pepsi sprite

Brand Ambassadors have been a significant part of the advertising strategy, the corporate world has been using in the recent past. A tactic, that aims at attracting consumers in large scale capitalizing on the fan following factor that celebs carry about with them.

Unfortunately, a fair portion of the consumer population falls prey to this non-sense time and again. A personality may have his / her aura alright. Its quite a trick to make people buy your product by having a Shahrukh Khan or an Amitabh Bachan asking the public to do so. Having said that, its high time people realize that the so called brand ambassadors may change colours like a chameleon any moment, thereby making a mockery of the ‘trust’ they have in a particular brand.

Shahrukh Khan is a known culprit in this regard. He is notorious for advertising any product as long as he is paid well, besides switching brand loyalties. There was a time when SRK used to call himself Shahrukh ‘Mayur’ Khan, everytime he hit the TV screens promoting Mayur Suitings. But today, you’ll find him saying Belmonte’s the best. Very recently, he broke his age old loyalty with Pepsi, one of his trademark ad brands. Over the years, SRK shouted the pepsi slogan – whether it was Yehi Hai Right Choice Baby, Yeh Dil Maange More or Oye Bubbly… but now, all of a sudden he has jumped to its rival Coke camp, advertising for Sprite.

So is the case with Sachin Tendulkar. The little master’s smile accompanied many a ‘express yourself’ posters of Airtel until recently. Now, he is seen disclosing his phone number on TV Commercials of Idea Cellular.

The Master does it, why not the Blaster? Tendulkar’s opening partner in ODI’s and teammate Virender Sehwag’s tale is no different. When he first burst onto the cricket scene, among the many products he advertised was Coca Cola. Now, he is seen promoting Pepsi donning a Youngistan icon (although the number of hairs on his head seem to be disappearing with every passing day) along with skipper Dhoni, and teammates Ishant Sharma and Sreesanth.

Talking about Dhoni, he too ain’t innocent either. Remember that 7 up ad wherein a tennis player goes onto becoma a batsman (Anhonee Ho Gayi Honi, Aur Main Ban Gaya Dhoni) ? 7 up to Pepsi – Captain leading from the front!

If you too are among those who trust a brand becasue your favourite star asks you to do so, it is time you think again. Let your reliability of a product depend on its quality and performance and not merely on your favourite icon’s persuasion.

Clear Hai?

The Burning I’Shoe!

May 8, 2009

Just when everyone thought they had enough of shoes making headlines, yet another one pops up, and yet again for all the wrong reasons. And what’s the news this time? Its about a haul of heroin worth 30 lakhs found in a shoe that was being sent through courier from Bangalore to South Africa. You just cant keep the shoes away from the happening stage nowadays, can you?

After a series of ‘sole attacks’ on prominent personalities in public, the act has garnered unpleasant responses from all quarters. One of the prominent politicians even remarked that shoe slinging is not our culture. As far as the Indian perception of footwear with regard to culture goes, one does find a mixed insight. The footwear garlanding of effigies of cricketers and politicians as a result of public outrage is one side of the coin and the sandals of Shri Ram ruling the Ayodhya throne in his absence is the other. But yes, in general, we do perceive shoes as ‘dirty’ which is symbolized by our leaving of our footwear outside places of worship and our own houses, in contrast to our Western counterparts who walk into a funeral room with their shoes on, but take their hats off.

Nevertheless, if shoes continue to hog the limelight for negative reasons the way they are now, a stage might come when authorities will ban sporting of shoes. What if that happens? Well, not a bad idea to imagine a shoe-less world – Virender Sehwag and Harbhajan Singh will not be fined for carrying unhygeininc shoes aboard. Good reason to walk into the field with the fine away, but watch out for that Brett Lee Yorker that might literally end up being a ‘toe crushing’ one. Hindi film heroes will not be able to recognize policemen in civil clothes, for all these years they used the tactic ‘Police walon ko unke kapdon se nahi, jooton se pehchana jata hai’. Ladies will not be able to use the trademark ‘sandal ka number bataaun?’ stuff for men busy with eve teasing. Superstitions will lose an option of keeping their houses safe from evil sight with no old shoes/slippers hanging right at the top. Raj Kapoor might never have sung the song ‘Mera joota hai Japani’. The saaalis of the groom will lose a weapon to torture him for money (You know, the joote lo paise do stuff).

Now you know why that shoe bites.

The IPL match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians yesterday was played in Port Elizabeth, a venue known for its chilly and windy conditions, specially after dusk. No wonder we saw almost all players on the field in action wearing sweaters or double jerseys. From commentators, players, to the members in the dugouts of the respective teams, everyone was doubly clad and a few were even seen wrapped in towels as well. However, one contingent that didnt give you an impression of feeling the chill was – the cheergirl unit.

As others on the field struggled to keep themselves warm, these scantily dressed cheergirls showed no signs of covering themselves up. They are instructed to do so, rather. Just goes on to show you how the female body is being used as a product, a commodity for attraction.

I’m perfectly aware that at this point of time that there is a fair chunk of people wanting to pounce on me in stating “The girls don’t have a problem, why should you?”. They’re right. The girls may not be having a problem with that. But its not just about these girls. Its the women community in general, and how the corporate / commercial sector perceives them. And they are the very same people who talk about women empowerment.

In the first place, its hard to understand the need for a bunch of girls dancing in a game of cricket, in a manner that gives you an embarassing feeling, not being able to watch the ‘gentlemen’s game’ with and without family.