Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy new year

The last year we saw an ageing yet elegant SRK sitting in a bath tub , surrounded by geriatric and not so elegant female stars of yesteryears ,posing for the' eternal' womens brand..

Hope 2006 will not throw in, any such shocking surprises..

My heart felt new year wishes for every co -blogger and visitor...

Friday, December 30, 2005

an ad a day..

crazy and cool??

Damn lies and research statistics.

Research statistics are like women; mirrors of purest virtue and truth, or like whores to use as one pleases. -Theodore billroth

The research team had just given their inputs.They had given it to a group of college students who had come as summer interns. And the creative team was waiting to make the ad. It wasnt going to be anything new or great but they werent allowed to proceed on their own until the research team gave their' findings' .

Women - the research said- find more pleasure with ribs and not with dots.

But see the next one.. there are some who "just cant think it "without dots

So if we average it out...

Damn it.. i am fed up of this 'averaging' it .. A man may have six meals one day and none the next, making an average of three meals per day, but isnt that absurd?

"There is no such thing as a good or bad ad in isolation. What is good at one moment is bad at another. Research can trap you into the past" someone quoted Bell Bernbach .

Dots ,ribs, nerves, extra bulges.. they had it all.. what more yaar? some one yelled in frustration.

May be dots on ribs.. and they would be expanding in the 'process'?

And the whole god damn thing will burst in climax..

The guys burst into laughter..

But we have to go by this piece of other way..

But this is junk.. a group of college students making some absurd questionnare and putting it across to men and women.. can you imagine..? when it cannot be done they sit in their rooms and fill the whole crap..

Ya i have done that in my trainee days..i have filled in 200 of them one night..

And based on that piece of " research" you want us to start saying that now Indians are gonna be thrilled with lemon flavoured condoms with ribs and nerves criss cross ,decorated with dots, and when expands look like a bloody jack fruit?

but sir.. that is what research says..


Research can establish beyond the shadow of a doubt that the egg is a sad and sorry product and that it obviously will not continue to sell. Because after all, eggs won't stand up by themselves, they roll too easily, are too easily broken, require special packaging, look alike, are difficult to open, won't stack on the shelf.

He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp posts - for support rather than for illumination. ~Andrew Lang

Thursday, December 29, 2005

an ad a day..

the most contoversial of absolut ads..

What about my numbers?

Torture numbers, and they'll confess to anything. ~Gregg Easterbrook

Let me share some statistics with you.

Giant global conglomerates like WPP and Interpublic control 96% of Indian advertising as per some recent media reports.The ad biz in India now is $2.7 million and is growing 13% annually..(stagerring?) The global giants, with a never satisfiable apetite is around there everywhere , swallowing any thing and everything to do with marketing communications- be it PR firms like Genesis (now it is with .....who else..WPP) ,websites like Hungama(omnicom has almost gulped it) .Now that the 15 % commission has vanished and agencies take home paltry and petty sums from 'advertising' ,the search for newer vistas of income generation is only but natural..

News reports say that worldwide WPP accumulates 54% of its total income from such ancillary business and the rest from main frame ad business. In india it is still some where around 30%. For other global groups, ancillary business in India is very negligible.....and here comes PR ,internet.. whatever..


Did you notice how the ad business have become the game of numbers? a drastic change from creatives and strategies and brand building to numbers ,numbers and more numbers..

Good or bad ..the change is here and we are going through that...

Industry observers say that it is a passing phase and advertising will return to its "good old days"..

Good.. But as of now every one seem to be asking the one,same question..

What about my numbers??

Little Harris returns from school and says he got an F in arithmetic.

"Why?" asks the father.

"The teacher asked 'How much is 2x3?' and I said '6'"

"But that's right!"

"Then she asked me 'How much is 3x2?''

"What's the fucking difference?"

"That's exactly what I said!"

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

i mean to say...

Ever wonder what all those advertising terms really mean?

NEW - Different color from previous design.

ALL NEW - Parts are not interchangeable with previous design.

FOOLPROOF OPERATION - No provision for adjustments.

ADVANCED DESIGN - The advertising agency doesn't understand it.

REDESIGNED - Previous flaws fixed - we hope.

YEARS OF DEVELOPMENT - We finally got one to work.

MAINTENANCE FREE - Impossible to fix.

MEETS ALL STANDARDS - Ours, not yours.

SOLID-STATE - Heavy as hell

an ad a day..

not mind blogging.. but mind opening .. aint it??

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Sex, Lies and Videotapes..

"I'm patient with stupidity, but not with those who are proud of it". Edith sitwell

The client is one of the many manufacturers of womens undergarments and wanted to come up with a path breaking campaign which will make him a brand to reckon with , in a category where every brand looks the same.. (oops.. no pun intended..)

The agency werent experienced in womens lingerie, but had some experience in sanitory napkins and a not so famous fairness lotion for women. And the client wasnt too convinced about the agency's bragging about how easy it is going to be for them to make the lingerie brand like they did with the napkins, simply because they couldnt make a connect between sanitary napkins and lingerie (oops again.. no pun intended..)

No curves and curls... no fashion photographers.. thats all boring..Said the clients man ...something other than that..

The agency group sat together for brain storming..

'A lot of guys stare' let that be the theme.. and let us make them uncomfortable.. wriggle with discomfort..and run to buy our stuff- chuckled the strategy guy..

'He admires the new way i look'.. what about that... let us show 12 somethings to 35 somethings in our lingerie and make a common statement... differed the visualising guy..'admiration comes with our brand lingerie'.

Why this "he" obsession?..One creative junior opened up.. why cant we make her 'feel proud' on her own..?

No yaar , sex sells.. the strategy guy displayed intolerance.. and in some cases only sex sells

Make the wife stand before the man.. let her undress slowly with accompanying salsa music.. -one 'sex sells' guy started explaining...and let the man admire with 'wow'.. thats gr888 etc... and when she is about to take off the lingerie.. let him say- no plsss. thats very sexy. dont take it off...

Rubbish.. muttered the junior in complete desperation..

