Skoda Fabia: Not so fab
The commercial for this automobile is a great example of all that one must not do in the business of advertising. It's just a criminal waste of ad money
Before I come to the commercial itself, here’s a problem in my head: What category of car does the Skoda Fabia belong to? Quite frankly, after many exposures to the new TV commercial, I am left perplexed.
Is it a sedan or a hatchback? That, in a nutshell, is the story of the commercial, allegedly created to get your mouth watering on the new design of the car.

Now, Skoda Fabia has been running different campaigns for the past two years since its launch. Each time a new slogan arrives. Clearly, things haven’t being going good for the car, and that perhaps explains the need for a new design. And after dithering with many ad messages, they have finally settled on the most obvious one: ‘Now, that’s Fab’. So, ‘looks’ is what it will now be sold on.

And to do that, they have released a ‘catalogue’ TV ad, where various parts of the car get highlighted. Tyres, mirrors, doors, windows, dashboard, etc. But in order to sex things up, they have used ‘lifestyle’ accessories to cue in each car part. Surfboard, jewellery, glares, eagle wings, etc. Each one match dissolves into a car part. 
But all this happens so quickly, at the end of the TV commercial, you are left scratching your head over what hit you. And oh, in all the mad rush, the minor detail that the car is a hatchback gets left out. 
A big blooper, if you ask me. Because, being a chhota car buyer, I assumed this is a bada gaadi for the surfboard wala baba log, and logged out from the ‘brochure’ even before trying to decode it.

Yup, it’s an extremely poor commercial. It’s cold, it’s confusing, it’s un-involving, it’s self-absorbed, it’s packed with clichés, it’s gimmicky, it’s very sixties, and it’s very, very boring. And if the badly edited visuals don’t piss you off, the continuous drone of the voiceover, rapidly belting out even more clichés, certainly will.

In short, it’s a great example of all that one must not do in the business of advertising. A criminal waste of ad money. I find it shocking that the brand manager even considered approving such a suicidal ad.

Finally, I think ad agencies and automakers must take an oath from here on. Especially after watching this fabulous disaster. Never again will catalogue advertising be done on television. Because if we consumers need a catalogue, we will go and get one from the showrooms.
We DON’T want to view them on our TV sets.




7 years ago

Fabia is not contemporary looking also. The phrase Fab is truly misfit. Skoda should have highlighted toughness and saftey features as their key strengths


7 years ago

Haven't you seen the diarrhea wala Axis bank ad?
Any ad is better than that one!


7 years ago

The car itself is a bit of a lemon, too, and maybe that's why there is a sense of desperation in the advertising team. Despite reducing the price, it doesn't seem to be doing well, which will in turn reflect on the VW Polo.

Mera Skoda hai . . . Chini?

Monday’s Market Preview: Green opening on the cards

The Indian market is likely to open in the green today with the indices expected to strike new all-time highs, continuing the splendid performance seen last week. The US markets closed with marginal gains on Friday while most Asian markets were trading higher in early trade on positive US jobs data, an indication that the world’s largest economy is on the recovery path. The SGX Nifty was 24 points up at 6,333 compared to its previous close of 6,309.

The Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) monetary policy review on Tuesday and the fresh stimulus announced by the US Federal Reserve on Wednesday took the key indices to new 34-month highs at the end of the holiday-shortened week. This apart, a slew of positive domestic economic indicators and institutional participation also helped the market rally. The market closed the week with gains of 4%; the Sensex surged 861.23 points and the Nifty added 264.10 points

Samvat 2067 started with the Sensex posting a fresh all-time closing high in the Muhurat trading session on Friday at 21,004, up 111 points (0.53%). The Nifty closed the session up 30.65 points (0.49%) at 6,312. Earlier, the indices added to the previous day's momentum and the positive cues from the global front. The market pared some gains but eventually the Sensex and the Nifty broke new barriers, a sign of good things to come.

The Asian pack was mostly in the green in early trade on Monday, taking cues from positive US employment data. Meanwhile the Bank of Japan (BoJ) announced that it will buy 150 billion yen ($1.8 billion) in domestic government debt on 11th November through a new fund focussed at boosting demand and curbing deflation. The BoJ announced last month that its 5 trillion yen fund will buy about 3.5 trillion yen in government debt and the balance will be used to purchase assets such as commercial paper, exchange traded funds and real estate investment trusts.

The Shanghai Composite was up 0.63%, the KLSE Composite was up 0.70%, Nikkei 225 surged 0.91% and Straits Times rose 0.59%. On the other hand, the Hang Seng was down 0.16%, Seoul Composite was down 0.09% and the Taiwan Weighted fell 0.16% in early trade. . The SGX Nifty was 24 points up at 6,333 compared to its previous close of 6,309.

The US markets closed in the green on Friday. The indices witnessed a flat ending after the Labor Department report showed that employers added 151,000 jobs last month, the first gain since May and better than expected. But payroll data was overshadowed by the unemployment rate which remained stuck at 9.6% for the third straight month.

The Dow added 9.24 points (0.08%) at 11,444. The S&P 500 gained 4.79 points (0.39%) to 1,225. The Nasdaq rose 1.64 points (0.06%) to 2,579.

