The stories passing dogs tell # 356278

                             (You Me Doog : You)    (Doogie Duck : Friend) 


Physically fat to physically fit, basically physically phata phat!

Our obsession with the ‘muscles’ is only getting stronger. This is true across the classes whether it is the extremely rich or the extremely poor. Mumbai gyms are ideological centers of the Great Muscle Revolution.

So with the gold, silver, walking and singing gyms all over the city, you tend to wonder what happened to us and how did we get here. It’s no longer about being ‘healthy’ as the old timers often complain, it about looking ‘fit’. In order for the body to look fit the gym should obviously look fit as well. The average ‘Jai’ today yearns for fancy gyms with the equipments looking like God himself works out there. Whatever happened to our old school ‘Akhadas’ for the working class hero, the wooden phallic shaped equipment? What about the sweaty grind of bodies, the ‘Langotiya Yaar’ who would unabashedly hug you from the pillion seat as you went about Carter Road to pick out ‘Jai’s or mine’?

Guess what, they shifted to the welfare gyms in areas you would not call ‘fancy’. The Ville Parle Association gym near the Ville Parle station is a long standing example of the working class hero’s gym, this is where he feels strong, this is where he takes off his shirt and starts with the dumbbells while looking at himself in the mirror wondering, “What does she see in the other guy?” Every lift gives rise to this look in their eyes, every increase in muscle makes him look at his biceps when he answers ‘her call’. These local gyms might not look ‘fit’ but compensate with images of ‘Super Fit Freaks’ posted all over. The inspirational images work like ‘Spot the Difference’ columns in newspapers where the patrons keep on going till they look like their idols, Vaan Daam and Arnold Shavigaggar.

The shocker being, the deposit is 200 Rs, the monthly fee is 200 Rs and yearly 1900, which is quite a steal. There is no special membership requirement. When I asked the guy if I need to be from this area to join, he said, you could be from Bhayander and it still wont matter, anybody can join.

The fat is dead! Long live the muscle!



Misbehaving images, ghosts in the machines, decaying files and an assortment of other ‘digital garbage’ from across various hard disks. Some of these were once proud artworks, films and photographs whilst others were born with their inherent defects. These grotesque creations of the almighty ‘computer chip’ bloom in their macabre brilliance within the museum of digital horrors, the Turbo Lens.

By Boris Andre Gomes & Jagpreet Singh Sandhu


The Magic of Shopping Bags

Want to see a magic? Get up and go check your closet / kitchen /store to see how many Shopping bags you / your spouse / your mum /even your kids have saved. I can bet there are more than ten there - of various sizes, substrate and brands. Right?
We saved them when they were free. We save them more when we have to pay for them now.
We saved them when they were of polythene. We save them more now that they are of recycled paper, jute or cloth. And we will continue to do that.
Earlier they were saved more due to their utility, now the Shopping bag you carry also speaks of your lifestyle.  Case in point, attached picture. A colleague who prefers to bring in a heavily taped Ralph Loren shopping bag against a non-taped bag of any other lesser brand.

In fact I did a dipstick in our office and of the 13 bags, six were international brands (Da Millano, Zara, Harrods, Benetton, Vero Moda, SunGlass Hut) and rest strong Indian brands with distinct personality (Cotton World, Le 15 Patisserie, Forest Essential, Fab India) Of course the reasons were varied “such good material” “the size is perfect for my stuff” “I like the colour” but we all know the “real” reason – the brand name on the Shopping bag adds to your self-worth and perception.  After all, today you ARE, what (where) you SHOP!
Then look at what they do for the Brand itself.

-    They are the brand ambassadors post purchase. We all remember, at least the ladies do, the shopping bags  carried by Carrie Bradshaw and friends in S&C.
-    They travel all over the city, sometimes to places where the brand can never reach.
-    They are in the consumer homes long after the main packaging is gone,  offering constant reminder

The shopping bag should tell you what is really important for the brand. The West is totally tuned in to the importance of that. Some iconic luxury brands - like the Brown Bag, which have represented Bloomingdale’s for almost four decades as eternally relevant to the times , Desigual shopping bags which reflect the intense prints and flamboyant colours of the brand or Bergdorf Goodman’s iconic lavender shopping bags which mirror the uber luxury quotient of the store and so many others- have further established themselves through their shopping bags. 

 Shopping bags have magical powers: for the consumer - it flaunts an aspect of consumer’s personality to the world. And for the brand – showcases a facet of their essence that is visible even when the product is not being used. Respect the magic!!

V.P Marketing 


In a new bottle

Business Standard, Monday, April 1, 2013

The old paradigm of business - where manufacturers produced, marketers relayed product messages, consumers listened and sales followed naturally - has crumbled. It has given way to an economy where consumers co-create with manufacturers, marketing stands for two-way interactions, and made-for-the-customer offerings zip into the marketplace bypassing traditional channels, using platforms unheard of even a few years ago.