And we have to make it bold and brave...the gyan went on.. like the FCUK campaigns..

we will not tell them.and shock them... how zz that..?

The junior went back to his college days when somebody told him this fantastic story about getting surprised..

GIRL: I have done a great sin. I called my boyfriend a BASTARD.

PSYCHIATRIST: Well now, that's not a nice thing to call anyone, so what did he do to deserve that?

GIRl: Well, he kissed me.

PSYCHIATRIST: You mean like this?

GIRL: .. Yes!

PSYCHIATRIST: Well that's no reason to call him a BASTARD.

GIRL: But, he put his hand in my top.

PSYCHIATRIST: You mean like this?

GIRL: Yes!

PSYCHIATRIST: Well that's no reason to call him a BASTARD.

GIRL: But, he took my clothes off.

PSYCHIATRIST: You mean like this?

GIRL: Yes!

PSYCHIATRIST: Well that's no reason to call him a BASTARD.

GIRL: But, he had sex with me!

PSYCHIATRIST: You mean like this?

GIRL: .Yes!

PSYCHIATRIST: Well that's no reason to call him a BASTARD.

GIRL: But, he told me he has AIDS.


Guess who got the shock???

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former". Albert Einstein

Monday, December 26, 2005

an ad a day..

stained your mind?

I K E......

An angry blogger writes" You just are dedicated to criticise agencies, why is it that you are myopic when it comes to seeing the clients fallacies.."

I sincerely beleive that i am not..

Because i cant afford to be one..i have been with at least two agencies, in India and abroad and have seen enlightened clients and enraging ones...

Remember the famous advice to agency guys, framed by some unknown victim..

"""When the client moans and sighs ,Make his logo twice the size.
When the client's hopping mad,Put his picture in the ad.
If he still should prove refractory… Add a picture of his factory
And if still he is in strife ,Bloody , just show his wife .."""""

The fact of the matter is that bad clients are there as bad agencies are there and most of the bad clients are so because the agencies pamper them to ridiculous extents ( forgive me my blogger friend)..accept all their tantrums.. their 'I Know Everything' attitude..(I K E)..

Togetherthey treat customers like they are a bunch of bleating buffoons..... If people feel they are being talked down to or made to look dumb, they'll think you (marketer, agency) are dumb too."Our customers are not too bright. Bad ads are OK."attitude will back fire...

Such Client agency meetings are funny .

The agency guys are pretty sure that they ’ve given the I K E what they asked for in their brief.

IKE had said after the brief “ I want you to go all out on this one. Be as creative as you like. Create a new design paradigm.”

The agency guys should have known that they have a 'not so joyous one' coming up here the moment they heard the word “paradigm,”

So they got “creative", pushing themselves to do things they’d never attempted before, and was displayingly proud of the results.

The I K E looks at the creatives and says, “wow, I like it a lot. But it’s a little way out. Can you make some changes?”

“Sure !” the creatives say, not wanting to appear stubbornly inflexible. “What would you like changed?”

I K E says, “Well, I think this yellow thing (the background) here is a bit soft. I want us to have a stronger look and feel. Can you change it to navy blue? And I want our logo over here, and larger. The logo has to be much larger. And these words here? “Get rid of them. I don’t like it. Put a photo of a guy in a suit there. Or a closeup of a computer – like they do on the other biscuit ad..And a picture of a smiling kid..emmmmmm.. thats all.. some minor changes...
what you feel..? it can be done- right?

In one foul breath, I K E has destroyed the creative and reduced it to something resembling a dreaded dream...

It can be done- right?? ... Most of agency guys know "the real meaning" when the client waxes(rarely) such utterances of diplomacy..

It can be.. and it is amazing idea...blurts the creative...


One summer, a retired old professor got a job on the railway as a supplier(the one who gets orders and supplies food, tea etc..). On his first day, he was accompanied by another supplier to learn the tricks.

"The job is really quite simple," said his tutor, "just remember to use diplomacy."

"What do you mean by diplomacy?" asked the professor, since that was something he'd never needed while teaching.

The tutor replied, "Watch me and I'll show you."

They proceeded down the train corridor, rattling compartment doors, opening them and offering tea or coffee. When the tutor flung open one door, before him stood a buck-naked woman. Without batting an eyelid, he calmly asked, "Tea or coffee, sir?"

The startled woman took a cup of coffee and he closed the door. "Wow, did you see that cutie?" said the old professor excitedly. "She didn't have a stitch of clothing on! But, why did you call her 'sir'?"

"That's diplomacy!" explained his tutor. "I didn't want to embarrass her."

The old professor was very impressed with his teacher. The following day, working on his own, the old professor flung open a compartment door and found a couple making love on the lower berth.

Remaining calm, he asked, "Tea or coffee, sir?" "Tea," replied the man.

"And for your brother?".......

Friday, December 23, 2005

Merry X 'Mas...

an ad a day..


Made for each other, until we wake up..

A man took his wife to an animal show .

The guide gave them a tour and they stopped by a bull and the guy says "this bull mated 50 times last year"

The lady scorns at her husband "wow! why dont you learn from him"

Then they pass by another bull and the guide says "this bull mated 365 times last year"

The lady now almost shouts at her husband "thats once every day.... why cant you too do that?"

Exasperated finally ,the husband retorts "ask him if he made it with the same cow"

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Some recent statistics say that Client agency relationships now on an average gets rocked by the second year.. gone are the seventh year itches.. they dont last for more than two or three years..

Of course i dont refuse to see exceptions....we have had amazing ones... Marlboro cow boy and Leo burnett are' made for each other' since 1955 and we have seen it.. how an agency and its professional brilliance and creative magnificience is vital for the creation of brands. It has happened with MNC's and Indian brands..

MNC or Indian client - Their demands from agencies are like can never reach them. The difference between the two exists ,if exists because the MNC's, more than anything else, have exposure to international markets .This varied gyan of market dynamics result in deep and wide insights. In addition to this they have the advantage of utilising best practises existent in their companies across the globe and adapting it to Indian conditions. Remember Rexona,Pears and Lux..Remember Coke, and its languish in the Indian blackwaters until they found something Indian to talk about..

