Friday, August 31, 2007

Building Iconic Brands

Coca Cola is legendary. Harley Davidson is a cult. Apple is Innovation and Mountain Dew is an adventure. To develop an iconic brand like them, just a conscious effort is not enough, because it is quite difficult to remain an icon with brand following for a long time. For example, the characteristics that baby boomers liked is not so common to what "Generation Y" likes, even though both seems to be rebels and iconoclasts in nature. So, normally the icons create a myth around them and generate enthusiasm and develop underlying curiosity about them. They speak more for the young and target contradictions. They do have a mass audience.

What will an icon ask an advertising agency to do for them?
Penetrate with repetitive legends, Make the message short and simple, try to be a little bit of contradiction, build curiosity around taglines, myths..etc., make them irresistible by keeping the message- suave, chic and matchless.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

When Tennis Became Pretty After Kournikova

When Maria will win all the four grand slams this year, she will be gifted with 100 million dollars. But she's already one of the wealthiest sports person earning 25 million US dollars a year and she is one of the favourites of the advertising firms and media. She was one of the sexy faces which appeared in Sports Illustrated. Now as the Nike Ad says " She's so Pretty" . She's also featured in Palmolive Deodorant advertisement, Hyundai Getz and many others. She does not seem to be lost like "Anna Kournikova". Even though she knows, she has become popular among viewers, she doesn't agree herself to be just a "Sports Diva" , but a little more. But yet Sharapova era has begun.

But for us,

Celebrities cost a lot! They make it easy to maintain ad recall!
They grab the attention of the viewers more than the message!
Finally we pay the price for our admiration, by becoming lovers of those things that they use to carry themselves to differentiate from the crowd.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

The fun gun...!!!

once 3 Sardars decided to go on a picnic.

When they got there, they realized that they had forgot the soda.

The youngest Sardar said he would go home & get it if they wouldn't eat the
snacks until he got back.

The other two agreed to wait patiently.

An hour went by,

Then a Day,

followed by a week,

the 2 Sardars said

'oh, come on, let's eat the snacks'




































Suddenly the Young Sardar popped up from behind a rock and said

'If you do like this, I won't go.'

Now pack your is an ad free week end folks..!!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Advertising ...the art of Client Agency Relationships... (Part 5)

Continued from part 4 ....

The clients expectation pentagon!!!


The annals from the history of an agency speak volumes. A JWT doesn’t have to claim and prove again and again that the oldest one is one of the best, still. The accounts that they have made in the past, speaks. The brands, the building of which they have contributed, the number of pitches they have attended and the hit rates, no of accounts gained and more importantly, lost.
Clients, at least some of them believe that nothing can replace experience. Some others but ask for results, measurable results, the logic being no machinery bought or no human resource employed would be exempted if it weren’t productive and just looks good like a piece of antique, then why advertising should be?
The tragedy but, is that in the long duration of their existence, “most agencies, instead of keeping focused on their clients and their consumers, fell in love with themselves. Instead of boosting their clients’ sales, they hid behind their creativity; shrouding themselves in mystery and concentrating just on award winning spectacular works of art” said Sergio Zyman and that holds to be true...
For the agencies, practitioners have set guidelines, ever since agencies became professional. Treat your clients’ money as your own, thundered Subhas Ghosal but many agencies do not heed to such words of wisdom. The result – bad ads and “the backlash of silly ads is the waste of millions and the agencies and advertisers are sabotaged by their own fatuity and self indulgence. People, who buy such products don’t know what these ads are trying to say and they care less. The advertiser simply has wasted his money on frivolous profitless spasm” .

Some ad men aim the Cannes, than contributing to the clients cash register and worse, most of them try to impress other admen, or to deride and scoff them, reducing the average audience to a knuckle head, nincompoop or a clod as per Baker who exposed the then ad world in his "the permissible lie".


