Aishwarya Rao
Have a $2.7 million and don’t know what to do with it? Buy a Superbowl 30 seconds spot this year.
It seems like neither the number of zeros or the fear of recession, will desist the Pepsis and Unilevers of the world from spending a few million dollars during the game.
But at this point, the argument has gone much beyond the biggest bang for the buck theory. It is less about a massive reach and more about brand ego and engagement. It is not the marketers fault that a lot is now dependent on the concept, production and execution of the ad. Catchy jingles, unforgettable characters and feel good stories are becoming redundant already. Our expectations are higher. And we are much smarter. We want a celebrity driven, highly-digitally modified and living-upto-the-hype campaigns. That will make us brand the commercials the favourite part of the game. That only bottomless purses can ensure.
This is not wholly unrealistic either. Insurance company Nationwide announced its decision to stay out of Super Bowl. It was not a financial decision they claim, but more of the lack of a concept/idea that will match consumer expectations.
And the battle doesn’t end here. Brands need to sustain the campaign thread. The ideas must be full enough to spill-over. To bill boards and home pages. The campaign must connect at all levels and on all platforms. Surely when you are spending a $2.7 million you must have a clear idea about the form and rate at which the reach can be multiplied.
While it is not surprising that Victoria Secret is making a come back or that Dell will makes its debut on the commercials game, I am wondering what will be this years turn-on? Pepsi has managed (as always) to create a hype with its 1 minute silent ad before the game…Will there be another halftime scandal? Who will be the victor in the battle of the brands?
Only the sundae party will decide.
Aishwarya Rao
I am only half way into Shataram...but I realize that there hasn't been another novel that is so true to its places and people.

My favourite reasons why Shantaram is such a bona fide Indian's novel.

"She wore a salwar kameez-the most flattering garment in the world, after the sari.."

"'Hey, I love this song yaar!' Vikram cried out. 'Turn it up, baba! Arre full karo!'"

"...And any Indian man will tell you that although love might not have been invented in India, it was certainly perfected there."

" We ate chicken biriyani, malai kofta, vegetable korma, rice...dhal, papadams and green mango chutney. It was a feast..."

Aishwarya Rao

As a part of the new year initiatives, I am planning to launch a chat show on Coffee House. 'Coffee with Ash' (forgive me for the lack of originality) will be a series where I invite and interview some of my 'celebrity' friends.

A popular IT consultant who is an independent film maker, a famous lawyer who runs her own international NGO or a well-known radio jockey, model, theatre personality all rolled into one... 'Coffee with Ash' is where they will express their 'other' self, share their life-changing moments and answer trick questions over a virtual cup of coffee...

I am still fine tuning the format, and connecting with people you enjoy meeting. It will be great if you can share your ideas/expectations/recipes for the coffee session...
Aishwarya Rao

I am not going to climb mountains or follow every stream
But I am going to fool around, until I find a dream
Then I am going to take tomorrow and dip it in the dream...
Separate all the sorrow and collect up all the cream!
May be if I have the time, I will mix it with my love
If you like I can pass it on, only tell me how...
Heres to an incredibly mad 2008!