Saturday, December 29, 2007

Happy new year !!!

A new year again.. As the lazy adformula team goes for holiday at various exotic places (mine is at Thekkady ), let us wish the whole world a pleasant and prosperous new year..

Let people not be killed, let walls fall, let bigots vanish and let advertising excel !!!

and have fun.. because in life nothing is more important !!!

Now for the fun gun... Are you sick of making the same resolutions year after year and yet you never keep them? Here are some resolutions that you can actually accomplish! Enjoy! :-)

10. Read less.

9. I want to gain weight. Put on at least 30 pounds.

8. Stop exercising. Waste of time.

7. Watch more TV. I've been missing some good stuff.

6. Procrastinate more.

5. Drink. Drink some more.

4. Start being superstitious.

3. Spend more time at work.

2. Stop bringing lunch from home: I should eat out more. and last but not least...

1. Take up a new habit: maybe smoking!

Friday, December 28, 2007

truth well told !!!

Truth well told.. says McCann Erickson..

This film is a shocking revelation of the inside facts of the so called creative and strategic business of
advertising... felt bad to have it in adformula, my good old friends...but its a self introspection which we have to do.....
sooner or later !!!!!

pls have your speakers on!!!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Nike..its all about running !!!!

Its one of the very famous and famed Nike running commercial ( yes there are aplenty) created by W+K for Nike and glorified as the offspring of a succesful matrimony between the client and the agency.. Phil Knight and Dan Wieden , to be precise... All was well until Nike realised that in the sneaker segment things are rosy but not so in the runners arena.. Not only that they were trailing behing the formidable Adidas ( the runner ads again) but even behind the new comers and small fries like Asics, a Japanese brand...
So..? what else... W+K was shown the door( partially though), and came in Crispin Porter + Bogusky, with the Bag and Baggage and the Brauhaha of having Coca Cola and Volkswagen in their kitty among other famous brands.. and their strong point..? Digital advertising, where the other team lacked and where Nike felt it should do more.... fair enough!!!...
And what we get????

Alex Bogusky of C S + B , has said somewhere after the release of this ad that they wanted this NOT to look like a Nike commercial, but instead, wanted people to say WHAT is THIS?...

I said the same.. so did many others whom I know...

Does that ring any bell?

Nike..its all about running !!!!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Tata Ace : Riding on Elephants!

All advertisements are not alike, neither should they be. But, are all the elements in the ad be same- for eg: a father,mother and a child/ a tourist, a localite and an elephant/a beach, a girl and a boat. We can find similarities in many of the advertisements that are being made. Tata Ace is just another one, but not just one. Here too, we can find a traveller, some elephants and localites on elephants..but the advertisement says Tata Ace feels best for carrying loads. See it here.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Seasons Greetings!!!

Adformula and the whole team is on a break.. Bakrid and Xmas.. and a pre newyear hangover.. see u all on 26 th and in the mean while......

Eid mubarak and merry Xmas !!!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Look at Me.. Look at Me... Please Look at Me.!!!

The business of advertising is funny...(ofcourse ,made so with the funny people that we have in abundance) it is about some how getting the attention of the mass and the crass, some how means some how...just make sure that the OTS happens, make sure that the brand and its message pass through and across the eyeballs and if possible the brains that are connected to the eyeballs...and on ground earth, where they fight out the war of clutter among all the dust and din and the sweat and blood and the corpses and the confusion, just a few survive and those who do, fall into the insecurity of the victor, and is always in a hurry to get new and become new....., just like the average models who do not think they are too skinny.....just like actors do not find themselves handsome enough.... just like the stars who claim not to know what all the fuss is about. Our crazy obsession with the perfected surface has become so absolute that everybody ends up having to work off some obscure psychic debt...
In our industry though, its prooving to be for the good. Unless you become insecure and reinvent to be new and to be seen, advertising will not serve its very basic purpose and will not have the fun it was born along with....
This ad came in Business line some days back and in a lecture I used it as a good example of advertising strategy.. simple !..... the right creative strategy married to the right media strategy makes a wonderful offspring named good advertising strategy... and this is a proof..Done by MC Saatchi for Jet airways ( in a category ,which in India, is suddenly cluttered and looking worse than a corpse ladden battle ground),it stands out and so well and blends with the media, and with a graceful ease delivers the message.

and this, which struck me, is from an inflight magazine of Jetairways is an extention of the above idea but executed with charm and creativity... just see it..

the first one is a gatefold, and when you open the fold comes the space, which is the selling point... Brilliant in conception but what is more heartening is the successful coming together of the creatives and the media !!!
Here is a communication which doesnt have to scream.... look at me ,look at me..please look at me...

