Music=Magic Bullet to Brain

If you ask half the people in advertising, what is it about their jobs that they love most, the answer would be ” Music, where else can you listen to it on job?” . There is something about music which advertising as an industry loves. We love listening to music, grooving on it, but most importantly we love using it to send our ideas and thoughts across. A variety of brands have a memorable song/tune that just takes me down the memory lane.

A few days back traveling in a train, a tune broke my train of thoughts. It was the groovy tune of Maggy, being played from a mobile phone of a teenager, who delayed picking up the call so that everyone could know that he had a different ring tone. A typical behavior and one which I would never condone, however as a change, nobody really disliked the tune. I could see faces smiling at the tune, maybe remembering the childhood days, perhaps the first advertisements of Maggy,and so on. But there was a high amount of recollection and nostalgia around. Something any brand would give a fortune away to create.

This little incident started a chain reaction in my mind, as if a bullet that was triggered ages ago had gone active suddenly. I could remember so many such instances where Music has been used to a level of brilliance, to create ever lasting memories. These are not just ads anymore, they are representatives of a generation. Everyone remembers the famous tunes like Titan (Mozart’s Fifth Symphony), Raymond ( Schuman’s ‘scene from childhood’) , my personal favourite was Old Spice (carmina burana o fortuna) and this was when I was just 10. Needless to say when I required buying an after-shave, nothing that other brands had to say could deviate me from buying Old Spice.

The list goes on, many little diamonds and gems in the good old days. Hang on a minute though, there are some extremely wonderful and musical campaigns going on even now, so its not a forgotten art or a relic of the past. I was amazed by the beautiful Pantene ad. The tune was used brilliantly, an ad with a message other than “buy me” is always great. The YOU CAN SHINE campaign(Pachelbel’s Canon in D) has surely got to be there in our little list of ads to watch out for, that we maintain in Purple Rabbit.  Of course there are wonderful tunes from Airtel(A.R. Rahman), and who can forget Vodafone’s You & I( composed by Rupert Fernandes).

Do read the subtitles while watching this wonderful composition. A great come back at all those who say that good ads are not made these days. Point to be noted however is the wonderful magic that music weaves on mind and soul. Such works no longer remain just a tool to increase sales. It creates little milestones of nostalgia, transcending the barriers of time and space.Ah, we are getting a bit longish here arent we? Good things are always short so until next time..

Have fun watching the commercials.


Had You Known

After finishing my day work yesterday I was just going through some of the interesting logos of popular brands. Logo is usually a reflection of the brand in itself, and so observation and interpretation of logos gives me a
lot of fun.

A glance at the logo of Baskins and Robins reminded me of the reasearch that I had done in college days. It has always been captivating.

You could easily see that they have highlighted their initials by keeping it in the middle with a large typeface. BR stands for Burt Baskin and Irvine Robbins. They were the partners. But the real magic is in the number 31 if you could notice. They have portrayed it since they have 31 original flavours. And they propagate it as ‘one for each day of month’,

Their initials and the range they have is constructed into one symbol,thus making it highly attractive and creative as well. Even the typeface and colours selection which are used are friendly in nature.

Really, hidden things always give surprises, did you get 1?

oooooh, shiny!- War of the shiny ones

I remember fondly the most wonderful era of advertising, the direct challenge. Maybe there is something amazingly romantic about the wars, and thus I like it, in one form or another. If you go back to the most famous wars in advertising, the ‘cold war’ between coke and pepsi comes to the mind immediately. The way coke and pepsi fought tooth and nail over a sweetened carbonated drink was amazing. Who could have thought that a fortune would be on stake over something so simple as a sweet soda. It was sheer marketing that lead to the see-saw of market share. It was a common site to see them have a dig at each other. Making fun of the campaigns of each other, trying to make campaigns of competitors, this was a period where everything and anything was okay. Sprite topped it all by mocking every other drink. Everybody mocked thumps up, and thumps up hit back at them. Wonderful days, alot of business for ad agencies. Most interesting was how apple hit at IBM, Microsoft and everyone else on a regular basis, with the Iam Mac campaign and even before that the Think Different campaign. ( Microsoft made an attempt to counter I am Mac campaign by trying to promote PC users. Needless to say it was a lame attempt. )

