Layman’s Take Unboxing of Nokia 500

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It might feel odd for a few, but low price phones like Nokia C5, Nokia E5, Nokia 5800, Nokia 5233, Nokia 7230 etc always had a special place for me and I given them a due whenever got a chance. In past, there been many of the readers mails been of similar kind of questions that “what to choose if want to buy a phone under 10k-15k?”. So, it was obvious to be excited when I heard about a Nokia phone coming at a price less than 10k with 1GHz processor, 256 mb RAM and most importantly a capacitive screen. May be the same was the reason that Paul @WomworldNokia decided to give me one of the units for reviewing it and here it goes the unboxing video of the same..

 

 

I must admit that for many like me, Nokia 500 is an odd man out there due to no 3D Acceleration support and only Symbian Anna as an OS on it, but still if you think reasonably and think of the fact that what options were out there for people under 10k range and compare this 1GHz capacitive phone with earlier Nokia 5800, Nokia 5233, Nokia C6-00 etc, then you will know that why this is a welcome step.

Sure, one can’t help but get impressed that how Nokia managed to keep the premium feel in such a low price device as well. Remember the designs of Nokia 5800/5233 and just look at this… lovely for its price, isn’t it?


If you think that its just another Nokia/Symbian, about which we are hearing a lot of negative buzz in recent, then watch the video given below and think again, if you have seen it anywhere else and then remind yourself that it’s just a <10k device…

What you say?? Tell me on @nkumar_ or at nitish@nitishkumar.net that what more you wanna know about this.

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Layman take on Nokia N8 – Part 4 – Symbian Walkthrough – 2

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Layman’s take on Nokia N8 been through three parts so far. This thing is too big to be handled in one at least in my ways. Thanks for all the support shown by readers out there writing to me. Feel great, when you say that it looked real and common man perspective. That’s what it always about.

Really wanted to say sorry to all readers as there has been insanely long delay due to some personal reasons though meanwhile I tried to fill in with short posts. But this was always in my mind as a guilt pending.

Check out if you might have missed last three, I hope they worth it.

1. Layman take on Nokia N8 – Part 1 – The detailed unboxing
2. Layman take on Nokia N8 – Part 2 – First look over exteriors
3. Layman take on Nokia N8 – Part 3 – Symbian Walkthrough – 1

While the earlier parts were kind of routine ones, here comes the fun part of Nokia N8, Multimedia, maps and gaming capabilities. In this part, I will take a look over Multimedia part.


Nokia N8-00: Music player

Every flagship speaks a language of its own and with every new device of yours, you need to find something big to show off. Something different from others, something that makes an instant connection. With Nokia N900, it was the integrated IM into contacts, while with Nokia N8, the show stopper is the awesome cover flow.

This cover flow on Symbian^3 runs so smooth that one can even ask iPhone or Android users that how easily it pushes theirs off the top. I bet if each and everything of Symbian may go this smooth and awesome looking, then no one wont even dare to say anything against it ever.

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While people keep on looking over UI part only, they must also consider that how smooth it operates and how much types of media it supports. Being similar to those of earlier in looks doesn’t mean that its the same. There are hundreds of sorting algorithms available in programming world to give the same output, is that mean all are the same?

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When in landscape mode, then the cover flow arrives by default or if someone might have messed with the settings, then you should choose Artists and Albums from options at bottom left after tapping the arrow key on the right top.

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Touch any album and you will get a pop up in the middle of the screen with the choices of songs from that album or just shuffle the album songs to play.

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Finding the cover flow in the portrait mode takes another route, where you have to go Artists and Albums and then touch any one album to get into the cover flow mode as shown above. You just slide and list of songs keep on updating in lower part, press on album and it starts playing from the first song. Isn’t portrait mode bit faster than Landscape?

One thing about Nokia that is not getting due credits is Ovi Music unlimited, downloading free music from Ovi Music Store might not be getting such trendy in India as of now, but it will be soon at least after launch of 3G services.

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As usual, not only your can sort by genre, artist etc, you can get the details on the song as well. but sadly and strangely, there seems no way to search for some song. Might be a trouble, if someone has a huge collection inside their Nokia N8. I guess they will fix it by next firmware, they should.

