Communicating or Spamming?

Yes, I am liking this new media communication strategy of Indian Political parties this year esp. of BJP but think they are definitely going over-board now. Can somebody please tell BJP campaign management team that:

  • Over communication esp. through certain media can really KILL your campaign.
  • Bombarding consumers repeatedly with too many messages, promises & benefits of the same product can actually be treated as spamming and not marketing.

Here is what I mean by my above two statements. On a daily basis I am getting SMSes from “TA-BJP” on my both mobile phones. Some of those messages are:

  • BJP’s promise: Terror-free India, Hunger-free society, Debt-free kisan, Worry-free middle class. 3.5 crore families to benefit from income tax exemption for incomes up to Rs. 3 lakh p.a. Student loans at 4%. Advani for PM.
  • Har school jaane wali balika ko lakhpati banane wali LADLI LAKSHMI YOJANA par karenge amal. Advaniji ki shapath.
  • BJP’s JAI JAWAN JAI KISAN JAI VIGYAN promise. Longstanding demands of our brave Armed Forces to be met. Farm loans at 4%. Road and broadband connectivity to all villages. 1.2 crore IT-enabled jobs in rural areas. Advani for PM.

Need I say more??? These are just few samples, I have definitely received a lot more messages to attain a reflex reaction of pressing the DELETE button as soon as I see the sender as “TA-BJP” now.

Suggestion: BJP campaign team, good to see your aggressive strategies but please introduce some section on your website for consumers to unsubscribe from receiving these messages. Permission is the KEY for certain medium! Also would be good if you can post some anecdotes on your website about execution of any of these promises. Will help in establishing some credibility towards your SMSes!


Political Advertising: Indian Politics Reaches Twitter

Whew! Indian Political parties are on twitter now… While I was already chating about change in campaign strategy of Indian politicians this time, here I observe some other interesting & noticeable updates:

  • BJP on Twitter: Yeah BJP has really gone ahead of Congress as far as online strategies are concerned, you go anywhere online & you just can’t ignore BJP’s ads or L.K.Advani messages. And now they are on the latest micro-blogging fad – Twitter too! Not only they are present but they are tweeting quite regularly both by posting their updates as well as interacting with followers. Have a look on some of their latest updates, updates do look promising enough.



  • Congress on Twitter: Till now I have not observed Indian Congress Party formally present on twitter, yes but SM Krishna (candidate from Bangalore) has definitely joined twitter now. He says he has done this to interact with net savvy Bangaloreans!

Well, all interactions & communications on internet with today’s generation are fine but I again wonder – do all these political parties really understand their image amongst Indian Youth? As mentioned in my previous post it’s a welcome change to see such aggressive new age political campaigning in India but don’t you think that these are simply marketing gimmicks? Will they really act on their promises or will these remain as just promises once the elections are over? How much can marketing help them when the core product itself is not good? Would be good to know it from the readers of this post – do you really believe in current communications sent out by any of these parties? Personally speaking as a marketer I like their campaign & appreciate their effort but as a consumer, these communications are not impacting me much as somehow don’t have that trust left on the product itself.

“Jai Ho” vs.” Bhay Ho”

While Congress was quick enough to take rights & create a video out of much acclaimed song “Jai Ho” from Slumdog Millionaire but quicker was the counter strategy from BJP to come out with another video based on the same song. And I must say I loved this video! Truly marvelous & strikes straight within! This video titled “Bhay Ho” speaks something like –  “Aaja aaja voter is jhanse ke tale, aaja jhote moote vaade ke tale, BHAY HO”.

What a competitive attack! Though BJP says that they have not officially released this video & it’s some party supporter who has sent this video to them but I think it’s one of the smartest counter campaigns against any competitor in Indian Politics. It’s surely an interesting case study for new age Indian Political Advertising & if it’s really done by a common man, then I think BJP should immediately look at hiring the man behind this video in their promotional team. Have a look on it, I definitely had a laugh watching this video.



Advaniji goes further aggressive on digital medium!

