Suggestion to designers Sung Ha Lim and Hee Kyung Oh for their 5-wheel suitcase design (link)
Link to my detailed comment about the design of this 5-wheel suitcase is here: link
Originally posted here: link
“I’ve been called many things. Nostalgic is not one of them.”
Many of us have been anxiously awaiting Ironman 3 [not sure if my connection was slow, or if the official movie site expected me to wait for Ironman 4 while it loaded].
Tony Stark has been driving Audi’s since the first part of the movie series. So, it’s pretty evident that the tough, quick-witted and cocky Tony Stark likes driving an Audi. That, or Audi bagged some in-film advertising deal, or that the team felt the Audi was cooler than driving perhaps an electric Bugatti Veyron. The ‘electric’, of course, taking importance after Tony Stark has the self-sustaining clean energy powered Stark Tower built in The Avengers. I don’t think he would be caught dead in an energy-efficient Toyota Prius any day.
Let’s look at the Ironman numbers for a second. Ironman 1 on a USD 140 mn budget, grossed well over USD 585 mn. Ironman 2 did over USD 623 mn on a budget of ~ USD 200 mn. Ironman 3 too appears to have been made with USD 200 mn. And am sure the Ironman brand is worth a good deal too.
But all that aside, with over 1.45 million vehicles sold in 2012, WHY would a USD 64 billion Audi need an Ironman commercial to further boost its sales?
With the Audi R8, the Spyder and now the e-tron featuring in the Ironman series, that should have been advertising enough, without Audi needing to make another commercial now.
So, I’m trying to figure out why the auto giant would compromise, almost looking dependent on the Ironman brand, especially considering how the 31 second ad shows Ironman only for the first 14 seconds, after which there are brief bits of the e-tron for the next 11-12 seconds, followed by just the names, Ironman 3 and Audi. And for an electric car, ‘electric’ is never mentioned or shown once. Just ‘engineered for Ironman’ or ‘tested by Tony Stark’. A lot of reputation and brand value to base it on a fictional character, no?
It’s understandable for smaller companies like the privately-held Royal Purple lubricants, or for the USD 2 billion Burger King among others, to ride the Ironman wave, as they did with the USD 100 million marketing spend during Ironman 2. But for a much larger Audi to do that, I’m not sure if it is a good business decision, or just blowing ad budgets on a crappy ad that might be doing more damage than good, banking on the success of Ironman 3.
What Audi should have done, is told the other advertisers what Tony Stark told Nick Fury, “I don’t want to join your super-secret boy band.”
Let me have your take on it.
Sure the Tatas have had their share of tough n’ rough times with the Nano, and they buggered up with the advertising as well. That means there was extremely insufficient advertising, and never at the right time. It just struck me, what stopped them from making a kick-ass tv commercial for the monsoon season. Am sure for bikers riding through heavy rains, praying you don’t skid, getting drenched less in rain water and more in dirty water that cars and trucks splash at you would have made for a compelling reason to buy a Nano.!
Why, then, didn’t they think of it before? They really could have made it rain Nanos this season.
Drivin’ me Nuts!
You are driving one morning to work. Nice weather, relatively low traffic. ‘I’m finally going to reach well before time’, you think to yourself. Just at that moment, a speeding cab whizzes to your left and cuts you without a signal or warning. You snarl, and then immediately think that it feels like a really great day, full of positives. So you wouldn’t want to ruin it by getting into a foul mood over a crazy driver. You near a signal, nearing a car in the next lane, who appears to be somehow drifting towards your lane. So you honk lightly. You think he’s getting back into his lane but just as you’re real close to his car, he honks back and swerves in your direction. your brakes screech the car to a halt, and your still wondering if that actually happened.
Grrrr..!! that does it. That driver’s going down, you tell yourself, as you floor the accelerator and veer into the last lane and align yourself in perfect striking position. Then you suddenly realize that you’ve rattled the nerves of that middle-aged lady whose trembling hands just about managed to swerve out of the way of your car screaming through. So you slow down, and try and get back your cool. Though its not happening. the music playing doesn’t seem to work its magic either. You get to work, your mind imagining you perhaps strangling the driver who dared to cut you.
