Friday, November 30, 2007

World Aids Day !!!

There are also days when advertising
can be considered as a noble art:......

The international day of action on HIV and AIDS which takes place every year on 1 December - is one of those....

Every year, the World AIDS Day represents one of those opportunities for advertisers and designers around the world to use their communication skills and creativity for noble causes. The results are usually very creative ads, most of them being the fruits of voluntary, unpaid work coming from some of the greatest communication agencies.

Required by Sida Info Service – the French Aids information service - BDDP & Fils 2005 campaign will undoubtly catch your attention, whether you like it or not......

The above one poster targets the male gay community: the shocking visual displays a homosexual male who has been stabbed and killed by male sex.

The associated tagline reads: ‘Don’t let ignorance spoil your life’ (translated from the French ‘Ne gâchez pas votre vie par ignorance‘).

Three other posters that are part of BDDP & Fils 2005 campaign targets a more global audience, even if we would dream of having no audience or ‘market’ at all for that kind of ad. The posters show disturbing images of AIDS-mutilated bodies, while relying on the same sarcastic tagline: ‘You’re right when not protecting yourself from AIDS. You can live perfectly well with it.’(translated from the French ‘Vous avez raison de ne pas vous protéger du SIDA, on vit très bien avec‘).
The visual metonomy used - that is, the usage of a part of the body to stand for the whole body - makes the presence of the disease appear as very suble and atrocious in the same time. Those little rotten hair, toes and tooth that speak for the whole body seem to tell: AIDS is not always visible at first sight, but it is well-present and slowly decomposing human bodies and killing people. I am not sure if the aggressiveness of such a campaign will have the intended, right effects on everybody. But it will certainly shock you, and you will remember it once you see it....

And the one next which again is 2 year old , a poster by UNICEF but haunting by the stark frankness with which it throws us into the direct effect of AIDS.. death for the affected and trauma for the related...see this...

Hope as we enter another AIDS day, good sense will prevail !!!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Artwork in Ads

Art work in ads can be beautifully woven into a message. It is not only respect for the art and the artist, that brings attention of a normal observer, but it makes it easier to convey even difficult messages in the form of cartoons, caricature or collage. It becomes easy to portray human behaviour. Although, these advertisements are for a recording company, wine maker, and for a fruit drink as shown, they follow colourful tones to convey meaning. I suppose, lot of colours spoil the drawing. I feel instead of giving mixed meanings, by making it simple and emphasising on clarity, artwork is a good advertising tool.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

the social bores...!!!

How boring are social service ads? or for that matter any product or service ad with a call for a change kind of social message embedded in it? Generaly boring .. rite? The government kind of ads that are good in intention but poor and boring when it comes to execution....
Recently media is hit left and right by a series of ads issued by the GOI to make us "aware" of the importance of being careful about getting the right visa and other documents before going abroad for work, particularly as labour..... I dont intend to show it here, as adformula has better things to show.. take for instance the two ads that I thought of sharing here... Of course it sells a product or rather a service namely Aaj Tak, a TV channel, but a social cause is embedded so amazingly well... simple they are and short they are and yet so strong they are....

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The fun gun...!!!

The man discovered COLOURS and invented PAINT,
The woman discovered PAINT and invented MAKEUP
The man discovered the WORD and invented CONVERSATION,
The woman discovered CONVERSATION and invented GOSSIP.
The man discovered GAMBLING and invented CARDS,
The woman discovered CARDS and invented WITCHERY.
The man discovered AGRICULTURE and invented FOOD,
The woman discovered FOOD and invented DIET.
The man discovered FRIENDSHIP and invented LOVE,
The woman discovered LOVE and invented MARRIAGE.
The man discovered TRADING and invented MONEY,
The woman discovered MONEY and invented SHOPPING.
Thereafter man has discovered and invented a lot of things...
While the women got STUCK to shopping.............

and what about Advertising?????