I had earlier written about Advaniji getting net savvy and his portal But looks like humare neta, Advaniji toh internet space mein super aggressive ho rahe hai :D. Ah he is not leaving any stone unturned to reach out the online Indian citizens. Here are some developments which I observed recently from Advaniji and his campaign promotion teamJ

  • Blog: Like everybody and anybody on this earth, even L.K. Advani has decided to have his presence on blogosphere. His blog got launched in Jan’09 & supposedly Mr. Advani is blogging personally on this space. Well, posts are good but don’t think he is writing it himself. Fan following of his blog seems to be ok with each post having on an average 100+ comments. No, I don’t mean 100+ comments is less but kya karein, celebs like BigB and Aamir Khan have set a very high bench-mark for popular personality blogs with each of their posts receiving on an average 1000+ comments.
  • Online Advertisement / SEM: Oh this was truly a surprise for me, I noticed 2-3 sites as well as Google sponsored search displaying L.K.Advani portal ads. And yeah quite an extensive keyword listing they have done for these ads, you type any election related keyword & you get to see these ads. Impressive isn’t it?


  • Emailer campaigns: Personally I have not received this email but one of my associates was mentioning that after pre-recorded voices now people are doing email blasts as part of political advertising. He received an email with subject as invitation from L.K.Advani to visit his portal

Well, I am neither a big supporter of BJP nor I am active into Indian Politics scenario. Most of the times I find it to be so dirty that I prefer to have my involvement limited to reading or watching just headlines and that too not because of any interest but only to be updated about the latest happenings. Having said that, I do find this initiative of BJP a good move and sort of positive change in Indian Politics. At least they are trying to connect to the newer generation; at least they are taking some effort to reach out to educated mass. Wondering if it is Obama effect or the Social media effect on his campaign management team but whatever it is, I must say it is a welcome change J.

Movie Marketing : Promotion “By Chance”

As I always say movie marketers are getting innovative day by day in India. Now here are some interesting marketing initiatives which have created quite some buzz esp. in Mumbai for the movie “Luck By Chance”. The production house has directly handled the marketing campaign of this movie and they have launched online as well as offline properties to create an overall impact.

·         Apart from regular reality show presence, production house has created an offline reality property known as “Auto By Chance”. They have branded auto rickshaws in Mumbai with “Luck By Chance” theme and anybody who spots any of these autos gets a free ride anywhere in Mumbai free of cost! Wow, so time for Mumbaikars to get lucky J. They have also branded some bus shelters as well as local trains in Mumbai with the movie theme. One lucky winner of “Auto by Chance” promotion will be interviewed live on Big FM. (Image Source: TOI)


·         The movie has also created good visibility in online space through different contests and promotions on many portals but what is again different is this online game property known as “Luck by Chance – Lucky Break” on You can choose your identity as any of the actors of the movie and play this luck game. Nice game it is from a promotion point of view and lucky winners get to win some prizes as well.

As per me, they have taken a good integrated marketing approach. Let’s see how lucky this movie gets at BO. Personally speaking I’ve been waiting for this movie for long esp. after watching Rock On and I would have anyways gone to see the movie in theater even if there was no promotion for this movie at all. Yeah, I think that’s the aftereffect of “Rock On” on me J. But from initial reactions it looks like Farhan Akhtar has gone second time lucky in his acting stint as movie has received positive response across theaters.

Movie Marketing: Chandni Chowk to China


Co-branded ad of Thumbs Up to promote the film Chandni Chowk to China has been doing rounds on television for weeks but now they have also introduced co-branded pet bottle of Thumbs Up to create more buzz about this movie. This bottle has added to the visibility of the movie through extensive retail presence. CC2C is yet another film which has been marketed quite aggressively. According to press releases, the budget for brand tie ups and promotion of the movie is as high as Rs. 100 million which is close to Ghajini’s estimated budget of 140 million. Apart from the regular movie marketing stuffs, like communities on social networking sites, an interactive website and contests on different portals, CC2C has managed to create quite some excitement in the market through its association with popular properties like MTV Roadies, leading beverage brand Thumbs Up, airline brand Jet Airways, interesting radio contests like the one with Red FM in Mumbai (winners got the chance to fly kites with Akshay Kumar) & with Fever in Delhi (Fever had arranged for a bus where people could get on the bus and participate in the contest, the bus was having Kailash Kher, music director and lyricist of the movie, the bus finally went to studio where fans got the chance to meet Akshay Kumar and Deepika Padukone). Well, looks like this movie has managed to get a good ROI through branded association itself.

