As always, 'Old Wine, New Bottle'

'Actually all assertive messages in the media that seek to relaunch a backward area as a newly arrived miracle require a serious rethink. Relaunching anything from a flagging product to a failing state in India, mostly turns out to be an exercise in pouring old wine in attractive and expensive new bottles by clever copy writers.

Flights to all state capitals today carry tieless, fast-talking young ad agency reps, summoned to devise a saleable product relaunch. They then congregate to enact an expensive ritual behind closed doors in the best hotel in town, also known as a “presentation”. Despite their utter lack of ground knowledge or of the local languages, their presenters deliver hypnotic sermons in English, to an audience of Hindi or Bhojpuri or Maithili-speaking clients in all high seriousness using mysterious abstract terms such as— “brand identity”, “brand value”, “market share” and “core value”, just as the wily Brahmin priests once used terms such as swaha, swadha and namo namah!

The clients, by now happily soporofic after the substantial “working lunch” that must accompany each ritual in India, are usually quite pleased with the linguistically enhanced and flattering image of themselves and so the “relaunch” package is okayed. The success of bagging such contracts hinges on how convincingly the client’s goals can be made to “look” like a radical departure from their predecessors, even though substantially they may be no different. And how can they be, given the specific caste calculus and financial compulsions that drive state government formation from Chandigarh to Patna?


- Mrinal Pande, 'Rethinking relaunches'.

Comments

Vivek said…
An amazing blog, left a whirlwind of thoughts in my brain. Would like to get your view on my statement which I personally believe has the power of elimination of any false showcase in relaunch procedures. "Lets not look at the reasons of the failure of mass level only but also at the molecular level of sucess to understand the anatomy better and make it a healthy procedure rather than an obituary."

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