The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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A crown for clever concepts

Things had already started rolling when I tiptoed into the packed Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute (SRFTI) auditorium on Saturday. College students and advertising professionals had come in droves to attend the day-long brainstorming on advertising, arranged by Advertising Club Calcutta, in association with SRFTI and The Telegraph.

The session started with the screening of several internationally-acclaimed commercials and public service spots. Sumit Roy, an advertising professional with UnivBrands and presenter of the event, divided up groups for a race to the best ad team crown. Ten groups of 15 to 16 were selected on the basis of performance — the names they had chosen for their teams and the analysis of an ad picked from the package.

We were given a brief on which we had to design a commercial and present it to the audience. Which meant 10 fresh ideas from the 10 teams… Buzz, To Do, Roddur, Rose, Cre.8, Will were some of the team names.

As each team narrated its ad, Roy called out its score according to the innovativeness of the presentation. We had been promised Rs 500 for the best presentation. Roddur shone brighter than the others, followed closely by Buzz.

The next few exercises focused on the process of linking two unrelated concepts by finding some connection between them and, hence, substituting one for the other. This was aimed at jolting the audience with an otherwise unthought-of association between the disparate objects.

Step 1 — Figuring out an “insightful element” in the product that has a selling appeal. Step 2 — Picking any word at random. Step 3 — Thinking of the first image that comes to mind relating the word with the insight. Step 4 — Blending the word and the insightful element into a presentation.

If the connection failed to be adequately established, then we were to go for another word at random and repeat the process till the presentation clicked. The discussion revolved around the creative process behind an ad film and the tricks of attracting the buyer’s attention to one’s product.

After each series of presentations, we were shown an ad on the particular brief that had a rating of above 85 per cent, so that we could judge our efforts for ourselves.

The brain-teaser ended with team To Do cruising away with the cash prize for the best concept.

It is the “O, I see!” effect that Roy believes creates a winning ad campaign. The proposition is not important. “The attempt is to look at the consumer’s life and find an insight that will make them say ‘Oh, yes. That’s true’, and then surprise them,” explains the brand consultant.

Some remarkable ads that were screened at SRFTI:

yu PONDS ANTI-AGE CREAM: The wonder it can do to you

In a metro, the seat reserved for old women is occupied by an apparently younger lady. The elderly women, forced to stand, indicate the ‘reserved’ sign to the lady, who in turn indicates the ponds advertisement on the wall!

yu PLAY MORE: Life is short, play more

A baby flies out of the womb, whizzes on through the sky, ages, and crashes into its grave.

yu PLAY STATION 2: Different place, different rules

A truck collides with a deer and crumbles while nothing happens to the deer.


A man and a woman fall on to the sofa kissing. All at once the woman turns stiff. The man pulls her up to find a fork sticking into her back.

yu SKY TV: Different angles, all possible views

The stadium rotates to give the spectators all possible angles.

— Sudeshna Bose,

1st year, direction, SRFTI


Red alert

If there was ever a doubt about how far the youth of today are socially committed, a group of 40-odd students from all walks of life did its best to quell the questions.

The Youth Meet on Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children — the Role of Youth Campaign, was held on Saturday, at the Academy of Fine Arts. Students from La Martiniere, Don Bosco Liluah, Calcutta International School and Bhawanipur Education Society exchanged views and experiences with girls and boys from red-light areas and those who have been victims of prostitution, in a lively day-long session.

Most were aware of the risks and dangers of trafficking and sexual exploitation as well as of sexual abuse, but many felt they did not have a

safe space to discuss such issues. Sangeet Shirodkar, Asia Youth Representative of ECPAT, an international alliance working for the eradication of commercial exploitation of children and child pornography, also spoke about the mission.

A few brainstorming exercises and discussions later, the group decided to continue work on the issue, and volunteer for the Campaign Red Alert walk on Children’s Day, organised by Sanlaap, to be attended by, among others, Bianca Jagger. More mission meetings are also planned.


Seven ages on stage

Romeo, Juliet, Mark Antony, Hamlet, Brutus and Prospero came alive on October 26 in the city. Disha, the youth wing of Bharatiya Bhasha Parishad, staged Shakespeare recreated – an adaptation for the second time. This collage traced the seven stages of a man’s life, inspired by As You Like It.

“All the world’s a stage,

And all the men and women merely players.

They have their exits and their entrances,

And one man in his time plays many parts

His acts being seven ages.”

The first stage — of infancy — was taken from A Winter’s Tale. King Leontes does not accept the girl child his queen has given birth to. Paulina, wife of nobleman Antigonus, tries to convince the king that the child is his.

Childhood is taken from Titus Andronicus where young Lucius is afraid of his aunt Lovenia, who loves him deeply. He is seen complaining to his grandfather and uncle.

The third stage witnesses the boy turning into a young lover. Lysander of A Midsummer Night’s Dream¸who elopes with Hermia and lives happily ever after, is contrasted with the tragic love of Romeo and Juliet.

Man is a soldier in the fourth phase of life. When he is at war with an enemy, he is Antony from Julius Caesar. When he is at war with himself, he is Hamlet.

In the fifth age, he has matured into the Duke in The Merchant of Venice, who tries, in vain, to convince Shylock to change his mind about extracting a pound of Antonio’s flesh.

The ageing man is from Timon of Athens in the sixth stage. Here, the old Athenian complains to Lord Timon about his servant Lucilius. In the last and final stage of life, he is Prospero from The Tempest, almost senile and expressing his desire to die.

The play was scripted and directed by a Disha member, Rupanjana De. All the Disha-ites pitched in for the event. The grand finale of the evening featured the release of Disha’s annual magazine Lakshya.

Anupa Law,



Thrills and skills

ITC Intaglio, the National Business School Meet (NBSM) is back, from November 1 to 3, at IIM-Calcutta. A simulated business environment will challenge the student’s skills, with some old events and a bunch of new games in the bag. Case studies, two quizzes and marketing, finance and strategy games involving knowledge of diverse management theories are lined up.

Shastrarth, the “largest and most prestigious paper presentation contest in India”, is on the agenda once again. A panel discussion, called Cicero’s Senate, has always proved a roaring success. The Ad’dict is on ad campaigns, Russian Roulette is an artificial capital market where options are bought and sold and The Street will simulate the highs and lows of the stock market.

The “informals” at Intaglio include Inter-Alio, Hammer Age and Interlude. Contestants will face virtual stock markets and nations, modelled on real time simulations and as close to reality as possible.


Stick ’em up

Cartoons and candy, what more could a kid want' Now you can have your cartoons and eat your candy, too. Boomer, the bubble gum company, has tied up with Cartoon Network to use the wacky toons as tattoos. With every piece of gum, a tattoo of characters like Scooby Doo and Tom and Jerry comes free.

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