Kyun darta hai tu yaar- Microsoft going nuts!

We like watching and making good, sensible commercials in Purple Rabbit. Often our evenings are spent discussing works of others, and yes we have been very contemptuous of some of the lames creatives you have ever seen. However Microsoft’s latest release, a part of their campaign for Windows 8 has left us totally speechless. We didn’t know how to react to that. Here is the closest transcript of the unofficial massacre of the said advertisement. ( the space between the lines is full with sarcasm, so read gently dear reader, read very very gently) 

H: You saw how SRT got the glorious fifty? He is so back in business. 😛 

A: haha, yeah right, England is going to be spanked into smithereens! By the way, you saw what Microsoft did? Man it was horrendous! 

H: Really now, horrendous? Where did you get from, the southern hole? And yes I saw that. I didn’t get it though. Maybe it was way above my iq. 

A: Hmm, could be. “Kyun darta hai tu  yaar mujh pe daav laga”. What could it possibly mean… maybe they are talking about how normal users are afraid of using original Microsoft merchandise. 

H: Oh, and the ugly effort that girl is putting in is somehow related with how difficult it is to buy other operating systems. 

A: What other operating systems?

H: Oh, I don’t know, but what else could she be trying to say. 

A: Heh, such an amaeture! It’s simple. See the guy is trying to show a video and the girl is trying to work. So they are saying, you can do both. 

H: Oh, so why Kyun darta hai tu yaar?? They could have got absolutely any song. This one is from the dud we had bargained to see. 

A: You mean Aagey Se Right? Oh!!! Well, I don’t know.. I guess they wanted a really unpopular song. Unpopular songs are not related to anything, and nobody knows them anyway. So yeah what better way to bring them back in fashion. People already know what windows 8 is. 

H: Yeah.. I didn’t get that. So basically it’s about taking life head on, and balancing both work and play. So it’s like, don’t be afraid to bet on yourself to get it done! 

A: Whoa! yeah dude totally! 

( Awkward silence) 

H: Really? 

A; No ( rofl) 

H: Oh thank god. For a second I almost believed you. You should go for all the pitches now. 

A: I do go for all the pitches. 

H: Oh! Yeah whatever dude. 

(fin) 

No hard feelings there Redmond. But honestly, you guys need to get a better handle on advertisements for Windows 8. We loved the OS, and it’s so depressing to see some ordinary communications for it. 

Advertisements

5 things to remember when developing a new corporate identity

We often come across small and start up level companies who are not sure what exactly they want
to convey through their corporate identity. Since the company idea itself is not yet clear, there is no
clear brief for the design agencies, and this leads to extension of the whole process with needless
loops in between. We thought of coming up with a small checklist for companies which are planning
to launch a corporate identity that can help in streamlining the whole process for everyone involved.

#1 whose company is it anyway? (The Audience Centric Design)

Often entrepreneurs set out a very well defined target segment for their product development and
even mention this in the creative brief. However when the designs start coming in, the verdict in
many cases, is passed based on personal tastes. Nothing really wrong with personal tastes, but they
take out the objectivity which is necessary in creation of the corporate identity. Something may
not appeal to you, but it can still work with the target audience. It helps if everyone involved with
development understands this.

#2 The Logo is ‘NOT’ the end of it

A corporate identity is not limited to the logo design. In many cases it does start with the logo, and
obviously aims to revolve around it. However there are other elements of corporate identity that are
equally important and have their own impact on the audience. So outright rejection of logos is not
a good idea, and one should always consider the possibilities a logo may have in terms of corporate
identity before rejecting it. A rule which we usually advise to our clients is “ The whole is bigger than
the sum of it’s parts”.

#3 Feasibility Testing

The problem with groundbreaking ideas is that they can be easily converted into nightmarish chaos.
The more potent an idea, the more dangerous it can get. Sometimes a design demands a certain
aesthetic exposure which may not be very cheap to come by. In a start-up company this creates a
situation which cannot lead to anything good. If you go ahead with something like that and decide
to cut short on the bills midway, the end result can get ugly and lead to counter-productive impact.
This is where sharing the whole budget with agency gets important. You may also want to do some
feasibility testing before approving a set of designs. A corporate identity is a long term venture
and you never know what path you may need to walk with it, so thinking all possible scenarios
beforehand is really important.

