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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Why this Kolaveri di?

I gave in to the hype. I listened to the much idiotic and nonsensical song on Youtube.

And now every time I am humming that irritating yet catchy tune.

Is it marketing genius or just another occurrence of the Black Swan?(random events are not just relegated to the domain of financial markets are they?!)

I believe it is the Black Swan, although the song and the presentation do adhere to some good practices of selling. The reason it has gone viral is because of some bullet points I could list down, thanks to the Friday night alcohol induced stupor of my roommates and all:-

1. It is region unspecific: - a Madrasi singing in English with the background music adhering to a bit of both north Indian dhols and south Indian variety of dhinka chika. A Punjabi gyrating to it in a barat as well as a Madrasi dancing to it in a drunken stupor is possible. Run the above two settings in your head, you would find it believable, not really outlandish.

2. Expression:-Crying about heartbreak sells, because Indians are sentimental fools. Of course we all remember the song “tum itna jo muskura rahe ho”. As my friend puts it, it is very soulful, as the song comes in the movie at a time when our lead is absolutely down and out. Humans find it easy to associate over misery, failure and heartbreak rather than the counterparts of these emotions.I am not in any way drawing a parallel to this superficial kolaveri and the soulful ghazal.I am merely highlighting that they both share a common underlying emotion of heartbreak.

3. Simplicity (KISS) Principle:- these are the kind of words which all use under the influence of ethyl alcohol, irrespective of the grade of alcohol or the crowd. Talks of first love, crushes, heartbreaks, and repeated reminders of friendship are common across all alcohol induced settings. And a funny thing about drunken talking is the marked penchant for the use of the Queen’s language. Good presentation practices underlie the principle of KISS(Keep it simple silly).One slide should give you one point , 3 points should build on one insight discovery, and two insight will give you a conclusion. Same is the case with a Kolaveri – I see a girl, she doesn’t see me, I drink and let it all go. Period. No talk about romance, wooing and dancing under the trees.

So there you go. In the field of commercial cinema, some basic principles for success are KISS, bridge to the north and south divide using an appropriate plank such as heartbreak, true love or bash the bad guys and superficial rather than soulful presentation.

PS – As  I came to the end of this post, a thought hit me. Is this blog post adhering to basic principle outlined above? Ding Dong !! I would rather let that thought hang on.

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