Month: July 2017

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Digital brings back the dead wise ways #wolfSIGHTS

A morbid title, but i promise u happy instigative musings. Am not a subject matter expert, hence write this with well intentioned naivety that hopefully shall instigate a few rich thoughts and conversations.

The rise of digital media is bringing back a few old wise-ways back from the dead…especially with respect to ways of ancient India.

My musings about a few of these:

(1) vaadam x prativaadam = taatparyam. Argument x counter-argument = residual truth/understanding/refined knowledge = wisdom. Old gurukul education was based on these priciples…sadly lost in the modern education system championed by rote learning. Google has empowered students with ability to search for both arguments and counter arguments and hence restore to some extent the old wise ways. Yes social discovery of arguments has its own perils. Perils of consuming information which has bias embedded into it…but socialization of argument is a good embedded police to negate such biases.

Check this link for a biz opportunity on the same:

“Why digital is the devil for teachers – ”

(2) leaving the horrors and human-tyranny imposed by caste system aside for a little. There was once a wonderful eco-system of knowledge. There were the divine knowledge brahmins, the objective (outside society) brahmins and the social brahmins. Let me elucidate: divine knowledge brahmins had spiritual wisdom to impart (the ghora tapasvi – rishis and maha munis), then there were the objective brahmins (the snyasis who would shun materialism and existed outside society, but interacted and objectively studied society), the social brahmins were the karnams, pujaris, the doctors, the vastu experts, the marriage brokers and most importantly teachers. These used to be part of society and interact with society as fellow citizens and hence had a materialistic perspective of life and all its errors and opportunities.

Housed in the gurukuls, outside a community…but connected and dependant on it…these gurukuls used to host the spirtual leaders, the objectivity leaders and the social leaders…imagine how information and perspectives used to merge and jam and evolve for the benefit of the society. Knowledge from different perspectives used to merge and was able to guide living and life better.

Rightly the stranglehold that brahmins had on knowledge was destroyed and liberated…but this eco-system of exchange was lost too.

The relegation of Brahmin caste helped democratise knowledge, but we also lost this wonderful eco system. Imagine innovators connected to real society, administrative policies impacted by pragmatism of everyday life, lifestyle insights going directly into pharma industry and all embedded with social accountability due to this wonderful Eco system.

Last implemented by the vijayanagara empire (ashtha diggajas +)…this eco-system now is finding its way back into society. Whether in a minor way via TED talks and the likes or otherwise. Digital media is connecting the spirtualists, the PHD people, the social brahmins of the new age (by social brahmins…i do not mean caste but anybody who is doing a knowledge based job).

Divorced off the tyrannical caste system, I hope this Eco system rejuvenates itself, aided aptly by digital media.

Wish the Indian govt starts a village of this kind in Himachal or somewhere and broadcasts such jam sessions for public consumption and as inputs for governance.

(3) Naaniyon ke nuskhe (Grand mothers’ simple solutions): The industrialisation phenomenon changed social and filial structures. While an agrarian life needed many hands and joint family systems…the post-industrialization era does not need such a structure.

With the change in filial structure, there was a lobotomy of wisdom of life, due to the divorce of the old from the so called “immediate family”. Naniyon ke nuskhe were dying for one section of the society (predominantly urban section).

Capitalism found business opportunity in this knwoledge-divorce, and increased a nuclear family unit’s everyday dependence on an external advisor (with money as a core component to erstwhile insticutual advice).

Digital has democraticsed this and now naniyon ke nuskhe are back – especially in the social space.

With India growing young, the grey of wisdom will command a premium…there’s an amazing biz opportunity to start a platform where the experts of life for a minimum fee can actually dispense lil pragmatic bytes of wisdom.

These are just 3 examples that I am musing about now…but there are several more I am mulling over and am sure you have several you can point out as well.

What do you think…lemme know! Lets muse together…

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#UnYoung #wolfSIGHTS


50+ % of India is going to be under or just about 25. India is one of the youngest countries in the world.

