Judgement by Social Media Courts #wolfSIGHTS

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Deemed guilty by social-media, without trail?

While i continue to be appalled by the vilification of the socially-dumb people and wrote about it in an earlier post about the urgent need for social-etiquette, I am guilty too!

Guilt of a far bigger social-crime! Conviction & judgement by social-media.

When a politician was accused & exposed on social media, a scam revealed, a loud journalist bashed, a brand held accountable, an organisation brought to its knees – I cheered! oh! yes it was a collective voice of the common man finally finding expression.

But then there is the other side of our social (media) behaviour. Conviction & Judgement without trail. The intent is to find the miscreant guilty until proven innocent.

The Convicted (not the accused): Sahil Menghani (google him & you will find his case in detail) has been judged guilty and people on social media are baying for his blood. ‘Sacking from his job’, ‘imprisonment’, with some comments saying ‘I know where he lives’, ‘castrate him’, ‘run him over’.

Crime: Ran over a street dog ‘deliberately??!!’ while visiting a friend and left it callously, while the policemen on patrol didn’t do anything to help the dog.

I LOVE DOGS! Period. My earliest childhood memories are filled with these amazing beings and it is well punctuated by the wet licks, the thumping/swinging tails and the deep-love woofs. We even got our dogs bobby & puppy married and had a grand ceremony and celebrated their 12 litter. I often feed street dogs and love the canine breed to infinity.

If this was an intentional crime, he should be punished by all means. The law should take its course.

My biggest issue is “If”. I am not saying he is not guilty, but I am not social-trigger happy to jump the gun and deem him guilty either. Somebody caught this on tape, tried to help the dog and found evidence of the act. How have we all jumped to deem the act a crime so quickly.

Comments to social shares of the act hastily deemed a crime are ridiculous. “I know where he lives”, “he should be run over” to one extreme. The other extreme being “he’s just killed a street dog man, it is wrong but it is not a crime”, “how can he be accused, the municipal corporation should control this street-canine problem”.

Then it became a dog-lovers Vs the dog-neutral / dislikers war and then social comments got even more ridiculous with one heckling the other.

In all of this a massive point was completely lost.

Who appointed us the law to judge the act a crime and the person as guilty?. This is resplendent with mindless crowd-behaviour, whats worse is that it is on social media – where we can appease ourselves that we did not hurt anybody physically and then walk away from it.

One version of watching the video could provoke the following argument:

Did the guy not stop – he did, the lil woof got up wagged its tail, walked around and fell by which time the car had been asked to move-on.

Did he immediately know that the poor woof succumbed? – maybe / maybe not!!

Did he do it on purpose – maybe/maybe not?!

Where the #$@% is our social-conscience in asking him about it first. You have the proof, you found the car number – why share it so immediately, without talking to that guy and the police?!. If he refused or behaved like a jerk, then by all means go to the social-court! You still have the evidence and ability to trace him dont you?!

The social-hunt sometimes has yielded positive results – finding a guy who harassed a woman on the road, a road rage criminal, a garbage dumper etc; I still stand by that.

But I am confused! I am deeply disturbed!

What if the guy was innocent or am I going to be hung by the social court for even saying this or deemed not sensitive enough towards the innocent woof?.

All the social-accusations and vilification we have mounted will forever be available on the social media and his reputation tarnished forever. Forget this specific case, what if the same happens in some other incident tomorrow? Where the socially-charged as guilty actually turns out to be innocent and hence in the end a victim of our social-rage?!

What if it were you next for something you might or might not have done?

What if “if” is forgotten and never given a chance?

Time for us to really think about this or we are heading for social-hooliganism in the guise of social-activism for the good!


#Contextualinsights lead to #SocialConversion #wolfSIGHTS

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#ContentDrowning is a harsh social reality and it is criminal to be indifferent to the same, when it comes to social campaigns, page promotions etc;.


Is there any point to promoting a whole page on FB, without a conversion insight?.

Is’nt it better to lead these posts with a conversion insight which connects with the consumer and then page like anywayz happens?.

Would it have been better to make 3/4 ads a part of your promotion mix?

One with a cockroach and a consumer everyday situation which dials up their active need to take this kind of a post seriously?.

Example: “Are your guests meeting your cockroaches too”, “Is your husband’s heart giving up hearing your sudden screams on seeing your resident fair & lovely lizard” – backed with good visuals!!

With the “Page Like” button anywayz there!

