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A social media post caused a diplomatic incident recently after a severe social media backlash over a social media post from Hyundai’s dealer in Pakistan. A #BoycottHyundai hashtag also trended in India. As many Twitter users began tagging the official handle, the social media team at Hyundai India protected their tweets and apparently also blocked a few users to boot. The official statement released initially wasn’t much of a clarification and spoke how the company…

In terms of user base, Twitter is relatively smaller than other popular social media platforms. But it share of visibility and media attention is much bigger as was evident recently. Twitter’s billboard campaign got people talking about for its simple, striking creativity and showcasing its buzz-creating ability. This and other creative ideas form part of my weekly compilation. Twitter: Tweet it into existence There’s something about Twitter that encourages instant, spontaneous sharing of one’s views…

I wrote a long post about the basics of marketing communications and the recent controversies around festive ads in India – particularly those of FabIndia and Fem. Last year too, Diwali ads faced social media backlash. The media discussions on this issue continue. I came across a segment featuring adman Bharat Dabholkar in a news channel video discussing the recent ad controversies. I agree with him on a a few things while disagreeing on others.…

The fundamentals of marketing communications is believed to be the same, be it in the traditional media world or the ‘new’ digital world. Bill Bernbach, ad legend and founder of DDB said famously: ‘it is fashionable to talk about changing man. A communicator must be concerned with unchanging man, with his obsessive drive to survive, to be admired, to succeed, to love, to take care of his own’. Such motivations are not going to change…

It is festive season now in India and mass media is full of ads from retail, jewellery and fashion brands. Some of the ads which featured protagonists in traditional Indian wear but without a bindi on the forehead faced criticism on Twitter (where else?) and some even tagged the brand handles. The question, ‘does art imitate life or life imitates art?’ is perhaps a difficult one to answer. In this context, advertising & marketing folks…

It has become customary for brands to see every occasion (such as Earth Day) or big news event as an opportunity to create ads – mainly social media creatives. Burger King posted a tweet in the context Women’s Day and got into kerfuffle on media. Eventually they retracted the original tweet which said, ‘Women belong in the kitchen’ not before outrage across media. It got me thinking about the need for context in today’s media…

Koo is a micro-blogging platform launched in March 2020 for the Indian market. A plus point in comparison to Twitter is that the app allows for posts in several Indian languages (aside from English). While social media platforms have facilitated posts in major Indian languages, Koo plans to allow posts in regional languages such as Konkani and Manipuri. Its founders are serial entrepreneurs who previously built businesses such as TaxiForSure (a cab hailing service acquired…

Do brands and enterprises need tag lines? As with most questions pertaining to marketing & advertising, the precise answer would be ‘it depends’. The death of the tag line has been written about in trade portals for years now. The thinking behind this approach could be the need for ‘flexible branding’ – in which they present different identities to express their range or a targeted brand strategy, in which they target specific brand messages to…

Over the last few years many CEOs of business enterprises have used social media (especially Twitter) as a platform for what has come to be known as ‘personal branding’. Sure, a few of them were ‘brands’ (in a positive way) long before social media came into the picture. Platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn have offered them a stage to share their ideas, company updates, work and values. Their presence on social media has extended their…

Greeting friends and relatives on special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries and festivals, is an expected social behaviour. Of late, such greetings are done through messaging platforms or through social media. So the personal touch of a phone call or a hand written note or a card has anyway disappeared. The greetings are ‘templatised’, mechanical and mostly treated as a chore or formality. Over the past few years, there is competition to your friends & relatives…