Thursday, November 26, 2009

The impact of Crowdsourcing

While there have been a lot of blog posts about crowdsourcing here, the latest one is testimony to how it works. Unilever has awarded 2 seasoned creatives with a cash prize of $15,000 for their idea, which was picked in a contest for their meat snack brand Peperami. In due course, Unilever has also ended a 15-year old relationship with their agency, Lowe Worldwide.

Read the full story here.

Posted by Murali.

A Link A Day # 317: Anti-Obama Billboard

Phil Wolf, a dyed-in-the-wool conservative and car dealer, just can't digest the fact that White America has elected Obama. So he's erected this billboard that tries to raise a stink over Obama's birth certificate. For more, read this piece of news.

Pix via Fox31.

Posted by Anantha.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Good News - Mass Media Advertising Still Works!

I know there are a lot of people who go around sounding the death knell for mass media advertising. Digital is in, they say. Few among them are likely to have done a digital campaign on their own. Their opinion is often skimmed off reports compiled by others who just quote some others. It works for them because they get invited for seminars where they can continue the masquerade. If you see another digital media expert munching a microphone, I have a simple tip for you. Visit the website of his firm. Most often there isn’t one. Or if there is a URL, it is likely to be under construction. And in the rare event there is a website, it’s likely to be a web version of a brochure. What’s my point? There is a Digital revolution happening out there. A few pioneers are creating the trends. But the larger crowd of trend-watchers is killing it by prematurely exaggerating its prowess. The fact is, in a country like India, it’s just too early to expect too much from digital.

Meanwhile mass media advertising is still the most effective way ramp up the recall and reputation of a brand.

Else, why would one of the world’s largest brands, a digital one, spend tens of crores in mass media, on re-launching itself in India? Yes, I am referring to Yahoo! While the jury is still out on whether the campaign is working for Yahoo! I would have liked it if there was a more tangible product difference stitched into the effort.

Which is what Tata Docomo has done.

A few months ago nobody knew them. Today they are literally on the nation’s lips. With a real innovation called One Second Billing, and a creative idea that builds on this, they have achieved national fame in no time. This is mass media advertising at its best.

Of course, a great creative idea can also make an old product difference look new.

Quick replacement of lost credit cards is not necessarily a breakthrough claim for a bank. But ING Vysya’s new commercial makes it look like they just invented it. A man runs after a pickpocket who has just stolen his wallet. Not able to keep up the chase, he gives up, only to see a postman beside him with a replacement card. That’s ING Vysya’s speed of response! There are two other executions — one... for quick delivery of cheque books and another for quick transfer of funds. All of them make ING Vysya look like they are the most happening bank today even though every other bank probably offers the same service. Bravo! The screenplay, the casting, the editing, and the sound design are top notch. Ram, a young director at Nirvana Films in Bangalore, has directed the films. Now, Nirvana is one production house (run by Prakash Verma and Sneha Iype) that never ceases to amaze me.

From this wellspring of passion we have seen campaigns that have consistently caught the nation’s fancy. The Hutch “Pug” film is legendary. The Zoozoos are more popular than most celebrities in ads. Their newest film for Saint Juice took my breath away. Never have I seen this level of attention to detail in an Indian commercial. Scripted by Creativeland Asia, the film marks a refreshing change from the usual mom-kid routine. World-class time lapse cinematography and animation by The Mill in London makes this film a joy to watch each time. Music by Rupert (who did the Hutch song) is a masterpiece in minimalism. Then again, do you know what the best part of the commercial is? It makes you thirst for the stuff.

This is how great advertising works. It makes you want the product. And, done well, mass media advertising is still the best way to achieve that.

Extracted from an article by Thomas in Financial Express.

Halls Holiday Print Campaign

Pretty neat stuff from JWT, New York.

Posted by Murali.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sunday, November 22, 2009

An evening that tested the tenets of Jazz

Bangalore was lucky on the 20th of November, last Friday, to be precise. Lucky because some quiet giants of Jazz descended upon the city. This privilege was hitherto reserved only for Mumbai and Delhi, where Jazz Yatra and later Jazz Utsav have been a date to earmark every year in the music aficionado’s calendar for the last 25 years.

Wayne Krantz, Anthony Jackson, Cliff Almond and David Binney headlined the Jazz Utsav ’09 at the Ambedkar Auditorium. And what a show it was. The opening act was a thoroughly experimentative jazz rendition of the work of the Beatles. By drummer Brian Melvin’s band. He along with David Kikoski form the BeatleJazz band. As Kikoski wasn’t able to join the band for the Jazz Utsav '09, Jon Davis supported him on the piano and Peter Barshay on the bass. For the record, Melvin has an impressive pedigree. He has played with Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead, Greg Allman of The Allman Brothers Band and the bass legend Jaco Pastorius.

