Thursday, May 8, 2008

What Sites May Come - When Death Means Business

Few years back, a movie, Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani, was released. Though a flop at the time, due to the competition it faced from Hrithik Roshan’s Kaho Naa…Pyaar Hai; which was also released at the same time, the movie tried to convey a concept that was way ahead of its time. The movie brought to light a unique side of marketing and the role of media. It was ahead of its time in portraying how the TV channels and media use everything for commercial purposes. The film actually depicts live coverage of an execution ceremony, complete with interviews of the hangman. The media company is even seen to ensure the prisoner, endorse some brands. Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani created a lot of confusion and anger amongst its audience and eventually, this novell concept was not appreciated by many people.

A Pakistani burial service started an online service, few days back. Through this service, people who are staying outside Pakistan can now bid farewell to their deceased relatives, by logging into this website. Each individual can login by their unique login ID, and the individual can see the burial service, the place of the final resting place of their loved one, from some other country.
How the above two examples are connected? Ironically, Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani makes a dig at sponsorships and how television medium has been taken over by multi-crore companies. The film itself was a platform for promoting various brands like Swatch, Hyundai, and VIP etc. Television is yesterdays story; today it is all about internet, online media, social networking. So, when this Pakistan based burial service went online, it is easily understandable, that after few months, after this service gains recognition, other organizations will start propounding and promoting brands and services related to burial services, online. This might be as affiliate links or as separate e-commerce ventures.

For example some entrepreneur may start a flower service using this platform, by promising to deliver the fresh flowers at the burial ground. This need not even be a one off affair. A subscription offer might be provided where for example, each Wednesday, the company will deliver the fresh flowers to the particular grave, for a discounted fee. And people, all around the globe can enjoy this by using YouTube or similar streaming video service. And if some user of this service wanted it to be online, he/she can go to Second Life, and can virtually create it, to show his/her fellow “Residents”, the resting place of the loved one.

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