Thursday, April 30, 2009

Vote and show your middle finger

Here's a picture of Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan and his wife, after they have voted at Nanded. Though they seemed to be unfazed with their expressions, it somehow seems to reflect their attitude towards the common man. Apparently, the election commission has made it mandatory that in these elections, indelible ink has to be applied in the middle finger. Reason given: The ink in the index finger hasn't yet dried for people in some parts of the country, after they've voted in some local body elections.

Sorry folks, we're like this only.

Posted by Murali.

Fresh Stuff That'll Win # 1

Agency: Grey Argentina. Verdict: Deserves a Bronze Lion.

Posted by Metal Gazer.

A Link A Day # 139: D&AD Nominees List out

The stingy little misers at D&AD have picked only 165 nominees from over 20,000 entries. And none from India. Alka Seltzer has made it in art direction, illustration and press advertising. I expect it to bag a Yellow Pencil in art direction. Meanwhile, here's the list. Over 700 pieces have made it to the Annual. Expect the inbook list by Monday. The Harvey Nichols 'Coat Hanger Skeletons' store display (featured above) has also snagged a nomination. Deserves it. Doesn't it?

Posted by Anantha.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Spot of the Week: Mercedes Benz Dreams

Nice proposition. Nice interpretation...

Agency: Jung von Matt/Alster Hamburg. Production: Big Fish Berlin. Director: The Vikings.

Posted by Anantha.

Now, the most ridiculed ads of 2008

We've seen the best advertising of 2008, from the perspective of award shows. They count as work liked by industry peers and awarded by industry peers. Now, hear what the consumer has to say - they have listed 10 ads they have most complaints about.

Click here to know more.

Posted by Murali.

Why powerpoint can't save your presentation

TED is a website that broadcasts speeches on every topic imaginable. One of the top pod casting sites, there are several remarkable talks on tap. However here’s one that nothing, including the slick clicks on the giant screen could save. Somebody ought to tell the speaker (who by the way has an impressive resume), that power point can make up for a lot of things, except one. CONTENT.

Posted by Niru.

The Disappearing Act

WalletPop, a US based finance site, recently came out with the list of things that have disappeared from the American landscape, thanks to shifts in culture and technology. Worryingly enough, it featured an individual’s networth as well! That aside, how many of us have noticed that things we grew up with have simply faded away. Like post boxes, pepsee cola (a one rupee bar of synthetic flavoured ice), typewriters, sari sellers who came home, cycle rickshaws, Chitrahaar, rotary dialling telephones, pagers, VHS players, empty buses…the list goes on and on.

Posted by Niru.

A Link A Day # 138: Ballet Dancer

Agency: Jung Von Mott, Berlin. Producer: The Sweet Shop.

Posted by Anantha.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Link A Day # 137: Talking up the IPL

Did the DLF Maximums and Citi Moments of Success get your goat? You have great company. Cricket historian Gideon Haigh has heaped scorn on how commentators have been reduced to two-bit hucksters in IPL 2. Sample this pearl: "One expects a certain degree of phoniness from Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri, who as IPL governing council members are busy getting high on their own supply. But the rest of Modi's fawning courtiers, even super-smooth Mark Nicholas and pawky Jeremy Coney, have been reduced to carnival barkers, whether greeting a full toss slogged for six like the news of VE Day, pretending that the tactical time-out is something other than a sneaky commercial trick, or, above all, hawking the sponsors like Jim Cramer used to ramp shares on Mad Money. Could Citigroup be scattering moments of success for its own morale? Can it be that somewhere in the fine print of DLF's sponsorship contract is prescribed a specified number of long-hops and full-tosses per hour, to guarantee a minimum of "maximums"? The result is that whatever the game looks like, it sounds as forced as the canned laughter in an American sitcom."

Wanna read more of Gideon's pungent critique? go here.

