The commercial is shot with high production values and it packs in all the right ingredients: aggression, intrigue and an unusual setting
The Micromax mobile guys are known to go to ridiculous lengths to get their ads noticed. It's a very cluttered market, so one can understand their predicament. And the latest commercial for their new Qube X550 touch screen handset with 3D interface has pushed it further: They have used a terrorist encounter as a setting.
The commercial features a raging gun battle between two soldiers and terrorists holed up inside a decrepit house. The soldiers have ducked behind a parked SUV, and are seen battling from there. Now, while one soldier is busy returning fire from the militants, the other is cheerfully playing on his Micromax Qube. The shocked partner asks the playful soldier to get his focus going on the combat, or get ready to be killed. But the crazed jawan continues to fool around with his phone regardless.
Frustrated, the partner grabs the phone from his hands and chucks it away. And the thing accidentally lands into the hands of the terrorists. The firing abruptly ceases, much to the surprise of the soldiers. Well, now it's the turn of the militants to enjoy the Micromax Qube, you see. 'It's so much fun, you will forget everything', is the message.
Yes, the commercial does stand out and gets noticed (heard, actually!). More so because of all the gunfire noise. It's ear-damaging, head-splitting and heart-attacking. For a coward like me. But then, I am clearly not the target audience for Micromax Qube, I have never bought into the mobile maker's previous, bizarre ads either. They are targeting the so-called 'Youngistan'. Chaps who allegedly get turned on by noise, silly gags and outlandish public behaviour. Assuming that is the true definition of Young, New India, this commercial ought to be well received. It packs in all the right ingredients: aggression, intrigue and an unusual setting.
Speaking of the soldier/terrorist war sequence, must admit the commercial is shot with high production values. I almost thought this was an American commercial being re-released in India, but later discovered it is a fully home-grown advert. So full marks on the execution.
And finally, dear Micromax, a big thank you for not repeating actor Akshay Kumar for Micromax Qube. His ass-like hysterical laughter for your previous commercial has resulted in me demolishing five television sets out of sheer agony. Yup, I prefer raging gunfire to that. Even though it's bad for the heart, at least my brand new LCD TV is safe.
New Delhi: The country's two premier bourses — National Stock Exchange (NSE) and Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) — today introduced the 15-minute special pre-open trading session, a mechanism under which investors can bid for stocks before the market opens, reports PTI.
The mechanism, known as 'pre-open session call auction', will last for a duration of 15 minutes (from 9:00-9:15 am).
While, this system has been started to reduce the quantum of volatility — typically visible in the first few minutes of trade — but going by the first day's action this special session was more volatile than the normal trading session.
In the first 15 minutes, investors can place orders for eight minutes on the basis of which the exchanges will determine the rates at which trading will happen.
As per the 'pre-open session call auction trend', the National Stock Exchange Nifty was signalling a firm market but when bourses started the normal trading the benchmark indices swung into the red.
Besides, the movement of Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex and the NSE barometer Nifty were not in tandem. Usually, in normal session, these two indices move in tandem with each other.
"Currently market players in India are not very familiar with this system and it will take some time to get stabilised.
It is a very good attempt in Indian markets, as it ensures the integration with international markets," SMC Global Securities strategist Jagannadham Thunuguntla said.
At 11:25 am, the Sensex was quoting at 19,916.66, down by 208.39 points. The wide-based Nifty too was in the red and was trading at 5,999.20, down by 1.05%.
Market experts believe that the introduction of pre-open session assumes special significance, especially, in situations when there is any major event or announcement comes overnight before market opens.
Such special events may be such as merger and acquisition announcements, open offers, delistings, debt-restructurings, credit-rating downgrades or any rumours regarding any of such events, they said.
On a normal day with no major event before 9:00 am, this pre-open session may appear to be a non-event and a routine exercise. However, on a day when there is any major outcome before the market hours this mechanism assumes special significance, Mr Thunuguntla said.
Capital market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) had given its green signal for the introduction of pre-open session call auction on the bourses in July this year.
In a call auction practice, participants indicate their willingness to buy or sell units of a security by placing an order for a number of units at the prevailing price before the opening of trade.
The introduction of pre-open session with a call auction mechanism is expected to reduce the quantum of volatility, typically visible in the first few minutes of trade, analysts said.
Initially the call auction session will be applicable for those stocks, which are the part of Sensex and Nifty.
Sensex, the benchmark index of BSE, comprises of 30 blue-chip stocks, while Nifty — the NSE barometer — lists 50 scrips.
Mumbai: India will launch its first-ever offer of shale gas areas for exploration by end 2011, even as it targets at least a billion dollar of investment commitments from the ongoing auction of conventional oil and gas blocks, reports PTI.
"We are evolving a policy framework for shale gas (gas locked in sedimentary rocks) and first shale gas round is planned for end 2011," oil secretary S Sundareshan said here.
Speaking at a roadshow organised to promote 34 oil and gas blocks offered in the 9th round of New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP), he said potential of shale gas in India is being examined by oil regulator Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH).
India has so far only explored for oil and gas. Shale gas, the gas obtained from sedimentary rocks, is the new focus area in the US, Canada and China as an alternative to conventional oil and gas for meeting growing energy needs.
These unconventional deposits have raised estimates for US gas reserves from 30 years to 100 years at current usage rates. Shale gas deposits were not considered worth tapping before Houston billionaire George P Mitchell pioneered new extraction techniques in the 1990s.
Action is on to "develop a framework for an assessment of resource potential, which would lead to exploitation of this resource. Our intention and endeavour is to put in place a policy framework in about a year's time," he said.
Several basins in India are known to hold shale gas resources. Primarily, focus is on three basins — Cambay (in Gujarat), Assam-Arakan (in the North-East) and Gondwana (in central India). The areas will be identified by next year.
India is likely to sign a cooperation agreement with the US Geological Survey during president Barack Obama's visit next month for knowledge-sharing in the area of shale gas, oil minister Murli Deora said.
Out of 34 blocks offered in NELP-IX, 19 blocks are new areas — seven in deep sea, two in shallow waters and 10 onland blocks. Rest 15 (one in deep water, five in shallow water and nine onland blocks) are recycled blocks.
Of the recycled blocks, five are discards of state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), the largest bidder in the previous eight rounds of NELP.
"We got an investment commitment of $1.1 billion in NELP-VIII," Mr Deora said hoping the current round will be better.
Of the 70 blocks offered in NELP-VIII, only 36 received bids and 33 areas were awarded.
Last date of bidding for blocks offered under NELP-IX is 18 March 2011.
In the eight rounds of NELP since 1999, 235 blocks have been awarded till date. This has resulted in enhancement of exploration coverage from 11% to about 58% of Indian sedimentary basin between 2000 and 2010.
"The discoveries made under the NELP have resulted in in-place hydrocarbon reserve accretion of a staggering 642 million tonnes of oil and oil equivalent gas," minister of state for petroleum and natural gas Jitin Prasada said.
A total of 87 oil and gas discoveries have been made in 26 blocks under NELP during this period.
In the first eight rounds of NELP, $11.1 billion investment was committed but actual investments so far have been $14.3 billion.