Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The best of 2008 - Subramaniapuram

Tamil cinema finally came of age this year. With a time machine called Subramaniapuram. In my opinion, that was the best flick of 2008. Probably, across all languages in India. (And that's not a tall claim for sure.) To all those who haven't watched it, my humble request would be, catch it now.

Here's why I think it scores above all else:
It's a debut feature, yet looks like it is crafted by a seasoned master of cinema
It's shorn of cliches that haunt Indian cinema
It's fabulously written, beautifully shot
The movie is devoid of big stars
It's set in the '80s and the director does complete justice to that time period
The picture-perfect portrayal of the opening day of a Rajnikant movie
The director's attention to detail
The seemingly casual way violence is depicted
The way each character has been detailed out

Posted by Murali

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Link A Day # 13: Logo Trends 2008

Every year, the pundits at Logo Lounge study thousands of logos and decipher common trends in logo design. This year, the key observations were as follows:
  • There's less emphasis on sustainability or general "greenness" in logo design. There's plenty of natural imagery, but being "green" doesn't seem all that unique anymore.
  • Colors are becoming more vivid. Desaturation has drained away, and the chroma factor pumped up.
  • There's an overall move toward cleanliness - in type, in line, in color - as if ideas are getting more and more succinct. It may be an indication of the degree of seriousness with which branding is now regarded.
  • Less is more common: less calligraphy, less Photoshop tricks, less artificial highlights.
  • Found pattern and illustration hang on and on and on. With a bottomless treasure chest of visual history constantly at the ready through retail collections and over the internet, it's a direction that's not likely to run its course soon, if ever.
Apart from these general insights, Logo Lounge has tried capture 15 new genres that logo designers are embracing. I found it interesting. Hope it tickles you too.

Posted by Anantha.

"The Coorg has left the building"

She's the one whose pad we head to when the primal need to party presents itself.

This special person makes our office, or to the very least our birthdays much sweeter.

One wonders how she manages to do it??? (3 hints how: CAKE, CAKE and more CAKE)

A social animal by day, and a party animal by night.

A fun loving, out going, out spoken, out standing Coorg chick…

Who we all have come to know and love.

The chick that we're all a little ticked off at for leaving, at the moment.

But bad news never picks a good time to show up.

So 3 cheers for the little plant at Orchard, that never ceases to give (she's in fact the youngest one here).

God bless you, Tulsi.

May you grow exponentially and enjoy continual success in the road ahead.

Do try, to not let your old friendships wilt away. And remember us, will ya?

Cause we sure as heck will miss you.

Wish you all the best. Goodbye and good luck.

Posted by Shane.

A Link A Day # 12: Mental Floss Guitar Lessons

Mental Floss has been featuring a weekly series of video lessons on how to learn to play a guitar. From buying the right guitar to studying chord charts, everything is explained in concise 5 minute capsules. For those who came in late, 10 lessons have already been posted, and more will be up every Monday. So, learn boy, learn.

Posted by Anantha.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Spot of the Week: Waterslide

Should have posted this, last month. I know, I am a little late. But it's a wonderful spot. Couldn't resist sharing it with ya...

Agency: BBH. Producer: Gorgeous. Director: Peter Thwaites. For more on the spot, go here.

Posted by Commercialbreaker.

A Link A Day # 11: 62 Photoshop tricks

If you didn't know how to: a) make a realistic looking tattoo b) create smoke using photoshop c) colorize black & white images d) make web buttons, then here's a link that will make you an expert in a matter of minutes. And if you did know, you can always create your own 101 and share your knowledge on this blog.

Posted by Anantha.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Lights, Camera and Action for Meera Coconut Oil

After 4 months of work - which included a series of concept presentations, truckloads of script narration, analysis, deliberation and a final call to action, the Meera Coconut Oil film finally got shot on 23rd and 24th in Chennai.

The shoot crew had an interesting mix of people. It's directed by Karu Palaniappan, who is an upcoming, young and popular feature filmmaker in Tamil. Having directed Parthiban Kanavu, Sivapadhigaaram and Pirivom Sandhipom, Palaniappan brought in a feature-filmy take to the script. Incidentally, this will be his first independent ad film.

The Producer, Prabhakar who runs Brand Box Office had roped in Thiru, the ace cameraman for the project. He, according to me, can take this ad film to the next level. Apart from shooting loads of ads, he has helmed the camera for Hey Ram, Bhool Bhulaiya and Abhay. His next big venture is Robot with Rajnikant. But to get a glimpse of his talent, one needs to watch the much acclaimed Priyadarshan feature 'Kanchivaram' which has got rave reviews at the Toronto Film Festival.

Since the director and the DOP have a feature film background, the set too reeked of stories from Bollywood and Kollywood. Here are some interesting snippets:

1) Tamil cinema is facing a dearth of good screenplay writers. Today, mostly the directors write the screenplay / script themselves. So guys, if you have a story and the knack of writing screenplay, you know where to head.

2) Asin has started refusing big banner offers from the South after Ghajni.

3) PC Sriram (Thiru trained under him), once came at 10 in the morning for an ad film shoot and walked out at 10.15 because some miniscule detail in the set wasn't up to the mark. And he came back the next day to resume shooting, since that had wrecked his mood.

4) Nayanthara, the South bombshell carries a scissor with her during shoots. Because she always has an altercation with her designer on how short the length of her mini skirt should be. And finally she decides. With her scissors going chop, chop, chop.

Okie, I have digressed a bit. Just that I thought some filmy gossip can inject some mirth to your monday morning.

Nonetheless, as far as the Meera film goes, you guys should be able to catch it on Tamil channels by the second week of January.

Have a nice day.

