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January 21, 2020

new ideas for management jokes

1)   Akbar and Birbal, brinjal is not my emperor
2)   Salar Jung museum and brains for sale
3)   Fresh fish sold here
4)   Can we get the ball rolling
5)   Time confusion in Ethiopia
6)   Usha in Ethiopia
7)   Caring, carrier
8)   Massage
9)   Taste my urine
10) Bricklayer (under management concepts), worker, artiste and artisan
11) Height of optimism and pessimism (full of shit and fresh milk)
12) Loss of a country is the loss of territory
13) Height of optimism - somebody will catch me on the 15th floor
14) Was that 17th salesperson
15) No Children only sons
16) Big son and small son
17) Big hole (hall) in my house
18) Snakes will be served
19) Big bride and a small bride
20) Bureaucracy - life certificate in the month of May too!
21) Muscat - wearing of lungi is appearing in shorts
22) Balushi Omanis can speak Hindi
23) Ethiopia is air-conditioned
24) Ethiopians are very good looking and fair
25) Concepts  of god fearingness
26) Midnight in the evening (Ethiopia)
27) Everyone is Shah Rukh and everyone is Rani
28) Bapuji and Hind
29) Veronica joke
30) Lecture - about disagreeing with the audience
31) first time speech - what were you doing in a ladies toilet
32, 33, 34) Churchill jokes -  poison your coffee, fat and thin, will not allow fools to pass
35) Albert Einstien, small cat and big cat
36) Prince phenyl
37) Vilan underwear
38) Quba mobiles
39) belief in god - let go from five feet from the ground
40) Payasam - Rama Krishna Paramahamsa
41) Albert Einstien, forgetting about his son
42) Snakebite and poison
43) Albert Einstien, about writing in the dust, formulas
44) Gandhiji and Frugality
45) Best seat in the world
46) Sri Sri "is this chair live or dead"
47) BBC Story
48) Once a thief
49)  Womb for sale (blog item)
50) RSVP, Wombat in advertising
51) changing of the bulb
52) Detergent powder advertising in Dubai
53) Alcohol and mosquitoes die in a bottle of alcohol
54) crossing road in Abids - Probability
55) come inside randi randi, Munda et all
56) Ikea example of low priced coffee
57) trying to sell baby milk powder in Africa
58) Car not liking Vanilla icecream
59) Apple falling on Newton's head and Sherlock's way of solving the crime
60) Example of Paint company
61) Example of Perrier
62) Example of trying to sell tooth powder in the USA
63) Nova, makes your ancestors come alive, (Pepsi), yellow teeth in Thailand, Nor liking cute animals as models.
64) colours in marketing.
65) case of Maggi and Swiggy
66) Milk is veg or non-veg, what is fasting food?
67) Eating sweets, wearing white or black
68) Unique Selling Proposition (Levis and KFC)
69) Karachi bakery and Paradise Cafe
70) Big Ethel - gets a second prize in a beauty competition
71) 8 and 8.5 size shoes
72) what is there in your phone is not in my phone
73) Po Ra Po
74) first bench, second bench and final bench
75) shifting the lift or putting mirrors in the corridors
76) Missing to buy Infosys shares
77) missing to get into Wipro
78) first benchers, 3rd benchers and last benchers
79) brainstorming - shifting the lift example
80) My husband is missing - no vegetables
81) jokes between doctor and mechanic, with the engine working
82) Get under the consulting table
83) same model from adam and eve
84) Multi-lingual dog says (meow)
85) Squeezing lime out of a lemon - income tax officer
86) foreigner and driver bitten by a scorpion
87) Nani Palkiwala can't afford himself
88) donkey sleeping on the road - pour hot water on it, make it wake up and it will kick you
89) Chikka Swamy, chigga  means mad in Amharic
90) 4 horses and a mare
91) Vishnu is in this pillar too
92)  Potato in your organization
93)  Thank god I fell in good company
94) Eureka Forbes type of selling
95) Sales executives and sales manager
96) Buying the kitten fr the antique vessel

January 18, 2020

Fearing the Free! - The Puzzling case of the FREE "NO PARKING" boards

The most often repeated saying from an Economist! “there is no free lunch in this world”. If anyone offers free lunch, there is always a tag (or a price) attached. Finally, someone pays for that free lunch, many a time we pay the price! 

