Monday, December 25, 2006

Trip to Jaipur - Dec 23 - 25, 2006

(Amer fort from the highway)

Another long weekend, another opportunity for a weekend getaway, so what better place to go in this chilly weather than the nearby Jaipur. We planned and got the hotel booked on the same day (i.e. 20th Dec 2006) via . Due to the peak season and our late timing all we could grab was a three star hotel (Hotel Kanchandeep, Vanasthali Marg, Sindhi Camp, Jaipur) for about Rs 5200 for a couple of nights. Though the next day we got a call from that due to some problems at the hotel end, we could not get the reservation and had to settle for another hotel in the same locality (Hotel Kohinoor, Vanasthali Marg, Sindhi Camp, Jaipur). The hotel was actually awful (more about that in another post maybe), but after the bookings had finally been confirmed we decided to take the road trip to Jaipur starting Saturday early morning.

Day - 1 , 23rd December 2006

8'O clock in the morning we finally started off for Jaipur. It was a lot more foggy than expected, but hopefully it cleared out within a couple of hours. Finally reached & checked in to the hotel at around 3:00 PM the same day and headed for a Rajasthani Thali meal nearby for 55 bucks which was really awesome. After that took a auto for 100 Rs. and headed for Jantar Mantar in the core of the city.

(Hired Auto in the pink city - Jaipur)

The experience at Jantar Mantar was really awesome, with some great time measuring and astrological tools. It's actually hard to believe that people could think in such a scientific manner with the bare minimum resources they had at their disposal at that time. A visit to Jantar Mantar is very much recommended during your stay in Jaipur. Next we headed for Hawa Mahal, but unfortunately we got late and could not get the entry (as the entry for most of the palaces, forts and other places of interest closes at around 4:30 PM.), so all we had to be content with a view from outside :-(

(Hawa Mahal)

Next we decided to head for Chowki Dhaani, which is a good 20 kms from the center of Jaipur and luckily we managed to reach there by 6 in the evening. As expected this place is actually a world apart and a heavenly experience. The entrance on that day was Rs 300 per head which included the main meal (I guess we had options of three cuisines) and most of the activities inside were for free. We were welcomed with a traditional tikka at the resort, and as soon as we entered the resort it looked like a neat and tidy village setup of Rajasthan. We were greeted by quite a few people and some of the popular activities going inside were

  • Free champi maalish for all visitors.
  • Magic shows, puppet shows etc.
  • Elephant, Camel and bullock cart rides for a very nominal ride of 20 rs per person.
  • Various games like arrow shooting etc.
  • To top it all the Rajasthani buffet dinner was really awesome.

All in all Chowki Dhaani is definitely not to be missed in your trip to Jaipur. Check some of the pics which we clicked.

(Chowki Dhaani Entrance)

(Bhul Bhulaiya)

(Shopping place in Chowki Dhaani)

(Eating area in Chowki Dhaani)

(Another view of the eating area in Chowki Dhaani)

(A Dog show in progress in Chowki Dhaani)

By around 10'o clock we were really exhausted and decided to head back to the hotel. The Jaipur road Atlas which I had bought on the way, really helped me out with finding the way back in one go ;-). So my exciting first day in Jaipur finally came to an end. Do check out my next post about the adventures on the second and third day in Jaipur.

Day - 2 , 24th December 2006

Woke up the next day in the morning and decided to visit a few forts in Jaipur. Starting off with Amer fort, leading to which was a hilly road which both of us quite enjoyed. There is also an option of taking a Camel ride up the Amer fort, but we preferred to take our car all the way up (Be prepared to drive in the narrowest of lanes if you choose this option.)

After Amer Fort, we next headed for Jaigarh fort, which holds the largest canon in the world. Some other attractions of this particular fort is that as per the legend there was a treasure inside the tank in this fort, which has now been extracted (for which you often hear stories of different versions.)

We concluded our fort visit by a short stop at Nahargarh fort, where we also had our lunch. The highlight of the fort are the nine palaces builr for the princess, plus the panoramic view of the whole Jaipur city is awesome and makes this palace definitelt worth a visit.

After this we decided to head for Chowki Dhaani in the evening again because of the great experience we had the previous night. Unfortunately being a Christmas eve, Chowki Dhaani was overcrowded and we changed are mind. We finally settled to roam around the market in MI Road and had dinner at Dasaprakash ending our second day in Jaipur.

Day - 3 , 25th December 2006
Finally it was time for holidays to get over, and we checked out of the hotel at 10 in the morning and were back at our home at 2:45 PM. So watch out for this place for my next travelogue post.

P.S. - Kudos to They took notice of the dissatisfaction which I had made against the hotel and took the required action. The bad experience in the hotel has been very well compensated by Keep it up.....

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Kabul Express - Movie Review

Movie - Kabul Express
Director - Kabir Khan
Producer - Aditya Chopra
Music Director - Raghav Sachar
Date of Release - 15th December 2006

This year has been a good one for Bollywood. Starting the year with a bang was "Rang De Basanti", continued by "Krrish", "Fanaa", "Omkara", Lage Raho Munnabhai" and to some extent by some unorthodox movies like "Khosla ka Ghosla" and "Pyar Ke Side Effects". (I know I have counted out Dhoom-2). So does Kabul Express meets the expectation and hype surrounding it ? It sure does.

