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.

Where did my soup go??

When bread crumbs drain your soup…

When I was a child, I used to hate the tomato, along with a million other things like broccoli, spinach and carrot. Needless to say, mom was never impressed by my antics, and could not fathom the depth of my hatred for all things vegetable. In an inspirational moment she thought of a functional cure for my dislike. She would often make me drink soups of afore mentioned unmentionables. Of course as I grew up, I found myself fortunate, and in bliss of various delicacies which she whips up till date. Still, it stirs up a few interesting memories when I have any kind of soup today.

Like any advertiser, my mother faced the same monstrosity. The target audience was least interested in buying her tricks. Then in an eventful dinner at the diner in town, she found her insight. An offer which I seemed unable to refuse. Mom ordered a tomato soup for herself and with it came the bread crumbs which she asked me to try. As something completely new, I was taken aback and in that moment of weakness I fell victim to the bread crumbs. Viola!! I loved them to my mother’s delight and surprise. This begun a new saga in her attempts to keep my nutrition up to the mark. She actually never had to do anything but see to it that a few extra bread crumbs were put in my soup. I used to devour it gladly, just like your TG takes to the hottest offers. You give them a real nice discount and they are all for your brand, at least that’s how it seems.

A few months down the line in my adventures with the tomato soup, I learned that bread crumbs are food sent from heaven. I used to take liberty in putting as many in my soup as possible. One fine day, I looked in my bowl and realized there was no soup in it, just the bread crumbs. I was happy, yet curiosity took better part of me, and I asked my mother where my soup was. She said its in the bread crumbs. She found it too amusing I guess. Another few months down the line, she thought it was time for her son to grow up, and learn that bread crumbs are just for fun. So she asked me to have soup without the crumbs. I was skeptical but I did give it a try. I found it okay but somehow till date I never enjoy it without the bread crumbs dipped in it. Guess mom went a little wrong in making me eat the soup with the bribe. I was never really in love with the soup; rather I couldn’t have been because I was too absorbed in the crumbs, just the way soup was absorbed in them!

Thing to learn is, people never really stick with you permanently as long as they like your brand for what it stands. Offers are good to grab their attention I guess. Sometime during the relationship building with new consumers, offers should be replaced by genuine advantages, which gives them the real taste of the brand. Otherwise its human to misidentify the offer for the brand, making the brand handicapped of the offers. Balance is again a key to know where to stop offer bread and improve the taste of soup. Obviously it must be done well  before the crumbs absorb the soup in the bowl.Slurp!

Return of The Bugman!!!

Its not often that you see a super hero around you. Its however a very common occurrence that you see him coming back in a new costume, better masks, and upgraded powers. May it be countless personas that Batman has seen, a few successful stints of Superman, of course closer to home Big B keeps coming back again and again, famously now with Crorepati 4. The point is, there is something alluring with revamps, everybody loves them, if done rightly so. It’s a fine balance between the two that makes any revamp successful. Too little and its hardly a revamp for people, too much and its suddenly something too new to generate nostalgia.

Yes, the latest tool in a markers kit bag is playing up the nostalgia. Suddenly retro themes are everywhere, from Rayban to Raymonds, everybody is riding on the wave. Even the unforeseen Pink Floyd Reunion is on cards, we might as well start wearing frills on our shirts. The most famous usage recently has been the amazing return of the dear Bug, the lovely beetle. Beetle has successfully managed to revamp the model, yet keep it classy enough to remind us of the old days. The car is loaded with new features, yet maintains the curves and character of the old legend that it has for ancestor.

The Addictive quality of nostalgia is maintaining the form highly similar, yet revamping the structure. Check out the Chinese girl release above. Clearly give away about the message. The thing to notice is however that the girl supposedly from the sixties can still parade on the red carpet and pass as stylish( personally of course, the lesser the better, simplicity rocks). The message is clear- Style is timeless, forms change in a way. This is exactly what they have done with the car. Same smoothness, cuteness, and bubbly air as the old one, the essence has not changed at all. The key is to incorporate the old style whilst revamping the brand. Getting the Blend right is a must. Showcasing the retro too much will land you together with a whole bunch of companies who can’t justify the theme. Awful release with Genelia for Fanta is one such example. It doesn’t possess the legacy to carry it off. I guess they just wanted to go with the tide and use the bold colortones of the sixties for some additional brand recall.  Wolksvagon, because of its legacy, does not need to be very obvious about the lay out and composition. Rather, they have placed heavy impact in the close resemblance of two models in the first release. The layout is very modern, with minimal copy.

As the retro takes hold, you will see more and more company going back to the root. Who knows if it will work for them, it certainly has for Wolksvagon. But then again, almost anything works for them. I am grabbing my pop corns to hook on to latest round of adventures by the amazing Bugman.

Curious case of Reverse Aging

Unlike mortal beings like us, brands are immortal if people managing them have the right tools and insights. It’s very important to know when a change is required, and how much of it is required. At times it’s not as simple as moving your cheese around. If right revamps occur on regular intervals, the brand not only reinvents itself, but also grabs attention of an entire upcoming generation which associated old brand with something their parents era. When the right make over is given, the brand becomes cooler, just like a granny who likes listening to rock, uses iPod, and is crazy about an i-pad. However it would be a little awkward if she started wearing microminies, wouldn’t it? This is exactly why brand managers should know where to stop.  Antiquity has too much of value to be given up completely for sake of youth.

So what exactly should it be, if not a complete revamp? Let’s look at some of the sleekest case studies that we at Purple Rabbit keep on talking about.


112 years old logo has been revamped. It really has got a new and fresh look but at the same time they have taken a care of the previous logo style. They just incorporated the colours in it thereby representing something new, blending together beautifully, that’s what we call a master stroke.  Since the brand and the logo were set by their ancestors, they must have certainly added some values; it must have compiled a legendry value in all these years.

So coming up with a complete change might have been an insult not only to them but also to the other public such as shareholders or investors who actually were affiliated to the company for a long time.

So here the actual change could have been vulnerable but they filled in the gap by doing a blend. Very neatly done indeed.


Moving on, even Star India have reworked on their identity. Since these stereotypical serials are getting watched enormously by bahus, saans and betis of Indian family, changing the overall look of the brand could be damageable. So they wanted their symbol to be as it is but it should have that element which will carry current age thinking simultaneously.

The new logo is in vermilion colour, which stands for woman and auspicious things in Indian perspective. Both these elements had to be carried out effectively thus helping to associate. They have accordingly repositioned themselves as ‘RISHTA WOHI SOCH NAI’ that means relations are not subject to change but with the touch of new age thinking could help to make them healthier.

Let’s hope with this new blend of old and new, they actually get in some new thought in their programs, female stereotypes are such a passé.

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