Sunday, September 23, 2007

Hypnotype on Urban Dictionary

Yaaaaaaay!

Urban Dictionary accepted my submission! :)

Please go ahead and contribute a few thumbs ups for the term!

Thanks in advance!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Oh yea! Now that's what I call music!

ADults Only

Years ago while looking through Dad's collection of books, I came across Paul Arden's "It's not how good you are. It's how good you want to be."

A great book indeed!

He mentions how 'Ideas are out there floating by the ether. You just have to put yourself in the right frame of mind to pick them up. Do not covet your ideas. Give away everything you know, and more will come back to you.'

So here goes:



Friday, September 21, 2007

Bored

Habbos everywhere

Miami Ad School's website is one of the best sites you'll come across on the net.

The designer seems to have been inspired by the pixelated characters of Habbo Hotel

'Bingo!' an Indian snack now runs a website which looks spookily similar to the MAS website. Check it out here

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Backmasking

Being the wannabe Planner that I am, a discussion with a Psychologist friend of mine led me to the technique of subliminal advertising, a controversial topic. It's an interesting read. Trying to lay my hands on related literature now.

The highlight of the day however was the above topic helping me chance upon a recording technique called backmasking.

Here's the teaser:

Reverse play Queen's "Another one bites the dust" and this is what you will hear.................... "It's fun to smoke Marijuana"! :D

Jeff Milner, the guy who created the site containing examples of backmasking, is a celebrity of sorts now!

Cool, eh?

Underage at 72

Supermarket staff refused to sell alcohol to a white-haired 72-year-old man - because he would not confirm he was over 21.

Check-out staff at Morrisons in West Kirby, Wirral, demanded Tony Ralls prove he was old enough to buy his two bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon. More

No comments! Damn...LMAO!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Unplanned career?

Writing in Rolling Stone magazine in 1997 on the difference between success and failure in the music industry, Chris Heath said, "It's not the plans you think up that make the difference. It's how you use the accidents."

"He's probably right" says WPP's Jon Steel.

Steel offers a personal view on the advantages of an unplanned career in this article

Monday, September 17, 2007

Have a nice day!


This kid deserves a free life-time membership to all the laughter clubs around the world. Thanks Katty :)

Saturday, September 15, 2007

20-odd mins at a clinic

12:20 PM

Me: "Is the doctor here?"

Irritated Receptionist: "He's not there"

12: 22 PM

I spot the doctor in his seat and go back.

Me: "Are you free now, Doctor?"

Irritated Receptionist: "I told you, no? Come back between 7pm-9pm"

Me: "Fine"

7:00 PM

Me: "Can I meet the doctor now?"

Irritated Receptionist: "Yes"

There's a whole soccer team waiting in front of me to meet the doctor.

After waiting for 15 mins, 2 teenaged
girls who seemed to know the receptionist walk in....

5 mins later, they call the the receptionist there and she stares at me and
says "You haven't taken an appointment!"

WTF!!!!!!!!!!!

Me: "I walked in twice in the morning...once again now, no? Did u even once say anything about an appointment???"

Irritated Receptionist: "I was on the phone when you walked in"

(btw, she was not!)

Me: "This is really stupid..."

Irritated Receptionist: "WHO is stupid?"

(Ehh!!!???)

Me (since she asked): "Duh! Of course you are stupid...screw you!"

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I walk up to the nearest hospital and ask for an appointment with the concerned doctor when he is available.

No guesses for the reply!

Receptionist # 2: "No appointment...just come in at 630 PM on Monday!"

Friday, September 14, 2007

Guinea pig for Murphy's Law experiment

"Whatever can go wrong will go wrong, and at the worst possible time, in the worst possible way" - Murphy's Law (version 3.0 (?))

I was actually planning to call this post 'Bangalore to Bangalore (via Mangalore)' but decided against it cos' it wouldn't do justice in describing my Mangalore (mis-) adventure.

Unable to land a good date in Bangalore to give the TOEFL test, I had to settle for Mangalore - a city located a good 350+ km away from Bangalore.

(Why do I have to give TOEFL? Supposedly to let schools abroad know how good my English is as a 'Foreign Language'.... And to note that most Indian students have studied in English all through their academic life!)

The journey is supposed to be 7-8 hours but took a good 11 hours thanks to awful roads, an accident on the way and to top it all off, a strike in Mangalore which brought traffic to a standstill for miles.

First time in Mangalore and I was too dazed to get into 'observation mode' but I couldn't help but notice how nice the three-wheeler drivers in the city were. Clocking Rs.17/- on the meter, I gave the driver a Rs.20/- note. The guy actually started fumbling for change to return Rs. 3/-. Impressive! ( In Bangalore, you would have to demand your change even for a Rs.50/-)

I had to report at the test centre at 4:00 PM. Reached there at 3:30 itself.

And then, the nightmare began.

