How to insult your customer-and hope she will still buy your product

Hindustan Times, yes, the same which gives an exhortation of ‘Let there be Light’ in the general direction of no one in particular, has hit (literally, as you shall find out) on the perfect idea to get customers : insult their intelligence, whip them and then, show them the light..presumably, so they can count the whiplashes. Oh, and yes, congratulate themselves while they are whipping their customers.
They have come up with a radio ad which has a guy who is enforcing…hold your breath…New Year Resolutions. And, he punishes those who have broken them by whipping them (only the sound of whipping is heard, the cry of the whippee is not..nor are the cries of the people who hear the ad…the ‘silent majority’)

So, this enforcer asks one guy about his NYR (New Year Resolution). The poor guy cries and tells the NYRE ( NYR Enforcer, who by the way, has a mighty strange accent) that he had promised to give up smoking. This is followed by the sound of a whip. Then, the NYRE asks a girl about her NYR…she says, I had resolved to go jogging in the Next year…NYRE says, this is Next Year (This is perhaps the only humour that you will come across in this ad. Laugh your guts out. Now.)and whips her as well…then, he turns his sadistic attention to the ‘Hindustan Times people’ who had resolved to give better content in the Next Year…and they did. So, no whipping sound follows. Then, NYRE turns to another poor slob. He had resolved to read a better newspaper. And he is still reading the old one. Guess what happens next? Yup. Whippie-di-doo. Followed by the Let there be light slogan.

I don’t know about you, but after hearing this, one of the main reasons why I prefer my current newspaper is because I have less chances of being cornered by them or their goons and being whipped for not following my New Year Resolutions. This ad, I am sure, has made Intelligence and Good Sense to come out, hands in the air, waving white flags, ready to be whipped. My hats off to the creative director(s).

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Crazy KRA- my first rhyme-crime

It’s that time of the year, when a three letter acronym starts haunting you like a Christmas ghost…when the realization suddenly dawns: you are nowhere near the KRAs you thought you would achieve at the beginning of the year…worse, your boss is in the same situation, and you know that when that happens, it is generally not good news…so, here’s a song dedicated to the last minute, failing attempt to hit those KRAs and those increment estimates…

 

(to be sung on the lines of Crazy Kiya Re, from Dhoom 2)

 

 

<Arbit background singers’ lines  begin>>

That’s my sweat on the floor

Boss keeps coming back with more

< end of arbit bckgrnd singers’ line>>

 

 

Try to keep outta my way

I am stung by a sting ray

Jaaga Jaaga rahoon

Chaahke so na sakoon

KRA ki yaadon ne, raise ke khwaabon ne

Dara diya re…

Crazy KRA…Crazy KRA…

Maine yeh bhi kiya,

woh deliverable diya

mujhse jitna ho saka, document bhi kiya.

Phir bhi boss not happy

Mila raise toh main lucky

Stretch kar ke meri abhi

Phati padi re…

 

Crazy KRA…crazy KRA..

 

SMART goal toh sunaa

Work-life bhi sunaa

Yeh jargon sunke

Kya sapna bunaa

Abhi sirf is life mein

Work ki is fight mein

Circumstances ke light mein

Incentive gaya re….

 

Crazy KRA…

One Ring to find them all and in Stupidity, bind them

‘Zodiac Power Rings, made of Pacnhadatu (sic) are creating waves the world over with their unique ability to change the course of people’s destiny by making them extra confident, focused, self-willed & more in Touch with themselves.’ (Other sic’s might have been missed)

This is an ad on the front page of the Mumbai Mirror, dated Monday, October 23 2006.


As you can see, the attractive ad is flanked by attractive models, who claim things like “My Zodiac Power Ring makes me a winner everytime(sic again)”

Sustained follow up to access the web site given in the ad www.zodiacpowerrings.biz, did not lead to too much success.

If those TV channels peddling special rudrakshas, crystal ‘yantras’, candles and what not were not enough, now we have newspapers carrying these ads as well.

