Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Madness Starts at 9

My friend, Vinay(Kanchan) has written this hilarious book - The Madness Starts at 9!!

The book is a satire on the corporate world. It is set in an agency, and is a humorous take on many events that happen in the life of the agency!

1. Vision Impossible - elaborates on the mind numbing nature of vision meetings

2. True Lies- looks at how in a interview process, both parties celebrate the 'creative distortion of the truth'

3. Wait Until Dark - is about how office parties can be used for furthering your career graph:-)

4. A myth called performance appraisals - is well, the name kinda says it all :)

5. Stumped - shows what happens in an organisation on the day when India plays a cricket match

6. I know what you did last summer - demystifies what really happens during summer internship

7. Murder by Numbers -dwells on how we inherently are intimidated by numbers, even though they have a critical role to play

and so on...You can get the Hindu review of the book here...

All the best Vinay! Hope you have a best-seller!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Planner opportunities in Bangalore ?


Just wanted to check if any of you know about any openings for a Planner in Bangalore? This is for a friend who is from Bangalore and has experience in Advertising and Market Research.Do let me know if your agency is looking for one or even in agencies which has current openings

Friday, June 27, 2008


Hello everyone. I started a new blog today on advertising. Yes. Now, for the first time i feel like musing a little deeper into advertising.
That is when it occured to me to take a look at our blog which i thought lay dormant. How wrong I was.

And good to know! A few month delayed but what the heck? Congratulations to us.

How come we havn't discussed the "Shivaji - The Boss" syndrome here?

You know what I found interesting?

Rajnikanth's super stardome has existed for many years now.
There was Padayapa, Chandramukhi, Arunachalam and many other similar iconic films - in tamil land - I lived in Chennai through some of these movies. I don't recall me or any of my friends wanting to catch his movies inspite of that.

But Shivaji changed all that.

Suddenly everybody just HAD to see the movie. I mean EVRYBODY. It didn't matter if they understood tamil or not. People flew down to cities that played the movie. Well, a small troupe of advertising professionals did fly down.

It was the first Rajnikant movie i saw at a theatre. In a Mumbai multiplex.

There are two things this phenomena brings to light

One ofcourse is the power of viral marketing and hype creation. You know, there was a clip from the movie showcasing some of his typical stunts doing the rounds in the email. It cracked people up and go "man! i have to see this man in action!"

Second, is our comfort with embracing who we really are. India is suddenly proud of itself. It no longer feels the need to be 'western' to be respected. Everything we shied away from before, we now flaunt.

Our villages, our colloquialism, our names, our attire, our people, maybe even our accents. We love it all.

PS: If the title of this post went over your head, in the movie, Rajnikant makes the word 'cool' sound like it is... well, the coolest thing to say. It's hillarious and good fun.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

IPL & Politicians

Can't get this IPL off my mind. But with all the hype,the media coverage hitting you first when you open the papers its really difficult to get it off. Now that IPL has become a career opportunity for a lot of young cricketers am sure the day is not far off when Raj Thakeray is going to demand that Mumbai Indians should be only from Maharashtra. Its really surprising how he failed to ride on the huge publicity of IPL and get a share of the publicity pie. Already there is a quota system in place for local players but as the days roll we are sure going to see reservation demands based on God knows even in IPL.

Any politicians listening. Its great time to get some media attention and stir up some controversy.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

When was the last time you saw something so good #3

i love soups. here's some food for thought for those of you who believe 'soup' is a growth area and want to understand it. Ask me why.

Friday, November 9, 2007

When was the last time you saw something this good #2

The 'Surprises campaign' is a wonderful piece of work - the one with the 'magic box', the 'pineapple cake' and the 'man in the closet'. understated and hard hitting. stylish and accessible. strident and subtle. hutch to vodafone. few brands have handled the transition from an old established brand/name to a relaunched identity that retains, builds on and strengthens the great work done by the people on hutch, as vodafone has. we like. very much. the question for the time being is, what's not to like. answer in comments.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

We Feel Fine

A hectic week. Suddenly the agency is buzzing, papers flying, servicing guys screaming at production, creative throwing tantrums over brief, endless call from client, office boys running twenty times to publication for delivery of material. Madness of the festive season. But let me tell you, this is what brings you back every morning.

