Sunday, May 24, 2009


Tonight after a battle for more than a month, the best team is about to be crowned. The IPL final is scheduled for tonight, and DC and RCB – the bottom two teams in the last season are battling out for the top honours. I am sure this would be some soothing news for SRK, and his KKR. They can expect to sweep the IPL, next year.

It was a wonderful 5 week odd thing, and a complete entertainer. The evening talk at the beach was totally filled with animated expressions of the previous day matches, and we even had to go to the extent of rescheduling our timings at the beach, depending on the IPL matches.

Who won, who lost? Who was the gainer, who was the loser? These are all cases for analysis by better cricket enthusiasts than myself, who just watches the match if there is no better thing on TV, or the remote control happens to be in my brother's control. Whoever wins tonight - The clear winner all along the way is - the ZOOZOO's. Yes, welcome to "ZOOZOOistan."

Vodafone has managed to come out with such fine simple ads, that these slim legged egg headed creatures have caught the imagination of the whole nation. Everywhere people are talking about this new mascot. Forty-four years after legendary filmmaker Satyajit Ray created the iconic dwarf Ang, which was adapted by Hollywood director Steven Spielberg as the E.T., India now has a new cult of queer beings - the Zoozoos.

In the first place - What is a zoozoo?




(Zool.) The wood pigeon.

This is the dictionary meaning.

Some find these cute characters similar to aliens, others say they are just cartoon characters while there is a huge majority who just does not know what to make out of it. Yet, the white, funny creatures have been invading us on the huge screens all through the IPL.

Vodafone has managed it again – last year's IPL saw HAPPY TO HELP, to promote their customer service, and this year the ZooZoo's to convey the value added services (VAS) offering in each of the commercials.

The best part being the many number of different ads being aired. About 30 odd ads are having been created so as to maintain the interest and create a spur. It's no mean feat to unleash so many commercials at a go, with the risk of consumers not grasping them as fast as the brand churns them out.

Media spends and visibility for brands peak during the IPL, so no doubt Vodafone obviously wanted a piece of the pie. Ogilvy – the ad agency behind these characters and ads, experimented with several characters and finally took its love for the term 'egghead' one step too far, creating characters that don the colour white (with black dots for eyes and a mouth), have heads resembling eggs, and disproportionately thin bodies. You egghead!

The idea was to tell the VAS stories in a world akin to, yet different, from humans. The creatures were then given a characterisation: they are to lead simple lives, speak a language of their own (something that sounds like gibberish), move in a certain way, and even emote like human beings, with big frowns or big grins to do the trick. The execution is almost like emoticons.

The naming of them as "the Zoozoos", has no science to it – the name is just something fun, memorable and catchy, and not a clever one that's difficult to pronounce.

Zoozoo trivia: Ironically, nowhere in the communication does the Zoozoo name pop up.

Making of the Zoozoo

As thought initially, No, they aren't animated characters. They are human beings who were made to wear body suits. The design of the characters is such that one gets fooled into thinking it is animation. It is 'live' animation!" The emails of the pictures of the people behind the masks have been doing rounds of late.

A fabric with wrinkles would have shown when the characters moved, thereby shattering the illusion of animation, so a more thicker fabric was chosen as it was more practical.

Zoozoo trivia: human head would typically reach up to the mouth level of this giant Zoozoo head.

The thin limbs, contrasted with big bellies and a bulbous head, all add to the illusion that these creatures are 'smaller' than humans. Sets were created to suit the size of the Zoozoos. Cinematically, this 'size' was a trick: the creatures look smaller than they actually are on screen, to portray a different world of sorts. For this, the speed of shooting was altered. They were shot on a high-speed format to make them look the size that they do.

Even in the digital world

In the digital space, Zoozoos are currently featured on a specially created microsite, where one can partake in quizzes and contests, including the 'What kind of Zoozoo are you?' quiz. Each Zoozoo has a unique set of characteristics and traits allotted to it. The microsite also allows for goodies to be downloaded (including wallpapers, screensavers and ringtones), and offers details on the IPL. With a specially created YouTube channel on the site, the TVCs are provided there for people to watch and share.

