Monday, December 31, 2007
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Now, why didn't I remember this earlier .....when I was in Sri Lanka?
Being in an industry that keeps talking about "is your ad youtubable?" and "does your campaign have viral potential?"; I can't help but be inspired by a seven year old album cover that promotes the easiest and most effective form of 'viral social protest'.
I made my own protest notes too:
Just have to figure out a way to inspire people in Sri Lanka to write such messages.
Consider the possibility of one of these landing in the hands of a suicide bomber who is on his way to a mission. Don't you think (if the message is hard hitting) he'll think twice before going ahead?
I know you're thinking I am a ridiculous dreamer. But can you discount the fact that these notes might just about manage to change a few attitudes?
Mull over it!
Or better still, if you're reading this from Sri Lanka, make your own little protest notes now.
F#$% you, I won't do what you tell me!
Now before you judge me or the content of this blog, allow me to introduce Zack de la Rocha, an extraordinary mix of an energetic frontman and a political activist.
RATM's music still takes me back in time and reminds me of umpteen instances when I sat around perfecting mind numbing engineering drawings.
All that frustration was so dreadful that the only hope I really had of getting through alive was with my modest collection of RATM tracks.
Now picture "F#$% you, I won't do what you tell me!" with distorted guitars and a tight drum n bass accompaniment. That's what I call Therapy.....for frustrated souls!
It motivated me to turn in to a rebel that very few people can relate to. Thank heavens I discovered RATM's music when I needed it the most.
Well, the good news is Zack is back with the other RATM members after a hiatus.
It's a pity I can't catch them live any time soon!
The site basically asks a player to think of something and then asks a series of questions before guessing what's on the player's mind.
You reckon it ain't for real?
Well! Give it a shot right now and prepare to fall off your seat in shock.
I thought of a musician and bang on the 17th question, 20Q asks me "Are you thinking of Michael "Flea" Balzary"?
I must've exclaimed my surprise with the choicest expletives known to mankind.
Anyway, in case you fall in love with the site, there's more: a 20Q ball.
Check it out in (funnnyyyyyy!) action here:
Thursday, December 13, 2007
According to the website:
"Awake is a a fresh tasting caffeinated citrus juice perfect for the morning that will help you rise and shine brighter"
Maybe I should keep one right next to my Alarm Clock :D
Monday, December 10, 2007
Shek just made a guest appearance on South Park (thanks to Katty)
Katty's turned into a die-hard SP fan in no time. It's scary!
Here's a couple of links she found:
Alllll the episodes: http://www.sout
SP-ize yourself: http://www.sp-s
Thanks again, Miss :*
Sunday, December 09, 2007
She treads an unfamiliar territory.
Her tears dried,
She questions her raison d'être.
Her innocence robbed,
She suspects everyone's motives.
Blisters on her bare feet,
And the beast on her case,
She prays for an end to this misery!
Came across the above graffiti in four different locations in Ulsoor, Bangalore (Pic courtesy: Ashish)
Ulsoor is a locality that is home to a significant Tamil population.
There's a whole lot of Tamils in India and around the world who support the concept of Eelam. I'm not an authority to comment on the need for such a state. However having lived and traveled around Sri Lanka for 1.5 years, I only hope the war will end sooner than later.
The SL economy is crumbling, defence spends are at an all time high and the country has a long way to go...the war has turned a promising island into a chaotic mess.
I have no sides to take. I only hope that there will be a peaceful solution soon and that all hostilities will end.
I can't wait for that perfect photo-op when Tamil and Sinhala kids will walk hand-in-hand on Sri Lanka's sun-kissed beaches. And sitting at a distance, watching them will be the cheerful parents...
I'm keeping my camera on stand-by...
Friday, December 07, 2007
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Also taking the walls by storm will be the calendar from Cofanifunebri, an Italian coffin manufacturer! (thanks copyranter)
Shown below are some stills from the calendar:
Now what really beats me is the strategy (if any!) behind the whole initiative. Well, if word-of-mouth is what they were looking for, they are bang on!
What were these guys thinking when they decided to blow up money on the calendar?
And since when did scantily clad models start endorsing coffins???
I made a lame attempt at deciphering the message on the visuals. And here's what came up:
- Model: "It was so hot inside, I took off all my clothes and came out?"
- Model (Yama in disguise?): "Come with me...."
- Model: "I'm so gorgeous. You better drop dead NOW!"
Anyway, did you even notice that they use rosewood to manufacture those coffins? :DIf you're keen on checking out what the company website has on offer; I warn you it's morbid stuff!
I mean who on earth wants to buy a watch that says "time is short" and has a little coffin on it?