They started out on a soulful rendition of John Lennon’s Beautiful Boy and went on to play other tracks like A Hard Day’s Night (where local guitarist Amit Heri joined in), Strawberry Fields Forever, Let It Be and few other Beatles favourites. Before finishing up with a rousing rendition of Eleanor Rigby.

Then the stage was set for the masters to light up the stage. Wayne Krantz has performed with Steely Dan and Michael Brecker. Anthony Jackson invented the six string contrabass guitar. Cliff Almond has played with many a jazz great in the US and the unassuming David Binney is considered a great compositional talent and a virtuoso on the saxophone. Now, what do you get when you put them together? Highly experimentative, free flowing jazz that doesn’t fit into any norm.

To get a dekko into the mind of Wayne Krantz, here’s a snippet from an interview. “There are a lot of disagreements about the word, ‘jazz’. For some people, it’s a specified set of sounds. We push our boundaries a little bit. We improvise. And our sounds will not resemble with what people generally associate with jazz,” he noted. He added, “The word jazz is broad in a way it doesn’t mean anything now.

They enthralled the audience for an hour and a half. And probably disappointed some, who had come in thinking they’re going to spend an evening listening to smooth jazz. For a country like ours which is starved of such pure Jazz music, it was an evening that was unforgettable. While I doff my hat to the legends for their music, I’d also like to thank Amit Saigal of Rock Street Journal for making this show happen.

“Raise your horns to the heavens and blow them in tribute to the great God of music, who presides in splendour over the Jazz Yatra.”

Sonny Rollins, 25 years ago at the first Jazz Yatra in Delhi.

Posted by Murali.

A Link a Day # 311: Where to sell your good logos for 300 dollars

Brandstack is the newest kid on the block in the logo market space. I like the site. It's simple in concept and it strikes the right balance between the designer's and the client's interests. If you're into logos, all you have to do is upload your logo, price it ($300 is the norm) and put it up for sale. If the client asks for a modification, you gracefully accept it. That's all. The affected party will be Logopond. But the place will cope as it's primarily an inspiration site. If you ask me, Logopond is for the artist in you and Brandstack for the moneymaker in you.

Posted by Anantha

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Now, Google for your bum!

Not sure whether the search giant is aware of this bummer of a brand. I found it amusing. Wonder what Microsoft or Apple would think of this.
Courtesy: mediabistro blog.

Posted by Murali.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Spot of the Week: Toshiba Space Chair

Created by Grey London. Posted by Anantha.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Link A Day # 308: The Helium Orchestra

Nice viral for Alfa Romeo by Fabbrica Virali...

Posted by Anantha.

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Link A Day # 307: Volswagen Polo Rumour

Posted by Anantha.

Environmental Art

Helsinki artist Jonna Pohjalainen produces some great environmental art. What you see above is one of her pieces. Wikipedia says, environmental art began as a movement sometime in the late '60s. Though starting off as an experimental approach with sculpture as the main form, today it has moved across different genres.

Picture courtesy: James Feess's blog.

Posted by Murali.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Link A Day # 306: Fevicol Moochwali

Good break from the past. To promote this as 'world's shortest feature film' was ingenious. At least got me to watch the film. The commercial as such is wacky. Casting flags towards the end. Music doesn't enhance rewatchability, significantly. Overall, I think it's one of the better Fevicol commercials in recent times. But as some one pointed out in Campaign India, it seems a similar concept to the Reynolds mole campaign. Check out tvc1 and tvc 2. And draw your own conclusions. As far as I can see, on the face of it, they seem like cousins. Although the Fevicol execution is far superior. Knowing the integrity of the team involved, I would just call it pure coincidence. Anyway, I asked Avasthi of Ogilvy about it and this is what he had to say: There's a difference between a mole becoming a family birthmark and a mooch sticking to a soul..The mooch would've appeared on any living thing that soul would've travelled to.....a baby's or a butterfly or a donkey's...

Posted by Anantha.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Bill Bernbach on Advertising - 1 (Must Watch!)

Posted by Murali.

Bill Bernbach on Advertising - 2 (A must watch!)

Posted by Murali.

Spot of the Week: Toyota Better Together

The '2-in-1' idea has been floating around for like gazillion years. But here's the best possible rendition. Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi, Australia. Production by Stink, London. Given a choice, I'd have cut out the lengthy brand window in the end. The music somehow seemed very DoCoMo to me...

Some precious trivia about the commercial: Shot in a single take the spot uses no special effects or post. This required a choreographer working for 10 days straight with the two dancers. They rehearsed until the movements were correct and timed perfectly to 55 seconds.

Posted by Anantha

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Youtube Gems: Bogie on Jack Benny Show

Bogart does a commercial for Lucky Strike on the Jack Benny show.

Then watch part 2 and part 3. Incidentally Bogie died of throat cancer.

Posted by Anantha.