Apart from the microsite, a Zoozoo fan page has been created on Facebook, which has more than 220,807 fans (on Sunday, May 24, 2009 at 4:09PM. Dude, the number is increasing exponentially every day!), who have access to special tag-me images, Zoozoo sounds (such as Zoozoo laughter and music tracks) and ad previews.

The page creators are clearly facebook savvy. They have uploaded albums, shared links and even created innovative zoozoo type products based on popular trends on facebook. That ludicrous "tag your friends into this sheet of cartoons depicting personality stereotypes" craze for instance. They have created two (admittedly very cute) pictures various zoozoos depicting personality stereotypes for people to tag. Hats off. Not only are the page managers homing in on a popular trend on the social networking site, they are also pulling off a clever piece of viral marketing. Now as more and more people tag their friends on these pages, it would just increase the brand recall of the campaign.

People are also following Zoozoos on Twitter and get updates whenever new commercials go on air.

So, from the famous hutch pug, to zoozoo's now, Vodafone here has a complete winner.


The cannes and other advertising and marketing awards can wait. The zoozoo's have already earned its first award - People for Ethical Treatment for Animals (PETA) 2009 Glitterbox Award, for taking advantage of humane alternatives to the use of real animals in their ZooZoo ads.

The "Pug" commercial led to viewers purchasing pugs, and breeders cranking out as many puppies as they could. Later, when the appeal wore off, the dogs ended up in shelters or were abandoned. So you know what needs to be donw for the award:

  1. Create an ad using animals and publicize them
  2. Create your next ad again with the animals.
  3. One more with the same animals..

  4. Now create an ad, with equally random creatures but no animals.

While the zoozoo's are there busy creating a spur for Vodafone, there is this one guy who just can't keep out of trouble – Varun Gandhi. Even after winning the election, he realized he was not being talked about anymore, and there he is misbehaving with journalists.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

King of Good Times

Now I seriously think Mr. Mallya should be paying me some freelancing stipend. Not only have I contributed a lot of amount towards driving the sales up, now I am also publicizing it and its tagline. Well, Mr. mallya is a big man, and is the winner of the just concluded elections, so I don't want to pester him much. (Note to myself: I think I should still ask for the stipend!)

Yes, without even contesting the elections, this tagline of Kingfisher - King of Good times (that very well holds with its chief promoter) is the true winner. After the verdict declared on Saturday, everything good has been happening in the country.

I seriously hope SRK is wrong, when he says, "Hamari life bhi in picture ki tarah hoti hai.. Anth mein sab theek ho hi jata hai.. HAPPIES ENDINGS. Aur agar sab theek nahi, to picture.. Abhi baaki hai mere dost."(Our lives are so much like the movies. In the end everything is gotta get right... HAPPY ENDING. And if everything is not all right, the movie is still not done my friend!).

I don't want the movie to end; don't want it to all be over so abruptly. I know, everything is not all right still. There are still so many things that need to be mended. That is the best part of human lives and society, it is so fragmented and complex that it can never be all homogeneous anytime, and thus, the movie would never end!

Yeah, now what are these supposedly good things that have occurred – I have quit beer and have just joined a gym. (Great, that could be like the best thing to happen forever, but alas! It has not. Told you na, there are still a lot of things to be mended.


I don't which party would be a better leader at the center. Whether L.K. Advani or Dr. manmohan Singh would make a better prime minister. If UPA is a better alliance than NDA (The third front and the fourth front would have been good supporters and bargainers). One thing is clear from the verdict – the government is stable, and there would not be unnecessary horse trading and constant threats to withdraw support. The Indian junta has shown its maturity by voting with complete responsibility and the UPA now has a lot to deliver. There could be no better situation than this, when the whole world is looking upon India and China in these times of recession.

