Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Intelligent Marketing

I'm sure by now we've all seen the Google advertisements that depict the story of two friends that got separated during the Partition and how they finally meet after several years through the popular search engine. The advertisement along with having the obvious emotional appeal, also very effectively conveys the varied uses of Google. From reuniting long lost friends to finding the translation for 'fennel' it has very successfully capitalized on the sentiments of people. That is what embodies intelligent marketing. Apart from accomplishing the goal of reaching a wide range of consumers, it also increases its brand value.
However, such commercials as many might argue, uses the audience's feelings and preys upon it to achieve its purpose, they also make, if not sizable, but noticeable contributions to the society's outlook and perspective.
As an example, let's take go back a few months and we would remember the Idea commercials really well. Why? Because they struck a chord. An intelligent move on their part was positioning these ads at the time of some major festivals. The ones with Eid and Diwali as the theme show and convey the beautiful message of living in harmony and peace to one and all. It would've touched hearts everywhere to see people from different communities excited about celebrating the other's festivals with equal enthusiasm. Then there were the Cadbury commercials where a foreigner whose just come to work in India spends a few awkward moments and feels like an outsider before the ad culminates in traditional Indian style with one of the protagonists giving 'Steve' a jadoo-ki-jhappi on the eve of Diwali! A very recent brand to lead the scene of effective advertising would be Tanishq. In the beginning, we see a demure bride getting ready for her nuptials and there's a little girl prancing around her throughout. It is only as the ad proceeds towards the end that the truth is revealed. A very important message so carefully put across. A brave theme about a woman remarrying handled with subtlety and an attempt that proved to be quite successful too.
While some advertisements handle sensitive topics with the right amount of thoughtfulness required, some are inept at doing so which results in people not getting the message or the point to be made being twisted into something that is just the opposite. An example of this was the recent Dove Canada's "Real Beauty" campaign which aimed at hitting out at all the people involved in projecting unrealistic beauty standards that eventually leads to an inception of body and image issues in women.

The main target were the unsuspecting graphic designers worldwide who were shamed for their Photoshop skills that distort images and result in severe complexes in women. While a huge faction of people lauded this attempt, there was the obvious backlash from the designer community who cited various reasons that proved their 'innocence'.

"They were making a point. The point was that the self-image that we are bombarded with is one that is unattainable for the majority, and is unhealthy (emotionally & physically). I applaud the marketing, the particular advertisement and Dove as a company for doing so…"

"As a designer, my greatest frustration is that I have so little influence of the final product. And so, when I am made a scapegoat by an ad campaign like this (an ad campaign created by an agency that knows full well who makes the decisions!) I am outraged…"

Hence, we see how a good intention can go awfully wrong sometimes if it was not conveyed or executed properly.

Then there are some advertisements where the point to be made is simply not given any thought at all. There are a string of commercials for men's deodorants that simply fail to make a valid point or maybe that is what they're meant to be - pointless. Many of us may concur when I say that watching them only proves how hollow and fickle can a human mind be. I wonder who conceptualizes these abominations in the name of advertising and who does the final 'okay'. Or are they even 'okay-ed' in the first place?

Because when we speak about the world of advertising making an impact on the minds of people and on the society as a whole, one does wonder what good does these commercials do? 

By dEEV Sana Shaikh 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Designer's POV

The world needs design. The world moves ahead with design. The prehistoric man designed the spear so that he would later use it for his own protection. It was design that gave birth to the first horse carriage. The Burj Khalifa that stands tall today was concocted by its architects and is regarded as one of the most appreciated and admired structural designs of our times. Designers are an eclectic brand of people that give the people exactly what they want but cannot convey. They visualize and they implement. They think and they empower.

Design Is Everywhere

Every nook and corner is alight with design. Every turn, every curve has its own story to tell. One of the biggest examples is Nature itself! Look around you and you'll see numerous such design stories. The way everything works, the seasons that come and go, the leaves that change colour, the intricate processes that make the Earth go round everyday are all a part of a design. From the shape of a petal to the creepers that spread out gradually, from the French window of an edifice to that peculiar fountain that you may have seen somewhere, from the Eiffel Tower to the Taj Mahal, everything is based on the concept of design. Our parents are one of the first designers that you'll ever encounter because they designed us!


As a designer, you constantly search for inspiration. That little spark that makes you come alive. It could be anything. Many a times I find inspiration for my designs from unusual sources. The way the page of an old book is dog-eared can cultivate an idea in your head. A doodle scribbled on a napkin during idle hours can give birth to a full-fledged concept. The cartoon on a kid's tee can initiate an outline to something massive. Standing in the rain one day I started observing umbrellas and the random shapes on them - stripes, slanted lines, polka dots, paisleys, bokeh, floral motifs, geometric patterns, etc.