The movie is all about exciting 48 hours which are spent by an Indian Journalist(Sohail Khan played by John Abraham) and his cameraman (Jai Kapoor played by Arshad Warsi) in the war-torn Kabul just after America has toppled the Taliban regime. One of the rare breed of Hindi movies which doesn't contain even a single song (I missed the starting 10 minutes of the movie, so please forgive me if it contained any song) with full marks to director Kabir Khan for keeping the viewer spellbound for flat 120 minutes. In fact one of the few movies which kept me so engrossed, that I regretted when the interval happened.

Coming back to the plot of the movie. The Indian duo above are dying to have an interview with a Taliban and in the process they end up being stuck with a Pakistani, American, Afghan and a Talbian all travelling in the same Vehicle - Kabul Express. Arshad Warsi continues with his Lage Raho Munnabhai form and his one liners gel really well with the movie. His comments on Pepsi/Coke, Imran Khan/Kapil Dev and especially Indian cigarettes look quite natural and don't hamper the flow of the movie. John Abraham is looking good in the movie, but in comparison to Arshad falls a little short. The Afghan driver and the Taliban have also done a commendable job. The locales in which the movies has been shot are excellent and the cameraman and the technical crew have also done a great job.

Overall a good watch, with which I could not find any major flaw and definitely not to be missed.

Rating - 4/5

Monday, December 11, 2006

Gmail on mobile for me .. finally

Ever since I had activated Net on Phone for Airtel prepaid account, I was trying desperately to access gmail on my mobile unsuccessfully. From what I could figure out, currently gmail officially offers 2 ways of doing so
  1. Downloading the java app on your mobile from . This currently does not work on Net on Phone , as for this you would need to subscribe to Mobile Office.
  2. Pointing your mobile browser to . This for some strange reasons works very slowly or often does not works on my Airtel NOP. Could be the configuration of my handset (Nokia 6021) or some other problems.
On searching further I found an open source web based application called gmail-mobile ( which is not official Gmail web access but works smoothly on my mobile device and has a host of features. For this you need to have a web server, with PHP support. Again for this I took the help of another open source application which helped me to install Apache2, MySql5, PHP5 without any hiccups. I have installed this on my Windows XP box, running on a 256k DSL connection. This link may also help you solve out certain issues with 'Curl' if they arise

Thanks to all these open source packages, I am finally able to use gmail on my mobile... ;-)

Friday, December 08, 2006

My experience with Sony India Audio System & Services

Had been thinking for a long time about sharing my experience with Sony Audio car systems in India. In June 2004, when I bought my new car i had a belief that Sony Audio Car systems are the best, and I went out to buy a Sony Xplod car music systems (Sony Xplod Audio Model No 3300S) with 2 front and 2 rear speakers, all with proper bills and one year warranty from a Sony Authorized Dealer

Musicar ( West) 25100600
Bali Nagar, West Delhi

Things worked great for about year and a half (except some skipping, which could be attributed to the bad roads in Delhi). In February 2006 (Barely a year and a half I bought the player) the car CD player stopped playing quite a few cd's. Then I decided to take the system to a Sony Authorized Service Center

Star Electronics
2/3 West Patel Nagar (basement)
Tel: (011) 25884450, 25884451

(This is now shifted to Naraina)

First of all, the people at the service center don't have the skills to remove the player from the car, and I had to get it done from a nearby shop (where a small kid could do that tough job in a few minutes) . After giving them the player to check the problem I got a call from the Service Center that the CD lens need to be repaired for which I would need to shell out around 2500 Rs. I enquired that will I get any warranty on the lens, which i s being repaired. I was told no, the only warranty I would get is on labour of service which would be also valid for 30 days. I had a talk with Sony Customer Care via the phone and e-mail and got the same response. Having no other option except believing that Sony Authorized Center would be installing a genuine Sony lens (rather than a refurbished one) I got my Sony Car Audio repaired for a bill of approx Rs. 2700. I took the delivery of this set in the first week of March and as is the norm had to get it installed back into the car from another shop.

Barely eight months after the incident in October 2006, the same problem started cropping up again in my set. I had no other option but took my set back to the same Sony Authorized Center (obviously following the same protocol of first getting it removed from some other shop), and after a day got a call from the Authorized Center that I would need to get the lens replaced again. When I told them that I had got it done barely 8 months back, the reply that I got was that there is no warranty on spare parts, so we can't do anything. Strange to believe that a Sony CD lens does not last for more than eight months. Nevertheless I got the CD player back from the Authorized Center without getting it repaired and have been following up with Sony India people via e-mail as given below

  1. 17th October 2006, Dropped email to Got a response same day to provide my contact no so that the concerned person could look into the matter.
  2. 17th October 2006, Replied back to the previous mail specifying my contact number.
  3. 18th October 2006, Got a mail from Sony India , that they had assigned one person to look into the matter and do the needful accordingly.
  4. 20th October 2006, Didn't hear anything from Sony India or the assigned person. Dropped a reminder to Sony India. Got no reply.
  5. 4th November 2006, Still didn't hear anything from Sony India. Dropped second reminder. Got no reply.
  6. 25th November 2006, Dropped another mail to Sony India. Got no reply..
  7. 26th November 2006. Dropper another email to id also. As usual got no reply.

After this experience, I would not like to make any decision or comments about Sony India, especially the after sales service. It's for you, the consumers to judge what's good or bad for us and make a prudent decision rather than just going blindfolded after a well known brand . FYI - I dumped that Sony Audio System and went ahead to buy a Pioneer music system, which hopefully should be having a good after sales service based on my experience with Autocop India. (As a matter of fact Pioneer music systems are being distributed in India by Autocop).

January 3, 2007 update

Got a call from Sony, and they confirmed my details and told me that they would come back to me after having a talk with the service center.

