RIP: Collaborations that disappoint

10 years ago Brand Marketing teams got a new breath of life with Designer collaborations seeping into store collections. New loyal buyers, increased PR, and enhanced brand recall -what’s there not to like about the partnership game?

So in recent months, we saw LV cashing in on the youth with Ski brand Supreme, H&M glitzing it up with Moschino & Burberry going uber chic with Vivienne Westwood.

From travel pouches in Red with Supreme plastered all over, to Moschino’s oversized blingy gold earrings for H&M the theme was consistent- established brands looking to capture the attention of the millennial who likes to buy relatable brands with a purpose.

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In India too, we saw super associations- Pankaj & Nidhi for Koovs, Masaba Gupta for Clinique and many more explosive collections that you couldn’t wait to own.

And that’s why when Kama Ayurveda tied up with Manish Arora for the Valentines gift box, we couldn’t wait to open the box to see what two fantastic brands brought to my dressing table.

 

Manish’s burst of color, psychedelic prints and stunning designs married with Kama’s pure, essential ayurvedic hacks for that ethereal beautilicious look had all the right elements to storm the beauty market.

As I entered the venue, the creators did not disappoint- heavy with the smell of fresh roses, the sweet smell of romance hit the air, making the wait even more unbearable. After all #loveislove was themed to perfection in the month of Cupid,  with heart shaped floral bunches adorning tables,  balloons and even rose petals strewn on the floor. After exploring the gorgeous DIY setup that took me through all the steps of facial hygiene, I was ready to embrace the new range of products that would greet me.

And that’s when my brand loving heart broke! While I was expecting a merging of brand strengths with a new line of products unmatched by any other in the market, I was greeted by a repackaged Rose water and Rose oil both an existing product from the Kama Ayurveda range, along with Manish’s signature zardozi work heart shaped brooches.

Earlier, consumers would have bought into such tactics easily, but in a competitive marketplace where brands create products and associations to create stronger consumer loyalty, limp associations like this can lead to a break up for brand loyalists like me.

 

Mansi Mehta


 

#kama #ayurveda #skin #beauty #care #brands #love #february #collaboration #marketing #cupid #valentines

Here’s how you can shave off over 30 minutes from your daily commute.

As I sat in the middle of a bumper to bumper traffic, witnessing,  the choicest of words being hurled from the Audi driver to the two wheeler driver, incessant honking from those who can’t see the bottle neck and the pointless revving by the frustrated bus driver showing off his horse power, I wonder if any of us realise that it’s upto us whether we waste hours in a traffic jam , or reduce half our travel time daily.

Scowling yet curious?

I only have one word for you…. RESPECT

Respect Yourself: Think about it, most of the times the reason for jams is that we choose to behave like goons on the road- bullying the guy next to us, because we can.

Respect your Neighbour: Intruding into someone’s personal space at the workplace can lead to disciplinary action. So why should the road be any different? Keep enough space between cars to avoid scratches, bruises and unnecessary

Respect your Vehicle: Just like you would keep your Jimmy Choo’s away from any dirty, swampy ground, avoid driving your car on the wrong side or unpaved roads to get ahead of traffic.

So the next time you’re on the road, take a second to Pause. Reflect & Respect for a better, faster,safer drive.

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Remember this- if they don’t get, ‘No means No!’

First up, I want to make this clear- Just because I am a woman, this article has not been written assuming the offender to be a male. I truly believe,that an offender can come from anywhere and be of any sex. The faster we digest this, the faster our response time will be. Case in point, would any of the crew on International TV productions, ever think they needed to be on guard from the lead actor on the sets? And yet the innocent looking-chocolate boy – next door neighbour kinda guy Kevin Spacey managed to terrorise people over the years.

So here’s what you need to remember when in or to avoid a tricky situation …. PACTS

 

PEPPER SPRAY

Buy one now. Stick one under your steering wheel and carry one around in your bag/laptop bag at all times.

Always be prepared.

