The Hindu Hits Back

Who doesn’t enjoy advertising wars. The Hindu’s comeback deserves it’s place in Arif & Ali’s Advertising Hall of Fame. We applaud The Hindu on it’s stand on journalism and the ads are awesome too. Here are all the ads (Video, Outdoor and Print) that I could find across the city and the web.



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Excellent Lectures I have heard – April edition

I have come across some exceptionally good lectures this month. Do hear them as soon as you get to. I have found that the best best BEST time to hear these lectuers is while driving or exercising. There’s an immense amount of education and mental stimulation you can get while dong either of the two. All the lectures are uploaded on the Arif and Ali Podcast Feed. Subscribe to the feed with itunes, sync it up with your ipod and you have all the below lectures and more.

How to Maximise your Energy by Tony Schwartz

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Tony has given a brilliant presentation as part of Leading @ Google series. Tony Schwartz is a co-author of the excellent book the Power of Full Engagement. The whole premise of his work is that we should stop focussing on Time is not the only resource that is available to us. Whenever we need to get something done what we tell ourselves is that alright all we need to do is give more time. But where is the Time? We are all maxed out on our Time Bank infact I presume many of us are under cutting on our sleep to catchup on our to-do lists.

So in addition to time, a critical resource is how much energy we have. Once we begin to see that, we begin managing our energy better, not only you get more stuff done, you feel great in the process.

Hear the Lecture to learn about:

– Have an Energy Audit conducted to know where you currently stand

– The Four Sources of Energy.

– How to better manage your Energy.

I had several Aha moments while hearing this lecture, the Aha moment that stayed with me most is Tony’s phrase, “Spiritual Energy comes from doing what you say is important.” Wow! That’s so simple yet profound isn’t it. You may be high on Physcial, Mental and Emotional Energy, but if you are doing isn’t important to you, how much energy you would have to move forward? Very little, indeed. But once you start standing up to the occasion and do what you say is important, boy, that will fuel your physical, Mental and Emotional Energies as well. Hear/Download the whole lecture on mp3 here or Watch it on YouTube here.

Change Anything – The New Science of personal Success

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I have been a fan of most of books by the Vital Smarts guys. Specially Crucial Conversations and Crucial Confrontations, which I have blogged about several times earlier.

Change Anything is their fourth book and terrific hit. Joseph Grenny speaks about this book at another Leadership at Google talk series.

He starts beautifully by asking the following series of questions:
– How many of you know more about wellness, relationships, parenting, financial planning than we currently do?

– Same for people, how many of us know people who know more about better living than they are currently practicing?

– Same for organisations, how many of us know of organisations that know more about better leadership, management than they are currently practicing?

So the challenge today is not so much about knowing but changing that knowledge into practices, into habits.

He goes on to then explode the myth that the reason why we don’t Change is not because of Lack of Will Power. It’s that we don’t have the sheer guts, the stamina, the will of iron, to change that we don’t make the change. But there are influences beyond our vision that steer us towards one path or the other. Once we awaken and are aware of such influnces, and then modify these influences, change for the better begins to happen.

A paradigm-shifting lecture after hearing which whenever I think of change in myself or others I stop thinking in terms of will but in terms of influences.

Hear/Download the whole lecture on mp3 here or Watch it on YouTube here.

Everyday benefits of Meditation by Sharon Salzberg

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Meditation. The word brings to our mind sitting on the floor for long hours, bored for no obvious benefits.

In this final Google Talk, Sharon explains Meditation practice is far simpler. It is fun, esoteric and relevant to the wide-ranging situations we encounter in everyday life. Rather than an ornate, arcane set of instructions, meditation consists of practical tools to help deepen concentration, mindfulness and compassion.

Over the last week I have been practicing Mindfulness and small bouts of meditation during the day and definitely experience the benefits of it.

Hear/Download the whole lecture on mp3 here or Watch it on YouTube here.

Behold. A terrible campaign that is being aired.

*puke*. My apologies but gosh please excuse me. I haven’t seen worst ads in my life, okay I may have, but these are bad. As an advertising buff, I passively keep an eye open for good, catchy advertising be it in print, tv or web. And OMG, I fail to recall when I have seen horrible ads. A good ad entices you to use the product so much that you are willing to pay for it. An poor ad is one that leaves you ambivalent and you don’t really care much for the product shown. The ads shown below, make me want to run away from the product as far as possible. Infact these ads are so terrible that if I was in a situation that I HAD to use the product, I’d pay money not to use it.

The pity is that Tata Telecom is a good company that provide decent products with decent service. Infact I am currently typing this blog post while using a TATA Docomo 3G dongle and I have been getting decent speeds. However, when it comes to advertising I don’t know why but TATA seems to always miss the mark. I blogged about TATA’s Telecom poor advertising several years ago here as well. Anyway, I am a fan of TATA Products and I hope someone senior enough in their organisation sees this and makes the requisite changes.

