Delshad Irani

Special Correspondent at The Economic Times

Location icon India

Bombay-based feature writer for The Economic Times, the financial daily of The Times Of India Group.

Portfolio
The Economic Times
03/16/2016
Some marketing lessons from Donald Trump - The Economic Times

A marketing commentator, a political strategist, a psychologist and a chimpanzee expert walk into a podcast recording to talk about Donald Trump. The topic: What lessons might we learn from the man who's insecure about the length of his fingers and aspires to blanket bomb people back to the Stone Age from some cosy quarter in the White House?

The Economic Times
12/02/2015
Anatomy Of The Lazy Economy

When WALL:E first saw the morbidly obese inhabitants of the spaceship Axiom, bound to their floating chairs, their whole existence automated; it gave us a glimpse of a grotesque world. Our world. Not precisely as visualised in the animated film but close enough to the truth to make us go in our pants.

The Economic Times
01/12/2016
The Social Samurai

What does life as a social media manager (SMM) look like? The days involve, in varying degrees and numbers, haters and mercenary influencers with spectacularly inflated sense of self-worth; clients more clueless than I when I look at my tax sheets; and trolls that would make the monstrous, Cockney-speaking kind who tried to spit-roast Bilbo's pals in The Hobbit look like an adorable class-pet.

The Economic Times
02/10/2016
Why Uber changed its logo and colours

In a blog post he wrote to introduce Uber's new look to the world, founder Travis Kalanick likened the old logo to a bad, 90s hairstyle. "Have you ever looked at someone's hairstyle and thought 'oh my, you peaked in the 1990s?' Well that's a bit how I feel about Uber's look today."

timesofindia-economictimes
12/23/2015
Rise of the Geekonomy

Thirty-one year old Jatin Varma is as angry as the Hulk with Shah Rukh Khan. For its Khan's film Dilwale that stormed theatres and delayed the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens in India by a week.

timesofindia-economictimes
12/09/2015
Are brands milking controversies?

Brands, it seems, are suf fering from an acute case of FOMO (fear of missing out). That would, to some extent, explain Pepsodent's curious, out of character tweet; "Pepsodent Germicheck #Intolerant only to germs". It was the Unilever brand's cheeky reaction to the tragic hilarity that ensued over Aamir Khan's comments at a public event.

timesofindia-economictimes
01/13/2016
Seven ways to apologize to consumers and save brand value

(An acceptable expression...) Brands are working harder than Sir Elton John to say 'sorry'. As the consumer evolves into a more conscious and unforgiving being, often unleashing her wrath on the fallen through social media, companies are apologising more than ever. Brands are saying "sorry" for sins and slights, with increasing frequency.

The Economic Times - Sunday Magazine
2015
Why more and more young Indian women & men are embarking on unconventional journeys

In 1969, Indians faced severe international travel restrictions. Foreign exchange was issued only when travel was absolutely necessary, say, if it were a life-or-certaindeath situation. But my grandparents along with four friends threw caution to the wind, jumped into their Commer van and boarded the Bombay-docked passenger cargo vessel, ss Dumra, bound for Khorramshahr in Iran.

timesofindia-economictimes
02/18/2015
Six business tips for highly-effective social media managers

(Social media and community...) What does life as a social media manager (SMM) look like? The days involve, in varying degrees and numbers, haters and mercenary influencers with spectacularly inflated sense of self-worth; clients more clueless than I when I look at my tax sheets; and trolls that would make the monstrous, Cockney-speaking kind who tried to spit-roast Bilbo's pals in The Hobbit look like an adorable class-pet.

timesofindia-economictimes
07/15/2015
Breaking into the cricket territory, other sports gain attention

((Image: BCCL) (representative...) To say audiences, broadcasters, advertisers and promoters are shifting their attention to other sport purely out of cricket-fatigue would be unfair; to cricket, that's still very much the national pastime, "kind of like God or Bollywood" as one marketer put it.

The Economic Times
02/10/2016
What the GIF! Why do brands keep subjecting themselves to online flogging?

Fat, Pepsi, hell, hate, God, capitalism, homosexuality, diabetes, black, white, green, all cuss words, most words associated with religion, politics, business, sex, drugs and alcohol (though scotch is okay, beer is not), insults, negative and derogatory words, and any brand name that's not Coca-Cola are all forbidden, as decreed by the global beverage giant.

