Thursday, December 29, 2005

Billboard Advertising - Kitkat & Silberman Fitness

Have been browsing through a lot of Billboards today. This one is for KitKat and once again, wonderfully presented. Not sure of the location or the agency, except that it has reached here via Billboardroom and was originally sourced from Creative Criminal.


Talk about execution and this one for Silberman Fitness Center caught my attention instantly. Once again, full credits to Billboardroom for posting this entry.

What an excellent utilization of the Banner space!
This is the kind of creativity one really looks forward to. It is not the idea per se. But putting the thoughts into a droning media line and extracting the intended communication from it is what deserves appreciation. I think where Indian advertisers need to venture into is such new modes of advertising. Creative and innovative advertising using the same conventional connection media has ceased to be appealing with the Indian Consumer. We need to reach the consumer from other touch points.
One such media is Outdoor Advertising, through Billboards and sign posts. This is where we need loads of work to do.
In Delhi, there is a 10 KM stretch of a Flyover, full of 50-60 Billboards within that small stretch! Unfortunately, not even a single piece is appealing enough, and the recall probably lasts as long as the flyover!
But I am sure Advertisers are learning and getting ideas and it is just a matter of time that we would see more of these hoardings around, and creativity would be appreciated offline as well. Till that time, I can count on the Blogosphere!

Y+ Yoga centre: Backflip

Leoburnett has developed some special unconventional pieces of Advertising for Y+ Yoga centre. There are two creatives specifically:
(1)
In the Billboard category, the campaign demonstrates flexibility with the help of posters. The instructors are shown on the posters and it seems that they are performing yoga, as both sides of the poster has their photographs. Take a look!
These are the back and the front sides of the posters, respectively. Below them is the display of these posters. Wonderful execution!


(2)
In the second case, an awesome piece of creative thinking has been exhibited by showcasing the concept of Yoga with the help of a straw! This Ad also won the Golden Drum Award in Art Direction.
[via Ads of the world]
Y+ has various studios for Yoga spanned across China and trains people on different arts of Yoga. Though the art originated in India, it has wonderfully transformed into an international lucrative business venture throughout the United States, UK and now, as shown above, China!

Outdoor India: Child Labour

McCann Erickson has made an excellent creative for Heal Foundation of India on “Child Labour”.
Have a look! [via Billboardroom]


The poster reads “12 million labourers in India can't paste a poster this high”.
It always feels nice to appreciate creativity in your own country. This Ad was awarded a Gold World Medal in the New York Festivals in the “Outdoor/Transit/Posters: Public Service Advertising” Category.

Great work Mr Prasoon!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

City Branding in India …Another Hotlanta in the making?

Laura Ries has presented an interesting perspective on the tagging of Atlanta as “Every Day is an Opening Day”. Though the news is almost a month old, considering the kind of attention tourism has attracted, this concept of City Branding could be pertinent to Branding in the sub-continent too.

First things first. An article featured last month in the Economic Times on Atlanta’s new slogan. It is not uncommon to brand cities in the United States, create slogans and develop campaigns around them. With New York having “I love New York”, Virginia with 'Virginia Is For Lovers' and the famous Las Vegas tag 'What Happens Here, Stays Here', each city has had its own glory with Tagline Branding.
So, it was time for Atlanta to become the cynosure with the help of yet another tagline after its previous similar attempts with 'The City Too Busy To Hate' and 'Atlanta: People Seem To Like It Here' and ‘Hotlanta’.


Tagged “Every Day is an opening day”, the campaign is worth $8 million and has been created by Grey Worldwide. Though I am not even faintly associated with Atlanta, the slogan seems to be conforming more to a generalist viewpoint and there is little that is inferable from it. Laura Ries has criticized the agency for drafting such an idea.