So, when it comes to servicing an MNC client probably the guy across the table has more tips or aces up his sleeve compared to his counterpart in Indian companies. Agencies which deal with such clients should be prepared for arrogance,insults ,self lit halos and the MNC aura...

This is an oppurtunity , a kind of blessing in disguise...If it happens i am sure the number of pitches ,which seems to be touching the roof this year and breaking it next year, will go down..Instead many agencies feel it is better to work with numerous small clients or some big clients for short durations and make money and get out and search for newer partners..

Sleeping with too many is ,apparently catastrophic and it is applicable for both agencies and clients.. but there is a difference.

The difference is the double standard which exists in our society which congratulates and celeberates a man who is highly sexed and has many partners, calling him a "stud", whereas a woman with the same behavior is often called a "nymphomaniac", which carries a negative connotation.

Should i say more?

Thursday, December 22, 2005

an ad a day..


Orange.. pink.. and then blue??

You can say any foolish thing to a dog, and the dog will give you this look that says, "My God, you're right! I never would've thought of that!" -- Dave Barry

Much has been said about the dog and the boy, which made Hutch a popular name in India .Thanks to O&M and the two lesser known creatives- Mahesh and Rajiv rao, it made the client proud, accomplished a 77 % sales in an implausibly cluttered cellular service provider industry.

It evolved as a best happening example for a brave and simple idea and the limitless scope of taking an idea everywhere possible.. we have seen the dog and the boy everywhere and for a long duration.. and yet never got bored.. we waited for more.. the not so cute pug and the not so chubby boy...

Did you know that in India even the pug sales went up after the duo hit our minds for the first time..?

Wonderful .. isnt it..??

Roaming around Chennai last week, i was shocked to see a new development..

Hutch is now PINK shouted hoardings , posters , tv ads, whatever.. they have made the city literally pink.. ( I wonder whether even God knows how much the client has spend on media planning and buying) Tv ad's are captivating-- the pug running around and finally stops with its PINK tongue stuck out,the boy making his absence obvious..

"Hutch is now pink" it says....

There are two sets of people...

Those who never knew that Hutch was something else..( orange in this case)

And those who knew that Hutch was orange and ,they identified so deeply with the color..
orange was sexy , youthful, trendy, .... and whatever...

Suddenly Hutch is now PINK , tommorrow it may be blue..

Strategy, research, brand vision... i dont know...

I simply know one thing...

I am now red..


75-year-old Govind went for his annual physical tests. All of his tests came back with normal results. The family doctor said, "Govind sir, everything looks great physically. How are you doing mentally and emotionally? Are you at peace with yourself, and do you have a good relationship with your God?"

Govind replied, "God and me are tight. He knows I have poor eyesight, so he's fixed it so that when I get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom (poof!) the light goes on when I pee,and then (poof!) the light goes off when I'm done."

"Wow," commented the Doctor, "that's incredible!"

A little later in the day the Doctor called Govinds wife.

"Savitri mam ," he said, "Govind sir is just fine. Physically he's great. But I had to call because I'm in awe of his relationship with God. Is it true that he gets up during the night and (poof!) the light goes on in the bathroom, and then (poof!) the light goes off?"

The lady excalimed,"That old fool! He's peeing in the refrigerator again

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

an ad a day..

Now that's what i call the Bernbach influence..

Just Wasting Time...

I had been to Chennai ( it is in south of India, and called as the Indian Detroit due to big presence of global automobile giants) and happened to visit JWT in Chennai and Group M -Mindshare offices , to meet old friends. I will not name any but still forgive me guys when you read this.. i have to put it in here , no other way..

Everyone was buoyant.. the Group M guys because the 20 crore media plans and execution went perfect and the client went back blissfully and the JWT guys because Abhishek Bacchan and the Go fida thing was rocking..

In 1943, J Walter Thompson, now JWT, developed the first slogan for Ford Motor Company: "There's a Ford in Your Future." More than 60 years later, in 2005, JWT continues to handle national print and broadcast advertising for Ford, as well as dealer advertising, direct mail, and sponsorships. The decades-long relationship stands out as a remarkable success in the advertising and business.

But ever since the Ford Fiesta campaign broke(GO FIDA...!) i wanted to ask some one about it..
Also i got inspired by a colleague and friend of mine ,who in one of his blogs had asked 'Go what?? ' pertaining to the meaninglessness that the slogan- go fida- conveys to the non hindi speaking crowds.. not only "Madrasis'( Harish.. u inspire me a lot..)

I had this creative guy from JWT ,an old friend sitting across me in a famous Malayali restaurant in Chennai where we were having lunch together, when i asked him the question...

Who said .. he retorted...we did research and it said that people simply love the campaign..

Which people.. and where did u do the research..? i asked

He blabbered and i knew that they would have done it in and around the city of Chennai which is a large metro, populated by mixed crowds.

Even otherwise, ... he said Ford does not do it different languages..... they said we want one pan Indian slogan...

Ford is (in)famous for the YOU CAN PAINT MY CAR WITH ANY COLOR , AS LONG AS IT IS BLACK attitude...But i ,even in the wildest of my assumptions couldnt think that they still possess it , in tits and bits..

I asked many in Chennai, the non hindi speaking people but the possible buyers.. rich but typical southies...

None of them knew what it meant..Worse.. many didnt even know the small B ,whom JWT thought is going to sell Ford Fiesta like hot cake....

I would be too glad to know if some one can proove otherwise.. but as of now i feel , for the non hindi speaking crowd, it is Just Wasting Time..

From your heavenly abode ,forgive me James Walter Thomson....but they have thrown out your name and just want to keep your initials...


foot note: "Are you always this stupid or are you making a special effort today" - Anon..

Thursday, December 15, 2005

im off again.....

sorry for the gap.. im off again on official duty... thanks for all those mails...i promise to return with a
bang.. see me from 21 st again...

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

an ad a day..

too familiar?????

