Google: Technology, Creativity and now.. Marketing!

“Can America’s most iconic advertising campaigns be re-imagined for the web?”

As you logon to – this is the question that welcomes you to the website. Project Re:Brief is an advertising experiment by Google where it attempts to bring back some of the most famous advertising campaigns in the history of marketing in the US, and re-invents those still alive brands on the web.

Google Project Re Brief

As digital marketers (and regular brand managers) grapple with the all important question of how to leverage technology and the internet to communicate better with their customers, Project Re:breif comes almost as a guiding light – a set of case studies to re-imagine, if I were to steal the old Disney paradigm and apply it here, now and in a bid to fundamentally change display/banner advertising currently works on the web.

To popularise the concept, Google has extended the definitions of experiential marketing. Clearly, the people behind the project hold very deeply the fact that real engagement comes when the viewer “feels” the need to share the story with friends – just like I am doing right now. And that is the premise on which the two represented brands have been engaged with – Coke and Volvo – both experiments for Project Re: Brief. The team got in touch with the legendary men and women who designed these campaigns in the 70s and 80s and re-created the magic in collaboration with them.

“Story-telling” will truly be the future of succesful advertising – since this is the format that takes engagement to an altogether new level. The emphasis will not be on “what” you want to communicate, rather it will be on “how you involve your audience” while communicating with him or her.

Here’s an excerpt from an article about the experiment quoting the Product Marketing Manager, Aman Govil:

Google came up with the idea after talking about adapting classic ads into banners with New York-based creative agency Johannes Leonardo. According to Govil, it evolved after he saw the documentary Art & Copy, about 1970s ad world mavericks. “If we can shift the way the industry approaches building digital advertising, we can come up with amazing work that people will love, remember, and share 50 years from now,” he says.

Read the complete article at thinkwithgoogle and check out the Coke and Volve stories I just mentioned about on the Project Re:Brief website . I don’t want to dwell on it any longer – I’d rather leave you with the official video form the team introducing the concept:

Attention-grabbing advertising need not always be clutter-breaking: Lessons from Vodafone’s IPL campaign

The essence of good advertising lies in the simplicity with which it communicates its message. Of course, in the context of modern day Television advertising, the buzzword is ‘clutter-breaking’.

Vodafone has clearly emerged as a marketer who have, time after time, defied conventional wisdom in advertising. They have pushed the limits time yet again. Their recent ‘Fun Begins Now’ campaign during the IPL only goes to show the originality that has now come characterize their marketing communication.

If you look at the ad in the context of a commercial break between overs in an IPL match – it just blends in and blends out. For instance, a casual observer might not even realize the onset of a commercial break at the end of the over. Likewise, a viewer distracted from the television during a commercial break will immediately get hooked on assuming that the ‘break’ is over and the ‘match’ has started. This is what I mean when I say that the advertising ‘blends in and blends out.’
Just to illustrate my point take a look at the 3 ads releases so far – evidently, this appears to be some sort of a ‘teaser’ campaign.
Different formats of attractive stadia scenes (and sometimes funny ones – like the guy coming out of the stadium washroom, sumo wrestlers in the background, etc)  almost look like a continuity of the match to a casual couch potato. It is only a few seconds into the visual that the words FUN BEGINS NOW flash onto the screen followed by the red background housing the logo.
In the first edition of the IPL, Vodafone created news with their clutter-breaking ‘Zoo-Zoo’ campaign. In its fifth edition, they have yet again made news – this time in a very non-cluttering way, if I may put it that way.
Brand: Vodafone
Agency: Ogilvy & Mather India

Book Review: Welcome to Advertising: Now get lost!

In my quest to understand a little bit more about Marketing as a profession, and perhaps scratch the surface a tad deeper, I often tend to pick up books on that and related subjects at a bookstore. One of these travails got my to lay my hands on this book called “Welcome to Advertising: Now get lost!” by Omkar Sane.

The fact that the jacket blurb (back cover) of the book had quotes from the likes of Prahlad Kakkar and Bharat Dabholkar convinced me that light-hearted as it may seem, this book definitely takes you at the ringside for a view inside the ad-mad-world, one never seen before in print. Certainly not in the Indian context that I am aware of.

Piece by piece, by piece, the book rips apart the layers that make up the industry and provides a deep sketch of all the characters that one could encounter in an advertising agency. So much so, that by the time one is half way through the book, it begins to seem like “Servicing”, “NCD”, “Art Director”, “CD” are characters in a novel, rather than the placeholders in a ter u(expose?) that they are meant to be.

All in all, WTA:NGL is a delightful read that makes you chuckle if you are a novice, and if like me – you are a marketing professional, it gives you a better understanding of the people you might have to work with on a regular basis!