The English on the site is pretty spectacular too. Click on About Us on their website and this is what you get:
The agenzy boast a particular experience for wath concerns the realization of funeral object.
The choice of hard wood the refines carving and the originaly of decorations are the demostration of it.
Its owners, simple men of good will and talent have given, throught the years, the opportunity to reach the fame of great prestige that new has become the symbol of the company.
Good Lord! I hope the coffins don't suck.
Sunday, December 02, 2007
This would only make one think that agencies have a fool-proof way of ensuring their work doesn't make it's way out when employees quit.
It's one thing to walk out with one's own creative portfolio and something else altogether to walk out with powerpoint presentations and excel sheets (made by others) at an agency!
When I was leaving my first job, I requested the IT guy to burn copies of stuff I had worked on. I have never looked at those since. I just wanted those copies cos' those projects meant a lot to me. When I'm old and ailing, I'll probably look at those presentations and relive those first days at work!
What came across as rather careless was the fact that the IT guy didn't even care what I was taking away. I could have walked away with sensitive information if I wanted to!
That brings me to someone whom I met recently. This person who holds a senior designation at a leading agency, relies extensively on the back-up from a previous agency. Work is basically about instructing juniors to tweak those presentations. In some cases, tweaking involves nothing more than changing the templates!
Who is to blame here?
The previous agency for being careless enough to have employees walking out with Intellectual Property?
Or this individual who obviously does not understand the seriousness of IP 'theft'?
Dude1: "Shek, Let's go for a smoke!"
Me: "Go ahead, mate! I don't smoke!"
Dude1: "Oh! Come on! I'm not gonna fall for that one. You don't look like the type who doesn't smoke!"
Conversation #02: Timeline 2007 A.D
Dude2: "Let's go across the road and buy some cigarettes!"
Me: "Nah! You go ahead. Look at the traffic..it's a mess, man!"
Dude2: "You gave up smoking or what?"
The truth of that matter is I've never ever taken a puff...Never! Just never saw why I should!
What were all those classes in high school for? And all those statutory warning messages on packs? They definitely were conveying something I should pay heed to.
On the topic of statutory warning messages, chanced upon this article: Scary pictures to help you quit smoking
The article says: Buying cigarettes (in India) may not be a pleasant experience from December 1 as grim pictures of cancerous tumors or an ailing infant will be printed on the packet of your favorite brand.
"Pictures definitely have an impact. Pictorial warnings will not only remind the user of the dangers (to him) but also to those around him or her, such as friends and family. Children, for example, can become a very strong pressure group by encouraging their parents to give up tobacco," Ramadoss said.
Countries that have introduced pictorial warnings include Canada, Brazil and Australia.
Over 250 million people in India use tobacco products like gutka, cigarettes and beedis. Tobacco kills at least 1 million people in the country every year, says the Indian Council of Medical Research.
Graphic health warnings in Canada led to a 3 per cent drop in smoking.
With 250 million tobacco consumers in India, a similar percentage drop would mean six million users less.
That also means there will be 30, 000 people who'll live!
Ain't that fabulous?
I also subscribe to what the minister says about pressure groups who can influence smokers to kick the habit. Maybe not immediately, but over a period of time they definitely can.
Moreover, there's a lot of concern about cigarettes being sold outside schools/ colleges. This move can dissuade the adolescents who feel tempted to try the dreaded 'drug'.
I have my own little doubts about how much a chain smoker would care about the warning signs though. The writing is on the wall. He/ She knows it. The end is nearer than they think it is. I can only hope they have their insurance in place.
Anyway, visual imagery works and I know it from personal experience.
As an 8 year old, I remember waiting outside a pub while my uncle picked up a crate of beer. In the 5 minutes or so that I waited inside the car, at least two people walked out (inebriated) making complete fools of themselves.
Is it any surprise that alcohol doesn't excite me?
Saturday, December 01, 2007
It's World AIDS Day today.
There's a whole lot of noise in the form of ads, press features and candle-light installations.
But how aware really is the Indian society when it comes to HIV/ AIDS? And why are we such hypocrites when it comes to discussing anything sex-related?
Story # 01 (found in a leading daily's Crime News section, 2 years ago):
A woman's dead body found near Ulsoor Lake.
The Police is of the opinion that she was murdered late last night.
"It is uncertain why she was near the Lake at that hour. However, we found condoms in her pocket and believe that she was a prostitute soliciting customers"
Story # 02: found in a back-issue of RAVE:
The police arrest youngsters from a Rave party in Pune. A college girl found carrying condoms in her bag is slapped by a lady cop. Later on, a senior cop displays the condoms to the Press to make his 'point'.