The good ,the bad and the ugly...

Good: Your hubby and you agree, no more kids.....
Bad: You can't find your birth control pills .....
Ugly: Your daughter is using them .....


A client,one fine morning, walked into the agency i was with and started shouting....

The owner of a small textile chain cum super market cum white goods chain group, illiterate and ignorant, sometimes imbecile... he was dreaded by the accounts and clients service team......

He put unreasonable demands which they felt ashamed to present before creatives back home, and worse he was one human being who celebrated his ignorance...

The guy was angry over the use of white space... a full page ad which the creatives had beautifully executed , with lot of white space and hence would definitely break the clutter...

I pay for it.. he barked... and i will not spend my money for your experiments.

But sir.. explained one dare devil.... we had got it approved by your manager.

I have dismissed him... he you answer.

There are good clients, bad ones and ugly ones... the one who allows the agency to do its creative responsibilities in advertising ,independently(of course the clients consent is needed but....) are good ones, the one who keeps the dog and insist on barking himself is bad one and the one like the textile guy who would get nowhere closer to the fundamentals of advertising are the ugly ones.

Is there a choice for agencies?

Do they get to choose the good ones?

Consider bad ones and maybe take them,

Outrightly reject the ugly ones?

"I will not allow my staff to be bullied by tyrants, and I will not run a campaign dictated by a client unless I believe in its basic soundness.When you do that you imperil the creative reputation of your agency" Spake Ogilvy..

So brave... because he had the choice..

Today the client decides...

Sit with the client and see his product in his angle, his color.. again said Ogilvy

Excuse me sir... from your heavenly abode give me a small hint...

what happens when i am sitting with my textile chain client who is color blind?

Monday, December 12, 2005

an ad a day..

KISS rule...

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Walk the talk, Mr .client..

State Bank of India has beenwith us for a long time, as a symbol .. of old generation banking, whatever the word means..

For me it symbolises Heirarchy and hence narrow sightedness.... lack of customer orientation and simply obscurantist....ICICI and their onslaught couldnt make them competitive until recently, and then they entrusted ad agencies to advertise them..

Advertise? SBI? what the hell?

It is true.. and the ads have come out well.. so simple.. humane.. touching us some where.....

To put it simply.. marvellous ads..... just clean bowled me ...

So here am i walking into an SBI show room (banks these days are showrooms, not banks any more) with doubts about home loans and how i can avail one, and expecting surprises.. lovely smiles, welltrained ,polite staff guiding me (in private banks this guidance some times is an irritation.. that is a seperate issue altogether) and leading you to the pinnacle of customer ecstacy...

Alas! it seemed that the guys whom i was facing, hadnt seen their new ads..

They didnt even knew , it was obvious, that their bank was now trying (in vain?) to compete with the ICICI's and HDFC's..

They all lived in the past.. some behaved like cannibals who hadnt seen human beings for quite some time..

A lady under the "may i help you?" , shouted at my doubts about home loans and floating rates...

Excuse me mam.. i said in utter disappointment.... i am your customer, if i go to ICICI, they treat customers royally..

Then why dont you go to ICICI? ...she thundered... did some one invited you?

I felt sorry for the agency(ies) making ads for SBI... a case of talk the talk and no walk the talk from the clients side.

Yes mam, your ads did......i said as i walked out.

Didnt they??


Foot note: Promises are like babies: easy to make, hard to deliver.....

an ad a day..

vicks... a breather..???

Friday, December 09, 2005

Old wines, in same old cups...

A tourist walks into a pet shop in at cyberabad, and is browsing around the cages on display.

While he's there, another customer walks in and says to the shopkeeper, "I'll have a C monkey, please".

The shopkeeper nods, goes over to a cage at the side of the shop and takes out a monkey.

He fits a collar and leash and hands it to the customer, saying "That'll be Rs.15,000". The customer pays and walks out with his monkey.

Startled, the tourist goes over to the shopkeeper and says, "That was a very expensive monkey, most of them are only a few hundred rupees . Why did this one cost so much?"

"Oh", says the shopkeeper, "that monkey can program in C with very fast, tight code, no bugs, well worth the money."

The tourist starts to look at the monkeys in the cage.

He says to the shop keeper, "That one's even more expensive, 30,000Rs! What does it do?"

"Oh", says the shopkeeper, "that one's a C++ monkey; it can manage object-oriented programming, Visual C++, even some Java, all the really useful stuff."

The tourist looks round for a little longer and sees a third monkey in a cage on its own. The price tag round its neck says 75,000 permonth. He gasps to the shop keeper, "That one costs more than all the others put together! What on earth does it do?"

"Well," says the shopkeeper, "I don't know if it actually does anything, but says it's a strategy expert."
My friend Anurag,(name -changed for obvious reasons)still works in advertising, in an ad agency as a senior clients servicing guy...he brands most of the ad guys as parasites...and blood sucking leeches.. again for obvious reasons.

He told about a strategy session they recently had with the client... with creatives, account planners( most of them strategy gurus or knowledge banks by their own declaration), and poor client servicing things.

The inhouse meeting discussed ,what they are going to do for the client one hour before the client team came down to the agency.

wife A and wife B-- the creatives explained-- are newly wed and happy..

wife B has a worry and that should show in her face.. her green washing powder( refering to the competetor) is horrible and cant wash her hubby's white shirts white.. while wife A ,makes her hubby happy with astonishingly white clothes..

You guessed the rest of the story..? no prizes is any fools guess..and so was anurag's..

Butexcuse me sir.. he interrupted the narrator.. it sounds so familiar.. and so formulaic..

You dont understand the strategy .... said the strategy guru in the crowd..

ya ,i dont ...said anurag.. can u explain..??

The creative- strategy guys combine unleashed jargons, and my man was a poor client service guy,, a lesser mortal..

The same show repeated before the client and the client accepted it based on the assurances that it is "strategy"...

the ad's failed... anurag told me...maybebecause the target audience (house wives mainly) didnt know the "strategy" and they neednt know.



foot note:Now that marketing strategy is such that, outside the packaging might be just beautiful and inside it might be just nothing!

an ad a day..

got it..????

