The Great Indian Braid Hunt



Boom! Boom! The floor was shaking violently. There was a loud noise like a roar outside. “Any one there?” . They timidly peered out of the window to see a fat giant with his stomach bulging out of his blue and white pants, thick red whiskers and a funny helmet with braided hair hanging from either side. They knew they could not remain safe inside the office for long. They had to eventually confront him. So the campaign manager gingerly stepped out and asked in a feeble voice, “May I help you, Sir?


What is the meaning of this?” he growled pointing at the board put outside the office. The board read,


Dear Participant,


We are overwhelmed by the tremendous response to the ‘The Great Indian Braid Hunt’ contest and picking out the winners from the lot has been a challenging task. The contestants were courageous, resourceful, perseverant or all of afore stated. Two contestants were truly outstanding while the others weren’t quite in the same league. Hence only 2 iPads are being awarded besides 3 Playbooks and 10 Surprise Gifts …. and the winners are:


Below were pictures of some of the loveliest young women with lovely braids.

He was feeling a bit confident now. He was used to dealing with the sore losers who could just not accept defeat graciously. “Well, Sir, our judges found them to be the best of the lot.

But they did not even complete the twelve tasks.

The rules never mentioned that the twelve tasks were to be completed.

If that is the case why did you set those twelve arduous tasks?

It had to look like a proper contest, right?

But I was the only one who completed all the twelve tasks.

I understand Sir. But see the name of the contest. It is the great Indian braid hunt. How can we have you as the winner?

The man turned his head and pointed to the braid on one side. “But I do have a braid.

But, Sir, our target customers are not fat oafs.

Who are you calling fat?” he roared and moved menacingly towards the campaign manager.

The campaign manager literally shook in fear. “Not you, sir. Not you. I meant in general. You are so slim and handsome.

He calmed down a bit. “So why did I not win the prize?

Sir, you are not an Indian.

Now where did that come from? The rules never said whether you have to be a cow boy or an Indian to participate.

We left that vague to encourage more participation. But only an Indian can win a great Indian braid hunt contest, right?

How did I win the consolation prize then?

That shows our company’s largeness of heart, Sir. We console all losers irrespective of gender, race or nationality.

Again Obelix’s face turned red. “How dare you call me a loser? I was already pissed about the comment about me not being in the same league. Now by calling me a loser, you have done it.

No, Sir! No, Sir! It is not like that. By loser I meant the people who lost the opportunity to win the prize. By league, we meant people who are in league with our product and our brand.

Ok. Leave that. If you are anyway doing this just to promote your product, what has a stupid shampoo to do with courage, resourcefulness and perseverance?

That is all part of the high level brand strategy, Sir. I am a small man who does what I am told. I was told to organize a difficult contest and pick some winners who look good with the product. I was just following orders.

Then call the one who gave you the orders,” roared the giant.

Soon a jazzy sports car drove in and a suave man in a chic suit stepped out.

Sir, this person has some questions about our brand strategy

He surveyed the huge man in front of him with disdain and said, “Yes?

I wanted to know what do courage, resourcefulness and perseverance have to do with a bloody shampoo.

It is called brand positioning. I think the concept will be beyond your simple brain.

You called me a simpleton?

He caught hold of the brand manager, lifted him to the sky, turned him upside down and shook him like a rat.

Enough, Sir! You have made your point! I understand I have underestimated your intelligence. Please put me down and I shall explain.

See, mister, the brand is not about the product. It is about how it makes people feel. The people pay not for the shampoo but to feel courageous, resourceful and perseverant after using our product.

But how can a shampoo make you all that?” Obelix looked puzzled.

The brand manager smiled knowingly. “See? That is the challenge. What else can any shampoo do but clean the hair? But people are not going to pay a bomb just for that. So we have to create an image that only courageous, resourceful and perseverant people use our product. And as a corollary, anybody who uses our product will feel courageous, resourceful and perseverant. As they say it is all in the mind. That is called brand association.

So this whole thing is a sham?

No. You don’t get it. We are really making people feel good about themselves. Isn’t that great, for the price of a mere shampoo?

Now he looked really confused. He remained in deep thought for a while and then concluded, “These marketing guys are crazy

39 comments:

Snuffles Jay said...

Hahahha...nice once...pretty creative...
after all, its all in the mind
lol...

The Fool said...

Thanks, Sherna.

asteria's canvass said...

hee haw haw haw..*krur singh style * i hope contest sponsors read this.. :)

The Fool said...

Thanks Ratika. Btw, I used to like the Chandrakanta serial too. I am planning to read the book once I am done with Tamil and get on to Hindi.

asteria's canvass said...

if you get the original version of chandrakanta santati then dont let it go, I remember finding a hard copy in my nanu's library but I was too young to read then and now its lost...

Rachna said...

