Four Commercials

By Dinker Charak

Four commercials running across India caught my attention.

The first one is a TV commercial which shows a couple of tennis players playing over the rooftops and jumping off the building during play. It ends with a person inside one of the buildings managing to catch an excellent return with a digital camera. A voice-over describes the wonderful features of the camera.

The second one is also a TV commercial and has couple of people listening to music as they go about their day. A voice-over talks about the ease with which their music is now accessible on the go.

The third one is a print advertisement. It talks about the capabilities of a flashlight, such as its battery life and brightness.

The fourth one I have seen on large billboards. It has two international fashion icons holding up a gold plated fashion accessory as the must-have bling.

The interesting thing is that none of these commercials are for cameras, portable music players, flashlights or fashion accessories. They are all commercials for mobile phones.

I often buy mobile phones for my parents, uncles, aunts and all the non-tech savvy people I know. I tried to recall when was the last time someone asked me to buy a phone that does not drop calls and has good sound. Probably, they mentioned these needs only after all-important requirements have been mentioned.

What they want is to buy a phone that can take videos, that can play Bhajans as ring tones, that has good looks, and is easy to use.

Like my relatives, there is a growing customer-base  who pays more attention to product differentiators and take for granted basic functionality, and they are who are driving convergence in the market.

This is consistent with the DSO message that device manufacturers should spend most of their time and effort on creating an application that differentiates them from their competition.

This is all reflected in the commercials for arguably the most popular consumer device here!

Dinker Charak is a senior
software engineer in Wind River India and is building applications to quickly
diagnose and repair errors in device software. He likes writing, and has
authored a collection of fiction and sci-fi short stories