Watch the newest commercials from H&M, Scotts, Macy’s and more

H&M shows off its spring/summer 2023 collection, including a $24.99 women’s top.

A Close Shave: Annie Murphy and Eric Andre Demo BIC Razor Side-By-Side

Annie Murphy wants a shave as smooth as the margarine she puts in her coffee, and Eric Andre needs a hair-removal experience that’s less irritating than his “mysterious rash.” Both beloved comedians, who appear in side-by-side shower stalls in a new BIC campaign, are looking for a way to unclog–their drains, their in-boxes and, most…

Nominate up-and-coming female leaders for Ad Age’s 2023 Rising Star awards

Final deadline to enter is March 28.

SXSW 2023: Investir na humanidade – este é o ROI que importa


Depois de ser atropelada por um mundo potencialmente distópico aqui no SXSW23, hoje foi dia de encher o coração de esperança. Comecei meu dia me emocionando ao ouvir a história de Ian, James e Nathan — três dos 36 “Superhumans” que já existem no mundo. Estes superhumanos são pessoas que literalmente decidiram abrir a cabeça …

Leia SXSW 2023: Investir na humanidade – este é o ROI que importa na íntegra no B9.

All Quiet on the Western Mezzanine: What It Was Like Inside the 2023 Oscars

If I had made an Oscars speech at Sunday night’s 95th Academy Awards, it’d be to thank my mom for digging in my childhood bedroom closet to find a suit I could wear to the ceremony. Sure, I looked more like I was about to make a First Communion than attend the Oscars, but when…

Introducing the 2023 Ad Age Agency A-List winners

No matter what their speciality, the shops on this list pour creativity into their disciplines using all the tools at their disposal to connect consumers with brands.

The Power of Size Inclusivity With Good American

Growing up, we can all recall the various fashion and style trends we wanted to get to look like our favorite celebrities. Looking back on various brands behind popular fashion, they had an ideal size and look they felt should be the face of the campaigns and imagery. Fast forward to now and many brands…

Introducing the 2023 Ad Age Production Company A-List winners

This year’s winners excelled in craft across platforms with an impressively diverse range of voices and styles.

By Attracting National Budgets, Texas Monthly Grows Ad Revenue 31%

Publisher Texas Monthly, which marked its 50th-anniversary last month, grew its overall revenue 39% in 2022, an uptick the privately owned media company attributed to its expanded number of advertising channels and an ongoing effort to cultivate new sources of revenue. The publisher increased its advertising revenue 31% year over year, according to chief revenue…

Fernando Machado joins NotCo, the plant-based food-tech company, as CMO

Former Burger King marketer Fernando Machado returns to the food world after two years in gaming at Activision Blizzard.

The top 5 creative campaigns you need to know about right now

This week: Heinz slows down for Nascar, Lay’s stunt with Thierry Henry, and a Spanish agency’s stunning debut promoting rhythmic gymnastics.

Hyundai’s Brand Consideration Peaks After Ad Correcting How People Say Its Name

Automaker Hyundai’s U.K. campaign was released in January to put the correctly pronounced brand’s name on the lips of the public, nearly tripling its brand consideration score in the process. According to the research company YouGov, the campaign, created to drive awareness of how to correctly pronounce the name of the South Korean motor company,…

Tathagata Ray : In Conversation With A Creative Strategist

A destined art director who bent fate and chose to pursue copywriting, Tathagata is now 13 years old in this industry. An Advertising and Public Relations post-graduate from the prestigious Indian Institute of Mass Communication, he has had notable stints at The Glitch, Jack in the Box Worldwide and Dentsu Webchutney. He is currently a part of the Creative Shop at Meta, India (previously Facebook).

“As a 12-year-old child, I was always fascinated with my father’s professional world, advertising. I would accompany him to the agency, print studios (OG 90’s advertising) and see him control shoot sets as an Art Creative Director. Safe to say, advertising was fated to be my love and kryptonite. Unlike my father, a bhodrolok from Calcutta who never felt like exploring the world, I wanted to work in advertising hot spots like Delhi and Mumbai. It started off by chasing his mad dream, but after spending 12 years in the industry, I believe I’m writing a totally different story, my story.”