What are the socio-cultural ramifications for those who don’t fit into this bracket of the most desirable/marketed demographic definition?.

Predominantly Urban India, but increasingly semi-urban & rural India seems to be afflicted with diseases of “Growing younger” & “Staying Young”. Have been witness to this during #stratalogues 2013.

50 yr olds trying to discover the elixir of jeans, anti-ageing creams and behaving young – rather than just feeling naturally “ageless” are premiumised, romanced & communicated.

Hey! looking & feeling old is the new social-taboo. Urban-Taboo!

40 is the new prime of youth according to Cosmo-magazines!

Why define feeling with age? Why imprison ageing with a demographic mindset?!

If you apply the famous disruption philosophy…is #StayingYoung the new convention?!. Is #UnYoung the new disruption?.

Europe & other geographies seem to be held at ransom for greying…so what’s wrong with greying?!.

Where is the place for the really old, while the “relatively old – mid 30’s to mid- 40’s ppl are still excused from the accusation of being tagged too old” – they make for a high disposable income, mid-life criss afflicted prime-marketing TG.

The premium on #WisdomOfGrey is lost on this world. Indian cities are turning into Roman arenas where the privileged old are the only ones who can afford the spectre of watching the instigated young war-it-out.

As the cosmopolitans breed the need for young, the old will migrate away. As the young migrate to cities, the old stay back in towns & villages…

The dissemination of the filial social-architecture of India & the abundance of the “Baghban phenomenon’ (elders bereft of the support of the youth of their kin) will result in ageing middle-towns!… Leading to growth of business categories in security for the elders, medical home care for elders , old age homes for the elderly rich– further propleled by the need of the criminalisation of the youth who stay back in smaller towns.

Security for the middle-town & the reverse-migrant rich old will sadly be a huge business-spawning need,

The rising need for the MCYS – Singapore sponsored award winning “filial Piety” kind of communication in India & Larger Asia too can be safely predicted. Government sponsored “Social Care Communication” will soon be a sad reality.

Rise in the segment of “green-seeking” retired urban warriors, Like-minded friend spawned retiring gated communities in India will be another business opportunity.

But yet the emotional need of the old & the aged to harvest their wisdom for the benefit of the young will be left unfulfilled.

Can we spur social-organizations to broker a marriage between the orphans of India and the listless middle-town/reverse-migratory aged of India and satiate a mutual need of the old seeking a venue to vent their wisdom and the young exhibiting a sponge for a source of wisdom?. Who will champion the much needed social-engineering?.

All this while, those classified as not-exactly-young in urban India will suitably suffer from capitalistism-propagated need to struggle against the natural instinct to age. We as an Asian collectively will suffer to stay young.

Everyday women shall look at themselves in the mirror and yearn for botox, staying slim and being desireable as per conventions, Everyday men will regret the prosperity of their paunches. Energy drinks consumption will rise, the not so young shall punish their life-rich bodies to behave young in the night bars (while the young abandon these places for becoming too uncley & aunty’ish joints).

Everyday the not-so-young will invent new excuses for self as well their august social-entourages to find a way to stay at home and not push the debaucherous cinderella timelines.

Once in a while they will secretly whisper to their close confidants that they really dont like to “pardy all night” and would rather lounge.

The rising convention of #StayYoung, will give birth to a new age disruption of being #UnYoung.

This new phenomenon will spawn a new urban tradition of being comfortable with the ageing process.

Not punishing yourself to be the air-guitar strumming, pub-hopping, crotch-hugging jeans clad not-so-young youth.

The next wave of idea-based businesses will arise out of catering to & easing the socio-cultural pressure for these relatively young and not so young consumers (mind you with a high disposable income).

#UnYoung will be the premium along with #PreimumOfGrey in this young Asia.

Fill a room predominantly with youngsters, brands preaching youth and presto! You have a convention being set-up to be broken!

