Volkswagen Corporate: Boredom for Everyone!

The ad ought to have been screaming ‘innovation’ in its idea, style, treatment, everything! Sadly, it does not

Volkswagen has decided time has come to launch an umbrella corporate campaign for its various brands of cars. Clearly, they have felt the need to carve out a core ideology for the organisation, so that consumers understand what the mother brand stands for.
It's a sound strategy. Apart from individual car features, we must know what is the Big Promise one buys into when one deals with Volkswagen. Maruti Suzuki has recently done a similar exercise, and their corporate pitch is 'fuel efficiency'. 'Innovations for Everyone' is Volkswagen's umbrella message. And at face value, it seems to be the correct thing to say. Because innovations cue freshness in their various brands, and it also implies engineering and scientific expertise.  
So far so good. The problem lies in the interpretation of this core ideology, and that's utterly boring. Firstly, the slogan itself: 'Innovations for Everyone' is a dull, lifeless, un-involving statement, it's much too generic for either connectivity or memorability as far as consumers go. They definitely needed a slogan that catches your attention and your fancy. I suspect this line is what the client's brand manager wrote, and did not want the ad agency copywriters to tinker with it. Bad idea, that! 
And as if this was not bad enough, the Volkswagen people have released a TV commercial that's even more boring than the slogan. The ad is nothing more than a poorly executed corporate brochure. Each car brand gets featured, and its key innovation highlighted. Because they needed to do justice to all the brands (else a left-out brand manager would go into a sulk!), it becomes a laundry list of cars and features. Bi-Xenon Cornering headlamps, DSG gearbox, TSI technology, iconic design, electronic stabilisation programme, fuel efficient engine… Phew…. I am breathless already! The entire story passes by before you have registered anything at all. In fact, before you fall asleep.
Here's the stark irony: The Volkswagen dudes overlooked a factor that ought to have been staring at them from the windscreen: When you claim to stand for innovations, if that's the promise you are making from the rooftops, then the LAST thing you must do is to put out an un-innovative, boring advertisement. It just doesn't make sense. The ad ought to have been screaming 'innovation' in its idea, style, treatment, everything!
Bottomline: How can I trust people with innovations in their cars when they can't do ditto in a simple bloody advert?


DTC bill tabled in LS; proposes exemption limit of Rs2 Lakh

New Delhi: The government today tabled the much-awaited Direct Taxes Code bill (DTC) in the Lok Sabha, which proposes to raise the exemption limit on income tax from the current Rs1.6 lakh to Rs2 lakh, reports PTI.

The bill, introduced by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, seeks to widen income tax slabs to levy 10% rate on income between Rs2 lakh to Rs5 lakh, 20% between Rs 5-Rs10 lakh and 30% above Rs10 lakh.

For senior citizens, tax exemption is sought to be raised to Rs2.5 lakh from Rs2.40 lakh.

Currently, income between Rs1.6-Rs5 lakh attracts 10% tax; between Rs5-Rs8 lakh, 20% and beyond Rs8 lakh, 30%.

The proposed tax slabs are much lower than originally suggested in the draft DTC bill - 10% for Rs1.6 lakh to Rs10 lakh, 20% between Rs10-Rs25 lakh and 30% for income above Rs30 lakh.

The bill seeks to fix corporate tax at the current 30% but without surcharge and cess. With surcharge and cess, the current tax liability on corporates comes to over 33%.

The legislation also proposes to increase minimum alternate tax (MAT) from 18% to 20% of book profit of a company. It seeks to levy dividend distribution tax (DDT) at 15%.

When enacted, the DTC will replace archaic Income Tax Act.


Nokia to set up server in India in November

New Delhi: Finnish mobile handset firm Nokia today said it will set up its server in India in November this year to adhere to the government's security concerns, a move that may force BlackBerry to also follow it, reports PTI.

"We are launching the server on 5th November in compliance with all the rules and regulation in the country...It is for hosting mail and ensuring that the government has access (to the data)," Nokia India managing director D Shivakumar told reporters here.

The Indian government has been demanding greater access to mobile and online communications on the back of national security concerns.

Its competitor, Research In Motion (RIM), the makers of BlackBerry, are facing a closure of services after tomorrow as they do not have a server hosted in India.

"We met home secretary GK Pillai about a month ago and explained as to what Nokia is doing. He was fully satisfied," Mr Shivakumar said.

Nokia had launched a beta version of the messaging service in April 2009 and consumers can use up to 10 email accounts on the move with the service.


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