Move over ads, long live ads

Uber last week offered #UberPUPPIES to come to people in Delhi, who could pay a small sum of money to cuddle puppies for a fixed time. The campaign was launched with a dog adoption service; people could adopt the puppies if they wanted to. This was not the first time that Uber had done this. In January this year, Uber offered the same programme in 10 of the largest cities in America for $30. Before Delhi, they did the same in Pune in January this year.

This Wednesday, a host of office goers and individuals were busy posting dogfies on social media. Uber has hit upon a very cool way to increase affinity for itself. No amount of traditional advertising or traditional PR would have got this level of feel-good for the brand. That the campaign came on back of Uber winning the case in Delhi may be incidental. Uber Puppies delivered a load of cuteness for the brand.

Staying with advertising being used differently by brands, Toyota is doing a really clever thing in Sweden. The radio ad delivered through the car entertainment system actually takes over Siri and places theiPhone in airplane mode.

This is clever and does a thing that you least expect. As people point out, by putting the phone in airplane mode, the navigation also gets switched off and instead of solving a problem may create a new problem. The technology opens up newer vistas of engaging the audience, this may be the start and we may now see many more of the different kind. Imagine if the brands are able to send offers and navigation details as the cars are on the road. Imagine the disruptive abilities of the brands and how they can impact the new choice-making paradigms.

What the Internet did with the coming of social media was that it made pictures ubiquitous. Pictures travelled real time, were available wherever needed, however, the same was not true of videos. Videos were still complicated to set up, they needed cameras, bandwidth and such to ‘broadcast’. A set of new apps has changed that. Meerkat and Periscope have made video as ubiquitous as pictures, thanks to mobiles with cameras. Meerkat has already tied up with Discovery channel to make available exclusive content when the programme is broadcast. Discovery has set up special Shark Cam that social stream exclusive content. Head to Meerkat and follow @sharkweek.

Periscope is not far behind. Jimmy Fallon used it to take viewers behind the scene, Adidas used it to broadcast contract signing ceremony with a player, Mountain Dew, Red Bull, GE and Spotify too have used it to create engaging content. Carly Fiorina even used it to do a townhouse to announce her Presidential bid!

Meanwhile, back home a brand has made it cool to call your girlfriend Bitch, after getting your vision corrected. While on that do watch. My Pale Skin is a blog written by a London-based blogger and ex-model. This video has got over 200,000 views in a week’s time and it does question our perception of beauty. You can join the discussion with #YouLookDisgusting. The Indian community of Dark is Beautiful ( is worth checking out for precisely the same reason.

Advertising is changing, so are the triggers associated with advertising. The traditional response to brand issues has to be re-evaluated. Brand theories we grew up with, and are still being taught, need a new tweak.


Original published here

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