Saturday, October 31, 2009

Black Pencil's Pallavi Snags 2nd Prize at the Ability International Film Festival

Young Pallavi Sharma of Black Pencil has done us all proud by bagging the second prize at the 60 Seconds to Fame short film festival hosted by the Ability Foundation. Considering that the Jury comprised such eminent craftsmen like the Oscar winner Resul Pookutty, ace director Balu Mahendra and actress Shobana, it's indeed some achievement. To check out the film, go here.

Posted by Anantha

Friday, October 30, 2009

Short Film Watch: The Horribly Slow Murderer with the Extremely Inefficient Weapon

If you've got 10 minutes of free time, there's no better way to spend it...

Posted by Anantha

A Link A Day # 293: Canal Plus Wardrobe

Dunno how I missed this beautiful spot. It's been making waves for 4 weeks now. Fabulously told. Sure Gold at the Cannes. Watch it. If you've already seen it, rewatch it, will ya?

Posted by Anantha.

A Link A Day # 292: HTC You

How do you keep a commercial with a 60-second near-banal v/o interesting? HTC manages that with a simple turn of phrase in the end. Literal visual commercial salvaged in the end by a nice thought...

Posted by Anantha

A Link A Day # 291: Tiger Beer Halloween

Same setting as the previous Zip commercial. This one's less contrived and more fun. Conceived by JamesYap, Ian Lee, Ramanjit Singh, Alex Wong of Saatchi & Saatchi Malaysia. Made by Velocity Films.

Posted by Anantha.

The ASCI Code on Surrogate Advertising

The Advertising Standard Council of India (ASCI) has laid down specific rules and guidelines prohibiting surrogate advertising.

Section 6 of the ASCI Code states: ‘Advertisements for products whose advertising is prohibited or restricted by law or by this Code must not circumvent such restrictions by purporting to be advertisements for other products the advertising of which is not prohibited or restricted by law or by this Code. In judging whether or not any particular advertisement is an indirect advertisement for product whose advertising is restricted or prohibited, due attention shall be paid to the following:

(a) Visual content of the advertisement must depict only the product being advertised and not the prohibited or restricted product in any form or manner
(b) The advertisement must not make any direct or indirect reference to the prohibited or restricted products
(c) The advertisement must not create any nuances or phrases promoting prohibited products.

Extracted from

Posted by Anantha.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Youtube Gems: When to take my name off the door by Leo Burnett

Posted by Anantha

A Link A Day # 290: Evolution of Logos

All the sleek logos you see today didn't pop out overnight. It took years of effort for companies to gather the courage for a brand face lift. Apple, Canon, Sony and Nokia must thank their lucky stars for considering a makeover. The Best-ad blog has done a sterling job of putting together a comprehensive list of before-afters. Do check it out.

Posted by Anantha.

Experts – Really?

We are in the communication business. But how much do we communicate both internally in the agency and externally.

And I am not talking about ‘job status’ meetings, and ‘target & finance updates’; talking about real solid conversations that will help keep us the title of ‘advertising is the art of communication’. How much are we tuned into the new way of doing stuff? How well do we know social bookmarking; the difference between Delicious, Digg, and StumbleUpon?

Has anyone read or twittered ‘baked in’? What are the most efficient, cost effective OOH options coming up? Wake up guys, we the so called experts and know far less that a 19 year old. Any ideas on how to keep everyone abreast or one step ahead of the curve?

Posted by Monica.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

David Shepherd is no more

I'm sure many of us have watched this man and his umpiring partner Dickie Bird many a time on TV. Leagues ahead in terms of judgement, they brought a certain sense of respect to the profession. If it was a David Shepherd or a Dickie Bird decision, seldom would a player appeal again. David says: In a difficult moment, I would look at the other umpire. All that was needed was a reassuring glance and nod from one to the other.

He passed away yesterday. Do go here to read a fabulous obituary on someone who was a thorough gentleman of the game.

Posted by Murali.

A Link A Day # 289: The Blob

Good usage of dissolves and ambient sounds. In India, we'd have added a background track and would have messed this up...

Posted by Anantha.

A Link A Day # 288: Dentyne Squid

Another predictably Thai commercial for Dentyne Ice. We've seen print versions of this kinda idea. But not a TV spot. BestadsonTV rates it highly. We don't find it that funny though. Nevertheless, worth a watch.

Posted by Anantha

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Link A Day # 287: The Plagiarize Song

Tom Lehrer, the mathematician songwriter and pianist, writes the strangest of songs on the strangest of topics. From 'Poisoning Pigeons in the Park' to 'The Elements'. My favourite is the Lobachevsky song. It's about something that concerns us all...Plagiarism!

Posted by Anantha.

