Saturday, December 09, 2006

Picture start #10

Mural by Chiho Aoshima. Challenge for you.

Steve Jobs would approve

So Microsoft has launched the work for Vista. Unfortunately, even with hipster comic Demetri Martin, it sucks. I'm not surprised. The Vista shouldn't be trying so hard to look cool. It should stick to what it's best at. While I'm not sure what that is, it's definitely not cool.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Newtail #5: Graph laughs

Just when I was thinking of dropping Creative Generalist from my list of raw material, he points me to a gem that makes me look like the short-sighted fool. No, it won't make you fall in love with Math, but it certainly shows you a fun way to deal with Math. Check out old bag's take on graphs for all kinds of interesting things. Careful, you might fall in love with Math.

Media that matters

The Scampblog is asking an interesting question down at his/her hangout. It goes like this: What's your favourite medium to work on? Here's my answer, for everyone, when it comes to advertising, I think creative people like to work most on TV. I could be wrong, but I don't think I am. Creative people are too self-centred to choose anything less high-profile. Keep your eyes on that poll and let's see if I'm proved wrong. Personally speaking, I love radio. Why? It's personal.

Disruption #6

If you're an artist and want to be in advertising, learn to do the wrong things: Holden Caulfield complained in JD Salinger's Catcher In The Rye that if he were "a piano player or an actor or something and all those dopes thought I was terrific, I'd hate it. I wouldn't even want them to clap for me. People always clap for the wrong things." Like life, advertising too is a popularity contest.

Picture start #9

A smile to get you started. If you want to be a creative person, it's important to train your mind to see creative possibilities in many things and anything. Train your mind.

Cases in point #5: Conflict-free diamonds

When my girlfriend sent me an article about conflict-free diamonds, I did a double take. I took it as a sign that it was time to think a little more about them. And so I did. Here's what I came up with: Why are conflict-free diamonds a good idea? Because they're a good example of a product that is in tune with the times. If you don't want conflict in your love-life, go for a conflict free diamond. It's stupid enough buying a diamond, but if you must be that stupid, at least try and be smart about it.

Things we buy #7: Liberator Adventure Gear

When I got an e-mail from my girlfriend urging me to read an article about a company that makes Liberator "bedroom adventure gear," promising that its sexy line of cushions could "help a person more easily achieve and maintain a sexual position ... with less fatigue and stress," I greeted the news with a post on yet another side of the human personality we're here to explore. Explore.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Disruption #5

Says Martin Cole about what it takes to come up with great work: It's great when there's less money. Hmm, I wonder what he means. And so should you.

Planner profiled

Martin Cole, WPP, is a top musician, and a Planner. He is a part-time film-maker, and a Planner. He is a full time raconteur, and a Planner. He is an inveterate dabbler and a Planner. He is exactly what a good Planner should be. Very atypical. For a freewheeling conversation with Martin about many things, including goth-hop, head to Russell's pad. Thank you Russell, that was an absolute treat.

Disruption #4

We don't need pilots. We need instigators and navigators, rabble rousers and innovators. People who can't follow a checklist to save their life, but invent the future every day.

More lessens

I think the joke is in the first two panels of this cartoon. The third panel seems out of place. Perhaps a case of format forcing the master to end up saying more than he needed to. Reminds me of some of the constraints you will face in advertising. Don't you think panel number 3 is just a bit too much?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Disruption #3

Why do architects design rooms with sharp corners? Sharp corners hurt people. Sharp corners are not user-frindly. Sharp corners are bad, bad things. Thank god for sharp corners. Thanks to sharp corners, I did manage to scratch that itch in the middle of my back. That’s why architects design rooms with sharp corners. Apparently they have itchy backs too.

Picture start #8

Wheels within wheels. Nuts. Bolts. Patterns. Intricate. Intimate. Complex. Simple. What all can be aid about this picture. Your time starts now.

