10 Reasons Why You Will End Up Reading A Shitty Article With A Long Catchy Title Like This Even Though It Exploits You!

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We hate to think. We hate to work for what we want. We hate anything that gets us off our lazy asses. And we all are hardwired to want things, now!

And this is more apparent now than anytime before. According to The Guardian, the desire for in depth analysis is being continuously diminished and this has led to a generation of internet consumers who live in a world of “instant gratification and quick fixes” which leads to a “loss of patience and a lack of deep thinking”. Our hedonistic tendencies dictate that pleasure remains the driving force that compels us to gratify our needs, wants, and urges.
And one alluring consequence of this is a fairly recent trend, which we here at DoubleThink couldn’t help but be amused by. Sample these:

This Akshay Kumar Song About ‘Susu’ Is The Craziest Thing You’ll See On The Internet Today!
Do Indians Want To Have Sex With Desis Or Videsis? Interesting Answers Ahead
20 Epic Responses To ‘I Love you’ That Will Make You Laugh Your Lungs Out
10 Reasons Why Your Best Friend’s Wedding Is The Most Special Event Ever

These articles could well serve as the foundation course for “How To Market Crap Extremely Well 101”. How these articles capitalize on the attention deficit and perverted tendencies of the readers by offering senseless masala that does not add any real value but gives instant gratification can be a lesson for any budding marketer. And we all love senseless masala, don’t we?

So as an “ode” to this trend, we list a few tricks and a few reasons why we think views on these articles just keep on comin’ :

Reasons:

► Because we like the easy way out
I mean, why watch an intellectual cinematic experience when you can just watch Dabangg instead?
Why read the book when you can watch the movie, or the TV Show, or just read the summary?
We are lazy, and reading is too much of an effort. How does it matter that reading helps in improving your language, conveying thoughts better or the fact that ideas can quite literally start or stop a war. What matters is how did Salman Khan do a double-flip on a super fast bullet train as he juggled live grenades with one hand and raised his collar with the other.

  Because we are perverts
My eyes lit up as I read the title- “10 Reasons Why Size Matters.”
I’m a girl, and I care a lot about any and every size known to me – Shoe Size, Dress Size, Ring Size, ad infinitum.
I’m a man, and the article is about size. I expect high definition photos of breasts. (I’m looking at you TOI.)
I’m a guy, and who are we kidding here, in our darkest hours we’ve all searched the internet for the acceptable penis size.

 ► Because we have a short attention sp… oh look, a fly!
When social networks that limit you to 140 character updates are doing great, you know the end is near.
I can’t even introduce myself in 140 characters, and here you are, trying to make me write what I feel about my mouth watering, perfectly grilled sandwich in 140 characters.
I had essay writing exams for this, and I can’t go through that shit again.

► Because we love it when everything is served to us on a silver platter
I don’t want to make the effort of scrounging through a mountain of links Google shoves in my face. Wouldn’t it be much better if it is all there in a single list? The headline catches my eye; it promises a story that’s finite, and as long as my fast-food information diet is necessarily limited in content and is unlikely to contain the nutritional value of the more in-depth analysis of traditional articles that rely on paragraphs, my purpose is served.

► Because I need some stranger to tell me things about myself cause I can’t figure them out on my own
We hate thinking, remember?
We all have tried to find the perfect answers to those HR questions for our first interview, haven’t we?
Why put strain on this work of art resting on my shoulders. I’ll just read it of the internet and be done with it.
Also, I need the internet to justify my fantastic decision of dropping out of college to be successful. Hey, Steve did it, right? And see where Apple is now. I always knew I was the next Steve Jobs. It is my destiny, bitches. Gah! What do these lowly humans know.

Tricks:

►  Throw in a couple of funny GIFs from a commercial box office movie and we’re game
No literally, I have no imaginative thinking. I need a pictorial description of what I just read (and sometimes to laugh at the jokes I don’t get.)
*insert a lame GIF*

►  Find a YouTube video that has been trending, and title it like “This Awesome Rap Is Dedicated To All The Chutiyas Who Did Not Want To Become Engineers/Doctors”
Just re-share a lame trending video, write a few random lines summarizing it and Voila! Hit post.
Really, I do need one more shitty website so that I can waste my time on a senseless video on YouTube, which god-forbid I might have missed out on if it weren’t for this site. I really don’t have anything worthwhile to do with my life. True story.

