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  • after this, bind – ass also managed to tell me “Really don't think they were watching to begin with ;)” .. and then a “we're just talking”.

    I am pretty amazed that some baccha behind this id is out to screw a brand.

    I reminded this id that it has to project a brand and not a human with emotions.. but I dont think it would make a difference.

    • beastoftraal

      Yes, noticed all those tweets, but the post was getting too long – so had to edit some portions. But yes, it is either the CEO of Bindas TV, with a bloated ego or a small kid. Strange UTV trusted it's Twitter profile to one of these extremes!

  • and there is a twitter WP plugin that converts twitter id's (in @ format) into proper hyperlinks.. will have to search its name and tell u

    • beastoftraal

      Perfect – lemme search too; would be ideal for tweet-heavy posts like this.

      • now twitter also has the tweet embedding feature .. u cd try that too

  • The program is an insult to any citizen's intelligence. Let people (including it's so called audience) decide what is class or crass? Episode 1 video of “D3: Commando Force – Dadagiri Against Terrorism” by @bindasstv. Who is this Retired Captain Dharamveer Singh? Are they even allowed to wear army fatigues legally?

    • What's with making these “Retd. Captains” wear on their shoulders and chest, what is supposedly the official insignia, and then blurring it out? Another sham I think, the visual equivalent of bleeping, but including, every curse word uttered. Did I hear TRPs?!

  • I think it's a case of a brand, new to twitter and simply overwhelmed. May be they found it 'easy' enough to do it in-house, than outsource the job to professionals. Their attitude seems to be that the “feedback” tells them they are doing good, so they don't care what we think! Sample this What they don't get is, this right here is the most direct feedback any brand can EVER get.

  • Though the post isn't about the nature of the show, I am tempted to comment. Everything, starting from the name to the execution, is in very bad taste. This Roadies-ification of a mock army recruitment, with cockiness and drama thrown in for good measure, makes me cringe. The point of the show is NOT, to encourage people to join the armed forces, in fact far from it. The motive & the USP is, like many other “reality” shows, humiliating & ridiculing the participants. Or as @bindasstv itself puts it so eloquently, “to see what 'pansies and losers' do when they're forced to train like commandos” All in all, a show made in a very bad spirit, shamelessly using symbolic reminders of 26/11, without bothering to be one bit sensitive.

    • beastoftraal

      Yes, I did not want to comment on the content of the show since I haven't even seen it nor do I intend to see it. From what you describe, it sure looks as insensitive like the hoarding!

  • great round-up karthik. agree with everybody's sentiments on the 26/11 backdrop. a few additional comments:

    – many programmes thrive on controversy and UTV seems to have made this a strategy though they might have gone a bit far this time. Are they not also behind emotional atyachaar which also saw a lot of criticism? For all you know, this hue and cry might just help them promote their programme more!

    – the larger question also is how do social media teams defend faulty/risky products, and in this case programming? barring the 'cynical' comment which i expect was a result of the onslaught of criticism from people, they seem to have tried doing a fairly decent job. in my opinion, the person managing the twitter account could have said that the feedback would be sent to the programming team and followed it up later.

    – when companies hire people to manage their twitter accounts, do they hire seasoned professionals who could tackle potential crisis, or youngsters who could do a good job of responding to tweets and engaging people?

    – in all likelihood UTV does not have a social media policy in place which advises teams on the route to take should such situations arise.

    • beastoftraal

      Incidentally, some asked me this morning – how different is this controversy-laden programming, compared to say Imagine's Swayamwar and all those dance shows down south that are outright obscene. Good question, but I believe 'insensitivity' too is a point of view. While some may find risque jokes insensitive, others may not. Universally, we seem to have agreed that using a terror-strike incident is perhaps not sensitive at all, but that is controversy programming. There are gaming titles that thrive on such ideas.

      What was more interesting here is the way Bindass defends its programming so extensively – that could perhaps come only through an organization diktat after UTV has possibly done a study on what people may say about such programs. Else, it is just the program's core team tweeting to salvage their pride. Either way, it is perhaps just a larger tone they've agreed to adopt, but not a social media policy on how to deal with various kinds of criticism and not antagonize people further.

      That said, I do agree that for a large part, the tone of interaction was patient and positive, from Bindass side. The way they seek constructive feedback is a great start, but the follow-up to that ended in the 'cynicism' remark. So, their intention was perhaps right, but when provoked further with logical arguments, they flipped!

      • krishashok

        In my opinion, the conversation was proceeding along specifics till someone accused channels of worshipping no god other than TRPati Balaji. It's like having a conversation with a muslim friend on terrorism and then suddenly saying – “Yaar, your religion is filled with fanatics and most terrorists are muslims”. What do you expect as a response? It's basically a conversation ender, because you've just said something that doesn't quite add anything to the discussion. Another couple ox examples – Interviewing a politician and telling him – “All you politicians are dirty and corrupt” OR interviewing a CEO of an oil company and saying – “You oil companies are screwing the environment”. These statements have a grain of truth but dont work well if one is trying to have a conversation.