Thursday, December 08, 2005

an ad a day..

again from nugget.. brilliant ..simply brilliant.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

an ad a day..

From Leo Burnett Mumbai.. now that is what is doing justice to the brief....

Monday, December 05, 2005

You scratch my back, i scratch your's

A Brit, a Frenchman and a Russian are viewing a painting of Adam and Eve frolicking in the Garden of Eden.

"Look at their reserve, their calm," muses the Brit. "They must be British."

"Nonsense," the Frenchman disagrees. "They're naked, and so beautiful. Clearly, they are French."

"No clothes, no shelter," the Russian points out, "they have only an apple to eat, and they're being told this is paradise. They are Russian."

what are we being told?????

Let me share with you a case,( not that i dont have more but that i am sure that this will be enough ) for us to understand the ethical (t)angle in advertising. This case is from the annual reports, religiously produced by the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) , supposedly the watch dog of Indian advertising.

(April 2003)

Accused -- Tata info mediaLtd
Co accused -- AmbienceD'Arcy( now Ambience Publicis)
Complaint -- "The ad is highly objectionable as it is 'racist' and it insults the
image of a cultured Indian woman "
The Ad -- A white lady in her delivery room with her newly born baby which is
BLACK.. the husband when he finally sees the baby gets a shock. Then the caption appears
"need a lawyer?" obviously for a divorce....

surprised? shocked?

dont be.. because there is still more to come...

The ASCI consumer complaints council (ccc) ruled that the ad's " are not discriminatory or objectionable"... well if they arent.. what are they..? simply educative and entertaining?
Or is it that they have changed the meaning of those words?

The answer lies in the composition of ASCI, the watch dog .. it is made of advertisers, agencies and media guys...

Just scan one such ASCI document and start knowing the reality.

You scratch my back and i scratch yours..

an ad a day..

Dont feel bad... in spite of the 'religious stuff' the creative brilliance is mind boggling.. right????

Saturday, December 03, 2005

an ad a day..

a virgin idea... runways as a media...

Friday, December 02, 2005

I got the key, but who changed the lock?

A woman got on a public transport bus holding a baby.

The bus driver said: "That's the ugliest baby I've ever seen." In a huff, the woman shouted at the driver and walk to take an aisle seat near the rear of the bus. The man seated next to her sensed that she was agitated and asked her what was wrong.

"The bus driver insulted me," she fumed.

The man sympathized and said "Why, he's a public servant and shouldn't say things to insult passengers."

"You're right," she said. "I think I'll go back up there and give him a piece of my mind."

"That's a good idea," the man said. "Here, let me hold your monkey"


Advertising is an art ... and the degree of success depends on the type of relation which the advertising agency and the clients enjoy... and client servicing is the crux...a play of diplomacy and wizadry.. often of brazenness and smiles. Just like any other relationships, a lot of compromises do invlove in the client agency relation , to make it go on....

And the ugly baby?? well.. clients do jump sometimes in search of better agencies, or circulate brands among various agencies in their roster.. from the driver to the co passenger, reducing the ugly baby to a monkey...

Clients regret, agencies regret.. and sigh that we should have compromised...

Even well established client -agency relation ships sometimes suddenly gets rocked and end in ugly splits... longevity isnt a criteria for understanding each other, any longer...

And by the time i got the key, i find some one has changed the lock...

an ad a day..


Thursday, December 01, 2005

The customer is the king .... of utopia

I am back ,, and i flew back from Chennai to Cochin in Air Deccan (Yes .. the simplifly airline). It was scheduled at 10.45 in the morning, which was not going to happen i knew.Experienced heads had warned me that the common man's airline never keeps up the time and 2- 3 hours delay was a routine which the flier's ( most of them first timers ) accepted without much of complaints, as they took it to be a wonderful oppurtunity to go around seeing the mind boggling airport architecture.. i waited and waited and no response- the only one air deccan employee, who kept on saying that it will be coming, had no clue, as to when it is going to happen.

Of course Airdeccan made life fruitful for many..

Many who couldnt even think of flying could now fly, bewilder at the marvel of this wonderful human discovery, could now ply through clouds which they knew only as abode of gods...

Many who could only look those who had the good fortune to fly, with eyes of envy and disgust,could now check in , and board and even see airhostesses with plastic smiles.....

But the inordinate delay, and no explanation whatsoever put me into doubts... do the customer have a choice..? or is it just a mirage?? I could see apart from Air Deccan, Air Sahara, Paramount, King fisher, Jet, Spice, Indian airlines... and a lot more ..clearly a welcome change in the Indian skies but.. what is the ground result..?

simpliwait..?? simpliyawn..?? simplicurse..??

My apologies if i sound pessimist, but i believe in results and they simply are confusing... i may fly with Air Deccan again, because it saves me a lot of money for me and my company but that is it..
The customer is the king.... the king of utopia...

an ad a day..

simple yet amazing..

Friday, November 25, 2005

miss me...

Hey guys...

Thanks for all that ravishing feed backs.. im surprised.. frankly i never knew blogging is such a big community.. i am on an official trip for a couple of days.. will get back and update with more on advertising .....

take care...


Thursday, November 24, 2005

Are you bloody,the King of England?

Resolving to surprise her husband, an executive's wife stopped by his office. She found him with his secretary sitting in his lap.

Surprised and caught redhanded?

He was smart and went on dictating, "...and in conclusion, gentlemen, shortage or no shortage, I cannot continue to operate this office with just one chair.


Years ago when i just joined advertising, as a young client servicing guy, (still believing that advertising is nothing but fun - with semi clad models and star glitter) i went to a clients place with my boss, who was the chief of brand services( a clients service guy basically, wrapped in a strategy habiliment, put in a research package, labeled with brand jargons) for an important meeting where he (my boss ) was to present a strategy document which he called as a 'brand road map'...

