Fans and Fanatics, rise of a religious brand

Fans and Fanatics, rise of a religious brand
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Story Dated : February 19, 2016

Planet of Ads (2)

The state of Kerala has witnessed two major comebacks in this decade. The first one was the rise of Jayan, the late superstar of Malayalam cinema and the people behind this unique reincarnation was a group of Mimicry Artists while the reason of resurrection behind the second was obviously the wave of intolerance now lashing across the nation with increased vigour.  As a column that deals with issues and trends in advertising and branding, we can ignore the first for the moment and move on to the second which has immense potentials to become the first religious brand in the state.

And it’s quite natural that the readers are wondering about what the columnist is talking about?

A religious brand? Are not all the existing religions in a way or other good brands? May be true to an extent.  But here the column wants to put forward before the eager readers the case of Dinkan, a cartoon character first appeared in print 33 years ago and made a tremendous comeback in recent times through social media and has become the latest rage among those who find the growing religious intolerance among the countrymen.

Social Media is no doubt the best place for the reincarnation of such an idol as the timeline wars between various religious groups and individual fanatics make it more a space for silly mudslinging than serious discussions on the roots of religion. And through the same space many enthusiastic young rationalists introduced Dinkan, the super rat, as a tit for tat for the blind and illogical claims by various religions and their social media proponents. With a tinge of humour in all the posts, Dinkan soon became an instant hit and has even found a covetable place among the Gods of Comic Religions all over the globe.

Dinkoism is the new term used to represent the rituals and practices by the ‘followers’ of Dinka Religion and many hard core devotees has even come up with chants and prayers songs praising the deeds of Dinkan. ‘Dinka Sooktha’ a religious recital praising Dinkan produced by a group of youngsters are doing rounds in the social media circles winning many a laughs. The change of Dinkan from a comic book superhero with kids as his primary fans to a cult figure with youth and even adults as his new fans triggers the possibility of creating the first ever official religious brand which could attract a wide customer base all over the globe if properly marketed.

Mangalam Publications published Dinkan, the mighty of the mightiest, as a cartoon series in their children’s magazine ‘Balamangalam’ in 1983. It became an instant hit among the kids of eighties and nineties till the super rat series met an abrupt end in 2012. Now in the wake of ever increasing popularity of their yesteryear super hero, Mangalam publications has decided to revamp the Dinkan comic series from the next issue of their popular weekly magazine. But with immense possibilities in the offing, it would not be a wise decision to limit Dinkan only to a simple cartoon series. The brand potentials of Dinkan must be exploited to the brim with a series of products like Dinkan Idols, Dinkan Key Chains, Dinkan Calendars, Dinkan Coffee Mugs etc.

The idea may seem a little weird, but with a generation who loves to show off anything special they have through facebook and wait for the flood of likes they are going to get through such posts, anything is possible. Once entered the market, Dinkan is sure to rule the roost. Soon after the launch, facebook will be flooded with photos of young men and women posing with Dinkan Idols on the dashboards or Flying Dinkan hanging from the front mirror of their vehicles. They’ll post selfies wearing graffiti tees with words like ‘I love Dinkan’ ‘Keep Calm and Believe in Dinkan’. There are chances that the morning coffee selfies will be then titled ‘having coffee with Dinkan’ accompanied by a photo of the ‘postmaster’ holding a Dinkan Coffee Mug.

In the wake of the Dinkan storming Media scene with a bang, one of the latest movies by the famous Malayalam actor Dileep has been christened as Prof Dinkan which prompted otherwise silent and devotees of Dinkoism to the street. They even conducted a vociferous protest in front of ‘Dhe Puttu’ a restaurant in Kochi co-owned by the star. The director of the movie denied the allegation and added that the character played by Dileep in his movie is in no way resembling the omnipotent Dinkan.  The opportunity could be used effectively by the brand owners of Dinkan to release a movie – Dinkan Returns with a fitting tagline like ‘the Origanl Dinkan Movie’ and strike gold in the box office.

As an extreme branding move, they can even bring out Dinkan underwear and market it wide among the followers of Dinkoism all over the world. The only trouble with the move is that the feelings of the devotees of traditional religions may feel hurt hard sooner or later when Dinkan fans will be posting photos showing off their elastic strips with Dinkan inscribed on them. That too will not be considered as a problem by a land where people queue up to get blessings from naked saints and buy anything churned out by the innumerable demigods sprouting every other day.

Favour Francis