Posted by Anantha

Monday, April 27, 2009

Vodafone ZooZoos are for real

One of the most interesting facts about this campaign is that even though the ZooZoo characters look animated, they have been played by real people dressed in a white attire. Reveals director Prakash Varma of Nirvana films, “Animation requires so much detailing and here we had to do the exact opposite. We had to make real characters look like animated characters. It was quite challenging as none of them could see as they were covered from head to feet. The set, including all the props, is in the form of shadows created by spray painting.”

Extracted from Campaign India. Posted by Anantha

Peals and peals from the Onion

Consistently irreverent, extremely funny and a regular Webby winner, the Onion, is the site you should reserve for those down and out days. Their most famous article came right after the 9/11 attacks, on how the terrorists were cheated out of paradise. And it continues to this day. I found this little nugget on advertising agencies. Hilarious. And it’s got Leo Burnett in it :-)

For the serious minded, the list of Webby nominees for 2009 is out. Click here.

Posted by Niru.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

A Link A Day # 136: New Mac Ads

To watch all the spots, go here. But I am not sure if it's worth your time. The ads are not as funny as the earlier ones.

Posted by Anantha.

A Link A Day # 135: Scrabble Sumo

For a backgrounder and to view two more spots in this series, go here.

Posted by Anantha.

Friday, April 24, 2009

A Link A Day # 134: HP Baby

Agency: CLM BBDO, Paris. Via: The Ad Mad.

Posted by Anantha

Inspirational India # 1

Given the endless mud slinging on the airwaves and the naked opportunism of all our politicians, the election seasons sees our cynicism at an all time high. What better time for a small dose of optimism and hope?

I write about the story of two young Indians, educated, professionals who have left high paying jobs in the UK to start a micro-finance website in India. Armed with nothing more than their savings and boundless enthusiasm, this couple set up shop in Bangalore and started Since then, they’ve moved to Chennai and are all set to take the venture into the next stage.

The site works like this. The team identifies needy candidates across the country, through NGOs and SHGs. Their profile is put online, along with the loan amount needed. A real time pie chart shows how much has already been funded and balance required. You can choose whom to fund and how much to fund. And once you pay online, you can see within seconds, the pie chart being filled. The best part, your money comes back. You may not get commercial interest rates, but you will get back more than you gave. Not excluding that wonderful feeling of having helped somebody. Do visit when you have time, it’s the perfect antidote to the climate of cynicism, negativity and indifference that’s pervading today.

Posted by Niru.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

One Show Logo Design Finalists

David Airey has access to the One Show logo design finalists. Check them out. My vote is for the wedding photographer and The Preserve.

Posted by Anantha.

A Link A Day # 133: Michael Vaughan's Art


Don't have any great expectations from the art. 'Coz the pieces look a little repetitive. To catch them all, go here.

Posted by Anantha.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Link A Day # 132: Fake IPL Player

The Fake IPL Player blog has caused many ripples on the net. Ostensibly, it's a blog maintained by a Kolkata Knight Rider player leaking secrets about his team on the net. Some are speculating that it might be the Sky Chopper. While some others feel it might be the Bose. Whatever the truth, the blog makes an enjoyable read. The cryptic names are hilarious (Hawaii chappal, Appam Chutiya and what not). And so are the juicy bits about Kishen Kanhaiya. Go read up if you like to spice up your IPL.

Posted by Anantha.

A Link A Day # 131: A Horse Called Cynthia

Posted by Anantha.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Blast from the past # 11

From Mudra's Hall of Fame in the '80s - Rasna.

Posted by Murali.

Susan Boyle - From underdog to topdog in minutes

The biggest sensation to hit the Internet in the recent times, is this 47-year old lady from Britain, Susan Boyle. She surprised the cynical judges and the crowd with her sensational performance in the popular 'Britain's got talent' show.

Susan's story is a testament of triumph. Of sheer talent over everything else. Her performance has raked in over a million hits on the net. And has even got marketers going ga-ga on how she can teach a thing or two about marketing to the world.

