adformula's blog


If not Advertising , what ?

I complete more than 10 years of passion in
advertising this month as a teacher and as an ad professional...This piece was written by Ram of Mudra communications - Chennai -India when he felt that nothing was wright there in advertising.. he still is in the line but the feeling ,I guess is true to most ad here we go...

Two days back I just felt that advertising is not happening and I haven’t done anything solid that I can talk about…. While this thought was running on my head for quite some time…it just burst out and I felt, I should take a break …… then that million dollar question came and struck my head ,’ if not advertising what then? ‘

Not taking it seriously, I just started calling my servicing friends who use to work with me in my earlier agency and asked them…. Hey man, how is life? Whats happening? Anything new? The first one answered, ‘Chaltha hai yaar…. am actually looking out. Any openings in your client’s place? ‘ The other ones answer was even more interesting he said ‘SSDD’, I immediately responded, ‘am sorry… what does that mean?’ He said Same Shit Different Days….

SSDD - So pitiful to hear that out from an advertising guy. Am not surprised, nor am happy that most of the people at my level( and even above) in advertising feel the same and its nothing that I need to worry about.

Actually speaking it makes sense if a guy working in a call center says SSDD or a teller in MNC bank gives that answer, but how come an advertising guy?

The so-called the hep, dynamic, knowledge business is loosing its charm. Not loosing my sprit I just asked the 3 questions to myself….

Is my agency not happening?
Are the accounts that I handle not happening?
Is advertising itself not happening?
If not advertising then what?

Than the first two I felt the third question is more critical. In a way it gives answer and direction to life.

Is advertising not happening? If I say ‘NO’ …. I wouldn’t be writing this article. If I say ‘YES’ I should be either infected by IMTM syndrome. (Its Money That Matters syndrome not passion, not the job) or I have got the sickest attitude of treating job as a mere job.

I think I started seeing job as a mere job. When that happened…. Advertising is stressful, boring, it’s just a matter of logical thinking and execution.

Advertising is not a job. Its the process of discovery, its an art of understanding people, challenges and striking creative solutions for it.

To me advertising is a very unique profession, where the art and science takes the right blend (But its screws the whole show when the mix is not right) It becomes the golden blend of art and science only when a proper homework is done at both the ends. The simple reason why the industry is loosing its charm is because it is not properly done or rather ignored completely. Most of the strategic and creative inputs are given just like an idea thrown out of hat, without sufficient learning’s and serious thought to it….

Advertising is definitely happening, but you need an attitude to make it interesting for you. When you work with passion advertising will give you fun, life and what ever you want. The homework will be stressful when it is seen just as a job and when there is no passion in doing it.

Advertising has got so much to do , scanning the category, studying competition, understanding consumer, discovering the need gaps, developing strategies … when it is done with passion it works and we earn client’s respect or else it’s the matter of being supplier of designs and common sense strategies.

Once a colleague of mine (who desperately wants to go to client’s side because of IMTM syndrome) listed some 5 unpleasant pointers about advertising.

Good talents are going out of advertising..... (Dude come out of Santhosh Desai hangover…. He will make a come back. We have bigger talents here. We are picking up average and making them stars now. )

Advertising doesn’t pay enough to get a girl in marriage market........ (Very true but do you consciously marry girl even after knowing that she has chosen you for your money)

We don’t have respect any more with clients we are treated as suppliers/executors and not as solution providers...... (This can happen in any industry. When you commit repeated mistakes and don’t take steps to correct it, when you suggest something and don’t know the ABCD of it. It happens)

Advertising doesn’t respect personal life, Saturday offs are over and we really need to slog to hold an account.......... (if we want a profession that will respect our personal life we need to work either in a post office or as a primary school teacher)

I still want to be in advertising for three good reasons…..

It gives opportunities to think and be creative.

It gives a multi dimensional exposure ---- I get know what material of plastic to be used to get the shinning finish in my brands new packaging design, I get to know what women does to get a fair skin , I get to know how complicated its is to communicate 10 product benefits in 30 secs…. I get to so many other things that my friends in sales and marketing will not know.

Above all there is a little pride in saying that ‘Am an ad guy ‘, when I say that people ask me ‘ohhh you make ad films ?’ ……

'Who moved my client?'

A media report......

Hindustan Lever (HLL)-(Unilevers Indian version.)... has awarded the Liril account to advertising major McCann Erickson, taking it away from Lowe India (erstwhile Lintas) in a keenly-contested pitch.

Can you believe it?

The freshness soap from the HLL stable, which has stayed back with Lowe India for the past 30 years ever since the time it was launched in 1975, was not just any another ad account for the agency. Having started its life as Unilever's in-house agency (Lever International Advertising Service was set up by Lever Brothers way back in 1920s), Liril was as much a part of the Lowe's own signature, what with the brand's iconic girl-under-the-waterfall imagery crafted by advertising guru Alyque Padamsee.The movement marks a landmark turn in the brand's history as Liril owes its success as much to Lowe, as to HLL's reputed marketing acumen. Last year saw a dramatic change in Liril's advertising (which emphasised on freshness, youth and exuberance), when the waterfall girl was replaced by a young couple in a naughty mood with a slow humming jingle 'l-ee-ra-ee-ra'. Prior to taking this drastic turn, the brand had experimented with girls dancing in jungles, deserts and on glaciers, introducing models like Preity Zinta and Deepika Padukone. However, people and the industry still associate Liril with the original magic it created with the waterfall ad (still felt to be a clutter-breaking association with the brand, even though a tad jaded one) featuring model Karen Lunel in a lime green bikini frolicking under a waterfall in the late 70s that got the brand sales rocking.Along with advertising, the brand has launched a couple of variants like orange, soft aloe vera and lemon, icy cool mint, in the last few years to fight saturating growth rates that have been plaguing the category as a whole.

Now.. did some one predict it?

Could there be a better example of fallen client agency relation?

I shudder to even think of a Liril outside the LOWE Umbrella but it is done and is true.

What happens to the brands heritage? I mean the one which visionaries of Lowe and HLL had carefully cultivated..

I guess it was lost the day when Liril and Lowe decided to replace the waterfall and girl concept (may be they got bored even before the TG ...)with 'naughty intimacies among married couples',
as one Lever communication at that point of time put it.

The naughty.... whatever ads werent 'Liril like', whatever the words mean to you..with the la la la pushed to the background somewhere,the water drop in the female body replacing the waterfall, as if they want it not to be heard and yet heard,they want it to be seen and yet not seen. A case of indecisiveness in the communicators side as to how the TG is going to react to the change.

The couple looked anything but Indian, the new 'Lemon+aloe vera' stuff wasnt the same as the lemon freshness stuff, The red chilly which the lady was biting gave a feeling of "hotness"and would have been better for condoms rather than "liril' which stood for "coolness'.

Lowe has lost its direction?.. I may be a small fry to comment on that but one thing is sure.There were clear warning signals that things are in a bad shape...the transition from the Bindas Lintas days, to the new Lowe reincarnation the agency havent got stripped naked as like today.

Having lost Liril is a tragedy to say the least , for those who know Lowe....

Will Liril be the same.. will it come back from its sheen off , not so enviable a standing as of now to the good old days of glory?

That is left to Mccann, while Lowe ponders over the question...

'Who moved my client?'
A women on her deathbed called her husband and instructed him to look under their bed and open the wooden box he found. He was puzzled by the 3 eggs and 7,0000 in cash he found in the box, so he asked his wife what the eggs were for.

"Oh those", she replied, "every time we had bad sex, and i had to pretend that it was great,I put an egg in the box".

