Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Fun Gun !!!

For two solid hours, the lady sitting next to a man on an airplane had told him about her grandchildren. She had even produced a plastic-foldout photo album of all nine of the children.

She finally realized that she had dominated the entire conversation on her grandchildren.

"Oh, I've done all the talking, and I'm so sorry. I know you certainly have something to say. Please, tell me... what do you think of my grandchildren?"

Clients are like Grand mothers.... After all advertising is the art of client management,....

Have fun guys !!!!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Celebrity circus.... Recession time Advertising....

Recession has hit all of us as different reasons, for most of us as an excuse or a pretext ....

It’s a mad rush for young blood in the celebrity endorsement scene….the recession that has hit the world so badly seems to have chucked the age old celebrity circus that ruled the roost .The Venerable guys who sat on the thrones of the Indian celebrity endorsement empire are all now slowly being shaken… some are already our and some are there in the queue…

Post March ,the new financial year has given the brand owners a lot of scope to rethink on the wrinkled faces that sold their wares… recession as some one said is a reason, and excuse and an apology for anyone to do anything….and here we are seeing the likes to the great SRK, Aishwarya Rai, Rani Mukherjee, Sushmita Sen, Priety Zinta etc etc etc giving way to the likes of Katrina, Deepika, Priyanka, Genilia ( the stupid Cadbury’s perks ad is disgusting though!!) and the hot Dhoni who sells anything from Bikes to Fans…

The Pepsi youngistan campaign was a bit odd considering the fact that it was led by an SRK who was 40 plus… Recession has taken its toll on the deal when Pepsi refused to renew the contract and instead felt happy and YOUNG with Deepika, Ranbir Kapoor and Dhioni….Sachin got out from Pepsi as well, and so did Hrithik Roshan from Coke…

It seems the bad times for SRK is giving him sleepless nights.. Hyundai ended the long association with the Fauji Guy whilst Toyota said a sweet goodbye to Amir khan…Katrina Kaif has deseated the most beautiful Aishwarya in Nakhstara diamonds while she did the same with Sushmita in Pantene..L’ oreal is now with Sonam Kapoor, loss Aishwarya, and BSNL ( the amazingly rich and blissfully boring ) is now with Deepika, loss Priety Zinta…
Genelia displaced the old Rani from Perks ( her ads were better I guess ) and from Fanta (no comments !)…Asin ( the slim mallu girl) who shot to fame after Gajni is now with every brand and every market, so much so that her brand is under dilution than the brands that she endorses.. but who cares? When the sun shines, the clever ones make the hay!!!

Now this is definitely eye catching and attention grabbing but is it going to be a change that the ad industry was looking for?

The money part, is the same… considering the fact that a Deepika will charge no less than a Rani, if not more…

The old faces are too familiar and hence people may not have the charm in spite of the brand spending crores on the contract is an argument that I thought will stand closer to reality..But hey…. Isn’t Deepika over exposed…? Isn’t Dhoni seen everywhere? Every damn product and brand..? (Thank God he don’t sell Mysore sandal soap any more)….

Is this the change the ad world wanted?

Will this oscillation from Tom and Dick to Harry and Martha help??

The comfort zones in which the people in Advertising (the agency, the clients and the others) is often a no entry zone for others…. Its often known to everyone that there could be a better solution and a better option but what is it?

In normal circumstances, normal actions would do…. But in abnormal circumstances………., should people go MAD?

Need not be, for sure but people got to think really really abnormal… For me at least for God’s sake it doesn’t make a bloody difference whether it is Genelia, Deepika or Preity Zinta who cries, convinces ,cajoles ,seduces and stops me to buy what they sell…

I am living with a cut in my salary … Damn it !!!!

Tail Piece :-
A rich, dying man, laid on his deathbed, requested to be joined at his bedside by his vicar, his bank manager and his lawyer.
He instructed them that he wished to be buried, when he finally passed away, along with all his money. He gave each of them fifty thousand pounds and asked them to throw the money on top of his coffin, in the burial plot, when he died.

A couple of days later the old man passed away and was buried within the week. At the wake, the three men were chatting and the vicar was suddenly overcome with guilt. He confessed to the other two that he had only thrown only half of the money onto the coffin, as the church needed urgent repairs to the roof.

The bank manager thought, ‘What the heck if we are having a confession,’ and told the other two men that he had also only thrown half the money in, as the ‘Credit Crunch’ was hitting hard and he needed some money for the bank to stop it going bust.

The lawyer jumped up and said to the other two, ‘I think that is a shameful act on both of you. I threw a cheque in for the full amount!”......

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The best of Adformula----Maaji.. kahan hai meri "keo karpin"?

As originally published on April 04, 2006

It is a tale of an evolution, ...

Ad makers kept ads in between programmes and made life tiresome for the idiots glued to the their boxes...they got angry and then they thought of sponsoring programmes and make people less tired by" passive learning".. remember Closeup Anthakshari, and Ujala Geetmala...? Remember Rin Makalirmatrum, Pepsi Ungal choice and Lalithavin Pattukku pattu..?

Big guys could only afford sponsoring and then came the idea of product placements. Poor things -- the heros and heroines of our funny looking TV programmes, now would be inserting the brand names of the guys whose money has flown into the balaji's coffers, in their long dialogues..

Films set the trend... passpass and yaddein shall be remembered.. what a flop it was... i even wonder whether the film bombed on the producers face , due to his insatiable greed for money.. more money.. even more money..

