Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Fun Gun !!!

A man walks into the dentist's office and after the dentist examines him ,says, "that tooth has to come out. I'm going to give you a shot of Novocain and I'll be back in a few minutes."

The man grabs the dentist's arm, "no way. I hate needles I'm not having any shot!"

So the dentist says, "okay, we'll have to go with gas then."

The man replies, "absolutely not. It makes me sick for a couple of days. I'm not having gas."

So the dentist steps out and comes back with a glass of water, "here," he says. "Take this pill."

The man asks "What is it?"

The doc replies, "Viagra."

The man looks surprised, "will that kill the pain?" he asks.

"No," replies the dentist, "but it will give you something to hang on to while I pull your tooth!"

Ad agencies are like Dentists, most of the time.. Clients get something to hold on from them !!!!
Have fun guys... And come bak soon !!!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

POLO - What is your HOLE story?

How important is a hole?

I know it is a question with a hell lot of meaning and ramification...... so lemme narrow down the scope of that horrifying question to the domain of Marketing…. HOW important is a hole in Marketing?

The answer would be a stare for those who do not know the Indian market scene and the 1000 odd crore mint category … the Mint with the HOLE lead the market for years with its HOLE positioning… millions of Indians were enamored by the HOLE POSITIONING that no one ever noticed that a w(HOLE) generation is getting into the mint habit and buying a mint because it had a HOLE… OOPS… would we have bought anything for the absence of it.. ? say a burger because it had a hole..? or say a bottle of juice because it was only half full,,? Polo did that and that was /is smart marketing.. the mint that sold for the absence of IT in it and keeping a hole in its place… Marketing world should at this juncture remember Freddy Birdy and Mudra (the first agency of POLO) for the genuis with which the simple HOLE was made into a working proposition !

ITC and Perfetti jumped into the plat form with all vigor and that is history now… category seriously. ITC's – Mint O with its positioning “all mint no HOLE” was a direct attack on the HOLE that polo sold till that date… not that polo lost its market sudden after but it soon made people think.. why the hell should I BUY a HOLE? Then came the Chlormint’s and the others who made it all fussy… Polo but could and would have remained the first in the customers mind – first in the ladder that the human mind is- provided they had kept their HOLE intact… the agency that made the wHOLE business of HOLE possible was chucked out to be replaced by LOWE who as every new agency will do mercilessly killed the HOLE in a flip of an eyelash …

Nestle is a huge marketer and they would know the tricks of the trade. When they and their then agency (LOWE that is) decided to fill the HOLE they would have had huge designs of other SHAPES in their minds but the ads which showed the virtues of whistling while eating Polo with the baseline "Polo ghao seethi bajao" did fail to reach the TG , the ones who loved the HOLE, the ones who thought that a HOLE is a HOLE is a HOLE….the new slogan and the new positioning did what all the ALL MINT NO HOLE’s couldn’t do to Polo… a lot of damage…How one at that point hoped that Nestle insisted on the basics being retained inspite of the agency change.(I am reminded of the VISA story when in the fag end of 2008, BBDO was dumped and TBWA was taken in as part of global realignment and consolidation and still the client told the new agency to retain and continue with its existing creative platform)

Then the HOLE came back (as did the MALE in Pulsar and the DEVIL in Onida ) the same game… the agency out and the old position in… the new ads again had the protagonists “searching for the hole”…and finally they got it… they could have searched at the agency that dumped the HOLE… they would have got a lots of them- HOLES … now anyways and in any case it seems the return of the HOLE was inevitable.. it has come back and back with a bang… the new "WHAT is your HOLE story? " ads if is any indication, it is going to rock…the premise is simple, extendable and hence has the chance of less wearout and more longevity !
( I am still to get the TVC and will upload it as and when I get it)

The category is so very uncomplex and even habitual and hence fun, larger than life and exaggeration works in abundance… brands can sway but around one strong pole , if they do not want to be caught unawares…. Examples galore but marketing is not hard science and no rules apply for everyone, everywhere… So let them make mistakes and learn from them to make more of mistakes.. and in the mean while let us have some mint, with the HOLE of course… !

Tail piece:- " A round man cannot be expected to fit in a square hole right away. He must have time to modify his shape."

