It has become the trend in the ad world to use children when no other idea comes to the head
I like simplicity in advertising. It's a huge turn on. Especially when a giant financial services company de-complicates its activities and tells us what they do in a simple, endearing manner. And that's what Religare attempts to do in its new corporate commercial. So that's fine. But when that simplicity is projected in a hackneyed and boring method, the whole purpose of the exercise is lost. It just leaves you cold and detached in the end. Guess no one bothered to inform the Religare managers about this.
Religare's new commercial tries to highlight its various brands under one umbrella. And that umbrella is children. The done to death route. Yup, children are cute, charming to watch and they tug at your heartstrings. But when so many bachchas have happened in them ads, you suddenly want to shut the cuteness out. I think it's now become de rigueur in the ad world to use children when no other idea comes to the head. Almost as a default option. And frankly, it's getting on my nerves now.
So, 'loans' has a boy offering a little girl a ride on his bicycle. Children playing the game of Monopoly is 'investment banking'. Children dutching in to buy ice cream is 'mutual funds'. Kids taking shelter from the rain under a raincoat is 'insurance'. And yes, that mother of all clichés: Children saving in piggy banks is 'wealth management'. And as if all this boring stuff isn't enough to make you doze off, the background score is so languid and dead, it wonderfully replaces mom's lori. Perhaps the last shot should have been children nodding off to equate it with 'peace of mind'. Much like the rest of us.
Tch, tch, tch. Complete waste of ad money. The commercial is a total blind spot, and I would be stunned if in the post-test of the commercial, even a few respondents are able to recall the brand name. And that's bound to happen. We have seen such kiddy stuff dime a dozen. And even if Religare HAD to use children-assuming their ad agency failed to come up with any better-and the deadline bell was ringing like a church gong, the least they ought to have done is to show the kids in offbeat, surprising situations. By digging deeper into the various products. And consumer insights. But that was not to be.
Right now, the best use of the commercial is as a cure for insomnia. Is Religare into health care as well?
New Delhi: The government today said it will award five big-size road projects worth Rs15,000 crore by March, 2011, reports PTI.
"We would be awarding five mega road projects in the next 3-4 months," transport and highways minister Kamal Nath told reporters here. The estimated cost of each project is about Rs3,000 crore.
"They (five projects) are about Rs15,000 crore," Mr Nath added. He however, did not provide any further details on the projects.
National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), the entity engaged in the construction of these highways has invited bids for the 570-km project from Kishangarh near Jaipur to Ahmedabad via Udaipur. It would be the country's first mega road project.
Last year, Mr Nath had announced that NHAI would invite bids for nine mega road projects.
The government targets to construct 35,000 km of highways in five years under the National Highways Development Programme (NHDP).
This endeavour would require an estimated investment of about $60 billion (around Rs2.75 lakh crore), of which $40 billion (Rs1.83 lakh crore) is expected to come from the private sector.
Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Monday extended its special measures for easing the monetary supply till 28th January in view of a cash crunch due to a slew of public stake sales and brisk credit offtake during the festive season, reports PTI.
The special measures, which were announced when liquidity came under pressure due to the festive season and the Coal India initial public offer (IPO), were originally due to expire on 16th December, around the same time that corporates would pay their advance taxes, which will exert further pressure on the liquidity situation.
The RBI's special measures enable banks to avail 2% more funds through the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF), based on their deposits.
Scheduled commercial banks may avail of additional liquidity support under LAF to the extent of up to 2% of their net demand and time liabilities (NDTL) as on the reporting Friday of the second preceding fortnight, RBI said in a statement.
"For any shortfall in Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR) maintenance up to 28 January 2011, arising out of availment of this facility, banks may seek waiver of penal interest on a fortnightly basis, purely as an ad hoc, temporary measure," it said.
The liquidity support availed under this facility would, however, need to be reported on a daily basis, it said.
Besides, special LAF auctions will be conducted at 4.30 pm every day till 28 January 2011, it said.
The above measures are purely ad hoc, temporary and will be in force till 28 January 2011, it added.
Liquidity is likely to be tight in the coming weeks, as there are a slew of IPOs lined up and credit offtake is likely to pick up.
While manganese ore company MOIL's IPO is open for subscription, Shipping Corporation's FPO opens today.
Both IPOs are expected to raise around Rs1,200 crore each.
Around Rs22,000 crore has been mopped up from public offers of state-run companies so far this year.
The tight cash position in the system can be gauged from the fact that banks have borrowed over Rs1 lakh crore through the liquidity adjustment facility of the RBI since 8th November.
Analysts said liquidity pressure is likely to ease when the government enhances spending, based on second supplementary demands for grants.
The government has sought to enhance the spending target for the 2010-11 financial year to a gross Rs45,000 crore, implying a Rs20,000 crore additional net cash outgo compared to the original budget estimate.