Express Criticism against Authorities, Not Athletes: CWG 2010

Many of you may remember that some 45 days ago I called for non cooperation with the commonwealth games. The idea was catalyzed by chetan bhagat’s article aptly titled – please don’t cheer the loot fest. Finally a facebook group grew to about 500 people and some discussions happened. Alternatively I heard about some voices of dissent trying to oppose the opening ceremony . Finally when the man behind the mess , Mr Kalmadi took centrestage he was clearly greeted with more “jeers than cheers” ( to borrow headlines from popular media). A palpable demonstration of the discontent that prevails.
I was looking frantically for a method to watch the live steaming of the opening ceremony and beyond (through twitter), a friend asked – ‘I thought you were boycotting the games’. I recommended another friend in Delhi to watch aquatic events for the venue looks spectacular on TV. He told me, ‘I am protesting by not turning up for any of the events’

This is where I feel we have got it all wrong. Who is our wrath against? The thousands of athletes who compete for top honours. The thousands of volunteers who are working 16-18 hr days. The workers who put together the venues, village and made things happen. I would urge that none of these groups should be the victim of our wrath. For these unsung heroes are not a part of the ‘loot fest’, which we are and shall continue to be against.

By not turning up at the venues, we are not protesting against the ‘loot fest’, but against sportsmanship. We are demonstrating that we do not care about the ‘core’ of the games – whether that core is to showcase top quality sporting action, or signal an emergent cultural and economic superpower. We are sending wrong signals to the world about our apathy for Olympic sport.

I urge friends and countrymen to not extend the opposition of a ‘loot fest’ to showing up and cheering the sport. Perhaps wear black bands at the venues to demonstrate that you haven’t forgotten that the guilty still need to be taken to task!


When Brands Fail Their Loyalists : Dilemmas of a Delhi Metro ‘fan’

Aren’t we taught in marketing classes the importance of customer loyalty, a sort of holy grail for brand managers. And yes I firmly to believe that many brands have loyalists who are not only regular users but sort of evangelists. However ever wonders what happens if this brand betrays this very ardent fan!

I recently took a flight into delhi with a connecting train, A timely arrival and a 4 hrs:15 mins gap between the two prompted me to steal a quick meeting with a friend. The friend offered to pick me up and offered to drop me to a metro station in Gurgaon from where I would take the newly started service all the way to the railway station. An ardent believer that we all should travel by the metro due to all the usual benefits ( both tangible – speed, comfort, certainity and the emotional ones – public transit, non polluting etc), I was thrilled at the idea of travelling by the much awaited service between central delhi and Gurgaon – two days after its commencement.

A good lunch meeting and my friend dropped me at the Gurgaon Station. Train started promptly and reached made its way into south delhi and was headed to get me to the railway station 25 mins ahead of my train’s departure. Suddenly at Udyog Bhavan – some 3 stops before my destination – came an announcement of a short delay in service – usually such delays are 2-3 mins, However for the next 15 mins every 2 mins a ‘short’ delay was announced. Later they announced ‘that’ a technical failure had occured and we should wait to hear further information. By then it was too late to catch my train and hence I ended up missing it.

I got out of the station dejected and asked a staff member if I could file a complaint to claim compensation for the inconvenience caused – as my train ticket was wasted and I needed to plan an alternative journey. He provided me the complaint book after some ado. Now the next step was to go the bus stand and take a bus to my final destination. I thought to myself, the fastest way to reach the ISBT ( bus stand) was by the metro as well. By then the service had somewhat resumed.

But I was so disgusted that I got out called a relative and asked them to arrange a car to drop me to the bus terminus. When they said ‘metro is the best way to get there’ I said “I know, but right now I feel betrayed by the Delhi Metro, They made me miss a train/plane for the first time in life. I no longer can belong to the exclusive club of people who have never missed a train or a flight. ”

I confess I am still a Delhi Metro ‘fan’ but can I recommend it with the same conviction to people now that I always did. The heart says yes of course, the mind says Don’t be stupid. Mr Brand Manager are you listening!

Lets Abuse TAM Data: Indian TV Industry

I read an ad in Mint about UTV-Bloomberg claiming that they have grown to no. 2 in the English Business News Space.

Lets Abuse TAM Data

Surprised I decided to look closely:
Well in the Male CS 25-44 (all SECs) Segment All India market they had slightly greater channel share (relative) than NDTV Profit and ET NOW according to TAM. For the uninitiated channel share is the product of no of people who watched at least one minute ( reach) and the average time spent by them.

I have three issues with this kind of abuse of TAM numbers :
1. The target for English Business News Channels is much smaller than the one used in the ad. Perhaps CS 25-44 M SEC A and B in 10 lakh plus towns would be more plausible.

2. The use of relative shares is again a misleading measure. In reality the absolute of share of viewing of these channels is minuscule to total television viewing so how many combined minutes of television viewing does this really mean?

3. The third is with the use of TAM for such data.English business news is a very niche segment.
a.) This genre is consumed by respondents who are hard to recruit for high involvement research like TAM.
b). Besides consumption is outside the home ( at public places, offices etc).
c.) The sample sizes for these channels is so low that these fluctuations may be due to sampling errors.

But the saddest part is that our media planners will continue to spend advertising money based on these irrelevant numbers and think they are making scientifically correct decisions.

I hope students of media/ advertising /marketing can learn this before going to the industry.

The whole point is ‘Lost in Translation’

Harsh Taneja – (संपादित करें) – 4 संबंधित साइट – 71 अनुसरणकर्ता
1 और व्यक्ति ने आपका अनुसरण प्रारंभ कर दिया है!

This is the first page of my Google buzz when I made Hindi the primary language of my Google account.
For starred emails they use the words Tarankit.
For saving an email as draft – they say “Abhi Sahejen” . Something as simple as forwarding an email they say “aagroshit karien”.

I consider Hindi as my first language, and have studied it all the way through high school. Yet most of the terms they use were new to me. I could only continue to do these operations, as I have used Gmail long enough in English and know what all the buttons do. Agreed I am no scholar of Hindi, but am not challenged either? Are scholars of Hindi expected to use the internet in Hindi or lay people who are often deprived of any kind of education beyond high school.

Why can’t forward be simply “auron ko bhejo” , starred mail be ” nishan lagao” and so on so forth ?
Ever heard that internet content in local language can help make it more mass. But then it should be the language of the masses and not something that only Hindi teachers will understand.

One cent per character : Will celebrities help Twitter monetise?

So as expected twitter has finally started talking more concretely about its revenue strategies interestingly they have taken to advertising (promoted tweets) as the primary driver along with some exploration into paid accounts. This is an article that talks about these in some detail.

I somehow feel that it is the celebrity accounts of twitter that can give it its much needed revenue stream. Think of the number of followers that celebrities on twitter have generated. Shashi Tharoor ( India’s external affairs minister) has 715,000 followers, Priyanka Chopra ( a bollywood actress) has 250,000 and so on so forth. Even celebrities with a niche appeal say popular journalists (Like Thomas Friedman has over 50,000 followers). So What?

What if twitter begins to charge everyone who has greater than a certain follower base size, a small amount of money on a fixed basis? Would these guys pay? I am sure their respective PR companies will advise them to pay. After all some 750,000 Indians chose to invest their time in receiving updates about their foreign minister’s activities . Can priyanka chopra choose to ignore her fan base of 250,000 people now that she has started actively engaging with them?

I would be interested in answers.