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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Citycell's ad encourages children to use mobile phones

As there grows rising concern against use of mobile phones by children, keeping in view health and environment safety related issues, Citycell decides to come up with a strange advertisement portraying children as its future customers and ‘how caring their customer service is’ that they provide service ‘with a smile’ to school-going children too, who one day, will grow up to be their loyal customers. Honestly, I recommend Citycell hires a better ad agency and get a life for themselves.

As Grameenphone brings in ‘omuker bou, tomuker natni, shomuker bhai’ etc. as their customer service cadre, Banglalink was quick to follow suit with their ‘kotha dilam’ (na betha dilam?) campaign. Citycell thought that well since GP has exhausted using sisters, natnees and brothers in their ad, whereas Banglalink decided to apply the young lady, Citycell perhaps thought why not to use children to ‘glorify’ the ‘superior’ (!) customer service? Poor, very poor. I hope their customer service is not as bad as their advertisement. Although the naive child admits that he is too young to use a mobile phone now, the Citycell staff keeps on staring greedily at the child, dreaming that once he grows up, he will prefer Citycell only.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

And here comes radvertising

"Welcome back listeners, if you are planning big for an upcoming holiday , you can travel by Singapore Airlines to Hong Kong to have the time of your life...or even to Sydney, as Singapore Airlines is offering the best deal in town for its valued customers"... OR.."welcome back you all music lovers, I hope you all are aware that to enjoy the music to the fullest, you need a Sony Ericsson Walkman phone, which plays your favorite music so well that you will enjoy the time..."...Just a few of the glimpses of the new phenomena which is redefining our advertising scopes...thanks to the increased popularity of the radio channels in Bangladesh and the radio listening culture, a whole new dimension of advertisements have popped plenty of rooms for the Bangladeshi corporates to think about new ways of advertising their products and services.

The best thing about radio is that the target consumers/listener can actually be mobile and can still be connected to the radio through the mobile-phone enabled radios while walking, driving, studying whatever. The power of broadcasting that radio possesses enables to deliver targeted promotional campaigns right through the ears of the listeners to grab more and more of the mind share. And who else can do it better than Radio Foorti? The ever-getting-smarter RJs of the channel have gone a long way in contextualizing particular specific adverts of Singapore Airlines or Nokia or Sony Ericsson are not aired in isolation, rather it has become part of the RJ that when the RJ is establishing a conversational ambience with the listeners, advertising snippets are intertwined in the script to entice the potential consumers....and they make it look like as if its very natural....natural radio advertising...or 'radvertising' I suppose.

And keeping in view the expansion of the radio coverage across the whole country, I sense more and more opportunities for new avenue to advertise...not only to advertise traditionally..but innovatively....that is when the RJs not only play songs and chit chat...they become the ambassadors of certain that the credibility and acceptance gets closer to the audience. Radvertising is here and it is here to stay....those companies who realized it early enough are perhaps reaping the benefits already.

Meanwhile....keep on listening to your favorite radio channel...and welcome to radvertisement.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Sitting pretty at Citibank

Use of women in the corporate world of Bangladesh. Have you ever thought about that? How many of us are open to the idea of having a female manager and/or a CEO? Not everyone becomes the CEO of Berger Paints Ltd. or Head of an important division in a telecom company. And we can assume that those women climbed the corporate ladder by dint of their merit and hardwork only. However, are there any specific cases in a corporate context in Bangladesh where women are ‘applied’ with a purpose?

The reason why I am shedding some light on this topic is that the other day, someone mentioned that Citibank usually employs up-heel, pretty women who work as the corporate ambassadors while dealing with government counterparts and/or industry peers. It is heard that middle-aged or nearly old Bangladesh Bank officials sometimes find it really hard to say ‘no’ or behave impolitely to polished female fleet of Citibank N/A (Not Applicable huh?). So as the drooling eyes keep on relishing the eye candies, the deal gets sealed with a smile. I have also heard about one Mr. T in a telecom company (very aggressive) who heads the marketing department and prefers an entourage consisting of mostly wanna-babes who are eager to don the ID cards of the tiger-stripes. I wonder if marketing and pretty women go hand in hand or its just kind of icing on the cake…some sort of a window-dressing for the corporate shoppers?

So the question remains why management prefers to keep women as a receptionist or a phone operator or a call center agent or a marketing executive? How is it in the context of Bangladesh? Exposure to satellite TV for the last decade, frequent foreign trips to get exposed to diverse culture, how much of it has actually translated to a transformation of perception of women in the corporate arena of Bangladesh? Are they only being used as eye-candies with empty heads and high heels? Are being beautiful and a good female manager mutually exclusive in the eyes of male counterparts? Which sectors are more prone to applying women as corporate hot bombshells to explode in stakeholder premises? Banks…telcos? Others? May be you know better.