Monday, April 27, 2015

Hell-bent on Crashing The Pepsi IPL

Hooked on to the ongoing season of the Pepsi IPL? While the next few weeks are going to guarantee unlimited entertainment from the effing world of cricket, I'd like you to meet some crazy-ass blokes who are hell-bent to #CrashThePepsiIPL. Try matching wits with them and you'll end up running around in circles.



# 1. Crash the Pepsi IPL - "Boom Man"

- Uploaded and posted by Gaurav Nayyar


In this ad, you see a TV host struggling with his lines. The camera crew is furious with his repeated "failed" attempts to get a single line right. While one of the crew members ends the ordeal by fainting, the boom operator decides to take things in his hand. He grabs the Pepsi bottle from the host, gulps it down, and delivers the tagline. 

This ad made me laugh so hard that my stomach hurts.

# 2. Crash the Pepsi IPL - Pepsi Burrp!

- Uploaded and posted by Karan Sagar


In this ad, you are introduced to a group of three girls and four boys. The boys want to watch a live match on TV but the girls just won't give in. Even after repeated requests to leave the couch from one of the boys, the girls seem to be in no mood to accommodate. You can even see one of the girls using 'delay tactic' by saying "Baby, 5 more minutes naa!"

That very moment the boys hatch a wicked plan to teach these girls a lesson.

They grab cans of Pepsi from the minibar. Within seconds, they're seen jumping on the couch and burping in front of the girls, who ultimately leave the couch in disgust. The boys then get to see the match and rejoice in happiness.

# 3. Crash The Pepsi IPL "Buddies"

- Uploaded and posted by Muni Agarwal


In this ad, you see a bunch of friends, that is, two guys and a girl, fooling around on the terrace of a building. From the first frame itself, their camaraderie is apparent and in full swing as they are shown running around and having fun at the same time. 

The girl keeps her handbag on a wooden chair. The very next moment she grabs one of the guy's cap and throws it in the air.

The other guy has a bandana and he asks the girl if she'd want to be blindfolded, to which the girl simply nods in agreement. 

As soon as they blindfold her, both the guys disappear from the scene and are shown to make merry with two cans of Pepsi which they had stolen from the girl's purse.

The girl is left to wonder what happened, while the guys enjoy their Pepsi.

[Check out the #CrashThePepsiIPL videos & participate in the activity at BlogAdda.]

Friday, April 24, 2015

ASUS ZenFone 2 - Super Specs

Mobile phones come in all shapes and sizes these days. Looking at how the global smartphone market has responded in recent years, most smartphone manufacturing companies are frantically increasing their R&D and marketing spends in order to woo the customer.

Design and innovation are suddenly the new buzzwords. Every company wants to gain market edge but the big question is: do they really feel the customer's pulse?

Taiwanese company, ASUS, seems to at least understand what the Indian users want and continue to impress year after year with its best in class smartphones. I truly applaud their attention to details.

In this blog post, I'm going to share why you should wait for the new ASUS ZenFone 2 and what can you expect in terms of specs.


# 1. Look and Feel


They say first impression is the last impression. And rightly so. ZenFone 2 adorns a premium look and feel, owing to its 3.9 mm ultra-thin edges and concentric circle pitch of 0.13 mm. The phone is incredibly slim and extremely comfortable to hold, making ASUS score high - both in design as well as ergonomics.

# 2. Display


ZenFone 2 has a 5.5-inch display but you could easily mistake it as 5-inch. This engineering feat is achieved by restricting the bezel width to bare minimum, which also led to a spectacular 72 percent screen-to-body ratio.

# 3. Performance


Unarguably the first smartphone in the world that offers 4GB RAM. Now run several apps simultaneously and switch between them without any hassle. The dual-channel DDR3 RAM packs a punch to your new ZenFone 2, making multitasking a child's play. Also, lag or stuttering is a thing of the past now.

Its performance is further bolstered by a 64-bit Intel Atom 2.3GHz processor. That's not all; the ZenFone 2 is designed for handling download speeds up to 250Mbps and touch responsiveness of 60ms.

