Saturday, June 27, 2009
It's that time of the year again. I'm leaving the place I'm staying in. I'm going to be staying with a friend for a bit and then, well I don't know.
The absurd frequency with which this happens is fairly freaking disheartening and every time it does I start to appreciate the security and sheer sanity of having one home you can sort of track back to whenever you like. Even if it's just in your head.
It struck me, as always, when I went to pee and realised I'll be peeing in a new bathroom all over again. And then I'll start to get used to that loo and I'll end up moving yet again. I certainly wish things would hit me in more poetic circumstances but there you go.
These past three days I've just had my head in such an unbelievable jumble over this and honestly, what bothers me most, is that I don't have that thing a very dear friend of mine has everytime she's moving around. She'll just up and go like it's this very ordinary step. God, I wish I fucking had that. It just always kicks in too late and I end up with these couple weeks of jumble.
Michael Jackson dying hasn't particularly helped. Not that I hold it against him. But shit. It's over. No phenomenal comeback. No righting what went so wrong. Just end para, 'King of Pop' is gone. It's time like these you have to thank God we have the internet. Noone will ever forget, or even let diminish the significance of his passing, and I suppose, it's the least he deserves.
I digress. I suppose.
Sorry for the ramble/whine. Just figured a post might help the jumble go. Not worked so far.
Ah fuck it. Let's hope the next post's a little cheerier.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
These last few weeks have been possibly my most tense weeks in a while now. Some readers may know that my family's financial scene isn't the prettiest, yet somehow they maintain the same level of expectations they did when we did have money. It's admirable in a way, but it's also very frustrating, and as I mentioned worrying.
At some point after school I decided I wanted to be an idealist. The kind of person who took a job regardless of pay, as long as it was a job that fit my ethical threshold. My Father did this. After a very successful tenure as a bank manager, he realised his heart wasn't in it, so he took to a job that didn't pay well, guarantee longevity, or in fact, reward diligence. Perhaps it was bad luck and bad timing, but the point is, while he did follow his heart, it's not led him to a particularly secure place.
This scared me shitless. On the one hand, I desperately want to follow my heart and live my life without a dependance on money. On the other hand, I want a family. I want to have a nice internet connection at home. I want to be able to buy cold cuts and nice cheeses so I can have sandwiches whenever I want to. I want to randomly splurge on my wife. I don't want to be rich-rich. Just, you know comfortable.
Thing is, that takes money, and while yes principally and even morally I may be a bit more comfortable as a journalist, maybe it's worth the compromise if I can earn a decent living out of advertising. The picture isn't nearly that black and white. Sure I could earn a lot as a Journalist, and sure I could earn nothing as an ad-maker.
The bitch is that I'm so unbelievably petrified about what I should do after the year's done. Go to Australia, try for elsewhere, stay in India?
It just amazes me how we can spend so much time and energy doing things we don't particularly like or love, to the extent that we don't have anything left for what we DO like or love. And the fact that somehow, that could potentially even be worth it.
I don't know what I want, what I need, or what I should be doing. All I know is I'm at that point where I've got to make a decision that'll define everything. Sure I could change at any point, I'm not that linear to believe that the path I choose now is the path I'm stuck with. But the truth is, if I do pick the right one, it'll make shit a whole lot easier.
The only thing that's really pulling me through right now is the comic, and the fact that I've got a year to amp up my portfolio.
Growing up fucking blows.
Friday, June 12, 2009
Just a short one to let you all know that I've finally mustered up the courage to officially launch the web comic.
A few disclaimers are in order though. Firstly, the layout is rubbish but I'm working on a new banner which may take some time considering I have an exam in 2 days. Secondly, the image quality is equally rubbish and I think it's a glitch in my camera. I'll probably have to end up scanning though. I'm still in a testing phase. Thirdly, I've never done this before so if the actual strips themselves are rubbish, well let's hope and pray I learn soon.
This isn't something that'll grow into anything commercial, rather something I desperately want to do and figure it's worth the effort. At the moment it's all very rudimentary but I'm hoping I can make some progress and fast.
Anyway with much trepidation I present to you- http://rupees100.blogspot.com - a webcomic.
Credit to Anish for somehow locating the damn thing and commenting on it two whole days before I even told anyone I'd come up with a name. He is, in fact, the best.
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
My laptop cable went kaput! about a week ago and as a result I've not just missed a couple of posts, I've also ended up delaying the webcomic reveal. Hopefully I'll do it tomorrow.
Anyway, I had a long talk with an ex- professor of mine today and it sent me on a bit of a spiral thoughtwise. Inner hyperlinking if you will. And all of a sudden I realised just what my problem with Advertising as a profession really is.
I remember in Kyra's second last semester she'd done a post about how it blew that she had to write copy, convincing copy at that, about a restaurant she'd never actually been to. At that point something about the whole idea of advertising made me cringe, but it was until today that I was able to really get just what it is that irks me about it.
Imagine all the brands in a certain segment are people. They have personalities, plans, failures, achievements and quirks. Some are excellent at what they do, some are quite rubbish. But at the end of the day, the only ones who really prosper, who really last long are the ones who seem to be the best. Advertising as a profession ensures that.
Now, it's unfair to assume that all brands with good marketing are poor brands. It's equally unfair to presume they're all good. In certain segments it's reasonably fair, and in certain segments in not. Vodafone, is an amazing brand, introspective and evolving and always concerned. Their media plan reflects that and they succeed.
On the other hand Mandvi Beach in Gujarat is possibly the most beautiful beach in India, yet due to a better media plan Goa will always seem like the premier beach destination.
Al Rees and Jack Trout believe that 'perception is reality' and unfortunately they're right. If Nokia looks and sounds like a better product, then no matter what Sony Ericsson offer as a product, they'll always be at a disadvantage.
And yes, it's all very well and good to just go along with this ludicrous concept but what we're essentially doing is sacrificing a definition of better which is deeper for one that is shallower. It's bullshit. And the sad thing is, there now exists a multi-million dollar industry dedicated solely to ensuring that this concept be pushed as far as it can go.
Yes there's seven billion of us. Yes there's far too many variables and dynamics to be successfully idealistic anymore, but what bothers me is the flagrant ease with which awesome pure ideals are dropped.
I'm not saying advertising is all nasty. The creative process involved in brand building and the insight derived from analysing consumers is amazing. The kind of work some firms put into humanizing products and brands is incredible. The way stuff like Saatchi and Saatchi's lovemarks extends to better management or the way Audi and Honda ads can leave people with their mouths gaping, is not something you can scoff at.
But not only are these values rare, they honestly appear to be the exception rather than the rule. And I don't know, it kind of seems like that ever-looming air of 'nasty' that lies over advertising is neither something that'll go away too soon, but something that doesn't really deserve to.
Luke Sullivan has this joke which goes something like this:
I've just started dating a devout Christian with a very strong moral fibre. My dad's in jail convicted of murder, my mother's a madam and my three siblings are extortionists. But I'm not sure I should tell her I'm in advertising!