Hello, Tomorrow???

screen-shot-2016-10-06-at-10-53-47-am

Few days back, Emirates published the opening of its new commercial and had the world anticipating and guessing what could be its amazing continuation.

“Who was this enigmatic Sir?” was the question being asked all over social media, all over the world.

Some speculated it was an old ‘Friends’ cast; some were even convinced it was ‘Brad Pitt’.

Imagination flowed, as it should have.

Stories were built…beautiful ones.

I, from my side, was expecting the start of an Epic, à la Nespresso campaign, featuring George Clooney and Jean Dujardin.

I was expecting Emirates to leap into awesomeness, and make us dream. Something only Emirates could do.

I could not expect less from the world’s best airlines.

 

Then came 5pm yesterday, the much anticipated reveal rendez-vouz.

I was on the road and as soon as I stopped at traffic lights, I reached for my phone with such a ridiculous enthusiasm and…

Here was the ‘KID’.

The enthusiasm that started few days back, turned 20 seconds later, into a jaw dropping disappointment.

The Epic I had in mind turned out to be a trip into lame-land.

This much anticipated ad stank of ‘ticked marketing boxes’.

I could almost hear the brand teams shouting out in the background:

‘Let’s add a kid, it would be so cute…and emotional…oh and let’s make him dream of becoming a pilot…. an Emirates pilot!’

‘Where is my family…. Families constitute 56% of our passengers, WE NEED TO HAVE A FAMILY!’

‘What about Economy Class??? We need to highlight that our Economy class is comfortable…”

 

What I was hoping to be one of the best ads of the month, turned out to be a trip into the mundane, a story where ‘Jen’ is so comfortable in Economy that she doesn’t want to return to her First Class Cabin….

Seriously Emirates? Who will buy this?

I have been flying Emirates for the past 20 years. It is my favorite Airlines, and probably the worlds’ too.

You had a chance to build an epic and become the World’s best advertiser and inspire us a bit more. Make us dream like only you could. But instead, you succumbed to these boxes that needed to be ticked.

I will keep hoping that one day, your communication will be as good as the amazing experience you offer…

Maybe, tomorrow???

R.K


That uncomfortable beautiful feeling

great ideas

 

 

The client was cool. The brand was amazing.

We saw an opportunity and got excited.

We cracked the idea and felt good about it.

We presented the full plan with enthusiasm.

We sold it really well.

Client liked it. It was a good route.

 

We killed it the next morning.

 

What happened overnight?

It just happened that the client liked it. It was a good route.

He didn’t question or challenge anything.

He smiled, satisfied, as if we read his mind.

He was too comfortable.

He could easily link the idea to what his product stands for.

He could surely see the sales potential.

 

Was this what we were really looking for? A happy & comfortable client?

Was this the ultimate idea that would connect with people.

Was this the next big one that would blow your mind away.

Our idea was good and the client liked it.

With a tiny ‘i’, a lower case ‘g’ and a boring little ‘l’.

 

There are 3 types of Great Ideas:

  • The ‘how come we didn’t think about it’ ones.
  • The ‘I wish we thought about it first’ ones.
  • The ‘fuck! These guys must be on something’ ones.

Being in the presence of greatness leaves you unsettled, a tad uncomfortable, speechless for a few seconds,

sometimes  for minutes….

It leaves you with a bit of discomfort, like when you are face to face with an unexpectedly gorgeous woman.

 

gorgeous woman

 

A great idea happens when your instinct tells you yes, but you’re not too sure…it takes a bit of time, then it overwhelms you.

The more open-minded, risk taker, experienced you are, the quicker the gap between discomfort & excitement narrows.

Good ideas sink immediately into your mind

Great ideas play with it at first. Then they blow it away.

 

Why?

It is simple. A great idea is one that goes beyond your comfort zone.

It takes you places you’ve never been. It defies the usual, the norm, the mundane.

It defies the brief. And takes it to a better place.

 

The reason we killed our first idea, was because it was approved on the spot.

It didn’t leave our client with a bit of discomfort. It was too safe and good.

We usually don’t settle for that, especially when we see the opportunity and when the client is up for it.

 

So next time your client smiles but tells you he needs some time to absorb & assimilate the work he just saw,

rest assured that you did a great job.


Not another Dinosaur

A movie says more than a thousand words


Talents..everywhere!

Last week we had some fun.