# 4. Resolution


ASUS is known to leverage its PixelMaster technology for capturing high-resolution images with zero shutter lag. The phone comprises a 13 MP Rear Camera, 5 P Lagan Lenses, ƒ/2.0 Aperture, Toshiba Sensor, Blue Glass Filter, and Dual LED Real Tone Flash.

In Low Light mode, no other phone captures up to 400% brighter photos at night. This is also true for places where light is dim.

Imagine not having to use the flash at all. All credit to Pixel-merging technology that ZenFone 2 employs.

# 5. Viewing Angle


ZenFone 2 offers better viewing angles than its predecessors. Even at acute angles, it will be easy for two people to watch videos without any loss of colors.

# 6. Battery Life


For ASUS, the battery life remained its Achilles' heel. However, with ZenFone 2, you'll see a surge in the battery capacity from 2,110mAh to 3,000mAh.

# 7. User Interface (UI)


ASUS will surprise you with its updated Zen UI based on the Android 5.0 (or Lollipop). This is also the company's first attempt at building a custom Android based UI.

# 8. Preloaded Apps


ZenFone 2 has 27 ASUS and third-party apps, alongside Google apps, which is freaking exciting to say the least.

# 9. Videos


In the business of creating classic videos? Now record up to 1080p full HD videos using ZenFone 2, via the rear camera's Video mode.

# 10. Recharging 


Won't it be awesome if your phone could recharge to 60 percent of its capacity in flat 39 minutes? Thanks to the BoostMaster technology from ASUS, your ZenFone 2 is equipped to perform fast charging.

Finally, ZenFone 2 is a fantastic smartphone with power-packed performance. You'll never encounter an instance where the phone exhibits slowness while multitasking.

You might have to pay a little over INR 20k to purchase the ZenFone 2 but you will not regret your decision to not buy Huawei Honor 6 Plus, Moto X (Gen 2), or Oppo Find 7.

A mid-range smartphone like the ZenFone 2 offers better performance than most flagship products in the market today.

Go grab the future-ready smartphone for you and your family.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

KOSÉ Pampers IndiBloggers At Their Launch Event

I am a blogger. I get invites to premier events and exclusive launch parties. Plus free access to the celebs. Now tell me honestly, who wouldn't want to step into my shoes.


Have I rubbed it in already? Before you get all worked up, hold on to your horses while I share with you the unapparent flip side of blogging.

I hardly get four hours of sleep on any given day. On days when I'm lucky, I hit the sack by 12. But those days as you can imagine are few and far between.

We, bloggers, carry a huge responsibility - towards the brand who pay our bills, towards the agency who extend the invites to us, and most importantly, towards you. What would life be without you? So we burn the midnight oil in order to bring the "real deal" to YOU.

I believe in ethical blogging - reporting facts and unfolding events as they happen.

In this blog post, I'll present a firsthand account of the KOSÉ IndiBlogger Meet that took place in Delhi on Friday, April 10, 2015.


Attending back-to-back meets can be exhausting in Delhi's excruciating and unforgiving summers. But I braved all odds to make it in time for this meet.

New Faces, New Beginnings


The meet took place at the plush Hyatt Regency Delhi - a luxury hotel in the heart of capital city. Me and Shwetabh were probably the first ones to reach, and while the folks from IndiBlogger were still setting the house in order, we took some time to meet and greet fellow bloggers.

The Khandujas, Shwetabh, and Moi

The KOSÉ meet was touted as a very special, invite-only evening. Out of the 160 who registered, 90% were women. Try beating that!

PS: At this point, I'd like to wholeheartedly thank the folks at IndiBlogger. You guys are super awesome, as always.

First few handshakes and it became evident to both me and Shwetabh that we were out of place. I blog about technology and travel (actually I write about effing everything these days) but most bloggers I met initially were either into fashion, beauty, or food.

There were many new faces this time - for instance, we had a college student from Delhi University, a published author of three books who relocated from Oman, and a food critic.