First used in the saloons of the USA, free food was offered which were high in salt (e.g., ham, cheese, and salted crackers). The customers who ate the free stuff ended up buying a lot of beer (as salted products induce thirst). An Eatery offering a free lunch is likely to charge more for its drinks!

People park their vehicles illegally in front of apartments in India, creating problems for the apartment owners. It is quite a nuisance to navigate when someone else has parked their cars and motorcycles right in front of the apartments, on the road itself. 

Many companies have come out with a very innovative idea (at least creative from their perspective). These companies make small metal boards which say “NO PARKING” and to promote themselves they have the name of the company and their product or service also displayed on the same metal sign. In many cases, the boards have the address and the phone numbers of the company sponsoring the metal board. So far, so good!

These companies employ urchins to fit these boards on the gates, boundaries or on the small curbside gardens fences of the apartments. No permission is taken from the owner/s or the apartment owners' association. And adding salt to the festering wound, the board is ridiculously loaded in favour of the advertising company. 

NO PARKING SIGN occupies only 20 to 25% of the space and 75% space is used up for advertising! But surprisingly these boards are tolerated and even welcomed! They are hung up grotesquely and are an unwelcoming eyesore! 

Apartment owners and apartment owners’ associations welcome these as they are FREE! One of my friends wryly commented, “we Indians, we will even drink Phenyl if it is free”. I added, “not only will we drink the free phenyl we would sell the empty phenyl bottles to the raddi (recycler) guy and try to get some money!” 

My conviction that this is not a fair deal has meant that I have never allowed anyone from getting free publicity from our house. As soon as they are fixed, I scrupulously remove the offending NO PARKING boards and throw them away in disdain! 

But it is a cat and mouse game. The boards are back like unwelcome guests, and I need to be extra vigilant to see that our curbside garden fence is pristine and free of unwanted graffiti! 

I wanted to share some snaps of gates with these ugly no parking boards. Surprisingly the apartment owners have caught on! The watchmen are cleaning the gates and throwing all the no parking boards into the dustbin. What a waste of resources. The creativity, the effort, and the money spent on making and seeing that they are fixed are wasted. Money down the drain. I found only two new ones “Green Leaf Stores and Swiggy”. These may have been fixed only today or at best yesterday! 

Some companies may laugh at my assumption of the waste of resources! They would snigger, “It only costs 10 rupees for each board, and it is worth the effort, even if they last for a day or two”. But they are missing the point. They are alienating people and creating a negative image for themselves. 

I have taken a silent vow not to patronize these companies which brazenly fix these no parking signs and that too without any permission. In the process of fixing they damage the foliage of these small gardens. 

But all is not lost, the companies can get the owners on their side. It is all a matter of planning. There are 1200 plots each ad-measuring 400 to 500 square yards in Matrusri colony, Miyapur. That is a whopping real estate as far as NO PARKING SIGNS are concerned! 

Most apartments have small curbside gardens, and most of these gardens are fenced. But the gardens are not well maintained as most apartments do not employ trained gardeners and are at the mercy of the apartment watchman for the upkeep of these small green lungs (curbside gardens). 

The companies that want to put up the NO PARKING signs can enter into an agreement with the owners, employ gardeners and maintain these small gardens and then request if they could put out a board that says NO PARKING (50% of the board), and the rest 50% space can be used up to advertise the products and services of the company. This way, it is a win-win for all. 

Marketers need to look at problems more objectively and come out with innovative solutions that solve their problems and as well as solve the issues and concerns of the customers whom they want to serve. 

January 08, 2020

TRAI Recent ruling, Broadcasters cry foul while Hotstar, SONY LIV, Amazon Prime and Netflix Rev Up to cash in the content streaming (OTT) platform Craze

The recent report about the TRAI trying to rein in the service provers (TV channel and DTH service providers) is quite amusing. This shows how hopelessly TRAI and service providers are outdated and how much they are wallowing in Marketing Myopia. Both TRAI and the service providers are inward-looking, not focused on customer needs, self-preening and have fallen in love their products services and are blissfully unaware that customer views, preferences and viewing habits have changed drastically. 

