Archive for Questions in Mind

Google Adwords: Google made a small mistake :)

I am sure Larry and Sergie could do the best Google search. With all the advance search techniques, the delimiters, the quotes, commas etc. I mean ofcourse – they designed and built it! They know it better than anything else!

Okay – how about Google Adwords?

Sample this: Most of us keep struggling with good landing pages, google adword creatives, text ads, image ads, gadget ads… Keep tweaking them all till we don’t get our CPC, CPA, CPL, visitors, visits, pageviews right.

But some things we never forget to check, re-check, click, doubleclick… is the URL… Some of the paranoid us also recheck the spellings, the brand names and the grammar one too many times!

Today while random surfing (I get paid for this :P), I noticed Google AdWords being used heavily for the US Elections 2008 registration phase… Obama or Palin (McCain yeah!) doesn’t matter to me.. But I thought I would like to see what Google has to offer for the campaign…

But what does it do?

It ends up using a Wrong URL for its ads (!) – Yes, check it out for yourself:

Worth forgiving I tell you… But if I was a client… I’d be nervous đŸ˜„

Here it is:


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Jack Daniels: An ode to Indian Alcohol Advertising

Alcohol advertising is banned in India. Well literally!

There is this interesting read on the ‘Tipsy Liquor Policy of India’ I came across a few months ago.

It is funny how the Government of India makes the sale and consumption of alcohol legal in India but makes advertising and promotion illegal. Hypocrisy is it? By the way the sale of liquor to mortals aged less than 25 years is anyways illegal. But a glance into the numerous pubs shows that perhaps that’s the ‘demographics’ that throngs the bar!

Now lemme do some “Freakonomics” here:

The Government makes oodles of money collecting the zillions of bucks as excise, tax, license fees (from bar owners).
The Bar/taverns/restaurants/liquor shops/soda sellers/those recycled plastic throw-able glass sellers/DJs: all make money.
The liquor companies: they perhaps make more money by spending less!
The Advertising agencies: Well, their gravity prevailing profits are leading them to be “not-for-profit organisations’
And like always the ad-execs end up getting less money!

Until, one stray instance, one brand shows us the way while I am driving on my way to a client meet:


There billboard is on the Delhi-Noida-Delhi expressway. This cheeky, ‘complete the picture’ creative leaves one gasping for more. It is the logo, nothing more, and infact it is not even the complete logo.

It is like saying “If you don’t know me, don’t drink me’… And I love it!

It is not the first time this has been done. I clearly remember the Neil French crafted Chivas Regal campaign


I would certainly like to argue that this “Interactive” in nature. Yeah, go on, get that smirk on your face. But the point is that, it certainly make me interact with a darn hoarding.


For me and others who know Jack Daniels: Well, this caught my attention, my pea-sized brain made me consume the information and process it to say ‘wow’ to myself and gain greater conviction, respect, build stronger bonds with ‘Jack Daniels, the brand’.

While others are using surrogates like sodas, music, events, parties, one brand decided to stick it’s neck out.

It didn’t tell you that alcohol is cool, it didn’t tell you that listening to music, partying or ‘anything lifestylish’ but pure unadulterated branding. It is slow, it is drop by drop, much like the Tennessee Whiskey.
Cheers to Jack Daniels. Cheers to the Alcohol Advertising in India.

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Brand Apple: Is love really blind?

I love Apple. I love Steve Jobs. I love their advertising. I love their arrogance. I love their products. Infact the love stretches beyond just products. It extends into inspiration, unconditional love… ummm a religion? Saatchi & Saatchi refers to this phenomenon as Lovemarks.

Strangely, while the above is somehow far more intangible in the buying decision making process, the far more tangible aspects like ‘consumer reviews’ fail to soften the purchase motivations.

Recently, while surfing Apple’s online catalog, I read some fairly negative consumer feedback about the Apple Mighty Mouse.

Suddenly, I took notice, but I didn’t defer my purchase. Primarily because of the following reasons:

  • The fact that Apple had the arrogance, courage, confidence and the transparency to showcase the negative comments worked for me, and somehow fit the current brand image in my mind
  • the Lovemark,
  • And lastly the amazing product that Mighty Mouse is in the first place.

Whats leaves me gasping for answers is whether all the consumer mass that is enamoured by a brand ready to ignore the user feedback and go on to pay a premium for products (read brands)? If it does, then whole a lot of things work – Super Bowl (1984 Think Different Ad) as media (remember, White Colour, Fruit-led brand names, and some great advertising.

Apple Store Reviews by Customers

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Google takes over YouTube or YouTube takes over Google?

