Airtel: Express Yourself

Posted March 11, 2010 by Addiscuss
Categories: Let's discuss ads

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Clearly, the black and white montage in Airtel’s Express Yourself commercial was aimed at enabling the brand’s connect with consumers on an emotional level.  This was back in 2003 when I was an advertising student in India. Since then the brand campaign has evolved in keeping with the evolution of Telecom category in the country – going through different stages of creating category and technology awareness, targeting premium segment and penetrating mass market. And now with record growth in subscriber base, is digging deeper into user groups with specific product promotions.

Back in 2003, I remember taking an instant liking to the tag line Express Yourself, probably because I was trying desperately to find my own voice.  And of course the copy in the specific spot I am referring to sealed the deal for me. The background score in this commercial is almost certainly the most popular ring tone of all time.


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Visa: Go World

Posted March 10, 2010 by Addiscuss
Categories: Let's discuss ads

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Visa’s “Go World” campaign was launched in the US during the 2008 Summer Olympics. It comprised TV Commercials, print and online ads, and an online microsite. More recently, the campaign continued its winning spree with the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

The signature 2008 Olympics collection boasts of TV commercials in sepia tones that use still photographs and moving images from past Olympics and combine those with Morgan Freeman’s booming voice over. The ads are based on the premise that human spirit is indomitable. And perhaps nowhere is this embodied more than it is in the triumph, passion and extraordinary will of athletes.

Here are a few of my favorites: the Centerpiece ‘Come Together’ that truly showcases the unifying quality of this century old Sports tradition; and the ones with Kerri Strug performing the vault and Fosbury leaping over the bar.

The essence of these ads is in their narration.

So shh… and listen in!

Dove ‘Evolution’: No wonder our perception of beauty is distorted

Posted February 27, 2010 by Addiscuss
Categories: Let's discuss ads

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Evolution, a largely web based phenomena by Dove has been an astounding success both commercially and artistically. Dove’s parent company Unilever reported a growth of 5.8% in sales of Dove products following the release of Evolution. The spot also won the Grand Prix in the Cyber category at Cannes in 2006, apart from numerous other advertising awards at various festivals. All good!

However, the reason I like this one minute 14-second spot is because it appeals to the social activist in me. It made me realize that to some extent I have been successful in keeping the unabashed persistence by brand forces at bay. I have not let them take complete control of my psyche.

Evolution tells a sharp story, by effective use of stop-motion animation technique and haunting music. A young woman is transformed into a stunning, albeit unreal model by harsh lighting, a team of make-up artists, hair stylists and some ‘Photoshopping’. In the process, an illusion is revealed to the viewers. The images of ‘beautiful’ that women often aspire to, are really just computer wizardry and for the most part, unreal.  Notwithstanding the allegations that it’s just another marketing campaign for a beauty product, what I find refreshing is that it has sparked a debate with its provocative social message.  It has successfully pulled back the veil on manufactured images in magazines and billboards. And really, its huge success just goes to prove that there is a bit of activism enduring in most of us…

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Amul Butter: Utterly Butterly Delicious

Posted February 24, 2010 by Addiscuss
Categories: Let's discuss ads

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I suppose I don’t really know why I chose to discuss Amul’s “Utterly Butterly Delicious” campaign as I begin my blog.  The campaign’s innate Indianness may have something to do with it. Its sensibility is uniquely Indian so much so that Amul Billboards have become a part of the culture…no moment of significance is significant enough if it hasn’t been cheekily celebrated by Amul Butter. Increasing popularity of social media; legalizing of homosexuality in the country; swine flu pandemic; success of Slumdog Millionaire – all have had a place among the many ‘topicals’ of Amul.

Delhi High Court judgement legalizing Homosexuality

Growing popularity of social media

Growing popularity of social media

Amul’s brand ambassador – a round faced little girl with chubby cheeks and bow tied hair, holding out a packet of Amul butter in strategically posted billboards has been around for more than 3 decades now.  Taking their cue from popular culture – a headline grabbing news piece, a controversy, or a bollywood film, the billboards say something that is on people’s minds and thus find almost an instant connect with the audience. Over the years, the ads have gained an inimitable identity which by extension lends itself to the brand. Along the way, these ads have also caused ripples and stirred controversies – the one with Amul girl wearing the Gandhi cap rubbed many in the political milieu the wrong way. But such episodes haven’t disrupted the risqué tone. And yet, with their tongue-in-cheek humor, the yummy spoofs and the adorable mascot provide an endearing and long lasting quality to the brand.

For those of you interested, the Amul website showcases the entire collection at http://www.amul.com/hits.html

Enjoy!


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