Posts Tagged ‘Article


How is life in Thailand?

When I came back from Bangkok, I was asked this question almost by all the people back here in India. From what I saw, they use Toyota Corolla, the status symbol in India, as Taxi. Almost all the Thai students in our college has a Car (minimum Honda Jazz), a rare site in India. I was comparing the whole economy of India and Thailand on the cars people have, very natural for Indians perhaps. A professor owning a BMW is almost an impossible achievement for an Indian counterpart. Convinced? Life in Thailand was indeed a comfortable one!

I was completely wrong. First, A car was a necessity and not the ‘show off’ weapon. Secondly, I was comparing a country(India) and a campus (AIT). The real face of Thailand was revealed when I went to the streets of Bangkok. Where I saw poor people of Thailand (I never thought of their existence). But like any other normal  country, there were many of them. And I got my answer.

“Life is good in Thailand, if you are rich” but, is this answer restricted to any particular country? Life is always good if you are rich (and if you are measuring the goodness of life in monetary terms) in ANY country! i.e :- If you are a rich man in Somalia or Niger, life is still good for you! and so is the country then!

Coming back to the life in Thailand topic, if you are still not convinced and considers the comparison of cars as stupid, then here is the list of some facts about Thailand:-

– The top 20% own 69% of the country’s assets while the bottom 20% own only 1%.

– 42% of bank savings money comes from only 70,000 bank accounts holding more than 10 million baht. They make up only 0.09% of all bank accounts in the country. In other words, less than 1% of the people own nearly half of the country’s savings.

– Among the farming families, nearly 20% of them are landless, or about 811,871 families, while 1-1.5 million farming families are tenants or struggling with insufficient land.

– 10% of land owners own more than 100 rai each, while the rest 90% own one rai or less.

– On income distribution, the top 20% enjoy more than 50% of the gross domestic product while the bottom 20% only 4%.

– The average income of the bottom 20% is the same as the poverty line at 1,443 baht per month.

– The gap between the richest and poorest family is 13 times, higher than all our neighbouring countries.


So if you are in India, and if you are rich then there is no need to come to Thailand and screw your own chances of being happy! If you are poor in India, try your luck anywhere under the sun till you get rich! It is the same country, same problems! Both the countries should find a solution. But who will find the solution? The rich(politicians) or the poor(common man) or the youth who is busy facebooking, orkuting, hi-fiing or blogging! 😛

Inside the Black Hole


Lowe Lintas’ new cellular Idea: Use mobiles, save trees

Idea Cellular continues it’s ‘What an idea, sirji!’ series with its latest film that creates another montage of ‘what ifs’. The topic this time is conservation of trees and in this campaign, the telecom major champions the use of mobile phone to save trees. It positions the cellphone as a device to eliminate wastage of paper.

The campaign which breaks on television channels today, has been developed by Lowe Lintas, Idea Cellular’s creative agency. Mindshare is the media agency for the account.

Pradeep Srivastava, chief marketing officer, Idea Cellular said, “As a brand, Idea Cellular has always looked at championing thoughts which have the power to change the society. So with our agency Lowe Lintas, we have previously done campaigns about caste wars, quality education, democracy and ‘walk when you talk’. The latest campaign takes up the burning issue of deforestation and prompts innovative ways in which a mobile phone can reduce paper consumption and ultimately come to the rescue of saving a tree.”

Ashwin Varkey, creative director, Lowe Lintas said, “This time, we thought why not give ideas to save paper? There is so much paper that is wasted – simple things like paperless railway tickets, airline tickets open up a world of possibilities where the mobile phone can reduce paper consumption. It’s a young and innovative idea about mobile phones being the 21st century solution to eliminate paper wastage, that in turn helps keep our planet green.”

In this film, the protagonist, Idea Cellular’s brand ambassador Abhishek Bachchan, personifies the lone surviving tree in a forest cut down to feed the paper mills. He falls upon the idea of how the mobile phone could be used as a replacement for paper thus negating the need to indiscriminately fell trees and consequently save the environment. A montage that follows shows a consumer reading the newspaper on his cellphone (m-paper), a waiter in a hotel noting down his customer’s order on his cellphone, an airline boarding pass being checked on the mobile phone itself and so on and so forth. A lady is seen giggling when a flea market salesman asks her if she has any old newspapers to give away.

–Campaign India


Trends to Watch — All of eMarketer’s 2010 Predictions

Trends to Watch — All of eMarketer’s 2010 Predictions.


Employees Are the Brand by William Arruda


Web 2.0 has changed the way companies look at their brand – ceding more and more responsibility to their brand communities – the people who surround the brand. The ubiquity of social media has created awareness of the role customers play in building (or destroying) brands. That awareness of the human impact on branding has rubbed off on the people who build the brand from the inside out.

The New Landscape of Brand Communications
Many companies are harnessing the brand-building value of their employees. They are giving employees the permission (and in some cases, the mandate) to communicate about the corporate brand via the social media. They understand that they have as many brand assets as they have employees. The recent spate of TV commercials focusing on employees shows that this is not just a Web 2.0 phenomenon. Take a look at the new Intel ad featuring Ajay V Bhatt or GE’s ‘Pass the Wrench’ highlighting employees from around the globe or IBM’s ad which has employees explaining why they are ‘an IBMer’. Interestingly, all three of these companies show up in the latest list of the strongest global brands (from BusinessWeek and Interbrand).

