Friday, February 05, 2010

Telco companies & Green drives.

Before saying anything, let me ask you to watch the videos embedded below. If you've already watched it on TV, its optional.

and this...

What do you feel about it?

These are actually promotions for a cause by the telco companies in making us aware of our environment.

One may initially feel sorry for the environment, may feel the urge to go green n eco etc.

Lets look into it in a more indifferent manner. Lets take them one by one.

1. Idea's urge to save paper, use mobile.

Go through the video once again if you want to, it gives you many ways to save paper. One can see browsing newspaper through mobile, giving autographs on a touchscreen, taking notes on a mobile(in a court), boarding passes in airports, university certificates, menus and orders in a hotel and what not?

The ad goes bang into the market and is a big hit. Though there are many filmy elements. One major flaw I felt was nobody uses a mobile to type in a court when one can have a desktop/laptop. Storage and transmitting could also be more spacious/faster in the latter case.

Agreed, as they are promoting their product, that is their gimmick. I'm not against the entertaining aspect of it.

Coming to more serious matter, who would implement such ideas? May be a few enthusiasts who got interested would make it a point in following the steps guided by the ad. Aged people would hardly feel the urge to type. They prefer hard copy paper than its counterpart. I don't see any long term implementations of it. On the other hand, these could be the advertisements of the mobile manufacturers and not of the service providers strictly speaking.

Lets hold it for a moment and discuss it after the second ad.

2. Aircel's urge to save the tigers of India.

Its a bit more serious than the previous ad. They ask us to involve in saving tigers. Specially Indian tigers. (Well, how can we save tigers that aren't in our country?) Wanna know more about it? Check it out here.

It has got three brand ambassadors. Cricketing star, M.S. Dhoni, Football captain, Bhaichung Bhutia and Tamil hero Suriya (Aircel is basically from TN).

Again, lemme list the positives here.

1. Effectively depicts the condition of our tigers.
2. Makes us think about Tigers as endangered species.
3. No filmy things in the ad. Thanks for that.

Now lemme tell you my opinion on this ad. Ultimately whatever a common man does, he cannot literally help in saving tigers. Blogging about it, speaking on it in meetings, sharing your thoughts with your friends... nothing is practically gonna help saving tigers. If I'm wrong, please enlighten me in this matter.

Forget everything, we cannot see a tiger except for zoos. Lively tigers are hard to search in jungles. Many of my treks n hiking have gone unfruitful to watch the predator in an open forest. (Not that normal person wishes to see tigers)

Whatever this ad is meant for, should reach the actual hunters of tigers. Not only the hunters of tiger alone, but all wild animals in general.

No 'Save wildlife campaign' helped to any extent in hunting down Veerappan, the elephant poacher. All we could wait for is to turn the minds of these poachers n hunters as well as their supporters on the good side.

Now to summarize everything discussed, its just a market gimmick for these telco providers to gain more publicity boasting themselves as eco-friendly. I'm not saying that they're always wrong. We do have truth on their side, but still I feel its just their marketing strategy. All I want to say is that because of these mobile operators, we have lost our sparrows from the urban areas. Not only sparrows but almost all birds. All we could see is a few crows here n there sparingly.

How many will turn in my side, if I say 'Stop using mobiles, save the sparrow. Lets do our bit'. Who will turn my side?

Or yet another agenda, 'Use less plastic, save the environment'?? How many will turn up? How many street cows have fallen sick/died just because of consuming plastic?

You might think I'm always cynic towards such things. Thats how I am.

As always, If I've left out some points or you feel that I'm wrong on some statements, please do let me know.


Sabarish said...

nice post!

my comments -

first ad -

As far as using the phone for news and taking notes, boarding pass and all that - here in the US it is very much a reality. Thanks to good mobile internet through 3G and smartphones like the iPhone, Droid, etc. and the various applications that they have - all these things are happening here and now.
Apps for Audio books & e-books / news / transport / restaurant / notes / etc. are very popular here and probably are contributing in some way to reduced paper usage...

So that ad is very much a reality and once faster mobile internet and cheaper smart phones are accessible to all, not to forget net books and tablets, etc.. then maybe direct paper usage might be reduced.

But ofcourse one needs to see how much of wood is used directly or indirectly in the manufacture of these devices!

second ad -

You are WRONG when you say that "Blogging about it, speaking on it in meetings, sharing your thoughts with your friends... nothing is practically gonna help saving tigers"

Awareness is KEY in issues like this and all such social issues.
The word needs to go around.

