Just when you thought advertising couldn’t get more bizarre, along comes this ad
Since our lazy and incompetent netas and babus aren’t able to deal with our myriad social problems, it appears that private marketers have taken it upon themselves to sort out screw-ups facing the nation (and the world at large). And curiously enough, this route is being used by brands, which, er, have nothing new to say to the consumers about themselves. Brands that are stuck in product categories packed with rival hysterical brands and promises. In other words, commerce, not social conscience, is the driving force behind this bleeding-heart strategy.
After IDEA and Tata Tea, it’s the turn of a munchies brand to save us from the fast-approaching Armageddon. And Parle’s Hippo couldn’t be bothered with faltu stuff like losing weight, saving trees and casting votes. They want to solve the mother of all problems: eradicating hunger!
The television commercial stirs things up with an ancient Hindi film song, ‘Pyaar baant te chalo’, and it features an invisible creature called ‘Hippo’ which solves the world's food crisis. The core message is that since hunger is the root cause of all the evils plaguing the world, it’s best to kill this first so that other issues can get sorted out on their own. So no more wars, riots, terror attacks, corruption, child exploitation, milk adulteration, etc. And the TVC has criminals and other assorted elements mending their ways immediately after Hippo is offered to them.
Bizarre and insane? Yup, of course. And what about that small thing called credibility? Absolute zero. And what does this social message have to do with time-pass munchies? Zilch. In fact all that a fatty, low-nutrition food would do is make people more angsty and more obese. (And then IDEA can step in and re-release its ‘walk when you talk’ campaign).
So then why are they indulging in this madness? Well, for two reasons. One, to generate some cheap, good laughs. In other words, they are happily mocking the malaise of hunger, and so only the well-fed might be amused. And two, devoid of any USP within the brand, the trick is to break the high television clutter by creating totally wild, atrocious advertising. So if nothing else works, at least the brand will be recalled at the retail outlet by the otherwise forgetful housewife. Admittedly, for the last part, the brand could achieve some amount of success. So good luck to them.
Having said that, spoofing serious problems for commercial gains is a questionable tactic. What next, one wonders. An ice-cream brand running an anti-rape campaign? Or a refrigerator brand running an anti-dowry campaign? Well, Kelvinator definitely won’t. It’s unofficially called India’s ‘dowry fridge’.
Kenneth Fisher is one of the most successful portfolio managers. He is also among the most...
Following the implementation of the new trail commission rules, some fund distributors are getting cleints to sign a changeover without their explicit consent
Following the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) direction to the Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI) to implement the new trail commission rules, a number of distributors are trying to snatch away clients from each other. However, this game is leaving the investor clients in a lurch.
According to an independent financial advisor (IFA), investors are lured into signing a form for changing their sub-broker under different pretexts.
“Following the core banking initiatives that require 11-digit account numbers, agents of a financial advisory firm asked investors to change their account numbers. They even offered to do it free of cost for the investors saying that unless they update their account number, their redemption amount or dividend may be transferred to someone else’s account. The investor clients are asked to sign a transaction form which prominently displays the bank account number but conceals the ‘change in sub-broker’ column that is placed at the bottom of the form,” the IFA revealed.
According to unconfirmed reports, UTI and DSP BlackRock carried out a check on the forms received by them pertaining to change of broker. When these two asset management companies called their investor clients, what they found out was shocking. Out of every 10 customers, six were not even aware of any mandate like this (the change of sub-broker).
This brings to light that most investors have not read the fine print before signing the dotted line and were literally duped into entering into a false contract. So be careful the next time, while signing any documents, especially one from a fund distributor or financial advisory firm.