Is’nt that the right way to dial-up conversion interest on a medium like FB, where content drowns to the bottom of your timeline faster than your “refresh” click!!

“Make your home pest free this winter” is such a generic line that it hardly evokes any response. Then clutter of trusted by X number of families” is so useless here – isnt that bit of info more important when the customer has gone on to your page and then evaluating you Vs any other prospects?.

Ok, lets say “winter” is the season right now – the contextual relevance ends right there!! WInter is also the season of festivities & celebrations in India – Visitors coming in all the time – “social embarrassment” as an insight works so well on the Indian psyche!

Can we look at winter and possibly different pests bothering us during this season or do pests bother us more or in different (winter – specific) ways this season – absolutely no insights! Conversion contexts!

Also shouldnt the ad mix also consider having geographic-specific pest-insights. Maybe this season people across different geographies have different problems – which can be geo-targetted with great specificity.

Tsk! The power & the possibilities Facebook Data Science & Facebook offers are being under-utilized or totally ignored, due to lack of strategy & insights in the digital marketing arena. Facebook itself does not understand brand & consumer strategy function and is still busy recruiting only creative and account management people from advertising in their agency-partnership teams and creative studios. I see this changing very soon, so all you young planners better strap-up for a FaceBook / Google job 😉

Well it is a systemic problem I guess…Clients underpaying social agencies and hence negating any possibility of these agencies infusing the strategy function into their mix and lots of digital firms (surprisingly even big firms) not structuring their entire functions around strategy.

Digital is more of a behavioural medium than traditional medium, hence more the need for strategy – not less!

& so the wolf rants about such an innocent small little sponsored post!

Lemme know what you think.



Capitalistic War on Ethnicity? #wolfSIGHTS

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The War Capitalism wages on ethnicity

Why do we look at finding similarities rather than celebrating differences? While at a human level familiarity breeds comfort and hence we deploy the “They are like us in this”. Example: Georgians are like Punjabis. There’s comfort in that, while spotting similar traits gives you comfort, the differences make things exotic.

They question our faiths, belief systems and loosen our hold on what our self-image is. That’s why we travel, that’s why we seek the different.

Because beyond a point, we frequently want to cut away from ourselves and from becoming more of ourselves.

To re-define our context so that we re-discover a bit of ourselves when we travel, experience something new, when we push ourselves out of our own contextual comfort zones.

 Ethnicity is the breeding ground for mass-individualization. It challenges us when we experience different ethnicities. Ethnicity is bred out of specific geography, tradition, culture etc;.

Marketing as currently defined on the other hand operates by diluting ethnicity and introducing new mass-identities. The problem is that the individuality within this definition is missing.

Mass—identities, which are urged to forget their individuality and conform to a marketable definition of who they are – based on consumption. Re-organization of people into marketable tribes via mass media propaganda is the greatest disservice to human kind, It is being Human Unkind.

The advent of social media has led to optimized human-expression, a natural order of reorganizing themselves into new ethnic tribes based on passions, likes, interests & convenience. But this is the natural order of progression.

Shouldn’t marketing follow these changes, for the core existence of marketing is to understand and market to change?

Hence marketing, as we knew it is under threat, while there are always conformists (seeking identity from brands), socially accountable marketing needs to identify, respect ethnicity and celebrate it.

For marketing’s job is to make a product/service desirable. But not at the cost of erasing individuality for its convenience. Its job is to find a universal connect amongst diversity…not to mute diversity itself.

A brand can actually attain cult status by being a moderator of differences, by being a platform where ethnic diversity or any form of diversity can contrast, clash, dis-agree and finally come to live in peaceful co-existence.

But with cultural marketing, we are muting diversity. The British have done that to India and there are so many other examples. One can argue that this spawns sub-cultures…true, but let them organically evolve without an artificial intervention.

For without ethnic diversity, the world will be a far less interesting place. Induced by mass media propagated sub-cultures.

One can argue that diversity of any sort is interesting, but ethnic diversity has something magical in it. Something that the present or the future cannot afford to lose…the past!.

Ethnic diversity is bred, cultured, tempered, morphed past…. manifested in the present. Ethnicity is time preserved via people and culture.

When I attended a conference called UnMetro, a journalist asked a pertinent question…don’t tell me how we are increasingly the same…tell me how we are still different. She was shushed up!.

Consumerism, conspicuous consumption is same across geographies…yes! But how are the social-permissions for consumption different between the urban and the non-urban context?!.