In between all these chaos, I managed to find "We Feel Fine." This web site offers the exploration of human emotions in six different movements. Madness, Murmurs, Montage, Mobs, Metrics and Mounds. We Feel Fine has been harvesting human feelings from large number of blogs. Every few minutes, the system searches the world's newly posted blog entries for occurrences of the phrases "I feel" and "I am feeling". When it finds such a phrase, it records the full sentence, up to the period, and identifies the "feeling" expressed in that sentence (e.g. sad, happy, depressed, etc.). All of this information is saved. The result is a database of several million human feelings, increasing by 15,000 - 20,000 new feelings per day. Using a series of playful interfaces, the feelings can be searched and sorted across a number of demographic slices, offering responses to specific questions.

If you're not aware 'I feel' :-) you should explore this. This is really amazing and am sure the site will keep you glued for quiet sometime. Wondering if this is the future of communication? Different technologies joining hands to form new ideas and ways of interaction.

Wish you all a very happy, lightening and a cracking Diwali.

Call for entries #2

what does this have to do with Planning? answer in Comments.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Monday, November 5, 2007

ad noise #1

saka face wash. taking the female out of male fairness products.

Introducing, 'When was the last time you something so good'.

in which we are requested to post pieces of work so good, the only thing we're left saying is...when was the last time we saw something so good.

caveat emptor: stunts shown are performed by experts and should not be imitated.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Wanted: Young blood, some blood, any blood. And much oxygen.

a stuttering, stumbling and gasping-for-a-lease-of-life collective of indian planners is in desperate need of fearless, generous and thotful infusions. interested parties are invited to save this blurb, which is languishing from the old indian weaknesses of individualism and the predictable inability to do much collectively.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Thot bubbled #64

GLOBAL capitalism has worked many wonders, but where in the free world can one see 10,000 children dancing in synchronisation, dressed as eggs? (Answer in comments.)

Thot bubbled #63

Eurabia: what a lovely word. that's john micklethwait of the economist on the change that is sweeping across europe and promises to gradually alter the face of brand building in the years to come. etc.

Thot bubbled #62

i've often been told by people far far more important than i'll ever be that planning is about everything. well, here goes.

with love from craigslist.

to the girl on the metro with the cleavage - m4w

Date: 2007-08-06, 4:28AM EDT

when you got up in the morning and got dressed, you chose to wear an outfit that partly reveals your boobs. you have a mirror. you knew. i didn't force you to wear it.

in fact, when you bought this item, you knew that you were going to wear it, in public, and it would be revealing your tits a little (or a lot). make no mistake, i applaud you for this. but what i'm getting at, is that we both know you were showing off your rack. don't lie, it's not very subtle. and don't pretend it's a fashion thing. it's a hooter thing.

so when you buy the top, and wear it, in the summer, in public, and you're going to stand in front of me, guess what.

I'm going to look at your boobs.

first off, you should be flattered. i looked at them because they are nice. you should be upset if you were showing off your knockers and i didn't look at them. actually, them being nice is why i looked at them repeatedly. the first peek was more of an instinct. guy-instinct. we can't help it. after that, we just want to see as much of it as we can. to us, boobs are like the Godfather parts I and II. we can watch them over and over and never get tired of them.

anyway, yea, i looked at your cans. a bunch of times, actually. now, i understand no one likes to be stared at. this is why i did in fact look around the rest of the metro to see if there was anything else interesting to look at. unfortunately there were no other hot babes, no bums, no cute babies, no one was wearing a Slayer reign in blood tour shirt. nothing. so i went back to your melons. sorry. it was a boring ride, and they were right in front of me. but i think you forget that i was nice enough to focus on your funbags, as opposed to alternating between them and trying to make eyecontact. now that would have been ungentlemen-like. i realise no one finds true love over a pair of jugs on the orange line. it's just not realistic. so i kept my head down, stood in a position as to be not overly obvious about my staring, made sure i didn't get a semi (i got real close once, but i handled it), and tried to be as polite about the situation as possible.