Now over DRM, it may be annoying to few that they can not transfer their downloaded music through Ovi Unlimited to some other friend via Bluetooth, but that’s the way, Music Industry wish it to be. There been some confusions due to the post from Ovi Blog, but as much tested by myself, “MP3s downloaded from Ovi Music Unlimited is not DRM free”. May be sad news for some, but that’s the way it is.

Once running, Music player keep itself connected with Volume keys means whatever might be running in front, volume keys will serve only Music player e.g. Gallery.

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Some readers specially asked me about the Equaliser thing, so putting it here. Though honestly speaking, I am not that advanced Music freak to fiddle much with it. There are some default presets only. Handy, but you can make a custom preset as of now.


Nokia N8-00: Movie player

Movie player on Nokia N8 was something that cleared my dilemma of buying or not buying Nokia N8 in a blink of eye.

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Specs will say that it supports HD videos now and you say that one more addition. But hold it, do you know how big it is. See the above screenshot, check the resolution 1280×720, check the bit rate 2264 kbit/s, this is such a video that takes more than 50 mb for just 3 mins.

Do you really think that its just a simple addition? If so, then put a 2Gb BDrip file or VOB and try to forward by touch the progress bar. Its almost instant and now go to your PC with 2Gb or more RAM and then try the same on your VLC player with same video. Did you thought mobiles are always less performing that computers? Think again.

But HD video was not the part that won me, it was the support to multiple formats.

Even if it was not clearly mentioned on specs, it plays all your Xvid/ Divx/ Mkv/ mp4/ WMV/ 3GP/ H.264 formats, which covered almost 80% of my legendary collection of movies. What else would I wished for? Addition of USB on the GO means I could try any video instantly after borrowing some from PC of a friend.

Though true, its not a fool proof setup. There were some videos, special dual audio ones which will play without voice on it. There might be some strange or corrupted format that the video player of Nokia N8 cant deal with the way any VLC player of your PC does. There is no subtitles files support either (you can merge subtitles in movie file though via third party apps and play then), neither audio switcher if you are playing some dual audio file.

But hey!! are you talking about some media player on PC, its just a mobile. As of now, its a state of art best possible media support among the leading smart phones out of the box, not only Nokia. Yes! out of the box. You don’t need to install any core player, any smart movie player, you don’t need any converter on your PC to convert files for your Nokia N8. Just touch the file and it is.

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That’s how it changes everything. I was in a train journey and the above was my complete setup for the theater experience. Movie files if not in your Nokia N8, then USB OTG cable and a flash drive.. then those stereo headphones that come shipped with Nokia N8. That’s it.

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It was hard to take a snap of movie and forgive me for the blur here, but it was just crisp and clear as it can be.

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May be its asking a little too much, but there are not many advanced controls like next video, increasing brightness etc. Just a tiny set of controls which hide them smoothly within secs, when you play a video and come back again once, you touch anywhere. But each of them works perfectly.

If you touch and hold forward/ reverse icons then it first goes by steps of 5 secs and then faster. Aspect ratio icon changes the video to fit the screen or 4:3 or usual 16:9. And yes the player will always run in Landscape and will remain full screen always.

I know it sounds weird, but I had a wild dream that what if they give a cover flow like Music player to it? I know its not practical, but I thought.

Though many would be excited, when VLC arrives on symbian finally, but I would say that will also face a great challenge to meet the level of performance with Nokia one. You could understand that how big praise it is. Thumbs up for the guys working for the core of Symbian. Next generation Nokia will sure will define new levels of Multimedia.


Nokia N8-00: Web TV

Sometimes you get hands on a few things that might be ahead of its time. I guess Web TV is something like that for Indian Customers at least as of now, when 3G services are yet to arrive and Indian TV channels not well prepared for Web Contents in the way they should have been.

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When it comes to TV on mobile, then I remember my first handset ever. Reliance Moon Light in 2004 that was an entry level LG Handset that was bringing some B/W TV content over CDMA. Definitely, I was expecting to see something like that here. But phones have changes a lot till now.

There is a Web TV Folder, which by default will carry above 6 icons representing 5 Web TV channels and one shortcut to Ovi Store. Unfortunately, some mismanagement here too. If you install a new one, then by default it seems to be going to Application folder rather than Web TV one or may be I might be messing up with something.