(Am sure that newspapers allowed people who peddled these things to advertise before, simply because print is a much older medium, and gullibility and intense desire to make a quick buck are even older)

Needless to say, not a single reason is given why these rings make you winners or help you find long lost confidence. Claim upon grandiose claim is made in bombastic, arbit, general purpose pfaff. (Trust me, as an HR guy, I can recognize globe language pretty easily.)

Two other very interesting points:

1. The ad says: If not satisfied within 15 days. (sic) 80% refund on bill amount Rs.1500/- only. I am not very sure what that means, but if we assume that these guys would pay back Rs.1200 for purchases worth Rs.1500 after 15 days of non-satisfaction (they are not making a no questions asked return, mind you!), they still pocket Rs.300. That’s an interest of 480% p.a. What a business!!

2. They also warn people to check the ‘zpr’ logo for ‘original’. So, it seems that there are actually some me-too entrepreneurs who have realized the extent of the Blind Faith and Stupidity Market and are smart enough to piggy back on the success of these guys by simply plagiarizing their products.

Don’t know if this thing works for the buyers, but if I were the seller, “My Zodiac Power Ring makes me a Winner everytime”

The Millennium of Miracles – a review without watching the movie

This is the millennium of MIRACLES…

Sea water has turned sweet…

Idols have sipped on milk…

Statues have shed tears of blood…

REDISCOVER YOUR FAITH !!!

Come… Seek Her blessings…

(Sic everywhere)

This is the print ad for ‘Jai Santoshi Maa’ (Hail Mother Santoshi)..more (probably accurate) information about Santoshi Maa here.

When there is enough evidence to prove that all the above mentioned miracles are not miracles…( here, here and here, for example, and for the third one, some more information here)

And pray(heh) , why do miracles happen in such ways? If I were an all powerful entity, I would try to get some, err, result orientation in my miracles, so that my simple (note the sarcasm) folk can get the message without having to make long winded logical connections. I mean, I make my statues weep blood. Or, I make sea water arund a shrine of mine turn sweet. What’s the point? Whay would I, as a Supreme Being do that? Might as well give my people some Majestic ‘darshan’ (Vision) of myself, complete with flying angels/assorted Gods/ multiple hands/Assorted Gods with multiple hands/ all of the above or as per your specific religious inclination.

Coming back to the ad, it is clearly meant to bring down the IQ of people to make more money for the producers and the gang involved in it.
How is this movie related to the miracles? Will we have Santoshi Ma, the latest entrant in the Hindu pantheon of Gods, turning sea water sweet, cry bloody tears or have her idol drink milk?

I have seen these type of movies before, so let me attempt to review this movie, in what is probably the first review of some work by a person who has not seen it.
Here goes : pretty, pious girl gets married into a rich family, where she is treated to various indignities for various reasons such as not bringing in enough dowry, not bearing a child or son, or just because she shows blind devotion to her favourite goddess, whom the film is named after (or the in laws feel like being the nasty sadists that they are)… pretty heroine starts/continues to pray piously, while she is being kicked, beaten, given unbelievable amount of household work, refused food, refused intimacy by her husband, and so on.
Suddenly, the goddess wakes up, solves the problem by doing something sufficiently nasty to her in laws, giving the husband a nice little attack of paralysis and doing other minor miracles along the way( Gods/ Godesses, as a rule, seem to make up for lack of result orientation in their real life ‘miracles’ in the movies). Pious heroine prays for forgiveness (notice the pious prayer recurring theme with the heroine?) and the in laws, shitting bricks by now in mortal fear of the immortal, have a heart ( and pants) change…husband, after being carried by the pious wife to pray (yes, again) at the HQ of the Goddess, suddenly turns out OK, and then, pious husband and wife pray and live happily ever after, having the requisite number of sons and probably a daughter (to keep it politically correct), thus demonstrating that the target of marital bliss is also hit along the way.

Go on, watch the movie if you want, and tell me if it is significantly different. You’ll probably get an ice cream from me ( or a word of encouragement regarding your inspiring, effective utilization of free time)

Batata Vada

Eating a Batata Vada: Fun

Eating a Batata Vada using Fork and knife: Funny.

Eating a Batata Vada using fork and knife while hrutling through the sky at a height of 30,000 feet and a speed of 650 odd km/hr, seated in a cramped seat: Priceless.

Heh.