He was the guy, who intitiated me into the world of advertising,and who told me that life is not a bed of roses in advertising. In fact the first day at office as a trainee, when i addressed him as 'sir' he ,with that typical advertising sarcasm asked me' Are you bloody ,the King of England?'.
Ever since i have never Knighted him. I simply called him and any one thereafter, be it bosses or even the top most guys,by name. That makes advertising a great place to work, the feeling of equality, the freedom to call any one by name(not calling names) the freedom to think loud..being there is an experience worth it..

Sounds very rosy?? Well let me take you back to the meeting which i went to attend with my 'sir'..errr...... my boss...his presentation was entirely made by him, and executed into powerpoint slides by his secretary . I was carrying the floppy bag , thats it. The show started and he began from a podium at the raised platform , and suddenly, it got stuck, the floppy. My boss was visibly embarassed and so were our hosts. No one knew what to do..

And then came the googly...

He looked at me, sitting at the side table with the system operators , and expected me to intervene.I was a novice in computers (I still am) and didnt know what to do, but there is my boss in a catch 22 situation, and i had to do something.. i did something but nothing happened except the murmers from about 15 of the clients representatives present,which went up..I tried desperately but alas Murphy's law was in action.

You asshole--- he shouted from the podium.... and the crowd was suddenly silent.. pin drop silent..

It cannot be me-- i thought and looked in disbelief --- but it was for me, and he was fuming with anger...

I apologise for the error on part of my executive-- he told the crowd-- and i promise to come back soon, i regret the inconvenience caused.

Dont be hurt--- he told a shattered me, in car, back to office--- at the clients office , i cannot admit that the brand services director , is such an asshole that he didnt check his presentation once ,before he took it to the client? Can i?

I couldnt say anything... i didnt admire him of course but i couldnt hate him either....

footnote: Common-sense in an uncommon degree is what the world calls wisdom.
-Samuel Taylor Coleridge

an ad a day..

an ad from Lowe -Paris for road safety..
cool ..aint it??

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

i am not blind, i just am not seeing it..

"A blind man walks into a restaurant and sits down. The waiter, who is also the owner, walks up to the blind man and hands him a menu. "I'm sorry, Sir, but I am blind and can't read the menu. Just bring me a dirty plate from a previous customer, I'll smell it and order from there." A little confused, the owner walks over to the dirty pile and picks up a greasy plate . He returns to the blind man's table and hands it to him. The blind man takes the plate to his nose and takes in a deep breath.

"Ah, yes, that's what I'll have, chicken kabab , potato fry and roti ."

"Unbelievable"--- the owner says to himself as he walks towards the kitchen. The cook happens to be the owner's wife and he tells her what had just happened. The blind man eats his meal and leaves.

Several days later the blind man returns and the owner mistakingly brings him a menu again.

"Sir, remember me? I'm the blind man."

"I'm sorry, I didn't recognize you. I'll go get you a dirty plate." The owner again retrieves a dirty plate and brings it to the blind man.

After another deep breath, the blind man says, "That smells great, I'll take the palak panner and butter nan ."

Once again walking away in disbelief, the owner thinks the blind man is screwing around with him and tells his wife that the next time the blind man comes in he's going to test him.The blind man eats and leaves.

He returns the following week, but this time the owner see's him coming and runs to the kitchen.
He tells his wife, "Sunaina, rub this plate with your clothes before I take it to the blind man." She complies and hands her husband the plate back. As the blind man walks in and sits down, the owner is ready and waiting.

"Good afternoon sir, this time I remembered you and I already have the plate ready for you."

The blind man puts the plate to his nose, takes a deep whiff and says, "Hey, I didn't know that Sunaina worked here?"

* * *
People in advertising arent blind, some just pretend to be. Even those blind, are blind because it is an easy option. Blind to such terms like strategy , for instance. When the client talks about strategy, i have seen ad guys - even account planners( who are deemed responsible for 'planning the account for its bright future) yawning at client presentations (by the way a yawn is a very sincere opinion ,very 'openly' expressed) with least interest . When the client talks about brand vision, some of them sit with ' i have seen it all' label stuck over their faces...

This may not be a universal truth( gr88 agencies make gr88 brands, no doubt and my salutes to them) but some agencies are infested with men and women of stadium sized ego's and they preside over collapsing brands. Clients wouldnt know( in many cases) until market reacts, but then it may be late....

Failing Client Agency Relation ship (CAR) is a worry for people who ever had something to do with advertising, and intellectual arrogance and laziness is one of the main reason for this bad state of affairs.(The number of pitches being held is going up year after year) And simply, agencies cannot outsmart the clients.. clients (good or bad) are always right (cliche?) ,I cant help it.. they are and the agency is there because the clients ( good or bad) are there.....

Fighting with bad clients is like fighting with pigs in shit.... after a while you will realise that u'r getting dirty and the pig...... it actually enjoys..

an ad a day..

a Volkswagen ad from DDB Paris..

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

an ad a day..

An Ad for Panadol from Y&R -Wunderman... enjoy!!!

Elephants for with easy EMI's***

The only reason i see, why many Indian families don't own an elephant is that they have never been offered an elephant for a rupee off and easy EMI schemes. The Indian consumer is in a buying spree but all of them arent idiots, at least the middle class is not, and any talk of the innocent, naive consumer being taken for a ride by cunning ,manipulative marketers should be taken with a pinch of salt.

'Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need.... You buy furniture. You tell yourself, this is the last sofa I will ever need in my life. Buy the sofa, then for a couple years you're satisfied that no matter what goes wrong, at least you've got your sofa issue handled. Then the right set of dishes. Then the perfect bed. The drapes. The rug. Then you're trapped in your lovely nest, and the things you used to own, now they own you'...... I am just quoting Chuck Palahniuk who seems to me, was one of the most ardent pessimists ever lived.

True, there are products which we dont need... but is it because of lack of awareness that we end up buying.. or is it the basic human habit(a bad one , ofcourse) of displaying vanity that we end up buying.. True i 'need ' clean clothes , and a transport to my office and back ,but should i actually 'want' a L G washing machine and a Maruthi Swift for that.. Wouldnt the good old methods be enough?