We gave each and everyone in Livingroom a line, a belief, a promise from our agency Manifesto and a week to come up with an idea around it.

Normally,

It would have been one of those tasks that get lost in inboxes,

thrown on the back burner while day to day work takes priority,

or even ignored and forgotten till its dead and meaningless.

Luckily, we don’t abide by the ‘Normally’.

Instead, things happened.

We heard finance pitching their ideas to designers over a cigarette break,

We saw Brand Navigation experimenting with Photoshop,

Journey planning playing around with fonts,

Mission Control scratching their brains,

Connection having fun,

After hours brainstorming sessions,

Props hunting,

Proud & glowing faces with ‘I found my idea’ written all over them.

And the result was mind blowing, nothing less than ‘Goose bumpy’,

Livingroom transformed into an art exhibition where everyone displayed their ‘own-created-developed’ idea.

It was heartwarming.

A reinforcement to our belief that great ideas come from anywhere and that we were indeed surrounded by Talent.

Definitely a big SMOOCH!

Check for yourselves:

ITS WHEN YOU’D TOUCH EACH OTHER WITHOUT A GUILT

ITS THAT TIGHTEST HUG YOU’D GIVE YOUR PARTNER

ITS WHEN YOU’D STAY LATE COZ YOUR PARTNER HAS A DATE

WE BELIEVE EVERY PIECE OF WORK WE DO IS LOVED TO BITS

WE BELIEVE THAT EVERY PIECE OF ART WE CREATE…WE CUM OVER IT

WE BELIEVE TALENTS ARE IRREPLACEABLE

WE BELIEVE OUR FLABBY TUMMY WILL NOT SLOW US DOWN

WE BELIEVE THAT EVERYONE OF US IS A PAGE IN THE BOOK CALLED ‘THEY DID IT’

WE BELIEVE IN INDIVIDUAL INDEPENDENCE & COLLECTIVE VICTORIES THAT TURN INTO BEST SELLERS

ITS A BELIEF THAT MAKES OUR HEARTS BEAT LOUDER THAN THUNDER

IT’S THAT CUP OF TEA YOU’S PREPARE FOR A VISITOR, A COLLEAGUE OR A CLIENT

WE ARE BELIEVERS

EINSTEIN ONCE SAID ‘FUCK YOU’. WE SAY, ‘FUCK YOU EINSTEIN’

WE BELIEVE THERE IS NO NIGHT…JUST THE ABSENCE OF LIGHT

WHEN THE SUN SLEEPS, WE TURN ON THE STARS

IT’S THE HONEST LAUGHTER THE SECURITY ON THE GROUND FLOOR WILL HEAR

BECAUSE WE’RE LIVING


“Everyone is replaceable”, you said?

I’ve always been the rebel at the forefront of employee causes, raises, corporate freedom.

I fought wars.

I challenged CEOs.

I initiated petitions and brought back ‘fired’ Talents against management’s will.

I was hated and respected by people, depending which side they were on.

Then one day, I became ‘Management’,

and I was given the answer to all issues,

…the magic formula management lives by,

…The ‘secret’ transmitted by one management generation to the other,

…the ultimate advice:

‘now that you are taking a new role, always keep in mind that everyone is replaceable’

I was shocked.

How could anyone praise their ‘assets’ at every public occasion and live by that formula behind closed doors.

I was never convinced and never learned that.

I couldn’t make the leap.

I was considered the black sheep of ‘management’.

Whilst management always praised that ‘people were their biggest assets’, they were still convinced that clients were the source of revenue, which put Talent as a major source of ‘expense’.

My constant debate was that our Talents were in fact our main source of revenue and that they deserved much more in return.

I was treated as an idealistic, a dreamer, a naïve people’s person… an obstacle.

Talents don’t join companies for money, name, location, medical insurance or even client lists. Employees do.

Talents are on the constant look out for a company with an amazing Spirit and true genuine Beliefs.

A place that offers endless possibilities to actually achieve what they have in mind.

An honest place where the formula applied behind closed doors is actually the same one shouted out loud in company gatherings.

The moment the Spirit & Belief appear fake…

The moment they realize they are as valuable as a replaceable spare part…

Their strong feeling of belonging fades away.

The more time I spend doing what I do, the more my beliefs in Talents are reinforced.

The more hours I spend talking to Talents, the more I know I am not a dreamer or an ‘obstacle’.

The more job interviews I make, the more I realize that Talents are rare.

