If you’ve watched TV or even youtube for that matter, there’s a good chance you had the misfortune of watching this ad.
No, wait don’t watch it. The only thing worth watching on that link is the comments of disgruntled viewers and Airtel consumers. Probably the comments are the reason why the video got half the views that it did.
What is this ad? List of individuals of different age groups, stereotypically annoying youths asking for transparency in this ‘relationship’. Over-slapstick sardar for racial stereotype. Young mother with baby for emotion, lady with dog because not everyone likes babies, old couple for variety and a hippie-looking boy for good measure… All complaining about how their Airtel network sucks. Continue reading →
The first interview I had given after my graduation was the one that I cracked. The only interview I had given prior to that was a scam-scene during college when I tried to get into a call centre with fake credentials (don’t ask). And I had failed that miserably due to lack of confidence and my inability to speak up during my webcam interview. (again, scam-scenes, let’s not dig into it too much).
So yeah, the first legit interview I applied for, I got in even though I expected otherwise.
So after I had to quit my first job due to a back injury; I worked hard on building my portfolio (and even my back to some extent). And literally I spent a hell of a lot long for preparing and arranging my portfolio which, ad professionals would know is a tedious process. I was looking for an opportunity which had me learning something new, very new. So I started applying in places and the first one I applied to, called me in, took my interview and wanted me to join ASAP.
Yes, there’s a reason why I mention that in the past tense, because I turned it down. This felt very stupid back then knowing the competitiveness in the job market. I had to turn the opportunity down because I needed more time, more rest and wanted to check out more options to know where I stand in the ad industry.
Hadn’t been at home for more than a combined 7 hours in 3 days. Because we were working on the biggest pitch of our careers so far. Prior to that the team was strutting like students who think they are prepared before their exams. Yes, think. And just like many of such students we too realised that a lot is pending.
If you know me even a little, you’ll know that I’m an ad-writer. Mainly because I rant about it all the time. And as copywriters often do, I too write the occasional ‘howler’ that’s well written, but as the client says, “…it’s too intelligent for our target audience”. And in my short career of almost two years, I have heard this from every client and almost every account executive, not to mention my creative director and boss, “Tone it down a bit, they might not understand.”
Yes I agree simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, but I don’t see why we can’t look any other way. Now I refuse to believe that. I happen to agree with a few of Leo Burnett’s philosophies. One of them being, ‘if you write considering your customer is stupid, you’ll make stupid ads’. So what if they won’t understand a reference or a pun at the first go? It’s human tendency to find out more about something they don’t completely know, especially if someone they know knows about it.
I believe what doesn’t go over their head, goes beneath them. The modern day consumer is tired of being talked down to. But he can’t go and complain to a hoarding he sees on the highway. All he can do is hate the product for attempting to spoon-feed him.
I quite often have a chat with my Creative Director where we talk about creativity, day-to-day practices, life in other agencies along with the regular gupshup. He recently shared an incident with me that astonished me beyond belief. Here’s some background before we go forward:
We are the only advertising agency for a reasonably large innerwear company. We handle their ATL (above-the-line) & BTL (below-the-line) work, just not digital. I wish we did that too, the crass those buggers share on their page is painfully crappy (they, being their sub-standard digital agency). I’m pretty sure even the brand managers Continue reading →
An overview of the client’s reaction after I presented a narrative poem I wrote for the TVC.
What it means to me
Have worked on the project for over a year, (out of which religiously worked on it for two months). Started off as a dream project that later turned into a nightmare I just wanted to get over with. Continue reading →