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]

Death by iteration: no end in sight for ad agencies


A recent blog post by the immensely talented and insightful Tom Fishburne on the process of creative reviews touched a chord. The article went on to say: most talented designers in the world will create mediocre work if the creative review process is managed in a mediocre way; breakthrough creative only starts when we treat our creative partners as partners. Almost everyone who has ever worked in an ad agency, especially those in account management, planning and creative have been subjected [Read More]

LYNX Australia: from chick magnet to ‘seize the work day’


Loved the new positioning and execution for LYNX in Australia. For years now, Lynx (called Axe in many markets) has hammered home the ‘chick magnet’ idea. The creative executions have been had some common underlying theme – winning over the girl, seduction, humour and lots of sensuality. My favourite executions: short duration films like ‘masseur’ and the ones which were themed with major sporting events. Other notable campaigns included the ‘Call Me’,  Axe Apollo and Kiss for Peace.  The brand [Read More]

KBC: time to go beyond the great leveller theme

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One of the comments regarding the new ads for KBC is that while the earlier ad themes of the show being a great leveller were relevant, winning hearts is not. Agency: Leo Burnett In my view, the show has long gone past the need to convey the thought that it is a great leveller…that anybody can win, as long as they have the knowledge. That thought has been drilled into the viewer’s head for several seasons now and consumer’s believe it. People from decidedly humble backgrounds winning [Read More]

Nike’s ‘Tomorrow starts now': when brands seize the initiative

Nike Brazil

How do some brands seize the initiative? How do they take a leadership stance? I guess this is how. Brazil lost badly to Germany in the recent football World Cup and the nation must be smarting from the defeat. Understandably the morale must be low and the nation must be looking for something positive, inspirational to identify with. Enter Nike with a brilliant initiative urging the nation to look forward to the Rio 2016 Olympic event. The film showcases many of the sporting stars from Brazil: [Read More]

Three Mobile: laddering benefit with wit and charm #holidayspam

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How often have we seen offer ads in the cluttered telecom category? Dry as a bone, most such ads attempt to highlight freebies like extra data, price-offs or add-ons like roaming. In this context, comes this charming little campaign from Three Mobile, UK. The background: a plan called ‘Three Feel At Home’ allows UK users to call and text back home and use data, at no extra cost, when in 16 countries abroad. Instead of merely limiting to announcing this, a brilliant #HolidaySpam campaign has been [Read More]

Outdoor ads by @DLKWLowe for @Morrisons: pun-tastic


Just what makes outdoor ads great: idea-driven, locally relevant, creative suited to a fleeting medium. Loved the new campaign for Morrisons, supporting the launch of the Morrisons.com home delivery service in London. The campaign highlights London neighbourhoods and puns on them using a food product. So we have ‘Mornington Cressent’, ‘West Mincester’, ‘Piccalilli Circus’, ‘White Chapple’, ‘Finsberry Park’, ‘Green Lanes’ and ‘Tottenham’. Agency: [Read More]

The Apple store: a key element of the brand experience

Apple retail

Apple’s success in retail, through its company-owned Apple Stores has been a subject of many articles & case studies. The fact that it is a success against all odds and its high sales- per-square-foot has been highlighted by many. My experience of a true-blue Apple Store is limited as I have frequented the reseller operated smaller outlets in India mostly. Though I have visited the Apple Store in Zurich a few years ago, I was looking forward to the most iconic of them all – the one on Fifth Avenue [Read More]

The missing ingredient from most advertising: fill in the blanks


Switch on FM radio in any Indian city (any city for that matter) and you are likely to be bombarded with almost the same kind of advertising. Ads which lack any kind of creativity, follow a template and virtually spell it all out for the consumer. What the advertiser wanted to say about the brand including all its features (not just the most important, relevant one) and call to action. On television too, most ads are dull, straightforward and plain ‘ad-dy’ if there is such a word. The common factor [Read More]

Avis: ‘we try harder’ to ‘unlock the world’


‘Avis is only No.2 in rent a cars. So why go with us?’ was a thought-provoking, dissonance creating question as part of the now legendary, ‘We try harder’ campaign for Hertz. Created by Paula Greene and Helmut Kone for DDB in the 1960s the campaign resulted in market share growth for Hertz and later a marketing war with Avis. In 2012, Hertz dropped the ‘We try harder’ tag line, in the US. Avis Europe, however, battled to keep ‘we try harder’ positioning for that market. Now the iconic tagline [Read More]