Posted by Murali

Garma Garam Gossip Edition # 2

• The senior management in the Blue Danube Composer company has been hit by the recession blues. Heads have started to roll.
• The Red Gem conmen and the Frigid Spice agency have swapped a dairy & an ice cream account.
• The Patak’s Agency is on the prowl looking for a CD.
• The Robotic hero will pocket 25 crores while the Ashen faced heroine may get a paycheck of 7 crores.
• But the big juice is the Daily Toy has quietly sent home 1400 people.

Posted by Loose Tongue.

A Link A Day # 10: Is abstract art all cock?

Abstract art is the step child of mockery. It often gets the stick for being what it is. That's why artist Keith Garrow's riposte to the ridicule came as a breath of fresh air. Go read.

Posted by Anantha.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Link A Day # 9: Friedman's Observation

Thomas 'The-World-is-Flat' Friedman has drawn a rather interesting comparison between America and General Motors. In an Op-Ed in NY Times, he writes:

"We’ve fallen into a trend of diverting and rewarding the best of our collective I.Q. to people doing financial engineering rather than real engineering. These rocket scientists and engineers were designing complex financial instruments to make money out of money — rather than designing cars, phones, computers, teaching tools, Internet programs and medical equipment that could improve the lives and productivity of millions.

For all these reasons, our present crisis is not just a financial meltdown crying out for a cash injection. We are in much deeper trouble. In fact, we as a country have become General Motors — as a result of our national drift. Look in the mirror: G.M. is us."

For the full article, go visit the venerable NYT.

Posted by Anantha.

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Best Hindi Jingle Ever

The best hindi jingle ever, according to me, was the one written by Sahir Ludhianvi for Guru Dutt's Pyaasa. Composed by SD Burman and sung by Mohammad Rafi, Sar jo tera chakraye tries plugging an oil massage by Johnny Walker. Why I love it is:

a) The song has a single-minded brand proposition: Lakh Dukhon ki Ek Dava.
b) The target audience is clearly defined - people burdened with head aches and heart breaks.
c) As the product claims to make people feel lighter, the treatment of the song is suitably light-hearted.
d) The performance of Johnny Walker is a little over-the-top, in tune with the rather tall brand claim.
e) The product mention happens twice in the very beginning.
f) And above all, what a memorable tune and cleverly woven lyrics. Naukar ho ya maalik, leader ho ya public, apne aage sabi jukhe hain kya raja kya sainik. Could you better that? I bet my opinionated ass that no Prasoon or Piyush can match this.

Posted by Anantha.

A Link A Day # 8: Lee Clow's Interview

"All I know is that a lot of people kid themselves by moving to too many jobs and then find themselves going out of the business when they’re 35 years old because they’ve compromised and jumped around for money and for the wrong reasons. The only reason you should move to a new job is if you are not getting the opportunity to do what you want to do and what you believe you can do. You need to look around. Are there teachers here? Am I learning things? Am I getting the opportunities I need? If you feel you’ll never accomplish anything more there, you have to move. But don’t move because somebody else will you give you more money. Money has to be the last criteria. Because ultimately, if you are doing great work, the money will come."

That's Lee Clow, the ad legend who's stayed in the same agency for decades. For more of his pearls, this is where you should go.

Posted by Anantha.

Bhagyada Lakshmi Baarama

This clip is from an old Rajkumar flick. The debate is whether such a product / brand (Ananda) existed. Harti, the local Kannada guru claims it didn't. It was just a part of the movie (Bhagyada Lakshmi Baarama), which had a corporate ad story woven into it.

Sagar claims otherwise. Says Ananda as a brand existed long ago. And if this is true, this is a cool, retro in-film advertising effort.

What's your take?

Posted by Murali

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Link A Day # 7: 22 Classic Commercials

It's Christmas time and I am in a mighty generous mood. I've found a magic button that lets you watch 22 commercials in one go without waiting for the net to keep pace. At least 16 of these are gems. My favourite is the Fedex spot with John Moschitta. There's even the Hai Karate spot that might have inspired Axe. Watch it all over here.

Posted by Anantha.

A Link A Day # 6: The Fight

DDB has unleashed a new Matrix-clone-fight style commercial for Volkswagen Golf. Directed by Ivan Zacharias (remember Stunt City?), this spot was art directed by an Indian named Shishir Patel.
I like it. Hope you do.

Posted by Anantha.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Link A Day # 5: Shailesh Khandeparkar

Shailesh Khandeparkar is a young illustrator who seized the world's attention with his stunning work for WWF. The work made it to the hallowed D&AD Annuals in 2007 and 2008. I can't think of many Indians who've pulled this off. If you haven't seen his booty, take a peek here.

Posted by Anantha.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Will AR Rahman make it to the Academy’s list this year?

Going by the trend, he should. Because his score for Slumdog Millionaire has been nominated for the Golden Globe. And the winners and nominees at the Globes do have a fair chance of making it to the Oscar's list of probables.

What do you think?

Posted by Murali

Tulsi's farewell party at Koshy's

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Link A Day # 4: How to Kill an Idea

Fuel, the Lisbon based ad agency, has done a fun campaign for Show Off. I dunno what Show Off is into. But the campaign will strike a deep chord with most creative people. Go catch it here. Point to be noted: If you observe the campaign, you'll catch the Fuel key number in every ad. Was it done on purpose?

Posted by Anantha.

Orchard loses the flavour of Coorg

She’s everything you’d expect from a Coorg girl. Tough. Resilient. Hard-working. Driven. Fun. And charming. She was the favourite in Studio. Go-getter amongst Servicing. Peace of mind for Creative. And the toast at Orchard parties.

Let’s put our hands together for Tulsi, ladies and gentlemen. This lady has put her blood, sweat and smiles for Orchard and has decided to move on.