Frooti gears to move to its next phase of growth with new commercial

The Economic Times, Wednesday, 03 April 2013
For those who have seen it carefully, the new brand campaign for Frooti reveals a subtle shift. It shows the newly signed brand ambassador Shahrukh Khan glugging the mango drink from a PET bottle, rather than a tetra pack, which is no longer as respected as it used to be and which also made Frooti most instantly identifiable when it was launched for the first time.

The Rs 1500 crore brand is ready to move to its next phase of growth, in a world filled with competitors like Coca-Cola's Maaza and PepsiCo's Slice on the one hand and carbonated beverages on the other. For instance getting on board one of the most recognised faces is being touted as the game changer for the 27-year old homegrown brand considering it has never resorted to getting a celebrity endorser before.

Feels marketing consultant Harish Bijoor, "Frooti's big strength is the fact that it has been around for donkey's years. It has become generic to the category altogether." This is a strength and a weakness as well, in his view, which the brand has to manage swiftly and carefully.

Nadia Chauhan Kurup, MD and CMO, Parle Agro agrees that the biggest challenge has been to get the magic back for a brand as old as Frooti. It's trying to combat some part of that challenge by getting the recognised face of Shahrukh Khan onboard. Frooti seems to be the last in the race to join the celeb-band wagon: the other players in the mango beverage space already have their ambassadors: Maaza features the pranks of Imran Khan and Parineeti Chopra while Slice has Katrina Kaif 's sensuous Aam Sutra moves.

The recent commercial shows a bunch of kids in a football field watching Shahrukh Khan gulping Frooti. He looks around when he is done and what he sees is a bunch of young adults whose longing for Frooti apparently has them lapse into a childlike state of wonder. He simply asks them 'what?' which snaps their reverie.

Shares Sajan Raj Kurup, founder and creative chairman, Creativeland Asia, "One of the key tasks in the brief was to capture the feel of relishing a bottle of Frooti and up the appetite quotient for the beverage." Even as the initial thoughts read more like 'oh no not again', Kurup wanted to create drool value purely through human emotions, reactions and expressions. Prakash Varma of Nirvana Films has directed the film. The team was very clear on how to use the celeb power of Khan without letting the brand get ambushed.

Shares Nadia Chauhan Kurup, "The campaign is breaking not just the category clutter or the advertising clutter, but it is even breaking the celebrity endorsement clutter." It is not often that SRK has been used in such a way where the only dialogue he gets to mouth is 'what?'" she says. When asked if he charged any lesser because he was made to talk less, she grins and shares how she wishes that it worked like that in which case "we would have just kept him silent." According to Satbir Singh, managing partner & chief creative officer, Havas Worldwide, "The usually talkative SRK quietly polishing off a bottle of Frooti makes it stick. Most agency and marketing teams would have him mouth a hundred words in praise of the brand." Studies have shown that culturally, kids and women prefer mango drinks just as the core audience for cola/ caffeine drinks (Mountain Dew, Red Bull etc) is men.

 Alpana Parida, president, DY Works feels that this campaign reaches out to all ages and appeals to the child in men, to kids themselves and certainly the mothers who are both shoppers and consumers.It lifts the humble Frooti from a kiddie realm and will probably do more for the brand than all its past campaigns put together. According to Jitender Dabas, head of strategic planning, McCann Worldgroup, "A mango drink is about the pleasure of consuming mango and with this campaign Frooti seems to be coming back to its core." But is this the new positioning or just a commercial, is what he would like to know.

Along with the brand film, the marketing plan includes outdoors, BTL, mall activation, visibility at retail outlets (POP) and strong digital presence. Interestingly the first leg of this campaign was launched on the social media and as per Kurup in less than a week, its total timeline deliveries amounted to 52 million. It managed to garner over 8 million twitter handles and a whopping count of 80,000 tweets. Frooti's YouTube channel views increased by 2.5 million and subscribers increased by 600%.

Even as the brand spends 40% more on it's marketing this year compared to the last, it will have to quickly address one of its biggest weak spots — its relatively feeble presence in the returnable glass bottle (RGB) space. The returnable glass bottle is at the top in the pecking order of the caste system of packaging of soft drinks followed by the PET bottle and then the tetra pack at the bottom-rung, shares Bijoor.

This has been a pain-point that the brand is trying to tackle on a war-footing. Agrees and shares Nadia Chauhan Kurup, "Currently there are only four manufacturing plants for RGB which would eventually go up to 20 plants. The bottle form is one of the highest penetrated packing formats and there is a huge market for it." The glass bottle format has been launched in a phased way in some markets and would be increased soon as manufacturing capacity increases.

And perhaps that's what it will take for Frooti, the oldest brand in the category, to give a better account of itself in a growing market for mango beverages.

Alpana Parida is President of DY Works, a leading brand strategy and design firm.