#4 Developing a cross media ready identity

With advent of digital media, there is some new development in technology almost every day.
Keeping this in mind is very important as start-ups tend to invest more in digital media. However
that is not the only type of media you may come across in the tenure of your brand. Getting the
corporate identity ready for everything and anything is important. Good agencies keep this kind of
room for expansion in the corporate identity. However agency cannot foresee everything that you
may plan to enter, thus sharing this information is very important.

#5 Maintaining the Corporate Identity

Last but not the least; your identity should have a story to tell. It should represent something much
bigger than your company. This is how good brands are made. The most vital part of the corporate
identity creation is imparting an essence in your identity. Think of it as a process that lays down the
laws for your brand. It sets the tone for your promotional campaigns for at least a few initial years.
Maintaining this from your end is very necessary, even if you change your agency.

 

Hope this helps you whenever you are planning to launch a new corporate identity. Please feel free to share your views!

How to turn your brand into Batman

Purplerabbit_batman

why batman is so cool?

Yes, we are indeed shamelessly piggybacking on the success of Batman to promote our blog. However since you are here, it seems to be working. So lets get to the basics. The success of Batman as a brand needs no introduction, and those who say they don’t like Batman, are probably doing it because everyone likes him so much. Or probably they really don’t get what it’s all about. Nevertheless it can be easily agreed upon that those who do love him far outnumber the other variety. So what makes him so cool, and what can your brand do to have such cult following? Here are some pearls you can get out of the whole franchise and use to your advantage.

1)

“Products and Men Die, Brands and Feelings are Immortal” 

Batman cannot be killed because he is not human. Right from the inception, the idea of Batman has been all about personification of the fear. What people fear cannot be killed. In neo-noir this concept has been used by many, and the most classic example would be Godfather. So to make your brand truly immortal, and with a larger than life presence, you need to go all out and take steps to associate your brand with something like that. If you stick with just your product innovation and pricing, you would not be creating a legacy. Anyone can compete with your product with enough time, or money, but they would never be able to ape what your brand is all about if it’s something you are really identified with.

2)

“The Inner Desire” 

Batman is the epitome of the boy-fantasy, he has it all. Great body, sharp mind, a lot of money, girls, racing cars, mansions, EVERY thing that a guy can hope from life. If all this was not enough, he also does good for the society. This is something everyone can relate with, and in branding terms we call it having an insight. A brand must always look for a broader connect with the audience, or at least leave some room for growth of the brand. However while doing this you should never give off a feeling that everyone is doing it. Apple manages this wonderfully. They make you feel exclusive, and to be frank millions of others are using the same product. If you can do this, your brand gets something worth having a few skeletons in your closet, a cult.

3)

“Perfection is envy, don’t be perfect” 

In spite of all of Batman’s heroics, he has some major personality disorders. He has a troubled past, he doesn’t sleep at night. He has deep rooted fear and anxiety. Throughout the series he has been out-smarted by many of his villains. Bane in the recent release crushes him completely. This vulnerability makes him human, and that is a trait everyone can understand and relate to. So do you go out and go full retard? No, certainly not, the idea is to just show vulnerability along with the ABILITY to bounce back. This is what underdogs do, and millions of Rocky fans can attest to this with goosebumps they get every time Rocky fights at the very end and wins. So you have to win, but just not too cleanly. If your advertising strategies are along these lines, they can create a connect with your audience that outlasts the campaign. If you stick to basics, and reinforce same concepts in the next campaign, it slowly starts creating a long term association, and in a few years you could have a cult following.

4)

“Something for Everyone” 

Batman, in spite of being a male idol has a lot for his female fans too. Yes, there are many of them out there, and it would be foolish to believe that millions of women are watching it just because their boyfriends or husbands are fans. So what does Batman have to offer to women? Well to start off with, he has great physique, and he has a boyish charm, has his way with women, and there is always something about his tragic past that makes them feel sympathy for him. So the character is something everyone can relate too. While selecting a niche is a great way for your brand to go, leaving open spaces that could be filled in later counts for a lot. It’s always good to attract people without needing any extra effort, isn’t it?

5)

“Have a great symbol” 

Batman can probably boast of having one of the best superhero logos out there. If you go into the depth of the series, you would know that it stands for much more than it looks. Understanding how an iconic symbol works is very important. Take a look at any great logo, and you would find out that they are easy, almost simple. So Batman can easily re-produce his logo in various formats, right from the in-the-sky projection to the bat-shaped blades he likes to throw around. His actions add into the symbol, giving it life, and making it larger than life. So whenever anyone sees that symbol, they think they are safe. Good logos are like containers, you can fill in your positioning in them, with time it can mean a lot of different things. We could give you many case studies to support this, but we already have given the best of the lot. If you can’t get it from Batman, you probably need to do some research.

