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Advertising funds much of the media business. Even back in the pre-digital era it was acknowledged that the cover price of news papers & magazines would be prohibitively expensive for the reader. In markets like India, major dailies and magazines have been incredibly affordable. When the television industry took off, both GEC and niche channels depended on advertiser monies for support. Since the rise of internet media brands, display ads have contributed to their sustenance.…

It’s that time of the year when ‘best of the year’ lists are published, so here are my picks for ‘Best creative ads of 2022’ – similar to my list of creative picks last year and the one from 2020. Over the last few years, the ad industry has taken pains to convey that their business has changed fundamentally. Agency executives say that the business is about being at the intersection of technology & data,…

In terms of user base, Twitter is relatively smaller than other popular social media platforms. But it share of visibility and media attention is much bigger as was evident recently. Twitter’s billboard campaign got people talking about for its simple, striking creativity and showcasing its buzz-creating ability. This and other creative ideas form part of my weekly compilation. Twitter: Tweet it into existence There’s something about Twitter that encourages instant, spontaneous sharing of one’s views…

A LinkedIn post triggered an interesting conversation on the role of social media for both legacy and (for lack of any other phrase), ‘new-age’ brands. As is obvious now, many brands – both in B2C and B2B, consider social media presence to be mandatory. The common reference in this context are brand activities on YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. A brand maybe active in a few or all of the above platforms – depending on…

A social media post caused a diplomatic incident recently after a severe social media backlash over a social media post from Hyundai’s dealer in Pakistan. A #BoycottHyundai hashtag also trended in India. As many Twitter users began tagging the official handle, the social media team at Hyundai India protected their tweets and apparently also blocked a few users to boot. The official statement released initially wasn’t much of a clarification and spoke how the company…

It is festive season now in India and mass media is full of ads from retail, jewellery and fashion brands. Some of the ads which featured protagonists in traditional Indian wear but without a bindi on the forehead faced criticism on Twitter (where else?) and some even tagged the brand handles. The question, ‘does art imitate life or life imitates art?’ is perhaps a difficult one to answer. In this context, advertising & marketing folks…

I wrote a long post about the basics of marketing communications and the recent controversies around festive ads in India – particularly those of FabIndia and Fem. Last year too, Diwali ads faced social media backlash. The media discussions on this issue continue. I came across a segment featuring adman Bharat Dabholkar in a news channel video discussing the recent ad controversies. I agree with him on a a few things while disagreeing on others.…

The fundamentals of marketing communications is believed to be the same, be it in the traditional media world or the ‘new’ digital world. Bill Bernbach, ad legend and founder of DDB said famously: ‘it is fashionable to talk about changing man. A communicator must be concerned with unchanging man, with his obsessive drive to survive, to be admired, to succeed, to love, to take care of his own’. Such motivations are not going to change…

Koo is a micro-blogging platform launched in March 2020 for the Indian market. A plus point in comparison to Twitter is that the app allows for posts in several Indian languages (aside from English). While social media platforms have facilitated posts in major Indian languages, Koo plans to allow posts in regional languages such as Konkani and Manipuri. Its founders are serial entrepreneurs who previously built businesses such as TaxiForSure (a cab hailing service acquired…

It has become customary for brands to see every occasion (such as Earth Day) or big news event as an opportunity to create ads – mainly social media creatives. Burger King posted a tweet in the context Women’s Day and got into kerfuffle on media. Eventually they retracted the original tweet which said, ‘Women belong in the kitchen’ not before outrage across media. It got me thinking about the need for context in today’s media…