I was one of the first to be let into take the test (there were about 25 others) but guess what let me down??? The microphone input volume was on 'mute' and there was no way the test-taker could adjust anything once he/ she has been logged in to the test screen.

After repeated attempts to get the System Administrator (who seemed clueless) to do something about it, we found out that the ETS server had crashed too.

Brilliant!

The organizer(s) were running around frantically between various rooms only to come back and inform us that the test would be rescheduled.

Argh!

And then much later, there was a ray of hope. The server was alive and kicking again. Only to be let down by the fact that most computers still had their mic input volume on mute!!!

There were temperatures rising, pissed off faces, agitated souls....

Finally around 6:30, we started the 'test'!

I've written thousands of tests but nothing will ever come close to way this one tested my patience.

Geez!

After finishing the test at 2230 and walking half-way to the hotel before I could find a 3-wheeler, the Hotel informs me,"no food left".

Pfff!

I walked up the road and found one restaurant open and must say I managed to get a good thali at that hour. However my joy was shortlived. In no time, the restaurant owner started switching off the lights and brace yourself, the waiters turned up with brooms, mops and buckets of water. And without a warning, there was soapy water all over the floor.

Bon appetite, eh?

I tried to make my way out without eating the ice-cream which arrived with the waiter's finger dipped in it (yeow!)..but they were nice enough (!) to insist that I finish the ice-cream!!

Phew!

2 steps out of the hotel and it starts pouring!!!! And it poured real heavy......there were rats, dogs, cockroaches, centipedes, used paper cups and slippers dancing around in the rain.

And if you think I am kidding, NO I'm not!

After an eventful evening, I somehow made my way back to the hotel room completely drenched. Only to be welcomed with a power cut!

GRRRRRRRR!

The return journey the next day was pretty eventful too. Boarded a 11:00 AM bus. A few B-grade Hindi songs, a couple of movies and a lunch break later, the bus stopped bang on the highway and the conductor announced "those who want to pass urine, please get down.." (yes! yes! that's what he said)

Among the many men who got off the bus, there was a woman who returned completely pissed (no pun intended). Wish the conductor could keep in mind that women can't just stand by the road-side and do their thing!

Anyways, when the bus did stop at a proper place, I had to encounter a perpetually flushing urinal and 3 men waiting behind me in a queue for their turn. For some strange reason, I had Queen/David Bowie's 'Under Pressure' ringing in my head all the while :D

I was hoping to reach Bangalore by 7/ 8 PM (Heh! The dreamer that I am!).... Reached the city at 9:15 PM only to be welcomed by heavy rain, horrible traffic and two bouncer-like 3-wheeler drivers blocking the pre-paid 3-wheeler counter. Obviously this lilliput of me didn't get past them. Had to argue with the available 3-wheeler drivers about the exhorbitant amounts they quoted.

Playing on potential passengers' helplessness in the given weather conditions and manipulating their vulnerability, the drivers quote unrealistic figures

Here's a sample:

Me: "Kammanahalli..How much?" ((It usually costs about Rs. 70/- to get home from the stand)

Driver: "Rs. 200 /-"

Me: "Are you flying me home in a jet for that price????"

Driver: "Haha! No...it's raining. So you have to pay more......"

Glad it's all over!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Remembering a great human being...

People will forget what you said,
people will forget what you did, but
people will never forget how you made them feel.
- Maya Angelou

Until a couple of years back, most of my weekends in Bangalore involved discussing the week's happenings over a cup of tea with my Grand dad. Aging but young at heart, he was a wonderful human being - a model citizen, a true family man and a great role model for generations to follow. Be it the stories about his time in the Indian Army or be it the advice he gave, there was an aura of sincerity around him that I really miss now. I haven't come across another gentleman as praiseworthy as him. I miss having him around but am glad I have his blessings.I aspire to live my life at least a tad bit like this great man did.

Thanks for all the great times, Achan.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Ad of the month


Love watching this ad over and over again. Great insight, brilliant script and a memorable execution. Well done, Contract!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Riding Solo



Amazing!

Chanced upon this video on 60kph.com

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Friday, September 07, 2007

Trippin'


Turn up the volume. Turn the lights off. Turn off the PC screen (might be really hard considering how good looking Monica is) and get transported to a technicolored parallel universe! Woah!

LMAO



Sung (vaguely) to the tune of "We didn't start the fire" (?)... Watch carefully.. you might even spot Rajnikant in the video... lol!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Groovle

An Ontario based company, Groovle really knows how to catch eyeballs :)

Pretty cool, eh?

Go get your own groovle page too.

Sliced bread and other marketing delights

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Indian media, get a life!

Please stop fussing so much about the arrest of Bollywood actors!

How many news channels have carried a story highlighting "Justice delayed is justice denied"?

How many channels have dared to ask the judiciary why it takes so long to mete out a punishment?

14 years.... yea... 14 years after the Mumbai blasts, Sanjay Dutt goes to jail.