Not bad, the husband thought to himself, after 25 years of marriage

Then he asked "But what about the big money?"

"Oh that", she replied, "every time I got a dozen eggs I sold them."

the art of CAR- client agency relationships>>>

A kindergarten teacher was observing her classroom of children while they drew. She would occasionally walk around to see each child's artwork.
As she got to one little girl who was working diligently, she asked what the drawing was.
The girl replied, "I'm drawing God."
The teacher paused and said, "but no one knows what God looks like."
Without missing a beat, or looking up from her drawing the girl replied, "They will.... in a minute


There are few types of agency- client relationships.. the most familiar one being the parent- child relationship. Here (for the uninitiated) the agency tells the client to do this and do that,,, lead them, bully them, love them, pamper them.. give them logic...

Here are a few key things that your parents teach kids! Granted, most of you will say that you learned these things all on your own - but I can promise you that your parents had a hand in there, as well.

Parents proved the theory of all LOGIC."Because I said so, that's why."

Parents gave you the gift of FORESIGHT."Make sure you wear clean underwear, you never know if you'll get into an accident."

Parents were always good for teaching IRONY."Keep crying, and I'll give you something to cry about."

Even before biology class parents taught you the fundamentals of OSMOSIS."Shut your mouth and eat your supper."

They are always ready to suggest a career - even as a CONTORTIONIST."Will you look at that dirt on the back of your neck!"

They taught that we even could control the WEATHER."This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it."

They taught us the basics principles of BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION."Stop acting like your father!"

Parents were the first to make us know ENVY."There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don't have wonderful parents like you do."

Parents gave you that butterfly feeling of ANTICIPATION."Just wait until we get home."

They taught us what a marvelous gift it was to RECEIVE ."You are going to get it when you get home!"

Parents studied MEDICAL SCIENCE."If you don't stop crossing your eyes, they are going to freeze that way."

They were the first to instruct us HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT."If you don't eat your vegetables, you'll never grow up."

Mother was likely the one skilled in GENETICS."You're just like your father."

They were the very people that taught us WISDOM."When you get to be my age, you'll understand."

Long before we knew the laws of the world they instructed us in the ways of JUSTICE."One day you'll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you."

and last but not least...

Loving mother and father - they taught you how to walk and talk until you were three or four, then ever after, ordered you to sit down and shut up..

Now ....Can we apply the above model in every Client Agency Relationship?..or at least in every Parent-Child type of relationships...? what about parents who are bullied by their kids? what about parents who treat kids like outlets of their frustration? what about kids who are dull and dumb? what about parents who are so? what about parents who are inconsistent and quarrelsome? what about kids who remain kids and refuse to grow up?what about parents who treat them as kids even after they have grown up?

Too many questions?

agencies and clients !!!

Telephonic Conversation between William Knott and Watt Richard.

KNOTT : "Who's calling?"
WATT : "Watt."
KNOTT : "What is your name, please?"
WATT : "Watt's my name."
KNOTT : "That's what I asked you. What's your name?"
WATT : "That's what I told you. Watt's my name."
A long pause, and then from Watt, "Is this James Brown?"
KNOTT : "No, this is Knott."
WATT : "Please tell me your name."
KNOTT : "Will Knott."


WATT : "Why not?"
KNOTT : "Huh? What do you mean why Knott?"
WATT : "Yeah! Why won't you tell me your name?"
KNOTT : "But I told you my name!"
WATT : "Didn't you say you will not?"
KNOTT : "Not not, knott, Will Knott!"
WATT : "That's what I mean."
KNOTT : "So you know my name."
WATT : "Of course not!"
KNOTT : "Good. So now, what is yours?"
WATT : "Watt. Yours?"
KNOTT : "Your name!"
WATT : "Watt's my name."
KNOTT : "How the hell do I know? I am asking you!"
WATT : "Look I have been very patient and I have told you my name
and you have not even told me yours yet."
KNOTT :"You have been patient, what about me?"
"I have told you my name so many times and it is you who have not
told me yours yet."
WATT : "Of course not!"
KNOTT : "See, you even know my name!"
WATT : "Of course not!"
KNOTT : "Then why do you keep saying of course Knott?"
WATT : "Because I don't."
KNOTT : "What is your name?"
WATT : "See, you know my name!"
KNOTT : "Of course not!"
WATT : "Then why do you keep asking ,Watt, is your name?"
KNOTT : "To find out your name!"
WATT : "But you already know it!"
KNOTT : "What?"
WATT : "See, but you know mine!"
KNOTT : "Of course not!"
WATT : "Exactly!"


KNOTT :"Listen, listen, wait; if I asked you what your name is, what will
be your answer?"
WATT : "Watt's my name."
KNOTT : "No, no, give me only one word."
WATT : "Watt"
KNOTT : "Your name!"
WATT : "Right!"
[Pause before it hits him]
KNOTT : "Oh, Wright!"
WATT : "Yeah!"
KNOTT : "So why didn't you say it before?"
WATT : "I told you so many times!"
KNOTT : "You never said Wright before"
WATT : "Of course I did."
KNOTT : "Ok I won't argue any more. Do you know my name?"
WATT : "I do not."
KNOTT : "Well, there you go, now we know each other's name."
WATT : "I do not!"
KNOTT : "Good!"
[Pause before it hits him]
WATT : "Oh, Guud!"
KNOTT : "Good."
WATT : "No wonder, it took me so long, is that Dutch?"
KNOTT : "No, it's Knott!"
WATT : "Oh, okay. At least the names are clear now Guud."
KNOTT : "Yes Wright."

The following is a media report....

"LG Electronics has done yet another round of reshuffle. This time, to bring some semblance of consolidation within the portfolio. This marks a shift in MD, KR Kim's earlier initiatives of creating smaller roles under separate heads for a focused product strategy Now Anil Arora becomes Business Group Head (BGH) for Refrigerators against his erstwhile responsibility as Product Group Head(PGH) for frost-free refrigerators, and Ajay Bajaj who was heading Retail ACs (windows and split) has been promoted as the BGH for the entire AC range. The head of the fourth business group - washing machines and microwave ovens, is yet to be identified. Sources say Rajeev Jain, PGH for washing machines might get elevated as the BGH with two PGHs reporting to him. Each of these BGHs have PGHs reporting into them. PGHs earlier reported directly to the MD. In consumer electronics, Sanjiv Jain who headed audios is now being moved as PGH for CTVs. On the other hand, Rishi Tandon will head audios and Prasanna Raghavan will be PGH for plasma display panels. "
Confusing? well it continues.. just read on...
"Meanwhile, in a related development, to align its marcom with the new internal reorganisation, LG has placed its consumer electronics and IT account with Lowe. A few weeks back, LG had also consolidated its complete Home Appliances advertising through Capital Advertising. The other agencies - O&M and McCann-Erickson - which were roped in over a year back have moved out in the fresh round of reshuffle. According to the company, the review had an objective of integrating its Colour Televisions (CTV), Flat Panel Displays (FPD's), Audios (DAV) and IT categories. The consumer electronics and IT advertising account is estimated to be 60% of the overall advertising spends of the company. The balance is shared between Home Appliances and GSM business. Industry observers feel and hope that LG will stay on with this arrangement for some time , before jumping into other round of reshuffling"

Imagine the plight of their agencies? Any one who had been with advertising would know the importance of having less heirarchy at the client's side.. it is not only needed to make the process of advertising smooth but also for long term sustainment of relations between the agency and the client. Here O&M and Mccann are moved out in less than a year as a by product of the whole new, redesigned confusion.

