Tag Archives: featured

Gateway to Cultural Anthropology via Advertising

We have reached a phase in digital advertising wherein Youtube ads have become synonymous with the skip button. Viewers are not receptive to the concept of an ad running before their favourite content and majority of the ad viewing time is spent intently staring at the much awaited skip button to appear! This phenomena appeared another time in the past as well with TV advertising, however TV viewing is traditionally a family or group activity and hence the TV ads are relatively better received for 2 reasons: a) The TV ad can be appreciated or criticised as a group, b) The option to switch to other channels in the interim break.

With the advent of Digital media, Youtube has instilled, as much as they have taken away, a sense of autonomy and self-initiative from their viewers with pre-roll advertisements.







But could it be conceivable that the viewers have it all wrong? Yes, most of us find the pre-roll ads to be nagging and wish that they would just go away. However in such a situation how does one suggest Google make money? From us? Maybe a subscription? Something that Youtube has rolled out already, but we the free people, are we willing to pay a subscription to watch content from our favourite channels?

This brings me to the next part: Advertisements have traditionally been a very vital and accurate representation of a region’s inherent culture. If you find yourself in a completely new country and wish to know more about its culture, an ideal starting point would be the television commercials of that place.  Advertising to be successful has a mandate of appealing to the masses and being as local in its communication as it can possibly be. So then what better place  can a person go to learn about a foreign land’s inherent culture? Researching on the internet is definitely a way but will it really give you a rich essence of the dialect, accepted gestures and colloquial terminology? I’d guess not.

Now we have a content delivery system that (maybe forcefully so) gives us an insight into cultural nuances every time we go to stream our favourite content from a different part of the world! As a lover of digital media i actually like watching the pre-roll ads, yes you read that right! Its industry learning for me really but most importantly when i travel and take those 2 minutes to watch a local pre-roll ad and it gives me such an immense insight into the culture and nature of the local people. These insights help me in understanding the general sentiment and attitude of the people towards common issues and works as a conversation starter in furthering my cultural learning.

The beauty of Youtube lies in its accessibility. Whilst travelling we may not always have access to a TV or a Newspaper but we will most often than not have access to our smartphones and laptops, opening the gateway to an immersive understanding of cultural anthropology. Well this holds true only if we have the right attitude towards the medium of course.

Having said all of the above i think there are some ground rules which every advertiser should follow in order to keep the viewer’s ad watching experience a memorable one:

  1. Keep the ad frequency to a maximum of 2! Yes Mr. Media planner you know what I’m talking about!
  2. The duration of the advertisement should not be more than 1 minute unless you have an extremely compelling story to tell.
  3. Inculcate the local culture of the region as much as possible and I cannot stress this enough. Doing so has two benefits, firstly the more local and customised the content the more your target audience would identify with it and secondly the travellers and expats can actually use the advertisements as a reservoir to learn about local and cultural nuances.
  4. Target your ad! One size fits all never has and never will work, especially in todays highly individualised world. Everybody wants to feel like a somebody and personalisation of content is the key to opening that mine.

Coca cola is a master at culture marketing, take a look at this and decide what you take out of it: 

To me, when i saw the Youtube ad in Singapore i realised the underlying tension between different communities here and sensed that even though Singapore might be cracking down on its expatriate population they appreciate the effort taken by parts of this foreign population in building their country. I have used this on multiple occasions as a conversation starter to further gauge the locals sentiment on this topic.

So next time you intently wait to skip a Youtube ad, think twice, you might just be foregoing an opportunity of some great cultural learning.

Image courtesy: http://bit.ly/1BdexOu


How do you keep a conversation going on social media?

All you Game of Thrones fans out there, this post goes out to you!

Since it’s inception, GoT has been infamous for ruthlessly killing off some of the show’s most loved characters and having unfathomable plot twists that would leave even the know-it-all book readers a bit appalled to say the least.

What this has done for the stupendously popular TV series is to get it’s fans talking about all the happenings of the show on social media, blogs etc and friends of fans to hate this or love this but receive this information nonetheless.

Even the non-believers of the TV show know the name of at least one of the 7 houses and definitely know of the existence of dragons! So how does this happen?

Well, with each new episode there is either love or hate expressed by the devout fans in the form of a flurry of social posts and subsequent debates on those posts! But the “magic potion” of this phenomena lies in the new converts that keep adding on and building on the conversation.

But as every business follows an “S” curve of growth, so does the popularity of a TV show. It seems now that the organic talkability around GoT is declining and this decline is further accentuated by the not-so-power packed episodes of the latest season.

So what does Game of Thrones do? Well they launch a series of parodies and musicals with the whole cast and one exclusively featuring the most loved character: Daenerys Targaryen!

First up,

Coldplay’s Game of Thrones: The Musical (Full 12-minute version)

And the winner,

Rastafarian Daenerys Targaryen!

Well, whilst this created a fair amount of buzz around in social media and revived some of the dead conversations around the Game of Thrones brand, it was all for a good and noble cause.

This Game of Thrones mash-up with Coldplay was done for a comedy charity event: Red Nose Day arranged by NBC

So a social cause leading to earned social (media) PR, now that my friends is how you seamlessly keep a conversation going with your fans!

Red Nose Day: http://www.nbc.com/red-nose-day

If you liked the videos, make a donation!: po.st/RedNoseThrones

image courtesy: http://www.fanpop.com/clubs/game-of-thrones/images/37310728/title/game-thrones-wallpaper

Converse beautifully entwines itself with the musicians

The Converse rubber tracks studio is in Brooklyn and offers free recording time to musicians who otherwise may not be able to afford it.

How great is that! This is a great example of evolved symbiotic marketing wherein the brand fully understands its consumer and invests in empowering him.

Converse Rubber Tracks Pop Up Studio in Barcelona, Spain
Converse Rubber Tracks Pop Up Studio in Barcelona, Spain

Its not only free studio time thats on offer here, Converse also hosts pop up studios all over the world providing musicians a chance to record, with no expectations of shoe promotions in return.

Budding, working musicians can apply online http://www.converse.com/rubbertracks post which their application is reviewed and a call to gauge exact requirements is made followed by scheduling of the meeting.

This is what Converse had to say in an interview with Fast company:


I say include this in Marketing’s 5 Ps or 7 Cs or whatever the age old theory still preaches.