Here, I intend to write what comes to my mind about India. This could be about anything, politics, religion, movies or remote happenings. Feel free to check this blog for updates, who knows some could be of some interest to you.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Brand Gandhi

If you are in India at this time and you can read/write any of the languages of this country I bet you will know what 'Mont Blanc' is or learnt about it in the past couple of weeks. If your answer is 'yes', which I am sure it is then it proves the capability of the scientific-art called 'Marketing'. Though there are many definitions, I like this which simplifies it: Create the customer, keep the customer and satisfy the customer.

On Oct-2nd-Gandhi's birthday,Mont Blanc sold a limited edition of pens with Mahatma Gandhi's image engraved on the solid-gold rhodium plated nib,and a saffron-coloured mandarin garnet on the clip costing a whopping Rs1.1m ($23,000, €15,800, £14,400).

Transliterating a proverb in Tamil, 'An elephant is worth 1000 gold coins, dead or alive'. This proverb points out that elephant when alive is worth well for the work it does both during peace or war and when dead, the money it fetches out if it's ivory, bone and other parts considered rare and important. I see that this also fits well for the Mahatma.

His name sells, that's all, be it 'Munna Bhai' or 'Mont Blanc' the mention of Gandhi's name sells. I think Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan stand only next to the Mahatma as a brand. He is our only genuine international brand so far. In fact, it was again the Mahatma who pioneered capitalizing brand power in India. He used to raise money for Harijans through autographs and photographs.

Tushaar Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi's great grandson is often involved in most of the commercialization of Gandhi even though he hardly has any legal rights on his great grandfather's work. The copyright to all of Mahatma Gandhi's writings is with the Navjeevan Trust, which was established by Bapuji himself. His inheritance went to the Trust. Film footage of Gandhiji is owned by the Gandhi Film Foundation, the Government of India's Films Division and some international networks. The copyright for photographs is owned by Kanu Gandhi's descendants, the Vithalbhai Jhaveri Trust and others who took the pictures. Prasar Bharati, the Broadcasting Corporation of India, owns the audio tapes of his speeches.

NOTE: The use of any national figure's name for commercial purposes is prohibited under the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950. The statutory period of copyright to his writings and images expired in 2008.

A few ads that already uses him:

Telecom Italia (I like this ad)

It is long since the people have...errr, cannot say so. It's long since the politicians have forgotten his ideals (“Men say I am a saint losing himself in politics. The fact is that I am a politician trying my hardest to become a saint.” - MK Gandhi). We neither have fulfilled his vision of self-reliance, communal equality and upliftment of poor. Also, I myself doubt if his thoughts about swadeshi, anti-mechanization would hold good these days. If he had lived till now he too would've changed his thoughts keeping pace with the world and definitely come up with greater thoughts for the current situation.

Saluting Baapu, here are a few of my crazy ideas to promote more products (mis)using his image,name and quotes.

There are people who are proud of their watches and there are watches that are proud
of its owners...Our watches, are always proud of you
-RG time machines, your time keepers.

"Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes." - MK Gandhi
"Our erasers will take care of your mistakes, celebrate your freedom" - RG traders


Anonymous said...

Can I invest in RG time machines?

Susan Deborah said...

Great post. Very informative.

Shall look forward to your posts.

Keep writing.


madhu said...

hi ganesh,

The fact is that I am a politician trying my hardest to become a saint.” - MK Gandhi
very true words from our own father of our nation. I suppose he had a vision about our 'politicians'who are the main culprits in spoiling our country.

Brand Gandhi - I should say that I never knew that our National leaders are been branded for these commercial aspects and its a MISUSE.
very informative blog.
My best wishes


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