Category: Fad and Trends

Being more of an alternate fan, my reaction and judgment towards other genres of music has always been looked upon as biased and atrocious by my peers. The fact is that I wouldn’t blame them as I have ended up criticizing one artist too many who are generally considered as pioneers of a particular genre. Although in my defense, the commercialization and regularly regurgitated travesties in the name of music hasn’t really helped my power of opinion.

If I have to single out a particular genre to criticize, I would say hip-hop takes the cake. From repetitive beats to vile lyrics, hip-hop music today has very well been reduced to a shadow of what it was in its yesteryears. The fact that rap is now a quintessential part of the hip hop genre just highlights the weak backbone on which the genre is being sustained at the moment. But as they insightfully say, “No dark cloud is without its silver lining”. The silver lining here is the small minority of artists who are working in the background to add the sheen back into the hip hop scene.

One such artist that I have recently stumbled upon through thissongissick is Pretty Lights; the stage name for Derek Vincent Smith.  Having dropped out of college during freshman year in University of Colorado, Smith worked hard to make it to the big time through playing at concerts during 2007 and 2008. In 2009, he gave existence to Pretty Lights and played at some of the major American music festivals. And since the establishment of his record label Pretty Lights music, he has given a lot of fresh new artists to come forth and distribute their music for free. The label tries and plays its part in doing its bit for the society through the donation it generates from the official website.

Now anyone who has heard of him would have surely heard tracks like Finally Moving and I know the Truth with creative syncing of hip hop beats, synth lines and soul samples. And his latest one, “Around the Block” is another excellent track –


The video is nothing out of the world but his whole setup using 21:9 widescreen monitors is nothing short of mouth-watering. And the customary reaction I get from people after listening to Pretty Lights – “Oh how I wish there were more artists like him these days!”


So condensed is the Indian Smartphone market these days that it has become difficult to differentiate performers from the pretenders. Micromax-A110-Canvas-2-MobileWith the likes of Samsung, HTC and Sony Ericsson ruling the premier segment with their Smartphone line-up, Indian manufacturers are left with no option but to provide similar specs at prices which might make the average consumer jump with joy! And contrary to popular belief, these phones have not disappointed in the short span for which they have been in the market.

Taking a look at the ones available, Micromax A110 Superfone Canvas 2 is the one that has definitely caught my attention. At just under 10K (181$), the phone packs a punch with its 1GHz dual-core processor and ICS out of the box. It also boasts of a 5-inch IPS screen with 8MP Autofocus camera and a powerful 2000mAh Li-Ion battery for longer usage. And with a largely positive response, Micromax sure has a winner on their hands.



The other one though just announced and might as well be available for sale in Karbonn A30. With a humongous 5.9-inch screen and dual sim capabilities, this soon to be launched phablet will be available at a cut-price of 11-12K (200-218$). Again, the specs are karbonn-a30-default-1355487264008standard with a 1GHz dual core processor and 512 MB RAM. But the provision of a 2500mAh battery on board means the usage span per charge might be a little lower as per screen size. Only time will tell if this one turns out to be a VFM product or not.

But the way things stand, it is definitely a boon for Indian buyers as these phones are in a similar profile to the industry leaders (albeit with lower specs) and definitely gives an alternate to Smartphone enthusiasts who can’t loosen up their purse strings for a high-end handset.

Alright people, time for some fun. Everyone knows how obsessed people have become with their Smartphones these days. Installationapp-lock_icon_whatsapp and smooth running of an app is a matter of pride, abundance of features is a bragging tool and a moment’s disappearance from WhatsApp is considered to be a lifetime of social disconnect. While I do admit that Smartphones do make our lives a lot easier, the level of addiction with them is mind-boggling.

smartphone-funnyAnd then there are the promotional activities that take place for making these nifty gadgets appeal to the
masses. You will do limitless internet research, take opinions from existing Smartphone owners, scour through websites and retail stores to make sure you are getting a device which is complete bang for your buck! But what gets sidelined in all this is the funny side of marketing that these devices bring along with them. Here, I will cipher some of the funniest Smartphone commercials I have come across over the web. Lot’s of brand bashing and articulate sarcasm going on here ;p

1) Micromax slamming Galaxy Y –

Indian phone maker Micromax launched its Ninja range of Smartphones to compete with the Galaxy Y entry-level Smartphone and took a parodist potshot at Samsung with a couple of well-thought of commercials highlighting the VFM stance of their devices with bigger screens and processing as well as low costs. The claims are always subject to debate, but the commercials still made for funny viewing.

