Selling nationalism, Anna miles ahead of the rest
Anna will stand for honesty, transparency, uprightness, speaking up and silent protest.
New Delhi: Many swear by him, several scoff at him. Like him or hate him, but he can`t be ignored. As the anti-corruption stir intensifies, media and advertising experts say brand `Anna` has overtaken all the other labels in India in different walks of life for the moment.
As Anna Hazare`s fast entered the tenth day on Thursday, branding experts said `Annaism` is becoming a phrase and concept that other brands will soon want to ride on.
"The brand Anna thing at the moment in this country has overtaken all the other brands, be it in politics, cinema or sports. Anna is selling nationalism to the people of this country," Centre for Media Studies (CMS) Director PN Vasanti told a news agency.
She said, media has played a big role in creating brand Anna and he has the empathy of the common man or the middle class, which is full of angst against corruption.
Madison World Chairman and Managing Director Sam Balsara said, brand Anna will stand for honesty, transparency, uprightness, speaking up and silent protest.
"Yes, Anna is no doubt becoming a brand and Annaism is becoming a phrase and concept that other brands will soon want to ride on," Balsara added.
Other experts, however, pointed out that corporate India will not jump into the brand Anna bandwagon just yet.
"Corporate India is adopting a cautious approach in this issue since, this is a completely new kind of category of protest, so they do not know, which way to go," Future Brands CEO Santosh Desai said.
Expressing similar views, Vasanti said: "Business houses are still not a part of the debate since it is a war between the government and the civil society and they do not want to go against the government."
Explaining the reasons behind the rapid rise of brand Anna, Desai said: "His image is fresh and clean, he looks like somebody you can trust and he has proven this by his actions and track record."
Noted adman and lyricist Prasoon Joshi, however, said restricting Anna to a brand is "too narrow a window" and is not a real way to describe a movement or a person.
"What we are seeing in India (now) could be a phenomenon, a thought process...It is much bigger and broader than a brand," he said.