Wake me up

“Jagao Jagao Nescafe Pilao” : Wake Wake up, make me drink Nescafe.

Nescafe has always stood for the one solution to wake you up, sometimes even more effectively than your loud, head bursting, blood sucking alarm clock.

In this ad – the two worlds of wakefulness integrates into the brand colours of Nescafe.

Wake up. Start up. Turn on that ignition.

Get Going, Get Moving, Get Shaking, Get Nescafe-ing.

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Don’t do it.

Nike addresses the issue of  racism in the United States in a thought provoking statement.

Don’t pretend that America doesn’t have a problem. We all need to be a part of the change.

For a brand that has always stood up for ‘Just do it’, took a step back, played on they brand statement and spun it around to stand for ‘Don’t do it’.

No Home

The world has come to a stand still. And somewhere I wonder if we have built more apathy or empathy? Has the world come closer together or has it fallen away?

Do we care about the same problems that existed before the pandemic? The homeless are still homeless with much less care than ever before.

Contextualising this to the world today, the most hard hitting statement hits you at the core when you read “If I could stay at home, I would”.

Those Instagram stickers that say “Stay home” for some people truly means “No home”.

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Demand a change now

Winter is coming. But, is clean air coming?

Well, that change can only come in the future if we start now.  Let’s play the long game here. If we demand a change now, we can see a change in 10 years from now.

The graphics below shows the dire impact of our current activities on the environment. And for all the non-believers yes, there is a direct impact of our actions today into the future tomorrow.

Let’s venture into the alternate reality of our future. A future where we can breathe clean air and without forest fires and melted ice caps.

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With Love from Pizza Hut

When McDonald’s decided to shut shop until the beginning of may in Singapore due to the circuit breaker initiatives.

Pizza hut stepped up to show love to McDonalds in a well hearted post with 2 pizza slices.  In the fast food business, brands have historically gone head on head with each other with cut throat, aggressive advertising messaging.

Although we are all social distancing, some brands have yet again shown that in some ways, the world has come closer together.

Take care, ya’ll.

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Coca-Cola is distancing too

As governments, celebrities and influencers make strong statements about the importance of social distancing, brands are speaking up too.

Coca-Cola, a brand that has much chanted the name of being united together since it’s early brand inception days has now come out strong to put spaces in its own logo to land a singular message – ‘Staying apart is the best way to stay united’

Distance can be a wonderful thing too.

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Why do the dishes?

Let’s call it for what it is: We all have those “I can’t be bothered cooking especially because of that cruel dish-cleaning-phobia”. Everytime you get those lazy feels, you want to press a button and get some grub – Some fries and some bergs.

The good thing is that McDonalds saves you from doing those hellish dishes – especially on days when you want to wear your jammies, watch a trashy show on Netflix and munch on those delicious crispy fries.

McDonalds came up with a creative that will genuinely strike a cord with that dish-cleaning-phobia. By using dirty dishes as the most popular McDonalds menu items, the message was loud and clear.

Every once in a while, you can treat yourself to skipping those dishes.

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The Big M 24/7

McDonald’s re-emphasised their 24 hours drive thru in ways that made it so clear that even the night sky can’t come between you and the the Big Mac.

By playing with lights on billboards and cars, and showcasing the dark side of the moon with the light of the sesame bun, it’s magic to see the yellow of the McDonalds shine through so much advertising clutter to make a point, straight to your craving gut.

Ronald would sure be proud. Thanks big R for being in our lives, especially late at night when the world’s restaurants bail on us.

Life pre Alexa?

Sometimes we look at our lives around us and wonder, how did we even do this before? The minute the internet goes down, Google maps is unavailable or you can’t order a taxi on your phone, you feel so crippled. It’s almost this unimaginable pain to wonder what life would be like pre-tech-necessities. (Quote: Dark Necessities by Red Hot Chili Peppers).

Alexa had an amazing, funny and dramatic take on how failed Alex-versions were before Alexa actually came along. Without really placing the product or benefits in your face, you knew it. It was amusing to see a bird being sent with a letter only to be eaten by an Eagle and then a dragon. Such was life.

Also, let’s just give +1 for Ellen and Portia together doing everyday things together. Alexa, play my favorite song. Alexa, tell me a joke :)

2020. You don’t know my kind. Dark Necessities are part of my design.

Share to Perfect

What would have the world been with more efficient sharing?