►  Exploit emotions and social issues you don’t give a damn about
#Reading this letter from a boy to his mother will bring tears to your eyes
Sounds familiar?
Hey! There’s no dearth of flaws and emotional fools in our society. Let’s pretend to care about them and exploit them to make some moolah, while not giving a shit about constructively working towards alleviating the issues. Exhibit A : Kill The Poor – SHOCKING Social Experiment.

►  Exaggerate that shit bro!
Exaggerate to the extent of a hyperbole.
I still remember that day I laughed my lungs out to a video on YT. Still trying to find where that sneaky left lung went. Ping me if you find it strolling somewhere. Oh, fond memories!

►  Sprinkle a few attention grabbing keywords such as sex, crazy, shocking and unbelievable throughout. CAPS for a larger effect.
And there you have your fair share of creeps raking up your hits counter. Tried and Tested.

(with inputs from Tushant Juneja)

FIFA World Cup 14: A Marketing Analysis

With all guns blazing, this year’s FIFA world cup has surrounded our lives in some way or the other, which makes this an opportune time to analyse as to what makes it tick and how other brands gain traction from it. Broadly from a marketing perspective, we have the capability to analyse how the Brazil edition of the world cup has marketed itself and then we can analyse how other brands have gained from it, either by direct sponsorship or just clever marketing, even though they might not be directly affiliated with the event.

The first and foremost task for an event of such a scale is to create a logo and a mascot which stays in the viewers’ mind. And for this edition of the event, this has been accomplished magnificently. The official logo is entitled “Inspiration”, and was created by Brazilian agency Africa. The design is based around a photograph of three victorious hands together raising the World Cup trophy and its yellow and green coloring is meant to represent Brazil warmly welcoming the world to their country. Also, the mascot is known as tatu-bola, an armadillo that defends itself from predators by rolling up into a ball.

mascot

For the sponsorship of the 2014 World Cup, FIFA has created a three-tier sponsorship structure. The primary tier consists of the FIFA Partners, the second tier of FIFA World Cup Sponsors and the third tier of the National Supporters for each FIFA event. Sponsorship is an important tool for brands in growing awareness and product distribution and building relationships with its business clients. This 3-tier structure provides varied freedom to these brands in associating themselves with FIFA. The World Cup, being four-week frenzy, enables brands to fight for consumers’ attention. Only the brands in these 3-tiers have official rights to embed the FIFA logo in their ads and promotions. But this does not stop other non-affiliated brands from leveraging the opportunity to promote their visibility. Soccer being a world-wide phenomenon, allows them to use strategies such as ambush marketing to cash in on the football fever without having to pay millions to FIFA as rights fee. Many a times, the generic viewer is unable to differentiate between the affiliated brands and the non affiliated brands, in fact, they do not care. This gives the non affiliated brands an edge over the others as they are able to use the money they spent on rights fee, on having a bigger advertisement budget and creating more engaging and creative ads.

The fact that tournament’s official sponsors and partners have had to spend so much money on partnership, they want commensurate returns for it. Due to which they often gain exclusive rights and put a lock on what is put in front of consumers at World Cup venues and on TV. For example, fans hoping to enjoy a cold beer at the World Cup in Brazil will not be able to purchase local favorites thanks to a restrictive official sponsorship agreement between FIFA and  InBev, the world’s biggest brewer. This is the reason why many experts opine that companies would be well advised to consider eschewing official sponsorships in favor of emerging branding tactics that are cheaper, more innovative, and better able to connect with global audiences while respecting local stakeholders.

Although the World Cup is a big opportunity for marketers to innovate, there are inherent risks for brands too. There has been a huge uproar over the fact that a humongous amount of money has been spent on the World Cup so far. Many are of the opinion that this money could have been used to foster a better livelihood standard for many of the Brazil’s poor. Social unrest in Brazil has lead to a lot of blame being placed on the sponsors. For brands the question is whether to distance themselves from such controversies, or engage with the issues directly and take a stand. Rob Mason, managing director of sports and media business IMG Consulting International, argues that in most cases brands should avoid acting as the moral arbiters of wider issues and remember that they are ultimately “only sponsors”. If marketers can align creative and engaging campaigns with smart PR, their rewards from Brazil could be huge.

