Thursday, January 31, 2008
"Because you have tried to be faithful to me in all ways, I will grant you one wish."
The biker pulled over and said, "Build a bridge to Hawaii so I can ride over anytime I want."
The Lord said, "Your request is materialistic, think of the enormous challenges for that kind of undertaking.
The supports required to reach the bottom of the Pacific! The concrete and steel it would take! It will nearly exhaust several natural resources. I can do it, but it is hard for me to justify your desire for worldly things.
"Take a little more time and think of something that would honour and glorify me."
The biker thought about it for a long time. Finally he said, "Lord, I wish that I could understand my wife. I want to know how she feels inside, what she's thinking when she gives me the silent treatment, why she cries, what she means when she says nothing's wrong, and how I can I make a woman truly happy."
The Lord replied,
You want two lanes or four on that bridge?
I saw a bank that said "24 Hour Banking", but I don't have that much time.. said some one and that is how I guess many people still perceive banks and their communication. Well for that matter banks never communicated in the the right sense or spirit and customers were non existing entities who once in a while crept in as nuisance crying for money and materials, from the employee on the other side of the counter who was GOD or atleast next to GOD!
Time has changed and it has changed everything.. even the banks... now with the new and improved customer and all the hype and hoopla about customer centric banking, the old style banks seem to be slowly but surely fading into oblivion. Gone are the days when they said 'bank failures are caused by depositors who don't deposit enough money to cover losses due to mismanagement' ...Every coin is precious and so is every clueless soul who walks in and out of a bank.....And when banks have changed can their communication remain archaic? Should they also not change? SBI and the surprisingly SBI campaign
was an eye opener for many a PSU banks who lived life on lethargy and drove life blood from creeping inefficiency and incompetence, and made no attempt whatsoever to change according to the times but instead remained obscurantist and thus out of the real world....With the influx of new gen banking and their variety of products and services and the amazing communication from their side sweeping a large generation of customers off their feet, there was no other way but to change and change was the only option for the PSU banks.
No wonder Canara bank says, we have changed, for you.... A huge laugh escaped my inner self when I saw the candid confession for the first time after the image make over.....Hear it again.. together we can they say of course but also, we have changed, for you and not because we wanted to change... anyways, for whom is not that important as long as they have and they are successfully communicating it....
South Indian bank some time back roped in veteran carnatic musician Dr Balamurali krishna and it was a cool piece of communication which talked about the generation change and how the bank caters to both the gen.....
And now comes Mammooty to cater to the Mallu crowd in a decent ad which sparks class in and out ,done by a local Ad agency in Kochi.. ( beware the big heros...) a new logo and color to suit the changing styles...see what their website says......In the erstwhile logo of the Bank, the unique picture is that of a coconut tree. The fronds of the coconut palm form the basic theme of our new logo. The sharp ends of the fronds are smoothened, thickened and twisted to form a ‘S’ denoting South Indian Bank. Thus the new logo has the continuity from our erstwhile logo. It can also be seen as two hands clinging to a strong pillar in the middle. The pillar is our beloved institution; the upper hand represents our customers and the lower hand symbolizes our staff members. “S” also projects a Safe, Solid, Smart, Strong, Secular, Shining, Schooled, Seasoned, Successful and Straightforward Bank.
.......what more to say, it is almost complete...
Bank of India ,not to be left behind jumped into the we also changed bandwagon and looked quite amused at the change.. their ads were nosy (they still are ..the campaign is still continuing) where it seems they expect the customer to be endlessly thankful and eternally grateful to them for having taught them modern day banking so much so that the customer never visits the bank
these days' .....well.... if you are talking to the new generation kid with money and all that attitude and no bank visits in his history, this comunication looks like a joker who has fell flat on his ass from the high trapezuim..
It has cut some ice with the old customers but are they the real intended targets?
And that was just a sample... here in this blog we have seen it all.....rrrr..... almost all and hence I dont venture to make it longer...The underline is the moneys that is spent on the repositioning exercise... not only the ads but every touch point.. every aperture where the customer eye meets the brand has to change....
Every employee has to change..... huge amount of training has to creep in...
attitudes have to change.....and no amount of training can do that...
The stoic and blunt looks have to change..... the pan masalas and inordinate tea breaks have to change.. the challans and multi colored coupons have to change ..the dull looks have to change.. the I am The GOD stares have to change and what not...?