6)

“Be bad, but do good” 

Ultimately all good brands, as well as Batman have one thing in common. They are essential for the people. Like them or hate them, but you cannot ignore them. They are usually great contributers to social welfare, and have helped people in more ways than one. As a brand you should think of offering something that is vital to people. Something that makes their life better. It could be difficult at first, but having this vision can help you overcome any challenges. This has to be a genuine effort, otherwise it won’t work. The bottom-line is that people like weird things, bad things, but they should be able to see the inherent goodness underneath. Too bad this is one thing you can’t get from the internet you have to find it your self or approach a brand consultancy for the same …

——–The End——–

How Google Plus is slowly crawling it’s way into our emails

If you have noticed the recent gmail chat changes, you would have noticed how closely google is integrating the google + with other google services. Now if you closely observe the pop up given below, it has been prominently integrated the google plus circles option. 

Image

 

 

So not only is the circle’s option right under the inbox options, its also there in you chat box. To be very honest, this is clearly aimed at getting more users hooked onto google + without letting them know. For some reason, we still don’t think it will help much as what the google + brand needs right now is a campaign designed to get groups to join and use it. Social networking works on groups, and if your friends are not hanging out on google plus, you have no reason to try as well. So that is probably the reason why so many people, in spite of joining google + are not using it proactively. 

Jugaad- why people do things when you ask nicely

Recently we had to go to a lot of trouble to activate the facebook account of our friend. With a lot of talks going on about the management technique that India calls it’s own, we could easily relate to why it has been talked about so much. Simply because it works. So here is a brief overview of what had happened. 

The Problem: Our friend had forgotten to change her mobile number on facebook, and because of similar passwords on some other site or some other technical reason, facebook decided to block her account. Now she was not in the position to acquire the old number, as it was a number she used when she was staying out of India, and she had no clue what had happened to that number. Without the phone verification, the account cannot be re-activated. So we tried many things, read up the whole help section in facebook, but to no avail. All that we got from other blogs is we have to forget the old account and move on. We even tried getting in touch with the operator, but it went nowhere as she didn’t even remember which operator it was, besides it would have taken ages to go through it. There is no way to communicate this matter to facebook, or at least we couldn’t find any way to do it. So all in all, it was a nice mess, and there was no solution in sight. 

Solution: Often the simplest solution is the most effective one, and taking break opens up your mind to it. So we did what we usually do when a confrontation with roadblocks in creative project comes up. We took a long break, and kind of forgot all about it. A simple ideation process, just let your mind work it out, you already have given it enough inputs. Finally after a long time somebody had an epiphany! We decided to call on the number to check if it has been allocated to someone. To our surprise it was, and it kept ringing for some time. Somebody picked up, and started talking in a foreign language, one of our team-members braved on, and kept talking in English. Maybe it was the tone he used, or just the curiosity of knowing what he was trying to say that made the guy on the other end hand over the phone to his friend. His friend was very fluent in English, being a marketing executive himself, a kindred spirit 😀 So we explained the situation to him, and hoped that they would understand. The person told us that the guy who owned that number was getting frustrated because of the number of confirmation codes that were being sent to him, and if this is what it took to stop it, they would be glad to do it. So they messaged us the code, and finally we were able to confirm our friend’s identity. It took a while, and we had to talk to total stranger, but our cause was just, and we asked nicely which helped us in the end. This was one of those times when we felt that we are truly living up to our motto, and communication indeed has limitless possibilities. 

Goodbye Dreamer

Our normal day begins and ends, with a million little thoughts carrying us for the hours of wakefulness. Over the years you learn to filter the needless thoughts. Only a handful of them remain important. Only a handful make you drop whatever you are doing and take notice. There is just one in a million which makes you change yourself so completely. Steve Jobs was responsible for at least a dozen such thoughts which changed humanity. The thing about legends is that they are easily taken for granted when they walk amongst us. When they are no more, the world is in pain by the thought of losing them.

Steve Jobs is no more.