Since Google gobbled over YouTube, I have been noticing an increase in organic search results pointing to YouTube.

While some may argue my over-observation, my argument is fairly empirical and common-sensible:

Google bought over YouTube so it could become a leader in internet video sharing. While this is OK, Google maintain its foothold in the contextual advertising space. With user generated content seeing phenomenal growth it makes sense.

And yeah yeah, YouTube can now ask daddy Google to give them some space on the Google Servers or atleast pay off the mammoth bandwidth bills!

However, YouTube needs to attract even more users to see Google’s money pay-off!

Simple, enhance the Google crawlers to crawl YouTube, and deliver organic search results!

Anyone else observing the same?

Watch the founders princely ‘keynote address’

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Google’s Birthday? 8-year old rich geek!

Google 8th BirthdayWell, I would have loved to send in gifts to Larry Page and Sergey Brin and maybe Dr. Eric Schmidt too… But I don’t know the BIRTHDATE.Well, Google has always done things differently, and so differently that they don’t mantain an official date for the company’s establishment.

Here is the official link:

So what would Google do? Considering they like gifting us avid Google users somewhat of a surprise?

Five things they can do to celebrate the birthday:

  1. Double Gmail space? say from the current 2.5 GB to 5 GB?
  2. Do a searchable index of everyones birthday… (yes all global citizens and maybe they are already doing it)
  3. Give me a few shares of GOOG
  4. How about Google Cafes? Places where you sip your FREE COFFEE and search the Internet, discuss it! Perhaps that that fits well with Google’s philanthropic policy of giving everything for FREE!
  5. How about launching a music service and music hardware (a la iPod)? MusiG or GSound?

But I wonder, what an 8-year old very rich geek would do for his birthday?

Anyways, Happy Birthday (Or Birthmonth??) Google!

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Mixi – Japanese ‘Orkut’ goes IPO. Doubles market cap on debut!

This is the height of social networking becoming financially viable. Well I know not everything is for a “social cause”, but then a Japanese social networking portal, Mixi goes IPO and must have done something extraordinary to match up the hype that led to the doubling of the stock price on debut.

I await something of this scale in India. India specific include,, MingleBox,… But I think Indians own Orkut… Whichever community I logon to on Orkut, it is either owned by an Indian, or Indians rule it otherwise.

But what should Indian social networking sites try and do. To my mind, it is simple, try and organise more ‘real life, offline events’ to connect with audience and give the sites some flesh and blood!

Business Week has an interesting story on the social networking fad, and the financial viability.

HELLO, GOODBYE. Yet as the sites multiply and investors take a closer look, questions abound concerning whether social networking makes for a wise investment. And skepticism is rising over the long-term financial health of these online destinations, with some analysts saying these are the early stages of a social-network bubble. “We have yet to see a viable long-term business model for social networks,” says Nate Elliott, an analyst at Jupiter Research. “We have yet to see anyone come close.”

Read the complete story here

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‘Total Recall 2006’ by Dell… India Inc listening?

Recently, there was a huge crisis in the Dell Headquarters. Well, a couple of Dell Notebooks saw their batteries blowing up and bursting into flames…

Now while most organisations will try and shove blame on their partners (SONY is the battery manufacturer in this case), Dell took a bold stand and recalled the batteries. They set up in a fortnight and shipped out some batteries within days of the incident.. well reportedly incidents!!

This led me to question whether an Indian manufacturer would ever gather the courage to so… I think Indians keep grappling with the idea of how to shroud the problems and hide them….

A recent example in the Indian context has been Pepsi. The colas (Pepsi and Coke) were grappling with the pesticide controversy nationwide…

Pepsi went on to use PespsiCo India Chief Ravi Bakshi in a tactical filme aimed at reducing the ‘harmful effects of pesticides’ 🙂 Check out the story board:

According to me, if the film would have been less of a productionised effort, it could have worked for me… Currently the labs are sparkling white, the young guy on the bench meeting Rajiv Bakshi is a very forced situation…

On the brighter side, this seems to be a leaps ahead of PR Spokespersonnel from Indian Companies vehemently denying all allegations!

Also, this is seemingly not a fit with ‘Pepsi the Brand’… It is somewhat aggressive (versus Coca Cola), much younger (than Coca Cola) and far more vibrant… This film is submissive, flat (unlike most colas), and defensive…

Will it work? Well, time should be the best pesticide test.

Interestingly, the American Society for Quality has a page on the website that showcases how India doesn’t have a quality regulator.

Do write in if you know of any product recalls in India… Cheers…

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