Since when is carrying condoms in one's wallet an ISSUE?
We are talking about cops here. Aren't they the ones who are supposed to heaving a sigh of relief for 'finding' condoms? It's rather appalling to note that they jump to conclusions and make such a mockery out of a non-issue.
Story # 03: At a leading hospital my Dad worked in
Nurse: "Sir, the patient in room # 04 is an AIDS patient. I don't want to have anything to do with him. Please give me another room/ ward to attend to"
I've never heard of a nurse who got infected with the virus by taking care of an AIDS patient!
Think 'Nurse' and we conjure up images of women who dedicate their lives to health care. But the reality can be a lot more distorted!
It's time we started professing 'one voice' when it comes to such sensitive issues, There's 2-3 million people living with AIDS in India. There's a lot to be done.
The least our real life protagonists (from the stories mentioned above) can do is to STFU!
Landed up on youtube to check out the above video after reading this article.
Neat! Hats off to the team behind the ad. It's got a fresh, international look that actually makes you wonder if the ad's Indian at all. My friends abroad refuse to believe that the ad runs in India. They think its too racy for our screens!
Anyway, with a brilliant video for a bait, it's only obvious that most viewers will land up at Leelounge. And guess what's in store for you there. These ads:
NOT FOR THE MASSES????
It's rather obvious that women with wafer-thin figures only can fit into those jeans. Then, why on earth would the sanest (!) of ad folks create this piece of communication?
I hope the client/ agency is ducking for cover now!
Monday, November 26, 2007
Managed to watch a couple of competing bands (that turned out to be the winners later) and headlining acts Lounge Piranha and Bhayanak Maut.
Bhayanak Maut literally means 'Scary Death'. Though their name sounds like a B-grade horror flick (is it one?), they are anything but B-grade. They took the place by storm. Their act was one hell of an ASSAULT. My neck still hurts after all that head banging!
As tight as a band can get, the band pulled off flawless originals. Kudos to Vinay's lung power in delivering those killer vocals!
Anyways, now let's shift the focus to Lounge Piranha.
DAMN! What a BAND!!!!
It's the kind of act you watch once and say "&@#$!That's the kinda band I wanna be in!!!"
They are miles ahead of all other bands in the the Indian scene with their unique sound, brilliant self compositions and commendable stage act.
Lounge Piranha is not a band.. it's a Brand...an experience!
Watch them play once or just take a look at their website and you'll know why.
How many bands in the Indian Scene are working as hard in creating their own signature sound and visual identity?
How many use lights, projections, didgeridoos to connect with their audience??
Bah! Don't even try answering those questions. Just catch Lounge Piranha's next gig :)
Friday, November 23, 2007
Here's a list of them:
- Copy space
- Personal perspective
- Motion Blur
To keep the engagement levels high, they even had a little impromptu contest with interesting giveaways. The Einstein 'action figure' shown here was undoubtedly the best one of the lot.
Did a little googling for the Einstein figurine and chanced upon ThinkGeek, an amazing resource to find those ever-so-elusive geeky gifts!
Besides Einstein and Litte Einstein figurines, you'll also find an eager-to-indulge-in-an-intellectual-chat Freud (and a whole lot of other interesting stuff!)
Or better still, click on action shots to see images of Einstein in 'action' :D
This one shown below was titled: Every Geek's Dream :)
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Had been contemplating making changes to the appearance of my blog for a long time.
I cant stop grinning now!
You see the header image above that says: 'A Hypnotype's Blog!'? That came all the way from Sri Lanka :)
Thanks to Nikhila - my good friend (and a promising AdMan based in Lowe Colombo), my blog's finally got that much needed new look.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
I must be honest enough to admit that I couldn't stomach the content. I was only brave enough to read the highlighted bits. The last straw was an image displaying the charred remains of an infant being carried out of a train.
Pages after pages, the issue was filled with proud testimonials of unimaginable atrocities committed by men. To think all of that was true and the fact the human race is capable of such horrendous deeds! Shame!
The Team at Tehelka did make a wise decision in avoiding ads in the aforementioned issue. Tehelka does deserve kudos for carrying out a groundbreaking investigation and then printing an issue covering a sensitive topic devoid of senseless ads.
There are times when I sit down and analyze if I am in the right career at all. Mind you, I love ads and everything that goes into creating great pieces of communication. But more often than not, I wonder why everything around us revolves around money and ulterior motives.
That brings me to Tehelka's follow-up issue where Santosh Desai (MD & CEO, Futurebrands) says: Nobody (in the media) seems really interested; Aaj Tak has got the viewership spike it wanted, other media were never keen on it in any case....The only real question is: Did the Ratings go up last week?"
