Of Calendars and Clocks

There’s something about beginning a new year. Besides the usual greetings and celebrations, there’s also a more mundane aspect to it. Many folks like to make a new year resolution, for example. And it usually has to do with giving up some of your favourite – and not-good-for-you – habits like smoking, late nights, or… Continue reading Of Calendars and Clocks

Creative vs Strategy: What Difference Does Which Make?

For as long as I have been in advertising and brand communications, which is several decades, there has been a debate on which is more important: brand strategy or the creative idea. In other words, the message or how that message is communicated. I came across some international campaigns recently which brought up the question… Continue reading Creative vs Strategy: What Difference Does Which Make?

Why the Sky Is Not the Limit in the Intangible Economy

You would think that the new digitally powered economy – some of it, internet based – would be more productive, since they depend so heavily on computers and information technology. Not true. Several studies, including those by David Autor and others, show drop in productivity in the US, and especially since the late 1990s. Many… Continue reading Why the Sky Is Not the Limit in the Intangible Economy

Jazzing Up Consumer Spending to Beat Slowdown Blues

While it has been several quarters (even years) of an economic slowdown in India, what is worrying corporate India now is that consumer spending is weakening. Seeing how a few companies are responding to the slowdown, I thought I must pen my thoughts on what companies can do to revive private consumption in this article… Continue reading Jazzing Up Consumer Spending to Beat Slowdown Blues

Life and Death in an Instant

Recently, I finished reading Roland Barthes’ Camera Lucida, and I was overcome with a feeling of despondency. The book, which is all about the photograph, challenged many of my long-held assumptions and views about the visual image. Like Susan Sontag’s On Photography, it expresses strong views about the photograph, its message, the act of photographing,… Continue reading Life and Death in an Instant

Leadership in Today’s World

When we look at the state of the global economy, the US-China trade war, the Brexit drama as it unfolds in parliament which has been prorogued, the immigration debate or indeed, the economic slowdown in India, it becomes quite apparent that what we are witnessing is not greater turbulence, but less leadership. And less of… Continue reading Leadership in Today’s World

Brand Communications: Art or Science?

How many times during my career in advertising and brand communications, spanning several decades, must have I heard the debate over whether creating brand communications is an art or a science. It never ceases to amuse me, and yet, many a time, I have found it exasperating to explain even to fellow colleagues sometimes, that… Continue reading Brand Communications: Art or Science?

Stuck in the Slow Lane

It has been several months and quarters of agony for the Indian automobile industry, what with vehicle sales falling. The rapid growth rate registered in the 2004 to 2013 period seems to have sputtered to a slow growth, if that. Newspapers and magazines are suddenly full of news about falling vehicle sales and job losses;… Continue reading Stuck in the Slow Lane

Of Language, Myths, and Roland Barthes

What a delightful surprise, to read an author and discover that you have been speaking the language that he spent years studying, throughout your career. That was how I felt, having finished reading Roland Barthes’ Mythologies. In what is probably his best-known work, Roland Barthes takes a microscope to popular cultural phenomena and analyses -… Continue reading Of Language, Myths, and Roland Barthes

Person Brands: The Importance of Being Ernest or, Scott

When one is thinking about brands, it is our favourite products or services that come to mind. Sometimes, a few companies. Rarely does one think of a person. And when one thinks of people, and I mean the well-known ones, we don’t necessarily think “brands”. It would be rather odd, if we did. But is… Continue reading Person Brands: The Importance of Being Ernest or, Scott