Karva Chauth has been an orthodox North Indian custom where the bride fasts all day for the good health and prosperity of her husband and breaks her fast only on sighting the moon. These days, with Valentine's Day and Mother's Day and Friendship Day and sundry other days becoming gifting opportunities, can Karva Chauth be far behind? Forget about Delhi and its typically loud ways. Mumbai's newspapers had a large advertisement of a lady's hands done up with mehendi in the shape of a mobile phone and an exhortation that the ideal Karva Chauth gift for her would be a mobile phone. And not just any phone, but a Nokia. Talk about thinking global and acting local. And what the hell! At least the lovely lady would have something interesting to fast for!

Method in media

Media is really taking its place in the sun.

Till now the AdClub Bombay only had an Ad Review where some creative guru came and had a hard look at the year that had gone by. Then one President decided that marketing gurus could very well make the Ad Review because they were judging and approving creatives all year long. So you had a couple of years when the marketing guys took centre-stage.

In all this, the media crowd must have felt a little left out. So the AdClub Bombay launched the Media Review. Last year, Sam Balsara delivered the first Media Review and it seems promptly took off for Malaysia where he must have had another chance to show the presentation, with some tweaks maybe. This year Sameer Nair of Star made the AdClub's Media Review. And we hear he is taking off for Bali to speak at the Asia Pacific Media Forum there. We are sure he will not re-run the Media Review, but what an opportunity! If anyone from India (apart from the speakers) is going to Bali, they could let us know if we are only speculating as usual.


The American Association of Advertising Agencies (4As) has decided it has to do something about the negative headlines the advertising industry somehow seems to attract. Keeping in mind the fact that there's nothing like practising what you preach, they have hired Golin Harris (no, not Colvyn Harris, he heads JWT in India), a PR firm that represents such heavies like McDonald's to stave off these offending headlines and burnish the image of the industry. It seems they hope to reach reporters who don't normally cover the advertising beat and score positive stories in business magazines and in the consumer press.

The mind boggles at what would happen if our own desi AAAI (Advertising Agencies Association of India) had to consider something similar. Maybe it should consider calling in PR agencies for a pitch. The pitch rules, after all, are applicable only to advertising agencies and advertisers. God knows the industry in India could use a little image building as well. Is the President of the AAAI listening?

Creative adventurism

We read about an advertising agency that submitted a scam advertisement and got caught with its pants down. Evidently, the client wasn't even aware about the effort. Any scamster worth his minimalistic creative knows that you have to make the client a partner in your crime. That way, he would have to perjure himself in case of some mishap. Anyway, what happened in this sorry case was that the agency head did what most agency types do best he coined new jargon. Calling it `creative adventurism,' he condemned it and promised immediate action. Creative adventurism my eye! When will the advertising agencies realise that scam advertising is scam advertising? And the only way to wipe out this scourge is to look inwards and be honest. The alternative could be to re-read the earlier para and hire that PR agency double-quick. Maybe they would even come up with some more creative jargon.

Wait and watch

We flipped through the pages of a supplement in a leading newspaper. The first page had an ad for Tag Heur (with Shah Rukh), the second for Longines (with Ash), the third for Omega (with Abhishek) the fourth for Xylus (no model). What does it tell us? Firstly, watches are a great gifting idea this Diwali. Especially for those whose time is money. Secondly, film stars as models are the first choice of luxury watch manufactures. Thirdly, if you are a film star, Xylus is an opportunity for you. And finally, what it doen't tell us. Why does Xylus prominently say `Swiss made. Since 2006'? We thought the `since' was to indicate the long years of existence and experience. Or like wine, do we assume the Swiss movements were good in 2006?


(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated October 26, 2006)
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