Friday, October 31, 2008

Union Carbide.. welcome to heaven !

The Bhopal disaster occurred in the city of Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh here in India, resulting in the immediate deaths of more than 3,000 people and a more probable figure of 8,000 died within two weeks, and it is estimated that an additional 8,000 have since died from gas related diseases. The company is still fighting legal cases and the victims who survived the catastrophe are still languishing.

The ad that you see here promised heaven and it did for sure when the incident took place in the early hours of the morning of December 3, 1984 when the Union Carbide subsidiary pesticide plant released 42 tonnes of methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas, exposing at least 520,000 people to toxic gases. In what the world believes was the worlds worst industrial disaster…
What a paradox !!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Lays.. Only young can have fun?

People over 65... are grossly underrepresented on television. Correspondingly, heavy-viewing Annenberg respondents believe that the elderly are a vanishing breed, that they make up a smaller proportion of the population today than they were two decades ago. In fact, they form the nation's most rapidly expanding age group. (Waters, H. F. (1982, December 6). Life according to TV. Newsweek, 136-140.)

Now I cannot help but agree to an extent in todays context and even in the Indian way of life where elders are supposedly respected and revered, the scene is not different or great. nevertheless this ad is funny and did make ripples in the TG. Simple but crafted superbly and the climax takes one to the peak of hilarity !!!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Happy Diwali !

Have fun people but play safe in life and on Diwali...
Adformula wishes its readers a Joy ful Diwali !!!

Pic Courtesy: Vivek Nair of MAA Bozell,

Monday, October 27, 2008

Scene 1.. Take 1

While John Ford was directing a film for Sam Goldwyn, he fell one day behind the shooting schedule. Goldwyn came to the set and wondered what Ford was going to do to get back on schedule....

Ford asked, "Sam, how many pages a day do you expect me to shoot?"

"About five, I suppose," answered Goldwyn.

John Ford picked up the script, ripped five pages out and said, "Okay. .....Now we're back on schedule.....
The heroine came late as usual for the shoot and the crew sat there waiting, with no complaints, and even if they had, with no one to hear, it was pointless.... The shoot was for the German Detergent powder TRIL which has Endura 007 ( Now don’t ask me what is that... no questions in stories...) and the heroine, half clad ( again no questions please... she is half clad, regardless of the fact that she is not going to bathe with the detergent but to wash, still have to be half clad and wet, as she is the heroine and was bought to Mumbai all the way from Chennai, (with the client paying through the nose..) will dip dip and dip a dirty cloth into a bucket of water made black and the cloth when lifted will shine – white and sparkling…

Ram was in his humorous best and hence was ok with the fact that the heroine was getting late .Even otherwise it wouldn’t have made much of a difference since Guru was away at the airport to pick up the heroine who was flying from Chennai . She would come, then check into her hotel room and then later come for the shoot. The location was in one corner of the city, the hotel in another area and the airport in some other place.. Mumbai traffic will derail all the plans and the heroine missed the first flight and was taking another flight that could accommodate her, her big mother and her personal make up women who also doubled up as her secretary and chief motivator.

Ram had his mobile singing loud…

Yes Guru tell me… he said

Ram ….. The flight is late… Guru shouted from the other end…. Air traffic congestion….

Not again… said Ram … and when man..? hello hello….

Guru went off air as suddenly as he came and Ram sat there thinking of the expenses that are going to mount up.

Green pepper productions were in charge of the shoot and production works.Ram had chosen them after various faux pas that he had done in the past with various production houses some his choice or the agencies, some the client’s persistence.

Tril had no such insistence except for the director who was of their choice and was a good choice one had to admit...

The phone rang again

Ram Ram…. She has come… shouted Guru..,,, what a beauty ram…. Drop dead gorgeous my gawd….

Shut up you asshole… blurted Ram ….and stop drooling.. come fast…

Come where?... asked Guru… she will go to her hotel now and then come.. You know what she asked me my name… I even told her that before she goes I need to take a pic with her…. and you know what ..she agreed… she even said MY Pleasure…. Ha ha ha … can you believe it?