As we wish her all the best for the next assignment, let’s also add that no matter where she goes, we’ll still hit her home for those crazy after-office parties. Got it, Tulsi?

Goodbye from all of us.

Rock on.

Posted by Murali

You call it a pitch when…

Suits try to crack the brief for a week
Creative work starts exactly 3 days before the pitch
The AE takes food order for night work
Creative Director says, “Guys, we need path-breaking stuff!”
Groggy eyed look becomes all too common
The low-lying account guy puts together 160 slides
The branch head rehearses the presentation in mind
The jet-setting CEO flies in and changes the presentation
Nine times out of ten, the PPT refuses to start just before the pitch
You hear the familiar ‘The pitch went off really well’ in the end

Posted by Murali

Spot of the Week: Electrabel 2009

Client: Electrabel, Belgium. Agency: Famous, Brussels. Production Company: Czar Brussels/Rabbit New York. Director: Raf Wathion. Trivia: This effect has been achieved with 300,000 candles. Watch stills here.

Posted by Commercial Breaker.

Garma Garam Gossip Edition # 1

The agency that Ogles is rumoured to have lost a 7-crore client in Delhi. They say it’s the client with the motto.

The Dancing Hand agency has issued the pink slips to 4 people in Chennai.

The Amby agency is still hunting for a CD in Bangalore & Chennai.

Posted by Loose Tongue.

A Link A Day # 3: Free read of Hopkins

Claude Hopkins, the advertising pioneer who invented test marketing & coupon sampling, is a revered figure among those who know. He passed away in 1932 after penning two great tomes for ad folks who follow him - My Life in Advertising and Scientific Advertising. If you've never had a chance to read his works, then go here. Read both the books. For free.

Posted by Anantha.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Link A Day # 2: What piqued Ridley Scott

When Walter Parks, the head of Dreamworks, wanted to get Ridley Scott interested in doing Gladiator, he gave him the bound script. And a painting titled Pollice Verso (by French artist Jean-Leon Jerome). Scott took one look at the painting and said YES without even reading the script. So what was the piece of art that piqued the ace director? See it for yourself.

Posted by Anantha.

Friday, December 19, 2008

A Link A Day # 1 - Mangaattha Matteru

I knew teen-patti was called Mangaattha in Tamil, but I never knew its etymology. I discovered this and a lot more here. If you're a Peter or Mary who's curious to know the meaning of Laard Labakkdas, Manjaa Soru, Gokka-Makka & Gilfaans, you better odify there.

Posted by Anantha.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

How advertising can affect the meltdown.

The meltdown feeds on negative sentiment. It gains in strength every time someone spreads gloom and doom. The only way to fight it is by perception management. This is where advertising can help. We need more campaigns that spread cheer. More commercials that kindle hope. More ads that inspire. More copy with wit. More art with soul. These are the times for stand-up comedians, the jokers and the clowns. So get out your gags and get ready to gag the naysayers.

Posted by Anantha.

How the meltdown will affect advertising.

If the M-word hasn’t entered your vocabulary yet, you probably live in another planet. Or may be you’ve just been plain lucky.Either ways, allow me to spill a national secret: the only reason India hasn’t bombed Pakistan is the domino effect it will have on the Aam Aadmi’s India.

The meltdown has already started wreaking havoc on the advertising industry. Budgets have been slashed. Pay cuts are being contemplated. The bloodbath has begun. Even heads have started to roll.

Is this the end, then? No mate, this is just the beginning. It’s gonna get worse. Now, before you accuse me of scaremongering, I shall analyze the market threadbare and show you why I am bearish about the future...

1. All the IPO-obsessed clients have seen their dreams take a deep tumble. They’ve realized that the life-saving public issue is not going to happen for at least six months. This has caused a funding jam which in turn has resulted in a liquidity crunch. No working capital means, no money to pay suppliers. By definition, that includes ad agencies. Now do yourself a favor. Think of the client list of your ad agency. Jot down the names of those who were talking of an IPO. Make a note of the money they owe you. Safely assume that that money won’t flow in, even after 3 months.

2. I can see that ‘uh-oh’ expression in your face. WAIT. There’s more bad news. One sinking company can drag six other companies down. So a chain of negativity will get transmitted all around. A pall of gloom will pervade the economy and soon even champions of recession advertising will get into a shell. What that means reason will take a backseat and silly sentiment will take over.

3. How does one stay afloat in these choppy waters? Simple. Steal clients from the other agency. And how does one manage this? Under cutting. No brainer, no? So an Agency War will ensue - where the winner will again be the clients.

4. Retainer fees and media commissions will experience a free fall.

5. Clients will use this as an excuse and squeeze even more juice from their agencies. To avoid this squeeze, the account management will become more and more pliant. Therefore pandering will become the official agency policy. Options will rule!

6. With their new found freedom, clients will start dictating the course of their brand. Panic Sales will be announced. Every brand will use this as a recession-busting tactic. Jaw dropping discounts will become the order of the day. Expect more 70% offs.

7. Those sagacious clients who’ve saved for a rainy day, will be the only ones with any money to do commercials. Even they will be tempted to ask for shorter durations, lower budgets and harder working TVCs.

8. Celebrity endorsement contracts will be reviewed. Most celebrities will face the hatchet.

9. Lack of celebrities will force the client to be more alert about the scripts they approve. Some edgy scripts that never found expression might find takers. To me, that’s the BIG NEWS. Wouldn’t all you hungry buggers want a good low-budget film on your show reel? If you’ve always wanted some nice films, then 2009 will be your year.

10. The sad bit is, even though you might make some good films you will never be able to enter the films for awards as the awards budget will be pared. The upside is, Ad Clubs will be forced to lower the entry fee to attract more entries.

