Category Archives: Humour

The 5th P of Electoral Marketing

Superstar Rajinikanth addresses after casting his vote during the South Indian Artists Association’s SIAA Election in

Let me admit this, this post has been long overdue, and procrastination has had an undue effect on this and I thought what better topic than the voter as a consumer. This is the season of election where I am living and my neighbouring state of Kerala.

My professional assignments have taken me to see how the political parties see these voters as consumers and fool them into buying their promise and come up trumps.

So I went back to see how these have evolved in the last few years and how one last election has changed the landscape to a different plane of activity as far as election is concerned.

How do you actually define your consumer. Work backwards, that might be the philosophy.

A party looks at the voter as a consumer. And the best part is the market or the target that it is all about. The product here is a 5-year government that is being sold to a very heterogeneous set of population.

The parties used to profile the market and differentiate in their own way not until the matrix of social studies came into play.

The matrix of 4Ps in play in elections is quite evident from the way they start announcing the candidates. Price, Place, Packaging and Promotion.

First P : Price
The Price here refers to the amount the candidate is willing to pay for the Party quite easily becomes the preference which they think can make up for the rest of the next three Ps. Quite obviously, this took a different dimension in Tirumangalam in Tamilnadu where each voter was given a price say ranging between 1000 – 2000 rupees to cast his vote in favour of a party. This was significant because it was also a bye election. This later came to be known as Tirumangalam Formula and was widely used by the opposition and won elections handsomely.
So what’s a little few crores when you can earn as much and more when you get to power in the next five years.

Second P : Place
The next P is the Place, its actually a suggestion by the Electin commission that makes it a reserved category seat in some cases. But otherwise the candidate needs to be a local. The national Parties are very strict about this sometimes, they believe the son of the soil card can be played to the advantage. So clearly in Kerala when Sreeshant was announced a candidate the opposition which no real issues picked on him as an outsider.

The Place factor also can be historical, say the DMK Stalwart contests from his hometown a bit of psychology and emotional appeal as if the constituency is going to be changed to a capital anytime soon. Mind you need to fool all the people only for that few days when the electoral code is in force.

Third P : Packaging
Let’s move to Packaging, what’s a product without the real deal – packaging, the inherent psyche of the consumer is that however good the product may be it is enhanced to the next level with some packaging and we see how important it is when it comes to FMCGs, I would rank the votes under the same category except that its once in five years.
The Packaging these days have now come to be done by professionals who can crunch data for you and give you a presentation that will floor you down and make it look like a book titled how to win elections by engineering a social divide across caste, community and religion. Again the closest the parties come to is the packaging of the castes, communal and religious overtones in subtle and sublime way that people think its ok for us to be hoodwinked and a sense of righteousness fills them when they are told that they belong to a clan of warriors or fighters or sometimes they will be known for their hard-line stance on caste or community lines.

Fourth P : Promotion
Now let’s talk about promotion. Those were days when you can actually do paid advertising but then today Election Commission thinks it’s got the rights to enforce at least some of the important statues and try to get an un influenced by media election. Of course you can discount the party owned and other media outlets, especially with reference to Tamil Nadu where I belong, I still wonder how Election Commission will be able to ideally have them accounted as a cost.

The last Parliament election made Social Media the darling of every party and the way Narendra Modi used it apart from his whirlwind tours made it an important instrument in his victory.

So we have digital making a great impact and there are different patterns appearing even Meme’s making it to the forefront. Whatsapp, Facebook, twitter are all used extensively to create touch points for communication. Ofcourse there are apps too which are making it happens. The digital with its targeting is making it a wonderful instrument. Even SMSes are being used across.

Fifth P : No guesses Its Prashanth Kishore
Now the post 2014 has given birth to a new P. It’s called Prashanth Kishore and that P has been able to make waves after Mission 2014 Its been easy till now with the Bihar elections in his bag The 5th P in election marketing is on a roll. Time will decide how it will fare in the near future.

The winner needs to get these 4Ps together in appropriate measure according to the place he is working on the ground. Not to forget the 5th P.

Urban has a social media edge meanwhile rural has the other side of offline marketing which also includes bribing with liquor, biriyani and money.

