Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Cup-ple of Recycles!

Recycling is great for a greener planet but in a global internet economy, recycling ads and campaigns is not that great an idea.

About a month back, driving back from work with a couple of friends, a sea of red tail lights greeted us as usual on the Western Express Highway. A frustrated collective sigh later, the three weart travellers looked left and saw the most hilarious billboard - our first look at the Pepsi's "Change the Game" campaign. It was super funny! I mean just take a look at the visual below:

Apart from Dhoni and to some extent Virat, all the others on the billboard looked totally out of place wearing all but body paint. The ad looked like a spoof far, removed from the "in-your-face" attitude it endeavoured to convey - just look at Viru's face in the visuals. And what is Bhajji doing?!

There was a weird deja vu about the visual though. A quick google later, my hunch was confirmed - it was "glocalization" of Pepsi's FIFA World Cup ad featuring the likes of Messi, Drogba, Kaka and Henry. Check out the image below:

While the Fifa ad made sense with the football World Cup being held in Africa (with the visuals in sync with the African tradition of body painting to intimidate adversaries in battle), in sub-continental climes it really is a misfit. And what's more, Pepsi has extended this campaign to Bangladesh (as you can see in the image above)!

There is a basic cultural difference between the two games for starters - cricket (aka the gentleman's game) is known for its traditional gentle pace and "controlled aggression" (wherein the match referee will rap players on the knuckles for the slightest evidence of behaviour that "brings the game into disrepute"). The aforementioned behaviour is more the norm in football (aka the beautiful game) which is a more physical, contact sport. Thus the aggressive visuals and the body paint worked in Feb 2010. 

With a plethora of stars (or gamechangers as Pepsi claims) of the likes of KP and MSD on board, the visuals could have been more original.

However, the TV commercials for the campaign are Pepsi's saving grace - they are quite funny and in line with the innovations in the game however Saqlain was the inventor of the Doosra, wasn't he? And "Pallu Scoop"... really? That is your version of the Dilscoop, Pepsi?! But which scoop is better (I am not talking to the journalists here) - Dilshan's Pallu Scoop or Sakib's Super Scoop?

Check the TV ads below - my favourite is Slinga Malinga:

Nike seems to have taken a cue from Pepsi on more than one idea - their "Bleed Blue" campaign was going well with Virat, Zaheer and co. wearing the Team India shirt that the global giant sponsors till they suddenly followed Pepsi (must be a coincidence!) and got their models to go topless! (Virat seemed to be most at home - after all he had done it before in the Pepsi ad... and I believe his teen girl fan brigade aren't complaining!):

And check out the Zaheer ad - it is strikingly similar to the Rooney ad (they did a viral recycle of the same ad in their Write the Future ad featuring Ribery) - another recycled visual from the football World Cup?

However, all is forgiven if India wins the Cup :)

PS: I actually like the "more traditional" Adidas campaign which is (coincidentally - I guess) the namesake of the Pepsi campaign (hasn't anyone heard of IPR in this country?!) :

And you just can't go wrong with two legends of the game, can you?

Saturday, February 19, 2011 || Earth Care Awards 2011

Here are my ad concepts for the brand new competition on called  “The Earth Care Awards 2011” - as always, I would love your feedback and please do vote for the ads...

Introduction: Saving the environment is a task that cannot be done just by one person, one organisation or even one country. But it takes the efforts of individuals to prove that it’s possible—-that the effort of just one person can change the minds of a group of people, that the effort of a group of people can affect the actions of an organisation and so on. And while this domino effect will eventually make conservation a global phenomenon, it’s important to remember that this starts with the effort of an individual.

The Earth Care Awards 2011 has been brought into existence to celebrate the efforts of individuals, to recognise and appreciate their contribution to the environment. Go Green India is calling for ads from you to promote the Earth Care Awards 2011, which will be held on 9 September 2011.
For more information, you can log on to

The Brief: Create an ad that establishes the purpose of the Earth Care Awards 2011. You have to promote: 1) the importance of saving the environment, and 2) the Earth Care Awards 2011.

My Ads: How we can make the planet a greener place is something that all of us know - whether it is by turning off the tap when we are brushing or switching off the lights when we are leaving a room - the question is: How many of us do our bit to make the world greener? When time is running out in our bid to conserve our world for the next generation, these ads conveys that the Earth Care Awards 2011 salutes those whose actions speak louder than words!

"Actions Speak Louder Than Words"

"Paint the town Green" 

 "Green World - 1"

  "Green World - 2"

Also, on the Go Green India site I found another cool competition running inviting designers to redesign their logos. These are my attempts to redesign the logo for JSW & Times of India Earth Care Awards. Sadly I can only upload one and ol' indecisive me can't decide which one to upload. Have a look and help! Check out this link:


Prizes are up for grabs. Best logos will win “Jury choice” and “Viewers choice” awards. Contest closes on 5th April 2011.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Cloud # 9

With a crowd of over 25,000 swaying to the music, Mumbai was at its energetic and spirited best as Canadian rocker Bryan Adams belted out hits after hits at his rocking concert here Saturday night, inviting unconditional adulation from the audience.

How does Bryan Adams do it? For two and a half hours on Saturday night, he rocked an ecstatic crowd of 20,000 at Bandra-Kurla Complex, pelting them with one hit after another from his massive back catalogue of rock anthems. Bryan is here to perform at the Micromax Bryan Adams Live in Concert India Tour. It started Friday at Pune, and after rocking Mumbai, the show is now scheduled for Bangalore (Sunday), New Delhi (Tuesday) and Hyderabad (Wednesday).

