People should not be afraid of the government. Governments should be afraid of the people.
Sunday, January 20, 2013
Listen! You could have made millions by now!
If Sharifah Zohra Jabeen Syed Shah Miskin could speak on "How To Make Your First Million", she could have told her audience to patent all their speeches, no matter how rude.
After all, it was her impolite outburst which has now been repackaged by giant companies for their online advertising campaign. And without worries about royalty claims.
From food outlets to insurance providers, Zohra's now-famous "listen!" rant now adorns advertisements targeting Malaysian netizens through social media and popular websites.
"Listen! Listen! Listen! Listen! When You Speak, ING Listens" goes Dutch-based insurance giant ING Insurance Berhad on its official Facebook page.
South African food franchise Nando's, among the earliest to cash in on the "Listen" craze, splashed the same words to publicise its signature 'peri-peri chicken' dish on news websites already intensely covering the controversy.
Mobile telco giant Digi digged further into Zohra's 'lecture' by extracting the part where she launched herself into a long drivel of animal-themed analogies, unbeknownst of a historic public relations disaster in the making.
"Cows. Chickens. Cats. Even Ikan Jaws Have Problems," thundered one poster in the company's yellow background.
"Dear animals, we know you can't talk. But if you can type, then you can search/share/tweet/complain online for just RM1/day. DIGI Prepaid. No problem," it continues, rather cheekily.
The country's most popular internet marketplace, mudah.my, has also based its promo on the same theme, as has Japanese restaurant Suki-Ya:
"Our beef, lamb and chicken have no problem..." it begins, before concluding: "You can bring your mother, grandmother and daughter to join."
Digi's other ad was less discreet, blurting out student K.S. Bawani's pleas on Zohra to "Let me speak!" before continuing: "Ok. Now you can talk longer to your friends and family for 12sen/2 minutes. But don't snatch the phone away from someone else ok?"
In the meantime, the original YouTube video of the "Listen!" incident has fetched more than 700,000 views only nine days after it was posted by an online channel catering to campus life.
Condemnations from netizens have turned into an explosion of humour, with endless parody videos being produced on the incident, attracting equally large numbers of viewers on YouTube.
But perhaps not all have welcomed the controversy as good for business.
The organiser of a talk event titled "How To Make Your First Million" featuring Sharifah Zohra as one of the speakers, with a fee of RM200 per participant, was forced to cancel it following security concerns.
For now, however, there is little doubt that she is the right person to speak on the subject!