Check out her superb performance here.

Posted by Murali.

Silly Points

Just when you thought you’re out of “Diwali Dhamaka” for good, bang comes the IPL. With every brand finding its way to South Africa, it’s up to us poor scribes to come with those “catchy” promo names. Drop into any agency and some red-eyed specimen will be googling “cricket terms”. From presenting Dhoni with the man of the match award to being the 12th man to the KKRs, the consumer is promised a one way ticket to cricketing heaven. All under the assumption that he or she is going to get hooked on to your promo and not the 100 others that sound exactly like yours, read the conditions, buy the product, enter the lucky dip and phew…finally get to South Africa. There should be a better way right?

And if by some miraculous working of fate, you’ve escaped writing “XYZ khao, South Africa Jao”, rest assured you will be working on match branding. With every second of the game being commercialized, there will be no dearth of opportunities for “punchy” labels. Be it a wicket, a four, a six, the umpire scratching his head, the bowler scratching his groin, the audience waving, a dog running across the pitch…YOU will be asked to work on names.

So get off those fine legs, brush aside the silly points, keep a ear on the gully, an eye on the boundary, watch out for third man, get behind cover, avoid googlies, keep it straight and short. Try a left-right combination, take a stance, the pitch could get better in the second half of the day. If you still run out of ideas, you’re probably stumped and it’s time to send in the specialist. Or better still, see one!  

Posted by Niru.

Fingering the music lovers

Stumbled upon this precious little nugget recently, and decided that it was simply too good to keep to myself. Ok here’s the systematic protocol for viewing this video, one that is recommended my many an expert (ok, just me). Drop your jaw and try to manage the most dumbfounded expression, your facial features can contort into. Trust me. It’ll save you some precious milliseconds.

More videos of this artist are available on the ‘rpoland’ youtube channel and

Posted by Shane

A Link A Day # 130: The Kevin Spacey commercial

Posted by Anantha.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A Link A Day # 129: Leo Burnett's Goafest winners

Leo Burnett India has its own website. Didyaknowthat? It's a basic site showcasing their clientele and work. While trawling through their home page, I discovered they've uploaded their 2009 winners at Goafest. It's worth a look. Go look.

Posted by Anantha.

Youtube Gems: The Great Dictator Speech

Posted by Anantha.

A Link A Day # 128: Aamir's Political Ads

Directed by Rakeysh Mehra. 'Sabji' and 'Sauda' are two other ads in this series.

Posted by Anantha.

A Link A Day # 127: Ashton Kutcher's Tweets

When I read about Ashton Kutcher's uber-hyped accomplishment on twitter, I was aghast. How does it matter if Mr. Demi Moore had 1 million twitter followers? Why is anyone even giving this importance? A porn star will attract more followers if she starts tweeting...ain't it? So why the ruckus? Honestly, I dunno. Probably it's a prelude to the crowning of Twitter as the next big thing. May be the hoopla is a PR stunt to get a better valuation from prospective suitors. Whatever the motive, I was damn curious about what AplusK tweeted about. Go see it for yourself.

Posted by Anantha.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

A Link A Day # 126: Paul Thurby's Alphabet posters

Paul's ongoing project tries to inject some zing into Alphabet posters using a vintage style of illustration. For more, go here.

Posted by Anantha.

Short Film Watch: Street Light

Posted by Anantha.

A Link A Day # 125: We Love Typography

We Love Typography is a new site that bookmarks good usages of typography (yeah, it's the text equivalent of FFFFound). When you're utterly jobless and don't know which site to surf, try out this one. It's truly stimulating.

Posted by Anantha.

Friday, April 17, 2009

A Link A Day # 124: Philips Carousel

"To celebrate the imminent arrival of the groundbreaking Cinema 21:9 LCD TV, Philips has launched a new website which will act as the dedicated online home of the world's first cinema proportioned television screen.