Maybe better, Maybe worse.

Would we create more?

Maybe. Maybe not.

Would it be more perfect?

Can’t say.

We Transfer did give the concept a jab though. If Steve Wozniak and Jobs go together and sent files to each other, or even still Lennon and Mc Cartney to iterate on their craft further…

Who knows? Maybe we would have had many more ‘Hey Jude’s’ or an I-watch much ahead of it’s time.

Or maybe we could just not create hypotheticals and ‘Let it be’.

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Dat’ Fizz

How can you not remember the sound of this?

Gosh, I miss glass bottles. The thrill of holding them in the shape of your hand. You can literally #tastethefeeling

Those bubbles are happiness. Any health freak can say anything they want – but the marginal utility and pleasure of a cold sip of Coke on a hot day is unprecedented.

So, open that bottle with the click of the sip of life.

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The signs are there.

The hints are there.

The signs are there.

You just need to take the extra step to understand it.

This series of communications is focused on highlighting what the true story is.

Hint: Piece together the words in red to understand what really happened. Read between the lines. Read between the white lies to see the red pain she is going through.

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Heinz is the new Corona

I think  lately I am getting obsessed with smart, witty eye catching static creatives.  And they don’t necessarily need to be print on a newspaper or magazine, a smart piece of content works just as beautifully on social platforms too.

I literally feel desperate to scroll through my feed to find one witty piece of humor on an ad that generally makes me day (Umm, yeah – that’s me).

But my love for Beer and Ketchup (not necessarily had together) brought me to love this statement-worthy-print-it-for-sure creative.

PS: That potato wedge on the Heinz bottle is equivalent to the lemon on a good, cold Corona.

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As they say, Eat Responsibly.

Cheers.

Obesity-emo-ji

“Put child obesity in offline mode” – This campaign from Brazil uses emojis to convey what obesity could look like for children today – especially if they are overarmed with cell phones.

Let the kids play (In the park).

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The Future of the World

The future of the world seems dark if we don’t make the effort to make our consumption more sustainable.

I specifically love the jarring work that WWF did with everyday screens we see and editing it to a strong, shocking message.

“Preparing to Delete” – 1000 years remaining :(

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Would you pee on this ad?

Disclaimer: PG: Parental guidance suggested – Some material may not be suitable for children.

Exception Clause: Unless you are planning to have WIP children 

Here is a crazy print ad: The one where you peed on it. HAHAA.

IKEA has been extremely bold in the recent times with their advertising. And no matter if I believe this is a great ad or not, I will give a standing ovation to the courage this would have taken for one crazy team who brought this to life. Crazy is my favourite personality trait.

Without revealing much, I’d say –  You should watch this pure output of creativity and genius with a big doze of crazy:

No (!=) blink

Japanese advertising just amazes me with the creativity, exaggeration and sense of humour.

This is a throw back to one of the craziest and most innovative advertising campaigns that ever existed. The one crazy no-blinking TV reality show.

All extreme scenarios were managed without blinking – including washing your face, kissing and feeling a balloon burst next to your eyes.

But one thing, just one thing was such an impulse that couldn’t be controlled. The satisfaction of eating Carre de Chocolate.

It reminds me of the long gummy ad (which by the way I bought literally after seeing the ad). So creative, extreme and funny.

I’m not sure if you blinked, but giggle you shall.

Eats: More fun in the…

It’s more fun in the Philippines! :)

That’s been the Department of Tourism’s Slogan that has always stuck like the way superglue sticks to your hands.

But this time, they took the fun one level up with their new high paced campaign: “Eats. More Fun in the Philippines”

I loved the honesty and the playfulness with emotions and food, together.  My favourite, coming straight from the heart that lives within my stomach was – “Sometimes we just invent reasons to eat” Haha. #truestory

Also, can we take a moment to appreciate the star of the show – a giant dancing bee? Oh man, Spaghetti with sweet sauce didn’t exist in my life until Jollibee brought an unprecedented joy in my life.

Food connects us all. Travel connects us all. And the Department of Tourism connected everything. All in the Philippines.

There is nothing more Pinoy that chicken made with joy. Ace 100. Loved it!

The “Look” after the “Talk”

P&G just keeps outdoing itself, every single time.

