Monthly Archives: February 2008

I remember a house, like a lot of other houses, a yard…..

From streets lined with trees, from flyover constructions, from roads whose names gave indications of a colonial past, from temples and their loudspeaker bhajans and flower fragrances, from an old theatre that played mallu movies, from rail tracks and the hoot of the occasional train. To change, and the creation of another set of memories.

until next time, shift

Bill meets Mark

Well, maybe Bill and Mark have met before in other contexts, but to actually have a promo of MS doing a facebook application in India is perhaps a first. And thats not all, there’s a game on zapak too.

‘Heroes Happen Here’ is the theme of the entire promo being done by MS. While the entire deal looks like a mash up (not literally) of information disseminaton & trials for Visual Studio 2008, Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 (do not close the window, i am as technologically challenged as you are on those) and community building, I, for one, am extremely envious of the brand/product guy who got to do this. It has stuff for IT professionals, developers and enthusiasts.

As you might have guessed, this blog is interested because of the way a social network and a gaming site have been weaved in to the communication strategy. Communication strategy, because i saw an ad for this, not on facebook, but on the rediff homepage. Which means that not only have they spent money on the game and the application, but they’re also spending on advertising the stuff. I say cool!!

I haven’t been able to add the application, but if you do, lemme know how it went.

 until next time, soft socialism

Connecting Ads

A couple of posts back, I’d written about the possibility of brands getting together to make a TVC. And Hallelujah, they’re listening :). Airtel and Nokia (and SRK and Madhavan) have teamed to bring us a combo ad, which though begins as if a lot of people are suddenly having heart attacks, has been done quite well. See, SRK really meant it when he said thoda wish karo. Oh Okay, i was just being mean :D

While these were two completely related products (mobile handset and service provider), what I’d like to see is an ad featuring products whose only relation to each other is the target audience they’re aiming at, and the way the brands fit into their lives, either by say, time (Gillette + Kelloggs) or geography (Woodland + Vodafone). Strange, but fun.

Meanwhile, i read on agencyfaqs that Simply Marry has tried a viral approach to marketing. I had a look at the site, and while the animation and music is pretty decent, i felt the entire concept is too frivolous to become a viral. In fact, I’d like to pitch another thing to them. Why couldn’t they just buy over a property like this, and then start making episodes of these with more and different characters. Meanwhile, also make it multi platform and offer downloads of mobisodes, if the idea is also for 58888 to make money. They can even do an entire reality series based on this and air it on Zoom and Times Now. Even if not a TV reality show, this can be an MMS based mobile reality show. Connect to a Reliance/Vodafone/Airtel or even that insufferable Tata Indicom (free couple available with brand)  and they’d be happy to partner, i guess. Promotion shouldn’t be a problem with the group’s immense newsprint strength. Considering this is a ‘metromonial’ site, I’m sure all these media are toppers in their respective genres. Yes, all except ‘Isko Dekho’, though statistics and niches can be found, i bet.

until next time, howzzat for connections? ;)

Yoko

The outlet on Church Street is fairly new, but they’re apparently quite a famous chain in Mumbai, and have also started an outlet in Hyderabad.

Its essentially a sizzler joint, and essays that role quiet well, given the choices and the ‘value for money’ factor. We reserved in advance, but a peek into the diary told us, we were the only ones to have done so :). The place has two floors, and the ground floor was quite full, but we were only one of two groups on the first floor. I would recommend the first floor, cosy, comfortable and a little less congested.

We started with a cream of chicken soup, which was simply awesome. I would rate it as one of the best i’ve had in Bangalore. Unlike a lot of places we’ve been to, they believe in using both cream and chicken in a ‘cream of chicken’ soup. There are also a lot of starters you could choose from.

For the main course, we had a ‘Chicken Satellite’ sizzler and a ‘Diced Steak with chips’. The steak had a wonderful flavor, the sizzler was only average, but it could be my intense dislike for most vegetables that biased my view. Speaking of vegs, there’s enough choice her for vegetarians too. The meal was just the right quantity and leaves you enough space for dessert.  There are not many dessert options, and its pretty much the standard Mousse, Ice Cream, Caramel Custard kind. Would have loved to review that too, but had to rush.

Overall, a good experience, Yoko’s a good place to visit when you’re hovering around MG/Brigade Road,  but I might be more inclined towards Tangerine (Indiranagar) when in the generic mood for sizzlers. Its the dessert, stupid, though a Barista and Java city close to Yoko pretty much evens it up. :D

Yoko Sizzlers,

No. 42, Church Street, Next to KC Das, Opposite Hotel Empire, Bangalore, 41266588, 41266589

A Matter of Time

He knew people changed, but this change astounded him. The last time he’d seen the guy he was just an acerbic old man who growled more than talked and hated the concept of love. But now he was a young man who seemed kind, just and fully in love. Maybe it was just father time!!

until next time, chota akbar :)

Hide and Seek

..and some embrace the world in all its flamboyance, exploring each and every pore for all its worth. Some retreatinto self made shells or spaces where no one can find them, literally or virtually. Some of us succeed in losing ourselves, some of us in finding ourselves, and the unfortunate ones fall in between.


until next time, where art thou?