We know people who still think its a rumor and any time now it would be declared that it was just a marketing gimmick. Wishful thinking, but in a corner of my heart even I wish for the same. World will suddenly go back to normal now. Nothing extra ordinary will happen for a while. There would not be excitement of the next launch. This is the kind of feeling one gets after they know that magic isn’t real. Its just a trick. World suddenly seems so dull and grey. Amongst his greatest achievement, there is no mention of making people relive their childhood. But its indeed its the only achievement that makes people genuinely sad for him today. Now there would be speculation on whether Apple would continue to be what it is. Whether Tim Cook can shoulder the responsibility for a while. He probably will do well. But it remains to be seen if anything legendary will happen again ? Will their be another i-pod and iphone for us ? Only time will tell. For now we pay tribute to the man, and the legend! Steve Jobs may not make another presentation, but he will always be present amongst us. Shine On Steve!

Media Pirates Part I

Media Pirates_partI

I am sure most of us indulged into all the world cup matches of India so far. Latest one being on a sunday, turned out to be quite a occassion for us at PR ( Purple Rabbit, Duh!). So we ganged up and broke into one of our friend’s place having some refreshment and all set for the match. Let us not get into the jitters of Indian Cricket Team, or the bravado of the Irish. Too much has been talked about it already, and I am sure its a good topic to talk about for some other blog.

So, in spite of the eventual win of India, we were thrilled with a discovery that shook us to the core. Right from the first drinks break to the last one, we witnessed a unique phenomenon. There are usually 2 drinks breaks for each innings in a one day match, which means media spots of roughly around 7-8 minutes. Quite a deal if you ask me. The amount of money that goes into those spots is huge, considering the TRPs that literally any match of India gets, nevermind the one in World Cup. So imagine our surprise when transmission of Star Cricket ( on which we were watching the particular match) was stopped and in its place came in a local cable channel!

PiratesI_in the world cup

This is highly unusual, and I must say a dangerous practice. TRP ratings which many in ad-circuit think to be of dubious nature anyways, would be of no use if there are sections in distribution that indulge in such fraudulent practices. At this point I must admit that the cable operator in local area where I stay, must have got a huge level of attention because of this little ruse he pulled. However I am sure he must have bulldozed a dozen media laws in the process. With growth of more and more DTH services, many think that old school cable operators are going to go off the scene soon. Well, here I would like to point out the little fact that the whole effort of this cable operator was to promote his own DTH service !! Very ironic isn’t it?

The bottom line is that an unknown cable operator from one of the suburbs in Mumbai, has walked away with sweet media spots, leaving advertisers and agencies helpless. Well all this hype around the Cup that Counts, did not account for this little theft for sure.

 

Nepotism, flavour of India

Just read an interesting article on how Shivsena is condoning an act they have been targetting since ages. The dynasty politics in congress. Needless to say this provided us with much needed fodder for our break times to ponder upon.

As admen, political campaigns provide an insight as big as the grand canyon into consumer mindset. So in Purple Rabbit we often discuss know-hows of politics, and as is case with good coffee time discussions, they lead from one thing to other.So in our recent OTC ( over the coffee) conversation we dug up the old issue of how sons of politicos always win away easy entry into the wonderful world of politics. But is it really true for politicians? A much deeper understanding of the social fabric of India reveals faults in the very thread of it. Its much common to see son /daughter of a Doctor become one,  son/daughter of Engineer become an Engineer, a son of Lawyer become one, and of course son/ daughter of an Actor becoming an actor himself.As a society, we have high level of acceptance of the  next generation carrying the legacy forward. As a matter of fact, there is great deal of fondness involved when an instance such as this happens in public domain. Ranbir Kapoor for an example, ( no offense to him intended) when he started off, my  mother who has been a big fan of the Raj Kapoor was all ga ga for him. And she had yet to see the film. She went on and on about how he looks “just” like his mother and how he acts like his dad. Of course, it started becoming too close to comfort when she asked me why cant I get abs like him,  as that way I will attract decent proposals for marriage. Needless to say, I do not talk about him in front of her. The point is, it would be unfair to dismiss nepotism in India as something completely corrupt. This is especially true when it comes to political or public domain.

The latest controversy about burning books by  the Thakre débutante created much furrow, but I am sure to old timers in Shiv sena, it must have been a monsoon of nostalgia. Many of them  must have reveled in the success of his first strike, not because it was for a great cause or anything, just because he carried forward the legacy. This attitude of adoring the antics of people who have yet to prove their mettle stems from perhaps the years of Kingsly rules that many states in India have had in past. Its in our DNA to worship dynasties, and the mindset which arguably is changing,  its a much slower process than processing the CWG scam. We have always loved our Kings and Queens. The drama, the romanticism involved in the Kingship allures many till date. Its thus very convenient to replace the Kings with politicians, Actors and other public figures.

