Fighting the downturn: a conference on accountable advertising on February 25, 2009 in Delhi

Speakers from Naukri, NIIT, Google, Nokia, Lintas Media Group, Pinstorm to address marketers

Given the cut in ad spends across the board following the economic downturn, can digital and pay-for-performance show a road to recovery?

Instead of paying for eyeballs or impressions, would you rather pay for sales or leads? Whither branding?

Google started this trend – can it spread beyond search to all digital advertising, including banners? Should this be the model for TV and print? Will we see the good old days of large allocations to branding again? How do marketers see media spends in this era of unprecedented accountability?

We (Pinstorm & our partner Lintas Media Group) along with the IAMAI are hosting a series of closed-door roundtables on these questions.

The first event was held in Mumbai. You can read more about the event on CampaignIndia, Agencyfaqs or Exchange4Media. Our next event in the series:

Marketing through the recession: is pay-for-performance advertising the silver bullet?”
is on Wednesday, February 25, 2009, in Delhi, between 6:30 pm - 8 pm.

This open-format discussion will be led by prominent speakers like Hitesh Oberoi from Naukri, Vineet Taneja from Nokia, Santosh Nair from NIIT, Shailesh Rao from Google, and Lynn de Souza from the Lintas Media Group. The discussion will be moderated by Mahesh Murthy of Pinstorm.

The conference is by invitation only.

Kala Ghoda Arts Festival

The Kala Ghoda festival is an integral part of Mumbai’s annual cultural festivities calendar and has only grown in stature every month. The Kala Ghoda (which literally means ‘black horse’ in Hindi) festival is held annually between January and February and attracts a very large part of Mumbai’s population along with the many tourist that come by every year.

This year’s festival was a little more special for us as some of the Pinstormers won the events they participated in!

In the Poetry Slam (head here for details), Raamesh Gowri Raghavan, copywriter, participated and came second with a rather interesting poem on a temple as seen from the eyes of the presiding deity.

In the Literary Quiz (details here) spread over two days, Mahesh Murthy, our Founder, and Bala, our Ex-Creative Director, participated and qualified on the first day for the finals. Then on the second day, they topped that and actually won the finals!

As you might imagine, the winners have had to deal with some sore palms today, thanks to all the high-fives happening! We all at Pinstorm are proud of you guys! Ride on!


by Sourabh Mishra

The word “chaddi,” which means underwear in a couple of Indian
languages, has become a potent symbol of protest in its pink avatar by a section of
young online Indians against what is increasingly being seen as the
“Talibanization” of India.

Right-wing Hindu organizations have, over the last few years, taken on
the role of moral authority, policing against what they perceive to be activities
going against the grain of Indian and Hindu culture. This moral
policing often takes on the form of vigilantism, which is a sure-fire
recipe for media coverage. They typically target young couples in
parks and beaches, and the smaller shops selling Valentine’s Day-related merchandise. They physically intimidate these soft-target
victims, usually after giving sufficient notice to the press and
TV channels, to ensure that the cameras are there to put them
in the news.

The latest such incident took place on Jan. 24. Hooligans claiming to be
from a little known right-wing Hindu outfit called Shri Ram Sena
attacked a pub in the coastal city of Mangalore and mercilessly beat
up the young men and women spending a Saturday afternoon there. See a news story here.

The usual expressions of outrage happened with politicians and other
similar creatures getting their own shot at instant media fame, giving
their party-appropriate soundbites. And that would have been the end
of it.

But the age of Facebook activism has now dawned. A bunch of agitated
people, mainly women, created a group called “A Consortium of
Pub-going, Loose and Forward Women”
and launched the “pink chaddi
campaign,” which exhorts everyone to send the Ram Sena a pink chaddi on
Valentine’s Day, “because chaddis are forever.”

At the time of writing, it had about 8,000 members, increasing by the
minute. The mainstream media has also picked this up, with the Times of
India carrying the story on its front page
Another Facebook group based on this premise is “Kamasutra Day — A
Truly Indian Cultural Event.”

The silent Indian minority seems to be finding a platform in Facebook
to voice its opinion and it will be interesting to see if this becomes
more than a passing fad. I am personally loving it and am hoping that
this fringe activism soon metamorphoses into a full-blown movement.

Viva la Pink Chaddis!