Talents are irreplaceable.

Everything else is.

I always said it. I keep saying it. And I will always live by it.


I’m so glad you don’t sell Hemorrhoids cream

Following my last ‘Noose’ on the KFC bucket run campaign, I promised I would ‘Smooch’ at least 10 ideas before trashing another one.

But this ‘thing’ made me change my mind.

I say ‘thing’ because it doesn’t fall into any category in mind

it’s not an ad.

it’s not a conversation.

it’s not an idea

it’s not a connection

What is it?

I glance at this ‘thing’ and i can hear the client mumbling somewhere in a cold, grey, corporate conference room:

‘let’s shock people….let’s show them blood…they will get scared and start using our brand….it worked in Poland!’

I relook at it and i can see the agency guys sit silent, defeated, losing interest, after many weeks of struggle.

Congratulations Brand team….you just won your argument and flashed your ‘insight’ right in front of our eyes…

….’a blood stain in a white sink’.

While you think this is a result generating campaign, the reality may be a bit different.

It is a disgusting ‘ad’ that even ‘blood spitting people’ may not appreciate.

And while the ‘insight’ is spot on, (and I’m sure you spent a fair amount of money on ‘research’), you missed a very important point:

Communication is not about flashing your insight in its raw form!

It’s more about taking it to another level, a level where you can have a proper connection with your audience.

A level where you can let your audience identify and connect in a subtle way. Let them see the ‘revelation’

And trust me…a visual mix of saliva and blood will not do it.

It will just result in a sudden face-turn, and people wouldn’t glance at it ever again.

So you have a product that certainly works…

and I understand you want to target a specific audience.

Have you considered doing it in a way that would not make them feel embarrassed to ask for your brand?

..and without polluting Sheikh Zayed Road?

Well, I’m just glad you don’t sell hemorrhoids cream.

Definitely a ‘Noose’.


Unhealthy Body, Healthy mind…Smooch or Noose?

I’ve never been a health freak,

But I know what is healthy and what is not…and I’ve indulged of the ‘not healthy’ for so long.

I’ve never been an ad guru,

But I feel what is a good communication and what is not…and I’ve been indulgent to the ‘not so good’ for so long.

I can tolerate cheaply produced ads.

I can even accept flat communication…sometimes there is a reason for that.

But what I will never tolerate is irrelevant communication.

I’ve been seeing this bridge banner, every day for the past week.

And every time, I tried to remain positive to find a logical link.

So I checked it again online.


And here is the idea:

We’re a fast food brand. We sell ‘deep fried’ chicken…..and we love Children.

And we care for their education

So we’re organizing an event to help raise money for their education.

And since we have a spicy variant, this makes us:

“All Fired Up to help educate Children”.

The flames in the over cluttered layout are spot on..they are related to their ‘hot & spicy Zinger taste’ (check the bottom left corner, around their ’30 years’ icon).

The name ‘KFC Bucket run’ definitely makes sense since it promotes the large size family meal.

The mini promotion on the left side is pure genius since it pushes you to buy a Bucket and share it with friends…of course because sharing is caring!

The rewards listed are tempting. A trophy, free meals, free gifts and the list goes on and on.

So what’s not to like!

And to prove that the campaign is a success, check their 300K FB likes (which of course are pushed by the genius ‘Click and win a free meal’ hook)

Well done guys! you just crossed the line to beyond irrelevant.

If you’ve been told that these are the ingredients that make a good ‘community initiative’….get a second opinion.

If you really want to do something for Children, then maybe introducing ‘fat free’, ‘skin free’ or ‘Fried with grape seed oil’ variants should have been the answer to your brief.

And if you care about their education that much, you should have been challenged and reminded of ‘Healthy body, healthy mind’

The main issue is that this communication is forced.

I am sure something went wrong somewhere. Having been around for ’30 years’ comes after all with maturity and community understanding.

What happened here?

I’ve had my share of KFC buckets and it’s the ‘Unhealthy’ i like. Pleasure and sin goes sometimes hand in hand.

What annoys me in this communication is the ‘irrelevance’.

A boring ‘Cleaner Dubai’, an expected ‘Plastic-free week’ or even a free ‘play area for kids’ initiative would have gotten a better review.

I’ll stop here and wish you Good Luck with your event.

I bet we’ll see lots of empty buckets and filled bellies on Feb 24th.

Definitely a ‘Noose’.