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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…

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,…

Back when I was in an ad agency, face to face meetings were common. In the 90s, there were periodic meetings scheduled for reviewing job lists, financial status of accounts and brand plans. The job list meeting would usually be held every week and would go over status and next steps of key projects at hand. The finance meeting – a monthly affair in most agencies was dreaded by AEs as they would be grilled…

Titan Industries, known for its watch and jewellery brands, released an ad which evoked a polarised reaction on social media. While one group praised it, another group raised objections and called for a boycott of the brand itself. In response, the company decided to take the ad off air. No, I was NOT referring to the recent ‘Ekatvam’ ad for Tanishq jewellery but to the ad for ‘Tamil Nadu Collection’ of watches which came under…

The ad industry trade portals were abuzz recently on the topic of ageism in advertising following the comments made by the CEO of WPP. The crux of an argument from Bob Hoffman (‘The Ad Contrarian’) is that in other ‘creative’ domains the best work is produced by senior people while the ad industry thinks they can’t produce a web banner. In management consulting, legal practice or medicine the premium is on experience. Since the rise…

Of late, there’s been a discussion in Indian media on the importance of a brand’s country-of-origin in purchase decisions. It has been triggered by the decision by the Indian government to ban a bunch of apps of Chinese origin – TikTok being the most popular of them. Also recent geopolitical developments, tensions between the governments and the media visibility have created a mood of resentment among a lot of Indians about China and as an…

A 150+ year old ad agency brand disappeared recently. WPP took the decision to merge J Walter Thompson and Wunderman to form Wunderman Thompson. The need for the merger and the logic behind the branding (Wunderman first) is widely believed to be a reflection of industry compulsions. Specifically, digital. What everyone means by that is the ad industry cannot simply rely on providing creative & production services in traditional TV, print, outdoor, radio and web…

Advertising is creativity with a commercial angle. Unlike art of art’s sake, advertising has a clear business role to play – it has to help improve sales or brand affinity (which will have an impact on brand loyalty and therefore, sales). Over the years, brand owners and ad agencies have used several kinds of stimulus as tools to get across the brand message. Entertainment (jingles, humorous ads), shock value, tugging at the heartstrings are just…