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

64189_Plane Wings 2

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 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]

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]