Thursday, July 30, 2009

Harry Potter Vs. Lord of The Rings

To be honest, until now, I didn't like Harry Potter series. I did see the first part when it was released but wasn't that impressed. On the other hand, I immediately like the Lord of the Rings. I like it so much that I saw all the three parts back-to-back. For a long time, I carried my prejudice against the Potter boy.

I sensed the growing euphoria with every edition of JK Rowling's masterpiece. I am not sure why but I was always euphemistic.

I do not who but someone made a very positive comment about Harry Potter. That comment made me change my outlook. The person said that JK Rowling's biggest contribution is that it has made children take up reading books. Kids who were hooked up to TV and PC, now are enthralled by the happenings in magical world of Hogwarts.

I, now, decided to watch Harry Potter 6. I also decided to catch up with Prisoner of Azkaban, Goblet of Fire and Order of Phoenix. I hadn't watched any franchise after Chamber of Secrets and Sorcerer's Stone. Now, I do appreciate JK Rowling's work. Amidst the many wand moments, HP does convey the time-tested story of Good Vs. Evil.

Though, I still believe that Lord of the Rings does better. Not taking anything away from Potter, JRR Tolkien has done a better job in conveying messages of unity in diversity, the resolve of mind and the constant struggle between the mind and the heart.

While I was discussing the movie with Sonia, I felt that LOTR and HP are very similar to our own Mahabharat and Ramayanam.

Would today's kids take to reading our own epics? Will these two epics ever reach the popularity worldwide as contemporary epics have attained?

Some sleek marketing is required!

Monday, July 20, 2009

ZooZoos SACKED? Not A Salesman

During the IPL season, if there was one thing (or should I say something) that kept many glued to the TV sets were the ZooZoos.

Appearing to be animations, at first, ZooZoos were cute creatures doing funny stuff and subtly promoting Vodafone Essar's mobile services. ZooZoos became a craze amongst many. Popularity grew manifold when it was revealed that ZooZoos were not animated but real actors donning the funny costumes. It was a matter of pride for Indians as ZooZoos, we are told, were Made In India.

Vodafone was also in spotlight as people started talking about the Pug. It was speculated that the loyal follower Pug was ditched.

But did ZooZoos do the trick for Vodafone Essar? Did ZooZoos help the service provider grow faster? Faster than Airtel, the market leader?

ZooZoos did catch the attention but I don't think it led customers to take action. Out of the Attract Interest Desire Action process, Action was missed. No, they are my assumptions. The figures indicate so!

Subscriber figures published at the COAI website suggests that the net addition month-on-month basis has been dropping. No, not the subscriber base, only the net additions. The net addition figures from March 09 until June 09 are 2848096, 2772890, 2538819 and 2368891.

Is this an industry trend? Figures from COAI’s website suggest that Airtel has been able to add more subscribers than Vodafone Essar has been able to.

A caveat here, I am quite sure that the figures uploaded in COAI site need some cleansing and verification.

Coming back to ZooZoos, I think they gave a fresh face to the campaign and drew attention but I don't think they made great sales persons. The campaign has not translated into hard numbers for the group. But I don't think they can be blamed entirely.

As one of my friends put it in her Tweet, ZooZoos were great but the service is bad. Vodafone Essar may want to set their house in order or may be get the basics right.

In the meanwhile, the services of the Pug have been recalled. Whether the little Pug will do big wonders is to be seen.


1. I use Airtel and I do not have anything against any other service provider
2. The inspiration to write this post originates from my brain
3. I wish all service providers the very best in the competitive market

Dominos: 30 Minutes Or No Free Pizzas

It was quite a disheartening experience with Dominos Pizza. Let me make it clear before I recount the experience that I do like the Domino's pizza over Pizza Hut or Pizza Corner.

My team and I have been ordering Domino's, especially the Cheese Busters, pizza quite regularly from the Ashok Nagar outlet in Chennai. Last week, we ordered two pizzas from the same place to be delivered at our office in Guindy. The flyer given to us from a previous delivery mentioned that the pizzas would be delivered free, if delivery time is beyond 30 minutes.

The delivery boy did come but after an hour from the time order was placed. So, we reminded him about the delay and asked him to deliver the pizza free. The delivery boy cringed and start giving excuses. He was not ready to give it us free of cost. After some point, I called the outlet and narrated the incident to the order taker. To my suprise, the order taker also started giving reasons. One of which was that there was a 'conditions apply' clause. So, I asked him what was the condition in this case. He said that there was a heavy traffic at the outlet and hence the offer will not be valid. I reminded him that this was not informed to me when the order was taken. He didn't have much to say. He said that we could pay Rs. 250 against Rs. 400 and take the pizzas. Since, we were slightly starved, we agreed to give Rs. 200. But I was very upset.

Then a day later, I visited Dominos website and promptly registered a complaint. I must commend that a person from the outlet quickly called me up and apologized. He promised that he will give us complimentary pizza and return Rs. 200. I was quite happy.

Two days later, I redeemed the offer.

And that is where my disappointment with Dominos grew further. Since I was busy in a meeting, I asked my colleague to collect the pizza. When I returned my colleague told me that delivery guys apologized for the incident but also informed us that since they can't keep up their time (30 mins), they will not take our delivery orders from the next time.

To me it sounded as if Dominos was angry with customers for redeeming the offer. I was quite upset because if Dominos did not have the intention of keeping its promotion promise, why did it make it in the first place.

Dominos: 30 minutes or Free Pizza seems like a pure gimmick. Lying!