Monday, March 26, 2012

Jai Ho for Union Budget 2012

Digital friendly Union Budget
A budget tells us what we can't afford and what will be limiting us the coming year, but the latest is telling us what we can really afford and how much more we can spend. There is good news for those who love, play and advertise with digital, by digital and for digital. The budget indicates positive news for developing sectors like digital and outdoor. Service Tax exemption on Digital and Outdoor media (are you going gaga over it??) is already generating a big news. Well it would not only benefit the big & small advertisers, but could also result in availability of few hundred crores more to advertisers for spending on their marketing campaigns. Digital media in a way is again beating the traditional media; making it prominent that you just cannot do without those keyboards (am also contemplating the touch screens). After hearing Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee announcing in the Budget for 2012-13,"selling of space or time slots for advertisements other than advertisements broadcast by radio or television" will come in negative list and will be exempt from 12 % service tax, I’m sure the digital gurus want to gift our very own Finance Minister a brand new Apple or Samsung tab (no hard feelings against other brands pl.).

Digital on its Wheels
With the ongoing digital craze, we are all at par to it. I think we receive news alerts faster than those high rise billboards that catch our flickering sight. We spend 1/3rd of our day’s time in front of those digital gadgets (wasting time playing those hidden chronicles on the famous social networking site is also taken into consideration). So promoting brands online is a huge plus. We do almost everything by taking help of this medium, starting from basic communication to connection to content cum entertainment and finally your decisions on commerce (read it e-commerce). Life has changed for everyone after we have access to Mobile and the World Wide Web; by the grace of this digital medium (some definitely consider the search engines like God), it’s really obliging and helpful in our day to day life, for anyone and everyone. Be it a student, a teacher, an astronaut, any professional, the corporate executive, a farmer or a vendor selling fruits and vegetables on the streets, everyone carries Mobile phones. Hence each one of us is connected in this big Global Digital Ecosystem. So, we can really sing the song "Jai Ho" for the UNION BUDGET 2012-13 to help this medium grow and make it much Bigger & Better:)

Saturday, March 24, 2012


Wake up Sid:
The morning of a regular person sets out either with the cry of an alarm clock, or with the cry of his folks or that of a crow (the least possible chance). But for a digital planner it starts with a hazardous phone call (the client called up to check, if the campaign which was to go live, has gone live already on all the desired portals or not!) and the “Day long Road Blocks” that was scheduled gave him a long buzz. Fortunately, the media plan was approved (over the phone) the previous night itself, while he was driving back home (though there is no formal approval yet) and the deadline for our Digital Planner and his team was to go live by 10:00 AM that day. “I should be able to show a smiling face to my Boss, when I enter office today,” thought the client (the Digital campaign will be going live; it’s another bonus as the Appraisal Season is approaching). But what about our Raghu, the DIGITAL Planner, who slogged the whole night (hardly slept, eyes… still burning), made the Strategy/the Plan and negotiated the cost with all the publishers/vendors and finally could pull it to go live, could not even relax for a while after burning the ‘Mid Night Oil’. This is life and it goes on whenever there is a new campaign on the plate.

Satisfied customer is the best business strategy:
The whole day goes into nattering, thinking (or pretending to), ideating, discussing with the client (in short playing meeting-meeting). But there is the million-dollar question from everyone in the AGENCY as well from the CLIENT "Where is the Strategy"? (ab kise pata ye kaun si khet ki muli hain). Then the presentation session starts but you can hardly predict when it will end. Raghu’s stomach starts aching (elephant jumping) out of hunger, but the big IDEA & the STRATEGY is averting him to even take in enough oxygen. But as the clock started setting alarm that it’s getting super late, the Big Idea appeared out of the bolt with all data supports, after long hours of number crunching, and the 360 media integration started thumping on those mini-systems because all of them have to be in sync. The back-bone is not supporting anymore (giving a feel to be as old as 90) and just that moment a voice of a devil came aloud “Need to Change the Overall Strategy”, as the Brief has changed. Hence, they planned to meet the following morning for a brain storming session (in short the whole day got wasted after all those herculean efforts put together).

