Archive for Advertising

Jack Daniels: An ode to Indian Alcohol Advertising

Alcohol advertising is banned in India. Well literally!

There is this interesting read on the ‘Tipsy Liquor Policy of India’ I came across a few months ago.

It is funny how the Government of India makes the sale and consumption of alcohol legal in India but makes advertising and promotion illegal. Hypocrisy is it? By the way the sale of liquor to mortals aged less than 25 years is anyways illegal. But a glance into the numerous pubs shows that perhaps that’s the ‘demographics’ that throngs the bar!

Now lemme do some “Freakonomics” here:

The Government makes oodles of money collecting the zillions of bucks as excise, tax, license fees (from bar owners).
The Bar/taverns/restaurants/liquor shops/soda sellers/those recycled plastic throw-able glass sellers/DJs: all make money.
The liquor companies: they perhaps make more money by spending less!
The Advertising agencies: Well, their gravity prevailing profits are leading them to be “not-for-profit organisations’
And like always the ad-execs end up getting less money!

Until, one stray instance, one brand shows us the way while I am driving on my way to a client meet:


There billboard is on the Delhi-Noida-Delhi expressway. This cheeky, ‘complete the picture’ creative leaves one gasping for more. It is the logo, nothing more, and infact it is not even the complete logo.

It is like saying “If you don’t know me, don’t drink me’… And I love it!

It is not the first time this has been done. I clearly remember the Neil French crafted Chivas Regal campaign


I would certainly like to argue that this “Interactive” in nature. Yeah, go on, get that smirk on your face. But the point is that, it certainly make me interact with a darn hoarding.


For me and others who know Jack Daniels: Well, this caught my attention, my pea-sized brain made me consume the information and process it to say ‘wow’ to myself and gain greater conviction, respect, build stronger bonds with ‘Jack Daniels, the brand’.

While others are using surrogates like sodas, music, events, parties, one brand decided to stick it’s neck out.

It didn’t tell you that alcohol is cool, it didn’t tell you that listening to music, partying or ‘anything lifestylish’ but pure unadulterated branding. It is slow, it is drop by drop, much like the Tennessee Whiskey.
Cheers to Jack Daniels. Cheers to the Alcohol Advertising in India.

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Brand Apple: Is love really blind?

I love Apple. I love Steve Jobs. I love their advertising. I love their arrogance. I love their products. Infact the love stretches beyond just products. It extends into inspiration, unconditional love… ummm a religion? Saatchi & Saatchi refers to this phenomenon as Lovemarks.

Strangely, while the above is somehow far more intangible in the buying decision making process, the far more tangible aspects like ‘consumer reviews’ fail to soften the purchase motivations.

Recently, while surfing Apple’s online catalog, I read some fairly negative consumer feedback about the Apple Mighty Mouse.

Suddenly, I took notice, but I didn’t defer my purchase. Primarily because of the following reasons:

  • The fact that Apple had the arrogance, courage, confidence and the transparency to showcase the negative comments worked for me, and somehow fit the current brand image in my mind
  • the Lovemark,
  • And lastly the amazing product that Mighty Mouse is in the first place.

Whats leaves me gasping for answers is whether all the consumer mass that is enamoured by a brand ready to ignore the user feedback and go on to pay a premium for products (read brands)? If it does, then whole a lot of things work – Super Bowl (1984 Think Different Ad) as media (remember, White Colour, Fruit-led brand names, and some great advertising.

Apple Store Reviews by Customers

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Google takes over YouTube or YouTube takes over Google?

Since Google gobbled over YouTube, I have been noticing an increase in organic search results pointing to YouTube.

While some may argue my over-observation, my argument is fairly empirical and common-sensible:

Google bought over YouTube so it could become a leader in internet video sharing. While this is OK, Google maintain its foothold in the contextual advertising space. With user generated content seeing phenomenal growth it makes sense.

And yeah yeah, YouTube can now ask daddy Google to give them some space on the Google Servers or atleast pay off the mammoth bandwidth bills!

However, YouTube needs to attract even more users to see Google’s money pay-off!

Simple, enhance the Google crawlers to crawl YouTube, and deliver organic search results!