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Fun Gun !!!

When George first noticed that his manhood was growing larger and staying up longer, he was delighted, as was his wife.

But after several weeks, it had grown to nearly twenty inches.

George became quite concerned.
He was having problems dressing,
and even walking. So he and his wife went to see a prominent urologist.

After an initial examination, the doctor explained to the couple that, though rare, George's condition could be fixed through corrective surgery.

'How long will George be on crutches?' the wife asked anxiously.


Why would he need crutches? responded the surprised doctor

'Well,' said the wife coldly, 'you ARE going to lengthen his legs AREN'T you?

Everytime you think that your agency is perpetually greedy think of this story folks...

Have fun this week end but come back... And thanks to SK Deepak of IIM K for sharing this joke with me... !

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Coca Cola -Open happiness !

Coca cola and its open happiness theme strikes again this time in an ad where a fancy world of insects steer a lot of imagination and in a team work opens a coke bottle and the viewers imagination… the ad is simple, fanciful to the core and keeping people sticky with its tackiness that the concept has generated.. Need less to say that it is brilliant ideation, buts cannot resist from saying that the fairy tale like touch made me look for a bottle of coke, after a long time …

I don’t bother about the other aspects of the ad but am just bothered about how striking it is… the “Peter and the wolf” music added to the charm and when finally the can opens , I could see an entire class opening their mouth and making the “aah” sound….

Three cheers to the team at Wieden+Kennedy ,the agency behind the work and the production house Psyop….


Wieden+Kennedy team

Creative directors- Hal Curtis and Sheena Brady,
Art director -James Moslander and Lee Jenings,
Copywriter Marc- D’Avignon,
Senior agency producer- Matt Hunnicutt.

Psyop team

Creative directors- Todd Mueller and Kylie Matulick,
Director of photography-Stephen Blackman,
Executive producer- Neysa Horsburgh,
Live action producer- Michael Schlenker,
VFX Supervisor/CG lead artist- Andrew Romatz,
VFX supervisor/lead Flame artist -Thibault Debaveye,
2D supervisor -Lane Jolly,
Animation lead -John Velazquez,
Editor- Brett Nicoletti,
VFX producer -Tina Chiang

Tail piece:-

TEACHER: Ram, how do you spell ‘crocodile?’


TEACHER: No, that’s wrong

RAM: Maybe it is wrong, but you asked me how I spell it.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

American tourister - survival of the toughest !

A lion met a tiger as they drank beside the pool.
Said the tiger, "Tell me why you're roaring like a fool?"
"That's not foolish" said the lion, with a twinkle in his eyes.
"They call me the king of beasts because I advertise."

A rabbit heard them talking and ran
to his home like a streak.
He thought he'd try the lion's plan,
but his roar was just a squeak.

A fox came to investigate and
had great lunch when he got there.
So, when you advertise, my friend,
be sure you've got the goods to deliver!"

Samsonite tourister amused me with this ad, not because it is the best of creatives I have seen, not also because it would be voted hands down as one piece of an ad that is brilliant but because it does what it is intended to do.. Communicate the virtue of the product to the right people… virtue –durability and reliability as a rugged product and hence usable in long and tedious journeys and the audience- Mass with some class (the price is not that affordable to the mass in total)…

The ad positions the brand American tourister as one great survivor with the super 'Survive Mumbai, Survive the World' … Any one who has ever traveled in a Mumbai local would have experienced the melee and have felt how tough it is to survive (not for Mumbaikars though, because for him this is a regular stuff -commuters playing cards, urchin’s singing, eunuch’s who hang around and hang on to you and hangers in the compartment, commuters shoving and pushing each other with no sense of remorse and the regulars who hang by the door as if it is their birth right….I agree that it most locals wouldn’t go in a Mumbai local train with that kind of a luggage but a tourist could …..