However, the agency explicates that “it was designed to reflect the feeling of anticipation one gets when something they have been waiting for finally happens." (as mentioned by Laura)

I specifically liked one of her remarks “A powerful advertising campaign takes advantage of what is already in the mind and then reinforces that idea. A powerful advertising concept is almost never an abstract idea”.
But again, she rightly points out that in a quest to claim “out-of-the-box” thinking and original creativity, most of the agencies do not reinvent the wheel…they necessarily change the wheel altogether!

I concur with Laura that there has to be some correlation of the tagline to the perception of a place and slogan should affirm to this perception. When Kerala was tagged as “God’s own country”, there was a rationale behind it.

How important or relevant is tagging of a city/state from tourism’s perspective? Take for instance any of the south-east Asian countries – Malaysia “Truly Asia” “Uniquely Singapore” “Amazing Thailand” … What has been the impact of these slogans? Has business improved due to branding?

The basic purpose of these slogans is that they ensure a high recall value of the respective places and reinforce their importance in the travel plans of any tourist. The tagline provides a subconscious image of the place and acts as the differentiator for that location in a cluttered marketplace.
According to an old article in Manic.com, branding is a powerful, concise way to communicate a country’s attractions and is done to create a distinctive image in the minds of people.
So be it South-Asia as a tourist destination or the US, the sub-elements need to have an identity of their own.
Located on the East coast, Atlanta needs to differentiate itself from other tourist hubs in its neighborhood to attract tourists and gain visibility.

Let me come back home… Is it time for cities in India to be branded too? If we take this assumption that differentiating is the objective, then the entities that need to be positioned varies with the markets. For South-east Asia, it would be the countries, for the US it would be the cities and for India, it would be the states (Control is at a State Level in India!) States have their own identity and the respective governments are working towards establishing their individual identity. Be it Jharkhand, Orissa, Gujarat, Rajasthan or Kerala, all these states are eying a larger share of the tourism revenues and have therefore expedited their effort to be visible in the International Marketplace.
However, apart from a guided tour along these areas and scenic pleasures, there is very little that is being promoted. Kerala is scenic and so is Rajasthan. Just that there is “lush green versus camel race” type of decision that a tourist needs to make.
I think advertisers need to go a step further and assess the very existence and core values of particular states – identify their origins, find out their core competencies and then develop campaigns around these values subsequently. These, in effect, would act as sustainable differentiators.
Thailand has been amazing. Singapore has been unique. Malaysia is Truly Asia and India is incredible. Now, everyone knows this. What’s next?

Indian destinations need to speak a different language, and not just keep harping on diversity and convergence of cultures. It’s time branding is given some serious thought, not only at a macro level, but at a more micro level by the City Administrators and District authorities.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Rural India: Vegetable vendors selling CDMA..

Business Standard featured an article on CDMA handsets being sold through vegetable vendors in Rural India. In "CDMA majors draw up big rural push", the penetration strategies of the CDMA-based telephony operators – Reliance Infocomm and Tata Teleservices Ltd (TTSL) – has been highlighted.

Reliance Infocomm is planning to sell its products and services through vegetable and grain mandis, cable operators and farm product vendors, like irrigation pumps and tractor dealers. "We are looking at selling our products and services through sabji and grain mandis and we expect this to enable us reach every inhabited place in the country.”
Similarly, "The Tata group company, which sells its services under Tata Indicom brand, has started selling RCVs through pan and medical shops and hotels among others, apart from its 1,700 True Value outlets in the countries."

A challenging initiative indeed! However, the most interesting element of the strategy is that
Reliance intends to train the owners of vegetable and grain mandis to demonstrate and sell the product, and to provide after sales services.
If I read between the piece, I do not fully agree with this approach and the idea of selling through vegetable vendors. I have my reservations vis-a-vis the efficacy of this model and the concept of vendors selling CDMA phones! Though there are certain parts that are laudable, certain parts that could be revisited and given a second thought..
The approach for leveraging the existing distribution channels in the rural sector starts from the consumer. One needs to identify the various touch points for the consumer and then evaluate the ones that can be tapped.