The agency culture is the same for every agency at least for outsiders. The founding fathers’ legacy is carried down through generations as the culture of the agency. Ogilvy & Mather bears the Oglivy touch in whatever they do and so do JWT. Bill Bern Bach’s simple yet piercing narrative style is professed as a religion by the agency still. JWT until the WPP take over boasted of its New England Chamber indicating the founders’ Yale roots .The first thing which the new management after the hostile takeover at 1987,was to dismantle the room, in what the industry up roared as an attack on Thomson culture says Rothenberg in the classic "where the suckers moon"...
Of course there are compromises, which make academic authors comment satirically about the different cultures of different agencies. “Like the brands they sell, agencies also usually don’t have much difference. They essentially offer the same menu to clients, and if at all some one brings in some difference, others copy just as fast” ....Ad gurus have often disputed such arguments and have projected different creative strategy and execution cultures. Peter Head of AMV said, “Our aim is to destroy that view that advertising is a commodity. It is the creation of an elusive spark of originality, which can fundamentally enhance a clients business.” .......

Even in Media part of advertising, (Media planning and buying – even though these days Media planning are handled by separate agencies under the same global communication giants) the agencies mess up, putting the clients to depths of displeasure. “Agencies supposed to represent the clients interests, instead represented the Media owners, like for instance they would block large spaces in magazines & news papers at special discounts and later filling those spaces with their numerous clients, and in the process making lot of money” .Bad culture or pedigree is what clients see in seen supposititious acts. Likewise, late payment and improper / unclear billing is a symptom of wrong genes in the agency chromosome. The longer the agency hangs on to the money that the clients give to the media via the agency, the far reaching will be the caustic effects on the CAR.

The symptoms of bad culture are many but lack of cost consciousness and an inability to handle the clients’ money as its own and wisely spend it, in many a cases forms the immediate spark leading to a divorce ...

To be continued >>>>>>>>>

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

TVS Apache.. Theory vs Practice !

the same old style... the speed, swiftness, the skinny gal, manliness, machoism and man like arrogance !!! but the theory vs practice concept amuses me !!!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Fun Gun!

NB: The characters in this story are purely fictional, and resemblance to anybody living or dead is purely coincidential

Dear Sir,

This is an application from the common man. I was gifted with a television during Minister's rally 3 years before. Now, I spend 150 rupees every month to watch satellite channels. I have a provison to see only 150 channels only. I used to watch Sun TV, Sun Music and other channels every day. As I was very intersted to see action channel AXN also, but it was coming as 184 th channel service and I could not tune my TV to it. The service provider always smiled and said nothing. In order to know about Tamilnadu politics, I used to watch SunTV, Saritha TV and Makan TV. On August 15, I heard that, in order to watch Tamizhar TV, I don't have channels left. So I had to go to service provider and tune the TV again. He asked me 250 rupees. My monthly unemployment pension is over. I couldn't pay the fee to satellite provider and they have temporarily cut my connection.
I am not able to know about politics in Tamilnadu as all major politicians have their own channels and I am not able to learn anything. I am utterly blinded. Being a very common and curious Indian, please provide me with additional emoluments so that I can watch your TV channel.But Sir, I have watched your short films and advertisement , as it is available in all channels, yet am very curious to see yours too.
I am very grateful about the TV.
Thanking You,
Yours Sincerely,
Common Man.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Weather Sensitive!

A rain sensitive outdoor advertising campaign by Leo Burnett! .
PS: If there was a light sensitive shield in a metro, or vehicle sensitive signals, who knows! almost all of us will get caught breaking signals !

Thursday, August 16, 2007

To Like or Dislike A Media

Media selection, as a matter of fact, is based on Segmentation-Targeting- Positioning decisions. But, if the consumers are clouded with access to several media, not being present in a particular media, will often be a minus point for most of the advertising efforts.

