Saturday, October 13, 2007

Gorgeous v/s Beautiful

The last few months have seen some hair-softening advertising. One was Marico's 'Gorgeous Hamesha' campaign for Parachute Advansed Hair Oil. The other, Unilever's 'Beautiful Hair' campaign for its Zero Damage range of shampoos, conditioners and treatments.

'Gorgeous Hamesha' is about this jingle / song with simple vocals and soft strumming that resulted in a CD of the song. The slice-of-women's-life TVC / video shows women in different situations and essentially uses Deepika Padukone, the feminine beauty and emotional strength of women as a support for showing good-looking hair. Subtly, it gives the message that women go through a lot of emotions - happy and not; light and heavy - and it is their hair that makes them look gorgeous in whatever situation they maybe.

'Beautiful' is about the hoarding / print ad with ladies' hairstyles arranged in a way that spell out the alphabets B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L. It is a lot cleverer and classier than most ads and is a brilliant combination of idea and execution.

What i like more, is the Dove website that allows sharing of notes on hair-care, information on products, activities, etc. Parachute Advansed's website, though, has much less 'community stuff'.

Both these brands may not competing directly, but are defnitely fighting for Share-of-Hair (sounds quite scary). I feel they have both managed to hit bulls-eye in making a connect with their TGs, which i think, are different too.

But where i think Beautiful loses and Gorgeous wins, is the word 'Zero Damage'. It automatically triggers a theraupatic mindset - which may work instantly for those facing hair problems, but may be repelled by those with normal hair.

Either ways, Gorgeous or Beautiful - i love both!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Advertising's 'Evolution'

To see something breaking rules, going against empirical evidence and challenging the present, makes me feel good. The Dove 'Evolution' commercial made me feel good.

In case you've been too busy - or too ignorant - to watch the best television commercial made last year, you can catch it or or

It shows a model been made up and metamorphosed (with help from post-production studio-work) into a face for the billboard. "How did our idea of beauty become so distorted?" it leads you to ponder.

The film was created to expose the manipulation of the female image in the media. The objective was to encourage discussion around the subject of real beauty and lead people to the website.

This is marketing that touches the heart, strikes a cord, makes you connect with millions and makes millions buy what you're saying. And selling.

No doubt, it is a feel good piece of commercial communication. But my feeling good comes from more than this direct effect.

The ad was actually a viral video to bring leads on the brand's web-site.

With not a penny of paid media and in less than a month, "Dove Evolution," a 75-second viral film created by Ogilvy & Mather, Toronto, for the Unilever brand has reaped more than 1.7 million views on YouTube and has gotten significant play on TV talk shows "Ellen" and "The View" as well as on "Entertainment Tonight." It's also brought the biggest-ever traffic spike to, three times more than Dove's Super Bowl ad and resulting publicity last year, according to

By those measures, "Evolution" is the biggest online-buzz generator in the U.S. personal-care and beauty industries, topping this year's effort from Omnicom Group's Tribal DDB on behalf of the Philips Norelco Bodygroom shaver. And that's before the campaign began rolling out to 10 additional countries in Europe, Asia and Latin America last week.

That should explain why it makes me feel good.

How hungry you, Johnny May?

For reasons best not known to my employers, i'm into radio. Not listening, but more than that. And soaking into the advertising fest at Cannes is a dream since some time. Somehow these got together and i found myself checking out the best advertising on radio the world has heard in the last year. Online, of course!

The Indian entries / winners, you've probably read about (Yes, read; not heard. Try telling a scam from genuine work.)

Anyways, the Grand Prix is the highest honour and in the category Radio Advertising, it went to an agency from Melbourne, Australia called Clevenger BBDO. The ad for which it won, was a 2-minute spot titled "Hoedown" for Snickers.

The idea was simple - eating a Snickers bar is like eating a horse.
The execution was funny, catchy, luxurious (2 minutes?), attention grabbing and attention holding. And i believe it must have been a great viral - with men of all ages and genders singing it as a alternative to a country folk-song.
The relevance - brilliant. Research suggests that 'filling ability' is a primary driver for preference among chocolate bars.

Listen to it at
Here is the script:

