Saturday, October 30, 2010

Bordeaux wine ads

Good food would choose good wine..
Clever use of visuals
Advertising agency - Isobel , London

Creative Directors - Rob Fletcher, David Alexander
Art Director - Rob Fletcher
Copywriter - David Alexander
Illustrator - Rob Fletcher

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Social Network

The Social Network movie review

How can a guy trying to be an asshole, with minimal social graces and whiplash condescending retorts for anyone around him, invent the biggest social networking site in the world? A guy can. That guy being Mark Zuckerberg.

The Social Network is the Facebook movie. Its not about Zuckerberg, it’s about how it was built and people involved in it who end up suing each other.

Starting with a conversation between Zuckerberg and his girlfriend Erica Albright, which leads to her dumping him, the movie’s dialogues are a an absolute delight.

You know how it feels when you text SMS to and fro with a girl/boy at hyper kinetic speeds? Yeah, the dialogues are exactly like that .Quick retorts for every remark. Clever punch lines against every accusation hurled. With energetic and witty exchanges littered throughout the running time, it has got quotable lines in plenty.

Told in flashback mode, it is revealed how Mark Zuckerberg ended up facing simultaneous lawsuits against him, one by the Winklevoss twins and Divy Narendra on intellectual property theft of stealing idea of a similar website and another by his best friend and co-founder of Facebook, Eduardo Saverin played by Andrew Garfield (who will be the new Spider-man in the next Spider-man reboot).

So what is The Social Network about other than a slightly fictionalised account of the founding of Facebook ? Is it a boardroom drama involving college kids fighting over intellectual property rights? Yes, but not quite. It is more than that.

This is one of those films that does not have a lead protagonist, just a guy who happens to be the central character. Whether to like, loathe, despise, criticise, empathise, hate or love him is up to the audience. Despite his superiority complex, he craves acceptance and attention from the elite ‘final clubs’ of Harvard. He is cocky, stubborn, bull headed, insensitive and even sexist .After his break up, he chides his ex-girlfriend of enhancing her 34b frame with help of Victoria’s Secret, on his blog. And later on, in drunken stupor ends up making a pre cursor to Facebook – a website where you could compare and rate girls which gets 22,000 hits within an hour, that same night. But this also earns him the entire Harvard’s hate and a 6 month disciplinary suspension.

The incident however brings Zuckerberg to the attention of the Winklevoss twins who approach him to help them build a website to help girls find suitable Harvard boys. Zuckerberg agrees but keeps them waiting as he changes the idea and stealthily sets up with funding from his roommate and co-founder Eduardo Saverin. It is a conflict of interest and conflict of recognition of the source of the brilliant idea that is Facebook.

The Social Network doesn’t take sides..every side’s story is told.

Zuckerberg doesn’t believe in being left out or slow down and he would do anything to pursue his billion dollar idea. However the only guy who seems to impress him is the dashing founder of Napster, Sean Parker, played delightfully by Justin Timberlake. Zuckerberg shifts base to California for expanding his website. Banking on Parker’s ‘burnt my finger once’ experience and contacts in Silicon Valley, Facebook grows exponentially and gradually Eduardo is pushed aside. It traces ethos and values that today’s young entrepreneurs follow enroute to success.

With 500 million users, Facebook is huge today. Incidentally now the biggest photo library in the world..where people share and over share. Sign up and show off. In true Facebook lingo, this film is a comment on our lives. Though it never points this explicitly it is a comment on our need of acceptability, our craving to be a pseudo celebrity, our virtual version and lives on the web.

In a way the song used in the trailer is a perfect choice. Its ‘Creep’ by Radiohead, performed by Vega Choir. Notice how the lyrics mention about our need to be special, to be missed when not around.

The adapted screenplay by Aaron Sorkin is based on the book by ‘The Accidental Millionaires’ by Ben Mezrich. Truly fantastic screenplay. Oh fact. The twins is played by the same person, Armie Hammer..aided by some pretty impressive CGI .

Casting and acting is spot on. Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg is brilliant in his ‘ I am CEO -bitch’ mannerisms and his dialogue delivery .He is ably supported by Andrew Garfield and ultra confident playboy entrepreneur Justin Timberlake. Director David Fincher’s film is fast paced, engaging and culturally relevant. The Social Network is a must watch. Like, like, super like J

Monday, October 18, 2010

BCCI : Rules and Laws

Since last week the drama behind the two high profile IPL teams' ouster has grabbed headlines.with modi being expelled from the BCCI and being forced to hide in London,due to a blue corner notice by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and two of his favourite teams Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab being scrapped,the story of IPL keeps going on.

