Coca Cola: Bringing India and Pakistan together


I was pleasantly surprised to see this latest campaign by Coke. Those familiar with India Pakistan dynamics would vouch to how tricky the topic is and how well Coke has managed to mould it in this case to create bigness for the brand at unprecedented levels. As open as I am to debate Coca Cola’s push to own ‘happiness’, I cannot help but feel in awe of this highly emotional campaign.


What are your thoughts?

Only for children


Earlier this month, I came across this simple yet incredibly creative advertising by Grey Group in Spain. Commissioned by the ANAR foundation, a child advocacy organization, the poster used lenticular printing to send different messages to children and adults to help children to gain confidence to report abuse.


The campaign has gathered worldwide recognition instantly, and has been covered by much of the mainstream media: BBC and DailyMail in the UK, Daily Bhaskar in India, Huffington Post in the US and National Post in Canada had all covered the story within hours of it surfacing.

I can’t help but wonder though – is this celebration of creativity and the resulting popularity not paradoxical considering the original aim of the campaign was to keep “the message” secret to the children?

Let me know your thoughts…

I AM… …impressed


I was completely bowled over by the I AM campaign by Nikon when it was launched in 2010. What has surprised me even more is how they’ve kept it fresh over the years, keeping true to the brand philosophy of being “At the heart of the image.” This campaign, emphasizing the heart of the image instead of the technical specs of the cameras, truly differentiates Nikon from its competitors. And they have been able to channel it across mediums seemingly effortlessly. A colleague summed it all up: “it makes you want to give up everything and become a photographer.”

Here are some of the TV spots and print ads from the campaign over the years. Enjoy and do share your thoughts.


A dragon is coming…


… to your phone.

I found this to be refreshingly good advertising for an otherwise quiet brand. Have a look:

Advertising that crosses the line


Relevant and fast paced advertising is often quite appealing – a recent example being Oreo’s SuperBowl response to the the lighout.

However, when dealing with a sensitive event such as terror attacks, it is crucial to not overstep the line of opportunism. Coming across as ‘trying to gain commercial advantage from a tragedy’ will not help the brand. Case in point: Ford’s online poster thanking first responders of Boston bombings, that received quite harsh a response. (click on the link to scroll through the comments)

I do believe Ford crossed the line on this occasion. Even if the intention was to express gratitude, it got buried under the negativity of opportunistic marketing. Perhaps it would have been wiser to tone down the advertising component of the poster.

What do you think?

You are more beautiful than you think


Many of us would have seen this Dove campaign to persuade women to re-evaluate their own beauty. If you have not, check it out:

The campaign has gone viral globally and has fuelled many a discussion – it even earned itself a quick-fire spoof:

Jokes aside, I do believe the campaign is a powerful addition to Dove’s bigness. The brand ideal of standing for real beauty allows Dove to connect at a deeper level with the consumers, and serves as a step towards making the brand meaningfully different – not unlike Coke channelling their efforts towards standing for happiness.

However, there is an issue – now that Dove Men Care is becoming sizeable, does this not distract the focus away from real beauty? Is it possible to stand for real beauty without estranging men? I do realize the commercial need for Unilever skincare to enter men’s category, however from a purely brand perspective, is Dove not contradicting itself?

What do you think?

There is something about genuine emotions that warms you up from inside…


… And Coke knows very well how to exploit it


This video has been going viral off late – and it isn’t hard to see why… Coke, yet again, have outdone themselves in connecting with the public at a very emotional level and ‘sharing happiness’…

To most, Coke’s take on “looking at the world a little differnetly” would be appealing… It is  creative brilliance.. However, it faces the key question often faced by outstanding creatives – does it do enough to link back to the brand? Would you remember the video in context of Coke, or simply as a brilliant creative? More importantly, does it have an impact on your perception of Coke from a consumer standpoint?

Please share your thoughts…

Some good ol’ Nokia brilliance


Before the era of smartphones began, Nokia was the king of cellular devices. In few developing nations, it still is. However,Nokia is struggling. There is no other way to put it.

Since Stephen Elop’s taking over Nokia, there have been some exciting developments at the firm, including the launch of its Windows based phones and the eye catching Amazing campaign. To me, the most differentiating element of the brand today is its recycling program. A bold step for an ailing firm, Nokia is leading the much needed mobile phone recycling initiative (quite fitting as most phones dumped away in table drawers are likely to be Nokia-s) and have come up with some impactful advertising:

I find the simplicity of the adverts really impressive, as it is able to effectively drive the clarity of message and its association with Nokia. In light of Nigel Hollis’s recent blog post on Why global businesses must act responsibly, Nokia could even benefit from the initiative via positive perception generation for the brand (in addition to the valuable metal recovered from recycling). With mobile operators like Singtel joining in on the initiative, it certainly seems to be picking up momentum and shows potential to alter mobile phone disposal habits. About time too!

What do you think? Do you think the ads do enough to make you recycle your old phone? Does the initiative affect your perception of Nokia? Please share your thoughts.

The Magic of Doing One Thing at a Time


I just read this article by Tony Schwartz on The Magic of Doing One Thing at a Time and found it to be very insightful. The Myth of Multitasking and numerous other articles highlight the same point – that ‘multitasking’ is in fact an efficiency sapping misnomer.

In his article Schwartz lays down a simple rule that some of us might have heard growing up from our parents: When you’re engaged at work, fully engage, for defined periods of time. When you’re renewing, truly renew. Make waves. Stop living your life in the gray zone. In the day of Blackberrys, iPads and efficiency via constant connectivity, not living in the gray zone is precisely what we struggle with. It is good to see Schwartz summarize actionable (and practical) behaviour adjustments for both managers and employees. Some comapnies are already promoting this, others hope to in the future, while some are rejecting it as impactical and purely academic.

Schwartz’s argument highly resonated with me. How about you? Do you find his suggestions realistic?