Cover me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Perhaps, the only two issues of the TIME magazine to have a border other than the colour Red, one was for the 9/11 blasts and the recent for it’s going green, When i had a look at the magazine i did see a difference it was not red, and then a thought pondered me, i think this is what they mean by a JND ( just noticable difference)

Time in Green

The time in green for its fight against Global Warming….

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Australian for Water!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The recent ban on surrogate advertising is going broadcasters bonkers, approximately 200 to 250 crores will be the loss to the broadcasters and many agencies have put their ads on hold until any further hearing on the ban is ready to be made. In the ever globalised scenario, when brands such as heiniken and coors are set to enter the country, giving more employment and contribution in the form of GDP we do not need to ban surrogate advertising, I think there should be advertising during the consumption, this way companies can play their ads during the point of consumption and that is a massive market considering potential people who get converted instantly during consumption but there are also instances where the marketer is not worried about placing ads during consumption, but at the mass media to attract new patters in consumption, Companies have long since taken the road to surrogate advertising, Wills lifestyle which brands wills, kingfisher soda to mineral water and now the fosters water. The government knows it, the people know it, everybody knows it, that advertising is done to promote alcohol rather than cassettes and CD’s. There is nothing surrogate about surrogate advertising, when it is perfectly legal to make cigarretes and beer why on earth is it wrong to promote the products manufactured, my next cent is that from the consumers point of view every one knows that its the cigaratte being branded and the beer being branded, why such messages then. some companies have a very long association with formula 1, these brands are smuggled into india for example marlboro, and ITC is not allowed to sponsor such events and lost to such smuggled products says Ramesh Narayan in an article in the business line. From an advertisers point of view, the clients bottom line is the key, and how does it matter whether Fosters is australian for beer or Australian for water….

The return of the Human Zoo!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ever since ” Ethnological Expositions” had a severe effect in the 19th and the 20th century, there came a new buzz called Human Zoo’s. It displayed the public exhibits of human beings, usually in a ‘natural’ or ‘primitive state’. The motive was to emphasize the cultural differences between the Western and non-European people, These zoo’s were on the lines of Social Darwinism, and were criticised as being racist. Today in the year 2008 I forsee a new change in the definition of a social zoo in the form of advertisments. Everyone knows the man behind the United Colors of Benetton ad, Oliverio Toscani; was it his creative genius that we all should admire or the new culture shock that he probably gave the world. Recent examples from Sony ( hyperkined ad) to Absolut has shown the path that advertising and racism combined could deliver. A yahoo chat room discussion that i had quite a few days back witness people talking of whether the ads were acceptable, some guys pointed out to the marketing segmentation and positioning, one made a remark that the ad for the United Colors of Benetton ad was advertised as United and hence needed to communicate people from various communities, the person also gave an interesting note to how FCUK was branded or as the matter of fact Cocaine ( the energy drink). BrandChannel from the house of Interbrand gave a classic post to the use of conrtroversial names and images to propel the ad, while i might say that the advertising campaign can get you publicity, with people taking about the ad but it might also be demeaning to ‘certain classes’ of the society, Little did we know that the Ad for Dolce and Gabbana was heavily protested by Nun’s and women folk in many parts of the world. The new ads for Hanes ( hyperlinked ad ) had also come under the light of controversy due to racism, the ad featured a man dragging offensive images such as f***ot and n***er quoted the economic times. On a personal note on seeing the ads i could have come to the conclusion that there has been some racism but it was depicted in a very clever way, Racism isnt new here in the indian context too, the classifieds in the newspaper for a matrimonial ad show us enough that there is racism in India, but when Indian advertising agencies embark of racism is a site which I, have seen after a very long time. The question that had me pondering was why put racism in advertising, what will be the consequences to the brand image of the company, and how much time will it take for the brand regain its image. For now the questions are yet to be pondered on, Why do brand managers add racism in the advertising context after knowing that it might degrade the brand in the future, i am off to ponder on these questions and will sure post them once i get enlightened, and by the way you can help me too………chao for now and lets not forget we are back to the human zoo………………………..

I passed the exam, I’m Lovin it…….

No wonder, there is so much clutter in the market place, Marketers are trying to position ads in the bathrooms, gardens, shirts and like a typical ‘Seth Godin’ remark ‘The answer to clutter is more clutter and that’s why there is so much spam on your inbox because marketers are desperate’. Truly agree with Seth, The recent foray of McDonalds into placing ads on report cards was taken by a surprise by teachers, students and the marketing community. Of course The Big Mac has removed the ads on report cards due to high protests from teachers and parents. A la Naomi Klein incident…This utter desperation by Marketers brings to light the various steps taken by Marketers to promote the brand. If there was any blame on the company, then the school should also be put to blame as it’s given the permission to place the ad in the first place. Looking from the aspects from the Marketers point of view that it was a nicely crafted promotion and a unique way to look beyond the traditional ways and have new ways of appealing to children who form a core of the Mac’s business. McDonalds have been prone to criticism from time immemorial, right from the ads to selling junk food to the children. If not for the  protests, a very nice promotional campaign.

                                                       The Brand Report Card

The first time I read about the report card, I have been debating this with people from various spheres to get a holistic view and Comments are welcome.