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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Because We Can, We Must

Around half a century back Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream, where he envisioned a world (America) free of racial discrimination and inequality once and for all. He didn't however live to see his dream turn to reality (I wonder whether we have?). But when Barack Obama said, "Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek" the words of Luther King echoed across the American people. For good or for bad they (Americans) had leaders who shared the same dream, 50 years apart!!!

If we look further back, there is the great Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (Mahatma Gandhi) who believed in ahimsa (total non-violence) and preached, "An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind." He was a living legend indeed. In fact Martin Luther King, Jr. himself had once said, "Christ gave us the goals and Mahatma Gandhi the tactics." Such is the acceptance of this Brahmachari that even at this kalyug (modern era/dark times), activists like Anna Hazare take up his non-violent methods to rally against Anti-corruption. Gandhians are still at large in India and across the globe irrespective of race, gender or religion. Idealism is usually the force which drives all progressive change and he had one that won a million hearts (and continue to do so) "Ahimsa Paramo Dharma".

Without further adieu let me get to the point! The enlightened people that you are (reading it) must be knowing about most of what I've highlighted in the above paras. But the irony is that we know the situation, perhaps can dig up a solution but definitely can't execute the desired course of action. Even our  greatest leader Bongobondhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1971 had called upon his countrymen in a thunderous voice, "Ebarer Sangram Amader Muktir Sangram, Ebarer Sangram Swadhinatar Sangram" (This struggle is for our freedom, this struggle is for our independence), inspiring what would turn into Bangladesh Liberation War. 40 years down the line... we still don't shy away from using it in every possible manner or putting his name and portrait in every possible place. These consecutive acts of mockery by successive governments has left us with no leader at all (at least not without acute controversies).

I grew up knowing Bangladesh is a nation of patriots and survivors that are full of optimism and adaptability. By the time I had grown up... I considered myself stuck in a rat hole of corrupt and uncivilized people who ensure nothing social insecurity and spiraling inflation and has no vision but of their own. Gandhian or not, dreamer or not.... I am just another citizen of Bangladesh. And all I ever wanted to love my country and contribute towards its development. I used to feel miserable at times knowing I probably wasn't contributing where is required the most, politics (more specifically student politics). But then when you wake up from that lucid surreal dream, you realize it is nothing but a pothole (like the ones you scrape through everyday). A pothole in a street that's underwater (sewerage preferably) , a pothole that we try to mend temporarily every now and then... a pothole we must we must fix to move forward!!!

Question is, HOW do we do it? by WHEN? and most importantly WHO does it?

Friday, August 5, 2011

Slogans in Advertising!

When well used and off repeated; a slogan can become a part of the fabric of a brand.But , how do You build a strong connection between slogan and brand?It's not simply a matter of tagging a slogan onto an ad,because an ad with a slogan isn't necessarily more effective than an ad without one.A slogan that is merely an end line or sign off to an ad; is unlikely to make a contribution to the success of the brand.The creative must integrate the brand and the slogan in such a way that the slogan can strengthen branding,or have some positive effect.
Lets think about Bangladeshi Advertising arena . As we all know, Bangladeshi ad industry is mostly dominated by Mobile operator first have a quick recap of those particular ads.
....kache thakun..Stay Closer ; current market leader GP has got this slogan and probably most of their creative materials , be it TVCs, be it Printing Campaigns; have an attachment to this motto or slogan.Think , say for example, duniya kapano 30 minute , babu beche thakle tar boyosh hoto(featuring 71)..,or recently the ad opekkha(A village woman waiting for her husband to come) every where we find the emotional attachment of kache thaka , Staying closer to the core of heart, closer to the beloved ones, closer to the beautiful nature. the more these beautiful ads have been aired or published the more GP has increased its customer, increased its brand loyalty.needless to mention beside the country wide powerful network, these slogan led creative campaigns have contributed a lot to GP's growth even though its the most expensive mobile network now. see, one single slogan how powerfully relates the theme of their campaigns to the ultimate effectiveness! A round of applause for the agency and directors behind the success.
on the other hand, with the slogan jekhanei ache din bodoler cheshta , shekhanei ache Banglalink ; Blink started their marketing campaign. and truly the inception was vibrant and one of the best kicking off in BD ad industry.but lately, Blink market share has gone down significantly.One of the main reasons behind this fall is recent promotional campaigns which could not live up to the mark of their slogan ; 'change'. All the TVCs of Blink 'Desh' have shown us nothing but excessive application of jingles , dancing prowess and make-up-rapped models.those couldn't relate anyway to their basic tagline or theme 'change' ;at least, from my perspective.
I am a new comer of this blog, and while going through a lot of recent write-ups here, i found out a good one based on Aktel's re-branding towards Robi. the very beginning it was not clearly understandable why such an unorthodox re-branding pathway Aktel or Robi Axiata has chosen. consequently I thought may be they are targeting mostly the rural market of BD.their brand name Robi itself , some flamboyant color of the logo and the pattern of their promotion compelled me to think so.But what about their slogan??Apon shoktite ujjol..the slogan itself is sort of hermetic to understand and when they try to reveal the meaning of this slogan through TVCs , it becomes harder even for the city dwelling educated market let alone the villagers. recently the new Ad chayar moto network ache shobkhane was good indeed.but when it comes to the perfect blending of Slogan with the creative, the question remains..
finally ..the Airtell Saga... fuhh... seriously! who came up with this cliched slogan : bhalobashar tane , kache ane..may be they targeted mostly the youth generation, but as far as they are going on now (think about incessant text messages from the operator itself too) with a cliched slogan, it is obvious that sooner they might lose a huge amount of loyal users , what Warid built with its flexible VASs.
so we can say, its a must to integrate the slogan of a Brand with the theme of a creative to retain a brand successfully . As I said earlier, slogan should be reflected through the creative in such a way that it strengthens the brand's perceived image by the consumer, not just create a new unmatched might turn into a beautiful artwork , but in terms of brand positioning its just a mistake.