Friday, June 17, 2011

Much nostalgia, some regret

It is a little over three decades since I left Madras (as it was called then) and my mind goes back to the great times I had in that wonderful city. Madras was a great place to grow up even if it was 108 degrees in May. Who cared about the heat if one was chasing balls at the Marina cricket ground? A wonderful place to watch a cricket match and hear the Triplicane mamas waxing eloquent on which side of the wicket Derek Underwood should bowl from and the raucous chants of budding club cricketers whose wit far exceeded their cricketing ability. A phenomenal place to absorb culture even if you were only marginally inclined, and an easy city to live in, if only you knew the language.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

People are not brand loyal

Pallavi Gupta, COO of Mast Kalandar & I, discuss about the food business, importance of advertising and branding.

Sridhar Ramanujam: I learn that you come from an IT background and later, shifted to the food business. What made you start the restaurant?
Pallavi Gupta: When I was working, we wanted a place for casual dining. As individuals, we craved for healthier versions of food. Since not much was happening in the Indian scene for speed and value for money with regards to the restaurant business, this further prompted us to start Mast Kalandar. We identified the gap and served healthy food.

Monday, June 6, 2011

AgTalk: Digital is where FM radio was ten years ago

I strongly believe today’s industry lacks good visionary leaders and laments on the paucity of talent. Read on to discover as I unwind in an exclusive interview with Adgully.

Adgully: Can you share with us two key functional areas of Brand Comm?

Ramanujam Sridhar: We are a communication consultancy firm. The company is called integrated brand communications. We are a brand consultancy which deals with identity, positioning, re-positioning and brand architecture. We do advertising with a difference. We do a lot of our work which is in the area of talent. Third area which is the most visible part for us is Public Relations. We do a lot of training programmes and workshops.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Change is the name of the political game

The recent elections have demonstrated how people can become brands and capture the public imagination.

Advertising agencies have, over the years, perfected the art of being wise after the event. Let me explain. Usually, a creative director comes up with a brilliant ad for a brand, a thought based on an idea which translates into an outstanding TV commercial or an award-winning press advertisement. The agency swings into action and lo and behold a fantastic presentation has been created to sell the ad after it has been created. It is what is jocularly referred to as a strategic retrofit in the agency circuit!

Similarly, after two outstandingly dissimilar women swept the polls last fortnight, analysts and consultants are ready to make a case study of these victories and do political postmortems ad nauseum after the ladies have done the hard work.