Pack Up troubles:
It’s now so late that you wish to just stay back in office itself (no more energy left to even drive back). Raghu just wishes to pick up some food on the way and then have it with some chilled beer at home and sleep tight. But the almighty has planned something more interesting for our Digital Planner. The other client, who has been active with Social Media campaigns wants to have a review meeting after a day as their Global Marketing Head is coming to town, at their regional headquarter and the regional team (so many of them & each one have separate demands) wants to showcase multiple Fancy Presentations. So chilled Beer does not chill Raghu well, instead he needs to grill himself with the mid-night oil for another long…really long night.
My Tip to our Digital Planner: Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Within days, Kolaveri Di song became India's most-searched YouTube video ever, the first Tamil film song to play on MTV India and National radio stations and articles were (or maybe are and counting) being written in Indian and International press almost every other day. Top line news portals started talking about its making, shaking, breaking and the rest of the story is a history. More than 49 million people viewed the video (only the original, not the fake viral) and still counting (49 million and one, two…). Kolaveri Di trend began with young gentleman Anirudh Ravichander, 21 (Bali Umar and all) and his first ever composition for a Tamil film that has got the entire country dancing to its beats (Ya and not to mourn for failure in love). So much so that veteran Hindi Actors and Musicians went gaga over the song.

“God helps those who help themselves”. Everyone knows about this, but now YouTube is your virtual God and it will help you only if you take the initiative to go ahead with your passion and make it big, bigger and biggest. Many small town housewives are bringing their culinary tangent into forefront and making it a super hit cookery show on the digital space. Amateur young singers are recording their own versions of popular Bollywood numbers in their four wall space and receiving fame and prominence overnight. Even gym instructors are recording workout videos to reduce the flab (nothing against our Bollywood Hotties). All these are not only helping the punters, but it is bringing fame to the instructor whose gymnasium is poured with impressed viewers. So guys… life won’t be at a reverse gear if we follow the trend and the Digital God. If you have it in you just bring it on……and “You can Do It”.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Drinking the Digital Way

Save money while drinking: Last week while I was in the western suburbs of Mumbai (to pay a visit to one of my client), I visited a restaurant (obviously I was hungry after the hardcore meeting) and was enthralled of what it offered me. After taking a corner seat the attendant handed me the food menu (which was pretty normal), but what soon caught my eyes was an interesting iPad Menu application, through which you can order your drink, and it works on the same mode as that of a stock exchange (confused?? Right!! So was my situation). It’s not that I am into drinking (yes am quite proud about it), but was keen to explore how it works. Supply and demand in stock markets is driven by various factors that affect the price of stocks and the same way you can avail discounts on the actual rates of the drinks (you got that). Cheers to such apps, where you can check your favourite drink from the screen listing a variety of Beers, Wines, Rum, Vodkas & Whiskeys (sorry if I have left any), where the prices fluctuates based on the demand-supply economics (we can assume that during weekends the prices will be high and the opposite during week days). While I’m writing about this on my blog, I am sure my friends would be waiting to visit such places; especially because they can drink unlimited (as they always do) and it won’t even make big holes in their pockets.

Ordering your favourite food on the go: It’s not just drinking, even ordering food is becoming a hassle-free thing these days, through various apps on several App Stores that display the menus of several restaurants at users’ fingertips. This makes life of the food lovers (people who live to eat!!) so easy to choose their favourite dishes from a variety of menu options and allow users to order food on the go from online menus on the fly without the any kind of human interaction (I wonder what’s the future of those waiters). Well what they can surely do is, they shall be roaming around with various digital devices, and would ask you to select one device through which you can order your food. Interesting!! Isn’t it?

Coffee with Karan (No advertisement please): This is not just about the TV show “Coffee with Karan” which has a different dynamics all together, it’s about another app in the making, wherein you could place your order on your Smart phones before you visit your favourite coffee shops like Barista, Cafe Coffee Day, Costa Coffee or Gloria Jeans Coffee shop. Just imagine, now you don’t have to wait on the queue for those Cappuccinos and if you are essentially in a hurry, you have the liberty to buy some credit & make the payment before you even reach the coffee shop. Just visit the coffee shop on the move, pick up your coffee and enjoy the sweetness that will melt you in no time. Long live discoveries and long live the essential fruit of our life. Three Cheers!!!