Sai Baba Marketing Magic
"I have been quite disapproving of the methods followed by the likes of Sai Baba, Sri Ravishankar and, Mata Amritanandamayi, though, admittedly, they have channelised their resources into useful projects that serve the public cause. But, I now realize that they are no different from and no more guilty of manipulation than the aforementioned corporate brand-builders.
"If Sai Baba had to draw attention and create a mass following, he naturally had to differentiate himself from other mortals and create a brand identity of his own. The flowing saffron-coloured robes, his distinctive hairstyle, the hype and the hoopla over his ‘magical’ powers to pull out watches and gold rings out of thin hair, his Bhajan sessions which would send his followers into a trance- all went into the creation of the unique Sai Baba brand. Without this brand pull, he wouldn’t have enticed his followers to come into his fold seeking mental peace and serenity.
"So, how is this any different from an advertiser luring you into a make-believe world and leading you to imagine that by procuring a certain type of talcum powder, you would be transported to a sanitized world of blue skies and green grass , where you would have a wonderful spouse, a lovely home, a cute little dog and a smile on all the time ?
"For several decades, De Beers and their advertising agency N.W. Ayer carefully cultivated the romantic image in the public's mind that a diamond was a unique manifestation of nature and the rarest of all precious objects in the world. What Sai Baba and Ravi Shankar do is to carefully create the spiritual image in the public mind that they are specially chosen by God to lead them out of their miseries and to deliver happiness and joy.
What Sai Baba fails to realise is that this idea would make a great horror movie. Think about it; the combination of every scary vampire, werewolf, golem, mummy, Frankenstein, Dracula, King Kong, flesh-eating zombie, gremlin, triffid, just about every creepy devil you ever saw - that's Sai Baba: The Director's Cut. Just think about the marketing and merchandise deals that this Sai Brand would create.
You wouldn't wanna watch that movie before you go to sleep, trust me.
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