LORD….. cried Ram…. I can’t believe this … you are true… I can't believe this.. why the hell am I tolerating you….

Ok ok… I know you are jealous…now wait ok…..don’t keep calling… we are going to the hotel and will be busy in chatting … TATA… said Guru as he disconnected the phone…

But… hey… Ram desperately hoped that the guy other side still was there…

All humour had evaporated… Ram stood there burning in the hot sun !!!

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

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Fun Gun !

A beautiful, voluptuous woman went to a male gynecologist.The doctor took one look at this woman and all his professionalism went out the window. He immediately told her to undress. After she had disrobed the doctor began to stroke her thigh.

Doing so, he asked her, "Do you know what I'm doing?"

"Yes," she replied, "you're checking for any abrasions or dermatological abnormalities."

"That is right," said the doctor.

He then began to fondle her breasts.

"Do you know what I'm doing now?" he asked.

"Yes," the woman said, "you're checking for any lumps or breast cancer."

"Correct," replied the shady doctor.

Finally, he mounted his patient and started having sexual intercourse with her.

He asked, "Do you know what I'm doing now?"

"Yes," she said. "You're getting herpes; which is why I came here in the first place."

It is again a week end and in India a long week end... Have fun guys... blast your Diwali but PLAY SAFE<<<<

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Airtel DTH.. enough is little !!!

"Doctor, are you sure I'm suffering from pneumonia? I've heard once about a doctor treating someone with pneumonia and finally he died of typhus."
"Don't worry, it won't happen to me. If I treat someone with pneumonia he will die of pneumonia only."

How clear right???

It is a fact that the charisma of a well-known persona helps in tiding over the difficulty of over-communication and clutter that is an issue for the marketer these days….It however is no easy route to success.. It if often discussed and even in adformula I have time and again deliberated in various posts about the ifs and buts and the uninvited brunt that this practice can have on the brand.

The theories like 'Source Credibility Theory, Source Attractiveness Theory and Meaning Transfer Theory' provide the foundation on which the whole celebrity endorsement business works and also explains how the process of the celebrity endorsement influences the minds of the consumers. Having said that it also has to be said that today it seems the theory have all disappeared because it is no longer the one celebrity for one brand thing that is happening.. it looks like the era of multiple endorsers for a single brand or brand variant has arrived…

To proove the point there has been many brands that offlate has been lining up a host of faces well known and the more seems to be the better...

See this one....

Madhavan and his smile, and Vidya balan and her homeliness and the ads that featured them in the past have made the headlines for all the right reasons..
The campaign did a stupendous job and why not .. they roped in the right people and the gel was right… right fit… almost perfect… but two is not enough … we need a herd of them goes the trend and the logic behind the multi starrer ads that off late is hitting the screens is simple…

Madhavan plus Vidya Balan is better than no known face at all , but imagine Madhavan plus Vidya Balan plus A R Rahman plus Saheer khan Plus Kareena Kapoor plus Deepika Padukone Plus Saif Ali khan plus …oofff…. I am exhausted…

Unlike the Hero Honda Dhak Dhak misadventure this one doesn’t put one off in spite of the profligacy that glares on your face the first time you see it…

It is an awareness ad for a DTH service from a Airtel… This is a new category for most of the viewers and hence confusing with a host of players and almost every ad looking the same . Clutter.. confusion and to add it the celebrities…

This one communication but is clearly a clutter breaker with the opulent parade of well known people and the craft with which the faces are woven into the script as if it is just natural… it is not an easy job and kudos for the effort… and also for standing out in the muddle….

Nothing is enough for the man to whom enough is too little goes the saying and how true if one sit and ponder....

The credits :-

Agency: JWT Delhi
Creative: Agnello Dias aka Aggi
Production House:Ramesh Deo Productions (RDP)
Director: Abhinay Deo
Music: Ram Sampath

Also read :-
Hire the star..Rent a bath tub..
Jyotika weds Surya...ahhaaaa...!!!!!
The Bermuda Triangle !!!!
Abhi, ash and all the cash!!!
Clinic All clear...Kiss of good bye !!!
Wow! Wow Sports Brands!