Did you attend school for fine art or design or Communications?
I attended the Indian Institute of Mass Communication in 2009, after a rigorous all-India entrance examination. The path after that was easy peasy, I would hang out in the canteen during the marketing classes and attend the print and creativity classes from the front row. Lazy, or laser focused on what looked like my journey.

How do awards impact the creative career?
Awards is what fuels the beginning of one’s career, in my opinion. You want to get a few awards as soon as possible and have the upper hand in deciding where you want to head next. There are two ends of the spectrum I have seen in my career, A) being obsessed with winning awards, or B) not giving a capital F about awards. Both could be toxic. It’s important to settle somewhere in between as a creative individual. Awards for oneself and worth in the market, but profitable and effective business for the overall health of the agency.

Do you think brands whose advertising wins awards, do well in the market?
It might shock you to hear this coming from a Creative Director, but NO! There’s no co-relation between awards and overall performance of a brand in the current market. VICE swooped last year’s Cannes and Spikes and rightfully put India on the modern advertising map, but ask a commoner about VICE, and they would tell you they are a news portal with a weird taste in sex and addiction. Advertising awards cement your legacy in the advertising industry. Effective marketing, guaranteeing a flawless product and building resilient distribution channels guarantee you brand success.

Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
My early advertising heroes were barely advertising people to be honest. The single most influential person as a budding writer has been the late Jim Morrison, my birthday neighbor. His writing, perception of the world and brand imagery (aka showmanship) is infectious and inspiring. The more I listen to today’s music, the more I respect what Jim wrote in An American Prayer. Later when I started working and read about legends, I really liked Lee Clow as a pirate, renegade, and David Droga as a creative businessman – which is a rare breed BTW.

Who was the most influential personality on your career in Advertising?
There were two. The man whose legacy I was initially chasing, my father. And my creativity teacher at Indian Institute of Mass Communication, who convinced me that I was a horrible planner and a stone-cold copywriter, Nandu Narasimhan. I remember during the placement days of IIMC, I was beginning to think I might join my father in Calcutta and learn art direction from him and become a hybrid design led planner. But Nandu whacked me to my senses and said he will take responsibility if I fail after trying out as a writer. Sometimes you need not one but two veterans to kick-start your creative career.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
My advertising inspiration comes from anywhere but advertising. There’s a brilliant video clip of the late George Lois explaining how he would stumble upon ideas, that’s pretty much my modus operandi. My inspiration for Pepsi Tweet 20, the first work that got me a OneShow, was a bolt from the blue while I was toying with the concept of book cricket. My latest award-winning work, UpGrad Khud Ke Liye, is inspired from the Netflix India original ‘Ray’. I also believe life is a great archive of ideas, if you haven’t experienced certain things firsthand, try experiencing it vicariously via relatives and friends.

Tell us something about the work environment at your agency…
Meta India is a great institution to humble down and learn and unlearn basics. I am the second youngest in my team and all my colleagues are like role models and mentors. But let me also tell you about my home – The Glitch, the agency I worked prior to Meta. The agency that took me in, not once, but twice, during the darkest days of my life, and gave me so much positive energy through good work that I never needed to look back. People make The Glitch a great place to work; yes, there is a lot more work there in comparison to other agencies, but the people always find ways to make it easy and worthwhile. The whole organization believes in transparency, and it stemmed from the three individuals who gave more than their all to grow this agency – Rohit, Varun and Pooja.

Do you have any kind of a program to nurture and train young talent?
There is a famous rule in Fight Club (the Hollywood film, had to clarify this lest I offend any Zayed Khan fans) that goes, “If this is your first night, you have to fight!” That’s how I nurture and train my youngest writers and art directors. Give them the best experiences, push their boundaries, push them to take on things that are beyond their reach and ultimately best their immediate bosses. My junior writers have written OTT episodes, cracked tech led ideas and presented creative strategies to clients which have blown the roof off Zoom calls. They are the reason why we Creative Directors look shiny; they need to be in the thick of every single important fight. For my mid-level writers, I try to make them efficient enough to usurp me, if the day comes. I feel experience is the best training one could give or take, and they need to be fed with the best of experiences.