The public needs to be informed as to what their government is doing (or rather NOT doing) for the animals. People need to know what is happening. People will then start questioning the people (politicians) who are supposed to look into issues like this. There will be pressure from the public and this in turn will force the government to react. The politicians in-charge will get to know that people are starting to question them and that they better do atleast something positive for the cause. They'll know that they can't easily get away with looking the other way when another tiger dies.

And awareness also educates. The poachers will surely also watch TV and who knows, maybe some of them might get inspired after watching such awareness campaigns. Maybe their kids will watch it and not follow in their parents footsteps.

Apart from the poachers, the people who buy these products need to also be made aware that they are buying something that is causing enormous damage to the environment. Once demand stops then slowly supply will also stop...

So hey i'd say in all social causes - spread the word far and wide and through all forms possible. It can only help. It can't cause any more damage.

~ Sab

Sandesh Karanth said...

Hey Sab =),

Thanks for the comment.

Well, hope 3G (n probably 4G) comes asap to India so that all those apps get validated here.

Regarding the second ad, spreading the word to save wildlife has been done since long but I hardly see people reacting to that and hence that opinion.

U seem to have assumed our government is utopian which sadly isnt. neither its dystopian. Its in between.

Again, hope is the only thing thats left.

Namratha said...

Nice post Sandesh.
The first ad, though not all quite a lot of them look feasible and doable. Though I wouldn't trade a physical book with an ebook/kindle,tickets and such would surely be better off with electronic wiring (whats the word?). But with a stupid govt, it really seems like a far off dream.
As for the second one, I agree with u. The people who need to be aware of this are rarely the ones who are net savvy and/or watch tv. I do not see much use of it.

Sandesh Karanth said...

@Namratha - Amazed that you'd agree... Hehehe! Just kiddin... keep commenting...

Manoj said...

Second one makes no sense!!! I dont think people who buy fur dont realize that the animals are gonna get extinct. They actually dont care. They have the money, they buy it. On the other hand, people killing animals also dont mind animals being extinct. They'll either change the animal, or the whole occupation itself. Its easy for us to say, dont kill etc. But a poacher's life isn easy. What else will he do if he stops killing? His resume will only say, n no. of animals killed. That wont get you jobs. :(

Sandesh Karanth said...

@ Manoj - No matter what? demand for fur-coats n leather goods increase by time which is sad... Good thinking from the poachers POV but, If he intend to change, he can aim some other minor job which isnt that economy friendly...

Calvin Bhai said...

Nice comparisons!

First Ad:
I kinda agree with Sab.

But I have noticed one more thing in US, that I think happens on an equal (or a higher) scale in India - Paper Recycling.

US tries quite hard to recycle paper and plastics whereas in India, people collect paper and sell it back to the road side paper shop that buys paper and sells it to the recycling company.

I have no idea what these newspapers (bought in the shops in India) are used for. But I believe, the newspapers dont use virgin raw materials for the paper. A lot of it is recycled (in India as well as US).

IDEA cellular is trying to show its pseudo-philanthropic side at the cost of paper manufacturers. if someone misses the first few seconds of teh ad, they may end up thinking its an ad for iPhone or a blackberry!

my opinion about this ad: Crap

Second Ad:
Again, I kinda agree with Sab and disagree with both of your POVs.

Sadly, as these animals become rare, the demand to supply ratio keeps shooting up even if the demand doenst change, so does the value for anything made from these rare animals goes up!

Awareness is essential. You never know who's eyes your blog will open, and who knows, probably that person who read you blog will do something that helps the situation?

It may not change the lethargic attitude of the Indian bureaucracy, but there are instances where you can find gems in the Indian political/bureaucratic systems, who may help the cause.

Awareness campaigns will not/never have a direct impact. These campaigns are never targeted at the poachers. If the poacher/criminals world was so ideal, all the problems in the world could be solved, by creating a campaign that'd ask bad people to stop doing bad things and become good :)

Utopian govt or not, there are at least three bright minds from the famed engineering college from Gollahalli who are discussing this =).
(ok, make that two, VTU refused to certify me as bright ;)

If not for any of the awareness campaigns, how would any of us know that something like this is happening? If I hadn't come across a single such campaign in my life, and I had to be some stuff made from an endangered animal's skin/bone, I wouldn't think twice.

Bottomline is that the awareness campaigns, even if they don't help solve the problem, it definitely helps contain it to a certain level.

Opinion about second ad: I appreciate Aircell coming up with an ad meant to create actual awareness about the endangered Tigers and not some masala campaign to sell more subscriptions