Megha, Urvi, Sunaina, Mitha, and Moi

Want to know about them? Check out their blogs.

Before the event could kick-start, hot coffee and tea were served to all attendees and it further bolstered networking opportunities. Some of us went on to exchange visiting cards, while yours truly clicked selfies with new and old friends.

The Craziest IndiBloggers

Familiar Faces, Familiar Antics


Anoop uses jokes as an icebreaker. Most oldtimers know that already; this time though he went a notch higher.

"Introduce your blog in Japanese" he threw an open challenge towards the audience. I tried with little help from Google Translate, albeit unsuccessful. The Japanese guests weren't amused either (sigh!).

Can You Spot My Tweet?

Then Anoop played the unpredictable "number game". Several people among the audience were randomly chosen and asked to pick a number between 1 and 10. Each number was associated with a gift. A college student walked away with an INR 3000 voucher. And can you believe it was her very first meet; how cool is that!

Networking on Steroids


We were later asked to get our asses off the table. The idea was to meet absolute strangers at adjacent tables. While networking, you also had to exchange something personal with them. There was a catch though; you could not ask the stranger to return the item whatever the case.

Anoop announced that the person who collected the maximum number of "personal" items would be declared the winner.

I collected more than 20 items, which remained an unbeaten record for that evening. Among the items received was a mugshot of someone's daughter (that must've been very emotional), a pack of Digene, towel, visiting card, bank slip, toll receipt, movie ticket, foreign coin, canteen coupon, etc.

When Anoop cross-checked my Collectibles

Since Anoop requested me to talk about my blog, I was more than happy to oblige.

You know how much I love talking

Rendezvous with Team KOSÉ


Finally, the moment we had all been waiting for. It was time to know the brand, KOSÉ.

Welcome KOSÉ to India

Team KOSÉ made three presentations and ate up a lot of meetup time in the process.

Team KOSÉ

Presentation # 1 by Mr. Takeshi Yagi, Ambassador of Japan to India

Mr. Takeshi Yagi

Key giveaway:
  • Takeshi stressed on the friendly, bilateral relations between Japan and India.
  • He shared that the KOSÉ Corporation was founded by Mr. Kozaburo Kobayashi in 1946 and is hailed as a leading beauty and cosmetic brand in Japan. 
  • The company engages in both manufacture as well as sale of cosmetics and applied products in and outside Japan.
  • KOSÉ operates in 25 countries, including India, providing consumers with high-quality beauty products.

Presentation # 2 by Mr. Masanori Kobayashi, KOSÉ board member (also the grandson of KOSÉ Founder, Mr. Kozaburo Kobayashi)

Mr. Masanori Kobayashi

Key giveaway:
  • KOSÉ employees over 12000 people worldwide and owns a market cap of 450 billion Yen.
  • KOSÉ invented the world's first products in both make-up and skincare categories.
    • World's first beauty serum (November 16, 1975)
    • World's first powder foundation (February 16, 1976)
  • KOSÉ owns cutting-edge research facilities with top dermatologists and PhDs. The company also owns the Deming Prize awarded manufacturing centers in the suburbs of Tokyo (Gunma and Sayama factory sites).
  • The corporation considers India as a high potential market in the Asia Pacific region and thus wants to create a new "beauty culture" here.
  • KOSÉ has partnered with global cosmetic companies like L'Oréal (1963), Marie Claire (1987), Maybelline (1991), Tiffany & Company (1992), Lorac (1996), Jill Stuart (2005), Rimmel (2006), Adidas Skin Protection (2010), and Tarte (2014).

KOSÉ's Capabilities

Presentation # 3 by Mr. Takashi Nomura, KOSÉ Corporation India Director and CEO

Mr. Takashi Nomura

Key giveaway:
  • Takashi unveiled the new Spawake range of beauty products from KOSÉ.
  • The hero product is the Moisturizing Fairness Cream for Day.
  • The concept of these products is "refresh and revitalize your skin for a fresh, after-spa glow".
  • The Spawake range is made from Laminaria Japonica Extract and Sea Salt.
  • For the Indian market in particular, the brand is focusing on the following:
    • Indulgence or Pampering: Focus on Indian women who deal with daily environmental stress.
    • New effective ingredients: Novelty in the Indian market.
    • Made in India, inspired by Japan: The brand plans to move manufacturing to India.
    • Modernity: KOSÉ plans to mix India's traditional practices with modern customs of Japan.
  • The key differentiator for Spawake is: concept, packaging, design, fragrance, texture, and brand name.

