Farmville Indian Flag

The Times of India reported today that Zynga will and has agreed to launch an Indian Flag for its popular game Farmville on Facebook sometime this week.

Farmville , allows users the choice of hosting multiple flags on their farm and has surprisingly not had the Indian flag as an option – Surprising , because i would assume that the Indian Subcontinent would hold some weight with the developers keeping in mind the ever increasing member base from here on Facebook and Farmville.

Ofcourse trust us to make an issue out of it. Snippets of conversation carried in the Times suggested people considering this exclusion as signs of racism and offensive. A supporting campaign / cause was launched on Facebook sometime ago as well for pressurizing the developers to have the flag as an option -the group has a 600 odd members.

Needless to say while having the flag as an option is good , the whole thing was an unnecessary melodrama. One of the bloggers interviewed suggested that this was a sign of the times and the philosophy of Gandhigiri among the youth – pretty heavy stuff….

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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

IAMAI Conference 2007 – Snippets from Speakers

I had all my notes and everything in place to put up a detailed report on the conference but my laziness to blame. Alootechie and Contentsutra have both filled up the contentsphere with summaries from it. Let me instead outline a few things which some of the speakers shared and which i liked.

RAJ NAYAK – CEO NDTV MEDIA

– The top 6 players in the industry can change the market and give it the direction it needs. Forget Market Dynamics , its upto us.

– If agencies start selling cheap, what about the guy who has just started off , what will he survive on – Dont sell cheap – we are only damaging ourselves

– IAMAI should consolidate the industry – Why can we Ban people who dont pay up on time. Print media has these safegaurds , why not Internet.

– Change now, raise the bar now otherwise it will be too late.

DEBRAJ TRIPATHY – MOBILE MARKETING HEAD – ONMOBILE

– The guys who speand and have everything in their hands are the guys who need to understand– Its next to impossible to be able to survive at 10 CPM

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Digitial Marketing – IAMAI Conference 2007

I finally managed to attend a “full” conference. I have had the opportunity to visit the forum over the years but have never managed to see / hear more than an hour or so. Yesterday i did! 10- 6 PM , all Speakers and all the topics.

The conference was held at The Intercontinental at Connaught Place and the turnout was very impressive. I overheard one of the officials from IAMAI stating that they had almost double the attendees as las year , which actually was quite clear – there was a shortage of seats.

I have been a good boy and taken tons of notes , interesting comments and observations made by the speakers under the various discussion topics which i shall put up here for the benefit of those who wish to know what took place. It will be a bit of a task and i should have everything up by today evening or tom. Watch this space !

Planet M to sell Mobiles

Heard the news that Planet M is planning to foray into Mobiles as well. Simply put they will be retailing mobiles from their stores as well. The tie up is with Essar Telecom , and the logic behind it is that music being one of the biggest mobile features , such a step would strengthen the bond between mobiles and music.

Nothing new , Planet M has been selling stuff other than music for a while now. The south extension outlet in Delhi has an all-together section on the FF which caters to electronic items – ipods etc etc.

I think it’s more of an effort to ensure more minutes per visitor in the store and consequently the higher chances of a sale. Music is still a big business as far as piracy is concerned and with no stringent laws governing P2P platforms such as Bittorrent (Thank God!!) , they might not be doing too well. Sure the places are always full, barely room to walk around – how many of you want to bet that a good percentage of those foot falls are people with no intention to buy but listen to free music ,and another percentage as people just “hanging out” in that particular market or mall? So if one cant make enough money through your initial business model , then what….. extend the product line.

Not that there is anything wrong with it, I hope it works, but i for one would have concentrated more on being able to deliver on what i started with (read good music). I have had numerous issues with them. Broken cd covers, scratched discs, unplayable movie formats , lack of stock, inadequate representation of all genres of music etc etc. I would rather fix that and then look at other things, and maintaining a certain min. standard on quality. What prevents the same mistakes, or lack of discipline occurring in other areas as well?

Yolist.com

Contentsutra reported, rather excitedly, about being tipped off regarding another classifieds website , soon to be launched. To quote them ” Yo! We were tipped off about yet another classifieds portal, this time from the Times Group, yo!”

I was slightly disappointed to note that Contentsutra got it wrong , not regarding the site itself but that the news in itself is close to 2-3 months old. If i remember correctly i heard about the site , and first visited it early April 2007 and have been off and on ever since to see how its getting along.

….And its not getting along. I am perpetually trying to gauge the overall strategy of the TOI group with respect to its online activities. They tend to appear more reactive than proactive. If one was to look at their recent launches – TJ after Naukri, Magicbricks after 99acres , Simply Marry after Jeevansathi….. seeing the pattern? Or is it simply that they are so large and slow that by the time from conception to implementation is just too long and others move ahead.

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