What about new and young film makers/photographers? Do you consciously keep looking for newer talent and try someone completely new?
If I strike a chord with a filmmaker, photographer, or producer, I tend to repeat the cycle, especially on big budget pieces wherein cerebral unity is key. Sergio Leone always needs his Ennio Morricone, Sam Mendes needs his Roger Deakins, that partnership is bound to succeed. However, whenever we try to experiment or come across a client who is okay to mix things up, I try to partner with someone completely new, hoping to bring a different permutation and learn something completely new about the craft.

Any notable digital campaigns?
In my third year of advertising, I cracked two key digital campaigns for Pepsi, who were then the brand-new sponsors of the IPL. The two ideas were called Pepsi Tweet 20 and The Great Indian Catch. Both challenged the status quo and algorithm of the two platforms – Twitter and Facebook, respectively, and got massive reception from fans of cricket and the advertising jury.

I was a leading the creative team that probably birthed the whole concept of arcade Hindi film posters for sports tune-ins, while working with NBA India. Each of the poster tune-ins had fan-core storytelling and a hilarious local quirk to a normal basketball game. Today you will find Hotstar and La Liga trying to do the same.

When everyone was talking about the pandemic and only finding horrors in it, my team and I cracked a fresh way of showcasing the (albeit few) positives of lockdown. As UpGrad decided to shower light on 3 use cases of people in their 20s and above upscaling themselves in the pandemic to find a more fitting, respectable industry to work in. And we gave them an anthology of 3 short stories, as ‘Khud Ke Liye’, three ordinary people emancipating to rediscover their careers.

Given the plethora of social media on the internet, how do you create a creatively cohesive brand voice across the spectrum?
The biggest problem we’ve had with our industry is that somehow people have always made it harder and more difficult sounding, than it actually is. A brand’s voice doesn’t need to change on social because social demands it. A brand’s voice begins way, way before we get to social, in its architecture and tone of voice, that runs consistently across all channels of communication. Coca Cola spreads happiness whether it is a 9:16 reel or on a mid-day newspaper.

The best way to deal with social media is to keep believing in that consistent brand ideology and map out the reason why anyone would want to talk to you on IG, FB, Twitter or YT. These four platforms primarily look social media from bird’s view but have different roles to play in consumer’s life. Imagine trying to tag both Hindustan Times and Vogue Magazine as Print! IG is for micro-entertainment, FB is for family connections, Twitter is for news and troubleshooting and YT is for long form binges and infotainment. Once you build natural conversations based on the platforms, the brand voice is bound to get more clarity from the inside (of brand architecture). And one more thing, you can’t predict what goes viral, you can only follow patterns and templates.

What advice do you have for aspiring creative professionals?
First. Don’t prove your loyalty to an agency, instead commit to a mentor or a couple of mentors (if you wish to combine all those learnings and become a hybrid version of a CD). A mentor who is a mentor not only at work but is also your key to discovering documentaries or musical sub-genres. Wherever he/she goes, follow. It’s okay if your CV features a lot of agency names.

Second. Don’t be shy to say no and give unabashed feedback to colleagues. You’re a gamer and have been handed a skincare brand, well there’s a problem there. If you don’t say no, you might come across as a mediocre writer for the category. And what follows is a lot of guilt and alcohol. Nip it in the bud, hence NO.

Third. Aspire to be bigger than advertising. We all know some old folks are stuck up as champions and messiahs of advertising, don’t be them. Go and play basketball on Sunday mornings and report back to office with a pulled hamstring. Save enough money so that you can watch Dave Gilmour perform one last time before he hangs his boots. Go low on your LinkedIn game if you want, but make every bullet and post count. Watch a lot of ads and then drown out the noise with better movies, music and sports.

