Posted in articles - business

Indian Super league, #LetsFootball


So it’s finally here. First of all a standing ovation to all the sponsors behind ISL. Hero, Reliance, Star India, Bollywood stars, Sachin (the living God) and all other sponsors you are doing a huge service to India by reviving football. 10 years from now, the youth of the country will owe their presence in the world football to you.

Yesterday the first match between Mumbai and Kolkata marked the beginning of all the great things to come. I agree that it was an amateurish start that the first yellow card came out 1:35 minutes of the game, that there were too many fouls, that if the world has to take our football seriously then the stature of the game has to go up. I am absolutely with you. Yes, some of us may have felt dejected by the quality of the game especially Ranbir’s body language sucked. But don’t criticize the game as yet.

Let me tell you a quick story and then we shall come back to ISL. Roger Bannister an Englishman was the first person to run a mile under 4 minutes. This was done in 1954. Imagine the number of times Roger would have tried to finally achieve one mile or 1.6 (approx.) Kms in under 4 minutes. Wikipedia says in the last 50 years this record has been lowered by almost 17 seconds. What happened in the last 50 years can be attributed to evolution. But Robert was the first guy who set the things in motion, who started something, who gave a benchmark for people to follow.

Similarly football in India will improve, but it will take time and money. What we can do is support the game with viewership numbers. Give the sponsor a reason to support the game, else sponsors like Adidas who associate themselves with football will be seen missing from action, though it was a delight to see the football sporting a Puma logo. For our future generation we as Indians need to help sustain this game. Criticizing is very easy, it doesn’t take any brains. Right now, at this very moment you can be angry about almost anything under the sun, bad roads, traffic jam, procedural delays, corrupt cops, bureaucracy, the list is endless. But criticizing doesn’t end in a solution. You have to be a part of the solution, big or small doesn’t matter.

So let’s give ISL a breather, let’s watch the game for at least first 3 years before making any judgement. Everything good takes time.

Now ISL guys, you have to be on top of the game to ensure fans keep coming back. Coming to the website, it is crying out for attention. The horizontal scroll is not working properly, the pictures need to be high resolution and please edit them. If you have to compete with the big boys then your work has to be top notch.

Look at this picture –
Indian Super league
Who is the guy on the right hand side of the picture? This is lazy editing. My readers please do not get confused thinking Rishi is criticising, am not. I am pointing out the careless mistakes which should have been avoided.

indian super league 2
See the same picture is edited, with color and brightness correction it looks much better. One has to be passionate about such things else qualifications doesn’t matter. At times, we are so busy being correct that we fail to understand that the strings need to tug your heart. The website needs attention; “enough gyan”.

Now am all set to catch today’s match between NorthEast United FC and Kerala Blasters FC; Let’s see another match full of Indian action, #LetsFootball.

Posted in articles - business

The tele marketers of the digital world

Who can forget the hordes of tele callers hounding us for various things right from selling a bright future to a trip abroad. These people had all the traits of super achievers, they were persistent, never gave up and if by chance you are rude with them then they will hunt you down. Had the Government not intervened it would have almost impossible to stop them. You can almost compare them with Agent Smith of Matrix. If you block one of the callers they will simply change the number and start calling you again. Apps like True caller, spam blocker would have just died out.

But thanks to the intelligent people at the right places, somebody woke up and said – Hey this is wrong, this harassment has to stop. Am sure they were also harrowed by the tele callers else we know our Government machinery does need some motivation to work (that’s under the previous regime).

You know, it is said that nothing can be destroyed forever, matter just changes form. So what happened to the tele callers? What did they morph in to? The answer is digital advertisers! And this time they are stronger and more irritating than ever before.

So what happens when you try and watch a video? The first thing to pop up is an advertisement and sometimes there is no option to skip them, you just have to bear it out. The word NUISANCE will be an understatement. No one likes to be forced fed. If one wants to watch something they will land up else stop bothering them.
Now why is this happening? It’s simple, the brand managers, marketers have very limited creative sense.

Almost all the big companies depend on a system to run things, to protect people and if necessary hide behind it. So when these people are exposed to the concept of digital being the new platform what do they do? They treat it like another TV and start slapping ads before videos. I have huge war chest, so I spend of TV, Print and then go for bulk on digital. Just bombard people with the advertisement, focus on reach and hope people will take the correct action.

