AdStand: BA, Tinder, Nivea and delightful syrupy Hershey

This week, British Airways has been making the whole world teary eyed. There have been millions of views and BA seems to be riding the wave of goodwill. The soppy tale of granny, her business class travel, and her welcoming home the airhostess is something that is neither a fresh tale nor a fresh execution, but somehow the patriotic feeling that the six-and-a-half-minute commercial evokes is working for the brand. #FuelledByLove, I am sure everyone is running to buy business class tickets to London!

If you have been moved by the real life story, do check out this page.

They are overwhelming favourites of everyone currently. May be I am too hardnosed to have missed the love completely. BA’s claim they have been all about love for India since 1924 is one irony that seems to have escaped everybody.

Staying on the long format ads that are currently in vogue, there is a new one from Tinder that is getting huge traction across the worldwide web. Eat, Pray, Swipe is the new tale told by The Viral Factory. In a country where the matchmaking activity is an exclusive domain of elders, Tinder and its likes are actively challenging the norm. Tinder puts women in charge of the mating game, and this video is a hilarious take on what happens when cool, calm women swipe right or left and the clueless men are struggling to cope with it. If you haven’t, then watch it here.


Ask Me Bazaar, the online portal that sells everything across the board, has just released a new TVC featuring Kangana Ranaut for its grocery business. Ask Me Bazaar has a unique tone of voice; it swings between bizarre to outrageous and is difficult to fathom what the brand wants to achieve. This TVC has Kangna learning and torturing everyone around her with her really outrageous dance performance. Why is the song on a new scale of music or why is the dance on an undefined dance floor is something only Kangana can answer.


The big news in the ad is that while everyone is humouring Kangana, the delivery boy who comes with two branded polythene bags knows what Kangana wants him to do, and does it with élan. There is a nice touch in the ad by having the delivery professional wear ear plugs. If anything, the delivery professional knows how to deal with sticky clients and over the top situations. If you have to watch this ad, watch it for the delivery boy. On another note, why is the delivery in polythene bags?

There is a delightful new TVC from Nivea. Nivea released a long-format #BanBodyOdour branded content featuring Suresh Menon as the fiery news anchor.

The long-format ad is a hilarious take on how news channels create talking heads and debate every mundane thing under the sun. Nivea has now extended the same to a hilarious new TVC. Deodorant as a category is stuck in one groove, and Nivea has successfully created a new narrative. Nivea has a new age take on what happens when men raise their arm and how this has led to creation of new ways of greeting. They have taken it back to origination of mankind.


It’s not that creating emotional tales is a prerogative of India. Hershey’s in the US has released a new ad called “Hello happy, Hello Hershey’s” that is doing extremely well for the brand. The cardboard cutout dad and his clever daughter is an interesting take on what happens in modern busy lives.

Original Published Here:

AdStand: Looking back on 2015 – Episode 1

The year is coming to an end, and it is a good time to look back at the year that has gone by. Every year that passes by leaves an imprint for the next year to follow. 2015 may be leaving behind a major trend that may be changing the world of communication in a major way.

In June this year Chevrolet sent out a press release in the US written almost completely in Emoji. The press release was for the Chevy Cruise 2016 model for global markets. The release generated global buzz, may be more than the overall coverage that the car launch generated.

Emojis are small electronic images and icons that help users express emotions.

Emoji’s are an awesome development. The start of language for humankind was pictures. As far back as 3300 BCE Egyptians were using Hieroglyphs to write the story of the kingdom. Hieroglyphs were a series of pictures that were used to tell the glory of a kingdom to its citizens. Language evolved to have what we now know as alphabets. And, in the last couple of years, it has evolved to become a series of pictures again. Emoji’s are the new age Hieroglyphs, and mobiles are the new edifices where they are displayed. Mobile phones became central to the way we live in more ways than it can be imagined and changed the language forever.

This is the first big trend of 2015: The Year of the Apps.

2015 will be the year where apps became mainstream categories. Apps till now were mobile presence of mainstream brands, but that changed in 2015.

