The Roomie: Why do you people think investment bankers are robbers? We are not that way!
J**C made 17 billion dollars in profits last year and only some of it was stolen!
He who steals and does not lie, is he not virtuous?
“So what is the Brrrr effect? It's the sound you make when something is icy cold. It's the involuntary shudder that you can't help giving in to. It's a burst of energy that elevates your mood and sustains you. It's an infectious, irreversible wave of upliftment”
This is a direct quote that explains the “Brrr” effect from Coke’s Facebook page. I must confess, till I read the explanation for “Brrrrr” I imagined that it was an epilepsy related side effect of drinking too much Coke. Perhaps the manufacturers had increased the amount of pesticides in their master formula. “Brrrr” effect was supposed to create a wave of satisfaction and your body tingles with energy and you feel happy! The question is, why didn’t I get the message?
Well It is not just me, if you conduct a rather haphazard market survey (asking your near and dear ones, reading comments on YouTube) you find that most people think the ‘Brrrr’ effect is the satisfied BURP one produces after consuming Coca-cola. The company surely did not have that in mind! So where did the advertising house get it wrong? Especially when the ‘Brrrrr’ campaign has worked in 41 markets across the world for Coke. Did the Indian team get it wrong?
The campaign originally for the African market was created by Ogilvy JHB and directed by Erik van Wyk of Bouffant back in 2007. It became highly popular and gained a cult status soon with many Facebook pages coming up in support. After the success of the African campaign, the ‘Brrr’ went to 40 other markets becoming one of the most successful campaigns for Coke.The campaign was launched many countries like South Africa, Vietnam, Philippines, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Middle East etc.
All the ads across the world over had a common theme and structure. An elderly member of society would walk into a store and order an ice cold bottle of Coke. The consumption of which would lead to a sudden wave of energy flowing through the drinker’s body and producing an expression of surprise and joy - ‘Brrrrr’ . Thereafter we are shown images of people reacting to sudden infusion of refreshing energy, a young girl after being sprayed with water reacts with ‘Brrrr’. So does a puppeteer’s puppet when a cute young thing passes by on roller blades. In between these visuals we also see people reacting to the same way after drinking a bottle of Coke.
So the analogy is simple.
Get refreshed, Go Brrrrrrr
Drink Coke, Go Brrrrrrr
Therefore Coke gets you refreshed.
The formula worked in 41 markets world wide, just by changing the cultural context. But in India, the ad agency chooses to go with another structure, wherein different individuals are shown to go ‘Brrrrr’ after drinking Coke. Period.
Drink Coke, Go Brrrrrrr
Drink Coke, Go Brrrrrrr
Drink Coke, Go Brrrrrrr
There is absolutely no imagery to show the “refresh” concept. One is lead to believe that one simply goes ‘Brrrr’ when one consumes Coke. No wonder a large section of the audience tends to believe that Coke will lead to gastronomical irregularities.
Add to this the elongated ‘Brrrrrrrrrrrr’ verging on cacophony. The ad which had a catchy tune in most of the markets turns out to be annoying and devoid of inspiration in India. To make matters worse, Coke ropes in a few cricketers to go “Brrrrr” after drinking Coke. The tiredness caused by excessive cricket clearly visible on their faces.
Somewhere along the line the Indian ad house failed to recognize the connect between ‘being refreshed’ and going ‘Brrrr’. Leaving the average TV viewer with a feeling of....
My mother and I were walking out of the local Christian book store, with a brand new bible under one of my arms and a few other books in the other, I was feeling particularly self-righteous and holy!
That’s when a little boy with neatly combed hair, and nicely ironed shirt appeared on the scene. With a smile that could melt an icy heart he said
“Hello Aunty,…..Hello uncle”
“Uncle?” I immediately took offence for being called an uncle and greeted him with a frown!
The bright smile never leaving his countenance he went on to hand us a pamphlet that contained the gospel of mark. As we browsed through the pamphlet he ventured to make a request.
The clouds of suspicion gathered in my mind, AHA! He’s going to ask for some money…..Why that sweet talking rascal!
But his request was noble, pure and sincere!
“Can I pray for you aunty?” My mother nodded in agreement. “Is it okay if I pray in Tamil aunty?”
My tamil knowledge consists of a few words like “Baba” “Pasha” “Chandramukhi” and “Kuselan”. Nothing to write home about! But I listened none the less!
Although I did not understand a word, the forthright tone, the honest demeanor and calm aura of the boy overwhelmed me!
But the remenants of suspicion lingered, My cautious half suspected a plea for donation at any moment
My mother asked him about his family and his education…To which he replied…..
“I live with my grandmother aunty and I study at St anthony’s”
As we separated with an awkward unsaid farewell, we were again stopped in our track by that earnest voice.
“Aunty one more thing……..”
The skeptic residing in the anals of my mind, rose again, ready to crucify the boy for all the false pretense the whole while. It was all about the money! Caught him atlast! HA!
But the boy’s request was far different from what I expected,
“Aunty please pray for me too………..”
Having said that he just walked into the darkness, and we nevers saw him again,with my skepticism silenced, my pride and logic humbled,we assured him that we would pray for him.
On my way home, I was bombarded with still many more offers for exchange, But my mind was fixated on the exchange I had promised to carry through, An exchange that involved no bargain, or statement of warranty or any sort of trickery, An Exchange that perhaps enriched my soul………..
I went home and prayed for the boy who sought a divine exchange!
Well most of us are not going to be wise men who's words will be revered through the ages. But even then we try our best to find some immortal analogy or observation that will travel with the times. Very occasionally one might find a gem, but the rest of the time S.H.I.T is created. By S.H.I.T i mean a Simpleton's Hardly Inspiring Thought.
I had one such S.H.I.Ty moment today. I was travelling on my bike as usual, lost in thought, trying my best to avoid the shit(real) on the road. But thats when i was hit with a S.H.I.T, the S.H.I.T just came flying out of nowhere.
The S.H.I.T that consumed me was, “why do they say that traffic flows?” . What led me to this sudden loosely composed S.H.I.T was that, at a bottle-neck traffic seems to stall and slow down, whereas in a real river the water seems to speed up when it encounters a narrow bottle-neck. Hence traffic is certainly not fluid like in nature and therefore does not flow.AHA! i hope the reader understands the depth of my S.H.I.T.
So traffic does not flow, it simply travels. Which makes sense cause everyone involved in a traffic jam is indeed traveling. But this leads us to another great question,what about a waterway? A place like Venice where there are more boats than cars? Doesn't the traffic flow there? Well the answer is, no, because a vehicle without a horn cannot create the deafening irritating noise that is characteristic of a traffic jam. Since most boats don't have a horn, they cannot create traffic.
I have been saving this S.H.I.T in me all day, so that i can blog about it. I have finally managed to share my S.H.I.T with the whole world. Blogging is what makes it possible. So till i have more S.H.I.T to distribute, ADIOS!
As I walked down a by-lane
Witness was I, to a terrible sight
There she was, howling in pain
Caught by the neck, but still in the fight
She moved to the left, she jumped to the right
But, caught she was, in the dog catcher's snare
I stopped to watch, and pity her plight
To plead her case, I did not dare
She slipped, she fell, into the gutter,
Not able to watch, I walked away
I heard cries in the distance, from her abandoned litter
The puppies yelped, for their mother to stay
The tears didn't flow, the sadness remained
The cruelty all around, had hardened my life
Taken to a far place, to be maimed,
Or beaten, or killed, or put under a knife.
All through the week, I pondered her plight
With time her pain, slipped out of my head
As I walked by the lane, one fine night
I saw her! Healthy as ever, she wasn't dead!
With puppies in tow, she ran free
A green band on her neck, reminded of that day
Cruelty was still at bay, I had to agree
With my smile back in place, I called it a day.