So you’re calling a company’s board line and you’ve been put on hold forever, listening to an instrumental rendition of Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love For You, unknowingly singing the words, only to have the song stuck in your head all day. Hold me now, touch me now...kill me now?
‘Here lies a bpb reader, who ended his/her life over a lame phone response system.’ If you had other words planned for your epitaph, get above mentioned company with bad hold tune to get in touch with The Big Sneeze. This is a new creative services firm that among other things, creates phone hold tunes in collaboration with hip rock musicians. They’ll probably be able to help with writing that epitaph too.
The Big Sneeze was started by Gayatri Pahlajani, a Colaba resident who goes by the title Chief Sneeze, mainly because she can “give you something to sneeze about.” Now what degrees and work experience would you need to have a designation like that? How about an MSc in Gender and Media from the London School of Economics (LSE), and several creative stints involving radio, print and publishing for brands like MTV, Hit 95 FM and The Sunday Observer.
The Big Sneeze has three divisions: a writing cell, a sound department called VOBO and a production division that’s yet to take off. Under the first, Gayatri provides content solutions for individuals looking for copy and more interestingly, ghost writes books for clients. (Katherine) Boo! While ghost writers are required to be discreet about the books they’ve written – she prefers “shrouded in mystery” – we’ve peeked at her resume to know that she’s worked with some of the top publishing houses in the country. If you need to meet with Gayatri for more information, you’ll probably find her at the “David Sassoon library which smells like garbage or the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (INOX) which takes all my money”.
In the Companies of Friends
The second cell VOBO (Voice Box), which started as a direct result of Gayatri’s frustration with some firms’ phone services, is here to change the way your company sounds. “When you call a bank or company board line, you usually get to interact with a trite, annoying system, with little attention paid to the essentials like voice over, music or scripting. A board line is one of the first impressions your clients have of your brand,” she says.
Enter VOBO, with Interactive Voice Response (IVR) phone and online packages that include trained voice over artists and customised music. Gayatri has also tied up with rock musicians like Pozy Dhar (guitarist with Tough On Tobacco) and Johan Pais (bassist for a well-known Indian rock band) who work to compose original tracks for your company’s board line that are royalty-free. While VOBO is primarily targeted towards banks and firms, they can work for individuals too – it might be fun to have a Tough on Tobacco guy compose a hold tune just for you or it could make for a cool gifting idea too. Just so long as you can cough up the moolah as IVR service packages start at Rs 15,000. Hello? Hello! Wait, did you just hang up on us?
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