11. Without awards, what does one do? The pitch will be your new saviour. More pitches will happen in 2009 to find agency suitors who are willing to charge lesser. So your portfolio is bound to look great.

12. And which categories are bound to see more pitches? Condoms (as people have more sex to bust stress), Underwear (everyone has to wear them), Indian government banks (as they will never collapse), Fuel Efficient Cars and Bikes, Astrologers, Shrinks, Lawyers, Agarbattis, Pain relievers, Yoga Classes, Hospitals (stress related diseases will experience a spike) and FMCGs that use celebrities. Value brands in all these categories will rock.

13. Lastly, the meltdown will consume many small agencies. Mergers will become the preferred survival strategy.

I’ll leave it at the ominous 13 as I want you to worry more. After all, it’s a question of our survival.

Posted by Anantha

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

How do they do it together?

Before your imagination runs wild, let me quickly stop you.
Because I’m referring to the celluloid magic that the Coen Brothers manage to create together.

They think together. Write the script together. Direct together. (And of course, share the laurels together.)

Wondering how that’s possible?

Click on the link below and figure out how they create magic. Together.

Posted by Murali

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Youtube Gems: World's first viral film?

Electrocuting an Elephant was filmed by Thomas Alva Edison in 1903. Wikipedia gives us a little background on the film: Topsy (born circa 1875, died January 4, 1903), was a domesticated elephant with the Forepaugh Circus at Coney Island's Luna Park. Because she had killed three men in as many years (including a severely abusive trainer who attempted to feed her a lit cigarette), Topsy was deemed a threat to people by her owners and killed by electrocution on January 4, 1903. Inventor Thomas Edison captured the event on film. He would release it later that year under the title Electrocuting an Elephant.

A means of execution initially discussed was hanging. However, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals protested and other ways were considered. Edison then suggested electrocution with alternating current, which had been used for the execution of humans since 1890.

To reinforce the execution, Topsy was fed carrots laced with 460 grams of potassium cyanide before the deadly current from a 6,600-volt AC source was sent coursing through her body. She was dead in seconds.The event was witnessed by an estimated 1,500 people and Edison's film of the event was seen by audiences throughout the United States.

The reason why I feel it's the world's first viral is the hidden persuasion aspect of this film. Apparently, animal executions was a strategy used by Edison to discredit alternating current as an unsafe electricity system for powering homes. This film strengthened his case for the Edison Power Company's Direct Current (DC).

Posted by Anantha.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Bullshit Interview with Dabitch

The Bullshit Interview is an interview with a twist. The idea is to shoot unexpected queries at ad people and see how well they bullshit their way out of it. The first soul on Earth who's volunteered to take the interview is the one and only Dabitch.

Dabitch - or as her passport reads, Åsk Wäppling - is the founder of Adland the commercial archive, obsessively collecting ads since 1996 hosting the worlds largest superbowl collection. She likes turtles, cats, Vespas and hates walks on the beach. An art director by day and maverick ad-commentator by night - when she's not at her computer she's likely dead. Now let's see how she fared...

How do you explain art direction to a blind man?
The same way I explain music to a deaf person and the female orgasm to a man. I let them feel it.

Why do women like pink?
Why do men assume that we do? Women don't like pink. Little girls like pink. The two shouldn't be confused else you might end up in jail.

If a good friend of yours won a Cannes Grand Prix for a plagiarized ad, would you carry that scoop in your blog?
Yes of course, unlike my good friends in advertising my website has actually been with me for the past twelve years. Ad-pals come and go. Tossers.

But seriously, I'd point the similarities out but I could only prove plagiarism if I was there when they used tracing paper on top of the other ad. We all know this doesn't happen (well, it probably did in this case) - ideas do pop up in two peoples heads independent of one another. People do build on things that they have seen in real life. Coincidences do happen. Scam ads, knowingly competing with an ad that no client has ever approved - are a much bigger sin than accidental similarities between two different campaigns in my book. It's like being a steroid body builder competing against a natural body builder. I know that I began Adland by only talking about Badland ads (that is coincidental and similar ideas) but I don't think people copy on purpose as often as people seem to think, I think that similar ads happen when lazy creatives don't push to the next level and execute the very first decent idea that they thought of - which just happens to be the very first decent idea another creative team thought of for another client across the globe. Also there's been quite a few "OMG PLAGIARISM" yelled at people when they simply use the same new media as another campaign, as if every poster in the world communicates the same exact idea. You have to recognize what the idea is in each ad, and please remember that it's not the font, not the media and not the tone of voice that is the idea – they just communicate the idea. They're the execution.

Having said all that I still think it's fun to show twin ads when they happen, even if by accident, just because it's kinda freaky. Like we all share the same brain. Maybe we do?

Also, there's been more than one story where a large brand takes interest in non commercial artists work, and then creates a commercial or similar which is heavily influenced by said work and not a penny goes to the artists for this free inspiration. If a photographer, animator, illustrator or musician is the perfect fit for your advert at least have the decency of hiring the people you're ripping off. Here rip-off means something else.

What's your conspiracy theory on why Neil French started the World Press Awards?
He wanted to see his name in print more often.

If you were to be reborn as a font, which font would you choose to be? And why?
Helvetica. Classically stylish, discreet, versatile, and annoyingly every-damn-where you can't escape me!

What are the three things you will change about Luerzer's Archive if you were made its editor?
Format, paper, website.

If you were to do an ad campaign for the Mumbai Terrorists, what would be your communication strategy?
For media, I'd definitely use guerrilla.

