Aug 24, 2008

Bindra In The Advertisement Range

Finally the frenzy fades as the golden boy’s glorious achievement takes a back seat and the public interest moves onto Pervez Musharaff resigning from his seat.

Abhinav Bindra won the gold for 10-metre air rifle event. As far as Indian media is concerned it is an opportunity to cash in on Bindra’s achievement. Brand managements are busy gauging Bindra’s marketability to the public. It is completely a different fact that at 25, Bindra owns land worth Rs 150 crores in Chandigarh and is the CEO of Abhinav Futuristics which generates annual revenue of Rs 25 crores. So as we discuss his brand value it is important we know that he really doesn’t need the endorsement money.

Bindra is reticent and is a self-confessed “recluse”, since age 13 his only passion has been shooting. When in college he hardly shared the same interests that his peers had. His classmates do not recall Bindra ever discussing or showing interests in girls. For shooting, Bindra had shut out every possible distraction, putting in grueling hours of shooting practice each day.

So this is the guy who went out and won the gold, he pretty much lived like a saint. It is tough to imagine this shy guy stepping up on the boob-tube and say things like, “Kurkure khao, mast ho jao!” Advertisements are all about non-sense and here we have Mr. Abhinav Bindra with a total no non-sense attitude. It will hit the audience at all the wrong places and hurt the brand image.
Moreover, shooting does not have the same glamour as Bollywood or cricket. It just does not appeal as much. Noted Adman Prahlad Kakkar, candidly admitted that he would give no more than Rs 5000 to Bindra for an endorsement deal. At the same time, Alyque Padamsee suggested that a celebrity like Katrina Kaif might give Bindra the extra needed factor for the advertisement industry.

Whatever the ad industry decides, one thing is for sure, Abhinav Bindra as we know is unruffled and might hardly be interested like other celebs to endorse products with their plastic smiles. Bindra is a genuine person and is a kind of personality to who believes in “Be Yourself.”, he definitely won’t change himself, let alone get a personality make-over for the ad-industry.

On Chennai

Chennai, as I see it is the only metropolitan city which has maintained its decade’s old British charm and conservative nature. The metro’s I have been to are loud and the people equally forthcoming. When I came out of Chennai Central the dusty heat filled my lungs and emptied my hearts hopes.
There were no pretty girls, people ate curd-rice with their hands, to which I am used to now and very few places where an outgoing youngster could freak out. Language was an unassailable barrier. Localites, especially the auto-drivers could talk in the tone of Tamil, communication had become a major problem. The tariffs they charge would leave you begging for an auto-driver from a metro like Mumbai. If you like dosa and idli’s and also you live in Chennai, you have got to be a very lucky person because you will not get a modest priced authentic north-indian food anywhere. Of course, with time I have found out even such places.
Then there were Chennai people, narrow-minded, stingy and no matter how big their bank balances stick to very minimal expenditure on clothes. In Chennai, people spend only on gold, steel vessels and rice. The rest of it goes to where it matters- the bank.
Then Chennai soon revealed its charming side that left me, let’s say, simple. I have switched from Pepsi to fruit juices for one change. People here don’t care how well you are dressed or so, they do however consider how much hard-work you put in and your punctuality. Yes, a little bit of loud dressing could raise a lot of eyebrows here. They are not showy and prefer to be quiet and non-intrusive to others-just minding their own business.
How can we forget Chennai for engineering education, it is country-wide renown and produces the best lot of engineers for India.
For a collegiate, the best places in Chennai is not, mind you not the Marina beach, in fact it is the Besant Nagar beach which is now in vogue. Also, we have the Golden beach which is slightly expensive with an entry fee of Rs 350. The most posh area within Chennai is Adyar, Nungambakkam etc. They have the expensive disc’s and pubs and also youngster hang-out’s like Mocha.