There are so many issues that the world is plagued with that need our attention. And we need a stronger, louder voice to have that “talk”. Inclusion topics especially around discrimination, unconscious bias and racism is a sensitive line that many brands are afraid to tread. But these topics need more voices, louder voices and consistent voices.

I am so proud of being associated with marketing – Marketing in the past sometimes had a connotation that you would “trick people to sell things”. Well, maybe – maybe not. But for most part of it, not today (Overlay Arya Stark’s voice from Game of Thrones). I believe that today Marketing stands for something bigger, something larger. The real question we need to ask ourselves is – “What are the values that your brand stands for? What are the causes that you truly care about? Whose voice are you going to represent?”

“The Look” is a recent spot by P&G that powerfully demonstrates the “looks” a black man faces on a day to day basis. There are literally no words said in the commercial, just a series of looks. Say nothing, feel everything.

This campaign is a sequel to “The talk” – short dialogues shared by a black mom with her kids. The talk gives you just as many goosebumps as “The Look” in a deeply thought provoking manner.

Groundbreaking.

“The Look” | 2019

 

“The Talk” | 2018

Bare Necessities

“Look for the bare necessities,
The simple bare necessities,
Forget about your worries and your strife” 

Evian makes babies cute. Period.

I swear, I just want to cuddle those little mushes of joy! I literally look forward to Evian commercials to see the jamming, rock and rollin’, tunes these cuddles are swinging to lately.

Evian has been so consistent in their brand messaging – “Live Younger” and these animated babies are always brining joy to everyone’s lives. I’m a 100% sure that even when I am 65, I’ll be rolling to Bare Necessities on the streets like this too.  (Don’t miss the rap).

No f*cks given. Hell yeah.

Jazz em’AirPods Up

Apple worked with TBWA and Media Arts Lab to create magic.

Calling this piece just an advertising campaign wouldn’t do justice to what this spot really is – An incredible work of art.

“Bounce” explores a simple premise – how you feel when you have your AirPods on. You are literally just bouncing off streets and walls, in a rhythm that synchronises with the soul of the universe.

Apple’s core in all aspects including it’s product, design and marketing has revolved around the principles of simplicity.

“Bounce” is a brilliant execution of a simple idea and can literally get everyone to want to jump in joy watching this. Don’t miss how the protagonist bounces off the walls to the top of the building – I recently watched SpiderMan (Far from home) and the resemblance of superpowers is uncanny.

Well, I might not have spidey webs, but I sure as hell can get em’ AirPods.

Whopper Diamond

“Our way is love”

Burger King is one of my favourite brands that always seems to be re-writing the books in terms of what marketing in today’s world really is. It’s not selling, it is really standing up for something, fearlessly.

Burger King turned a whooper to ashes and made a diamond out of it. In a touching heart warming story between 2 men (Dima and Alvar) who got an opportunity to get married in Germany, Burger King took a strong position on LGBTQI rights.

The evolution of brands started with logos, USPs, Identities, purpose and as the world we live in get’s more divided – has evolved into really taking a stand for what brands believe in. (Think about it – It’s a big shift from the 4P’s that Marketing really started from).

I’m glad that more and more brands are really championing their position on certain issues. Haters going to hate, but I strongly believe that “Love is Love”. And nobody can take that away from anyone.

Movement for Movement

Transportation needs to be way more inclusive than what it is today. And although we are a long way away, Grab in Indonesia definitely took the first step to make transport safe and reliable for differently abled people.

Grab and Rexona partnered together for a holistic initiative around “Movement for Movement”. Several initiatives were rolled out including a dedicated fleet of cars, trained driver parters and a voice activated mobility assistant (designed by Rexona).

Through the “Gerak” mobile app, users would be able to speak or chat with it in order to find the nearest places that are disabled-friendly. Users could also book a special GrabGerak vehicle to their destination.

Many people question the long term implications of such activities but I believe that every positive step in the right direction is a positive change. And that a single light bulb can light up an entire city. The onus is on all of us to be true activists of inclusion related topics for everyone in all aspects of life – because really, this world can only be better, together.

 

 

 

#Deliverthelove

Fathers are our rocks. They have been pillars of support through time – there for us in moments that count, teaching us, guiding us and sometimes letting us make our own mistakes.