so anyway, i just thought you should know my point of view on what happened. i am not a pervert. i was just a man on a metro. a man who saw something that pulled his mind out of the daily routine, and i held onto it dearly (not literally, ofcourse, though that would have been pretty sick). but as you can tell from this long posting, i do feel slightly bad about my behaviour. so to make up for it, i have decided, with pain in my heart, to release you from my spank bank.

i think it is fair to say we are even now. i think i did see a hint of slight animal lust in your eyes when you gave me that annoyed look and got out of the metro. so if you are reading this, baby, i'd really like to take you on a trip... a motorboating trip.

ps: i'm all for godfather 3 too. the climax is what makes it all so very worth it. don't you agree?

Location: mtl
it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

Thot bubbled #61

while reading this book i was reminded of the times i as a planner have been asked to take a judgement call on creative. when asked to look at creative, i look for the baseline because i tend to believe that the baseline is the oomph, the heart and the nub of the argument it is asking it's audience to buy into. it's the most important thing in the campaign. it?

Thot bubbled #60

so i was talking to someone about a job in 'planning' and he took a little time out to tell me that people in the industry are far more hecked up than they ought to be about 'planning' - maybe it's all the insecurity of being in a 'job function' that is so very hard to easily justify.

oddly enough, as far as i have learnt and experienced, 'planning' is all about breaking down the silos that exist between the different functionalities in the marketing communications process and help come up with the most optimum solution.

all of which brings me quite nicely to my thot for the day: how many of us think 'planners' are just servicing people/doers with more time on their hands to think and little heart to, in a manner of speaking, get their hands 'dirty'?

if you ask the heavyweight i was talking to, he'd say, 'planning' is not 'planning'. he'd say 'planning' is 'creative'. 'planning' is 'servicing'. 'planning' is 'media planning'. 'planning' is 'administration'. 'planning' is 'everything', including 'servicing'.

"all that is very fine, just, please don't ask me to chase up on any artwork because i have no time for that kind of a menial task. but yes, if you're planning a shoot in sa or new zealand or the bahamas or someplace else exciting and exotic, better keep me in the loop."

it's true. i once worked with a very senior guy who wanted all the 'goodies' servicing had access too, minus any of the 'pain'. for him, 'planning' was, quite simply, 'no-shit' servicing. interesting. thots?

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Thot bubbled #59

if there's one thing india must tackle with development, it has to be better restroom facilities. here's an interesting blog devoted to understanding why restrooms, no matter what you sell, are such an important part of the branding strategy. your thots?

Thot bubbled #58

festivization: from the verb 'to festivize'. what this means is to customize the corporate logo in an attempt to reflect the current obsessions. usage: google does divali.

'festivization' of logos, anyone? we have so many festivals. we have so many opportunities. then why is it that this festivization of logos is not something we do in india? or do we? does anyone know of any similar examples of communication of this kind in india? next question, does this kind of thing harm or help the brand?

i think it helps the brand. i think it tells people that we care, a bit, to reach out to you by festivizing our logos.

i'm curious to see some similar examples in india. are there? or are we just too conservative to attempt this kind of thing. google's festivization has really helped them transcend the 'coldness' of a technology company, no? some bad examples of the same.

Thot bubbled #57

So, manishbhai thinks it's time to grow up and restart the blurb. who's in? for re-starters, i'll kick things off. let's go.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Wanted Young Blood

Bates David Enterprise, Bangalore is looking for young blood to drive the creative arsenal. Call Creative Director at +91 80 2529 4228

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

If it is ‘Fucked’, it is in business!

I am borrowing this from a part of what Osho Rajneesh said, upon being asked about the word ‘Fuck’. Someone among the audience found it a little difficult to accept how a spiritual guru could use this four-letter word so easily. What was said in reply to this is very simple and yet truly potent I have outlined a part of his reply here.
Just step back and think, perhaps there is no other word in the English or any other language that is so versatile that it can be used in multiple contexts and yet make perfect sense.
In language it falls in multiple grammatical categories

Mary is a fine fuck

Transitive Verb
John fucked Mary

Intransitive Verb
Mary was fucked by John

Mary is fucking beautiful

As a word is so multifaceted that it can convey multiple emotions viz. Pain, Pleasure, Love & Hate just by the difference in the sounds that we make while pronouncing it.