10 commandments of celebrity endorsements according to adformula...

1. Thou shall not take into service a celebrity, for want of other choices.
2. Thou shall not employ a celebrity, who is there, everywhere.
3. Thou shall not appoint a celebrity who is outdated/ controversial.
4. Thou shall not sign up a celebrity who doesn’t really connect.
5. Thou shall not hire a celebrity who lacks expertise in the category.
6. Thou shall not engage a celebrity because everyone else is behind him/her.
7. Thou shall not take on a celebrity, because the competitor has one.
8. Thou shall not assign a celebrity, every brand in your product mix.
9. Thou shall not utilize a celebrity without the advertising strategy in mind.
10.Thou shall not slot in a celebrity without a personality study of the celebrity and the brand...

Monday, October 20, 2008

BBC Travel India .. old pics, new dimensions !

“The secret of all effective advertising is not the creation of new and tricky words and pictures, but one of putting familiar words and pictures into new relationships”

BBC World News has come on air with Travel India, a six-part series of journeys to India’s spiritual sites, places of scenic beauty, urban business centres and underdeveloped rural areas…. A mix of every thing I must say.. every thing that India is…. And to add charm to the show is popular cricketer presenter, the vivid Harsha Bhogle, who is doing a good job( as usual)..

Harsha starts and his journey will take us from the deserted Rann of Kutch in Gujarat to the Rajasthan city of Bikaner and to the Golden Temple in Amritsar and then to Kashmir ,Wagah and then to the charismatic states of Delhi and Uttar Pradesh where he visits the holy city of Benares, Bihar and West Bengal to meet the tribes of Sunderbans. Then onto the new world IT hub of Hyderabad, before travelling to Kanyakumari. After his journey of the south, he heads to Nashik for wine tasting along with a crash course in wine making. Harsha then will travel back to Mumbai to wrap up his adventure, a trip that takes a full circle back to the point of origin.

“The Travel India series uncovers the diverse and unexplored facets of India as it stands today. It’s an exciting discovery of the unexpected which gives a unique and intriguing insight into amazing India.” As per the BBC claims and that appears to be true seeing the first part of the show…but for me as usual what was more exciting was the promo… see the ads…. See how the programme crux and the presenters USP is merged and shown as one..see how the fusion has happened with ease….

To quote from the legend Leo Burnett, again “I have learned that you can't have good advertising without a good client, that you can't keep a good client without good advertising, and no client will ever buy better advertising than he understands or has an appetite for”

Three cheers !!!!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Fun Gun!!!

A man suspected his wife was seeing another man, so he hired the famous
Chinese detective, Chen Lee, to watch and report any activities while he
was gone.

A few days later he received this report:

Most Honorable Sir,
You leave house. I watch house. He comes to house. I watch he. He and She leave house. I follow. He and She go in hotel. I climb tree. I look in window. He kiss She. She kiss He. He strips She.
She strips He. He play with She. She play with He. I play with me......... I fall off tree.

I no see.
No Fee

I guess now he works as a copy writer in some ad agency !!!

Chill out !!! its a week end again ......

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Old is Gold... Bread butter and Jam...

Those were the days of powerful copy writing and patient readers.. Both have become an extinct species now... but hey wait! who is going to read me HUH?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The MAD agency part 2

Continued from PART 1>>>>>>>>>>

Now what?........ was the question and no one had an answer,,,

We have to meet them up and then know what is in his mind ..lamented Ram

Can we tell em dat it is not possible? asked Guru the impossible

Tell whom what? Dream homes? Ram went mad by the easy solution that Guru was offering..

No Ram.. well leave it.. can I call Mandan Kumar and get an appointment to get screwed?

Ram had a big yawn really big one for the big bore that Mandar kumar ,the brand manager of Dream homes was,,, to win the battle was tough, to sustain the fortress seemed impossible…

Hey Guru ,,, said Ram, a bit mellowed down… let us make some alternative plans…

But what is his objection this time? Do you know that before making alternative plans? Guru spilled his frustration with no mercy...

