Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Fun Gun !!!

Ram went to the doctor complaining of always being tired. The doctor examined him and couldn't find anything really wrong. So he half jokingly said, "Ram you're going to have to cut out half of your sex life".

Ram answered, "Which half. The talking or the thinking?"

Reminds me of Ad men who keeps talking and thinking and never Doing IT.... 

Have fun people... !

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Idea and Abhishek - language doesnt matter.. !

“An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come.”

IDEA Cellular has launched this new ad under the popular What an Idea, Sirji! Campaign series, to demonstrate the power of telephony, in a country where 850 mother tongues and 22,000 dialects are spoken…most of you would have seen it for sure and when I saw it amused me for the fact that it is so far the best in the series… remember all those various avatars such as the sarpanch, tourist guide, school principal, politician’s aide, doctor, and even a tree…... 

Sirji this time has come up with an idea to sell Idea to people who have lucrative job offers (from far flung cities in India- most jobs these days are far flung...) The setting is quite familiar and all of us have gone through the same scene, in spite of the offer exciting us, the thought of living in a place where a different language is spoken, makes one unconvinced and uncomfortable. 

Adformula had been a critic of some of the ads in the series (in the past) but this one for sure catches the attention of the average viewer in the TG….. India and its possibilities/ opportunities for the young, PLUS the challenges (language barrier for instance) is ably displayed in this ad. The diversity and vastness, at times, create an impediment in the growth of this country…. Not that Sirji has a solution for all that but it is one ray of hope for a nation kept purposefully fragmented for narrow political gains…

The new ad is yet another improvement in the series of Idea’s campaigns with the popular tag line – What an Idea, Sirji! ,this campaign has all the elements of what a picture perfect campaign should have… a new Idea (which keeps improving every time), a tagline which enjoyed such massive recall, and a celebrity who matches the brand and its charm ( except for south where the small B isn’t much of a charm). .. no wonder why the subscriber base of Idea has hit such heights in the last few years…

The happy brand said so… (as per media reports). “Almost every Indian has gone through a situation where one has struggled to communicate with another fellow Indian just because of language. The new Idea campaign offers a Champion idea to address this concern of our society, through the power of mobile telephony. We are confident that the new brand campaign will build a strong connect with the audience and further grow Idea’s over 70 million subscriber base” and why not… as said again and again, the longer clients stick on to its agency, the trust base gets stronger and the quality of its creative output goes up…… there is no substitute for long lasting and strong client – agency relationships in advertising… Here the credit goes to the client an well as Lowe , the agency behind… 

The preceding campaigns – ‘Championing a world without caste’; ‘Championing a world in which no one suffers from the disability to communicate’; ‘Education for All’, ‘Participative Governance’, ‘Walk When You Talk’, and the recent ‘Use Mobile, Save Paper’ campaign – all abide by the essential brand promise of providing a simple, fresh and imaginative solution to a complex problem of the society… and now this one which is no different and in fact better…

In a campaign , each succeeding ad should be better than its preceding one… It is like having beer… the second one should taste better than the first one , and the third one should taste better than the second one and so on…… As said by John Steinbeck … .Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple, learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.

What an Idea Sirji !!!

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Fun Gun !!!

A man is riding aimlessly through the desert on a donkey. He is not hungry or thirsty, because he has a bottomless bowl of fruit. He wanders for about a week and eventually gets pretty horny. He gets to the point where he can't stand it anymore. 
So he decides to try and have s*x with the donkey. 

He drops his pants and positions himself under the donkey. But, to his dismay, the donkey walks away. 

Only slightly discouraged, the man decides to try again. He walks to where the donkey is standing, positions himself under the donkey, and right before he goes for it, the donkey walks away again. Now the man is getting frustrated. 

As he prepares for his third and final try, he sees a vision. A beautiful, naked woman appears out of nowhere. She approaches the stunned man, who until recently, believed that he was the only person for hundreds of miles. 

She smiles at him and says, "I would do anything for that bowl of fruit you have." 

"Anything?" he says, getting fairly excited. 

"Yes, anything." she replies. 

So he says, "Will you hold the donkey?"
Have fun people... God bless !!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Yardley & Katrina - imperfectly perfect !

Yardley as a brand is one of the oldest in the world .Established in 1770, with its classic promise of exquisite beauty, lingering fragrance of English Lavender and English Rose, it has everlastingly enthralled men and women alike with it’s well-mannered, old world charisma, so pleasing yet indefinable…. Yardley in India and its roping in of Katrina Kaif seems to have raised many a blogger eyebrows but I insist that I have to write a piece on it as well.. So here I go…

The London bred Katrina, who will be the first Asian celebrity endorser of the age old brand, is supposed to have sophistication, eyebrow-raising magic weaved into her, poise, and some English royalty like refinement that makes her a perfect choice .. a perfect marriage when one sees it all of a sudden…or is it not?

Katrina has in the past endorsed brands like Pantene shampoo, Slice juice, Oil of Olay, Kodak and Panasonic and now she is seen selling Yardley. If it gives the impression of being an expected choice then I guess the Yardley guys {WIPRO is its new owner,.. to be precise Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting (WCCL)}haven’t done some home work before the actual marriage took place…

The reason for the flop show as I see it are as follows..