January 12, 2007 update
No response from Sony as of now after their call on January 3, 2007.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Hats off to Autocop India

After the horrible experience I had with Sony India (Will post the complete details later), next it was my turn to try out the services of Autocop India. Actually the remote of my car security system had stopped functioning for the past few months. It was bought in June 2004, and I was just too lazy to get it repaired.

Yesterday as I had taken a day off from office, I planned to finally get it repaired and was very much ready to pay for it. I took the Autocop manual along with me so that if the service center needed some more details regarding the Car Security System, it is easily accessible.

Finding Autocop service center in Naraina wasn't too tough esp. after help from the shop owner from whom I bought a brand new Pioneer Music System (Yeah.. no more Sony for me) last week. As soon as I reached their service center I was made to fill up a form specifying my details. Next a service engineer accompanied me to my car, saw that there is a problem with the remote and gave me a new one configured for my car in less than 5 minutes. To top it all it was all covered under guarantee (or warranty, am not too sure at the moment) as Autocop car system comes with a 3 year warranty which I wasn't aware of even though I had the warranty card present in the manual which I had luckily got with myself.

Hence this way after months of apprehension I finally got Autocop working back on my car with minimal effort and zero expenditure. Kudos to Autocop India for this, and I hope that other companies also follow the same after sales service model if they really want to retain their customers.

For your reference contact info for AutoCop is available in the link below

Monday, December 04, 2006

My Pick - The best of Guru

After doing rounds after rounds of listening to Guru's Music for the past two weeks, undoubtedly all the songs are real gems. But one song which really outshines the other is "Jaage Hain". The lyrics are really soulful and the vocal start of the song with minimal music is highly complemented by the chorus ending of the song. A.R. Rahman's voice is undoubtedly the highlight of the song and the more you hear this song, the more it grows on you. This song has a typical Rahman effect and is definitely the one to watch out for after the release of the movie.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Airtel Net on Phone Update

In continuation with my previous post, just checked out with the Customer Care guys, currently for Delhi circle in prepaid only Net On Phone is being offered and Mobile Office is still not available. Though mobile office is available for most of the other circles in pre paid. Lets hope that it also gets offered in Delhi soon.


Friday, December 01, 2006

Airtel providing net on phone (NOP) for prepaid subscribers in Delhi

Finally something to cheer for Airtel prepaid subscribers. Now they could also have access to Internet for a monthly fees of 99 Rs. Though you are able to view both WAP and regular HTML (non wap ) sites, I am unable to use any other applications which use the Internet (like messengers, gmail app) etc. To access full GPRS capabilities you need to use Mobile Office which is generally charged at either 399 or 499 per month (not sure about the figure), in addition I stll need to confirm that whether it's being offered for pre paid customers.

1/28/08 Update

Airtel is now not charging any monthly fees for the same, but now you can directly use Airtel Live settings to browse the whole internet at the charges of 15 paise for 10 kb (Check the Airtel Live portal to get the exact rates).

Just waiting for the mobile office charges from Airtel to come down (from the current 500 ) to something which I can actually manage ;-).

Monday, November 27, 2006

Dhoom 2 Movie Review....

Hritik shines in the illogical sequel...

Movie - Dhoom 2
Director - Sanjay Gadhvi
Producer - Aditya Chopra
Music Director - Pritam
Date of Release - 24th November 2006

This has been a year of sequels, starting with Krrissh, Phir Hera Pheri, Lage Raho Munnabhai and finishing off the year with Dhoom 2. So does Dhoom 2 meets the expection and the hype created around itself ? As per me it does not. Amongst the many problems with the films are most of the songs which are not needed and tend to break the momentum of the movie.

The movie starts off with an exciting theft sequence in Africa, which does match up to some extent to the Hollywood standards. After that it is a journey of various robberies by Hritik assisted by a good looking Aishwarya Rai. The duo of Jai-Ali (Abhishek - Uday Chopra) has been retained in the movie, with a special appearance by the Rimi Sen.
Bipasha Basu also looks awesome in the begining of the movie, but somehow her characterisation is not well sketched up and she loses focus by the second half of the movie.

Where the film clicks is the way Hritik has been portrayed in the movie with some cool and different looks, doing some death defying stunts. Hritik as usual has given some awesome dance performances which might attract a lot of yougsters. The picturization is good with background music adding to the whole environment at times.

Where the film fails are most of the songs which break the flow of the movie. Abhishek - Uday are not sharing the same level of chemistry as in the first part. Bipasha Basu's role is underutilized and to top it all the end is quite illogical and a I left the hall quite disappointed. Without revealing much I can say that if the movie had ended 10 minutes earlier it would have had definitely made for a better watch.

All in all not a bad movie, but had a potential of becoming a super hit which has gone wasted.

Movie Rating - 3.5/5

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Guru Music Review...

Movie - GURU
Director - Mani Ratnam
Music Director - A.R. Rahman
Lyrics - Gulzar

Finally managed to lay hands on the Guru CD as my college examinations were keeping me busy for the past few days. Just writing the review below for the movie after a couple of hearings and honestly it was an awesome experience which is bound to grow on you.

Track -1 , Barso Re - Shreya Ghosal, Uday Mazumdar

The album starts with one of the typical A.R. Rahman tracks. This one really grows on you, and after 4-5 hearings you are bound to be spellbound. The "dhan na re, na na re, na na re na na re" vocal by Shreya ia awesome and is the highlight of the song. The variety of instruments used for the songs is also good adding to the total experience.

