Cricket World Cup – Come, advertise all over(s)!

Let’s call this a game… Just count how many ads you were able to spot while watching the telecast of ODI cricket world cup match between any 2 teams… It covers all the advertisements that are shown in between overs, within an over, in the replays, during drinks break, during an injury, after a batsman is declared out, during the 3rd umpire decision… in short, wherever you could notice… it includes ads displayed at the boundaries, hoardings, banners & don’t forget the players’ uniforms/bats & also what the commentators say in the background! 

Now, you know what I meant…! Of course, why should anybody actually count all the ads…? Come on, we are watching a game of cricket here… it would definitely ‘irritate’ with all those ads creeping and sneaking on your TV screen desperate enough to catch your attention. It would be better if advertisers start earning consumer attention rather than bombarding them with ads anywhere & everywhere on the screen while the match is on…  Okay… now being the consumers that we are, we know that we are advertiser’s targets & that we rarely can escape ads… so, what do we do? Either you just take what you want & leave the rest of the clutter OR raise your voice & let the ASCI/concerned authorities know what is unacceptable.

Most will think of ignoring them but think again… these ads can do wonders by working at a subliminal level & advertisers know that. This is precisely why Cricket is an enormous playground for ads where brands attempt to compete, capitalize, contest, capture, captivate, conquer or simply charm the consumers. Yes, ads can bring in consumers who are annoyed & put forward their grievance but like it’s said, ‘Consumer memory is short-lived’ & they can be forgiving if they feel they are not taken for granted.

So now, the important question is “whether it’s about Cricket, Channels, Commercials or Consumers?” By the way, who will figure this out? The GAME is still on…


The Top Ten Toons

We all have our favorite cartoons. It hardly matters whether you watched them when you were a kid or you are still watching them along with your kids. For me, Cartoons/animations are more than entertainment… they bring in a sense of imagination, creativity, colors, voice modulations & so much more… Of course, not all cartoons created by mankind make a huge success, some may have less TRP’s or rank low in popularity scales… but even then, there was someone’s innovative & original thought into it.

Right now, let me present to you the Top Ten Toons of all times which I consider as brilliant and to which most of you will definitely agree. Let’s start (with applause – it’s deserving)

No. 10 – The Simpsons – Though I would like to watch more of Simpsons, I just couldn’t watch this series not more than 3 or 4 episodes. I know lot of people love the family of Homer Simpson, it’s won many awards, it’s shown at prime-time, it’s got good TRP’s & sponsors but why do I miss it then? Maybe it’s the mouth of the characters that turns me off but still I place it in my Top Ten list. What I like most is its originality & Homer’s voice apart from the social/family/relationship issues involved.

No. 9 – The Flintstones – After Adam & Eve, I guess it must be the Flintstones family. Created by Hanna-Barbera, this series revolves around the stone-age life story of Fred Flintstones, his family – wife ‘Welma’, daughter ‘Pebbles’, pet dinosaur, ‘Dino’ & friends/neighbours – Barney, Betty & their strong son, Bamm-Bamm. Very well done sketches, themes, and storylines – it’s a classic toon family that shares happiness, grief, struggles, relationships, work pressures so on. By the way, did I place this at No. 9??

No. 8 – The Road runner & Coyote – This chase is never ending one. You will watch it hoping Coyote will get to the Road runner some day but it doesn’t happen because it’s not meant to be. The life-long efforts of Coyote and the running speed of road runner are contradicting but it is highly appreciable that Coyote tries, tries again & tries like for eternity. Yet again, we see the duo – Chuck Jones & Mel Blanc at work behind these characters. Can Warner Bros. ever say “That’s all folks”?

No. 7 – Mickey mouse, Donald Duck & other Disney characters – Disney characters need not lose its charm amongst other competing toons as they have a solid presence and unique brand essence. With Disneyland and Disney channels, it’s certainly difficult to forget them. Among the likes of Goofy and Pluto, Minnie Mouse, Uncle Scrooge & his 3 nephews, the character I like is Chip & Dale. Walt Disney movies have also made their mark in animated movies around fairy tale characters.

No. 6 – Sylvester (with or without Tweety) – Another cat in the race, Sylvester – the black & white cat does so much activity that he is seen with many other characters especially Tweety bird & Sylvester junior. The grandma may have petted this cat, but Sylvester is an independent cat pretending to be intelligent as well. Again, with the magic voice of Mel Blanc, this character is very tweet… I mean sweet.

No. 5 – Scooby Doo & the Gang – The mysteries and weird places that Scooby, the dog and his human friends – Shaggy, Fred, Velma & Daphne enter into are really picturesque. With vibrant colours, nice sketches, background, music, voices, dialogues, there is only little that Scooby Doo series misses. Not to forget their van in which they travel places, it’s only a pity to see that costumes of the characters more or less remain the same.