1) The actress has lend her name and face to an umpteen number of brands and her face has got so diluted , that this new one even fails to register… Yardley and the mere mention of Katrina's name will NOT have fans flock to stores to purchase the stuff….her name and face still will be associated with other brands that she is with…. Remember the rule.. Thou shall not employ a celebrity, who is there, everywhere.

2) They say, thou shall not engage a celebrity because everyone else is behind him/her…. Here again the brand owners have coined a huge jumbo-bumbo in support of their reason to choose the lady which sounds so very same, clich├ęd and heard for ages. In fact, the reality that Katrina was chosen for Yardley had raised some positive interest but the actual ads make me think otherwise.

3) Katrina connect with the brand for sure (the London connection and the connection with the youth) and her persona and the brands match but, it is not only the gelling between the brand and the celebrity that matters, it is also about the equal weightage given to both so that the star do not eat on the brand (vampire effect) … here alas, due to poor execution (plus other factors), Katrina remains but not the brand…

4) Yardley is in an attempt to build up on its aspirational brand position.. (A brand that people think is a very high quality brand, which will give them a higher position in society if they buy it is called an Aspirational brand) this ad but is a vain and poor attempt in that direction.. It doesn’t give the premium feel, the first step to achieve aspirational equity , even for people who have used the original Yardley for years now…. As my friend from London says, In spite of this ad, IF the guys who already know Yardley buys it, it would be a miracle……

5) Before aspirational positioning, brands should think of achievable positioning … Wipro already holds Santhoor and in its category it has some real good locus of positioning.. Yardley first have to find its locus, know the people who are there, get their permission and then fit in.. A Katrina may not be required (or may be) which depends on what you see in that locus.. The brand is more important, it existing charm is, and not the face that will today launch a million ships, and tomorrow forget into oblivion…

Some right media planning by Zenith Optimedia Mumbai, is taking it to the right people in some right dose and cheers for them , but for the lazy execution, thumbs down to Situations advertising Mumbai, the agency that made it .....

The rest is said and hence, I rest my case..

Foot note:- Hard work never killed anyone, but why chance it?

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Teachers day !!!!

They say " A teacher is one who makes himself progressively unnecessary.... " .. a humble dedication from my side to all teachers who have made our lives beautiful !!!

Friday, September 03, 2010

The Talent Centric Industry !

Scene setting – A local Ad club’s annual meet

Participants- a host of them.. the ad guys, big names, media barons etc

The star- the big name of the Ad Industry who’s name seemed to have driven the entire crowd…

Posh conference hall of the best Hotel in town, AC, soft music, the camaraderie, fellowship waiting, hugs and taps in cheeks, brand talk and so on…

I am just an Ex Ad man, now an academic and hence kind of lesser mortal and was attended less to.

The programme as usual got delayed ( the ad man is perpetually busy and hence never arrives on time..) and no one seemed to regret, they have in course of time learned to take it in a stride.

I sat there thinking of the pitches that agencies would have lost and accounts that would have walked out of their lethargic offices that pretended to be full of activity even when a paper refused to move from here to there. Perhaps for the one classical exemption of Peter Marsh and his team at ABM (Allen Brady Marsh) winning an account (of the British Railways) for being appallingly bad behaved with the client, all the rest have been losses and yet very few lessons learnt…

At last the programme began.. The ad speak, mutual admiration societies, you scratch mine and I will do yours- gleefully… !

The star rose to speak, he dealt with the fact that Advertising is a talent centric Industry or rather IT IS THE TALENT CENTRIC INDUSTY and why and how it should encourage ART and NOT mere CRAFT! He spoke and I sat to attend (for a change) on the profusion of trash, pretending to be talent and why talent is needed in abundance to take the Indian Ad industry to where it belongs. He left in me a ray of hope that very few speakers who were practicing ad professionals could leave. The tiny burst of brilliance that fresh blood throws in- he said is needed and I applauded for the very simple reason that I know how hard it’s for a fresher (with passion and devotion) to get in and survive in the ad industry. As an academic teaching advertising, I have seen the entry barriers that the talent centric industry keeps with impunity on approaching talent ….

Fellow ship time, when others indulged in the pleasure of wine and froth, I thought of engaging him and getting to hear more.. He seemed to be speaking from his heart, and he meant it.. He told me how hard it is to get the right people for the right job and those people who can do it their way and not waiting for some one to tell them.. the DOERS.. The undying doers who will defy rules and create new ones.. Only to defy them and thus go on from excellence to more excellence..

I had met the right man to send the list of talents I have in mind.. the guys and gals who sat in my classes with Ad ambitions, and (in spite of my teaching ) hang on to the ardor and wanted to be in the Ad mad world.. The list of young men and women who would fit into his list of DOERS would for him look like a treasure cove, I was sure.

Call me…… he said as he left with a deep impact on my mind… I have saved your number…

After a long time I had met an Ad guy who was so pragmatic and addressing the Human issue of Advertising …

I tried calling him many times but no response.. In fact for the last 547 times I had called him I got to hear some 2 different Hindi songs ( Rukh jaa oh dil diwaneeee and Hum tum ek kamare mein bandh ho ) and a dozen times it got busy..

Surely and Ad man of his stature will be busy but when you need talent, you cannot be so busy that you cannot even meet them?

I am now sure, he had saved my number ..

Oops !
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