The Government is set to come out with an amendment in the Companies Act in the winter session of Parliament, to converge the Indian accounting norms with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) by April 2011.

Even as over 1,000 large Indian companies are gearing up to prepare their account books as per the IFRS by the coming fiscal, some issues including tax implications under the new accounting regime are yet to be resolved.

Also, various stakeholders have given their inputs to the Corporate Affairs Ministry, the nodal ministry for formulating these standards, for consideration.

The government on Sunday fixed the price band at Rs85-Rs90 per share for around Rs7,600 crore follow-on public offer (FPO) of state-run transmission company Power Grid Corporation of India.

The FPO comprises over 84 crore equity shares of Rs10 each constituting 20% of existing paid-up capital. At the upper end of the price band, the issue will fetch up to Rs7,600 crore.

The FPO of the company hits the market on 9th November while the bid closes on 11th November for institutional investors and on 12th November 12 for retail and non-institutional bidders.


In service of The Dear Departed

Dharmishta Mithran was set up to help with funerals. Today, it helps people with other day-to-day concerns too, writes VN Vasudevan

It all began with a few like-minded people, seeped in Sanatana Dharma, coming together to assist families to conduct funerals and to perform the last rites of departed mortals. These spirited social workers, who look at death stoically, have created an organisation that is totally dedicated to this service.

In November 2001, the group set up Dharmishta Mithran as a not-for-profit company, under Section 25 of the Companies Act. The objective of the organisation was to deal with all matters related to the death of a person-from attending to calls in emergencies to conducting funerals anywhere in Greater Mumbai, and responding to other specific requests from members.

Jagmohan Vohra, a local businessman and a staunch devotee of Sai Baba, provided land to house the Aparakriya Centre (for last rites). From a modest beginning, the centre has grown into a 1,000 sq ft facility, thanks to the encouragement from late Pramod Shirwalkar, a former member of the Maharashtra legislative assembly. Mr Shirwalkar spurred them to reach out to salt pan workers in the Jai Ambe Nagar area. This community now has proper drinking water facilities, and they are provided toiletries (donated by Hindustan Unilever), books and uniforms for the kids and funds for their medical needs.

Dharmishta Mithran has conducted nearly 1,000 funerals in nine years. Desh Seva Samiti, which operates an ambulance service, has been a partner in the work. This has been possible because of the growing number of co-operators. Today, Dharmishta Mithran has 13 patrons, 551 life members and 219 ordinary members.

In March last year, the organisation acquired an apartment where it set up the Shraadha-cum-Community Development Centre that is patronised by people from Mumbai and from other cities. The Centre can conduct up to six kriyas a day.

The work of the organisation has been appreciated by none other than the pontiff of Kanchi Math, Jayendra Saraswati. On a visit to the Centre in December 2008, the religious leader compared conducting a funeral to holding an Ashwamedha Yagnam, saying: "No human being should run the risk of not being cremated for whatever reason."

The demand for the services has grown at a quick pace and the organisation has found it difficult to cope with the rush. Fortuitously, in August 2009 it managed to acquire more space and this enabled it to begin conducting shraadhs (memorial ceremonies). Now, it also conducts a variety of other rituals and ceremonies, such as upanayanam (sacred thread ceremony), annaprasanam (on the first birthday of a child), shastiabdapoorthi (on the 60th birthday), nischita thamboolam (engagement before marriage) and seemantham (during the first pregnancy).

The organisation has taken up new areas of activity like setting up a legal cell, to assist people to write and register a will and create awareness about issues related to transfer of property. It has published a compendium on transfer of property and monetary rights to appointed beneficiaries. It also provides transit accommodation for groups visiting Mumbai to attend marriages, for a low rent of Rs3,000 a day.

Dharmishta Mithran is also engaged in day-to-day issues, like working with the police department and partnering with citizens' groups to help senior citizens. It has an arrangement with a hospital in the area to treat its members at concessional rates. It is working with a sister NGO Bharatiya Adhyathmic Society to create infrastructure for the development of Vedic and other cultural/fine arts.
All donations to the organisation are exempt under Section 80G of the Income-Tax Act.



Ramachandra Sharma

6 years ago

Dharmishta Mithran
A laudable Effort. More Publicity required. More oublicity shall help in enlarging the activities,

Nambalat Raghu

7 years ago

A very fantastic and noble effort by all those who put their thought, money and dedication.Really laudable .My best wishes for its continued success and progress.

A very thought provoking article which has effectively portrayed the theme and activities.
All the best

PV Ramanathan

7 years ago

Highly laudable. It grows 100-fold more glorious, done selflessly and in a spirit if social service.
Humble salutations to those who mooted the idea and to all who are engaged in and contribute to sustain the growth.


E M S Unni

7 years ago

excellent very humanitarian concerned organization valued at 100% for life and death not only the needy but also for every human being.
may almighty give full support and blessings all the time unni

k parameswaran

7 years ago

short and sweet - and all facts.
keep it up.


7 years ago

Dharmishta Mithran is doing a yeoman's service and is laudable. I wish all success to Dharmishta Mithran so that it will continue its selfless service to the community at large. Long live the Dharmishta Mithran and the souls constituting it.

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