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There are not much Web TV apps as of now. I seen two Indian names and downloaded them. Well.. I should say that they are not coping well. The apps are poorly made and neither are they service good quality video contents. And let me remind you, you better have a 3G or WiFi at least, if want an acceptable performance.

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Like this EROS one. Shows promise in start and then end up show not so good quality videos. But again, its a perspective of someone, who is so used of watching DVD/ HD quality videos on his Nokia N8 now.

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But with next app, I find that it was just a wrong apple. This time, its app from India today. Not a great navigation again, but sure, a better UI.

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I noticed one thing that all of them not using the default player of Nokia, but emulating of their own. Kind of strange to me as I expected the player to be same throughout.

While Nat Geo, CNN etc had good quality video stuff with them (not sure how current the content was), the best UI I found with Movie Teaser app.

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This sure seems to be designed for touch with Cover flow (that’s what I was talking about default Movie player). Not only UI is great but quality of videos too and this is one of those Web TV apps that like to play the videos in full screen with fit to screen mode.

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Not only that but it brings some basic level info as well about the movie of course.

So, in all I must say, its a great move and wish that Indian channels and others may adopt it more quickly to make it worth rather than making people watching irrelevant contents from English channels only.


Nokia N8-00: Video Editor

The world changes from here. Big bloggers and experts will say that Nokia did just the same like iMovie of Apple, but its lot bigger than that. First its free of cost, second its shipping with Nokia N8 that still costing half of the price of iPhone 4G. Point is… its gonna reach much more hands than it ever would have with some pricy Apple.

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Its gonna bring Video editing in hands of people, who would never experienced it ever before, not even on computers. And believe me, their start would be much more awesome than even the people who might consider themselves expert of movie editing now.

Let’s start with the simple option, creating a slideshow. You remember all the old Nokia phones were shipped with a Slideshow mode of showing pictures, we are not talking about just that. We are talking about creating a actual movie out of your chosen snaps and with different effects to choose from.

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Sure its one of the most fun stuff on Nokia N8 and could keep you busy for hours if you had many awesome photos inside your Nokia N8 (who wont have) and its very pleasing that the design team behind this did a great job. Not stupid like you choose some pics and then choose some effect and then if not liked output then do whole thing again. You choose pics one and then could go for previewing it with each of the effect almost instantly.

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Either selecting media or inserting pics or it might be adding movie title (overlay text), everything seems to be so perfect and I would say people should try it by their own hands to see how fast it is. Making full use of hardware acceleration and GPU, it sure will bring those Androids without GPU out of water on this.

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Not only that the speed to saving the final video is awesomely impressive. Oh.. the output? Here it goes.

 

 

 

 

 


And one more

With Video editor, its the same awesomeness. Not only you can crop your videos in length, but could insert your own tracks and overlay effects in between when joining two videos. Most amazing part of it remains the speed. I never seen any of my phone going this much fast and even no desktop software handling video editing with this much ease let alone mobile aside. So intuitive .. so smooth ..


 

In the above video, I just added two videos in one. There is a lot more one could do with them like we seen in Slideshow.

 


This went long na.. I feel the same. Hope will be back soon with my review over Gaming part with big titles. Be tuned in and keep writing to me that what more you want me to write on. Nokia N8-00 still has more to write on… just I wish I would have had my hands on Nokia C7 as well to know that what’s more special: Nokia N8 or Symbian^3?

photo of Nitish KumarNitish Kumar

Nokia World – Loads of official videos

Just thought to make a short post flood of videos coming from Nokia side to make announcements of their new offerings in style.

Exclusive behind the scenes and Nokia world highlights  …

 

There were so many new devices …

 

We heard of some great innovations, improvisation and new services

And some of the amazing hands of the new heros …

Some of the charismatic stuffs ..

So, I found it fully packed.. what you think?

MeeGo? Symbian^4? Product demo? Fake? Closer look

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Update: The original video was removed after Nokia claimed it. Re-uploaded for people, who might have missed it. Will be removed soon. Meanwhile, a post from AAS also shown Ovi client being built for N8, I think Ovi store here look similar to that one. Isn’t it?