See the ad above..For decades now, such ad's been cris crossing our attention ... Awareness is not an issue at all.. Every one (even my neighbour... he gulps the nicotine and tar from at least two and a half packets of cigarette, every day) knows the ill effects and advertising has been of immense importance through out the world in propagating the ill effects of cigarette smoking- both passive and active.( 'doubtfuls 'pls see the ad above)

So what? Have people quit smoking? Havent the number of smokers increased? So is it about what we are saying? how we are saying?(The great Ogilvy vs Bernbach arguement about 'what' or 'how to say that what' looks meaningless ) Or is it 'to whom, are we saying?.....

Arent a large section of our people exposed to media? arent the youngsters media savvy?? and still if they want to smoke, it could be because they want to, inspite of the ill effects it produces( that they know)..

so we know what we are doing.. but when it goes wrong some of us put it on the advertiser.. the media...

To validate my point , i know i will have to wait till the day some marketer will sell branded elephants with EMI schemes attached......

Let me rest my case here.

*** conditions apply


If we had no faults of our own, we would not take so much pleasure in noticing those of others. ---Francois duc de la Rochefoucauld

My ass is bigger than his..

Let us call him Anand. He was in love,and the girls father wanted to meet the guy to decide on his qualification to marry the girl. So here comes Anand to his would be F-I-L's house , a big , sprawling mansion which blew him off.. He was a poor guy( and had the mandatory inferiority complex), and fell in love with this rich girl Arathi( that is the way it should be.. have u not seen bollywood masalas?)

U'r a handsome guy... so charming.. flattered Arathi's father-- now let us talk over dinner..

Anand was full blushing as he walked to the dining table

Dinner started. Everyone was seated..

Our hero found himself in a very tight situation.. why?.. he wanted to FART.. but how? will it not be shameful if he does that..? he thought and thought but his bowel pressure wouldnt listen . it came out with a funny sound.. He looked embarassed ,and started sinking, cursing his bad stars. But then the F-I-L had that presence of mind...

Tiger--- he shouted at the dog , lying near to Anand under the dining table.---- go out

Anand was happy.. he simply loved the guy.. his would be F-I-L , who saved his face ..Relieved he decided to let him loose once again and farted ,this time with added volume.

Tiger--- again shouted the old man...

Anand was gleeful... the dog is gettting the blame.. so i can be relaxed and can be farting more..

So did he.. this time the volume was more...

The old man stood up and shouted at the dog...

Tiger.. get the hell out from under that table before this bastard shits all over u....


The ad creatives are great guys( no pun intented).. who convert a brief ,often vague and unclear (many clients dont know what they want to communicate.. let us discuss it later on), often highly technical and complex to great mind blowing ideas that touches and stays with us for ever...

Can any one forget the Cadbury's girl running into the cricket field? or for that matter the Fevicol series, that won a standing ovation at the Cannes?.. Can any one ignore the Dog and the Boy campaign which made the now famous duo of O&M famous, which solved a complex marketing problem( the target audience liked Hutch network but thought it as having no network) through a simple communication which made Hutch sales go up by 77 %...

So what is the Anand story doing here...Some ad creatives are Anand's.. they like the laurels but blames.. they like to pass it on..they take the bouqets with blush, but the brickbats they simply transfer to colleages and subordinates ..some are bothered about their Abby's and if possible Cannes.. some talk to the competetor.. some talk to the competetor's ad agency creatives(My ass is bigger than his).. some talk to their own ego's.. the result is clear.. ad's which are so churned out doesnt even sell the clients brand, forget marketing.

Some day the client will call the bluff... the Czar will stand exposed like anand...

The guys who suffer from 'My ass is bigger than his' complex should wake up to the reality.. it simply means ' I am a bigger asshole than him'

Am i right?

Monday, November 21, 2005

of gods and humans, of kings and commoners..

At many agencies there will be celebrity ad men, whom i would like to call as 'Czar’s. . Some have the luxury of more than one. Some wouldnt have even one.. some will have a 'czar' who wouldnt have done any thing significant in the recent past but would be still presiding over as Emperor Franz Joseph did with the ramshackle empire of Austria- Hungary...

These men and women ,of course make a difference with which the client( For beginers: clients are manufacturer/marketers who want their toilet soaps and cars to be advertised by agencies) views and respects the agency. Objectivity doesnt exist in such client rankings of the agency, in many cases and the clients are generally too happy to gulp anything, which the czar tells them is marketing/branding/advertising.

For agencies who celebrate such ad men existence is not hard, as their work is generally acknowledged as good(or in otherwords no one will dare say that the Czar this time has done it bad or worse no one will say that he didnt understand the Czars work ). Have you ever been to a cinema where they show award films.. those dragging ,drowsy ones which will put even Giraffe's to sleep( my research tells me that they sleep only 1.9 hours a day) and still found people coming out and bragging great about the artistic brilliance and creative marvel that they just slept over..errr...saw?..Many clients do suffer from this disorder, they can see the spade, they know it is a spade and yet they cant call it one… they bluff... the ad appears and the small kids (yes.. the same old naked king and the nasty kid) i mean the audience pooh poohs and simply ignores the ads..Simple.. any ad which takes time to reveal.. any ad which puts the audience to think , to understand what it means ,simply is not an may be many things, but it definitely aint advertising for the client.

Indian advertising has a Piyush Pandey, Prasoon Joshi, K.S Chakravarthy, K.V Sridhar.. and so on.. (Forgive me for any omission ) . Not ever agency can boast about such star cast ,but inspite of such ‘deficiency’ many do good work.. On the other hand many Czars have erred.Many just exist as posterboys.... May be time will proove me wrong but as of now it is my firm conviction that the new coke ads featuring Amir khan saying “sir udake..errr..whatever”, throwing away the "thanda mathlab coca cola " series, which is arguably one of the best ,series produced by Indian advertising , is gonna be a damm squib. Even Lux which (I can see ur smile now) has taken us for decades now, to the world of glamorous film stars from Leela chitnis to Karina kapoor ,is now doing a great crime of putting a funny looking Shahrukh Khan in the bath tub, bathing in rose petals, surrounded by Hema, Sridevi et al.. I am confused… and I am sure many of you are..

