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April 27, 2013

Old Lady of Boribunder – The enduring 175 old brand – Times of India

“Who is the old lady of Boribunder?” This has been one of my favorite quiz questions. The answer which most people fail to give is – It is the “Times of India”. TOI as it is popularly called is celebrating its 175 years of existence as a brand.  

In a era where brands come and go it is very hearty to see a brand that too from the media celebrating 175 years. Times of India was launched as The Bombay Times and Journal of Commerce in 1838.
It was the same year in which Queen Victoria — later proclaimed Empress of India — was formally crowned, and Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, who’s "Vande Mataram" became the rallying cry for freedom from the Raj, was born.

TOI has grown from a single edition of a few thousand copies to some 50 editions with a circulation of close to five million — the largest in the world for any English newspaper. This speaks of TOI’s ability to judge and adapt to the ever-changing mood of the chaotic, contradictory and creative country, India.

Which big brand in India (and how many globally) can claim to have been around 175 years ago and grown the way the same way as The Times of India? The secret, TOI claims lies in being contemporary and relevant.  The "Old Lady of Boribunder" remains young at heart, nimble on her feet, and razor-sharp.  
One another brand that has become popular the same way as TOI has been the common man Cartoon drawn by R. K. Laxman the brother of the world famous R. K. Narayanan in the Times of India. The common man of TOI started by Laxman has become a cultural icon and in many ways represents the travails and the problems faced by the real common man of India.

April 26, 2013

Second Time lucky for Pepsi ? - Pepsi Atom Introduction after the Pepsi Maxx disaster

Pepsi did it again. On Thursday 25th April 2013, Pepsi India introduced its second brand of Cola – Atom. Pepsi wants to cash in on the summer rush and also add weight to its product sales by piggybacking on the hype and popularity of the IPL cricket tournament. It believes it has a winner in hand – and its name Pepsi Atom.

Pepsi Atom will be available across the country in various packages including a 250 ml can at an introductory price of Rs 15 and a 500 ml PET bottle at Rs 25 and a  200 ml returnable glass bottles (RGB) which will be available in select markets at Rs 10.

Pepsi is sitting pretty in India. It outsells Coca-Cola but still Coca Cola sells better than Pepsi overall in the cola market as it has strong winners from the through bred winners that it bought over  from the competition.  These are the brands that Cola-Cola bought from Ramesh Chauhan of the Parle group – especially Thums Up. Thums Up is a out right winner. It outsells both Coke and Pepsi in India.

Pepsi must be kicking itself for not considering buying Thums up before Coca-Cola. They had all the chances. Pepsi moved into India the second time in 1989, four years before Coke. But the top guys at Pepsi must have felt that Thums up would pose a challenge to Pepsi itself. Whatever it was it proved to be a decisive mistake. Pepsi along with Thums Up would have sounded the death knell for Coca-Cola in India.

But that is all water under the bridge. Pepsi wants to counter Coca-Cola in all segments. It brought in Pepsi Maxx a zero calorie drink in August 2010 to counter Diet Coke and failed miserably. Now Peso is firing the next salvo.

Atom will be launched with a campaign and a tagline: “Piyo Josh Mein Jiyo Hosh Mein” and its endorser will be Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput.

Pepsi is hedging Atom against Coca-Cola’s Thums up.  It is being positioned as a stronger, fizzier cola with a sharp taste. It is going to be a all-out war. The knives are out, already. Check out the words of Deepika Warrior, VP-President (beverage marketing) “the brand positioning redefines masculinity and portrays the modern Indian in a new light”

She goes on to say "The atom  campaign would be more relevant and projects relatable definition of masculinity as opposed to much hyped mindless action

No prizes for guessing whom she meant by “much hyped mindless action (Thums Up!)”. Watch this space in the coming days for more action.

April 21, 2013

chat about Frooti new Advertisement

Ashwini Sikka
Heard the song playing at the background of frooti ad. with very catchy tune .............but most importantly the lyrics too are sweet...... :)
These lyrics are not garbage .....tried to find out and decipher. They are a mix of Japanese, Spanish, Swedish, Hindi, Italian words.

" Aamaletiya stavin crata pile pila

Aamaletiya merlucchiya pile pila

Inlorpotamanta tora tut tut tiya

Less so less in nina amichiya strala

Aamalitiya stavin crata pile pila

Aameletiya merlucchiya pile pila

Aamalitiya stavin crata pile pila

Aameletiya merlucchiya pile pila

Aamalitiya stavin crata pile pila

Aameletiya merlucchiya............"

