Tuesday 21 August 2012

PowerPoint for Kids!

Three triggers contributed to this post:
First, ‘Monica Tata on 6 reasons why running a kids’ channel is no child’s play’*. In this article Ms. Tata opined that 48% of parents exercise control on the content watched by their kids and one of the ways to expand the viewership is by creating content that appeals to the adults as well.
*Source: MxMIndia.com , Monica Tata is General Manager, Entertainment Networks, South Asia, Turner International India Pvt Ltd.
Second, M.A.D., a popular program, telecast on POGO, a channel owned by Turner, in this show, the program anchor, Rob, takes the audience, which I believe are both kids and adults, on a creative trip. The show is about art and craft.
Third, Inclusion of MS Office Application suite in school syllabus, this underscores the importance of such software, as most of our adult lives revolve around working with Office Application Software, be it presenting a topic given as a group-work to the class by the instructor, or making presentations as a part of the B-School curriculum, or as a professional making the PowerPoint presentations for internal or external stakeholders.
So what’s the big deal? Is there a programming opportunity?
If Office Application Suite has become so integral to our lives, why aren’t we starting early on this journey? Can someone like Rob (or Rob himself) create the same magic on the PowerPoint canvas? I am sure, like me, there are many others whose job involves loads of PowerPoint. Be it presenting a cause and effect relationship of a business process or just putting together a graphical representation of an arcane concept. Sometimes, one feels stymied by the lack of the creative genius in themselves in creating original images using the basic shapes and tools available in PowerPoint. 
Do the programming honchos of kids channel feel that teaching creativity on television using this ubiquitous software will make for a good show? No prizes for guessing the sponsors who can be roped for such a program (no…it’s not just the software vendor, it could even be the computer or printer manufacturers…or even the nutrition supplements containing BHA, PXT or whatever). Such a show makes for a good repeat value with syndication opportunities in other markets as well as episodes available on DVDs as a learning aid.
Will adults approve their kids to see such a program? I’m not gonna miss even a single episode!
Disclaimer: All company, brand and product name/logos mentioned/depicted in this post are trademarks of their respective holders/individual parent companies.

Tuesday 14 August 2012

Which car engine makes that sound?

The idea for this post came about today morning, when I was half asleep in the office bus, on my way to work.
While being driven to work in a bus, sleep happens in short sprints. Sitting next to the window seat and upon realizing that the morning breeze is no longer sweeping across your face it dawns upon you that the bus is not moving, you keep your eyes closed for some time and then half opening them, you look out from the corner of your eyes to see why the bus is not moving, where you’ve reached and the time you still have on your hand for another quick nap in the bus. Usual interruptions are the sounds of traffic on the signal or in a traffic jam. Sometimes it is just the whooshing sound of vehicles whizzing past yours or someone suddenly breaking to a screeching halt which wakes you up.
During these occurrences, while your visual faculties are overpowered by the urge to take a nap, somehow your aural faculties are still ticking. One may have earplugs plugged in to their ears listening to local radio or music from their mobile phone/portable music player, or the music is being played out from the loudspeakers in the bus (this option does not apply to me, as we have a very spartan bus service), the ambient sounds in the bus, of folks boarding at designated pick up points (sounds of their backpacks rubbing against the backrest of the seats while moving down the aisle and looking for vacant seats or ‘excuse me’, ‘can you shift’ etc.), sound of the bus engine or lastly the sounds on the road from, hawkers, honking from the vehicles, vehicles whizzing past your bus, folks revving the engine on traffic signals, etc…
Though your nasal senses also absorb the environment around you…let’s leave it out for now J
But how does all this lends itself to a business opportunity?
I’ll regress to my earlier post, Pappu Pass Ho Gaya!, where I mentioned about the contest ‘Who said to whom’. In this contest a short dialogue is played from a bollywood movie and the listeners have to text, who said this dialogue to whom and the name of the movie. Taking a spin on this contest on radio, what if who and whom are vehicle sounds instead of bollywood celebrities! The vehicle sounds could be sounds of their engines or the car horn and the listeners have to identify the make of the vehicle.
Another spin to the contest can be two sounds of the same vehicle make…one that is brand new and another which is, say 03 years old. In fact the core idea is the vehicle sound, irrespective of whether it is a two wheeler or a four wheeler. How the concept is packaged and presented is up to the creative discretion of the radio station.
Ideal sponsors of this contest could be engine oil/auto lubricant manufacturers, auto service providers, auto dealerships, etc.
The idea is not outlandish…a quick Google search with the search string ‘engine sound application’, returns umpteen results of mobile phone applications which playback engine sounds and facts/trivia about engine sounds. There is also a mobile app which produces official Ferrari engine sound!
Even as kids, on our way to school, it was a common amongst us to quiz our pals to identify the vehicle coming behind us by just listening to its sound…!
I believe every one of us have developed auditory discrimination skills at a sub-conscious level during our growing years or as part of our daily experiences…isn’t it time that this human capability is leveraged by radio stations, thus generating a better recall for their clients!

Wednesday 8 August 2012

Fulfillment First…!

The two words in the title of this post signify three things:
Fulfillment: How an effective fulfillment imprints a positive impression on the consumers.
First: A “first” I achieved.
Fulfillment First: The importance of placing the fulfillment strategy before anything else… if your grand plan does not ensure effective fulfillment to your consumer then, what was the plan?
Friday, 20 July 2012MxMindia launches the first edition of MxMIndia’s weekly media quiz, titled “Buzzer”. First prize INR 1001 and second prize INR 501 to be won every week.
Friday, 27 July 2012 – It’s time for second edition of the quiz, Buzzer#2, but what about the winners of Buzzer#1? Winners are individually contacted over their phone, by none other than the Editor-in-Chief and CEO of MxMIndia Private Limited at 8:00 AM sharp. How do I know, because I won the second prize in the first edition of the contest, a “first” I achieved! Check out the screen grab of the winner announcement which appeared on 27 July 2012 on MxMIndia. As mentioned in the winner announcement and as told by Mr. Pradyuman Maheshwari, ‘Await our mail’…
Sunday, 29 July 2012 – …I received a mail from Mr. Maheshwari formally informing about winning the second prize and a cash cheque for INR 501. Now comes the fulfillment part… I was given two options, either provide my address and get the cheque couriered on the said address or provide my bank account number, name, and branch for the cheque to be deposited in the said account, for instant gratification. How do I know the cheque will be deposited…I read the next line of the mail…"we’ll email you a stamped receipt…”. Now, that wowed me!
Monday, 06 August 2012 – As promised, I received the scanned copy of stamped receipt.
The overall experience just awed me. I was kept informed at each stage after being declared a winner with proactive communication from the contest organizer. MxMIndia realized that winners can be across India and accordingly their choice of prize(s), ensured easy and speedy fulfillment. As I opined in my earlier post, 15 Minutes of Fame…Reloaded!, I am happy with both the value and satisfaction delivered by the cash prize and instead of someone else deciding on the winner’s behalf, I am happy to choose for myself with the prize money.
Wishing loads of success to MxM Buzzer and hope that it keeps buzzing for times to come!