Monday, October 29, 2012

“Kuch jamaa nahi!”  

Ask any creative true to his creative religion and see how he reacts to this line “Kuch jamaa nahi, options nahi hai kay?”

I bet he/she would be short of tearing out his/her hair in frustration and turning red in the face with the mercury climbing higher and higher and then like a punctured balloon, the climbing temperature would suddenly dissipate in resignation – because this is a line that is as old as the hills and that he has been hearing since he was initiated into this unfathomable profession of advertising, branding and creativity. 

So what does this line really mean? In client parlance, it means,” I don’t know what to make of this” OR “I can’t tell if this fits our brief/brand/product/industry” OR “ I don’t understand this” OR “I don’t know if boss will like it” OR “ I don’t like it” OR simply, “I am paying you through my nose for this so you bloody well work more”. 


Whatever it means, one has to slink back quietly to one’s pad and start chewing the weathered tip of the chewed pencil and start staring into nothingness again, hoping that something will strike or fall from the skies, an option that will make the client say “Jamaa!”
Reading between the lines though, I would like to believe that as creatives we are really working for two clients– one is the target audience and the second is our client or rather, the first is the client and the second is the target audience/customer.

Since the client is the decision maker of whether your idea/name/logo will hold well, he is your primary audience. He comes with his own likes and pet peeves, whims and fancies and moods; which projects and latches onto his decision. So, if by sheer misfortune, he is in a foul mood and has fought with his missus in the morning, God help your idea! For whatever it is worth, it is not going to clear his mahogany table and is most likely to land squarely in his already overloaded trash can. 

And if he, by God’s grace is in a good mood, then even your wishy-washy idea may pass his knife without getting royally butchered! So what if he asks you to marry option I and option II and come with a legally produced baby –option 3!!! 

The point is that your idea/ad/campaign/name/logo has to first ‘connect’ with your client and later with the brand’s official target audience/customer.  And that is the bitter truth. 

From that POV, your client becomes your primary target audience and the official TA, your secondary TA.  Decide who are you really working for m’friend -The client or his customer?

“ Kuch jamaa?!”

Monday, October 22, 2012

Like a little known girl to the Cinderella of Pune West
Bavdhan in the wish-list of the rich.

Five years back, Bavdhan was unheard of as a dream destination for home buyers in Pune. The only place people spoke about was Chandani Chowk the hangout/eatout/outing. People travelled to this chowk or square on weekends in hordes, on bikes and cars to spend a magical evening under a starlit canopy of the dark blue night sky. Garden Court and Banjara Hills were the restaurants one would go to, if you were looking for an alternative to KP (Koregaon Park).

Today, Bavdhan has climbed up the charts to be among the top few bestsellers on the wanna-have list of home buyers. It did, earlier, face stiff competition from the likes of an Aundh and a Baner, which managed to win the cream of the lot for its proximity to the Hinjewadi IT Park. But as these places started getting crowded, people started eyeing Bavdhan with increased interest.

Placed at the junction of the Express Highway, the Pirangut road, the wide, smooth, uncrowded NDA-Pashan Road and Paud Road leading you to the city, Bavdhan is fast gaining popularity as
the preferred residential destination.

On one side the undulating greens of the lush hills and on the other the urbane glitz of the high rises, Bavdhan is tempting a diverse populace. While it is becoming the abode of choice for Gen Y – the IT nouveau rich, it is also a second home, to those who are moving to a larger house from Kothrud and Aundh. What is however defining Bavdhan’s status in the property market is the fancy it has caught with the premium class of buyers- Mumbaiities, NRIs and expats, both investors and residents.

There is something about this place that is on the fringes of Pune city, a natural charm that keeps the rush hour out of your hair and allows you to revel in the dawn of bird songs, while making it possible to zip to a Mumbai in less than 3 hours flat; it’s like having your cake and eating it too. Nestled amidst three hills on its south, east and west and the scenic Pashan Lake in the north, Bavdhan has witnessed gradual growth in the form of planned development. It is strategically located on NDA Road, the centre of Aundh and Kothrud - both well-developed suburbs.

