The happenings during the recent past got me thinking of the “six degrees of separation” theory that has long intrigued people. It even inspired a popular 1993 Hollywood movie, which happens to be a favourite of mine. This theory suggests there may be a social connectivity constant for humanity. Here, I will quote a brand that had gone out of our vision, a new song launch and a disturbed community. What are the degrees of separation, in these episodes? Or, for that matter, what is the connectivity?
Firstly, is Nokia in a throwback mood? For those of us who were engaged with brand Nokia till other players captured the horizon, I wonder, how appealing is this proposition?
Whatever it is, it’s a definitely nostalgic strain that brand Nokia hopes to unshackle. I mean its plans to relaunch its once-iconic Nokia 3310 globally, by the second quarter this year (this news was shared at an event ahead of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain). Incidentally, the original 3310 existed at a time when mobile phones first took off; thirty-nine out of 100 consumers owned a mobile device at that time, up from 2 in 100 back in 1990, according to a Qualcomm report.
Nokia’s strategy, it is learnt, focuses around a move to play on the consumer fondness for its old device. For Nokia, that nostalgia and heritage tag, is something they are banking on, to create momentum for the brand, that had just disappeared from the consumers’ circle of preference!
As Nokia is trying to rope in people, who were once sold on the brand, here is a song that tried to ignite the imagination of song lovers. Recently, the debut of Katy Perry’s new song ‘Chained to the Rhythm’ unleashed a brand-new, a very involving activity for her fans. Namely, by hiding disco balls around the globe!
To dive into the spotlight, the singer let loose her new single that she debuted in a very unusual way. She kicked it off, when she tweeted a cryptic video of herself walking on stilettos with a disco ball chained to her ankle. She captioned it: “Why are we all so chained… #FRIDAYTHE10TH. Soon, her impatient fans got a chance to hear the song – “Chained to the Rhythm” – when disco balls (which were mp3 players that could play her song) locked to park benches, signposts and other fixtures in public places, began popping up around the world! The news sparked off frenzy among die-hard fans, as they set out in search of the mirror-dotted disco balls. Soon, folks began clicking selfies and videos of the disco balls in their own cities, with Katy Perry retweeting some of her favorites!
The promotional stunt, at a macro-level, took place in twenty-two countries. And, it is worth mentioning, that it was also received positively on social media – as it stirred up a great deal of curiosity and excitement.
As I am filing this column, the hot debate on the right to freedom of expression, rages full steam ahead. Educational institutes that are normally peaceful abodes, imparting information to mould young minds, have got into an embroiled situation. Students, protesting against ABVP in Delhi University, amid stiff security, started their “March against Gundagardi”. After the unfortunate episode at Ramjas College, it has gotten blown out into a full-scale political battle. The student communities are right in the thick of it, as the drama takes twists and turns every day. Some action revolved around Gurmehar Kaur, a DU student, who took a stand against the ABVP. This did rustle up a multitude of reactions, and even Bollywood celebrities came out in her support, insisting that she has the right to express her opinion and should not be trolled for it.
And, as it happens, social media continues to engage in a never-ending debate. A host of poems and songs have made their appearance. A video featuring a poem called “ABVP Kaahe So Creepy” surfaced on YouTube!
The action picks up, and I am wondering whether this build-up will actually peak in an all-pervasive climax, which may iron out the turbulence and finally lead to an amicable situation, ushering in peace…