We thought that only Lever(HLL in particular) institutionalised this ambiguity, ceremoniously by mindless acquisitions and mergers, shocking brand extensions and takeovers... now it seems the Korean dwarf machines will outrun the Lever like juggernauts..

Let God save.. That is if he isnt confused himself...

grow up please!!!

A kindergarten teacher was observing her classroom of children while they drew. She would occasionally walk around to see each child's artwork.
As she got to one little girl who was working diligently, she asked what the drawing was.
The girl replied, "I'm drawing God."
The teacher paused and said, "but no one knows what God looks like."
Without missing a beat, or looking up from her drawing the girl replied, "They will.... in a minute


There are few types of agency- client relationships.. the most familiar one being the parent- child relationship. Here (for the uninitiated) the agency tells the client to do this and do that,,, lead them, bully them, love them, pamper them.. give them logic...

Here are a few key things that your parents teach kids! Granted, most of you will say that you learned these things all on your own - but I can promise you that your parents had a hand in there, as well.

Parents proved the theory of all LOGIC."Because I said so, that's why."

Parents gave you the gift of FORESIGHT."Make sure you wear clean underwear, you never know if you'll get into an accident."

Parents were always good for teaching IRONY."Keep crying, and I'll give you something to cry about."

Even before biology class parents taught you the fundamentals of OSMOSIS."Shut your mouth and eat your supper."

They are always ready to suggest a career - even as a CONTORTIONIST."Will you look at that dirt on the back of your neck!"

They taught that we even could control the WEATHER."This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it."

They taught us the basics principles of BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION."Stop acting like your father!"

Parents were the first to make us know ENVY."There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don't have wonderful parents like you do."

Parents gave you that butterfly feeling of ANTICIPATION."Just wait until we get home."

They taught us what a marvelous gift it was to RECEIVE ."You are going to get it when you get home!"

Parents studied MEDICAL SCIENCE."If you don't stop crossing your eyes, they are going to freeze that way."

They were the first to instruct us HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT."If you don't eat your vegetables, you'll never grow up."

Mother was likely the one skilled in GENETICS."You're just like your father."

They were the very people that taught us WISDOM."When you get to be my age, you'll understand."

Long before we knew the laws of the world they instructed us in the ways of JUSTICE."One day you'll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you."

and last but not least...

Loving mother and father - they taught you how to walk and talk until you were three or four, then ever after, ordered you to sit down and shut up..

Now ....Can we apply the above model in every Client Agency Relationship?..or at least in every Parent-Child type of relationships...? what about parents who are bullied by their kids? what about parents who treat kids like outlets of their frustration? what about kids who are dull and dumb? what about parents who are so? what about parents who are inconsistent and quarrelsome? what about kids who remain kids and refuse to grow up?what about parents who treat them as kids even after they have grown up?

Too many questions?

oh God was she faking?

oh ! what an entangled web we weave ,when we first learn to deceive...

Last night I got a call from an agency friend of mine...(i have non agency friends too) who wasn't able to attend my repeated calls during the week and was full of apologies for not able to do so.. The time was about 11.30, i was about to sleep after a hard days slogging.

"Tired of pitching preparations maaan".. she lamented..."and our hits are far less than the misses. We last week went to pitch for the new car account , you know the small car guy who announced a change from their current agency owing to non compatibility issues".

I got curious... having left the world of advertising when it started getting internationally and intentionally murky, such field reports keep me in touch with the industry.

"We shed all the intellectual laziness you know"- she chuckled- "for a long period and got our act together,, we pursued the account as hunters would pursue animals"..

I chuckled too, for a moment, visualizing the familiar lazy gooses of agencies whiling time in the name of creativity and research.

An account review by some client is a time generally when, agencies wake up from slumber, some even from their death beds and get into action. It is a mix of comedy, politics, apathy, late nights, peeping Johnie's, blame games, expectations, courage, creative outpour and a lot of celebrated humbug.Agency heads directly take charge, if the client is big,(now a days even for the smallest corporates) - lavishing his divine charm and diplomatic aristocracy-- people are given special charges.. even expertise from outside is hired if needed so(if the agency have not experienced/worked for similar accounts)..individuals are identified for specific tasks..research guys spring in action,questionnaires and key boards,assuming, tabulating concluding what the consumers need , want , guys burn their midnight and early morn oil to find some media where the new ads(assuming that the account is won) could be placed..Vox pops.. field interviews..focus interviews... dealer opinion records ..brainstorming, ...creative blockbusting...Dictum like....“You can’t have an ego in this business, but be aware that everybody has lots of them"...7 day weeks.. Friends meaning four letter words..positioning statements............creative teams and briefs-who "will weave from its plain threads the rich tapestry of flackery that envelops a big idea" and then with all the hype and hoopla ,baggage and politics- proceed to the clients side for what the industry calls as 'pitching'..

"We got the big idea.. we cracked an amazing one" -she continued

"mmmm"... I listened with patience.

"How big is your family? that is the which the small family in the small car is shot in different locales and shown.. to demonstrate how the car becomes an essential part of the family"

"Not bad"- I commended.

"Exactly'...she said .."and that is what they also said"...

"Then"...I threatened her stony silence..

" Then what .. liars.. scoundrels..that was a know they didnt drop their agency,they stole all the ideas that we dumbos, gave them in the pitch"....she wailed..." and now my guys tell me that the 'How big is your family ' idea will soon appear on screen and in print with their tag"..

"Amen" ..I managed to say as I gasped for breath.

" We are blacklisting them"..she muttered.."never again, we will try or work for such bad clients"

"Thats good"- I said- "may be now you can start a new agency with tired old people and try again"

If you try and dont succeed ,cheat.. repeat until caught..then lie..

I got the key, but who changed the lock?

A woman got on a public transport bus holding a baby.

The bus driver said: "That's the ugliest baby I've ever seen." In a huff, the woman shouted at the driver and walk to take an aisle seat near the rear of the bus. The man seated next to her sensed that she was agitated and asked her what was wrong.

"The bus driver insulted me," she fumed.

The man sympathized and said "Why, he's a public servant and shouldn't say things to insult passengers."

"You're right," she said. "I think I'll go back up there and give him a piece of my mind."

"That's a good idea," the man said. "Here, let me hold your monkey"


Advertising is an art ... and the degree of success depends on the type of relation which the advertising agency and the clients enjoy... and client servicing is the crux...a play of diplomacy and wizardry.. often of brazenness and smiles. Just like any other relationships, a lot of compromises do involve in the client agency relation , to make it go on....

And the ugly baby?? well.. clients do jump sometimes in search of better agencies, or circulate brands among various agencies in their roster.. from the driver to the co passenger, reducing the ugly baby to a monkey...

Clients regret, agencies regret.. and sigh that we should have compromised...

Even well established client -agency relation ships sometimes suddenly gets rocked and end in ugly splits... longevity isn't a criteria for understanding each other, any longer...

And by the time I got the key, I find some one has changed the lock...

Old wines, in same old cups...

A tourist walks into a pet shop in at Hyderabad ( an Indian city famous for the IT industry), and is browsing around the cages on display.

While he's there, another customer walks in and says to the shopkeeper, "I'll have a C monkey, please".

The shopkeeper nods, goes over to a cage at the side of the shop and takes out a monkey.

He fits a collar and leash and hands it to the customer, saying "That'll be Rs.15,000". The customer pays and walks out with his monkey.

Startled, the tourist goes over to the shopkeeper and says, "That was a very expensive monkey, most of them are only a few hundred rupees . Why did this one cost so much?"