On the other end of the spectrum are other brands that gain mileage by somehow smartly incorporating the current events with their brand image to release an innovative advertisement/poster at the correct time to make hay while the sun shines. For example:

Suarez-14th-Street-Pizza-Pakistan

All it took Bud Light and 14th Street Pizza was some wit and creativity to incorporate the Suarez incident into their posters, and the brand visibility they gained without spending any substantial amount, is immense.

Also, soccer players have a great opportunity to cash in on their popularity during this season. For example, US team’s break-out star goalie Tim Howard can make a killing if he decides to dive full on it into it, as products such as sunblocks and security agencies would be willing to pay him any amount of money to rope him in their adverts.

Finally, a lingering question that is in one too many minds is that is sponsoring the World Cup worth it?  Are the millions of dollars spent by the sponsors returned in sales growth?  The answer is a bit complicated as it requires consideration of uniqueness of each of the industries. While ROI can be difficult to measure for major Sports Marketing investments, some directional results can be surmised. FIFA partners such as Coke, with immense scale and global presence, are likely benefit both in the short term and long term. The smaller, local organizations will likely find strong returns harder to attain as they do not have the scale to drive the sales necessary to recoup their investment.

Is There A God?

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Am I an atheist? Am I an agnostic? Or am I a believer? To tell the truth, I have no clue at all.

I often tell myself whatever happens, happens for the best. And there have been many instances that do support my belief. But when I sit and contemplate, I have no scientific explanation as to why that would be true. We have a tendency to attribute whatever happens to us, good or bad, to a mysterious being looking upon us all from somewhere above. And that subconsciously affects our decisions.

At times I will stand before the idols in my home and pray for what I desire. And at times I will wonder how absurd it is. Believing that a mass produced industry product is capable of being the abode for the one that supposedly the creator of this universe, seems whimsical. Though, I do understand that it acts just a proxy for Him; but shouldn’t a representation of such a being be a little more, umm, amorphous? Believing that we are mere puppets of a higher power but still capable of representing him with a fair amount of unanimity among us seems contradictory to me. I cannot comprehend that how although we as humans are a fairly homogeneous race when seen through the lenses of biological anatomy, but still can have thousands of different higher powers in every different sub section of our society.

Yes, I do have many ambiguous thoughts and this is not an attempt to either resolve them or seek answers. It’s just an outlet for venting them. Like every other thing that makes me a human, this is one of them. Raised in a fairly normal Hindu family, I never questioned the existence of god. But in the last one year or so, specially after reading “Sophie’s World” and few other articles, my perspective on how I view everything around me, has changed.

I once read someone saying in an article that the most sensible thing to do if you are religious is to question the existence of god. Blindly believing its existence is against everything religion stands for.

On the other end of the spectrum , there are many who do not believe in a higher power, and science is their advocate for it. They will vehemently propose its pragmatic and arguably gospel nature. And I, in part, stand by it. But I also believe that science is not infallible. It is on a learning curve as well. Everything we know now is not everything we will ever need to know. Our existence is just a speck in the multidimensional progression of time. And what follows our existence and inevitable death will definitely falsify many of our beliefs which we today hold as gospel. History is testimony to that fact. So to believe that everything we now know is definitely everything we need to know, is a naive assumption to make.

Before I part, I will take a leave by giving words to a thought that has been on my mind for a while.

There are some perceptions and ideas in our everyday life which somehow we chance upon, and they consciously or unconsciously stick with us. Gradually we start designating them as our own thoughts, and we start to believe in them. In fact, every person is shaped by their experiences. To believe that you, as a human, are a single entity is a farce. We are ever evolving and the most explicitly obvious yet the least commonly understood fact is to accept that you change, your opinions change and that gives you credibility as someone who can understand himself on his own rather than someone who blindly accepts what others have told him about himself. I believe such a self-realization brings us somewhat closer to whatever we are supposed to learn in life, about life.

