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BY VINOD MIRANI
Remember the first Liril soap ad? Few who have lived through the 1980s would forget it. The legend with the ad read: ‘Come Alive With Freshness. And just about everything, from props to the accompanying jingle to the model, complemented the caption. However, the best thing about the ad was its model, Karen Lunel.
Most of all, the Liril ad had what they called – and it used to be the watchword of the advertising industry – a Recall Value, which has been everlasting in the case of that ad.
That was the era when ads created celebrities out of models. Now, it is the other way around. The ad-makers have resorted to a short cut. Go for the celebrities for endorsements. And, save for a few cricketers like Virat Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who get the best deals, rest just add to the crowd.
The advantage with crickets is that they enjoy all-India following. When it comes to Hindi film stars, their appeal remains limited to the Hindi following regions. Also, save for somebody like Amitabh Bachchan, they don’t enjoy the popularity in the South that they do in the Hindi film circuits. In which case, the same ads with same storyboards have to be reshot for the South market with local stars.
There were many ads and radio jingles which had lasting value, and still remain popular when it comes to social media discussions when the topic arises. The country started its radio commercial services rather late, in 1967, and radio entertainment was available till only around 10.30 pm. Radio became the major medium of advertising.
In India, people don’t even read a newspaper article byline which in print is usually at the beginning of an article or news. For people to know the voice or face behind a radio jingle was impossible. Except for people like Ameen Sayani, few could earn fame through radio. So what made radio ads a hit was the jingles which, again, carried on to the TV.
With TV came the newer challenge, that of the visuals to go along with the jingle. And, some of them really caught the imagination, and have survived on the same tunes till date after a period of 30 or more years. The examples are a plenty. While the Liril soap is one of them, we have also had Nirma washing powder, Tinipol, Amul, Saridon, Vicks Vaporub, Vicks cough drops, Kingfisher, Vicko Vajradanti, Nerolac, MDH, Fevicol, Lifebuoy soap and many such.
Today, you find very few catchy ads.
There was an anti-smoking ad, which has no record on net, from the eighties or so – something like feeling like a man! There was this young lad who starts to smoke. He thinks he is now a man, grown up. His girlfriend admires him for smoking, too. In the end, he is a sick man coughing and awaiting his ultimate demise; there is no one around, no girlfriend. That, I would rate as the best anti-smoking ad ever and needs to be recalled. Social message ads were not as prevalent as they are today. This was a rare one.
If the Liril soap ad could prove to be evergreen, what is wrong with the ads today that every top film star endorses?
The reasons are numerous. For one, there is no freshness, there is no exclusivity, there is no solid written content to back a campaign and, worst of all, a filmstar promotes multiple consumer products at a time, each following the other on the same TV show!
Most of all, these ads often have little to do with the public image of the star. Public perception about them does not match up to the campaign they model!
Take the example of Amitabh Bachchan, who is seen begging for a cola drink from a lesser celebrity, Arshad Warsi. Now, that is not the Amitabh one knew from “Zanjeer” to “Deewaar” to “Trishul”. Fine, he has tried to mingle and prove himself to be just another normal human being, an aam aadmi like rest of us, through “Kaun Banega Crorepati” and these ads. But, his image is still larger than life for the endorsements he does.
There is a joke on Amitabh Bachchan who endorses Muthoot Finance as well as Kalyan Jewellers. On the Kalyan ad, he advises you buy gold while on Muthoot ad, he suggests you release your blocked cash by mortgaging your gold! Which ad does one take seriously?
Stars are assigned ads just because they are stars. And, they do it for the money while the sun shines. Shah Rukh Khan promotes Big Basket saying ordering kitchen stuff is his job at home. The turnover gives no credit to the brand ambassador so there is no way of knowing how effective a campaign is. Sunny Deol is a non-drinker but agreed to endorse an alcohol brand. Did it work? It did not.