Here’s a strategic instigation for brands to liberate the relatively young and the gracefully ageing from the tyranny of capitalism enforced youth!

#UnYoung possibly is the blue Ocean business opportunity in a red ocean of youth.

Interesting times in India & parts of younger Asia 😉

#UnYoung could be a huge liberation that a high-disposable income TG – who are the products of an erstwhile scarcity economy truly seek 😀

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Facebook: Winning in Semi-Urban / Rural India

Facebook is a platform which is getting adopted in India with voracious appetite. Announcement of etc; only showcases how hungry platforms are to become the default window to the world for Indians.

However there are socio-cultural behaviors which impede this adoption and most importantly restrict active participation in semi-urban & rural India. #stratalogues 2013.

Social media in semi-urban & rural India – even among those adopted is a consumption platform and not a sharing/participation platform. This makes the platform itself less sticky for these users and also lower participation makes it a non-engagement /non-interaction medium, making it less attractive for marketers to deploy it for targeting their semi-urban/rural users. #wolfSIGHTS

This presentation aims to instigate Facebook to adopt certain measures which shall enable it to increase more active participation rather than passive consumption amongst its semi-urban & rural user base in India.

Note: This strategy deck has been crafted as one of the 5 thought-pieces for “The Howl” #TheHowl is a strategic instigation letter shared with marketers & other partners of @wolfzhowl every full moon.

If you want to be part of the mailing list, please write to us at

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Is Your Brand Engagement Strategic Enough?

A strategic instigation with PEPSICO’s brand 7up as a hypothetical example illustrating how integrated brand engagement needs to be far more strategic than it usually is now.

Brand positioning / purpose crafting and brand platform creation get a lot of strategic attention from marketers & brand partners alike, but engagement of the brand platform does not get as much strategic attention as it deserves.

In the old days, post a wonderful TVC being crafted and released, some POS was created and pushed into the market and some sponsorship deals were struck with properties relevant to the consumer segment, and a few AFP’s were executed.

But this is the consumer engagement driven digital age, where media is segmented into owned, earned, shared & paid. All your POS spots also fall under one of these media segments. A bespoke strategy each time defines this.

‘Play – buy – Share’ are the new mantras of the game and strategists have to roll-up their sleeves and craft the engagement strategy for the brand as well. The old way of looking at brand engagement, does not work any more. In fact, crafting strategic engagement for brand platforms also needs a purpose to be identified, a segmentation to be drawn and segment-specific insight led triggers to be identified to create a lasting ripple effect.

Most brand platforms are brought alive by digital agencies in a very channel specific manner, rather than behavior change and purpose driven manner. Are the sales & business realities being overlaid on this engagement path? What is the ROI via equity earned, awareness of brand platform achieved and how is it linked to consumption moments? A few questions that digital can answer, but we do not invest enough strategy in it, to find the right answers.

Most engagement efforts in the digital age seem to be focused on ‘hey, how can I create a great hurrah! on several channels and increase virality and make it trend.’ Yes this channel & medium specific thinking is very much needed and strategy should not become a constraint to leveraging the best that the medium has to offer.

But, what is all this achieving? And have we ‘strategically engaged’ or just engaged, is a key question that we must ask ourselves.

I thought I would not just write a piece on this and actually take a brand as an example and showcase the possibilities of crafting the right strategic engagement in the digital age for a brand. Due to client confidentiality I cannot share some of my live examples, hence…

I aim to demonstrate this on PEPSICO owned 7Up as a brand, and how to possibly create strategic digital consumer engagement for the brand platform of ‘Dance’ that they own.

*I do not and have not worked on this brand and hence pardon any miscues in knowledge. Please treat this as a demonstration of possibilities only.

Also several digital channels can be added and more comprehensive engagement can be thought through. This is just a sample instigation of the possibilities at hand.

Hope you enjoy the instigations and share your opinions on the same…