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Fun Gun!

Some advertisements are as good as this cartoon. hmm.. I mean to be mum, because its inexpressible.. Have fun!, friends

How to Sell Themselves!..

Advertisements are a platform for models and the film fraternity to speak about themselves and say how stylish they are. But recently, we have found a trend, as we have seen in KANK, , OM Shanthi OM, and some other films, were actors parade themselves to just remind all of us, that they are back in films, especially someones like Shilpa, Anil Kapoor, Akshay Kumar and some others. It becomes " a point of sale" of their own charming skills for a few seconds in the screen. I think that also is the political game of cricket, waiting for roles to shine, retire, and say oops I have lost my...
Hope, it does not happen in advertising, just like we are happening to see old bollywood songs played in background for many ads like LG and Fiat Palio. Yes, its the same with everyone everywhere- the noted ones being Paris Hilton and Britney Spears, who cannot sleep without new scoops and gossips about themselves.
So one day Naseerudin Hoja decided to advertise himself. He didn't find anything better than wearing rags , sitting on a horse back turned to other side of horse's face, drumming a baja, and singing loudly as the best attempt to impress others, as clumsy as he is! somebody asked him why he is sitting turned to other side? he replied, " hey , why are you asking me? You ask the horse why it is running the other way?'.. It seems to be the same with all of these actors and pop singers too.. for one thing, they feel they are ignored, they donno what to do to charm others, so let it be like this!...
So, friends...... should we bother about glamour and glitz, as long as it seems like..desperate people's attempt of foolishness to impress others!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Airtel.. from novelty to nomans land..!!!

I wonder ,would be there any one who have not loved this ad... and even went for the brand seeing it.. its power of communication.. and the sheer magic with which it hooked us as made us flabbergasted.. saw a wow.. now that is touching my soul and senses... and this one.... which was a sequel which still stayed good and enriching...

And this one with the Rahman magic, which was one rare ad which the folks wanted and see..again and again...shifted channels and reached channels where the ad is shown....

and now this one.... what can I would have seen it and may be have got shocked by the sheer callousness with which the whole
advertising is conceived and made...If you have a celebrity, then any things seems to be ok,the market will have to sit and watch...

What a fall ... From class to crap.. from creatives to crass.. and the latest, from novelty to the no mans land ads....keep watching...!!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Saying Yes and No

Go, look for the green,
Go, look for the red,
But, whether it will give you, your daily bread?

I hope, you wouldn't have read what I had meant. Sometimes we make our advertisements colourful, filling it with unidentified flying objects to develop curiosity. Sometimes it makes us feel blunt and make a remark- " Oh, these ad guys are crazy, what is it?."

I would suggest the creatives to think twice before they feel, they have done their best. The Sprite ad says " make sure you don't look thirsty".. but I would like to say:- Do we always drink Sprite just to impress girls? or are the girls so annoyed that they can't tolerate a guy's look?

And for the next:- May be Britney overdid it in the media, so we have just begun to listen to Britney's tears. They are just cashing in on her popularity again.

May be the last one is better. Nothing begins in a day nor ends. But we would like to know everyday, something about yesterday, which every news paper brings.

So shouldn't we think again:
Ads can be made to please.
It can also be made to tease.
But, will it always make us say cheese?

Saturday, December 08, 2007

The Fun Gun!

When Xmas is nearing, we are often clogged with targets and advertisements in making. but let's take a look at our thought processes.

1. What do you put in a toaster?



The answer is bread. If you said "toast", then give up now and go do something else. Try not to hurt yourself. If you said, "bread", go to question 2.

2. Say "silk" five times. Now spell "silk". What do cows drink?




Answer: Cows drink water. If you said "milk", please do not attempt the next question. Your brain is obviously overstressed and may even overheat. It may be that you need to content yourself withreading something more appropriate such as "Children's World". If you said, "water" then proceed to question three.

3. If a red house is made from red bricks and a blue house is made from blue bricks and a pink house is made from pink bricks and a black house is made from black bricks, what is a greenhouse made from?

