Guess who’s back?

Wow. Talk about a LONG hiatus.

It’s been a while since I paid this blog a visit. Time for a resurrection of sorts now, I suppose. Frankly, there has been too much going on. Major life changes, decisions and revisions and all that jazz. A lot of moving around, job switches, city hopping. Somethings have remained constant however:

Deadlines
Creative differences
Clients who KNOW. And yes, they KNOW BETTER.

Lot of realizations and introspection have taken place in the life of little me.

The life of an ad(wo)man is a whirlwind of sorts. There’s no space for boredom, sure, but a lot of space for regrets, repentance and…retribution.

So I guess I will be writing more often now. It’s a sunny late-autumn (there’s no such thing as autumn in India, I am just romanticizing) morning. And I shall not let the suspicious looking cup of tea in front me give me the Monday heebie-jeebies.

writer

Skinny Girls are not Glamour Girls

thin1
“Skinny-shaming? What the hell is that? You’re lucky to be so effortlessly thin…”
“She looks like a bag of bones. REAL men wouldn’t look at her twice.”
“REAL women have curves. And REAL men love that.”
“She must be anorexic.”
“Or a dopehead.”
“Maybe both!”

This is nothing new. We have all seen and heard this. In real life, or on the blessed internet, where there are indulgent memes bashing thin women- piling on hate and getting away with it. Because, you know, skinny people obviously do not feel bad or anything. They are lucky bitches, right? Only the fat of the land can be sensitive.

So we get to see a lot of these

rael men2Just like in the good old days, women were subject to this:

skinnyad3And a bit of this too:

skinnyad2So nothing much has changed. Evidently. People were misogynistic pigs then, and people are misogynistic pigs now (maybe not pigs, they are nice, friendly creatures). And body shaming persists. Which is why, on social networking sites, we often find men (and boys) commenting on photos stating how they’d never get attracted to “a pile of bones”, or how the girl is “pretty but way to boyish” or “flat chested”, or “got no meat on her”. And women join them, enthusiastically. Gloating about how curves make a real woman and are markers of beauty. Often throwing in little bits of personal information and anecdotes (such as their cup size or some such). When you post a photo on a social networking site. You do it to get the attention. You know you are under scrutiny. But that’s no reason for unwanted hate, right?

People are apparently more sensitive these days. Which is why, calling a fat person fat is offensive. And people object. So do I. Why? Because it IS darn right offensive. But somehow, somewhere, there must be some unwritten law which warrants unplugged, open skinny hating, because you can get away with it. Because being skinny strips of you having body-image issues. The fat have a monopoly over that. Skinny plight? What the hell is that? That’s just ridiculous right?

skinnyad
Of course, many thin people have eating disorders. Bulimia and what not. But so do fat people. That’s not the point. The point is, why is the other end of the body size spectrum subject to such abuse and contempt? Everyone is entitled to body positivity, right? Body shaming can NEVER be okay. You cannot hate on a plus sized woman (or man) and the same way, don’t think you can get away with jibes at a thin person either. How does it matter anyhow? It’s all about personal lifestyle choices and after all, the only thing that DOES matter is if you are comfortable with your own body.

I mean, what the hell is this?
Body Shapes Sketch for blogAnyway. Some people can’t help being thin, just the way some people are not fat by choice. Some people are comfortable with their extra weight. Some are not. Some like an extra helping of dessert, and similarly, there are some who love running an extra half hour on the treadmill to burn off that extra helping.

bodyshame

Accept people the way they are, it saves a lot of headache. Unless of course they are trying to steal your books or harassing a puppy on the road. Then you can legitimately bash them up.

Of Brainstormings, etc.

freudThat’s the general reaction I get when I hear the dreaded word: BRAINSTORMING.

It is when a bunch of people hobble their way into a room with a whiteboard, plop down on chairs, and are expected to come up with life changing, earth shattering, never-before-heard, utterly brilliant concepts and realistic ways of executing them.

It is a be-confident time, when all eyes are on you. You are young, new, and your brain is meant to be an awesomeness-spouting fountain that spews revolutionary ideas left, right and center.

But what actually happens is, you generally get a brain-freeze and end up being this, as your disgruntled seniors look on.:

derpina

Jargon

For a fledgling copywriter, the most dreadful word is probably jargon.

It’s even worse than inertia.

