Friday, March 26, 2010

The Fun Gun !!!



What would an IT guy call them if he had twins?

Have fun people and God bless all !!!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The best of adformula series....Maaji.. kahan hai meri "keo karpin"?

As 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 Ungalchoice and Lalithavin Pattukku pattu..?

Big guys could only afford sponsoring and then came the idea of product placements. Poor things -- the hero's 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 Oakley's, would look even more sexier and would only add charm to the story and the situation where the products appear. Thumbs 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 appetite 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 Damocles that looms over their very existence....when our 'warrior 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 metro sexual 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..

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Airtel & Sharman Joshi - Baath karna baaki hai !



After 3 idiots, the scene has changed.. If Indusind bank roped in Omi Vaidya (Chatur for beginners ,if any), Airtel has taken in Sharman Joshi in what I would call as a brilliant move which but didn’t seem to be taking off… Brilliant because Sharman can easily be ranked amongst one of the most talented actors in Bollywood today. He tickled our funny bone with Style, Golmaal and Shaadi No. 1; played the high spirited guy in Rang De Basanti and then the rest is you know what !!!! Simply a dude with super cool attitude and effortless enacting of his fun of a role which made cinema goers sit up and take notice of him in 3 Idiots.

After having established a name as an actor, Sharman took the logical next step- brand endorsement. His first ever endorsement is for Airtel and when I read the story I felt a bit relieved that at last some fresh faces will now sell us this and that …. Tired of the old faces, I am sure people would feel great about new faces… Madhavan –the other actor in the 3 idiots trio, is also an endorser in his own style. Remember his romantic ads with Vidya balan… ?

When Airtel signed on Sharman, his immense popularity that he got after the roaring success of 3 Idiots was cited as the main reason and also the youthful and bubbly image that he has and which Airtel also wants to stretch to its young TG…. No wonder why the actor has been paid a whopping amount for the endorsement and soon after Airtel’s announcement came Nokia took him as well/ this time again with Adah Sharma ( who appears with R Madhavan in Joy Alukkas ads) as their latest brand ambassadors for their latest X series range…


The series so far has 5 ads .- Roaming, Night calling, Mobile internet ,SMS and STD services….see them here... But my trouble is not in the idea of Sharman, not even in the whole idea of “baath karne se hi baath banti hai”- talking only can make things work ( what an idea guys ooppsss sirji… ) I will give a standing ovation for these choices… My worry is that inspite of the guys next door boy looks, his boyish charm and the naughtiness, his mischief married with the plots the ads do not have the killer effect that they could have had if the creatives had pushed it a little more further..

The HERO convinces girls to YES him just by texting love quotes, sells 'his price' to a shop keeper by making him talk to his maaji, makes his dad agree to send him more money by emotional black mailing, again appeases his professor by praising his books on thermodynamics and hoodwinks an irate brother of his girl friend are all funny even though not very gulpable , just like that.. The ideas do not fully represent today’s guys true naughtiness and they don’t really and in total connect with the real guys of the real world ( who are these days locked in with the IPL matches and there are better ads that score well.. for instance) the yo yo guys are more creative, more convincing , more appeasing, more black mailing and more hoodwinking and you cannot even feel it…

They for sure are better than the Vodafone Zoo Zoo’s that have come back, the Idea Ungli chalao ads (from tree savers to fingering , Idea seems to have run out of ideas!..at a point I even thought that Idea will come up with 'Stop exams and save trees campaign'…!) .. Sharman and the Airtel ones stand out, but are they getting the place they deserve.. ? I doubt…

May be I am wrong and for a change I would be happy to be proven wrong!!!

As of now Airtel and Sharman is an awesome duo but we want more… because with a slight push you can give us that more… baath karna abhi baaki hai bhai !!!

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Fun Gun !!!

A woman accompanied her husband to the doctor's office. After his checkup, the doctor called the wife into his office alone.

He said, "Your husband is suffering from a very severe disease, combined with horrible stress. If you don't do the following, your husband will surely die."

"Each morning, fix him a healthy breakfast. Be pleasant, and make sure he is in a good mood. For lunch make him a nutritious meal. For dinner prepare an especially nice meal for him. Don't burden him with chores, as he probably had a hard day. Don't discuss your problems with him, it will only make his stress worse. And most importantly...make love with your husband several times a week and satisfy his every whim. If you can do this for the next 10 months to a year, I think your husband will regain his health completely."


On the way home, the husband asked his wife, "What did the doctor say?"

"You're going to die," she replied.

Ad agencies are like wives - in all senses !!! have a gr88 week end folks !!!!

Micromax mobile- Nothing like Anything !!!!



Akshay Kumar is like wine, the older he gets the better he is whether in acrobatics or even in his histrionics, except I must say in this ad.. This one which makes him laugh like an obtuse idiot and that too for about 30 seconds in a 45 second commercial is just too much to endure. Whatever the product is and whatever the new Gamolution thing that they want to sell (like SKINNOCENCE this is a new ad word GAMOLUTION)

This ad irritates, first by the absolute lack of any bit of creative spirit, second for the stupid laugh which lurks like the one you get to hear in mad houses and third rate Hindi films and third and most important, by the sheer senselessness with which this nerve breaker is aired again and again as if they can bore, irritate and torture people to buy their stuff while people watch IPL 3 in all peace and excitement.

I even know of people who said that if IPL 3 so far has any irritant so far, it is this laughing ad.


The mobile handset market already has players such as Nokia, Motorola, Samsung and Sony Ericsson, and these players already enjoy great allegiance and loyalty among consumers.. Unquestionably that is….. It would have been a big challenge for any new player (this guys are new in this market) to shift this loyalty to them.. a lot of work should have gone in …..A dual GSM-dual standby QWERTY keypad phone at less than Rs 5000, and such stuff that Micromax offers are definitely a thing that could have changed the game had they got into the right game…. If their advertising is any indication, it seems quite unlikely… Some of their ads are good enough to sit and watch (done then by Draft FCB) but the Akshay one is for sure a de-seller and the game seems to be lost even before it has begun …


Big brands, big budgets… Niching seemed to be the only option and guess they were into it but with an advertising budget of Rs 50 crore plus as per industry sources, the blitzkrieg is to continue and even aggravate through other media as well.. I hope they don’t carpet bomb me from the likes of Facebook and twitter…

A big thumbs down to Lowe (the agency) for the creative impotency, and sub-primary school level imagination and a ‘shame on you’ to the media planner (who cares the name) for this nothingness which proclaims ‘nothing like anything’ as its tag line.. How true… !!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Aides+TBWA - Just plain talk...

video

Pls wait if its taking time to buffer,, and have your speakers on.. !!!!

This is one of the most discussed video for the last fortnight.. It has raised many an eye brow, have taken debates about sexuality into a new level… It had some superb factor in it that can kick start a conversation among people who takes it as a topic to be conversed and fuel a controversy among people who see a controversy even in a drop of milk. This commercial was realised and released for Aides- a French association fighting AIDS by TBWA Paris …..

Controversy but then is the other name of TBWA- be it in the Beijing Olympics Chinese pride ads vs the Amnesty international ad showing the Chinese torture of its athletes both at the same time done by TBWA or be it the 'Pincha la Rueda de Hamilto' or the Burst Hamilton's tires or recently in India the Haagen-Dazs India and its “Access restricted only to holders of international passports” ad and the acrimonious client walk out after the beating…

Funniest advertisement it is, but it is an eye opener.. of course I don’t agree to the suggestion that wearing a condom works like magic or even a magnet that draws to it the female sexual organ, which in a way encourages promiscuity but yes the protection factor is well depicted… We have seen much about AIDS awareness and not many are so open and so very piercing…. Needless to say that graphics and animation is just brilliant. It may be notorious, even be enjoyable, for some it may be detachable but for me it is distributable and most importantly something that will be effective on a wide range of targets…..

Now such messages that suits the audience in other places as well needs to come out, and use the new media tools as well to keep hitting the targets and keep the conversation going and even augment it..

For the time being but three cheers to the awesome team work, and taking advertising as an art and for the simple plain talk..... and hey -thanks to good friend and brother- Rajiv Rajan for sending me the links required ....

Credits

Agency: TBWA, Paris
Client: Aides
Executive Creative Director: Eric Holden
Executive Creative Director: Remi Noel
Art Director: Ingrid Varetz
Copywriter: Ingrid Varetz
Agency Producer: Virginie Chalard
Agency Producer: Maxime Boiron
Production Company: Wanda Productions
Director: Yoann Lemoine
Music Company: AOC Productions-Paris & NY

Monday, March 15, 2010

Wheel detergent- Of Salman, songs and some smell !!!



Ad agency: Lowe Lintas Mumbai.
Production House: Chrome Pictures.
Actors: Salman Khan, Prachi desai
Singers: Mohit chauhan and Mahalaxmi iyer

Salman Khan has always been my favourite, not only for his acting, or I must say in spite of his acting (?) but for his style and stickiness and the naughtiness that he seems to be made of, from top to bottom.. he is like the proverbial wine, getting better with age,,, and even at the risk of repeating a cliché I must say, he is the one who made every other hero run to the gym and hit the machines to develop a bulge here and a muscle there… he is also known for his women (the numbers are quite arguable) and when seen with a small time actress Prachi Desai it is quite amusing…. They are in a relation here albeit to sell a detergent powder though…

The fans of Sallu ( as salman is called) is going aha-oho over the actors chemistry with small screen diva Prachi Desai (who is just half his age and who had done a semi hit film with noted actor Tushar Kapoor in ‘Life Partner 2’ sequel) ….

For the first time we will be seeing the mega star in detergent ad… for that matter if my memory is serving me right, it’s the first time ever that a star of his stature has come down to endorse a detergent powder, the closest was when SRK sat in the bath tub, which by now and by every ones acceptance, was a mistake. Well what he has to do with a detergent? Apart from accompanying her as a partner and running around with his HAII’s that he delivers well… ( “Hum dil de chuke hai sanam” – the class movie is where again I am reminded of his romantic HAII’s which women loved..) He is not
(Thankful are his male fans) seen washing clothes which if he did, women would have said, If Sallu can why not you?

Fearless to appear in a detergent ad, Salman even felt proud to be associated with the brand, the actor stated and I quote “I am extremely proud to be associated with one of India's oldest and most respectable brands. Wheel has become a household name, and has a glorious history of many years.”* (* as seen in the net )

Except for the unexpected pairing,( most startling pairing I must say), and an even unexpected voice over by Salman himself this ad is nothing great to write a review about.. I don’t call it another lazy ad- where they thought that ‘the lack of creative brains can be hided by an out of the blue celebrity’… Salman is not seen endorsing too many stuff- vis-à-vis an SRK and hence that can be a differentiator..(if at all he has come for- Thumbs up ,Red tape and the likes, it was to harp on his macho man image)… Wheel once stood for strong washing (remember the old ads where a muscular pair of arms squeezes and squeezes a poor piece of cloth? And Sallu being a strong guy ( the strongest of all macho men) makes a strong connect but then when one see the ad, it is not the factor that the ad makers are wanting to capitalize…Then what is it?

The laundry market in India is estimated at approximately 2.5 million tons in volume terms and at about Rs. 55 billion in value terms. The category, comprising of detergent bars and powders and laundry soaps, has near widespread penetration. Statistics show that more than a million washes are carried out in India everyday, which is approximately between six and seven washes per household per week (Source: Habits & Attitudes Study) The laundry market can be broadly classified into three segments on the basis of price per kilogram and also the benefit they promise.------The low-priced segment, the mid –priced and the premium segment..

The low priced one comprises of detergent powders that are priced at an average of Rs. 19 per kg and offer a basic clean. It is the largest segment in the laundry market and a lot of dynamics happened there in the last few years.. Frankly I have got amused when brands cut price and move up and down the segmentation ladder.. As recently as March, P&G increased the grammage of Tide there by again starting the price war and segmentation confusion….Wheel started off as a cheap stuff (read as “cost effective or value for money”) then later on started talking about “being hand and cloth friendly” ( attacking Nirma) and then to “giving stronger wash” to scuttle the perception that its just too soft and then the ‘energy and power factor” and then the “Khushboo or smell factor”, and now a lot of romance as well…Now he among the Khans is the one who stands closest to the masses and that seems to be the only rationale behind the choice….

Sallu would have been a right choice if the endorse’rs personality and the brands personality match wasn’t a factor, but then having said that I am sure that the ad will be seen , noted and hopefully people will buy more of Wheel because their hero seems to be suggesting so.. Till the results come lets take a break…..

NB:- Sweet heart Kathrina, left Dyna and now is with Lux , in its big chain of stars, and Sallu bhai selling a detergent powder..... one is climbing the ladder and the other one?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Fun Gun !!!

Yesterday, scientists in the United States revealed that beer contains small traces of female hormones.

To prove their theory, they fed one hundred men twelve pints of beer and observed that 100% of them started talking nonsense and couldn't drive.....................

Forgive me women and Men have fun !!!!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Camlin permanent marker - Perpetually amusing !



Sometimes, television commercials can be so hilarious that we favor to stay back on our couch during commercial breaks, and go for the lavatory, during the shows we’re trying to watch. Camlin Marker – Vermillion ad entertained me a lot from the first time I saw it to every now and then when I use it in lectures and training to drive home the point why ads should be simple, precise and direct….

It opens with the information that in India, vermillion, bangles and a locket are signs of a married woman, and that when a woman loses her husband, she is stripped of these symbols. The husband applies vermillion to a wife’s forehead daily as it is supposed to be connected to his lifeline.

Right from that opening note to the rudalis (professional mourners) who were waiting for the man to die to the man who dies and then comes back are awesome in their expressions. And then the flash back which says why and how the vermillion got fixed there and then the man’s dramatic come back..

It has won hell lot of awards, both in house and outside but more than that it for sure has helped the brand in its branding and sales…

The concept is so Indianised and the execution is brilliant... Everyone from the miserable deadpan expression, makes the start look like an award film but in the end one can’t help but laugh. A serious situation is turned around with such ease and the climax proves the rule that the last 10 seconds is very important…kudos to Lowe and the team who made Camlin brand....Hence this ad becomes the first of the perpetual amusers in adformula….

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

IndusInd Bank ad- just spilt milk !!!

Indus Ind bank and its three ads (one each for Mobile Alerts, Online Payments and Ready2Use Savings Account kit) that is on air for a week plus now has amused me for three reasons…

1. It was surprising to see this from a bank which was a non advertiser as compared to the big wigs of the category.

2. It has Omi Vaidya (Chatur of 3 Idiots fame) and Shruti Seth (TV actress of Comedy Circus & Ristey.com fame), the ads are visualized and made by the big brains (PS Mann, Creative Director, RK Swamy and the script has been put to light by Ankur Suman, Creative Group Head of the agency) and directed by Imtiaz Ali, (the same director who took 'Jab We Met' to a success)

3. The media spend is awesome (about 50 million) and that explains to me why I get to see these ads now and then, in any channel I watch or flip through.



This is just one of the ads and the rest of the three you can see here….

Now having said and seen it, I must also confess that in spite of all this factors that seem to favour the brand and its 'could have been path breaking advertising', nothing much has happened with the reaction that such an ad would have generated. I know its easy to review but when it is done, it has to be done in all perfection…so let me take it in the same 1, 2 and 3 order…

1.It could have been different considering the fact that the bank in question is a minor player in its market, no matter what ever the claim other wise is.. (2 million customers and has a network of 209 branches and 427 ATM's spread over 168 geographical locations in 28 states and union territories across the country) .. vis-à-vis and ICICI and SBI and HDFC, Indus Ind bank is still small which but could have been used as an opportunity .. Remember the Avis care rentals ad which said “we are number two but we try harder”.. some thing of that angle would have been perfect for this.. but then obviously the Indus ind bank guys are no Robert Townsend and the RK Swamy guys aren’t of the Bill Bern Bach genre… I don’t mean that only the biggies should go brouhaha but the small ones should do it differently if they expect to be noticed..

2.The choice of casting & humor should have definitely helped then to break the clutter and create some disruptive communication… they seemed to have hoped it-both the brand and its agency….. but then getting Omi to speak like Chatur isn’t humour , at least talking in that accent but no great joke delivered will not make people laugh and laugh and run all the way to the nearest Indusind bank and open an account.,,,, Or else they could have continued with Chatur and not make him Mr Chowgle who speaks like Omi.... No doubt the mobile alert ad has a bit of humour in it but was it the maximum?

How does the other two ad look so plain ,naive and lacks creatives in it? Indusind Bank as a brand will for sure get some recall but then after that? Can Chatur-Imtiaz magic convert the recall into action…?

3.With slight modification to the famous Bernbach quote…'Nobody counts the number of ads you run; or the number of channels you run, they just remember the impression you make…'. Frankly, in terms of creating an impression I guess Chatur (thanks to three idiots) remain in the minds of the TG but not connected with this brand in question, nor in any relevance to this brand in question, nor again for any humour that he delivered here but in his film- the clasic three idiots... ! this is not forgetting the fact that from a marketing communication angle Indusind bank has done a lot last one year… As part of a new and vigorous brand building exercise, the bank has taken many initiatives which has helped the brand connect up with the customers & enhance the visibility quotient…. But does this series of ads contribute? Have they thought of the idea that opportunities dance only with those who already are on the dance floor?At least justify the kind of spend that it seems to have incurred?

Mr & Mrs Chowgle could have been used with more sense and with more fun , so that the desired clutter break would have happened like a cake walk. Lost opportunities but are like spilt milk.. now the question is what next?


" Opportunities come; we do not perceive them, or we tarry or hesitate, and they pass away. Often it happens, too, that a lost opportunity is a last opportunity!"

Saturday, March 06, 2010

The Fun Gun !!!

Old man Joe limped into the doctor's office and said, "Doctor, my knee hurts so bad, I can hardly walk!"

The doctor slowly eyed him from head to toe, paused and then said, "Mr. Joe, just how old are you?"

"98!" Joe announced proudly.

The doctor just sighed, and looked at him again. . .Finally he said, "Sir, I'm sorry. I mean, just look at you. You're practically one hundred years old, and you're complaining that your knee hurts? Well, what did you expect?"

The old Joe said, "Well, my other knee is 98 years old too, and it don't hurt!!!!!!!!

Logically yes, but then as in life in advertising too Logic do not have a place often !!!

Enjoy the week end folks !!!

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Peugeot607- Giving shivers !!!

video

Peugeot 607 , the executive car which rolled out in 1999 to replace the 605 was a brilliant car in its styling and function... Both the 605 and this new version was a hit and was admired of rits executive style and looks.. (Except in some parts of Europe where I have seen it being run as a taxi) I love this ad for its attitude, and for the shivers that it gave to others... After the ad many copy cats came , not only in the business of making and selling cars but also in other businesses.But then that itself is the biggest testimony to this ad !

Its nostalgia for me to see this ad again and my appreciation to the creatives that thought this idea and for the brilliant execution... Proud that I too had a past in Euro RSCG Europe and have seen this ad in the making !

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Adspeak- BOGOF..!!!


"Buy one, get one free", or "Buy one, get one" is probably one of the most common forms of sales promotion… If out of 10 ads, today 7 are of sales promotion type( three of the brand building type), atleast 5 would be of the buy one get one type… Customers may not know this acronym but every where and in every shoping situation, they come across this format of sales promotion….. It is regarded as one of the most effective forms of special offers for goods but only as long as your competetors don’t copy you ( which they often do) ...


It would have started off as an abrupt end of the season stock clearance method used by shops and merchants who were still with a large quantity of stock that they were looking to sell quicklyfor want of stocking space and changing season… But as in various practices in Marketing, later on it become a popular, planned and considered marketing method...


I think the pioneers had been the gramaphone record companies right from the older days to the DVD/CD guys of today. Last day I was buying a DVD and it said free DVD inside.. When I asked the shop sales man can I know which is that INSIDE DVD , he stared at me as if I had asked him something quite strange..


Why should you know.. It is anyway free.. You are buying one and you are getting one free…


The success of this promotion lies in the fact that for the price of one, two items are being sold. The price of "one" is somewhat nominal and is typically raised when used as part of a buy one get one free deal. Whilst the cost per item is proportionately cheaper than if bought on its own, it is not actually half price…. But who cares.. I guess people fall easily into the trap… My friend who is a Market research analyst was telling me that most people buy things that they don’t want just because they think they are getting it free….


Buy one get one free is neverthless a popular sales technique because it can be used legally at any time, unlike many other offers…. It is a great tool to attract new users but to retain them , this may not be enough ….


Tail piece: BOGOF sounds so very similar to BOGUS as in fake… Now , is that just a coincidence?


***************************************

A salesman was demonstrating unbreakable comb combo sets in a department store. He was impressing the people who stopped by to look by putting the comb through all sorts of torture and stress.... HE held both (BOGOF) combs and did all the tricks... Some protested and said when two combs are held together, it will not break in any case.. so to impress the skeptics in the crowd, he took one comb out, bent the comb completely in half, and it snapped with a loud crack. Without missing a beat, he bravely held up both halves of the 'unbreakable' comb for everyone to see and said, "And this, ladies and gentlemen, is what an unbreakable comb looks like on the inside."
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