July 04, 2008

DARE TO THINK BEYOND MEDIOCRITY?

It is irritating to see full page advertisements of management schools wooing prospective candidates to join their institutes. Everyone, including the person who occupies half the page of the advertisement, knows its all for the money. Why then drag premier institutes like IIMs and IITs into it?

First of all these institutes don’t have any entrance examination worth the name. Anybody who can pay the fee they demand can secure a seat in these institutes - and they have the audacity to ask you to “dare to think beyond the IIMs and IITs”!

Tell that sick looking man in the ad that an institute doesn’t become famous by promising free laptops to students – by the way those “free” laptops are charged through “invisible” components in the fee structure. Also add to the invisible component charges for “free” trips to Europe.

It is sad that advertisements should rely on women from shaving blades to management institutes. Showing cute women working on laptops, girls and guys playing basketball and hugging each other are aggressive marketing strategies targeting the male crowd.

To satisfy the middle aged parent about the “high standards” of the institute there is a write-up on current national events at the bottom of the advertisement. Such articles are written knowing completely that they won’t be read by anyone. It is this confidence that gives the writer the strength to write whatever he feels like. At best some bored soul may skim through them – yet they find a place in the ad to convey the “seriousness” of the institute in imparting sound education.

It is sad that education should be advertised like a commodity, and I’m not sure if it’s the case with developed countries too. Such advertisements show the failure of the state to regulate the quality of education and provide enough opportunities for students to study. People who brag about the power of privatization, free market policy to solve the problems of the bygone era should learn from this.

12 comments:

Srikar said...

Yup! The advert makes it sound as if it's a resort! It's simply disgusting. "Hindu" used to maintain standards, but I guess it too had to budge seeing the moolah in advertisements...

Btw, more truth here. Read it…

Neeraja said...

It's an interesting take on how females/women shown in the ad are seen as advertising strategy to attract men :). I'm not sure what the advertiser's intention was but all ads pertaining to education/technology here, make sure to include women in the ads (women of different ethnicities in particular) to boost women's perception and confidence to pursue such paths. You may argue why not show a picture of an average girl with glasses on... again it is to eliminate perception that women pursuing higher education are nerds/nerdy looking and can even be "cool" :).

I do see ads for colleges in developed countries that have a ring of commercialism to them. Each nation has ads with select keywords pandering to their own audience. But I'm not sure how may of these ads sneak into respected newspapers/magazines.

Srikar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Srikar said...

I guess it makes practical sense to put females wherever possible when one is marketing 'anything'. Note here I'm stressing the word 'ANYTHING'.

Part of the reason could be because traditionally males have had more purchasing power than females. So the best way to attract any available/unavailable 'straight' male is "show females" :)

It's such a tried and tested method that for a "Broadband Internet Advert", marketeers find it a necessity to put in a gaggle of half naked women.
Why for that matter even to sell 'mens briefs' I see women doing the job better !!!

I think Neerja, you have taken a very sophisticated meaning out of this. It might not be so...

Neeraja said...

Of course, I don't argue that the advertiser's intention was innocent and pure :). But with ads relating to education/technology/science/maths it has been a necessity here to include women in ads.

US is facing a little issue with having very few women (especially natives) entering technology related professions because they are still seen as male dominated and "geeky" to enter such fields. So I see the everyday hoopla that arranges workshops and conferences calling out for women and more women :). And just because of my ethnicity I get called for photoshoots for such campaigns.

We can extrapolate a similar condition in India where there are still so many women hushed from pursuing a career or an education beyond a basic degree.

I'm not arguing that this ad's intention was so genuine, but maybe we should try to be less skeptic of all ads relating to education/social upliftment. There is always hope that there are some good people out there :)

vikraman said...

check this out
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Indian_Institute_of_Planning_and_Management_advertising_controversy

vikraman said...

..may be women of different ethinicity are shown in the advertisements to tell men that a wide spectrum of women are 'available' in their campuses :-)

srikar,
Newspapers have a role but the civil society has a bigger one. Newspapers perhaps can catch osama bin laden's ad to recruit men to his organisation, but they can't catch slimy asses like these. What we're doing right now is the best way to tackle the menace - forming public opinion. Democracy is at work right now.

Bg said...

Such is the sad state of the so-called-world class-MBA schools. Not only this one, there are a few other 'famous' ones!
I don't know what will happen if the quota for faculty comes into force at IIT/IIM's!

vikraman said...

I have a different take on reservation. But there are tons of such quacks in the market. It was surprising to know that IIPM doesn't have the accredition of AICTE/UGC approval. That means the government doesn't recognise you as an MBA - so no govt jobs for u.. and if you choose to do their BBA after 12th, you're not a recognised graduate.

Sashi said...

IIPM campus lies near my home here in bangalore, I must say even a Levi's showroom is probably bigger than that. And Viki, this guy also tried to make a movie about youth culture and all that. Probably i think is was called 'Rok sako to Rok lo'...funny aint it.

vikraman said...

ya,
but in the advertisements one gets to see swimming pool, basketball court, big libraries and other paraphernalia. Seriously anything can be marketed man.

Guru said...

These ads are for people who are just looking for the most fashionable/famous place with a lot of money on them. The serious student knows a good school from a bad one. Don't get too bothered man :P.