TRAI proudly claims that viewers’ cable bills would be down by 12% on an average and that each channel will be available at Rs 12 instead off Rs19 per month? Excuse me, in what time are you living TRAI? The days of Cable operators and service providers holding the customers to ransom are a thing of the past. The bouquet pricing that the broadcasters had thrust down the unwilling customer’s throat is outdated and no longer neither welcomed nor appreciated. 

Let us take an example. A viewer wanting a sports channel has to pay Rs 19/- a month irrespective of whether he watches the channel for a day or a month. One channel in a year will cost 228/-. Only one channel! And all major sports get broadcast on different channels of Star Sports, Ten sports etc. 

The viewers end up shelling out a lot for the live telecast of Cricket, Football matches like the world cup, Euro Cup, EPL, La Liga, Grand Slam tennis, Olympics, Athletics and other major sporting events. 

If one were to cut the cord (I did) the experience is liberating. Cutting the cord is cutting the umbilical cord (the cord that the viewer attaches to the television, like the cable wire or the DTH cable) that tied us to the TV. 

With the arrival of the streaming services, Cable TV and DTH are slowly but surely becoming obsolete. And with entertainment being consumed personally and in private, it might prove quite detrimental to the Cable wallahs and the DTH operators unless they become market savvy and adapt to changing market scenario.

The cost of a Hotstar VIP service is Rs 365/- per year. One rupee per day! Hotstar beams live all the Indian cricket matches and also live telecasts the EPL matches! Rs 365/- a year is quite a steal. Add to that the movies and the TV shows and the viewers' cup floweth full! 

Similarly, Sony LIV has a Rs 499/- package for one year only for Indian content and for cricket telecasts that feature the Australian, English and other cricket team matches played outside India. It also telecasts live the LA LIGA (Spanish Football) league. 

Movies and TV show lovers can avail Amazon Prime available at Rs 999/- per year and Netflix at 2400/- per year. All put together the total comes to Rs 4263/- per year and Rs 365/- per month (Hotstar, Rs 365/-, Sony LIV, Rs 499/-, Amazon Prime, Rs 999/- and Netflix, Rs 2400/-). 

If one is prudent and wants to cut down costs and subscribe only to only Hotstar, SONY LIV and Amazon Prime the costs come down to Rs 1863/- per year and Rs 155 per month. And if one is interested only in sports, the cost can be further be pruned down to Rs 864/- which comes to only Rs 72/- per month. 

The pluses are many. The telecast is in High definition; one can watch at their convenience. We need not be tied to the television, and viewing can happen when one is mobile or from multiple locations. The viewer can watch the same content on multiple devices like TV (with Amazon Firestick, Chromecast), Mobile phones, laptop, desktop, I-Pad etc. three to four people can watch different content as many steaming sites allow multiple sign-ins. 

We can watch the latest movies and shows from the comfort of our homes. We can watch with time-lapse and binge-watch too! 

The viewership figures displayed on Hotstar when India plays T20I or ODI are mouth-watering. On many occasions, the data rake up to 8 million or more. Eighty lakh people are watching only on Hotstar and that too only in India. The shape of things to come!

Of Course, some disadvantages do exist. The viewers have to pay extra for either a broadband connection or opt for a mobile service provider who provides good internet speed. In recent times Reliance JIO mobile speeds have slowed down to a pathetic level. But the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages by a very long shot! 

January 02, 2020

Sometimes being simple is the most challenging thing in the world - Customer Delight at Starbucks and at a restaurant

.Most people in marketing think that CRM and customer delight is very academic and involves technology and a lot of planning. Given below are two incidents where technology was not involved at all. The service providers provided customer delight because they believed that the job they were doing was not for money or recognition. They loved their job and wanted their customers to enjoy the moment.

The first incident happened when we visited USA in 2008. Padma and I were shopping at Walmart for our daily staples. The Walmart that we went to in Rosewood, Pleasanton was huge. It would be the size of two football fields. We had a pleasant but tiring shopping experience, and our shopping cart was full. We took a pit stop at the Starbucks in Walmart itself.