The Designer's Block

You've heard of the writer's block. Sometimes, I and many more designers go through a 'designer's block'. It's that awful phase where you can't churn out something worthwhile. There's static in your brain. That little glitch that makes you very irritable because you can't come up with something that'll draw marvels from one and all. It is temporary, of course, but the duration varies. A steady jolt of stimulation can surge our skills back to normal. Again, that little iota of motivation can find us anywhere, anytime. Hence, we're always on the lookout.


Most of the designs that we devise are the brainchild of our imagination. The vision with which we lead our lives makes a big difference. There's an endless storm of opinions in our minds. A relentless pattern of dreaming that eventually brings out the results. A thirst to conceive images that stand out. The way one looks at things also plays a huge role in determining their conceptualizing powers. Never forget to visualize. It is one of the greatest gifts that we have been blessed with. It can make us travel miles by sitting in one place. It can achieve the impossible. Great things always have small beginnings and those beginnings had their advent in the form of brilliant ideas that were pictured in brilliant minds. The key is to envision.

By dEEV Sana Shaikh

Friday, October 11, 2013


We all know this very important term - conservation, its meaning & importance. We've learned about it in school and have been reading about it in the news always. The word conservation or preservation as we know has predominantly been associated with resources. And yes, we are speaking of conservation of resources - natural resources, be it water, energy or environment.

But do we really, really conserve our resources....? This question has probably been with us all our lives. By whether we've acted upon it, is something which only each one of us alone knows.

Without getting into how much we do, what big contribution can we make, what could have been done, etc, I would like to share simple things that I do in my daily life.


1. Bathroom showers
For all the shower lovers, like me, switching to using a limited one bucket of water for bathing might seem unwanted. But try doing it once a week.. You'll see that in the process you've saved time.. To your surprise you'll be out of the bathroom in half the time you take usually! Convert that one day, to two, then three.. Till you start bathing in the shower only once a week : ) and still feel as clean & fresh everyday as you would otherwise!

2. Usage in the kitchen
Instead of washing vegetables under running taps, try this-
Soak them in a vessel of water, then remove them & transfer the water of the vessel into a bucket. Fill the vessel with fresh tap water again, soak the vegetables and clean them in the vessel itself. Transfer the water again.. & repeat the process till you are content that the vegetables are clean : )
Well done! You've still used lesser water than you would otherwise. Wait a minute! There’s more to this. Now, use the bucket water, to water your plants!!  Try this.. You'll feel good for making such good use of water!


1. Cars
Despite being great drivers & responsible citizens it's amazing to see that 90% of the vehicles waiting on long traffic signals still keep their vehicles engines & headlights on! We know it! But we don't do it!!
You can switch off at least on your regular routes, or on signals displaying the time left to go before the signal opens.

2. AirCons
Yes, we live in a warm & humid climate, but it's not that bad always. If switching on your air conditioner every night has become a compulsion then you can try making changes to your habit moderately. First, turn it off after some time. Second, reduce the time that you keep it on. Third, refrain from turning it on at least twice a week. Fourth, increase the number of times you do not turn on your AC! You will notice that you have adjusted to the natural climate without any problems.

3. Workplace
Put up an energy conserving initiative at your workplace. Write rules such as, all lights, fans, ac's to be switched off during lunch or for at least an hour every day. You'll receive appreciation, & before you know it, people at your office will start following it. The organization will be happy to term this as a CSR activity.


1. Plastic
For everything that we buy from the market, we feel that it’s the vendors' duty to give a plastic bag. It's like paying to deteriorate the environment.
Keep a cloth / jute bag, or for that matter a used plastic bag that’s been in your house, always with you. Irrespective of whether you do grocery shopping or not, keep it with you. Because it's that time when you buy something from a store without having planned to go to buy it, is when you will realize the importance of keeping your own empty carry bag always with you.
I am proud to say this: all the grocers & shop vendors in my vicinity know my family & me as the ones who will never ever take plastic bags from them. My grocer once said to us that if all shoppers stop taking plastic bags, it is a rupees 200 daily saving for them!

There are just so many ways of conserving our resources, but we've somewhere taken our easy lives for granted.  These are easy steps we can take to make a big difference. We've heard of all of these & are well aware too. The question is, ‘When will you implement them?’

By Aditi Mavani

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

dEEVOiR - CBE India: Emotional Intelligence at a Workplace

dEEVOiR - CBE India: Emotional Intelligence at a Workplace: Significance of Emotional Intelligence at Work Place Some argue that EQ (Emotional Quotient) is more important in the work place ...