ETBrandEquity.com
Dear ad man, kill yourself

Why advertising's been the target of some of the most withering put-downs from comedians, authors and just about everybody

timesofindia-economictimes
2015
How to go from a real nobody to a digital somebody

After years of skulking about digital fringes, sometime last year I grudgingly joined the land of living twitterers with: "Now what?" It was rhetorical of course. Nonetheless, one of the first replies to set my notifications tab on fire (not) was this: "It's not about the number of followers."

timesofindia-economictimes
2015
Here's why women leave ad agencies

*Women over 45 kilos, don't apply. Why do you care about increments, your husband earns so well? She's just cranky because she hasn't been laid. *Stripper screensavers* promotion! She must be sleeping with the boss. Sorry, lady, can't report to a woman.

timesofindia-economictimes
2015
Here's what newsjacking looked like in 1947

Kim Kardashian bares her ample bum on a magazine cover triggering headlines the world over; the global event 'breaks the Internet'; brands butt in with their own japes on social media, hijacking the news for marketing mileage. That, in a nutshell, is newsjacking.

timesofindia-economictimes
01/26/2015
'Make In India' Controversies and scandals

(From allegations of plagiarism...) Make In India logo created by foreign company" and various iterations of the line appeared in many places, from dailies and clickbait sites to social media timelines, two weeks ago. The seemingly disconcerting finding was unearthed by a Madhya Pradesh-based activist, Chandra Shekhar Gaur, under the Right To Information Act.

The Economic Times
Game Ad Anatomy

This is not an article about the Super Bowl or Tom Brady Bundchen. A necessary clarification that. Because general sentiment dictates that we mustn't give a schnitzel about the annual American pop music and testosterone fuelled sport frenzy. Why mustn't we care, share or tweet about football at the Bowl?

timesofindia-economictimes
2015
Why 99.9% of FMCG innovations fail

Only 0.14% of all FMCG launches, 16,914 to be precise, from 2012 as evaluated by Nielsen are considered breakthrough innovations in the research firm's re-port. The glib often ban-died about statistic of about how 80% of product launches fail now seems like the overstatement of the century.

timesofindia-economictimes
2015
The Truth About Cannes

It's easy to dismiss the Cannes Lions as a week of company sanctioned debauchery. An excuse to party on the French Riviera with workmates on the agency's tab. God knows the fest gives us ample reason to think so.

The Economic Times
2014's Top Cases For Creativity (The Gunn Report)

The Gunn Reports' Cases For Creativity highlights the top ad campaigns that were the Holy Grail of marketing - creative and effective. We've seen them all before but let's have one more look at what they did right, for a more creative and effective 2015.

The Economic Times
10/28/2015
Here's why the Ambuja-Khali film is the best ad we've seen this year - The Economic Times

The mockumentary-style film, which depicts Dalip Singh Rana aka The Great Khali's struggles with infrastructure is the funniest cement ad ever. However, Publicis' Bobby Pawar wishes some of these accolades, pouring in from all quarters of the world, would come without qualifiers like "cement". We, however, are inclined to disagree.

timesofindia-economictimes
2015
A rare peek into Dentsu's Tokyo headquarters

Tuesday - 13:30 1-8-1 Higashi-shimbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-7001 Dentsu Inc. HQ After two metro changes and twenty minutes navigating the labyrinths that are Tokyo commercial towers - all somehow connected like a great hive; I'm half an hour early for my meeting with Dentsu Inc's Shusaku Kannan.

The Economic Times
Ad-hybrids that have transformed the marketing landscape

Advertising had one job - to sell. To sell us detergents and razor blades. It was advertising's job to make us believe pizza can save the day and give up our hard earned cents for scents which if applied in the recommended dosage would attract a horde of ravenous lasses.

The Economic Times
The Five-second Rule

If the first five seconds of a commercial can't cut it, chances are the following twenty-five, whether worthy or not, will get the skip. Here is what you have to do.

timesofindia-economictimes
Why 'big data' needs haters

Someone needs to shout "bull****", before one steps in a steaming pile of bovine waste

ET Blogs
Why Ad Fests Need More Ad Haters

"I hate watching commercials just like anybody else." The American singer/ producer Sean Combs, also known as P. Diddy, told a room full of advertising men and women at last year's edition of the Cannes Lions, the annual festival of creativity that celebrates the best and brightest in advertising.

The Economic Times
Surefire Ways To Break Trust

It takes years, decades, a lifetime even to build a relationship based on trust. It takes seconds to break-up.

The Economic Times
Alex Bogusky's Cola War

An adman who once crafted campaigns for Coke and Burger King now uses the story of obese, impotent and diabetic bears to highlight the dangers of copious cola consumption.

The Economic Times
I'm Hatin' It

Embracing hate in a brand campaign can be effective in creating buzz but only if you've got the cojones to pull it off

The Economic Times
Bond Don't Bore

Why James Bond is one of the safest bets for marketers.

The Economic Times
How social media ruined marketing

Most people talk about Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and their ilk, as if it were the second coming. Admittedly magazines like ours and writers like me have spent reams of newsprint while tracking and extolling the countless virtues of social media.

The Economic Times
Wanted: A Million More Little Zizous

(Offer valid till Parsi stock lasts) In 'Star Trek', an aging Spock signs off with the traditional greeting of his people as he sets off to revive his race after the Romulan, Nero, blew up their home planet, Vulcan.