A quick drive in the still-green avenues reveals a smattering of yuppie brands that have set up shop here – Dominoes, Smoking Joes, Naturals Ice Cream, CafĂ© Chokolade, More, Reliance and more in the pipeline including Big Bazaar. The increasing fine dining restaurants like Ambrosia, Oasis, Bohemian, Up and Above, Trikaya, Nebula have people spoilt for choice. All schools, locals and international schools and colleges right from a Symbiosis to a Sanskriti, to the Mahindra World Business School are within a radius of 10 km, with buses plying to the door step. Commercial and industrial areas like the Hinjewadi IT and Biotech Park, Pirangut

Industrial Area, Pimpri Chinchwad MIDC are at a comfortable driving distance. Daily essentials from groceries to hospitals serve the area well. People are shifting to Bavdhan from Baner Road, Aundh and Kothrud, because of better living.

Bavdhan has witnessed an increase in residential values in the Jan-Mar 2012 quarter compared to the previous quarter. The current per square feet rate at Bavdhan ranges from INR 4,700 to 5,100.

Little wonder then that Bavdhan has a spread of premium properties from every known builder of the city.

isleroyale by Gera offers bungalows from 3400 to 5700 sq. ft. priced between INR 2 crore and 4 crore for the privileged few.

Selva Ridge from Marvel Realtors, a gated community spread across 22 acres comes attached with a 10- acre forest reserve. With the forest reserve and open spaces covering 92% of the property, Marvel Selva Ridge Estate offers a refreshing break from the concrete jungle.

Gloria from Paranjape Builders is another premium project vying for a share of the property market pie. The Paranjape legacy combines with ultra-modern design and Gloria takes shape.

Iris from SKYi is a departure from convention in the brick and mortar category. Iris is a home that gives you a feeling of space of light, wind, ether, all the five elements. When you know that you are living in a home that gives you all this, rest assured that it’s an i-home. Like the one you have at Iris, Bavdhan.

These homes come for a price but are worth every penny spent for the lavishness they bestow on their residents. Penthouses, private infinity pools, private forest reserves, you wish it and it’s there.

With so much to offer on a platter, Bavdhan is upping its ante for certain. And while it may not have reached to the stature of its Eastern cousin KP, it is slowly and steadily getting there. Bavdhan in the near years to come is definitely going to be a residential destination to write home about.

Monday, February 20, 2012

» Our Blogs » Social Media Journal » "Content" Talk with Sonali...

"Content" Talk with Sonali Brahma

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SMCPune up,close and personal with Sonali Brahma.Want to know more about the content queen , read our interview with her.

SMCPune : Who exactly is Sonali Brahma?
Sonali Brahma is a writer, a student (there’s always so much to learn from life), a mother, a daughter, a trainer, an honest and committed person. But more importantly, she is an explorer who is 12 years old in this world. She likes to ‘see’ and ‘understand’ the world,  to inquire, probe the depths of her ‘subjects’ (target audience) when she is writing a story, just as it is, when she is writing for an ad campaign. To connect to these people so she can capture the core of their thoughts, their feelings, their fears, their joys through her words. She believes that the world and life has so much to give that there really isn’t enough time to do it all. But she tries. And so, she writes and leads – copy, content, scripts, short stories, profiles, letters, features, articles, and of course some inspiring and thought-provoking FB updates! To describe her in three words – Never say enough!
SMCPune : What is your passion? Tell us about your experience with different brands you worked on.
Sonali Brahma : Writing is my passion. It is the origin of my odyssey into the world of brands. I have had some amazing experiences building brands. Right from building a baby brand seeing it blossom and mature into a fully grown, much envied beauty (Mont Vert Real Estate) to working on the my alma mater (SIBM) as a lead creative resource, to working on a Child Care brand from scratch and watch it take baby steps (Innocent Times) and then proudly talk about a hospital one had helped launch (Oyster and Pearl Hospital), it’s been a truly overwhelming journey. A world that is at once exhilarating and adrenalin pumping and at times nail biting, a roller coaster ride with its ups and downs. Explore, love, fall, learn and conquer…it is this creative world that drives me that I am so very passionate about.
SMCPune : Being a content writer, do you think it’s important to express yourself via blog? Your website doesn't showcase your industry work ..Any particular reason of not including the details there?
Sonali Brahma : Yes, blogs are a great platform for self expression. But I believe they play a far larger role today. Blogs have become a great business and marketing tool. You can not only write about your line of work, your views about things in your domain, but you can ensure the right ‘pull’ (drive the right target audience to your blog). Moreover, a blog is dynamic, can be updated to the last minute, and is easily editable, unlike a website. To me, my blog is my online marketing showcase, my website, its more formal sibling.
SMCPune : You have recently joined social media channel. What prompted you to join and what are your views on it?
Sonali Brahma : I have always been a social media enthusiast. FB, Linked In and more recently, Twitter have been my bridges to a world of opportunity. As against popular opinion, which says, Social Media is for those who do not have much to do, I believe in the power of social media. It is online networking and networking is the best way to build your business and brands. It’s like playing golf, only, you play it online. Joining the Social Media Club has brought me closer to a tribe which has experienced the power and felt the success of social media for itself.
SMCPune : Great Content is required but if it is not shared via proper channel, it loses its essence. What are your views on this?
Sonali Brahma :One of the pivots of successful communication and advertising is ‘the right message (content) at the right time, to the right audience, through the right channel’. Even if one is missed out or incorrectly used, the entire point is lost. So great content, whether expressed through traditional media or new media, needs a proper, well thought-out channel/outlet to create an impact. The power of words and equally important, the power of media must never be undermined.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Importance of Content in Social Media