Now you might be asking me what will the consumer here aka the voter get. He gets to be laughed at for another 5 years. 😛

Now in case you are any of the state are in election mode and reading hope you did your sacred duty of voting!


PS: Incase you are asking me about the Picture its about an election but yeah nothing to do with the article, as much as citizens plight for the next five years

How to Become a Billionaire by Selling Nothing #bookreview

how-to-become-a-billionaire-by-selling-nothingSo you know @jhunjhunwala on twitter. Well you would esp if you are a fan of cricket and then those commentaries that changed the complexion of commentaries. To me and some fans there was a cricket commentary on twitter with pre @jhunjhunwala era and post.

It was always going to be sarcastic, but had we have had enough of them?

The book ‘How to Become a Millionaire by Selling Nothing’ is a extension of his writing style to a full 370 pages of fun with the main characters in Rakesh Jhunhunwala and Ramakant Sastry.

A solid take on the ways people take to extremes to make money with doses of humour and how they take the common people for granted.

The story is how Ramakant Sastry makes a huge profit with an idea of selling nothing and in the process takes everything to the heights literally, actually he starts off by forging the documents when Jhunjhunwala sends him off with a lakh of rupees so that he can free himself off the Nothing idea from Ramakant.

This has it effect from the market bourses to the customers who want to buy nothing. Aditya takes the production and marketing to humorous levels on how they are bent on producing products and advertising campaigns to sell it.

So when you thought this was all too good there is a new legal issue coming up with another company taking them to court over the rights over who invented nothing. That would be the way things go for nothing literally a brouhaha for nothing.

Aditya also takes up the way people get intoxicated with wealth especially if its from get rich kind of way up a faster ladder. The portrayal of Ramakant and Jhunjhunwala in contrast has a lot to be praised for.

The value of money is a relative or rather a subjective one. Hilariously depicted across different categories of people all eyeing for market and studying the consumers psyche, the author hits the brands for the way they take the consumers for granted.

A fast paced light read page turner, personally feel it could have been made some parts crisper since we all get used to the awesomeness of Jhujhunwala!

Kudos to Aditya for an awesome debut in a genre which is very less predictable.

To buy the book on Flipkart and Amazon click here:

Going digital and staying ahead of times…

So that’s billed as a big fight! Infact one of the twitterati that I follow named it as bitch fight. One TVC and three months later another series to give it back in their own words or say giving a taste of their own medicine.

Well I am talking about the big fight between The Hindu and the Times of India with their TVCs, you can see all the The Hindu videos here  & TOI here which have created quite a debate and a following in traditional lines that Hindu reader normally does, take sides and also the TOI reader snaring / laughing off at the portrayal.

Now coming back to why I chose to write on this, well I have been a regular reader of the Hindu ever since I got subscribed  to it say from 1991 or so till the last one year before I came to Delhi. My association with the Hindu has been diverse, a reader, an advertiser – I managed the PSG’s advertising wing then also as a PR when with Narain Karthikeyan I did the rounds for editorial. But my association remains the best as a reader that’s when you get to enjoy all the best the Hindu has to offer.

I read with interest this article which appeared in Forbes blog. Very interesting take on why the ad in question from TOI actually woke up the Hindu. To a great extent, it is true and in fact my being in Delhi has changed the readership routine to Times of India for obvious reasons. I still get a hang of the Hindu online everyday even tweeting some interesting takes on my home town on and off. But to keep up the smell of the coffee I just buy a copy of the Hindu from Saket bookstall on Saturdays and Sundays during my walk.

The Delhi edition or rather the one printed at Allahabad or Mohali is very thin – less number of pages, but you get the Sunday Magazine and the usual Saturday stuff.

My early remembrances of the Hindu include the Saturday Sports special, which I started missing it when they stopped it altogether. They also did away with the last page sports reporting which was my favorite page. I reckon all the tennis reporting these days would not come close to the way they did without the internet and stuff we have today. But today is another different story. Then there was this change of design and all that which made news without dateline and it was fun reading those days when you could actually find same news items twice in the news paper or sometimes churned out the very next day.

And yes it has been a long way and editorially though I wouldn’t approve of it quite a few times, we would necessarily brag about the way its written; that immaculate English and the vocabulary that it imparts, it sheer brilliance and that what the stuff is made of at the Hindu. No doubt they refer the Hindu as a paper of study for the civil services.