Why is Thai advertising wacky?
Same reason the Thai people are. Too much Sambal Oelek makes you a little unpredictable. They've exported this national feature to The Netherlands where it takes on a new form as it's mellowed out by smoke. All hail Sambal Oelek, the best thing since the birth of chili itself.

If ad agencies were movie titles, what would the apt choice be for a)Crispin Porter Bogusky b) Kessels Kramer c) Wieden+Kennedy?
a) The Dark Knight
b) The Incredibles
c) The Matrix

Which is the most over-hyped campaign of 2008?
Crispin Porter’s VW Routan campaign with Brooke Shields. They missed the funny by half a mile. Runner up: The Whopper Virgins campaign and all other Crispin campaigns - they had a terrible year where they seemed to go out of their way to offend people rather than amuse.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The D-List of Advertising Reality

Deadline – The final time / date for accepting a piece of work.
The Truth – An elastic time zone which ends up getting stretched or snapped.

Director – The person with whom the agency works closely to direct their TVC.

The Truth – Someone who twists your script under the pretext of ‘lifting it to the next level’.

D&AD – Design and Art Direction (D&AD formerly known as British Design & Art Direction) is a British educational charity which exists to promote excellence in design and advertising. (Source: Wikipedia)
The Truth – If you’ve got it, be prepared to be worshipped.

Doodle – A type of sketch, an unfocused drawing made while a person's attention is otherwise occupied. (Source: Wikipedia)
The Truth – An art perfected by the agency and client during presentations.

December – The last month of the year in the Gregorian calendar.

The Truth – Scam. Scam. Scam. Scam. And more Scam.

Posted by Murali

Monday, December 1, 2008

Breakin in my brand new shoes.

Story about a Journey from K to B (Kamanahalli to Brigades).

So there they were lying on my couch, still in a box, with a bunch of clothes piled on top. Took em' out. Slipped em' on and went "Daaaaaamn! These things are comfortable." God bless Reebok!

The bike has been surrendered for a service. So i'm thinkin, I should put these lazy legs to work. More than the work they put in to facilitate tasty trips to the fridge.

"Hey you know what you should walk to brigades!", I said to myself in the mirror. To which my reflection promptly nodded in approval. The little hand on the clock tells me it's 8:45. So i'm Brigade bound and thinkin...Really? You haven’t walked in can’t even remember how long? An argument with myself that ends with, Cummon', let’s put some miles in these bad boys, let’s see how far they'll go!

Ah! The joy of being 24, our bodies can get away with anything. So i'm half way there and all of a sudden a drizzlelette is upon me, that's like the midget of drizzles, the smallest one in the rain family that got picked on a lot. The most famous member of the rain family being a quirky looking chap that stars on the Hit Show 'The Office' and goes by the name of Rain Wilson. You know him, he's the weird-funny one they call 'Dwight'.

But a little drizelette and a drippy nose ain't gona rain on my parade. I had made up my mind, it was brigade or bust. If the word bust would come into play, it would only be the KFC crusty, delicious, deep fried kind.

Walked up to the counter and ordered the monster of Meal Combos...The King Kong Combo. Scarfed it down in 10 min flat. Talk about finger lickin' good. Well, that combined with nail-biting anticipation leads to...... Let's just say that, I now possess only 9 and a 1/2 fingers. Yep, fraid' so.

Incinerated some serious calories on the way there, but made up for the loss in calories, by wolfing down that monstrous Combo. But fret not, I didn’t stop there, I walked some more...digested my meal on foot.

These ‘New’ Shoes took one sweaty fella from The Big Bright Brigades to Shivaji Nagar. Yep, these shoes were meant for walkin, and that’s just what they did.

You should try it sometime; it’s an excellent way of relieving stress, and spending the next week recuperating in a wheel chair. If you aren’t as lucky as me. But who cares? Go for it. You’ll be glad you did.

Well, I can safely say that I got rid of that blasted new shoe smell, quite successfully.

I must confess however, that I can no longer do the bunny hop.

Posted by Shane

Why should everybody advertise?

TV, press, outdoor, radio, posters, internet, ambient ideas…these usual suspects show up in every media plan to a potential client. Makes me wonder, where is the creativity in our job? Even if you train a chimpanzee to be a media planner it would have thrown up the same options. How are we different? Why should the lead medium for all brands be either TV or press? Who said outdoor is a reminder medium? Who dinned into our heads that ambient media is not scalable? Can't a brand be built purely with posters? Why should viral always be one more activity to get eyeballs? Why can't it be the medium? Who stopped us from imagining new media? It's time, we put on our thinking cap.

Posted by Anantha

Monday, November 24, 2008

The C-List of Advertising Reality

Client – Refers to someone who purchases something from someone else.

The Truth – The prodigal son who has one hand on the agency’s neck and the other on the agency’s b@#%$.

Creatives – People who belong to the art and copy department in an agency.

The Truth – A fancy term for a bunch of disillusioned writers and whining artists.

Copy – The written word in an advertisement.

The Truth – The chink in the armour of the visual advertising supporter.

Creative Director – The man / woman responsible for the creative output of the agency.

The Truth – A title given to a self-obsessed ego tripper for possessing the ability of practicing slavery among his forces, while being on a permanent paid vacation.

Consumer – A person who uses a product or service.

The Truth – The only reason why research guys get their salaries.