It’s not their fault, till now the entire marketing approach was about reach, it was about push. People have a budget and they advertise, calculate ROI and everyone celebrates, which is great. But when you are on digital, push no longer works. People have to like your content. Now that’s difficult, no one told anything about this to the number guzzling marketers. Their creative sense is limited to what the creative agency puts on the table. Now it’s an uphill task for them.

One brilliant campaign which I would like to talk about is, The Photographers case by Fox Crime. The campaign was true to the genre of the channel. It was a case where one had to look for clues and then move ahead. The execution was flawless, great graphics and very good story. No wonder it went on to win the Yahoo Big Idea Chair Award in 2011.

The promotion attracted the genre of people who would be interested in the programs Fox Crime has to offer. Now this was intelligent targeting, as compared to the heard approach of advertisers with big budgets, “Just spend the money on reach and we shall get hits”.

Going ahead such a harassment from the digital advertisers will have to stop. It’s causing negative reaction towards their brand. No one likes to wait and especially on digital. If I want your adv. I shall see it, else stop bothering us!

Posted in funny

The great escape

The main characters of the story are Hachiko and Garfi. Both are tom cats, Hachi is a year elder to Garfi. Both are house cats but love going out. I caught them on camera making an escape plan. The story as told by pictures is as follows:

Hachi and Garfi
Hachi – Look Garfi, these panes can be removed. There is a way to jump out from here!

hachi & Garfi 2
Hachi – There is a big world outside there, lots of cats to chase and lots of trees to climb.

Hachi & Garfi 3
Garfi – What are you saying! let me have a look.

hachi & Garfi 4
garfi – Yes you are right, we can push these panes and jump out, good work Hachi. We escape this Saturday when the two guards fall asleep after partying.

Hachi & Garfi 5
Hachi – No we escape tonight, I have been here longer than you and cannot take it anymore (dishum, dishum).

Hachi & garfi 6
Hachi – Don’t even try fighting, I will beat you. I am the supreme cat, Garfi surrenders

Hachi & Garfi 7
Hachi – Oops its lunch time, we will have to postpone our plans, Garfi agrees

Garfi – Tasty food, I am on a protein diet though! After all the guards are not that bad, we will give them a slip later.

Posted in quote

Dedicated to Robin Williams

My mind erases the world, at a rate faster than I can build it.

Dedicated to all the people battling depression.

Posted in articles - business

The obsession of hiring celebrities as brand ambassadors!

Brand Ambassador

Let’s start this blog by one simple question.

Q) Which is a bigger, larger than life, super luxury brand between these two?
A) Kareena Kapoor or
B) Jaguar

People who answered Kareena please close the page now!

Seriously how can a mature company like Jaguar do something as naïve as this?
What are they expecting to gain out of this? Kareena will make Jaguar a bigger brand? In this case Merc, Audi and BMW guys, yuhuuu there’s nothing to worry about!

Will Kareena make Jaguar sell more? Only time can tell, but in my opinion people who can buy a Jaguar, know better!

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against Kareena, she is the grand daughter of Raj Kapoor and a brilliant actress.

A timeless brand like jaguar which transcends boundaries, age, sex, race, religion does something as random as this; then who knows what’s going to happen next!

Now let’s look at this – OLX hires Kapil Sharma

Imagine the amount of money which would have gone to hire a big star like Kapil. By no means will he come cheap. Now let’s ask a few questions.

Q) What will this do for OLX
A) Make it a household name since Kapil has mass appeal. Hopefully this will increase traffic to your website, so it’s great.

Q) Customer comes to your page and then what?
A) The product sucks, its BAD. Anyone who has used OLX can tell the website is riddled with fake seller. You need to clean your product, make it Brilliant and not just great before getting a barrage of customers. But then who wants to do this tedious leg work.

One has to wrestle with your website to get anything useful out of it.

Another case, Philips hires Arjun Kapoor

Someone please tell PHILIPS, and I have worked for Philips and have huge respect for that company. This is a great company for a fresher, filled with very genuine intelligent people; there are a lot of human values in this company, a rare quality which very few companies can boast off.

Recently they hired Arjun Kapoor. Philips you can’t do this! You are a bigger brand than a fresher who is yet to make his bones in the industry. Stop undervaluing your brand.

Your shavers are world class and you guys are the No.1 in the industry. This is not a leader’s move by any standard. If I am No.1 then I shall behave like No.1 in all my communications.

Another example is Ponds hires Varun Dhawan.

