My favourite part of the day is when I go for a poo in the morning, not just because it is the most relieving moment of the day, the reason is I get my 15 minutes of uninterrupted reading. Now, what has been a practice of many years, I have kinda become used to the art of reading newspaper – that is sieving the useful from useless. That also applies to adverts, especially when it comes to city edition of the daily which is absolutely cluttered with adverts. For a normal reader (non-adman) it is easy to turn a blind eye to any advert, unless you have a SRK or a SAK holding a bikini-clad babe (I am sure that has a shelf-life too). Some pages have plentiful of adverts and all look the same. It gets the worst in the sale season when you have all the apparel brands shouting from the roof about their ‘up to’ 50% off.
The common element amongst all these adverts is that they are still following the age-old formula for advertising. For example, if there is any apparel on sale, put an image of a semi-naked couple, or kids along with a regular copy which will read ‘Summer Sale’ and throw on the reader’s face a laundry list of items that are put on sale. My question always is how does the reader notice a brand’s advert amidst so many of them? How does an advert stand out? C’mon a brand spends lakhs of rupees to advertise in a national daily and deservers or desires at least two seconds from every reader. Do they get it? I don’t think so. Ask yourself, which was the advert on the front page today?
Last week, there were two contrasting print adverts that I witnessed in Delhi times. The first advert was of Mercedes C Class with a long copy to begin with a full paragraph of features which a layman like me did not get a word of. Who cares about engineering lingo? Bad ad. The next that I saw was a full-page advert of Zara. With just ‘Sale’ written in the centre of the page, and Zara at the bottom, it was striking. Then followed a line of its outlet address.
Minimalism, as we like to put it, is actually maximalist now. Least is most. In a hyperactive world, idleness catches your attention. In a fast-paced world, a stationary object stands out. In a cluttered space, naked entity stands out. Doing more is doing nothing – while doing nothing is doing everything. Contradictory, debatable but saleable – in the mad ad world.