Marketing of “Acche Din”!!!

No other phrase has caught the imagination of the public – intelligentsia and others as this Acche Din” (Good Days) in recent memory in India. The only others I could think of are – Big B’s ‘Lock Kiya jai??’ during the heydays of KBC (Kaun Banega Crorepati). For few years post KBC-Season 1, we Indians were only “Locking” instead of “confirming” or “making sure”😃 . More lately, when Aamir Khan insisted on “All izz well” in Raju Hirani’s 3 Idiots, “I am fine”, “Sab teek hai”,.. got paraphrased by “All izz well”. (“All” being pronounced as “aal” ad nauseum😠)  So similarly these days, it’s raining Acche Din!!! Our Prime Minister has turned out to be so good in marketing that his Twitter bio could very well read – “Narendra Modi. Prime Minister of India. And a Marketing Maven”.

And this is exactly what has set the discourse in the media in a wrong track. Once again. “Your Government is all about marketing and packaging” is a refrain the NDA ministers were subjected to in all the interviews they gave around Modi365. The anchors were different, the channels were different, and the language was different. But the shrill accusation was the same. That this Government indulges itself in Marketing and loud at that.

As if “Marketing” in itself is a crime inflicted on society. And this notion is not something which has sprang up with the advent of Modi Sarkar. In general there is this subtext that marketing is nothing but a con job!! That marketing goes well with people with the Gift of the gab!!! And that marketing is all jazz and no mass.

For a long time I used to wonder where this impression came from! Gradually, I got the answers. First, in general Marketing and Direct selling (one to one selling) are often used interchangeably. That selling or sales is just one aspect of Marketing is a lesson which gets drilled in the first few pages of Philip Kotler. However in real life, people who are in say selling of Insurance policies or vacuüm cleaners or Time share holidays on one to one basis are often called as “Marketing” people. In direct selling situations more often than not we end up buying the product just to ward off the salesperson’s thollai/parishan (torture)😞😞. And the thought keeps lingering for quite some time that he/she has conned us into buying.  And hence the belief that marketing is just that – A royal conning!

Second, Marketing is also equated to Advertising. Even in B-schools many aspire to join marketing stream with a delusion that they will be associated with creating ads all the time in their career. In reality, advertising is just one part of marketing. When we keep seeing ads of toothpastes which promise “Crystal White teeth” in 45 days or commercials for Nutritional drinks which promise to grow children tall automatically in few months and nothing close to those anyway happen – we conclude that “Marketing” is all about taking people for a ride.

(And there is a third one which I get to see these days often. I.e using the word marketing for “going to the market for shopping”😜😜)

Thanks to the above fallacies, Marketing has got a bad name. In truth, Marketing is not hard selling. Is not advertising or for that matter shopping!! But is a more complex process of creating, communicating, and delivering something that have value for customers. (Ouch, that was a gyan overdose😜). Even a damn good product requires damn good marketing of the same.  In political context, the 1991 reforms which are now seen as the game changer for India now, were never marketed that time. So much so, even among the Congress there was such a backlash that Manmohan Singh, the then finance minister had to claw back on the reforms push. If the benefits of the reform programme were marketed well the phrase “Economic Reforms” in India would never have taken a negative connotation. Same is the case with NDA’s disinvestment programme during Vajpayee regime. So this brings to the fore the importance of “Good Marketing” (like the need for good cholesterol – for the sceptics) in politics for Pro bono.

Hence to a large extent, I am glad to see the present Government and the PM going all out to “market” their initiatives whether it is Make in India, Jan Dhan Yojana or Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.  Or for that matter packaging the 1st year achievements as ‘Saal Ek Shuruaat Anek’. As long as the PM and Government are good at last mile delivery of the products as they are in marketing of the same, I am certain Acche Din are round the corner for India. And I am also certain that the PM is also aware of the repercussions otherwise. That Abki Baar Modi Sarkar would be branded as Abki Baar Jumla Sarkar the next time around😆😆

Acche Din toon

Postscript: My apologies if the title made you to believe that this post is another post mortem of the 1st year of Modi Sarkar.  There has been 100’s of that in the last few days! So didn’t want to add to the clutter. On the other hand, Perception management is one part of Marketing. I thought Marketing itself needed a dose of perception management 😆😆

Cartoon credit: Satish Acharya

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25 thoughts on “Marketing of “Acche Din”!!!

