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"


welcome to advertisechat.. let us have fun..!
Related Posts with Thumbnails