A Link A Day # 305: Topline Kiss

Posted by Anantha.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Link A Day # 303: Notoginseng

"Keep your blood vessels young" for Notoginseng. Created by Draft FCB Hong Kong.

Posted by Anantha.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Blast from the past # 18

An old classic. Sunny Gavaskar endorsed Cherry Blossom in the '80s. Quite an interesting take on shoe whiteners, I should say. And nice to see fairly good amount of copy. Read and enjoy.

Posted by Murali.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Link A Day # 302: Music Music Music - Where Maggi lifted its jingle from.

Posted by Anantha.

A Link A Day # 301: R&D = Rip off & Duplicate?

Read this neat piece by Bill Taylor titled The New Logic of R&D: Rip Off & Duplicate. Here's an extract to get you interested...

"In 1912, a curious Henry Ford watched men cut meat during a tour of a Chicago slaughterhouse," Bogan and English write. "The carcasses were hanging on hooks mounted on a monorail. After each man performed his job, he would push the carcass to the next station. When the tour was over, the guide said, 'Well, sir, what do you think?' Mr. Ford turned to the man and said, 'Thanks, son, I think you may have given me a real good idea.' Less than six months later, the world's first assembly line started producing magnetos in the Ford Highland Park Plant"

Posted by Anantha.

A Link A Day # 300: Viagra is 10

Posted by Anantha.

Short Film Watch: Oscar winning Schwarzfahrer

Posted by Anantha.

A Link A Day # 299: Not Wet Dreams

Carlton Dry has launched a new series on Dry Dreams. The rocket one is sorta funny. The rest were probably shot to make up the magical number 3...

Also in this series: Show Jumping & Skeet Shooting.

Posted by Anantha.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Link A Day # 297: Guinness Bring it to Life

Guinness sees this as a spectacular ad. It doesn't seem to me like one. See it for yourself. "Good things come to those who wait" was any day better.

Posted by Anantha.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Spot of the Week: Acciona RE_

Garlic TV's stunning new film for Acciona, will make you go wow! It's my nominee for Cannes Grand Prix. Any bets?

Watch the making of Acciona RE_ here.

Posted by Anantha.

A Link A Day # 296: Weetabix Steeplechase

Posted by Anantha.

Album Art # 8

Designer Robbert Fisher created this cover for Nirvana. It's a true testimony to what good photography can do to a layout. Apparently, Kurt Cobain wanted his photograph on the cover, but luckily better sense prevailed.

Posted by Murali.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Link A Day # 295: Trash Can

A smart product innovation has provided the grist for a smart twist for this commercial for California State Lottery. Created by Casanova Pendrill. Made by MJZ.

Posted by Anantha.

How to be happy in business

Bud Caddell has come up with this lovely venn diagram to explain the title of this post. For a more detailed take on the whole thing go here, for a quick read.

Posted by Murali.

Monday, November 2, 2009

And one by one they are leaving...

Manish Bhatt has entered politics.
Raghu Bhat is trying his hand at launching designer laptop bags.
Prasoon Joshi is now more of a lyricist than an ad person.
Balki is busy with his Amitabh movies.
Rensil D'Silva has turned scriptwriter.
Aggie & Paddy have started Taproot.
Manoj Jacob has floated 21.
Prahlad Nanjappa has fathered a new outfit named Fryed.
What is happening?
Why is everyone leaving?
Are our peers getting disillusioned with big agencies?
Isn't that a cause for worry?
Does anyone care?

Posted by Anantha.

A Link A Day # 294: Einstein Does God Exist?

Watch this commercial for the Government of Republic of Macedonia. It is based on an email forward that has been proved wrong ages ago. Wonder how, they used Einstein's name without doing any research.

Posted by Anantha.

Viral Watch:

Can fun be 42? Are solutions for the most trickiest of problems the most funniest? Yes, says Fun Theory, an initiative of Volskwagen.

This site, is dedicated to the thought that something as simple as fun is the easiest way to change people’s behaviour for the better. Be it for yourself, for the environment, or for something entirely different, the only thing that matters is that it’s change for the better.

Sounds interesting? Got a great fun idea? Then participate in The Fun Theory Awards.

Posted by Deepan.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Rock 'n Roll Photography Exhibition

An exhibition is presently on at the Brooklyn Museum, of Rock 'n Roll photographers who captured the history of this genre of music. Featured above is a photograph taken by Barry Feinstein in 1966. One of my favourites, it's titled Bob Dylan with kids, Liverpool, England, 1966. For more such gems visit here.

Posted by Murali.

Blast from the past # 17

A Cherry Blossom ad from the early '80s.
Courtesy: Kamat's Potpourri.

Posted by Murali.

Youtube Gems: Quentin's Interview with Elvis

Where Quentin Tarrantino talks about the B-Grade movies and everything else that influenced him as a film geek...

I recommend you also watch Part 2 and Part 3 of the interview.

Posted by Anantha.