All talk & no action : Woman’s day campaign’s 2016

During my agency days ( not so long ago), the March campaign calendar would mean coming up with woman’s day campaigns. No, not because it’s International Women’s day, but as it’s an opportunity to celebrate the greatest customer segment for a brand and remind women that ” they need to be reminded about how great & equal they are ….” .

Now, I am not against the concept of woman’s day. However, I find most of these campaigns that brands come up with, lacks substance. Probably because it’s mostly done with a ” oh ! we have to do this ” attitude.

If you want to have a look at all the campaigns executed by National brands, you can find them  here.

It’s mostly a lot of copying, attached with more cliches that comes in a brand new format every March, with absolutely no benefit to women. What good is a marketing campaign, if it does not produce any action? One might argue that it’s just meant to change your thought process or capture the emotional essence of the day.

Emotive marketing

Titan is the clear winner if that is the case, as they have nailed it right in terms of making one think or rethink about our own attitude. Watch the video & let me know, what you think.

Another powerful campaign I came across on a similar note was led by director Lal Jose via a local radio station in Kerala. I do not remember the specifics of the campaign but days before International woman’s day, Lal sir came with a promo on the radio claiming he wants the public to choose a name for the next character in his next movie. He described the character to be someone very strong and capable , strong hearted , who faces life wholeheartedly and yada yada yada.

On March 8th, the radio would then play the suggested names publicly and as expected most of the names or all of the names suggested where male names when the director never specified about the character being male or female. He then gave an end message as to how, changes need to take place within ourselves. One can notice a lot of similarity there, with Titan’s campaign.

Do you know which radio station created this campaign ? 

P.s :use the comment section wisely 😉

Now, my argument when it comes to such campaigns is that there is no space for action or to be more precise, there is a lot of talking and zero activity. Basically what it means is , ” Hey ! I want to sell something to you .. i want to tickle your emotions and leave you at that and get back to selling something..I want to celebrate womanhood but I really don’t want do anything about the campaign I am evoking …. and I am just interested in the views of my video or how viral or how many people spoke about it on social media.. my success metrics is about numbers & not the real deal”

Yes, as brands your business motive might be only to inspire change and not to follow up on, whether any changes happened or if there is a trickle of vitality as a result of the campaign. That’s where, I have a problem.

Action orientated marketing

Most of the time, one makes it look like the women that needs to be celebrated are the unsung heroes while the other makes it appear that the achievers or the CEO’s or the social activists or the entrepreneurs are the ones to be acclaimed.

Watch this video here. Until the 43’rd second I was all awestruck and happy, ‘ Wow ! Here is a brand that’s talking some sense ‘ & then BAM! disappointment hits.  So not only does the character’s mother have to do all these chores, but also has to be in a wheelchair to be qualified as an unsung hero. So, my wife, who works her arse off around our home, isn’t hero enough material, as what she does, is just so ordinary and what a woman with no disability should do anyway, right? You just lost a prospective customer. Bang ! The campaign microsite has further details.

I am not against giving awards but when it comes to the theme of International Women’s day, I feel womanhood in general should be celebrated. You don’t need to be a glorified CEO or social worker or disabled or have an inspirational story to deserve this acknowledgement.

Disclosure : I have worked with Eastern condiments in the past & I have immense respect for the brand and the team involved in the brand development..



As a marketer my take on all the woman’s day campaigns executed by brands in 2016, is that it clearly misses  a strategy or follow up. Simply put, it’s not action orientated marketing. There are lot of brands who have done action orientated marketing like Hindustan LeverPaper boat and P&G.

Yes, they have connected it to sales or what one might call shameless promotion, however as an end user, you are forced to take part in the cause and there is a clear follow up.

So when you choose to support a cause, don’t just get on with a cliche approach or ‘me too’ approach. What you need is an action orientated marketing strategy, where the action might be in form of people pledging support or sharing or buying products but the important part is that both general users & people for whom the cause is created for, participates equally. By that I meant if you are celebrating womanhood, you don’t discriminate or patronize the category. Understand that the biggest media platform or media for your brand is your consumers.

Now, if you are someone who needs advice on creating such marketing properties, let me shamelessly do my sales pitch. ” ROI driven & action driven new media communication strategy is my speciality 😉 ”

Now in case you want to have a look at the action orientated campaigns I have created in this segment, google #patontheback campaign by Volini, a marketing property I created for the brand , they have extended it to mainstream media and have continued the campaign for sometime.

Let me know what you think or if there are any campaigns you think is worth being mentioned here.

How to make Kickass presentations: For Business Or Events

There are a lot of presentations tool’s out there in the market like Prezi or Haiku deck but at the end of the day when you look at various factors and daily usage friendliness very few make the cut. Microsoft Powerpoint is undoubtedly the leader in the space, at least in terms of usage and adoption.