Take payments for instance. Apps have redefined how people pay, transact and shop. It is difficult to believe that consumers can trust their mobile device to hold money and pay money to another user. The category of mobile payments did not exist even a year back. Not just mobile payments, banks too have adapted to the world of mobile. Bank apps now allow you to do new things like video chat, ask questions and do everything that traditional bank accounts let you do.

Mobiles are making pictures and videos mobile and ubiquitous. With apps like Meerkat and Periscope, photos and videos are now always available on demand everywhere. While pictures were for a long time, now even video is.

The category of Music has seen a revival thanks to music that is available through apps. From Apple to Deezer to Spotify to Gaana, songs are now available online anytime they are wanted. Last year Apple released the new U2 album exclusively online; today this has become mainstream with the possibility that music may never be available in offline format.

Games are the new category that have moved to mobile, what started as an innovation from Angry Birds, became an epidemic with Candy Crush, and now has become mainstream with NFS and FIFA 16 moving to apps on mobile devices.

By the end of the year cops across the country have hitched on to the bandwagon. Now citizens can report traffic violations, file an FIR and in some cases even pay pending challans. This is serious mainstreaming of apps.

There isn’t a category that is now not available as an app. Groceries, vegetables, medicines, doctors, eye wear, beauty products, fashion advice, driving tips, music, movies, deliveries, food, reviews, tickets, and whatever else that can be imagined.

Mobiles phones are no longer about make, price range or features; they are today only about apps that are installed on it. Smart watches are pushing this even deeper with integration between life and mobile device getting deeper. Did you not reach out for your mobile phone first thing today morning?

This is the first of the four trends of 2015. Next trend in next post.

Original published here:

7 things research will never tell a marketer

No self respecting marketing executive can live without market research. Market Research offers purposeful information to make plans, policies, programmes and procedures of any marketing activity. Market Research industry is as old as communication industry and many would argue more important than the mainstream communication industry. Yet there are pitfalls, and things that MR can never tell. Here are seven things MR can rarely tell

1. Reflect reality

Market research is a post facto measurement of what had happened. The common belief is that research data reflects the current reality and hence can be used as a basis for predicting future. If that was the case then well researched brands would have never failed

2. Predict future

Research means placing human beings together in one place ask them their opinions and form that as a basis of predicting future. This is like saying that if you watch a lion in zoo, you will learn all about lions. Human zoo is no different from animal zoo, and is rarely the right basis of prediction.

3. Is never free of bias

Any form of research suffers from investigator bias and statistical errors. Research too is a classical case of stimulous response. The answers depend on what you ask, and that define the findings. Can research ever be free of bias?

4.Right answers depend on right questions

The new Coke is the stuff that is now a case study. While the new formulation tested well, scored on blind taste and passed every test the research industry threw at it, it failed when launched. The consumer was not asked the most obvious question; will the formulation change the brand they love? Do they want the brand to change? The result was a massacre in market

5. No guaranty of success

Testing a new commercial for predicting its success in market is a common practice. It is easy to score a commercial on emotional appeal, on message comprehension, on ability to create perception. Yet more commercials fail then succeed. We all know that, yet are slaves to practice

6. Does not replace experience and gut

We need to remember that research is a tool, and not the decision. A marketers gut, experience, market reality are far more important than any amount of research data. Yet the tendency is to live more by research data and less by collective experience.

7. Quality matters

We all know this.


Yet an average marketer rarely spends time on figuring out who will administer the stimulus for research. Will an average field executive be up to scratch? Will the average investigator strike the right balance of objectivity and expertise? Most researches are spoilt by simple overlooking of this crucial aspect. Next time pay attention to field investigators.

As a simple test try this, ban MR for a while, live by what you know as a marketer, trust your experience, trust your market feel, trust the hours you have spent in field. Take the decisions that need to be taken, and use research almost as the last step to check gross negative. You might speed up the process, learn a great deal more from mistakes, and possibly be more successful.

Experience always triumphs over data