Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Of War, Love and Marketing

War, Love and Marketing is how I have summarized the concept that I will elaborate shortly. Ghalib has done the same through a shair.

HAM NAE MAA-NAA KEH TAGAFUL NA KARO GAE LIKIN
KHAK HO JA-AIN GAE TUM KO KHABAR HONAE TAK

TAGAFUL comes from GAFLAT and GAFIL and it means ’to ignore’. So the shair goes on to say that

I know you will not ignore me and my presence but before you ever find out how much I love you I will have turned to dust.

Now a marketer faces the same problem when he wants to market his product to his customers. He has something to sell and the customers might not really know how good the product is. There is value in it for both parties. But the marketer doesn’t have the luxury of turning to dust – neither does a serious romantic I would think. So what does a marketer do?

A marketer has to launch his product in the midst of other big players and if he does so in a half baked way he won’t survive.

It is very much like a war for the marketer.

When Rexona launched their deodorant product earlier in Pakistan it was not successful. A market research they did later revealed that a lot of people don’t use deodorant. In fact among the group of people who use a product for the purpose 80% or so use powder and only about 5% use deodorants.

So they made an add campaign in which a person suggests using the Rexona deodorant to the other. The other says ‘but I bathe why do I need to use the deodorant?’ And the first responds by saying: “you need to use a deodorant nevertheless because you still sweat and that brings in germs so using this deodorant is very important for your hygiene.’

To re-enforce this concept and to target the early adopters of the product-teenagers, the marketers coined a slogan “Cool ya fazool”.

So not only is it like a war but you have to fight this war very strategically. This is also true of communicating your feelings across to the ones you love.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

On Bram Stoker's Dracula

One can be happy and be in love or be sad and be in love. When there are tragedies in love can one end up harming him/her-self? Lust ofcourse has always been destructive but can love also be destructive?

I think Bram Stoker's Dracula was a victim of this destructive form of love. Below a small treatise of the book and its message.

Dracula is an 1897 novel by Irish author Bram Stoker on which a movie was later made called "Bram Stoker's Dracula" in 1992 a horror-romance story.

The book while not having created the vampire myth has singularly had the greatest influence on movies and books on vampires in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Dracula according to the myth is an undead, a mystical creature who could hypnotise people by simply looking at them, vanish into thin air by turning into smoke. He had super human strength and could turn others into vampires by drinking their blood.

Dracula was actually a real person. His real name Vlad the Impaler a person respected in Romania even today for his justice. His title comes from the fact that he used to impale his enemies to the ground and according to some as a symbolic measure drink their blood.

According to the story Vlad went to fight in the crusades and when he returned he found his wife had been damned as a suicide, who had committed suicide because she thought Vlad had died. Enraged by the fact that the religion he had just fought for had damned the person most beloved to him he struck the sword in the cross and became at that moment the undead with the power of darkness.

He spread misery and evil throughout the land until four centuries later when he was put to death in the arms of his beloved.

The movie talks about tragedy in love and shows how love can be destructive.

We see some of this when we hear of people, or see those around us, driven to do something bad as a result of the one's they love (something that would not happen if people were Just and Enlightened).

Love of course can also be very constructive an example of which we see in the saints who are according to a study I read have neural activity similar to those who have had a nervous breakdown, yet this neural activity leads them to be most coherent and stronger and better than others.

The concept of the vampires had great influence on art. It has also lead to the creation of "Vampire Cults" i.e. people who are very passionate about vampires and take it up as a hobby. They form groups that are then cults. Very few of them actually drink blood but as I read some who cross the line even do that.

The earliest mention of Vampires is found in Greek mythology and Hebrew folklore. According to the latter the first wife of Adam took to becoming a vampire when she rejected him.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Three major threats facing Pakistan

These are:
1) Impact of inflation
2) Terrorism
3) Political instability in the country

Impact of inflation
Oil is becoming expensive globally and Pakistan being a non-oil producing country is bearing the brunt of it. Food inflation is also taking place. Prices of good quality rice (not the highest grade) have gone up from Rs.2000/50Kg three months ago to Rs.3000/50Kg a rise of 50%. Prices of wheat have sky rocketed over the last six months – and have stopped rising now. Daal has also become very expensive – channae kee daal has become Rs.80/Kg, but there is good news: Chicken is around Rs.80/Kg as well. In fact Pervaiz Musharraf mentioned in his speech that the poor should now start eating chicken instead of daal.

Terrorism
Many suicide attacks have taken place over the past few years. I would think this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Political Instability
With rising inflation the political situation in the country is not helping. Politicians have all taken to the band wagon insisting that Pervaiz Musharraf should 'resign'. The media too seems to have avowed vengence. Mr. Itezad Ahsan said during the long march yesterday that the protest of the judicary is now not against Musharraf it is against the parliment. The present government before coming to power had leveraged the judicial protest against the President and are now an opponent of the protest. Infact according to some senior party memebers in the PPP there is a split in the party on this issue. All this effort is dragging away the attention of the parliment from the issues of economic recession and inflation, and the problem of terrorism.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

On improving social skills...

To improve your social skills you must continue to ‘decompartmentalize’ (from my previous post) the social interaction process.

People we meet are different from each other, many things influencing each person’s behavioral disposition to others around them, owing to a unique range of environmental experiences and a unique genetic code.

Some people will like you more than others and others will find you boring.

Other than people who have always been charmers, always had charisma, the child prodigies all others I feel have to figure out the charisma.

Their charisma depends on how well they relate to the world around them, ie to how well they have decompartmentalized the real world.

To improve your social skills and to begin decompartmentalizing you need to do two things:
1) You need to invest in being yourself
2) You need to do at each moment what you feel is right

So for example people very close to you will sometimes offer you polar opinions about the same thing. One must listen to each person’s opinion carefully, decide for himself and do what he feels is best. If you keep doing this you will develop a sense of judgment which is priceless. Ofcourse people are one of the sources to learn from the others include: reading, reflecting, television, movies and even music.

When your sense of judgment develops in breadth and depth you will develop charisma.