Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The most famous superbowl ad

This is an excerpt from wikipedia about the making of the Ad

"The 60-second film was created by the advertising agency Chiat/Day, with copy written by Steve Hayden and direction by Ridley Scott
(who had just finished filming Blade Runner). Creative director Lee Clow was responsible for this and the later Energizer Bunny and Taco Bell chihuahua campaigns. The film was shot in London and most of the actors were British skinheads hired for the day at a cost of $125 each as the director was unable to find enough actors prepared to shave their heads.The original script had suggested a baseball bat but this was later revised to a sledgehammer. The weight of the hammer made it difficult to cast the part of the runner until Major (a discus thrower) applied.

It was shown to a large audience for the first time in October 1983, at Apple's annual sales conference in Honolulu, Hawaii. Based on the reaction of the sales team and management reviews, Apple executives booked two television advertising slots during the upcoming Super Bowl. However, the Apple board of directors was dismayed by the ad and instructed management not to show it and sell the slots. Despite the board's dislike of the film, Steve Wozniak watched it and offered to pay for the spot personally if the board refused to air it. The reason the commercial was saved from total cancellation was the result of an act of defiance and an act of bravado. According to the book The Mac Bathroom reader by Owen Linzmayer:“ The board hadn't demanded the commercial be killed, nonetheless John Sculley asked Chiat/Day to sell back the one and one half minutes of Super Bowl television time that they had purchased. The original plan was to play the full-length, 60-second 1984 spot to catch everyone's attention, then hammer home the message during a subsequent commercial break with an additional airing of an edited 30-second version.

Defying Sculley's request, Jay Chiat told his media director, Camille Johnson, "Just sell off the thirty." Johnson laughed, thinking it would be impossible to sell any of the time at so late a date, but miraculously, she managed to find a buyer for the 30-second slot. That still left Apple with a 60-second slot for which it had paid $800,000.
”The decision to run the commercial was left to VP of Marketing William V. Campbell and Executive VP of Marketing and Sales E. Floyd Kvamme. In the end, the two decided to run the commercial. It aired at the first commercial break after the second-half kick-off.The sledgehammer (here blurred by motion) is thrown into the air at the screen by the allegorical heroine.

Despite costing $800,000 to make and a further $800,000 of air time, the film was originally shown nationally only once. However, it was aired on television one other time. From the book Apple Confidential:“ The famous "1984" commercial that launched the Macintosh during the Super Bowl in 1984 is purported to have been shown only once; but to qualify for 1983's advertising awards, the commercial also aired on December 15 at a small TV station in Twin Falls, Idaho, and in movie theaters for weeks starting on January 17th. ”

Even with this limited appearance, the ad created such a media frenzy that it gained many subsequent free TV airings and print mentions as it was discussed in the media. At the time Nielsen ratings estimated that the commercial reached 46.4 percent of American households (50 percent of all men and 36 percent of women.) These tactics are part of what made the commercial so influential in marketing circles; it is now seen as the first example of event marketing, and is popularly credited with starting the trend of yearly "event" Super Bowl commercials."

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

An Ode to advertising

Some companies go to great lengths to get their message across. They spend millions and millions of dollars on a single ad. Like this really really expensive(read 42 million dollars) Chanel ad featuring Nicole Kidman and directed by Baz Luhrman

And then there are some like this one , where economy is the name of the game. Clear thought process to the advertisement and nothing too flashy or grandiose. The sheer power of words comes up through this really creative Fed Ex Express Ad.

Thank you all you great creative directors out there for giving us these great ads.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Gold Spot

Found the following amazing write up on Harish B

Gold Spot : The Zing Thing ( RIP 1977-1993)
Brand : Gold Spot
Company:Coca Cola

Brand Count: 217

Gold Spot is a sad story in the Indian Branding world. This iconic brand was killed for paving way for Coke's brands in India. Every one knows the story but still...

Gold Spot was one among the three major softdrinks brand that ruled Indian market along with Thums Up and Limca. The brand was built by Rames Chauhan of Parle after the exit of Coca Cola from India during 1977. Chauhan spoted the opportunity and three mega brands were born.
When Coca Cola came back to India in 1993, it bought out the three mega brands from Chauhan for a consideration of $10 mn. These three brands had a huge market share (combined) of over 69 % of India's SDC market. Then came the expected move. Coke slowly began killing the Parle brands to make way for its own brands. Thums Up was sidelined in favour of Coca Coala. Limca was sidelined and Goldspot was killed to make way for Fanta.

