Thursday, December 21, 2006

Pun Intended

Marketers resort to creative routes / puns / things positively gimmicky to out shout competition and here is the proof. This is a hoarding outside Coco Cola’s corporate office on TTK road, Chennai.

This hoarding obviously gives onlookers a reason to smile at Pepsi’s cheek. Most brands today employ reactive advertising ribbing at a particular person or subject that is extremely topical. Amul has been adopting this strategy since time immemorial and it has been very well received by the Indian audience. None have been spared by them, be it Hollywood, politics or Major brands - Amul has an opinion about everything and everyone. Now a lot more brands are adopting the same trend. Think Pepsi blue Billion campaign.

Reactive advertising provides quick relief and catches the eye of the consumer, however its shelf life is limited. When a particular topic looses steam the ad serves no purpose. In my opinion it doesn’t contribute to the brands growth although it creates a high, but temporary, brand recall that may or may not affect sales.

After the recent media attacks on both the cola brands (the pesticide presence issue), it only makes complete sense to rebuild their bond with their customers. What better way to do it than cricket, a sales kicking idea indeed.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Sizing Up The Competition

‘She has no dress sense whatsoever’, I crinkled my nose.

‘I know, to top it all she is carrying such a tacky bag’, Renu nodded in agreement.

‘She’s a mess’ I concluded.

We went into a lengthy discussion about this particular girl’s clothes, her ill fitting bras, the men in her life, etc. Basically we were being super bitchy.

Women complain that men stare at all the wrong places, but women do too; at other women!

We notice and pass our remarks about all women. Nothing misses our eye from a bad haircut to a badly concealed panty line.

Most women in reality dress to impress other women, rather than men. They try hard not to repeat their wardrobe; make up, jewelry, or shoes. Each time they want to look like they just had a makeover.

Just this evening Prabhu and I were having coffee when this really plum woman walks in.

‘Oh, she’s got knockers’, Prabhu was drooling.

‘She carries them very vulgarly, too much cleavage is bad’, I was quick to respond.

‘Excuse me! The more, the merrier. Are you jealous?’ he winked.

‘No way Prabhu! Besides that was a lewd comment. You men are so cheap’, I retorted.

‘Oh me? Cheap? What about you girls? You totally claw other women apart. You could go on endlessly being nasty.

‘Oh she’s got terrible clothes’
‘Her make up looks hideous’
‘God knows what he sees in her’
‘What a bimbette!’…he mimicked my voice.

I was offended but I couldn’t argue with that.

After looking at my stung expression he cracked up laughing.

‘Chill! I had no intentions of picking a fight with you’

That conversation sure got me thinking. Women check out other women! It comes naturally to us. Weddings are a perfect example of this. My mum checks out what jewelry and saris other women are wearing and discusses it for days after the wedding. Even poor news readers on TV are not spared.

Women are under constant scrutiny by other women. It’s funny how we enjoy doing that. Like many other women, my generosity in displaying contempt for something as silly as a bad hairstyle has no bounds.

With men it’s completely different they want to constantly see you in the same attire. In their opinion if something looks phenomenal on you it only makes complete sense to wear it every time you want to look your best, why go through the hassle of finding the perfect attire. This line of thought makes my life far less complicated. Men like to experiment a lot lesser, but dressing up for your girlfriends can be the hardest thing. To get an approving nod from them is almost close to impossible.

Every time I dress to go out for dinner or clubbing, in my head I am thinking what I wore last time or the time before that or 10 times before that and try hard not to repeat. Each time I walk in to a restaurant or club I want heads to turn – not just men’s heads but women’s as well!

‘Ok I’ll try and be less bitchy’, I told Prabhu.

Prabhu looked skeptical ‘We’ll see…’

I cut him short.

‘Yuck! What a strong perfume! It’s too flowery’, I turned around to catch a young woman walking in.

‘Old habits die hard’, Prabhu burst out laughing.