In case of the rural consumer, Reliance and TTSL have rightly identified some of the touch points – vegetable vendors, cable operators and cooking gas distributors. These interfaces already have an established relationship with the customers and have demonstrated expertise “in their own professional domain”.
How do you use these channels to market your products and services? A natural technique that would be pertinent here would be the word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing. But, as most of the models on WOM infer, WOM would be more effective through an expert than a novice (I intend to post an entry on the relevant WOM model soon!).
The question is ….what and who qualifies as an expert? Definitely, the context is critical for someone to be called an expert.

Crudely put, consumers would be receptive to the opinion or predicament of an individual who has demonstrated experience and has a credible background to support his arguments. Obvious example…readers would add more credence to marketing trends predicted by Tom Peters or Laura Ries than to this pseudo-marketer p-obsessed RBTP blogger! Background, experience and relevance provide credence in every marketing communication and any form of the business.

(1) Keeping this in mind, a vegetable vendor would be an expert in vegetable prices, commodity trading and futures at the most; cooking gas distributors would be experts in cooking gas, recipes and home appliances at the most; cable operators would be experts in channels, installation of cables and satellite connectivity at the most
Where does mobile telephony come into picture? I understand that new competencies can be developed and training is a big facilitator. But, there has to be some relation and established “credibility” associated with it, as I mentioned above. In this scenario, how convincing would be these vendors be when it comes to selling CDMA phones to customers?

(2) Another problem with vendors is that most of them are from a lower caste in the village. Though caste system is too archaic a concept in the urban sections of the society, it is still a big differentiating factor in the rural part of India and very less can be done to think of a workaround. (Consider the sanchalak in the e-choupal framework who is taken from the upper caste of the villages). This is another factor that could act as a detriment towards making vendors as salesmen!

(3) Thirdly, another factor that I read in a research paper, on vendors as entrepreneurs..

Like any other entrepreneur or businessperson, street vendors need capital. Unfortunately, given the widespread perception that vendors are,at best, a “nuisance” or, even worse, “thieves” or “vagrants,” banks tend to disregard their need for capital. The result is that vendors have to borrow from private moneylenders or wholesalers. Vegetable and fruit vendors, for instance, begin their business at dawn, when they buy their wares from wholesale merchants or middlemen in the wholesale markets. Since most of these women have little working capital, they are forced to borrow at very high interest rates – around 10 per cent per day on capital advanced.

Given this, investment constraints also work against the vendors to act as agents for the CDMA operators.
Thus, the stated can be inferred! Yes, the distribution channels are fine and these professionals can facilitate (and only that, probably) sales and provision of products to the consumer. But communication? Marketing? After-sales services? Doesn’t seem to be too promising an idea.

Its easy to criticize I know. But let me attempt to suggest some plausible alternatives...
One important interface or touch point in any rural setup is the parchuni or the grocery shop. Since the retailer is considered to be the rep of the city and the messenger of the urban culture, he would be listened to. This is considering the “emulative” trait of the rural consumer, where most of the rural youth have a strong sub-conscious urge to emulate their more sophisticated and well-off counterparts! (Again, if the vegetable vendors and the grain vendors route from the grocery shop, it would attach some credence)

Alternatively, every day a certain section of the rural farmers goes to the cities to sell their produce or to work. At these contact points or trade areas, called Mandis, Reliance and TTSL can setup kiosks and talk about their services. Once these farmers are convinced and have been educated, they would act as ambassadors in their respective villages.
This model has worked with Shakti Amma by HLL and Sanchalak with ITC. There is no reason why it could not work with Reliance or TTSL.

One critical entry point for any service to gain inroads into the rural market is to begin with adding value to their core competence and then extending those services into other value-adds. For instance, if Reliance has to gain an entry with its CDMA technology, it must first educate the farmers to use their mobiles to gain knowledge of their produce, to get the mandi rates sitting in their rooms and to check supplies.

