Bawdy Copy: Corporate whispers in the ad corridors
This year, the ad festival clashes continue: whether due to petty one-up-manship, failure to communicate or bizarre coincidence, we just can't tell.
On a breezy Sunday night last week, we received a link to an ad in our inbox for an Ivy League smartphone. Festive sequences, coy images exchanged between man and woman; ring a bell? Then we received a link to an ad made for an NGO over five years ago, and the bells began to ring more loudly and furiously than expected. The background music was, to put it politely, quite strikingly similar. The people in charge of music for the phone's advert had taken "inspiration" to a complete new level, it seemed. When we confronted the agency, we were smoothly directed to the production house and the famed director behind the commercial. Blame-shedding faster than load-shedding that plagues the whole of North India, if you ask us. The matter has escalated in the last few days, we hear, what with the involvement of MCI (Media Control Interface) to find the culprit while both the agency and the production house attempt to wash their hands off the sordid affair. While the industry by and large avoids playing to the same scripts — the mass cloned mass produced soap and shampoo ads being a notable exception — it's a little worrying to know it's open season on other elements of a film.
Curioser & Curioser
Not too long ago, we had a couple of ad festivals going head to head. One a doughty 10 year old survivor with a fair amount of baggage hosted on the sunny beaches of Goa; the other a challenger held in central Mumbai which most people we've spoken to believe did not entirely live up to the potential or the hype in its first year.
This is not the first clash between these now apparently rival bodies: a freshly minted ad award show had to be shuffled around a little given it was clashing with the ad fest a year ago. And this year, the clashes continue: whether due to petty oneupmanship, failure to communicate or bizarre coincidence, we just can't tell. The challenger's flagship design conference in Goa plays out over the same weekend as the most prestigious and highly prized media awards in the country. The level of audience overlap is not as significant but we are sure there are more than a few people in the ad world torn between which one to attend and/or planning last minute trips to either Mumbai or Goa. On being directly confronted, the established fest claims it was informed a so early about the challenger festival in question, that it slipped their minds while planning the schedule for its media awards. Don't want to be a part of this imbroglio but still want to get a fix of advertising gyaan? Well, there's yet another festival of creativity playing out the same weekend: except this one's in Singapore.