Emotional Intelligence at a Workplace

Significance of Emotional Intelligence at Work Place

Some argue that EQ (Emotional Quotient) is more important in the work place than IQ.   In the work place, there are constant interactions occurring among colleagues. While some interactions are constructive, others aren't.

The key aspect, managers and company leaders must understand is that over time, each of these interactions will have a positive or negative effect on the company as a whole.
The effect that these interactions have on the company will also have an effect on the company's ability to remain competitive in its given market or industry. Having said that, the key fact that must be considered, in order to make these interactions positive is emotional intelligence. Humans are emotional creatures, and this is the first key towards understanding EI.

In the past, companies and educational institutions paid a great deal of attention to one's IQ, or their general intelligence quotient. While IQ is important to some extent, few corporations have taken the time to measure one's emotional intelligence.

EI is equal or greater in importance to IQ simply because people who work for organizations must be expected to get along with the people they work with. If they are managers, they must be effective in working with and managing the employees.

It means little for a person to have an IQ of 180 if they cannot relate to anyone, they do not put anyone at ease, they are not composed, or they are not calm during a crisis.

The United States, once one of the most powerful manufacturing countries in the world, is now being transformed in an economy that is service based, and what this means is that interpersonal relationships must be emphasized above all else.

Relationships must be maintained between upper managers and lower managers, as well as lower managers and employees. There are a number of skills which have become crucial for the work place.

Effective management has become a critical issue in the 21st century. One reason for this is because we live in a day and age where more corporations are downsizing in order to compete on the international playing field.

Critical 21st Century Work Place Skills

Some of the skills that managers and employees will need to thrive in the current environment include communicating with each other and discussing topics openly, listening to the issues that are expressed by other parties, being able to effectively manage conflict, and inspiring each other to operate at a higher level. Equally important is an organization's ability to deal with and handle change, which today and always is inevitable. It is also crucial for organizations to be able to share and work towards goals.

As you can imagine, emotional intelligence is directly connected to one's ability to do all the things listed above. It is EQ, not IQ that is most important.

Some critics have attacked the concept of EQ, saying that "it doesn't exist or that it is not relevant in our society." These people are clearly wrong, and do not have a basic understanding of human psychology. If you can understand the fact that humans tend to be emotional, then EQ makes perfect sense.

Cold hard analytical logic has its place, but it should never be emphasized over the emotional aspect of human interactions. Why is it that some of the greatest (and most infamous) leaders in history have all been people who were able to tap into the emotions of their followers? The answer is that these individuals were blessed with a high EQ. However, the good news is that it can be developed, even if you don't have it naturally.

How can we develop it?

Coming soon!

By dEEV Aishwarya Kulkarni

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Emotional Intelligence

We probably all know people, either at work or in our personal lives, who are really good listeners. No matter what kind of situation we are in, they always seem to know just what to say – and how to say it – so that we are not offended or upset. They are caring and considerate, and even if we don't find a solution to our problem, we usually leave feeling more hopeful and optimistic.
We probably also know people who are masters at managing their emotions. They don't get angry in stressful situations. Instead, they have the ability to look at a problem and calmly find a solution. They are excellent decision makers, and they know when to trust their intuition. Regardless of their strengths, however, they are usually willing to look at themselves honestly. They take criticism well, and they know when to use it to improve their performance.
People like this have a high degree of Emotional Intelligence, or EI. They know themselves very well, and they're also able to sense the emotional needs of others.
Would you like to be more like this?
As more and more people accept that Emotional Intelligence is just as important to professional success as technical ability, organizations are increasingly using EI when they hire and promote.
For example, one large cosmetics company recently revised their hiring process for salespeople to choose candidates based on Emotional Intelligence. The result? Salespeople hired with the new system have sold, on average, $91,000 more than salespeople selected under the old system. There has also been significantly lower staff turnover among the group chosen for their Emotional Intelligence.
So, what exactly is Emotional Intelligence?
We all have different personalities, different wants and needs, and different ways of showing our emotions. Navigating through this all takes tact and cleverness – especially if we hope to succeed in life. This is where emotional intelligence becomes important.
Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize your emotions, understand what they're telling you, and realize how your emotions affect people around you. Emotional intelligence also involves your perception of others: when you understand how they feel, this allows you to manage relationships more effectively.
People with high emotional intelligence are usually successful in most things they do. Why? Because they're the ones that others want on their team. When people with high EI send an email, it gets answered. When they need help, they get it. Because they make others feel good, they go through life much more easily than people who are easily angered or upset.