Some obvious revelations:
Regional parties have been shown their place, national parties have regained their dominance
The results are a vote for stability and good governance
The results are a vote for "reforms" and the Congress-led UPA should, therefore, fast forward "reforms
The nation has rejected the "communalist" BJP

Jai HO!

The Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) again sweeping the Assembly elections (they won all 32 seats this time, like the last time in 2004)? They are not likely to lose any seat even in 2014. The opposition (Congress) has no base and the party has no grassroots in Sikkim at all. The SDF will continue to retain power for atleast another 20 years surely. With Chamling at the helm, the SDF will continue to get support of the Sikkim people for more development of the state in all areas (Source: Varun's blog)

There is no power LEFT

The left have always been a pain in the road to development in this capitalistic society. By voting them out completely the Indian junta have shown that they would want to be a completely capitalistic society, and consumerism should be at its core. After all, the king of good times is something that the left hated completely. We can no more live in a society which says equality for all. Where would the entrepreneurial zeal come in from in such circumstances? The whole country would turn into a PSU where everyone knows that the promotion is a direct function of one's political contacts or the number of years put in, and the quality or amount of work has no say at all!


India's financial markets surged on the first working day after the results were out, with benchmark stock indices halted after hitting an initial 10% circuit limit, as a decisive mandate handed to the United Progressive Alliance in federal elections raised hopes of a stable government and progress on economic and market reforms. Morgan Stanley now expects the Sensex companies to post aggregate earnings growth of 2.5%, against its prior forecast of a 10% contraction, this fiscal year. It upped its Sensex target for 2009 to 15,300.

  • UPA's clean sweep win cheers the markets
  • The ruling Congress party wins the most since 1991
  • Trading on both the BSE and the NSE has been halted
  • Creates history; two upper circuits in one day
  • Extends its year-to-date gain to 48 per cent
  • Sensex +14,200 and the Nifty +4,300 first time after about eight months

Investor wealth soared by a whopping Rs four lakh crore within seconds of opening of trade. Now all this has given a new confidence to the retail investors and the common junta of the country. They would again start investing in the stock markets, like it was in the boom time till mid 2008. Also, the soaring of the wealth exponentially and the positive outlook given by most rating agencies and analysts would lift the moods still up. As my friend DN, a financial analyst in making, notes," Ya, it is a rally, but a sustainable rally. And yes...the fundamentals are not the same; the political risk has drastically decreased". Yes indeed, the political risk has decreased dramatically. Lalu could be a lot of pain in the ass otherwise.

LTTE chief dead

Now this is like a typical bollywood movie unfolding for the congress. First it's historic win since 1991, and then the chief accused for the assassination of its ex chief Rajiv Gandhi – husband of the current supremo, is shot dead. Prabhakaran's death signals the end of the nearly three decade-long civil-ethnic war that cost the island nation the lives of thousands of innocent civilians. Good news.

KKR finally wins without Divine intervention

Kolkata knight riders have been facing rough weather right from the beginning of the second season of IPL. Everything that could possible go wrong, did go wrong. First, the thing about the fakeiplplayer, and the tiffs within the team. The stand of having more than one captain for the season. The superover fiasco in the match against R Royals. Everything seems so bad, that it was seemingly apparent that KKR would break the record of DC of having the least number of points. (KKR had 3 til yesterday, while DC scored a dismal 4 points in IPL 1)

But, as the king of good times reigned, and it preferred helping KKR rather than its in house RC, Balaji blessed KKR with a victory.Belligerent half-centuries by Brendon McCullum and Brad Hodge took the Kolkata Knight Riders to a spectacular win against Chennai Super Kings. Know, it is not going to help KKR much, but now atleast the Bengalis can have their head up for their Dada, and also face the Deccanites competing in the lowest points category (The honour would still remain with Deccan!)