Tom is one among us. He decided to promote his product, say washing machine. In the morning, when his wife was reading the local English daily, saw small classified advertisements for jewellery. She did not find the tiny classified advertisements interesting. But, when his daughter switched on the FM radio, he heard a chirpy RJ, talking quickly about ICICI Mutual Funds. His mobile was ringing and he saw a new SMS message, asking him to call the number, if he was interested in car loans for new models of Maruti. When they decided to go for a film in the near by multiplex, he saw an advertisement of ceramic products in the launch, displayed in an LCD monitor. He felt so unimpressed with all the advertisements and switched on the computer and a desktop pop up ad of a matrimonial site was on the screen. Bewildered at this commercial attack, confused, he was still thinking about a suitable medium for his commercial.

I was also quite intrigued by a similar question about selection of media. Lets take a look at each of them.

Newspapers: It reaches the multitude. It is relatively cheaper compared to other media. But, a small advertisement is likely to miss the viewers' eye, because they are busy reading- "what happened yesterday?". Some of us, often read less of them, because of long working hours.

Radio+ FM Radio: There are a few of us, who listen to the music from FM and AM radios. But we are also tired of listening to radio jockey every day. So, once the voices become familiar, we would naturally ignore. Therefore a package of advertisements, added with humour is necessary to attract listeners.

TV: As the broadcasters club together many commercials, in between programs and as we have the liberty to switch channels, do we care? Unless otherwise interested or if it isn't something new, we are likely to skip commercials, by switching channels.

Online pop up advertisements: It is supposed to reach many. But are we likely to close them, as they prop up, because we are busy checking mails. Then , e-mail marketing, it sounds good, but we often throw everything into the trash.

Mobile Ads: It is one of the most inconvenient and untimely among all. We are likely to delete them or go to an extent to switch mobiles off.

LCD Monitors at Multiplexes: Oh! we are watching the films and we are getting tired and excited. So, whether would we need another dose of visuals at the snacks lounge. Some of them are in the toilets too. Yes, we do ignore them, even if it is quite expensive.
Outdoor Advertising : We are tired of the heavy traffic and waiting for the signals to turn green to reach our destinations. They are interesting and powerful, but do we have a wink of time to look at them.
Oh! sorry, we are onlookers and observers of many-a- media, but we are not likely to be impressed, if commercials do not have a flair of differences, in-built into them by advertising agencies. It is because, we are clogged by many.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

A salute !!!

the first flag of Indian spirit which fought for freedom.. we got free from the white ruler, but the brown one isnt better either. 60 years and still we are the same, in various counts and aspects. Considering what India could have been, with its resources and potential, we havent reached even half way through.
The spirit of India, still keeps us going...
ad formula says....Vande matharam !!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

War! Peace and Truth!..

This advertisement was done for the Client: Bischoefliches Hilfswerk Misereor e.V., a German charity firm. The warm impressions about the family is mixed with destruction of war , in quite a lucid manner. It strike your eyes with reality.

“Naive family paintings they may be, but seeing where shells of bullets have shattered those images makes a great and easily understood metaphor,” says D&AD President Tony Davidson.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Meow, Meow, Meow Mix...Going against tradition

Meow Mix, a brand which is owned by Del Monte Foods, is working on an online campaign now. The pet food retailers, who were confining themselves to print or television advertising, were adopting offbeat methods to get curious eyes and customers.

The brand Meow Mix had developed affinity do something different in advertising.
It was born with a campaign “the cat food cats ask for by name”. There are many jingles sung for cats. Earlier, when Meow Mix was in the hands of Cypress group, they opened many pop-up retail outlets – Meow Mix CafĂ© and reality TV shows Like “Meow Mix House.” Then the next effort was much more interesting. Under a new slogan called “Think like a cat” for Meow Mix, it published a promotional book, online video clips and a website-

This campaign had lots to give to cat lovers. Meow Mix Acatemy, a faux cat academy, brainchild of a Del Monte’s agency – Grand Central Marketing (GCM) , guided them to learn about feline tastes, how to exercise like a cat and catnapping and a mock dean called “Cat Cora”. Catalogs, curriculum and other associated things were also available for use. Even celebrities like Kat DeLuna and Big Pussy (Vincent Pastore of “The Sopranos”) took part in promotional shows and they organized a quiz Cat Aptitude Test in Read more about Meow Mix Acatemy here.

