Monday, February 28, 2011

Brandy Clothes Bar!

Well, Gujarat is a dry state. So get intoxicated through what you wear and how you look. May be through the way your skin feels when Brandy clothes touch your skin :).

One thing I know is that I can't crack great jokes. And this name doesn't help either.

The Clinic

Just noticed this. Now what do you say when you want to go to a doctor's?

"I am going to The Clinic!"

Say you want to say the same in any other language. Hindi, let's say.

"Mujhe The Clinic jaana hai!" :)

And in Gujarati,

"Maare toh The Clinic javu chhe!" ;)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Saturday, February 26, 2011

What a promise!

Just bought a sipper bottle for my running sessions in the morning. At the billing counter this is what I see. Haven't tried yet but seems like quite a promise! Especially coming from Reliance...

Sunday, February 13, 2011


DOUDODS lets you share your quirks, find out who and how many have the similarity and helps you connect with the fellow quirky beings on the planet.

Check it out! And have a little fun ;)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Provogue Brand Symbol and the failed selling effort!

Just going through Ahmedabad Times this morning, I noticed this! What's so special? The symbol! Guess they've only recently introduced it, may be in the last few months.

About 2 years back, we got a chance to pitch to Provogue. The objective was 'to rejuvenate the brand'. Here's what I had presented.

No need to go through the presentation actually. But the point is we didn't win the pitch. We didn't in spite of the fact that one of our important suggestions was to introduce a recognizable symbol. Precisely that! Though of course, the options we presented were different from the one you see here. The incumbent agency back then is still working on the brand.

Two questions:
  • Do they really realize the importance of introducing a symbol yet?
  • Why weren't we able to sell the logic?
Can't comment on the first question. But the second one is important. It's critical to understand that the person who must've taken the decision to introduce the symbol would be different from the person with whom we were coordinating and who acted as a bridge/filter/link between the decision-maker and 'us'. Guess we never talked with the decision-maker.

Agency's problem is getting to talk with the decision-maker. Getting his attention. Getting his air-time. So another question:
  • How important is it for the decision-maker to handle the function of marketing directly?
Your answer is as good as mine.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The start is always rough. That's when the shoes get a grip.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Schools do bull-shit! And how...

The metaphor is one of a robot. What do robots do? Obey. Follow instructions.

What do the robotic arms hold? Violin! And brushes and palette! Creative robots! Find me a bigger irony, please!

How many arms? In total, 8! And 6, robotic! Yes of course, what are the kids supposed to do... Everything under the sun practically! Call it 'Balanced Schooling'. How about 'Donkeying'? I respect the donkeys though. They just do one thing, even if it is carrying a lot of load. So let me call this 'Variety-loaded Donkeying'!  :)

Aamir, please! Taare Zameen Par! 3 Idiots............

*I just don't wanna debase donkeys. I respect life. I respect all that donkeys do in the service of humans.

Funny Tag

Am at Bavla, an industrial town near Ahmedabad. Just spotted this. Trying making sense of 'Innovation Beyond Square Feet'. :)

A theory of boredom

Have been operating out of home for a few days. On occasions it gets so so so boring that mind stops working and sleeping becomes tough too. So, with no options left, I have to endure the 'boredom' sensations.

However, I have been wondering how could 'boredom' have evolved. Here's my venture.

It seems to me that most of the time, since our evolution as 'humans', we would have spent doing nothing but either sleeping or staying 'alert'. That's right, staying 'alert'. Without concrete or solid protective structures around, that would have been the only option. To survive, staying alert the entire day was an imperative. And that was the occupation. And alertness induced action.
So, any task or occupation that doesn't match the evolved sense of alertness among humans is bound to seed 'boredom'. Over a period of time, as this seed of 'boredom' grows and as our own acceptance of 'boredom' grows, we lose what nature gave us - alertness and the propensity to act.

That's also one reason why, in spite of seemingly high degree of risk, entrepreneurship is alluring. It heightens our sense of alertness to a great extent. We have to be on our toes and wits :) to 'survive'. Alertness is the herbicide which checks the spread of boredom in our lives. Indeed, you are responsible for putting yourself in such situations where you have to be alert or you will be 'die of boredom'.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Selling cool air...

is tough. But the title is the answer to the question: What are the malls really selling?

I mean it applies to most malls of the country except some which have been thought through by the developer/architect/businessmen nexus.

From what I observe, people visit these malls for the following reasons:
  • Warming eyes or call it window shopping
  • Whiling away time or sitting comfortably or socializing at low cost and in a clean sweat-free environment (both attributable to a great extent to free Air Conditioning)
  • Buying stuff
  • Watching movies

Find other reasons if I've missed one.