Well, the thing that KKR could finally win without any divine intervention has met flak with many religious people. Afterall, it was balaji who steered KKR to victory, and Balaji is the lord at the Tirupati abode. So there still is some divine intervention.

Now all of this ofcourse spells out good news all over the media, and I hope this spell continues for a long time to come.

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Biggest Reality Show – Elections 2009

I sometimes wonder why the IPL is so famous, and what is the core reason for its success in becoming such a big brand with the first edition itself? It spurred "marriage between Bollywood and cricket", now add politics to it and it becomes a bigger brand, and it would continue to draw more crowds.

Trivia: Dhoni's brother has joined politics, if you are searching for a recent link to politics and cricket.
Why? The Indian Junta is crazy only about these three – Movies, Cricket and politics. Mix them and you have a bestseller (idea for my 4th book!). So in such terms, this summer was perfect to lift up the spirits of the common Indian with a lot of entertainment available on news itself. The IPL, and the Indian Elections – Perfect match. Attempts to mix these two were futile, as each was worried about the others rising popularity, so much that the politicians or the authority concerned drove out the IPL to South Africa to set the stage free for the politicos.

The irony here is that elections itself were blatantly given as the reason for shoving IPL off, and along with it, its revenue, to South Africa. The Slap on the back came when people realized that South Africa also was having their own elections, but was more than enthusiastic to accommodate IPL. (Why should it be called Indian PL anymore?). Considering the Security agencies incompetency, it would be no surprise if the 2015 republic day parade and the hoisting of the Indian Flag ceremony (is it allowed?) was held in London.

Now getting to the elections 2009 – they have been very well timed, and have given lots of fun and fodder for talk during the past two months. The last two months were like the most jobless period I have ever been in, and thanks to IPL and Elections, I was not really very bored.

This election was no less than a war, albeit in a different way than the neighboring Sri Lankans. The elections seemed like a full fledged movie, and I am sure there is a potential for at least a reality show on prime time covering all the politicos. Action, Drama, Emotions, Comedy, and loads of trauma are perfectly juxtaposed to give out the correct masala for the "breaking" news.

Of course, the climax is still awaited and I am sure my brother is waiting even more for that coveted date – may 16th. It is his birthday, and last year he was gifted a sony Digicam. So, his anxiousness is justified.

Now a complete summary of the happenings in the movie till now, like they say – "Ab tak, Kahani… mein ……"

It all started off with the big weights – BJP and Congress. Advani's blog, and subsequent online foray by everyone worth his salt, wrote a complete new chapter in the way a party or its candidate be promoted.

The UPA faced its first confidence vote in the Lok Sabha, after the CPI (M) led Left Front withdrew support over India approaching the IAEA for the Indo-US civilian nuclear agreement. UPA won with a 19 vote record victory. The government winning the vote of confidence proved crucial, since this allowed Manmohan Singh, to finish his full term.

The split of the communists from the ruling party led to considerable fourth estate space, with speculations rife if the government would stay or fall. However, the septuagarian Advani ji had long plans in hand and wanted to be in competition with complete preparation.

Then, the inflation, which shook all the parties and everyone, made people forget about the nuclear deal, as this was hitting their pockets. All parties joined hands to control and also started blaming each other. The UPA had so many divine interventions, that sometimes it makes one wonder – were these events orchestrated by UPA itself? Inflation, Stock market sliding, Mumbai attacks, Malegaon …

The soon to retire N Gopalaswami, chief election officer wanted to achieve some place in history, and so he announced the polling dates in five phases for the 15th Lok Sabha all over the country. 

The competition was tight - UPA vs. NDA. Manmohan Singh vs. L.K. Advani

Now the stage was set, the actors ready, and thus began the biggest reality show in India. The actors wanted to play it independently and the UPA was again disintegrated back to congress with very few alliances left with them. Same thing happened with NDA, leaving BJP alone.