I got fucked at the used car lot..”

“Fuck if I know..”

I guess I am fucked now
"Fuck you!"
“What he fuck is going on here..”

“I can’t understand this fucking job”

“He is a fuck off"
“What the fuck is going on here?”
“I had a fucking time”
“Get he fuck out of here..”
“I am going to knock your fucking head off..”
“How the fuck, are you?”
“Who gives a fuck”
“Get a bigger fucking hammer”
“Fuck, you scared the shit out of me”
“Today is really fucked!”

To sum it up here is, perhaps, what makes fuck rock!

1. It is self-propelled – do not need a reason to say it (it’s like air, that’s everywhere). So much so that when one is not saying it one is busy thinking about it. In fact unlike ‘Love’ that has traditionally been rated higher than ‘Lust’ (at least socially!), “Fuck you!” as an expression beats “I love you” hands down!

2. It is ‘sticky’ – It is like a post-it note that can be put and pulled off anything.
In fact the other word that comes close to our four-letter miracle in this department is ‘Sex’.

Sex is as good a post-it in multiple situations and it has a natural tendency to show affinity for suffixes. Here’s a small battery - Sexonic, Sexiting, Sextravaganza, Sex-on-toast, Sex-on-rocks etc.

3. Traditionally contemporary – No other word has been contemporary for so long as the four letter extravaganza

4. Easy to pronounce/ say – I have never heard any one stammering/struggling to say it. Del Amitri wrote in one of their beautifully written songs – “It’s hard to say you love someone and it’s hard to say you don’t..”. Well, fuck is totally free from any such ambivalence

5.It is unisex and ageless - Perhaps the only word that makes men and women feel equally powerful. The only word that two (or three) different generations can be using in different contexts and still getting to say whatever they want to..

6. It is short & always meaningful – You can’t misspell it and even if you did you’d still be seen to be meaning something FCUK, fkuc, fukc..

There are and can be many more ‘potent power-ups in expression’ that Fuck delivers and as readers you may please choose to add a few of your own to this list, but the point that I am trying to make is that if we as creators and marketers can deploy our skills towards creating universal expressions for our brand that can become the language, we stand to gain a lot.
There are a few (though not exact) examples that have come close to attaining some of this charisma in their own way – I’m lovin it (For Mc Donald’s), Wazzup (for Budweiser), Amitabh Bachchan’s favourite “Lock Kiya jaae!” (Let’s lock it!) Ghalat jawaab/ Sahi jawaab” (Wrong answer/ Right answer for KBC, the Indian version of ‘Who wants to be a Millionaire etc.. But unfortunately all of them faded away with time, or the communication campaign, they were introduced in.
The opportunity, is to create such a timeless, sticky and self-propelled brand vocabulary, that people feel like owning, modifying and propagating and the idea is to get the brand ‘fucked’, because if it is fucked, it is in business!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Nokia Charger

Your best friend comes over to meet you after a long time, and before anything else he asks you, “Hi! Tere paas Nokia ka charger hai (Do you have a Nokia charger?).”

You get a call from your friend and before asking, “How are you?” he asks, “Where are you?”

On one side I am intrigued by the changing nature of our pleasantries and on the other I am surprised by our growing and insatiable desire to keep in touch with people. Even if it effectively means ‘sacrificing our presence’ at a place (and this sacrifice is not necessarily for ‘work’).
Someone has rightly mentioned, “being always accessible, makes us inaccessible”.
In times of Continuous Partial Attention (CPA) in place of being committed to people or places ‘we are committed only to being communicated with’.

There are people who are self-confessed net addicts wedded to their web mail account. They keep checking their mails throughout the day, even when nothing urgent is happening; they are in a constant state of ‘updation’!
As Steven Johnson has rightly pointed out - Aimlessness is the price we pay for interactivity. This is what seems to be happening with the click-happy young folk.