That puts me in this fix.. will it be that they are Gods and human me ,out of my ignorance aint able to understand.. or is it that they are Kings and bloody me , will have nothing to do but to listen and obey?

Foot note: Don't tell my mother I work in an advertising agency - she thinks I play piano in a whorehouse. ~Jacques Seguela

"My girl is slightly pregnant"

In 1969, Samm Sinclair Baker( yes ,the guy whom the then ad world called an "ungrateful dog") wrote and published "The permissible lie", which simply exposed the world of advertising.It shocked the world.. The plain speak which stripped ad men thread bare, was nothing short of a blasphemy, but even after decades nothing much has changed.... advertising ,observers accuse, still remains the same.. the same duplicity and pretensions galore...

Who are to blame for this state of affairs ? who will bell the cat..?

Much has been researched and written about advertising and its ill effects in the society.Advertising, “is the rattling of a stick in the swirl bucket of capitalism ” said George Orwell. It has been blamed as responsible for all the ills of the society.Even i( "even" because advertising had been my profession and passion, even now) do accept that it contibutes to the negatives, but it contributes along with others like cinema and internet. Can they be banned because they have bad effects too? The option ,for advertisers will be to stick on to truth as far as possible.. say truth, even hide unpleasent truths but never say a lie...

Ever since the dead and gone residents of Pompeii advertised for marriages and wine, and perhaps even before that, advertising has been the art, science and what we know it today, and what we (ok. most of us) don’t know, is, was and would be the soul of marketing activities. To put it simply, “If Marketing is a whore house, Advertising is the pimp. (For those who took it as offensive), if Marketing is a flower, Advertising is the fragrance”.

So the customer has to alert..The advertiser will sell the client{(the one who makes soaps)(remember the fairness granules )} and will up to an extent be bothered about the client only.One who thinks that a skin which will put coal to shame can be be transformed into something which will glow and reflect, deserves to be fooled.Any house wife who gets carried away by cleaning liquids(liquid bleaching powder added with fragrance and a brandname,which you pay a premium price) which cleans dark, dirty lookin floors(which generally are made dirty during shoot using powdered graphite or such materials) making them glow like polished metal ,is inviting the marketer to beguile her. Any fool will get the kind of advertising he deserves.. As someone from the advertising industry quipped about "too many accusations"about "misleading advertisements" - 'if there are men to eat dog buscuit, why the hell are you barking?.. I dont agree fully to that piece of arrogance.But i will surely say that, the customer should wake up to the reality that no fairness creams shall make a dark skin fair.. it is simple science.

So the people who dont know this science should be fooled and marketing jaggernauts (the same giants make fairness stuff here and tanning stuff in the west) allowed to reap all the profits? Certainly not. But 'caveat emptor' is always better. It is simple.. very few advertisers admit that they lie. " The permissible lie" as Baker called 'slight 'exaggerations- some do accept they do.but it is like admiting that "my girl is slightly pregnant". isnt it?

Footnote:"What is the difference between unethical and ethical advertising? Unethical advertising uses falsehoods to deceive the public; ethical advertising uses truth to deceive the public". ~ Vilhjalmur Stefansson, 1964

advertising and fun..

Renowned ad guy Jerry Della Femina ( forgive the irreverence ,u non ad guys out there) once said -"I honestly believe that advertising is the most fun you can have with your clothes on".
Yes it indeed is, all that mad rush, the client turn overs,the briefs, the creative pretensions, the shoots, the production jiggs, the client walkouts, the fire in the belly( sorry- sales guys..).. the... whatever.....
It is real fun ,except when u realise that ur ads arent working for the client.. u realise that, but refuse to accept that. The client emits fire like a chinese dragon(most of them look like one too),and the client service guys are put on the guillotine..the blame game is on.. the creative guys will take a u-are-an-ass-so-u-dont-understand stance and the strategy guys(read the bossess) will start talking (well.. will start using more) jargons, to add to the confusion..

adamant guys.. arent they?

There was a nail seller named Wilson. he sold nails(with no brand name, what a crime? and of course no advertising.. goodness gracious.. how could he??).. there entered his freind -an ad guy from the city working with XYZ-ABCD ad agency( most of them sound like this . dont they?) The ad guy advised Wilson to advertise and brand..He was skeptical.The ad guy persisited and prevailed( smile please.. all the client service guys..!)

Alright ..said Wilson .. bring me an ad

Ok.. asked the ad guy.. giv me the brief..

Brief ?.... Wilson looked perplexed

Tell me what is ur customer profile.. what u want ur brand to mean for them..he uttered hi funda's

Well it is a Roman catholic crowd.. said Wilson.. so u know..

The ad guy left only to come back a couple of days later with what he called as "a marvellous " work

Here the ad was.. Jesus crist ,the lord was hung on the cross and the nails were shining..
the caption said.."wilson nails.. holds anything"

Wilson was shocked..

Never.. he thundered.. never can i show it here and make people buy my nails..change it.. no christ hanging from the cross

The ad guy left to come back with a changed ad , a couple of days later.

True to the clients words, there was no christ hanging from the cross, instead, he was being nailed and, the soldier who was executing the cruel task found it difficult , for the nail to go inside. the caption said"try wilson nails.. it holds anything".

Wilson was flabbergasted..

Please.. u dont realise what i mean.. no cross and hanging christ please.. why dont u'r creatives understand?..Wilson cried

The ad guy left and came back with what he called this time as" amazing work".

Of course the cross was missing and the client felt elated that the creatives have at last got his idea(hold on to ur seats).... it is just begining.

There was a frail, fragile looking guy in scant attire running across a field, surrounded by mad crowds. A host of Roman soldiers in full attire ,spikes and swords on, running behind the guy.One of them suddenly stops, looks into the camera and tells the audience.

" I told them - use wilson nails"


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