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From Olay’s tribute to Coleridge; and Myntra’s strip-tease for lumbar support

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Brand mascots and endorsers do make a difference when it comes to marketing. I will not say that they make or break a brand and its communication, but just the face and the expression matters. For example Subbu played by Vinay Pathak has done really very well for Kotak or the demystifying insurance evils of Max Life Insurance, to name a few have made a relationship with the audience and  in turn with the brand. The weather is tricky and the world is supposedly ending on the 21st of this month, according to the Mayan calendar, I would urge you to read a few examples of the wannabe out-of-the-box marketing by a few brands.

Be brave don’t shave
When George Clooney, Zach Galifianakis (fat guy from hangover series), Morgan Freeman or Hugh Jackman from Hollywood and Kunal Kapoor, Farhan Akhtar or Amitabh Bachchan from Bollywood flaunt their beard or stubble, the ladies love them unanimously. When Gillette comes out with a futuristic Fusion Gamer Razor, women, unanticipatedly like clean shaved men. And the brand too plays a cloak-and-dagger game to publish all kinds of surveys and numbers to prove the same. The recent campaign ‘Shave or Crave’ is everywhere – on radio, print etc. The guy won’t get his music downloads from his girlfriend if he doesn’t shave, apparently, without a shave she makes him crave! Even though the campaign is sustained, somehow the stubble is not. Talking from a purely patriarchal point of view, I believe that men shave when they want to, faineancy is in our blood and 60 per cent of men don’t have girlfriends who nag them about stubble. Reminds me of the Hindi platitude ‘Ghar Ki Kheti’, well Maliaka Arora Khan believes that when men shave in the evening, it makes the better half feel special, I believe, it is material and suddenly men feel empowered, no offence to women but now they can make the women ‘crave’ for a clean face.

Whiteness personified?
What do Katrina Kaif, Gul Panag, Madhuri Dixit, Soha Ali Khan, Kajol and Shushmita Sen have in common? Yes they are all celebrities (but obvious) and they all have ‘powdered white’ faces when it comes to a specific brand endorsement. Hard to guess? It’s Olay. To my catechism, how can all their faces be projected flawless, or is it airbrushed in Photoshop? Of course Olay claims to reduce the wrinkles and lines in 10 minutes, but the fact is that the solution is for ‘reduction’ not removal. Talking about flawlessness, are their faces so flawed that they need to powder them up. Tough competition for the other fairness creams form a product that reduces wrinkles. I wish these females were inhabitants of Brobdingnag from Gulliver’s Travels where the underlying flaws of the giants can be seen so clearly.  Contemplating white faces, stirs up a song that I am fond of by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner: Her lips were red, her looks were free, Her locks were yellow as gold: ‘Her skin was as white’ as leprosy, The Night-mare Life-in-Death was she, Who thicks man’s blood with cold..

Kiss and ‘share’
To all the youngsters and not-so-young that are in the stage of amorousness, there is a novel idiosyncrasy to kiss. Nokia Lumia 510 has apparently set a new trend for kissing, instead of putting your lip to function, use the tips of your fingers, the same way you showed little kids how a swan looks. Lumia 510 vouchsafes that since the youth is on the social media platform 24×7, one can start any trend, since everybody is connected. But, why kissing? Even though a lot of youngsters like to post every and anything that they do, not everyone likes to kiss and tell. Well maybe, this is a way of surpassing the moral police and coming up with an alternative to show affection. The ad shows couples male and female hand kissing, with a background sound that sounds similar to the squeaky ‘kohlapuri chappals’. What is difficult to perceive is why would hand kissing become a trend when you can do the real stuff? Anyway, parents can take it easy as 95 per cent of the Lumia 510 non-users wouldn’t understand  the concept of PDA (public display of affection).

From boardroom ramp walks to stripping
The latest Myntra ad sends across a deep message with its tertiary focus on communication that it has some ‘hot’ December deals. For the little kids watching TV, it is an ostentatious display of how many layers of clothes one should wear in winters. For young women, it shows how to stay safe from ogling eyes and creepy people. For young men, it shows how hard they have to work and where their hard earned money will eventually go. Well for a TVC, Myntra sure threw the ‘TG’ net wide into the ocean. Last time they entered an office boardroom for a ramp-walk and now a strip. As far as I have heard, the audience finds the girl in the TVC ‘hotter’ than the offers on the e-commerce website. As far as the communication is concerned, doesn’t the brand want consumers to buy more apparels for winters? Then why is the weather being made ‘hot’?

And ‘yes’ while you are on Myntra.com, do try out searching for ‘lumbar support’ on the site, and be amazed by the suggestions you get. Had I known the options available, I wouldn’t have needed ortho surgical treatments. 😉

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