Thursday, January 31, 2008

Face(book) the consequences!












Welcome to 2008!


A News channel that claims to be the best on the telly is testing new strategies to attract youngsters to their website.

Apparently, they are relying on ads that promise to showcase the 'Sexiest Indian Women' on their site.

Wow! That sure will drive traffic to the news portal.

But hello! Didn't we just say news portal??

Do they want the youngsters to take them seriously at all?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Look Mommy... I'm on BBC :)

All this talk in the western media about China and India being the economic forces to watch out for.

And look at the kind of coverage they get on BBC's Day in Pictures!

Passengers come to blows as they fight to board a delayed train at a railway station in Guangzhou, in southern China's Guangdong province.

An Indian stockbroker takes a quick nap during trading hours at a brokerage firm in
Mumbai.

Monday, January 28, 2008

You scratch mine and I'll scratch yours! :)



Opportunity knocks but once

Scanned e-bay to locate the Holy Toast, mentioned in the post preceding to this one.

The results were fabulous.

There was a post from an enterprising seller offering a "Virgin Mary HOLY TOAST Stamper"

The Description:

"No, you're not imagining things, the Virgin Mary really HAS appeared on your toast. But it's no miracle, it's a bread stamper! This hilarious idea lets you turn boring breakfasts into faith-filled feasts. Simply press the stamper into an ordinary slice of bread, toast it, and enjoy your divine creation. Makes an fun confirmation or party gift"

Only $6 for the stamper.

Compare that with with $3,000 bid solicited by Mrs. Duyser for her 10 year old, part eaten holy toast!

This stamper is a real steal, innit? :P

Japanese 'blessed by the holy toast'





The headline was just to catch your eye and ensure you check out the video above (do it if you haven't already. It's worth a look. I wouldn't post it otherwise :P)

Came across an article on BBC, Woman 'blessed by the holy toast':
A half-eaten slice of elderly cheese on toast purportedly showing the image of the Virgin Mary has attracted 100,000 hits on the eBay auction website.

The interesting bits were "Mrs Duyser took a bite from the toast 10 years ago" and her clarification: "I would like all bidders to know that this item is not intended for consumption".

LOL!

Now this reminds of an experience at a popular local restaurant called Woody's (on Commerical Street, Bangalore).

My sis and I took our US-based cousin to this place for a snack after shopping. Half way through our meal, the cousin exclaims "Yeow! You guys in India eat burgers with fungus growing under it?"

Not to miss a beat, I walked up to the Owner of the restaurant (a cranky old lady) and asked her to replace the burger or to refund the money.

And her retort?

"But you've eaten half of it already!"

Well, I can confidently assume that she ain't on e-bay now to buy the part-eaten 'Holy Toast'.

Tsunamika | All Yours

Instead of clocking my routine 14 hours of sleep on a lazy Sunday, I decided to step out and say goodbye to Arunima, a good friend. (She's leaving Bangalore to pursue a PhD in the US soon.)

Over a couple of refreshing 'lime sodas' and yummy 'fish and chips', we discussed a whole lot including her remarkable photography skills.

She's good but is too modest to admit it. So I begged for permission to troll her flickr account and pull out pics I like. Here's a sample:





For those of you who've never heard of Tsunamika (the doll featured above), here's the lowdown:

Tsunamika is a Tsunami-related project of Auroville - a universal city in the making in south dedicated to the ideal of human unity.

The project has focused on the fisherwomen who were traumatized by the Tsunami disaster. The initial aim of the project was to help the women overcome the traumas they experienced, by getting them involved in some creative handicraft work which could channel their energy in a constructive manner.

These little handmade dolls now empower nearly 180 fisherwomen from 6 affected villages near Auroville.

The dolls are distributed freely all over the world as a gift and the project aspires to be a living model of gift economy where exchange is based on the joy of giving.
____________________________________________________________________

Incidentally, Arunima gifted me a handful of Tsunamikas and requested me to give them away to people who might be interested in making donations to the project.

I've got 20 of them to give away. If you are in Bangalore and interested, please get in touch with me at v.abhishake@gmail.com

Waiting



Calm and at ease,
You quenched your thirst at my abode.

I helped you escape the scorching sun,
When it burnt your tender skin.

Time passed. You moved on.
And what became of me?

I was molested by the unforgiving sea;
as I lay bare, helpless and exposed that night.

Petrified by the roar of the waves,
I cried for mercy; for a divine intervention.

The forces were ruthless,
and I stood no chance to escape.

My modesty outraged and my head hanging in shame,
I break down at the sight of the perpetrator of this crime.

There is no escape from him.

I pray you will return and watch over me.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Stick it Up! - Part 2

Dropped by at the stationery shop around the corner and asked him for a box of Post-it notes.

Was a little more than surprised to note that what he had in stock was fake Post-it notes called
Re-Stick.

The Original:















The Fake:













Imitation is definitely the best form of flattery but I'm sure the guys at 3M are not particularly thrilled about these fake products.


However, the Ad Industry loves such situations cos' it lets them pull off absolute stunners. Take a look at the ad below :)

Stick it Up! - Part 1

Post-its are fascinating. Besides being a piece of stationery that one can't live without, they are also a great tool/ prop for artists.

Shown below are various ways in which people use post-its as a medium of expression.

