How often do we pause and ponder about industry issues that have a bearing beyond just our rigmaroles? Share insights that can further the common understanding? Or, at the very least, point at things that need to be set right. View Point - an exchange4media platform, will fill this void and become a source of understanding, action and perhaps some inspiration.
‘Comparing different and unrelated companies often is an acceptable approach if
you are looking simply at the operating features of the business rather than their
Sushil Bahl, Faculty–Marketing Area, Nirma Institute of Management, Ahmedabad
With the elections taking up every waking moment, the word that’s top of my mind is ‘choice’. And breathing advertising as I do, the word ‘choice’ set my mind on a wild goose chase.
All these reminded me of the first time I was exposed to celebrity endorsement, when Sunil Gavaskar batted for Thums Up, and Kapil Dev ran in for Palmolive.
And I thought to myself, how terribly restricting, that Sunny couldn’t refresh himself with Campa Lime, and Kapil experience the fragrance of Godrej Shaving Cream. His wife would have loved it.
If their right to choose had been restricted by contracts, imagine the world of the current superstars. It’s truly frightening.
Poor Sachin. He’s got to keep gurgling Boost to maintain energy levels, whereas I, on a whim, could switch from Horlicks to Viva to Bournvita and Milo. He’s got to drive around in a Fiat – never any other car – and I can toss between a Skoda or an E-Class Merc. Maybe even a Maybach.
And while Amitabh’s frustration at being limited to Parker causes him to be rude to all and sundry strangers about their writing instruments, my mind boggles with confusion when I enter the stationery shop. Reynolds? Gee Flo? Waterman? A Limited-edition Mont Blanc? Wonder how the Big B will deal with it when I’m seated next to him on a Sahara flight. I’ll wear one of each and watch him squirm. And I’ll fly Jet for the return journey.
Cutty Sark or Johnny Walker Black? Naah, I’ll have a John Daniels (and get as close to it as Al Pacino is), while ShahRukh and his friends grimace on their McDowell’s No. 1. And, while on ShahRukh, he and Sachin can go fishing if the AirTel network is congested, while I can switch to a congested BPL Mobile or congested Orange network, so there. And they can’t Follow me (wherever I may choose to go) and they can’t Live Wirefree!
And Veeru could choose from a million strokes on a dead wicket to make three hundred, but he can wear only Adidas. I can jog in Pumas, play soccer in Nikes and go to work in a Bata. By Choice.
And if you want to get really personal, Sunny Deol cannot make a Big Impression or cause Envy. He has to stay true to his ‘andar ki baat’. I’ll go on and be the Next Best Thing to Naked.
It’s amazing how these contracts can intrude. Mandira’s scheduled her next 10 holidays in South Africa, and my travel agent’s tearing his hair out. With prices dropping, and the globe warming, the South of France beckons today. But tomorrow, the Gold Coast seems to be a good place to be. A VJ I know suggested Ibiza, but Dubai’s full of Natashas. By the time I decide, Mandira will be back from the first of her ten Cape Town junkets.
The Rock can’t have a Monaco, while my daughter can (in addition to Bourbons)! He’s stuck to Kissan, while she can sample and relish the entire Maggi range. He’s GOT to use Castrol, and I can toss up between Servo and Mak, if possible. If I’m feeling experimentative, I’ll do Idemitsu.
The list of their restrictions can go on forever; one sort of feels sorry for today’s celebrities. Perhaps they deserve all those many crores that they receive for endorsements. It offsets their suffering, I guess.
Except, how come they have all the restrictions and all the money, and I have all the choice, not the power to exercise it?