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Doomed to fail


Let’s face the truth. We all are doomed to fail. All the efforts that we put in towards what we call success in life, are nothing but efforts to delay the inevitable.

Let’s take an example. Example of life. Will death be considered our failure to live? If so, then since our birth till we die, all our efforts for a better health and life are nothing but efforts to delay the failure.

Business for example. Every business has a cycle. The ups and downs. A trajectory that almost always spirals downward. The attempts are made to stop the trajectory from flatlining.

Brands constantly reinvent themselves and make themselves relevant to new consumers so that they don’t disappear into oblivion.

Business and brands have a role to play hence they must keep on doing what they are supposed to do. What matters to me is life and living.

In our effort to delay the inevitable, we focus so much on all the effort that is required, we stop living. We are more bothered about death and afterlife that we don’t even realise we are putting this life to waste. What is the point of living to be 100? What are we going to achieve? If anything, we are putting pressure on the eco system and thereby whole lot of other people who have to work even harder to go on living.

Same thing with relationships. We all want our relationships to succeed. To end a relationship is to accept that it has failed. Hence we focus very hard on making it work. We don’t realise that the spontaneity that existed at the beginning, we have killed it by making an effort to make it work.

But I guess that is how we are wired by the social construct. We are not supposed to FAIL. The education system, the professional life… they all instil in is the stigmas of failure and we carry that into our personal life too.

This post is totally random and stems from something I read about failure.

Be interesting


That’s the objective of every communication.

Being interesting is not about what you think is interesting but knowing the other person’s point of view to know what is interesting for that person.

Holds true in our business too. If what we create is not interesting enough, consumers will blindspot you.

It is also important to constantly keep track to know if you have stopped being interesting. Requires a lot of introspection.

Never take it at face value if someone tells you that you are not interesting or rather not interesting anymore. Is it you who has stopped being interesting or has the entity found something or someone more interesting.

Be interesting is when the association starts. Continuing to be interesting is to hold on to that position long term.

People are flirtatious today. As people and as consumers. Holding there attention for long required us to be on the ball… all the time. Requires a very dispassionate view of yourself. Also requires insight into the other entity.

Most relationships fail… whether it is between two individuals or the brand and consumer when we take the eye of the ball and it rattles the cage of your helmet.

In cricket, you can stand up again and face the next ball with renewed focus but not in life.

So be interesting… all the time!

Dad Bod!


So I have cancelled my Gym membership.

Had Chole Bhature for breakfast.

Lunch should be curry from Kareem’s (more oil than curry)

Few beers and fried fish to round off the day

Finally I don’t have to worry about the little paunch that I have (ok so I think it is LITTLE).

Going by the articles I have read about Dad Bods, I fit in so well to that description of Dad Bod – “A nice balance between beer gut and working out” So I can stop spending money on gym and all the trappings which come with it.

Ok just kidding.. am not gonna do any of that. As always the internet frenzy has latched on to another topic. Not driven by any brand (as yet or maybe after the discussion reaches a certain point, a brand will be revealed as the one who engineered the discussion), Dad Bod is a perfect male version of “the real woman” ïnner beauty”etc etc. which some brands keep talking about. If women don’t have to keep themselves lean (am saying lean and not thin), they don’t have to put on make up to look good and everything that showcases the inner beauty is more important, then why can’t men have the same thing. Why shave, why look lean and fit like the models in various commercials. After all that is not the real man.

Real man is sprawled on the couch, beer  in hand, chips on the table and glued to sports channel. So the real woman should not have a problem with the real man 😛

So let’s celebrate the real man.. The Dad Bod!

Will stay away from all the stuff that was said about how women actually fall more for the dad bods… it is like a deo saying spray it on and watch the angels fall.. a myth

Anything is possible


Don Draper of Mad Men works on Madison Avenue
Don Draper of Mad Men works on Madison Avenue (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Two quotes from Don Draper of Mad Men to start this post and to make a point:

 

“People want to be told what to do so badly that they will listen to anyone”

 

“What you call love was invented by guys like me… to sell nylons”

 

The more I see of the advertising today, am increasingly getting convinced that agencies (and the client) and still living their lives in the Madison Avenue of the 60’s. You can sell anything as long as you play on the fear or insecurity of the people. Or play on their lack of self belief…

 

When growing up, there are brands that tell you how you can be more intelligent than the rest… taller than the rest… sharper than the rest.. (wonder what happens if theoretically everyone was to consume these brands! how will the comparison happen??)

 

As you grow older, there are writing instruments that tell you how you can write the perfect paper in double-quick time etc.

 

And then the fun starts… If you had not consumed the stuff that would make you intelligent and taller and sharper while growing up.. do not lose hope… There is a chewing gum I think which will make the big idea pop up in your head… there is a carbonated drink… gulp it down and you are ready to conquer all your fears… A cola which makes you do crazy stunts… And now the latest Josh Cola – Pepsi Atom! Seriously… if one were to consume all of this… why worry if at birth your IQ was bordering around stupid!