  1. Suri says:

    Good subject and well explored Anand. I also think Modi is doing all the right things. We have to market what is best in India, if we are to develop into the next economic level. So what is the problem, as long as we advertise only what we are capable of?
    Good job.
    Suri

    Liked by 1 person

  2. k.r.j says:

    It is good to read about chemistry of marketing.I am not a full supporter of LPG.To me it means withdrawal of govt from easential service sectors. PPP model is not a panecia. We used catching slogans as tools for awakening people.As a person who actively involved in total literacy program not alone in Kerala but in other parts of India we used slogans, folk music dance etc to enlighten the common people . We succeedd to a large extent. But I don’t down grade it as marketing. If use the term marketing then comes the term profit It is not bad. But for whom?

    Like

  3. SHANKAR BHARADWAJ says:

    Dear Anand, Superb one crux of marketing explained full marketing course packaged with real life topical example.’ Keep it up Shankar

    Like

  4. Mukund S says:

    Hi Anand,

    Well written one. You are right. Marketing is also communicating. But marketing some thing that is very different from reality is dangerous and will be seen as “dhoka”

    Mukund S

    Like

  5. hetdesai96 says:

    Nicely written.But what I think is he is just creating an illusion that foreign companies will be investing in India soon however on the contrary many leading international newspaper have reported that Investment by foreign companies has decreased in the past year.Also BJP is accusing Rahul Gandhi for not been seen for the past year.But our PM too was not visible in India for long but the only difference is that we knew where he was.So instead of accusing others and just marketing or taking counless selfies,our beloved PM should focus more on how to make things work practically rather than just marketing and roaming around the globe with taxpayer’s money.

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    • Thank you for reading and for the detailed comment. Investment decisions in other countries by foreign companies particularly in mfg is very strategic and takes a while for companies to decide. So there PM’s 1st attempt rightly so was to send the right signals abt India and the India Story which has vanished off the radar in the past 4 years. To that extent the Govt prioritizing foreign relations in the 1st year in my mind is very smart the results of which we will get to see in the next 2/3 years. At the same time with his frenetic pace at work, he has also galvanized his ministry and bureaucracy to step up their pace and show urgency. All this frankly I believe takes time to yield result on the ground. After all we are the Elephant paradigm!

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  6. Baski says:

    Anand. Enjoyed reading the article. I think Namo is doing exactly what Vajpayee missed! Repeated chantings are needed to press home your idealogies. Marketing is a sophisticated form of communication that western countries excel. I am glad Namo is trying his bit. I am sure BJP wouldn’t have forgotten ‘India shining’ Marketing fiasco! When we do a good deed, marketing it does not mean bragging and that’s where India needs more lessons. Package it, sell it after doing the right thing! At least the educated class should support it so it permeates to lower masses!

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  7. Anand good one ! still i believe this is Positive thinking “Good Days”, and i believe if you think positive, things will turn into positive. and India need it most. It is necessary to reach such feeling to each and every Indian, marketing is good source to do so using media most… I believe its a great start of Modi Govt…. Good luck for next 4 years…

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  8. Every morning, when the day light breaks, I open the window and see where Ache Din has come. Few times, in my dreams, I asked Modiji, ” kab ayega ye Acha Din?” The answer is, ‘Beta, thoda patience rakho…. ayega acha din’…. This time even rain has stopped coming…. then what about this ache din…. Kudha Gava….

    Well written…. ha ha ha

    Like

  9. Nice presentation, Mr. Anand. Am I glad to find someone who realizes the truth of what our PM himself has christened as “Saal ek, SHURUAAT anek”…most people miss out on the fact that this is just the beginning…

    Like

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