Showing posts from November, 2008

Dark Days, but Smiles across the Oceans

Ok, so the title is very ambiguous. Let us clarify. Since like most Indians we are bound to follow the events in Mumbai on the news channel. Since most of them are going on about minute-by-minute reporting, we thought to move on to our own news sharing platform- twitter. There was something very interesting to note once we got beyond the oh-my-god-another-rumour phase. Twitter search enables you to see the top trending topics. Another day and time and things would have been ok, but this is amazing. The top three topics are of known importance at this time. Thanksgiving is an occasion celebrated across the hemisphere. And hence its mention in tweets across the board are fine. Its where WalMart came in that we were perplexed. And the curiousity, even in times like these, got the best of us. The tweets, all of them about the only non-essential topic within the top 5, is about the things people are getting to see on Black Friday. About Black Friday: Black Friday is the Friday after T

Peter Schiff had it right

One of the main reasons we started rhetoric69 was to say things no one else would talk about. Though with time, we've found more people who have similar ambitions, and learned from them, we have yet to adopt a stand that cuts through the bull-crap that people can come out with. Adage and Bnet, two substantial industry portals, have come out with some guns firing in criticism of The Ad Contrarian , a blog run by the CEO of Hoffman/Lewis, a chicago based ad-agency. Not in real time, but these stories are very similar to the video that follows. The industry heavy weights are claiming the same thing as the market pundits did when Peter Schiff was on with his 'tirade' against real issues in the US financial market. We have been following TAC for a long time, delighting on its take on the rhetoric that's out there. Read the adage story here , and the BNet story here. Ofcourse, none of them have the decency to link to his blog. Wish they have to delete these entries fro

The Missing Link

Indian Oil is one of India's biggest oil marketing companies. State-owned, the company has seen better days back when crude had not scaled up as it had. And then disaster struck, but things have calmed down somewhat. So, this is not about their fortunes. This is about their karma. Now, there are only so many ways you can sell your company once you're done peddling your propane-boosted special petrol. You can even get a brand ambassador, or you can keep harking about your lubricants (the automobile kind) or choose to do a CSR-cum-brand-building campaign. Yeah, the last one sounds good. It does all those tingly things to the brand that makes the brand manager go weak in the you know what. So, IOC calls for a pitch. The agency, knowing what a rich old goat it has, decides to close in. They decide for a plan where they talk about saving the world, through environmental conversation. So one of the angles they take on it is how the world would be dark in a few years if we don'

Age Old, Brand new

JWT for The ad has a very kitschy and tip-of-the-moment feel. The instant gratification idea fits in too. We like!


Advertising at its best picks up clues from the ground, and amplifies them for placing brands in the right cultural context. HBO launched a new show, based on an Englishman who comes to India to... run a call center. While the show is yet to be seen by us, this print ad has a hidden message- Quality is an image we all want to portray. What's the image for quality though? Even we couldn't figure a way out. Tell us of any ideas that you may have. For a country with a gazillion diverse languages and dialects, and slang on top, this is a conundrum hard to crack. In other unrelated news, the strangely named, has been renamed Thank god for we were thinking this was on the lines of the astrology-compliant With investors like ebay and VC fund Matrix partners, this would be interesting to watch. Just hope they can do something with their site. Looks going the same yahoo-ebay-cluttered-layout way. In India, the main issue is getting real people o

Alternate Channels for Ad Agencies

Times are tough or so we are told. While this has meant a mixed bag of fortunes for some brands and agencies, some of them are turning things on their head. Bartle Bogle Hegarty and Mother are two international agencies that have turned to running businesses where they see a 'lag' in the customer expectations and brands available. BBH has started two businesses through a new division- Zag. These are Pick Me Up vegetarian meals for 'bi-tarians'- people who are non-vegetarians but eat vegetarian meals as well, and Ila Dusk alarms. Both are managed by professional vendors and sold at UK's biggest retailers- Tesco and Marks & Spencer. Expected to be multi-million brands within the year, their initial openings indicate as much. The other agency, Mother has been ON on this front. They've had multiple products such as books, shopping bags, candies and gourmet hot-dogs. While some of these brands are novelties, some have seen interest by VC's and other financi


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Brevity and Wit

Yeah, so you and me know a few things. And each time we need to say anything, we spend a good (x)k words to express ourselves, to paraphrase Airtel. But then there are some people who manage to say so much more in so little time, and yet make such perfect sense. Take The Ad Contrarian for example. Though you need to go deep through the archives to get what I'm talking about, take this one post for example. How many people you know can take you and me on a world trip in less than 300 words? About The Ad Contrarian- Bob Hoffman is ceo of Hoffman/Lewis advertising in San Francisco and St. Louis. And we're just about his biggest fans. And oh, by the way- The japanese have found a new way to introduce you to their jingles Doesn't that sound wicked? Imagine what percussion can be created on the great indian roads- we're after all, potholed for extra pleasure. Imagine the Sony Ericcson Thump.