Found on-line at, the site is host to an exclusive fully interactive movie, entitled Carousel, directed by Adam Berg with music provided from Michael Fakesch. The 2 minute 19 second cinematic feature is filmed in one continuous tracking shot and offers an exploration into the world of movies being made for the cinema screen through the eyes of the director and the special effects and lighting experts. During playback of the movie, users have interactive touch points in which they can access additional content and feature demonstrations.


Posted by Anantha.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Blast from the past # 10

Another one from the '80s. Check out Shekar Kapur, during his modelling days.

Posted by Murali.

A Link A Day # 123: How much do your peers earn?

The intention of this post is not to depress you. But once in a while, it's good to take a peek into the salary slips of your batchmates. Workosaur has done the grunt work and compiled a neat document that lifts the veil of secrecy on a subject we ought to know. Go here to check out the Workosaur Salary Survey. Point to note: I am not sure, how much of this is true for the low-paying industry we all toil in. But the idea is to give you an idea of how far we lag behind.

Posted by Anantha.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Link A Day # 122: CVV Repetition

Nice commercial from Leo Burnett Brazil...

Posted by Anantha.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Obama - A better marketer than President?

His marketing strategies were widely discussed and written about during the elections. The good news is that, even today, Barack Obama continues to orchestrate the presidential campaign that started many months ago. With tremendous success.

Some of his recent policies have faced criticism from people around the world. But his strategy to cement those relationships he makes with people through his campaigns, does make for an interesting read. And serves as an important lesson to marketers worldwide.

Posted by Murali.

A Link A Day # 121: LMN Beach

Good work by Creativeland Asia and Ram Madhvani. Love the background score...

Posted by Anantha.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Spot of the Week: Wooden Poem

Posted by Commercialbreaker.

A Link A Day # 120: Congress ka naya ad

Wonder why they can't get a single-minded theme. Why the obsession to reduce every piece of communication to a hold-all AV?

To see Priyadarshan's film for congress, go here.

Posted by Anantha.

A Link A Day # 119: BJP's New Ad

Not bad. At least it doesn't look like a hurriedly made AV...

Posted by Anantha.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

A Link A Day # 118: Frank Budgen's Short Film

Frank Budgen, the Ridley Scott of Ad Films, did this intriguing short film for Stella, some years ago. Enjoy...

Posted by Anantha.

One Show First Cut is out...

For the first time ever, One Show has put out a shortlist of possible finalists and metal winners. They've called the list, 'First Cut'. As the site points out, a 'First Cut' doesn't mean you've earned a merit or a pencil. It just means, the jury thought your piece was worth a second look.

India's fared ok. 37 pieces have made it. Ogilvy Mumbai, as usual leads the pack. Publicis Mumbai has managed a surprisingly good show. So has Creativeland Asia. The Delhi/Gurgaon based agencies have fared well too. Leo Burnett and JWT must be disappointed with their performance. Here's India's first cut...

Ogilvy Mumbai -7
Publicis Mumbai - 5
Ogilvy Gurgaon - 4
Creativeland Asia Mumbai - 3
Law & Kenneth Mumbai - 3
Rediffusion Mumbai -3
Rediffusion Gurgaon - 2
Leo Burnett Mumbai - 1
JWT Mumbai -1
Out of the Box Delhi - 1
Cheil Delhi - 1
JWT Gurgaon - 1
TBWA Gurgaon - 1
Ogilvy Bangalore - 1
Euro RSCG Bangalore -1
Meridian Bangalore -1
W+K, Delhi - 1

Meanwhile One Show Design Finalists have been announced too...India has fared very well...especially the Delhi based agencies...We have 29 finalists...Cheil Delhi is the surprise factor...