Well let us list some reasons ....say 5 reasons that he can possibly have and have answers for that…

Ohh ya ya ya… Guru said with sarcasm… number 1. rang nahim hai… kuch maza nahim aya… now solution.. take some asian paints dealer and paint his ass,,,

Huh… said Ram…...while Guru again jumped in….. I will quit advertising soon but I swear before that I will make a clean up….

Quit and do what?

Run some brothel or a discotheque and make decent money…

Huh… U’r a sicko… said Ram…

And you are a saint… the pope Mr Mandan Kumar is waiting to declare you one… you just have to be there….laughed Guru,…

Mandan Kumar as usual looked stupid, at his office, where brands and brands where there everywhere, scattered bits of catalogues and pamphlets of all the real estate guys and builders in town flew here and there. It all looked the same for Guru, and even for Ram and that was the reason why they had given him the copy which was different and could cut through the clutter like a sharp piece of metal…

The brands guardian and the two ad agency guys who were the baby sitters, sat there for a while, with no one speaking up… Mandan was deeply into the copies that he had rejected, analyzing the stuff over and over again….

So what is new sir? asked Guru, even when Ram was queuing the right words in his mind to kick start the conversation.

New? frowned Mandan, and then keeping his thick glasses on his dirty table continued… as I told it is not striking…it is like… what to say…

Is it the color,,,, if yes… the green that we have is the correct match for the persona of our brand, and we had arrived at an agreement about that if you remember… Said Ram…

It is not the colour… said Mandan… see these kids and the dogs and the pool…

You don’t want them? Asked Guru

Well they need be there… but the kids could be better…can they?

Ahhhh.. said Ram… better in what sense…? You mean cuter?

Mandan stood up and walked to the window and stood there for some 25 seconds, staring into the road that he could see from his 7 th floor office…


Saalaaa.. said Guru… what drama Ram? what is he some bloody devdas?

Mandan turned and produced a pic from no where as if he was a magician…

How is this kid? He asked with a lot of delight brimming…

Ram kept his strategic silence, and in such situations nothing can replace experience…

… the room laughed at Guru’s laughter…….. he almost fell from his chair and still he laughed,…

Ram pinched his executive but to no avail… Guru went on in full blast as Ram saw Mandan getting rose, pink and then red, as blood rushed into his wherever and anger fumed from his holes…

You call this kid cute..? hahahhahaha ......Guru had no stopping….

Ram snatched the pic in desperation to save the situation…

Ohh ya nice..... he uttered, quite unconvincingly….. you want this kid to model for the ad… its cool…. I mean its.. well,,,,

Mandan came and sat in his chair and waited for a while for the laughing gas to be quelled…

Where is this kid now? Said Ram when Mandan raised his right hand to indicate silence…

You know who is this? Mandan asked Guru

Ram kept his head down.. he wanted to run away from the room, if possible jump from the seventh floor than face the calamity that was imminent....

No.. Guru whispered awkwardly

It is my grand son you looser and now will you be kind enough to leave? Said Mandan with a grin…

Actually the kid is cute.. wow… said Guru with a stupid beam as Ram banged his head on the table…I knew that it is your grand son….actually it is...

I said get out… shouted Mandan as he jumped up from his chair and as smoke flew in the room…

Guru was alone… Ram was not to be seen anywhere,,,,,

Tail piece :- Ram and Guru lost the account for sure but got and handled better ones... How better ? Wait for more in this space...


Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Fun Gun !!!

Mr and Mrs Sharma were unable to conceive children and decided to use a surrogate father to start their family. On the day the surrogate father was to arrive, Mr kissed his wife and said, "I'm off. The man should be here soon"

Half an hour later, just by chance a door-to-door baby photographer rang the doorbell, hoping to make a sale."Good morning, madam. I've come to...."

"Oh, no need to explain. I've been expecting you," Mrs. Sharma said cutting in.

