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Reporter’s Diary: Everything’s fair in love & war

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Reporter’s Diary: Everything’s fair in love & war

After the tough wintry chill of January, there is a sudden freshness in the air. To me, the city looks like it is back in action with a whiff of warm air. The year started on a cold note. From the telecom sector to Yuvraj Singh, all of them have got some big blows starting this year. 2012 is certainly going to be a bumpy ride for many of us in the media too. According to few sources, a slowdown is expected, but I think it’s going to be like a roller coaster ride meant to be enjoyed.

The second month of the year lit up many faces. Advertisers leveraged their marketing skills at its best on the occasion of Valentine’s Day. My mail inbox was flooded with press releases from across all markets on activities lined up for ‘V-Day’; few were clichéd, whereas others were notable. For instance, in an attempt to promote a safe Valentine’s Day, an e-commerce portal had introduced a campaign offering condoms at Re 1. The offer was branded as a reminder that Valentine’s Day should not just be about surprise gifts, a romantic dinner and red roses, but also about playing it safe. Well, I haven’t received post sales releases on it, so I am considering it to be one-of-those-marketing-gimmick-which-was-just-hyped. The idea was for a brilliant cause, but the end result? Well, maybe who cares?

With the end of one ‘V-Day’ followed another ‘V-Day’ – the vote day for the BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation) elections. With Mumbai registering almost the same voter turnout of 46 per cent on Thursday as it did five years ago, election officials were disappointed that their efforts to boost voting had not succeeded. It’s high time that political parties and the Election Commission perfected and polished their branding and marketing skills well.

Everyone knows that just playing gimmicks has always led to the failure of political systems in the past. Efforts that bring out brand trust need to be made in front of critical masses during the political marketing exercise. A local political party did make an effort in this area; to many people, it was an epic failure, but few others believe it’s just a beginning of Indian political advertising. We should be referring to our American friends in this area particularly and this will definitely make our political ‘mamus’ brand smart. This, of course, is an oversimplification. But it does capture the idea that a business city has to be run in a business-like fashion without losing out on democratic values.

All said and done, it’s better to review and learn from our mistakes than adding fuel to the fire all the time. Criticism should be accepted if it is followed by a solution. My Aquarian trait always believes in the proverb: “Everything is fair in love and war”, so all that needs to be done is be good, stay happy because picture abhi baaki hai mere dost…

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Prior to joining Madison PR in 2012 Chaudhary was Group President Corporate Communications at Reliance Industries Limited.