Anyone else observing the same?

Watch the founders princely ‘keynote address’

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[Pester-cide us] Aamir khan for Coca-Cola now…

Following my earlier post about Pepsi doing a clean up act (and perhaps many Indian Cos. might not), now the ‘Real Thing’ aka Coca Cola has also woken up and done a post-mortem television commercial for the anti-pesticide campaign…

So the campaign hasn’t really done something spectaculary different… Similar Factory Shots, just the face of the ad is Aamir Khan…

Here is the storyboard.
And here is the tv commercial

I am watching this closely, and shall post more soon…

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If advertising moves you, get a Mac!

It is 2:40AM, and I found the new Apple Mac advertising on the technology portal – CNET so engaging that I had to post this…

Apple has done it yet again. From being innovative in its advertising (think different anyone?), now they have exaggerated a product benefit (unknown to many), which by way of the execution seems like a very robust proposition.

To my mind, advertising has to be entertaining; the message has to be on the sly. This works two ways, the message gets across, and ads stop becoming what they are for normal consumers – obtrusive. There is nothing like making an ad that forces lesser mortals like me to wake up, sit up, take notice and post at 2:45AM!

Without further adieu.
My first 5 minute post. Good night.

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[jugaad] Newspaper advertising is measurable. Use the Internet!

Before proceeding, be aware that I had recommended this to one of my clients… They did it or not did it is a guess you might wanna take…

Well, a lot of people like me who are far too convinced about the Internet and how it will shape advertising, media, marketing, consumers etc. should use the Internet to measure the traditional media campaigns…

Move away from TRPs, GRPs, and get common sense rating points…
Here is how:

  1. Set up a microsite for the thematic communication that you are going to run in saya newspaper…
  2. Use a powerful analytics application and site traffic monitor (Google Analytics) and plug it into your microsite…
  3. Now, ensure your traditional media ads link back to the Internet with a unique URL for each media vehicle you may use. Say for example, you may publish an ad in Times of India Delhi and Hindustan Times Delhi.
  4. All you need to do is, key in the unique web addresses for each publication. So, you may have
    Visit us at for more details” for Hindustan Times
    Visit us at for more details” for Times of India
  5. Now sit back, and let the traffic details throw up surprises
  6. Not only can you guage the efficacy of each media, you can also check on other details like adformat, colour, page position, what time people accessed the website, where did they access it from etc

In India such quick-easy-dirty fix solutions are called jugaad

Feedback always welcome…

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‘Total Recall 2006’ by Dell… India Inc listening?

Recently, there was a huge crisis in the Dell Headquarters. Well, a couple of Dell Notebooks saw their batteries blowing up and bursting into flames…

Now while most organisations will try and shove blame on their partners (SONY is the battery manufacturer in this case), Dell took a bold stand and recalled the batteries. They set up in a fortnight and shipped out some batteries within days of the incident.. well reportedly incidents!!

This led me to question whether an Indian manufacturer would ever gather the courage to so… I think Indians keep grappling with the idea of how to shroud the problems and hide them….

A recent example in the Indian context has been Pepsi. The colas (Pepsi and Coke) were grappling with the pesticide controversy nationwide…

Pepsi went on to use PespsiCo India Chief Ravi Bakshi in a tactical filme aimed at reducing the ‘harmful effects of pesticides’ 🙂 Check out the story board:

According to me, if the film would have been less of a productionised effort, it could have worked for me… Currently the labs are sparkling white, the young guy on the bench meeting Rajiv Bakshi is a very forced situation…

On the brighter side, this seems to be a leaps ahead of PR Spokespersonnel from Indian Companies vehemently denying all allegations!

Also, this is seemingly not a fit with ‘Pepsi the Brand’… It is somewhat aggressive (versus Coca Cola), much younger (than Coca Cola) and far more vibrant… This film is submissive, flat (unlike most colas), and defensive…

Will it work? Well, time should be the best pesticide test.

Interestingly, the American Society for Quality has a page on the website that showcases how India doesn’t have a quality regulator.

Do write in if you know of any product recalls in India… Cheers…

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