- Should'nt he have been given his full-term ages back?

- What is this instalment business? (First the judges sentence him to 1.5 yrs and once he's a reformed model citizen, they send him back all over again for a second term...)

Driving under the influence of alcohol, Salman Khan gets away after running over a man (and killing him) with his Landcruiser (?). Does any news channel talk about this anymore????

And 6 years after he is accused of killing the endangered black buck, Salman gets his term!!! How many news channels are reporting the present status of the endangered species???

And just in case, you are from a news channel, here's a story for you:

WTF!

Prepare to be shocked. Here are some appaling facts:

- The Indian Penal Code does not recognise Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) as an offense (
It is only by application of certain other Indian Penal Code provisions that a child sexual offender can be punished)

-
According to a 2007 study by the Ministry of Women and Child Welfare on Child Abuse in India, every second child in the country is subjected to some kind of sexual abuse (Every fifth child faces severe sexual abuse)

-
The study also found that 41.20 per cent of the girls in Uttar Pradesh are subjected to sexual abuse and 50 percent of this happens at the hands of people known to them.

Read more here

Geez! I'm not even sure what I should be writing in here.

I've seen my friend go through a traumatic teenage life thanks to a history of repeated abuse as a 5-6 yr old (Yes! She too was abused by someone close to her family)


Child abuse is criminal. It's the worst thing anyone can face and I dare to say that paedophiles are the scum of the earth.

How on earth can the laws of a land let them get away after robbing a child of his/ her innocence?

Monday, September 03, 2007

Ackoff on B-School education

When he retired from the Wharton School in 1986, Professor Russell Ackoff wickedly identified three contributions of a business school education:

- It gives students a vocabulary that enables them to speak with authority on things they do not understand

- It gives them a set of operating principles that enable them to withstand any amount of disconfirming evidence

- It gives them a ticket to a job where they can learn something about management

Read more here

New Media - YouTube



One success story I love to keep talking about is that of YouTube's.

Just came across the fact that YouTube has 51 million users as of June '07; that is larger than the combined audiences of Myspace, AOL and Yahoo!

And that figure probably does not even include the number of people who come across videos embedded on blogs!

A lot of Communications Professionals have woken up to the YouTube phenomenon and understand that it is a new medium by itself.

Evidence is the 4,372,000 odd hits the Dove Evolution ad has received on the site!

Or take the example of Australian Prime Minister, John Howard using YouTube to appeal to people not to join violent protests during the upcoming APEC summit in Sydney.

Cool, eh?

It's time more YouTube specific Communication campaigns start originating from this part of the world too!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

The Advertiser/Consumer Break-Up




Courtesy: Geert Desager

Customer Service - At the Bank

Week 1

Me: "Hi..I need a new Netbanking PIN"

Bank: "Sure Sir...please fill this form. You will recieve it in 4 working days"

Week 3

Me: "Hi..I still haven't received my new Netbanking PIN"

Bank: "Sure Sir...please fill this form. You will recieve it in 4 working days"

Me: "I already filled that form...It's been 2 weeks"

Week 5

I call up the support desk and after spending 20 mins on the phone, get my new phonebanking and netbanking PINs.

Week 8

The door bell rings. It's the courier guy!

The envelope says Private and confidential.

Uhhhhh!?? Another netbanking PIN?

Even better!

"We are pleased to have you as our esteemed customer. We have regenerated your ATM/ DEBIT CARD PIN as requested!!!!"

Pfffff!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Of course black is beautiful!

An excerpt from an article I came across on AdAge today....

'Najoh Tita Reid, Multicultural Marketing Director for Procter & Gamble Co. has one of those classic childhood stories from when she was 4 or 5. One of her white friends wouldn't let her white doll play with Ms. Reid's black doll, which she termed "ugly". Then her friend pointed out the doll's resemblance to Ms. Reid, who went home crying.

P&G is about to launch a new multi-brand campaign called 'My Black is Beautiful' -
The campaign's goal is to make all black girls and women feel that way regardless of skin tone or origin'

It's time we had a campaign like that in the Indian subcontinent. Or something even on the lines of the brilliant Dove Evolution (Campaign for real beauty).

I subscribe to the cliche that 'every woman is beautiful in her own way'.
Beauty is a lot more than skin color.

I've had this discussion umpteen times with friends and family and always thought the Fair and Lovely ads were demeaning. And imagine being told I would have to handle that very same account when my colleague left the agency (in Sri Lanka)!

Pfffff!! Grudgingly handling the FAL account, I did my time!

As far as I know, ads for skin lightening creams for women are off air in India now. Actually, I haven't seen any in the last 2 months.

And just when I thought women preferred the 'Tall, dark and handsome" types, there came along a certain Mr.Shah Rukh Khan endorsing skin-lightening products (for men).

Amusing!

Who's gonna ban those ads, eh? :D