If you have been to a PSU bank you will know what I mean... Not that the private ones are paradises.. the plastic smiles and hidden charges galore there but they still, are much better... With so many internal branding problems, can the banks actually mean what they say? Or is it just a ritual where they bosses would have thought they all do and why not we?
It is a transition, a journey in search of the new generation customer who dont want to be seen associated with the old generation bank...... in the process if one wins them it is good but if they are loosing the old gen and not winning the new, what is the end result?
When mindsets remain sludge what big difference can stars and smart communication strategy make?
let the Lord decide.. well as it is seen, in some cases even he will have no clue!!!
Tail end : Bertolt Brecht said and I quote“What is the robbing of a bank when compared to the founding of a bank?”
Monday, January 28, 2008
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Friday, January 25, 2008
Friendship is a pretty full-time occupation if you really are friendly with somebody. You can't have too many friends because then you're just not really friends.. No prizes for guessing why Big B did this advertising ...and no critique here ..not a great piece of creative magic but yes, the man and his way of putting it is worth watching....and this comes to you via Adformula on popular demand after the last post on the Anil DA Group....
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Having never driven a limo, he asked the chauffeur if he could drive for a while.
Well, the chauffeur didn't have much of a choice, so he climbs in the back of the limo and the Pope takes the wheel..... The Pope proceeds onto HWY 95, and starts accelerating to see what the limo could do. He gets to about 90 mph, and suddenly he sees the blue lights of the State Police in his mirror. He pulls over and cop comes to his window.
The cop, seeing who it was, says, "Just a moment please, I need to call someone.
The cop calls over his walkie talkie and asks for the police chief. He tells the chief that he's got a REALLY important person pulled over for over speeding and rash driving, and asks how he should handle it.
"It's not Ted Kennedy again is it?" replies the chief.
"No Sir!" replied the cop, "This guy's more important."
"Is it the Governor?" replied the chief.
"No! Even more important!" replies the cop.
"Is it the PRESIDENT??? replied the chief.
"No! Even more important!" replies the cop.
"Well WHO is it?" screams the chief.
"I don't know Sir I guess its God himself,,,,," replies the cop, " Im not sure though...but he's got the Pope as his chauffeur!"
Now that is not just a joke.....
Tell a lie and it remains a lie.... tell it again and it remains a lie.... repeat it manytimes and it becomes the truth nothing but the truth.. said Joseph Goebels, the man whose Marketing Communication Strategy made one cult brand out of a comical product.. I am referring to the one stop, all under one roof propaganda manager that Adolf hitler annointed to make him a brand... Goebels, did it , amazingly well and catapaulted the short and unimpressive Guy( Chaplin could imitate him with such an ease) to a position where the world revolved around him....
Reliance and its history is what made me sit and ponder and draw the poor German guys into the fray. Reliance is famous for their project management skills and more importantly for the money and the wealth that they have created and that too from nowhere.. How the brothers fought and split was fodder for the media for so many days and months and when suspicious eyes watched and breaths held the two brothers grew on their own and made it big.....
The two Reliance empires....the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani group or the Reliance ADAG which started with some 45000 crores and three brands made it long and now has many a consumer brands, making marketing a core activity...To foresake its old logo and embrace its WPP Landor designed Red and Blue one, and a moving and emotional testimonial from long time friend, the Big B in his baritone voice, which flood the media, ADAG didnt take much time to set its foot...
Now It is the Reliance power IPO that is the news... a multi media campaign where in the marketing warriors took the ‘more is more’ approach and came out with this emotive nationalistic slogan- “Power on to India On”........ It was across 50-60 TV channels, radio stations, Adlabs theatres and over 500 hoardings; burning up crores ( keep guessing) in just 17 days. Its the old dictum " spend the small fish to catch the big one" that seems to be working......Gone are the Mudra days when the old agency inherited all Reliance brands as a birth right, now a 7 agency roster is in place and it looks like a who -is -who of the ad world with Leo Burnett,Mccann and Rediffusion in the league....
Seven agencies and Mudra is just one, among equals...With a Ray & Keshavan brand guidelines guide serving as the common bible as it was claimed over media, there will absolutely be no confusion, with so many verticals and products....and together they are making money like hell, even as ringtones..Power on to India on... The art of making money for a non existent, hyped up product, no one can beat these guys and market watchers I am sure will vouch....
