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Feb 07

Tune Meri Jaana Rohan Rathore: Unethical Or Intelligent Marketing?

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Rohan Rathore an IIT Guwahati student, was suffering from terminal cancer and was deeply in love with a girl, Supriya. But unfortunately she did not reciprocate back as she did not have any feelings for him. As one last attempt to woo her, he composed a song : Tune Meri Jaana (Emptiness) Song and recorded it. 15 days after the recording, Rohan Rathore died. The song however remains as testimonial of his deep love.

Ok. Do not go and grab the tissue papers just as yet.  The dramatic story was actually a drama and was just used to get viral publicity for the song and to create an emotional connect with a song by providing a background to it.

Tune Meri Jaana Unethical?

The results obviously were fantastic. Talk about social media publicity : creating an effect this will be amongst the best success stories out there. Communities on facebook were created with close to 25000 people registering on it. The song Tune Meri Jaana (Emptiness) became one of the most shared songs of Facebook.  Youtube videos views go into millions.

So the marketing ploy was zero cost and extremely successful but was this way of marketing the song actually unethical or was it intelligent? According to me, the marketing ploy although bordering on the ethical/unethical margin was infact a very intelligent one.

For one, the song as of now is being circulated  for free and there are no monetary gains for the composers. The only aim of the Rohan Rathore story was to create a back ground for the song which users could relate to. As the composers of the song did not have enough money to produce a music video for the song, they created a background story and left the rest to the audience imagination. A very effective and intelligent strategy indeed.

The question is nonetheless debatable but there is no doubt that the song is absolutely awesome, filled with pain reflected in the lyrics and the music. You can download the Tune Meri Jaana Song from here.

Check a fan created video of Tune Meri Jaana (Emptiness) Song Below

embedded by Embedded Video

YouTube Direkt

So what do you feel : Is the marketing  unethical or is it in fact intelligent? Share your views in the comments section below.

Amit Kaundinya

Business Analyst at Wipro Technologies
I have a passion for consulting and thankfully that is what I do for a living. I currently work as a Business Analyst in a leading IT company. I have an MBA in Marketing and Strategy from Xavier Institute Of Management, Bhubaneswar. Prior to my MBA, have been a Project lead at Tata Consultancy Services for 2.5 years.

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35 comments

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  1. Aseem N

    Well I agree that the marketing ploy is on the border of being ethical/unethical. But eventually when you get to know the truth, that its indeed a gimmick it pisses you off. Suddenly all those emotions and memories played back which you attached with the song seem stupid… And that is where the marketing trick pulled off by the song's composers leaves a bad taste…

    Nevertheless, everytime I hear the song, it does take me to a different world… where there is no rohan rathore… no credit dispute… no marketing ploys… what a piece of music it is! Amazing song. I bet it would have made it to the top of all charts even without the publicized story…

  2. Amit K

    @ aseem : heard abt the movie Paranormal activity? the buzz they created was also along similar lines, that the movie was actually a true story.

    I beg to disagree with the fact that this song would have made to the top or even got famous without the story backdrop. When you are not backed by a strong music distributor/promoter and do not have enough money to produce a music video then this is a very clever marketing strategy. Create a back story and let users imagine the video in their mind.

    However this form of mrketing can only get u the initial buzz, the eventual repeat hearing and ultimate purchase (when they release the album) will be purely based on the quality of the music album

  3. Neeraj

    There are many songs which one doesn't like when one listens for the first time..however on watching the video of the same song on you tube or some music channel one attaches some emotions to the song ( perhaps subconsciously) .

    I do appreciate the song but i think its the story that made this song popular. On hearing, things that spark in your mind are…IIT graduate..unrequited love..composes a song…dies of cancer..ideal emotional sad ending to a love story.. hormones of sympathy do their job pretty well..

    @Aseem: I don't agree that it would have made to the top charts without a story or a video.

    @Amit: good strategy but will tarnish the image of the album due to unethical means of publicity ( people may not be ethical but they expect others to be :-) ..songs would have to be too good to hit the road running..