Now you know all the questions that were asked were actually a part of the UPSC exams. It had caught the imagination of the ad industry and the people who read the Hindu, but my only hunch is will anyone from the TOI brandwagon jump the ship. True the south doesn’t celebrate the Bollywood or any of the Kollywood or Tollywood or Mollywood in the way the English dailies up north do it. There are no gossip columns there.  There are a number of vernacular magazines which bridge the gap.

I think I am seeing a different newspaper in the Hindu in the sense they are also going commercial and also thinking about marketing, not that they were lame about it. I still think the Sportstar ads by Lintas were one of the best ever.  But now it’s the time to be heard loud and may be this reaction. So welcome aboard the tough seas, the Hindu.

I will be missing the point if I don’t talk about the ads. The ads are well shot and are cute in fact, that’s a ridiculous comment you may say but what do you do when you know that lip sync is so obvious. Isn’t that the cute part. I should also be proud of the fact that I cracked almost 100% in all the ads. Now where is my big prize? Jokes apart it was trying to sell a bit of intellectual pursuit which is fine in a way but would the hurt guy (one mocked at) bite the bullet. They are a happy lot anyways!  But they were entertaining for sure… Well that’s my personal take! It was nice seeing The Hindu take an aggressive stand though will have to wait for the business part of the subscriptions.

A look at the celebrity followers in India especially on twitter will give the reason why Page 3 exists so much than all pages, it’s actually the 10 pages of Page 3 news articles which they call it the city times. You could also blame it on twitter and @Srbachchan for letting the world know that Ash was pregnant on twitter.

Anyways this should be good for the TV Channels, who are making money out of Newspaper fights.

On the other hand it is also noteworthy that they made a viral out of the ads they did. I got to know of the TOI ad after this hit back by The Hindu. That was the best part and it was on my timeline so many times both on FB and twitter. That perhaps is a lesson for all marketers. My take out of the episode: Digital is here, it is here to stay and grow big, now you get to choose whether you want to stay ahead of times or not.

R Senthilkumar

Micheal Schumacher comeback…

I have always believed off track events are sometimes more interesting than the 300 kilometers race on track. And when the races ended with the last race being an academic race, it was left to making of new contracts and more over how the new teams would make their line up. For sometime it seemed that it will take pretty long time and sometimes even months to announce the drivers.

When Button signed up at McLaren, it was little disappointing that the man had to leave because of financials. But this year clearly belonged to Button for some reason from the start with a fantastic drive at Australian GP and went on to win the championship though not as everyone expected. But now it seems lost to the PR mania that Schumacher come back has taken on. Ever since Mercedes spilled the news that they were in touch with Schumie for a possible come back, it was the leading story till they culminated with an official story to the effect. Now we have an all German line up backed by a Mercedes brand.

I was delighted to see the man but to be a little frank it took sometime to see him adorn a new set of colors literally. How would Schumacher look in the new livery. For some fans like me who know F1 as Schumacher and Schumacher as F1 it would be really a great tough thing to point the car he will be driving. Or would it be now part Ferrari and part Mercedes loyalty. Pitrat has analysed it in his post.

A red and black/grey combination (most of my countries political flags have this colour), so how do I do it… root for Schumie, and root for Ferrari…tough ask I should say. I would reserve this for the first race, nevertheless, will be watching the most of what happens till the light go out at the first GP.

The year 2009 will be remembered for Schumacher come back than for having created a new World Champion. We can look forward to some exciting racing here when you know that more champions are there vying with one another. It has always been my fancy to see how Lewis would drive along side the seven time champion.

With this official announcement the expectations are only bound to rise. With Ross Brawn and Micheal Schumacher together you can expect nothing short of magic, like I said the driver and team gelling is more time consuming than getting a new aero upgrade. For me, in hindsight it looked like it was bound to happen.

On the other side the Ferrari stable had been very gracious till now, because even when he was retired Schumie made it a point to visit every race possible. Now will there be a vacuum in an already morale-sagged Ferrari team which had a nightmarish weekends sometimes this year.

But this has been a cycle or trend and unless people go all out washing dirty linen in public, it’s all fine and it’s the way it is.