The Ultimate Showstopper


The showstopper of the evening was KOSÉ’s brand ambassador in India: Bollywood actress, Aditi Rao Hydari.

KOSÉ's Brand Ambassador in India: Bollywood Actress, Aditi Rao Hydari

I somehow managed to click a groupie with her (she's drop-dead gorgeous to say the least!).
 
Crazy about Aditi

For the print campaign of Spawake, Aditi had done an underwater shoot and she made it look so easy.

Is there anything Aditi cannot do?

The meet ended with a sensuous dance performance by the Just Dance Company and a wonderful dinner courtesy Hyatt.

Just Dance Company

And just when you thought the fun night was over, KOSÉ surprised us yet again with a beautiful gift hamper.

Thank You, KOSÉ

Finally, the KOSÉ IndiBlogger meet was truly an evening to remember – full of entertainment, information, and surprises. For me, beauty is and will always remain skin deep. However, I look forward to KOSÉ doing extremely well in the Indian market and wish them all the luck.

All the best, Team KOSÉ

Monday, April 20, 2015

Top 5 Ads I Can't Get Out Of My Head

I love commercial breaks. Unlike my wife and two children who have trouble sitting through them, I don't find ads boring or annoying. In fact some of the most creative ads get more eye balls than you can ever think of and often get talked about at social dos.

Here's a proof.

Remember the old yet classic Pepsi commercial starring Aamir Khan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, and Mahima Chaudhry. Directed by the leading Indian ad film director, Prahlad Kakkar, this ad took the nation by storm as everyone wanted to know who the blue-eyed, sassy Sanjana was. Aishwarya's punch line in the ad "Hi, I'm Sanjana, got another Pepsi?" caused a big stir, and the rest as they say is history.


In this blog post, I'll list the Top 5 ads that I can't get out of my head.


# 1. Google Search: Reunion


Theme: Partitions divide countries, friendships find a way


This ad is way beyond the eternal friendship between Baldev and Yusuf. If you've ever had a best friend from across the border whom you're no longer in touch with, this ad will bring back a deluge of memories and most likely, leave you teary-eyed.

The theme of partition, separation, and reunion hits home with both Indians and Pakistanis; the ad subtly conveys the universal message of love and friendship which resonates with all.

# 2. Times of India Ad


Theme: India’s New Anthem (तुम चलो तो हिंदुस्तान चले)


This video shows how a single person can lead from the front and fuel the urge to change. Much similar to the contemporary India. Everyone can be a catalyst towards new beginningsThe underlying message is: let us not continue to sit on top of issues.

# 3. Tanishq Wedding Film Ad


Theme: A Wedding to Remember


This ad broke several stereotypes and was ahead of its times in many ways. It showed a beautiful, young Indian woman who is remarrying.

Every woman who wants to remarry can take a leaf out of her book and discover true happiness. The groom showed in this video approves of the lady's daughter from her first marriage, which to me is a reflection of great strength and character.

#4. Cadbury Bournvita Ad


Theme: Aadatein (Habits)


This ad is about inculcating good habits, and who knows this better than a mother, the best custodian in the world.

When I first saw the ad, the message that stayed with me was “equality”. A girl wanting to learn boxing, a sport dominated by men. But she is undeterred and trains hard, and all along the way, remains protected through the solid backing of her mother.

#5. Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate


Theme: Dil jo keh raha hai suno (Listen to what the heart says)


This ad features my favorite actors Nimrat Kaur and Aamir Bashir engaged in a snow fight. It reminds me of how we stop looking at the little joys that life continues to offer. There isn't a better occasion to enjoy chocolate, a perfect mood lifter.