Ogilvy Mumbai -5
Ogilvy Gurgaon -5
Cheil Delhi - 4
Leo Burnett, Mumbai -3
Creativeland Asia Mumbai -2
Dizzy Design Mumbai -2
Kritik Chennai -1
McCann Mumbai -1
Sameer Kochure, Mumbai - 1
Redlion, Mumbai -1
Joshbro Mumbai -1
JWT Mumbai -1
JWT Gurgaon -1
Rediffusion Mumbai -1
Euro RSCG Delhi - 1

The One Show Interactive Finalists also have been named...and sadly India has just one finalist... from Leo Burnett Mumbai.

Posted by Anantha

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Blast from the past # 9

This Bajaj Bulbs ad surely had one of the most memorable jingles in the '80s. Check it out.

Posted by Murali.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A Link A Day # 117: Have you seen the commercial starring Spock and his daughter?

Posted by Anantha.

Comedian Watch: Maz Jobrani

Posted by Anantha.

A Link A Day # 116: Greenpeace Nano commercial

After watching the commercial, read this article about alleged tampering of a report to prove existence of rare turtles in Dhamra.

Posted by Anantha.

Monday, April 6, 2009

New Outlook for India Today

There's a new magazine on the stands. It's called Open. And it's better than Outlook or India Today. Don't take my word for it. Go sample it here. Edited by India's most over-qualified editor (Sandeepan Deb, IIT KGP, IIM Cal) Open promises to cover news that you haven't read in newspapers, watched on TV and browsed on the net. I like it. And I think it'll really do well. Heard the great Freddy Birdy & Naved Akhtar will be helming the advertising of Open. I am dying to see their launch campaign. Hope they don't disappoint.

Posted by Anantha.

A recession-proof advertising agency

London advertising, believes in a corporate credo that works perfectly for the times we're in. 'Better. Faster. Cheaper' is their promise and they are willing to do work for any brand, in any country. Devoid of the huge baggage and costs of an agency network.

Their website even has a rate card that details out the production costs. You can work out how much you can save by using the production cost calculator. And eventually, shift your account to London Advertising. Evidently, this pitch seemed to have worked for them.

Check out their website for more details.

Posted by Murali.

Go, go Burrito!

Technology challenged me did not even know there is something called a 2D bar code. But apparently, it’s going to be the hot new thing in mobile marketing. Take the case of the Mexican restaurant called Qdoba, which used the technology for selling digital burrito coupons, and got an overwhelming 52% redemption rate. Compare this to the measly 5 to 10% returns that our sweaty DM exercises give us. And while you’re at it, say goodbye to the good old days when a mobile snack meant that you picked it up and ate it as you went along :-)

Posted by Niru.

A Link A Day # 115: A Trillion Dollar Campaign

"TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris has created this unusual outdoor campaign for The Zimbabwean, a newspaper produced by a group of exiled Zimbabwean journalists. The Zimbabwean is sold in the UK, South Africa and Zimbabwe but when entering the latter is charged an import duty of 55 per cent, making it unaffordable to the average Zimbabwean. To raise awareness of this, and to encourage more sales of the paper in South Africa, wall murals, billboards and flyers have been created in Johannesburg using the Z$100 trillion dollar note, a symbol of the country’s world record inflation." Read more, by going here.

Posted by Anantha.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

A Link A Day # 114: Arthur Salway's Cricket Poetry

Arthur Salway writes some very delightful poems on cricket. Sample this one on the 11th batsman:

As you watched the wickets fall

You saw the writing on the wall

Are you happy? Not at all

Last man.

The skip says, "Take it nice and steady",

He boosts your ego, unlike Eddie –

He’s changed and in his car already

Last man.

Epitomising melancholy

You walk out feigning to be jolly.

Actually you feel a wally.

Last stand.

The ball is 30 overs old,

You’ve got to do as you are told,

Your gloves are warm and your box is cold,

Last chance

They’re going to stuff us – what a shame.

Last week it was just the same.

You plan to play your natural game.

Last fling.