The biggest hit was in Andhra Pradesh (My Home State), when Mega Star Chiranjeevi launched his own party Praja Rajyam Party without joining any of the existing party. The veteran acting schools – Congress and TDP were shaken, as Chiru commanded a huge popularity and history could be repeated. (NTR, founder of TDP, entered politics in 1984 when his popularity as an actor was at its peak. The elections was a landslide victory for TDP then)

Now, the split acting schools had to form something common to brave the behemoths called BJP and Congress, so they formed the third front, with JD chief Deve Gowda gathering all parties and waking up the third front - AIADMK, PMK, CPI, CPM, TDP, RSP, Forward block, JDS, TRS, BSP…

Behenji, the popular Mayawati of UP (My state of residence for two years), was rising in charts. It was rumored that she wanted to be the PM candidate, for the third front. This rumor was later calmed with the pretext that it would be discusses later after results. (It is common knowledge that that the decision would have resulted that the party with highest seats would have the PM post, the next highest could get Home, and so on...)

Now, if Andhra and UP were making such marches could Maharashtra be left far? NCP lead by Sharad Pawar, joined BJD to contest. BJD is now a part of Fourth Front. One more front? Fourth Front is the combination of Lalu Prasad Yadav, Mulayam Singh, Ram Vilas Paswan, Amar Singh. Add Sanjay Dutt, the General Secretary for the Samajwadi Party, who met with PRP leader Chiranjeevi, and now they too are part of the Fourth Front, more popular as Yadav Front. Now these people know that they themselves probably can't form the government, but they would form a vital support for the ruling alliance.

Yeah, my watchman is contemplating forming the 1428th front.

Now after all the five phases of the polling are completed, and the verdict is still awaited, most of the leaders are out holidaying. They know, it would be hard core business again from tomorrow once the results are declared. Buying MPs, forging alliances, setting up people and negotiating, giving up HOME for CM, and also creation of new posts like Chairperson would be the talk in the newspapers from tomorrow.

Now during this run up to the actual polling there have quite a lot of controversies and entertaining scenes. Before we reach to the last episode of this reality show series, let us go back to the famous scenes and episodes which created lots of TRP for the series.

Jaago Re Campaign: For the first time, a lot of media was dedicated to the task of getting people realize the importance of voting. Complete Media campaigns from TATA tea, Dharma productions, and various organizations really created a stir. In Spite of many famous people showing their middle finger, there was an abysmal turnout in many constituencies. Mumbai was around 45%, Lucknow 35%…
Varun Gandhi: He was one person, who would go down in the history of Pilibhit. No MP from that place could get this much publicity to this constituency that he has brought. Pilibhit has now entered the common parlance of people, and it is identified as well as Hyderabad. All thanks to Varun, and his speeches. Of course, the Muslims are all still afraid of his party.

Black Money: We have heard about swiss bank, and seen it in movies. Swiss bank had such a glamour quotient that having an account there implied that the person has arrived in life. Well, no more. Advaniji probably realized that Swiss bank was offering too low an interest rate, and it is better to park his money elsewhere. So he vowed that he would get all the money back from the bank, to be disbursed in india.

Election Commissioner Imbroglio: N. Gopalaswami, the chief election commissioner, recommended to the President of India Pratibha Patil that Navin Chawla be sacked for behaving in a partisan manner.

This recommendation in itself was controversial, as it was unclear if the Chief Election Commissioner has the legal and constitutional right to provide such a unilateral recommendation. As expected, Chawla refused to resign as he was expected to take over the post of Chief Election Commissioner a few months later. (Eventually, he was not sacked and went on to become the next election commissioner after Gopalaswami)

The above controversy also resulted in speculation that the Election Commission was unable to agree on the polling dates, with the incumbent CEC Gopalaswami preferring that at least one phase of elections be held before his retirement. Navin Chawla, on the other hand, wanted the election to only start after Gopalaswami retired.

So, for the first time in the history of Indian politics, two different people oversaw different phases of the same election.