And the game has just begun...going by this rate, of ad spends and the carpet bombing that is on, cricket association and other stuff, it will not be too far when HUL and the other jaggernauts will have to stand a bit behind the ADAG, in the ranking of the biggest spenders in advertising...climb down after long long years of being there up and top.....
We believe what we see.. particularly when we are shown it again and again.. where ever we go and whatever we do we see it again and again..... the Limousine is here and the poor man on the street is bewildered.....
When the pope himself is driving, who else can be the traveller??
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
The industry that we are talking here, living every breath of life, discussing ,dissecting and deliberating on, celebrating at times, getting dissappointed at flaws, lavishing praises one day just to let it all go the next, the ad industry... is all about ideas...ideas ..ideas...Ideas are the beginning points of all fortunes as read some where, and an idea is salvation by imagination.. the stretch of it....
If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it said Albert Einstein, but many ideas for lack of imagination and common sense lurks there as celebrated absurdity.... and that is a tragedy.....
This video is dedicated to the advertising industry,, with all the ifs and buts.. the best in the world !!!
Monday, January 21, 2008
Sunday, January 20, 2008
If you haven’t been lucky enough to watch any of those animated spoof then here is a one for you by webchutney, a leading interactive advertising agency that has pioneered this concept in India.
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Thursday, January 17, 2008
in India as usual had the guts....) recognising the need for small cars for small and not so well off families.... and the communication which made heads stay up in admiration, eyes pop out as the simple tone hit the eye balls, like an apple did the ever suspicious Sir Issac Newton, is part of the golden history of advertising......well ...It is unique in the history of automobile advertising, if not all advertising.....
It was created by colorful people at Doyle Dane Bernbach and at Volkswagen of America and in fact, it created colorful people by virtue of their association with it.
It is the classic story of a client with limited funds and unlimited vision, with faith in a wonderful product, who came to Bernbach's agency.......
Bill Bernbach saw the Volkswagen car for what it was: honest, simple, reliable, sensible, different. And he wanted the advertising to be that way too.......
The temptations and pressures to do "mainstream" car advertising were considerable. Bill's resistance was greater. "The product. The product. Stay with the product." Simple.
When the VW campaign became established, there were other temptations at DDB ....Simple.
All the copiers and all the misunderstanders were doomed because they weren't selling Volkswagens and he was.....
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Thursday, January 10, 2008
A ravishing lady in black walks in and stations herself opposite our man....
He takes a sip and looks up at her. The high neck dress she was wearing gives way to a bateau neck line......
He's surprised at the revelation. Once again taking a sip, he glances at her...
The lady's dress has now become an off shoulder one.....
Sipping his drink once more, he looks through the glass...to find a shorter, more tantalizing dress on her.
Sipping in anticipation, his eyes fall on his chest...
... to find the shirt unbuttoned. He looks at the lady...
... who too was doing the same with her drink.
MVO: AC Black apple juice. Kucch bhi ho sakta hai. Kucch bhi.
You and I have seen it all.... they duplicating the brand image of one product extensively to promote another product of same brand name .They do it when they cannot do one legally and still can get away with it when it is done for the name extention.
Products like Privelege cards, juices( oh yeh!!!), soda water, clothing and what not, to promote liquor and cigarette which law in many lands prevents, controls or even bans from communicating to the market...... Often non existent products ( like our own Vijay Mallya and his KF water) and Limited Editions of CD's and things that you may be dying to buy....No he dont want you to believe that he lives selling that bottles of water that he makes ..Poor guy !!
The tough UK laws gave rise to the whole business and it is in a way or the other present everywhere depending on how tough the law of the respective land is. For instance in Bangladesh ,beverages and alcohol is not allowed while cigarettes can be seen only in outdoor space and cinema screens. Philippines is more liberal where alcohol is allowed but should have the disclosure “Drink Moderately” and Tobacco guys should not display smoking...Now how do they do it is what is to be seen..I havent seen a Philippine ad that follows the rule ..not as yet....In Japan “Drinking is accepted for those over 20 years” and in India ..well you know what !!!!
The Minister at the centre ( Delhi I Mean) wants it off fully .. not even heroes and villains can smoke or drink if his will prevails and each Indian body has its own standards and guidelines ..