Rating 7.5/10

Track -2 , Tere Bina - A.R. Rahman, Chinamayee
A.R. Rahman back to what he does best, singing on his own tunes. This song is undoubtedly a masterpiece. A.R. Rahman's voice gels with the music so well and this song takes you back to the "Lukka Chuppi" song from Rang De Basanti. The alaap done from 1:35 - 1:55 is out of this world. This song which has been used in the promos is bound to be a super hit.
Rating 9/10
Track - 3 , Ek Lo Ek Muft - Bappi Lahri, Chitra
To be very honest, I am disappointed by this song. I had huge expectations of this song, since I heard that Bappi Lahri had sung for A.R. Rahman in Guru (and Bappi Lahri was afresh from the success of Taxi No 9211). But to the best this is just an ordinary song, which might catch up once the movie releases as this is rumoured to be the title song.
Rating 5/10
Track - 4 , Mayya- Maryam Troller, Chinamayee, Keerthi
A good item number in which A.R. Rahman does good justice in the use of various instruments. A catchy tune with smart use of instruments will make this song a hit in various discos and pubs across the country. Maryam has a good voice which suits the mood of the song quite well. Would be interesting to see how the song has been pictured on Mallika Sherawat.
Rating 7/10
Track - 5 , Ay Hairathe- Hariharan, Alka Yagnik
This song similar to "Tere Bina" song also starts with the voice of A.R.Rahman singing the tone as "dum dara dum ...." The tabla interluding this song gives it a classical feel. In addition this song also has a bit of crackling song ( A.R. Rahman did the same with some of his previous song to which he wanted to give a periodic look) which even confused to believe that I had a a faulty cd. A slow number which has been sung beautifully by Hariharan as usual well supported by Alka Yagnik. This one is also a sure shot hit amongst the crowds.
Rating 8.5/10
Track - 6 , Baazi Laga- Udit Narayan, Madhushree, Swetha, Bhargavee
More of a situational song with some pacy fast music. Udit has given good vocals. Nothing much about the song except that should catch up as the movie releases. The lyrcis by Gulzar are quite good and gives the whole song a form of a story.
Rating 6.5/10
Track - 7 , Jaage Hain- Chitra, A.R. Rahman, Madras Chorale Group
A slow good song by A.R. Rahman. Chitra is awesome in this song, but A.R. Rahman voice in this song is undoubtedly the focal point of this song which adds the extra punch to this song. One of those songs which could actually give goosebumps in your stomach after a few listening.
Rating 8.5/10
Overall a great album by A.R. Rahman although I would still rate Rang De Basanti a bit higher than this album.
Final Album Rating - 7.5/10

Monday, November 06, 2006

Current status of Preparations..

Strategy - By today night hopefully, should have gone through the notes once.
Advertising Management - Done three topics out of around 10 topics.
Consumer Behaviour - Done three topics out of around 10 topics.
Managing Across Culture - Yet to start.
So you can clearly see that the situation is quite grim at the moment.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Another 10 days to go...

Just another 10 days to go for the exams. Just tried out the new service today It allows me to even receive emails on the domains which I have bought (like for free. This seems a real cool service.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Bigg Boss Rocks..

Big Boss Rocks. Starting just 11 days before my examinations, I did not miss even a single minute of it.  Showing at 10 PM on Mon-Thu & 9 PM on Fridays.. this one is sure gonna be a big hit. Check this out

Exams Just another 11 days away..

Keeping three days for the first paper, it leaves me with eight days. Plan to cover strategy in three days which includes the weekend. Advertising Management on 6th & 7th. 8th , 9th & 10 for Consumer Behaviour & Managing Across Cultures. Please please. let me pass this time toooooo....

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Ogilvy On Advertising - Book Review

As a part of my college assignment, I did a book review of the great book "Ogilvy On Advertising". I got a A+ in this assignment (probably for the first time in this college). So here it comes.
"At 60 miles an hour the loudest noise in this new Rolls Royce comes from the electric clock".


This was one of the genius advertisements developed by David Ogilvy for Rolls Royce in the initial days of O&M which was a huge success. In this book, David Ogilvy talks about advertising, what works, what doesn't. This book also talks about how to run ad advertising agency, getting clients and the importance of research. The book concludes with a discussion of discussing advertising in America vs. some other countries, and also some people who shaped the face of modern advertising.


All in all, as David Ogilvy himself mentions "This is not a book for readers who think they already know all there is to be known about advertising. It is for young hopefuls – and veterans who are still in search of ways to improve their batting average at the cash registers."


For the purpose of book review, I have divided the discussion in three parts. The first part discusses all about advertising agencies, how to run them and how to fetch clients. The second part talks all about various types of advertisements and what makes them click? The final part talks about Ogilvy's view on marketing.

Ogilvy on Advertising Agencies


Jobs in Advertising

In his book David talks about various jobs in advertising. He mentions that in the initial years "What you learn is more important than what you earn." Some of the opportunities available are as follows

1.      Copywriters

2.      Art Directors

3.      Account Executives

4.      Researchers

5.      Media

6.      Chief Executive Officer


Here David also mentions certain tips to keep in mind while applying for a job, which may be summarized as follows.

1.      Spelling the name of the client right.

2.      Identifying the type of job applying for.

3.      Being specific and factual.

4.      Be personal, direct & natural.

5.      Proposing a specific next step.


Running an advertising Agency

As per David, hiring plays a very critical role in determining the success of an advertising agency. The importance which David gives to hiring can be very well justified by the fact that whenever a person is appointed to head on office in the O&M chain, David sends a set of Russian dolls, in which a series of dolls are inserted in a doll slightly bigger ones. In the smallest doll, David has the following message "If each of us hires people who are smaller than we are, we shall become a company of dwarfs, but if each of us hires people who are bigger than we are, O&M will become a company of giants."


