Saturday, November 10, 2007

Diwali SMS (Simple Mind Semiotics)

Morning newspaper says, "Average noise level in Bangalore yesterday was 122 Db." Authentic news and I can assure you that because no amount of ear plug, muffler, sound masking or closed window could help me reduce the noise. Isn't Diwali supposed to be a celebration of light not sound? Anyway, "We Are Like This Only."

Around 4 pm, my mobile started beeping continiously, some 70 SMSes in one go. Felt enlightened on the festival of light. SMS is a great subject for semiotic studies.

So here are few observations and my take on the human psyche:

Type 1. "Wsh u vry hppy Diwali n prsprs Nu Yr" or "Thnks wsh u da same" - Good understanding of the medium. Heavy user of the medium. Technophobics. Non Experimental. Boring. Single. Nanominded (believes in short and simple) Less emotive. Individualistic. Schizo. Busy. Talks straight and less. Politically (grammatically) correct. Non-multimedia phone owners. One to one communicator (P2P).

Type 2. "Wish you and your family a very Happy Diwali and Prosperous New Year" or "Our best wishes to you and your family for a most blessed and prosperous diwali...x, y, z1, z2" - Straight. Simple. Happy-go-lucky. Understands the medium but value conscious. Uses the medium on only purpose. Mostly group message senders. Techno-ambivalent. Feature driven. Narrow-minded. Family oriented. Very emotive. Lazy. Fun loving. Talks more. Non Multimedia phone owners. One to many communicator.

Type 3. "You received a Flash File SMS/ Picture Message/ Emoticons (.flv .swh .jpeg)" - Creative. Expressionists. Confused. Energetic. Image conscious. Heavy user of the medium. Technophile. Experimental. Gizmo freak. High Sociability Quotient. Late adaptor. Possessive. Multimedia phone owners. Many to many communicator.

Type 4. "Bursting cracker in front of the house. Have a blasting Diwali. MMS (.mpg.4)" - Heavy user of medium and features. Creative. Technophile. Experimental. Gizmo freak. Trend setters. Early adaptor. Family oriented. Thrill seeker. Gamer. participator of group activities. P2A, A2P communicator, oops many to many communicator.

Well, this is how I did a quick classification/ segmentation of the 70 SMSes. As a planner, I think this small observations and mental notes help is developing hypothesis that can be later used to validate brand problems. VAS (value added service) is the highest revenue generator ($ 1.2 bn) for service providers yet not many brands are utilizing this medium effectively. So, how can a brand talk to these four types of SMS users. Which brands will talk to whom? Only HSBC, RR City Taxi and Airtel were kind enough to send me a Diwali wish. Where are other brands present in this medium? No one will sue you or get offended when you send a good wish unlike your irritating messages like buy now, discount on immediate purchase, send SMS to 4455 etc. Now, isn't this an interesting hypothesis?

Do discuss.

3 comments:

Kapil said...

I guess you are right when you say brands are missing out on connecting with the audience on such days. I got a message from the local DOCKER's showroom wishing many a Happy Diwali and informing me that there was a new collection they had got in specially for the festival. NOW that's useful information - I would say.

Moksh Juneja said...

Have a 6 pack and towel dropping Diwali.. X!

What say to these SMS... movie enthusiasts, leveraging technology, situational... and a combination of traits mentioned above!!

jonty said...

I totally agree with you. Diwali is a celebration of light but not the sound. Crackers in diwali not only effects our environment but also increases sound pollution. So, i feel that to improve the quality of our life we can opt sound masking system.