2) Significance of Smartphones –

This is a Best Buy commercial which shows an in-flight conversation between a woman with “Smartphone” and a man with a supposedly “dumb” one. What unfolds is best expressed by the video itself.

3) Smartphone Addicts –

Another one that caught my eye thanks to the sheer honesty of its underlying humor. As per the message, a Windows Phone is the shining light to save us from our Smartphones !

4) Samsung mocking Apple –

No need to summarize about what happened in the Samsung-Apple verdict as I pretty sure everyone must be bored to death from reading about it by now. But the creative heads at Samsung came up with a hard-hitting counter which showed Apple in inferior light. And judging by the 17 million views it had garnered so far, it is by far the big daddy of parodist commercials in my humble opinion.

Well, all these were basically the best ones from the lot from what I have seen, but at the end of the day I am only human. Do let me know if there are any more such funny Smartphone TVC’s that I might have missed but deserve a mention.. CIAO!!

It was one of those weeks that just flew by. Office deadlines coupled with social responsibilities in the ongoing marriage season hasn’t really helped matters. I mean all one has time for is a power nap every now and again while juggling between all the tasks in your schedule. In spite of having my own apartment, it feels like I have been living out of suitcases for the past couple of weeks.

But in a way, it was a good thing as well as buying stuff for marriage turned out to be an enlightenment session for me to get to know about the new gadgets that have launched recently. The first one was a Samsung Galaxy Camera which turned out to be quite a surprise. Packed with a 4.8 touch-screen display, the camera runs on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean out of the box and has both Wi Fi and 3G capabilities. The interface was smooth and impressive with the integrated tools to instantly share media on social hubs without any lagging. The image quality was clean as well but I can’t really give a true opinion on that as it was just a few snaps clicked within the showroom. The downside is obviously the hefty price tag of close to 29K which will not attract many suitors as one can get a decent DSLR for that price which boasts of a superior image quality. Nonetheless, I found the device very nifty and innovative.

The second gadget was the recently launched LG Optimus L9. The handset had a sharp design with a 4.7” IPS panel screen with a 5 MP rear camera and runs on ICS out of the box. With a dual core 1 GHz processor at its heart, it falls in the mid-range Smartphone segment as the retailer price on this one was around 19.5K. What I liked most about the phone is its glitch-free interface and the inbuilt QTranslator which worked on OCR technology. Add to that, the swift processing speed and powerful 2150mAh battery makes this phone a very appealing package.

Unfortunately for me, that’s all the time I got as the remaining duration was spent in blissful engagements and weddings for a few colleagues of mine but was nothing less than an endless pit of boredom for me. In fact, I am much more calm and high-spirited when blogging while sitting on my bean bag with a cup of black coffee by my side J

World Record – the two words together conjure up an image of something done extraordinarily – head and shoulders above the mundane. Obviously, such a proposition would definitely attract marketers – who would like to project their products and brands wras a cut above the rest – a spirit best signified by a world record. Therefore, it was only a matter of time before enterprising marketers would seek to establish world records with their products and services – to provide that all important “bragging right” – probably a matter of great significance in the cut throat world of product differentiation.

And that time has already arrived. Over the last few years, there have been many attempts to establish world records by leading companies – so as to later claim in advertisements that the product is the best at a particular job. Indeed, this trend has been noteastutely recognized by the Guinness World Records – the ultimate purveyors of world record feats. The Guinness promotes a special “package” wherein they seek to guide any world record creating efforts, and also produce them in a professional manner – so that they can be later promoted through marketing and advertising.