 

 

 APP- REGISTER YOURSELF ON ONE TODAY

Having your near and dear ones know you’re in danger can save not just many a terrible incident but also mental trauma. Think of how many times we hesitate before telling our loved ones what went wrong. That stigma can be taken out of the equation with this simple hack.

Digital Rescue Guide

 

 

CELL PHONE ESSENTIALS

Be more aware of what your cell phone can do for you incase of an emergency.  Do you have the right people on speed dial? A helpline that may be faster than the police? An automated SOS message in your drafts that can be sent immediately?

 

TACTFUL BREAK

This one may sound weird, but you’ll be surprised how numb the mind, and this is an endeavour to get you on top of the situation.  Most of the time, we know our offender, and its the shock of that, that mutes us and delays our safety response. Instead of attacking, surprise them by either staging a fainting spell, choking or any other delay tactic that can help you get an advantage.

 

SAFETY SIREN

Invest in a safety siren, that can be worn as jewellery , stuck on clothes or mobile. This will help attract action, incase you’re too stunned to react in any other way.

 

I hope in an uncomfortable situation,  PACTS will help you get into an auto rescue mode and take on the world.

 

Mansi Mehta

 

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THE CANNES RED CARPET DECODED FOR YOU

Who says Festivale de Cannes is only about red carpets and not about cinema?

Here’s my list of block buster films that clearly inspired Indian and International movie stars to don their looks this year.

Look. Laugh. Repeat

 


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SONAM KAPOOR

 

 


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SALMA HAYEK

 


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AISHWARYA RAI BACHCHAN

 


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NAOMI HARRIS

 


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EMILY RATAJKOWSKI

 

 

 

 

How to survive the Fashion Week Death Sentence

 

To the point: 5 consecutive days, four times a year means 20 days that a fashion week veteran will never get back. So here’s how you can make those 240 hours totally entertaining.

For anyone who watches more than 3 shows at a fashion week every edition, knows what I am about to say is the truth, the whole truth and, nothing but the truth. If you can manage to keep these following 5 handy, I can guarantee that you will prevail!

1. Have a laugh!
Venue washrooms, pretentious glamour girls (if 60 year olds dress up as 18 they will be called girls!) show delays and erotic fashion statements seen on the ramp… nothing will help you get over the trauma better than a little laugh. Don’t sweat it, laugh out loud at the venue as much as you can, if you spot that outrageous outfit (outfit being a strong word) Forget an apple a day, one fashion week every quarter will give you a doctor free existence!

2. Music

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Ipod/ Itunes/Gaana app, don’t enter the fashion venue without your favourite song. Without music, fashion week can feel like a HNI Chautha. It’s supposed to be a sombre affair, but the conversations you overhear can seriously burn your ears.

3. Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak!
Whether you are working at fashion week or are a mere guest, this is the only way to escape persistent  PR managers, media hungry designers and of course your partner’s ex! This helps you go through the whole day without having to smile every second of every minute. Hence very helpful in avoiding wrinkles and sore jaws.

4. A Shawl
The freezing controlled environment aimed at ensuring the models make up remains intact can play havoc with your body. So if you want to avoid the hot-cold headache, I recommend a stole/shawl in the bag at all times.

5. Friends

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Last but the only thing that you just cannot do without. Being around your gang at fashion week can make you forget the long hours, the queues and turn the most painful day ( all thanks to those gorgeous high heels!) into the most memorable day.

A day in the life of Modern India #isthisyou?

It din’t hit me till I went to spend a night at my parents house last weekend… but I am a prisoner of technology. What you are about to read is going to be so familiar, that I expect your eye widening and blush deepening!

So here’s recounting a normal Friday

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#Fitbit beeps into my dreamy state ‘ It’s time to wake up, our goal for today 8000 steps, Let’s Go!’ 

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#Mydietcoach reminds me that today’s breakfast options are boiled egg or fruit smoothie.

Damn! takes all the fun of waking up in my mum’s house, see you later cheese omelette and gobhi paranthas!