The company's high-end Samsonite range, which is priced in the range of Rs 5,000-25,000, is quite expensive for the middle-class, (which essentially drives the volumes) which instead depends on the fake products which sell cheaper . It is this gap that the company wanted to fill with the American Tourister line, which is priced in the range of Rs 1,000-5,000… I guess the Gap Of Thought is clear and there is a vaccum… the Ad does its job fairly well now we have to wait and watch how the product does in the actual market place…. Together with such decent communication ( decent because it has developed a different positioning , a fairly appreciable, long livable property/idea which is quite extendable to other cities and places as well), and a performing product ( hoping that it would)the goal of lashing brand salience and steadfastly establishing the brand as a maker of reliable luggage will not be impossible .

As of now its a good job folks !!!!


Client: American Tourister
Agency: Contract Advertising
Chief creative officer: Ravi Deshpande
Copywriter: Ravi Deshpande and Malobi Dasgupta
Art Director: Ravi Deshpande
Director:Jeff Balsmeyer
Production House:Far Productions (Jeet Surendranath)
Post Production: Prime Focus

Thursday, November 12, 2009

From me !!!

IBS is hosting an annual seminar on "Industry expectations from B schools and its graduates" and I am in the midst of that bedlam ... Hope to return to blogging from Monday next !!!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

The Fun Gun !!!

On their 40th wedding anniversary and during the banquet celebrating it, Tom was asked to give his friends a brief account of the benefits of a marriage of such long duration.

"Tell us Tom, just what is it you have learned from all those wonderful years with your wife?"

Tom responds, "Well, I've learned that marriage is the best teacher of all. It teaches you loyalty, forbearance, meekness, self-restraint, forgiveness --and a great many other qualities you wouldn't have needed if you'd stayed single."

Agencies and clients would agree to this point I guess !!!

Happy week end folks !!! God bless ...!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Surf -- Daag Ache hain ???

Surf "Daag Ache Hai” is remembered (should be remembered rather) in the history of advertising to have broken a cliché. A boring stereotype where countless detergent commercials through years of unabashed creative barrenness showcased unhappy housewives toil tough with stain on clothes. And then would appear the detergent brand bringing happiness along with it by removing all the dirt in a flash! Voila.. so predictive so very formulaic and so very boring…

Surf with its Daag Ache Hain (stain is good) campaign changed it and for the better… I loved the ads from 2005 and have felt and shared wherever I talk and write, the path breaking success that Balki and his team at Lowe have got for themselves and for the age old Brand surf which has really stood all the marketing tests that times have posed on it....…

A brother and sister duo returning home from school dressed in their maroon and white uniforms. The girl is, 4 or 5 while the boy around 7. The girl accidentally falling into a puddle of rain water and gets soiled with stain. Her sob making her brother to take ‘revenge’ on the puddle. The big brother soaring in exact filmi style and starting to punch the BAD GUY…. And finally leaving the scene with a warning ‘’Phir mat karna!’’

I know for sure that anyone who have seen this ad would have loved it for its newness, its simplicity and its clutter breaking ability… then the idea went on….. in a striking campaign the country was told in length and breadth that actually Stains are Good…a good case of 360 degree communication…. Its all fine, were fine rather, till recently when a Surf Excel commercial featuring a teacher and her student and a dead dog, stared at us from the TV scenes, trying to be a worthy successor of its predecessors and trying to tow the same line that one need not stop living life to the fullest fearing dirt and grime on clothes; in short –”Daag Ache Hain“.

I feel that all the trying shows, I mean only the trying shows, trying to drag on the idea, the good idea dragged on to such a disastrous point that anyone who have seen the first ads would feel that this one is a mock ad done by some rival agency… one shudders to think that Lowe (who made the first ads) can ever think of such an Ill conceived ,depraved ad….It shows that a lot of trying is done to stand on par with the first ads but the connect is missing, even the insight is getting ridiculed in the process.. I am sure no teacher ( I am one and a dog lover at that) would want his/her student to come and dance/howl, hop and urinate like a dog to make him or her happy unless he/she is a pervert.. Miss Rossy is sad at her dog’s death but she isn’t sad that her innocent student is at her door doing the Doggy things..

Come one guys !!! Take a walk and get back but next time give us some thing worth the name… and a prayer from my side( to Lowe and HUL)…’’Phir mat karna!’’ ........Puhleesss.. !!!!!!!!

Tail piece: - "Children are unpredictable. You never know what inconsistency they're going to catch you in next". ~Franklin P. Jones
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