 

And not to forget.. all the deos (my pet peeve) who can get the girls fawning over you… or if only you can learn the art of picking up a fallen book (remember to wear Raymonds)… attracting the girls is a breeze…

 

And things don’t end there.. If for some reason you did not take care of your skin while you were young… there are miracles waiting for you beyond the 30… Forever young they will keep you…

 

Of course I have been part of this profession for more than 20 years but some of the stuff I see now.. makes me question what we do… A decade and half back… Pepsi used to be fun.. as my advertising guru used to say… the communication was a surrogate for actual consumption of the drink… there was a an irreverence about it because after all.. cola or any carbonated drink is completely irreverent.. don’t get philosophical…

 

Same thing with alcohol advertising – Johnny Walker keep walking or Teacher’s achievement awards or many such initiatives… seriously? And yeah.. that reminds me.. this weekend Bacardi Breezer had a fun-filled evening for the families in our complex… The problem with that… Kids were taking part in all the fun… and 12/13 year olds talking about how they wish they could have a breezer! Way to go Bacardi… catch them young

 

But enough… advertising will not change because consumers and their insecurities wont and as long as there are enough insecure people on this planet…

 

 

 

Men matter


So there are these two commercial messages that have caught my eyes n ears.

First one is iciciprulife’s new campaign ‘bande achche hain’. Ok so it’s an insurance ad and all about responsibilities that men are supposed to have. But beautifully done. And in current times when men are getting battered for the ills in the society, it focuses on many things men do and they dont look for acknowledgment. Things they do but are never seen or noticed. One situation in thr commercial – wife shaking her head and picking up stuff that husband has dropped.. Expression is like how many times I have told you! She bends and gets up.. Without realising that their was a drawer open n it would have hit her head but the husband had shut it. Or the situation where instinctively the man always walks on the side of traffic while walking on the road.. I guess for our gender these things come instinctively. Also our manufacturing defects like lack of emotions or doing our own things. But somehow.. Because the defects are visible, they tend to get noticed and we as men dont go ahead and try to show things we do.

The next is the radio spot for Sikka realtor in greater noida.. Ok ok so we all take realty ads with a pinch of salt. But the radio spot is about a guy talking about the sacrifices his dad made so that he could grow and prosper. Poignant and full of emotions that we all can connect with about our dads or we as dads. And sorry Archies and hallmark and all the commercial establishments.. We dont need a father’s day to acknowledge the sacrifices our dads made.. As a dad, it comes naturally…

If you live in Delhi and drive, do catch the radio spot and of course the iciciprulife’s commercial.

The age of mediocrity


Mediocrity has become all-pervasive. Is it the signs of time or is it just in my head but I look around and see it everywhere… especially in my profession… not that I have done anything outstanding in the last one and half-year that I have moved back to advertising but hey… I can’t be faulted for that!

Consumer… insights… compelling communication… these don’t matter anymore. It is all about “I have this product… it has just great features and I know that all I need to do is communicate them and people will just line up to buy into what I am selling”. This is not an actual quote but it is the mindset that is driving the communication.

“Designed for Humans” says the tagline of Samsung Galaxy S III… eh what?? Are they trying to say that other phones are for animals? including Galaxy Note and Galaxy S II!

Saw this commercial for Rin the other day… all these women.. with nothing better to do.. gathering up by the hundreds to hear Kaajol talk about yellow fighter (I think it was called that)… So what women is this brand talking to? Seems like this is the only concern women have in their lives… white shirt. It’s a different matter that in today’s office environment, I hardly ever see a white shirt! even my kids don’t have white shirt as part of school uniform!

And of course… the less said about all the deo commercials.. the better…

Vodafone crap during the IPL… Maruti Ertiga commercial full of age old cliches… or the TVS Apache commercial with a tagline – “Scarily fast”.

The consumer, I don’t think is even bothered with the communication anymore… they probably follow the buzz on the web… read reviews… be part of forums and make their choices because those times when the commercial break used to be more entertaining than the program itself are gone…

I could go on and on… but no point to it… self-absorbed is what brands have become and to boost the topline and bottomline, agencies are also churning out stuff that gets the billing…. After all… for the awards, they anyways create scam stuff…

Idiotic Contraceptive Promotion


It is extremely stupid and downright hilarious. The latest deal on naaptol.com

Durex FlavorGreen Apple

Product Code: 950427

Durex FlavorGreen Apple Contents: Durex Flavors 10s pack X 2 with Green Apple 10s pack X 2

Offer Details: Free Pregnancy test Card worth MRP Rs.50/-

Price: ` 400

I knew some day condoms would be available to buy online but this promo seriously takes the cake!

I mean seriously!! a pregnancy test card with condoms?? says a lot about instilling confidence in the mind of the consumer about how safe the product really is! Wonder how Durex agreed to this promotion…