We ordered coffee and were waiting. The Barista was within our vicinity. Suddenly Padma piped in, "Did you get bread? We have no bread at home". Seeing my crestfallen face, Padma gave out an exasperated sigh. "I knew it. Why don't you go and get it?"
The bull (Taurean) in me reared up its head. "No," I said and dug in. The bull had found its resting place.

Padma had a hard glitter in her eyes (Afterall, she is a Capricorn and the goat too can be stubborn). "Your wish" she shrugged her shoulders "you are the one" she twisted the sword deep into the torso "You and the children are fond of bread. I can always eat rice and be contented".

Hearing all this was the pretty barista. She walked up to us and set down our coffee. She enquired "you missed buying bread?" I nodded my head, slightly irritated. She said, "Enjoy your coffee" and disappeared inside. Within seconds she was out, and she was wearing inline skates. She took two dollars from me and off she went like a silver bullet.

She was back within two minutes and in her hand was a fresh loaf of bread. Without a word, she gave us the bread and went back to her serving station. We were so stunned that we could not even thank her for the service. She took a little more pain so that her customers loved the Starbucks experience. Even though the incident happened over twelve years ago, it is etched in my memory as if it had just happened last week.

The second incident happened to my facebook friend, Rebecca Forster, the famous novelist. Rebecca was partying on 31st December night at Hay 19, Redondo Beach, a coastal city in Los Angeles County, California,

They were at a neighbourhood pub/restaurant. Rebecca and her friends ordered food and our their darling waitress says "it's four hours till we ring in the new year".

Rebecca's group has a hearty laugh and tell her that they are too old to stay up until midnight and the waitress goes away. Rebecca and party had a great meal promptly at nine o'clock the waitress comes charging out of the kitchen blowing her horn and yelling "Happy New Year". Since it was New Year in New York, she decided to bestow it upon Rebecca and friends and in California. Rebecca writes "It was hilarious. She was so cute and made our night. Good food, drink and a fabulous waitress. It's the little things in life, that matter, isn't it? HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE". Wow, Rebecca, she made your day, and you made our day. Happy new year!

January 01, 2020

Cadbury - Do Nothing Advertisement - Absurd to say the least!

I just watched the latest advertisement for Cadbury Five Star - Do Nothing. Surprisingly Cadbury has taken irrelevance and being in-the-face to the next level!

Sad to think that this is the brand that gave us some memorable advertising campaigns like Cadbury Cricket. The advertisement starts with an old lady on a bench. Just a few feet away is an upstart youngster nonchalantly eating a Cadbury Five Star.

The old lady's walking stick falls on the ground, and she asks the youngster to pick it up. The youngster responds 'yes Maa Ji" AND DOES NOTHING.

The old lady resignedly gets up walks to the stick and picks it up. A large piano crashes and hits the bench that the lady was occupying JUST SECONDS BEFORE! The bench is blown to smithereens.

The old lady is shell shocked — the thought "what if" races in her mind. "I could have died". She looks admiringly at the youngster and says "thank you beta, For doing NOTHING."
The youngster breaks out into a smile " you are most welcome" is his cheeky reply.

I am surprised and mildly shocked. Cadbury is mocking the tradition of respecting and helping elders. And it is glorifying, condoning, justifying and even rationalizing the act. It is saying that if the youngster had helped the old lady, she would have died. This is absurdly twisted logic.

Wish Cadbury came out with a better campaign. Doing nothing and consuming Cadbury is a great concept. You don't need a reason to eat Cadbury. Brilliant idea, Eat Cadbury -Chumma or like they say in Tamil Simply like that. But the execution stinks to high heaven.

Hallmark Greeting Card Company had popularized the concept of No Occasion Day. On that day people sent each other cards chumma simply, in other words just like that!

Come on, Cadbury. You have a harrowed reputation to protect. Don't sully it with such advertisements. Give us campaigns that we are proud of and which we show in our classrooms to inspire youngsters to take up marketing/ advertising as a career. Not campaigns that mock our traditions and values.