ASCI for instance have something different from IBF and in total is complex and lacks uniform standard .
non alcoholic products under same brand name like Bagpiper, is a time tested trick while strengthening association with non alcoholic products like what Haywards 5000 did with darting and some premium brands using success in business like the Mc Signature campaign and sports sponsorship/ event sponsorship etc are innovations that the smart advertiser has tried with varying degrees of success.
Wills Lifestyle, Gold Flake expressions ,Red & white bravery awards, Manikchand filmfare awards, Navaratri celebrations are all the loop holes that the ad man has made use of but slowly being plugged by the rule of law. However when the product is free to be made and sold, the communication part only being taken to task and asked to be silent is one injustice done to the Marketer, when the whole issue is seen from the Advertising looking glass ....
and how creative, inspite of all the ifs ,buts and controls....
That was two sides of the same coin !!!! Now you decide .........
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
Creative Director: Frank Hollingworth
Art Directors: Helena Redman, Alexander Elers, Daniel Söderstedt
Copywriters: Hedvig Hagwall Bruckner, Pontus Ekström
Photographer: Petrus Olsson
Saturday, January 05, 2008
After checking the best advertisements of 2007. I felt almost similar emotions as Calvin. Substitute genius with genius, homeworks with targets and maths with adverts. you would definitely understand my point ( :) )
I am a misunderstood genius
Calvin: I'm a genius, but I'm a misunderstood genius.
Hobbes: What's misunderstood about you?
Calvin: Nobody thinks I'm a genius.
Calvin : You can't just turn on creativity like a faucet. You have to be in the right mood.
Hobbes : What mood is that?
Calvin : Last-minute panic.
On maths and only maths- Thus spoke Calvin
Friday, January 04, 2008
I have been subject to many a questions in the last ten years even since I have had something to do with advertising, as my bread and butter, for the soul and the body, as to why is it that ad makers and advertisers are seen as 'not for the conscious but for the unconscious mind, who is subject to the hypnotic spell' ......
I have been accused by many as being part of a dirty tribe who is parasitic and does nothing but feeds on the organisms of noncommercial culture - the culture's past and present, ideology and myths, politics and customs, art and architecture, literature and music, and even its religions . . . . For example, women are commodified to sell everything from cars to colognes . . . . Advertising thus pimps its products.......
Strong words indeed but let us have critics galore, they always had been and are going to be.. but the fact is simple....contrary to what self-appointed protectors of the consumer so loudly proclaim, advertising does not cause people to buy bad products. Nothing will put a bad product out of business faster than a good advertising campaign. Advertising causes people to try a product once, but poor quality eliminates any possibility of a repeat purpose and that is true and time tested.....
The year 2007 was unique for Indian advertising business....
Agencies didnt hide their urge to merge and many became one.. consolidation is finally happening... Bates and its cousin, David for instance making it Bates David enterprise... Second agencies ,atleast in India, were finally told that they werent meant to be just cute cousins of the main agency and will have to survive or merge....
Digital acquisitions galore and as usual people played the typical ad like musical chair...the top creative faces hip hopped last year like grass hoppers... some even came back to where they left to leave again.....(well ! the year to last wasnt better either..) No one lasted in his seat for too long. Grey Worldwide, Publicis Ambience, McCann-Erickson and Rediffusion DY&R lost some of its senior people, while O&M remained almost unperturbed, and Lowe washed its dirty linen in public....
Ownerships seem changing with Saatchi&Saatchi bought 20% stake from its Indian holders while, IPG went all out getting the remaining 51% of Lintas ( for a huge 100 Million dollars) and 40% of FCB and many more...and fewer awards came in with the hit rate at Cannes dropping to just 1.2 % ( creative arrogance or is it the dearth of talents?)....
Media equations are changing with the world cup coming in as a cropper, and all the moneys committed hoping against hope that the men in blue will perform, and when they failed to, the admakers, media planners, media houses and buyers went sulky and with explantions, more than the team and its managers and advertisers decided ( well!!) to stay away from cricket, and treat it like a pariah....Radio, making a come back,,,, FM growing at 20% and mobile at 40 % .... and lots more...
