The Kerala CM called Rajiv Gandhi an ‘Amul Baby’ and within days we had Amul put up a hoarding. When Obama won the US elections, Veet put up a tongue-in-cheek ‘Good bye Bush’ ad. Topical ads, done well link a brand to the news of the day and can deliver great impact.
Am not sure if we make use of all the opportunities in India. Maybe thanks to the effort of industry bodies like The Newspaper Works, marketers in Australia seem to make the most of such topical opportunities. This April Fools Day they to put out ads for a ‘Tweeting pen’ to a ‘Dog High Chair’. So it wasn’t just a case of an ad agency dreaming up a creative concept - they had a buy-in from clients as well.
I loved the ads for Artline and IKEA. Which ones did you like? Do we make ample use of topical opportunities here in India? Comments welcome.
There are 4378 unread articles on my Netnewswire RSS feeds. There’s probably double that number of links to follow on my Twitter timeline - if I were to start counting that is. Among all these links vying for your attention, there’s probably a handful that actually do so. And among those handful there’s probaly one that makes you feel glad you clicked it. One such is a cool new interactive experience for Magnum, the ice cream brand from Unilever.
Head over to Magnum Pleasure Hunt - your mission is to catch as many bon bons as possible. The twist is that you travel through the web as it were, across several ‘web sites’. It is clever use of Flash and inter-linked websites and the journey is sure to be exhilarating.
I think the agency behind it is Lowe Brindfors, Stockholm. Can anyone confirm?
Some say that Flash websites load heavy and intros are passe, but done well with a solid idea, it can be a fun experience. I think most of those who start this game will go on till the end…it is addictive. A great example of a good interactive web experience.
As a concept, creating an online avatar of yourself is as old The Simpsons. The ‘Simpsonize Me’ promotion for ‘Simpsons - the movie’ in conjunction with Fox and Burger King was a big hit way back in 2007. A similar concept for Mad Men, the TV show, Mad Men Yourself created a lot of buzz. The microsite helps you a create a 1960s-character loosely tied in with the show’s characters, props and all.
I think the cult following of the show and its characters helped generate involvement. Also, the show was popular among ad agency folks who are typically passionate and ‘involved’ about their business. So a show and an online activity on a subject close to their heart helped create that extra stickiness (even if it is about creating an icon like the one you see on the left).
As brand sites go, getting users involved in the content for a long periods of time is an indicator of success. And Mad Men Yourself scored on that front. The social media integration, which is now a mandatory for online activity helped achieve scale & visibility. This campaign has been nominated for Viral Marketing at the 2011 Webby Awards.
The nominees for this year’s Webby Awards have been announced. Thought I will write a series sharing some of the attention-grabbing work. Among the several great nominations, here’s the work for Orcon - a broadband, phone & internet services from New Zealand.
Click on the image to play a demo video of the banner.
This has been nominated under Rich Media: B to C. As you watch mini-episodes of everyday office life - reactions to a new receptionist, a new business win you can’t help but feel that the web banner has come a long way. It is now internet meets TV.
Over the years, many pundits (including the arm chair variety like yours truly) have bemoaned the state of the Indian advertising industry. The chief cribs being:
1. There is a talent crunch: talented professionals are neither coming in to the advertising industry nor staying. We are losing talent to more satisfying and more paying industries on the client side, Media, IT etc.
2. The current tribe of advertising agency professionals, especially the Account Management variety are woefully out of touch with what is required on their job. They are nowhere near as ‘well-rounded’ as they once were, mainly due to the creation of specialist silos (media, digital) with whom they are out of touch
Those are the symptoms. The big problems outlined are:
1. Lack of training: the need for training our entry, junior and middle level professionals, especially in Account Management has been the No.1 ‘To-do’ for years now
2. Poor remuneration from clients: though this is not as vociferously repeated as the other problem, some have bemoaned the squeeze on margins thus making it difficult for investments in people & training.
Of course theres a lot more in the crib list. And everyone who outlines such problems has said that the situation must be corrected…’something’ must be done. But what specifically must be done? What practical steps must be taken to improve our collective skill sets? Herewith some harebrained suggestions (this might be a good time to read the Disclaimer):
- implement a Training Month. All employees of participating agencies will undergo training for a week. The training content will vary depending on 3 levels of experience: one week each for 0-3 years, 4-7 years and 7 years & above. The content will be the same across all agencies and will be developed by a panel drawn from the big, medium & small agencies, across disciplines. The content will be written in a manner that each agency can deliver it on their own and will be geared to making the current lot ‘well rounded’. The training will cover the basics of Media Planning & Buying, Digital, Creative Briefing and so on. Hold a similar week of training for the Creative team bringing them up to speed on new media & what technology can do. Of course, just a week’s training is not going to be the panacea for all advertising’s ills, but it could be a start.
The rest of the ‘To-Dos’ viz. getting clients to pay better, breaking the silos (and getting the media, creative & account management to sit together), getting back to 15% commission - all fall in the wishful thinking category.
What else? Comments welcome.
There is one thing common to most international advertising awards, be it Cannes, Epica, London International Awards or Clio: great online coverage of the event. Even relatively recent awards like the Dubai Lynx awards has a great event website covering everything from speaker profiles, event schedules and most importantly, a creative showcase. The showcase especially, is a great way to catch up on the short listed and winning work.
Sadly, India’s most premier advertising award show, Goafest fares poorly on this count. The official website does not carry a showcase of the short listed entries or the winning ones. While the press ads & posters were ready well in advance, the online activity seem a bit neglected. The official Twitter handle’s last update was on April 5, a good 2 days before the event. One was left to rely on reports & tweets from trade publications to follow the goings on at the event.
As an aside, going by the reports & tweets a majority of the speeches in the Knowledge Seminar had their share of ‘people are our biggest assets’ kind of comments. Most of the speakers in such events rely on cookie-cutter presentations (can’t blame them) and tend to dish out the same stuff over time. Can something be done to break the pattern next year?
Can Goafest 2012 be different at least on the official online coverage front? Please.
I understand that advertising needs to change — keeping pace with the changing tastes of the new consumer. I understand that in developed markets with high media clutter one has to experiment with non-traditional media to appeal to your audience. I understand that product hard-sell in these new age videos is not a cool thing — one has to subtly weave in the product features & benefits.
But what I don’t understand is how some weird, bizarre stuff masquerading as advertising gets lapped up by consumers — going by the view count of these ads on YouTube. Take the Juicy Fruit video featuring Sara Silverman and a serenading Unicorn. Yes, a serenading Unicorn.It sounds funny and it is in parts. But there’s not a single mention of the product save for the first and last frames. The ‘story’ if you can call it that can very well fit in with any other mint. But then hey, by online metrics it is hailed a success.
The video may have 100′s of thousands of page views and a cool Facebook page. Does this help sell gum? Maybe I am too steeped in old-school advertising but after seeing this it makes you ask: ‘what does this have to do with chewing gum?. In general I prefer creative ideas that keep the product idea at the core — be it in a :30 ads or a video meant for online consumption. Sure, entertainment is key and the videos must have a pass along value but do we really have to rely on serenading unicorns and kinky stuff? Is this the new advertising?Shudder. Definitely not. India is yet to see the likes of this and I am happy for that.
While TV advertising is about telling a compelling story in 30-seconds (that attracts even some feature film directors to this medium), I have a soft corner for shorter duration ads: 20-seconds or under. Here’s a recent one for Wrigley Eclipse from Australia:
While on the subject, which are your all-time favourite short-duration commercials or campaigns?