The Economic Times
Creatives At Cannes

The Cannes Lions kicked off bringing with it some familiar visitors. The next time you hit the French Riviera or any other award do, see how many you spot

The Economic Times
Mahatma Gandhi: Experiments with truth & advertising

What do Mohandas K Gandhi and Ernesto 'Che' Guevara have in common? The correct answer is they are both available in sizes small to extra large, in navy blue and white, v-neck and round for about Rs 500 a pop on websites selling clothing for the hip and young who wish to make a statement (just what it is we don't quite know yet.)

timesofindia-economictimes
When brands 'heart bae' on social media

To truly understand 21st Century marketing, it's imperative first to familiarise oneself with two critical concepts. The first of which is newsjacking. A term coined by David Meerman Scott, it is the 'process by which you inject your ideas or angles into breaking news, in real-time, in order to generate media coverage for yourself or your business.'

The Economic Times
Which brand won #WorldCup2014?

Which brand won the first truly social World Cup? That’s the question everyone’s asking. Adidas? Nike? Coke? Pepsi? McDonald’s? Visa? Sony? Try again

The Economic Times
The Decisive Moment

A picture is worth a thousand words. And everyday millions of pictures go public across social networks.That's a lot of words. But what makes them click and what can brands do to make sure they stay in focus

ET Blogs
An Adnigma That Is Rahul Bose

For the next two minutes set aside your thoughts and opinions on the creative liberties we took in our headline and let's focus on the matter at hand: Rahul Bose. Not all of us rushed to our neighborhood theatres to catch the one show of 'Mr. and Mrs. Iyer' at noon.

ET Blogs
The curse of the nomination

If the words 'I nominate' don't trigger an automated response shudder, then, my friend, you are made of stronger stuff, we're talking Moonshine-Grade here. After all, the world has barely recovered from pouring buckets of perfectly clean and treated ice water over its head when thousands of bystanders were drawn in by perpetrators who uttered two seemingly innocent words - "I nominate".

The Economic Times
Why shooting with celebrities is no child's play!

The advertising world shares its most memorable and strange shoots with celebrities. These tales of agony, horror and comedy go way beyond the usual narratives - 'no available dates', hovering handlers and running 10-hours late.

ET Blogs
What did man do before beer shampoo?

Remember the time when the fedora was where it belonged, that is on Capone's head and not on a Yummy playing gangster chic. (A yummy, by the way, is a young, urban male with money, as HSBC labelled this millennial lot).

ET Magazine
Live English Premier League matches herald a new era for fan clubs in India

What does a football fan do when he or she wants to chant, cry and down a pint in celebration with others of the same feather? And wave the club banner and flag, hurl obscenities at the opposition, embrace strangers at the final whistle and together sing the club anthem loud enough to drown the sound of a space shuttle at T minus 0 seconds?

ET Blogs
John Oliver rips apart native advertising, calls it "bovine waste". And he's not alone

When publishers and marketers talk about marketers using publishers' storytelling tools to tell their story to an unsuspecting public, "That's not bullshit. It's repurposed bovine waste," according to British comedian and satirist John Oliver. The topic of his latest episode of 'Last Week Tonight with John Oliver' is native advertising.

The Economic Times
Facebook's D'Arcy on how to advertise on the social network

(Facebook's Mark D'Arcy...) Twenty-first century nightmares are made up of your Facebook News Feed, your dad and the comment he just left on a particularly incriminating photo of you posted by a Friend after a night of abject debauchery.

ETBrandEquity.com
A black mirror world - blogs by Delshad Irani | ET BrandEquity

A few days ago, I bought groceries from Grofers, a hyperlocal delivery company. The order arrived on time and neatly packed in Grofers' bright, orange bags. As I looked at the packaging that appealed to my milliennial sensibilities, and eventually noticed the Kit Kat (a freebie) lying on the bottom of the bag, I remembered Amazon's shipping boxes.

The Economic Times
Telegram to Twitter

This legendary tale is found in every list of the world's most famous telegraph messages. Two versions exist, one attributed to Irishman Oscar Wilde and the other to Victor Hugo, a Frenchman. The author in Paris at the time sent his publisher in England a telegram which carried the following message - "?", supposedly an enquiry about how his latest work was faring with English readers.

The Economic Times
'Dave for Pope'

Droga5's David Droga on everything from Attenborough to Lions, the Cannes kind.

The Economic Times
How to scam and win ad awards.. and not get caught

It's not enough to be the brightest. It's not enough to be the most creative. And it's most certainly not enough to have your boss on a jury. Because if you want to scam to win ad awards, you must also learn how not to get caught.

The Economic Times
Surprise Endings

Alright, so we know Norman Bates, proprietor cum homicidal-psychopath at a family-run motel, likes to dress up like mommy over the weekend. Yet, how many times have we watched Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho?

The Economic Times
Brand Gandhi

Brand Gandhi needs dramatic reinvention if it has to survive another generation.

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