Posted by Murali

50 stock expressions of a creative person

  1. Where's the brief?
  2. You call this a brief?
  3. I like the font you've used in the brief.
  4. Where's the insight?
  5. When do you need it?
  6. F*ck off.
  7. Go take a jump.
  8. This is unacceptable.
  9. I think I've cracked it…
  10. I have a fantastic idea…
  11. The scene opens in a beach in Australia…
  12. Is it hot?
  13. Will it win?
  14. It's been done before.
  15. I did this some ten years ago.
  16. There's a thought there…
  17. I have a better idea…
  18. It's a good idea but will it work?
  19. I think it will get a nomination.
  20. Fabulous idea. We should park it for some other client…
  21. We have the idea. We just need a logo.
  22. Can we get this released before December 31stt?
  23. Is the font size too big?
  24. Let's not put our key number on this ad.
  25. Let's upload it to the Archive.
  26. I think I've earned my salary for the year.
  27. I'll buy you a beer if you can sell this ad.
  28. I am not coming for the meeting…
  29. We've looked at it from all angles…
  30. We are quite excited with the work…
  31. I am sure you'll love it…
  32. Of course, your customers will get it!
  33. Trust me, the campaign will work.
  34. Bastards they killed it.
  35. The joker didn't get the ad.
  36. He can't tell his arse from his elbow.
  37. I am not gonna work on it
  38. You have two options. Take it or leave it.
  39. Come let's go for a smoke.
  40. What are you doing for lunch?
  41. Let's sleep over it.
  42. We've started brainstorming.
  43. We are working on it.
  44. We are not happy with the idea.
  45. Call up the client and postpone the meeting.
  46. I think I deserve a break.
  47. Let's hire some good looking chicks.
  48. Did you see that commercial? It was terrible.
  49. How many metals did O&M get?
  50. I am quitting.
Posted by Anantha

Monday, November 17, 2008

A Vehicle for Carvertising

Car advertising has arrived in India. A start up named Cash Ur Drive is leading the charge. If the company's claims are to be believed, nearly 12,800 cars have signed up for the exercise including 1900 MERU cars and 250 Spot Taxis in Bangalore. The private cars who've jumped into this brandwagon are primarily Hyundai Santro, Chevrolet Spark and the Alto types. The deal offered is simple: put an ad on your car, we'll pay your petrol bill. Raghu Khanna, the founder of CUD, is plugging it as an eco-friendly innovative on-wheels media for generating brand awareness and creating a buzz around promos. Plans are afoot to put in place a GPS tracking system to make the medium more accountable. Me thinks, Cash Ur Drive is a boon to visibility-starved advertisers in billboard-free cities like Chennai & Delhi. What do you think?

Posted by Anantha.

And Now, Live-in Billboards.

Brendan O'Grady has given a new twist to billboards - he's actually created billboards with a built-in home! Called The Aeroform, these behind-the-billboard shell homes have been designed keeping principles of aerodynamics in mind. Brendan's creation has just maxed the Ken Roberts Memorial Delineation (architectural rendering) Competition. The concept will be a huge hit in all metropolises with bill boards. The first brand to appropriate this idea will generate enormous buzz. Who's gonna seize the initiative?

Posted by Anantha.

Great Speeches

After Barack Obama’s rivetting victory speech, I just thought of putting together some of the speeches that I have liked. I’ll begin with Steve Jobs’ “Stay hungry, stay foolish,” Stanford Address which was covered in Fortune.

Next is JK Rowling’s (which I began to view very doubtfully) at Harvard. Her line, “There is an expiry date to blaming parents for steering you in the wrong direction.”
Watch it here:

You can watch it with transcript here:

Ali G at Harvard. You can’t miss this one.

Will add to the list when I can. Till then, hear, here.

Posted by Ajay Menon.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Breaking News

“The Iraq War has ended” screamed the New York Times on a cool November morning. Moments of euphoria later, people were bludgeoned to the corners of foolishness: the date read July 4. An elaborate network of pranksters have succeeded in releasing 1.4 million copies of “special edition” copies of the New York Times, replete with fake headlines. These pranksters who call themselves the Yes Men, spoofed the NYT’s baseline “All the news that’s fit to print” and called it “ All the news we hope to print”

Check out the story here

Posted by Deepan

Your blog is your resume.

To blog or not to blog, that is the question.
At least in the minds of avid netizens today.
While the blogger finds innumerable reasons, to punch in his thoughts,
the non-blogger is saddled with pure inertia.
And in some cases complete disinterest too.
Now if you were to believe
Joseph Jaffe,
your blog could be the most formidable armour for your career.
It’s a pat on the back to all my blogging friends.
And a wake-up call to my non-blogging mates.

Posted by Murali

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Meet Rovio. Meet the 2009 Black Pencil Winner.

Blistering Barnacles! That's the first thing you'll say when you see the demo of the WiFi-enabled robotic cam named Rovio. It's a webcam capable of omni-directional movement and believe it or not, it's not been designed by Apple. Rovio can be controlled using the browser on your laptop, mobile phone or game console (provided it's hooked to the internet). If Thomas installed it in your office, sitting in Bangalore, he can have a dog-eye view of the studio, take pictures of slackers, capture sound-bytes of the choicest gossip and keep a watch on the prettiest folks seated in the reception. After watching the product in action, I am of the view, that this is easily the product of the year. Rovio certainly deserves the D&AD Black Pencil it will go onto win in 2009.

Posted by Anantha.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I swear, it’s f***ing good!

Stumbled across this completely hilarious viral for Budweiser. Banned on TV, but it got more than 10 million hits on the net. Enjoy!
P.S. Don’t you think we should try it at our offices.

Enthusiastic participation assured.

Posted by Nirupama

Thomas Xavier, is this

There's a new site that gives you an instant analysis of your name. Here, I found out that Angelina Jolie in binary code is 01000001 01101110 01100111 01100101 01101100 01101001 01101110 01100001 00100000 01001010 01101111 01101100 01101001 01100101. Wonder, if computers feel a testesterone rush when they see that number.

