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For the Record
I am indebted to Spell with Flickr for my fantabulous title typeface bar.
And a host of others for the wonderful faces that brings my Mood-O-Meter alive. A click on the picture will take you to the respective photo's source page.
All views and opinions expressed on this blog are my own and not that of my employers, past or present.
I remember a few years back when I had just started grad school at the VCU Adcenter I stumbled on the bible of copywriters (at least the ones who were in the copywriting program) called 'The Copy Book'. It was there that I discovered some interesting advertising characters like Neil French, Bill Bernbach etc. But there was one name in there that quite captured my interest, and that was an Indian bloke called Indra Sinha. And my initial thoughts were like how the hell did this Indian dude get on to this list of caucasian writers. He seemed like the perfect misfit. And that's exactly what I liked about him the further I started reading about him. And with an iconoclastic ad like the one below for which he won some D&AD pencils, it was no surprise that he was on that coveted list. It's been a while since I last heard anything about Indra and today came to know from the Booker Prize announcements that Indra's new book 'Animal's People' was on the final shortlist. His fantastic interview about the book and it's purpose is here. As I move on figuring out my place in the ad world, I rediscover Indra again. Only this time he has left the ad world and moved on to other more meaningful and interesting things. And it is fantastic that he is alive and kickin on the web. All sorts of interesting viewpoints and stuff to read on his site. Like I was reading about the topic of the reuse of old ideas here (like how the Honda Cog ad was actually inspired by the Fischli and Weiss short film 'The Way Things Go'). The latest Sony Bravia 'Play-Doh' denials is covered here. Indra has this interesting piece on the same topic - in this case the famous 1980's Levi's Laundrette ad which had a predecessor in a Hamlet Cigars ad (the laundrette one from this collection from the 1960s). Especially in a digital age where everything is becoming more open and shared and new ideas emerge from mutations of old ones, Indra's explanation is quite apt that an old and used idea should not be wasted if it's a natural fit for the brand:
"I don’t for a moment think that John Hegarty or Tony Scott would stoop
to purloining someone else’s work. I prefer to think of the Levi’s ad
as a tribute to its predecessor which, although not one of the best
Hamlet ads, was an idea so natural for Levi’s that it proved simply too
good to waste."
A whole bunch of stuff to read on his site. It's a delight to see him active and inspire us online. Keep it rockin' Indra!!
The phenomenal folks at the MIT Media Lab are doing all sorts of interesting cool stuff in the arena of digital, internet and interface interactivity. As a person who is keenly interested in information architecture and simplifying interfaces, I am astounded by the scope of the Physical Language Workshop (PLW).
The PLW interface feels almost like a highly malleable digital interface made of post-it notes. Which gives the information presented an almost physical like form, because you are moving and sorting through stuff almost or as close to like you do in the physical world. I am envisioning the possibilities of this when we work spread out across continents, sharing information and posting those cool colorful post-it notes on to the screen to share with colleagues across the world. Seamlessly brainstorming and sticking opinions and adding notes. Absolutely fantastic!!
Within the PLW project, Openbrand is an ongoing experiment towards making online advertising a two-way conversation. The next phase of consumer engagement and immediate feedback of their sentiments toward the brand. I just can't wait.
Found this on the back-side of the menu of an Arabic restaurant here in Singapore. The graphic visual is great with the victory sign, copy and the Palestinian flag blending in perfectly. Never seen an ad of this sort on a menu.
I am wondering if other restaurants would permit this message to be on the back of their menus.
This is a stunning piece of advertising. When the demise of the TV commercial is much talked about everywhere in the media and advertising marketplace, this 90 seconds commercial is one of the best I've seen from India and captures the state of the nation succinctly. And with Amitabh Bachchan as the narrator it's a short ad masterpiece.
Here's two fantastic ads (in the likes of Dru's total entertaining yet not disrespectful or intruding on the people kind-of-way) for Happy Dent brand chewing gum from India done by modern India's ad storyteller Prasoon Joshi, who is the South & South East Asia regional director of my employer McCann Erickson. So it's a bit of agency self promotion, but totally worth a watch for the sheer fun and colorful, rustic exuberance of the ads.
This is the new one that is airing in India now.
This one is the older one which had aired two or three years back.