Friday, November 23, 2007

Invading the content ...(Part 7)

Continued from part 6..>>>>>


Too many products finding a place in, is more dangerous than prominence to one or a few products, which appear in a programme. Parading of brands in a programme, is making brands appear one by one in a given programme- be it a game show or a teleserial. If this happens, it is due to the producer’s/ broadcaster’s/ advertiser’s insatiability to make quick money. The brands necessity to appear in a frame as the hero’s pen or the heroine’s fairness cream or the game show host’s cheque book should look natural and should go along with the script. However in some cases it is the brands ability to spare a big sum of money rather than its inevitability in the script decides on its presence in the silver screen. Here again, it is the type and nature of the programme, which decides on how soon the TG will enter the threshold intolerance point. Feelings like “it didn’t need to be there”, “ so many of them” etc among the TG will give them a feel that they are sold for a bargain.

In a game show like ‘Khul Ja Sim Sim’, parading was done without much of audience frustration and they stepping into intolerance, whereas in a teleserial like ‘Kyonki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi’ it may look anomalous that the heroine’s cosmetic brands and the hero’s apparel brands are paraded in an audacious display of deceit. A situation where such parading swallows the main story line is a ‘phagocytosis’, where the intolerance threshold point starts. Reality shows but, as i observe them is careful in this aspect. Not that they dont allow parading but are cautious to make sure that Passive learning happens without the intolerance creeping in...


Patter is defined as a beguiling attempt at persuasion, a long-winded or slick sales talk. It is tedious for the audience members when, for instance a heroine of a popular serial laments that her ‘particular’ brand of hair oil (the name is carefully repeated during her cry) is not to be seen and as a result, all her hair is going to fall in no time, it is an enticing way to bamboozle and sell.
If ads in normal commercial breaks do irritate people when facts are not presented straight and unambiguous, product placements then definitely make the TG intolerant if it engages in patter.
The logic applying here is simply that during an ad break, the TG is aware and even expects the presence of glossy and astute messages which may have to be taken with a pinch of salt but not during a television programme. In product placement however, the heavier the brands purse is, the more are chances that the script and dialogues get swayed like a coconut tree in blowing wind. Here then, it will look artificial and arousal levels will be zero and it will produce no recall as research with movies have established .Advertisers should get clue from research findings, which state that not all product placements are effective. When such sales talk happens in a programme, in which the TG is engrossed, it leads them to audience intolerance threshold.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Marketing Apparels

We like to wear clothes, not just to cover up, to look sophisticated, to look simple, to look stylish and for what not. To sell clothes is more difficult, as each individual bargains for his own terms and preferences- variety matters, as well as brand names. It is unexpected, because as surprises, consumers go on shopping and shopping and one day they stop!.. They just stop buying any more denims!- who knows, it is likely. But no wonder, most of the ads are focused on developing a wardrobe full of stylish individualistic clothes, just like assortment of chocolates, for the consumers. They focus on their brands, and become as creative as possible to attract the multitude. These advertisements are worth its efforts- Lee and Reebok

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Assvertising industry!

What takes a model to be the ultimate celebrity, with whom everyone from the captain of the nations cricket team to the hottest of co stars want to be seen?
What makes her the most sought after endorser for whose presence brands can wait for, reinvent themselves for, or even die for?
Well see this ad and let us discuss our question after this...

Well this ad I am sure would have caught your eye balls (oof... EYE balls I mean) if not for the ass of a creative it is , but for the ass in the creative. The model is Deepika padukone ( for the 0.00001 % of ignorants who still dont know who she is, blasphemy though !) Just 21-year-old Deepika is the daughter of former World badminton champion and a legend Prakash Padukone.and no prices for guessing ,the star who rose into prominence with her debut film ,OSO as they call it with King Khan or SRK, in the chart buster . It now seems that for every one ....just almost every one, she seems to be the apple of their eyes and even more.....
Not to be left behind, our poor world of advertising too is in the fray.. every brand wants her to be the endorser horse to pull the brand cart from nothing, something,or even everything, to where she goes, wherever it may be... It looks like a pity to an outsider but news reports suggest that the gal is smiling with the long queue outside her home inspite of her raising her price from mere 10 -15 lakhs per ad to some 5 times the amount close to her OSO association. She has been an endorser (even before OSO) for a range of brands like Liril, Close-Up, Levi’s Strauss Signature ( the ad that you saw up there ), Limca and Maybelline. Parachute advansed used her in a reasonabily good move via a campaign titled Gorgeous Hamesha which now has ran into uncertainity with the stars new reach and range....