It’s pretentious and flaky and makes you sound like an overzealous chimp who no one will ever be convinced by. And we all know how important it is to be convincing. The world runs on conviction, it really does. It’s what makes us wake up and face the day, because we convince ourselves that it will be a good day. Maybe even a fabulous day! Jargon kills conviction

 
It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you pick up that notepad and pen. You get the heebeejeebies. Too much pressure. Way too much pressure. I guess one of the most important things is to unlearn and deconstruct yourself and your thoughts in order to break out of a pre-conditioned mind. I did my Bachelors in English Literature and followed it with a Masters. In English Literature. So it has really been a literary overdrive for me and my feeble sensibilities. I am automated to veer towards adjectives. And puns. And metaphors. Meta everything, to be honest. What a breathtakingly meaningless exercise in shameful futility! (see what I mean?)
No matter how tempting it is to grab hold of a seemingly apt adjective, it’s probably better not to use it. Unless of course you are James Joyce. Then you can describe the ocean as ‘The sea, the snotgreen sea, the scrotumtightening sea.’ But you are not Joyce. And the article you are writing is not Ulysses (well, hopefully). So keep it simple and jargon free. I am trying to at least.Yesterday, while writing an article on a Christmas fair, I started by typing out “As the mist kissed winter morning enveloped the beautiful, dreamlike cityscape…” and stopped. It sounded terrible. Instead, I changed it to “The city woke up to a foggy morning and knew winter is here.” I liked it better, maybe you do too. I was reading THE Ogilvy’s Confessions of an Advertising Man, where he says “Our business is infested with idiots who try to impress by using pretentious jargon…Never use jargon words like reconceptualize,demassificationattitudinallyjudgmentally. They are hallmarks of a pretentious ass.”So true. For now, I shall try to adopt that in whatever I write.

Coca Cola Life

Gone are the days when viral was a term we associated normally with fever. The internet is a foot-tapping shark that waits to be fed. An fed it is by virulent content at a frenzied speed. And not just by nacho chomping, pot bellied, bespectacled, funny smelling blokes. Everyone is competing for webspace these days. Internet flora and fauna. Myriad in its diversity, from being overwhelmingly new to humiliatingly cliched (like comparing it to the rainforest. #lol). Anyway, so things get very easily viral these days. Usually cats and naked celebrities in compromising positions top the list. Love the former, don’t know about the latter. But thankfully, once in a while, you come across absolute wonders. And I am eternally grateful to whoever it is that created this magical portal of awesomeness.

I have always, always loved Coca Cola advertisements and I have no shame admitting that it’s my preferred brand of soft drinks perhaps only because of their ad campaigns. Otherwise I’d opt for a Thums Up any day. Absolute pioneers in terms of branding and marketing, with or without celebrities. Right since the Victorian age, through the gaudy early 20th century of bootlegging and Prohibition down to Beatnik times and the booming 80’s when they introduced Diet Coke “just for the taste of it” to the 90’s when they launched the “Always Coca Cola” campaign and gave us the dear, dear, dear polar bears in the Northern Lightsy afterglow sharing Coke down to present times where it has successfully continued to associate the brand image with a sense of joy, optimism and togetherness. It has always been so much more than just a beverage. It taps in, and beautifully so, into human emotions and triggers something our subconscious mind perhaps, something warm and nice, which stays. Positive impressions, or whathaveyou. It works. Coca Cola for me is about polar bears frolicking in the snow. It is about Aamir Khan saying “Thanda Matlab Coca Cola” in that inimitably cheeky way. It is about “Umeedo waali Dhoop” and “Sunshine waali Asha”. It’s about a fire breathing dragon that breathes out pretty fireworks after a drink of Coke. It’s about breaking borders and crossing barriers as two perennially bickering nations reach out in an intensely human fashion, a “Small World Exchange”. That, for me, is Coca Cola.

Why these random exaltations? Because I chanced upon another lovely Coke ad. About parenthood and the anxieties faced by new parents. Starting with the initial thrill of finding out about the pregnancy to the challenges they face in their every day lives after the baby arrives, envying  care free couples around them. The ad concludes with the exasperated father screaming when they find out the mother is expecting their second child. Beautifully executed, wonderfully touching ad. One thing I truly don’t mind going viral on the net.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRqUTA6AegA