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For God's Sake: An Adman on the Business of Religion

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An adman constantly strives to connect market research data to insight on a winning campaign. Ambi Parmeshwaran has developed a fascination for how Indians are getting more religious but also more consumption driven. Combining his thirty- year experience as an adman with a lifelong passion for religious studies, Ambi seeks to answer questions like: • Why has the bindi disap An adman constantly strives to connect market research data to insight on a winning campaign. Ambi Parmeshwaran has developed a fascination for how Indians are getting more religious but also more consumption driven. Combining his thirty- year experience as an adman with a lifelong passion for religious studies, Ambi seeks to answer questions like: • Why has the bindi disappeared from advertisements? • How did Akshaya Trithaya become such a big deal? • What makes Lord Shiva so cool? • How did a Chennai-based department store start the New Year's Sale phenomenon? • Are Muslims more open-minded shoppers? • Why do people who have no interest in using an MBA degree still get an MBA degree? • How did the Manusmriti do a disservice to Hindu women? • What can Harvard Business School learn from the Kumbh Mela? Ambi has filled this book with personal stories, anecdotes, lessons and excerpts from research and other publications. This book is a treat for anyone interested in how religion has evolved and how clever marketers have ridden the wave by tailoring their products and services.


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An adman constantly strives to connect market research data to insight on a winning campaign. Ambi Parmeshwaran has developed a fascination for how Indians are getting more religious but also more consumption driven. Combining his thirty- year experience as an adman with a lifelong passion for religious studies, Ambi seeks to answer questions like: • Why has the bindi disap An adman constantly strives to connect market research data to insight on a winning campaign. Ambi Parmeshwaran has developed a fascination for how Indians are getting more religious but also more consumption driven. Combining his thirty- year experience as an adman with a lifelong passion for religious studies, Ambi seeks to answer questions like: • Why has the bindi disappeared from advertisements? • How did Akshaya Trithaya become such a big deal? • What makes Lord Shiva so cool? • How did a Chennai-based department store start the New Year's Sale phenomenon? • Are Muslims more open-minded shoppers? • Why do people who have no interest in using an MBA degree still get an MBA degree? • How did the Manusmriti do a disservice to Hindu women? • What can Harvard Business School learn from the Kumbh Mela? Ambi has filled this book with personal stories, anecdotes, lessons and excerpts from research and other publications. This book is a treat for anyone interested in how religion has evolved and how clever marketers have ridden the wave by tailoring their products and services.

30 review for For God's Sake: An Adman on the Business of Religion

  1. 4 out of 5

    Vrunda Sharma

    This was the first book that I picked up this year and boy was it good. Normally a book on advertising would contain more about advertising than the perspective it takes but this book is quite the opposite. It tell you the origins of things you thought you knew. How some events are just the hype from intelligent marketers and how some companies can single handedly change the scenario one area at a time. I loved the book but definitely was hoping for more of the advertising part than the religion This was the first book that I picked up this year and boy was it good. Normally a book on advertising would contain more about advertising than the perspective it takes but this book is quite the opposite. It tell you the origins of things you thought you knew. How some events are just the hype from intelligent marketers and how some companies can single handedly change the scenario one area at a time. I loved the book but definitely was hoping for more of the advertising part than the religion.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Siddharth Dwivedi

    This book is what it claims to be: (A commentary by) An Adman on the Business of Religion. It talks about how religion specifically in India drives businesses. From the very first sentence of the book, it dives into religious symbolism, how it drives daily lives in India, and where business fits in it. You will find lots of examples and anecdotes that the author borrows from his advertising career, referencing to all major religions--from Hinduism and Mohammedanism to Christianity and Judaism and This book is what it claims to be: (A commentary by) An Adman on the Business of Religion. It talks about how religion specifically in India drives businesses. From the very first sentence of the book, it dives into religious symbolism, how it drives daily lives in India, and where business fits in it. You will find lots of examples and anecdotes that the author borrows from his advertising career, referencing to all major religions--from Hinduism and Mohammedanism to Christianity and Judaism and Zoroastrianism. The author finds a business opportunity in all religious symbols and activities, and rightly so. The memoirs from his adman days make his words authentic and powerful. If you're an entrepreneur, you will love it because it is replete with scores of business and marketing opportunities in a wide spectrum of verticals--fashion, technology, service, and jewelry. However, the book doesn't deliver as much as I had expected from it. If you had studied religion and been into business, you will find several chapters plain and placid. Working in marketing and advertising industry, I picked the book, naturally, to learn an adman's experiences. I could extract pulp from the content but it would appear for a laconic moment after every 10 pages and then the book would again fall into generalities. For a new advertising guy or someone looking for business ideas will find this book interesting.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jalal Daad

    A nice read for marketers, advertisers and entrepreneurs. Although this book was mostly Indian centred, but geographical boundaries can't limit religiosity. As long as people have religion to faith on, religiosity is a lucrative industry for any opportunists to tap on. A nice read for marketers, advertisers and entrepreneurs. Although this book was mostly Indian centred, but geographical boundaries can't limit religiosity. As long as people have religion to faith on, religiosity is a lucrative industry for any opportunists to tap on.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Abhirup

    Some interesting anecdotes and information but most of the book is full of regurgitation of well known general facts and ideas.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Shyam Iyer

    Witty, insightful and very much relatable observations, suggestion for marketers from an advertising veteran. Split into multiple sections it makes for a very easy and delightful read!