Marketing wise I think CC2C has done a good job but let’s see how the movie performs at the box office. The opening received a lukewarm response but I think it’s too early to comment on the same. I have personally not seen the movie yet so can’t comment about the movie as of now, though there are enough examples in the past to prove that like any other product, in case of movies also, just promotion can’t do anything if the end product is not right. Remember the likes of Drona or Love Story 2050 and their fate despite being heavily marketed by thier promoters???


Ghajini Marketing Contd…

I had earlier written about some interesting Ghajini marketing strategies and a spoof on Ghajini, but got to notice some other interesting stuffs about Ghajini on digital medium in last one week and from whatever I have observed, one thing is clear that their marketing agency has definitely tried quite some different online marketing strategies for promoting this movie. Here are some of those which I noticed recently:

  • Now having a movie website is quite common these days, but in case of Ghajini, not one or two rather three websites were launched – , & While the 1st one is the official website of the film, 2nd and 3rd links are quite interesting properties around the movie which surely raises curiosity and creates excitement amongst the users over the story of the movie. Do try out and you will yourself feel the same 🙂

  • Speak of any entertainment portal and it is running some or other contest, now again movie contests like these are not new but what I noticed different was the one running on Business of Cinema. This contest is a kind of post-release contest and asks for feedback about the movie and lucky winners get a chance to meet Aamir Khan.


  • 3D game CDS were launched based on Ghajini theme and in fact Indyarocks was running a contest where the winners were to get these 3D game CDs.

  • Aamir’s own website is totally donned in Ghajini look since long and as Aamir is quite active on his blog personally, he has written some posts on Ghajini and his feelings around the release of the movie. Can you guess the number of comments on his recent post titled – Yes Ghajini is Releasing??? Its only 3588 as I’m typing this blog 🙂

  • Now this one is not a digital promotion but still I think I need to mention this – other day we went to this mall near our house and we were looking for some tie to be gifted to one of our close friends. The moment we entered Van Heusen shop all we could see was Aamir Khan and his Ghajini collection. All the ties on display were branded as “Ghajini special collection” and their normal collection hardly had anything. Well, I must say the brand was totally Ghajinifioed. In fact it’s not only Van Heusen, but Samsung and Tata Sky as well who are associated with Ghajini promotion because of their pre-association with Aamir Khan.

I am yet to see the film but the promotion of it has definitely created a stir in the market.

Gajodhar: New viral campaign

Got a mailer from Makemytrip with subject – Worldwide premier of Gajodhar…before time! The first look itself gave a very clear impression that it is some spoof on much-awaited movie Ghajini. Watched the film and found it to be funny! It’s a viral campaign of (travel community of Makemytrip) and as most of the other virals of Makemytrip, this also is done by Webchutney.


The film shows a character Gajodhar who is out on a holiday and has a very different rather weird way of noting down all his experiences. Whatever he experiences like “room achcha hai”, “food is good” etc. he gets those tattooed on his body in a nearby tattoo shop. At the end of his holiday, he comes back and copies all those experiences on I liked it but honestly speaking didn’t like it as much as other viral campaigns of Webchutney. Well, maybe my expectation bar has been raised a lot as far as funny viral films from Webchutney are concerned. No, it’s not bad but found it to be bit dragging and elements to be repetitive.  But what is good about this viral is the timing (well what you can call as chance pe dance karna J) – currently everybody is caught with this Ghajini fever and hence this whole Ghajini look and feel and spoof on tattoo will definitely raise some curiosity and garb attention of viewers. Secondly it’s a holiday season and considering Oktatabybye is not that popular till now, I think it’s really good to be reminded of such site during this holiday season. Anyways many people write about their travel experiences in blogs, travelogues etc., and if told about a dedicated travel community portal in an interesting way along with a review writing contest announcement wherein one can win vouchers, cameras etc, I’m sure people would like to explore the portal further. I think this viral will work for the portal in getting some more eyeballs.


In case you have not seen it till now, you can click on the following image to have a look:



IDEA – for the people, by the people!