Kudos to the boys from the West

Finally, agencies in the US are getting together to tell clients they have balls too. Much has been written about Procurement Departments from the client side negotiating real hard on monies with the winning agency after pitch is over. Now, these agencies have come together to put up stiff resistance to such practices. Ever heard of agencies proposing to send RFPs to clients?

For more dope on these developments, go to adage and read the article.

Posted by Murali.

Yawn, yawn, yawn

If you’ve put your money on the latest willow wielder, think hard. According to Open magazine’s cover article, all that cricket is now eliciting is big yawns. The Champions Trophy apparently drew a miserable all time low TRP of just 1.1%. The reason (OBVIOUSLY) is that there has been too much of cricket and cricketers. All over the place. So unless Dhoni and his boys are going to streak across the ground, they aren’t going to raise anything – no eyebrows, no brand sales. And by the way, football could well be the new cricket. Time to stick Bhaichung Bhutia on those concept layouts?

Posted by Niru.

Harris – man of the moment

With AR Rehman doing fewer and fewer Kollywood projects, the scramble for numero uno down south has never been hotter. And the winner, post diwali, is clearly Harris Jeyraj. Combining ARR's new age sound with an Ilayaraja like sense of melody, he's clearly the one to make Tamilians rock. From Minnalae onwards, the man with the Kalaam like hairstyle (now that Rehman is back to the cropped look) hasn't looked back. And a steady partnership with Surya and Gautam Menon has only helped. With both Ayan and Aadhavan going on to top the charts. For those of you who like good music, solid orchestration and tunes you can actually sing, check out Harris' hits on

Posted by Niru.

Monday, October 26, 2009

A Wednesday and Unnaipol Oruvan

Having watched the original and the remake, I should safely say, I enjoyed both. While my vote for a better film goes to A Wednesday, Unnaipol Oruvan is not a bad remake.

While Nasseruddin Shah comes across more powerfully as the common man, Kamal Hassan with his unnatural English accent doesn’t work as well for me. But where the latter scores, is in a scene where the camera captures his motive. For a brief while we see Kamal grip us with breathtaking performance when he describes the brutal torture of a pregnant woman who was stripped in public view. I would say, this was where he peaked in this film. Nasser on the other hand, was understated and brilliant in his portrayal throughout.

This was perhaps one of the rare occasions, that an actor of Mohan Lal’s calibre was a found a little lacklustre in his performance. While I wouldn’t want to compare his role with the original Anupam Kher played, I was expecting him to scorch the screen like he did in Company. But then even fine actors have their bad days, I suppose.

Another view I had is that despite A Wednesday being made to fit the multiplex genre of things, it wouldn’t alienate audiences in B and C class towns. Whereas Unnaipol Oruvan would find it tough in rural centres in TN as Kamal spews venom in a clipped angrez accent. Though the tamil remake has done away with the subtleties of the original for hard-hitting, in your face storytelling, it works wonderfully. Full marks to the writers who have adapted the screenplay to suit the southern sensibilities.

While I was walking out of the theatre after watching Unnaipol Oruvan, someone in the crowd was asking his friend: What has Shruti done in this movie, macha?

Good question, you may say. But with all due respects to her debut as music director, the score doesn’t really stick.

Posted by Murali.

Photographer Watch: Andrea Galvani

Sample more surreal works of Italian photographer Andrea Galvani here.

Posted by Anantha.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Link A Day # 285: Musician Ram Sampath

Who scored the Do Co Mo signature tune? Who composed the catchy Close up 'Paas aao na' jingle? Who gave the 'Reclaim your life' campaign a soulful score? Who launched Kailash Kher onto the national stage? Who's the lead singer of the band Color Blind? Who's the composer of the soon-to-be-released Delhi Belly? If you didn't know, it's Ram Sampath. Check out his work here.

Posted by Anantha.

A Link A Day # 284: Axa Evolution

A cliched theme delivered stunningly. The Origami animation was conceived and executed by Tronic Studio. Using 3D Studio Max. I felt a 3-word super could have achieved a better closure for Axa Insurance.

AXA_EVOLUTION from TronicStudio on Vimeo.

Posted by Anantha.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Packaging Watch: Joyce Belly Flattener

I am not sure if such a product exists (a belly slimming gel). But the packaging beautifully illustrates the benefit. Design by Leo Burnett Hong Kong. The Belly Flattener was a finalist at the London International Advertising Awards.

Posted by Anantha.

Spot of the Week: Low Low Mouse

Created by Fallon London. Produced by Outsider. Direction by Dom & Nic. Post Production by MPC.

Posted by Anantha

A Link A Day # 283: Travelers Drifters

Posted by Anantha.