Cont -entertainment.

The next big thing to hit the tech-savvy generation after infotainment is Contentertainment.

Contentertainment is nothing but CONTENT + ENTERTAINMENT. Fairly simple to look at, at first glance, but more and more complicated as you get into the thick of things. What really matters is the proportion of the mix. What is bigger in the mix – Content? Or Entertainment? Or both?

Social Media probably started out as pure fun and entertainment. It began as a community of like-minded people ‘online’ who are ‘connected’ not just on the web, but also in thoughts, likes, dislikes, careers, lifestyles and what have you! It was a common platform that helped you share and exchange ideas, thoughts, loves and pet peeves. It helped you ‘laugh’ together and ‘grieve’ together in a world where meeting face-to-face becomes excruciating by the day.

Thus came FaceBook. An online book full of faces whom you shared a good vibe with. Thus was born Twitter; a derivative of ‘ A little bird told me….’; the only difference being that ‘the little bird’ here is ‘you’, the owner of the Twitter page who himself ‘tweets’ like a little bird in little characters (140 only) and tells the world what’s happening in his/her life/world.

While Twitter and Facebook are truly, truly ‘social’ and aim at ‘socializing’/entertaining online, there is
Linked in – the business arm of Social Media, where all business persons connect trying to make a better living out of networking. ‘Content’ thus acquires a more and more deeper meaning in Social Media, while pure fun-based entertainment takes a backseat.

Reading between the lines
Content today has become purposeful with always some ‘message’ to pass along. It is always something that you want to achieve, something to do, some sort of a goal to work on. Even Facebook has become a platform to talk about your ‘achievements’ – the car you purchased, the book you read, the ‘great ad’ you saw, the ‘five star’ property you checked into. It has become a showcase of attitude, of lifestyle, even a hunting ground for head hunters or eager employers; it has become an open book for recruiters/ employers to ‘check out’ a person’s personality from his posts on the wall or his ‘likes’ and see if he is indeed the right ‘fit’ for the organization.

“Think, before you tweet”!, seems to have become the buzzword, lest you are misunderstood/misread. Content definitely is on its way up the ladder of Social Media. News is in, so updates are big. Everyone is in a hurry to ‘update’ his wall, post, page etc. Search engines still recognize good content. The crawlies (spiders) still make a strong case for regularly updated and original content. Even the visuals have to be meta tagged as the crawlers do not ‘catch them’.

Content drives the world wide web. Content drives business online. And even offline. Powerful, original content speaks a lot more than a glamorously made You Tube video. Original ideas and thoughts on Social Media spark a conversation, and even a revolution (read Egypt, Anna Hazare).

Content has the power to change your world, my world, our world. Let’s not underestimate it!