Stan is young

Does that make sense? At least as much sense as Youngistan? Unless you’ve been living in outer space, you couldn’t have missed Pepsi’s latest TVC featuring *hold your breath* *Bhansali meets Farah* a combo package of Bollywood’s latest finds – D Pad and R Kap. Hey, ain’t i allowed to use youth lingo? :D. In fact, if you’ve been in outer space, there are better chances of catching the resident of Youngistan.

This blog has been a fan of Pepsi, and the blogger had a huge attack of guilt followed by remorse when he equated the earlier work of Pepsi (My can, featuring John and SRK) to some customisable toilet devised by Pepsi. He couldn’t even blog about it till now. But we digress.

That Pepsi has managed a casting coup of sorts is a no-brainer. But have they been used well? I think not. While Youngistan has a catchy twang to it, the ad per se has a very ‘leave your brains at home’ feel to it. That too would have worked fine, if Pepsi had decided to do a combo spoof on both the movies starring the trio. A sort of ‘Spy Hard/ Hot Shots’ approach to Bollywood. IMHO, its exactly the kind of ad that’ll make the ‘youth’ go ‘Phooey’. I know I am not exactly youth anymore, but hey, remember the Pepsi ’18 till i Die’ commercial, with Amrish Puri? The ad, me thinks, falls in that huge space between the stools.

So Pepsi, Youngistan sounds cool, can we have a better storyboard please? Apparently, some 30 scripts were rejected before this one, and the idea was to show the ideas that the youth come up with when they improvise on the spot. If this idea is a representative, i fear for the country. Meanwhile, wrt my last post, maybe, just maybe Tata Sky could’ve been co-branded in this ad? ;)

20392_4.jpg

pic courtesy : agencyfaqs

until next time, yeh dil maange more

More Socialising

I’d written this a while back on social networking sites and their relevance/irrelevance, and now i see this. If you’re too lazy to click, Orkut is letting developers make their social applications available to Orkut users.

In the post I mentioned earlier, I had written how Facebook scores over Orkut due to the sheer pull of different elements which cater to my interests and the way it also allows me to relate to my friends on many different planes. The simple idea being that I’m a blogger, an F1 enthusiast, an avid reader, A Heroes fan etc . My friends also share many of these interests, and there are multiple applications which cater to all of these. Orkut’s only efforts so far has been groups (which Facebook also has) and that was just not enough. The latest announcement means that Orkut’s expansion of services are going to be in that direction.

While that may spark the thought that it might level the playing field, I , for one, dont think so. For starters, Facebook already has the first mover advantage in the space. That can be argued because crowds have a tendency to flock towards the latest new thing as far as social networks go. But, I’ve seen a lot of Orkut users climbing on to Facebook and then saying ‘Its way too confusing’. For the non-confused Facebook user, its a good place to be, because the confusion acts a filter which prevents the clutter in Orkut. So I don’t think a lot of Facebook users will go to Orkut for the applications. That, however is something that depends a lot on the applications developed. Lastly, Orkut has managed to collect a lot of users hat are undesirable. These are spam/porn guys and the ‘I want to do friendship with you’ specimens who are still regulars in Orkut. So, while Orkut’s applications might be killers, a lot of potential users might be put off owing to the damage already done, the new privacy features notwithstanding.

until next time, socialise :)

Documentary

He waited patiently, then impatiently, while they searched. Strange, they said, the document numbers above and below his were intact. Irritated, he wondered why they didn’t convey this when he called up the day before. As they took the documents from a separate drawer, their looks said it all – couldn’t you have conveyed THAT earlier?


until next time, customer service for dummies

Pink Pepper

The poor place suffered at the hands of Bangalore Times’s review, but we still decided to give it a try. After all, we aren’t that gourmet yet.

Since we didn’t want to go around in circles (considering that 13th main, 6th cross can be mny different places in indiranagar), we called up the place for directions, and were guided quite well. For those familiar with the Indiranagar culinary scene,  its on the same road as Sigri. (the first right turn when you enter Indiranagar from the Old Madras Road – 100 ft road intersection)

The name and the decor would recommend a setting different from what it currently occupies. The seating is very comfortable, with a smoking and non smoking section, and a view of the road its located in. The menu has a bit of continental, Indian and Chinese stuff. As always, we decided to mix and match. So we went for the Hot and Sour Chicken soup first, which was quite thick and delicious, a bit on the salty side, the wife said, but I’d still say it was pretty good.

For the main course, we went Indian and ordered a Murgh Masaledar and a Goan Fish curry. The portions were quite sufficient for two people, and they actually serve a roti as part of any dish for the main course. That is not something I’ve come across earlier. Both the dishes were unlike the regular fare we get to eat, and definitely tasted like some good work had gone into it. A strange thing was the lack of bloated feeling, which usually accompanies our Saturday dinners :)

The menu did have some dessert options, but the lure of the Casa Picola nearby (CMH road) was too tempting to miss. So we had our regular Black forest Crepes and Chocolate Mousse Cake, after the waiter there handed us a ‘Duh’ moment, when he asked us ‘Garlic Bread or Rice’ for the order above.

Contact – Pink pepper,

No.152,1st Floor, Indiranagar, 2nd Main,1st Stage, Bangalore

25217787, 25217788, 9945272366, 9741311443