Top gun and MI 2 are often quoted for its product placement wonders, and the effect on sales of such products.. but it went together well.. it was natural.. Tom cruise, the sexy hunk in an Aviator or an Oakleys, would look even more sexier and would only add charm to the story and the situation where the products appear. Thums up in the famous bollywood masala 'Kaante' was a natural fit, as the product espouses a macho image and so did the film....but these are clearly exceptions and not rules.....

Greed is a human attribute, no easy routes.. no escaping formulas..

But this never satisfiable apetite for money would slowly but surely make the dumbos locked on to their idiot boxes and multiplexes , realise the big game.. realise that the cinema that they had bough ticket for, is nothing but a series of ads, with some story thrown in , in between..

The day of reckoning will come when the gluttonous trio- the marketer, the agency( creative and media planning.. and now ,product placing) and the programme producer will have to ponder over the sword of democles that looms over their very existence....when our 'warriors'with invincible swords, in mirth over the breach of walls between the editorial content and the commercial space ,would regret that they have won over uninhabited lands...

In the mean while let me see the latest edition of Kyonki Beti Bhi Kabhi Maaji Banegi....

The heroine appears on screen..

Maaji---she cries...

Han beetiji--- appears the old maaji

Aap ne meri keo karpin dekhi?-- laments the over made up heroine

Nahi to beti ji-- replies maaji...main to apna Dabur amla kesh tel hi istemal karti hoon...

Buaaaji--- appears the young trendy metrosexual grandson ji ,who bumps like a rubber ball

Mere Pulsar dtsi bike ki chabi kahan hai..? ---asks the lad

Muche to nahin pata---replies the Buaaji--I think it is near to my Pudin hara bottle.. dekho..

Now tell me guys... how long this will go on...

You can fool every one for some time, some for ever.. but not every one forever..

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

A commercial break !!

I am travelling to bore people at Trichy with a Lecture and torture another group at a conference on "Innovation in Management "... will return next week...

Take care folks !!!

Saturday, April 04, 2009

The Fun Gun !!!

This woman rushed to see her doctor, looking very much worried and all strung out. She rattles off: ,,,,,,

Doctor, take a look at me. When I woke up this morning, I looked at myself in the mirror and saw my hair all wiry and frazzled up, my skin was all wrinkled and pasty, my eyes were bloodshot and bugging out, and I had this corpse-like look on my face! What's WRONG with me, Doctor!?”

The doctor looks her over for a couple of minutes, then calmly says: “Well, I can tell you that there ain't nothing wrong with your eyesight....”

Ad Agencies are like doctors... the clients some times need free and frank opinionsferent questio ( how many agencies will do it is a different question all together )...... the problem may be simple and too obvious but they simply refuse to see it....

Have fun people !!! its a week end again !!!!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Times Of India - Lead India in style!

I am unable to understand how a man of honor could take a newspaper in his hands without a shudder of disgust.” Said the renowned French poet Charles Baudelaire and let me begin this episode of ad formula here.

News papers have all changed and why not. This are times when people and societies have changed. Markets have changes and marketing has changed. Selling is no longer selling alone and many things added to it. News papers (long lost is there nobility and the reverence with which people saw them, the emotions with which people attached to them and the trustworthiness with which they identified with them) in the changed world have to compete to win and to excel … The Times Of India “lead India” campaign, I would not say is one plain and naked attempt in that direction but it shows that it ,in spite of the noble cause ( vote/ change/ youth and all the bla bla bla) the hidden motive is sales and more sales for TOI. (ot that it is a crime!)

According to TOI, this campaign is about “Awakening the countrymen to vote for right candidates and before that, making political parties to bring right & eligible candidates for representing them” .For that, Times Of India will be reviewing all the candidates from tens of constituencies and publishing details of those political candidates…. OOH….I felt once I thought about how taxing this could be… How hard it would be to TOI to actually analyse and come out with real news and real facts about this guys…? Will it happen considering the fact that a major news paper group like TOI ,has many dealings and many allainces with the same politicians whom they are trying to change?

Every day the TOI devotes a large space ( sacrifice for the nation eh !!! pooh poohs the crtitiques ) , and spends a hell lot on TV, glares us from the outdoors, bill boards and OOH, and wherever and exhorts us to wake up and save this nation. Shouldn’t we be thankful? We are ..I am atleast not that I don’t see the business in it, but I see the cause.. I see the comunication behind it…

The ads are simple, powerful, well written, well reaching and hiting the target- right at the weakpoint. I am sure the TV version which is making me to think, and wriggle in discomfort ,given the fact that I have never voted( for want of a choice) is doing the same with many. It has far reaching effects on many a viewers as I understand from my analysis and election talk with friends.

The campaign began in early 2007 with a single print ad that asked, "Are we going to simply shrug our shoulders, blame our infrastructure, our bureaucracy and our political system?" .The effort grew to include TV, Internet, mobile, street-level activation and reality TV and later went on to win the grand prix lion at the Cannes… TOI and JWT had reasons to laugh!!!!

It is good and even desirable that media gets social and takes social issues head on. Media can do things which others cannot. Only media can do things which many others cannot. For the idea, for the reach out and efforts spend on the campaign, for the consistency and for keeping the idea long enough to tickle the conscience of the lazy arm chair critics of the system (Me included!) it is full marks from me….

Rules of Marketing communication are all simple…. It takes a lot of stupidity to spoil your communication. These guys haven’t done it…


Tail piece:- if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, here we go !!!

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