  4. Amit K

    @ Neeraj : in todays world any publicity is good publicity. Also, while watching movies, do you look at the ethics of actors. If so, Sanjay Dutt movies wouldnt have been hit after the public got to know about his link in the mumbai blasts case.

    Tell me if tomorrow these guys come out with an album, will you think that : Hey, these guys were unethical in creating a fake story, so I should not by their album. Or will it be, hey the album is out, one song was gr8, lets see what the rest have to offer.

  5. Aseem N

    Well I certainly agree that the song is popular because of this story… but the point I want to drive home is that the song's composers could have weaved a more ethical story around the song… a real and unchallenged one… And the popularity could have still been enviable to many…

    We do need a story to sell anything today… but not necessarily a gimmick!

  6. Maltesh

    One, I liked the sone, immensely, going by the general psyche of human beings, we listen to songs with which we can connect to. People relate the songs lyrics to some instances in their life where they could have been the macho hero wooing the pretty heroine, they could have come of age, they might have tasted sucesss and so on.

    Agree with Aseem that stories are needed to sell something, else how do you make believe. Make the consumer believe that the product is his and not of the producer, it will fly off the shelf.

    Personally, even now that I have realised that it could possibly be a marketing gimmick, I still like it, cause I can connect to it.

  7. Amit K

    well said maltesh.

    i am sure that once you fall in love with the song, you can not hate it just because the story behind the song was a gimmick. the story aided you to get the connect and sensitize your emotions and get you in mood for the song. the fact that after 4 odd minutes you had it replaying in your playlist, is that the song actually had you hooked.

  8. Siddharth

    Thanks Amit for sharing the information. This actually reveals more about the mentality of today's youth than the protagonist himself. If this turns out to be one of the best methods to lure an audience then the problem is with us not with him (when ethics are questioned) !

    BTW liked the song, nice find again

    m/ Peace m/

  9. Rakesh

    If we look from teleology perspective the marketing strategy is fine, but if we look from deontology perspective it's unethical. :P

  10. anu

    amazinggg lovvvvvvvvvvv

  11. Mohit Sharma

    it's called true love.

  12. Sachin Tripathi

    I agree with feelilng of this guy, whether it ethical/unethical does not matter just into the deepness of song i indulge totaly when i listen first,
    amazinggg lovvvvvvvvvvv

    is not true???????

  13. LADDYGARG

    VERY NICE SONG I LOVE THIS SONG

  14. atish

    so so sweet song i love very much……………it’s called true love.

  15. Fan

    The mystery of Rohan Rathore

    (http/: :www.hindustantimes.com:The-mystery-of-Rohan-Rathore:Article1-666703.aspx)

    It’s a story that would touch anyone’s heart — Rohan Rathore, an IIT-Guwahati student, loved a girl who didn’t reciprocate his feelings. He composed a heart-wrenching number for her and died of cancer 15 days later. The song, titled Emptiness, became a rage online, with around 15 lakh views and eight dedicated Facebook groups with thousands of fans. However, there is a hitch. Apparently, Rohan Rathore does not exist. Gajendra Verma, a 21-year-old sound recordist from Mumbai, says that he has sung the song, written by Aseem Ahmed Abbasee, a writer, and Verma’s friend, Monami Roy.

    To counter the Rohan Rathore story, Verma will be releasing the complete album with six songs next month, and has already posted the song on YouTube, with a slideshow of his pictures. “I had composed the tune for a project one-and-a-half years ago. I had sent the song to some people for feedback, and I think it got leaked then,” says Verma.

    Reacting to allegations that he and Aseem cooked up this story to publicise the song and increase downloads, he says, “Why would I publicise my song using someone else’s name?” He adds, “I feel really bad when I see someone else’s name on my song. I don’t even know how Rohan Rathore’s name got attached to it. I know that the voice is mine.” Aseem Abbasee, the lyricist, says he is unaware about the Rohan Rathore story. “I wrote this song when Gajendra approached me for it. Its unfortunate that it got stolen and people attached a false story with it.”