In addition David restrained from hiring friends, client's children, own children or people who have been successful in other fields.


In addition he also offered the following tips regarding the same

1.      Never allow two people to do a job, which one can do.

2.      Never summon people to office, instead go to see them in their offices unannounced.

3.      Communicate verbally, if you want to get into action.

4.      Avoid using products, which compete with your client products. (When David got his Rolls Royce account, he followed the same rule)

5.      Never allow yourself the luxury of writing letters of complaint. It would become very difficult to ever get their account.


Getting clients

As per David, the easiest way to get clients is to do good advertising. Some tips which David offers to advertising agencies pursuing clients are as follows

1.      Mix up with the client teams in the meeting and avoid sitting in groups.

2.      Listen, listen & listen

3.      Tell your client about your weak points, before they can find it out for you.

4.      Never pay a commission to an outsider who offers to introduce new business.

5.      Try advertising yourself, it works.


Ogilvy on Advertising


Producing advertising that sells.

In the book David mentions that wrong advertising can often reduce the sales of a product. Hence it is very important for us to understand what all can make an advertisement click.

1.      Do your homework – Study the product that you are going to advertise. E.g. When O&M got the Mercedes account; David sent a team to Daimler-Benz headquarters in Stuttgart. They spent three weeks taping interviews with engineers. From this came a campaign of long, factual advertisements which increased Mercedes sales in the United States from 10,000 cars a year to 40,000.

2.      Positioning – David defined positioning as "what the product does, and who it is for" . David chose to position Dove as a toilet bar for women with dry skin, and it's still working for more than 25 years.

3.      Brand Image – Every advertisement should be thought of as a contribution to the brand image i.e. the personality of the product.

4.      The big idea – Big ideas for advertisement are hard to find, but any advertisement with a big idea is bound to work. To recognize   that whether you have the big idea we would need to answer the following questions

a.      Did it make you gasp when you first saw it?

b.      Do you wish you thought of it myself?

c.      Is it unique?

d.      Does it fit the strategy to perfection?

e.      Could it be used for thirty years?

5.      Make the product a hero – Whenever you can, you should try to make the product a hero.

6.      Repeat your winners – If you are lucky enough to write a good advertisement, repeat it until it stops selling. As per David we are not advertising to a standing army but to a moving parade.

7.      Pursuit of knowledge – As per David the only difference between good advertisers and the not so good advertisers is that the good one knows more. Research before advertising goes a long way to ensure that the advertisement succeeds.

8.      Cult of creativity – In advertisement terminology David says that 'If it doesn't sell, it isn't creative" . An advertisement which has an original idea but does not succeed is of no use. You should be trying to make the advertisements which would sell and not just try being original.


Print Advertising.

Agency people find making television commercials far more exciting than making advertisements for newspapers and magazines. David goes on to uncork some of the things which he has learnt about print advertising over the years

1.      Headlines – For lanolin as a cure for baldness " Have you ever seen a bald headed sheep "? For a pile remedy "Send us your dollar and we'll cure your piles, or keep your dollar and keep your piles ". Both these are from the David's favorites headlines of advertisements. Ad per David on an average five times as many people read the headlines as the body copy. So it does make sense to pay special attention while creating headlines. The headlines which work best are the ones which promise the user a benefit. Also the headline which contains news is sure-fire.  In addition specifics work better than generalities and when we put our headlines in quotes we increase recall by an average of 28 %.

2.      Illustrations – The author described various ways of making illustrations working for an advertisements, some of the important ones are as follows

a.      Subject of the illustration is important.

b.      The kind of photographs which works hardest is those which arouse the reader's curiosity.

c.      Make your package the subject of the illustration.

d.      Photographs attract more attention than drawings.

e.      The use of characters known to people is better.

f.        It pays to demonstrate the end result of the product.

g.      Keep the illustrations as simple as possible

h.      Do not assume that the subjects which will interest us, would interest the consumer.

i.        Historical subjects bore major of the readers.

j.         Advertisements in color are mot memorable than the one in black and white.

3.      Body Copy – Whether or not a person reads a body copy basically depends on the kind of product you are advertising, and how many people have been enticed into your ad by your illustration and headline. In addition the following points should be kept in mind while creating a body copy

a.      Average readership of Body Copy is around 5%

b.      Write your ad in the form of a story and a language which is easy to understand for a common man.

c.      Avoid using analogies as user at times is unable to complete those analogies.

d.      Testimonials generally have a higher recall rate.

e.      For great products long copies work.

f.        The more facts you tell, the more you sell

4.      Layouts – The major point which needs to be kept in mind while designing your advertisement is that the headlines below illustration are read 10% more than headlines above illustration.

5.      Typography – The main point to derive from this section is that white on black is relatively difficult to read compared to black on white.



Making TV commercials that sells.


In today's age TV commercials plays a very critical role in the success of any kind of advertising campaign. As per the author some of the advertisement which fare above average are

1.      Humor

2.      Slice of life

3.      Testimonials (those showing loyal users)

4.      Demonstrations which shows how well your product performs.

5.      Problem solutions

6.      Talking heads

7.      Characters

8.      Reason why

9.      News

10. Emotion

and those which fail are as follows

1.      Testimonials by celebrities.

2.      Cartoons

3.      Musical vignettes


Miracle of research in advertising.

