Friday, August 25, 2006

Marketing, the Nazi way

The guys who started the eating joint, Hitler's Cross, in Mumbai, that's caused so much of buzz all over the world, is either a genius or a nincompoop, but I seriously think it's the former. Either way, it's something to open a store in a ramshackle part of the city and make a story out of it that becomes a part of front page national news for consecutive days. And it’s certainly a great achievement to make it a part of 'Most E-mailed' stories of the International BBC news.

I suspect the owner took a lot of insights from the recent (if the past 2 years is recent enough) success of controversial 'phenomenon' like 'The Da Vinci Code'. The message in the success of the 'The Da vinci Code' was simple: Weave together a good story AND add a controversial element to it. It works magic. Too many people have tried weaving a good story alone. Too many have tried creating controversy. But not many tried both together. It's probably a vital lesson in marketing. The story of the supposed super-model (as newspapers have started claiming these days) - Raaki Sawant – is not very dissimilar. It's a classic story of a single kiss (a peck, to be precise!) transforming a no-one into a super-model. I mean, what more would you ask for if you were a model.

It's again not very different in the case of Hitler's Cross. Of course, the joint can't become 'The Da Vinci Code' type phenomenon simply because the scale is too small. But the joint has probably achieved more publicity than what the owner ever wanted. The reaction from the Indian Jew community was very, very predictable. Everything boils down to a simple cost vs. benefit equation. The cost of doing the controversial thing is to alienate the small Jewish population in Bombay (which is around 5000 people), while the benefit could be to make front page news of national dailies and rouse interest among the crowd that craves to be 'alternate', ones who love to 'break the rules'. Other Jews around the world who’ve led the cry are not customers anyway. I think it’s easy to see that the benefit FAR overshadows the cost.

Whether I go to the joint or not is really irrelevant here because I KNOW a lot of people are going to visit it. So, is the owner an 'ignorant' one as claimed by the Indian Jewish community and the media? I really, really don't think so. It’s quite the contrary.


At Saturday, August 26, 2006 5:56:00 PM, Blogger Beau Peep said...

Whatever the case is, it was utterly despicable that a guy was literally threatened to change the name.

Despicable tactics and the Jews too must know that people have a right (especially in a democracy) to have a second opinion on things like history.

The Jews can in no way be above the others, or are they?

At Saturday, August 26, 2006 6:26:00 PM, Blogger Jammy said...

Business following the way of politics?

btw, what happened to the 2007 and 2008 batch guys? There are no updates in i-life. Is blogging ending with your batch?

At Sunday, August 27, 2006 9:54:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@Beau: True, its democracy and Jews could choose not to visit those places, but we'll never know where to draw the line. What if the same thing happens in say Germany or anywhere in Europe. SHould this be tolerated in the same of democracy. Frankly, I dont know!

@Jammy: True, even I'm a bit concerned about it... hope at least we continue!


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