Of course, the basic premise of such a record breaking or creating effort is simple – the exercise should be directly relatable to a product USP. Unless this requirement is met, the record feat will simply not register in the minds of public, and the effort is likely to go waste.

For example, when the blockbuster Dreamworks produced animation movie Megamind was released in 2010, the promoters wanted to create an event that would immediately appeal to superhero fans, as well as create a buzz around the word “Mega”. As a solution, the largest gathering of superheroes was planned – a premise that gelled beautifully with the movie storyline. Adults and kids responded in big numbers, and a total of 1,580 people dressed as superheroes turned up – creating a world record. The event got very good coverage – estimated at over 58 million impressions over the first three days of the ad campaign.

Similarly, Jack Daniel’s – makers of the famous Old No 7 whiskey planned to create seven new world records to commemorate the famous brand, and to celebrate the founders 161sy birthday in a quirky, fun filled manner signifying the “spirit” (pun intended) of the brand. So, world records were created in the categories of – most contributions to a greeting card, largest glass bottle mosaic, largest bottle of whiskey, most bottles played in a bottle orchestra, most people blowing out candles together, and building a 20 shot glass pyramid in the quickest possible time.

LG – the global consumer electronics giant had started an LG World Record campaign way back in July – to promote the product innovation in various categories. For example, LG wrmenSmart TVs – that have the thinnest bezels, or the LG LTE Smartphones – where LG holds the largest number of patents. To create an association with customers, LG has created a team of friendly animated characters called LG WR Men, which explains the benefits and features of LG products to end users over online media.

Samsung has also joined the fray of world records, though its recent effort to promote Samsung Galaxy Note II is somewhat intriguing, considering that it is not associated with any product USP – thus contradicting the basic premise that a world record feat should be directly relatable to some product USP. paintSamsung is calling upon its users to break and already existing world record of largest number of artists collaborating on a single art installation. Incidentally, the original charity sponsored world record was set by more than 200,000 children earlier in 2012 in UK. Probably Samsung is not seeking to highlight any product USP; rather it simply wants to be associated with a world record.

People are varied individuals and each one of us has a different definition for expression. Let’s look at some common instances. For a sportsperson going through a bad patch of form, you would have heard the “I’ll let my performance do the talking” countless times. For a writer, a pen is the most powerful and glorious weapon to own. For a programmer, his programming skills are a means of expression as to how proficient he is. And for the gung ho spirits, action speaks louder than words.

Our hectic work lives do not leave much time for catching up with friends these days and this is where a virtual social network has worked as a mode of bridging the gap. But even on a popular social networking platform, the mode of expression for users was restricted to borrowed quotes and a few relevant photos and videos till now. But the recent emergence of internet memes has put a new twist to our daily social binge. Memes are basically hand-drawn images of expressions which people have on their faces when they encounter certain situations. The ironic thing is that half of the time we don’t realize how one expression can I fact be used to show one feeling a many J Although if you peak through the internet these days, the definition of the term has broadened with the use of movie snaps and intuitive sayings to go along with it.

The first meme I encountered was a mischievous frowning face which is now famously known as the “Troll/Problem/U Mad Bro” face. It was a 4-box image about a thief bullying a guy into giving his money. The victim says he likes the thief’s knife and then uses it to take his money back. The truth is that it sound pretty lame in writing but has been made humorous and interesting by the use of expressions. And before I knew, the regularly visited pages were flooded by such memes. Not only are they fun to read as compared to standard media sharing, they appeal to the masses much more these days.

After a while, I had the impression that these memes and rage comics were just a means of some virtual tomfoolery which brings our daily life situations in front of ourselves with a pinch of wittiness. But the fact is that the use of memes is much more than that. Marketing professionals have strategized memetic marketing as one of most powerful forms of reaching out to potential customers. Not only is it cost and time effective but also much more visually engaging which makes the whole campaign easy to comprehend. People might pass this off as a current fad which will slowly wear off in the coming seasons but the way I see it, memes are now an integral part of the World Wide Web and will keep on evolving in a synonymous way with the changing times.

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