Tongue-in-cheek and well penned. Being a Marketing person, I know exactly what you say. Yet, all of us seem to fall for it including participating in contests where we are often treated shabbily and given raw treatment. I am completely off them now!

umashankar said...

Hilarious enlightenment and a memorable satire, TF! This one jiggled like Zig Zigler.

Rickie said...

Hah! And that is how we are 'had' every breathing moment of our life!
And now, I must go get that toothpaste that has 'namak' in it. I am certain that I will get a promotion in my job if I use it.

Like Rachna Says (no pun intended), perfect tongue-in-cheek and well penned!

indu chhibber said...

Marketing guys are brainy i must say--pat answer for every complaint!
You have pinned them well n proper!

The Fool said...

Thanks, Rachna. Somehow I have this deep suspicion of corporate world though I am deep in and earn my bread and butter that way.

The Fool said...

Thanks a lot, Umashankar.

The Fool said...

Thanks, Rickie. Ha! Still the toothpaste with salt! I guess it will soon make its appearance in one of your posts as well.

Suresh Chandrasekaran said...

Wow! TF! You took on contests and Marketing management all in one. This is among the best that I have ever read.

Suresh Chandrasekaran said...

I think it is available online - I probably downloaded it sometime. Need to hunt it down in my machine!

The Fool said...

You seem to have not only the book I want to read in Tamil but also Hindi? Anyways I prefer hard copies. Also I would start reading Hindi only after I have read a few Tamil books. Don't want to mix up languages.

The Fool said...

Thanks, Indu.

The Fool said...

Thanks Suresh. The idea suddenly came to me just like that today morning as I was reading all the discussions around the Naba incident.

DS said...

Being in the marketing department I know how tough it is to convince customers and how we try every trick in the book to make them become sellers of our product! But to promise something and then not fulfill it only makes things worse and dents both your personal and the companys image in the market.
A wonderful read on the current saga.

Blogwati Gee said...

I PROTEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why is this not a contest entry? I vote for it. Fabulous TF. Loved, loved, loved it. And of course Obelix has always been the original braid winner. :)

debajyoti said...

haven't we seen enough of these people? anyway, it was a fun read! if they read your post then you are not going to win any shampoo contest going forward :)

CRD said...

Tea that makes us patriotic...
Softdrinks that make us brave...
Deos that make women sluts...

And yet marketing is the highest paid profession today

The Joke is on us :P

Cheers
CRD

jaish_vats said...

Very well written TF. Its the time of honest soaps!! Hmm!!

The Fool said...

Thanks Jaish. Of course it is only wishful thinking though.

The Fool said...

Sad but true, CRD, But then that is how it is going to continue to be.

The Fool said...

Lol, debajyothi. I know. it is a great sacrifice I have made for the public good - foregoing my earnings from contests conducted by shampoo companies.

The Fool said...

Thanks a lot Blogwati. Glad you liked it so much. Thought of submitting it for that Dove contest to get more readers. But feared they might turn the tables on me by giving me a prize and make me look like a hypocrite. Earlier I have go consolation prizes for this kind of sarcasm.

The Fool said...

Thanks, DS. However this kind of FMCG marketing is different from your kind of direct selling to companies. Your kind of marketing is focused on highlighting qualities of product. But these FMCG products are only slightly different from each other. So the game becomes completely different.

Blogwati Gee said...

Don't worry about them. Just go for it. It is always the content that matters. Churning a noteworthy product from a prompt, that is what drives bloggers like us. Just do it. And if you win, so be it!

serenelyrapt said...

Marketing gigs work on making people OKAY for using the product and UNOKAY for not using it. Simultaneously. Its an art. And science. Also simultaneously. Ad- infinitum...

Loved the dig. But it will never penetrate the skins of those at whom the barbs were directed. Rather annoying. Still one does what one can. Sigh.

Dagny

The Fool said...

You sure are right, Dagny.

The Fool said...

You are right, BlogwatiG. But this year I have taken a resolutions to boycott contests. Who knows? Maybe next year I will be back in the contests circuit.

Purba said...

The great marketing con that all of us readily fell for!

Red Handed said...

Seriously...especially with the whole blogosphere filled with contests of dove and sunsilk with their no more split ends and get stick straight hair, this is one post that was much required!

The Fool said...

Thats the reality.

The Fool said...

Thanks a lot, Red Handed.

Deepa said...

Brilliant! I second Vinita! Why is this not a contest entry?!?! Not that it would make even a tiny dent in anything, but will sure make for some amazing reading.

The Fool said...

Thanks Deepa. Earlier I used to put in these kind of posts as contest entries. But got bored of participating in contests. Also felt my regular readers get a wrong message about me.

Roshni said...

Ha! If we only knew what marketing people really think of us! I think you described it pretty well!

The Fool said...

Thanks Roshni.

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