Gold Spot was the orange drink with a Zingy taste. This iconic youth brand was positioned as " Zing Thing" and was promoted heavily through all media. The jingle " Gold Spot.. The Zing Thing" was one of the most memorable jingle at that time ( still that jingle lingers in the mind of old timers).
Gold Spot was positioned as the youth brand and the ads talked about being crazy about the brand . You can watch the Gold Spot ad here .
But the brand was killed. Fanta was launched but till now the brand has not being able to take the position of Gold Spot. Coke was not able to clearly focus on the segmentation of Fanta. Fanta is never perceived as a youth brand. Fanta is not viewed or targeted at college students/youth. This confused targeting may have crippled the growth of Fanta and still it couldn't reach the status of Gold Spot. Coke expected that the users of Gold Spot will migrate to Fanta but it did not happened.
We saw Limca coming back in 2006.. can we ever hope Gold Spot coming back ?

Sunday, July 8, 2007

History of Biscuits - Britannia

Sweet or salty. Soft or crunchy. Simple or exotic. Everybody loves munching on biscuits, but do they know how biscuits began?

The history of biscuits can be traced back to a recipe created by the Roman chef Apicius, in which "a thick paste of fine wheat flour was boiled and spread out on a plate. When it had dried and hardened it was cut up and then fried until crisp, then served with honey and pepper."

The word 'Biscuit' is derived from the Latin words 'Bis' (meaning 'twice') and 'Coctus' (meaning cooked or baked). The word 'Biscotti' is also the generic term for cookies in Italian. Back then, biscuits were unleavened, hard and thin wafers which, because of their low water content, were ideal food to store.

As people started to explore the globe, biscuits became the ideal travelling food since they stayed fresh for long periods. The seafaring age, thus, witnessed the boom of biscuits when these were sealed in airtight containers to last for months at a time. Hard track biscuits (earliest version of the biscotti and present-day crackers) were part of the staple diet of English and American sailors for many centuries. In fact, the countries which led this seafaring charge, such as those in Western Europe, are the ones where biscuits are most popular even today. Biscotti is said to have been a favourite of Christopher Columbus who discovered America!

Making good biscuits is quite an art, and history bears testimony to that. During the 17th and 18th Centuries in Europe, baking was a carefully controlled profession, managed through a series of 'guilds' or professional associations. To become a baker, one had to complete years of apprenticeship - working through the ranks of apprentice, journeyman, and finally master baker. Not only this, the amount and quality of biscuits baked were also carefully monitored.

The English, Scotch and Dutch immigrants originally brought the first cookies to the United States and they were called teacakes. They were often flavoured with nothing more than the finest butter, sometimes with the addition of a few drops of rose water. Cookies in America were also called by such names as "jumbles", "plunkets" and "cry babies".

As technology improved during the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century, the price of sugar and flour dropped. Chemical leavening agents, such as baking soda, became available and a profusion of cookie recipes occurred. This led to the development of manufactured cookies.

Interestingly, as time has passed and despite more varieties becoming available, the essential ingredients of biscuits haven't changed - like 'soft' wheat flour (which contains less protein than the flour used to bake bread) sugar, and fats, such as butter and oil. Today, though they are known by different names the world over, people agree on one thing - nothing beats the biscuit!

Some interesting facts on the origin of other forms of biscuits:
The recipe for oval shaped cookies (that are also known as boudoir biscuits, sponge biscuits, sponge fingers, Naples biscuits and Savoy biscuits) has changed little in 900 years and dates back to the house of Savoy in the 11th century France. Peter the Great of Russia seems to have enjoyed an oval-shaped cookie called "lady fingers" when visiting Louis XV of France.

The macaroon - a small round cookie with crisp crust and a soft interior - seems to have originated in an Italian monastery in 1792 during the French Revolution.

SPRING-uhr-lee, have been traditional Christmas cookies in Austria and Bavaria for centuries. They are made from a simple egg, flour and sugar dough and are usually rectangular in shape. These cookies are made with a leavening agent called ammonium carbonate and baking ammonia.

The inspiration for fortune cookies dates back to the 12th and 13th Centuries, when Chinese soldiers slipped rice paper messages into moon cakes to help co-ordinate their defence against Mongolian invaders.