This is what helped farmers in Kenya during their telecom revolution. According to an article on Telecom in Africa, there was a visible difference in the perspective of these vendors

"Vegetable vendors now make orders for supplies without leaving their stalls. They also avoid being swindled because they can use text messaging to check around for the best prices ".
"Painters and masons now advertise their numbers on trees by the roadsides in Nairobi. In the past, they would have sat outside hardware shops looking for work from people who have just bought nails, cement and other building supplies".

Thus, not only the farmers but the entire SMB segment can be tapped keeping these essentials in mind and taking necessary steps to communicate with them. Tangible gains are visible and possible - effort just needs to be channelized in the correct direction!

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Tsunamika – The child of Tsunami

Tomorrow would be the completion of one full year of the biggest disaster to hit South Asia – Tsunami. Exactly one year before more than 11000 people had died in this disaster in India itself. Villages had been shattered; families swept away, cattle drowned….It was the worse of the worst times for the entire nation.

Move one year forward and here we are. Things have moved forward, villages have progressed and people have moved ahead….thanks to an entire nation moving together, thanks to the initiatives of a select few and thanks to a strong determination and will power of the survivors.
It is this strength and will power of the survivors …that created …Tsunamika!

Tsunamika is a project based out of Auroville in Tamil Nadu, South India. As part of rehabilitation and healing services, Upasana Design Studio conceived the concept of training the women of the villages and teaching them how to make dolls from used fabric, cleped as the child of Tsunami, or “Tsunamika”
The project Tsunamika represented the creative power of the women, helped in trauma counseling, fighting and enjoying their existence and enabling a fresh outlook towards life. Self-Help groups of women have been formed just the way they were formed in Shakti or HLL Network. Nearly 480 fisherwomen from 6 villages are trained and from them around 150 ladies are now creating these little dolls called Tsunamika.


There is an excellent poem written for Tsunamika - “A Living symbol”. I liked the following paragraphs especially. They convey the theme and the purpose of this exercise.



She has been hand-made by women,
The women who live by the ocean,
The women whose lives changed forever after the tsunami,
The women who are exploring a new way of living,
The women who are empowering themselves.
Tsunamika is an expression of their creative fire;
Through Tsunamika they enter a new & wider world.

She is a living message,
A message of a new way of living
In which Life is respected.
A message of the Oneness of Life
In which love has a place.
A message of the sacredness of life
In which we can celebrate, together.

Kudos to the entire project team! An excellent initiative indeed.
But again, the purpose of this entry is not to talk about the “Social” aspect of the project, but to talk of a more pertinent aspect of this project – The Marketing initiatives of Tsunamika.

At this juncture, the visibility of the project needs to be enhanced. I am not sure how much effort has been taken in this direction, since it is not evident on the website. The website does not have a professional look and does not even have a transaction gateway to facilitate online donations. Thus, one can infer that either most of the donations are given offline and are sourced from domestic and local sources, or the initiative is more of a self-sustaining effort.
I am not alluding to the commercialization of the concept per se. But the entire project needs to be taken one step forward in terms of making the nation aware of the wonderful thought and theme behind its conception… I am sure there are many more, who are willing to help, many more who would like to come forward and lend a hand, many more who were concerned – very concerned about the survivors, but whose concerns withered away with time.

The project is not about donations. It is simply about recognition of the efforts of these women who have decided to fight against time and live their destiny. Consider some of the products that have been made under the Tsunamika Brand –



Yes, you read it correctly. its time to Brand Tsunamika…and that’s what I intend to do.
For more details, download this presentation and get more details!