Here are those horrible ads. Don’t view them.

And this is suppose to make me subscribe to a Tata Docomo service? Next time I’m getting an operation, besides checking the Doctor’s experience I’m also going to check who is his Telecom Service Providoer.

Yes, I can just see mothers spotting those Tata Stores so that they can take their babies as far away from them as possible.

This is the worst of them all. Profiling domestic workers.

Excellent Talks that I have heard over the internet – October Edition

Leading at Google: Tony Hsieh on Delivering Happiness

Truly MUST-HEAR for every entrepreneur, marketing, customer-care and HR department. Tony Hsieh, retells his heartwarming journey on how he took Zappos, once this unknown company, to become the darling of the American Shoe Shoppers. When Tony joined Zappos, it was a sinking company with sales of a grand total of $0. Over 10 years he turned it around for it to earn $1 Billion in 2008. Subsequently, Zappos was acquired by Amazon for $1.2 Billion. The best part is how he did it. It was not by hammering advertising down customers throats. It was instead by focussing on the Culture of the Company, the Employees and Staying True to it’s mission of providing Outstanding Customer Service.

There were several take backs that I got from this talk some of which I remember are:

– The Vision, Mision, Values (you know the stuff you find in lobbies of Companies) are not as important as the commitment and dedication to living up to them. Don’t spend eons and oodles of money on retreats to come up with grandiouse mission statements. A simple one off the internet would do just fine, as long as you believe in it and are committed and dedicated to live up to it.

– Encourage employees to spend more time on the phone with customers, not less. They don’t have written scripts nor fixed time during which to complete a call. A complete opposite of the Call Centre Culture.

– Long term happiness is obtained by being part of a movement that is larger than yourself. Focus on that first and then top it up with the other forms of happiness such as the Flow experience and Momentary Pleasures.

Top Secret: The Battle for the Pentagon Papers

Wow. What A Brilliant Play. Infact I have a good mind to hear it all over again. The play is on Washinton’s Post decision to publish excerpts of The Pentagon Papers, a top-secret document about the Vietnam war, which “demonstrated, among other things, that the Johnson Administration had systematically lied, not only to the public but also to Congress, about a subject of transcendent national interest and significance”.

The play beautifully brings out issues of how much freedom of press should there be in a democracy and how responsible should they be. Very timely in today’s era.

Twelve Angry Men

Court Room dramas don’t get more exciting than this. I highly recommend clicking the link and hearing the sample audio available. I did. I was hooked and bought this audio drama. Boy, was it well worth it. I later bought the DVD and watched it all over again. A brilliant court-room drama that exercises one critical thinking and questioning skills. How do you look at a situation impartially. Devoid of emotion, prejudices and give your view completely based on facts. You think you can do that? Would you test your theory/view before airing it? Hear this play to know where you stand.

The play is about a boy who is convicted of killing his father based on overwhelming evidence. The jury battle out their views over the course of this play till the reach a conclusion.

Excellent Talks I have heard – May Edition

The ipod in my car is continually dishing out some advice or the other. I am really fortunate to come across some soul-lifting, practical, enriching lectures.

Ted Talk by Rick Warren on Purpose Driven Life

This is a lovely little talk by the author of an immensely successful Spiritual Classic. He offers great pointers on determining your self-worth and how to discover your purpose in life. Nothing radically new. Yet great to hear.

Ted Talk by Martin Seligman on Positive Psychology

Another 18 minute gem. What I loved about the talk is how Martin breaks down happiness, into three different types.

1. The immediate happiness we feel on say having chocolate or having a good time with friends.

2. The Flow State of happiness that we experience when we are truly engaged in something. You know, when time stops for us. For me, that happens when I’m blogging or drawing.

3. The Meaningful happiness when we are involved with a purpose that is greater than ourselves.

Hence to live a Full, Happy and Meaningful life is to maximise the opportunities for the three circumstances to take place. Here the talk, there may be other nuggets that you can pick up.

Suze Orman at Google. How to make the most of your money

Here’s a talk by another best selling author. Although lot of the advice is very American specific, yet I walked away with principles and tips that I could implement.

Where Love is God is by Leo Tolstoy

A very touching story by the great Russian author on how a humble cobbler yearns to meet Jesus Christ. Unfortunately I couldn’t find the reading of this story online anymore. But do subscribe to the Classic Tales Podcast by B J Harrison. Ever so often I come across a story that I feel like sharing with all. But unfortunately that story is taken down before I can write about it. If you are subscribed to The Classic Tales Podcast, when I let you know of the story, you can then go back to the archives and hear it.

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