After booking tickets online, it was a long anxious wait to finally get the tickets in my hand – the delivery just did not come and I was starting to get worried. I finally had to go to the courier office a couple of days back to pick it up. 
The tickets said that the gates opened at 5 pm – quick math: low end tickets, Bryan Adams – reach at least 2 hours before the gate opened – check. So there we were, my best friend and I waiting in the dusty entrance to the MMRDA grounds, baking in the hot sun at 3 pm. 

Finally the line snaked in at 5 pm and we made a dash for it. We got the best view right at the front of the area, the best that our two grand tickets could offer. (But whoever set up the venue needs a kick on their behind – which moron sets up the speakers and other stands in the middle of the venue to block the view of the audience!?! - see the photos below)

Then another wait that was insufferable because of the incompetent MCs (the lady MC should never get this job again after stumbling on the sponsors’ names multiple time!) and a bloody awful Shimak Dhavar show. The DJ – Akbar Sami was good for a while playing classic rock – but it was Bryan that we wanted to see. The crowd was swelling all this while and along with it swelled the anticipation, the excitement and the irritation against these fillers. 

Four and a half hours later, the man took the stage. The audience broke into a frenzy from the word go, when Bryan Adams kickstarted the concert. Just two songs later, Adams said: "Good evening everybody. My name is Bryan. Here I am”. He took off his song Here I Am from that point, and the excitement level of the crowd soared with every strum of his guitar thereafter.

Touring 120 days a year for decade now, it’s hard to imagine how many times he’s belted out Summer of ’69. But again he made it sound fresh, like he was having the time of his life. They went berserk as Adams sang Summer of 69 and asked the audience to sing in between. But even a breather between two songs by Adams sent the crowd chanting ‘Bryan, Bryan, Bryan!’

The stage was huge, with two massive screens adorning each of its side and one behind him, for the comfort of those who couldn’t catch a meaty glimpse of the 51-year-old, who rocked as if he truly believes in "18 till I die!"

In the absence of Mel B to accompany him with When you’re gone, he picked out an audience member (Gauri) at random to join him on stage. She sang and danced with him—it felt like we’d stumbled in on someone else’s fantasy. Then perhaps not with quite the romance of Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves, Adams asked the crowd to light up Everything I do with mobile phones, Blackberrys and iPhones. 


Adams dedicated Died and gone to heaven to another special fan. He said: “Tonight’s performance is our fifth time in this city. The first night I played here, someone managed to get on stage, grabbed the mic and shouted, ‘Thought I’d died and gone to heaven!’, then jumped into the crowd. I’d like to dedicate the song to this gentleman.”

At times stealing the show with his awesome solos was guitarist Keith Scott, with, as Adams shouted, “the fastest fingers you’ve ever seen in your life!”

Bryan Adams performance was certainly the place to be on Saturday night.And not just the aam janta,but even Bollywood stars couldnt stop grooving as he belted out a string of hit numbers. For once, Bollywood stars remained off the spotlight even as many of them enjoyed themselves being mere spectators to the wonder of Bryan Adams! Actors who were spotted at the gig included Rani Mukerji, Preity Zinta, Akshaye Khanna, Suneil Shetty, R.Madhavan, Arshad Warsi with his wife Maria Goretti and Deepika Padukone with her rumoured beau Siddharth Mallya. Mrs. Tendulkar was also there as the Man himself geared himself for the Cup of Joy.

Like a well-oiled machine, he and his band powered through hits like Heaven, Run to you and The only thing that looks good on me (is you). In all he sang around 20 songs, your favourite songs that we have grown up with and know all the words to, in 150 unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime minutes including Let’s make a night to remember, Please forgive me, How do ya feel tonight - but the audience didn’t seem to have had enough of him. The encore after the Band had taken its last bow was the most special part of the evening – it was just Bryan on stage with his guitar and a mouth organ and doled out the most soulful version of All for one that I’ve heard.

While other rock stars reinvent themselves again and again, get distracted by exotic models or have misguided dalliances with country music, Bryan Adams remains reassuringly the same. Black shirt, dark jeans, slicked-back quiff that starts to creep on to his face like a tarantula when his guitar solos get going, you’d be hard pressed to spot the difference between this and his gigs years ago in Mumbai. Bryan himself signed off saying: 'It's fantastic tonight - good night Mumbai! Take care!' The audience left the venue more than satisfied. This classic is forever.

The humility of the man was what endears him to his fans across the world. The theme of the show for Bryan and his band was to give the audience what they wanted – a great time and an unforgettable night. They seemed to revel in being able to do so. I wish Bryan and his band all the very best in life. You guys will remain legends long after you’re gone. All I can say is, I was privileged to have heard you play…

PS: He was to be honored with this 15 feet tall guitar with messages and signature of his fans.

And I read today that Imtiaz Ali has seized the moment,making arrangements with Sunil Shetty to capture the reality of Bryan Adam's concert for his film, Rockstar starring Ranbir Kapoor. Sunil Shettys mammoth efforts to bring the Canadian rockstar to tour India,has been a blessing in disguise for director,Imtiaz Ali. The director wasted no time in approaching Shetty for permission to shoot scenes for his film,Rockstar,at Adams Concert.The film unit shot for the entire show and many crowd sequences will be used,in Rockstar for Ranbir's scenes,in which he is performing at a concert.The film scenes will be edited with those of the concert,so that the films sequences look as authentic as they need to be. Now I am hoping the movie will be half as good as the concert!