rang de Basanti wave, but it was the last two lines that caught my attention. Get a chance to meet Anna Hazare. It was just like another Scratch karo inaam pao or Kharidiye Pepsi aur paiyyen Men in blue se milne ka mauka gimmick.

It was these lines from the city’s leading tabloid that forced me into getting back to blogging. After experiencing Goa and Lonavala in the same month, there could have been nothing more provoking than this set of six lines that forced me to log onto wordpress again and get rid of my heavenly hangover.

Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption drive sweeping the nation is one of the best times, if you are a newspaper, an advertiser or a news channel because you might never really run out of content nor fail to get visibility. And Mumbai Mirror showed just that, when it printed their dim campaign today. I don’t know what brainstorming these guys must have done before designing something like this. Their initiative has shown that the Indian cricket team is not the only set of people who are getting everything wrong, but there is a chunk like them located in the heart of Mumbai developing such dis-HEARTening content.

On one hand there is man (Anna Hazare), who is not willing to give up on his stance to remove corruption from the nation, a move which closely resembles Rahul Dravid, who showed the world that he was in the form of his life, but that never helped India from maintaining their consistency (just like Dravid’s performance)  in losing all the three tests to England and on the other hand, there is a newspaper who is giving an offer to meet the modern Gandhi amidst all the commotion.

Courtesy Mumbai Mirror, today I strongly felt that a chhota four square was a thousand times better than a copy of the tabloid. At least it killed you with pleasure at Rupees 2.50 rather than the inexplicable and rubbish Mumbai Mirror content that frustratingly killed you by paying an equivalent price.

Mumbai Mirror’s move was as amusing as an INDIA TV campaign which exposed everything that never existed. This reckless idea from a brand under the Times Group puts a serious question mark on the kind of content they develop. This obviously excludes the Superstar Sexpert whose tips can actually be regarded even more revolutionary than Anna Hazare’s anti – corruption campaign, because it not only told those unaware cocks that pregnancy was not caused by kissing and caressing but also cleared the air that having a penis tilted towards the left had nothing to do with the gender of a child.

Just like the Mumbai Mirror, there are many more, cashing in on the Anna-effect to generate more TRP’s or get more readers. You term it insensitive, but it is the truth. The frustrated Arnab Goswami on Times Now, who thinks he is the Anna Hazare of Indian Television, can be seen firing on all cylinders in his studio with the same set of people, who now seem to be employees of the channel hired especially for The Newshour Debate, rather than being guests on the show. There is no method to the madness that is running through the media industry ever since Anna’s campaign kick started.

The first page of Mumbai Mirror that I saw today won’t be the last day that I bought this tabloid, but surely the brand’s credibility in my mind has gone a level below the baffling Speakasia, because the mirror today reflected stupidity instead of reflecting a balance of creativity and sensibility.

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Since the last few days, my mind was thinking all about marketing and figures. I read about Myspace, and how its users have declined at a pace which was as fast as Sharapova losing to the Czech sensation, Kvitova in the Wimbledon finals. Then I came across the launching of video chat on Facebook, and Google+ being launched by Google to compete against Facebook was also the pick of the news for me. But all this was simply put to rest when I boarded a local train to Khar Road the other day from Churchgate.

Travelling by local trains, it is not new to spot those unique marketing guys trying to sell their stuff with their oratory skills demonstrating their products in the most uncomfortable cramped positions. I came across one such weirdo. He was marketing an eraser which could remove pen marks. He first gave the audience the USP and then started demonstrating about the product, which was a million times better than the Dent King Ad on Telebrands. This Rocket Singh in my train scribbled on a man’s sleeve and on one of the passengers 10 Rupee notes and then removed it using his magic eraser. The technique was superb. The interactive way through which he displayed the effectiveness of the product he was selling was as appreciable as Dayanidhi Maran putting in his resignation papers. And then it was time for sale. Magic eraser fakt daha rupaye, sirf dus rupaiye, only ten rupees. Though I did not have a count of how many erasers he was able to sell since my train had entered the broken Khar station, but I was pretty convinced that the Rocket Singh must have cracked more than a handful deals.

This simpleton with a UP accent must surely be one the many who on the MNS hitlist, but the way he marketed a simple magic eraser was a ‘NO MUCKING AROUND’ technique. Although it was not as richly designed and developed as the Vodafone Zoozoo’s, who came in between IPL matches to sell Vodafone recharges speaking in an alien language which was probably picked up from the film, ‘The Gods Must Be Crazy’. But the guy’s simple technique surely answered all the questions in the minds of the target audience and was attractive enough to lure them into shelling out the red version of the Gandhi and pocket the magic eraser.

The marketing technique gave me flash of stories about those small companies which made it big like chaar boondon wala ujala, from Jyoti Laboratories and washing powder Nirma, which struck an instant chord with the audience and resulted in SALE even though it did not have a starpower behind the brand. It was efficiency and planning over haphazard marketing that won them glory.

The whole experience made me realize, it is not about how many zeroes you have in your advertising budget that makes a campaign successful, but it is about that one effective marketing Hero who can clock in those zeroes in your revenue.