Archive for February, 2008

Bill meets Mark

Posted in Brand, Internet, Social networking with tags , , , on February 26, 2008 by manuscrypts

Well, maybe Bill and Mark have met before in other contexts, but to actually have a promo of MS doing a facebook application in India is perhaps a first. And thats not all, there’s a game on zapak too.

‘Heroes Happen Here’ is the theme of the entire promo being done by MS. While the entire deal looks like a mash up (not literally) of information disseminaton & trials for Visual Studio 2008, Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 (do not close the window, i am as technologically challenged as you are on those) and community building, I, for one, am extremely envious of the brand/product guy who got to do this. It has stuff for IT professionals, developers and enthusiasts.

As you might have guessed, this blog is interested because of the way a social network and a gaming site have been weaved in to the communication strategy. Communication strategy, because i saw an ad for this, not on facebook, but on the rediff homepage. Which means that not only have they spent money on the game and the application, but they’re also spending on advertising the stuff. I say cool!!

I haven’t been able to add the application, but if you do, lemme know how it went.

 until next time, soft socialism

Connecting Ads

Posted in Advertising, Brand, India, Internet with tags , , , on February 25, 2008 by manuscrypts

A couple of posts back, I’d written about the possibility of brands getting together to make a TVC. And Hallelujah, they’re listening :). Airtel and Nokia (and SRK and Madhavan) have teamed to bring us a combo ad, which though begins as if a lot of people are suddenly having heart attacks, has been done quite well. See, SRK really meant it when he said thoda wish karo. Oh Okay, i was just being mean 😀

While these were two completely related products (mobile handset and service provider), what I’d like to see is an ad featuring products whose only relation to each other is the target audience they’re aiming at, and the way the brands fit into their lives, either by say, time (Gillette + Kelloggs) or geography (Woodland + Vodafone). Strange, but fun.

Meanwhile, i read on agencyfaqs that Simply Marry has tried a viral approach to marketing. I had a look at the site, and while the animation and music is pretty decent, i felt the entire concept is too frivolous to become a viral. In fact, I’d like to pitch another thing to them. Why couldn’t they just buy over a property like this, and then start making episodes of these with more and different characters. Meanwhile, also make it multi platform and offer downloads of mobisodes, if the idea is also for 58888 to make money. They can even do an entire reality series based on this and air it on Zoom and Times Now. Even if not a TV reality show, this can be an MMS based mobile reality show. Connect to a Reliance/Vodafone/Airtel or even that insufferable Tata Indicom (free couple available with brand)  and they’d be happy to partner, i guess. Promotion shouldn’t be a problem with the group’s immense newsprint strength. Considering this is a ‘metromonial’ site, I’m sure all these media are toppers in their respective genres. Yes, all except ‘Isko Dekho’, though statistics and niches can be found, i bet.

until next time, howzzat for connections? 😉

Stan is young

Posted in Advertising, Brand, India with tags on February 20, 2008 by manuscrypts

Does that make sense? At least as much sense as Youngistan? Unless you’ve been living in outer space, you couldn’t have missed Pepsi’s latest TVC featuring *hold your breath* *Bhansali meets Farah* a combo package of Bollywood’s latest finds – D Pad and R Kap. Hey, ain’t i allowed to use youth lingo? :D. In fact, if you’ve been in outer space, there are better chances of catching the resident of Youngistan.

This blog has been a fan of Pepsi, and the blogger had a huge attack of guilt followed by remorse when he equated the earlier work of Pepsi (My can, featuring John and SRK) to some customisable toilet devised by Pepsi. He couldn’t even blog about it till now. But we digress.

That Pepsi has managed a casting coup of sorts is a no-brainer. But have they been used well? I think not. While Youngistan has a catchy twang to it, the ad per se has a very ‘leave your brains at home’ feel to it. That too would have worked fine, if Pepsi had decided to do a combo spoof on both the movies starring the trio. A sort of ‘Spy Hard/ Hot Shots’ approach to Bollywood. IMHO, its exactly the kind of ad that’ll make the ‘youth’ go ‘Phooey’. I know I am not exactly youth anymore, but hey, remember the Pepsi ’18 till i Die’ commercial, with Amrish Puri? The ad, me thinks, falls in that huge space between the stools.