Companies are developing a greater understanding of how their employees can contribute to the corporate brand and are getting much more comfortable with their employees’ increased visibility and responsibility for expressing the brand. Sure, the marketing department is the most connected to brand mission and has the responsibility to increase brand value. But others in the organization, further removed from the branding strategy, need, at the very least, a general awareness of the corporate brand and what it stands for. If brands are to be built by the consistent expression of the brand promise through every action and interaction – branding executives must look at the impact of employee actions and communications on the value of the brand.

Harnessing the Power of the Individual
When we watch the employees of Sterling Cooper on AMC’s Mad Men, we see that conformity is the word that best describes employee behavior in the 1960s. That conformity – that was core to how companies worked back then – has been replaced by individuality. Today, with the blurred line between work and life, employees want to bring who they are to what they do.

Forward-thinking organizations understand the value that individuality can deliver – and are equally aware of how it complicates the consistency of message which is critical to effective branding. So how do you encourage individuality while ensuring one clear and consistent brand message?

The Intersection of Corporate and Personal Branding
Branding executives need to engage each employee – asking them to build the brand of the company in a way that is authentic to them. This is where corporate branding meets personal branding. When all employees understand the corporate brand and are given the task of building the brand in their own way, they are empowered, engaged and activated.

To make this happen, marketing and branding executives need a greater connection to their colleagues in HR (and in particular with talent development professionals) to ensure employees understand the brand and are able to communicate it in a way that is authentic to them (consistent with their personal branding). Focusing some of your marketing efforts on your human brand assets enables you to augment your marketing resources and create experiences that build that all-important emotional connection with members of your brand community. It multiplies your brand building actions by the number of employees you engage in the brand’s mission. “In the professional services industry, where our people are our product, conscious personal branding is particularly relevant and important. Every interaction a client has with one of our professionals says something about that individual’s personal brand and therefore, about the brand of the firm.” Says, Kathy Kavanagh, Managing Director, Leadership Development PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Branding During an Economic Downturn
During lean times, talent is often viewed as a liability, not as an asset. But with the current down business cycle, the opposite seems to be true. Sure, unemployment figures are soaring and companies are rightsizing or downsizing or rescaling or whatever they call it; but at the same time, companies are investing in their people. I see this in my own business. Most of my work is focused on personal branding for leadership development in the enterprise, and almost all of my clients are continuing their commitment to their people; many have increased their efforts.

Even as companies cut costs across the board, savvy organizations are investing in their talent – understanding the impact it will have on the corporate brand. According to the 2008 Bersin and Associates Leadership Development Survey, 40% of organizations polled said their spending on leadership development has remained the same and 36% said their budgets were slated to increase this year.

It’s no wonder when you look at the benefit of engaged employees who understand the brand. Committed employees stay at your company longer, work harder and deliver on-brand work every day. So with reduced marketing and branding budgets, harnessing the power of your employees to build the brand is a cost-effective strategy for bolstering the brand. Once your brand is clear in the minds and hearts of these important assets, they become your brand ambassadors and go off steadfastly in support of your mission.

Branding in the Web 2.0 world is truly about making the most of the people who surround your brand. The companies that engage their employees in building the brand will surely be out in front.


What are the Advantages of Direct Marketing?

What are the Advantages of Direct Marketing?.


Your passion is the best marketing tool

It’s funny the way things happen. No sooner had I finished reading this week’s cover story on the ways that companies are benefiting from incorporating the “Brand Me” ethos into their communications than a particular email landed in my inbox. It was from an out-of-work creative asking me to look over a campaign he is running for “the brand that is myself”.

The fellow behind the website calls himself “adlandcreative” and uses his blog and website,, to showcase his creative skills and convey just why he would be so valuable to a marketing services agency.

Nowhere does he actually take the opportunity to place a CV. Not even in the section of his website entitled “Resume”. Is this the new way of getting a job? Are covering letters and CVs yesterday’s news? Blogs and the likes of Facebook, MySpace and Twitter are pretty valuable tools when you need to get a message out to millions of people, so why not use them to impress potential employers?

It goes the other way too. You might be considering using such tools to recruit talent. Last week Marketing Week’s associate editor Ruth Mortimer used her blog to write about a great little film that posted on YouTube as an ad to help it recruit a new marketing manager and a destination executive.

Our cover story discusses the need to become more personal in your communications with your customer, in the online and offline spaces where they like to chat. It talks about the idea of building on the passions and the knowledge – the very personalities – of your people, in order to inform your brand’s communications and tone of voice.

It is about your brand’s identity conforming to the people working within the marketing team as opposed to the people conforming to the brand. Sounds fluffy? Maybe you should check out some of the brands and agencies that have found such an approach useful.

Most of Lastminute’s campaigns have been using this approach for years and its recruitment ad follows tried and trusted guidelines.

Adlandcreative makes clear that the innovation he is currently demonstrating won’t run dry the moment he finds employment. As he states in one article on his blog: “Marketing is about having the ability and character to infuse your passion, creativity and ideas in a very productive and driven manner for your organisation or your client”. Well put.

By Mark Choueke

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