The endorsement industry follows or thinks it follows a star’s popularity. So, not very long ago, we had Ranveer Singh promoting just about everything that was in the market. He was omnipresent on television ads during commercial breaks. Since then, those who call the shots have shifted their loyalties to the likes of Ayushmaan Khurana and Rajkumar Rao among others. Not many character artistes were chosen to promote brands. Now, there are a few exceptions with Pankaj Tripathi getting a lot of work on that front as do Sanjay Mishra and Paresh Rawal. Earlier, Irrfan Khan was much in demand till his had to withdraw dud to his ailment.
The ad world was a lure. Actors complied to do what they neither believed in nor practiced in real life and the alcohol ads proved more addictive for them then their principles. Sunny Deol and Akshay Kumar, both teetotallers, did not mind endorsing alcohol. Alcohol ads are banned in India so to say though unabashedly promoted through surrogate advertising. Thankfully, cigarettes are not. There are many such cases where the actors go against their grain to promote a harmful product even if they don’t endorse it in real life, say, Ajay Devgn endorsing a paan masala brand.
When an actor does this, as in things against their basic nature and conviction, it is all about money, right? Earlier, the stars made their extra income from various stage shows performed abroad. That trend is out now. Brand endorsement is the new way.
Talking of money, and it is only about money is that, the brand ambassadors don’t necessarily owe loyalty to the product they promote. They are often seen using or consuming a competing brand to one they promote. Also, an actor is seen promoting multiple products often one ad following in quick succession.
With his two recent films, “Toilet: Ek Prem Katha” and “Pad Man”, Akshay Kumar made an image as a crusader for such social issues and has proved to be an apt promoter of toilet cleaners as well as sanitary napkins. Then, there are smaller brands and not very glamorous to promote like hair oils, atta, cereals, churans and such where the actor is shown burping or suffering from acidity. These ads are left to the lesser stars. Such campaigns go to stars who once enjoyed the limelight. likes Manoj Bajpayee, Manoj Pahwa, Hema Malini, Raveena Tandon, or Shilpa Shetty would get these assignments!
When not dealing with established stars like Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar, Ranbir Kapoor the admen seem to go by the success and popularity of the stars they choose to endorse products. Among these, Ranveer Singh is leading the pack along with Alia Bhatt with Varun Dhawan while Ayushmann Khurana, Vicky Kaushal and Rajkumar Rao catching on.
There are often controversies when a brand advertise an actor promotes is found to be misleading. The government planned a law by which an actor who is part of such a misleading ad would also be held responsible and subject to penalty. However, though in the pipeline, the said law is yet to be passed. Meanwhile, the very essence of the advertising a product, Recall Value, does not mean a thing anymore.
@The Box Office
The week sees the release of four new films — “Mardaani 2”, “The Body”, “Mudda 370 J&K”, and “Unfriends”. “Mardaani 2”, a relevant film about a rapist, enjoys a sort of brand equity being the second in the instalment where Rani Mukerji plays the cop. “The Body”, a mystery thriller is poorly promoted. “Unfriends” and “Mudda 370” relate to social trends and inter-community romance, respectively. Both are nonstarters.
* “Pati Patni Aur Woh” has done well in its first week. The film collected about Rs 51 crore and faces little opposition in week two, with no film catering to the youth this week.
* “Panipat”, a chapter from Maratha history, has done poorly. A high-budget film, it has managed to put together just about Rs 26 crore.
* “Commando 3” dropped badly in its second week, managing to collect about Rs 2.5 crore, which takes its two-week total to Rs 32 crore. (IANS)
Facebook-owned WhatsApp has finally started rolling out end-to-end encrypted chat backups for iOS and Android users globally. With the new update, if a user chooses to back up his chat history with end-to-end encryption, it will be accessible only to him, and no one will be able to unlock the backup. Neither WhatsApp nor the backup service provider will be able to access their end-to-end encryption backup.