Bekar ads were churned out making the industry look stupid, dumb and senseless about the clients money, creatives talked to themselves or the competetors creatives (using the clients money of course) and not to the buyer, formulae and cliche shamelessly lay exposed, the industry so very audaciously indulged in self pat , and bestowed awards on itself with a comical grace that is very own to us and us only.... but good ads kept coming and they stole hearts... many to say and many to write literature about but my pick from the whole 365 days that bypassed us would be the ones which Ogilvy & Mather made for Vodafone..
Ogilvy had become a makeover specialist with Axis bank, Vodafone and the latest Canara bank ads... Vodafone stole my heart inspite of their fading out the pug, for the simple and yet stupendous creatives that they made for the Vodafone brand and its allied services like alerts et al....There are many others, but here we go.. what we feel as the best of 07.....
and now this....
and this..its getting better....
Thursday, January 03, 2008
Yeah, We don't like the orange color. Can't we just fade red into the yellow?"
(Client to art director)
"Adapt concept to billboard, 40 feet by 60 feet. For presentation, please make actual-sized mock-up"
( young Account exe to visualiser)
"Overall, it's a great ad. But I don't like the headline, and I don't like the layout" - "What do you like? The border?" - "Well...yes"
(Conversation between Client and Agency)
"How did you change the TV channel on the brochure cover?"
(Client, referring to Photoshop work performed on a stock photo)
"Can we hear it before you record it?"
(Client, to agency creative team working on a radio spot)
"I need the background to be transparent. I have some transparencies that you can scan so you can have a transparent layer in Photoshop."
(Agency Boss offering help to bewildered designer)
"Don't worry, this project is really just a graphic design exercise, it doesn't require any real thinking or anything"
(Agency, Account Executive to Designer)
"Logo needs to be bigger on the front page, so it can be seen across a room if in a brochure stand"
( client, to Designer about brochure revisions)
"How can I put the link on my desktop when you know I only have a laptop?"
(IT Client to Agency)
"The client has given us FINAL approval, but asked if we could change one small thing."
( acc exe to Art Director)
"I will contact the artist, what is his name?" - "Vincent Van Gogh" - "Ok, I will call him and get his approval."
( Account Executive to Art Director on being told that ´Sunflowers´ cannot be used in the layout because of copyright issues)
"I really like it, but can you make the type a darker white so it shows up more?""
(Client, to Art Director)
"I'll fax our logo over right now and you can use that in the ad."
(Client in email response to designer's request for a camera-ready logo)
"We're not going to do a brief because the project was already briefed past week."
( Account Executive after an Art Director who had to take care of a project instead of his ill colleague)
"Could you possibly give us a design for the business card that's more like the one our CEO designed in PowerPoint?"
( Marketing Director to Designer)
"I like take 1 and 3"
(Client on hearing same v/o played 4 times)
"Please call me in an hour… but I will not answer because I am in a meeting"
(Client Service Director to Client)
"So the TV ad is going to be a cartoon?"
(Client, when reviewing storyboards)
"Can you add a drop shadow or bevel to the logo?"
(Client to Designer)
"We like the red/burgundy color of the logo - but can you make it a different shade of burgundy?"
(Client to Designer)
"It just hangs there like a useless tit."
( Account Executive commenting on font choice)
"I don't think that's the colour of synergy"
( Senior Strategy VP to designer)
"Please shoot me a JPEG of that font"
(Client asking designer for fonts for his computer)
"What does the Red Cross logo look like?"
(Client to designer for health services logo)
"We need to send the client a .jpg of the image as soon as possible." - "Sure. Do you think the .jpg will fit in this size envelope?"
( Intern to another intern, who was holding up an actual 6x9 envelope)
"I'm going home, we're presenting the campaign tomorrow. Have you started with the pieces yet? Let me take a quick look, I just want to see the logos."
( Account Executive to art director)
"Make it wild but conservative!"
( Account Executive, to Art Director)
"We need your help. According to what I understood from the client, we have to put subtitles on the radio spots. Is that doable?"
( Account Axe to producer)
"I'll send you the changes in a few minutes, but start mounting in order to save time."
(brand manager to acc exe)
What are those lines on the side? Take them out, they don't look right."
(Client to acc exe looking at crop marks)
"I don't get this estimate. You wrote 4-color printing and I want more colors. With only 4 we'll get nowhere."
(brand Manager to acc exe)
"I call you because I'm watching the ads with the client and I've just realized I don't understand them either."
( Account Executive, calling in the middle of a presentation)