Meaning : Beautiful and lovely mango, to us highly starving people, you will act as pile of batteries to recharge, Beautiful and lovely mango, you are partly wicked, you will act as pile of batteries to recharge, We are salivating greatly agreed, from unpleasant fighting people, we become happiest person in the world, As it is getting over, like a little girl, it is emitting eternal love, Beautiful and lovely mango, to us highly starving people, you will act as pile of batteries to recharge – for the Beautiful and lovely mango, you are partly wicked…

Aam: Hindi, Mango

Letiya: Urban Lingo, Beautiful person, lovely heart

Stavin: Short for starving

Crata: French, might/strength

Pile: Spanish, batteries

Pila: Italian, Pile

Mer: An affix meaning “part”, used in chemistry

Lucchi: Hindi, wicked

Lor: Singapore Lingo, Agree

Pota: Uraban Lingo, Salivating

Manta: Spanish, Great Size

Tora: Japanese, Quarrel

Tut-tut: Urban Lingo, Disapproval

Tiya: Urban Lingo, Happiest person in the world.

Nina: Spanish, Little girl

Ami: Italian, Love

Chiya: Japanese, Eternal

Strala: Swedish, To radiate light


Dr. M. Anil Ramesh: Point well taken Ashwini Sikka. Words are not garbage. Remember the KISS Principle. Till you told me I never realized the meaning of those words. Delving on the other side. Always enjoy the mango in its natural form. The best Banginapally or a Rasam (types of mangoes) is 1000 times better than any Maaza or a Frooti. Maaza or Frooti are a mishmash of all types of mangoes and more than a generous potion of sugar. They are 90% sugar and very little mango. That is what they are- dreams being marketed as life style.
Ashwani Sikka: Absolutely true! sir, Indeed Maaza/Frooti or any other artificial drinks rich in HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) bears no comparison with natural fruit juices, such drinks are the main cause for Obesity n type II diabetes. Deceptive T.V commercials use NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) and other techniques to design their ad. that plays with mind (both consciously and subconsciously) thereby inducing the respective targets to buy their stuff, good or bad who cares! that what Marketing is these days..... As well as the above advertisement is concerned, I find the ad.'s storyline quite simple{the energy drink made of real mangoes, targeting both children and grown-ups that tempts them to quench their thirst and charge their batteries up after an exhausting football practice session etc., that is what the Jingle says} irrespective of the Jingle. The storyline mingles with the Jingle when one knows the meaning :) Still don't know why the hell they used the multilingual Jingle. :)

Dr. M. Anil Ramesh: you write well. Either write on your own or write and mail me. I will publish it from my blog but would give you credit, just like any newspaper.
The point is only Shah Rukh is drinking and not any of the kids. It would have been better if the kids were shown drinking or if Shah Rukh allowed the kids to drink it from his bottle. Sampling you know!
Ashwini Sikka: Shah Rukh khan shown drinking not the kids is just because to give way to temptation... Sir that is where NLP play its part. The message decoded using NLP arises an unsatisfied desire (here to drink Frooti) in the subconscious mind which induces the subject(s) to buy "Frooti", that is the secret behind the "The Magic of Frooti"

Dr. M. Anil Ramesh: Accepted Ashwini Sikka. Know the concept of NLP but check out any great campaign. They all show the users sampling and enjoying the products. The idea is to make them try it out. In the advertisement itself.

Sikka you should do MA Psychology. Great insightful thoughts. On second thoughts a PhD in consumer Psychology would be even better. Try out Kellogg’s or Princeton. All the best.

Ashwini Sikka: Thanks you! Mentor.

New advertisement from Frooti, Parle’s Agro featuring Shah Rukh Khan

The latest Frooti campaign christened " the magic of Frooti" is different from the earlier campaigns. Frooti is the home grown challenger for the Coca-Cola’s Maaza in the mango juice category. Incidentally both Maaza and Frooti belonged to Parle’s Ramesh Chauhan.
Chauhan made the biggest marketing mistake in the corporate Indian history when he sold Limca, Thums up and Maaza brands to Coca-Cola. That too at a very low price. Well that how life pans out.
Even when Maaza and Frooti were with the Parle group the positioning was very clear. Frooti was seen as a children drink with its funky tetra pack. Maaza was more an adult drink for drinkers in the 20 plus category.
Frooti has come a long way. It did the very innovative Digen Verma campaign. It experimented with the ultra-small tetra pack of 65 ml costing Rs 2.50/-.  But lately Frooti realized that it needs to move away from its predominantly tetra pack, child targeted positioning.

