Brilliant outdoor for @johnlewisretail by @aandeddb


Love at first sight. What a clever piece of work. Great to see creativity even for tactical announcers like these. Airline brands have traditionally integrated characteristics of the destination and what it is famous for in their destination announcer advertising. But a lot of agencies and clients simply settle for ‘Now open in’ type of bland announcers. Glad to see this clever visual pun on a port city. Agency: adam&eveDDB. Via. More John Lewis and related work here. [Read More]

Thoughts on Apple event and reactions: Part 2


We are now in the ‘post-event critique’ phase of the Apple launch, with every element of the launch event and launch plans being analysed and critiqued. Herewith my unsolicited views on the event and the reactions thus far: Part 1 of the post is here. The big screen: about a year late Steve Jobs is said to have made the ‘7-inch tablets are DOA’ comment. He has also reportedly mocked large screen phones. On the other hand, officially Apple has not mocked big screen phones in a negative [Read More]

Thoughts on Apple event and reactions: Part 1


Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans, goes the famous quotation. With Apple, it can be modified to say, ‘Record sales is what happens when media & critics find fault with almost everything the brand does’. The reason: news about Apple gets attention; bad news about Apple gets even more attention. When it comes to product launches, the brand is under the microscope like no other brand. A media circus has now become a part of the launch event. While this applies to many [Read More]

Apple’s iWatch event and pointers for brands


It has been a year since the first rumours started about Apple launching a wearable device, most commonly speculated to be a watch. In a couple of days from now, we will know if Apple delivers on expectations. Actually, the company will never actually deliver on expectations because (a) the expectations themselves are spectacular, even unreal and (b) there will always be a section of consumers & media who either dislike Apple (hence pooh-pooh any effort from the brand) or want to see it fail. [Read More]

Why I don’t like native advertising the way it is defined


There’s been considerable discussion around native advertising (good reads here and here) of late. For the uninitiated, Wikipedia defines native advertising thus: it is an online advertising method in which the advertiser attempts to gain attention by providing content in the context of the user’s experience. Native ad formats match both the form and function of the user experience in which they are placed. The advertiser’s intent is to make the paid advertising feel less intrusive and thus increase [Read More]

Vodafone UK: bringing families together through shared data plan

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Mobile phones are considered the death of family time. In public places, it is common to see each member of a family staring in to their mobile phone screens, keeping to themselves…conversation be damned. In this context comes a new campaign for Vodafone UK’s family sharing data plan, Red+. The ads position it as an enabler of sharing and hence bringing families together. Agency: RKCR/Y&R What worked for me was the real-life nature of the ads. Turns out that real British families [Read More]

The pitfalls of buying influence in social media


Much has been discussed about in Indian social media after a recent blogger’s meet sponsored by a car brand. The attempt here is to share my thoughts on the larger issue of buying influence in social media and not about that specific event. Hence, I am not going to take any names – be it of individuals, agencies or brands linked with the event. ‘Advertising is the science of arresting the human intelligence long enough to get money from it’, said Stephen Leacock, tongue firmly in cheek. The [Read More]

Airtel: the reason-why is missing boss


India is poised to become the smartphone hotspot with truck loads of players entering the fray. According to IDC, India witnessed the highest rate of growth – over 18% – in smartphone sales in Asia Pacific region during January-March 2014, outshining countries like China. And the CAGR is expected to be in the region of 40% over the next five years. The consumer is spoilt for choice when it comes to handsets too; affordable price points are also driving this adoption. It is all apparent when you see [Read More]

New advertising: @GSP creates clothing line to train baby brains

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The best instances of great client-agency partnership is when the ad agency goes beyond the role of a creative services provider and becomes a true business solution provider. In 1907, the California Fruit Growers Exchange was looking for ways to increase the consumption of oranges. The legendary Albert Lasker of Lord & Thomas ad agency (which later became Foote Cone & Belding) proposed that they create a unified brand to represent all the orange growers. The Sunkist brand was born. He also [Read More]

Sponsoring global events: new challenges for brands


An interesting discussion with Lakshmanan Narayan, CEO and co-founder of Unmetric in this week’s Storybard, touched upon the topic of brands sponsoring global events. Specifically, the issue was about how with global events like FIFA World Cup, brands not associated with the event in an official capacity as sponsors are gaining mileage through through brand content in social media. So it begs the question, ‘do brands have to be sponsors anymore?’ Brands stealing thunder from a competing brand [Read More]