My has been such a huge cheerleader in my life and for this I’ll forever be thankful. Amazon, this Father’s day built an amazing campaign that urges everyone to deliver love to dads. Delivering love for moments that matter, no matter how small – from teaching us how to ride a bicycle, to holding us during our first swim.

Happy Father’s Day.

Snickers Airways

What’s 4pm without a Snickers?

And in that case, what is an in flight meal without Snickers? Always hungry on a flight? Well, you have a cure.

Snickers partnered with one of China’s biggest domestic carriers, China Eastern Airlines, to develop a hunger-free flight – Snickers Air.

 

The Powerless Queen 👸

In a game of chess, the Queen is the most powerful piece. She can move everywhere in all directions as long as no-one is blocking her.

This analogy is so close to reality, especially in today’s world. Give her strength, she will win and make you win too. Take her powers away and no matter how powerful every other piece is, you will lose.

The campaign by WatConsult aimed to raise funds to donate to Project Nanhi Kali – an NGO that supports education for underprivileged girls in India. 

It was amazing to see how every single player who played including global grandmasters, lost with the powerless queen. Believe that you can win? Check out the game here: https://www.powerlessqueen.com/

I definitely lost. And as a society, if we aren’t educating the girl child, we are losing too.

Burn dat’ ad.

One of the bravest brands out there is Burger King. When it comes to stretching the limits of innovative marketing and reinventing themselves consistently – my vote will always go to Burger King.

They took things to another level this time – by using augmented reality to wait for it – Burn Ads from the BigM. Apparently, McDonalds had their out of home ads everywhere, so instead of competing on expensive out of media space, Burger King earned love by getting people to download their app, have an interactive experience and generating a ton of earned media. Sneaky? Yes. Brave? Yes. Smart? Yes.

Guess that Mc Donalds ain’t loving it no more.

Work Life Balance

Monster.com – the job portal site has nailed down on one key use case why people should consider changing jobs.

Work-Life Balance. 

What I loved was taking a specific use case and exaggerating it to a humorous level – a use that that is beyond the generic narrative. It’s no longer about changing jobs because of a bad boss or career growth or more money. It’s about changing your life to give more time to other dimensions such as relationships.

This awesome spot demonstrates how consumed you might get in office that the solution to all problems is perhaps – following best practices, more 1:1s, team building activities.

I have literally watched this 15 times and laughed ever since. (Hint: It’s probably because I talk like this at home too.)

 

This little Duck

If there is one permanent magical place in this world today – it is Disneyland. I still remember going to Disneyland in Orlando and seeing all those childhood stories come to life.

All those stories and characters – they all live in Disneyland. Together. It is the place where Magic truly get’s real. 

Disneyland Paris shares the story of a ducking that also is inspired by all those Donald Duck stories growing up as we were. Seeing Donald Duck in real life – it’s eyes lit up. So adorable!!

You know the one thing I always say – Gotta turn up your magical <3

Love this spot so much. The child in my is thrilled.

 

McRecruitment

No experience needed. Phew.

Seeing that literally every job including a university level graduate program needs 2-3 years of work experience now – it’s a big relief that no work experience is needed for something atleast.

And no work experience like how? Haha!

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Oh Come-on! Fries and Oreo Mc Flurry could actually be a great innovative combination. Trust me, I know.

Midnight Crisis

Levels of Hunger:

Level 0: Sort of Hungry

Level 1: Really Hungry

Level 2: Hangry

Level 3: Midnight Crisis

So, What happens in the middle of the night when you are getting “hangry” and it sort of  starts feeling like a midnight CRISIS? Well, food better be on it’s way.  And fast.

Dominos has some outdoor billboards to remind us that when you are in the midst of a midnight crisis, Pizza’s should be at your door before you know it.

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Dominos – Saving lives, at-least until 4am :)

 

Walmart of the future (is here)

Remember all those things they were saying about how tradition retail can’t disrupt the amazon’s of the world. Well, there are a few bold ones that know that they need to evolve. And evolving, they are.

Walmart is rebuilding it’s business model to cater for groceries of the future – a cross between the online and offline world – The new drive through, if you will.

Order online, Zoom in and pick up your groceries for the evening. Zoom and then boom!

What’s amazing is reinventing yourself requires courage but also needs a voice. You need people to know that you are here – integrating with the future. What better way to do it then, use the most famous cars that we have all grown up watching?