Answer: Greenhouses are made from glass. If you said "green bricks", what the heck are you still doing here reading these questions? If you said "glass", then go on to question four.

4. Twenty years ago, a plane is flying at 20,000 feet over Germany. If you will recall, Germany at the time was politicallydivided into West Germany and East Germany. Anyway, during the flight, TWO of the engines fail. The pilot, realizing that the last remaining engine is also failing, decides on a crash landing procedure. Unfortunately the engine fails before he has time and the plane crashes smack in the middle of "no man's land" between EastGermany and West Germany. Where would you bury the survivors - East Germany or West Germany or in "no man's land"?

Answer: You don't, of course, bury survivors. If you said ANYTHING else, you are a real dunce and you must NEVER try to rescue anyone from a plane crash. Your efforts would not be appreciated. If you said, "Don't bury the survivors" then proceed to the next question.

5. If the hour hand on a clock moves 1/60th of a degree every minute then how many degrees will the hour hand move in one hour?

Answer: One degree. If you said "360 degrees" or anything other than "one degree", you are to be congratulated on getting this far, but you are obviously out of your league. Turn your pencil in andexit the room. Everyone else proceed to the final question.

6. Without using a calculator - You are driving a bus from London to Milford Haven in Wales. In London, 17 people get on the bus. In Reading, six people get off the bus and nine people get on. In Swindon, two people get off and four get on. In Cardiff, 11 people get off and 16 people get on. In Swansea, three people get off and five people get on. In Carmathen, six people get off and three get on. You then arrive at Milford Haven. What was the name of the bus driver?
Answer: Oh, for goodness sake! It was YOU, Read the first line!!!

Thus, the lesson is we don't have to get worried about unnecessary facts! Have fun, friends!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Oh! We cannot forget these oldies!

How many of us recall the advertisements in the '80s and the '90s, when the Indian advertising industry, mainly concentrated on the print to influnce the populace. we have often found Aishwarya in the newest ones, like that of Nakshatra, which was considered one of the best among recent ones.
The Garden Vareli advertisement is sensual and who wouldn't fall in love with sarees?

This is a co-branding effort : Lee Cooper and Sheetal. Its abstract, simple and conveying the message.

Vimal Suitings- Its not one of those- just in case ads that anybody would put, just to remind customers. It stands unique because of its copy, presentation and the background.

Oh! In those days too..Who wouldn't ogle? yes, if you were looking for something trendy, just to make yourself more popular among social circle, you would have tried it!..That was what the advertisers and Phoenix shoes makers would like you to do!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

airtel... hyperbole....

its just an accident..I dont mean the one you saw here, i mean my decision to put it here today. Was teaching exaggerated claims in the class today and surprisingly most of them ( TG SEC A (mostly)agegroup 21-25 )felt that this ad is a best example of exaggerated claims which is unabashedly used in advertising...I have been with airtel for years but never noticed this ad... this group, my students ,who form the bulk of the intended TG have done it, alas but ,for wrong reasons..

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

the ad world...

what more to say about my beloved industry.... the ad industry.... it seems to be true, strikingly and shockinlgy, across ages, across geographies and borders.....

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Invading the content ...(Part 8)

continued from part 7>>>>>>>>>


Partnership is an unholy alliance as perceived by the TG, between the advertiser and the broadcaster. In effect it is the cumulative effect of too much of importance to products placed in programmes, too many products moving in and out of scenes and frames, and products engaging in sales talk amidst the programme. Partnership leads to what the TG thinks as surreptitious advertising, which is “the representation in words or pictures of goods, services, the name, the trademark or the activities of a producers of goods or a provider of services”. Cinema researchers have found this to be compromising the artistic integrity of movies accusing them of being ‘just long advertisements’ . Based on the level of Integration and the level of explicitness product placement on the silver screen can be split into three--Implicit, non integrated explicit and integrated explicit . The more explicit it is, the more will be the partnership visible and in television, unlike cinema, it is visible promptly.

The audience intolerance threshold appears when the TG can clearly foretaste a partnership where the thin line between obvious advertising and subtle product placement vanishes and both become one and the same. Here the TG can glimpse that it is done to serve advertising, the broadcaster intends it, and it is capable of misleading the public.