Aren’t the consumption codes different? The aspirations might be the same, but the conversion triggers are vastly different…why don’t we acknowledge these differences.

Why do we have the need to be not okay with differences? The irony is, once a market becomes homogenous…the function of marketing ceases to exist. For a homogenous market…sales is enough!

Yes! One can argue that a homogenous market needs more creative differentiation…but then the differentiation will come from where?. From shallow, muted new tribes…forcefully created.

Is’nt it better to preserve & celebrate diversity instead, a diversity bred by time…of the ethnic kinds. For the loss of ethic diversity is a loss of ideas. A loss of different points of view of the age-old tempered by changing times.

Thank god for the “Holiday marketing” ethnic diversity is still has a chance. “Live like the local” is a counter-revolution.

Ask yourselves this, what fun is there in finding Kashmiri rose wood spoons in Mahabaleshwar or Tibetan jewellery everywhere…isn’t it actually robbing this world of unique experiences?.

Ask yourselves this, isn’t there an increasing urban intolerance towards ethnicity within each country, isn’t ethnicity condemned as rural, uncultured and unsophisticated?.

Mass-muting of ethnicity is both dangerous and detrimental!.

Let’s celebrate ethnic marketing instead?!



#UnYoung #wolfSIGHTS

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50+ % of India is going to be under or just about 25. India is one of the youngest countries in the world.

What are the socio-cultural ramifications for those who don’t fit into this bracket of the most desirable/marketed demographic definition?.

Predominantly Urban India, but increasingly semi-urban & rural India seems to be afflicted with diseases of “Growing younger” & “Staying Young”. Have been witness to this during #stratalogues 2013.

50 yr olds trying to discover the elixir of jeans, anti-ageing creams and behaving young – rather than just feeling naturally “ageless” are premiumised, romanced & communicated.

Hey! looking & feeling old is the new social-taboo. Urban-Taboo!

40 is the new prime of youth according to Cosmo-magazines!

Why define feeling with age? Why imprison ageing with a demographic mindset?!

If you apply the famous disruption philosophy…is #StayingYoung the new convention?!. Is #UnYoung the new disruption?.

Europe & other geographies seem to be held at ransom for greying…so what’s wrong with greying?!.

Where is the place for the really old, while the “relatively old – mid 30’s to mid- 40’s ppl are still excused from the accusation of being tagged too old” – they make for a high disposable income, mid-life criss afflicted prime-marketing TG.

The premium on #WisdomOfGrey is lost on this world. Indian cities are turning into Roman arenas where the privileged old are the only ones who can afford the spectre of watching the instigated young war-it-out.

As the cosmopolitans breed the need for young, the old will migrate away. As the young migrate to cities, the old stay back in towns & villages…

The dissemination of the filial social-architecture of India & the abundance of the “Baghban phenomenon’ (elders bereft of the support of the youth of their kin) will result in ageing middle-towns!… Leading to growth of business categories in security for the elders, medical home care for elders , old age homes for the elderly rich– further propleled by  the need of the criminalisation of the youth who stay back in smaller towns.

Security for the middle-town & the reverse-migrant rich old will sadly be a huge business-spawning need,

The rising need for the MCYS – Singapore sponsored award winning “filial Piety” kind of communication in India & Larger Asia too can be safely predicted. Government sponsored “Social Care Communication” will soon be a sad reality.

Rise in the segment of “green-seeking” retired urban warriors, Like-minded friend spawned retiring gated communities in India will be another business opportunity.

But yet the emotional need of the old & the aged to harvest their wisdom for the benefit of the young will be left unfulfilled.

Can we spur social-organizations to broker a marriage between the orphans of India and the listless middle-town/reverse-migratory aged of India and satiate a mutual need of the old seeking a venue to vent their wisdom and the young exhibiting a sponge for a source of wisdom?. Who will champion the much needed social-engineering?.

All this while, those classified as not-exactly-young in urban India will suitably suffer from capitalistism-propagated need to struggle against the natural instinct to age. We as an Asian collectively will suffer to stay young.

Everyday women shall look at themselves in the mirror and yearn for botox, staying slim and being desireable as per conventions, Everyday men will regret the prosperity of their paunches. Energy drinks consumption will rise, the not so young shall punish their life-rich bodies to behave young in the night bars (while the young abandon these places for becoming too uncley & aunty’ish joints).

