Friday, January 05, 2007

Judgement way

Always judge a product by its advertising. If the ad is intelligently conceived, you can be fairly certain that so will be the product.

Blogger v/s Typepad

It's interesting that blogger didn't feel the need to add a descriptor to its logo while typepad did. Any thoughts on why would be...well, interesting. If you had to launch a blogging service, would you add a qualifier to support the name/logo?

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Mucous magic

Brand building is all about getting people to buy into a school of thinking. Good marketing starts with the search for a good brand name for an evolving school of thought. Example: Mont Blanc is not just a brand name. It's a school of thought. An Oscar is not just an award show. It's a school of thought. Apple is not a computer. It's a school of thought. If you had to look for a brand name for an Acting Academy that teaches budding actors the fine art of the kind of Oscar grovelling people pass off for acting, you could do worse than 'The Mucous School of Film Acting: the theory that great emotion is best telegraphed by failing to wipe away one's snot while weeping abjectly'. Introduced to me by Dana Stevens, film critic for

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Shooting from the hipness

When Demetri starts promoting Windows Vista, Demetri becomes unhip. So why have I mentioned this Heisenbergian phenomenon here? To illustrate the point that no matter what your brand is or wants to be, if it is associated with something that's not your brand the less powerful brand will change. What's interesting is that Dimitri didn't change perceptions about Vista. Windows is so powerful, that it changed Demetri. Much like Victoria's Secret changed Bob Dylan. More interesting music on how some brands/people are immune to the Heisenbergian principle.

Research queues

Bet you didn't know this about research. Then again, most people in advertising don't know research. Unfortunately.

A question of thought

The folks over at Edge have an interesting question worth thinking about. And what am I most optimistic about? Well, Marketing. (Spoken like a true cynic.) So...what are you most optimistic about?

The Free will not

I think I have written about this earlier, but I feel compelled to write about it again. The thing is, one of the most emailed articles on the NYT site is a take on whether we are masters of intention or are we just deciders in retrospect? What? Okay, let's try that again. There's an article I'm going to point you, my non-existent audience, to which talks about whether we have the right to choose or are we simply compelled to make the choices we make?

If it is the latter state of affairs, what's the point of all this marketing and advertising? If you ask me...and of course no one did...but in the unlikely event of someone going through the trouble to ask me, I'll say you decide. The question is can you? (Requires free membership registration.)

As Einstein paraphrased it, “a human can very well do what he wants, but cannot will what he wants.”

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Pomo marketing: Shopping entertainment

Selfridges nearly went out of business (as so many department stores have done) in the 1990s. But it reinvented itself by dismissing the order, formality and stillness of the old stores. Every brand was given its head and allowed to do what it wanted. Uniforms are out, as is standard decor, shelving and presentation. There is no hierarchy of goods; watches compete with perfume, luggage with high fashion, cafés with fast food. Shows, action and stunts break up the day. Selfridges calls it “shopping entertainment”. So successful is it that two years ago a panel of style gurus voted it Britain's “coolest brand”.

The Media landscape: 2007

Logo showgo #8: 7/10

Monday, January 01, 2007


If you don't know what that means, is that a problem with the brand name or the fact that the communication hasn't bothered to tell you what that means? 'Ahlan' means 'welcome' in Arabic and is the brand name for a 'tourist sim card' from Etisalat; a brand name that the client now wants to change because people don't know what 'Ahlan' means. In which case, shouldn't the solution be to communicate what the word means? Oh no, what the client wants is a brand new name. More accurately, it's what their branding agency wants. Why? Because it believes Etisalat needs to get away from Arabic brand names for their products.

Question: If you are the largest telecom provider in the Arabian world why would you want to get away from a brand name that welcomes tourists in your language? If I were to launch a similar package in India, I'd most certainly call it 'Namaste'.

Cases in point #8: India

In my trips around the world and the blogosphere, I've discovered that the thing people find most interesting about my country, India, is the fact that it is so different from any other place in the world. Isn't it odd then that the thing most Indians want is for their country to be like every other country in the world? If we want to build brand India, we must stick to our core competency and exploit it. Our niche is the fact that we're different. Let's not let globalisation destroy that. Al and Laura Ries would approve.

What bad Account Planners sound like

Words don't come easy

That's why, no matter what you want to be in advertising, you must subscribe to this service. It's easy.

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Logo showgo #7: 5/10

Clumsy. For a depository of better Google holiday logos, check this. Good fun.

People are comics

Ultimatum Marketing

If you're looking for a spike in the sales of a product connected with a famous person, encourage that person to commit suicide. It's the ultimate move in marketing. Research points to it.

Logo showgo #6: 7/10

Fight at the museum

Human beings are so interesting. I was surfing through the message boards for the movie 'Night at the Museum' on the IMDB when I came across a 200 message argument on why Robin Williams' comment about evolution should be expunged from the movie. It amazes me how something so insignificant can get so many people so steamed up. Pray, what on earth does this have to do with advertising? Well, if you don't find human beings interesting, in an objective sort of way, you won't do very well in advertising. And why do some people have a problem with evolution? The same reason Windows has a problem with Macs? Hmm.