Friday, April 17, 2009

Is 'impatience' a good word?

About Airtel's new ad promoting it's broadband service, I think it is wrong to glorify "impatience" amongst youth.

Impatience like violence is a vice and rarely leads to anything constructive.

The creators of this ad are right about the observation that today's youth have a greater drive to achieve but they are wrong in assuming that it is 'impatience' that is giving them this drive.

It is not impatience that drives today's youth to achieve more. It is increased opportunity and increased consumerism. Youth today dare to set high goals because they know they can't be stopped. The youth of today has more opportunity and a wider platform (interestingly, facilitated by the Internet) than I had just 10 years ago. Today's youth is a slave to consumerism and are prepared to work for it.

Impatience causes people to honk persistently when stuck in a traffic jam. Impatience causes you to quit your job every 9 months. Impatience makes you avoid exercise and resort to those flab reducing belts instead. Impatience makes you thrive on fast food and instant noodles. impatience makes you want to study only those sections that are important for the exam and ignore the rest. Impatient people over-speed and jump the signal.

In these times especially one needs to nurture the virtue of patience.

I can see the logic behind a broadband company glorifying impatience as it means that they respect your impatience and hence will deliver high speed Internet. That's one way to look at it.

Interesting concept from the brand's point of view. But disapproved of from a social point of view.

More importantly, this ad errs in portraying "impatience" like it is a modern day attitude.

Whereas impatience has been the wont of youth since time immemorial.

There's even an age-old Chinese proverb on impatience:

"you can't help shoots grow by puling them higher"

I will be convinced otherwise the day I meet a successful man or woman who tells me that the force behind his/her success was his/her impatience,

Until then, it's thumbs down for making "impatient" sound like it is a good attitude to have.

Meanwhile their 360 degree campaign which simply plays on the words "can't wait" is a harmless fun and relevant way to connect to the youth. Thumbs up to that.

It's like translating "yeh dil maange more" to "greed is the new way of life" and then glorifying "the greedy ones". Wouldn't sound right right?

14 comments:

Impatient Ones said...

Thank you for the detailed review on the thought of Impatient Ones, Pooja.

Don't you think the impatience leads to creating opportunities rather than waiting for the right ones to come one's way? Ever seen the impatient ones stuck in the traffic turn about and find a new way to reach their destination?

We say in times like these people need to discover the virtue of impatience. The Impatient Ones will be the ones who fight for things to get back into shape. Patience is a respected virtue, yes. But how will patience help get out of bad times? God helps those who help themselves?

And we give you FOUR successful people who can tell you that the force behind their success was their impatience.

What do you think now? :)

Pooja Nair said...

I admire how you have articulately tackled every single point raised by me...reflects on your conviction.

Makes me want to agree with you...

May be I do...though a part of me still feels uncomfortable about making impatience a virtue.

But perhaps the TG understand what you mean better than I do. As long as they get it right, I'm cool.

Good luck to you! and good luck to our youth!

(waiting to know who the FOUR people you are refering to are?)

Impatient Ones said...

Pooja, we would like you to meet our four Impatient Ones-

Shiv Bhaskar Dravid- Young entrepreneur, founded his own online newspaper at the age of 21. 'The Viewspaper' isn't even a year old, and it has approx. 2,50,000 views a month.

Sukhmani Sadana- She's 25. She's been into advertising and worked for MTV. She's a model and a successful scriptwriter for films. All at just 25.

Jishnu Dasgupta- He believes there's one life to live and he has to make the most of it. Engineering graduate, an MBA and now the bassist of famous band "Swarathma". Oh and have you heard "XL ki kudiyan" by Bodhi Tree? Famous song among college kids. He formed Bodhi Tree and sang that song. :)

VJ Bani- Just out of school, she went on to become an MTV Roadie. Didn't win, but made way for herself. Created opportunities. Today an MTV VJ and doing great!

These are our young achievers. And we're in search for more. Infact we have a competition to choose the next impatient one.

You can check out our website for more on our impatient ones-
http://airtel.impatientones.com/

We're on facebook-
http://www.facebook.com/pages/ImpatientOnes/60387932025?ref=nf

Twitter-
http://twitter.com/impatient_ones

and YouTube-
http://www.youtube.com/user/theimpatientones

Good to know you, Pooja!

Pooja Nair said...

First of all, kudos to your 360 initiative!

You have tapped on all the youth relevent websites.

You even found my blog!

Okay about the list you gave me, these are what I would call young achievers rather than successful in their chosen field.

But, thats besides the point. The point really is about the virtues of impatience.

And after hearing you out, I have come to the conclusion that impatience, if mishandled could lead to a mess. BUT if chanelized right, impatience could give you that edge!

I hope the TG understands that you are referring to this latter aspect.

thanks and cheers!

Pooja Nair said...

hey! i just went through the facebook link.

I like your campaign now! :)

You are actually providing our youth with inspiration.

Good work people... Congrats!!!

Impatient Ones said...

Thank you. :)

mr bojangles said...

thoroughly enjoyed the post and the comments. yes, i agree that there's a difference in being driven by a purpose and in just being impatient, and that the ad in itself does not bring that out.

Pooja Nair said...

@Mr. Bojangles,

Exactly!!!

Anonymous said...

What a charming site you have here. I read a few of your posts; you have a lot of wisdom for one so young! Cheers, Cynthia

Pooja Nair said...

Thanks Cynthia...those are truely encouraging words.

Vivek Menon said...

Interesting observation Pooja!!
But remember the VIP ad which said that Indians compromise and tolerate a lot??

I think this impatience is the new Indian. It defines all of us...
And I dont agree to your argument that impatience have always been there...!!! We as a generation are more impatient and less tolerant to a lot of things!!!
The quotient has definetly increased!!

Pooja Nair said...

Vivek,

The youth has alwasy been referred to as impatient but perhaps today they are REALLY impatient. granted.

But, my point is that it should not be glorified into being the right attitude to have.

Maybe i am old-fashioned. or maybe i am just not getting it.

In any case i like their internet initiative on Facebook and their website etc which revolovs around 'can't wait'.

like my younger brother(non-advertising guy) says, "its a catchy ad".

i guess he is the TG and if he 'caught' the ad, the campaign is doing something right.

but then again... :)

Vivek Menon said...

Exactly..My friends liked the ad a lot!! We indeed have struggled to get a broadband connection in our place.

Dnt knw abt Srilanka :)

And hey do you really think that ad agencies have a moral responsibility?? Yes ideally they do..Tell me one agency that has it in its vision/mission!!

50% of all ads have a sexual undertone...Is that good?
20% of them glorify stealing(LEVIS ad..I suppose)

If we start looking for morality in ads, we might end up being called "Out fashioned" !!

Hey please dont think that I'm trying to thrash what ever you say...I'm not!! A little too bored I guess!! Btwn..nice blog!!

Pooja Nair said...

I know Vivek...can't look for morality in advertising. Sigh!

Except sometimes advertising manages to do the brand good as well as send out a good message...

like the Tata tea's "jaago re" ad and the IDEA 'democracy' ads and the Vatika shampoo 'non-violence is better than violence' ad.

Dnt worry abt thrashing what i say...i am only expressing my views here and am eager to know the varying views of the readers :)