As per the author advertising people who ignore research are as dangerous as generals who ignore decodes of enemy signals. In his book David suggests 18 miracles research can perform for you

1.      It can measure the reputation of your company among consumers.

2.      Research can estimate the sales of new product, and the advertising expenditures required to achieve maximum profits.

3.      Research can get consumer reactions to a new product when it is still in the conceptual stage.

4.      Once a product is ready for market, research can tell you how consumers rate it compared with the products they are now buying.

5.      Research can tell you what formulation, flavor, fragrance and color would appeal most to the consumers.

6.      Research can find out, which of the several package designs will sell best.

7.      Research can help you decide the optimum positioning for your product.

8.      Research can define your target audience.

9.      It can find out what factors are most important in the purchase decision.

10. Research can determine what line extension is likely to sell best.

11. Research can warn you when consumers show signs of finding an established product less desirable than it once was.

12. Research can save you time and money by reading your competitor's test market.

13. Research can determine the most persuasive promise.

14. Research can tell you, which of several premiums will work best.

15. Research can tell you whether your advertisement communicates what you want it to communicate.

16. Research can tell you which of the several advertisement commercials will sell the best.

17. Research can tell you how many people read your advertisement and how many remember them.

18. Research can settle arguments.

Ogilvy on Marketing


Various aspects of marketing which plays an important role in how a product may fare are as follows


1.      As per David 35% of the sales come from products which did not existed 10 years back. Hence developing new products is essential.

2.      Naming the product also plays an essential role in determining its future.

3.      Sleeping Beauties – Products like Hershey, which were working quite well without advertising. Advertising gave it a big boost.

4.      Don't waste time on problem babies, i.e. instead of trying to revive sick products worry about making successful products more successful.

5.      Don't spend too much on promotions as generally it gives only a short term kick to the product.

6.      Don't stop marketing in recession, it will kill the product. Studies of last six recessions have demonstrated that companies which do not cut back their advertising budgets achieve greater increases in profits than companies which do cut back.

7.      Target the heavy users.(As mentioned in the book 14% of the people who drink Gin consumer 80% of all the Gin)





Through the medium of this book, the author has offered various tips on advertising, how to run marketing companies, advertising for print, advertising for television. The book is supported by various advertisements alongwith their detailed descriptions.  


Since the book has been written a little while back, it gives maximum well on the print media and also does good justice to television and radio. There is no mention of the Internet as an advertising media, which in today's generation undoubtedly cannot be missed out.


To conclude the book is definitely a must for all who are interested in the fields of advertising, or want to pursue a career in advertising. In addition the book would also be interested to regular readers (though some chapters may not be required by them) who want to gain insights of advertising.

Monday, October 16, 2006

"Ram" - the ballet by Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra

People who haven't seen this are really missing something in life. This is the story of Lord Ram in the form of a ballet, presented by Shriram Bhartiya Kala Kendra and is currently in its 50th year. Tickets though a bit expensive (Ranging from Rs. 100 - Rs. 500) but are definitely worth the value. I guess its on till October 19th (or maybe 17th). Do check this thing out whenever you get time.

Run Delhi Run...

Just came back after a grueling run in the "Great Delhi Run" as a part of the "Hutch Delhi Half Marathon", starting from Jawaharlal Nehru at 9:30 AM on 15th October. The race was flagged off by honourable Shiela Dikshit, and quite a few celebrities like Juhi Chawla & Rahul Bose could be seen on the track. I wouldn't say that the arrangements were up to the mark, a few more directions would definitely have been helpful for parking, and the waiting areas.
Nevertheless on the whole it was quite an enjoyable experience, in which I managed to cover the 7 kms stretch in an hour and 2 minutes. See you all in the next Hutch Delhi Half Marathon. Till then bye bye.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Dushhera Rocks this year too.

Probably a little late for a Dusshera blog post, but nevertheless here it comes. This year again Dushhera was as rocking as any other year. Luckily we got an entry into the sitting area without any passes (as usual), probably having Gunit (my wife) along with me helped as it gave me a decent look. There were lots of fireworks and crowds adding to the experience. See the video below...

What was missing this year was the customary gathering of relatives at our home, due to some reasons or the others. On the positive side I got to eat all the sweets and the snacks which we had got for them.

Looking fwd to post a couple of Diwali Mela Blogs as soon as I visit them. Till then keep blogging.....

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Print Digital Photos Online

Came across a good site for printing online photographs. The quality and rates are quite good and I have tried it. The results are also good. I guess this site is targetting Indians residing outside the countries for sending in hard copies of the photographs.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Some more Pending Reviews

Have been keeping a bit busy lately.. not sure why though.. So below I am posting three pending reviews of movies which I had seen in the past few months as quickly as I can

Pyar Ke Side Effects
"O Pape Pyar karke pachtaaya....," lekin movie dekh ki nahi. Nice & Sweet movie definitely a watch. Could have gone on to become a major hit if the second half had some better editing (The movie drags at times in the second half).

Another gem of a movie from the kitty of Naegsh Kuknoor. You would enjoy the movie, if you are the types who love seeing a little serious or off track movies. Surprisingly Ayesha Takia did put a good show, supported well by Shreyas & Gul.

Khosla ka Ghosla
This movie had some great reviews, but after seeing the movie I felt the movie had a great oppurtunity which has somehow gone wasted. It had a good story, some great actors.. and also has some funny moments. but certainly does not meets my expecations. An average movie which you can watch it you have some time over the weekend.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Trip To Agra

I was looking forward to my trip to Agra on 1st October 2006, as mentioned in one of my previous posts, but it did not start off as smoothly as expected .. but All's Well That Ends Well... what do you say ?