Though the 2 teams ouster could effect the brand value of the IPL,BCCI is unperturbed and nonchalant. Meanwhile, the equations are changing in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).Friendships are fickle. But Lalit Modi shouldn’t lose heart, because he still remains vice-president of Punjab Cricket Board, the only Board backing him. This too shall pass and when it does, make a comeback in the fullness of time. Lalit Modi had orchestrated and couped out Jagmohan Dalmiya 5 years back, remember? Its just that Modi bloated,flew too high, tweeted too much and slighted the ruling group .And revenge begets revenge.

But the more things change the more things remain the same. Only the personnel change, BCCI remains the same being. But even BCCI runs under some rules. What must they be? Read on ..

I Power can be created and destroyed, but mostly, it is transferred from one source to the another.

II There are rules, but you need to be the exception that proves the rule.

III Cometh the money, covet the man. Gone is the money, gone is your stand.

IV When the going gets tough, we stop talking.

V Are you sure you want to tweet? Here is your show cause notice.

VI For every action, there is a suitable revenge.

VII Friends and factions are amoebic, they change or divide or multiply all the time.

VIII Anything left to itself will fade away into oblivion – stadiums, academy or careers.

IX Never say never. Everybody gets a second second chance.

X Nothing is sacrosanct, except maybe..Sachin Tendulkar.

XI Cricketers are superstars, administrators superczars.

XII If you don’t know how to handle fire, don’t tickle the dragon.

XIII If you want better itinerary ,contact Virgin Atlantic Travels.

XIV We can make any board rich, any questions? No,good ..that’s what we thought.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

30 Rock Live Episodes!

30 Rock,this week gave a double surprise – a live show and 2 versions of it .The East coast and West coast. There were subtle differences; some planned,and others because of live improvisation. Interesting though, were the tweaks made between the two different versions taped for the east and west coast .The whole cast has the live acting experience ,mostly on Saturday Night Live! hence the show was expected to be error free.

Performing in front of an audience, the producers and writers came up with hilarious and smart ways to maintain 30 Rock’s signature single camera, whip around style and included some very welcome surprise cameos that added to the show’s crispiness.Special mention for how Julia Louis-Dreyfus is introduced as flashback Liz Lemon.

The live show concept also helped to bring lots of terrific cameos from Mad Men’s Jon Ham, Leo Spaceman, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Matt Damon. But I did miss Avery(Elizabeth banks) and Cerie (Katrina Bowden)in those cameo cavalcades.The live shows had lots of meta jokes -references to Seinfeld, Slumdog Millionaire,Bones, Happy Days, Oprah,Brett Farve and his texting his ‘deal’ indiscretions and Barack Obama’s troubles mid way into his term, so on and so forth.

30 Rock has been awesome for the whatever episodes we have seen this season and looks as good as it was in the first 3 .But doing a live show and that too twice ,one for each coast and time difference,deserves praise. As always it was funny, entertaining and cerebral.

As for the differences that crept up during both the versions-click on the link above,to know more.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


What do you think when you hear the word subway?

If you think the Subway sandwich ..then you are in a overwhelming majority of people in India.Why?

Surely Subway is not that big and omnipotent a brand to have that instant recall.

Subways and skywalks are missing from the Indian architectural milieu. It is because that we have so few of them in India. There are some here and there ,but not nearly enough.

In Europe, I gather, they stop their cars for pedestrians to move, in India we only stop for cattle.. where cattle are speed inspectors. It is about time we pay attention to the sidewalks, skywalks and subways..India revels in mixed traffic so subways should be made so that people can cross streets without disrupting traffic and risking lives.

This is not to denigrate or anything ,its just the way it is.Sharjah has does Abu Dhabi.I am not saying that the Sharjah or Abu Dhabi municipality is the best in the world, but they had a sense of building subways that would enable smoother traffic flow. It does make sense to make subways so that pedestrians don’t have to mix with live and mixed traffic.

Especially in India where there are so many people teeming on the roads and foothpaths wherever there is a footpath.

Sure Mumbai has some subways .Not the least at the CST junction for people to cross the DN road and you hear about Milan subway on western line only during monsoons.. Bangalore has a huge,dusty and pathetic one in Majestic for people to cross from bus station to Bangalore city junction – but finding its entrance is a task in itself!Interestingly, there is a hidden subway in Ahmedabad – one that connects old IIM-A campus to the new IIM-A zone.. but it is private and immaculate..
Subways can be clean, cooler than the heat outside, ideal for advertisements and a place for cultural freedom and expression in the form of graffiti !!

Walking and crossing roads shouldn’t be potential hazard..and I wait for the day when in schools ,children will be taught to always take the subways to cross the road . It is not that great an engineering feat to pull off – I wonder if we really have got good town planners who have given this a thought.