Just finished watching this really great documentary which i thought i must mention and recommend on the blog given that one speaks about the internet so often here.

The plotline according to IMDB

Friends since high school, 20-somethings Kaleil Isaza Tuzman and Tom Herman have an idea: a Web site for people to conduct business with municipal governments. This documentary tracks the rise and fall of from May of 1999 to December of 2000, and the trials the business brings to the relationship of these best friends. Kaleil raises the money, Tom’s the technical chief. A third partner wants a buy out; girlfriends come and go; Tom’s daughter needs attention. And always the need for cash and for improving the site. Venture capital comes in by the millions. Kaleil is on C-SPAN, CNN, and magazine covers. Will the business or the friendship crash first

A lot of fun for anyone from this domain. Definitely worth a watch.

Linkedin Direct Ad’s system falls a bit short

I have been surfing around the self service system for adverting on Linkedin – DirectAds – for sometime now hoping to be able to put the same into an online promotional plan for a client. I have to say its one of the easiest looking interaces i have come across , its simple to understand and move through , write the ad , arrange the targeting and move onto the payment page.

This is where i got stuck. I realized , and i am quite surprised that Linkedin would not have factored this in , is the absence of a proper budget system. The current platform allows for Daily budgets to be assigned but thats it. I found this to be a bit crude because it means that i need to keep going back to the site to turn on the ad’s everyday (assuming the daily budget is expired) – it would be so much simpler and efficient to be able to put it long term budgets – for example 15,000 USD a month with a daily cap of 50 USD a day with a cap of 3 USD CPC – in one shot , i am set for the month , and protected with a daily and a creative cap as well.

I doubt its an oversight , probably a conscious descison , atleast i hope it is , it would not insipre much confidence if the team looking after the DirectAd system had simply overlooked this. Hope they get thison the site soon.

Metlife India launches its new website

Just noticed that Metlife India has just launched a new website at , do check it out.

If anyone has visited the site earlier you would agree that it is a major improvement from what the site was earlier , its a total revamp and deviation from the structure they have been following all this while. From design element to the display of information , everything has been tweaked and changes to ensure a enhance user experience…all for the better!

What really sticks out is the huge Marquee in the middle as well as 4 tabs on the header – Individuals , corporates , NRI and Financial Advisors. A little surfing showed that the intention would be to speak to different audiences thrugh these 4 tabs , a bit unique in my opinion as well as a bit non traditional.

The default landing page is that of Individuals , post landing depending on who you are , you proceed to the concerned section. Its a bit confusing since all the 4 landing pages of the tabs are identical in structure , the navigation for each section is different but im finding it a bit hard to get used to. Wonder if any of the other insurance sites follow something similar , not to the best of my knowledge.

The site is a little slow , i doubt its my internet connection , though it could be, but pages which have bigger images are the one’s facing the problem, images take a few seconds to load though they do look nice.

Attaching a screenshot of the older website….

MetLife Old

MetLife Old

Air India -Bad Advertising

I noticed this placement of the ad for Air India in the Sunday (Delhi) edition of the Times of India yesterday and it took me a moment to notice but once i did i have not been able to get it out of my head.

Apologies for the image , its the best i could do but the e paper is available and you can see it clearly here

Essentially Air India has a rather large ad present as is clearly visible , but it so turned out that Times of India placed it next to article on declining safety standards in the India Aviation Industry – in my opinion i thought that was quite the blunder…. now that its stuck in my head and a few of my colleagues to whom i mentioned it , everytime one says Air India , one thinks of this article i.e loose safety standards….. and while the connection is not direct to the brand , it’s not the kind of placement a brand or a marketing guy would or should be happy with.

Air India Ad placement blunder

Air India Ad placement blunder