J: Head – Marketing
R: Brand manager
V: Head – Sales
M: Head – Company
U, X, H: Heads of functions that have absolutely no clue about marketing, but never lose an opportunity to enjoy a bit of fun at the expense of the marketing team (assumption here is that the marketing team has some clue about marketing)
J: Gentlemen, we would like to play our new ad. I would request you to keep all the applause to the end so that the dialogues are not drowned in the din. R, can we have the ad on please.
R: (Approaches the DVD player with reverence and presses the play button. Recedes into the background and shares a secret smile with J, who seems to nod back with a knowing smile)
(60 seconds pass by; Sound of the ad playing)
(Another 5 seconds passy by in silence)
R: (steps forward, lips are smiling, though eyes betray a trace of worry) I hoped you liked that! That is the most expensive ad in our history!
U: Uh… I didn’t understand why the product is not shown after the first few seconds
X: And, why have all the people’s faces been masked?
H: The music sounds sort of funny to me…
R: (starts stiffening, face slowly turning red, and mutters under his breath to J) I told you we should not have shown the ad now to the board…, they just won’t get it!!
J: (unflustered) Gentlemen what you just saw was entirely conceived and created by R, who will now explain the concept of the ad.
R: (trying hard to remember what the agency said when they sold the script to them) Uh, this ad is the brainwave of the agency’s global creative head who personally worked on this. This ad shows the technical versatility of the brand using the latest in the field of graphics and animation. All the masked figures you saw were the top Bollywood stars who have agreed to appear together incognito for the first time in Indian advertising history.
X: Looking at the ad, I would have never thought there were bollywood stars in the ad! Uh, wouldn’t it be better if the faces were shown…?
R: That would go against the core advertising idea! (Gives an imploring look to J that signals that he’s at his wits’ end)
J: Anyway, that was just to show the ad to the team. To give you the confidence that we will enter the season with all guns blazing.
V: J, while this ad might be good for long term brand building, I don’t think this will get us the growth we expect for the season. We might have to think of something els alongside this
J: (acts as if he’s just got a call from an important person and rushes out of the room in a hurry signalling to R to continue the diuscussion)
M: (who’s been silent all along) By the way, I would recommend that all of you should see this new viral video called Kolaveri Di. R, we sould tell our agency to come up with ads like that!
V: Absolutely, M! My daughter loves it, and it is creating just the sort of ripples amongst the youth that we want our brand to do!
X: Why don’t we get Dhanush to endorse our brand? He’s much better than all the Bollywood guys we are going for!
R: X, Dhanush is a south Indian hero. We go for all India appeal when we sign on endorsers.
V: (who happens to be from South, and has for years tried to persuade the brand teams to sign on south stars, with no success) R, let me remind you that Dhanush is not not a south star but a global phenomenon.
X: We can also look at using these kind of regional lyrics in our ads… the international soundtracks just don’t connect like Kolaveri does
H: (just checks to see that J is still not back and then expounds his own views on brands and marketing that have largely gone unheard in all these years) I absolutely agree! M, I think we should take this opportunity to align all our brand strategies to the emerging language of the youth!
M: Since J is not present, R please collate all the views of the group and I want a presentation on how we will use the lessons of Kolaveri to reinvent the way we do marketing in this company (smiles at everyone and is about to leave the room)
R: (helpless and alone) but sir, we have spent all our monies on shooting this ad… we were looking at you to sanction additional budget for even running this campaign
M: (freezes and stares at R with all the menace he is capable of exuding) Ask J to meet me in my room (and walks out)
U,X,H: (Collect their files and silently troop out after M)
R: (Looks helplessly at V)
V: (whistles and hums) ‘Why this Kolaveri Kolaveri Kolaveri Di’ (puts his arm around R and leads him out)