"Really?" the photographer asked. "Well, good. I've made a speciality of babies"

"That's what my husband and I had hoped. Please come in and have a seat"

After a moment, she asked, blushing, "Well, where do we start?"

"Leave everything to me. I usually try two in the bathtub, one on the couch and perhaps a couple on the bed. Sometimes the living room floor is fun too; you can really spread out!"

"Bathtub, living room floor? No wonder it didn't work for us"

"Well, madam, none of us can guarantee a good one every time. But, if we try several different positions and I shoot from six or seven different angles, I'm sure you'll be pleased with the results"

"My, that's a lot of....." gasped Mrs. Sh.arma

"Madam, in my line of work, a man must take his time. I'd love to be in and out in five minutes, but you'd be disappointed with that, I'm sure"

"Don't I know it," Mrs. Sharma said quietly.

The photographer opened his briefcase and pulled out a portfolio of his baby pictures."This was done on the top of a bus in bandra east"

"Oh my God!" Mrs. Sharma exclaimed, tugging at her handkerchief.

"And these twins turned out exceptionally well, when you consider their mother was so difficult to work with"

"She was difficult?" asked Mrs. Sharma.

"Yes, I'm afraid so. I finally had to take her to Shivaji park to get the job done right. People were crowding around four and five deep, pushing to get a good look"

"Four and five deep?" asked Mrs. Sharma eyes widened in amazement.

"Yes," the photographer said, "And for more than three hours too. The mother was constantly squealing and yelling. I could hardly concentrate. Then darkness approached and I began to rush my shots. Finally, when the squirrels began nibbling on my equipment, I just packed it all in."

Mrs. Sharma leaned forward. "You mean squirrels actually chewed on your,"

"That's right. Well, madam, if you're ready, I'll set up my tripod so we can get to work."

"Tripod?????""Oh yes, I have to use a tripod to rest my Canon on. It's much too big for me to hold for very long.

Madam? Madam? ....... Good God, she's fainted!!"

Now that is what we call as COMMUNICATION GAP... and who else knows it better than the folks in advertising?
Its week end guys.. have fun !!!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Fool the couch potato...

TV Newsreader: "Hundreds are feared missing or dead in Florida following landslides and floods caused by torrential rains."
Couch potato: "Serves 'em right. What do they wanna go around following landslides and floods for anyway...??!"

It is about disconnect and the TV viewer is like switched off.. its oft debated as to why and what and all the reasons including media fragmentation to product placements( the heights of it can be seen in TV) is debated everywhere. Here is a TV channel whose specific serial -Kis Desh Mein Hai Meraa Dil (KDMHMD) which once was popular was seeing some dips in the TRP's and hence the channel resorted to the time tested atrocity of killing a lead charecter and come out with new paper ads across the hindi belt paying obituary to the departed soul and thus keep the rating high...

While any rating above 3 is seen as kinda good by industry norms, the show has seen a dip in its viewership in the last month. As per TAM ratings (C&S, 4+ HSM), in August the show had a TVR of more than 4, which dipped to 3.6 in September and that is an official version....

The media ,print here, is hopeful and praying that this become a pattern and their bags will cling...
So what next ? Rape the heroine and launch and ad to hunt down the culprit?

Come on guys... you call it path breaking ?

The discredit goes to :-
Client: STAR Plus

Advert title(s): Obituary

Creative Agency (Name, City, Country): Purple Focus, Mumbai, India

Work type: Client work

Published: Yes

Date of publication / release: October, 2008

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Dare for more !!! daring to be different!!!

These three print advertisements show the red white and blue Pepsi logo in the context of photographs portraying extreme sports: “Surfer”, “Climber” and “Boarder”.....
The ‘Dare for More’ campaign consisted of three posters shown here, each illustrating sporting activities under extreme conditions; mountain climbing, surfing and snowboarding. In each ad the solitary sportsman is dwarfed by nature to the point of being barely visible at first glance as he ‘dares for more’.( the close up views are also given here for your understanding of how small we all look like when compared to nature…)
The best thing according to me is the central outline of each poster which aptly replicates the mode and colour scheme of the Pepsi logo: a band of red on the top (sky or mountain range) and a band of dark blue on the bottom (sea, cliff face or valley), with a strong white curve separating these two colours (snow, clouds or ocean spray).
Saw it? Amazing isn’t it???