Things we buy #6: Books, one word at a time

Apparently the marketers at ICUE believe the new generation prefers to read their books on a mobile phone, one word at a time. And I thought I was someone who was in touch with the times. Sorry, this product is not for me. Is it for you? I mean, how much fun can it be to read a book without being able to read the ending first? Heh, heh. Okay, I guess that's just a very messed up way to enjoy a book. Which is not to say this isn't.

Open mined

I work in a cubicled office like many people around the world do. Now that the weather in my part of the world has become a lot more tolerable than it normally is, I say to myself, wouldn't it be fun to take the office outside the cubicle? We spend so much of our time in the agency trying to come up with different takes on the usual things that surround us. How come we don't spend more time in unusual spaces? Then it's decided, for the next three months, my thinking room is not a room. It's the park next door. What's yours?

Shawarma ink

So we were sitting around and trying to come up with a campaign for some product which isn't so important in the current scheme of things. What is important is the little discussion we got into about advertising. My partner said we're not into creating shawarmas. We're artists trying to come up with something creative, and that depended on being in the right mood and in the right space. I begged to differ. I said we're commercial artists trying to come up with one shawarma after another and making sure each shawarma is above average. Incidentally, a shawarma is a kind of pita wrap that's easy to make and quite delicious. So you tell me, is advertising about coming up with shawarmas or pieces of fine art?

Cases in point #4: Jenna Jameson

The same great boobs. The same great legs. The same blond hair. It can't be her looks. In fact, porn is perhaps the one market where looks won't help you stand out. (Unlike in most other markets.) What made Jenna Jameson the biggest porn brand in the world? Was it the alliterative name? Was it the fact that she strove to cultivate herself as an articulate pornstar? Or was it the she got written about in more mainstream publications than any other pornstar in the history of porn? I'd like to think it was a bit of all that and the fact that we live in a time where porn is no longer underground. A combination of the pervasiveness of the Internet and the crashing down of boundaries turned Jenna into brand Jenna. In other words, less product differentiation, more timing. What's your take on brand Jenna?

Picture start #7

A little information to pique your interest, get you going and come up with a good story is the story of advertising.

Things we buy #5: The pop-up book of sex

Now what in the world would someone want to do with a pop up book of sex? You tell me. And it'll tell you some very interesting things about the way we think. Which will help us find even more interesting ways to talk to the human mind.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Just shoe it

Nike has once again come up with a brilliant idea. They're running a sampling exercise that's a great example of what I call 'Just do it' thinking. They've got a van that goes around the country encouraging people to try out their shoes by going for a run in them. It doesn't take much to come up with an idea like this, but it takes balls to implement it. And that's what separates the men from the boys.

Disruption #2

What you thought about someone yesterday doesn't really matter if they have something to contribute today. There are so many ways to interpret that statement. Please do.


For once, a creative person who advocates using research to come up with ads. Then again, post-creative research is what most creative people despise. Anyway, so here's what Scampblog is saying: If you need to come up with an ad for something, play Family Fortunes. From the looks of it, it works. Then again again, most things work once they have been worked out. Check it out.

Picture start #6

Imagine how many things you could write to go with this picture. And then, write them. It's a fun way to practice coming up with ads. Stick with me and I'll show you why you don't have to be incredibly creative to be a good advertising creative. Just incredibly disciplined.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Take 3

James Surowiecki believes Nintendo is doing a smart thing by opting out of the race Sony and Microsoft find themselves locked in. He concludes: The key is to play to your strengths while recognizing your limitations. Nintendo knew that it could not compete with Microsoft and Sony in the quest to build the ultimate home-entertainment device. So it decided, with the Wii, to play a different game entirely. Some pundits are now speculating, ironically, that the simplicity of the Wii may make it a huge hit. Nintendo wouldn’t complain if that happened. But, in the meantime, third prize is looking a lot better than steak knives. Put simply, that's life.

Things we buy #4: Japanese maid cafe

Toronto now sports an authentic-esque Maid Cafe. It's a Japanese cafe where women dressed up in anime maid outfits wait on patrons with lavish attention. All good fun or an invitation for the feminist brigade to take offense? We'll have to wait and see. Do see.