7 P-ointers for Tsunamika Marketing I can think of

1 – Build a strong and secure Transaction gateway to facilitate online transactions from local as well as international sources. Even a basic pricing unit should be attached to each of the items displayed on the website to encourage purchases of the products!
2Give a voice to Tsunamika. Make her speak out and tell her own tale. Make her talk to people and reach out to the masses. Give a life to Tsunamika.
3 - Make variants (brand extensions) of Tsunamikas and build stories around each of them – each story symbolic of the fight, the struggle and the life of some of the fisherwomen. This would give a realistic picture of the trauma faced by these women and trigger an emotive appeal, making people empathize with the locals
4 - Organize national events and contests around Tsunamika to create awareness of the campaign
5 - Get into the corporate sector. Talk to corporates and build visibility at a micro level within each of these organizations. The Social services committees in these organizations or select representatives would be critical to facilitate this awareness campaign
6 - Beyond the sub-continent, two particular areas are most important –
Firstly, the North America and Europe region (took them as one region in terms of income levels) is important. These areas could be a major source of funds and revenues, especially from the non-resident Indians.
Secondly, the South-East Asian belt – These are the regions which have experienced the trauma and would empathize with the victims. Extending the concept of Tsunamika to this region would encourage many more takers and provide a stronger representation of the area and the victims
7 – Though it is not critical at this juncture, one must seek towards getting patents for the tsunamikas, thereby protecting the creatives

These are some of the pointers I could think of. Hope they are pertinent to the concept and practical for the execution!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Connections Theory in Media Planning (TBWA India)

You have thought of a brilliant idea and a cracker of a concept and you know it will make a difference! The problem is ...who do you want the idea to reach? How will the idea reach? Will a radio jingle work or a billboard? A print campaign or a primetime television Ad? Would it be well taken by the consumer? How do you know if your idea has reached where it was intended to reach? Is there any integration of the multiple media sources reaching the consumers?....


Advertising is not just about out-of-the-box thinking, vague ideas and glossy prints. Though these elements are critical for any agency to get out of the clutter and shout, there is another element that is equally critical for any campaign to be successful – its Execution! It is imperative to give a firm structure and provide a strong foundation to leverage the thought process and translate it into feasible solutions and practical execution. One such agency that has laid out a firm structure that facilitates its media planning and provides a solid backbone to its planning is TBWA India with a concept cleped as "Connections".

Giving an altogether different and a fresh perspective to idea delivery, “Connections” is a concept that orients the strategies delivered at all consumer touchpoints. The purpose of this model is to plan the execution of the idea at the generation step itself, rather than follow the traditional model of idea generation --> idea execution --> idea delivery!

It helps determine an optimal mix of the media at all pertinent consumer touch points, analyze the anticipated consumer behavior and evaluate the media to be used to reach those touch points that result in the most cost-effective, relevant and advantageous approach!

CONNECTIONS disrupts outdated conventions of media planning. The 'who' could be not just the end-user, but also management, staff, investors, media, governments or suppliers. CONNECTIONS also defines the 'where' and 'when' as anything and everything that exists between your brand and your audiences. Most importantly it seeks to measure the level of involvement of the prospect with the brand.
(Source: TBWA India “Connections”)

In its Connections Planning and Theory, TBWA provides the Admen with an assessment tool, called the Connections Wheel.
The connection wheel explicates the delivery of the idea based on an assessment and evaluation of the various available tools and sources of media.

It represents all connections that communicate a brand's reputation, relationship or identity to the consumer. As an assessment tool, the wheel enables us to see at a glance what activities a brand has undertaken.
(Source: TBWA India Connection Wheel)

An excellent tool for media planning and an exhaustive structure for sure!

By the way, do you know what does TBWA stand for?
According to Wikipedia,
TBWA\ was founded in 1970 in Paris, France, as a merger between Tragos American Management, Bonnange French Marketing, Wiesendanger Swiss Creation, and Ajroldi Italian Client Services.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Economic Times – The “power of Knowledge” Campaign

This campaign for Economic Times is almost one-and-half years old. But the idea is still striking enough to be mentioned here. Enterprise Nexus designed a set of visuals with the baseline “The power of knowledge”.
According to a review of the Ad in the May’04 edition of Times photo journal, the Cat and Dog photograph is real and is not a Photoshop product! Though “the cat was able to perform at will, staring into the eyes of any dog you put in front of her”, it was difficult to get a dog (Great Dane) to express the way the Director wanted.
Most of the Ads are a creation of B Ramnathkar, Executive Creative Director of Enterprise Nexus. The best part I liked about the agency is what Sachin Anand, a Senior Account Executive, mentioned in his interview - "Enterprise Nexus follows a set work ethic, which is - No playing and Manipulations with art. As far as possible we don't use image-editing softwares.” Though it is tough, it is definitely admirable taking such a stance in this world of aggressive advertising.



