ArchiveMay 2010

Handcrafted cars and ugly fonts


As is my wont, I glanced through Hindustan Times’ epaper in the morning and noticed the Volkswagen Phaeton ad. On the inside pages, the headlines were rendered in some weird font. I attributed them to a PC-Mac issue. It dawned on me quite some time later that the headlines were meant to convey a ‘handcrafted’ feel, linked with the ‘handcrafted luxury’ proposition of...

Volkswagen Polo: different, insightful, yet…


‘Surprisingly ordinary prices’ – that’s my first memory of Volkswagen Polo advertising. The TV commercial showed a tennis match in progress with heads bobbing left & right. And then while the ball is being lobbed across the courts, the heads are transfixed to one side. The camera then shows what’s got the audience hooked: a banner saying, ‘Volkswagen Polo...

Indigo Airlines – when time is not in your control


In my first advertising job, there used to be the ‘5-10 principle’. The essence of that principle is that advertising communication has two broad parts: what to say (strategy) and how to say it (creative execution). On the first part, you could either score a ‘zero’ or a ‘five’ i.e either right strategy or a wrong strategy -you can’t get a 2.5 on strategy...

Accenture – when the elephants dance, without voice over


A new television spot for Accenture is making the rounds of ad blogs. It started off as a print campaign in the post-Tiger Wood phase – showing an elephant on a surfboard, with the headline, ‘Who says you can’t be big and nimble?’. Check out the Director’s Cut of the commercial: Also see the making of video, which frankly doesn’t cover much details of how the...

Digital Advertising: a class room waiting to be created


This article of mine appeared in the Brand Wagon supplement of Financial Express, today: — There was a time when the Pakistan cricket team produced a seemingly endless list of fast bowlers. It is said that one man – Imran Khan, inspired a whole generation of fast bowlers. In India, Kapil Dev is credited with inspiring many youngsters to take up fast bowling instead of spin –which was...

Does your brand really need Social Media?


Mark Ritson, an Associate Professor of Marketing and brand consultant wrote a thought-provoking article in Marketing Week, lampooning the herd mentality of marketers who use social media for their brands, just for the sake of it, irrespective of the fit. By way of explanation, he writes: I can appreciate why 2 million people follow Google on Twitter and what those consumers get in return. But...

Ad scams, awards and alternatives


I am glad this happened. And that it is created by Pratap Suthan. I am talking about The Delhi Alternative initiative. Not surprising really, after the master piece he wrote after the Goafest awards. My rants on Goafest event don’t even come close but I do feel as strongly about the way our advertising awards are headed. The post Goafest muck that followed, including a very public spat...

For me, personal blogging ain’t dead, but getting there


It’s been a while since I was really happy about anything that I wrote on my blog. And the urge to put thoughts down about a topic and dash a blog post has died down of late. Was it about dearth of topics to write about? Not really. But of late, it’s getting difficult to find the time & motivation to write a blog post. More often than not, when I see, read or think of something I...

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Ex-ad man. Love advertising, Apple, tech, digital, design and all things creative. VP - MarCom, @Robosoft. Views personal. See disclaimer for more.

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