        Companies exist to make profit and everyone knows that. How far they should go is a matter of subjective opinion, but a constructive debate is possible. Had the chap behind Bindass Twitter ID been a little more mature, the reaction should have been “Sorry to hear that you feel that way. While TRPs are important, we believe we stay within limits” and focussed the conversation back on the issue of using images from 26/11 to promote their product.

        There's only one way that this discussion could have ended in anything resembling even a neutral impasse for Bindass – where they “You have your opinion, we have ours. We enjoyed the conversation. Thank you”, and they should have recognized this the moment other tweeters brought up the valid issue of insensitivity instead of taking cheap shots like calling these guys “cynics”

        • beastoftraal

          Actually, @mojosanjay's first TRP comment was a query and that too, on this specific program. Not a generic barb as I see it, even though it subsequently went in that direction. But yes, agree with your perspective – there was one way Bindass could have ended this argument and they blew it. Immature handling at its best.

        • i agree, they were provoked, but brands should know how to tackle such criticism and provocation, justified or not. to say 'you have your opinion, we have ours' would have appeared insensitive. i still believe they could have played the messenger here – even if briefly – and said their feedback would be shared with the programming team.

          • krishashok

            True. They should not have flipped at the generic barb, but I don't quite think playing the messenger is the best idea here. As a tweeter, I have an expectation that people representing companies on Twitter are not mere messengers but people who matter. Perhaps they hire young people who tweet, but still, hiding behind the “I'll let the powers-that-be know” is a bit of chickening-out manoeuvre

          • surekhapillai

            well clearly, the person behind the twitter id is not seasoned enough to handle such a situation. while it may not be the ideal route, it is far better than indulging in a war of words with a 'mob' and finding themselves in a situation they are in right now. it's just a better compromise in my opinion.

      • Greyoceanblues

        Ok. So the programme is crap. Maybe it isnt meant to appeal to people with sensibilities like you and me. You cant pleas everyone. They as a channel are trying to defend their product.All the comments point to the fact the issue is more with the programme than with the guy handling the twitter account.All the social media evangelists and “experts” have crowded in with appropriate noises supporting the supposed pathetic handling. What i see in the thread is a conversation which began with appropriate patience and a diplomatic stance by UTV bindaas..and the fellow tweeters continued to provoke till he made one slip withe the cynical remark. That was enough for everyone to pounce on ,sensationalise it and make a case study out of. What is being done here is exctly the kind of stuff tht they do on the channel's shows.Provoke,get a reaction and sensationalise it for eye balls.How does it make you any different from them.

        • beastoftraal

          Good question.

          Point 1: I did not talk about the program – I haven't seen it and hence it is not fair for me to comment on how bad/good it is.

          Point 2: My issue was with the blatant insensitivity of the promo that uses the Taj massacre for commercial gains. Is that beyond comment?

          Point 3: Calling people who do not like your program 'cynics' doesn't sound like 'one slip'. Take a look at how they have defended negative opinions in the past in the same Twitter feed and you'll see a pattern. I do apologize that I couldn't add the entire history and perhaps led you to believe that this was just 'one slip'.

          Point 4: I don't see the comments here as sensationalizing. The problem with a Twitter debate is that it goes up in the vapor the day after. Which is perhaps what Bindass was hoping when they had those mature arguments. Should it not be blogged for posterity? Why not?

          Point 5: Check out Manu Prasad's comments – that is precisely the kind of reaction I was looking for since it exposes the grey areas of both the channel and my post. But what is happening here is a mature discussion without calling anybody 'cynical'.

          But, I wouldn't stand in your way of supporting any cynic-alleging channel.

        • These are two different issues. As the post concerns this, let's take Bindass Tv's handling of social media first. There are numerous tweets to confirm that it wasn't exactly a slip. Yes, some people were expressing their disgust at the poor content and even poorer marketing of the programme, hoping to get an idea of the channel's thinking behind producing such shows. Even then, the behaviour exhibited was far from pouncing upon.

          As can be seen in the comment thread here too, well articulated and layered arguments have been presented to analyse the channel's socila media management. Twitter mobs, sir, work very differently.

          Intense, but fair discussions, on however seemingly small a matter, cannot, in my humble opinion, be considered hyperbole.

          As far as the content of the show is concerned, yes, people have varying tastes and sensibilities. But a little more respect and sensitivity in the matter is expected of the channel. That said, the question of who sets the threshold and standards, leaves this part of the debate open-ended.

    • I agree – it is a challenge for social media teams to defend a product which is already so bad that it's likely to get negative publicity. If one is already on losing ground, I believe a brand should not try defending. Acceptance of problems and assurance of fixing them is one way to go. Or like you said, “we'll pass on the feedback” is a neutral way to end conversation at an amicable note.

  • It looks like many Indian brands will take their own sweet time before they realize the importance of a Twitter a/c. How many more screw ups? Like someone pointed out brand projection and not an individual's perception will be the Moral of the Lesson!!

  • hmm, so the idea is that we want brands (and their representations) to be human and conversational, but not exhibit human emotions/frailties? 🙂

    • we want brands to be conversational.. and perhaps humane, not human – and certainly not an immature human who loses focus of the reason why the brand is there to begin with.

      • hmm, labeling a human 'immature' is human or humane? 🙂

        • human. i can afford to do that.. since i am not a business brand out to sell someone something 🙂

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