"Oh", says the shopkeeper, "that monkey can program in C with very fast, tight code, no bugs, well worth the money."

The tourist starts to look at the monkeys in the cage.

He says to the shop keeper, "That one's even more expensive, 30,000Rs! What does it do?"

"Oh", says the shopkeeper, "that one's a C++ monkey; it can manage object-oriented programming, Visual C++, even some Java, all the really useful stuff."

The tourist looks round for a little longer and sees a third monkey in a cage on its own. The price tag round its neck says 75,000 per month. He gasps to the shop keeper, "That one costs more than all the others put together! What on earth does it do?"

"Well," says the shopkeeper, "I don't know if it actually does anything, but says it's a strategy expert."
My friend Anurag,(name -changed for obvious reasons)still works in advertising, in an ad agency as a senior clients servicing guy...he brands most of the ad guys as parasites...and blood sucking leeches.. again for obvious reasons.

He told about a strategy session they recently had with the client... with creatives, account planners( most of them strategy gurus or knowledge banks by their own declaration), and poor client servicing things.

The in house meeting discussed ,what they are going to do for the client one hour before the client team came down to the agency.

wife A and wife B-- the creatives explained-- are newly wed and happy..

wife B has a worry and that should show in her face.. her green washing powder( referring to the competitor) is horrible and cant wash her hubby's white shirts white.. while wife A ,makes her hubby happy with astonishingly white clothes..

You guessed the rest of the story..? no prizes is any fools guess..and so was anurag's..

Butexcuse me sir.. he interrupted the narrator.. it sounds so familiar.. and so formulaic..

You don't understand the strategy .... said the strategy guru in the crowd..

ya ,I don't ...said anurag.. can u explain..??

The creative- strategy guys combine unleashed jargons, and my man was a poor client service guy,, a lesser mortal..

The same show repeated before the client and the client accepted it based on the assurances that it is "strategy"...

the ad's failed... anurag told me...may be because the target audience (house wives mainly) didn't know the "strategy" and they needn't know.



foot note:Now that marketing strategy is such that, outside the packaging might be just beautiful and inside it might be just nothing!

The good ,the bad and the ugly...

Good: Your hubby and you agree, no more kids.....
Bad: You can't find your birth control pills .....
Ugly: Your daughter is using them .....


A client,one fine morning, walked into the agency i was with and started shouting....

The owner of a small textile chain cum super market cum white goods chain group, illiterate and ignorant, sometimes imbecile... he was dreaded by the accounts and clients service team......

He put unreasonable demands which they felt ashamed to present before creatives back home, and worse he was one human being who celebrated his ignorance...

The guy was angry over the use of white space... a full page ad which the creatives had beautifully executed , with lot of white space and hence would definitely break the clutter...

I pay for it.. he barked... and i will not spend my money for your experiments.

But sir.. explained one dare devil.... we had got it approved by your manager.

I have dismissed him... he you answer.

There are good clients, bad ones and ugly ones... the one who allows the agency to do its creative responsibilities in advertising ,independently(of course the clients consent is needed but....) are good ones, the one who keeps the dog and insist on barking himself is bad one and the one like the textile guy who would get nowhere closer to the fundamentals of advertising are the ugly ones.

Is there a choice for agencies?

Do they get to choose the good ones?

Consider bad ones and maybe take them,

Outrightly reject the ugly ones?

"I will not allow my staff to be bullied by tyrants, and I will not run a campaign dictated by a client unless I believe in its basic soundness.When you do that you imperil the creative reputation of your agency" Spake Ogilvy..

So brave... because he had the choice..

Today the client decides...

Sit with the client and see his product in his angle, his color.. again said Ogilvy

Excuse me sir... from your heavenly abode give me a small hint...

what happens when i am sitting with my textile chain client who is color blind?

A funny Indian ad....

its smart and funny... A work by McCann Erickson India, it is one of the ads that redefined how candies and chocolates advertised in India....

Studs and Nymphomaniacs!!!

A man took his wife to an animal show .

The guide gave them a tour and they stopped by a bull and the guy says "this bull mated 50 times last year"

The lady scorns at her husband "wow! why don't you learn from him"

Then they pass by another bull and the guide says "this bull mated 365 times last year"

The lady now almost shouts at her husband "thats once every day.... why cant you too do that?"

Exasperated finally ,the husband retorts "ask him if he made it with the same cow"

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Some recent statistics say that Client agency relationships now on an average gets rocked by the second year.. gone are the seventh year itches.. they don't last for more than two or three years..

Of course I don't refuse to see exceptions....we have had amazing ones... Marlboro cow boy and Leo Burnett are' made for each other' since 1955 and we have seen it.. how an agency and its professional brilliance and creative magnificence is vital for the creation of brands. It has happened with MNC's and Indian brands..

MNC or Indian client - Their demands from agencies are like can never reach them. The difference between the two exists ,if exists because the MNC's, more than anything else, have exposure to international markets .This varied gyan of market dynamics result in deep and wide insights. In addition to this they have the advantage of utilising best practices existent in their companies across the globe and adapting it to Indian conditions. Remember Rexona,Pears and Lux..Remember Coke, and its languish in the Indian black waters until they found something Indian to talk about..

So, when it comes to servicing an MNC client probably the guy across the table has more tips or aces up his sleeve compared to his counterpart in Indian companies. Agencies which deal with such clients should be prepared for arrogance,insults ,self lit halos and the MNC aura...

This is an oppurtunity , a kind of blessing in disguise...If it happens i am sure the number of pitches ,which seems to be touching the roof this year and breaking it next year, will go down..Instead many agencies feel it is better to work with numerous small clients or some big clients for short durations and make money and get out and search for newer partners..

Sleeping with too many is ,apparently catastrophic and it is applicable for both agencies and clients.. but there is a difference.

The difference is the double standard which exists in our society which congratulates and celebrates a man who is highly sexed and has many partners, calling him a "stud", whereas a woman with the same behavior is often called a "nymphomaniac", which carries a negative connotation.

Should I say more?


I K E......

An angry blogger writes" You just are dedicated to criticize agencies, why is it that you are myopic when it comes to seeing the clients fallacies.."

I sincerely believe that i am not..

Because i cant afford to be one..i have been with at least two agencies, in India and abroad and have seen enlightened clients and enraging ones...

Remember the famous advice to agency guys, framed by some unknown victim..

"""When the client moans and sighs ,Make his logo twice the size.
When the client's hopping mad,Put his picture in the ad.
If he still should prove refractory… Add a picture of his factory
And if still he is in strife ,Bloody , just show his wife .."""""

The fact of the matter is that bad clients are there as bad agencies are there and most of the bad clients are so because the agencies pamper them to ridiculous extents ( forgive me my blogger friend)..accept all their tantrums.. their 'I Know Everything' attitude..(I K E)..

Together they treat customers like they are a bunch of bleating buffoons..... If people feel they are being talked down to or made to look dumb, they'll think you (marketer, agency) are dumb too."Our customers are not too bright. Bad ads are OK."attitude will back fire...

Such Client agency meetings are funny .

The agency guys are pretty sure that they ’ve given the I K E what they asked for in their brief.

IKE had said after the brief “ I want you to go all out on this one. Be as creative as you like. Create a new design paradigm.”

The agency guys should have known that they have a 'not so joyous one' coming up here the moment they heard the word “paradigm,”

So they got “creative", pushing themselves to do things they’d never attempted before, and was dismayingly proud of the results.

The I K E looks at the creatives and says, “wow, I like it a lot. But it’s a little way out. Can you make some changes?”

