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


CRAP: Consumer Research & Analysis Presentation
Usage: I sat through the CRAP dished out by the Account Planners.

C+V: Control C + Control V
Usage: If Goafest celebrates originality, then how come it's a C+V of Cannes?

FIFA: Fabricated Ideas For Awards
Usage: Is Cannes the ultimate FIFA cup?

FLEA: Free Lancers Employed by Agencies
Usage: Suits love FLEAs because they are deadline friendly.

KISS: Killed Internally by Sadistic Suits
Usage: Award winning ideas always get KISSed.

PAD: Pretty Art Director
Usage: This agency needs more PADs.

PMS: Potty Mouthed Suit
Usage: Why the hell did they hire that PMS, he's such a pain!

SCAR: Sexy Campaigns Aborted by Research
Usage: I have many SCARs in my portfolio.

SLOB: Slimy Lecherous Obnoxious Boss
Usage: That SLOB spends all day recruiting interns.

SSDD: Same Shit Different Designation
Usage: My job description hasn't changed after my promotion. It's still SSDD.

Posted by Anantha