We are not gonna discuss things for mainline presenter’s or Keynote speakers here but even for everyday presentations. In my job as a Strategy Head and CEO i have done endless number of presentations be that for clients or prospects or colleges and so on. Though making presentations was occupational activity, at some point i fell in love with making presentations and since then my presentation decks and style of presentation have evolved in a healthy way.

I have created 1000’s of presentation decks using my iPad on Keynote. And it’s not another look alike of powerpoint, trust me when i say this. The video embedded here would give you a sneak preview of why it is unlike any presenter’s tool

Keynote began as a computer program for Apple CEO Steve Jobs to use in creating the presentations for Macworld Conference and Expo and other Apple keynote events.Prior to using Keynote, Jobs had used Concurrence, from Lighthouse Design, a similar product which ran on the NeXTSTEP and OpenStep platforms.

The program was first sold publicly as Keynote 1.0 in 2003, competing against existing presentation software, most notably Microsoft PowerPoint.

Now having a kickass software is one thing but there are other certain simple steps to evolve your presentation decks and style of presenting too.

Create your own Templates/layouts

Powerpoint presentations are all about templates, sme can be said about most of the tools out there. Not that keynote doesnt support templates. But if you start using keynote on iPad you will be able to make your own templates like i have shown in the video.

Making a presentation sounds or looks like a boring job when you repeat or do the same thing or follow a standard template. Now certain people might be glued on to have their logo or company graphics, i aint against it but if the presentation does have your personality and aura in it, then it wont sync with you and in the end it all looks like a mundane job. There is no heart or zero passion there.

I know this cos i have a Frenchman who is obsessed with it. There is nothing wrong in maintaining a flow or a standard pattern or arrangement in the topics you cover but if you start using templated, it all end like a mundane activity.

Creating your own templates or layouts is easy using Keynote on iPad & you dont need any design coaching for it. Use elements that matches your personality and the context of presentation.

It’s all in the Font’s

I am sometimes play with fonts in terms of spacing and overall typography in my presentations. The sub headings or titling is normally played with this treatment. Using the right set of fonts changes the entire tone of presentation. Apple Keynote has the most professional and comprehensive set of Fonts thanks to Steve Job’s obsession for crisp fonts.

I normally play with Helvetica Neue or Condensed Din in my presentations and use different color toning to match the mood.

If you can’t explain in one line, then don’t

Now this is something the Frenchman taught me ( though he seldoms practises it ) ! Your presentation is an extension of the presenter and no one is gonna sit and read all that bullet points and lengthy explanation.

The secret is in using minimum number of words along with a crisp title.

Make it Visual

Now i ain’t talking about using swanky visuals or images but more about use of icons/vector based graphics. I have a ico set downloaded just for this to illustrate some points. Icon sets make the presentation look classy compared to use of real images which has its own tone or mood attached.

Keynote lets you to easily play around with these icons, change opacity or even size at ease. The fluidity of the user experience in what makes the cut for me.

A bit of Show off hurts no one

Presentation is 40% show & 60% content and now that we have the content in good shape lets talk about how we present. I use Keynote in my iPhone to present to a client by connecting it to a projector and sometimes when i have both iPad & iPhone, keynote remote does wonders for you.

People go by first impressions and the way you approach things. i am not a technology geek myself  but whenever i have used a remote to present and go thru slides it has made a huge difference in how people perceive your presentation plus even your own body language.

The video has the remote featured highlighted in it for you.


If you religiously follow this, i can promise you that making presentations will be an act of creativity for you than mundane.

let me know your thoughts.

Nerds today are Bosses tomorrow : Anyone agrees ?

If you want to talk about serious subject like bullying and yet look cool doing it, then you have to talk the same language as of the TG the communique is meant to be. And that’s exactly what the folks at VH1 have done with the “I will survive ..” campaign. The idea of the campaign is to raise awareness about bullying, speaking directly to those “cool” kids who watch the channel.

Let us know what do you think ?

Lexus Puts On a Dazzling Light Show With Aerial LED Stuntmen

Brands and advertising agencies are now obsessed with creating new formats and benchmarks when it comes to content. Typical computer animations or graphics is now too cliche and people are going after the experiential.

Personally & professionally i am very happy & excited about it cos its a journey i started 4 years back at saltmangotree. We are still scaling up that way & have added quite a few to the ‘experimental’ as you could find here.

Lexus recent campaign took things to a next level in terms of the level of experimentation they did on the format.In “Strobe,” an eye-catching minute-long film from CHI & Partners, it seems as if a single shimmering figure is traversing the nightscape of downtown Kuala Lumpur. In fact, dozens of stuntmen and acrobats dressed in LED suits took part in creating the illusion. Using complex rigging and in-camera effects (no CGI), the “illuminated man” appears to vault from rooftop to rooftop, dance across billboards, cartwheel through an empty office and even dive into a high-rise swimming pool.