    Shortly after the song became popular, fans got curious. Sumit Lal wrote, “I finally dug out the story. No one at IIT-G knows who Rathore is.” “People like the song because of the story behind it,” read another comment..

  16. Rina Prabhale

    Any album should hav some story behind it. bcoz one can relate it to his or her life very easily. thats what ppl hav done here. Though the way of presentation was not ethical…it workd …!

    BTW..the song z 2 guddd. whenever u hear it, it makes u emotional….

  17. adv.jahangir k. shai

    i am very heart when i read it o rohan u lucky boy bcause u r failure in love but u r success in love. yopur song is very nice

  18. Sameen Khan

    music is something which comes from heart either it may be writing the lyrics of a song or singing it totally depends on emotions as they constitute the rhthym …..well i agree that the story behind it was just to lure audience but the fact is that it is one among the million songs which reveals the deep feelings of a broken heart, i have no idea whether true love stories like romeo juliet exist or not but after hearing to this one would surely be amazed by the exquiste feelings this guy has!!..anywaz hats of f to the singer as well as to the lyricist for giving the most priceless treasure to the magical world of music…

  19. ankit(goal gappu)

    really i love this song

    i hope this guy was very happy after death.

    I REALLY WITH HIM BY MY HEART.

    ANKIT KARNWAL

  20. Chandan singh

    Nice..

  21. Ashish Sonpitale

    Sachme aisa pyar krne vale bahot km he is dunia me..

  22. DEVESHWAR SRIVASTAVA

    wah ! yar bhai rohan rathor ji mai jab aapka song (tune meri jana kabhi nhi jana) suna to mai ro pda mujhe aapka song mere friend aaditya verma ji k cell me suna tha aur aapke bare me mujhe usi se pta chla tha to mujhe ye ahsas hua ki vakai isse badi koi bhi love story nhi ho sakti bas mai yahi kahunga ki rohan bhai ji TUSSI GREAT HO YAR !

  23. DEVESHWAR SRIVASTAVA

    I LOVE YOU & YOUR LOVE STORY & LOVELY SONG(TUNE MERI JANA KABHI NHI JANA)

  24. ishwarsingh

    tuna meri jana very romting song

  25. ishwarsingh

    tuna meri jana very romting song but Today

    Asa is said to be in tel me

  26. sopan patil

    i share few words about rohan rathore he was lovable person in my dictionary " rohan ne to kanto ko bhi narmi se chua tha

    log bedard hai fulo ko bhi masail dete hai."

  27. Riya Mohan

    i don't kno that d story behind the song is to attract the people or not….but when i hear dis song…..i just feel that all the lyrics of this song..are truly..made for my life..:)/…..hope i can get my love

  28. harshad deshmukh

    nic song

  29. jitendra singh ratho

    i love you Rohan and your Song ,

    aap ko to aap ka pyar nhi mila,

    lekin hamare dilo me aap ke liye hmasha pyar rhega……

    really i love this song….

  30. Aparna(pranky)

    Well the story may be true or false m in lov wit Rohan Rathor n the lovely heart touching song…

  31. Altamash

    It's intelligent marketing for people who don't have enough money to launch it under a music album

  32. sachin hatole

    Are Pls Ya Song Chi Web Site dya na Pls .my no.830849407

  33. mrinal paul

    well well it might be a spoof story but the lyrics of the song really touches

    the heart of the people who ever listened to this song so credit goes to the

    music composer, singer & the lyricst…… gr8 job……. i love this song n wishing u a very successful life ahead to the team of ''EMPTINESS''…..

  34. satya

    well story may be true or false but,this song is really a heart touching song.it takes u somewhere out of this world ……………….

  35. rishi sharma

    i really love this song,,and i also knew the real truth of this song,,,its not fake..rohan rathore exist in iit..and its a real story of one sided love of an IIT’S.I SALUTE THIS SONG…FROM TODAY THIS SONG IS MY LIFE….TUNE MERE JANA KABHI NHI JANA,…..

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