A Link A Day # 282: Big Insurance Race

Does this commercial need Heather Graham? It would have worked even without her. But since it's a political issue, may be her presence will turn the spotlight on 'public option' in Health Care.

Posted by Anantha.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The writings of Neville Cardus

Here's someone who brought poetry into the art of sport journalism - specifically cricket. Neville Cardus, known as one of the best cricket writers ever was also a great critique of music. His columns for the Manchester Guardian on music and cricket were treasures to behold.

Some kind souls have put together the cricket writings of this great man. Go here and savour.

Posted by Murali.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Matchbox Art

Some terrific matchbox art from various countries.

Courtesy: Bad Banana Blog.

Posted by Murali.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Top 20 Ad Agency Blogs in the World

1. BBH London. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 323,397.
2. CST Advertising. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 417,910.
3. W+K London. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 418,302.
4. Leo Burnett Frankfurt. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 693,376.
5. Renegade Agency Confessional. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 930,849.
6. Publicis France. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 1,616,187.
7. Leo Burnett Toronto. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 1,656,493.
8. BBDO UK. Alexa Traffic Ranking =2,850,974.
9. TBWA Portugal Blog. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 4,179,687.
10. Draft FCB. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 4,407,538.
11. Orchard India. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 5,386,247.
12. JWT India Planning Blog. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 5,394,106.
13. DGWB California. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 5,982,353.
14. W+K Delhi. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 6,306,553.
15. Bates Asia. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 6,868,219.
16. Evok Advertising Orlando. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 8,200,548.
17. KGB Advertising Alexa Traffic Ranking = 9,073,699.
18. DDB Paris. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 11,188,801.
19. TBWA Blog. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 16,396,902.
20. Publicis Hong Kong. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 17,955,768.

Note: Orchard Advertising is at No.11 in the world and No.1 in India!

Posted by Anantha.

The Top 50 Advertising Related Sites

Just did an Alexa ranking of advertising related sites I visit, and this is what it threw up...

1. Youtube. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 4.
2. Flickr. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 32.
3. Deviantart. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 96.
4. iStockphoto. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 318.
5. Dafont. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 1182.
6. StockXchange. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 1,205.
7. Gettyimages. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 1552.
8. Adage. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 4332.
9. Behance. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 4,541.
10. Ffffound. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 4,928.
11. Corbis. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 5023.
12. AdsoftheWorld. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 8001.
13. Afaqs. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 11,583.
14. Logopond. Alexa Traffic Ranking =12,646.
15. Brand Republic. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 13,084.
16. Fubiz. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 19,017.
17. Adrants. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 20,945.
18. Exchange4media. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 22,536.
19. Notcot. Alexa Traffic Ranking =22,979.
20. The Inspiration Room. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 28,648.
21. Coloribus. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 33,119.
22. Creativity Online. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 33,122.
23. Ibelieveinadv. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 33,412.
24. Swiss Miss. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 35,811.
25. Adland. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 39,873.
26. Adweek. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 43,380.
27. Adverblog. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 55,932.
28. Campaignindia. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 66,867.
29. Frederik Samuel. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 73,308.
30. Scaryideas. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 74,569.
31. CampaignBrief. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 76,610.
32. Cannes Lions. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 91,493.
33. Adpulp. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 92,338.
34. Adforum. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 92,619.
35. Boardsmag. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 95,122.
36. One Eyeland. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 117,162.
37. Adverbox. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 117,464.
38. Bestadsontv. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 145,842
39. The Denver Egotist. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 168,552.
40. Osocio. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 185,937.
41. Ihaveanidea. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 186,951.
42. D & AD. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 207,145.
43. Ad Contrarian. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 236,433.
44. Shots. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 256,478.
45. Joelapompe. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 268,103.
46. One Club. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 260,368.
47. Adblogarabia. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 290,220.
48. Theadmad. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 404,920.
49. Dave Trott's Blog. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 417,910
50. Luerzers Archive. Alexa Traffic Ranking = 427,057.

Posted by Anantha

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Internet as an advertising medium

The effectiveness of the web as a potent advertising medium is something that has been widely discussed for some years now. Not just digital gurus, but traditional ad types too have vouched for it in forums and conclaves. But the truth seems to be far from what they profess.

A study published by Deloitte/YouGov on behalf of the Media Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival tell us a different story.

Some pointers:

* 64% of respondents ranked television commercials as the advertising format with the most impact.

* Young people (18-24) ranked tv commercials even higher, with 3/4 saying tv was the ad format with the most impact.

* 12% of consumers chose search advertising as one of the top three types of advertising with the most impact and only 8% ranked banner advertising in their top three.

And this comes from a market that's far more savvier towards new media.

Thanks to AdContrarian for the dope.

Posted by Murali.

