Tuesday, May 8, 2007
If it is ‘Fucked’, it is in business!
I am borrowing this from a part of what Osho Rajneesh said, upon being asked about the word ‘Fuck’. Someone among the audience found it a little difficult to accept how a spiritual guru could use this four-letter word so easily. What was said in reply to this is very simple and yet truly potent I have outlined a part of his reply here.
Just step back and think, perhaps there is no other word in the English or any other language that is so versatile that it can be used in multiple contexts and yet make perfect sense.
In language it falls in multiple grammatical categories
Mary is a fine fuck
John fucked Mary
Mary was fucked by John
Mary is fucking beautiful
As a word is so multifaceted that it can convey multiple emotions viz. Pain, Pleasure, Love & Hate just by the difference in the sounds that we make while pronouncing it.
I got fucked at the used car lot..”
“Fuck if I know..”
I guess I am fucked now
“What he fuck is going on here..”
“I can’t understand this fucking job”
“He is a fuck off"
“What the fuck is going on here?”
“I had a fucking time”
“Get he fuck out of here..”
“I am going to knock your fucking head off..”
“How the fuck, are you?”
“Who gives a fuck”
“Get a bigger fucking hammer”
“Fuck, you scared the shit out of me”
“Today is really fucked!”
To sum it up here is, perhaps, what makes fuck rock!
1. It is self-propelled – do not need a reason to say it (it’s like air, that’s everywhere). So much so that when one is not saying it one is busy thinking about it. In fact unlike ‘Love’ that has traditionally been rated higher than ‘Lust’ (at least socially!), “Fuck you!” as an expression beats “I love you” hands down!
2. It is ‘sticky’ – It is like a post-it note that can be put and pulled off anything.
In fact the other word that comes close to our four-letter miracle in this department is ‘Sex’.
Sex is as good a post-it in multiple situations and it has a natural tendency to show affinity for suffixes. Here’s a small battery - Sexonic, Sexiting, Sextravaganza, Sex-on-toast, Sex-on-rocks etc.
3. Traditionally contemporary – No other word has been contemporary for so long as the four letter extravaganza
4. Easy to pronounce/ say – I have never heard any one stammering/struggling to say it. Del Amitri wrote in one of their beautifully written songs – “It’s hard to say you love someone and it’s hard to say you don’t..”. Well, fuck is totally free from any such ambivalence
5.It is unisex and ageless - Perhaps the only word that makes men and women feel equally powerful. The only word that two (or three) different generations can be using in different contexts and still getting to say whatever they want to..
6. It is short & always meaningful – You can’t misspell it and even if you did you’d still be seen to be meaning something FCUK, fkuc, fukc..
There are and can be many more ‘potent power-ups in expression’ that Fuck delivers and as readers you may please choose to add a few of your own to this list, but the point that I am trying to make is that if we as creators and marketers can deploy our skills towards creating universal expressions for our brand that can become the language, we stand to gain a lot.
There are a few (though not exact) examples that have come close to attaining some of this charisma in their own way – I’m lovin it (For Mc Donald’s), Wazzup (for Budweiser), Amitabh Bachchan’s favourite “Lock Kiya jaae!” (Let’s lock it!) Ghalat jawaab/ Sahi jawaab” (Wrong answer/ Right answer for KBC, the Indian version of ‘Who wants to be a Millionaire etc.. But unfortunately all of them faded away with time, or the communication campaign, they were introduced in.
The opportunity, is to create such a timeless, sticky and self-propelled brand vocabulary, that people feel like owning, modifying and propagating and the idea is to get the brand ‘fucked’, because if it is fucked, it is in business!