Mathew Glass at GCM says, “The goal of unconventional campaigns is to forge strong emotional bonds between cat owners and Meow Mix.” It identifies and interacts with “cat parents”- those who think cats as family members.

The Del Monte cat book- The Meaning of Meow: Understanding and Caring of your Cat, and it is likely to be into the “best sellers lists” as there are many cat lovers. Tracy Locke, the agency which Del Monte corresponds now, has developed customized programs for supermarkets, drugstores and discount stores, selling Meow Mix daily. These “impression generating events” are sure to captivate the cat lovers. Yes, a little bit about money now. Meow Mix spends more than $10 million a year on ads in media too, because they are competing with brands of Nestle Purina in the market.

The efforts are unique, innovative, off-beat attention catchers, like any advertising campaign should be. But, we cannot fancy this idea for all types of products. Further, each campaign must have a distinctive style of communication, but it highlights the importance of developing social as well as online network through campaigns.

PS: Now, they have done so much for the cat lovers. But are cats loyal to the owners, dogs are good pets, aren’t they?

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The fun gun...!!!

Dear Tide:

I'm writing to
what an excellent product you have! I've used it since the beginning of my married life, when my Mom told me it was the best.

Now that I am older and going through menopause, I find it even better! In fact, about a month ago, I spilled some red wine on my new white blouse. My unfeeling and uncaring husband started to berate me about how clumsy I was and generally started becoming a pain in the neck. One thing led to another and I ended up with a lot of his blood on my white blouse. I tried to get the stain out using a bargain detergent, but it just wouldn't come out.

After a quick trip to the supermarket, I purchased a bottle of liquid Tide with bleach alternative, and to my surprise and satisfaction, all of the stains came out! In fact, the stains came out so well, that the detectives, who came by yesterday, told me that the DNA tests on my blouse were negative and then my attorney called and said that I would no longer be considered a suspect in the disappearance of my husband. What a relief!

I thank you, once again, for having such a great product. Well, gotta go. I have to write a letter to the Hefty bag people...


A relieved menopausal wife
Hurray,,,its a week end again.....!!!!!!!!!

Friday, August 10, 2007

The ‘E’ factor in Advertising

“Zara si hasi..dular zara sa. Amul…the taste of India”- Amul

"Anokhi shudhata, anokha asar. Dhara." - Dhara Vegetable oil

'Respect comes naturally with an Accent.' - Hyundai Accent

“Kuch bandhan atoot hote hain, jaise Airtel ka network.” – Airtel

“Just do it. “- Nike

We have heard them. They are very closely associated with brands. But these jingles often bring back a visual memory of the advertisement along with them.

A brand, which acts as a metaphor, has to evolve with time. But, how often is a brand remembered? Which appeal will suit a brand well? – These are some questions that we often ask ourselves before developing the brand. An emotional appeal and an emotional association, sieve through clamor of every day life and stay in consumer minds. A story, which is often developed with a product offering, must be sensible enough.

A brand is often associated to a personality, a story told about itself, in a manner which results in an inspiration and emotional bond. An advertisement should focus on:

Who is going to influence the buying decision in family?

Who is likely to be the potential buyer and who is the influencing member in the collective decision?

Tell a fitting story. Stories create connections for people. Stories create the emotional context people need to locate themselves in a larger experience.

Is the brand correlation in coincidence with the social group or the reference group, the customer aspiring to be?

Gossip and fancy can draw customer emotions.

What emotions do customers look for? Jay Conrad Levison says, “a sense of achievement, love, pride of ownership, a sense of security, whether it fits into style, in what community niche he belongs to, ambition of the buyer, ambition and if it offers power"

Now a final word,

"The business executive should realize that the highest form of achievement is always art, never science, and that business leadership is an art worthy of his own respect and the public's plaudits."
(Levitt 1963: 224)

Midweek Musing !!!

