What is advertising?

“The philosophy behind much advertising is based on the old observation that every man is really two men — the man he is and the man he wants to be.” William Feather


Unethical Advertising!?!


The above was a post by an ad critic on facebook.  Critics like  this are dime a dozen. To critics like this, I’ve the following message:

Let me start from the last… There already is a classification of advertising called “Unethical Advertising” (http://www.slideshare.net/bvu/unethical-advertisements). And No, wives/women are not always like these (I mean the way they are portrayed in those ads in question), maybe sometimes they are. Whatsoever, those ads just tried to be a little funny while delivering the product message/promise. But if we seek logic behind everything, I’m afraid all the fun (and the creativity) will be gone. By the way, those ads in question are already successful as they have got people’s attention and we’re talking about them. Maybe this is why many ad guys say humor is the best way to deliver the message irrespective of product categories…………..And my personal views: looking for ethics in advertising is like looking for a sane person in a madhouse. 9 basic drives that form the basis of the product/service promise in most ads are: Self-Preservation, Love for others, Self-Expression, Envy, Lechery/Lust, Sloth, Gluttony, Pride, and Covetousness/Greed. It’s interesting that 6 out of these 9 basic drives are also the “DEADLY SINS”. Moreover, advertising is for making profits, more profits. There is still debate whether how much profit is ethical. And finally, Advertising is a war. And “In love and War, everything is Fair ( Francis Edward Smedley/Napoleon).

Not So Originally Real, Man!



[Please click on the above youtube link to see who copied who]

Blindly copying (sometimes, just a little adaptation of) ideas from preceding works is one of the not-so-good practices in the advertising scene in Bangladesh. Youtube has become the ready source of ideas. It’s really great! The practice of getting ideas from other fields of human endeavor and applying to advertising is diminishing. The practice of producing  a slightly modified version (sometimes, there’s no modification at all) of a previous work from the same field is now popular just the way a selfie is.



My Response to Survival of “Regional” Brands (http://khandoker.wordpress.com/2013/10/31/survival-of-regional-brands/#comment-554)

I think the price is not at all the competitive advantage for these regional brands. The only inimitable competitive advantage is the brand stories, i.e., the stories of men behind the brands.The owners (men) behind the brand have some kind of legends known to the people of a particular area and that makes the brand sustainable in the face of national competition. Though the stories/legends are not like those of Richard Branson, Steve Jobs and the likes, but the brands in question own stories which are powerful enough to connect with the people of a particular area.

As we are taught in business schools, building unique, relevant, and strong stories around the brands (or the men behind the brands) are the key to sustainability.