Trailer Watch: The Lovely Bones

Let’s hope that this December, we, the Indian movie going public are asked to the party. Not just Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes in on the way, but also Peter Jackson’s adaptation of Alice Sebold’s breathtaking novel – The lovely bones. Should be a real treat, if the trailer is anything to go by...

Posted by Niru.

How to fight your own brand with your own brand

Well, Starbucks seems to have done it successfully. Pitting its new instant brew Via against its house blend. For the results go here.

Posted by Niru.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Spot of the Week: Sleevie

Blood donation is a brief we've all wrestled with. Here's a fresh new take on the same...

Link tip by Adland. Posted by Anantha.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Link A Day # 281: Survive Mumbai. Survive the World.

A commercial by Contract. Written partly by Ravi D. Nice thought. Should do very well, internationally.

Link Tip: Campaign India. Posted by Anantha.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Advertising in 2009

Courtesy: The Hidden Persuader Blog.

Posted by Murali.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Inglorious Basterds - The stamp is unmistakable

Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian had written off Inglorious Basterds as the worst movie Tarantino ever made. But seriously, does the man make bad movies at all? You either love his work or hate it. To someone like me who has devoured most of his better known work, bad movie-making is something that QT doesn't indulge in. His sensibilities wouldn't allow for sure.

Inglorious Basterds has Tarantino's stamp written all over it. The most obvious being the way he has treated the war movie genre. Set during WW2, it is hardly your archetypal war movie. Next, his fabulously stylish writing shows off in every frame. That's something that we have been used to since the days of Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs. Violence - Tarantino style, is packed with panache and delivered yet again. And not to mention, music, which becomes a character itself in his movies is crafted so beautifully to help you get into the flesh of the film and stay there, rivetted, till the end.

The plot, unlike Pulp Fiction for instance, is simpler. Yet the storytelling has the stamp of a master. The performances by Brad Pitt, who has a distinct Southern accent, Diane Kruger who plays a hard-nosed German movie star and Melanie Laurent as Shosanna were noteworthy. But the man who makes this movie special is Christoph Waltz. He plays Hans Landa, the Nazi Colonel who is nicknamed the 'Jew Hunter'. Calm to the extent of being cold, Waltz inflicts psychological torture slowly yet steadily on all his victims that they finally capitulate after much resistance. Small wonder that Christoph Waltz's performance got him the Best Actor award at Cannes this year.

So, all you people who haven't yet caught the flick please watch it. Like I said, although his stamp is written all over the movie, it is distinct in more ways than one. That alone is enough for me to defy Peter Bradshaw. And watch the Basterds all over again.

Posted by Murali.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Friday, October 9, 2009

Surprise: Obama wins another prize!

First he won the Grammy. Then the Presidency. Followed it up with a Cannes Titanium. Now the Nobel. All that's left is the Oscar. I feel he got it all too soon. Guardian thinks he got it for being Not George Bush. Read up. Good stuff.

Posted by Anantha.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Link A Day # 279: The Incredible PhotoSketch

The world wide web is abuzz with a brand new in-development tool called PhotoSketch. Developed by Tao Chen & company, this amazing piece of software lets you convert your freehand doodles into a composite photograph constructed by stitching together images machine-picked from the net. If this becomes a reality, any one of us can generate photo storyboards or rough cut layouts at will! Awesome, na? Go check out the demo below...

PhotoSketch: Internet Image Montage from Tao Chen on Vimeo.

Posted by Anantha.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A Link A Day # 278: Will California become America's first failed state?

"California may be the eighth largest economy in the world, but its state government is issuing IOUs, unemployment is at its highest in 70 years, and teachers are on hunger strike. So what has gone so catastrophically wrong?"

Extracted from The Guardian. Read more, here.

Posted by Anantha.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Know how much they make in advertising?

Here's an article in the Adage about salaries paid by big agencies to the big guys in advertising. Take a look at it. And don't blame me if I have spoiled your otherwise balmy day ;-)


A Link A Day # 277: Amnesty Insomnia

Posted by Anantha.

A Link A Day # 276: Sherlock Holmes Trailer

Posted by Anantha.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Friday, October 2, 2009

A Link A Day # 274: Sony Soundville

1 speaker 2 many by Juan Cabral & company...

Posted by Anantha.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Link A Day # 273: How to win 12 lakhs.

Easy. Just participate in the Wantrapreneur Business Plan Competition for Social Entrepreneurs. All you have to do is to visit this place, study the rules, and submit a proposal for an idea that can bring about change in agriculture, energy, water and dairy. Organised by our very own Villgro, the winner will take home 12 lakhs and will be crowned at the Unconvention to be hosted in Chennai from Dec 10 -12, 2009. Are you game to be a game changer?

Posted by Anantha.