Saturday, December 13, 2014

Rise above fear

'Rise above fear' is a ad film shot for Mountain Dew India, by Telugu superstar Nagarjuna's son Akhil Akkineni, and Tamil actor Arya. Both the protagonists search for the Kurinji flowers which bloom once in 12 years, and while they face obstacles including their fear of vertigo, they final once in 12 years in the Western Ghat region of India. While they encounter a number of obstacles including their fear of heights, they overcome the Mountain of Fear. This is a clever wordplay on the soft drink 'Mountain Dew', which also extends its brand positioning as one for youth who consider themselves as adventurous.To fully appreciate this, do watch the video below(Tamil version).

This campaign builds on the brand promise that whoever dares, wins. In personal life also, its the risk taking entrepreneurs who amass the maximum personal wealth. Nobody enters the Forbes 500 list by serving a life of employment. Yes, they may have a lot of blowups as well, many of them well publicized. But venture capitalists often view new ventures as a call option, and often accept business model losses over substantial periods of time-Amazon being a classic case which has cumulative losses over decades, yet has substantial operational improvements and customer loyalty, which has driven its share price to record highs. Another example of daring and winning, is the life changing decisions taken by us on proposing to someone, accepting a first job, joining a startup etc. These are mostly taken basis incomplete information and perceptions, but it needs courage to pull the trigger, as well as inner ability to confront the demons within which stop one from being decisive.

One should however not  confuse daring with recklessness. The hundreds of collapsed online ventures during the dotcom bubble, testifies to the stupidity of people who did not pull the trigger on an unviable business model. While people do repeat mistakes-a classic case being the stock market-the present e-commerce boom has seen more caution. For example, instead of broadbasing home delivery of groceries, Amazon has built this in selective cities via Amazon Fresh, and linked it with Amazon Prime as well. This ensures an ecosystem to realize and lock in value, and maybe make groceries a loss leader to ensure profitable sale of other products.

The whole campaign may seem no different from the thousands of campaigns which promise to change the life of the user by making them smarter/faster/healthier etc. The chemical composition of Mountain Dew, does not have anything to support this. However, in this brand obsessed society, we identify with brands not always on a  logical basis. For example, a Tea party supporter not well versed with technology, may call for buying Apple products over Samsung, even though both may have the same level of import components, and a comparable extent of foreign shareholders. Those who liked the ad concept (not to be confused with the actual message), can express their like by following Mountain Dew on Facebook.

PS:This post is an entry to the Rise the Fear Blogging Campaign by Mountain Dew.