“Sure !” the creatives say, not wanting to appear stubbornly inflexible. “What would you like changed?”

I K E says, “Well, I think this yellow thing (the background) here is a bit soft. I want us to have a stronger look and feel. Can you change it to navy blue? And I want our logo over here, and larger. The logo has to be much larger. And these words here? “Get rid of them. I don’t like it. Put a photo of a guy in a suit there. Or a closeup of a computer – like they do on the other biscuit ad..And a picture of a smiling kid..emmmmmm.. thats all.. some minor changes...
what you feel..? it can be done- right?

In one foul breath, I K E has destroyed the creative and reduced it to something resembling a dreaded dream...

It can be done- right?? ... Most of agency guys know "the real meaning" when the client waxes(rarely) such utterances of diplomacy..

It can be.. and it is amazing idea...blurts the creative...!!!!!!

What about my numbers?

Torture numbers, and they'll confess to anything. ~Gregg Easterbrook

Let me share some statistics with you.

Giant global conglomerates like WPP and Interpublic control 96% of Indian advertising as per some recent media reports.The ad biz in India now is $2.7 million and is growing 13% annually..(stagerring?) The global giants, with a never satisfiable apetite is around there everywhere , swallowing any thing and everything to do with marketing communications- be it PR firms like Genesis (now it is with .....who else..WPP) ,websites like Hungama(omnicom has almost gulped it) .Now that the 15 % commission has vanished and agencies take home paltry and petty sums from 'advertising' ,the search for newer vistas of income generation is only but natural..

News reports say that worldwide WPP accumulates 54% of its total income from such ancillary business and the rest from main frame ad business. In india it is still some where around 30%. For other global groups, ancillary business in India is very negligible.....and here comes PR ,internet.. whatever..


Did you notice how the ad business have become the game of numbers? a drastic change from creatives and strategies and brand building to numbers ,numbers and more numbers..

Good or bad ..the change is here and we are going through that...

Industry observers say that it is a passing phase and advertising will return to its "good old days"..

Good.. But as of now every one seem to be asking the one,same question..

What about my numbers??

Little Harris returns from school and says he got an F in arithmetic.

"Why?" asks the father.

"The teacher asked 'How much is 2x3?' and I said '6'"

"But that's right!"

"Then she asked me 'How much is 3x2?''

"What's the fucking difference?"

"That's exactly what I said!"

express yourselves you Moron !!!

The world is so dreadfully managed, one hardly knows to whom to complain.

~Ronald Firbank

A friend of mine was a frequent user of a popular telephone network,and was running a telephone booth with coin call phone machines and was greatly inconvenienced when the phone went out of order.

Repeated requests for repair brought only promises.

After several days, the phone company was again contacted and told that there was no longer a rush.The phone was now working fine, except that all money was being returned upon completion of each call.

A repairman arrived within the hour!


The official website of Airtel ( a leading cellular service provider in India)says..

The vision for Bharti's mobile business is “To be globally admired for telecom services that delight customers.”......

Let me begin out of my delight which has led me to admire the brand and their services that has made me finally accept that there are situations where the patience (that mothers taught us) pays...

I have an Airtel Mobile connection...So what?... Many of us have right.. the RED and WHITE logos and colours sojourn in our mind the moment we hear Airtel ..the mind soothing rendering by the Maestro A R Rahman( a leading play back and cinema music director and a youth icon) sends us to a sort of ecstasy.......very powerful communication indeed...

Now the little master ( I wonder why people still call him little ????..) is the brand ambassador among others... and Airtel claims through them that "Your world of communication just got simpler"....

Now back to my Airtel connection.... Last week I recharge it for a mere 50 rupees(rs)... and still find myself in the predicament of being unable to make any calls....

Call 121 ....said a friend....customer care...

All lines are some inconsiderate female voice...

Message to *123# ..says another friend... you will get to know the balance..

Done....Your balance is -19.35 rs..says the message... you read it right...Minus 19.35 rs.....

Minus ...? I fume.... How come????.. I just recharged for 50..I should at least get 30 rs talk time...

Talk to customer care....again someone recommends..

121..123..9895198951....many numbers ..all the permutations and combinations...the customer care wouldn't care...

Some even give recorded answers that reminds me of Glasbergen cartoons..

If you want to press1, press 3
If you want to press 3 press 4.....

10 hours now since I got that -19 shock...still I am simply not able to find out where MY MONEY has gone....

Unable to talk to some one who can give me an answer, I got vexed and cross over the apathy with which my long term CSP is treating me..

Unable to sleep for want of a reason as to why this day light robbery occurred, Unsympathetic human voices which asked me and guided me for everything which I did not want ....

Morning I gather some nerve, pray that something happened today and venture to call 121..123.... and all those host of numbers...

At last a human voice..not the same old ghastly record... a real human voice...I flashed a smile ...
but it didn't last long..

Sorry sir... You have a pre paid connection ..we here deal only with post paid... WE offer various value added services to our esteemed customers..would you like to know more about...?...

Stop that holy shit... I thunder as I exude my anger throwing my poor unsuspecting mobile handset..

no use...... I fume and smolder at office when one more attempt to talk to a dealer turned out to be another futile exercise.....

They would have subscribed you to some "value added services" like miss call alerts..says one colleague..

But how...? the Idiot in me is still wondering.. they never asked me...

The guys around me laugh... Why should they ask you...?

I know some one at Airtel...offering help ,another colleague appears...
He is into HR but a big guy..should be able to help us.....

The HR guy sounded reticent and often withdrawn...He didn't offer any promise but I felt relieved having able to tell my problem... vent the agony and fire to some one at Airtel...

Nothing happens.... I call the HR man again, this time sounding apologetic for disturbing him .....

No problem he says... and gives another number.... He is my friend...He is into Customer relations... call him he will help you..The HR guy assured..

Hello.. I call the customer care guy ,this time some one with face and a name....

After hearing to me, lending his ears to this exasperated customer with smooth " aha's", "Oh thats bad's" and "thats not fair's" which led me to believe that finally my persistence is paying...

Give me some time ..Finally he says... I will get back to you...

He did not.. No prizes for guessing it I had to call him after some 5 hours...

Oh my... he enacts a drama.... I was into so many things you know... so sorry... but you can do one thing...You can call this lady and tell her my reference..she for sure is gonna help you out...

There I am explaining the whole -19 story to this beautiful lady ( how do I know..?..well in this trauma called life, such guesses do keep us going ....right?...)

She too is too compassionate to listen my heartrending tale to its inconclusive end after which she says...

Oh it is a prepaid connection... right?...

Yes.. I mutter

Sorry sir..I deal only with Airtel landline customer complaints... For Prepaid customer care I guess you will have to call 121....

Ohhhh..I heave a sigh as slowly the reality started sinking into my senses....

The -19 effect is only for me.. not for one bothers there...

I think I have 'learned to accept in silence... the minor aggravations, cultivate the gift of taciturnity, and consume my own smoke with an extra draft of hard work, so that those about you may not be annoyed with the dust and soot of my complaints'.

I cursed David Ogilvy for telling me and making me believe that marketers have actually started believing that the customer is not a moron, he is your wife.

I cursed Philip Kotler for the theory of customer centric organisations and marketing practices that he propagated through the text books....

I wonder whether some body from Rediffusion.... (Airtel's ad agency) is reading this.....?

And if yes would still be saying the same old things through the advertisements that they make for Airtel.....

One last time.... I went to Airtel website.... it says..

Express yourself...( that is their motto)

Is it just a coincidence..?