"With end-to-end encrypted backups, no other messaging service at WhatsApp's scale will provide this level of security for people's messages -- from sending and transit, to receiving and storing in the cloud," the company said in a post. The feature will be rolling out "slowly" for people on the latest version of the app.
he feature will be rolling out "slowly" for people on the latest version of the app. | Photo by AARN GIRI on Unsplash
Once the feature rolls out, open WhatsApp, go to Settings > Chats > Chat Backups > End-to-End Encrypted Backup, and then follow the prompts. One can now secure their end-to-end encrypted backup with either a password of their choice or a 64-digit encryption key which means that no one else but only the user will be able to access the backup.
"This feature will provide people with more privacy and security for their digital conversations and that's a responsibility that we don't take lightly. Given this, we are rolling this out slowly to ensure a consistent and reliable user experience for people on iOS and Android around the world," the company added. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: encryption, encrypted, whatsapp, people, backup, End-to-end Encryption
A luxurious house makeover might seem to be an expensive and overwhelming task but it doesn't necessarily have to drill holes in your pocket. A few small changes and the right decor pieces can make a huge difference to the way your home looks. Keyur Zaveri, VP of Design at Furlenco shares some ideas that could give your home a rich look.
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication
While it may feel intuitive to keep adding expensive decor to your home to give it the luxurious touch, in today's ageless is really more. Simplifying your space can give your home a classy look. Invest in a few accent decor pieces - a lamp, wall art, decor for a centre table that are cohesive and work well together in the theme of your room as opposed to having numerous things that do not look like they belong together. Resist the temptation to buy over-the-top accessories and unnecessary furniture, which make your home look bulky.
Resist the temptation to buy over-the-top accessories and unnecessary furniture, which make your home look bulky. | Photo by Samantha Gades on Unsplash
The most important part of creating a luxurious house is to add furniture that is comfortable and elegant. Good furniture, paired with stylish soft furnishings is the first step to creating a beautiful house. Pillows & Cushions of various sizes and accent throws can instantly make a home feel more inviting. Play around with the colours and fabrics of the furniture and find soft furnishing that complements the centrepieces. Invest in good quality fabrics like velvet, linen or suede to upholster your furniture. You can even try textured fabrics like denim blue and faux leather.
Pillows & Cushions of various sizes and accent throws can instantly make a home feel more inviting. | Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash
Lighting can make all the difference to the vibe of your house and help you create a luxurious, beautiful looking space. Using multiple sources of light that draw attention to various corners in the house can make a space look very well put together. Invest in ceiling lamps, floor lamps, table lamps, and accent light fixtures to highlight your favourite areas in the house. While it is advisable to keep a single colour and tone of light, the intensity and direction can be played around to enhance the ambience of the space.
Lighting can make all the difference to the vibe of your house and help you create a luxurious, beautiful looking space. | Photo by Karan Nagpal on Unsplash
Layering works wonders everywhere- be it a chic coat or blazer over your outfit that adds extra charm, or adding decor pieces to your furniture for a luxe look. Carpets add splendour and exquisiteness, instantly changing the way a room looks. Area rugs under tables and sofas help in defining spaces and can blend together the whole look. Experiment with some elegant runners near your beds, on top of your dining tables, or even your bathrooms. You can also add wall coverings and window coverings for a more inclusive aesthetic.
Area rugs under tables and sofas help in defining spaces and can blend together the whole look. | Photo by Sina Saadatmand on Unsplash
You can add a small yet noticeable metallic touch to upgrade your interiors. However, you must be careful to not overdo it; the key to going bling is to keep the metallic accessories minimal. Consider golds, bronzes, copper or silver hues and incorporate them in cushions, lamps, accent walls, lighting fixtures, or centrepieces. You should ensure that each finish is a thoughtful addition to your space.