Scooby Doo, Flintstones, Jurassic Park, Transformers – You watch them and the 70s, 80s or 90s kid in you is strong and alive.

Walmart isn’t building for the 18 year olds of today, Walmart is building for everybody else – people who are between “I want to see what is coming to my door step” but “I could use the convenience of technology if it can save me time”.

Not only do I love this campaign, Kudos for Walmart as a business for bravely reinventing itself AND putting itself out there with a message that clearly I will never forget.

Zoom. Boom. Bam.

Let her “slip” from your hands

Here is a cultural saying in India: “Ladki Haath se nikal jayegi” – Which means that if you don’t control her, she will slip out of your hands.

And needless to imagine, this leads to a painful slippery slope – girls are not encourged to study, not encouraged to pursue a career, instead – She is simply taught that one day she will get married and take her of her in-laws.

This cultural acceptable since decades has been a systematic reason why women are not in the running for most things including representation of women in schools, work and in leadership positions.

Mahindra Rise,  a foundation for the Mahindra conglomerate kickstarted a movement that really makes you rethink the meaning of “a girl slipping out of your hand”.

From a negative connotation, they simply twisted it to something different – Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you let you girl slip from your hands and help her realise her dreams?

Having my roots in India, and my wings outside:  this story is personally quite hard hitting.

Home Alone 2.0

One of our favorite movies growing up was Home Alone. I still remember loading those DVD’s up, sitting in a circle with a group of my girlfriends and laughing so loudly at all the mischief when you are “home alone”.

I loved how Google re-created Home Alone just when the main protagonist – Macaulay Culkin is now 38 years old instead. He still seems familiar, the scenes of the house are exactly re-created and bring back a gush on nostalgic hormones running through your skin.

There is only one difference – The house is integrated with the Google Home Mini, Home Pub and Pixel Smartphone.  HA! Genius!

Memories <3

X out Fake News

Spread Joy, Not Rumors.

Taking social responsibility and educating everyone about how fake news spreads so rapidly is so important. Many times, we don’t realise that we are part of the system that fuels the fire.

I believe that Whatsapp India took the bold move to be deliberate in their communication to stop the spread of fake news. Be like Kavya who helps people understand that if that content didn’t originate from you, it is important to validate it before sharing it.

In a world where forwards happen with just a click of a button, we all have to take up more responsibility to ensure that these channels of communication remain clean and reliable.

I really enjoyed the pace of the creative and messaging – “Spread Love, not Rumors” hits the nail on the head with a strong social message in a fun and relatable delivery (remember the times, people in white suits would preach us about the right ways of life?)

Museum Of Laundry

LG launched a series of videos in an interesting twist to Laundry stories – A museum of Laundry.

Every piece of laundry that is messed up actually leads us to eventually not use- make it a cleaning cloth – throwing away clothes. But what about the death of these clothes primarily because of poor laundry techniques?

I loved the concept of a series of laundry items that just keep getting added to almost like a museum of antiques.

The centre piece has a strong product go-to: The actual washing machine with a two part load. Let’s be honest – we separate our whites, our undergarments etc and do multiple loads. Product is on point. But the messaging – super on point too.

Diwali for it’s true emotion

Diwali is about many things – lights, sweets and family.

But most of all the true emotion of Diwali lies in lighting up other’s people lives in our own small way.  Just beyond the celebrations, it stems from a pure emotion of wishing well for everyone around you.

This Diwali, HP showcased a story of a young boy lighting up the life of the lady who actually sells those diyas. Have we ever thought about what they are possibly feeling while selling those diyas on the streets? In a beautiful story, the short film takes people on the journey of what the protagonist (the diya seller) feels and goes through during the auspicious celebrations – trying to sell diyas and get by so she can celebrate with her family as well.

HP highlighted what Diwali really stands for – no fancy parties, dinners or card games. More than anything, I just loved the essence of the festival through this storyline. This spot really did showcase Diwali for it’s true and pure emotion.

PS: I cried a little when I watched this.

Dream Crazy

“Don’t feel like you need to be anybody, to be somebody”.

 

Please tell me that Nike is giving you the goosies, the tiny hair on your arms standing up, feeling electrified by the tenacity of the human race and the endless obstacles that you can conquer. You ought to be feeling those things by just the power of this ad.

