Skip to main content

By Appointment to Her Majesty the Queen




In 2009, 26 year old Vaibhav Bedi sued Hindustan Lever Limited the company that sold the AXE brand of grooming products for men. He claimed that the company had cheated him, caused him mental suffering and caused him significant financial loss, by misleading him about the effectiveness of Axe products. 

Advertisements suggest that  Axe products make men irresistible to women.

Vaibhav failed to attract any girls, even after regularly using Axe products for over seven years. However when his maid beat him with a broom, Vaibhav's patience had run out. All Vaibhav was trying to do, was to impress the maid, by appearing naked in front of her after applying various Axe products. 

Vaibhav Bedi is not alone. Billions of people  are routinely misled. This deception is dignified by calling it creative marketing. It is employed by most big manufacturers and marketeers, with complicity by the media of course who are always ready to make a buck.

Rich, famous, powerful and beautiful, many of them play the endorsement game. A foreign accent makes it all even better.


_______________________________

This is called 'the art of spin'. Many people marketing products or services, make claims that they know are not true. What the hell, who cares anyway? The money is all that matters. Some even endorse products which are known to be harmful to people and the environment. Most of the endorsers are clueless about the product, or have never even used the product or service they recommend.

In polite society it is called  'endorsement'. 
In developed economies typically 1.1 to 1.55% of a country's GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is spent on advertising and informing or in many cases misinforming. In India Advertising spend per year is approximately 0.4% of GDP worth Rs 16,000 Crores (US$ 2.6 Billion)

Of course there are many great products and services that are crying to be heard. However most products are not what they are presented as. There is a sucker born every minute, who clever people manipulate and exploit with ease. 

Where did this concept of endorsement come from?

By Appointment to Her Majesty ........


The clever British are credited with creating the concept of endorsement for commercial purposes. The earliest recorded British royal charter was granted to the Weavers’ Company in 1155 by Henry II of England. 

'Royal warrants of appointment' have been issued for centuries to those who supply goods or services to senior members of the British Royal Family.

Buyers automatically formed the opinion, that if a certain product or service used by a member of  the royal family, it had to be good.. 

The warrant is typically advertised on company hoardings, letter-heads and products by displaying the coat of arms or the heraldic badge of the royal personage as appropriate. Underneath the coat of arms will usually appear the phrase "By Appointment to..." followed by the title and name of the royal customer, and then what goods are provided.

This concept has been adopted across the world and royalty have been replaced by actors, sports-persons, etc, often by people who have no clue on what they are endorsing and delivered to the public through television, film, magazines, newspapers and now the internet. 

Endorsements is a fantastic concept, unfortunately it has degenerated into 'spin'.  Some recent incidents have indicated that the endorsers and the manufacturers along with the media cannot be trusted. 

Is there any reason to question why advertising revenues and credibility of endorsers, media, are at an all time low and plummeting rapidly?



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Last thoughts and words of Emperor Aurangzeb

The 6th Mughal emperor of India, Aurangzeb was a brave but cruel man. While he was an excellent military leader, he was a weak administrator with poor understanding of economics. As a result he landed up being dependent on corrupt, fanatical people who only hungered for power and wealth.

Aurangzeb's lust for power was insatiable. In this quest he spared no one, imprisoning his own father, and slaughtering his brothers and nephews. He inherited an expanding empire which permitted him to rule the largest area of the Mughal empire's history, before he led it into decline. 

He felt that his actions had probably made him repugnant to the people and his legitimacy to rule would always be questioned. So he adopted a frugal life style and tried to be a good Muslim to appease the powerful clerics, soldiers, noblemen and the muslim public, which would allow him to rule effectively.

Like many other misguided men he came to believed that Islam meant only violent, subjugation and persecution.…

The Lopez Effect

Every now & then things get tough for a lot of organisations. This may be caused by technology, competition, recession or whatever. When the nasty stuff hits the fan, this is what typically happens at large organisations;

The CMD (Chairman & Managing Director) will call a meeting and scream and rant on how useless and lazy his entire management team is and how they have let the organisation's profitability slide. blah, blah, blah!!!!

The boss desperately searches for a scapegoat. Sometimes sacrificial lambs are found and a few heads roll and the situation only deteriorates because attacking people rather problems never helps. Sometimes the boss realises the truth, that there is no one individual or department or function that can be specifically blamed except the boss himself.

After venting his ire, the boss will issue a diktat to the management team. "I want my organisation to return to high profitability so this is what the team is going to do. I want you to reduce…

Spiral of death - Ants and Humans

Ants can sometimes get caught in a phenomenon called a spiral of death, in which the entire colony can become lost and disoriented and march in circles until they die of exhaustion. Because certain species of ants are essentially blind, they navigate by following pheromone trails left behind by other members of their colony; they use these scent markers to identify food supplies and find their way home. However, should enough of them lose the scent, they will begin to follow the ant immediately in front of them, forming an enormous death spiral in which they will essentially commit suicide.  Source: James Williams - fire ant expert.
______________________________________________
Humans in society behave quite similarly . Sometimes we die physically, but more often than not we die intellectually and the vast majority of us die spiritually. Yet man is resilient and when he reaches the edge of existence will turn around and rise and evolve once again.