Delhi –> Mumbai

Delhi2Mumbai

I can’t really decide if it’s human nature or just my mental faculties on an overdrive. The anticipation of an event you know will turn out to be an epoch in your life is fascinating, scary and fear-inducing, all at the same time. So as I while away my last days in the city I was born in, having spent last 22 years of my life calling this chaotic city my home, I wonder as to why didn’t I ever realize that all my life I have been taking this concoction of amazing people, beautiful heritage and delectable food, for granted. Never did I wonder as to what life ‘not in Delhi’ would be like. Now knowing that I have to leave the past behind is something that I can’t seem to fathom, and comprehending the fact that I soon have to label this life I was living here as a bygone era, is a little tough to appreciate.

And as it turns out, the stage for the beginning of my fourth of the seven Shakespearian ages would be a small little hamlet in India known as Mumbai! And as of now, there is nothing new I have to say about the city that hasn’t been already said thousands of times. Maybe a few days, weeks or months down the line I might love it or loath it. And the journey from here to there would surely be something to remember forever.

And as it always has been with our kind, future seems enticing as well as terrifying, all at the same time. Broadening our horizons seems to be the obvious thing to do, but leaving our comfort zone is unnerving. Burying the familiar faces from our coterie in a trench in some corner of our brain, which we only visit when in dire need of someone to confide in, seems disrespectful to those overwhelming emotions we felt when we were with those people. But that is how it is supposed to be, isn’t it? We will promise each other, swear to be in touch, but a distant voice inside us will always unceremoniously whisper, apprising us of the slim probabilities of that actually happening. But at that time we will shush them away, with the multitude of emotions running through us overpowering those sane voices. But as passing days coagulate, those whispers assume a form far more eerie, when one day; they rudely thrust onto our face the realization that they were true all along.

But any of this doesn’t mean we do not appreciate the past, the present or the future. It is just a natural progression in which every moment we have lived is instantaneously labelled our past and every moment we anticipate is our future. And before we realise that this moment, right here right now, is our present, it isn’t.

Anywho, I did not realise when my personal monologue mutated into a prosaic credo for the discerning. Nevertheless, having got all of this off my chest, I am ready to proclaim, “Bring it on, Mumbai!”

Excerpts from my oeuvre as a photographer.

How the new “Karbonn” advert exploits us!

Before I begin, I’d like you to watch these seemingly innocuous advertisements linked below so that you can better comprehend what I’m trying to say.

So recently I came across these advertisements on the television while watching IPL and they made me sit up and think. They are for a mobile phone brand known as “Karbonn”. I looked it up on Wikipedia to confirm my apprehensions and yes, there it was. It is definitely an Indian brand and more importantly, its prime consumer base is India as well. That means their advertisements are tailor made for Indian citizens.

Now some of you might have understood the bone I am trying to pick here.
Nevertheless, the thing that struck me as really odd was that in both of these ads, none of the actors in any frame look even remotely “Indian”, so to say. Even the people in background don’t seem to fit the profile. Now this would have been completely understandable(acceptable?) had it been any other multinational brand that thought better to recycle the ad they made for US/Europe instead of spending funds on making another one for our third world country. But keeping in mind that “Karbonn” is a brand based out of India and targets the subcontinent primarily, this seems a farce. As these products are low-range mobile phones, they aim to sell a consumer good to a person by showing him a person which he can’t even relate with, enjoy that product.

But the more I think of it, the more I get it. Hell, I’d go even so far as so to say that this is a very clever move. And I don’t really blame them for exploiting what is out in the open. It is a well known fact that most Indians have a low self-esteem and Karbonn just took advantage of that inferiority complex. Isn’t that what marketing is all about? They just advertised their product to a specific section of the common folk by showing them that “If it is good enough for these “Inglish peoplez”, it must be good enough for you!” And if this isn’t clever marketing, I don’t know what is.

This all is just a by-product of the society we live in. This all encompassing consumerism that seeks to seep to into every crevice, every fissure, every chasm it can make its way into. Exploiting the tendencies that somehow bring us down in our own eyes. Just helping us keep that looming existential crisis at arm’s length, oh how considerate of them! Marketing us with a plethora of products and services that guarantee to help us lift ourselves so that we can see eye-to-eye with the person staring back at us through the other side of the mirror. Exceptional, it truly is.