Before I end, Wishing fellow bloggers and the team at a Merry Christmas and happy Weekend …

Welcome 2010, you give more reasons for the F1 fans to watch it more than ever. And we thought 2010 would be dull.

(this was on

Humour at the campus…at the cost of English ofcourse…

Principal to student…” I saw u yesterday rotating near girls hostel pulling cigarette… ? ”
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Class teacher once said :

” pick up the paper and fall in the dustbin!!!”

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once Hindi teacher said….”I’m going out of the world to America..”

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don’t. laugh at the back benches…otherwise teeth and all will be fallen down…..

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it was very hot in the afternoon when the teacher entered.. She tried to switch the fan on, but there was some problem. and then she said

” why is fan not oning” (ing form of on)

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teacher in a furious mood…

write down ur name and father of ur name!!

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“shhh… quiet… the principal is revolving around college”

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My manager started like this

“Hi, I am Madhu, Married with two kids”

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“I’ll illustrate what i have in my mind” said the professor and erased the board

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“will u hang that calendar or else I’ll HANG MYSELF”

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Chemistry HOD comes and tells us…

“My aim is to study my son and marry my daughter”

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Tomorrow call ur parents especially mother and father

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“why are you looking at the monkeys outside when i am in the class?!”

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Lab assistant said this when my friend wrote wrong code..

“I understand. You understand. Computer how understand??

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Seeing the principal passing by, the teacher told the noisy class..

“Keep quiet, the principal has passed away”

From Silicon india humour page by Sivaprakash….

Have a laugh…

These are oneliners and though often circulated its ready fun reading this….here we go….

  • Regular naps prevent old age, especially if you take them while driving.
  • Having one child makes you a parent; having two you are a referee.
  • Marriage is a relationship in which one person is always right and the other is the husband!
  • I believe we should all pay our tax with a smile. I tried – but they wanted cash.
  • A child’s greatest period of growth is the month after you’ve purchased new school uniforms.
  • Don’t marry the person you want to live with, marry the one you cannot live without, but whatever you do, you’ll regret it later.
  • You can’t buy love, but you pay heavily for it.
  • Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote.
  • Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired.
  • Marriage is give and take. You’d better give it to her or she’ll take it anyway..
  • My wife and I always compromise. I admit I’m wrong and she agrees with me.
  • Those who can’t laugh at themselves leave the job to Others.
  • A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.
  • You’re getting old when you enjoy remembering things more than doing them.
  • It doesn’t matter how often a married man changes his job, he still ends up with the same boss.
  • Real friends are the ones who survive transitions between address books.
  • Saving is the best thing. Especially when your parents have done it for you.
  • Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools talk because they have to say something
  • They call our language the mother tongue because the father seldom gets to speak!
  • Man to Doctor: Is there any way for long life?
    Dr: Get married.
    Man: Will it help?
    Dr: No, but then the thought of long life will never come.
  • Why do couples hold hands during their wedding? It’s a formality just like two boxers shaking hands before the fight begins!
  • Wife: Darling today is our anniversary, what should we do?
    Husband: Let us stand in silence for 2 minutes.
  • There is only one perfect child in the world and every mother has it.
  • There is only one perfect wife in the world and every neighbor has it!

via Coimbatore Cosmo yahoogroup by Ameet Sir!

Have a laugh….

I receive the Silicon India’s newsletter and the humour submitted by the readers are real treat… today on Silicon India was this: url here

Does the management know its employees are??

On walking into the factory, the Managing Director of the Company noticed a young guy… leaning against the wall and doing nothing.

He approached the young man and calmly said to him, “How much do you earn?”

The young man was quite amazed that he was asked such A personal question, he replied, none the less, “I earn $ 2000.00 a month, Sir. Why?”

Without answering, the MD took out his wallet and removed  $6000.00 cash and gave it to the young man and said,

“Around here I pay people for working, not for standing around looking pretty!

Here is your 3 months salary, now GET OUT and don’t come back”.

The young man turned around and was quickly out of sight.

Noticing a few onlookers, the MD said in a very upset manner,

“And that applies to everybody in this company”.

He approached one of the onlookers and asked him, “Who’s the young man I just fired?”

To which an amazing reply came – “He was the pizza delivery guy , Sir!”