So Pepsi, Youngistan sounds cool, can we have a better storyboard please? Apparently, some 30 scripts were rejected before this one, and the idea was to show the ideas that the youth come up with when they improvise on the spot. If this idea is a representative, i fear for the country. Meanwhile, wrt my last post, maybe, just maybe Tata Sky could’ve been co-branded in this ad? 😉


pic courtesy : agencyfaqs

until next time, yeh dil maange more

More Socialising

Posted in Social networking with tags , on February 18, 2008 by manuscrypts

I’d written this a while back on social networking sites and their relevance/irrelevance, and now i see this. If you’re too lazy to click, Orkut is letting developers make their social applications available to Orkut users.

In the post I mentioned earlier, I had written how Facebook scores over Orkut due to the sheer pull of different elements which cater to my interests and the way it also allows me to relate to my friends on many different planes. The simple idea being that I’m a blogger, an F1 enthusiast, an avid reader, A Heroes fan etc . My friends also share many of these interests, and there are multiple applications which cater to all of these. Orkut’s only efforts so far has been groups (which Facebook also has) and that was just not enough. The latest announcement means that Orkut’s expansion of services are going to be in that direction.

While that may spark the thought that it might level the playing field, I , for one, dont think so. For starters, Facebook already has the first mover advantage in the space. That can be argued because crowds have a tendency to flock towards the latest new thing as far as social networks go. But, I’ve seen a lot of Orkut users climbing on to Facebook and then saying ‘Its way too confusing’. For the non-confused Facebook user, its a good place to be, because the confusion acts a filter which prevents the clutter in Orkut. So I don’t think a lot of Facebook users will go to Orkut for the applications. That, however is something that depends a lot on the applications developed. Lastly, Orkut has managed to collect a lot of users hat are undesirable. These are spam/porn guys and the ‘I want to do friendship with you’ specimens who are still regulars in Orkut. So, while Orkut’s applications might be killers, a lot of potential users might be put off owing to the damage already done, the new privacy features notwithstanding.

until next time, socialise 🙂

Added Advantage

Posted in Advertising, Brand, India with tags , , on February 13, 2008 by manuscrypts

I happened to see the new ad of Pizza Hut. Now, I am not very sure if the following is a figment of my imagination, so bear with me. Bappi Lahiri is a brand ambassador now (no, thats not where the imagination comes in). He is the only one visible in the edited version of the TVC, but in a larger version, i thought i saw Hari Sadu and the guy who spells out H A R I. Dont tell me you’ve already forgotten the naukri ad. In fact, the theme of the campaign is on the lines of ‘a happy ending’, and keeping with that Hari Sadu offers the guy his job back and apologises.

Like i said, I’m not sure if i’m factually right (in case anyone from Pizza Hut is reading this, yes, then i will know this blog is getting somewhere, please clarify), but it does throw up a lot of interesting opportunities for brands to work together on a commercial, if they have a similar audience to reach. I think this commercial has used the equity of Hari Sadu brilliantly. Its a bit like K Jo bringing back characters from his earlier movies (remember the star counting sardar kid of KKHH in K3G. hey, why isnt KJo getting sued?) except in this case, these are different unrelated brands.

Think of the possibilities. In a slice of life scenario, the number of brands that could appear contextually is enormous, imagine a scenario of the morning rush to office, from the shaving blade to the cereal breakfast to the soap to the apparel and accessories, to the vehicle to the radio station listened to on the way and everything in between, everything is a brand. And so, brands share the cost and come up with interesting, funny etc storylines that fits the ethos of all brands concerned. What do you think?

and until next time, have you seen the times jobs version of Hari Sadu?

So, which is the bigger evil?

Posted in Brand, Internet with tags , , on February 5, 2008 by manuscrypts