Thursday, November 27, 2008

The spirit of Mumbai – an advertising gimmick

You know how you feel so good and so cool in a levis or a nike?
‘Just do it’ you tell yourself.

I think the spirit of Mumbai is just a similar meaningless factor cleverly created by someone working on those Mumbai tourism/festival type campaigns. It’s just the figment of a very good planner’s imagination.

We are resilient – we tell ourselves. After every attack Mumbai gets up, dusts the seat of its trousers and gets on with life.
Resilience, my foot. We just don’t care. We see no difference between a beggars sitting at the station and bloody bodies strewn across the roads.

“Oh your dad died in the Taj firing? Sorry dude. By the way where is the so-and-so file saved on your desktop?”
Our lives go on. We have to get our promotions and admissions, meet our targets and deadlines.

Terrorists are flooding in Kashmir everyday. No problem.
Bangladeshi infiltration in full swing. Arre mere ghar toh nahi aaye na.
Naxalites all over the bloody place. Well, I didn’t call them.
Somebody will come and clean the shit. Yeah right.

The firing is going on even as I type.
Top officers dead. Shraddhanjali de do.
Bodies coming out. Dekh lo, apna toh koi nahin mara na?

Politicians condemn the stuff on TV and go back to their dinners.
Defence heads are helpless because of the above-mentioned.

The Taj is burning up and people are dying.
But the presentation deadline remains unchanged, and the film will be shot nevertheless.

Because most of my executive colleagues never bother to vote.
We vote for people on reality shows and song-and-dace shows.
But we don’t elect our corporators and MPs.
A lot of my friends can’t because they’re away from their hometowns.
We can do our banking over the phone, across lands and seas.
But we can’t vote if we ain’t back home.

And those who can won’t.
Same old problem. Kisko vote karein?

I ain’t here to start a ‘Vote’ campaign.
I’m here to say why the F$%^ don’t we have candidates?
So many passionate people around but nobody wants to get their hands murky.

Aggie Dias turned around a place like JWT in less than a year.
Imagine what a man like could do for the country.
Senthil started a whole ‘yellow rippers’ group on facebook.
Think of how many groups that guy can lead.
‘Hemant Karkare’ fan club anyone?
Piyush put India on the global map. You think he can’t do anything beyond advertising?

And this is only the advertising fraternity I’m talking about.
Rashmi Bansal has the youth eating out of her hands.
Sidin Vadukut is as patriotic and passionate as he’s popular.
We are surrounded by leaders, passionate, intelligent and capable.
We have great minds all around us.
Can we please have someone who’d make us feel like voting?

Friday, November 14, 2008

No solace from Quantum

This is a glaring example of why we need planning and servicing in every brand exercise.

Quantum looks like it was written hastily by a trainee writer and quickly released patli-gully style in the absence of the CD or even the sup.

Had there been at least a planner involved she’d have told Haggis n co that you can’t be different by simply doing away with the brand identity. Be different by all means, but stick to the core values.

If only this guy had first presented this script to a brand team.

Haggis: Ok guys, check this. The film opens post Casino Royale.

Servicing: Look, you can’t launch a sub-brand for no reason. Plus it’ll have the additional burden of living up to the standard of CR.

(Which, we all know, it didn’t)

H: Eh, tu chupp kar, suit. Tujhe kya pata sequel ke baare mein.

S: Shrug.

H: So then this is a very different kind of script. Pukka Cannes Gold. No ‘Bond. James Bond.’

Planner: But dude, that’s the brand identity!

H: Tum MBA types ka yehi problem hai. This is a creative script.

P: But…

H: Shaddup. So then no intro. No asking for martini etc. It’s so ‘done to death’.

P: (About to say something but shuts up)

H: No saying ‘Shaken not stirred’ etc.

S: But those are the brand values.

H: You can’t restrict creativity with brand values.

S: I want to work on another brand.

H: Go right ahead. Aage suno. No sex either.

S: This is the first time I’ve heard a Creative guy say that! Are you gay?

H: Gay hoga tera baap. So this is a Bond sloshing with emotion.

P: Bond? Emotional?

S: (Pinches P.)

P: Sorry. Go on.

H: No smart-ass funny one-liners.

P: (can’t control himself) But that’s what makes him endearing to the TG.

(on his knees) Please keep those.

H: Chal theek hai. Do chaar daal denge. You haven’t heard the best part yet.

Tada! No gadgets.

At this point, P and S, though ostensibly listening, are quickly keying in their resignation letters.

S: So you’ve told us all that won’t be there. Now tell us what actually will be there.

H: Tum log saala dispatch mein naukri karo. Aise stupid questions poochhte ho.

P: No, no. (wipes beads of sweat). We’re just asking so we know what to tell the client.

H: Hmm. It’ll have loads of action from start to end. Bond kills everybody who comes within his range of vision. Shooting, stabbing, punching and lots of gore.

P: This will look like a Bond on probation cramming in all this violence to get his confirmation.

H: Shaddup, you $%^#$%.

S: No, seriously. This won’t sell. The TG will not like it.

H: F@#$ the TG.

S: Ok. Why don’t you sell this script yourself.

H: Saala phokat ka pagaar khaata hai.

So maybe the film would still have got made. As is. But at least there would be a couple of guys smirking and nudging each other every time Haggis would pass by. At least he wouldn’t be able to even get a cup of coffee from the machine in peace.