None of the Ads require an explanation. The concept is classic and the meaning is inferable. The last 2 Ads trigger an extra thought process with an extension line “If you think, you can”. Wonderfully thought and presented, especially when the creatives are original and no manipulation of the art has been done!
The campaign hits the “Intellect” instantly and reiterates the value of its content to its readers….the value of knowing stuff….the power of knowledge!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

ITC Hotels – Mona Lisa recreated

A new campaign by ITC Hotels entails a creative on Mona Lisa. Advertised under the theme “Experience the world with an Indian soul”, this creative has been done by JWT and was launched to highlight the culture of India and ITC as the representative of that culture.
According to Express Hospitality, the Ads are a “visual representation of the fusion of the rich Indian culture and heritage and world class standards in the context of hospitality” and “bring alive and showcase world class hospitality with an Indian touch

But what exactly is the campaign about?

The intention of the campaign is to capture the essence of Brand India, and subsequently, route this equity to the ITC group of Hotels. That’s why the tagline ‘Experience the world with an Indian Soul’. According to JWT, “Mona Lisa is synonymous with universal beauty and intrigue and this universal symbol of feminity doing the classical Indian namaste sent the message across

Though the recall value was very high and the article reports that the Ad was really well taken by the target consumers, I am not sure how much of professionalism and seriousness does it reflect, when it comes to International standards of advertising! If one has to communicate a symbol of international standards of service and perfection meeting Indian warmth and hospitality, the advertising and the theme should be commensurate with that too.

Consider the original masterpiece. From this art, remove the finesse and add the local flavors and Indianize it !....You would get the ITC’s campaign. Here is the contrast presented…rather the “Before” and “After” of the campaign!


It is definitely an internationally recognized icon customized to local flavors, but in terms of brand equity, it does not reflect creativity. In fact, if you just google “Mona Lisa” you would find enough morphs and modifications on the beauty that would discount the innovative creative by JWT in this case!
There were other ads also highlighting the fusion of local service with an International perspective – “a ballet dancer dancing with ghungroos, Indian figurines on chopsticks, a christian bride with mehendi on her hands

ITC group recently reorganized its hotels into four categories – ITC Hotels, WelcomHotels, Fortune Hotels and WelcomHeritage.
ITC Hotels are the premium deluxe hotels for business travellers, WelcomHotels are business and leisure hotels, Fortune Hotels offer first-class full services hotels and WelcomHeritage include heritage hotels, palaces, forts, havelis, resorts and homes.

Incidentally, the Welcome Heritage Hotels offer some of the finest views across the country. You can get a snapshot of their forts and palaces on their website.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

FedEx – Relax I will Manage!

A recent viral campaign by FedEx has been launched in Europe, key Middle East markets and India. [source: Adverblog]
Titled “Relax I will Manage”, the campaign comprises five videos targeting different target segments/demographies in each of the videos. Highlighting different situations in the corporate world, the creatives end with the solution provider as FedEx - “FedEx Express. All you need to know in shipping to Asia”, “So easy to ship internationally. Practically, anyone can do it”, or “Relax. Its FedEx” and “When you need fast, reliable service, Relax. Its FedEx”.