To start off. .we had to catch a train from Hazrat Nizzamudin Station at 7:15 in the morning. We were in the station at around 6:40 AM, but to our shock and dismay the parking was full well before we reached there (and it took more than 15 mins as we were stuck in a traffic jam, outside the parking area). Somehow we managed to park the outside the dhaba requesting the dhaba owner to take care of it (not too sure whether we would be able to see the car again in the evening…;-)

The train journey was comfortable enough and probably one of the aspect of the whole trip for which I cannot complain. In my past few trips have noticed, that Indian Railways are definitely improving. Love Laalu or hate him, but I sincerely believe that he has been doing a great job.

As soon as we got down in the station I bumped into one of my good friends, who was also in town for a day tour of Agra, so now we had to take a cab which could accommodate 6 people instead of 4. Unluckily we got so phyced out by the greedy taxi drivers into believing that no cab in Agra is allowed to carry more than 4 passengers, be it an Indica or Qualis (I still can’t believe that I believed this stuff.). Anyways we had to part ways and took 2 different cabs( we took a pre paid Qualis for 950 bucks, more about that later) to start a day long journey into the histories Agra city.

Next we started off to Fatehpur Sikri to witness the two great piece of architectures of the Mughals, the Fathehpur and the Sikri. I was really awestuck by the beauty of the places. We took a guide for 100 bucks, which was really worth it. We also put a “chadar” at the “dargah” and tied threads so that for our “mannats”. The best part of this place were small kids reciting cool “shers” in exchange for 5 or 10 Rs. This thing was real cool…
(Pic 1 - Fatehpur - Palaces of one of the queens , Pic -2 -The parrots here supposedly had diamonds embedded in their heads. As per the guide Britishers took away each of these diamonds, which can be seen in the photographs.)
(Pic -1 – This is where Tansen used to sing a Raag, now I am doing the needful ;-). Pic -2 – All of us outside the dargah).
(The Buland Darwaaza)
Next, our destination was The Agra Fort. By this time the sun was as it’s maximum was we were a bit too tired, hence could not enjoy this place much. This place is gem of a beauty and the best part was the view of the ‘Great Taj Mahal” from this Agra Fort. Another important part of this fort is the underground tunnel which links this fort with the Red Fort in delhi (Unfortuenately this is blocked now, so all of you who were thinking of taking this way instead by road , rail or by air ..s orry)

(Pic-1 The view of Taj Mahal from the Agra Fort. Pic -2 The Diwan-e-aam at the Agra Fort)
(Still some gold is visible on the pillars of Diwan-e-aam. Another important point about this Diwan-e-aam is that it was constructed in such a way , that a drop of a pin could be heard several hundreds of feet away.)

Next we headed for lunch at Dasaprakash (food was awesome, but the service was pathetic. Nothing took them less than 15 mins, from bringing a glass of water to serving ice cream. The only thing which they managed to do a little faster was to get the cheque) and got the third jolt of out trip – our cab was missing and all of a sudden we were given an Indigo without any intimation. We were furious, but had to cool down as we had no other option at that time (as it was already 4 courtesy Dasaprakash , and we had to reach the station latest by 6:30 after watching Taj mahal). So we headed for the Taj now. Reached the paschimi gate and the line was at least 500 metres long. “here goes out Agra trip” I thought. But suddenly I wass surrounded by guides, who told me they could get me in from some South Gate, which was a privileged gate for guides and didn’t had a big line. They were asking for a hefty price of 200 Rs. Finally I settled for 50 Rs and entered the Taj Mahal from the south gate. (I had to deposit my mobile in the south gate cloak room, but luckily the cameras were allowed).
Honestly “Taj Mahal” is an awesome place to be. What we have seen in movies, photographs is a lot different than the feeling which we get after actually visiting Taj. We were there for around 30 mins, also getting a customary photo of being larger than Taj or pushing one of the pillars;-)

Next, we headed back to the station. Had a fight with the pre paid taxi people (who paid us back 100 Rs, which we had been overcharged). Boarded the train back to Delhi and were happy enough to find our car in one piece. Paid the dhaba guys 50 bucks and headed back home. So this is all about my Tak trip. Some word of caution for people who are planning to go to Taj in the near future

· Never plan to park your car in Hazrat Nizzamudin station. Parking situation is really tricky there. It would be better if you use the auto.
· Try Shatabdi if you need a little more time in Agra. You would get approx 11 hours in Agra if you use Shatabdi both way compared to 8 hours you get by Taj Express.
· Never get physced out by the taxi people out there. Always pay whats printed on the board. They will try to insist that its an older board, but don’t come into this trap.
· Don’t forget a hat/cap, sunglasses and sun protection lotion.
· Avoid going in the summers. It gets too hot.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Rang De Basanti is India's official entry in the Oscars

The news is out. Rang De Basanti is India's official entry into the Osacars and would be fighting for its place in the cataegory of Best Foreign Film. All the best RDB....

Gandhigiri Rocks... but can it work ?

Gandhigiri Rocks... But can it work ?

"Lage Raho Munnabhai" has surely gone in a big way to coin a new term "Gandhigiri" and if you are one of those people like me who have already seen the movie multiple times "Gandhigiri" would seem an in thing to you and it sure rocks. But coming out of the theatre yesterday evening I was in a dilemma. Gandhigiri sure does rocks, but can it work ?

Gandhigiri talks about truth & non violence. Talking about it, in todays world can we actually live our leave peacefully following it. I am in no way opposing the thougts of a great person like "Mahatam Gandhi" nor I am questioning the intentions of the movie "Lage Raho Munnabhai". All I am trying to list down are some things which we all need to do for the implementation of Gandhigiri

 Truth means no piracy --> No illegal mp3 songs or illegal downloads.

