'The Block VIII': Unboxing your box

MUMBAI: Unboxing oneself and getting out of the rut and mundane activities of life was a key message this Friday. Ways of getting away from conventional and routine advertising and beating the clutter just about sums up the essence of what The Block VIII covered.

Thus acclaimed Lemon Communications CEO Ravi Deshpande introduced session eight of 'The Block' - the 10 session creative workshop hosted by the Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI).

With a brilliant presentation at his disposal, Deshpande was pleasantly surprising with his well researched and well prepared session. With the prime focus being how to unbox ones self, he called attention to various syndrome that advertising as a profession faces and talked about how to overcome it.

Defining the box, the box essentially is a state of mind that makes you think within your limits, one that enables you to make safe decisions and is an environment which is comfortable and secure and hence one attains a comfort level.

Describing traps that one walks into knowingly or unknowingly as syndromes, he went on to talk about the various syndromes of advertising.

Category Syndrome:

This is a syndrome where a car ad looks like a car ad, a bank ad looks like a bank ad and a shampoo ad looks like shampoo ad. So essentially the concept is the category, and hence most often than not the ad is decided even before the brief is written. Unknowingly we produce work that comes out of the category advertising formula.

Another key message; " Blend in if you don't want to get eaten and stand out if you don't want to attract a mate."

So, how does one get out of the box?

Get away from ads in that category in a responsible manner. Away from the predictability and strive to become more anti-category.

Music Syndrome:

Often the music replaces the idea of the ad. Jingles and happy images seem to mistaken for advertising. Music can only enhance the idea not replace the idea. Eg: Hutch ( Dog ad), Lucky magazine ( mannequin)

Scream Syndrome:

Common belief: Make your ads scream and you'll get the consumers attention, instead you get your consumer to reduce the volume. ]

Funny Syndrome:

Most Indians are obsessed with writing funny ads. That is surprising as genetically Indians are not funny people. Hence, this obsession with writing funny copies is truly funny. So here the key learning was "Avoid humour unless you are 100 per cent sure. What is funny to you may not be funny to the millions of others. Don't set out to be funny, set out to be interesting and fun will follow."

Celebrity Syndrome:

Put a famous jock in an ad and the brand will sell is the most celebrated myth in the Indian advertising scenario. The only place it will work is when the celeb has a strong connect with the brand. For example: Aggasi or Tiger Woods for Nike and Beckham and Carlos for the Pepsi ad.

A point to be noted, "In times of recession, good agencies do better because advertising is more important, not less."

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