Monday, January 9, 2012

Public Opinion

The world around us is replete with exciting new opportunities, new avenues round every corner, and new insight waiting to be discovered, chiseled to perfection and presented in a unique way. That is how the world of branding has evolved and is still waiting to be explored further. 

What is most interesting about this field is that almost everyone has some kind of knowledge and opinion about it. Even though over the years marketers have developed the mindset that customers are largely indifferent to the deluge of communication they experience around them, it is a fact that people are still interested in finding out the latest offerings, the most recent trends, and products and services which will make their lives more convenient and simple, if not better.

I have seen how people have an almost immediate reaction to any new piece of communication hurled their way by a multinational company. Case in point are some of the latest advertising campaigns being aired on TV. The Cadbury Perk commercial caught most people in a state of shock as they struggled to make sense of the idea and grasp the connections and associations it seeks to develop. Housewives were vocal in their distaste for the girl-turned-gorilla who growls in a fancy drawing room where the overly generous matchmaker and rishtay walay await her. On the other hand some other people state that it uses humor effectively and is very memorable do due to the fact that it breaks through the clutter and draws attention to itself. It has even introduced the element of curiosity where consumers are discussing and analyzing what the gorilla signifies. 
Another piece of communication gathering viewpoints these days is the Faysal Bank commercial, but that deserves its own blog post.

While you may say that these kind of commercials draw attention due to their being different from the others,  the fact is that this is true even for mundane commercials like the ones for Ariel which have used comparative advertising exhaustively and whose supervisor's wives fail to make any connection with the target audience.
Housewives can still recall the ad clearly, have a verbose opinion about it and  might even buy the product due to the brand awareness and past experiences.

I feel that most consumers feel the need to stay abreast with the latest happenings and want to be seen using the latest and 'best' products adorning supermarket shelves. The choices they make about products of everyday use are meant as an expression of their refinement and sophistication. Commercials highlighting new products are therefore of special interest as they fulfill an informative role. Further, people simply Love to voice their opinions, and enlighten others with their knowledge. Due to the vast proliferation of media and the high level of involvement with it, the latest commercial is also a point of discussion, debate and deprecating  humor.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Tale of a One, Miserable City

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times,
It was the age of wisdom; it was the age of foolishness,
It was the epoch of belief; it was the epoch of incredulity,
It was the season of Light; it was the season of Darkness,
It was the spring of hope; it was the winter of despair.

I have these words echoing in my mind playing havoc with it, with relentless thoughts bludgeoning past it.
Having been caught up with the tons of workload university life brings followed by the daily races of the corporate world I had lost time for one of my most precious past times- reading. And when I finally found a moment of peace and sat down to read the great classic novel A Tale of Two Cities, my peace was shattered as my head sought to untangle the meaning in the words as they slowly mingled with the brutal messages plastered all over the countless news channels. The worst of times, the season of despair, what better way I wonder, to portray all that is happening around us.

You wake up the next morning and you find out the city is a mass of ashes and soot from the burning down of buildings, cars and tyres the previous night. You go to work one day not knowing what life is going to be like by the time you walk out from your sacred vestibule. The realities of hundreds of lives here are altered everyday of every second with the flicker of an eyelid, the utterance of a single word. Injustices prevail and shroud the city with charred corpses, blood blanketing the ground as the skies resound with another shot, another life ended, another household destroyed, another day of paralysis, fear and trepidation.

I fear that this might never end, that it would lead to something more horrific and unimaginable than before. My heart says revolt; my mind says just leave the goddamn place and go. We’re all a mess. A terrible, terrible mess so revolt we must. We’re educated, blessed, good at what we do. So why don’t the smart economists, political science students, doctors, engineers, lawyers, civil forces, businessmen, marketers and artists take the reins of this country and build it? What good is  all that education if it cannot correct the wrongs it exists to correct?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Spinning Crap: Pieces of a Jigsaw Puzzle

Spinning Crap: Pieces of a Jigsaw Puzzle

We The Living

We The Living

Spinning Crap: The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Spinning Crap: The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Pieces of a Jigsaw Puzzle

Star spangled glory. And mist. Looking out through fogged up glasses, two different worlds. Or the same.

Like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, we fit into where we belong. Eventually.

Is it a good thing, or is it bad?

Or is it one of those things which is neither good nor bad, which just happens, which just Is.

It’s like floating. Then beating hard to keep alive, the thrust of the storm, the violent, fierce force compelling you to push against it to beat it, till either one of you, dies. Because in games there are either winners or losers. Depends on what your definition of losing is. It is that which keeps you going. Or which eventually makes you so dead you surrender.

Is this a story, made up, a bag of lies.

Or is it truth, the story of life.

Helpless, tired souls cry about how the world has been taken over by steel and concrete. We celebrate all that. Because this steel, this concrete is a standing, solid example of human ingenuity and the greatness of his mind. He’s risen over preconceived notions. He has defied gravity.

Running businesses from dreary little rat holes. Never succumbing to pressure.

Books by Ayn Rand- the Fountainhead,Atlas Shrugged, We the living. They’ve been more than inspirational. They've been eye-openers and important lessons in life, and how to live it. They've been life changing.

Young and Ruthless

Gathering from garbage, treasures, little artefacts, collecting tiny morsels of survival, dredges of life.

Offices overflowing with ruthless ambition. It’s a tough world out there.

The youth of Pakistan are brave, vibrant , hopeful.

After all we’ve been through, the constant bad press, the depressing media coverages, we’ve taken all in our stride and moved on. But when everyday becomes a struggle for survival, what then, is ambition, how then do u describe living to the fullest? What meaning does life hold then?

What drives us is our will. There really is enough discouragement around: long spells of all encompassing darkness, unbearable heat, sinister politics. Yet for us, there’s opportunity all around. We’ve grown up hearing that no one respects talent, that Pakistan is a failed nation. But we believe in ourselves. We create opportunities.

But through the dark alleys where murderers and robbers roam at large, through the dark corners where suicide bombers breed and flourish, through the unending bleakness, we shall rise. We’re dreamers, we don’t lose.

If you would only just believe in us enough.