"Advertising is the art and sole of capitalism. It captures a moment of time through the lens of commerce, reflecting and affecting our lives, making us laugh and cry, while simultaneously giving traction to the engine that propels this free market economy forward into the future."

- Jef I. Richards (2001), Chairman of The University of Texas Advertising Department.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Consumer generated..... any VIRGIN ideas?

Every body seems to be behind consumers... not to sell to, but to get them generate content for you but one thing is quite forgotten, when you want your share of consumer-generated content then you have to give people the right tools and the right incentives .Nikon sent out a bunch of new D80 cameras around and asked people to take pictures. Then Nikon collected the pictures and put together in flickr and made an ad .Virgin mobile also did almost the same here but the difference is that they never asked the people in the pics ,as its just from flickr and they dont have to. But is it right? but seeing this discussion,I doubt, whether the old logic, everything is fair in love war and advertising is still valid????

The economist..The creative bulb !!!

a good marketing communication
should be simple and speak for itself !!!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Perfetti... perfect fun !!!

Its not long back that this ad made us laugh and giggle, made many a kids imitate such stuff in the name of "mentos...dimag ki batti jala de"....and even many brands imitatating ( the latest is Moroccan brand TAGGER having a ditto ad ,for instance),the sequels that followed was equal fun and together, this "exaggerated creatives" revolutionised the way candies and chocolates are advertised in India....

The centerfresh one that made us cackle and roll with laughter(right click here).....

And the Chattar pattar ad (right click here) which opened our mouth and senses......

and many more... thanks to Perfetti Van Melle and their roster agencies McCann Erickson
and O&M and the funfilled and naughty ads ( mostly) some of them are still kiddish like the Babool ones ,but then they sell to kids...PVM has a huge portfolio of brands( very confusing for me though) and the work on each brands seem to be going galore(separately)...... PVM though at the outset seem to be choking the pipeline with this parade of brands, the fact as it is revealing now, suggest otherwise. From a hugely undefined and unorganised market, where, candies meant comodities,and a huge huge market place with practically no Good brand name to write home about, PVM crafted a place of its own.... with just two brands when they came in to this confusing country and market place to this abundance that we see today,to choose from, with all the entry barriers as text books would have called it, looking like vistas of oppurtunity, PVM realised that in an impulse segment, promotion is the key and that too consumer promotion as the focus of its strategy is going to pay off.Of course there are exceptions like the one happened with the centerfresh ad and the hype and excitement build around the ad, but a bad tasting candy, did it do well? Atleast did it do well in comparison with the ad?

The category is growing....With international confectionery companies such as Lotte and JoyCo etc inflowing into the Indian market, and many Indian giants like ITC, HLL and Godrej displaying active interest in this segment and other companies such as Cadbury’s growing and going products beyond chocolates and products finaly perfecting into brands in terms of packaging, promotion and positioning, clearly an evolution is happening, or has it happened and over ?

In fact McCann and O&M India, is doing international work for many of PVM brands ,here in India. While that may not be a shock for the new gen ( the KPO/BPO gen) its is indeed a pleasure for the old gen to watch the ad industry in India making ads for brands regardless of whether they sell here or not. For Perfetti’s global brands, Daygum and Hingolia, which are not sold here,McCann India is creating the communication strategy. The Mentos commercial, that you see here (the first one) made waves not onlyhere but in a larger part of south east asia.. The Indian television commercial of Alpenliebe and Big Babol, have also been admired and accepted in Europe.(Hope on a later date ,we dont get to read and see reports of how they hate these'imported' ideas and commercials, like we did the Angrezi ads of candies in its initial years). McCann seems to have a strategy of circulating ideas and ads once it is made here and the country heads of respective agencies can choose the ones that fit their kind of culture and life. Well !!! when the world is a village, anything ,just anything seems to be possible..