Jaya Prada porno cds: Jaya Prada, the SP candidate from Rampur, accused another SP leader Azam Khan of circulating material to sully her image. JayaPrada claims that Azam Khan is like her elder brother, but is sullying her image by involving in cheap campaigning. CDs and posters were released to scandalize her image. There were even reports quoting Amar Singh that Jaya Prada may commit suicide if she lost the elections.

Well, now this is some nice entertainment for Rampur inhabitants. A lot more people would be sure wishing that Azam was in their constituency or maybe, at least he should have been web savvy to circulate the content online. Also, would have been better if some other better looking younger female was contesting from Rampur.

Shoe Throwing: Indians admire everything American, and they have shown it again by aping the treatment meted out to former US president Bush. There have been many cases of shoe flinging at the politicos in the recent past. "If it fits, throw it" seems to be the mantra. Now you know why bata stocks are rising?

Some questions of thought here - Why can't journalists aim better? What happens to the shoe after the show? Should shoe hurling will become a required subject at journalism schools?

First off the mark here was local reporter Jarnail Singh, who got into a heated exchange with Home Minister P Chidambaram this month. At the height of the heated discussions, Sikh launched his size 9 Reebok sneaker at the minister, who was standing five feet away. His questions were on target, but his shoe was not. The Shiromani Akali Dal, offered Singh a $4,000 reward and several people pushed for an auction so they could acquire the offending item.

Singh was quoted saying, "Hurling was a not-for-profit activity aimed at making a point. And anyway, the police who grabbed it for evidence still haven't given it back". So now, the police are treasuring the shoe, should get it from the will sure fetch a decent price at crosby's.

A few days later, a 64-year-old retired school principal threw a shoe at popular Congress Party lawmaker Naveen Jindal during an election rally. The principal, again a Singh, said the shoe was more aimed at the Indian political system – needless to say, it did not hit any of the target.

Now Mr. Advani realized, he is losing his importance, and needs to do something. He probably planted someone, and got flunged upon by a slipper by a member of his own party angry at being pushed out of a leadership position.

Even the Chinese were not spared, when protesters threw shoes at the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi after Beijing sentenced to death two Tibetans for their role in March 2008 riots in Lhasa.

The authorities are now contemplating not allowing any footwear for the cricket matches, to be secure. So till now, Cricket was only considered a religion, now on the grounds would be held as a holy place too ala temples.

These were some of the noteworthy incidents that happened during the last couple of election months. I am sure there are many more, and would appreciate if they could be discussed out further.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Marketing a TV series online

It is about 50 days that am here in Vizag, and am proud to announce that have done nothing substantial. Yeah, have started taking up classes at T.I.M.E. for one week now. This was good time spent in catching up with friends on the latest media – TV Series and movies. I never ever in L felt the urge to watch any TV series during my stint at L. Moreover seeing my friends getting totally hooked on to it, I decided on purpose that I would be away from them.

This would be quite surprising to know, but in the whole of my two years at L, when people complete the TOP 250 at IMDB, are up to date with the latest seasons of all TV series and also pick up an interest in EPL and stuff, I managed to stay away from most. I just saw HEROES season 1 completely and two and a half men Season 1 to some extent. I was thankfully smart enough to load them all up in the 1TB hard disk with the vision that I would see them some day.

Never thought that someday would be so soon. Now that I am home and completely jobless I have started my romance with these TV series, and dude! They are so addictive. I don't feel like sleeping till the wee hours of morning, just in the pursuit of completing up "one more" episode of HIMYM. I am again proud to announce that I have completed five times more seasons in these 50 days than my 2 years there at L.

Well, now getting to the core. What intrigued me the most of these English TV series, other than the fact that they are a good time pass, is the level of marketing and viewer engagement that these people get into these Shows?

  • Brad Pitt was dating Jennifer Aniston, so get him to an episode of F.R.I.E.N.D.S.
  • It is thanksgiving time, so celebrate this in the show.
  • Blackout in the US, so make a complete episode out of it.