SFX: music
MVO1: Well, I'm so hungry…
MVO2: How hungry you, Johnny May?
MVO1: Well, I tell ya. I'm so hungry I could eat a horse.
MVO2: A horse?
MVO1: But not just any old horse. This is a special horse. 'Cause this old horse, well… He ate a chicken, and the chicken ate a cat, and the cat ate a dog, and the dog ate a frog.
MVO2: Go on now! Eat them furry critters!
MVO1: And the frog ate an eel, and the eel ate a panda.
MVO2: A panda. That's some endangered eatin'.
MVO1: And a panda ate a mule, and the mule ate a chimp, and the chimp ate a tapir.
MVO2: What in the hell is a tapir?
MVO1: A tapir's a nocturnal, mammalian quadruped that dwells in Central and South American jungles. Yee-haaaaaaaw.
MVO2: Well, what's it eat?
MVO1: This ol' tapir? Well he ate a moose, and the moose ate a rhino, and the rhino ate a rare- crested macaw. And I was so hungry, boy I ate 'em all.
MVO2: Yee-haaaaaaaw.
MVO1: But hold on now, there's more! I ate L to Z in the encyclopaedia. Then I ate Werribee and Micronesia. I ate 33 tons of Chicken Madras and 2 full canisters of VX nerve gas. I ate an Emperor penguin and the Great Wall of China. 26 steaks in a California diner. Two Beluga whales stuffed with bratwurst. A rusty old anchor and a pickled chirst.
MVO2: What the hell is a chirst?
MVO1: I don't know, I just made it up and ate it. Don't bother going to the Maldives these days, I polished 'em off with some herbed mayonnaise.
MVO2: So long, Maldives!
MVO1: I ate a Swedish futon and a queen size doona. Then Gary Busey and Lou Gosset Junior. A light sea-plane and a Dutch wooden shoe, the Big Brother house, and the gay guy too.
MVO2: You even ate the cameras? Well that's just greedy!
MVO1: I was hungry, so yes indeedy! Yeeee-haaaaaaaw!
SFX: Fiddles and banjos
MVO1: Now you go, Aussie Bill. Come on boy.
MVO3: Ok, here I go now!
MVO1: Sing it. Lay it on me! Yeeee-haaaaaaaw.
MVO3: Well… I was so hungry I ate a Snickers.
MVO2: I hate it when you do dat, Bill.
MV01: That's cheating, Aussie Bill.
MVO1: Play the game, Bill. Play the game.

Popular opinion, though, doesn't seem to be in favour of the ad winning the Grand Prix. Feedback on blogs and sites calls it "undeserving", "too long...and perhaps that is why it won!", "too stupid", etc.

I want to agree with the popular opinion. But instead, i'll just go have a Snickers.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Breaking Records

Below is a SET Max e-mail that landed in my inbox on 28th March - days after our fiasco at the Cricket World Cup 2007.

Now that India is out of the tournament (was it ever in?) the channel still wants to give viewers a reason to be glued to TV. And the reason is - records. The point seems to be "So what if India's out. There is still great cricket being played, runs being scored, wickets being taken and records being broken!"

Great 'pitch'! In fact the question in the copy makes me discover some records that the mailer seems to have missed listing.

And ofcourse not! There were more records broken than are given in the ad:

* Advertisers backing out inspite of commitments. ("It’s a different ballgame now" FE, 25th March 2007)
* Brands holding back adverts with cricketers - which they spent millions on to make.
* Marketers re-visiting their dependance on cricket and its stars.
* Cricketers replaced by movie stars in ads during a Cricket World Cup.
* Cricketers being dropped more by advertisers than BCCI selectors.

As the copy reads..."This is just the beginning. With about a month of high quality cricket still remaining, many records, both on-field as well as for for television viewership will tumble."


Monday, March 19, 2007


Was forced to watch cricket at a night over with 14 cricket fanatics / jerks. It happened to be ...ahem... India-Bangladesh at World Cup '07. Much to others' displeasure, I was in a good mood irrespective of whether it was a wicket falling or a boundary scored. Apart from beer and "good cricket" there was one reason for my sitting through the ordeal of six deliveries between the commercial breaks - the hope that i would see the complete Sony Bravia TVC.

I should have realised that the original version of 'bouncy balls' is 180 minutes long and would perhaps outlast our batsmen at the crease. Sadly, the one shown was stripped of it's creative appeal (music and visual) and execution excellence to a mere 10-seconds that failed to make the point in the stylish, charming and powerful way made by the original.
Created by Danish director Nicolai Fuglsig who sent 250,000 multi-coloured balls bouncing down the streets of San Fransisco, the ad is a Cannes winner (and was a frontrunner for the Grand Prix in 2006).

...To announce the arrival of the BRAVIA LCD and 3LCD range, we wanted to get across a simple message - that the colour you'll see on these screens will be 'like no other'. reads the website made especially to showcase the ad. It also gives trivia and allows sneak-peaks at the new TVC with massive paint explosions all over town.

...a "really simple, visual celebration of colour". More fun than even a Billion Blues.


Thursday, March 15, 2007

'Touching' ad

Isn't this ad by Australia Post really good advertising?

We all know the marketing problem - growing irrelevance of 'snail mail' to users of the Internet - which comprises essentially of young people.

As a result, postal services in developed nations had reason to be worried about their future. Add to that their monopolistic nature that had made them complacent about survival being given a reality check by specialized service providers.

Coming back to the ad, what is refreshing in it is the beautiful execution that more than supports the strategy - position 'paper mail' as the way to make an emotional connect.

Which is what effective advertsing, i feel, is about. Using creativity in aiding strategy to solve a problem. Makes you want to be in advertising. Makes you want to write a letter.