Oct 10, 2008

Mktg - Success in following tradition

A G Krishnamurthy

The soapy stamp of success
Once in a while, it’s good to pause and take a closer look at what we’ve been taking for granted for many years. I am talking about a product deeply ingrained in our subconscious as the ‘Beauty Soap of the Stars’. As I watched its latest avatar with Priyanka Chopra I couldn’t but help marvel at the dogged consistency of the brand. According to sources, famous Hollywood actresses have been endorsing the brand since 1930 and when it was launched in India, the ads featured Leela Chitnis. The brand endorsements haven’t stopped…every star from Hema Malini to Madhuri Dixit to Aishwarya Rai have done their stint with this iconic soap. So much so that a star is considered to have ‘arrived’ only when she has a Lux ad in her kitty! The history of the soap glitters with celebrities. It started off as a washing powder with endorsement stories from royalty! When it was launched as a soap, the ‘premium-ness’ was not compromised. It continued to have famous actresses vouching for it. But what is truly admirable about the brand, much more than its famous ambassadors, is the fact that almost a century later, the keepers of the brand have not strayed from the insight laid down all those years ago. The world has changed dramatically since the first starry endorsement, but isn’t it refreshing to know that stability, consistency and a strong belief in tradition actually exists somewhere and what’s more yields rich dividends year after year?

‘Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for the country’
It might have been way back in the sixties in a country far, far away when this legendary pronouncement was made in a Presidential speech, but it is probably the most relevant thing ever said in the story of political change. Politics is a favourite topic of conversation in most of the southern states, especially Andhra Pradesh where heated discussions fly back on forth on the various configurations that keep sprouting up in the State. Criticisms abound but not one person steps up and offers to change the system. Isn’t it odd that we talk about wanting change so much (we even know exactly what should be done and how it should be done), but not one amongst us is actually willing to get in there and do something concrete about it. Somehow we believe that we are above the dirt and grime of politics and tend to treat the field as if it is (pardon the anachronism) an ‘untouchable’ profession.

Which is why, when President Kalam makes it a point to invite young people into the field in every interaction he has with them, it seems like such a breath of fresh air. At least some one up there is trying to do something positive for the country. Just think about it - how can you change anything without your active participation in the change process? I too am guilty of this holier-than-thou attitude. When I was invited to participate in a political campaign I begged to be excused, a spontaneous reaction which left me wondering about the hypocrisy that plagues all of us. I too have very definite opinions about how the country and the State should be run, but yet when asked to step up, I backed away. Which is when it struck me that unless I change my attitude towards politics, I don’t have any right to expect change. But politics is an exciting field, especially for young, energetic minds. There’s plenty of work to be done and the public are only too willing to embrace a change agent. The question is: Will that change agent be you?

No comments: