Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Time for a softer MBA

With the fracas around judging errors in Goafest 2010, advertising has become a profession that’s been grabbing the headlines for all the wrong reasons.

I’m going to skirt this topic for just one reason. Our clients don’t care about it.

Instead I want to bring up a topic that is relevant as we are at the start of the new academic year.

Ever since the economy opened up, and that’s almost 2 decades ago, marketing as profession has matured in India. Scores of youngsters, many of them MBAs, now handle responsibilities ranging from product management, advertising, promotions, to exhibitions, new media etc. They take decisions worth millions of rupees, many of which determine the fate of the brand. A sizeable percentage of these decisions are “aesthetic” decisions. My question is, how is business education preparing them to take such subjective calls?

The last time I checked, no MBA course covers graphic design adequately. Yet, these graduates sit on judgment on expensive advertising campaigns, effecting changes without knowing the aesthetic implications. Most of the time the quality of the verdict depends on individual right brain competencies that formal business education has not ventured to deal in. So if the marketing professional is a music enthusiast, chances are his inputs on a jingle is likely to be worthwhile. Else he might actually be ruining a good thing. Now imagine if the project at hand is a multi million rupee commercial.

So, for a start, I recommend that MBA education must include comprehensive courses in Graphic Design, Music, Cinema and Art. Thereby the marketing person can take informed calls on aesthetics. In fact, the creative folk will begin to see him as an insider.

Expanding the argument further, I’d say that our MBA education comes woefully short when it comes to developing right brain competencies. Studies across the world have shown that this is what distinguishes the top performers in many sectors. Einstein’s scientific thinking was aided in large measure by his mastery over the violin. Dr. Raja Ramanna, one of the founding fathers of India’s success in nuclear energy, was an accomplished pianist. I strongly urge the IIMs to loosen up a bit and bring a sense of play into business education. Teach subjects that inspire the individual to thrive in his strengths. I read that IIM Bangalore plans to introduce the Bhagvad Gita as part of the curriculum. This is an inspired move, in my opinion. Daniel Pink in his book “A Whole New Mind” says that in the new age, people who have majored in fine arts will rule the business profession. While he is not to be taken literally, what he implies is that mere factual knowledge is not going to build leaders. Those who can rise above all this, into realm of “artistry”, they are the ones who will change the world.

The sum of my argument is this. At the core of business profession is creativity. It’s time business education prepared students for this.

Posted by Monica

Monday, April 26, 2010

Check out the real talents in business today

When we hear of some earth-shattering campaign that has broken, we get to hear the agency behind it first. Then, perhaps the creative honcho who's the big name in that agency. The part that's left blank are the creative team that was actually behind the idea. (In most cases at least.)

Adage has done a fab job of putting up a list of creative hotshots who actually worked on some of the best campaigns you see around the world today.

Have a look here.

Posted by Murali.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

India gets its chance to host its first Portfolio Night

Ogilvy Mumbai will host the first edition of Portfolio Night in Mumbai. The event is scheduled to be held on May 20. For the uninitiated, Portfolio Night gives young Copywriters and Art Directors an opportunity to showcase their work to some of the best Creative Directors in the industry. You can get to know about the tickets here.

Posted by Murali.

Monday, March 8, 2010

The best of Scorsese

How can one funnel down the great auteur's 10 best screen moments? To my mind, there are so many, that take your breath away. But Jason Solomon of The Observer has put together of what he thinks are the 10 best cinematic moments of Martin Scorsese. You may agree or disagree with the list. Nonetheless, they are all glimpses of great cinema you can't ignore.

Have a dekko

Posted by Murali.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The most impactful smoking ad you would see

Mr. Albert Whittamore, passed away in Dover, England. He was 85. And the reason for his death - smoking. It was his idea that his hearse would carry this message, serving you as a reminder to quit the habit immediately.

Courtesy: Times of India.

Posted by Murali.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Upper cut-off phenomenon

The selection criteria for job application changing. Some people have finally realized that academic excellence doesn’t automatically translate into a high performing employee.

‘With more and more companies turning to people with multi-tasking capabilities, students preferring specialisation are driven to disillusionment.

“We are indeed waiting for the market to improve. But what is more disturbing now is the ‘upper cut-off’ insisted by certain companies, saying that those who score 80 per cent and above marks need not apply,” said Aman Jain, a student of B.Tech. electronics and communications at Sri Bhagwan Mahaveer Jain College of Engineering, Bangalore.