Even the corporate sector, assumed to be untouched by Nepotism is completely mired by maintaining the families in control. Its almost like running a Mafia.. ( maybe a reason Godfather is immensely popular in India??). Once you set the Vito Corleone, there will obviously be a Sonny, and more importantly a Charlie Corleone some day. Who else can be trusted enough to take over it seems. To our generation which has indulged into this kind of politics, there can be just one salvation.- ensuring more and more automated processes, so there  is lesser chance of mall practice.

At times though, Nepotism will do more damage to party involved than it does the good. Check Abhishek Bacchan for example. A decent guy, married to the most beautiful woman in the world, child to the great actor Amitab Bacchan himself, he sure has a tough time coming up with goodies. So was the case with Rohan Gavaskar, who faced the chin music from critics because of the high expectations from him. I have all the empathy in world for Arjun Tendulkar now, and hope that he turns out a great cricketer if he gets into cricket, for his own sake.

As a country we have continued a legacy as old as our civilization. The family system which is reverred by our nation as the strongest in the world, must be some what responsible for this. No matter how modern we get, how urbanised the nation gets, somethings never change. Even if nepotism vanishes from India, which I sincerely do not see happening in near future, it will still leave traces of its flavour, always reminding us about our murky tradition. All we can do, is take a whiff of it, and move on.

Da- BANGG!! – why Dabangg worked…

Dabangg case study

Well, now everyone knows that it has worked indeed for Salman Khan and Arbaaz khan productions. A neat pile of money, dream of every producer, but a hard to please lover. What is it that makes certain movies a hit. Intellectually Dabangg scores lesser points than maybe 3 Idiots or My name is Khan. But then again, its debatable how much of these movies was intellectual part, and how much of it was targeted attempt to woo a certain segment of masses.

Its hard to believe that movies can be created from scratch, to woo a certain class. But its in fact true. MNIK, and 3 idiots were very well crafted marketing strategies, that had USP s like Aamir and Shahrukh, insights like insecurity of religion, and academics. A common problem for a great number of people in India. Hence all the accolades. In case of Dabangg, there are no pretenses, no quasi social message giving, nothing to woo your intellect. Still it worked. In recent past, many Salman movies have done poorly in market. Especially the ones in which he has not carried on his popular image. But one would wonder, that there are still movies in which he had the particular image, yet the movie has failed. So it must be a combination of story written with masses in mind, and huge popularity of Salman’s bad boy image.

People know that movie is going to be a mindless entertainment. But rarely do people want to take pains to think about the movies too seriously. A mistake many producers do. They forget what they are selling. Its just a movie, 3 hrs for a person which he will forget soon, or rather wants to forget soon, and move on with life. Movies with lasting impressions, more or less tickle your intellect and make you think forcibly, something most people hate cause we are already thinking about what our next job will be, if we can marry soon, how will we achieve the dream to buy that spacious apartment, etc etc. Dabangg was marketed as a movie should be. Its not a life changing event, any movie rarely is, so they kept the promotions very normal, nothing like what Aamir did for 3 idiots of Ghajini. The invitation was plain and frank. ” come, have some fun”, and well who doesn’t want to.

Of course they had taken great efforts to introduce every necessary item. A new face, a tried and tested figure, a regular bad boy to play the bad boy. And well, Chulbul Pande is also a little corrupt, so very believable character. The basic rule of advertising is to make people believe that its for real. An offer too hard to refuse immediately sounds suspicious to skeptical and argumentative Indian minds. More than anything, its sheer style of Salman Khan that has driven this movie. Every time a movie comes with a cult fashion statement, the movie is likely to become a talk of the town, and as a result does well at the box office. I wouldn’t be surprised if there is suddenly an increase in sales of Ray-Ban and young Dabanggs tucking them on the backside of their shirts roaming around. Setting a new trend is always great for the movies.

A product made for masses must more or less target masses for it to be sold. Simple really! But in spite of movies being resorts of hope and dreams for commoners, many film makers do nothing that identifies with the viewer. Dabbang won the competition not at all by marketing or anything, it was the visible Paunch of CHulbul Pande that did the trick. Afterall almost everyone has a Paunch in India. 🙂

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.

Previous Older Entries

Liked our blog? Get the latest updates on what we are up to, right in your inbox!

Join 3 other followers

%d bloggers like this: