I got a lesson in advertising from a man without a home from Burhanpur, MP. Like a good ad, he made a pleasant introduction. He smiled at me as I was parking my scooter. I smiled back. With that attire, he had my attention. He looked like an interesting person to shoot. Then like a good ad, we started a conversation. I asked him if he was here for the Urs at the Dargah. He was. He spoke a wonderful Hindi that can only be from Madhya Pradesh. So I asked him where he was from. And then we spoke about the Gateway to the South, as Burhanpur is called. He spoke about how he travels from shrine to shrine, going wherever the man above directs him to go. Then we spoke about religion and when I told him that I was an atheist, like a good ad, he appealed to the decision maker in the home - my wife who is a devotee of the Sai Baba (I have no idea how he guessed that one). Then like all ads, he had an action point. He wrote down a little mantra that my wife could chant. And finally, he told me his name. A very long name. But he told me, not to worry, call me Sai Baba, that's what people call me. So there. Like an ad he gave a brand name that is easy to remember.
To learn the basics of advertising, the best way is to observe godmen and religious groups. They do the best advertising in the world, not ad agencies.
Coming soon: More pictures from the Cottonpet Urs.