Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Of an affair with the voter

Marketing myopia is when you have a love affair with your own product or message rather than an affair with your consumer.
And we’ve seen this time and again in India with politicians and political parties, the most notable instance being the BJP’s India Shining campaign.
One would have thought that the Western world would be immune to such myopia, but that’s not the case.
Arianna Huffington blogs about Bush’s distance from reality, saying “Bush may not be into things like facts, truth, or reality, but he loves a good slogan.”
Bush does not seem to learn.
Neither do Indian politicians.
If India Shining was rejected by the voter, so will Incredible India. Slogans such as these are an exercise in stupidity in these days of intrusive, all-seeing 24X7 news and the Internet.
So I’m watching a news clip on the burning Deccan Queen and the channel takes a commercial break. What do I see now? A commercial touting Incredible India.
And I’m riveted by a story on how Dalits were raped and killed in a Maharashtra village followed by the Incredible India spot.
And it goes on and on.
News television will highlight all the bad news. Because bad news sells.
And the realty is, there is a lot of bad news in India.
Even if I’m feeling good about my own lot, I cannot, after being exposed to today’s news media, feel that India is anywhere near Incredible.
Because I know the stock market lost almost 1000 points in the past three days, I know CITU wants IT companies to join a nationwide strike, I know the Tata Motors project in Singur is a little shaky, I know the Indian cricket team is a disaster, I know Parliament is adjourned for the most trivial of reasons, I know the Indo US nuclear deal is not hunky dory, I know cotton farmers in Maharashtra are going through a terrible time, I know life for terrorists is easier than life for the law enforcers, I know Shibu Soren won’t resign, I know Narendra Modi can go on and on.
I know all this because I consume media.
The same media where the Incredible India campaign runs.

In any two-bit advertising agency, any two-bit account executive fills in a brief which goes to the creative guys. In that brief, loud and clear, is a question which has to be answered:
(of a promise, or an offer or a proposition or a claim)
Why will the consumer believe it?

Perhaps politicians need to work for a year or two in advertising agencies.
Or, perhaps, advertising professionals need to get into politics.

1 comment:

Floating Dreams said...

I loved your post. Very well written. A pic that grabs ones attention immediately. Perfectly written.