“Emotional Intelligence is not about being emotional; it’s about being smart with your emotions”

Characteristics of Emotional Intelligence
Daniel Goleman, an American psychologist, developed a framework of five elements that define emotional intelligence:
1. Self-Awareness – People with high emotional intelligence are usually very self-aware. They understand their emotions, and because of this, they don't let their feelings rule them. They're confident – because they trust their intuition and don't let their emotions get out of control.
They are also willing to take an honest look at themselves. They know their strengths and weaknesses, and they work on these areas so they can perform better. Many people believe that this self-awareness is the most important part of emotional intelligence.

“People experience an average of 27 emotions in every waking hour!”

2. Self-Regulation – This is the ability to control emotions and impulses. People who self-regulate typically don't allow themselves to become too angry or jealous, and they don't make impulsive, careless decisions. They think before they act. Characteristics of self-regulation are thoughtfulness, comfort with change, integrity, and the ability to say no.
3. Motivation – People with a high degree of emotional intelligence are usually motivated. They're willing to defer immediate results for long-term success. They're highly productive, love a challenge, and are very effective in whatever they do.
4. Empathy – This is perhaps the second-most important element of emotional intelligence. Empathy is the ability to identify with and understand the wants, needs, and viewpoints of those around you. People with empathy are good at recognizing the feelings of others, even when those feelings may not be obvious. As a result, empathetic people are usually excellent at managing relationships, listening, and relating to others. They avoid stereotyping and judging too quickly, and they live their lives in a very open, honest way.
5. Social Skills – It's usually easy to talk to and like people with good social skills, another sign of high emotional intelligence. Those with strong social skills are typically team players. Rather than focus on their own success first, they help others develop and shine. They can manage disputes, are excellent communicators, and are masters at building and maintaining relationships.

“When we meet someone, we determine whether we like them and trust them within 3-5 seconds”

As we have probably determined, emotional intelligence can be a key to success in one’s life – especially in one’s career. The ability to manage people and relationships is very important for all leaders, so developing and using your emotional intelligence can be a good way to show others the leader inside you.

By dEEV Aishwarya Kulkarni

Monday, September 30, 2013

Learning from a 2 year old

I have always believed that a child's company is the best company. It can prove to be very therapeutic. Their overly simplistic world view can be very helpful sometimes if not always. There are a lot of simple life lessons that can be learnt from a child. So I was not surprised when I thought of my 2 yr old nephew from whom I have learned three such lessons that we can integrate into our everyday life.
How to be happy is something no one can teach you better than a kid. They're brimming with positivity. Whenever I meet my nephew he's always on a roll; always smiling and full of vibrant energy. Of course there's a lot of difference between a 2 yr old and a grown up's version of happiness. They don't have to worry about paying monthly bills, or making grocery lists-while meticulously trying not to forget any item, or that dent in the car that needs to be fixed soon, resolving important issues at home, etc. They basically have to do nothing because everything is done for them. That's not the point here. The key, however, is to observe how they 'find reasons to be happy'. By incorporating this simple rule, we too, can surround ourselves by positive energy. Think up of different ways to be happy. Do things you won't normally do. Try a different route while going to work, pick up a different newspaper or read a magazine that you wouldn't otherwise read while on the way, carry a box of tasty treats for your colleagues, decorate your desk and then re-decorate it, strike up a conversation or enter into a lively discussion about current topics, change your playlist entirely, indulge in an activity, go watch a play, etc.

Many people believe that expecting proper concentration from a child is an unachievable task. It is actually quite the opposite. They possess a lot more patience required to churn out the kind of concentration necessary to get a specific job done. You should see my nephew trying to win a bowling game on my phone! He is extremely focused and exercises a lot of patience which ultimately leads to his triumph. If we could only employ the required amount of focus into our work, surely we would get the job done. But focus alone is not enough. Endurance too is instrumental while working, because not all days are going to be the same. There may be times when there may be a sudden overload of work, sometimes even at the last minute, times when meeting deadlines would be the need of the hour. At times like these it is only persistence and perseverance that would get us through the day. Only if we are focused, would we be able to rise from the mediocre and actually test our limits.

Do What You Love, Love What You Do
And finally, something that is slowly gaining the status of becoming the most followed adage of all times. My nephew is a living and breathing example of this. It doesn't matter if the only work he does is bring the house down with his antics. He does what he loves and undoubtedly loves what he does! This for us could translate into the drive, that passion that wakes us up every morning. The devotion towards what we do that keeps our interest piqued. We all have a fire burning within us that keeps us alight which serves as a guide throughout our path of self-discovery, we just need to find it. And when we do find our true-calling, we never let the opportunity go away. As Steve Jobs had once said,
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”

So let's learn to live it and love it! 

By dEEV Sana Shaikh