No. 4 – Popeye – Give him Spinach and this sailor with a tattoo of anchor on his hand, will spin the world but won’t hurt you if you are good. Bluto, his enemy No. 1 tries to grab his lady love Olive oyl but doesn’t succeed as Popeye derives enormous strength from spinach to tackle Bluto. Some episodes were created so long back that it’s in black & white.

No. 3 – Garfield – Born lazy & always ready to eat or sleep is the motto of the Garfield, the pet cat of Jon Arbuckle. I wouldn’t ever call Garfield ‘fat’ because that’s his USP. He is chubby, cute, cunning, and can do anything for good food & good living that mostly includes undisturbed sleep. From Jim Davis’s created comic character to TV to movies, Garfield has come a long way.

No. 2 – Bugs Bunny – The bold & clever Bugs bunny with his catchy phrase “What’s up doc?” will capture audience immediately. He loves carrots and sometimes acts crazy which is never hard to believe…Bugs is a character that can act solo & Warner Bros. wouldn’t have minded that. We have seen Bugs with several characters especially with Elmer and Daffy duck.

No. 1 – Tom & Jerry – this original chase of all times between the good old Tom cat and Jovial Jerry mouse created by Chuck Jones and Mel Blanc tops my list of Top Ten Toons and will continue to stay there for eternity… Doesn’t matter if you have seen the episodes before… it’s a feel good factor always… This is the magic of Tom & Jerry cartoons.

Thank you & hope you too have your list of top ten cartoons that certainly should have some of these mentioned Toons.

With love, Love

Hi there…

I am love, People fall in me… But, I would never want them to fall… People have written so much about me… I have been & still am the focus of many topics, relationships, movies, songs, poems, books… I am universally present but yet you need to look for me in your heart… I come in many forms…. most guys & girls think they feel me… but, I am not limited to that… I also live within mother-child bond, husband-wife, between siblings, among friends… I am expressed in numerous ways – be it words or action…

Now, I don’t know what people mean when they say that ‘Absence makes hearts grow fonder’ and Out of sight, out of mind’ – I mean, aren’t they making it contradictory especially when I am involved in it… do they mean that to realise my value, absence is required from your dear one or are they telling that by going far, your dear one will forget about you and may not miss you in their lives… To solve this contradiction, I was informed that, someone is offering to place a ‘MESSAGE‘ at the end after I am done with whatever I have to say… hoping that should be a good message…

As for me, I was there… I am there… I will be there… forever and always… If I am lost, it means people couldn’t find place for me in their lives… I don’t expect… I don’t disappoint… I don’t doubt… I am all giving, sharing, caring, bearing, yet sometimes, I may be misinterpreted, misquoted or mistreated or even taken for granted… Yet again, to prove my worth, I may show sternness or let you go… This is only one of my introductions… Without saying more, let me just wish all you nice people, ‘Happy Valentine’s Day!’

Take care and let me in your lives & I will be glad if I’m already existing in yours, Just let me grow… thank you,

With love, Love.

Ads – what do they mean?

What is an advertisement to an ordinary consumer? Whatever definitions given by Sir Philip Kotler, other marketing guru’s or any other authority, for a typical consumer, it’s just a message – with or without words, that’s delivered and for which the result maybe favorable, unfavorable, neutral or simply nil.

All of us live with ads because we are exposed to so many of them in so many ways that we chose to ignore some or we may not even realize that they were ads tossed at us.

Some of you maybe fed up with ads while some others may see them as entertaining particularly TV commercials. But, do the advertisers want their ads to be entertaining or bring them the profits in terms of higher sales?

Are ad makers playing with words by constantly changing tag lines, punch lines, brand logos, symbols, design, jingles and other ad appeals that may or may not involve words. For example,consider the following two ads of Apollo Munich Health Insurance seen on hoardings at prime locations – (& their tag being ‘Let’s uncomplicate’)

‘You’d rather watch a flop movie than think about a health insurance’ PAUSE. Think about it.

‘You’d rather read today’s horoscope than think about a health insurance’ PAUSE. Think about it.

Well, if I were to analyze this above textual content, I would say Insurance esp. in India is not at all an easy buy. Most people have to be pressured to take insurance. So, they would probably agree that they would watch a movie or read horoscope than think about insurance. The “AD Message” only says to think about it & consumers may think or chose not to think. There is no initiative for any decision. Besides, “Let’s uncomplicate” could be replaced with “Let’s make it simple.”

As an academician dealing with marketing related subjects and also as a consumer, the above points are  just my observation although the ad makers may have their own views & theories to support the ad message.

There are so many more ad messages out there that can mean anything to anyone. Its all about perception and the magic words that create a positive/negative/neutral effect. Will share more insights on advertising in my successive blogs. People may love advertisements but I love advertising… its fun and quite a learning.