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This Surely Is Not WOW

Until a few years back, in your English class at a decent school or college, blurting ‘what a wow’ would have amounted to blasphemy, evoking dirty glances and fellow students immediately looking at you with disdain, contempt, and pity. But then, that was also when English literature meant Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, Samuel Beckett, D.H. Lawrence, Oscar Wilde, Milton, and Shelly.

With changing times, decaying education, fashion, taste, and IQ, some Dey, Tripathi and Bhagat became the epitome of literature in India and every unemployed man and woman, a writer and poet.

Amidst this literary mediocrity, caught in a conflict of Hindi vs. English, India, and Canada, a new language was brewing for illiterates and literature refugees.

The latest craze, the internet trend, 'What A Wow,' is a result of the same.

In a market where the first copy market is at a record high when even interns are sporting D&G, Gucci and LVMH, What A Wow was bound to happen. This crass trend reminded me of a sign-off line, What A Fun, for some radio station.

However, what surprised me was the enthusiasm with which brands latched on to it. Yes, the big ones kept away, but the tier 2 and 3 brands, always scouting for cheap and free publicity, jumped at this. With meme marketing being the buzzword, the bands almost forgot the adverse effect, just focussing on any traction this could give.

'So beautiful, so elegant, just like a wow’ is mediocrity personified.

Why would anyone use incorrect language to bolster a brand?

It's a terrible idea, both grammatically and branding-wise.

Some brand managers from C-grade business schools would argue that whatever gets traction is good for the brand. Dear Brand Managers, in that case, you might as well start using porn, as it still gets the most eyeballs. Or if that is too harsh, maybe sign up for Dhinchak Pooja as your brand ambassador. What a wow could be a 'single story orgasm' for local underwear, gutkha or Hawai chappal brand, but nothing more than that.

Staying sane and true to your Brand Character becomes imperative in a world where stupidity is gaining momentum. 'What a wow' reflects anything pedestrian, bourgeois, and lacking in IQ. Would you like your brand to be seen as the following?

Building a brand requires sanity, intelligence, passion and commitment, not memes.

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