You can add a small yet noticeable metallic touch to upgrade your interiors. | Photo by Stephanie Harvey on Unsplash
Incorporating these tips can do wonders for your home decor. You can make your home luxurious, without costing an arm and a leg. More than anything it's about making the right choices that give your house look clean and classy.
(Article originally published on IANS Life) (IANS/MBI)
Keywords: metallic, lighting, fabrics, invest, luxurious, furniture
India may not see a billion smartphone users even by the end of this decade and there are seven key challenges to achieve 100 per cent smartphone penetration, according to a new report. With the shrinking addressable base for smartphones, India is likely to have 887.4 million smartphone users by 2030, said the report by Gurugram-based market intelligence firm techARC.
The new smartphone user acquisition has been on a decline since 2018, after 4G drove switch to smartphones as it ushered several new use cases and forced feature phone users to upgrade. This, however, is not the case with 5G, which can substantially bring out a new use case for the mobile users compelling the feature phone users to move to a smartphone.
Affordability is the first concern even if users would discover their own use cases. "This is on account of both - investment in the device and the recurring data cost. Even to own a device, it's a substantial increase in the outlay for around 200-250 million users who cannot spent more than Rs 1,500 on a mobile device," said Faisal Kawoosa, Founder and Chief Analyst, techARC.
Even to own a device, it's a substantial increase in the outlay for around 200-250 million users who cannot spent more than Rs 1,500 on a mobile device. | Photo by rupixen.com on Unsplash
Second reason is that there are no models that could self-subsidise the smartphones for this potential audience, who are on the other side of the fence waiting to join the smartphone arena. "Advertising-based revenue and value-added driven revenues are negligible for such audiences where advertisers would not be ready to spend much as this is not their target audience," the report mentioned. So, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) cannot work out any model of recovering partial cost of the device upfront and then realising the gap in due course through other streams.
Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) cannot work out any model of recovering partial cost of the device upfront and then realising the gap in due course through other streams. | Photo by Zac Ong on Unsplash
The third key reason is that the OEM ecosystem is gradually moving away from the entry segment. All major OEMs have disinvested out of the entry segment (less than Rs 5,000) where the first-time smartphone user would fall. Rather OEMs are moving to higher average selling price (ASP) as consumers are willing to spend more (15-35 per cent) on their next upgrade/replacement of smartphones.
The fourth reason is that the OEMs are adding more features and functions to their smartphones to facilitate paying users leverage more from the device by consuming content and other services, which are subscription based. The interest of OEMs is gradually moving in this direction, where they could increase the lifetime value (LTV) per smartphone user by getting a pie of the services that the users are paying for.
"Another reason is that attempts such as a hybrid smart-feature phone, haven't paid off well. Though it has got in additional 80-85 million users into the digital ecosystem using fundamental digital services, majority of the featurephone users haven't accepted this 'workaround' wholeheartedly," said Kawoosa.
Attempts such as a hybrid smart-feature phone, haven't paid off well. | Photo by The Average Tech Guy on Unsplash
The sixth reason is that globally, we are witnessing prices of components going up on the one or another pretext. This is only forcing the OEMs to increase the cost of the devices and in a very hypersensitive market like smartphones, it is very challenging for the OEMs to frequently trade-off between input costs and the market opportunities.
Globally, we are witnessing prices of components going up on the one or another pretext. | Photo by Yiorgos Ntrahas on Unsplash
Finally, the entire smartphone ecosystem is interested in investing in opportunities which are rewarding. For example, when we compare education and gaming as two areas of immense opportunity, the entire smartphone ecosystem has preferred to make considerable investments in gaming than education. "There is hardly any OEM focusing on making devices affordable so that more and more students could benefit from digital means of education. But over the past two years, we have seen several OEMs making gaming smartphones in the affordable segments," the report argued. The result: At 4.9 per cent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for smartphone subscriber growth, India may not have a billion smartphone users even by 2030. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: gaming, education, affordable, market, report, reason, device