Sunday, November 23, 2008

Amrutanjan makes funniest home Video

Aches and pains are hardly funny but Amrutanjan begs to differ. The 100 year old pain reliever brand, with its candid camera style ad, has brought in a wave a of slapstick humor into the category.

Imitating the candid camera genre of unscripted humor, the film opens with a man on the diving board. He accidentally slips and has a nasty, undeniably OUCH’ fall. Cut to a woman at a pool side restaurant. She pulls up a chair for herself, and to her horror the chair slips at the proverbial moment. What follows is a comical picturisation of her struggle to stay heads up. Alas! She goes into the pool, with a table for companionship. The 30 second depicts multiple comic bloopers to emphasize the fact that accidents can happen anytime and one ought to be ready. Ready, in this case means, keeping a pack of Amurtanjan Balm handy.

The comic mishap of the lady falling into the pool really looks like a candid moment while the one with the construction worker, who while passing bricks accidently gets thwacked in the head with one, looks contrived.

The raw feel of a home video convincingly conveys the simple brand proposition - be ready. What’s even more wonderfull, each individual blooper can lend to a small 10 second edit.

Interestingly the ad crafted on a low budget by Mudra Communications, was shot on hand held camera by Footcandles Film to lend it the right amateurish feel.

This ad definitely takes me back in time when old funny home videos of people, falling off slides or landing in funny postures, would make me laugh till my sides hurt. Surprisingly they do manage to garner a decent TRP even today, otherwise one wouldn’t find old reruns and hindi edits of these videos on air eve today. Well, just to give you an idea of what exactly I am referring to here, let me give you an example. A really, and I mean really, old imported comedy show that used to run on DD. Didi’s, or was it Dee Dee’s, comedy show.

Although I have outgrown home videos and may not necessarily find the ad funny, I have to admit that this particular treatment may actually pull off a stunt that could succeed in turning a fuddy duddy brand like Amrutanjan into a far younger brand.

The ad would probably make competition go right back to their drawing boards and figure out something new to replace the run off the mill strategy of ‘we relieve you of your pain faster than others’.

Over all production value: Excellent
Creative strategy: Excellent
Viral capabilities: Too early to tell
Ease of understanding: Average
Final Verdict: Although not ourageously funny, the ad might just work for an otherwise depressing category

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Brand IPL on the Blogsphere

Perfectly timed, hogging the prime hours of the Indian summer, IPL gave us more than one reason to stay glued to our television sets. This one sporting event has taken cricket as a game to a whole new frenzy. Cricket enthusiasts have become fanatics, and the cricket fanatics, well the less said the better. Even the grumpy grandfather, who crinkled his nose for crippling the game from the glorious matches straddling over days to a mere 20 overs joke, is smiling in approval. He is also secretly envious of the multitude of opportunities young cricketing talents have today. And with Bollywood showing generous amounts of interest, we as marketers will only be too glad to put our monies on the table without batting an eyelid.

Indian Premier League managed 16, 500 posts in 45 day.

Each of the 8 teams chosen to play, in the past month, has managed to exhibit certain personality traits unique to the team. The teams have managed to create substantial buzz on the blogsphere. Consumer Generated Media has been voraciously following everything about IPL form the fat pay cheques to Sachin’s injury to the skimpy skirts of the cheerleaders ;), nothing is being spared.

Clearly blogs and bloggers have their own biases, and some teams have been doing the rounds far more than others.

Despite not qualifying for the semis, Knight Riders managed to rake in maximum number of posts in the blogsphere. Is it the SRK Magic or Kolkatta's ardent support for their team?

Rajasthan Royals, the winner and the least expensive team of the tournament,
got noticed by blogs towards the last leg of the tournament. Fianlly their Stellar performance got noticed!
I made a few observations, some scary, some surprising and some just bowled me over

- A team’s performance alone is not enough for them to tide the blogsphere.
- Although ‘Eat cricket. Sleep cricket. Drink cricket’ still holds true, Bollywood continues to remain the unbeatable baap of entertainment
- An individual gets far more recognition than a team as a whole
- Particular incidents picked up by media, like SRK smoking or spending too much time with his team or Vijay Mallya firing Chaaru Sharma, can spike the trend chart.

The flamboyant Mallya and the bollywood king SRK have made bigger dents on the blogsphere than the shrewd Amabani

- IPL ads have also contributed to certain amount of noise on the blogsphere.

IPL or no IPL cricket will always be a favourite topic on blog. But this one event has created a lot of gossip value for the sport. Even non-cricket bloggers like me are blogging about it. From an extravagant opening ceremony to Bajji allegedly slapping Sreeshant, blogs and bloggers have been reveling in all the juicy details.

Do i need to elaborate this :)

A lot of brands are piggybacking on the noise IPL has managed to stir. It has positive influence on readership and viewership. Media has put the 45 day event on the front page and prime time of news channels. What’s more, it has decided to stay put there for the entire course of summer alluring readers and viewers. Despite all the degraded voyeurism, the sponsors are thrilled, as they are getting more than their monies worth.

Who is the popular Captain?

Thanks to Bollywood, IPL was executed in a rather filmy style full of action, drama, masala, and yeah we did manage to catch a glimpse of good cricket somewhere along the way. Without Bollywood’s fervent support the cricketing fraternity alone wouldn’t have managed to pull off a 45 days fanfare.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Fastrack 2.0: The Social Media Logic

After Axe and Sunsilk, Fastrack has decided to test itself in the web2.0 space. It was the obvious next step for this youth fashion brand from the house of Titan. Fastrack has gotten the chemistry going, they created quite a buzz with their ‘how many you have man?’ campaign. Operating in an attractive price band, Fastrack had vibrant designs at the other end of the buzz, waiting to flatter the eager customer. And none were disappointed.

Today Web 2.0 is a gregarious place to be in. The blogs, forums and communities are bursting with youth and eclectic conversations and a brand that targets them ought to be in it. The density of players in this field is light and most are still grappling with the social networking phenomena. So it only makes sense to make hay while the sun shines. Although some brands have made a brave foray into this dynamic space where the consumer controls the communication, most Indian brands are still reluctant and skeptical since they have no means of analyzing the ROI that web 2.0 is bringing in.

Fastrack has however, struck the right chord with the internet savvy youth. Axe, which clearly set up the first virtual campus, now has Fastrack on its heels. Both the brands specialize in different subjects one borders on the art of seduction and the other on fashion. The spunky new space on the web has made Fastrack a new cool place to hangout while online. The collection displayed in a diary on a chaotic desk caught my fancy. The brand has lunged headlong into social networking, they even have fan clubs on orkut and facebook.

The brand’s foray into eyewear was another strategic move. Fastrack eyewear signed John Abraham as their brand ambassador, a perfect fit for the brand. A biker who endorses bike brands is now endorsing a bikers’ accessories brand. It couldn’t get any better than this.

The new collection of neon disc watches has been a tad bit disappointing. After watching the catchy 15 seconder on air, I went to the store to check out the new line, somehow it doesn’t come across as innovative or new. However, a brand like Fastrack, that has gotten everything right in the past, is allowed a few tasteless slips.