[I am joining in on all the Pepsi IPL action in my own style with the #CrashThePepsiIPL activity at BlogAdda.
This Pepsi IPL, it's not just about cricket. It's time to crash with your own created ad! Make your own Pepsi ad & if it's chosen, it could play on TV during Pepsi IPL! And hey, it doesn't end here… Even if you're chosen as a finalist, you stand a chance of winning a prize amount of Rs.1 lakh! So what are you waiting for guys?]

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Recognizing Independent And Underground Artists With AAMA 2014

I'm not a big fan of commercial music. In our country, we tend to overlook independent and underground artists and their significant role in the Indian music industry.


The need of the hour is a site like ArtistAloud.com, a full-fledged media and distribution platform for promoting independent artists and nurturing their talent. If you make independent music or are simply a fan, this is one site you just have to check out. A one stop shop for musicians, singers, bands, composers, instrumentalists, and so on.

Ask anyone who is into the business of creating popular non film music and they will tell you about the challenges associated with distributing original music. ArtistAloud.com takes your music to where it actually belongs i.e. fans across the world, offering them a vast library of full songs and music videos to choose from. Download the best independent music content in different genres, languages, and style.

It doesn't matter if you're a big or small artist. At ArtistAloud.com, it is 'Music First'. They continue to promote artists through programs like WebCert, TGIRF, LaunchCast, etc.

The buck doesn't end there!

They also share licensed content via several distribution channels like the Internet (iTunes, Amazon, etc.), mobile (Domestic and International operators), Direct to Home or DTH (Tata Sky), television, radio, and live events.

By reaching out to fans globally, independent artists in our country will get their due. The company organizes promotional tours, ArtistAloud.com Nights, and paid shows, with fans getting access to all content via their mobile or the Internet.

Keeping its tradition of felicitating independent music artists in India, ArtistAloud.com announced the fourth edition of its Artist Aloud Music Awards (AAMA).


Public Voting will decide the awards in four categories (Best Song, Best Male, Best Female, and Best Group), whereas an esteemed Jury will select the winners in eight categories (Best Album, Best Video, Best Lyricist, Best Composer, Best Genre, Best Language, Best Sound, and Best Live Performer).


A public voting process is currently underway, wherein you can vote for nominations received in four genres: Pop, Rock, Global, and Fusion. The first phase of voting ends on April 22, 2015. Top 5 artists or songs will then compete for four titles - Best Song, Best Male, Best Female, and Best Group. The second phase of voting starts from April 29, 2015 to May 6, 2015.

The jury comprises leading names from the Indian music industry, such as:
  • Mandar Thakur, Chief Operating Officer at Times Music
  • Devraj Sanyal, Managing Director and CEO at Universal Music Group, South Asia
  • Parag Kamani - Music Critic
  • Suresh Thomas, Managing Director at Crescendo Music
  • Ashish Joshi, VP Digital and Business Head - Fluence at CA Media
  • Luke Kenny, Channel Head at 9XO
  • Anil Vanwari, Founder, CEO and Editor-in-Chief at Indiantelevision.com
  • Andy Singh, CEO at HR Musik Ltd
  • K.J. Singh - National award winning music producer and engineer 
  • Atul Churamaniv - Managing Director at Turnkey Music and Publishing Ltd

Don't forget to visit ArtistAloud.com on May 18, 2015 from 10 am to 10 pm, when the grand finale will take place. Every hour an award will be declared.

This edition of the Artist Aloud Music Awards is powered by Hungama.com with support from television partner 9xO, radio partner 93.5 RedFM, online media partner RadioAndMusic.com, online promotional partner Actfaqs, gratification partner Giftxoxo, outdoor digital partner Aurave Media, and Celebrity Lifestyle partner Provogue.


It is heartening to see an active interest from several partners to make this event the most desired, memorable, and successful one for independent music artists. Large penetration of music on mobiles and tablets via the Internet will further provide a major boost to platforms like ArtistAloud.com and in turn to independent music.