Just when I thought nothing noteworthy has happened lately, something completely shocking happens. I have never seen a bigger upset. A few weeks before, I noticed teasers of a supposedly ‘Mystery’ shampoo doing rounds everywhere, on the OOH, Print and everywhere else possible. I didnt think much of it, its a normal teaser campaign I thought. As expected a few days down the line, the campaign was launched and now I was impressed. Dove had used the teaser in an amazing way, by denying the teaser completely. This was different. Their campaign line was/ is “There is no mystery that dove is best ” . This was when the entire teaser series talked about a mystery shampoo helping most women etc. Very creative, but wait, it was not over. After another few days I saw the ad which made me applause and very interested in the whole thing. The ad was by Pantene, saying The New Pantent is the Mystery shampoo. I felt how I had felt when I saw the pirates of the silicon valley for the first time. Dove, somehow had managed to steal the campaign completely. This was a level up from attacking competitors campaigns. I couldnt stop laughing at it for a while!!

But Pantene, I hope isnt going to take this without having a word or two, I expect a wittier reply, an act that will fuel this further. Pantene by no means should sit quiet or ignore this, their reputation is at stake afterall. For a company which came up with You can Shine campaign, it shouldnt be impossible to handle this with care. One thing is for sure though, this open attack would surely drive coming quarter with counter- attacks, and attacks on each other. The rounds have begun, and they will last till the knock outs. Surely, there will be blood.

We are sure you can spot similar stories by yourself~ why not share them with us? you can reply to the same thread and include stories of business rivalries which you have spotted.

Life for lives

During my childhood, I often visited my grandpa’s house in Pune with my mother atleast twice a month, every time we preferred going by bus because that was quite convenient. In the 3 hour journey from Mumbai to Pune bus usually halted atleast twice, and that was the most interesting part of the journey for me, the reason was, I could ask mom for Cheetos, which I loved to have as often as possible, I used to have it excessively, They used a character which was very attractive. His name was Chester, it was a cheetah. I always wondered if he would jump out from the packet.

Looking back at the fond days, I realise the reason for my childhood fantasy was a very clever use of the character. You might have had similar experience at your age too.
Well let’s play a game, what do the following symbols make you recall-
It was very easy, wasn’t it? Now lets try the same for a few celebrities.
Amitabh Bacchan
Shahrukh Khan
Sachin Tendulkar
I am sure you must have come up with at least a handful of brand names for each of them.
While launching brand with a celebrity does give you a brand recall if done well, it cannot be as loyal as a mascot is. A mascot will never leave your side, always with your brand throughout everything. Like Peter Pan, it never ages, forever young, and achieves the same for your brand. However we notice so many brands favoring celebrities over mascots, It may be because these celebs in most cases are themselves quite popular brands, and this popularity is actually used by other brands to uplift them by simulating the image of the ambassadors in their favor for the nonce. In short they may be greedy about instant results. A celebrity comes with a package, so you can convey a lot of things just by hiring the right person. But they are poor to pour life into the brand.
E.g. Juhi Chawla is the brand ambassador for Wipro baby soft pants. I am sure you don’t even recall a glimpse of it, as she just explains the need of pants. On the other hand we have Mamy Pocko pants where they have used a mascot called Poko-Jang. In the final phase of commercial it calls the brand name in sweet manner. So it influences mothers a lot, the reason is that character has life and it has brought the same to the pants,(thus making it one of the leaders in the market.)
These Mascots play such a significant role for a brand that it becomes the most illustrious identity of the brand; a glimpse of the mascot takes enough to remind us about the Brand. Very few companies have brought them back from the oblivion.
Today the Indian market is growing at a rocketspeed thus not trying hard enough to pour life into the brand. It literally gears down the usage of mascots which really has a magic to fuel up the brand for the long innings. We don’t have enough time or enough vision I guess. Still at times when brands like Hippo re-create the same magic, I enjoy a momentary visit to childhood.
(P.S.Unlike Shiny Ahuja, your mascot will rarely get in trouble or put your brand image in trouble. :P)

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