Kingfisher Airlines got recently added to her portfolio , with Dr Mallya jumping in to sign her as the second face after Yana gupta ( Yana is old ,this is fresh) and Mallya can smell ( not literally I guess ..or is it..? im not sure ...) success when it is associated with women and Deepika is not new for him, she was one hot property used in Kingfisher newyear calender.
While along with the star,Bling Entertainment, celebrity management agency for Deepika Padukone also has all the reasons to smile, how healthy is the trend? well I know, as long as it is hot now, it sells now and as long as it sells now, it does bring smiles... but what later? no one seems to be bothered..... except the fact that ,what is getting the ad worlds attention more than just the curiosity over a rising star, seems to be her pedigree.. Her being the daughter of the legendary Prakash padukone and she almost being one, and both succesful by their own right and merit in two totally different fields ( now I know what you are thinking... Tiger pataudi, Saif, Sharmila.... Am I right? ) well nothing is wrong but I guess the art of Marketing communications should be more creative and bit more out of the box....

While keeping sniffing around the starlet, who can even be just a one film wonder, I hope my beloved industry is not loosing smell of better things around....

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Fun Gun

An advertising team is working very late at night on a project due the next morning. Suddenly, a Genie appears before them and offers to each of them one wish.

The copywriter says: "I've always dreamed of writing the great American novel and having my work studied in schools across the land. I'd like to go to a tropical island where I can concentrate and write my masterpiece."The Genie says, "No problem!" and poof! The copywriter is gone.

The art director says: "I want to create a painting so beautiful that it would hang in the Louvre Museum in Paris for all the world to admire. I want to go to the French countryside to work on my painting."The Genie says, "Your wish is granted!" and poof! The art director is gone.

The Genie then turns to the account executive and says, "And what is your wish?"The account executive says, "I want those two assholes back here right now."
PS: God loves this kind of fun. And so we are not born as advertising professionals, yet we become. Happy weekend folks!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Some ads are not bad!!

Some ideas are intimidating. Some are the results of hours of brain storming. As one of my teachers used to say " some questions are simple, but the road to get simple answers to them is more complex.".

I feel that in this ad, a simple and subtle idea is executed well with a combination of nice words in the copy and fitting imagination.

A cliched imagination, but a creative result. Although the idea of charming the surroundings is not new, we can't help it nor we can ignore it.

This advertisement has got an idea into it. Stare at it closely or you will miss it!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Redtape... old style seduction!!

Now this is my answer everytime I find a Marxist/anti liberalisation expert (self declared or other wise) waxing about how after the 90's with the influx of foreign ideas, the whole of India got corrupted, its values saw a fall and how Marketing and
Advertising( foreign style) landed you up in your bed with strangers !!!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Invading the content ...(Part 6)

Continued from part 5...>>>>

The elements of the audience intolerance threshold quadrangle can be analysed one by one :-


Prominence to the product(s) as long as it doesn’t question the common sense of the audience would be tolerated but once the prominence crosses the threshold, toleration too does it and clash of interests occurs between the
advertiser and the TG. Undue prominence may be counter productive or at least may be equaled by the TG as another form of advertising which is clandestinely imposed on them. Cristel A Russel, (the author of “Towards a framework of product placement: Theoretical propositions in advances in consumer research”) , has identified three major types of product placements- i.e. screen placements, script placements and plot placements .In TV, all the three can be dangerous if used with undue prominence to the product. It may vary from society to society and from programme to programme and the TG but it surely is a reason for audience intolerance threshold.

Product placements in current affairs programme or a ‘Walk the Talk’ may not be a good idea, especially when too much of prominence is given to the brand to be placed where as in a game show it would be largely over looked. Pepsi, for instance, launched its new product, Pepsi Cafechino, on Sony's ‘Indian Idol’. Its brand ambassadors Kareena Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra appeared on the show wearing the same clothes that they had worn in the ad. This is called as hyperactive placement, as the brand is not just present in the show, but the brand ambassadors also appear and use and refer to the brands and its symbols manifestly.