It’s absolutely mind blowing. It reminds me of the Apple’s – Think Different campaign: giving the highest respect to the crazy ones, the misfits, the people who changed the world.

The human race is a story of continuous victory through the pains and struggles – picking ourselves up with the greatest falls. I am inspired, truly by the meaning behind this campaign – going so much beyond shoes if at all.

Sometimes I have questioned, the power of brands and human connection.  But this campaign is a great reminder that we are all in this together – taking the human race forward.

So, “Don’t ask if your dreams are crazy, ask if they are crazy enough”.

Amen.

We need to chat about WeChat

Slide1I have realised that we have chatted (&blogged) about so many great campaigns, trends and upcoming fab-jazz, but we still haven’t chatted enough about the biggest wave in that is being driven right here – the land where the sun rises (i.e. the East).

Here are the top 5 reason why WeChat is the mega universe of everything that defines ‘magic of your touch screen phone’ –

  1. Make instore payments through QR codes
  2. Send bitcoins to a friend
  3. Manage a personal wealth fund
  4. Pay Utility bills
  5. Check how much a product costs instore by scanning a code

PS: My favourite one that should be at the top of this list – You can book a karaoke through the app. Hello WeChat, Karaoke is my eternal weakness. Oops, did I just reveal my Kkk-Kryptonite to the world?

 

 

Stains disappearing

Brands are still playing with out of home in cool, innovative ways.

Ariel created a disappearing billboard where the closer you get to the stain get’s wiped out. And once you almost get to the board, boom – the stain has gone.

Boom.

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The power of product marketing

How many times have you seen a great ad: sometimes cried, once in a while laughed, ads that use some insane technology that makes you go wow but literally – you can’t remember the name of the brand or the value they might drive in your life.

I need to come out of the closet about how strongly I feel about these award hungry “innovative” advertising campaigns that literally drive 0 business value. We all know these ads – you can sniff their award winning desperation from a distance. Hate it.

I’ve always respected brands that are so confident in themselves that all they want to do is drive business value and grow user love. The ‘it name’ for it today is product marketing. Now, I’m not saying that brand marketing is not important or these are 2 are mutually exclusive. I just believe that if you have limited marketing dollars, the most important thing you want to do first is to drive user growth and love – increase product adoption by being explicit about the utility that you drive in someone’s life.

eBay did a great job to re-establish their credibility by proving their value in the market (even if by taking a direct stab at Amazon).

 

I loved the pun on golden number $119. But more so, I loved how direct the messaging was to be like “hey – we provide more value therefore use us over xx”. Really that simple, but so well done.

Marketing is really about simplicity. We tend to over-complicate it.

Simple messaging to the right audience, at the right time to maximise business impact. (Business impact being the operating clause). I think that we need to always remind ourselves that this isn’t about us being creative (you can pickup a paintbrush for that) – this is really about customer value. More value, more love. Simple and beautiful.

Highlighting women at the back

One of the most common topics of discussion around  women is that they are often instrumental in certain wins or achievements but don’t get the credit they deserve – sometimes due to systematic issues, sometimes because of a male dominated rewarding environment and sometimes simply because they lock themselves in and don’t demand that well deserved recognition.

Whatever the reasons, it’s been proven that systematically women who deserve to be on the front lines are fighting battles in the shadows of other people at the back. Stabilo, a highlighter brand decided to make that connection with a higher purpose – highlighting women like Katherine Johnson who was instrumental in saving lives of the people in Apollo 11 through her pure mathematical genius.

I am often super charged with women issues and this creative immediately ignited a yellow flame in me. I adore brands like Stabilo who dare to take the bold step and stand up for a purpose that is much, much larger than the utility of a ‘mere highlighter’.

It’s true, we need to really highlight more women like this.

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In all that trunk?

What are you going to do with all that trunk? Fiat comes up with another ‘boot’in’ campaign.

The new Fiat Tipo is just the right car for you if you need a hell lot of storage space. So much so, that an entire topography just fits right in.

And let’s be clear – what can’t really fit? Volcanoes, creature, helicopters and really cool terrains.

I love the exaggeration to make a point. Probably because I believe in everything being “extra”.

Goodbye Jurassic Park. Hello, Fiat.

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