Or is it a cruel joke?

sex ,lies and video tapes...

"I'm patient with stupidity, but not with those who are proud of it". Edith sit well

The client is one of the many manufacturers of womens undergarments and wanted to come up with a path breaking campaign which will make him a brand to reckon with , in a category where every brand looks the same.. (oops.. no pun intended..)

The agency weren't experienced in womens lingerie, but had some experience in sanitary napkins and a not so famous fairness lotion for women. And the client wasn't too convinced about the agency's bragging about how easy it is going to be for them to make the lingerie brand like they did with the napkins, simply because they couldn't make a connect between sanitary napkins and lingerie (oops again.. no pun intended..)

No curves and curls... no fashion photographers.. thats all boring..Said the clients man ...something other than that..

The agency group sat together for brain storming..

'A lot of guys stare' let that be the theme.. and let us make them uncomfortable.. wriggle with discomfort..and run to buy our stuff- chuckled the strategy guy..

'He admires the new way i look'.. what about that... let us show 12 somethings to 35 somethings in our lingerie and make a common statement... differed the visualizing guy..'admiration comes with our brand lingerie'.

Why this "he" obsession?..One creative junior opened up.. why cant we make her 'feel proud' on her own..?

No dear, sex sells.. the strategy guy displayed intolerance.. and in some cases only sex sells

Make the wife stand before the man.. let her undress slowly with accompanying salsa music.. -one 'sex sells' guy started explaining...and let the man admire with 'wow'.. thats gr888 etc... and when she is about to take off the lingerie.. let him say- no please. thats very sexy. don't take it off...

Rubbish.. muttered the junior in complete desperation..

And we have to make it bold and brave...the gyan went on.. like the FCUK campaigns..

we will not tell them.and shock them... how zz that..?

The junior went back to his college days when somebody told him this fantastic story about getting surprised..

GIRL: I have done a great sin. I called my boyfriend a BASTARD.

PSYCHIATRIST: Well now, that's not a nice thing to call anyone, so what did he do to deserve that?

GIRl: Well, he kissed me.

PSYCHIATRIST: You mean like this?

GIRL: .. Yes!

PSYCHIATRIST: Well that's no reason to call him a BASTARD.

GIRL: But, he put his hand in my top.

PSYCHIATRIST: You mean like this?

GIRL: Yes!

PSYCHIATRIST: Well that's no reason to call him a BASTARD.

GIRL: But, he took my clothes off.

PSYCHIATRIST: You mean like this?

GIRL: Yes!

PSYCHIATRIST: Well that's no reason to call him a BASTARD.

GIRL: But, he had sex with me!

PSYCHIATRIST: You mean like this?

GIRL: .Yes!

PSYCHIATRIST: Well that's no reason to call him a BASTARD.

GIRL: But, he told me he has AIDS.


Guess who got the shock???

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former". Albert Einstein

Lies,Damn lies and research statistics.....

Research statistics are like women; mirrors of purest virtue and truth, or like whores to use as one pleases. -Theodore billroth

The research team had just given their inputs.They had given it to a group of college students who had come as summer interns. And the creative team was waiting to make the ad. It wasnt going to be anything new or great but they werent allowed to proceed on their own until the research team gave their' findings' .

Women - the research said- find more pleasure with ribs and not with dots.

But see the next one.. there are some who "just cant think it "without dots

So if we average it out...

Damn it.. i am fed up of this 'averaging' it .. A man may have six meals one day and none the next, making an average of three meals per day, but aint that absurd?

"There is no such thing as a good or bad ad in isolation. What is good at one moment is bad at another. Research can trap you into the past" someone quoted Bell Bernbach .

Dots ,ribs, nerves, extra bulges.. they had it all.. what more man? some one yelled in frustration.

May be dots on ribs.. and they would be expanding in the 'process'?

And the whole god damn thing will burst in climax..

The guys burst into laughter..

But we have to go by this piece of other way..

But this is junk.. a group of college students making some absurd questionnaire and putting it across to men and women.. can you imagine..? when it cannot be done they sit in their rooms and fill the whole crap..

Ya i have done that in my trainee days..i have filled in 200 of them one night..

And based on that piece of " research" you want us to start saying that now Indians are gonna be thrilled with lemon flavored condoms with ribs and nerves criss cross ,decorated with dots, and when expands look like a bloody jack fruit?

but sir.. that is what research says..


Research can establish beyond the shadow of a doubt that the egg is a sad and sorry product and that it obviously will not continue to sell. Because after all, eggs won't stand up by themselves, they roll too easily, are too easily broken, require special packaging, look alike, are difficult to open, won't stack on the shelf.

of gods and humans, of kings and commoners.....

(this is a critical review of advertising scene in India..while brands and some names may be unfamiliar, the issues by and large remains the same everywhere...)

At many agencies there will be celebrity ad men, whom i would like to call as 'Czar’s. . Some have the luxury of more than one. Some wouldnt have even one.. some will have a 'czar' who wouldnt have done any thing significant in the recent past but would be still presiding over as Emperor Franz Joseph did with the ramshackle empire of Austria- Hungary...

These men and women ,of course make a difference with which the client( For beginers: clients are manufacturer/marketers who want their toilet soaps and cars to be advertised by agencies) views and respects the agency. Objectivity doesnt exist in such client rankings of the agency, in many cases and the clients are generally too happy to gulp anything, which the czar tells them is marketing/branding/advertising.

For agencies who celebrate such ad men existence is not hard, as their work is generally acknowledged as good(or in otherwords no one will dare say that the Czar this time has done it bad or worse no one will say that he didnt understand the Czars work ). Have you ever been to a cinema where they show award films.. those dragging ,drowsy ones which will put even Giraffe's to sleep( my research tells me that they sleep only 1.9 hours a day) and still found people coming out and bragging great about the artistic brilliance and creative marvel that they just slept over..errr...saw?..Many clients do suffer from this disorder, they can see the spade, they know it is a spade and yet they cant call it one… they bluff... the ad appears and the small kids (yes.. the same old naked king and the nasty kid) i mean the audience pooh poohs and simply ignores the ads..Simple.. any ad which takes time to reveal.. any ad which puts the audience to think , to understand what it means ,simply is not an may be many things, but it definitely aint advertising for the client.

Indian advertising has a Piyush Pandey, Prasoon Joshi, K.S Chakravarthy, K.V Sridhar.. and so on.. (Forgive me for any omission ) . Not ever agency can boast about such star cast ,but inspite of such ‘deficiency’ many do good work.. On the other hand many Czars have erred.Many just exist as posterboys.... May be time will proove me wrong but as of now it is my firm conviction that the new coke ads featuring Amir khan saying “sir udake..errr..whatever”, throwing away the "thanda mathlab coca cola " series, which is arguably one of the best ,series produced by Indian advertising , is gonna be a damm squib. Even Lux which (I can see ur smile now) has taken us for decades now, to the world of glamorous film stars from Leela chitnis to Karina kapoor ,is now doing a great crime of putting a funny looking Shahrukh Khan in the bath tub, bathing in rose petals, surrounded by Hema, Sridevi et al.. I am confused… and I am sure many of you are..

That puts me in this fix.. will it be that they are Gods and human me ,out of my ignorance aint able to understand.. or is it that they are Kings and bloody me , will have nothing to do but to listen and obey?

Foot note: Don't tell my mother I work in an advertising agency - she thinks I play piano in a whorehouse. ~Jacques Seguela

Are you bloody,the King of England?

Resolving to surprise her husband, an executive's wife stopped by his office. She found him with his secretary sitting in his lap.