Everyday the not-so-young will invent new excuses for self as well their august social-entourages to find a way to stay at home and not push the debaucherous cinderella timelines.

Once in a while they will secretly whisper to their close confidants that they really dont like to “pardy all night” and would rather lounge.

The rising convention of #StayYoung, will give birth to a new age disruption of being #UnYoung.

This new phenomenon will spawn a new urban tradition of being comfortable with the ageing process.

Not punishing yourself to be the air-guitar strumming, pub-hopping, crotch-hugging jeans clad not-so-young youth.

The next wave of idea-based businesses will arise out of catering to & easing the socio-cultural pressure for these relatively young and not so young consumers (mind you with a high disposable income).

#UnYoung will be the premium along with #PreimumOfGrey in this young Asia.

Fill a room predominantly with youngsters, brands preaching youth and presto! You have a convention being set-up to be broken!

Here’s a strategic instigation for brands to liberate the relatively young and the gracefully ageing from the tyranny of capitalism enforced youth!

#UnYoung possibly is the blue Ocean business opportunity in a red ocean of youth.

Interesting times in India & parts of younger Asia ;)


#UnYoung could be a huge liberation that a high-disposable income TG – who are the products of an erstwhile scarcity economy truly seek :D


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“Things that you own, end up owning you”…Fight Club!

How true it is for the detergent /wash category. Product innovations are based on divergent metrics. Each metric a polar-opposite to the other.

(a) As my life & role is evolving, I Need to spend less time washing clothes, hence I desire a detergent which washes easier, removes stains & dirt easier and foams more (more foam = more cleaning as per consumer perception). Hence det-product innovations are all about reducing laundry-time. So i washing machine innovation (& we will come to that later).

I dont want to starch clothes anymore, I want cuffs & collars to be whiter – faster! etc; etc;


(b) As my lifestyle & indulgence quotient is evolving, I am spending more on clothes compared to the previous generation. These “more” expensive clothes are more delicate and sensitive, made of so called better material and hence demand more care! Spread dry Vs drip dry. Hand wash vs Machine wash. COld water Vs Luke-warm-water-vs hot water wash. Dry in shade Vs dry in sun light.

“I want to wear posher/branded/more sophisticated clothes – but these clothes demand more of my “care” time”.

Consumer Tension 1: I want to reduce the time spent on everyday chores (to be able to spend more time on an indulgent out-side/out-going life) Vs The more expensive/posh clothes I buy to look good when I indulge in my “out-side” life demand more laundry time & focus of mine.

Less laundry Care Vs More Laundry Care.


(1) Iam replacing clothes faster (older clothes in my wardrobe are making way for newer clothes faster) and hence damaged clothes are less of an eye/conscience-sore!.


(2) My Clothes are becoming more expensive and sophisticated and hence need better care and the current washing options (detergents & washing machines) are abrasive and damage my clothes faster. Newer clothes look older faster (colourless & faded, lifeless & saggy etc;). The current claims of hand-like wash by both detergents & washing machine brands are a reaction to this thought-action by consumers.

Consumer Tension 2: I want to auto-mated care for my more expensive clothes and the current washing enablers are more damaging than caring. (Hence the growth of fabric conditioners in our market).

More care need = choice of perceived best brand Vs dissonance with best brands as caring for dirt fighting at the cost of fabric saving.

Consumer lesson: India is subsume-market. Not a bad idea for brands (Just like shampoo market to subsume conditioner in detergent).

Challenge to market leader SURF: “Kya aapka detergent ko daag acchey lagtey hai, kapdey nahin” (Does your detergent love dirt and not clothes, then why does it damage clothes so?) messaging by a pro-active, care-subsumed detergent.

An interesting #stratalogues – 2013 anecdotal laundry insight:

In Bharat, the mum-in-law still prevails, She expects the educated/semi-educated/relatively-uneducated daughter-in-law to demonstrate her commitment & responsibility to her household via regaling herself in some menial tasks (oh! how female-chauvinistic). She uses the lack of electricity (or the constant absence of it in Bharat), cost of electricity as an aide to prevailing over her daughter-in-law into this daily laundry slavery. She also throws-in the damage done by machine wash to precious clothes (in a predominantly VFM conscious society) as a further “nail in the bucket” and hence legitimises her frothing and “foaming” (Pun intended) at the daughter in law not adhering to the laundry slavery.

Now what is pitiful is the attitude, but what is amazing is the counter by te modern day educated daughter-in-laws.

