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Monday, March 9, 2015

The 'dead fly' in marcom, Kaushiki needs to avoid for SAKHI.

Suppose, it was a raging and dry summer. The scorching sun was beating down on terrestrial mortals - as if to make us even lesser. In that situation, I, being one of them, visited Kaushiki's place one day. The first thing I desperately wanted was a glass of water because I was thirsty, very thirsty. The lady who takes care of the kitchen, presumably, was bringing me 'a new lease of life'. Looking at the glass on the tray approaching me, I went happy. As the glass came closer, my eyes lit up with expectation that was contentment in itself. For I could make out the water was cold from the misty portrayal of the glass. Grinning ear-to-ear, I thanked the lady who obliged me, as well as offered my gratitude to Kaushiki. I took the glass in my hand and was about to sip into, immediately. But, I failed to do so. As I found there was a dead fly floating on the water.

In a flash, my beaming face turned pale; my happiness was superseded by anxiety, and I became uncomfortable. I didn't know how to react. Probably because I had more than one option to react, and that too being politically correct in the name of courtesy and maturity. More so, as I knew it for a fact that neither the lady who served me the glass of water nor Kaushiki was aware of that dead fly. If they were, they would have never offered me the same in the first place.

Well, such an incident didn't occur in reality and it was just a metaphor to express how I tend to react to SAKHI's marketing communications.   


Whenever I look at the 'marketing communications' (marcom) stuff - precisely the logo or brand mnemonic, print ads, OOH (out of home) materials, other collates - produced for SAKHI - I get to see the dead fly floating on the water. 

And since I remain thirsty, therefore I can't ignore the water: the good and unique work that Kaushiki does and is up to doing... honestly and passionately with her SAKHI. 

So, despite knowing 'free advice is no advice', I still try to provide Kaushiki with the right critique, which is devoid of any criticism though, almost always... just in case she bothers to understand for once for a change that she simply can't afford to offer dead flies in her marcom at her level. For that is odd, really odd. 


Two dead flies were found in the print ad published in Mumbai Mirror before the World Premier of SAKHI at National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), Mumbai. 

Kaushiki's tanpura and the logo of SAKHI literally didn't do any good to the brand image of Kaushiki who swears by her tanpura and to the brand personality of SAKHI: the all-girl classical band, which needs an immediate visual connect with people off the stage besides its experiential engagement with its audience on the stage.

If Kaushiki looks at the following picture, she will certainly understand how even an otherwise insignificant cropping of the visual of a tanpura can exhibit 'reasonably significant oddity' (the dead fly) that is unlikely to delight an audience: 

In addition, I am not sure whether 'womanhood' could be differentiated and described by nations, nationalities or nationalism, thus didn't understand what the expression "a story of 'Indian' womanhood" meant. 

Are 'Celebrating Womanhood' through Indian Music - precisely through Hindustani Classical and Carnatic Music - and 'Celebrating Indian Womanhood' same? I have my doubts. Because, while the former positioning and communication plank creates a broader spectrum and a larger bandwidth for SAKHI complementing the band's pay-off line "her resonance", the latter positioning and communication plank narrows the broader base of SAKHI by confining womanhood within only Indianness that, on the contrary, leads to a pay-off line "her restriction".


Logo or brand mnemonic is vital for any band, as it is for any brand. Therefore, if it keeps changing, it hardly gets established on the perceptual mind of people. Just the reason, if SAKHI keeps changing its logo or mnemonic in every other piece of marcom, it's not doing the right thing. It's like changing the face of SAKHI members every time. 

However, it's a different issue altogether that, from a marcom viewpoint, none of the above logos is defining SAKHI rightly in line with its core personality and essence. 

The first logo is not depicting that SAKHI is an all-girl band which celebrates womanhood through musical fusion where neither vocal nor instrumental nor percussion nor flute nor dance stands out, individually. With a rainbow, it's in fact highlighting each one's individual performance. Also, a rainbow has nothing to do with 'resonance', nonetheless yes, when an object is forced into resonance vibrations at one of its natural frequencies, it vibrates in a manner such that a standing wave is formed within the object; hence the waves in the logo are justified. 

The second logo means nothing. 

SAKHI deserves a better logo that can explain the band and its core, visually,  

The points to ponder for the creation of that logo are: 

1) Kaushiki 

2) All-girl: 6 friends intertwined 

3) Fusion 

4) Womanhood 

5) Her Resonance 

6) Classical Music 

How to do that, here is my suggestion: 

Kaushiki is an affiliation of 'Shakti' - Strength, Power, Energy - so I used 'red' hair that reads 'S' and looks like a tweeting and flying bird to depict 'the social fight for a flight' of a woman with plenty of 'fire in her belly'. 

The red hair has got 6-locks, all intertwined, to mean 6 friends are together to form the all-girl band SAKHI. 

Each one's individual brilliance i.e. colour gets blended or fused into SAKHI the band; thus 'black' is used for rest of the logo after 'S'. The colour black stands for 'emotional safety' and 'substance', as per colour psychology.  

The letter 'i' personifies a 'little girl' on an earth shaped base of classical music, as shown with a musical note turned tanpura, who epitomises the celebration and extension of womanhood... as a derivative of SAKHI... summing up the entire story of SAKHI... "her resonance".

Grey is used for "her resonance" because the colour grey means no bias but 'psychological neutrality'.

In this regard, it should be noted that every human is born as female and that's why every man has nipples. This video gives a better explanation: 

So, if SAKHI is considered as a feminist band then also no sweat, no harm because 'feminism is a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression'. In other words, 'feminism is not just for women but for men and children too'.


A SAKHI is a 'friend' after all. And minus friendship, frankly, no relationship works out. Which is why, lucky is who who is embraced by a SAKHI. So, why not make the embrace of SAKHI a possibility in the form of a T-shirt to be worn by both boys and girls for friendship?  

For that, here is the design that could be executed to add value to the merchandising of the band SAKHI.

Finally, no advice is free because behind every advice there is an idea and an idea shared means two ideas received rather automatically unlike money. And that's economics which has nothing to do with flat currency but has everything to do with creations of opportunity for lives.

PS: If Kaushiki were my friend (SAKHI), she could understand my concern rather easily to do the needful. But since we are not friends, so it's tough for her to relate to me and my ideas even for her benefit.  

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