I’m sure you can relate to at least most of that.
I got my driving license sometime in 2001 i think, though I’ve been crazy about driving well before I could pronounce “car”. As a toddler, I’d sit on my dad’s lap while he’d drive, and I’d hold the steering and pretend to drive.
Then, when i was halfway through school, I’d change gears on my relative’s jeep, while the driver drove and took care of the foot pedals.
Anyway, almost soon after i learnt how to drive, i came to realize that the way people drive has a strong correlation to their personality and behaviour patterns, and also the peculiarity of people in that region.
For instance, in Mumbai (India), where I’ve driven the most, cars on the road tend to make maximum use of the road. Three lanes could accommodate up to 5 rows of cars and still have place for a bike with saddle bags on either side to smoothly ride through.
Now while I say this after driving/ observing only certain parts of India, am sure if anyone paid enough attention, a pattern would emerge for the population at different locations, across the world.
A foreigner visiting India had observed that Indians, while driving, make full use of the road. So if there were no road dividers, cars would “expand” to the opposite side of the road as long as there was no on-coming traffic, and then get back into their side of the road while some vehicles whizzed past from the opposite direction, and then get back to using part of the opposite side again. Talk about adjusting to the surroundings.!
I noticed another interesting habit in the town of Mangalore, and in the city of Bangalore, and am quite sure it must be highly prevalent. If one wanted to turn right at a crossroads which had a small circular garden or something similar at the centre, they would normally be expected to drive around the circle in a clockwise direction to get to that particular turn. However, most of our great people would instead find the shortest path… making the right turn just before the circle…I mean who cares if you’re staring at a bunch of alarmed drivers coming head-on.
That reminded me of this joke i read sometime back. A man is driving on NH1 when his wife calls him. “darling, be careful”, she says frantically, “I just heard on the radio that there’s a madman on NH1 driving in the wrong direction. Please be careful.” Her husband replies, with a hollow laugh, “your damn right about that, but it’s not one madman, but hundreds of them!”
Another strange driving habit, very similar to our corporate circles, is people’s reaction when being overtaken. Some people drive at a slow 25 kmph. And with a gap between them and the vehicle in front being big enough to fit an A380 (Airbus). Now you are somewhere between these two cars, in the next lane. You have turned on your indicator to signal you’d be moving in between the two cars.
Soon as you’ve given the indicator, the car behind you and in the next lane, rockets to 60 kmph. The driver desperately tries to keep you from getting into their lane. You barely manage to save scratches on your car, wondering if the driver left his senses back home that morning. Its very similar to the behaviour of crabs in a bucket. Even if they aren’t trying to get out, they’ll do everything they can to prevent others from getting out. If you’ve driven in India long enough, you’d know over 85% of the people never use indicators.
I assume its for one of two reasons; first being, ‘why bother signalling, if the other driver loves his car, he’ll slow down anyway’, or, because he/ she’s dead sure the car behind will speed up, so instead, its better to suddenly cut lanes while no one’s expecting it.
Nothing’s more horrifying that a parked car suddenly darting into your lane on what seemed to be an empty lane till then.
Ok, maybe that’s not horrifying enough. Try this instead. You got that same parked car suddenly taking off on the extreme left, going 0-30, and darting to first lane to make a U-turn. These drivers expect everyone else to be driving at 20 kmph with a foot ready on the brakes. Or they consider themselves immortal. And you thought Milla Jovovich had a hard time in Resident Evil.
All these trends/ characteristics associate closely with what Indians have been known to be like. Now I’m not generalizing. And while I take pride in being an Indian, am just pointing habits/ behaviours we must strive to change.
And while your at it, try get hold of the book “Games Indians Play – Why We Are the Way We Are” by V. Raghunathan, to get some more perspective on the general attitude.
Anyway, I’ll get back to what I was talking about (I tend to deviate from topic quite easily).