Now education is the class-barrier breaker in Bharat (& in India of course). An average Indian family spends most on child’s education and nutrition (as an investment to the child’s future). Lot of Tiger moms still here – mind you!.

Penetration of multi-media schools into even the heartlands, increased strain of academic & extra-curricular rigour even in Bharat means more at-home guidance/tutoring/responsibility. The father (though more involved in child upbringing in this generation) simply does not have the time…hence the new-age mother (also the daughter-in-law) steps-up and assumes the at-home responsibility.

Child’s new age education demand more time and hence she brilliantly uses it to say she has less time for laundry – resulting in one of the 3: (a) upgradataion to a premium-detergent (b) hiring of a maid to do the laundry or (c) buying of a washing machine and spending precious inverter energy on it.

Effectively over-ruling either the traditional (female-chauvinist) mum-in-law (Joint family) or the continuously chauvinistic husband (Nuclear family).

Now its a known truth (due to rural-urban migration) that you have a better maid in the cities than in the town or the village. Hence the laundry category is either a slave to the maid or needs to be up-graded / automated. (Washing Machine brands – need to pay heed here).

NOTE: By the way a/c on inverter is frowned upon (leading to an a/c consumption barrier in the electricity betrayed Bharat), if only Child’s education demands focus/concentration and the placating atmosphere of an a/c (especially during summer) becomes the trigger the a/c category ca look at tripling its Bharat sales.



Management of meaning…this time for laundry category!




Why are the Indian brands not able to get popularity in readymade clothes as compared to outside brands like UCB, PUMA, NIKE, etc?

Answer by Challapalli Kalyan Ram:

When a person buys Ready made, he/she is not buying clothes. He/She is buying: (1) Westernisation (as ready made clothes were predominantly introduced to us from that POV). (2) Imagery & status – brand value (Indians have a unique behaviour of trusting Indian brands for money, for food brands etc; – but for lifestyle they prefer western brands. Example: Hum home loan  -we can take from Tata Capital/Housing/Finance, Salt we can buy from  Tata, Steel we can buy from Tata – but clothes, modern jewellery, watches & accessories we will not buy. Thats why Tata had to launch Fast Track, Titan, Tanishq etc; (3) The international ready made brands truly offer unique styling, fantastic stitching and a very good finish. They also introduce new fashion faster (they understand fast fashion better than Indian apparel brands). These are the reasons why international brands are tough to compete with. Now there is another issue as well (fault lines lying with Indian apparel manufacturers):

(a) Except for a few like Arvind Mills & Spykar / Killer (once upon a time) & Raymond is attempting to see whether it can change that with its more intense push into ready made now – most end-up dealing with fashion as if it is a mass phenomenon. They do not hire good designers, they do not understand consumer's evolving fashion needs.

(b) Another truth that they ignore is that there is a RURBAN consumer. A consumer who is in rural India & Semi-Urban India who has exactly the same fashion – aspirations as the Urban Indian. This Rurban consumers are the trend setters and if they wear your brand – others will do too. These guys fashion sense is very different. So they experiment more and wear bolder fashion. Indian apparel manufacturers cannot do not have good enough products for them. WHY? Because though others will wear the brand this RURBAN consumer wears, they will not wear the same clothes (because they are not as bold as the RURBAN guys). In this the Indian apparel manufacturer gets confused and ends up producing only those clothes that the followers wear (that is where the volumes are). In the process – even if they launch with one stylish cutting edge range – they slowly slip into the mass ranges – losing their fashion edge.

(c) Brand creation. They are innocent when it comes to brand creation and they do not employ brand strategy. Look at Fast Track for example from TATA. Its an Indian brand – built for youth. But the way they have done branding is really cool. They have really constructed an Indian brand which has a high cool quotient. They have managed to create a brand with right brand strategy, they experiment and introduce fashion forward products (along with mass -appeal products), they also introduce a lot of ranges – faster than others (in other words they are fast fashion brand – similar to ZARA – not in styling or imagery – but interms of product cycles).

These are some of the reasons why we fail to create home-grown cool apparel brands. However Iam of the opinion that soon we will see some really good ones – if manufacturers employ the right consumer led – brand & product strategy – because in the fashion category both are the intertwined & interlinked!

Hope that helps mate 😀

#wolfSIGHTS Wolfzhowl Srategic Instigations

Why are the Indian brands not able to get popularity in readymade clothes as compared to outside brands like UCB, PUMA, NIKE, etc?