Blame Nixon for the current crisis

The world gravitated from the certainties of Bretton Woods to the dizzying market cycles we've lived with since, thanks to Nixon's decision to stop backing the dollar with gold.

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Keep off the yen, says Japan

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KBC: Good ads. Now over to the show

The advertising for KBC, which is about to roll again, is witty and entertaining. But the show, now into its fifth year, will have to live up to the expectations 

The TV show 'Kaun Banega Crorepati' is about to roll again. I wonder how it will do in terms of the TRPs this time. The format has been sucked dry by the desi entertainment channels for the last one decade. Viewer fatigue will surely have set in big time. Personally, I am looking forward to it, as I do all the mindless debates on the news channels. Also, Bachchan is back as the host. In short, it's that same old, same old feeling.
 
However, I must admit that the ads created to generate excitement around the show are kickass. I have watched three of them, and I enjoyed all. The central theme is this: 'Koi Bhi Insaan Chhota Nahin Hota'.

One ad features Shuklaji, an honest worker in a maha corrupt government office. His colleagues are seen brazenly collecting bribes, and our man doesn't approve. He warns the chors to mend their ways, but they only scoff at him. Worse, our Shuklaji has taken a bank loan, and is worried about losing his job if he squeals on his seniors. Of course, he then participates on the KBC show, wins, and proudly tells Bachchan that he'll report his corrupt colleagues.

Another ad features a loser who's desperately trying to convince different girls into marrying him. But they all trash him because the fellow is broke. And when he wins on KBC, the man announces he will never marry any of those who rejected him, much to the girls' disappointment.

In the third commercial, a senior citizen is treated badly by his family members. Because they don't see any use of the old man in the house. And they want to dump him in an old age home. Uncle then goes on to win at KBC and declares that he will donate his winnings to an old age home, and not a paisa will be given to his family.

I like these ads. Everything is right about them. They are rooted in our culture, they are topical, witty and very entertaining. The key target segment for KBC, the middle- and lower-income groups, will enjoy these commercials even more so.

Bottom-line: Advertising has done its job. But the product, which in this case is a tired show now in its fifth season, has to live up to the expectations. Clearly the appeal of easy winnings will no longer be enough to get the TRPs. The show has to deliver more than that. Let's see how that goes.
 

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