1. As a canvas for drawing cartoons:



2. As a prop for animation:



3. As a tool to express love (or is this a fling? :P):



And one can't help but notice how brilliant the Post-its ads are!

Here are a couple that really stand out:



Traffic Jam

To begin with, this post is not an expert opinion but an amateur blogger's reply to a friend on how to increase traffic to one's blog.

The friend concerned is Sabith, an awesome bloke. Besides offering me my first pay check for developing content for his company, he also happens to be the man responsible for encouraging me to consider Ogilvy as an employer.


Just found out that he's landed himself a break in Dubai. That's proof indeed that hard work and persistence are rewarding. Good luck, Sabith. This post's for you, mate!

10 surefire tactics to drive traffic to your blog:

1. If your blog caters to a specific industry, ensure that you post smart comments on blogs of the who's who in that field. By partaking in a an intelligent discussion, one can confidently ensure that other bloggers will want to know who you are. This guarantees hits on your blog.

(e.g: If Sabith comments on The Ries' Blog, other readers of the blog may head to Sabith's blog, Rise of PR)

2.
On your chat status messages, display links to your latest blog posts.

3. Ensure that you list your blog(s) on your email signature.


4. Mention your blog on your social networking profile (even on
linkedin).

5. Register your blog on
blog aggregators, blog catalogs, etc.

6. Turn your blog into a one-stop resource for your target audience; if you are posting on a particular industry. You'll be amazed at how many people bookmark/ talk about your blog and drive visitors in return.
(e.g: if your blog content highlights contemporary art, deck up your site with links to the best contemporary artists, resources etc)


7. Gift your blog the following accounts:
Google Analytics, Technorati and Feedburner to monitor incoming traffic and to mine insights.

8. Initiate conversations on your blog. A
call to action at the end of a post might get you a fair share of comments.

9. Post often. (But, never for the heck of it!)


10. Don't give up! :)


And hey, if you don't have a blog already, here's a great tip:
Be creative with what you name your blog!
(e.g: Invent a word and list it's meaning on
Urban Dictionary. You'll be surprised at how many Google searches for "hypnotype" land at this blog!)

Thanks for dropping by. Cheers!

Sticky Situation

The Indian Male was demystified in Business Today's December issue. The survey threw up some really insightful stats for the plannerly types.

Besides identifying the Chennai male as the most brand conscious consumer in India, the study also painted a holistic picture of the urban Indian male's hopes, fears and aspirations. (If you're a Planner, the issue is a must have!)

After trolling through the research findings, I was amazed to find that Hair Oil (!) is the most used personal product among men.






















If you've never heard of hair oil being used for cosmetic treatments, here's an
excerpt from wikipedia: In India and Sri Lanka, coconut oil is commonly used for styling hair, and cooling or soothing the head.

Well for one the research finding does dispel the myth that only South Indians oil their scalp :P

However from a Planner's point of view, one can't help but notice how a majority of the (quality) hair oil commercials are targeted at women.

Here's one of my favorites:



Competitors' commercials targeted at men do more harm than good to their brands thanks to the pathetic quality of the commercials!

Now the interesting bit:
Parachute, a Marico product, is the undisputed market leader in the hair oil category. Let's wait and watch if/ how the concerned brand custodians are going to react to the obvious opportunity that's up for grabs!

Finally!

It's been a file since I've posted anything significant. Apologies if you've dropped by recently and wondered what's happening!

Besides suffering from MADD (Muse Attention Deficit Disorder), "what is the meaning of life?" attacks, sheer laziness and "who the hell cares about my blog anyway!" worries, I hold my good friend Mr. Procrastination responsible for my annoying Blog Updating Disorder.

Well, the good news (!) is Mr. Procrastination is reportedly missing.

That's great news, innit? :)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Whistleblower

Deceit | Lies | Sex | No videotapes | Innocent trackbacks of forbidden promiscuity | Plays on trust | Silverware in the offing | Products of an unbelievable sham | The opportune moment is ever elusive | The Whistleblower waits in ambush |

Thursday, January 10, 2008

There's hope....

Me: When the war ends for good, don't u think if it's organised, Sri Lanka can thrive on tourism alone? I somehow feel it really can. But I'm prolly being naive!

Chithika: I'm really not sure. Do you think SL has that kind of potential?

Me: I really really think it does. I'll tell u why: #01 : The people are genuinely nice....warm...friendly...anywhere else u go...all this hospitality bit is so put-on..so fake! In SL, being hospitable and nice (to foreigners especially) comes naturally.

Chithika: :)
True

Me: #02: The diversity the island offers is amazing. For any island/ country of that size, it really is mind blowing!

#03: Its damn freakin' cheap. Its cheaper than India. Marketing Communication will play a big role in positioning the island the ideal way. We should ask ourselves questions like : "Do we want it to be a backpacker's paradise? or a honeymoon destination?" Trust me.... tourism can work wonders for SL!

Chithika:
I certainly hope so....you make it sound very positive and good.

Me:
You know how quickly "SL package tours" run out here? For the middle class Indian, especially someone who is aspirational....his first holiday abroad is usually one in SL. Look at the numbers here. Even if the whole world says "no SL" but if u get the Indians, it ll do the trick!

Chithika: True....

Tuesday, January 01, 2008