Some time back, in an agency faq's article,Atul Phadnis of TAM India had described three kinds of product placement in film content – Hyperactive Placements, Active Placements and Passive Placements. Hyperactive Placements when mixed with the additional trigger, lead to a 54 per cent increase in brand awareness, a Passive Placement in a film along with an additional trigger (in the cinema environment) led to a whopping 191 per cent increase in brand awareness. Active Placements, on the other hand, are like showcasing a product to its fullest, such as a man talking about an Audi and later driving away in one. An Active Placement, when coupled with an additional trigger, leads to a 17 per cent increase in brand awareness. This may be by and large applicable to TV product placements as well, but the dissimilarity in cinema environment and TV viewing environment is to be kept in mind. Moreover in the long run when too many such shows use too many such product launches, intolerance threshold point will start appearing.....

to be continued >>>>>>>>

Friday, November 09, 2007

Happy diwali !!!

A warm Diwali wishes to everyone in the advertising community ,readers of Adformula and others !!!! play it safe....

Creative courtesy :Vivek nair of Adformula team

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

i-pill what next?

President Clinton looks up from his desk in the Oval Office to see one of his aides nervously approach him.

"What is it?" exclaims the President.

"It's the Abortion Bill, Mr. President - what do you want to do about it?"

"Just go ahead and pay it."

"But its the bill that has been returned by the senate ,not the one you think sir.." says the aide

"oh I thought you have bought the Pill I had ordered for after last night" exclaims Clinton.

The best contraceptive is a glass of cold water: not before or after, but instead, said someone, but there seem to be less takers for that cold concept..... Everyone seem to be craving for sex, pre marital, post marital, extra marital no matter the mode, it seems the Indian populace has thrown out the garbs of hypocrisy and the Come on-we-are-Pure-ethical-Indians and we-dont-have-sex-whatsoever pretexts...Adformula seems to be the last to write on the topic ,in the context of the latest wave in the sex obessed Indian urban place named as i-Pill ,a tab from cipla, intented to avoid unwanted pregnancies, espcially after the "high voltage performance" last night, neverthless I thought its never too late to say what I feel on this topic...

Now the wonder pill ,allowed to be sold as an OTC drug, with no docs in between, the young and the old alike,seems to be all awake with an upbeat mood (the pun is intended) to do it, today and now.....
The world's second most populated country( we are postive bunch of people and hence, call it as the largest growing market) is on the verge of an AIDS epidemic. Can we afford to be coy and casual aboutsex and contraception? In our towns at least people have started realising that if used properly, condoms can deter the spread of HIV/AIDS and prevent pregnancy and now comes this pill, which I am afraid will end up in more casual sex and more HIVs and the like.
Not that The urbanite, including me, go for buying condoms(if at all)with a blush that spreads across the shop and sheen that lights up the whole street. Often we buy them under cover of night, anonymity or, maybe, even disguise. If you ask me,I can't go to the shop at the end of my road to buy a pack of condoms. I usually stop at places where I'll never go again and I am better off considering the fact that I know N number of men, who cant ask for a box of condom when their wife is with them..... Well that is a lot of secrets being told but mind you that is what we are... the normal Indian.... now with this i-pill even that is gone... outright we can indulge,(because we know that the suryadev(sungod) will not rise up suddenly in the middle of the night),if we just dont forget to get the i-pill the nextday morning...

Men are a selfish lot. That is the simple reason why the condom guys have to do so much of hardsell to make him buy the thing. Give her pleasure, add to the pleasure, take her to the heights of pleasure platforms work with them,infact only these things work if you want men to sheathe themselves, since most men are (inspite of all the pretensions) insecure about their ability to perform and deliver the result...when it comes to the bedroom....Oral Contraceptive Pills (OCPs) for men are being reserached but men are men and they simply would not volunteer to go on the pill and it is slowing down research on the male pill. Many men 'willingly'(how gracious we are to be allowing 'ladies to be first') put their wives through a tubectomy (female sterilisation) rather than subject themselves to a far simpler and safer process - the vasectomy (male sterilisation).......