I also gathered that there could at least be 4 people in America with the name Britney Spears.One more profound thing I learnt was Osama Bin Laden's personal power animal is the Spotted Skunk. And numerologically, Barack Obama is a critical thinker who overponders an issue.

Now for the interesting part. I did a quick analysis of what our names meant. Go on a clicking spree to find out what the site says about Thomas Xavier, Sagar Prajapati, Rajeev Rakshit, Nirupama Venkatasubramanian, Deepan Ramachandran, Shane Alemao, Mary Alphonso, Queen Rose, Hemant Kumar and Ajay Menon. If I've missed out your name that's because I dunno how to spell out. So my request is do go to Is This Your Name and check out what it throws up.

Posted by Anantha

When George Lois Speaks, Just Listen.

George Lois, the profanity-mouthing ('ogilvy's book is rubbish'), gimmick-loving (he threatened to jump out of a window when a client refused to buy his piece), path-breaking (see his covers for Esquire), research-bashing ('Great ideas can't be tested, only mediocre ones can be tested'), knowledge-sharing (he's written eight books on advertising), original-thinking ('advertising is poison gas: it should grab you by the throat, should choke you, your eyes should water, your heart should race, and you should almost pass out') advertising legend recently had a candid conversation with Ad Age on how he gets his big ideas. Go listen.

And after that, if you want to learn about him, read this, this, this, this and this. Here's a small extract from one of his interviews to get you excited about Lois:

"My first ad there—my very first day—was for a CBS show about how food gets delivered to New York. So I called a photographer and told him to get a fish—I wanted to have the fish saying, "How do I get to New York?" That first day, there was a memo from the business guy to all the art directors, saying, "You got to return props. I know you guys are keeping the props. I don't care what the props are, I want them delivered to my office." So after the shoot, I get the photographer to give me the fish. Then at ten o'clock at night, I leave the fish in the guy's office with a note that says "As requested" and sign my name: George Lois."

Posted by Anantha

Friday, November 7, 2008

The B-List of Advertising Reality

Billboard – A large outdoor advertising structure typically found in high traffic areas such as alongside busy roads. (Source: Wikipedia)
The Truth – The extra print-outs of press ad adapts you’ll see in a pitch.

Banner Ads – Online ads in a website.
The Truth – A creative canvas strictly for junior creatives because the senior folks care a damn about it.

Bleed – An ad with impressions up to the edges.

The Truth – The state at which agencies are during recession.

Brand Manager – The bloke from the client’s side who handles the brand’s marketing activities.
The Truth – A tailgunner who loves to take the first crack at shooting down your idea.

Billing – The value of advertising handled by an agency on behalf of its clients.
The Truth – A pg3 topic for agency heads and a major reason for heartburn among subordinates.

Posted by Murali

A short review of The White Tiger

Tame and lame

A sarcastic Rohinton Mistry

Shashi Tharoor with a liberal sprinkling of F words

Wannabe Rushdie

Sorry, but that sums up the "White Tiger" in my opinion.
As for originality, remember the old tamil joke oru G naal T?

Posted by Nirupama

Introducing Torchard - A Twisted Advertising Game.

RULES: 1. You'll be given a set of clues. 2. You'll have to decode the clues first. 3. If you arrange the first letters of all the decoded clues, you'll arrive at a master keyword, which I shall call acrostic. The number of letters in the acrostic must match the number of clues. 4. Your job will be to identify the acrostic. The acrostic could be an ad agency, an ad man, the name of a commercial etc. 5. Every clue cracked will yield you an apple. 6. If you crack all the clues and the acrostic, you win an Orchard. 7. Answers will have to be posted in the comments section. 8. The first person who gets all the answers right is the champ for that puzzle.


Clue-1: The headline of a Volkswagen ad about one Inspector Kroner.

Clue-2: Cannes Lions 2007 Film Grand Prix Winner

Clue-3: What the outdoor advertising Oscar is called in America.

Clue-4: Foote and Cone precede him.

Clue-5: The Thai caterpillar commercial was for created for this tea brand.

Clue-6: The Director of the '1984' Apple ad.

Clue-7: The Great Freddy Birdie's art partner.

Clue-8: 'Put a tiger in your tank' was this brand's slogan.

Clue-9: The man who gave FCUK its name.

Clue-10: Famous font designed by Carol Twombly.

What's the acrostic?

Post your answers in the comments section.

Posted bt Anantha

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Barack Obama's Victory Speech

If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.

It's the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen; by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the very first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different; that their voice could be that difference.

It's the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled - Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been a collection of Red States and Blue States: we are, and always will be, the United States of America.

It's the answer that led those who have been told for so long by so many to be cynical, and fearful, and doubtful of what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day.

It's been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America.

I just received a very gracious call from Senator McCain. He fought long and hard in this campaign, and he's fought even longer and harder for the country he loves. He has endured sacrifices for America that most of us cannot begin to imagine, and we are better off for the service rendered by this brave and selfless leader. I congratulate him and Governor Palin for all they have achieved, and I look forward to working with them to renew this nation's promise in the months ahead.

I want to thank my partner in this journey, a man who campaigned from his heart and spoke for the men and women he grew up with on the streets of Scranton and rode with on that train home to Delaware, the Vice President-elect of the United States, Joe Biden.

I would not be standing here tonight without the unyielding support of my best friend for the last sixteen years, the rock of our family and the love of my life, our nation's next First Lady, Michelle Obama. Sasha and Malia, I love you both so much, and you have earned the new puppy that's coming with us to the White House. And while she's no longer with us, I know my grandmother is watching, along with the family that made me who I am. I miss them tonight, and know that my debt to them is beyond measure.

To my campaign manager David Plouffe, my chief strategist David Axelrod, and the best campaign team ever assembled in the history of politics - you made this happen, and I am forever grateful for what you've sacrificed to get it done.