Indians (me obviously included), are always in a rush to get somewhere. So much so, we tend to cross the zebra crossing, or stop over the crossing, while waiting at a signal. Every second counts, I suppose. The closer you are to the starting line, the quicker you can leave on green. Then it doesn’t matter if you continue to drive at 25 kmph in fast lane from there on. We’d still prefer to be right there, first car to move, when the light goes green.
I’ve seen cars literally squeeze through gaps between cars. Some drive halfway up a sidewalk, or drift to the wrong side, just to be first at a signal light. However, after the lights turn, somehow, they don’t bother getting even close to the 50 kmph speed limit. They’re driving at their pace, with not a care in the world, even at 9 am on a weekday. Brings me to wonder why then, do they take all the effort to get to the front row.
Now this one absolutely takes the cake when it comes to driving in India.
Recollect how some cars try to get to as much in front as possible, while waiting at a signal?
There’s another really funny trait among many of our drivers here. Some people end up going so far ahead at a signal, that the signal is actually behind them. I mean, “what the ****!!”. So when the lights go green, they depend on a car behind to honk, to let them know that they can move. So if the cars behind weren’t in a hurry, cars could be waiting for as long as 10 seconds, before moving. Believe me, its a hilarious sight to see.
Imagine something like that happening in Formula 1. An over-eager-to-win F1 driver driving past the racing lights and stopping, before the race started. All I can do is hope we all drive a little more responsibly. And be a little more accommodating, on the road, at work, at home, everywhere.
Ease up…On the Throttle
Ever been late to get somewhere, and you got stuck behind a car driven by an old woman or man, or maybe even a learner who’s instructor managed to pick the same road on the same day when you were late and crossing it. Or even the one who’s so busy chatting with their co-passenger, that driving becomes almost an external, disconnected event for them.
And what do we do in turn. Blaring horns, jumping the car menacingly at them, or even swerving dangerously close to them when we finally manage to overtake.
Am saying this coz I’ve pretty much done it all when it comes to bullying the day dreamers on the road.
But recently I realized; I guess after my mom n dad’s repeated advice started sinking in. We can’t change the world. At least, definitely not by bullying them around. Ok, might I clarify, that I’ve never bullied old people or women drivers, or old people and women in general. It’s usually taxi drivers, or the lost drivers who temporarily suspend all road rules and regulations while they pass by. Or the occasional owner of cars, who probably didn’t have to ‘earn’ their license to drive.
Anyway, back to what I was saying. I realized that we can’t change people by going at them menacingly, or by cutting ahead of them. Now while I have realized it, it still does take a while to implement. Coz the average Indian driver can come up with a million different ways to drive you crazy, literally.
The way I’ve started working on easing up, is in stages. You could try it too. Firstly, say you’re driving back home after work. You’re not exactly in a hurry to get anywhere then. So why not let that car in the next lane move up in front of you. Or why not let the car that’s two lanes to your right, cut three lanes without indicating, and take the turn coming up to your left. Or be a little patient with people learning how to drive, or those not very confident about their driving, even if they’re going at 15 kmh.
After all, learners deserve a chance to learn without the fear of being shouted at, without the deafening sound of many horns, and without having vehicles move threateningly close to them. Same goes for ladies, and the old folk too. And more so for out-of-towners. I’ve noticed that people of cities aren’t particularly ‘friendly’ to vehicles and occupants of cars from another city.
Then I plan to address the main problem. To develop driving etiquette. To be patient with the crazy drivers on the road and not curse them. Not to overreact to their ignorance, lack of confidence or outright disrespect for traffic rules.
Maybe everybody deserves a second and third chance after all.
And with us ‘reactors’ not ‘reacting’ to crazy driving, that itself would reduce the total number of ‘crazy drivers’ on the road. And that way, hopefully, one day, the number of patient, mature and responsible drivers will slowly start outnumbering the crazies and force them to get their act together too.
That’s what hope and patience are all about I guess.
That, or I’m getting old real quick.