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.


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)

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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