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#Uber checks in with me ‘ Heading out? Use #work for discount’

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#DailyWater worriedly reminds me ‘You have not had any water since morning, you have 8 glasses to go ‘

“Uh-oh! As my board room meeting develops into a war zone, I would be lucky to get a pee break. Water must wait!”

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#Mydietcoach is back with my lunch options- Grilled sandwich or a bowl of daal.

“Little did it know, lunch was actually 6 cups of masala chai and 8 Bourbon biscuits!”

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#BigBasket notification beeps. ‘Out of rice? It’s time for your weekly grocery replenishment’

“Out of rice? I am out of my mind right now! My laptop just crashed on me ….and no I had not saved my file!!!”

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#DailyWater sends me a pic of a wrinkled fruit ‘You are dehydrated, have a litre of water to remain on the daily goal’

“Well actually my friend I am demoralised, dejected & depressed. I am sure you agree dehydrated is the least of my concerns”

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#SportsSocial pings me ‘ Playing Badminton today? There are 3 confirmed players for a 6pm play. Confirm you?’

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Phone alarm goes off ‘Don’t forget to pick up the drycleaning ‘

“Drycleaning? With this crazy traffic I will be lucky to reach my court on time”

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#Mydietcoach send me the dinner menu. I look at that and the butter chicken the husband is devouring …as I click Remind me Later.

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#Fitbit says ‘It’s time to rest, Goodnight’

“If it wasn’t for the fact that its soon going to be Saturday, I would be crying!”

After failing my daily app goals, its time for me to work harder… after all it all begins again at 830 am Monday morning!

 

Download the apps you like below

GET FIT WITH FITBIT

FIND YOUR FAV SPORT &PLAYER

THE WATER GUIDE

STOCK YOUR CUPBOARDS

 

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Marketeer’s guide to Gandhiji’s 3 wise monkey’s 2.0

How many times have you sat behind your desk and let a marketing docket go without reading through it, signed on a marketing alliance without reading the fine print? It’s so easy difficult to envision the repercussions of your actions in your concrete facing cabin.

I feel something similar happened at Yauatcha this week.  It’s one of my favourite places- The dimsum heaven, stir fry lamb haven, and the place you can always go to and it never disappoints, except this time.

I recently saw a digital campaign about their anniversary celebrations, the promise of a great menu at a super affordable price. So off we went on Monday night . So as I was given an option between the Taste of Yauatcha special 5 course meal and the Anniversary menu,I  realised other than the inclusion of a glass of sparkling wine the menus were 85% same. How could that be? Why would a Michelin star restaurant not have enough to differentiate the two menus? There was no answer. But that got me thinking of how the lack of vision, and part disinterest in one’s team can lead to destructive marketing.

 

As Marketeers there has to be a version of Gandhiji’s three monkey rule that must be adhered to

Screen Shot 2016-11-15 at 3.44.11 PM.pngKeep your eyes open. blind. You have to know that each marketing activity has a different reaction, but don’t insult the customers intelligence. EVER

Screen Shot 2016-11-15 at 3.44.03 PM.pngKeep your ears open. I have seen companies spend millions of dollars in research. Research of what the consumer wants. Ironically, if you think about it, we are given that information first hand everyday, we just have to have the right mechanism to internally share that data

 

Screen Shot 2016-11-15 at 3.44.18 PM.pngOpen your mouthBe vocal. Interacting with the real customer on the shop floor is the best way to know if your marketing is working. On Paper and in reality the trademarks of a successful campaign are very different.

5 things from your Gift Cupboard that can be recycled this Diwali

What is a gift cupboard did you ask?

It’s the magical place which promises to be your savior, every time your husband forgets to tell you about a dinner at his bosses, the pandora’s box that has something for every occasion, your own little shopping mall in the comfort of  home.

I got married 6 years ago, and yet some of the 107 gifts that I received on that momentous day are still packed and sealed, waiting to be unwrapped. Just like your wedding day, these gifts too are truly unforgettable.

So here’s a good way of cleaning and recycling that gift cupboard.

  • CROCKERY -Home is a personal space especially when you are setting up your first marital home and while for guests at weddings it makes perfect sense to gift tea sets, plates, coffee mugs, glasses and all types of serving bowls, it may not suit the design sensibility of your home. I divide these gifts into NEVER USE and MAY USE. Every year, I ensure 5 of these ‘Never Use’ home items are donated to a charity home. Why should they always get hand me downs?

 

  • HOME DECOR ARTICLES -Anniversary, Housewarming or a JLT ( Just like that) party means a new a batch of home items. Now who can blame your guests, after all candle holders, coasters, antique clocks, flower vases make for ideal non controversial gifts. But if you haven’t managed to take them out in a while, this Diwali, gift it to your support help at home. After paying premium price for lentils, decorative items is an unaffordable luxury for them.

 

  • PLATTERS & SERVING BOWLS – This one is a particular favourite. Come Diwali, and I like to take out those single platters that don’t gel with any of my houseware, fill dry fruits, chocolates, raisins in them, add 5-6 diyas for festive cheer. Voila! you have a Diwali hamper ready for gifting. Incase you have single serve bowls, add different dry fruits in each, assemble on a glass, marble or wooden tray, add the diyas and it’s ready to go too.

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  • PERFUMES -At any given point in time, I have over 10 perfumes in my cupboard, some that I buy on my shopping sprees and others gifted to me on special occasions. It’s important to remember that like wine, perfumes too, age and get better with time, but they also tend to evaporate over long periods of time. I like to gift them to my team on festive occasions.

 

  • CLOTHES- How many times have you bought an outfit, a tad too small, hoping to fit into it and never did? A majority of my impulsive ‘I love the outfit too much to not get it’ buys, land up in my gift cupboard. I like to gift these to people in the pantry, security or the house keeping team. It’s something that lights up their day.              Isn’t that the whole point of Diwali?

 

If I was Melania Trump, I would…

It’s not easy. It’s unforgiving. It’s thankless. It’s a hard task.

It’s great power that comes with great responsibility. While this Presidential campaign has been harsh in it’s focus on Donald Trump, its been a tough journey for the potential First Lady to-be, Melania Trump too. So, here are some of the lighter moments that make this big stand up comedy show called the US Presidential Election, a little more bearable!

Enjoy!

If I was Melania Trump… I would rather my son watch all the adult TV in the world, it’s got to be better than hearing his father talk!

If I was Melania Trump… I would be the busiest mother on this earth. Once I am done mothering my 10 year old, its time to start with my 70 year old!

If I was Melania Trump… I would keep a paternity test result handy. You never know when Donald thinks I have rigged that system too.

If I was Melania Trump… I would get a cosmetic surgery to give me a constant smile . Thats the only way I could mask a gasp when my husband says ‘ I grab women by the p****’

If I was Melania Trump… I would start my line of Lock and Key underwear. After all, being with a successful CEO has it’s upside. I can smell a business opportunity anywhere!

If I was Melania TrumpI would invest in good noise cancelling invisible ear plugs. It’s very upsetting to hear Trump bashing. After all, he is my husband!

If I was Melania Trump… I would make sure that my seat at all Trump’s rallies have a neck-back-butt massager. That’s the only way all that B*** S**** is worth listening to.

If I was Melania TrumpI would be upset with myself for being outdated. Trump mentioned this new shopping mall -Nato and I have never shopped there !

If I was Melania TrumpI would be worried about my husband wanting to seal borders. Where am I going to get my nanny, cleaners and manicurists from?

If I was Melania Trump I would get my husband into a doctor’s office immediately for his sniffing problem. Can’t have people say he is old, or they will be calling me aged next!

If I was Melania Trump I would take Donald to my hair stylist asap, I cannot afford to go down in world history pictured standing next to The Nest  at the elections! #dontcrampmystylehoney

If I was Melania Trump… and had a nickle for every time my husband said

‘I want to make America great again’ I would be a millionaire.

‘They created ISIS’ I would be a billionaire. 

‘Wrong, Incorrect’I would be a trillionaire.

-Mansi Mehta

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