Well, these things even the Hindi TV series probably do. What they miss out on the most is creating the characters in such a way, that people actually start believing that they are real people. The case in hand that I would be detailing in this post is HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER

Before starting off, this sitcom (situational Comedy) is about Ted, in the year 2030 recounts to his son and daughter the events that led to his meeting their mother, which explains the title and allows for a narration in the past tense. How I Met Your Mother's other main characters are Marshall, Robin, Lily and the LEGENDARY Barney.

Some of the main points that really impressed me about the involvement level created by the marketing team are:

  • The Bro Code, stated by Barney many times throughout the series, is a set of written rules for bros to follow, and has been published as a tie-in novel and also an audiobook. Now this is going really far. Actually sensing a market for a book of rules that are just passed off as dialogues in the series is excellent.


  • Throughout the series Barney makes references to his blog. CBS hosts and updates an online copy of Barney's Blog online. Actually having a blog on the characters reference, and also updating it would make the viewer completely involved with the AWESOME character.


  • There is this one episode when Barney is referred to as Swarley. Barney towards the end tries to pretend he loves his new name to avoid being called Swarley again. Though it is not shown in the episode, there is a website called Swarley.com about it.


  • In one of the episodes it is revealed that one of Barney's former one-night-stands, whom he told that his name was Ted Mosby (in Ted Mosby: Architect), created a website denouncing him called TedMosbyIsAJerk.com. Actually designing such a website is great.


  • A website made by Victoria as a response to, called TedMosbyIsNOTaJerk.com also exists. This one is not an official site, and there it shows it all. The fans have become so loyal and they actually want to follow the makers and leave no stone unturned.


  • Marshall and Lily are married and there exists a website with videos and pictures of Marshall's and Lily's honeymoon, never showed on the show.


  • A complete website of Ted's "mysterious" identity when he was in college, as seen in one of the episodes is also hosted.


  • Barney's Video Resume: The most popular of all, this video has actually been making rounds online. In one of the episodes Barney reveals that he has created an online video resume at BarneysVideoResume.com and the makers took the pain of actually creating one, and a very funny one for that.


  • Also there is a page on myspace for the show as well all the individual actors.


I wonder when Indian Television will rise to make such Series that become a cult in themselves. When will Indian TV dole out series which can actually be sold on DVD as seasons and have buyers. I can only remember Sarabhai vs Sarabhai to have reached to some extent of popularity to actually have reruns and reruns and even be sold on DVD, and shown on in flight entertainment systems. Well, sooner or later they would catch up am sure.

The corporate have caught up to some extent in harnessing the internet to spread their brand message further. AIRTEL recently came up with an interactive site impatient tones.com to involve its users. It is also running a promotional campaign to promote impatience theme and is asking the consumers to come up with a version of a 30 second video or a 30 word story on the most boring movie ever seen, and be declared as the next featured impatient one. This is to promote their impatient theme for the airtel broadband that recently launched internet at the speed of 16MBPS.

Now I am off to catch up with the rest of the episodes of HIMYM, while you can chill watching these funny animated spoofs on popular hindi movies.



Wednesday, May 06, 2009

ONLINE CAT - Issues and Concerns

It is said, that a person should give back to society what he has attained. I have not earned lots of money, to donate to charity but yes, I think this city has given me the pedestal to rise to be in an IIM. So I think it is my duty to give it back, by teaching the younger generations. Also, this would help me to pass time and be in touch with the collegians of today, thereby being abreast of the latest happenings.

Thus, I have started taking classes at T.I.M.E. – A coaching institute for MBA/ MCA entrance examinations.

In this regard, many students keep asking me about the possible effects of the CAT going online from this year, and how it would impact them. I thought, I should be taking this opportunity, and also enlighten my readers of the possible changes and how it should be handled, as I am sure many of you there are CAT aspirants waiting to nail CAT'09.

