Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Elections and Nimbooz

Every 5 years, Indians go to the polls for their national election. This year is election year and voting has already taken place in some districts. Bombay votes on March 30th (for those of you who do not know, voting takes place in phases with different states and districts voting on different days lasting for approximately a month). As Election Day draws near, I am seeing more and more election ads: billboards, TV spots etc and plenty of newspaper articles on politicians calling each other names.
Along with the election campaigns, I am watching friends get ready to vote, one of my friends at an ad agency just registered to vote a few days ago through a website called Jaago Re One Billion Votes is a campaign sponsored by Tata Tea to get more young, mtv generation, mostly urban youth to vote. With an extensive print and TV campaign to drive people to a website where one can complete the voter registration form, they want to bring out the vote. The website has easy to follow instructions and drop down menus, which generate a pdf registration form with directions on where to send the form in (via post). The site makes registration easy for the internet savvy and the youth. But we will have to wait and see how successful it was.

In other news, the I-should-have-thought-of-that award goes to Nimbooz. Nimbooz is a new bottled drink that is basically bottled Nimbo Pani. Nimbo Pani (Lemon/Lime Water) is a traditional Indian drink of cold water (not carbonated) flavored with Nimbo (a citrus fruit that a cross between a lime and a lemon) juice and sugar or salt. It is an Indian version of lemonade. The bottled version is only the sweet (flavored with sugar) version. Nimbo Pani is usually made at home, and is widely consumed during summer. The release of the bottled version coincided with the beginning of summer, and now allows people to drink Nimbo Pani away from home, and take it with them. I have to say Nimbooz is actually pretty good, although not at all like homemade. In any case, Nimbooz is by PepsiCo and is advertised as “by 7Up.” It’s going to make a lot of money even though it is so simple. Its pretty smart to take a drink that is simple to make and that everyone likes and put it in a bottle so they can have it when not in the home. This is especially smart when one remembers that most cold drinks (sodas) are consumed out of home at fairs, restaurants, street-side stalls etc.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Some South Trip Pictures Up

Internet is not always easy.
More to come.

Friday, April 3, 2009

April Update

I apologies for the lack of update the last two weeks, things have been very hectic.

Fist I will talk about the last few days of travel with my parents. After Kerala, we went to Ooty and Mysore before having one more day in Bombay to get things together ad pick up tailored shirts. Ooty was beautiful mountains and tea gardens and the weather was wonderful and cool, especially after hot hot Cochin. In Mysore we walked around the city and the market, where I was finally able to get a DVD of the Tamil version of Ghajini. We got interesting Jute bags for people back home as gifts, coffee and a great Indian Cricket team shirt for Gabe to wear in New Zealand, in support of the Indian cricket team. We also did a lot of Mysore Palace touring and temple viewing, both impressive.

At the end of our journey we spent some time in the freezing Bangalore airport which we had to pay a tax to get into (but it was a nice and new airport). That night we all headed to Zenzi, a happening bar in Bandra, to meet some of my Bombay friends and have a nice night out. It was definitely fun. On Saturday I said good bye, I miss them already.

Then it was back to work on research, which I am currently mostly doing on Lakme cosmetics. While work has been stressful, there have been some high points including getting to attend Lakme Fashion Week. Lakme Fashion Week started in 2001. As a property it represents Lakme’s creative side and reaffirms its position as an aspirational (desirable, glamorous) brand. Each LFW has a theme. This summer’s theme was “Bridal Sutra.” At the end of each LFW event the closing show is the work of the designer whose clothes feature in the Lakme ad campaign for that season. The show features that designer’s work with the models all wearing Lakme makeup. Winter 2008 featured the designer Sabyasachi while the summer 2009 features designs by Anamika Khanna.
“Bridal Sutra” was the same theme that was used for the winter 2008 LFW. The ads and products associated with that campaign did very well, and so the client (Lakme) wanted to extend the theme to summer 2009. The winter 2008 looks (images and make-up colors) and ads followed the stages/ceremonies of an Indian wedding (the fashion week and ad campaign smartly placed right before wedding season) but with modern edgy touches. For example, the use of a black and red dress within one ad, which is a non-traditional color and look or the addition of a watch on the wrist of one of the models. The campaign bridges the West and the Indian.

The new Summer 2009 Bridal Sutra collection follows the emotional journey of the bride as appose to the ceremonial one. Instead of the rich deep earthy make-up colors of the winter collection, the summer’s collection features more nudes and lighter colors.
Summer 2009 LFW took placed at the Grand Hyatt. Within the venue a Lakme Salon had been set up. A working salon it also doubled as a product show piece displaying this seasons ad campaign images, products and models. The runway was decorated with the Lakme logo and “Lakme Fashion Week” was written prominently on the walls.

I had never been to a runway show before so it was really exciting an interesting to be there and see the whole thing take place, as well as the branding aspects for Lakme. I saw the show for Westside which is a clothing brand, that had three well known Indian designers design small collections under its name. It was fun to see a fashion show and it also gave me a better understanding of how this type of event can be used by Lakme to promote itself and Indian designers and fashion.

Pictures to come soon.