Twitter Marketing Fiasco at NDTV Indian of the Year 2010


If any of you did recently watch the NDTV Indian Of The Year 2010 Awards on NDTV LifeStyle, I bet you must have got surprised how and why everybody over there was repeatedly talking about Twitter and how Twitter has changed their lives for the good!

Bollywood Biggies like Shahrukh Khan, Karan Johar, politicians like MP Shashi Tharoor (the man is already too much into Twitter!) and the NDTV anchors were all praise for Twitter. NDTV arranged a special award called ‘Social Networking Award’ and Karan Johar was the winner. What for? For playing salesman to may bollywood personalities in luring them to join Twitter! Wow, and to honor this social networking achievement of Karan Johar, there was a special live video conference call arranged with Twitter founder Biz Stone. What has any of this to do with ‘being Indian’ award? You may ask.

In a conference where you had most of India’s hot personalities from almost all sectors including Home Minister P Chidambaram, Former Home Minister L K Advani, Shahrukh Khan, Karan Johar, Former Election Commission of India Chiefs, Industrialist Anand Mahindra, superstar Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan among many others, spending 15 to 25 minutes for a Twitter show and how twitter has changed lives of millions was something which took me by surprise. Just why will NDTV pay so much attention to another media company during such an important show of their own?

Is this a publicity stunt by Twitter? Is this some kind of new way or PR and promotions? I am writing this entirely in a separate article, to be followed by this one pretty soon, as to how Orkut, Facebook, and Twitter became household names in India in no time without any publicly seen advertising or marketing effort! Before I do that, I want you guys to have a look at the following 2 videos.

One is Biz Stone sitting in Los Angeles, California answering to Shahrukh Khan’s query regarding how he can verify his account and the other is Priyanka Chopra from San Fransisco speaking after being honored NDTV Female Entertainer of the Year Award. Wow, SRK asking Twitter Founder how he can verify his account! How precious Twitter has become, you will wonder! But we will not get into much detail of this in this article. Right now, just look at both the videos and see the backgrounds. One is Biz Stone sitting in Los Angeles and another is Priyanka Chopra sitting in San Fransisco. Both have similar backgrounds! So guys, where are they sitting actually? wherever they are, it is quite clear that they both are not only in the same city but in the same studio from where they were being broadcasted live!

So, why did NDTV lie about their being live from different places? Why was everybody talking about Twitter? Why was there an award called ‘Social Networking Award’ which makes no sense for being considered ‘Indian of the Year’! Why was there a live discussion with Biz Stone for 15-20 minutes? Why did SRK ask Biz Stone about verifying his account? Why did SRK tell publicly in this very award that he wants to surpass Shashi Tharoor’s followers on Twitter?

Something is cooking? Twitter in a secret contract with these guys including NDTV? A secret publicity stunt?

Twitter is not alone. We have seen similar overnight successes of Orkut and Facebook in India. I will write in detail with analysis about this new way of publicity in my next article. So, stay flicked!

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Kunal Pandya

Kunal is a serial entrepreneur, angel investor and startup evangelist. He has helped build and scale up several businesses and products from the ground up. Apart from NCrypted, he serves as an advisory and is on the board of several of our client companies that we partner with.

7 thoughts on “Twitter Marketing Fiasco at NDTV Indian of the Year 2010”

  1. why would twitter need to pay to some channel for this type of marketing, if your interpretation and understanding here is true? they cud do direct advertisement instead?

  2. I want to answer kavi – dude dont u think this type of marketing really gets hidden from audience and that is what makes it stunning! u dont even know they are paying these guys to advertise twitter and instead u think wow even SRK and Shashi Tharoor r using twitter, so must I!

    amazing dude, Kunal, u really got me thinking here man! way to go…

  3. This is interesting! NDTV plotting for Twitter? Twitter must have paid NDTV for this 'secret' promotion? Did they pay?

  4. how is it possible that almost every celebrity in bollywood now uses twitter? is twitter really changing their way or is twitter paying these guys to use its services? y wud shashi tharoor or SRK even bother to use it if they weren't paying? y didnt they use facebook or orkut? orkut certainly has more indians using it than twitter!


  5. whoa !!! now as i recollect the ceremony i do get your point..what the hell was social networking bullshit award ?? This show was meant for indian of the year in various networking is not a discipline in which one excels..
    cnn ibn award was more respectful :)Pm Manmohan Singh graced the award himself

  6. Abimanyu…true "Twitter is a revolutionary product" Literally its gaining power in India overnight!!!! like its said– Where there is big money there is big controversy.similarly Great power is not a solo spectacle but a powerful group Show which indoctrinates minds like yours!!! GET A LIFE. see not what U R through the lines!!

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