Archive for November, 2010

Being associated with leading creative agencies might sound an exciting business proposition since it offers you opportunities on a platter. While this might be a generally accepted idea, but is that really an advantage in the real sense of the word?

Let’s delve deeper into this question. Does a big media agency that gets business without trying too hard make for a better business option? The answer according to me in not “yes”.

I believe that small agencies have their own advantages and the sum total of these advantages at times outnumber the business scope of a big agency.

Now, let me make it more specific. Since smaller agencies don’t get business on a platter, they have to constantly keep sharpening their skill sets. When one doesn’t get easy business without even pitching, then a whole lot of value additions, planning tools, system processes need to be developed. For which the management has to invest in R&D. These become special value propositions and assets over a period of time. Moreover, client’s benefit from better servicing, closer attention and the over eagerness to retain the business. Not only that, smaller agencies have better control over their businesses since they are never a victim of fallouts or realignment of business with the big brother.

I am not here trying to recommend smaller agencies as an ideal business option or undermine the bigger ones; my sole point is to put forth their bright side. Ideally, I think the best is a combination of both. Might be a 60:40 or better still 70:30 ratio, where an agency has a substantial chunk of businesses of their own. Based on which one can plan long term on all fronts of investment, diversification, talent management and so on.

28 Nov 2010

The advantage of being small

Author: maya | Filed under: Uncategorized

27 Nov 2010

A great Campaign by Mcdonalds

Author: maya | Filed under: ADs of the world

The genius of the human spirit is under threat. It is competing with its own creation. Humans invented technology to make life faster, smoother and efficient, but in the bargain they are fast being enslaved, replaced and undermined by it.

It’s a quintessential scenario of man vs the machine and it has never been as profound as it sounds today. Mind you, I am not a cynic of modernity, my only contention and motive is to bring back the genius of human spirit into spotlight and free it from the shackles of artificial art.

There was a time when the masters of modern art would do things that will make you stand in awe. When MF Hussain started his career as a painter of cinema hoardings, there was little dependency on technology and yet they managed to do things which are simply masterpieces. His larger than life hoardings depicting every shade of emotion. I always wondered how these painters transferred the A4 size artwork of JK Tyre on 80 feet by 40 feet hoarding. It was amazing how they hung on those fragile bamboo scaffoldings, and managed to draw the massive 30 feet high logo immaculately.

One has to see to believe how the images of tyres or celebrities or packs were reproduced by these master artists. The mixing of colours to make it look true, the gradual shading to give it the proper depth was just amazing.

Now, I wonder in amazement about such art. I miss the drama that it evoked and the real feeling that was on display on the giant hoardings at every street that one passed by. The art perfected by geniuses like MF Hussain is missing today. After all, the stroke of the painting brush is more emotional that the sound of a wide format printer.

For a long time the skill of such artists did challenge the computerized wide-format printers. But then none were cheap, so both co-existed for some time. But over the years they failed to cope with the cheap substrates from China and Korea and the economical printing machines. The machine conveniently replaced the skilful hands of such artists and gradually made them irrelevant.

Many of them started working as labourers to install the printed flexes on hoardings.  Some of the skillful artists (I refrain to use the word painter) I hear went back to their native villages and lived a life of oblivion and utter despair. The skillful hands that used to craft emotions were made useless overtime.

The hoarding painters were artists who never got their share of due credit. The genius that they possessed was never celebrated. Though nothing can replace their skill but by large they are a forgotten lot. And thanks to the wide format technology, oblivion seems to be their only refuge. So sad, but so true.

P.S. As a token of appreciation for those artisans you guys can send us old good hand painted hoarding pictures & we will upload the best of them.  Send your replies at

Few of the replies received from users:

The hand painted hoarding photos done in Chennai during 1996 to 1997

The hand painted hoarding photos done in Chennai during 1996 to 1997

The hand painted hoarding photos done in Chennai during 1996 to 1997

16 Nov 2010

An ode to MF Hussain

Author: maya | Filed under: Uncategorized

Advertising is going through a metamorphosis and how! These days most advertisers are pushing their creative and outdoor agencies to create eye grabbing installations on billboards or any other outdoor media vehicles. One obvious route used is to create giant replicas of package or other relevant objects. There are many popular ones like Absolut, Mini, Ikea or Heiniken done over the period of time. Check out few of them on Clients in India also desire to have their campaigns dotted with such innovations. But lack of time, prohibitive cost, lack of expertise and impatience makes it a difficult proposition.

In the absence of using such giant replicas or props, is there a way in which the billboard can still be made attractive? Yes, many campaigns we see these days use smart graphic renditions to give a depth to the objects and pictures. Clever use of shadows and perspectives makes the packs or objects that you want to highlight, stand out, and helps grab a better attention from the passing audience. The next pertinent question is, does it come cheap? Ideally not.

Shown below is an artwork where 3D effect is given:

Now guess what’s wrong in it.

Mistake #1:
The shadows by sunrays are sharper than what’s provided here. Probably it was meant for the 3-4 halogen bulbs from the top illuminating the board in the evening. But then half of the sites are illuminated from the bottom! So the shadow should be above the cubes as well!

Mistake #2:
This is a rampant one. It starts from the fact that outdoor is still an after thought and when a shoot takes place, the stills take care of ads for press and brochures. We all forget that these ads are seen at an eye level, when you hold them in your hand. The problem is the camera angle which are either top, a bird’s eye view or eye-level view. 99% of billboards or any outdoor media vehicle for that matter is at appreciable height. So if the intention is to create a realistic 3D effect of the object then the camera angle has to be from the bottom, i.e. ant view. Therefore if I want to show a car stuck on the board on its side, then I have no option but to show the bottom of the car, which I guess is not a great sight. Unless I stick it sideways with the wheels on the board and the roof outside.

So the artwork below can be considered as a correction to the above artwork:

Mistake #3:
A single artwork with size adaptations takes care of all sites irrespective of size of the board, its height from the ground, its angle to the viewer and the sun position during peak hours. That should never be the case while creating realistic 3D artworks. Each site should be treated separately with all the data of viewing angle, height and position to the sun. Look at the examples of the same campaign. I am sure you will get it.

Yes, creating 3D effect on the artwork itself takes care of lot of hassles and nightmares, but doesn’t come in cheap as it needs special skills, special treatments, softwares and calculations. The advertisers should realize this.

In the end, actual or replicas or props built and installed on billboards give much better appeal, but we can look at this cosmetic option as long as it’s done right.

NGO Chetana Foundation: Cloth Donation, 3

NGO Chetana Foundation: Cloth Donation, 1

NGO Chetana Foundation: Cloth Donation, 2

Advertising Agency: Mudra DDB Group, Mumbai, India
Creative Directors: KB Vinod, Deepak Singh
Art Director: Deepak Singh
Copywriter: KB Vinod
Photographer: Nirav Mehta
Additional Credits: Rajesh Sawant, Santosh Saler

3 Nov 2010

NGO Chetana Foundation: Cloth Donation

Author: maya | Filed under: ADs of the world

Rescue for hungry people. 24h.

Advertising Agency: DDB Helsinki, Finland
Creative Directors: Jukka Mannio, Vesa Tujunen
Art Director: Jukka Mannio
Copywriter: Vesa Tujunen
Photographer: Joonas Antikainen / Left & Right
Retoucher: Antti Salminen
Account Director: Jarno Lindblom
Account Manager: Pia Eiro
Additional credits: Kirsi Pärni, Kimmo Syväri
Published: September 2010
Country: Finland

3 Nov 2010

McDonald’s: Rescue for hungry people

Author: maya | Filed under: ADs of the world