So in comes the funky new bottle of Frooti. To get the eyes balls and for increased visibility Frooti brought in the darling of the masses – Shah Rukh Khan. So far so good. But the latest advertisement campaign "the magic of Frooti" of Frooti leaves the viewers bemused and confused.
The advertisement opens with Shah Rukh Khan hungrily gulping down a Frooti. He is watched by many footballers including some very young children. The young children are salivating but Shah Rukh Khan keeps on gulping down the Frooti. He drains the bottle and the crowds of footballers come out of their stupor. They break out into huge grins (what for?). The final shot of the advertisement is that of the football toppling a full Frooti bottle.

This is a classic case of a creative running wild. There is no story line. No emotional connect or a nice jingle to remember and hum. Shah Rukh is totally wasted and Frooti is alienating its core customers – the young children. If the ideas was to attract new customers (making Maaza drinkers to shift to Frooti) the ideas is still born. Maaza drinkers are not given solid enough reasons to shift from Maaza to Frooti. Frooti Definitely need to rethink its creative strategy.

April 18, 2013

Best Print advertisements - B & B Hotels Bacon and McDonald

Print advertisements especially in the new papers are going to stay around for a long period of time. In countries like India newspaper reading is still growing unlike in western countries where it is tapering off. Print advertising offers huge challenges but at the same time for the creative people it is the ultimate frontier - how to be as creative as ever and be noticed and talked about in the same breath and with the same excitement as a good television commercial.

B& B Hotels Bacon

This advertisement from the creative German agency Publicis is a work of art. Bed and breakfast advertisements can often be dull and boring in their concepts but this campaign is a feast for the eyes.

Engaging the reader with quirky manipulation, it takes a while for the art direction to really sink in but once it does, readers instantly fall in love with the creative. The rest of the series features a cheese sandwich as well as sausages on toast but the best is this egg yolk pillow one!


Illustrator Helen Musselwhite worked with legendary advertising agency Leo Burnett to create this awe-inspiring paper illustration. The design is based around McDonald's collaboration with DK Books in conjunction with their Happy Meals.

Macdonald was trying to win over its detractors who were saying that its food was bad and that it was making young children addictive to its toys through its happy meal concept. To win over the detractors McDonald came out with this advertisement which says that books would be offered to the children. MacDonald is saying that it encourages good habits – reading books being one of them. 

read the entire series at 

Best Magazine advertisements - National Association for the Blind and SKOL Sensation, Brazil

National Association for the Blind
This magazine advertisement shows a smiling girl on first page. The 2nd page shows an old woman. When readers’ turns the page, they realize that the girl’s eyes are actually the old woman’s eyes. Readers also see the message, “Donate” and logo of National Association for the Blind on 2nd page. A wonderful example of creative advertisement.
SKOL Sensation, Brazil
An advertisement by the Sao Paulo based ad agency F/Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi. An audio print advertisement of the first page of the magazine had a plug for the Brazil’s Skol Sensation music festival, wrapped around the spine of Playboy magazine. A mini-chip was inserted in the ad, allowing users to listen to an audio message whispered by a young woman.
read more creative magazine ads at :

Innovative Tablet advertisements - Pepsi MAX and Bradesco's fake car advertisement

Tablets are becoming popular and many advertisers are creating campaigns exclusively for this media. A pick of the best Tablet advertisements.
Pepsi MAX made one of the most interactive iPad ads ever.

When Pepsi MAX decided to make an iPad ad (with TBWA/Chiat/Day and OMD), it decided to maximize every single iPad functionality. "There doesn't even have to be a reason for it!" the soda company boasted.

With a touch of the banner, consumers were launched into a completely interactive experience.

It started with a humorous video that introduced Pepsi MAX (with sweeping shots of the bottle). Consumers were then launched into a world of random activities.

Users could swipe the screen to play Spin the Bottle; shake the tablet to make the bottle explode; zoom-in to be transported to a unique "cola universe" with pugs, Snoop Lion, and "pegacorns." If the reader zoomed deep enough he went back in time to witness the big bang. Users who put their palm on the iPad got a personalized fortune.

Bradesco's fake car advertisement

While many car companies have made compelling tablet advertisements, one of the best campaigns was actually a fake car advertisement.


Bradesco, a car insurance provider, put ads in iPad magazine apps that looked like a traditional spread for a luxury car brand. The catch came when people swiped their finger across the screen to turn the page, causing the car to crash. The tagline for the Cannes Lion-winning spot. "Unexpected events happen without warning. Make a Bradesco car insurance plan."

The ad was created by Allmap BBDO, Sao Paulo.