The solution

Programme sponsorship is the least disliked of today’s funding mechanisms, and even
Advertising is reluctantly accepted. While TG has differing opinion as per the different secondary data available, one thing is understood- the audience intolerance will be more severe in its after effects in case of excessive product placements in TV. This study leaves enough scope for further research in that aspect. To conclude the observations of this paper, let me suggest some solutions to avoid the TG entering the Intolerance Threshold.

Avoid relating to children

Keeping children from the influence of advertising and parents from the influence of advertising on children. Remember that Children have limited capability to make a distinction between advertising and editorial content.

Avoid surrogate acts

Viewers accept product placements generally and if it is sublime. But when products, which cannot be advertised, otherwise (Alcohol, Cigarettes etc) appear as product placements – underplayed or out in the open, it will be counter productive. Researchers have found this to be true .

Stay away from news / current affairs, religion and children’s content

They are serious involvement programmes and it is better not to be very significantly present in such programmes to avoid the risk of audience intolerance. Asianet news time on prime time used the idea mobile jingle on air when the final wrap up of news occurs at the end of the half an hour programme.

Stay in Game shows and sports film, entertainment and drama

These genres are generally of less involvement type and of commercialized nature and the TG generally accepts product placements. Parading and prominence are tolerated but patter and partnership will be despised. Programmes that look like, they have been conceived to sell the sponsors products will be a flop. The example of the Hindi film ‘Yadein’ with its outrageous product placement done for ‘Pass Pass’ is a much-discussed one.

Use it to enhance realism

Product placement is generally well received when it enhances the realism of a programme, and when it is relevant to the script in what can be called as ‘Editorially justifiable’ and is not too prominent. Advertisers having too much editorial control will not be accepted by learned societies.

Use it in the background

Background product placement is considered as the best. Products that you do not actually notice may work better than the ones you do.

Practice self-regulation

This is a wonderful tool of subtly communicating to the TG, virtues of products and brands without putting them into displeasure is used optimally. But before the golden goose is slaughtered, the Indian advertising industry should evolve some code of conduct for the advertisers, media houses and the programme producers to make sure that the fate of spot advertising and sponsorships doesn’t repeat here too.

They are: -

A)-The genres of programming in which product placement should be permitted should be decided and a consensus should be arrived.
B)-The challenge the four p’s of audience intolerance threshold poses to the whole idea of product placements in TV programmes should be taken head on.
C)-The measures needed to ensure viewer transparency and their trust in editorial integrity should be listed out and regular check has to be maintained
D)-The role of the Advertising Standards Council of India in the whole self regulation frame work should be decided and a mechanism for complaints if any should be activated
E)- Measuring of effectiveness of product placements would be made more beleivable and authentic, for all the parties to effectively use them without dispute and desperation.

the final say :-

Product placements in TV is defenitely growing ,on par with if not over and above cinema.TV programmes have more advantages like low shelf space as compared to cinema , which all the parties- practitioners of product/brand placement, including clients, ad agencies ,PR firms,production firms, and independent agents -all of them will have to listen. Product integration should be the aim, not merely product placements. If this formula is kept in mind, the production costs can be shared, more captive audiences could be reached, and with more impact than spot advertising or sponsorship, demonstrate brand usage in natural settings, make the programme more realistic and authentic, be cost efficient and yet remain liked and not hated.
‘together,the advertising world should remain committed to save this golden goose and not succumb to the vampire - named greed’.


Monday, December 03, 2007

Most Effective Television Ads- An Afterthought!

JuxtConsult's Ad Box office report says among urban consumers, who are often clouded with ads have found among the top 5- Vodafone ads as the best among them ( the Pug is the common factor!), Airtel as the second best ( SRK and A.R.Rahaman as the common factors), and the list moves like Nokia, Pepsi, Reliance Mobile, Colgate LIC, Fevicol, ICICI Prudential Life, Surf Excel in that order. But see the list of celebrities associated with- SRK, AB, Dhoni, Sachin, Aishwarya Rai, Akshay Kumar, Abhishek, Hrithik, John and Salman.

But do you feel it is alarming that it is Bollywood mania, even in advertisements . We find them the most popular and recognised, especially among women if we could say, Rani Mukherjee and Preethi Zinta, and so films have been influencing a lot, especially the ad-makers. Lets sit and brood a little while? I feel we are depending a lot in this bollywood worship that we are a bit cliched in our story lines- Isn't it time to get more creative folks !
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