Durex ad - Cheeni Kum

Cheeni Kum - less sugar, but more brands

Cheeni KumWhen it comes to promotions, movie makers are not averse to taking bets on in-film ads. And when the man involved is ad agency Lowe’s Creative Head Balki, one expects to see a film donned with brands. Movies are seen as a cultural reflection of our society and promotions through association of brands, commodities, games, contests and blogs enhance the viewership and revenues.

We are not discussing the review or box office performance of Big B-Tabu starrer ‘Cheeni Kum’, but how it has joined list of movies which have integrated the movie with promoting brands. Since movies are promoted with a target audience, similarly marketing strategies of companies can be decided catering to that select group.

The trend of in-film advertising has been for a while in Indian movies now. Shahrukh Khan’s Don with Tag Heuer & Louis Philippe, Dhoom-2 with Coca-Cola and Guru with Hero Cycles and Blackberry have seen good successes. It was first noticed in a big way in Subhash Ghai’s Yaadein with in-film placements of Coca-Cola, Pass Pass and Hero Cycles. Films are also being increasingly marketed on portals and FM radio.

The latest flick, ‘Cheeni Kum’ saw embedded advertising being done effectively. The movie’s theme ‘Sugar Free romance’ has been associated with brand Sugar Free, which has been very strategically placed in the movie. ICICI Prudential Life Insurance has launched its new promotional campaign ‘Jeete Raho’ through the movie.

Name of restaurant ‘Spice 6’ in the movie which the lead actor owns is incidentally part of Catch Spices, whose spices and ketchup is depicted in the movie. Also Airtel’s ringtone is used throughout the film, along with laptop brand Sony Vaio and condom brand Durex, got to make noticeable appearances in the film.

Such promotional campaigns are being done globally too. The movie producer gains as it gets to earn money from these campaigns without going much away from the main theme and screenplay. On the other hand the advertiser’s fortune is directly linked to the fortune of the movie.

But the future holds good only if the movies continue to attract audiences with quality cinema and advertisers do not use it as too much of a promotional media such that the genre of the movie is ignored........

Courtesy:India Inc

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Rasna Ad Through the years

The branding culture in India

".......Brand battles became spicy with the print war in Mumbai and yes, the month of Jesus Christ saw pink becoming the rage with Hutch dropping orange for good and fashion gurus anointing it the colour of the season. With more than 50% of the population in the “youth” category and over 50 million mobiles beeping aro-und the country, communication turned “youthful”.

Did all this impact advertising? If yes, how? Let’s look back at the ads of 2005. There were ads that came, spoke and conquered, while there were those that simply dropped off the radar. The list below is not exhaustive; we have selected 10 ads—five that did their job well, and five that didn’t.

SBI and SBI Life (O&M)

Whether it’s the bank or the insurance product, SBI made a great effort to break free from the PSU advertising model it had followed for decades. The SBI Bank campaign was an instant hit as it conveyed the service superiority through situations that were hilarious. The SBI Life ad conveyed the proposition of “financial freedom in old age” beautifully through the husband presenting his wife with a diamond ring in 2004. In 2005 it was bang on target with the “Happy Birthday Chhotu” ad that drove home the point that growing old does not mean retiring from fun and enjoyment. So you can continue to be “Chhotu” even at the age of 70!

Surf Excel (Lowe)

In a category as humdrum as detergents, brands have played the “white” card in all its various hues. The Surf “Daag achche hai” ad stood out by putting real life kids in a real life situation. It just goes to show how times have changed— from attacking “daag” with all the ammo in the bag, here’s an effort to actually pamper it.

FasTrack (Lowe)

The ad was aimed at making FasTrack a fashion statement for the campus youth. I think it was one of the first to rightly capture the behaviour of the youth and use it effectively in its communication.

According to Bijou Kurien, CEO, Watches Division, Titan, “Sales of FasTrack watches (April-July 2005) increased six times compared to the correspon-ding period last year. And we have run out of stock at the company and retail level.” Now this is what I call effective advertising. (FCB-Ulka)

Traditionally matrimonial portals spent bulk of their money in online advertising and co-branding efforts. The year 2005 saw matrimonial portals becoming big spenders in mass media. Ads of Times Matri and, focusing on the net-savvy screenagers, were bang on. communicated “don’t marry the worst mistake of your life” in a way that tickled the funny bone. In a subtle way, it questioned the arranged marriage system still prevalent in India........"