What was really required was a strong idea to communicate ‘Bleed Blue’, something that could have become a mass movement. Sadly, the ads re-package everything we’ve seen millions of times before
Okay, so Nike is bleeding for Indian cricket. And it's bleeding blue. This was bound to happen, sooner or later. Nike does this bleeding bit for all major sports across the world. And trying to own cricket in India was always going to be the obvious strategy. Since there is no other sport in this nation (barring kho kho, of course).
Three commercials have been running since the World Cup. The first one titled 'Bleed blue' was quite boring. It featured various Indian players preaching on how to succeed at the game. Well, the preaching may have put us to sleep, but it worked for them and they won the trophy. The point is, as viewers, we like to see our boys bleed their rivals, and not give us classroom lessons. Funny, that a brand that asks us to 'just do it', puts out a preachy ad.
Anyway, after India won the Cup, Nike quickly released two new commercials. And this time, thankfully, the Nike brand manager realised lecture baazi was a poor idea. So now it's all action.
The second ad in the series features patli gulley urchins at play, as they sweat it out on the streets to become Tendlyas and Sehwags one day. And the cricket heroes take the back seat as the wannabes come to the Nike party. This time, street boys get bleeding blue.
The third commercial focuses on the fans (notice the predictable pattern at play: players, aspirers, fans) and there's a lot of song and dance in the ad as you can well imagine. In fact, to make things even more predictable, Nike has ensured the ubiquitous Tendulkar fan (who makes an appearance in every match, body painted in the national colours) is featured too. Really hope the poor chap was compensated for the ad! Or at least his permission sought.
Since 'Bleed Blue' as a phrase has caught on, on the social sites, I watched the ads with great expectation. But they were a huge let down, an opportunity lost. The commercials are not just ordinary, they are packed with clichéd imagery, a whole lot of noise, jump cuts and general chaos. What was really required was a strong idea to communicate 'Bleed Blue', something that could have become a mass movement. Was not to be. Sadly, the ads re-package everything we've seen millions of times before.
I think Nike did what it knows best. It just did it. Without thinking.
The chief economic advisor to the Union finance ministry said while RBI action usually takes six to nine months to have an effect on the system, it is three months before the impact of steps taken by the government are felt
Kolkata: Chief economic advisor to the Union finance ministry, Kaushik Basu, has said although inflation has not gone out of hand, it is still not in the government's comfort zone, reports PTI.
"WPI inflation figure is 8% compared to 11% this time last year. It is not going out of hand, but not in the comfort zone," Mr Basu said at an interactive session here last night.
In April and May this year, it was expected that inflation would be below 8% and 7%, respectively, after which it would stabilise at around 5%, Mr Basu said.
While the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had been following a tight monetary policy to control inflation, the government is also doing its best, he said.
He said while RBI action usually takes six to nine months to have an effect on the system, it is three months before the impact of steps taken by the government are felt.
Although India was on a high growth trajectory, inflation and corruption were the two big clouds looming over the country, he said.
While the government was trying to bring down inflation, corruption needed to be attacked frontally, for which certain changes in bribery laws are needed.
Asked about freeing diesel prices, Mr Basu said that it should have been done a long time ago.
He said that it would increase prices due to its cascading effect in the short run, but would ultimately bring down prices.
"We should decontrol diesel prices. Whether it should be done immediately or at a later date is a question of time and a government decision," he said.
It was likely that diesel prices would be freed once inflation came down, he said.
To a query, he said it was a well-thought decision of the government not to issue oil bonds in view of under-recoveries by the oil companies, as had been done in the past.
The decision was taken to impart transparency, he said.
On the issue of subsidies, he said they should be given directly to the beneficiaries in order to plug leakages.
Mr Basu also said recent data had shown that income of the bottom 20% of the people was growing, but it should grow as a faster rate.
He called for coordination among various central banks of the world for proper management of inflation.
Attorney General Goolam E Vahanvati, appearing for the CBDT, told the apex court that it would recall its 10 March order, demanding Rs617 crore in tax and decide afresh on the actual tax liability of Satyam Computer. The bench, however, refused Satyam's plea to defreeze its bank account worth Rs1,300 crore
New Delhi: The government today informed the Supreme Court that it will set aside its order directing scam-hit information technology (IT) firm Satyam Computer to pay Rs617 crore as income tax and will give a fresh hearing to the firm's plea challenging the tax demand, reports PTI.
Attorney General Goolam E Vahanvati, appearing for the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), told the apex court that it would recall its 10 March 2011 order, demanding Rs617 crore in tax and decide afresh on the actual tax liability of Satyam Computer, now known as Mahindra Satyam.
"We would set aside the 10 March 2011 order. We would give them a hearing and pass a well-reasoned order," Mr Vahanvati told a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice SH Kapadia.
The bench, however, refused Satyam Computer's plea to defreeze its bank account worth Rs1,300 crore.
Counsel appearing for Satyam Computer submitted that the company urgently needs some money because as per a negotiation it has to pay a huge amount to the US Securities Exchange Commission.
Mr Vahanvati, however, opposed the plea, saying the company already has cash reserves of Rs1,800 crore. "Let the money remain with us. If after that revised process if they are entitled, we will refund them," said Mr Vahanvati.
Based on this position, Satyam's counsel requested the apex court to put the money in an escrow account.
In response, the bench assured the IT firm saying its interest would be protected. "You would be protected. Right now your main grievance is that you were not heard by the CBDT. It is over," the bench said while directing the matter of defreezing Satyam Computer's account for listing on Monday.
The apex court was hearing a petition filed by Satyam Computers challenging Andhra Pradesh High Court's order directing it to deposit Rs350 crore along with a bank guarantee of Rs267 crore to the tax authorities.