Web and social sites seen lots of vibes coming from one youtube link that was followed by a short blog post by today only. In last 24 hours the video has seen around 44, 000 hits, which clearly shows that how eagerly people might be waiting for Nokia to rule again.

Though already a post from Mark Guim pushed others from writing anything further on the same video (brilliant post mate), but later on raised doubts and speculations (the original poster says its MeeGo), I thought to contribute few of my own words over the same from a Maemo lover’s perspective. Let’s watch the eye candy first …

There been a huge buzz around the new OS followed by this Meego in last two days and sure experts are holding themselves to say anything on this due to obvious reasons (bad experiences with N97), but something could be said for sure about this.

This is only a presentation video of functionality, running on some simulator, so there should be no talk about snappy performances or anything like that, that would be too good to be true.


Let’s dissect it again …

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Though video was not HD and pics is blurry, but if you look harder then the bottom left line says …

@Nokia 2009/ 2010 Secret

Now that creates doubts as Secret is sure not an official term to be used, companies usually prefer confidential, but leave that here.

When look at the top, then the video/ presentation clearly aims to demonstrate five chapters in short…

  1. Starting up and signing in
  2. Powerful Multi-Tasking UI
  3. Get Connected
  4. Ovi Store
  5. Music Player

Starting up and signing in:

The music widget been the permanent resident of home screen for many and stock updates might be of worth, when you will looking at your mobile screen more than anything else (sure beauties)

We always heard of Nokia-Facebook deals and Nokia-Twitter deals, but the way the screenshot below shows updates from Ovi and Facebook on homepage, when someone touches that green new updates icon in bottom right corner, shows that Nokia is very much planning to push its own Ovi as somewhat a twitter like service and may be wishing to make it as popular one.

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Social Networking widget in green  at bottom right shows number of updates, which look cool in popping up bubble way. There are comments, responses and sure like buttons will be as well. Posting is simple like Android or iOS might be doing, but I will also like to see that if it has got any improvement only touch phones (without qwerty).

As this is just a simulation, the poster taken the liberty of not showing the touch keypad as that wasn’t gonna look cool, if was going to take most of the screen like current touch keypad screens do.

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The next cool thing was to see integration of contacts. We already seen the smooth integration of contacts with social services. There were only facebook and ovi updates on home screen, but contacts app shows that twitter integration is there for sure. not only that but it looks too cool (reminds me N900)

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If you look closer then there are 4 tabs in bottom of contact. Info, Social History, Extra and history.

Info must be what being shown on screen
Social history should shows recent status updates.
History should show last call details, last message details or chat details for that person
I still wonder that what would be in Extra, GPS? NFC?

No mention of Video Call here like Nokia N900, neither anything like Facetime in pics, really? Hope we gonna see something like that included in contacts. Meanings of Get Connected going to be changed again.


Powerful Multi-Tasking UI

If you have played with Maemo and N900 for once, then whenever someone talks about Multi-Tasking, your mind start comparing the same with Maemo only.

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Looks similar? Can’t say that it will be card like as in Symbian^3 or Maemo like, but switching seems to be exactly as was in Nokia N900, pretty good reasons to wait for the next OS.. I wonder if they would provide that left top icon and side click kind of innovations we seen with Maemo on N900.

Though at the end, it will all depend on RAM and Application Memory provided. It was pretty neat with N900, but if they are targeting to be cheaper than others, then ….


Ovi Store

Idea of using get Application button seems to be inspired from Add/Remove control panel applet and sure makes the better sense.

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Ovi Store looked neat with surprising entry of Gravity and Acrobat along with Angry Bird. @Janole hasn’t confirmed a Gravity for MeeGo yet and sure the appearance of the same pushed some doubts there, but I think if the apps would be running on Qt runtime, then it will be immaterial that you are on Symbian^3 ^4 or MeeGo.

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Ovi store looks neat and no filters like recommended, applications, games etc.

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Display page for individual apps also look pretty neat, informatory and well navigated.

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Cool, when it shows the application being installed with short blue status bar under the app icon. Same with the payment method, where you would be having your credit card registered for payments. Are they thinking of debit cards as well? And what about all applications on trial?


Music Player Strange that why it was not demonstrated like Nokia N8? With cool Album poster display?

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Seems almost like any of the best music apps out there, if you talk about work.

