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McCann’s Kishore Chakraborti’s book sees marketing through popular culture

‘Listening Eyes’ is about the many Indias as seen through the author’s insightful mind,  and how brands and Indian culture have undergone deep permanent changes over time

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | September 10, 2012

Kishore Chakraborti, Vice-President, Consumer Insight & human futures development, McCann Erickson India, has been a frequent writer and contributor of articles on marketing, advertising and brand insights and trends. Yesterday, at a launch function at the India Habitat Centre, Chakraborti released his book, ‘Listening Eyes’. Published by Times Group Books, the book is targeted at students of management, brand managers, and media and communication professionals.

The book is about various “learnings of the many Indias”; it is a commentary on a country bracing itself for facing challenges of change. Chakraborti brings into focus various aspects of Indian and its markets that are funny, startling and insightful. In short, it is an entertaining mirror for consumers of Indian life. Compiled from his notes on the many Indias, the book is packed with real-life experiences of myths, television advertising, films and popular culture.

As Chakraborti says in the preface: “The essays are like the morning walks of my mind…The topics are as varied as the roads, streets, marketplaces, shopping arcades, family and social functions and get-togethers.”

Kishore Chakraborti

Being an advertising professional, Chakraborti has interesting observations to make, calling them “fairy tales in 30 seconds“. He writes: “When did you last hear a fairly tale? Way back in childhood of course… With the disintegration of joint families, we miss grannies, the official storytellers with their bagful of tantalizing tales. Television, today’s storyteller, leaves little room for anything else. The saas-bahu serials have to drag on the never-ending issues of life to satisfy ardent followers who are looking for new developments every day…The visual storyteller of these new-age substitutes of fairy tales is no mortal but the magic eye of the camera.” Well said.

In the section on Brands and Consumers, Chakraborti writes: “A majority of Indian consumers are still fairly innocent and take things at face value. We are by nature gullible ad compelling cheerleaders of our brands. Like the pug in the commercial, we are too happy to help our brands if we sense even remotely that our brand is trying to be nice to us.” He goes on then: “There are companies which cash in on the consumer’s gullibility. Why are we like that?” Read the book to find some gems from real-life marketplace realities of how brands in India give a short shrift to consumers.

The focus of the book is about advertising, brands, marketing, advertising, all seen through the eyes of the author starting from his home, his childhood and then through his adult and professional life. It is all about insights gathered through the eyes of a professional ad man. It is about how consumer behaviour, brands and the marketplace interface and play out their roles – for the right reasons or the right or wrong ways at times – in the various Indian contexts. It is a fascinating book, simply told. Well done, Kishore.

Info@BestMediaInfo.com

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