First chapter

When I was a kid, my aunt introduced me to the term 'First chapter'. What the term refers to is anyone who can't stop talking about himself. Well, my coleagues are doing a campaign for a client who must not be named. Oddly enough, all the client wants to do is the first chapter. Shouldn't advertising be less about chest-beating and more about empathy?

Picture start #5

A photograph from a series of polaroid experiments Russell Davis is indulging himself in. It says some interesting things, doesn't it? Good. Now write them down.

Not rocket science

Seriously, it's great to be in advertising, but only as long as you don't take it too seriously. To put things in perspective, try living in the country. Try growing your own food. Try herding horses. You'll discover that advertising is a lot easier than breaking a horse. Quote courtesy, Maggie Entwistle, W+K, Portland.

Blog v/s Intranet

I've been trying to get the advertising agency I work for to start up a group blog. Unfortunately I can't think of too many good reasons, apart from other cool agencies have blogs, to start one. Can you? Wieden & Kennedy has a blog. Fallon has a blog. Ogilvy has a blog or four. A few other good agencies have blogs. All that said, what's the big idea behind a large agency starting up a blog? Think about it before you go around trying to champion a blog for your agency. And then, tell me. Personally, when it comes to a large agency, I believe an intranet is a better idea.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Things we buy #3: USB key CDs

Why make people buy compact discs that are going to just lie around and rot after the tracks on them have been ripped into MP3s and stored on more convenient, user-friendly, space-friendly, environment-friendly storage devices? Which is the question the Bare Naked Ladies must have asked themselves when they decided to sell their latest album Bare Naked Ladies Are Me (BLAM) on 256 MB USB key-drives. This way, not only do you get your songs in a format they will eventually end up in, you also get a re-usable storage device. Good move.

Newtail #4: Generator generator

We really love creating things on the fly, don't we? How else could a blog like this be generated? This blog is not about those machines used to change mechanical energy into electrical energy. It's about software that creates software. Software to play around and have fun with. Planners and other presentation generators will enjoy. Enjoy.

Disruption #1

I've been a tourist for a large part of my life and I hate going to the places most people like. When it comes to travelling, I prefer to go where others haven't, because I might find something new. This metaphor certainly applies to thinking about research. Of course, the disruption in this disruption is that you can go to the same places with new eyes.

Picture start #4

I got this lovely picture of the world on lights and an even nicer story connected to it from Indianomics. Look at the picture, think about what it says and then read what Nanubhai Desai has said with it.

For fans of impatience, here's what Nanubhai has done: He has written about how one look at the world at night can tell you which parts of the world are buzzing and which aren't. Along the way, he has also put together a considered analysis on the nuclear deal between India and USA. Great lateral thinking.

A recipe for better thinking

I've been meaning to post this for a while now. Why have I added a link to a food blog on a site that attempts to talk about advertising? Because if you spend a little time understanding how to cook, you're teaching yourself a lot of things that will stand you in good stead as a creative person in advertising. Cooking up a storm is all about taking seemingly disconnected elements and coming up with a yummy whole. Now that's what you call advertising, also. Individuals who wish to improve their advertising skills would be well advised to spend a little time nourishing their culinary disabilities.

Picture start #3

If you don't like advertising, you might like this. If you like advertising, you'll love this. After all, advertising a book shop is every copywriter's dream. And getting published every writer's. This one's for RK. Don't you think it makes for a great brief?

Newtail #3: Beausage

I agree, it's not a new blog. It's more like a new concept. I didn't come up with it. In fact, most of the things I come up with, I don't. They're already there, just waiting to be discovered. Much like beausage. Beausage is a neord born out of 'beauty' and 'age'. It's what you get from using a great product for a long time. It's what you don't get out of superficial things. Wisdom is a kind of beausage. Patina is not. The next time you have to write a brief, see if you can nourish it with some beausage.


In the West, Youtube's biggest audience is 35-64 year olds. In India, it's likely to be a much younger demographic. What does that say about the West and India? No, I'm not going to give you the right answers. Figure it out. It's what will make you better at advertising. Young people, I tell you, they want everything on a platter.