I mean Varun is good but at the same time he doesn’t carry any meaning for the common people. One could replace Varun with Arjun and the result will be same. How is this a brand fit?

The fault –

This is a fast world, it’s a digital world seems to be the new mantra. Most of the people want to jump jobs in a year of two. Quick results and smart work! Brand managers and marketers are in a rush to make an impact in this limited number of years and get something to write on their CV. No one is willing to do the leg work, get the basic execution right. I think I read in a book that most CEO’s fail not because they do not ideate and see the next curve but simply because they are weak on execution.

Hfff…now let’s try and end this blog on a good note, not all celebrities are brand misfits.

Gillette hires Rahul Dravid
It’s a Brilliant fit with the campaign they are running. Dravid is known for being a gentleman and has been a responsible player of the Indian team for many years. He has carried the hopes of 1 billion people umpteen number of times and has delivered success. Now cut to the radio campaign (am a radio guy, I listen to radio quite a lot) A child is telling his dad about the cricket match he had, he mentioned that the batsman hit his bowl for six and he abused him. Dad was taken aback; he asked why would you do something like that? Child says, it’s what the players do on TV. Then the dad corrects him saying you must not do such a thing rather congratulate the batsman for playing well and then improve your game. The spot ends with the message – if one person slacks in his responsibility then the work of other person increases by that extent. Something Rahul has always done for India.

Now my readers, thank you for your time. Your comments, questions, abuses…all are most welcome, just keep it coming.

Posted in stories - fiction

Yudh, a TV series

Yudh reworked

Tu na thakega kabhi, Tu na thamega kabhi, Tu na mudega kabhi, Kar shapath! Kar shapath! Kar shapath! Agneepath! Agneepath! Agneepath!

Even at 71 years Mr. Bachchan is unstoppable. He continues to lead, to inspire. Amongst many firsts we will always remember him as the Superstar who brought glam to humble television. And he continues to do it.

Coming to Yudh, I have watched two episodes and am impressed with the way Mr. Bachchan has acted. There is a reason why some people transcend time and Mr. Bachchan is a living example of it. He is exceptional in his performance and connects with his audience to the T.

Anand (Zakir Hussain) plays a key role in the serial and does complete justice to the importance of the character. But this is where the good part ends.

First of all Sony, a channel struggling to make an impact with the audience fails to understand that people love uninterrupted flow of story. Breaks are a necessary evil, one gets that, coz the sponsor is pumping money for this but using the break to cross promote other shows? Lot of people might do it under various pretext but answer a simple question, I am eating Chinese and if someone tries to keep serving Sambar and idli how will you feel? Irritating is an understatement!

KK looks underutilised but then it’s too early to say that. Mr. Bachchan’s wife looks too young for him. If I have to give a reference point then it shall be from the movie Sarkar, Mr. Bachchan’s wife looked right age for the role.

Yudh is a real estate tycoon, and going by experience most real estate guys have wonderful offices. Unfortunately this fact has been ignored by the director. Yudh’s office is more like a make shift office and one can make it out. It lacks the largeness which goes with real estate guys.

The series depicts the story of Delhi, Gurgaon…wonder why such an important person like Yudh will not have basic security? It appears like anyone can reach him, anywhere. Too lame, once again no thinking involved on the part of director.

Yudh seems to be caught up with likes of  Commissioner and some other Government officers, anyone who is worth their salt in the construction business know that these guys are important but just pawns. All the strings are held by the ministers. And if I am sitting on the pinnacle of success then I definitely know how to move the Government machinery rather than getting bogged down by it. The script lacks planning and clearly falls short. A person like Yudh should have opponents worthy of a tussle. 

Direction is bad, I would have loved to use softer words but it won’t be right. My reader please allow me to share an example, in one of the scene, Yudh’s daughter is hospitalised. He comes across the girls “legal” dad. But then the legal dad gets a call and imagine what he does, he says excuse me and goes inside the patient’s room to take the call. How stupid is that! People are asked to limit the use of cell phones if they are visiting a hospital, not only the director ignores this, but goes on to show that the legal dad took the call by going inside the patient’s room. Amazing!!!

And what is with the imaginary character of the joker? It’s a borrowed concept from the West. If one had to show an imaginary character then it has to be something or someone who connects with India at an emotional level. A joker is not only frivolous but has no connect with the viewers.

People who tend to make serials with a difference should realise we are no longer isolated; people have a good experience of what is world class and Yudh falls short.