So far the information doled out by the IIMs,

  • Confirmation that CAT is becoming a computer-based test from 2009 (CBT CAT)
  • Prometric ETS has been awarded the contract for conducting the test
  • CAT 2009 will be conducted over 10 days at the end of 2009
  • More details will be communicated along with the advertisement (this is typically released in July)
  • According to IIM-B admission chairperson Subhashish Gupta, CAT 2009 is unlikely to be computer adaptive
  • Most likely there will be three tests a day over 10 days -- meaning a total of 30 different tests. (source : Rediff.com)

CAT 09 is very unlikely to be computer adaptive (that is the system adapts itself to the test takers according to their intelligence. If you answer a question right, the next question would be more tough and of more marks, and if you answer a question wrong the next question would be a slightly easy one). Making it Computer adaptive would not be feasible right now, as I don't think the IIMs would have the repository of the correct answers and the wrong answers attempted by CAT takers all these years. So deciding if a particular problem is difficult or easy would be purely based on the judgment of the CAT question paper setter.

One more issue lingering in the minds of the aspirants – is it not unfair, that I may get slightly difficult questions and my competitor might get easier ones? Well, very possible. But realize that no question is easy or difficult. It is only our preparation that determines that. Also, IIMs would ensure a fair competition and would set questions from different set of question banks dependant on the difficulty level or the time taken to solve it. Of course, there would be people cribbing that wish I had the paper given by someone else. Remember, the grass is always greener on the other side.

How are the IIMs going to compare or normalize the scores across various tests?

While the information has not been made public, we can extrapolate from the manner in which they compare scores for past academics for CAT aspirants.
If the IIMs decide on non-adaptive testing, they would be expected to normalise the scores across different papers using statistical distribution of scores for each test. A basic example would assume that the scores follow a bell curve. Then, the performance of students would be measured by how they have performed compared to the average performance.
If the IIMs decide on computer-adaptive testing, then each question will have a difficulty rating. A student will face a moderately difficult question first. Based on whether he gets it right or wrong, the level of difficulty will go up or down. There will be an algorithm that will generate the scores. (Source: Rediff.com)

A student very innocently asked, do I require any extra computer skills to attempt this exam? NO. It is just a question paper which comes on the computer screen. So if you know how to operate your cell phone, operating the graphics on the computer would not be tough at all. Moreover, I am sure the coaching institutes would have sufficient material and arrangements to give you practice. Also, the IIMs would ensure that you first take a practice test on their system before jumping into attempting the actual questions. Yes, it would help to practice reading on the computer screen, which is quite tiring.
About being able to do rough work, this I think is the biggest disadvantage of taking CAT online. The second one being reading huge comprehension passages online. For rough work, I loved doing it just next to the question on the question paper itself. Now as that would not be possible, IIMs would decide to give you rough sheets or maybe create special scribbling space on the computer screen like in GMAT.

Is there any change in strategy required? I would say, not really. Right now, it is more important that you prepare the normal way and stop speculating. Get your fundamentals right, and get trained for the three sections which sure are not going to change. There is no clarity if the entire question paper would be given at once online, or would it be question after question. Also, there is no clarity if one can return back to an unanswered question. So there is no point thinking about it, and rather follow and make up your strategy of selecting questions and answering them. Sure, if anything changes, you would have to dump the strategy later. Of course, start practicing reading comprehensions and content on the computer screen to increase speed.

These are some issues that could be discussed with the information in hand presently. Any more discussion would just lead to speculation and unnecessary wastage of time. So it is recommended that you rather concentrate on building up the fundamentals and ground knowledge. It could be adapted to whatever technology and form required. Yes, this year's CAT would be an unfair disadvantage to those who have been writing it for many years, as they must have gained considerable knowledge and built up enough strategies to attempt CAT like in the previous format. It would be a fresh start for them all over again.

Content in this article is inspired from an article in rediff.com, and due credit has been given wherever it has been quoted verbatim.