For most of us Indian women, we spent our childhood reading Famous Five and Nancy Drew. My love for Agatha Christie novels kindled when I was a teen. Television was devoured when Byomkesh Bakshi would appear in the then-called late hours of the night or in the noon time during summer vacations. Indian TV audience did miss their share of female sleuths. Where was the Indian teenage sleuth who would solve cases on her own while on vacation like Nancy Drew? Where was the smart and witty Miss. Marple hiding in India solving murder mysteries?
Alisha by Blush did not go the conventional way of bringing out the Indian Drew or Miss Marple. Alisha went its own way to deliver what the youth of the country needs. The central character Alisha (Ally) is the definition of the present generation – aspiring to do something great, yet following their dreams trying not to be pulled down by what the social behaviour suggests. While people say, “do what you love”, Alisha mixed the two things she love to create her own job title – a fashion detective she calls herself, solving mysteries in the world of fashion. The lead actor is Lianne Texeira who is also one of the writers of the series. Being a writer myself, I love the dialogues and the narration in the show. She is, in the early episodes, accompanied by her BFF Tanny which replicates the kind of friendship most us have or want to have. Like normal human beings struggling in the economy, like you and I, they too have to earn for a living and hence, need the job that they are doing. But while working for a living they are also having fun and pursuing what they like. These features make the show much more relatable to the audience than other detective stories where a person is a full-time detective unlike Bobby Jasoos.
While catering to what the women of Generation Y and Generation Z they have also employed some communication strategies to market the sponsorers’ products the best way they can. This is what marketers called Product Placement, Brand Integration or Embedded Marketing. While sitting in her boyfriend’s parlour, Ally receives a parcel from Jabong which she had previously ordered. The large black and orange logo not only appears loud and clear on the screen but her boyfriend also mentions it. Tanny while relaxing on the beach tries to find internet connection to see the latest video by Be Beautiful. Ally doesn’t only work for Be Beautiful, which is her dream job, but also is seen checking videos to learn to apply make-up or applying Lakme CC cream while talking to her grandmother and at other instances.
Since the story is so intriguing and the characters are so relatable, people do not mind those ads although some of them do. Noticing the comments below the youtube videos, it’s evident that people are constantly noticing the ads as well as the stories and the cinematography. And when people say any publicity is good publicity, I believe any noticing is good noticing. So whether they like it or not, next time they order shoes from Jabong and the same shaped parcel arrives they most probably will be reminded of the show. On the other hand, while watching the show they might just want to try out the products Alisha wears. And if someone like myself has already bought a tube of Lakme CC Cream, they might just want to stick to continuing it. Reading the comments, it’s seen that people do google out ideas mentioned in the episodes. Who knows next time they check out the products advertised or the videos mentioned indirectly? Even if they do, it works both ways, right? Watching the episodes reminds you to buy new things and buying new things reminds you to watch the latest episodes. Genius!