Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Mitsubishi Great driving challenge-my views

Sometimes back I read about the Great Driving Challenge by Mitsubishi Motors (Hindustan Motors Limited) and was thinking about it. Have received several requests by participants seeking votes to qualify for next stage which ensured that I didn't forget this event and eventually made me blog about it. First time I heard about the event I was excited and was even thinking of giving it a try. But after I read the specifics, I was disappointed. The whole event looks like an on road version of a reality show or 4 wheeler version of MTV roadies, than having anything to do with driving skills and racing. Participants get to try their hands on wheels only in the last stage-till then it is only about personality and voting. Most of the energy and efforts are spent in mobilizing your friends and contacts to vote for you and impress the judges with your attitude and compatibility etc, all of these having nothing to do with driving skills.
Mitsubishi Great driving challenge banner
Shortlisting of top 100 pairs (phase 3) happen purely based on number of votes received and how interesting couple's profile looks. Only in final phase-phase 6, just 3 couples will get to actually drive. (More details on selection process here) So best of drivers are very much unlikely to qualify unless they have good looks and large public support.

Also early registrants will have more time to gather votes- a disadvantage for those who register late. Would have been fair to let everyone register first, then keep the voting counter open for a specific duration, so that visitors can compare all pairs and vote for the best. (being fair to all participants doesn't seem to be the intent- hidden agenda is to let people promote the event as much as possible while making an attempt to get votes)

It is a great PR exercise by Mitsubushi. Media publicity, publicity given by participants desparate for votes and google juice received through all those links (promoted to garner votes) is going to boost their online position. Adding a poll is a very clever thing contest organizers can d0-desparate participants will unknowingly promote the event at their own expense, time and efforts trying to gather votes.

Anyway I do not have any rights to criticize them, just that my idea of driving challenge was different. Mitsubishi is trying something different and executing it very well. Let us see how well it goes. All the best to all participants. Some people I know (some of them virtually only, haven't met)- Kenney Jacob Harsha Koda and Siva are competing. You may visit their blogs for details and vote for them if you wish. Anita Bora has also blogged about this and has expressed her interest-not sure if she's found a partner and has registered. (Update: Looks like Anita isn't participating, Harsha Koda has made it to top 100)
Mitsubishi Cedia sports with great driving challenge logoIn case you're keen to participate or wish to vote, you've just 2 more days to act. I don't have a partner and didn't quite like the selection procedure, hence it is ruled out for me.

Logo from competition website. Car image from Kenney's blog.

21 July 2009 Update: Rupesh who identified himself as from Great driving challenge campaign team has commented on this post and has made an effort to clarify few things- his comment can be found here and my response next to it.

Also another friend of mine commented offline that this will be a great bonding exercise for participating couples. Agree on that. It will bring them closer.

Also read:
Rally for the blind * Credibility of online contests * Self drive car rentals * Predict trajectory of this accident * Mission aborted: Himalayan 4x4 Jeep safari * Forgotten factor: Safe braking distance * Tata Nano Superdrive * Ford Figo Discover Smart Drive * Ford Endeavour TDCi MT review *

12 comments:

hari said...

Anyway I do not have any rights to criticize them, just that my idea of driving challenge was different.

Why not? I believe that your remarks are perfectly justified and in the right spirit. You have every right to criticize the concept as the next man.

Actually I think these reality shows are rather boring. I think you should participate in an old fashioned Rally race. However, it might require some kind of training and/or special license.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Hari,
I have all the rights to express my views, but no rights to demand/criticize that "They shouldn't be doing it this way"

Seems we can rent MMSC race track for sometime for Rs 1000 and practice racing- should give it a try sometimes.

sandeep said...

i was seeing abt this in many blogs and was feeling disappointed that i cant try my luck (my life is carrying). but after seeing ur description abt the selection procedures, i am not missing it any more :)

nice analysis ... i shud say spot on ... like hari mentioned u do have every right to put ur pov and even criticize

hari said...

Shrinidhi, I take the meaning of criticism in this instance to be an honest expression of your views, not a demand of any kind.

I think we're both saying the same thing in different words.

However, even if you do demand, it's your blog -- they're not bound by your demands nor are you bound to keep quiet about it. :-)

Mridula said...

I must be living in a cave, didn't even hear about this one, till I came across your post. And I do not like to drive any more than I have to for work :D Walking, give me any day.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Sandeep, didn't understand this: "My life is carrying"... did you by any chance mean "my wife is carrying" ? ;)

Hari,
Agreed.

Mridula,
Hmm, why not try to organize some photo walks or such events in your locality?

Nidhi said...

nice post! I was also thinking what is the buzz aroung this driving challenge.. It is a first of its kind in India.... Something on the lines of F1...

Good information!

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Nidhi,
Thanks.
But this is nothing close to F1...

Rupesh Mandal said...

Hi Shrinidhi,
Well I am associated with the campaign and stopped hereby after a google search.
Would like to rectify few pointers being mentioned in the blog post:-

1. Voting is not the only parameter. Please go through greatdrivingchallenge.com/blog the official blog that describes the parameters and the judging process. We are transparent enough on this.

2. In cricket language, GDC is like a test match rather than a ODI or 20-20 match i.e. it's not a race or rally. it's beyond just traveling 3000 kms in 12 days. It's about how interesting you could make your travel with your blog posts, pictures, videos .etc. apart from your driving skills.

3. About the similarity with MTV roadies, yes you can say it's first web-based reality show in India. Well, the brief given was "Mitsubishi Cedia Sports is not supposed to be kept in the parking lot/garage" and from where it took the shape of this event.

cheers,

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Rupesh,

Thanks for dropping by. My response below:
1. Yes, I am aware voting is not the sole criteria- but your site says that is one of the main criteria for getting eligibility into subsequent rounds. Voting could have been kept for a later stage- say after assessing basic driving skills of the participants etc, than keeing it as first barrier. Something like, show people how good different participants are at driving, and then ask public to vote...In the current set up, unless one mobilizes a huge group of people to vote for him he just won't make it to next round, irrespective of everything else. your views please...

2. Agree. But only 3 couples get to drive 3000 kms. Would have been good if more participants had a chance to drive, may be lesser duration/distance at least..

3. Good to know.

Thanks again.

dguide said...

Next time i hope you will participate Enidhi

Shrinidhi Hande said...

I will give it a consideration.
Thanks

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