That means, the companies have started rejecting the cream of students who excel in studies, on the ground that they will not suit a multi-tasking milieu.

-the hindu .

ha ha ha the revenge of the average scoring student.

Posted by Monica.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

While most agencies create ads, some are going beyond to create something unique

Are you in an agency, that still swears by the 30-sec spot? Then you should take a look at what these guys are up to. For your information, they are just mainline agencies like yours. But have moved beyond conventional advertising. They create Apps, Games, Web Browsers and much more. Isn't that fab?

Read what Rupal Parekh has to say about this in Adage.

Posted by Murali.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The 10 best ideas showcased at one go

Adage has listed the 10 best ideas that changed the marketing world. They were ideas that had balls. Sadly, in today's times we miss such big ideas, and if there are any, the temerity to hold on to it is sadly missing. So, see the big ones here. And get inspired.

Posted by Murali.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Tribute to Mr. Mani Ayer

An era has passed. Another great advertising giant is no more with us. For those of you, who have heard of Mr. Mani Ayer, here's your chance to learn more of him. A Facebook page has been dedicated to him. Go there. Learn a bit about him. For one thing is certain, seldom would you get to see such advertising giants in today's time. Like someone said, they don't make 'em anymore.

Posted by Murali.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Now, agencies can protect their ideas in a pitch

Since we're in a venerable profession that gives ideas for free during pitches, one wonders what happens to them, if you don't win the pitch. The client has all the freedom in the world to use it. No, says the latest missive from the Agency Association in the US. They have brought out a proposal to protect the intellectual rights of agencies during pitches. Great start, I'd say. Will it come to India soon? I don't have an answer.

Read in detail

Posted by Murali.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Will the iPad save the publishing industry?

The publishing industry is in a state of despair. Among many other solutions that are being tried out to resuscitate the industry, there is one product that could perhaps be a god-send. The iPad. If you remember, the old Macintosh was the birthing ground for desktop publishing, decades back. So, it is more than just a coincidence that Apple is here once again, with a product that can rekindle (pun unintended) the publishing business.

Read the article here.

Posted by Murali.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Isn't Diesel stupid?

Diesel's latest campaign in the US says: Be stupid. Is it their way of saying 'be crazy' or 'be wild' or perhaps 'be screwed up in your heads'? Dunno for sure. But to finger a Siberian tiger or get squashed by an elephant is not something that appeals to the generation they are talking to. Here are some pics from the campaign, anyway.

Posted by Murali.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The ineffectiveness of digital advertising

It's sad but true. For all the prowess that it promises, internet advertising hasn't really taken off. That's the truth. The reason for this has been attributed to many things. Digital Analytics expert Philip W Sawyer blames creative. And the sheer failure from the digital professionals' part to understand the medium.

Read his argument here.

Posted by Murali.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Remembering Suresh Mullick

Kudos to Ogilvy for putting up a nice e-book on Suresh Mullick, the man behind the anthem 'Mile Sur Mera Tumhara' and many other stellar campaigns of the '70s and '80s. For those who don't know about him, this e-book is a great place to start. He was Piyush's only boss and as Mani Aiyer says, the creative soul of Ogilvy in those days.

Go here to read the e-book. It's surely worth your time.

Posted by Murali.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Alfa Romeo in a shopping trolley

Nice piece of ambient work from Duval Guillaume, Brussels for the automobile brand, Alfa Romeo. It was a campaign that showcased the price reduction of the car - which meant it fitted your pocket, in this case, your shopping trolley quite easily.

Posted by Murali.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The top public service ads of the decade

Campaign Brief magazine has put down a list of top ads (films) which straddled the public service / charity space. These ads, according to the mag not only appealed to the jury but also were great success stories for the causes they represented.

Go have a dekko here.

Posted by Murali.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Top Buzzwords for Social Media

Since most of us are into some form of social media, this article on Adage is worth a read. The author has put down top 20 buzzwords that best encapsulate our daily travels (or should it be travails?) into the social media landscape.

Here we go.

Posted by Murali.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Dave Trott, speaking to Vinny Warren

Even if you haven’t a clue who they are, read the interview. Here.

Posted by Niru.

The people have tweeted!

A testimonial ad with actual peoplespeak. See here.

Posted by Niru.

Save your logo

Not from meddling clients, but from extinction. Many companies that have modeled their logos after powerful, evocative animal symbols, are realizing that those species are probably not going to be around! Some of the more altruistic ones are trying to save these signature creatures. Read the full story here.

Posted by Niru.