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They didn’t went for landscape mode, otherwise, we might have seen some more awesomeness, but it wasn’t displayed that where will be the option to send, share or set as ringtone fo the currently playing song? Is it that blue icon on the top right?

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Pretty neat and awesome? I warn you that don’t make assumptions and expectations like people started with N97 Classic demo videos. Actual speed varies on the basis of final hardware and such a UI will do wonder when gets at least 512 MB RAM and 1GHz processor.  Statius updates will still not be flashy without a very good internet connection or 3G. So, expect the experience to be awesome, but be realistic in opinions. Its the OS, not some particular device.

What you think?

Nokia E72 Diary-The last day and some stress tests

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This was apparently the last day of trial, but unfortunately (?) DHL guy didn’t shown up, no call from their side and I was just waiting with huge mess at office. Anyway, the day ended and I thought to post a few moments with addictive Nokia E72.

After Nokia N900, this was Nokia E72, which really taken me under its spell. A device that spread itself into each moment of your daily life. Though their were points of complaint like not that loud speakers (could say that like just little bit higher than ‘normal’ of NSeries) and poor video recording performance perhaps, but two places, where this device is legendary is its battery performance and strongest of connectivity.

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Battery: I must say that this monster didn’t failed a single stress test of mine about the battery. I already posted about my first test about that. My next tests were even more mean.

1. Inspired by one fellow WomWorldian post, I thought to drive the bike and record the moments from bike, but at next moment, I was to get embarrassed as roads between my office to home is not that hilly neither too glamorous to show off. What’s attractive in that to show? But still.. I kept Nokia E72 in my right front pocket (though later only I come to know that using spy cam is not just that easy, should have more experience) and drove back to home in late eve from office.

I was in doubt about the light that if it would be able to capture anything, I was in doubt that after heavy use in whole day, will the battery survive for at least 45 mins from Badarpur Border to Laxmi Nagar? 45 Mins of video recording and still it didn’t heated up, didn’t dried down or didn’t hanged. That’s something incredible. I just wish if the video quality was like my Nokia N82.

So, here comes a view of daily traffic on delhi roads in camera of Nokia E72. Did I mentioned it survived the whole trip and recorded around 46 mins. Obviously couldn’t have uploaded all of it. 😉

2. In continuation of my first stress test, I given it another test. Downloading three 700MB+ files back to back. Can you imagine? More than 2 GB download over a power consuming 3G connection and still it survives till the end. Yes!! barely but it survived. Obviously, I remembered only Nokia N900 that was alive with me even after watching two movie back to back on it.

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You must be thinking na that how much download I might have done? Check out my data usages during the trial period (Note that today’s usages are not added as I was to reset the device to factory setting before sending, its another case that DHL guy didn’t shown up).

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Just 13 day usages.. I am maniac na?? Just think if I was able to use it during the office hours as well? I was just using it after 8PM usually except the stress test that was taken during 2PM-5:30 PM. For people asking about the connection I am using, its MTNL 3G in New Delhi with data recharge of Rs. 2, 500/- per month. Obviously, I have to make something of this much amount, isn’t it?

Now you could download the app for this blog on your Nokia (Symbian5) via  this link or widget via this link.

Here are your Indian Idol 5 Finalists

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People who remember that how this blog started with Indian Idol 2 and how I was part of the team to deliver the number one fan blog on Indian Idol 4, really don’t wish that I may remain away from fever of Indian Idol. Thanks friend for bringing me in again.

Yes! I am late in joining the fun and honestly speaking, this time, I wont be able to follow up the series like I always did, but still thought to bring the Finalist, who have crossed the first storm.

 
You may call them lucky 17, but I know that it takes more than luck to be there, real talent. My best wishes with all of you. Keep rocking!!!!
 

Now you could download the app for this blog on your Nokia (Symbian5) via  this link or widget via this link.

Rin Vs Tide-The Ad Hussle-Why Rin doing this?

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The Rin commercial, launched on Friday, February 28, openly compares Rin and Tide Naturals, with a claim of delivering better whiteness at an affordable price.

Have you seen this ad? “Chaunk Gaye” like Tide’s punch line says …you can follow the discussions as well that what buzz this campaign obviously made. What you feel after watching the ad? Rivalry? Dirty wars like once we seen between Coke and Pepsi or Complan and Horlicks? How much of you think that this actually can be true? 


