Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Bread and Alley

Iranian cinema is everything what Hollywood, Bollywood or for that matter most European cinema isn’t. It’s introspective, reflective, memorable and celebrates storytelling in style. Thereby, offering the viewer an alternative to the vapid excess that constitutes most of mainstream Hollywood or Bollywood cinema today.

Abbas Kiarostami is one of the most influential and brilliant filmmakers to come out of Iran. Known primarily as a feature filmmaker, Kiarostami has a rare trait which most feature filmmakers don't possess. He is equally at ease with short films, documentaries and ad films.

Since, many of you would be familiar with his features, here’s a short that you shouldn’t miss. It’s called Bread and Alley. It was Kiarostami’s first short film which made him famous in Iran. The narration, music, casting and a simplistic storytelling technique you see here is something he adopts in his features too.

Every work of his has left passionate cine-lovers world over, in awe of his genius. This debut piece shot in 1970, moved me a lot when I caught it couple of years back. Check it out. I hope it leaves you with the same feeling.

Posted by Murali

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

And the stuff about Cutwater I promised.

Cutwater, is an agency that has shot to fame making path-breaking virals. The creative shop, led by former ad heavyweight Chuck McBride has created history for Levi’s as I had mentioned in my previous post. They also happen to have done a stunning viral for Ray-ban which has won a Yellow Pencil for them.

But only when I watched the second one I realized, that both of them are stunningly similar. In the Levi’s viral, guys back-flip and jump into denims, held by another chap. In the Ray-ban viral, sunglasses are thrown back and they fall perfectly on the other chap who's waiting. Dangerously similar execution ideas for two different clients.

Is this sheer co-incidence? I doubt it. Because when I delved deeper, I figured out that they have been made by the same director.

Or, am I wrong in saying these two virals are fundamentally similar? Judge for yourself.

Watch the Levi’s viral here:

Watch the Ray-ban viral here:

Posted by Murali.

Monday, June 2, 2008

How a viral stole the thunder from a multi-million dollar campaign.

I’m sure marketers around the world have woken up to the phenomenon of ‘viral marketing’ by now. Though most of them would salivate on the possibilities of a great viral campaign, a large chunk of them aren’t yet convinced on the kind of result they would get out of it.

But that should change with something that’s happened abroad. Case in point: Levi’s 501.

BBH and Levi’s have partially launched a multi-million dollar ‘Live Unbuttoned’ campaign for their cult brand 501. In a few months, it’s about to hit 110 countries. Meanwhile, a viral video ‘Jumpin’ In’, made by a San Francisco creative shop Cutwater for Levi’s 501 was launched in May to commemorate the brand launch.

This viral has created such a sensation – 3.5 million hits in 10 days, that both Levi’s and BBH have been stumped completely. They are revisiting their strategy to ride this wave!

Now, the point is, do such virals make our business – which include hours of strategizing, power-pointing, and creating brand campaigns look redundant? Or, is this a rare phenomenon? Think about it.

By the way, more about Cutwater in my next post.

Posted by Murali.