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]

Long format vs shorter duration ads: it’s about the impact


I love short duration ads – the ones which are 20 seconds or under. The ad commercial is in any case a challenging audio visual medium – telling a compelling, engaging story that too with a business objective in 30-seconds is fascinating. And to do it in even shorter duration is no mean feat (Miller Lite ran 1-second commercials during Super Bowl in 2009). Shorter duration commercials also have an advantage from a media investment POV – the client can simply afford to run the spot more often, for [Read More]

Marmite: iconic brand, bold client and an occasional use product


Products which are used only for specific reasons or occasions, naturally run the risk of low usage. Antiseptic creams, adhesive bandages…even honey, come mind. Think of brands like Burnol, BandAid, Dettol or any brand of honey – a lot of households have them around but such brands come out of the cupboard only on specific occasions: a bruise, illness and so on. In England, Marmite is a brand with occasional usage problem; over 1 in 10 Brits admit they haven’t opened their jar in over three months. [Read More]

#CannesLions winners: Ungiven Gifts – how drunk driving affects lives

The work for Traffic Accident Commission, Melbourne is one of my favourites among what is loosely called public service advertising. The work has been driven by a clear objective (reduce road accident caused due to unsafe driving) and a well-defined, consistent advertising strategy (shock the viewer into changing his behaviour). The creative has risen to the call and delivered by appealing to the emotions of the viewer and almost scare him into behaving while on the road. What I liked about the [Read More]

#CannesLions winners: ‘Guilt Trips’ is wickedly creative and effective


V/Line is a public transport provider in Victoria, Australia. Their business challenge: how to motivate young people away from their busy metro lives and to take a train-trip to see their parents who usually live miles away in rural areas of Australia. The creative strategy used was plain, simple manipulation of emotions. We’ve all witnessed our parents complain about how they rarely get to hear from us or see us. Such complaints are usually laced with a tinge of self pity and ‘poor me’ tone of voice [Read More]

Apple and its advertising: thoughts on recent developments: Part 2

Screen Shot 2014-06-16 at 3.28.41 pm

There’s been much brouhaha over Apple’s move to create an in-house agency. Ad industry trade portals and tech blogs have written truck loads about it. The common streak of the opinion pieces: Apple has lost its mojo and the ad agency is paying a price. Read Part 1 of my thoughts on this and related issues here. And now on to Part 2 of the post: Advertising is a shared responsibility. It is said that in advertising, 50% of the credit should go to the client – irrespective of whether the ads have [Read More]

Apple and its advertising: thoughts on recent developments – Part 1


Apple is reportedly in the process of setting up an internal ad agency. This development is seen as a result of Apple being unhappy with the output from their long term ad agency TBWA\ Media Arts Lab. The conclusion that Apple is unhappy with their agency came about in media, as a result of internal emails and the fact that some new ads have been made by an internal team. Not just the advertising trade press but the general tech media too has gone to town dissecting this development. I could detect [Read More]

Interactive website from @canalplus and @BETCParis makes you a film director


Canal+ has a fantastic track record for great, entertaining TV commercials. Most of them have gone wildly viral. Remember the ‘Never underestimate the power of a great story’ ad? And the ‘bear’ ad with the proposition, ‘The more you watch Canal+, the more you love cinema’? Now Canal+ and BETC Paris have created an interactive website which brings back elements from the bear commercial and allows the viewer to ‘become a film director’. The site was created to celebrate their appreciation for the Cannes [Read More]