Surprised and caught redhanded?

He was smart and went on dictating, "...and in conclusion, gentlemen, shortage or no shortage, I cannot continue to operate this office with just one chair".


Years back when I just joined advertising, as a young client servicing guy, (still believing that advertising is nothing but fun - with semi clad models and star glitter) I went to a clients place with my boss, who was the chief of brand services( a clients service guy basically, wrapped in a strategy habiliment, put in a research package, labeled with brand jargons) for an important meeting where he (my boss ) was to present a strategy document which he called as a 'brand road map'...

He was the guy, who intitiated me into the world of advertising,and who told me that life is not a bed of roses in advertising. In fact the first day at office as a trainee, when I addressed him as 'sir' in typical Indian style,he ,with that classic advertising sarcasm asked me' Are you bloody ,the King of England?'.

Ever since I have never Knighted him. I simply called him and any one thereafter, be it bosses or even the top most guys,by name. That makes advertising a great place to work, the feeling of equality, the freedom to call any one by name(not calling names) the freedom to think loud..being there is an experience worth it..

Sounds very rosy?? Well let me take you back to the meeting which I went to attend with my 'sir'..errr...... my boss...his presentation was entirely made by him, and executed into power point slides by his secretary . I was carrying the floppy bag , thats it. The show started and he began from a podium at the raised platform , and suddenly, it got stuck, the floppy. My boss was visibly embarrassed and so were our hosts. No one knew what to do..

And then came the googly...

He looked at me, sitting at the side table with the system operators , and expected me to intervene.I was a novice in computers (I still am) and didnt know what to do, but there is my boss in a catch 22 situation, and I had to do something.. I did something but nothing happened except the murmurs from about 15 of the clients representatives present,which went up..I tried desperately but alas Murphy's law was in action.

You asshole--- he shouted from the podium.... and the crowd was suddenly silent.. pin drop silent..

It cannot be me-- I thought and looked in disbelief --- but it was for me, and he was fuming with anger...

I apologize for the error on part of my executive-- he told the crowd-- and I promise to come back soon, I regret the inconvenience caused.

Dont be hurt--- he told a shattered me, in car, back to office--- at the clients office , I cannot admit that the brand services director , is such an asshole that he didnt check his presentation once ,before he took it to the client? Can I?

I couldnt say anything... I didnt admire him of course but I couldnt hate him either....

footnote: Common-sense in an uncommon degree is what the world calls wisdom.
-Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Clinic All clear...Kiss of good bye !!!

A kiss can be a comma, a question mark or an exclamation point. That's basic spelling that every woman ought to know. ~Mistinguett (Jeanne Bourgeois), Theatre Arts, December 1955

Didn't you follow my advice about kissing your girlfriend when she least expects it?'
asked the older brother.

'Oh hell!' replied the younger sibling with the swollen eye.....

I thought you said 'where'.'
How much is a kiss worth? It depends?
Well how much disaster can a kiss create..?
Again it depends… right..?

Well no prices for guessing the story, which made me, write this piece after a long gap…. It’s the now well known, or rather infamous lip lock which Bipasha had with Ronaldo, which she claimed as a chat which happened to be ‘close’ as it was a party room (Remember Chico Marx who famously said…I wasn't kissing her, I was whispering in her mouth,) which media celebrated as a kiss, as people talk from mouth to ears and not from mouth to mouth, John seems to have got convinced ( he would know, and only he would know, how she lip locks and how she chats and could clearly make it clear that all is clear between him and the lady whom he ‘was with’ for ten long years and had announced ‘I am going to marry’.

“May I print a kiss on your lips?" I said,

And she nodded her full permission:

So we went to press and I rather guess

We printed a full edition”

For John , it seems that is what Christiano Ronaldo said and did with his heartthrobe…

So what? Well The swiftness with which Lowe lintas seems to have realize this rift is amusing me…. Clinic all clear has already come up with ads where John is in all alone and Bipasha is out....( already because its only a matter of three days since officially the couple has got split) thanks to the joint endorsements that they had , especially the all clear one, they glued together and now with the infamous kiss, even that is lost. Or is it that the agency knew all this early and was ready for the bang…?

The off screen chemistry and physics that they had helped the otherwise lousy creatives do survive and even get to be liked people..well that seems to the past now..While John will continue with his brands that he endorsed unaided, including wrangler, he now is gonna be alone in all clear too, while Bipasha will go on with her levis and others, it seems now kinetic group has come to her rescue ,claiming that she fits into their brand profile 100% … see this…

Says Ajinkya Firodia, V-P, sales and marketing, Kinetic Motor Company, “Kinetic has been very selective about working with brand ambassadors. We look for perfect synergy between product attributes and ambassador personality. Our upcoming Kinetic-SYM scooter will appeal to women riders, and is being positioned accordingly.” On being asked if the decision to rope in Basu had anything to do with her ability to attract controversy, Firodia answers, “Our market research showed that Bipasha Basu, perceived as a modern and independent high achiever, is the role model for many young girls who admire her style and success. In fact, the support for her was unanimous, with a 100 per cent perfect brand fit.”

Now that reminds me the Sansui ad where Rahul dravid, (for the first time probably in history of celebrity endorsements) sits and explains why and how he fits into the brand image of Sansui…dull and dreary ad it is , but the attempt to find a logic is commendable.. at last brands seems to have woken up to the reality that people don’t buy simply because a tom dick or harry tells them to, or claims that they have one and why not you too, however well known and famous they are…

Next what?

John may rope in Vidya balan while Bipasha may ride (in the Kinetic scooters, I mean) Dino Morrea or even Saif ali khan, as the media claims… Let us keep watching kisses and hisses while the ridiculous world of advertising searches and keeps itself locked and ‘safe’ in formulas and time tested clichés.....

After all it takes guts and fortitude to try new things……

foot note:The sound of a kiss is not as loud as that of a cannon, but its echo lasts a great deal longer….Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., the Professor at the Breakfast-Table

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i am not blind, i just am not seeing it.

"A blind man walks into a restaurant and sits down. The waiter, who is also the owner, walks up to the blind man and hands him a menu. "I'm sorry, Sir, but I am blind and can't read the menu. Just bring me a dirty plate from a previous customer, I'll smell it and order from there." A little confused, the owner walks over to the dirty pile and picks up a greasy plate . He returns to the blind man's table and hands it to him. The blind man takes the plate to his nose and takes in a deep breath.

"Ah, yes, that's what I'll have, chicken kabab , potato fry and roti ."

"Unbelievable"--- the owner says to himself as he walks towards the kitchen. The cook happens to be the owner's wife and he tells her what had just happened. The blind man eats his meal and leaves.

Several days later the blind man returns and the owner mistakingly brings him a menu again.

"Sir, remember me? I'm the blind man."

"I'm sorry, I didn't recognize you. I'll go get you a dirty plate." The owner again retrieves a dirty plate and brings it to the blind man.

After another deep breath, the blind man says, "That smells great, I'll take the palak panner and butter nan ."

Once again walking away in disbelief, the owner thinks the blind man is screwing around with him and tells his wife that the next time the blind man comes in he's going to test him.The blind man eats and leaves.

He returns the following week, but this time the owner see's him coming and runs to the kitchen.
He tells his wife, "Sunaina, rub this plate with your clothes before I take it to the blind man." She complies and hands her husband the plate back. As the blind man walks in and sits down, the owner is ready and waiting.

"Good afternoon sir, this time I remembered you and I already have the plate ready for you."

The blind man puts the plate to his nose, takes a deep whiff and says, "Hey, I didn't know that Sunaina worked here?"