It’s all the middle order’s fault,

They should have batted as they ought,

But Mel was bowled and Bas was caught,

Last hope.

They come in close and clap you in

You stand between them and a win

The cabaret can now begin.

Last laugh.

All semblance of a match has gone,

They bring the cartoon bowlers on,

Sixty runs off twenty one.

Last wish.

He bowls a wide; can’t even nick it,

Your partner’s halfway down the wicket

Screaming "One" – this isn’t cricket;

Last gasp.

Forty runs off thirteen balls,

Run like hell whoever calls,

Your average is in decimals.

Last over.

When he’s on strike he wants a "two",

He’s not a better bat than you,

But what can tail-end-Charlie do?

Last ball.

Your partner drives, you hear him curse;

Straight to cover – goodnight nurse.

You kept your end up; could be worse.

Last word.

You change alone and here’s the rub,

By the time you reach the pub,

They’ve eaten nearly all the grub.

Last straw.

Love it? Now go read the rest of his creations.

Posted by Anantha.

A Link A Day # 113: Would you back your campaign with your own money?

"If you’ve ever been given $50 to go and gamble with in Vegas, you’ll know just how easy it is to spend someone else’s money. Same goes for advertising. You get the brief, you scan for the USP and then you go to the line that says “budget.” “Is that all?” you’ll scoff. Or if it’s a gigantic $300 million account, you do a few cartwheels and scream “wow, we hit the jackpot…call Jerry Seinfeld, I always wanted to work with that guy.”

Whether you’re working with pennies or the contents of Fort Knox, the outcome is usually the same; your creative vision will end up being compromised in some way by the spineless client and you’ll argue until you’re blue in the face that your solution is the right one. But how many of you would actually back that up with your own cash?"

To read more, go here: 'Would you be as brave with your own money?'

Posted by Anantha.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Friday, April 3, 2009

Blast from the past # 8

Who can forget 'Gale mein kich kich, gale mein mmm, kya karoon...Vicks ki goli lo, kich kich dur karo'? The yesteryear model Jayant Kriplani plays the dad, and the cute daughter is played by Ishita Arun. Daughter of Ila Arun. That makes her closer to advertising, as Ila is Piyush and Prasoon Pandey's sister. Ishita is a VJ and model today.

Posted by Murali.

Barack Timberlooney

Heck, we know it’s recession and things are going for a song. But this?!! Three cover men for the price of one. Check out Esquire’s new gimmick, here.

Posted by Niru.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

A Link A Day # 111: Ozzie Outdoor Awards

The Outdoor Media Association of Australia has hit upon a great prize for the Outdoor Award. The prize is a billboard stuck with scratch cards worth $10,000! The winning agency will be given the privilege of scratching all the cards (which may take up to 2 days). For more juicy details about the award, go here.

Posted by Anantha.

Blast from the past # 7

An ad from the 80s. Remember 'fun time, limca time...'? Now, watch the commercial. And a young Salman, just when he started his career.

Posted by Murali.

A Link A Day # 110: Samsung Car

Simple, fabulous commercial from FP7 Doha. I am not at all surprised that this won a gold at the Dubai Lynx festival. Go watch...

Posted by Anantha.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Viral Watch: Stella Artois Smooth Originals

Mother London has created a series of delicious films that present Hollywood hits in a very classic New Wave French way...Here's the one on Die Hard...

For 24 Heurs and 8 Kilometers, go here.

Posted by Anantha.

A Link A Day # 109: How Padma has it.

Padma Lakshmi. More than a piece of meat?

Old Classics - Hovis Bread

The year - 1973
Agency - Collett Dickenson Pearce & Partners
Director - Ridley Scott (Before he made his features. Just after his copywriting stint at CDP)

Posted by Murali.

A Link A Day # 108: No one does it like you

Haunting Music Video for Department of Eagles' No one does it like you...

Posted by Anantha.