By Malay Desai
From: Germany, by DDB Tribal Berlin
A hand-held camera is shooting a new venture by two businessmen, called ‘Wi-Fi Dogs’ in what seems to be a holiday destination. The shots carry quotes from both the partners explaining their business – to rent out dogs which would sniff out the nearest wi-fi zones to vacationers. The film describes their dog training techniques and packs in other eccentricities such as the businessman taking his Chihuahua for a drive and his partner explaining his website and business card. Toward the end, as a just-rented dog deserts a family on a beach, the copy on the screen reads, ‘Don’t waste your holidays looking for Wi-Fi’ before plugging the mobile internet service.
Why we like ?
The Office, starring British actor and comic Ricky Gervais, is one of the definitive work culture shows on television, and a big reason for its popularity is its hand-held, ‘mock-umentary’ style of camerawork. Its jarred zoom-ins and almost shoddy angles gave the sitcom a hilarious edge – all with a straight face. Last month, we’d mentioned how P&G’s ‘Magistral’ film from Argentina had scored with this technique.
Selling one of the most ridiculous premises perhaps in the history of modern advertising, this film is about ‘Wi-Fi dogs’, a service that leases out pets who’d help you find free Wi-Fi on your holiday. There are training techniques, product features and interviews of promoters – only the catch is they’re all fictional. And you know of the real product only in the last five seconds of the film. That’s a guerilla film well-crafted.
Looking for Wi-Fi spots when on a holiday, especially abroad, is the new human trait social psychologists will decode perhaps by next decade. Visit any Starbucks in Europe, and there are bound to be several if not dozens of customers slowing down by its entrance or buying the cheapest coffee to ride on its free internet. With the fictional storyline of amazingly trained dogs, the agency has used the classic advertising tool of hyperbole and peppered it with dry humour to dish out this piece of funny-ness. The one and a quarter minuter veers from the business owners and their employees’ thoughts about their idea to totally inane moments such as a pup ‘driving’ a car and a family mistakenly entering a pole dance place after the dog sniffs out Wi-Fi.
The logic behind the seemingly outrageous idea - the film only shows pit-falls of Wi-Fi dogs. Then, interestingly, it is the service description toward the end that doubles up as a punchline.
Look up the Unilever brand ‘Marmite’ and its 2013 campaign ‘Don’t forget it’ which uses all the above tools and self depreciation to sell its bread spread. Perhaps it requires a rich client’s appetite of risk to execute such a film, so we’re waiting for our biggies to occasionally approve of such insanity.
To watch this film, feed this easy link –‘bit.ly/July7ad’
FB warms up to video ads in newsfeed
If you have noticed a small link to the right of the videos in your Facebook timeline, you’d know the network has been asking you for your feedback on the posts – promoted or otherwise. Don’t think apna Zuck is being so receptive to our tastes, it’s just that the big F has been measuring how many of us have been watching the videos and for how long. Facebook has changed its earlier metrics of user engagement with videos (likes and comments) and gearing upfor video ads in our newsfeeds (which it announced in February). The result of all this – if you like watching videos and end up actually spending more time engaging with them, you will be shown more videos in promotions. This of course relates to the videos uploaded on Facebook, not on third parties such as YouTube. Watch wisely!
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Heard about the best apps for Ramzan?
Just when we had heard of an app for every possible aspect of our offline lives, we realisedhow big an opportunity the fasting month of Ramzanhas been for app walasglobally. We came by a list on YourStoryand it seems this is big business indeed. Among the interesting ones are iPray, which only the er, religious iPhone user can use to set prayer timings. The biggest claim to fame in this category is by iQuran Lite, which reports to have 10 million users on the globe, not quite shocking as its sleek interface is English. Then there is the delicious Resala Ramadan app, a beginner’s guide to what you must eat for keeping up with the rigourous fasting period. All of these cost from 150 bucks onwards while some are free too. We are only waiting for apps which lead us to the most delicious dishes on Mumbai’s Mohammad Ali Road.
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About ‘Chef’ the movie’s social media plots
The Social Network may have immortalized the story of the Facebook founders on film and there is a TV series on Twitter in the offing, but if you see how social media has impacted not only movie watching audiences but movies themselves, you’d be amazed. We watched the movie Chef last week and were pleasantly surprised to see how Twitter wasn’t just in a supporting cast but provided major plot twists, such as reviving the broke chef’s business. The lead actor’s 10-year-old provided much of the gyan, and there were mentions of Facebook, Instagram and even a small sub-plot of Vine in the screenplay. The film also beautifully dishes out the generation gap between parents and kids today, with social media being the big bridge. Watch it for these trends ’coz Scarlett Johannson’s role is only too small!
Scarlett Johansson likes this