But above all, I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to - it belongs to you.

I was never the likeliest candidate for this office. We didn't start with much money or many endorsements. Our campaign was not hatched in the halls of Washington - it began in the backyards of Des Moines and the living rooms of Concord and the front porches of Charleston.

It was built by working men and women who dug into what little savings they had to give five dollars and ten dollars and twenty dollars to this cause. It grew strength from the young people who rejected the myth of their generation's apathy; who left their homes and their families for jobs that offered little pay and less sleep; from the not-so-young people who braved the bitter cold and scorching heat to knock on the doors of perfect strangers; from the millions of Americans who volunteered, and organized, and proved that more than two centuries later, a government of the people, by the people and for the people has not perished from this Earth. This is your victory.

I know you didn't do this just to win an election and I know you didn't do it for me. You did it because you understand the enormity of the task that lies ahead. For even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime - two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century. Even as we stand here tonight, we know there are brave Americans waking up in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan to risk their lives for us. There are mothers and fathers who will lie awake after their children fall asleep and wonder how they'll make the mortgage, or pay their doctor's bills, or save enough for college. There is new energy to harness and new jobs to be created; new schools to build and threats to meet and alliances to repair.

The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America - I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you - we as a people will get there.

There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won't agree with every decision or policy I make as President, and we know that government can't solve every problem. But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And above all, I will ask you join in the work of remaking this nation the only way it's been done in America for two-hundred and twenty-one years - block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.

What began twenty-one months ago in the depths of winter must not end on this autumn night. This victory alone is not the change we seek - it is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. It cannot happen without you.

So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism; of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other. Let us remember that if this financial crisis taught us anything, it's that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers - in this country, we rise or fall as one nation; as one people.

Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long. Let us remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House - a party founded on the values of self-reliance, individual liberty, and national unity. Those are values we all share, and while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress. As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, "We are not enemies, but friends...though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection." And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn - I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your President too.

And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of our world - our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand. To those who would tear this world down - we will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security - we support you. And to all those who have wondered if America's beacon still burns as bright - tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from our the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding hope.

For that is the true genius of America - that America can change. Our union can be perfected. And what we have already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.

This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one that's on my mind tonight is about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta. She's a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this election except for one thing - Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old.

She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldn't vote for two reasons - because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin.

And tonight, I think about all that she's seen throughout her century in America - the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we can't, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes we can.

At a time when women's voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot. Yes we can.

When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs and a new sense of common purpose. Yes we can.

When the bombs fell on our harbor and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was saved. Yes we can.

She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that "We Shall Overcome." Yes we can.

A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination. And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen, and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change. Yes we can.

America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves - if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?

This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment. This is our time - to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth - that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes We Can. Thank you, God bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America.

Posted by Anantha

Can I please change my name to

If you are one of those retired types (like me) who read The Hindu cover to cover, you wouldn’t have missed this one. An article about a girl in the US who changed her name to Yes, the kid is apparently very serious about her vocation, raising awareness to stop cutting up animals in the name of science. She even got her license issued in her new name! No prizes for guessing, her friends call her ‘cutout’ for short.

But it begs the question, what if we agency folks, changed our names to reflect our true beliefs about advertising? Some samples.;;;;;;…

Posted by Niru

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The A-List of Advertising Reality

Advertising – A form of communication that attempts to persuade potential consumers to purchase / consume a brand, product or service. (Source: Wikipedia)

The Truth
– A racquet where creatives develop gigantic egos, suits develop incurable ulcers and clients develop indecisive skills to skillfully distract the consumer.

Advertising Agency – A firm involved in the service business dedicated to creating, planning and handling advertising / communication for its clients. (Source: Wikipedia)

The Truth – The only place that guarantees thicker skin as a makeover. Without a transplant!

Art Director – An art savant in-charge of the art department and responsible for the art that comes out of the agency.

The Truth – A quiet soul (mostly from Maharashtra and West Bengal), who rarely speaks. And if he/she does, would be vociferous about reducing the logo size beyond recognition.

Awards – Yardstick to measure creativity.

The Truth – A shortcut creatives take to double their salaries (and their egos).

Account Executive – The lowest yet pivotal link in the Account Management ladder.

The Truth – The hapless soul who learns to smile when being whipped by the boss, client and creatives at the same time.

Posted by Murali

Monday, November 3, 2008

Breaking the Indian stereotype

Anyone who's been remotely associated with advertising in Chennai will recognize the name Shakti Lasers. They are typesetters who swing into action anytime, there's a request for a vernacular ad, in any agency. Their ace is a catalogue of some 200 odd fonts in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Hindi and Urdu. I've not seen any significant addition to this catalogue, for years. That, my friend, is the sad story of Indian typefaces.

Despite having a thousand art directors, we are stuck with the same old fonts. Shame on us. Can't our art schools do something about it? Should we wait for Microsoft and Google to create machine-made indic fonts?

I think the key reason why no one's really bothered to create vernacular fonts is no one knows how to convert their typefaces into machine fonts. Thankfully this can no longer be proffered as an excuse. Fontifier has solved all these problems. This site lets you convert your handwriting into a font!

If the 15 art directors in Orchard (ok, I made up the number), can use this software to create even 100 vernacular fonts, we would be starting a new movement Think about it: we'd be motivating hundreds of other art directors to create funky fonts. Who knows we may even spawn a desi dafont. But are we up to it? Do we really want to put Shakti Lasers out of business?

PS: I announce a reward of 1000 rupees each for the first five vernacular fonts created and uploaded on this blog. Let's see who pockets my largesse (or should that be smallesse?).

Posted by Anantha