Posts Tagged ‘Kapil Dev’

The insurance industry is getting mighty creative with its promotional campaigns.

Music has no barriers. So, HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company has released a music album Sar Utha Ke Jiyo to hook the younger insurance prospects out there. Insurance and music are worlds apart, but still the company bravely went ahead and got two tracks composed on the need for self-respect, self-reliance and HDFC Standard Life products. But the album may not be a total write-off as it has songs like Rubaroo from Rang De Basanti, Yeh Honsla from Dor, Aashayein from Iqbal and Aa Rahan Hoon Main by Bombay Viking.

In another stunner, Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance Company got Vijender Singh as its brand ambassador close on the heels of his winning an Oylmpic medal. Now, if Vijender proves to be a one trick pony Bajaj Allianz Life might not be so hasty in getting celebrity endorsement.

The Indian Insurance Industry seems to have caught the Nike-fever of hiring sports stars as brand ambassadors. Aviva Life Insurance Company’s brand ambassador is Sachin Tendulkar. Sanmar AMP Life Insurance Company, which has now been taken over by Reliance Life Insurance Company, earlier had Australian cricket captain Steve Waugh as its brand ambassador. In 2006, while Birla SunLife Insurance Company hired Kapil Dev for promotions, Max New York Life Insurance Company roped in Rahul Dravid.

Brand re-make seems to be the hottest word in the insurance industry. Max New York Life has come with a new tagline “Karo Zyaada Ka Iraada” for its brand name. And when insurance companies go for brand makeovers they don’t contact any old ad agency, they instead go the whole hog and get research done by people like McKinsey Global Institute and Demographic Research to find out what Indian youths want.

Tata AIG Life Insurance Company has joined the bandwagon by changing its tagline to “A New look at life.” Tata AIG had also earlier roped in Naseerudin Shah to promote its personal lines. And its not just the private sector which has become image conscious, The National Insurance Company’s new tagline goes for “a bright and better tommorrow.”

ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company is going for an image makeover of a different kind after the recent spate of negative news: “ICICI Lombard to pay up Rs 50 k for misleading forum,” “Insurance firm penalized for turning down claim,” “ICICI Lombard told to pay up Rs 1 lakh for punitive damages,” “Maharashtra Government takes ICICI Lombard to consumer court,” & “Maha Agri Dept blacklists ICICI Lombard.”


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1)The argumentative journalist: The journalist who believes he shouldn’t stop with asking questions in a press meet. No press meet is complete unless he gets into an argument with the main speaker.

(e.g.) At a press meet, in which late forest brigand Veerappan‘s wife Muthulakshmi was protesting against airing a serial on the life of Veerappan by a popular Tamil TV channel, this kind of a nuisance cropped up. Ms Muthulakshmi felt that her two girls had already faced enough discrimination from the school management and in the interests of the girls’ education demanded that the channel refrain from raking up the issue.

The argumentative journalist: Why can’t they air the serial?

Muthulakshmi: You see sir, they are…

The argumentative journalist: (Interrupts) Why are you preventing them from airing the serial?

Muthulakshmi: Sir, my girls..

The argumentative journalist: Will you allow them if they give you any royalty?

(By this time, Muthulakshmi is in tears..and the organisers are trying to close the press meet. And this guy walks out proud, thinking he’s another Karan Thapar, who succesfully got Kapil Dev to cry..)

2)The cover-seeking journalist: This journalist will ask a hundred-one questions (to justify his taking money) or ask none at all (as he wants to draw no attention to himself or the money he’s getting from the organisers). He’s also the one guy who gets a bad name for everybody else in the profession. You can easily spot this guy, as he’s found to be hanging with the orgainsers most of the time, rather than with the speakers at the press meet.

3)The honesty-advertising journalist: Most journalists working for English newspapers don’t accept money (because they are reasonably well-paid and social norms)….but there’s a difference between the honest and the honesty-advertising journalist.

The super-honest journalist shows off his honesty:

  • by abusing PR agents. He feels his honesty is directly proportional to how badly he treats these people, who are paid good money to be sycophants and lobbiers
  • by taking only the press release and returning everything else in the press kit (honest journalists also do the same; but they don’t brag about it so that everyone else at the event can hear)
  • by not taking, coffee, tea, food or drinks at the meet, as he will not be under any obligation whatsoever to write favourably about that company (Of course, the same guy the minute he gets back to his office, might write a 800-word piece praising the company, if he’s told its an Editor’s Must)
  • by wearing torn slippers, a joulna bag, a kurta and spectacles

4)The arrogant journalist: Everywhere there’s a hierarchy. And in the newspaper industry in Chennai, the people at the bottom of the rung are Tamil/vernacular newspaper journalists; next come News Today and news websites; next Indian Express and Deccan Chronicle. Crowing it at the top are Hindu’s journalists. Joining them at the top is the ex-Express, now TOI team (Times of India).

Earlier, PR and HR guys would not start the press conference till the Hindu journalist came, even though every other journalist in the hall would be fuming at the delay and the obvious partiality/toad-eating. When finally the Hindu journalist arrived, he would cross his legs, ignore all the other journalists, pretend he is God and generally make a nuisance of himself. The opening statement of any conversation of his would be: “I’m from the Hindu” (like he owned the paper).

5)The know-it-all journalist: These people abound, even the honest, nice journalists sometimes get this way. They have to introduce irrelevant, unnecessary details just so that they can exhibit their knowledge. Most of often, the guy would have done a google search on the subject 20 minutes before leaving for the press conference and thinks he knows everything.

(e.g) At a recent press conference in which a city hospital announced the first oozyte pregnancy in India (I don’t if it was the first, but every Chennai hospital is competing for media space that they are the first in something….soon they might even announce: “We are the first and only hospital with 0% recovery”). Everyone else was interested in the legal, ethical and medical implications of using this method. One bright person alone acted like a school student with her science teacher.

The know-it-all journalist: Like more than 70% of any living cell is made of water. So when you freeze the egg, does it turn into ice? Won’t it die?

Doctor: No, using our rapid freezing technique, the egg will not decay

The know-it-all journalist: But if it is frozen to sub-zero temperatures it will die. Right?

The Doctor launches into a highly-complicated explanation on why the embryo is not dead. While all the journalists want the accompanying lunch and not the explanation.

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