This selection of layout and colours offer strong branding, even from a distance, to the point that the posters are easily decipherable as Pepsi ads even without the brand name or brand symbols touted, just the tagline ‘dare for more’. Extra branding comes from Pepsi’s round red, white and blue logo substituting the letter ‘o’ in the word ‘more’ and that is just a value add. It actually wasn’t required to register the brand…
Need less to say, it won many and acclaim and awards(Epica Awards 2007, Eurobest 2007 Print Silver, Eurobest 2007 ,Epica 2007 Print Gold, Epica 2007 Print Epica d'Or, Eurobest 2007 Outdoor Silver, Golden Awards Of Montreux 2008 Poster) but more importantly done a huge bit for the sales of the brand.. Now that is also important right???

Kudos for daring ..daring to be different !!!
Credits :

Agency: BBDO Germany GmbH, Duesseldorf
Creative Directors: Veikko Hille, Sebastian Hardieck, Toygar Bazarkaya
Copywriter: Christopher NeumannArt Director: Michael Plueckhahn
Art Buying: Birgit Paulat
Production company: Stefan Kranefeld
Imaging Account Executives: Heike Flottmann, Annika Lauhoefer
Released: November 2007

Monday, October 06, 2008

Hero Honda -Dhak dhak... bore to the core !!!

Bollywood glamour idols Hrithik Roshan and Priyanka Chopra, sensational cricketers Virender Sehwag, Irfan Pathan, Suresh Raina, Gautam Gambhir and Ishant Sharma as well as ace shooter and 2004 Athens Olympics silver medallist Rajyavardhan Rathore … I am not giving a list of youth Icons here… it is the celebrity endorser list of the 3 min ad film that FCB has crafted for Hero Honda on their 25 th anniversary. The three-minute ad has it all — icons from the Mumbai film industry, heroes from the world of cricket and an Olympic medal winner. Hardly ever before has such a galaxy of stars been seen in one single advertisement…. Now some one dare to beat this seems to be the challenge…

It is a jam of celebs, this ad titled “Hero Honda Dhak Dhak Go”, serves just one purpose…. catch some wrong attention for the profligacy (Shot at five different locations across the country and abroad, including Mumbai, Jaipur and Kuala Lumpur, the project was spread over a period of two months… and all the stars, cricketers and an Olympian doing nothing ) and also for the road blocking as a media strategy with which this pitiable stuff was thrust upon us with impunity and no sense of how advertising works.

Dance, drama, chase, fights, fire balls, and a barmy mad script ( did they have one? ) and some cheap gimmicks that would have worked when Ramyaan and DD was on air…it is difficult to even believe that this company once gave us the “Fill It, Shut It, Forget It” campaign and such stuff..

“The idea is to celebrate this milestone in our journey retaining the brand’s core values but present these in a youthful manner.” Claims the company ....but how many people who see it will feel so?

How many of us will connect and make some sense out of this jamboree of celebs.. This naked parade of well known faces, who walk, dance, jump, play and do everything but connect the brand with the TG on a positive note…

The music track has been composed by Ranjit Barrot and is complemented by the voices of Shankar Mahadevan, Sukhwinder Singh and Shreya Ghoshal with its sufi touch makes some impact, one must admit but that is it…

You may have money and have a reason to celebrate… But where the hell did you pick up the idea that you can bore people to buy your stuff..?

And the Ad agency (FCB in this case) my salutes for this dare devilry...This ad is going to be a case study... How not to make celebrity advertisements... they are going to call it...

Saturday, October 04, 2008

The Fun Gun!!!

Now that was "once upon a time"... times have changed for the better for outdoor advertising
... Have a rock folks.. its a week end again !!!
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