* * *
People in advertising arent blind, some just pretend to be. Even those blind, are blind because it is an easy option. Blind to such terms like strategy , for instance. When the client talks about strategy, i have seen ad guys - even account planners( who are deemed responsible for 'planning the account for its bright future) yawning at client presentations (by the way a yawn is a very sincere opinion ,very 'openly' expressed) with least interest . When the client talks about brand vision, some of them sit with ' i have seen it all' label stuck over their faces...

This may not be a universal truth( gr88 agencies make gr88 brands, no doubt and my salutes to them) but some agencies are infested with men and women of stadium sized ego's and they preside over collapsing brands. Clients wouldnt know( in many cases) until market reacts, but then it may be late....

Failing Client Agency Relation ship (CAR) is a worry for people who ever had something to do with advertising, and intellectual arrogance and laziness is one of the main reason for this bad state of affairs.(The number of pitches being held is going up year after year) And simply, agencies cannot outsmart the clients.. clients (good or bad) are always right (cliche?) ,I cant help it.. they are and the agency is there because the clients ( good or bad) are there.....

Fighting with bad clients is like fighting with pigs in shit.... after a while you will realise that u'r getting dirty and the pig...... it actually enjoys..


below the line and below the belt....

An optometrist was instructing a new employee on how to charge a customer:

"As you are fitting his glasses, if he asks how much they cost, you say '$75.' ...

If his eyes don't flutter, say, 'For the frames. The lenses will be $50.'...

If his eyes still don't flutter, you add ...'Each.'

Its about how u say it...properly said, you can do it!!!!!

Tide has created India's Longest Clothesline to illustrate the superior value that Tide offers consumers. A first ever, Tide India's longest clothesline ran around the famous Necklace Road on the perimeter of the historical Hussein Sagar Lake...... says a news item, which I ran a cross, this morning.....

I have got amused ever since I saw this in NDTV profit some days back and was interested by the developments. Not that I am afraid that "The end of advertising as we know it" is atlast happening, but am amazed by the scale at which it is..... It has entered the records as a unique Limca Book Record but it also has raised the level ,tone and the importance of the 'below the line promotion' stuff as they call it. Arc Worldwide, Leo Burnett’s integrated marketing division have done it excellently well and with an ease that made others awestruck. Celebrity Homemaker and Actor Ramya Krishnan, as they describe the endorser , appeared in the streets along with the Tide team and scores of onlookers and could pull a large crowd who gathered to see more of the film star and her spotlessly white attire and less of course of the packet of tide and "how much" one packet can wash....

Ms. Vidya Murthy, Brand Manager, Home and Personal Care, P&G India said, "Our Consumer Research indicated that the homemaker's primary concern is her family's well-being, and thus she believes that one of the ways she can contribute to the family is by making the most of her budget. She wants maximal value from her brands and the Tide India's Longest Clothesline is proof of the economic efficiency that Tide offers."

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My girl is slightly pregnant !!!

In 1969, Samm Sinclair Baker( yes ,the guy whom the then ad world called an "ungrateful dog") wrote and published "The permissible lie", which simply exposed the world of advertising.It shocked the world.. The plain speak which stripped ad men thread bare, was nothing short of a blasphemy, but even after decades nothing much has changed.... advertising ,observers accuse, still remains the same.. the same duplicity and pretensions galore...

Who are to blame for this state of affairs ? who will bell the cat..?

Much has been researched and written about advertising and its ill effects in the society.Advertising, “is the rattling of a stick in the swirl bucket of capitalism ” said George Orwell. It has been blamed as responsible for all the ills of the society.Even i( "even" because advertising had been my profession and passion, even now) do accept that it contibutes to the negatives, but it contributes along with others like cinema and internet. Can they be banned because they have bad effects too? The option ,for advertisers will be to stick on to truth as far as possible.. say truth, even hide unpleasent truths but never say a lie...

Ever since the dead and gone residents of Pompeii advertised for marriages and wine, and perhaps even before that, advertising has been the art, science and what we know it today, and what we (ok. most of us) don’t know, is, was and would be the soul of marketing activities. To put it simply, “If Marketing is a whore house, Advertising is the pimp. (For those who took it as offensive), if Marketing is a flower, Advertising is the fragrance”.

So the customer has to alert..The advertiser will sell the client{(the one who makes soaps)(remember the fairness granules )} and will up to an extent be bothered about the client only.One who thinks that a skin which will put coal to shame can be be transformed into something which will glow and reflect, deserves to be fooled.Any house wife who gets carried away by cleaning liquids(liquid bleaching powder added with fragrance and a brandname,which you pay a premium price) which cleans dark, dirty lookin floors(which generally are made dirty during shoot using powdered graphite or such materials) making them glow like polished metal ,is inviting the marketer to beguile her. Any fool will get the kind of advertising he deserves.......

read it fully in

A Baptism to Advertising…

Renowned ad guy Jerry Della Femina ( forgive the irreverence ,u non ad guys out there) once said -"I honestly believe that advertising is the most fun you can have with your clothes on".
Yes it indeed is, all that mad rush, the client turn overs,the briefs, the creative pretensions, the shoots, the production jiggs, the client walkouts, the fire in the belly( sorry- sales guys..).. the... whatever.....

It is real fun ,except when u realise that ur ads arent working for the client.. u realise that, but refuse to accept that. The client emits fire like a chinese dragon(most of them look like one too),and the client service guys are put on the guillotine..the blame game is on.. the creative guys will take a u-are-an-ass-so-u-dont-understand stance and the strategy guys(read the bossess) will start talking (well.. will start using more) jargons, to add to the confusion..

Adamant guys.. arent they?

Now see this ………….

There was a nail seller named Wilson. he sold nails(with no brand name, what a crime? and of course no advertising.. goodness gracious.. how could he??).. there entered his freind -an ad guy from the city working with XYZ-ABCD ad agency( most of them sound like this . dont they?) The ad guy advised Wilson to advertise and brand..He was skeptical.The ad guy persisited and prevailed( smile please.. all the client service guys..!)

Alright ..said Wilson .. bring me an ad

Ok.. asked the ad guy.. giv me the brief..

Brief ?.... Wilson looked perplexed

Tell me what is ur customer profile.. what u want ur brand to mean for them..he uttered hi funda's

Well it is a Roman catholic crowd.. said Wilson.. so u know..

The ad guy left only to come back a couple of days later with what he called as "a marvellous " work

Here the ad was.. Jesus crist ,the lord was hung on the cross and the nails were shining..
the caption said.."wilson nails.. holds anything"

Wilson was shocked..

Never.. he thundered.. never can i show it here and make people buy my nails..change it.. no christ hanging from the cross

The ad guy left to come back with a changed ad , a couple of days later.

True to the clients words, there was no christ hanging from the cross, instead, he was being nailed and, the soldier who was executing the cruel task found it difficult , for the nail to go inside. the caption said"try wilson nails.. it holds anything".

Wilson was flabbergasted..

Please.. u dont realise what i mean.. no cross and hanging christ please.. why dont u'r creatives understand?..Wilson cried

The ad guy left and came back with what he called this time as" amazing work".

Of course the cross was missing and the client felt elated that the creatives have at last got his idea(hold on to ur seats).... it is just begining.

There was a frail, fragile looking guy in scant attire running across a field, surrounded by mad crowds. A host of Roman soldiers in full attire ,spikes and swords on, running behind the guy.One of them suddenly stops, looks into the camera and tells the audience.

" I told them - use wilson nails"


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Sabu mangalasserril