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Archive for September 2009

Unlit filtered cigarettes
Image via Wikipedia

Not withstanding the recent spate of advertisements on the hazards of smoking and the pixellated photos doing rounds on cigarette packs, this is what was overheard at a local panwari (Roadside shop) –

“They have destroyed the aesthetics of the packs” (Musing over the pack)

Talk about end user involvement and acceptance 🙂


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Of the few very popular terms that you may hear in a marketing class in a B-School or even in the conversations of two marketing professionals, especially in the Advertising World, you would often come across “Clutter-Breaking”. Telling you from my personal experience, this term though signifies “breaking through the clutter (regular) or standing out of the mass”, is so over-used or if I may use the word abused that you need a “clutter-breaking” term to stand out of the usual over-used terms like “clutter-breaking”.

Anyways, I spent some time (or you may say wasted both lines and time) on “clutter breaking” because that is what I observed on streets and buildings around me. It was outside Andheri Station in Mumbai when on a bus stop I saw an advertisement of Religare which had a small kid clicking on a camera. Nothing extraordinary right? What caught my attention was the flash of the camera shown, which was a light which must have been placed in such a manner so as to appear to be the actual flash light of the camera from the front.

Another one was today on my way to Gurgaon, when I saw a Nokia N97 ad that showed the phone in use on a very big screen. What was different from the usual in this case was first a ticker that was supposedly there to scroll news and was indeed scrolling live news! The second one was a field that showed temperature and was actually showing teh temperature at that time. Though these two distinctly stood out in terms of not gelling too-well with the original image, still its a way to catch attention.

Now comes the question of effectiveness. Though, I really had to ponder hard to recall what brand was that kid and camera ad and moreover, what was that ad about, but in case of Nokia N97, I do know now that these are the two features amongst many others in this phone. It maybe the case that Nokia is fresh in mind and it will only take a week or so for me to again look back to even if Nokia was effective but the point I am trying to make here is that there are three very important aspects to OOH print advertising. First, to the slightest of extent possible, yes it pays if it is “Clutter Breaking”. Second, it should be effective! For instance, if you recall one of the recent Parle Musst Stix ad which shows the spokesperson from Parle making consumers aware of how they don’t like to invest money in advertising and instead believe in giving more quantity in their SKUs with a model popping up in the screen with Musst Stix and the spokesperson asking the staff to get rid of her. This ad, though to me seemed to be good, but speaking to a few people I understood that it might not have been that effective as many people mistook it to be a BINGO ad! Now even in our case, if I remember the flash light of the camera but not the brand, nor the context, though clutter breaking and attention grabbing, was it effective? Thirdly, the placement of the ad is very important, which I think both of these brands had (appropriate if not the best spots).

Various brands have used all sorts of techniques to grab attention, sometimes by playing with size, sometimes with colours used, or a surprise factor, distinctiveness , sometimes mere placement of the ad and then a mix of them. Given below are few examples. Enjoy 🙂