And here's the proof (found it in India Today's latest issue):
AajTak also has the audacity to claim "Sabse TEZ" (We are the Fastest!)
Fastest at what??????
Channel Share % over a 5 hr period???? Is that what all this comes down to?
And the man shown in the above 'ad', Qutu-buddin Ansari,is trying really hard to move on from the worst phase of his life. Thanks Aaj Tak for making his life all the more miserable!
Trust all your cold-blooded Ad Salesmen must be striking killer deals with those equally stone-hearted Clients...........................
Monday, November 19, 2007
The Digitech BP200 is an absolute cracker of a processor. I've spent 4 hours on it today sifting my way through 30 brilliant genre based drum loops and 40 factory pre-sets!
I love the fretless simulator and the synthlike preset and the expression pedal (wah! all the way) and the headphone jack :)
My favorite feature however is "jam-a-long" - it allows to me connect my mp3 player and finally master those killer basslines.
I'm in love all over again! :)
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Fed-up of annoying ads on the ones you do find?
Given up on streaming radio altogether?
Worry not! Screamer Radio is by far the best online radio player I've been referred to (Thanks again, Katty!)
Once you download it, a simple interface lets you choose radio stations based on your preferences. You can choose by Genre, Language, Network or Region. You can even bookmark your favorite stations to go to them directly.
I'm tripping on ProgRock as you can see. Spock's Beard, Arena, Glass Hammer..name it and they have it :)
A Thai air force pilot has been suspended from flying duties after allegedly landing his helicopter in the countryside to collect wild mushrooms for his mother, a spokesman said Friday. More here
"The pilot will face punishment for abandoning his helicopter without anyone to look after it and also for violating other rules," spokesman Capt. Monthon Satchukorn said.
It could have been much worse, Captain. Thank your stars he didn't pop one of those mushrooms in his mouth!
Suggestion to Thai Air Force: Please screen the above video to all your pilots before they prepare for take off!
Thursday, November 15, 2007
A man caught trying to have sex with his bicycle has been sentenced to three years on probation.
Mr Stewart was caught in the act with his bicycle by cleaners in his bedroom at the Aberley House Hostel in Ayr.
Gail Davidson, prosecuting, told Ayr Sheriff Court: "They knocked on the door several times and there was no reply.
"They used a master key to unlock the door and they then observed the accused wearing only a white t-shirt, naked from the waist down.
Both cleaners, who were "extremely shocked", told the hostel manager who called police.
"The accused was holding the bike and moving his hips back and forth as if to simulate sex."(source: BBC)
Come again? (pun unintended...really!)
I mean...come on..what kind of NEWS is that????
Maybe next time around, they should interview the bicycle to find out if it enjoyed the whole experience. A different take, you know? :D
A Dutch teenager has been arrested for allegedly stealing virtual furniture from "rooms" in Habbo Hotel, a 3D social networking website. More here
Interesting case indeed!
Imagine going to bed late at night and waking up early morning only to find yourself lying on the floor. LOL!
Must be really hard for the avtars, eh? Just dress them up in some extra warm clothes next time.
Also, Wondering now why Habbo Hotel doesn't have its own police force to arrest these furniture 'thieves' :D
On a more serious note, it really makes me wonder why someone would spend 4,000 euros on virtual furniture!!!!
That money could go a long way in feeding a few poor, hungry children in Africa, no?
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Worked on cracking a UNICEF brief with IQ
Sending out a BIG Thank You to Planning for Good
In founder Edward Cotton's words:
"Planning for Good (PFG) is an organization made up of marketing communication strategists and their friends who’ve come together to lend their skills to support nonprofits…Here you’ll find some of the smartest thinkers in the business, people who intimately understand how to uncover insight, build brands and create powerful stories around them"
There's a list below shows the where and the who. If your stuff is MIA and not on this list, please let us know...
Responses revieved from.....
PFG San Francisco
PFG London (soon)
PFG New York
PFG Los Angeles (x 3)
PFG New Orleans
Thanks to everyone listed above who contributed their thinking, time and energy.
We are currently working our way through this mountain of creative thinking and will be sharing all the ideas with UNICEF and with everyone in the PFG group.
I will keep you posted on timing,
Cool, eh? (Will post the presentation with our ideas as soon as we get the nod from PFG)
PFG really is a blessing for those of us who want do to change the world without giving up our day jobs :)
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Friday, November 09, 2007
This ad is amazing: engaging, well produced, great build-up, superb camera angles, good sound design and a fantastic ending.
