The madness in this commercial gets reduced to self-indulgence on the part of the advertiser
Some amount of madness is expected from candy advertising, for sure. After all, you can't be expected to rationalise and argue with the consumers in this product category. However, ad ideas are going totally bizarre and outlandish of late. With no story to tell about the product, the creatives are going berserk with gimmicky tactics. Cadbury Éclairs has been running a new series of commercials where the consumer's head is seen exploding into a chocolate bomb after gobbling down the thing. Chocolate blast, they call it. Not a very savoury sight, let me quickly add. In fact, it borders on the grotesque. But the advertiser will probably claim this is their way of demonstrating 'chocolate experience'. Yeah right!
And in their latest bomb blast version, the protagonist not only loses his head, he also slips into a psychedelic trance! The commercial features a young lad, bored and sleepy at an uncle and aunty party. The grannies torment him by pulling at his chubby cheeks, and worse, he gets glad-eyed by a totally square girl. Frustrated and pissed off, he downs a Cadbury Éclair, his head blasts like a chocolate volcano, and then the choc psychedelics take over. Of course, the special effects last only a few seconds (makers of Cadbury Éclairs would want the dosage increased, else how do they sell volumes?), and the dude returns to the humdrum world of geriatrics.
Shockingly dull advertising. A crime, if you ask me. To deliver such rubbish creative, given that the client would have given the ad agency a huge creative license to experiment. After all, there are no scientific features to a candy, so the product is always a great opportunity to push the creative envelope. The chocolate bomb idea is so silly, self-absorbed and uninteresting, I would actually much rather enjoy the aunty party… the oldies look like much more fun in comparison! And that's a telling statement on the commercial. Net-net: a complete waste of an opportunity to do some great work. Madness is all very well, but the key to it is viewer entertainment, else the madness gets reduced to self-indulgence on the part of the advertiser.
By the way, the psychedelic lights trick would be a super idea for pushing ecstasy or coke. Hopefully the ad agency creatives were munching Cadbury Éclairs when they came up with this bomb of an idea.
UBI is considering takeout financing for some of its infrastructure loans
Union Bank of India (UBI) plans to go for takeout financing for some of its loans in the infrastructure segment. The public sector bank is considering going for the takeout financing scheme offered by India Infrastructure Finance Company Limited (IIFCL).
Moneylife had earlier reported on how takeout financing (under the ECB route) is expected to benefit foreign lenders more. (See: http://www.moneylife.in/article/8/7867.html).
According to well-placed sources from the bank, the public sector undertaking is seriously considering the takeout financing model.
"The bank plans to opt for the takeout financing model. We will opt for this model to remove those infrastructure loans from our books, for those projects which have been operational for the past three years," said an official from UBI.
The official refused to share further details on what the total amount of loan under the takeout financing route would be.
In April 2010, IIFCL had been allowed to lend to infrastructure projects under the takeout financing norms.
Under the new process, a tripartite agreement is required to be signed between IIFCL, the lender (in this case UBI) and the borrower (the infrastructure development company developing the project).
This financing model could be extended to projects which have achieved financial closure and have a residual debt tenor of at least six years.
Thus, UBI would opt for this model for some of its loans which it has granted to infrastructure projects - which have been operational for around three years now.
A number of banks and banking experts believe the takeout scheme will benefit late entrants. The common line of thought is that the risk and delays involved in the initial years of the infrastructure funding will be borne by the first lender or the bank.
However, this UBI official differs and says that that takeout financing will benefit the bank too.
"As per the guidelines this model will be allowed only for those projects which have been operational for at least three years. Thus, the domestic bank would have been associated with the project for six years (assuming three years is the average construction period for any infrastructure project). It is a good time period for the domestic bank to benefit from the funding," said the official. He further added, "Most importantly, it will help reduce the bank's asset-liability mismatch."
Under the guidelines issued for IIFCL's takeout financing scheme, this kind of lending could be extended to projects involving development of road and bridges, railways, seaports, airports, inland waterways and other transportation projects. This scheme will also benefit projects involving power, urban transport, water supply, sewage, solid-waste management and other physical infrastructure in urban areas like gas pipelines, infrastructure projects in Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and international convention centers along with tourism infrastructure projects.
New Delhi: Global ratings agency Standard & Poor's (S&P) today raised Tata Motors' credit ratings to positive citing improved performance by auto maker's premium brands Jaguar Land Rover, reports PTI.
The upgrade to 'B+' from 'B' comes few days after Tata Motors clocked a consolidated net profit of Rs1,988.73 crore for the quarter ended 30th June on the back of strong sales in the domestic market and good show by Jaguar and Land Rover (JLR).
"We raised the rating on Tata Motors to reflect the sustained improvement in the operating performance of JLR and the company's India operations over the past year," S&P said in a statement.
The improvement in Tata Motors' operating performance, along with the company's debt reduction measures, has improved the company's cash flow protection measures and liquidity position, it said.
S&P also raised the issue rating on the auto giant's senior unsecured notes to 'B+' from 'B'.
The 'B' ratings refer to the entity being "more vulnerable to adverse business, financial and economic conditions but currently has the capacity to meet financial commitments" while a plus (+) or minus (-) show relative standing within the major rating categories.
"Tata Motors' financial risk profile has improved, although it remains aggressive. Better operating performance and debt reduction measures aided the improvement in the company's financial risk profile," said.
During the last fiscal, Tata Motors' consolidated net profit had touched Rs2,571.06 crore against Rs2,505.25 crore loss previous fiscal.
The auto giant had reported total sales of 6,67,971 units during 2009-10 against 5,06,421 units in the previous fiscal.
During the first quarter of this fiscal, Tata Motors reported a consolidated net profit of Rs1,988.73 crore as against a loss of Rs328.78 crore in the year-ago period.
In the domestic market, sales of passenger vehicles, including Fiat and Jaguar and Land Rover, grew by 56% to 77,858 units, while domestic commercial vehicles sales during the first quarter grew 38.7% to 100,186 units.
During the quarter, JLR business reported a profit before tax of 233.82 million pounds (Rs1,590.25 crore).
Wholesale volumes for JLR in the quarter were 57,153 units compared to 35,947 units in the year-ago period, while retail sales too improved favourably in the quarter.
"The positive rating outlook reflects our expectation that the company will maintain its improved operating performance, especially at JLR, thereby further improving its financial risk profile," S&P said.