By Malay Desai
In the last hurrah of this column this year, we look back at the advertising campaigns, films, and stunts in India and overseas that made us look up and notice… by being outstanding or a downright flush of the client’s funds.
Windows is back
In January, we came across a child’s demo of the Windows 8 OS in a Portugal store. The stunt stood for an attitude and promise that we haven’t associated with Windows yet — smartness and ease. In India, with the Lumia ‘friends talking’ campaign, it got its communication bang on and toward yearend, its foreign film showing parents tripping over to take pictures had us in splits.
Oh Yes Abhi, not!
Back home in early March, PepsiCo unveiled its ‘Oh Yes Abhi!’ campaign, starring some expensive faces. While they got the pulse of impatience right, the wordplay didn’t quite match up to the fizz of earlier taglines. Dhoni, clearly the biggest influencer, didn’t have a line to mouth in the opening film and hence the summer was won by Coke’s well composed, well-worded ‘Haan Main Crazy Hoon.’
Year of the woman
If you want to put a finger on a single trend of 2013, it must be the women’s issues pulse. While on the international front, Dove’s ‘Real Beauty Sketches’ docu-style campaign said that women have image issues notwithstanding their socio-economic status; back home there was a different tune. While debates of women’s safety were interjected with news of rapes, some tried to make their own voice heard and win brownie points for nayazamana attitude. Dainik Bhaskar’s ‘Zidd Karo’ ad was goosebump-inducing, while Tanishq’s ‘Remarriage’ ad starring a wheat-ish complexioned lady earned more bouquets than brickbats.
Anil Kapoor, in a rare ad appearance, found himself with an LOL-WTF-inducing storyboard for Renault’s new hatchback. In September, Docomo made some child artistes dance in their chaddis to open its ‘Open Up’ campaign – something we didn’t mind once but then really looked skywards thinking of the poor kids.
The wow-ness of December 2011’s ‘Tanjore Paintings’ spot by Google for its browser, Chrome is still unparalleled but the search giant’s big film this year came real close. In November, its three-minute-plus long web film about an Indian-Pakistani reunion got our eyes moist in a Raju Hirani way… and we know what that means. Internationally, while its ‘Fear Less’ spot for Nexus had an incredible story, the year-ender for the same product had an equally disappointing cliché.
(To read more about each of these campaigns, look up your old issues of this magazine or scan this code with your smartphone)
Your regular dose on the shifts in the social media universe
Hits and mishits on Twitter this year
There has been so much on the 140-character front that we’re going to run of out space. But for the highlights; firstly our micro-blog is now a public limited company so expect a mature future for its stock. As far as campaigns, the cake was taken early in the year by Oreo whose team created and tweeted the ‘You can still dunk in the dark’ visual when the lights went off at the SuperBowl 2013, earning massive virality and moreover, a trend-setting reputation. Then, six-second news reporting and ads on Vine became a reality even as Instagram aimed bigger with 15-second videos. Back home, Micromax cracked the social beat well for its phone launches, LGBT activists found a free, new platform to protest against the ruling, so did outspoken bloggers in the Ambanis’ accident case.
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YouTube’s most-watched videos of 2013
This list keeps getting bigger and more intriguing every December end. On top of the worldwide hits list was the pop video What Does The Fox Say, followed by Harlem Shake, that inexplicable trend that kicked off with folks dancing like it’s Ganpati visarjan, but that was only until Miley Cyrus’s Wrecking Ball video took inexplicable to another level. We are happy that marketing campaigns such as ‘Telekinetic Surprise’ and ‘Volvo Trucks ftVan Damme’ went viral for their reasons. Back home, the heroes of YouTube hits were undoubtedly Bollywood actors Hrithik and Aamir for their film trailers but one Kapil Sharma showed his worth for Colors’ video channel as well by pulling in huge numbers.
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And finally, predictions for 2014
While not even Bejan Daruwala’s Ganesha can correctly say what’s exactly in store for the social media world this year, some gyan gurus we like to believe have given us hints. It is no secret that Twitter is going to dominate mainstream news more than ever before, its own timelines filled with visually large, multimedia content. Expect some massive campaigning (and controversies!) by political parties on Facebook too come Assembly Elections 2014. LinkedIn is slated to be taken more seriously as a news/views source for the corporates, while Pinterest will carry on its exponential growth next year too. We hope our prediction of more marketers willing to invest in mobile comes true, for that will simple give the digital story of India the boost it needs. Finally, you know Buzzfeed? Mark the desi counter to it, ScoopWhoop.com. We have loved what they’ve done so far and wish they grow bigger and whackier next year.
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