September 26, 2008

I'm a PC

The commercial starts, and you think you know where it’s going. A nerdy guy in glasses and a brown tweed blazer walks onto an all white set and says “I’m a PC.” Then an email address pops up in the bottom corner: A montage of short video clips showing a wide variety of people in real settings follows.

This isn’t the ad we expected. After more than two years of the catchy “Hi I’m a Mac” ads (see my first posting) Windows is fighting back. Their main weapon: We are not a stereotype.

Interesting. Stereotypes were what Mac based their entire campaign on. They used a lot of real user frustrations to get points across, but the foundation of their ads was to put a face to their target user. Windows has the faces of their real users. They have opened a channel for direct communication by posting email addresses of users. They have pulled celebrities into the campaign, mixed with everyday people, people who aren’t afraid to laugh at themselves. The viewer can relate.

This campaign is a great defense to the Mac attack. It is as simple and personable. Even more so than the Apple campaign. It is direct and amusing. It sticks.

So what took Windows so long? Such a simple concept shouldn’t have taken two years to create. Did they wait until Apple had dominated the market to respond? Is it too late for them to come back?

What will the next chapter of the Mac attack hold?

September 24, 2008

Should magazine ads have a concious?

Lights! Cameras! Action! Will Vogue-India August issue reach its target market and/or satisfy their customer base via this ad? Vogue ads are famous for creating fantasy and illusion. From the magazine’s inception in the late nineteenth century to the present-Vogue has been the magazine to watch. The magazine has always set a photographic standard for its readers. But is that enough? Does Vogue need to start thinking about advertising with a conscious? Depends on who you ask; “the editorial spread was not just tacky, but downright distasteful” said Kanika Gahlaut, a columnist for the daily newspaper Mail Today based in the United States. “The magazine does not even bother to identify the subjects” of the photos, said Gahlaut, instead, Vogue names the brands of the accessories in the captions, and says they are worn by a lady or a man. Nearly half of India’s population—about 456 million people—live on less than $1.25 a day-according to figures released by World Bank and most will never accrue $1000 in their lifetime. The mud-hut chosen for this particular ad is also the location to the suicide of thousands of Indian farmers, because they were deep in debt.

Garments worn by the man and woman in the ad above are designed by Alexander McQueen, international designer, he is best known for his contrasting fashion sense with a touch of arts and crafts. McQueen’s clothing line cost range is $500 to $12,000. The umbrella in the ad is by Burberry, which cost $200. Vogue-India editor Priya Tanna’s response to critics about the August shoot: “Lighten up,” she said in a telephone interview. “Vogue is about realizing the “power of fashion” and the shoot was saying that “fashion is no longer a rich man’s privilege. Anyone can carry it off and make it look beautiful,” she said. Both Gahlaut and Tanna make valid points, however I agree with Tanna, Vogue’s first responsibility is to its audience. Their ads invite women to day dream, fantasize, relax, and shop.

Most Vogue models are paid very well, which raises the question was the “lady or man” in the Vogue-India ad paid for their efforts? If so, was the payment conducive with the value of the ad? *shrug* I’m not privy to that information, but I’m leaning towards, probably not. So if they weren’t paid, I’m wondering did they jump at the opportunity to be a part of the photo shoot, because it allowed them to be “pampered” for the day or week and live in a fantasy. And if that’s the case, well shouldn’t that be enough or should Vogue become more culture conscious? All comments are welcome.

Looking for country brand: Borat or Nomad?

If you heard about Kazakhstan before it means you are either good at geography, politics or economics. Or you have seen the comedy with Sasha Baron Cohen starring called "Borat". The movie is about the travelling of pseudo-kazakh journalist Borat Sagdiyev who came to the USA in order to make a report about the country for kazakh channel. The humor is all about Borat's stupid behavior and his weird ideas about what real democracy is. The character is behaving like an absolutely inadequate person and says that everyone in Kazakhstan do the same. Someone finds this movie funny. Someone is thousands of people who made over $133 000 000 movie's box office. It was popular movie beacuse it was funny and unusual, it was sticking to memory because of its eccentricity.
Kazakh government found this comedy offensive and wasted over $40 000 000 to produce what they called movie about real Kazakhstan, the historical novel called Nomad. Did it work? Even if one of the stars involved in project was Mark Dakaskas have you seen this movie?
We can see movies about nible heroes of ancient times at least once a year. These movies are telling about well-known and respected chararchters, and finally these films are directed by famous directors. Why must an average american be interested in Nomad, the movie about country someone who lives somewhere?
Sasha Baron Cohen was not suoerstar before Borat that is why ot would be naive to think that his movie was popular because of celebrity invilvment. It attracted people because it was an excellent advertising approach to use the funny character resembling us Mr. Bin or any other comedian who is walking down american streets in his weird clothes, washing hands in bidet and searching for Pamela Anderson to get her married. Though this approach might not work any more.
Being original and sticky to mind that is the way to be popular in your campaign. If the government of my country would choose any other way to persuade americans that we're not like Borat says than wasting money for another one hero movie, it would be more effective. For example, telling people about great people who live in Kazakhstan. Do you know for example that the director of WANTED movie with Anjolina Jolie who's name is Timur Bekmambetov is kazakh?

September 22, 2008

Mobile Advertising in Cambodia

It is another famous mobile advertising in Cambodia. I like the sound and the scenery of the ad as it reflects the nature of the country. Also, the ad can capture the attention of the audience by including the most famous temple in Cambodia, Angkor Wat. What is more, the clean beach is another center of public attention. In general, Camboidan teens and young adults like the beach.

However, the message of the ad is only in the last second when the couple contacted each other through the mobile phone. It is good in a sense that it can make the audience curious about the ad itself. If they want to know what the ad is all about, they have to watch the final spot. One last thing is this ad embraces both verbal and non-verbal message and thus makes it clearer and stronger.

September 21, 2008

Travelers Insurance makes us laugh

Funny commercials are those that people remember. Sometimes they remember a commercial and they never even heard of a product/company it is for. That was my case with Travelers Insurance commercials. When I saw their commercial for the first time, i had no idea what Travelers is. Now, when I hear Travelers I think of their funny and easy to remember commercials, which often seemed almost like a short movie.

This commercial is a good example of Travelers' style.

It is very funny and it clearly demonstrates the point that Travelers Insurance wants people to get from it. One never knows what is going to happen and sometimes in the most dangerous situation, like here, it isn't a shark that will cause trouble, but simply human carelessness. Of course, Travelers is there to help.

Recently, Travelers Insurance changed its commercial's style. They are not funny anymore, but I’d rather call them cute.

Travelers decided to change strategy, but stayed with the same advertising agency. All their commercials were done by Fallon, advertising agency located in Minneapolis. Their website includes a video in which there is an explanation for the commercial style change. Travelers Insurance wanted to bring back their signature logo, big red umbrella. The old shark video doesn't have it, but the new video does. And it has it there very visibly.

Even though travelers decided to change the strategy, I think that it is impossible to beat this video.

Language used in the commercial is Czech, but that isn’t the reason why I love the commercial. It is very witty and funny. It’s not like something you see very often and I found it very unique. Throughout the whole commercial I was waiting for its point and when it came I had to laugh. Actors are doing a great job, location and scenery fit well and the old man at the end is amazing.

Who knows if Travelers and Fallon did a good thing when they changed the strategy. Their funny commercials will be missed.