April 12, 2013

Lux Soap advertisements - Iconic Campaign that lasted the test of Time

One of the longest running campaigns the world over, Lux, an international venture of Levers Brothers, featured Hollywood stars in most parts of the world. Lux entered India in 1929 and while its early advertisements would feature Hollywood actresses, they would eventually be replaced almost completely by local stars.
The very fact that right from Devika Rani onwards every film star from Indian film industry has been starring in the advertisement , has perhaps made it a “must-do” thing. Every aspiring starlet has been making it her career goal to appear in the Lux ad. In that sense it has become a kind of a benchmark for success and a way of announcing her arrival in the industry.
Devika Rani may have been one of the foremost stars of early talkies cinema but in 1941 the distinction of being the first Lux model went to her contemporary, Leela Chitnis.
Lux can be seen as one of the earliest forms of celebrity endorsements. The vast majority of actresses who appeared in the Lux advertisements were drawn from the Bombay film industry. As a product, however, that reached the entire country, regional advertising was critical to the success of Lux. Thus well known stars of Bengali, Tamil, and Telegu cinema also regularly found place in Lux advertisements in Filmfare.

A Lux appearance would be predicated not just on a lead appearance but on glamorous and iconic performances of different kinds. All the leading "vamps" of the Bombay film industry appeared in the advertisement as well.
In this sense the campaign highlighted and awarded female performance of all kinds. Diverse stars jostled for attention in the world of Lux, featuring known and bankable actresses but also those who appeared in fleeting iconic roles or remained on the margins of success.
The Lux campaign was a product of complex negotiations between advertisers and the industry, between stars, their publicists or agents, secretaries and producers. Its success was predicated on the fact that it was mutually beneficial to all these players.
Stars actively solicited the Lux campaign. At a time when film journalism was not as prolific as it became later, Lux was probably one of the best ways for the stars to get publicity outside of big urban cities and towns. Levers advertised throughout the year and its adverts traveled all over the country, printed not just in magazines but on soap wrappers, boxes, in posters and on billboards. Like autographed postcards, Lux with its signed endorsements could be seen as a form of circulating star portraiture but with a much wider reach.
Moreover the stars looked their best in these pictures as their portraits were taken by skilled photographers. Worked on by equally skilled artists, in later years they involved stylists and makeup artistes to create the glamorous star persona of Lux. Lux campaign was the company acknowledging that the actress had become a star and the star saying thank you.
This prolific campaign was possible because stars did not get paid for an appearance in the initial years. For the film producers, the campaign worked as free publicity for their new productions. By the late fifties the advertisements would feature information about the name, production credits and costume of the current film that the actress endorsed.
By the 1970s Lux seemed to have lost its exclusive edge with competition from various other brands. Photographic advertising would eventually turn other kinds of faces into celebrities, but Lux toilet sap continued to remain faithful to its cinematic subjects.
The cultural life of the soap would however be constantly updated. Finding a space outside the pages of magazines to a presence in cinema trailers and television, Lux had become a key brand sponsoring beauty and fashion contests by the 1990s. One thing has not changed however: The Lux campaign continues to be predicated on the aura of the female star and its one-time attempt to change this using Shahrukh Khan in a bathtub of petals was not very successful.

Heart touching advertisement from ICICI Prudential

One sector every one fears is Insurance. Who in the world want to face a perk salesman early in the morning who fires a salvo  - “suppose you die?”. Yes death is inevitable and it will come to all of us. But thinking about it is unpleasant and that too on a Monday morning. And the worst part of it – being reminded by a salesman who wants to cash in on somebody else’s demise.
Thus it is not surprising that most Life insurance advertisements are so boring that they are permanently ignored (far from selective attention, selective absorption and selective retention). Most of the story lines are drab, tacky and uninspiring. The rapid fire end line about insurance being solicitation and not compulsory it’s the ultimate turn off.

Thus it was very surprising to see the latest advertisement of ICICI – Prudential Life Insurance – Par Bande Ache Hai. It has a great storyline, haunting music and taut editing. It is a terrific story told in 60 seconds. A dream come true!.

Many incidents are recited in one. The father testing the strength of the bridge before he allows his family to step on it, The exasperated wife picking up a towel from the floor and her husband adroitly closing the dressing table’s drawer so that his wife does not bang her head, father taking the blame of muddy footprints instead of his daughter and finally the husband taking the side of the traffic on the road are all master pieces of observation and human behaviour.

All of us have warts and many shortcomings but we are loved and we love others. Love has to be unselfish and everlasting. Beautiful sentiments.   And the company that brings the lump in our throat – ICICI Prudential. A great advertisement – I am sure this will win many laurels and awards. Keep going – ICICI Prudential, expecting many more good things from you.