Monday, October 24, 2005

Of cool dude and taklu

Many a good rupee is spent in advertising brands and popularising them, but what the brand is known later often has no connection with the name and the advertising moolah spent on it.

A couple of days my mom went hunting for mozarella cheese. She climbed the steps of many a store before, exasperated, she asked them,"If you dont have mozarella cheese, what cheese do I use for pizza?". "Oh", said the chap, with a look that said, whattanintelligentquestion, "use pizza cheese" and handed over a bar of mozarella cheese! Well cheese manufacturers, sell it as pizza cheese, it will probably sell well better and if I am not mistaken atleast one manufacturer has taken the cue.

Coke may have spent millions on Aamir and Thanda matlab Coca Cola, but out there, thanda still means some 20,000 varieties of any coloured flavoured liquid that is not hot. To the average Ramu, Coke = Pepsi=Thums up. Brown coloured liquids substitute one another, as do orange coloured ones. The name does not matter out there.

Many years back, vanaspati (vegetable fat) was launched in tetra pack. I was sent to do this errand to Lakshmi Stores, the store run by a gujju who spoke chaste Tamil to cater to maamis of Pestom Sagar. I asked him for a small pack of Dalda (of some brand) and a lot of permutations and combinations to no avail. Finally, in a stroke of genius with a look of triumph on his face, he asked me with the Tetra pack in question, "Would you like Dalda Frooti". Ahem! Dalda Frooti indeed!

Marketers can try using their own jargon like Laal Hara (Bayon if I am not mistaken), but the market finds its own way. Much like your nickname. You may want to be known as Cool Dude, but your nickname could well be something like "taklu"

1 comment:

Niti Bhan said...

heh you're so right. I remember being asked by a Delhi scooty wallah about "karvachauth's" visit and I was confused since I wasn't married. So why is he asking me about Karva Chauth (festival for married women) Turns out he was referring to Gorbachev's visit to Delhi.