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The CEO of Bombay Shaving Company got a lot of flak for his recent LinkedIn post where he advised youngsters to ‘give it their all’ during the early, formative years in work life. What triggered everybody was the use of the phrase ’18-hour work days’. While some came out in support, even his clarifications evoked a lot of negative feedback. There is no denying that hard work is a must at any stage of one’s…

It’s obvious that the internet, smart phone and the rise of social media have had a huge impact on news brands. Both print publications and television channels had to adapt to a new world and changing consumer preferences. The speed of news dissemination, ubiquity of the smartphone and some characteristics of social media platforms (two-way communication, making dishing out opinions easy and viral potential) have forced media brands to make changes to their service and…

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…

Recently I came across a post on LinkedIn which listed key ‘differences’ between branding and marketing. The post got a lot of comments (both positive and negative), was shared widely and debated. It’s another matter that there were several claimants to the authorship of that comparison (which was not pitting one against the other of course, just drawing a comparison. Anyway, I am digressing. Marketing terminology: leaving a lot to interpretation While there are many…

I recently came across a post on Twitter which shared a response from a digital agency to a comment (complaining about the agency’s ‘toxic’ work culture) posted by its ex-employee on Glassdoor. The official response from the agency justified late nights, working on weekends and even giving up on personal life as normal – almost an expected thing to do to survive and get ahead in the advertising business. I happened to go through a…

Over the last few days, couple of ads from a deodorant brand Layer’r Shot caused widespread outrage (and rightly so) in India. Both the ads are anchored on cheap word play around the brand name and lewd. In one ad, four men at a department store aisle look in the direction of a woman and ask, “Hum char, aur ye sirf ek? Toh Shot kaun lega?” (‘There’s four of us and just one of it? Who will take…

Advertising, by definition, is meant to grab people’s attention. If a campaign goes un-noticed, it’s just waste of money. In that context, what has come to be known as ‘shockvertising’ – the attempt to deliberately shock or even offend people into noticing (and discussing) an ad has come into vogue. It is certainly not a new phenomenon. A common example of such an approach is the ‘United Colors of Benetton’ campaign featuring images which were…

If we meet someone who speaks well we tend to form a positive opinion of them: we equate articulation with intelligence. It is pretty similar to how we react to likeable ads – subconsciously we transfer this affinity to the brand. Similarly, we admire those who write well. As David Ogilvy said, ‘People who think well, write well’. When it comes to good writing, what gets our attention and keeps us engrossed could be anything…

The adage ‘ninety percent of everything is crap’ coined by Theodore Sturgeon an American science fiction author is relevant in the context of advertising where a majority of campaigns go unnoticed. Among the handful of great marketing campaigns which get noticed, recalled and loved there are even fewer number which stand the test of time. I wrote about one such campaign – ‘Live richly’ from Citi a while ago. Another brand which deserves accolades and…

Remember ’30-minutes or your money back’ as a promise for pizza delivery? It was at a time when mobile apps were not the norm and worked through web bookings mostly. It disrupted service delivery in the category and forced all the players to follow suit. What was the problem it was trying to solve? While the consumer may have not expressed the need to have pizza delivered in 30-minutes, the latent problem was one of…