‘Continuous mediation by mail’ or any form of communication, including mobile phone, also interrupts flow of thought. As people connect more, they tend to behave more like ‘nodes’. These nodes ‘expect inputs and can interact’ but are not much of a ‘hub’ that ‘generates output’.

Contrary to common perception that communication expands social circle, our people preferences are actually getting solidified into sharply defined groups and many of us are beginning to be less inclusive than ever.
No doubt there are virtual communities, that are giving an entirely new meaning to socialization in cyberspace, but for people who are not seeking to connect with strangers on the net– hi fidelity has brought about privacy of highest order and ended up defining interest groups much more sharply than ever before.
It is only ‘wonderers’, who seem to be drifting in the open cyberspace. These ‘wonderers’ are wanting to align with some group or individual and many a times end up extending their communities in real world into the cyber space. So they end up scrapping the same set of people that they are anyway writing and forwarding e-mails to and keep exchanging texts with. I am sure you’d have been accosted at least once by someone you meet everyday, with something like, “Hi, how are you? Did you read my scarp?”

‘Scrap’ is one more thing that has gotten attached to an already over-bloated list of things that a user needs to keep checking (Email – personal & official, mobile text, voice mail, home mail box, missed call list and so on and so forth).
With so much communication happening, so much more to be said and so many mail and message boxes to be checked, can you really blame your friend for asking for a Nokia charger? ; )

Friday, April 27, 2007

Get Set GOA

Can anybody share some learnings from Goa Fest for not so lucky people who were unable to make a dash to Goa

Friday, April 20, 2007


When will an advertising agency figure in the top ten one day? When we can go and sell internal communiaction and internal branding ideas, ideas to make the organisation the most preffered employer or the much sought after etc how come not one single agency figures as the best employer? Do we take our own people for granted or there is no interest to be there?

Thursday, April 19, 2007

ibiza of indian masses

Sand-filled Bata Sandak, vodka soaked Air Deccan boarding passes, tanned skin under the sleeved blouse of the Indian sari, wet edges of the Indian Petty Coat, condom packets that were not opened as planned..and a lot more
These are some images from the frontlines of Indian frolic!
Goa is the dream destination of the average Indian middleclass stags, kid-free couples, booze happy college kids and the young pot premis.

Goa is not a destination, it is not a holiday, it is not about nature even. Goa is an expression of the state of the contemporary Indian middle-class mind. It is like that window in the secluded room of self-expression that has been opened for the first time.

Everyone goes to go, and almost all of them have their own reasons..

The 40 something govt officer is going to Goa on holiday with his wife - finally their only son has entered the regional engineering college and they gift each other a breather (and a Breezer!)

The 18-year-old first year college kid is going there with his friends, in a hope to finally ‘do it with the firangs’ there. This is his first ‘adult picnic’ and perhaps the last out of town tour before career and life pins him down..

The 22 year old, MBA, young media executive from Kanpur, now working in Mumbai is there to experience how does it feel to be with young guys and girls all by yourself -away from Mommy and Daddy and Bhaiyya and Chachi.. She doesn’t drink but in Goa she will try the Breezer, sweet girls can have Breezers, ‘it is more juice than alcohol’!

The 50 something trader of recycled plastic bags from Ulhasnagar is looking forward to some ‘fun’ with his beer buddies from Ulhasnagar. This is their annual break, and the next time they are venturing out it is going to be Thailand..

Russian mafia and rising property prices aside, Goa is a fantastic example of how a tourist destinations needs to be built, or gets built somehow.
Goa is also a great showcase of India’s enjoyment culture and how it has surpassed everyone’s imagination..

Goa is the new Shirdi of funseekers and no one is complaining, not even the Jehadis!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Thot bubbled #56

Redemption is Advertising is redemption.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Save by choice; Print by chance

You are in a hurry because your boss for an urgent meeting has called you and the meeting room is in the building across. You want to save the document that you’ve been working on before you leave. And in this state of flux you click on the ‘save’ icon on the top left corner of your word or PDF document only to realize that you have by mistake clicked on the ‘print’ icon which is sitting right next to the ‘save’ button.. And off you go..

