Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Fun Gun !!!

A Young  boy and his dad went out fishing one fine morning. After a few quiet hours out in the boat, the boy became curious about the world around him.

He looked up at his dad and asked "How do fish breath under water?"
His dad thought about it for a moment, then replied, "I really don't know, son."

The boy sat quietly from another moment, then turned back to his dad and asked, "How does our boat float on the water?"

Once again his dad replied, "Don’t know, son."

Pondering his thoughts again, a short while later, the boy asks "Why is the sky blue?"

Again, his dad replied. "Don’t know, son."

The inquisitive boy, worried he was annoying his father, asks this time "Dad, do you mind that I'm asking you all of these questions?"

"Of course not son." replied his dad,  "How else are you ever going to learn anything?"

I am reminded of a brand services director who had DONT KNOWS than KNOWS and yet he rose and rose to stardom...

Have fun guys... God bless all..!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Fun Gun !!!

Five Important Qualities that men should look for in Woman !

1. It's important to have a woman, who helps at home, who cooks from time to time, cleans up and has a job.
2. It's important to have a woman, who can make you laugh.
3. It's important to have a woman, who you can trust and who doesn't lie to you.
4. It's important to have a woman, who is good in bed and who likes to be with you.
5. It's very, very important that these four women do not know each other.

Have fun poeple... God bless !!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

"Nike Curse" - of phobias and superstitions..! (part I)

What is common between Tiger Woods scandal, Wayne Rooni and his sex scandal, Henry’s infamous handball that took France to the last world cup, the Indian teams poor show in T 20 And Roger Federer loosing his cake walk in Wimbledon this year? 

For many the answer would be vague, for others (you) would have guessed it already… all of them are (were) celebrity endorsers of Nike and got INTO SOUP and thereby spoiling Nike image, this year.. They call it the Nike Curse and that made me sit and ponder a bit more on superstitions that rule my beloved industry… what the hell the brand has to do with the mistakes/errors/goof ups that its endorsers end up with?
A lot many factors affect (negatively) business performance like paraskevidekatriaphobia—(well that is fear of Friday the 13th) if you go for a survey among people in the western world. Their fear and love (at the same time) of superstitions are well known secrets….But friends with experience of having done business with Americans tell me that a sizable number of the western folks have this fear. I searched for data and it says in US alone about $800 million to $900 million in business revenue is lost on that ‘ill-omened’ date. Indians aren’t that bad you say? Well let me tell you more…

In all probability all of us have in some ways or other, have indulged in some kind of superstitious behavior in a business settings and otherwise, be it starting to meetings on auspicious moments ( Muhurat ) , scheduling an important meeting in alignment with a our horoscope or by wearing a auspicious set of clothes to an interview. I know people who wear the same set of stuff for days together to win clients, their stars may smile at the them but the stink will stare the clients off for sure. It may sound irrational but it seems this whole lot of seemingly irrational stuff has reason behind this, according to psychologists. 

I had a friend in EURO RSCG who strongly believed that having a cup of coffee from a particular vending machine would help us win accounts… he not only propagated this ridiculous belief but also could win over followers with his evangelism. People made fun of him and yet when a D day approached the LUCKY vending machine had a long queue in its front …strange but true!!

I was never a proponent of such stupidity, I felt that pitching is won on merit and hard work, and some greasing and back door activities of course, but having coffee from a certain machine would be the last factor in getting an agency win an account.. I knew this, so did many others, and yet we all did the coffee ritual and the logic was,- Crazy or not, you feel better having done it/them… I admit to have had the coffee a couple of times and have won accounts,,,, HUH !

Just like Friday the 13 th is a bad day, there are some good days as well. Iceland air, for example, ran a promotion in 2007 allowing customers to add on excursions for $7 each, provided they booked by 7/7/07. Now that speaks how much ‘7’ is a lucky number. Another example of the clout of ‘7’ is Wal-Mart's "Lucky in Love Wedding Search," which granted seven couples a free wedding ceremony and reception for 77 guests on the lucky date. Bharti chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal and his fascination to the number 23 is famous. 

The more apt example in Indian scene would be of  jewelry sales and purchase of gold which rockets by at least 15-20% during Akshaya Tritiya, a day considered auspicious for the Hindus but lesser known till a couple of years back (at least in the south) ..Similarly during Dhanteras last year the car sales in India went up three times.. Good examples of how Marketing enters into a marriage of convenience with beliefs /superstition. 

In the west, hundreds of millions of dollars are lost on Friday the 13th because people (even the well read ones) are logically risk-averse. Just like in India people don’t like to buy metal on Saturday, so car sales ( and any metals) are usually low on Saturdays …I still remember that at my first agency in Chennai, the boss had wanted me to go back to office and start again after we had reached the main gates of our office , for a client meeting… the reason- a black cat which waded across our path unabashedly and seemingly unconcerned about Lowe or its client Saint Gobain…

Foot note :- I thank my lucky stars I’m not superstitious!
To be continued...>>>>>

Monday, October 18, 2010

Dream Job ad- job ads need not be boring !

Here is a touching testimonial of a worker whose occupation is not regulated, has no trade union support, doesn’t get weekends off and he works up to 14 hours per day!! Poor guy right? ...... see it....

And I thought my work was fun...... 

This is a campaign for Dream Job a job portal website in Brazil.....Bikini-clad Brazilian models are what most men would dream of being with and yet the worker is completely dissatisfied with his job ( HUH..!!!). The catch is when the worker claims that he’ll quit this nightmare, a clever insertion of a statement that there are “more than 140,000 job positions—one of them will make you happy.” appears.. !

I haven't seen many job ads here that are that creative and worth remembering., Hari Sadu may be an exception, of course...This one is creative and fun to the core.. !

Credits :- 

Advertising Agency: BorghiErh/Lowe....... São Paulo, Brazil
Creative Directors: José Henrique Borghi, Erh Ray, Edgard Gianesi
Art Director: Fabio Nunes
Copywriters: José Henrique Borghi, Kiko Mattoso
Producer: Sagaz Filmes
Producer Director: Cláudio Cinelli
Fotography director: Scalante
Editor: Cláudio Cinelli
Sound: Comando S
Post production: Sagaz Filmes
Agency Producer: Márcia Coelho and Elisa Pamplona
Client Services: Priscilla Carvalho and Daniela Biazoto
Client Approval: André Vasconcellos and Pupo Neto
Aired: April 2009

Adfunda - Hyperbole..!

For my class where the ad funda's are being taught NOW......!

What is a Hyperbole?

Hyperbole as per wikipedia comes from ancient Greek "ὑπερβολή" (meaning excess or exaggeration) and is a figure of speech in which statements are exaggerated. It may be used to evoke strong feelings or to create a strong impression, but is rarely meant to be taken literally.

Hyperbole is used to create emphasis. It is a literary device often used in poetry, and is frequently encountered in casual speech. It is also a visual technique in which a deliberate exaggeration of a particular part of an image is employed. An example is the exaggeration of a
person's facial feature in a political cartoon.

Needless to say ,in Advertising hyperbole galore. Adguys are the masters in exaggeration- some time justified but most of the times totally unjustified and out of the world.... BUT it sells...may be I sound like a moron here but it really does ! Being Hyperbolic aint a crime ,at least in Marketing and Advertising it is'nt... It helps to be different, to be seen, to be heard , to stand out in the crowd... but some times it is like farting in public, the moment you do it you are different, heard and seen but that is not what you had wanted ,,,right?

It is not that the Crime is done by Ad guys only....The movie industry also bangs on heavily on the power of hyperbole. Whenever a film or television program is released, the guys behind will use selected quotes to hype their products: "Mel Gibson gives the performance of a lifetime!" They may shout from the roof top.... It really doesn't matter if Mel Gibson gave 'the performance of a lifetime' three times last year.

Without hyperbole, advertisers, storytellers and publicists would probably be looking for other lines of work. People but generally know that Hyperbole or HYPE in a common man's parlance is part of Marketing and its communication...

Hype is a short sighted business choice.....

It makes a dangerous assumption that the fool who buys what he buys would not if he is aware of the truth - in which case the sellers should not be selling the product in the first place!

It also assumes that customers are there to be exploited , and not your partners in business.For all the great theories on customer centric marketing, it is disrespectful by meaning and implication, and bestows lower on your customers in comparison to your acumen, when defacto the truth may be the other way round.


Tail piece:-

"Ladies and gentlemen, I've been to Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan, and I can say without hyperbole that this is a million times worse than all of them put together."

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Fun Gun !!!

Ram was so excited about his promotion to Vice President of the company he worked for and kept bragging about it to his wife for weeks on end.

Finally she couldn't take it any longer, and told him, "Listen, it means nothing, they even have a vice president of peas at the grocery store!".

"Really?" he said. Not sure if this was true or not, Ram decided to call the grocery store.

A clerk answers and Ram says "Can I please talk to the Vice President of peas?"

The clerk replies "fresh peas, canned or frozen?" 

Now that reminds me of ad agencies where  they have more Vice Presidents than courts will have Lawyers... 

Have some great fun this week end folks,,,,,...!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Navrathri Wishes !!!

Adformula wishes all its readers  blessed Navaratri days !!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Nike - Running Running.. !

Its one of the very famous and famed Nike running commercial ( yes there are aplenty) created by W+K for Nike and glorified as the offspring of a succesful matrimony between the client and the agency.. Phil Knight and Dan Wieden , to be precise... All was well until Nike realised that in the sneaker segment things are rosy but not so in the runners arena.. Not only that they were trailing behing the formidable Adidas ( the runner ads again) but even behind the new comers and small fries like Asics, a Japanese brand...

So..? what else... W+K was shown the door( partially though), and came in Crispin Porter + Bogusky, with the bag and baggage and the brauhaha of having Coca Cola and Volkswagen in their kitty among other famous brands.. and their strong point..? Digital advertising, where the other team lacked and where Nike felt it should do more.... fair enough!!!...

And what we get????

Alex Bogusky , has said somewhere after the release of this ad that they wanted this NOT to look like a Nike commercial, but instead, wanted people to say WHAT is THIS?...

I said the same.. so did many others whom I know...

Does that ring any bell?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Kerala Tourism - Mexico flavoured !

Its now ages since Kerala Tourism has come out with its new international campaign ( this is the digital world every day is a month,and every month is year ,) so I am like a year late with my take on the  ‘Your moment is waiting’ video that has demonstrated  intense reactions like a swaying coconut tree caught in thunder storm….. .

I belong to Kerala and have always felt proud of the fact… It was always a blissful feeling to hear and see praises heaped on your home by people, especially when one lived abroad and I have felt it more often than I could afford...

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

It pays to Advertise !!!

The fish, it never cackles

'bout it's million eggs or so,

The hen is quite a different bird,

one egg-and hear her crow.

The fish we spurn,

but crown the hen,

which leads me to surmise:

Don't hide your light, but blow your horn.

it pays to advertise


Why should I advertise?

Can you do business without advertising?

It looks familiar, often asked questions ,considering the fact that advertising money is spend on a virtually immeasurable platform.

See this story....

"A man lived by the side of the road and sold roasted chicken.

He was hard of hearing so he had no radio. He had trouble with his eyes so he watched no television and read no newspaper, but he sold good roasted chicken. He did however, advertise in the local newspaper telling people how good they were. He stood by the side of the road and cried, 'Buy roasted chicken sirrrrr 'and people bought. He increased his orders and bought a bigger stove to take care of his trade.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Indian Railways - wonderful !!!

CWG and all the mess that it created, the negative energy and the media debates, the last minute efforts, dogs and snakes, fallen bridges and fallen hopes……

Everything  turned into a bright ray of hope as the day came to an end on 3 rd Oct 2010.  As the world watched in awe, as India unfolded its unparalleled history, geography and myths before the world in all grandeur and blush, in its infinite variety, any one who would have seen the show, at least for a second would have wanted to be an Indian….

I sat glued to TV and after ages  Doordarshan (India’s national channel who had the exclusive right over the CWG show)  amused me and after some hours I was trying to calculate the number of years of mine , where I would have had nothing to do with the first TV channel of ours…

The show was awesome as you have seen and read it all, but Doordarshan had to live up to its nick name Kroordarshan.. … Commercial breaks with no logic and sense.., an array of ads that were nothing but irritating (largely of the Public sector and hence irresponsible), and poor visual and miserable sound quality…. And to top it, you never knew when the break appears, suddenly cutting short an event in the thickly packed stadia making India curse its national TV….

I was too lazy to pick up a remote and sat idle when I saw this …a group of men playing a train like we all used to do as kids, singing and going galli galli and house after house.. 10 seconds into the ad I knew it was something worth watching and when it ended I had goosebumps all over..

I am in love with this ad because ..

  1. It is from the Indian railways, I would have never expected them to come out with such a stuff.. (My apologies for the earlier “public sector and hence irresponsible statement”.)
  2. It was different in terms of concept, so very near to all of us- (all of us would have played a train) and yet so very different, it can grab attention and hold you in its grip and make you feel proud of the biggest railway network of the world..
  3. It has a Potent strategy in it, it stands out and has a strong selling idea and more over ,it is relevant and can be build into a campaign without much efforts…

Kudos to Indian railways, Nirvana Films and Prakash Varma…. It is a sea change from what the PSU ads looked and stared at us like…

After note :- in case you have read the post already , this info came to me late as my contact with Prakash Varma just buzzed me saying, the ad had a Piyush touch in it.. Not entirely the idea but parts of it and the song to its entirety... so Kudos to the great Piyush Pandey as well...

Saturday, October 02, 2010

The fun Gun !!!

A lady dies and goes to heaven.

She's chatting it up with St. Peter at the Pearly Gates when all of a
sudden she hears the most awful, blood curdling screams.

Don't worry about that,' says St. Peter, 'It's only someone having the
holes drilled into her shoulder blades for the wings.'

The lady looks a little uncomfortable but carries on with the
conversation. A few minutes later, there are more blood curdling

'Oh my Goodness,' says the lady, 'now what is happening?'

'Not to worry,' says St. Peter, 'She's just having her head drilled to
fit the halo.'

'I can't do this,' says the lady, 'I'm going to hell.'

'You can't go to that nasty place,' says St. Peter. 'You'll be raped
and taken advantage of.'

'Maybe so,' says the lady, but I've already got the holes for that.....

Now that is a real answer.. have fun folks... blast the week end.. !

Friday, October 01, 2010

Non Gandhian World of Advertising

I was browsing through my Fav tweet message and got stuck in Shashi Tharoor's message.

His latest column,(Gandhi Jayathi special )on our non-Gandhian world: Got excited to read the article, two reasons: Mahatma is my hero and I like Shashi Tharoor's style of writing. But when i clicked and landed on the page.

Now there are two ads and one news content. All the three pieces of information go well against the spirit of Gandhism. This shows the sad part of consumerism.

It is high time Deccan Chronicle (where the ad and article appeared) take some serious steps on content based advertising. I mean there is very little chance of someone who is into Gandhian philosophy will browse through thousand of Indian singles in ignighter and start flirting but then they might be looking for a new house. I did not browse the ignighter but read the article. It is well written. Link to the article. As Tharoor said it is really a non Gandhian World (of Advertising)
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