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As consumers, how often have we experienced a situation where we remember elements of an ad (such as a key visual, a character or the story line) but are unable to recall the brand? Some marketers think the solution lies in placing the brand logo on the screen right from the first frame of a TV commercial, having the brand repeated many times in a radio spot or increasing the size of the logo in…

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…

Last week, football icon Cristiano Ronaldo triggered truck loads of media coverage when he pushed away two bottles of Coke kept in front of him and held up a bottle of water signalling that the latter is a better option than a fizzy carbonated water. It sure is from a health perspective and there have been calls to highlights the ill-effects of soft drink addiction for years now. The incident got a lot of visibility…

This is probably the millionth post on this topic: ‘should you follow your passion?’ I don’t claim to say anything new here but nevertheless would like to offer my perspective. As with everything else in life, context is important. I guess folks bring up this topic in the context of a career. To go through life and work without a passion is not so uncommon I feel. Most people are like to label what they…

Advertising is meant to either effect a change in perception or behaviour. Sometimes, the former can lead to the latter. Most of the advertising that we are exposed to on mass media – for consumer goods primarily, operate in the realm of changing perception, to build affinity. Communication is also a tool to change behaviour, whether it is about getting consumers to invest in mutual funds or motivating them to quit smoking. Over the years,…

Traditionally, ‘value for money’ in the branding world is associated with an inexpensive brand, even a cheap one. Usually the implication is that it delivers what an expensive brand in the category does, at a lower price. Hence, suggesting a prudent buy. But even the most expensive, super luxury brand in a category can be good ‘value for money’ for someone who seeks such brands and can afford to buy them. It’s all about evoking…

The Indian Premier League (IPL), rife with celebrity ads, is not just a big event in the cricketing calendar but also an advertising event. It has been compared to the Super Bowl but the characteristics of the two events are different. Both are expensive for advertisers but the similarity ends there. Super Bowl vs IPL Cricket by nature is an advertiser’s delight as there is an opportunity to insert a spot (or two) every 5…

In real life, if you met someone who chose to give unsolicited comments on everything that’s going on in the world, that too in every available forum, chances are you’d get annoyed. But brands which claim to have a personality and tone of voice, somehow think always on’​ social media is good – they have to offer a comment on every occasion and major item of the news cycle. So whether it is a cargo…

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…