Friday, May 9, 2008

Logo element as a Campaign Device

Every client loves his logo. (Well most do.) And most of us in Advertising have learnt to ignore the dreaded request from the client when we present a layout... "Don't you think the logo should be a bit bigger; on second thought, a LOT BIGGER".

I have seen many art directors contemplating suicide as an attractive option very, very seriously at that point in time.

But then, the logo at times can become a brilliant device to get across the Brand DNA much to the delight of the art director involved. For instance, consider the two National Geographic ads below:

The campaign works well because an element of the brand – the yellow rectangle is used in an unexpected manner to bring freshness to communication that in essence is pretty straightforward.

Makes for a happy client. Not to mention a seriously happy art director.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Can A Picture become the communication message?

In certain contexts, yes.

For instance, if you want to show that on a hill road there is a danger of landslide, a picture/illustration is better.

When reduced to the functionality of an icon say the 'Men' and 'Women' signs for restrooms words at best play a suplementary role.

At the level of the brand, at times the picture itself becomes so iconic words become irrelevant. For example: 'Marlboro Country'.

In the normal context though a mix of picture and content is the best way to communicate. 

Redefining Dirty Diesel - Why the Honda Ad is a winner

Great Ads always have an unrelenting and singular focus. This ad (YouTube Video below) is no exception. Three quarters of the ad is spent on establishing the percieved image of a diesel engine - dirty, unfriendly (the jingle goes: "hate something") and obviously not good for the environment. The contrast is brought out more sharply by the use of the fairy tale treatment where everything is happy and pure as opposed to the 'dirty diesel'. The last part of the ad when the clean Honda diesel appears the jingle "hate something, change something" takes on an entirely new meaning. Enjoy...

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Nice Build up and a different perspective- How misdirection works as a device

In this ad (YouTube Video below), the key lies in the selection, personality and aggrieved tone of the key character. This helps keep you slightly astray of the intent of the ad till the final moments.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

We well, Be well, Bhi Well, on second thoughts give me plain ol’ LUX anytime. (Or, why the right brand name is very, very important)

A new range of beauty soaps is launched. The advertising is strictly middle-of-the-road, safe formulatic as patented over the years by P&G and Unilever. Nice soft focus, a glittering diva (Kareena Kapoor) looking gorgeous endorsing the soap.

Nothing is wrong. Yet everything is.

What is in a name? A writer of repute once asked. In marketing, everything.


Roll it off your tongue. Imagine yourself as the end user a mid-30’s, middle-class house wife. How do I say this name, she thinks: We well, Be well, Bhi Well, Vee Well…will the smart looking shop assistant snigger if I get it wrong.

Why take the chance? Lux, please!

Sometimes, companies spend zillions of monies on research, R&D, retail.

And forget something as basic as the phonetics of a brand name.

After all, there is a reason why Reema Lamba changed her name to Mallika Sherawat, Yusuf Khan to Dilip Kumar, Alwarpettai Aandavar became Kamal Haasan.

Because, if the name ain’t right. Nothing is.

Dhoni Down South – Why the new Pepsi IPL Commercial works

The right mix is important for any ad to work. And if the ad is taking off on a well-worn context the chances of it falling woefully short are very high.

For instance, if you take the Sholay template, Thakur (no arms) has to be just right, even if the characterization is slightly off, it falls flat.

McDonalds has used this device for its ‘aapne zamaae ke daam’ campaign. In that the ‘thakur’ rendition works while the ‘Dharmendra’ rendition is at best average.

Back to the Pepsi IPL ad.

The single point why it works is that Dhoni has totally gotten into the Rajnikant character. The swirl of the lungi, the glint in the eye, the swagger in the motion.

Best of all, we know he’s having fun. And so do we. 

See the commercial here:

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