Sunday, September 29, 2013

Family Soap

I belong to a generation of soap users in India that believed that 1 Soap was enough for the entire body and the entire family. We fondly loved the one green soap-bar that was purchased along with the family grocery once a month.


This was before the time that there were Aeroplanes, digital telephones and Satellite television (or at least I didn’t know of their existence). My naive self believed that this one soap could miraculously clean my hair, my face and my body and that is all that I needed for my morning bathing routine that lasted about 5 minutes (yeah, just to make myself clear – I was small then).

Hamam Soap Commercial

Somewhere along the way, there came TV (or rather I started watching and believing it). Marketers convinced us that we need a guy soap, that is different from a gal soap. Then they convinced us that we need different kinds of soaps from head to toe. I am amazed why they never taught me that I need a different soap depending on the day of the week. (Marketing 101 says – if you can’t increase your customer base, then sell more products to the same hapless customer).

Anyway, the gullible consumer I am, over the period of several years ended up buying so many soaps for so many things that at one point in time my soaps were the most expensive component of my grooming routine (I guess they are even now!).

Then I guess marketers figured that to make their shareholders happy they need to come up with more soap options. So they started consolidating the soaps back again. Now slowly and steadily we have reached a state where we get – a 3-in-1 Body + Hair + Face soap. Viola an innovation so intense that they charge me close to 10 SGD for this one (mind you the green bar was like a few cents back then!)


Of course, being the staunch believer in anything that gets marketed to me, I have been using this soap “After sport” (as if I am an athlete) and feeling good about it. Only yesterday did I realize that I have just gone back to my good old days of the Hamam.

So this is an appeal to all my marketer friends. I have got more hard earned money yearning for your attention. Please senselessly advertise more banal stuff to me. I promise, I won’t disappoint you.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Take this Metalheads!

Accidentally figured out last week that the symbol in the picture below actually stands for - “I Love You” in sign language. I was flabbergasted. Generations of heavy metal fans like me grew up believing it was the symbol of the devil or just plan 666. It was the sign of the horns all the while. It stood for anti-establishment and our rebellion against the system – till now.

And now I know. It just means – I love you.

I love you

Imagine drunk men with long hair and beard wearing t-shirts that signify they are horrible creatures and are against everything nice, cute and sweet in this world. Then they shout and scream at the top of their voice and head-bang to loud music while the guitar solo guy plays the riff from his best anti-establishment song. And then the collective crowd of burly men raise their hands high up in the air and say “I love you”. Haha, heavy metal concerts will never be the same for me again!

And just to further offend all my metal-head friends – here is Britney crooning to “I love Rock ‘N’ Roll”

I love Rock ‘N’ Roll

Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Experiment

When I say Justin Bieber is the greatest entertainer in the world, I am not being sarcastic. At the tender age of 19 he has achieved more in his life than most other artists do in their entire lifetime. He is the most popular celebrity on twitter (and internet) and he has the capacity to cause widespread sorrow and joy for millions of people around the world by his actions.

But (yeah there had to be a but there!). His clientele (fan-following to be precise) seems to be uniformly distributed across the teenage girls age-group. I am sure there are middle-aged men who swing to his grooves, but I am also sure that they are statistically insignificant.

Justin in Concert 

While Formula 1 as a sport is wholly uniformly distributed across men in the older age group and the category of men listening to Justin and seeing Formula 1 should (I am presuming) be a significantly low number.

I am not exactly sure about what was going on through the Singapore Grand Prix organizer’s mind when they decided to bring in Justin for the closing concert for the F1 Grand Prix. I mean, men my age, don’t particularly mind *seeing* Rihana, Shakira or Katy Perry in concert after an exciting F1 race. But seeing Justin would not exactly be a manly thing to do.

Rihanna in Concert

As someone pointed out to me, this could very well be the organizer’s last ditch effort to get teenage girls to come see F1 (cause I have heard that generation can do anything to see Justin and also loves to spend a lot – any marketer’s dream). So to see him live, a 3 hour race with cars roaring and zipping by is not really a discomfort. And after these gals see the race, they love the excitement and become avid F1 fans.

This probably will be the most significant marketing experiment of the century and business schools all around the world will study this event as an amazing  showcase of appealing to a new segment altogether by just bringing in their most favorite celebrity to perform. Or, I guess, I am really missing something really really big here.