Archive for Motorola

Social Evolution

Posted in Brand, Internet with tags , , , on July 3, 2008 by manuscrypts

The issue has been doing the rounds in my head for sometime now, it started with a question on LinkedIn about companies using CSR only for PR purposes, and I thought now was a good time to share my thoughts, at the risk of it sounding like an attempt at gyan. 😉

There was a very interesting topic tossed up last week here, on the role of social media, not in general, but in addressing the world’s problems. Whether all the coding gurus sitting down and making cool apps that generate thrills from a devouring audience are just doing it for its own sake rather than making a difference. While that question can be posed to just about anyone, and would elicit ‘no’ for an answer unless you were talking to an NGO or someone who works on CSR projects, it seems pertinent because well, its er, social media, and at its core, its about connecting people (sorry Nokia!). And it only seems fair that when the medium obviously has so much potential to change the world by the sheer amount of information it has, and the conversations it spawns, the humans that are so connected and the ones who are making the different levels and types of connections possible should also help out in bailing out those who are not privileged as themselves.

No, its not intended to be a moral debating session on career choices, although that’s welcome too. On the day i saw the (linked) post, by sheer coincidence I also came upon a few links which provided a start to answering the question. One was a presentation (via Chris Brogan) another, a site that holds immense potential. And yes, corporates can play roles that fit into their overall strategic objective and fulfill their business needs, check this by Motorola. (I’m beginning to have a healthy respect for this brand). Back home, this is worth a look, and I would like to see this Idea develop a bit more before I comment on it.

But while all these are definite concrete efforts towards making the world a better place, my belief is that the underlying philosophy of social media – sharing, collaborating, and most importantly transparency, is more fundamental and will itself cause quite a few groundbreaking things to happen in the way we develop as a society. With one single service like twitter, the flow of information is such that I am exposed to a multitude of new people, new websites, new thoughts, some of which make a profound impact on me, and on the way i think. As more and more people get hooked on to social media, think of the number of change agents it would create.

And it is vital for the change agents to absorb the inherent goodness that social media possesses. In an age when shortcuts to anything from file sharing to making money are eagerly lapped up, without a thought on its impact on others’ lives, and tech provides the means to do it and distribute it easily, it is important to ingrain a philosophy that would make developers and users think a little about common good when they engage themselves in social media, a thought that would at least discourage them from doing harm.

until next time, evolve

Mo Brand Ambassadors

Posted in Advertising, Brand, India with tags , , , , , , on June 23, 2008 by manuscrypts

I just realised that I totally forgot about Abhi B (or Shaky B, depending on your levels of dislike. Oh ok, I’ll stop. Can’t even be a bit nasty on my own blog 😐 ) in this post, where i talked about brand ambassadors for mobile handsets, among other things. But we’re not going to continue on the same lines of discussion here.

I happened to see the new TVC for MotoRokr E8. The ad is a continuation of the earlier Moto ad (watch the complete one here, I have only seen the edit, this is super cool) Any ad that starts off with a spoof of ‘Rendezvous with Simi’ has to be an attention grabber, and going forward this one doesn’t disappoint. The sudden blaring of ‘Appidi podu’ from the Tamil movie ‘Gilli’ was shocking, the first time, and funny, every time I watched. The film briefing with the ‘heroin’ and ‘desh ka jhanda’, followed by the regular awards ceremony, all are a spoof of life. The icing on the cake is ‘Come on Ab, shake a lil’, followed by the abso Tamil dance steps.

The other I have been seeing is the Aamir Khan ad for Monaco – Life Namkeen Banaiye, the one where he plays a prank on the serious team coach, by putting a sticker with scratches on a brand new vehicle. The humour wasn’t really good, in the same vein as this one earlier, but more importantly something else was lacking, and that brings us to the point of the post.

Usage of brand ambassadors. The first one worked for me primarily because the humour was good. More importantly, a lot of it was Abhishek laughing at his own expense, as well as the fraternity he is part of. And because its Abhishek, (and I’m a huge non fan), you end up having a good laugh, because while he’s always trying to be goofy, this time he succeeds. Great usage of a brand ambassador.

On the other hand, Aamir Khan. There was a time when this ad would have worked, exactly saat saal pehle, when ‘Dil Chahta Hain’ released. Aamir’s character was a riot, complete with exactly the Monaco kind of pranks, actually better. Maybe even later, after the release of RDB. But post the SRK-dog fiasco, and the constant baiting of co-stars including Salman, and the yet to be launched Harman Baweja, let’s just say the Aamir brand of humour (in case it exists) isn’t exactly popular.

I doubt if stars are taken only for the visibility. Usually there is also a dna fit with the brand or at least a characteristic of the star that the brand would like to exploit. If that is indeed true, then Monaco’s choice is a bit too salty.

Incidentally, what did you think of the new Reynolds ad, the one where they use Sachin’s one day and test avtaar colors to show the different pen characteristics? A bit labored, but a smart idea nevertheless, i thought.

until next time, mo rockr, mo na ko