  1. I am not too sure about this, but for that matter even getting photostat copies of books would be illegal.
  2. No unlicensed softwares on our PC. (As per a google search 35% of software installed on PC was illegal. India's piracy rate is still a whopping 72%)
  3. No road-rage i.e. no abuses to other verhicles/their drivers. (Is this possible ;-))
  4. No corruption to Office babus --> i.e. getting your license, passports, Marriage Certification etc. without paying a single paise of Bribe.
  5. Never lie to your boss, spouse, parents, children, friends & most importantly yourself.
 And the list goes on..... In the end I concluded that though it might be almost next to impossible to implementing 100% Gandhigiri what we all may try is that to the best of our ability be truthful, honest and support non-violence. An example cited in a film (which shows that a person is spitting outside the door of another person, and the second person very happily cleans his door) may look very impossible to do. But if we inspect a little more closely we may realize that there are quite a few things which we can still do and make Gandhiji proud like being honest, truthful & shouldn't be afraid.

With this thought I end this post, Jai Hind.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Trip to Agra on 1st October 2006

Just planned a day long trip to Agra on 1st October 2006. Eagerly looking forward to the trip, and would definitely blog my trip ASAP.
Take Care

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Lage Raho Munnabhai - Second Watch

Just came back after having a second watch of "Lage Raho Munnabhai" in PVR Naraina. Needless to say I was awestruck with the second watch of the movie too. Time flew past quickly as I was busy engrossed in the antics of Munna & Circuit alongwith the well fed dose of "Gandhigiri" (which is not at all loud) and actually strikes a chord with your heart.

I need to mention again that the song "Bande me tha dum..." really falls in synch with the storyline and keeps the awesome movie alive...

All in all Lage Raho Munnabhai..........

Saturday, September 09, 2006

The Hutch Delhi Half Marathon

Check out this link
The Hutch Delhi Half Marathon. I have already enrolled for the same (obvioulsy for the "Great Delhi  Run"  which streches for 7 kms) alongwith my family. If you guys/galz are in Delhi check it out. The event is happening on 15th October 2006. So see you guys there.....
Take Care

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Going for another show of Lage Raho Munnabhai

Just booked tickets for another watch of Lage Raho Munnabhai this Sunday. Really looking forward to that experience again ;-). Will write another review after watching the movie :-)

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Munnabhai finally hits the multiplexes

Good news for all movie lovers like me. Check this out ....

Lage Raho Munnabhai - Review

Lage Raho Munnabhai (LRM) is definitely one of those movies, in which you go inside the theatre with high expectations and this time you are not disappointed. In my opinion this is probably one of those movies in which the second movie of the sequence (not the sequel) is better than the first one.

So what's the movie all about ? Without divulging much about the plot LRM is all about Munna falling in love with a RJ Jhanvi(Vidya Balan). Alongwith Circuit(Arshad Warsi) this time Munna takes up the role of a professor with a lot of Gandhism being prophesized.

From the beginning to the end, nothing wrong can be found out from the movie. Everybody has played their role to perfection with Arshad Warsi doing the best act till date of his lifetime. The characterization is perfect well supported by a strong screenplay. The songs are melodious and situational and does not break the flow of the movie. The song "Bande me tha dum - Vande Mataram" sure deserves an applause, for it's catchy and meaningful lyrics in Munna style.

All in all it's money well spent, if you go to watch LRM. I did it once yesterday and for sure would be going for another watch next weekend. I would like to end this review by saying "Lage Raho Munnabhai..."

Friday, September 01, 2006

Munnabhai Lage Raho -- First Review


This is the first review I found for the movie "Munnabhai Lage Raho", courtesy MSN-India.

After reading the review, looks like this movie is sure gonna be a winner. Lets hope it lives up to it's expectations. A detailed review in my words after I see the movie tomorrow.

Take care.....

"Lage Raho Munnabhai" may not play in all multiplexes

Check this out
I checked out the PVR website and till this time, they had no shows for the above mentioned movie. Lucky for me I booked the tickets at Satyam and they are definitely screening the movie.

The day ends

The day finally ends today after a "shockingly" Surprise Test for Strategy in college. I actually had no strategey for the test and could barely attempt 23 our of total of 43 questions. Hopefully would get some more oppurtunities to cover it up.

And btw did I told you.. my buddy Sumit is here for a couple of days before going to UK. We had a great time playing Scrabble in Barrista (With me winning as usual) followed by a dose of chocolate Pan, from near Priya's Cinema (Vasant Vihar). Trust me if you haven't tried chocolate paan.. you are missing a lot in life.....

Thats all for the day I guess.. hope to see you all very soon with a great lively post again.. Bye and TC.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

My First Blog Post

Hi All,

Feels great to be entering the world of blogging. With this I would like to keep the world updated with some of the various happenings in my life both good and bad, interesting & boring. Honestly don't think that I would be able to match any of the good bloggers' whose site I have been viewing lately-- but honestly I don't even intent that. I just love the concept of

To start going to watch "Lage Raho Munnabhai" on Saturday morning. Hope it comes out to be a good affair, rather than being a dampner. Am a great movie buff and would like to watch at least 2-3 movies a week, but at times am actually unable to meet the target. In addition am working for a MNC in Gurgaon. In addition currently in the final year of pursuing MBA from one of the most prestigious B-School in the country.

More about me later. Till then chill out and enjoy life.