Highs & Lows during 2014

Pradipti Jayaram | Updated on December 25, 2014






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Like’ and ‘Unlike’ moments from the world of branding, marketing and advertising

The fag end of the year is a good time to introspect over the months gone by. And Pradipti Jayaram did just that to come up with the top 5 ‘Like’ and ‘Unlike’ moments from the world of branding, marketing and advertising. These are moments that made her happy, made her sad; and some made her wonder why?!

Uber’s fall from grace

New Delhi’s recent Uber driver rape incident and the subsequent suspension of the operations of the previously much-loved service, apart from dealing a blow to Uber’s reputation, has thrown up uncomfortable questions for the sector, the paramount one being why doesn’t India have more women-friendly taxi services? It is to be seen if Uber and the sector, as a whole, can bounce back from this one.


Amidst all the pomp and show, the ‘big billion day’ sale proved to be a technical and PR nightmare of mammoth proportions. A crashing website, error messages and payment issues plagued buyers. The sale certainly got the e-commerce major’s cash registers ringing, but it has been a PR washout for the website with the internet rife with criticism from disgruntled customers.

Bouncing back in bad taste

The ad created for Kurl-on by Ogilvy India shows a cartoon image of Yousafzai being shot in the face and falling backward through the air with blood dripping from her head before landing on one of the company’s spring mattresses and bouncing back as an inspirational survivor. The ad was considered by most to be in poor taste.

Autocorrect alert

Owing to alleged backlash and censure on the web, Victoria’s Secret, in a clandestine manner, had reportedly swapped its ad slogan, “The Perfect Body,” for one that is meant to be more palatable to non-supermodels: “A Body for Every Body.” Quick thinking? Or worried about egg on one’s face?

Good intention gone wrong

Airtel’s ‘boss’ ad, at the outset, may seem like one of those new-age ads which champion women’s empowerment. The sweet script, however, soon turned sour when people began accusing the ad of promoting conservatism.

Taking charge

The Advertising Standards Council of India’s (ASCI) guidelines for advertising skin-whitening creams (which have for long been the bane of our existence) call for advertising to not directly or implicitly show people with darker skin in a way that is widely seen as unattractive or unhappy. Good for them!

Brave new world

The Nescafe ad featuring the stuttering comedian added the much needed positive spin on things in an age quite obsessed with the rat race.

Across border bonhomie

Google’s India and Pakistan ads show us that despite all our differences, we are same same only. Solidifying across-the-border brotherhood.

Ice, Ice baby

ALS’s ice bucket challenge not only took the world by storm, raised tonnes of money, and promoted a worthy cause, it also showed the world how social media and slacktivism can be used for a cause, and used well.

Do the Rex!

Ranveer Singh’s ‘Do the Rex’ ad made a long-standing taboo topic come out of the closet. Not only did it throw light on the need for condoms, it did so in an inoffensive, targeting-the-youth-in-the-language-it-speaks sort of manner. Unlike the usual condom ads which talk about sex in an oblique way, this ad stood out for its bold stance.

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Published on December 25, 2014
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