You run to the printer to collect those pages that you never wanted to print, at least not now or desperately try to cancel the print command by going to the ‘printer properties etc..’ in the tool bar at the bottom right corner of your computer monitor.. But by the time your ‘rescue operation’ is completed you’ve lost precious time (remember boss is waiting!) and perhaps even more precious paper is wasted along-with the expensive ink in the printer cartridge.

This I am sure is not an isolated example and many of us, if not all, have gone through this misery. I believe we should not just blame ourselves for being careless and clicking the wrong icon. In fact it could partly be attributed to the proximity of the ‘Print’, and ‘Save’ icons in almost all the application softwares that that we use regularly these days.

I am curious that in these times of intuitive interface how come we are still living with this design anomaly?
May be I am thinking too much but I am sure not stretching this beyond its relevant context when I think that it could well be a conscious arrangement between paper manufacturing companies, makers of printers and the application software giants to keep it this way. Win-Win-Win?!
Because if we were to attempt a monetary quantification of the number of documents that are printed by mistake it might add up to a lot of money for both the printer (cartridge) and paper (reams) guy. Needless to mention, that the application software company could be getting a fixed ‘royalty’ on ‘the expected number of end user ‘errors’. Among the three, they could have well figured (basis some kind of pattern/trend analysis) the number of errors that an average user is expected to commit. May be this is ‘over-think’ may be it is the most obvious that we never think about. Whichever way it is, there is room for improvement and we should not wait for an MS Office Open Source or Adobe Open Source to come and fix it for us.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Thot bubbled #55

Why India will never be much more than a back-office of the world and why China will always be way ahead of us in the game? Because Indians just do not know how to work together. We're so used to having the freedom to pull one and other down, we've forgotten that the best way to move forward is together. Case in point is the latest fracas out here. Instead of encouraging one and other to set aside our differences and nurture something worthwhile, we're all busy doing our own thing. Indians, we disgust me. Maybe we'll learn something from Calvin & Hobbes.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Thot bubbled #54

We love you Kajal. And Blaiq.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Friday, April 6, 2007

Thotblurb of the Month - the voting

Here are the nominations for Thotblurb of the Month for March 2007.

1. New links on the sidepanel #4

2. One horse, many races

3. The cusp runneth empty

4. The Long Tail of brand communication

And here's the ballot box:

Voting will close Thurday 12th April 2007.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Thot bubbled #52

This one's for Blaiq.

Thot bubbled #51

If there's a 'Thotblurb of the Month', why not a 'Thotment of the Week'? Definition of Thotment; noun and neologism for thotful comment. Will it help improve the quality of comments? Let us all give it a bit of thought. A bit.

The future of marketing

A slideshow on the future of marketing by Businessweek.

Creative Director 2.0

This week I'm posting a commercial that's been much seen and much heard over the last few days, especially during the cricket matches. This is the Motorola ROKR Music Addiction commercial featuring Abhishek Bachchan.

This is the ballot box:

Last week's results: The Thumbs Up brigade for the Nike Cricket commercial squeezed ahead by a wafer thin margin of 2 votes when voting closed.

(If you would like to see a particular piece of creative featured in the column, do mail me and I'll be glad to include it in the coming weeks.)

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Thot bubbled #50

'The product is the brand'. I wait for the day when we will have products that don't need brand names to elevate them. The way I see it, nowadays, brands are what make the products seem better than they are. And then there is a no-brand brand called Muji (from Japan). Take the price tag away and there is nothing more than the product to speak for it. It takes commitment, thought and great marketing skills to come up with a product that doesn't need a brand name to sell it. Which brings me to what I think is a tricky question: Do brand names try to gloss over product inadequacies? Apologies for not being clearer. But then, this is an illusion of branding I am trying to unravel and understand. Feel free to jump in. (Google key words: Muji+Businessweek.)

Monday, April 2, 2007

Thotblurb of the Month - Nominations open

Time to put in your nominations for the Thotblurb of the Month shootout later this week. Just a recap of the rules. Only posts from Thotblurb posted in the month of March are allowed. Anyone can nominate a post - including the writer himself/herself. Any number of nominations are welcome.

Do submit your nominations as comments to this post. Nominations will end 5th Thursday 2007. And here's a list of all the contenders.