And if the first two reasons are good enough reasons to visit a mall, ask the visitors, "What is the price of air?" Don't be surprised if someone slaps the questioner!

Who pays for air conditioning? Of course, the mall owner. And he, in turn, gets it from the showroom/shop owners/renters. But most of the air-conditioning happens to keep the air in the common area/atrium cool. So shop owners/renters are basically paying a price for something that people in most circumstances won't agree to pay for or even think of paying for. Why incur such a cost and make your own and so many other businesses fail?

Or is there an assumption that people who walk in to the mall for a cool clean environment (because of the Air Conditioning) will buy once they spend some time and are exposed to the shops?!

Or is it like survive at any cost for a few years, make people habitually visit the mall even if they don't buy and eventually they'll come around to buying from the shops they see? Then we assume that the world is gonna stay static and the mall is gonna stay as squeaky and polished as when it started.

God, save the mall owners and the tenants/shop owners therein. Sorry, the real estate boom might save them if it sustains. For me, Linking Road, zindabad!

A rusted chain breaks but only when pulled hard.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Desolate Devarc

I haven't done an in-depth research yet but want to venture into the reasons why this mall isn't working. It is a well-built grand mall. And this was captured at 6 in the evening!

Quite some time back, I wrote that a non-AC mall has a much better chance of survival. I think the same for Devarc. They must blow the roof off and let the natural air flow in. People will automatically flow in.

I sense there must be a certain ease to grandeur. In this age, grandeur alone cannot keep you in business.

Buying astrology

Visiting card of an astrologer who approached me right after I ventured out of Dhobi Ghat

One of the things that tempts us 'knowing about our future'. Astrology fulfills that need. The need is so acute that on most occasions we don't need any marketing communication to choose a certain astrologer.

This guy approached me out of nowhere as we stood outside the mall chatting. He introduced himself with some real quickly spoken words and this visiting card. If you go beyond the temptation and the acute need and care to read the stuff on the card, would you consult him? ;)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

What kind of salesmen should automobile brands hire?

Off late whichever automobile showroom I've been to, the sales guys have failed to impress. I went to Chevy showroom in the morning.

I don't mean they look bad. No, their appearances have vastly improved. The problem is awareness of their own product. None of them (yes none of the ones I've encountered so far) have exhibited even as much knowledge of their product as I have. Not that I have a great deal in my head. But still...

That raises a simple question: what kind of salesmen should automobile brands hire?

I credit blogging and reading blogs for my awareness of the products in the automobile world. If blogs are responsible for depth of understanding and knowledge, let me say that bloggers would make for far far better salesmen at the moment of truth. So why not hire them for sales?

Not only will they sell better, they are gonna give a lot more back to the brand in terms of consumer understanding. Yes, bloggers have a penchant to articulate and express all that they gather and understand. And that in turn will work for product development.

So what does a brand do if not many bloggers hold any positive beliefs for its products? Hire them faster! No?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Machine gun and the perished berries

I've observed myself and many others over the years getting amused by the 'happy ending' at the end of the movies. More so, when the narrative is typical and the end is so very easily anticipated.

So a slew of questions:
  • Why do only the hero-heroine stay alive at the end and all others get crushed? What about lives and stories of those who got crushed only to leave the hero-heroine standing tall?
  • Why do off-beat movies don't sort of work with the masses so often?
  • Why do the ridiculously and inanely comical movies work wonders?

One aspect is probability. If we simply look at the number of people who die trying, they are countless. Of course, how many big successes you see around you? Very few. So it is always a wonder that where countless died, what is it that these folks did that they survived.

I mean think about it like this. There is a little roadside thela of berries. Let's say there are 1 lac berries on this thela. And a man with a machine gun loaded with 1000 bullets suddenly opens fire at this thela :). What will happen? Most berries perish! Few will stay intact though. Those few are our hero and heroine :D.

Stories can only be seen retrospectively from the point of view of survivors. Only the survivors have a tale worth telling. Why? Simply coz they survived. Sometimes survivors tell a tale of what they witnessed, what influenced them. Still it's the survivor's tale. He chooses to narrate whatever he wants to coz he's alive :). Be a survivor, or influence a survivor. I assume though, it might not be so wonderful simply influencing and be an 'amazingly perished berry'. :)

Off-beat movies are so often driven by the common-place. Common-place dies. In the commonest ways. It's a story about perished berries. Why will they work! Sure there's something extra-ordinary even in the common-place. There is an extra-ordinary story of such perishing like berries. There is such a detailing of perishing in these movies.

Lastly, the ridiculously and inanely comical movies simply evade the question of survival and perished berries. In that, everything is fun. These movies have to work. They work.

Hail the comical! Jim Carrey! Rajendranath! Johny Lever! Govinda! Ajay Devgan! And all attemptors of the comic.