Logged in to Yahoo India today and got to see this splash banner of Idea.



Well, personally I have always liked the advertisements of idea esp. the television commercials. Though the ideas shown in the commercials are not always practical or implementable one but then too those commercials leave a sweet smile on your face with a thought, “oh how wonderful it would have been if this idea was implementable”. For e.g., that school kids of village learning through phone or the village kid giving the road direction to a gentleman in a very fluent English. Yes, some of the commercials show those ideas which if possible to implement could have really changed lives. So, considering my liking for Idea ads, it was quite natural for me to click this very prominent online Idea ad and to my pleasant surprise it took me to a site .



The first look gave an impression of it being a web extension of their recent television campaign wherein politician seeks opinion of the people on some important projects through phone. And yeah I was right, it’s actually a site by Idea wherein people can submit their opinions on any public issue. The site emphasizes on public opinions and importance of participative decisions. As of now it’s just having one page which asks to vote in favor or against of participative decision and a text box asking to submit topic on which one would like to have opinion and on submitting your vote, it shows the result statistics. Well, personally speaking I liked the concept of this website. Though it’s not something absolutely new as there are some other Indian portals as well which are revolving around some or other important social awareness campaign but still the whole idea of raising public opinion on important topics through online voting system seems to be a good idea and if used properly it can be mutually beneficial for the brand hosting it as well as for general public. The portal is quite new as of now, maybe they have plans to introduce some more stuffs in future but I do think that this website is lacking certain critical info currently, for e.g., what will happen once I submit my vote on any important topic? What is Idea going to do with those public opinions? Are they going to submit it to concerned authorities or are they going to take some initiatives based on those opinions? I’m not sure if taking certain initiatives will fall under their responsibility limits but they should at least tell people why and what of this portal and the overall basis of initiating this opinion portal. If they do so, it will surely help them in differentiating from any current existing poll properties like TOI poll etc, polls like TOI merely act as indicator of certain statistics like X % said yes and Y % said no. The title of the page reads – “for the people, by the people”, I wish it really turns out to be so 🙂

“Let’s pool in”: Car pooling campaign in Bangalore

I was aware of Commute Easy since long but thanks to Radio One campaign that this came back to my mind again. I have sort of become a very regular listener of Radio One because of it being the only Bollywood fm channel in Bangalore as of now and of late I have been hearing this “Let’s pool in’ campaign quite a lot on this channel. It’s a public service initiative launched by Radio One in association with Commute Easy and Bangalore Traffic Police to address the traffic woes of the city. is a car pooling website wherein one can register and search for people travelling to same destinations / route. You can search and register for pool depending upon the start and end destination as well as time of your commuting. One has the option to go by his own vehicle or any other vehicle in case you don’t possess one of your own. Apart from the site being very user friendly, it has got an interesting etiquette section as well, which chalks out the Dos and Donts neatly and helps to answer some questions regarding fee share etc which you might have in mind esp. when car pool concept is not so common in India.

I must say it’s a very nice initiative by Radio One and Bangalore Traffic Police. Traffic situation currently in Bangalore is nothing less than a nightmare and in fact it is getting worse day by day. As per statistics revealed by Praveen Sood, additional commissioner of police (traffic & security) – Bangalore has 32 lakh vehicles vis-a-vis a 60-lakh population as against Mumbai with 18 lakh vehicles in a population of 1.2 crore (Source: Times of India dated 28th Nov’08). Oh no wonder our traffic congestion is sooo bad and deadlier than any other metropolitan city in India. We always crib about traffic and all that, now at least here is an opportunity for us to do our bit to solve the traffic issues to some extent. I have personally tried this service last year for travelling from my home to work and for few days and I did find some good car pooling options that time. I had informed about Commute Easy to some people as well but then with passing time I had almost forgotten about this website. Good to be reminded about this service again through this campaign of Radio One! And not only Radio One is spreading the awareness rather they are giving some extra benefits like free movie tickets, invitation to some hip parties, song requests etc to all commute easy users. Well those are definitely some cool incentives to motivate people for using this service. I am personally all for this campaign and I will encourage all Bangaloreans out there to definitely go and check out once.