The voiceover (just in case, you can't turn up the volume now):
Your skin is amazing. All 800 million cells of it. It's your waterproof barrier. Your defense against disease. It's how you sense and adjust to your surroundings. It constantly grows and replaces itself. When you're hurt, it heals itself. For years we've marveled at skin and have developed products to help keep it amazing.
Doesn't it make you wanna scream out aloud that your skin would look like fish scales if it wasn't for Vaseline? :)
Ask most bass guitarists why they picked up the instrument and they will tell you that a drum kit was way too expensive or the fact that they lived in an apartment complex where noise was frowned upon. Joel Turner's story is pretty much similar and it's interesting to see how it has brought beatboxing into the limelight.
Monday, November 05, 2007
Sunday, November 04, 2007
700 visits in 70 odd days is prolly the kind of number A-list bloggers would scoff at. But hey, I'm pretty proud of it! :D
Thanks to all those of you who've taken time out to drop by and spend time on my blog. Appreciate if you can leave suggestions on how I can improve. Cheers! :)
Friday, November 02, 2007
Commendable efforts indeed from both the agencies!
There's nothing more powerful than a compelling piece of communication in today's cluttered environment. Ad Agencies realise this and initiatives like Planning for Good are a welcome sign!
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
If I were a client and had to choose where to put my money on web design, I wouldn't think twice about it. My monies would go right to Agency Fusion, a web development firm.
Why? Check out their website: Make My Logo Bigger Cream
Wouldn't you just love to work with an agency which has a tongue-in-cheek way of attracting clients?
These guys are really sure of what they are offering cos' "Make my logo bigger" is one of the most dreaded statements an agency ever wants to hear. Trust me :)
Monday, October 29, 2007
After Apple fanatic Nick Haley posted his homemade iPod Touch commercial to YouTube last month, a few ad execs at the Cupertino based company saw it. But rather than send him a cease-and-desist letter, they bought his ad, flew him out to Los Angeles to reshoot it in high def, and will be broadcasting it during the World Series this weekend. THAT'S how you love your customers, people! - Wired
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Freak...looks like Microsoft is real desperate now. Can't wait to see where they are going to put their monies in next.....
And Zuckerberg... CEO of a $15 bn company at 23 ..that too after dropping out of Harvard! Amazing!!
He must be thanking his stars that Facemash ran into troubled waters :D
Geeeez! Came across this site: Midget Throwing - A Lost Art
"In Ontario, Canada, the Dwarf Tossing Ban Act, 2003 (Bill 97 2003) tabled by Windsor MPP Sandra Pupatello was tabled but not passed . With proposed penalties of a fine of not more than $5,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than six months, or to both. This was in response to a dwarf tossing contest that was held at Leopard's Lounge in Windsor Ontario" - Wikipedia
It's a bloody weird world out there, eh?
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Having your office in a prime location in the city is more of a bane than a boon, as we found out yet again today.
M.G Road- undoubtedly the best official address to have around here, is getting ready for the Metro Rail. The road is a mess thanks to heavy machinery drilling through the road everyday. No complaints about that.
But for heaven's sake, why do they keep drilling through our fiber optic cables? It's freaking impossible to work without the internet!
Monday, October 22, 2007
The deputy mayor of the Indian capital Delhi has died a day after being attacked by a horde of wild monkeys. More here
Read this shocking story in the papers this morning. Awful!
Despite repeated press coverage on the monkey menace in Delhi, no steps have been taken to curb the problem. Where are we heading?
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Stepped out recently with a friend to check out the Retail craze in Bangalore.
Guess what I found staring right back at me amidst all that chaos?
EGB ... Elephant Ginger Beer.. a refreshing beverage and a brand my previous agency built over a short span of time :)
This non-alcoholic beverage uses natural ginger as its chief ingredient. And the best bit is the fact that the parent company runs an initiative to support local farmers who grow ginger.
A chilled glass of EGB is a must for everyone who ever visits Sri Lanka.
Like the ad campaign says... "No EGB. No food!" :)
There's so much talk about reducing ecological footprints worldwide. It probably hasn't even crossed the minds of the officials at Indian Railways yet.
Wikipedia says "The total number of railway stations in India is estimated to be between 7,000 and 8,000"
Here's a suggestion: Get rid of those platform tickets!
It'll save a whole lot of trees from being cut down every year.
Try this approach :)
Saturday, October 20, 2007
The ad shown below prompted me to search for available stats on female foeticide in India.
And this one below just plain surprised me. I mean imagine an Indian guy checking out cars on a Croatian website and being targeted with a not so irrelevant ad. Bloody cool!