  6. 4 out of 5

    VINOD KUMAR NAIR

    A good read .

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sanjeev Kotnala

    YES FOR GOD"S SAKE WE COULD HAVE DONE WITH MORE INSIGHTS I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die to find that there isn’t, than live my life as if there isn’t and die to find out there is ‘ : Albert Camus ( 1913-60) At Dainik Bhaskar group. Pradeep Dwivedi picked the book ‘For God’s Sake: An adman on the business of Religion’ by Ambi Parmeswaran and presented that to the corporate leadership team. I normally approach a book like a Umpire- with benefit of doubt to the author. I wou YES FOR GOD"S SAKE WE COULD HAVE DONE WITH MORE INSIGHTS I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die to find that there isn’t, than live my life as if there isn’t and die to find out there is ‘ : Albert Camus ( 1913-60) At Dainik Bhaskar group. Pradeep Dwivedi picked the book ‘For God’s Sake: An adman on the business of Religion’ by Ambi Parmeswaran and presented that to the corporate leadership team. I normally approach a book like a Umpire- with benefit of doubt to the author. I would rather read a book, as if there was some additional insight I would get, than not read it and later on find out that I missed a lot. It took me long to read the book. There is enough Buzz about the book. I find it over hyped. ‘For God’s Sake’ the book promises more than it delivers. I would not have liked personally spending this kind of money on this book. for more read here http://sanjeevkotnala.com/for-gods-sake/

  8. 4 out of 5

    Balachandar Kaliappan

    Ambi had a great thought of linking culture and business. Less explored in India which is diversified with many religion. He discussed in depth about understanding business from the perspective of culture which makes the book unique and thought provoking. Why do Indian's celebrate Akshya Trithi? Why do Indian's celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi? Are we people so obsessed with festivals? To know the answers read this book. Ambi had a great thought of linking culture and business. Less explored in India which is diversified with many religion. He discussed in depth about understanding business from the perspective of culture which makes the book unique and thought provoking. Why do Indian's celebrate Akshya Trithi? Why do Indian's celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi? Are we people so obsessed with festivals? To know the answers read this book.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Gaurav

    Considering how this came recommended from many around me, I am quite disappointed. I preface is a hurriedly written piece of crap and the book meanders through a whole lot of facts, figures without a semblance of structure. For instance, why on earth one should change focus to religious tourism 3 pages into a chapter that began discussing single screen movie theaters... beats me? The writing style is quite boring... Ambi can learn a lot from the likes of Michael Lewis.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Divyaroop Bhatnagar

    Well written, flows well and very easy read. Full of sharp observations culled over many years of experience, my friend Ambi's book is a treasure house of information and anecdotes about how Indians view religion (and for God's sake they view it very differently than most others!). Well written, flows well and very easy read. Full of sharp observations culled over many years of experience, my friend Ambi's book is a treasure house of information and anecdotes about how Indians view religion (and for God's sake they view it very differently than most others!).

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mukta Matta

    over promised, under delivered

  12. 5 out of 5

    Vivek Singh

    A beautiful book full of amazing observations by a senior ad man. A must read for everyone in marketing and advertising.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Loganathan

    every marketing guy need this ....... this book is all about " how impt it is to know abt religion before marketing and how religion effect or influence our buying a product" every marketing guy need this ....... this book is all about " how impt it is to know abt religion before marketing and how religion effect or influence our buying a product"

  14. 4 out of 5

    Suman Srivastava

    Thoroughly enjoyed reading this book by my friend, Ambi. Loved the variety of topics, the delightful anecdotes and the sharp consumer insights. Highly recommended.

  15. 5 out of 5

    B.Balasubramanian

    This book has presented the dimension of connecting business and religion. It has listed out interesting examples which makes understanding easy and interesting.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ajith

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jai Jethawa

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rohit Sudheendranath

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sadiq Kazi

  20. 4 out of 5

    Manjit Kakkar

  21. 5 out of 5

    Amrith

  22. 5 out of 5

    Nikhil

  23. 5 out of 5

    Anuradha Prasad

  24. 5 out of 5

    Muhammad Sajith

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ananyaa Agarwala

  26. 5 out of 5

    Preeti Ks

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ashok Narayanan

  28. 4 out of 5

    Raman Venkateswaran

  29. 5 out of 5

    Siddharth Surana

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ravi Teja

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