Lousy Ad: Häagen-Dazs’ French Riviera

This banner looks like most other Häagen-Dazs’ banners, simple, straight-forward and discreet.  Yet this banner has stirred up a tide of nationalism among India nationals in Delhi, India, demanding Haagen Dazs be fined or thrown out of the country, or both.

The offensiveness of the banner lies in the copy at the bottom, ““Exclusive Preview for International Travellers. Access restricted only to holders of international passports.”

It all began with a friend of Rajesh Kaira, the editor of “The Times of India, who was denied entry to the Häagen-Dazs store. Well, access is only granted to holders of international passport. Incensed by such slavery mentality, Mr Kaira put up a few pictures on Facebook, added a caption and also sent out a tweet with a request it be retweeted. In a few hours, it had turned viral and he started getting messages from angry Indians all over the world. Interestingly, he got comments not just from his fellow countrymen  but also non-Indians worldwide. Subsequently, Mr Kaira put up a blog post, Sorry, Indians Not Allowed,” and to-date, there are more than 1000 lively comments on the issue.

Judging by the angry response, the Indian nationals obviously do not resonate with TBWA India’s original intention of striking a vibrant and cosmopolitan ambiance with a reference to the French Riviera. In fact, they were totally upset. It was evident by the first comment from Samir, “This is an insult to Indian nationals and Continue reading “Lousy Ad: Häagen-Dazs’ French Riviera”

Lousy Ad: The Photo Does Matters

I’m a fan of IKEA’s print advertisements.

I also have many IKEA’s creations in my house and office.

So I was somewhat surprised to see this ad from the famous Swedish furniture and furnishing house.

IKEA’s furniture is sleek and streamlined, and more often than not, its print advertisements mirror the same look and feel.

Not this advertisement though.

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I first saw this ad.



Poor choreography.

Ironically, the headline said “… it’s more about creativity and coordination”.

I can see the effort involved in the selection of bed sheet, quilt cover, pillows, cushions, lamp shade etc from the green, white and red bedroom collection. There is certainly creativity in there and no denying the excellent colour coordination.

What I cannot see is the Continue reading “Lousy Ad: The Photo Does Matters”

Lousy Ad: Why You Shouldn’t Simply Convert Coloured Ad into Black-White Ad?

When you want to publish an advertisement with black background and white text, be extra careful. You might end up like the ad shown above.

I do not know if this is a case of a penny-wise, pound foolish client or an honest mistake by the designer who does not have enough understanding of press production.

There are just too many clients out there who happily get their ad agency or creative firm to do up an array of full colour brochure, hand bills, poster, wobbler and yes, advertisements. When it is time to run a black-white advertisements in the dailies, they happily tell the art director, “Use back the same artwork”.  Some give  that instruction because the boss had already approved the colour ad and it is much more convenient just to re-use and recycle in the spirit of  harmonious co-existence. Yet there are some whose intention is to save money on artwork adaptation or re-work. And, of course, there are clueless clients who did not understand the devastating effects of simply converting a colour ads into black & white ad without looking into production concerns.

What are the flaws of simply converting a colour ad into black and white? Continue reading “Lousy Ad: Why You Shouldn’t Simply Convert Coloured Ad into Black-White Ad?”

Sex Advertising in Singapore

Burger King Seven Incher Ad

It would not be a surprise to find this ad in some progressive European country. Or in the USA. Or any where else, in fact, except in (surprise! surprise!) – Singapore.

When the ad was first launched, the hapless Burger King agency in the USA, Crispin Porter & Bogusky was credited with the dubious honour of being the creator of the ad. Fortunately, this has been cleared up by Burger King, that it was an ad created in Singapore by a Singapore ad agency.

Some time back, I wrote a post about “Sex in Advertising?” which discussed the fact that sexy ads may not be the best way to bring your message across.

This latest ruckus in staid Singapore, might just prove that point. Many bloggers have labelled this a shameless, blatant attempt to play the sex card in advertising. I mean, the very visual and unambiguous allusion to oral sex is quite plain to see.

Seen on the walls of the fast food family restaurants, at the bus stops and in newspapers, the ad urged people to “fill your desire for something long, juicy and flame grilled with the new BK Super Seven Incher”.

Some have even ventured to say that this imagery might appeal to some of the population for which fellatio is a huge turn on, but they forget one thing… is the ad appealing to the giver or the receiver?

The Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore was not amused as it has received 5 complaints from the public.

I wonder how many guys will rush out to eat that particular super 7 incher sandwich now that eating it is associated with giving a, ahem, well, you know what I mean…