Now that being a fact,at least we have to be playing safe ( aha ...did I say that?) and follow the dictum "Contraceptives should be used on every conceivable occasion" . But to be a bit serious it only about avoiding a birth? is it not about diseases too for which and for the prevention of which this i- pill can do nothing? I would be the last person to accuse the advertiser for Corrupting the other wise sane and highly ethical Indian youth... long ago this two siamese twins.. preventing unwanted pregnancy and preventing STD's/AIDS were seperated...and of course the i-pill guys havent intented to substitute or replace in theory and practise the use and utility of condoms with their pill ,but the Indian mind, the shameful, egotic, inconsistent, hypocritic ,insecure and non confident Indian mind, will interpret it that way and that worries me....

While the ads are communicative and simple with the idea being conveyed short and sweet and more importantly not ending in a mess with sex and bedrooms depicted , I believe that they should be talking also about the ill effects of over using this pill in the female body with hormonal imbalances as an after effect as discussed in the media and also about the fact that the sooner (I am told that within 12 hours is the best)it is taken ,the better rather than glorifying the 72 hours selling point to woo the lazy youngster.....The advertorials seem to be more justifiable, but the TV ads hide more than they reveal....
Ethics isnt my cup of tea, but yet considering the fact that the marketer has always been accused of promoting promiscuity and manipulating people to be materialistic and what not, being a bit more facual can save i-pill from a lot of issues, unwanted pregnancies included... Now the men pill may be the next.. and that is fair. After all it makes more sense to take the bullets out of the gun than to wear a bulletproof vest......

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Invading the content ...(Part 5)

Continued from part 4

The Audience Intolerance .....

Product placement can be active or passive or in other terms obvious or subdued. Not withstanding the sponsor’s (the product owner) pride on his product and his desire to see and hear his brand again and again in the programme and prominently, too much of use of product placements will see a slope in audience attitude to the whole idea. When audience feels that products are infringing on their pleasure of watching TV, it can be termed as the Audience Intolerance Threshold Point, where the TG steps into a zone of intolerance to not only the products so placed but also the programmes in which they are placed. They start abhorring the programme itself, in a typical case of spontaneous trait transference. Research has proven that many consumer groups have felt that product placements is a form of deceptive advertising which will cause purchase intention in movie goers, who are unaware of the persuasive intent of brand placement .

The after effects of the TG entering the intolerance threshold can be diverse and manifold. Of course the audience apathy to the programme as well as the product(s) in question is the most apparent one, but other effects like inflicted damage to the editorial integrity of the programme, and the collapse of the perceived trustworthiness of the media may also result.The causes for such intolerance are summarised in the figure below

The four P's of audience intolerance ,as I would call it, in a summary ...............

to be continued.....>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Monday, November 05, 2007

Greenply- the reincarnation game !!!

If its greenply, this cute lil sardar kid would come to your mind for sure.... They have after this classy sardar ad in 2005, rose to eminence and ever since, grown as an interior infrastructure solutions provider that currently manufactures a host of renowned brands such as Greenply Plywood – ‘Chalta Rahe', Green Club Premium Ply, which comes with a life time guarantee, Greenlam Laminates, ‘Dikhane Ka Jee Kare’ and Green Decowood, ‘Visibly Superior Veneers’. The brand and its variants excel in their communication and seems to be clear and concise in what they want and what they want to tell.Now a befitting sequel to the Janam janam ka saathi Idea has come up and seem to rock the TG....

Its not an out of the world ad, this new one where an Indian court room and the way cases are dragged for ever , is depicted of course with filmy melodrama and trappings woven into it. It is not even out of the box and nothing great so to say, behind the creative, and yet it is simple ,funny and close to people. Moreover, the brand and the benifit is carefully weaved in..

Kudos to
LOWE for being consistent, communicating and creative...

Thanks to the brand managers at Greenply for transforming the otherwise commodity gutter, into a garden of brands....

Saturday, November 03, 2007

The fun gun...!!!

Now that is what is called as flexibility... Surprisingly and sadly, the ad and the marcom industry seem to be loosing it in its quest for micro specialisation.. People of the old order atleast, are hoping for the all under one roof era to come back... Hopefully !!!!

Enjoy the week end folks !!!

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