After all here is a client who respects its agency/ies as their partners in progress and give due respect and credit, who have a vision about its products and lines ,who recognises what advertising can do and what the product should do, who is aware how far advertising can make people remember the brand ( in this case an array of brands) , and utmost give a reason to buy and the product/brand should takeover,who has taken the category from a mere commoditised one to a brand ised one and who seem to lead all the way....

Enough of Gyaan you say...? well, I retire but not before sharing the latest from them..titled Kabaddi.... the same platform, of fun, hyperbole and lack of logic....So far so good, but havent they all started looking the same? Is it not the right time to draw some thick lines of differentiation????

Monday, August 06, 2007

Advertising ...the art of Client Agency Relationships... part 4

For the bliss ful state, the professionals in this industy should actually and with full courage do some introspection as to what the other party expects. Here is what ,generally the client expects and is named ,the elements of the client expectation pentagon.......




To see them in detail, one by one....

what is Competence?

Creative competence, account planning and research acumen and the drive to excel are what clients look for as a basic requirement in its communication partner. The customer perception about poor networking that Hutch offered was tactfully handled by O & M with the now famous pug and the boy. Had it been an agency with less creative and account planning competence, India would have been bored with maps and dotted lines to display networks.
Good clients appreciate good work. They aren’t hesitant to be proud of their agencies’ competence -Creative and otherwise. Randal Rothenberg in his classic ‘Where The Suckers Moon’ has suggested that the success of the Volkswagen campaign probably changed the rules of the advertising business. Agencies, he claims, “were no longer punished for being argumentative and using once forbidden formulae, a great wave of originality engulfed the profession and changed client agency relation” Today research is a key area and iceberg researches strictly won’t do. Agencies are expected to recognize that best and effective of creatives are a result of good research and customer insights so gained. Agencies should also acquire knowledge continuously and analyze information not to confirm what is already known but to discover what is not according to Subhas Ghosal.....
Many times ad agencies and their creatives fail to connect to the target audience they have to connect. For instance, advertising to women, ‘even by an authorized agency study in the West proves that, in many a situation isn’t working either due to simple laziness or stereotyping’ ( Forget converting Client Agency Relationships to that blissful state, it can only be the easy formula for disaster.....

To be continued......

Saturday, August 04, 2007

The fun gun...!!!

On a Saturday morning, when we look out of our bedroom window, sipping coffee, we miss the usual noisy clamour. My mum used to tell a story about one such saturday. She saw a crowd gathering near a man, who was talking loudly, standing at a corner of temple grounds.
" peacock oil, peacock oil, come and buy and experience good health. Just apply few drops on your body, and you could flex your body like a gymnast, a yoga master. It not only makes you more flexible and healthy, it will also cure and remove pains from body joints. Come and buy!.only few bottles left."
Sometimes advertisements are plausible, sometimes they aren't!..

This happened to me on a terrible night!

She was looking gorgeous, but something was amiss. When it comes to fashion, its "serendipity."

Friday, August 03, 2007

we now offer !!!!

And they have reduced it to 9% after this ad...!!! will the cheated customers be compensated? (That is ofcourse assuming that seeing this lousy ad, people would have made beeline queues and deposited money in the bank)....... Cant we think of better ways of using
advertising money??

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Drink Milk..It's always been survival of the fittest!!

It was not just a "drink milk " ad that we have seen it making smiles and white moustaches.... It is part of an advertising campaign which made lot of awareness about the need to drink milk , in a larger part of the Latin america ,especially Argentina.... While the use and need , of adults taking in milk is disputable, may be the next ads makers (which is not part of the Latin american campaign) realised that an "adult selling point" has to be given to actally make the deal.... Funny it looks but I am told that the trick was done.... see it and you will know why....

Now back to the next ad of the Latin american campaign" it's always been survival of the fittest"... Enjoy !!!

and this one,,,,I love the wicked looks of the Dinosour..!!!

advertising rocks !!! and here is my favourite..just for the climax....

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