What do you think about this new trend of creating experimental formats of content ?

IKEA makes content marketing look so effortless as always

Introducing the “bookbook”, a revolutionary reading experience that offers you the best of tactile feedback, touch-based interfaces, wireless connections, and perpetual battery life.One would expect this latest gizmo from Ikea with that sort of a built up but we are about their 2015 catalogue and with the Apple event close, this is one of the best mockery of Apple i have seen that have been constructively used by anyone or any organisation.

Let me know what you think about this ?

Happiness Marketing executed in its full glory by Coke

Coke has taken its tagline ” open happiness” to quiet its literal heights.Last few campaigns from the brand all have the same formulae but they are so beautifully executed that every time the campaign creates a new high on emotions.This time they choose to capture the ones of the guest workers who make up a significant part of Singapore’s total workforce. They are often “invisible workers”, receiving little recognition for their labour.

Last March, Coca-Cola Singapore and the Singapore Kindness Movement embarked on a project to bring “Happiness from the Skies”, to show that a little kindness goes a long way to bring Singaporeans and guest workers closer.

What do you think about this campaign by Coke ? Let me know.

The new avataar of Flashmob here in this Epic Driftmob feat. BMW M235i

Flash mob had become quite the yesteryear stuff & you’d probably thought there is nothing more to do there. And that’s when BMW Drift mob happened.

The sheer joy of driving packaged perfectly in 90 seconds by these guys here in what is said to be the first driftmob stunt by a brand.

The folks at BMW took some hollywood stunt drivers and added the same amount of BMW M235i cars. The result: About 90 seconds of driving pleasure and smoking tyres.

What do you think of this stunt here ? Seen anything similar that’s worth the share.Let me know.

For the good of Valhalla: Amazon going that extra mile for Customer service

Amazon is one of the companies who have brilliantly integrated Happiness Marketing into their operational DNA.The brand stands up for its customers like no other brands not just in the category of retail/e-commernce brands but even on a overall basis. Companies sometimes consider the task to be very serious & sometimes not all important when it comes to after sales service. But here is one brand that does it like a rockstar when it comes to the balance of keeping customer service fun. Yes ! you heard it right- Fun.

The secret of having a kickass customer care is quite simple- ” talk human “. We need to go beyond standard reply chat scripts or canned responses and talk to internet the way its built. Like one of the comments i found today that’s put it right – ” We are all bros on the internet, and Amazon bro just upped his broness.”

Here’s a screenshot i found of a recent service transaction. (P.S i am not sure of the authenticity). The conversation has nearly gone viral.

Have you seen any other brand which makes customer service a pleasure ? Let me know.
A lot of interesting comments on this can be seen here.


First TV Ad Made Completely With User-Generated Content

The term ” user generated content ” has been doing the rounds with very little real use of it in practise. As usual,Coca-Cola has taken on its shoulders the responsibility of coming out with campaigns where its customers are the center stage.

This is one important feature of Happiness Marketing as to get its customer involved in its communication & the recent TV spot by coke just nails it in about the right places in the best possible mix.The spot, produced by Wieden + Kennedy  came out of a contest announced a few months ago. The brand invited teens to submit short video clips sharing what it feels like when they take a sip of Coke. The best clips, they were told, would be featured in a national Coca-Cola TV ad.Coke got some 400 submissions, and chose 40 for the final cut. The clips in the ad come from all over the world—from Brazil to Salt Lake City to Jacksonville, Fla.

Let me know what you think about this campaign.

Innovation & Storytelling : No one understands it better than Coke

Happiness Marketing as I’d like to call it is a strong & relevant methodology that is relevant in the new age of new media. And there is no one better than Coke who does it beautifully. The key features of Happiness Marketing are :

  • Innovation
  • Involvement & not just Engagement
  • Earned Media
  • Makes you a kid

We will discuss in detail each of these features but then what better way to demonstrate these than to show a campaign which has all these campaigns beautifully executed.

South Africa, a young democracy that has been dubbed ‘The Rainbow Nation’, April is Freedom month and 2014 marks the 20th anniversary of this democracy. In celebration of this, Coca-Cola are literally creating rainbows. Using sunlight, water, some fancy science and a little bit of magic, rainbows popped up all over the Johannesburg CBD and enchanted the citizens of South Africa’s busiest city.

With the use of non-pottable water, the Joburg skyline was made as colourful as it’s array of citizens from different backgrounds. Creating a little moment of happiness.

Have you seen a similar execution of Happiness Marketing ? If yes, please do share them here.