In one particular case, as has also been highlighted in Adverblog, the creative remarks on MBAs “Even an MBA can do it”. Since it is so much pertinent to this blog, I could not resist entering it here!
When told to ship the packages through FedEx, a new Manager replies “You don’t understand. I have an MBA” Quick comes the reply with a thoughtful gesture “Oh you have an MBA…In that case, let me show how to do it” ….“FedEx. Even an MBA can do it”
Good thinking. Must say, thats a smart way of talking shipping with MBAs...reaching to them through this Ad!
Incidentally, while browsing the FexEx website, I found the Country profile of India. It is an exhaustive page on the legislative pre-requisites of trading with India. Though I did not read the entire page completely, some parts of it are definitely insightful.
For instance, “Publications containing maps showing incorrect boundaries of India” are strictly prohibited to be imported into India. Now, that is an interesting discovery! How many of us actually know that is illegal to carry an Incorrect map of India here? I think I need to revise my geography now! ;-)

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Levi’s India (Red Loop): U in the Loop?

Having talked about Levi’s Europe and Levi’s US, next in the series is my very own country – Levi’s India. A new campaign launched by Levi Strauss & Co.Red Loop uses some specific tactical measures to attract ‘attention’. What remains to be seen is if this attention can be translated into conversion or not.

Red Loop campaign has been conceptualized by JWT, Bangalore, and has been shot by Colston Julian. The models have been chosen from over the world and (according to the creative on their website) “display an incredibly casual attitude towards their dress, body language and expression, infusing a quality of ‘effortless cool’ through the campaign
What is unique about this campaign is that though at the look of it, it would be perceived as an International campaign – it isn’t! It is an Indian agency working with International models, to market a product ONLY in India (or possibly in South Asia). For the first time, advertising has been done at the local level for local variants (Earlier, they were created at the divisional level, and then percolated to the sub-divisions).

How is this campaign, or rather, the Advertising in Indian markets, different from that in other regions? If you read the description of the product and the campaign, you would understand the underlying theme, which advertisers use…Emulation.
Though it is a tactical initiative, but majority of the Indian consumers subconsciously emulate their western counterparts. The evolution of the Luxury market and the purchase of upmarket products would substantiate this. Thus, a foreign celebrity endorsing an Indian product does add more “perceived” credence to the offering altogether. This flavor of “emulative” need-state, if I may call it, is not present in the other 2 regions I described earlier.

Another element that is increasingly being used in Indian advertising is Sex. According to an article in Deccan Herald,
Shooting with foreign models and creating foreign imagery have become table stakes in the jeans wear category. The important thing is to create a truly international look and feel that is edgy yet relatable to this top-end consumer who is highly discerning and well connected with real-time fashion. Hence the key message - ‘U in the loop?’

Have a look at some of the ads from the campaign!


These Ads have been displayed at prime locations in malls across the capital. In NOIDA, one of the ads is placed right in front of the entry gate and spans across the entire hall.

One thing I noticed about these ads is that though the underlying theme ensures high attention, and high recall, how much of the product or the brand communication is present in the campaign? With a tagline "U in the Loop?" which is difficult to relate to the campaign, how many customers would buy this idea? Though the concept is excellent and marks a fashion statement, I personally believe there is more communication required in the campaign to translate this into some tangible returns. Or maybe, I am not in the loop!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Creative Criminal...Indian Advertising

Hit upon an Indian advertising blog “How Advertising Spoiled Me” by Arvind R from Chennai. The Blog has an excellent collection of print and video campaigns, some of which are creative works of Indian agencies.
Two specific entries that I really loved were the Save Trees with the tagline “Save Trees. Trees Save” and Education ads that says “45% of India’s Adult population still needs guidance. Each one. Teach one.”



Incidentally, both the ads are a result of the creative genius from Lowe Mumbai.
Nice campaigns definitely. Unfortunately, I could not manage the creative brief on any of these ads. Nonetheless, the work shows that the agency has an excellent understanding of the customers’ emotions, and has been done keeping in mind the emotive appeal that was to be created. But both the Ads trigger some food for thought and an introspection from the people who take this seriously.

Great work indeed, both by Lowe and Arvind. Must say, the creativity reflects in their work!