That’s the beauty of the media and system. Sometimes, knowing the reality might be harder than our common guesses. Who has time to go into details and then form an opinion? Most of you found themselves stunned when got to see this ad and thought “what the ….. “, “how could it be possible?”, “how could they?

Well!! Let us know some facts first …

Hindustan Unilever Limited, which is India’s largest fast moving consumer goods company (its a British company Europian company) airs an ad for its product ‘Rin’ showing direct disgrace to other product in the same range named ‘Tide’ from Proctor & Gamble (an American one), we were able to spot and discuss the same from the very moment it aired, but P & G takes around one week to file a claim against it. Why so? It must have been more easier and obvious.

Let us go into more details and let me tell you about another case, which didn’t got that much of limelight.

Feb 25, 2010 … just few day before the ‘famous’ ad, HUL filed a suit in Madras Court against P & G about their ad, which says “Tiide Naturals promises great cleaning while keeping your hands soft, because it has the goodness and freshness like that of lemon and sandalwood”, while P & G failed to prove the same, when challenged by HUL. Result: March 1, 2010 … Madras High court given P & G 72 hours to modify its advertisement saying this “does not contain lemon and chandan”.

Now, another point one must go through ASCI Official websites and rules mentioned there for advertising. HUL actually played safe, by putting a notification in bottom of the ad saying “Schematic representation of superior whiteness is based on Whiteness Index test of Rin Vs Tide Naturals as tested by Independent lab” and also seems to be ready to face any lab test.


Ok !!! these are the technical grounds and HUL might be safe, but what about the morals and what if other products in market follow the same way? Isn’t this going to bring an end for innovative and creative advertising? Was is necessary to do something like this?

Ok!! What really bring HUL into this?

Before Tide, HUL had the strongest market share, but backed by P & G, Tide started with aggressive advertisement, which really kept HUL under pressure in recent. HUL responded by restructuring its brand portfolio and reduced prices. 

It improved the situation a little for HUL, but only till P & G bounced back by introducing its low-cost-detergent Tide Natural, which claimed  "whiteness with special fragrance". Note that it’s not the same Tide, that one available on higher price in separate even now, but very few noticed the same. For normal consumers, it was like the same tide in reduced prices and more was the claim "whiteness with special fragrance".

This time, HUL wasn’t able to keep its cool and responded with multi-tier attack back on its competitor.

  1. HUL challenged their claim of “whiteness with special fragrance" saying that they are talking about Chandan and Lemon, while the product clearly contain none of these and with directive on March 1, they accomplished what they asked for.
  2. HUL launched an aggressive campaign with the same TV ad during prime time, which not only bring the focus over the war, but a curiosity in audience as well that how Tide will respond, if its absurd.


So, now we could understand that what happened and why…. aggression got answered by aggression. But the comparable advertisement, which is entirely new concept for Indian market certainly going to get much critics than supporters. HUL might be prepared for what they are claiming, but what will follow next ….. have to be seen.

Would like to have your comments that what you think over it.

Right or wrong? Brave or Foolish? Innovation or End of it?


Update March 06, 2010:

The Calcutta High Court on Friday restrained Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) from beaming a controversial detergent ad with immediate effect.

Justice Nadira Patherya passed an order on Friday restraining HUL from telecasting its detergent advertisement that was seemingly mocking Procter & Gamble’s detergent Tide Naturals.

Justice Patherya directed that telecast of the HUL advertisement be stopped on and from March 8. P&G senior advocate SK Kapur had contended that ad was ‘a clear case of disparagement’ and that it mocked the P&G product while showing its own. The judge agreed that no manufacturer is permitted to promote its product by labelling its competitor’s as bad.

HUL contended in the Calcutta High Court that by filing a vacating application, P&G had submitted to the jurisdiction of Chennai High Court and the suit in Calcutta High Court cannot be proceeded with.

In its affidavit, HUL had contended that it had obtained laboratory reports which proved the superior whiteness of Rin.

I am not quite happy over it. Not favouring RIN, but court should have called RIN to prove their version technically in place of just asking to stop the Ad.

 

photo of Nitish KumarNitish Kumar
 

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