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.


julia said...

Do you think people will start drinking Nimbooz with meals?

Suzanne Schwartz said...

Maybe with Briyani (a dish of rice and meat cooked in a clay pot) people seem to like eating that with lemony drinks, but usually they will just drink it with snacks or without meals!

Arcopol Chaudhuri said...

I chanced upon your blog while researching on a story about Nimbooz. My refrain is that the drink has just 0.8% citrus juice in it, and that's abysmally little, considering the way its being advertised, as bottled 'nimbu paani'. It tastes similar to Limca (have you tried that?)
But you got a real neat blog here, and I especially like the way the slide shows illustrate your thoughts. :)

Suzanne Schwartz said...

I agree, it is not a natural drink- although somewhat marketed as such. But this marketing claim is not different from the way 7Up, Sprite and Limca often market themselves. I have tried Limca, and Nimbooz is very similar except of course Limca is fizzy which is a very important distinction in the Indian Soft-drink market. Also LMN is basically the same thing as Nimbooz (and equally as unnatural)but from the ads you cannot tell what it is (Is it fizzy, not fizzy etc). Good luck on your story.