What is your dream project?
Recently, I have become a fan of the brand Liquid Death. It’s a sheer culture breaking brand that overhyped mineral water out of nowhere. It’s like MTV hyping up television when it was facing one of its darkest days. Now that’s a brand story that I want to be a part of. Creating something out of nowhere, disrupting and gaining organic power of voice.

Mac or PC?
Mac all day. Keynotes over Presentations.
Who would you like to take out for dinner?Matthew McConaughey. Exceptional human being, insanely insightful writer. Do read his book Greenlights.

What’s on your iPod? Spotify?
Lost by Linkin Park. A previously unreleased track from Meteora (2003) that Mike Shinoda revealed on the album’s 20th year anniversary. Shinoda and Bennington thought the song was very similar to Numb and decided to initially chop it.

Whats your Twitter Handle? Instagram?
A nod to what I believe I have been all my career. It’s @over_rayted.

Tathagata Ray
Tathagata Ray

Tathagata Ray

Autodesk Is the Everywhere Software You Don’t Know—Until Now

The Oscars are full of grandiose accolades, fawning, excessive adulation and platitudes. When those involve someone behind the scenes, viewers often tune out, as the insider flattery falls flat. A new campaign helps poke fun at this ritual with film stars and award-winning filmmakers singing the praises of an entertainment industry icon who has had…

Global Media Agency of the Year Initiative Masters Fame and Flow

Much like management consultants lean on tried-and-true project frameworks to solve problems, so does the IPG Mediabrands agency Initiative. For several years, agency leaders called the agency’s go-to approach Cultural Velocity. Last year, after elevating performance media expert Dimitri Maex to the global CEO role, Initiative rolled out a new, modified framework that replaced Cultural…

Breakthrough Media Agency of the Year Gale Deftly Blends Data, Creativity and Velocity

Ten years ago, Gale did not exist. Five years ago, the Stagwell-owned agency did not have a media practice. And last year, it delivered a billion dollars in media billings and scored nine-figure revenue, growing at an astonishing 133% year over year. While Gale was shortlisted for Adweek’s 2022 U.S. Agency of the Year award–which…

US Media Agency of the Year Starcom Boasts Big Wins and Heritage Clients

For decades, heritage media agencies grew in power by managing clients’ buys on television, radio and print. But to stay on top of 2023’s omnichannel world, a media agency must be able to see the entire media map, locate every consumer on it and navigate it like a trailblazer. Starcom comes from heritage–it traces its…

SXSW 2023: quantas assinaturas de streaming o seu salário dá conta?

tv candies

Será que o mundo precisa de mais um serviço de streaming? Será que o salário de uma família comporta mais uma assinatura? Como resolver o dilema de uma indústria obcecada por hits quando cada vez mais vivemos a era do “só se fala em outra coisa”? Andrew Wallenstein e Heidi Chung, analistas da plataforma de …

Leia SXSW 2023: quantas assinaturas de streaming o seu salário dá conta? na íntegra no B9.

SXSW 2023: Um chef que usa a comida para mudar o mundo


Ontem (dia 11) assisti um dos Keynotes do evento enquanto caminhava de uma sala pra outra — e em meia hora de conversa virei fã do José Andrés, chef de cozinha hispano-americano que fundou um grupo de 19 restaurantes e a World Center Kitchen — uma iniciativa de “crowdsourcing de comida” que é mobilizada cada …

Leia SXSW 2023: Um chef que usa a comida para mudar o mundo na íntegra no B9.

SXSW 2023: Nocaute


Elas nunca decepcionam. Dentre as palestras que acontecem na maior sala aqui do ACC, Amy Webb e Esther Perel são das mais consistentes: a cada ano que passa, trazem conteúdo mais impactante e com maior força pra nos tirar da nossa zona de conforto (se é que isso ainda existe). Pois bem: comecei meu dia …

Leia SXSW 2023: Nocaute na íntegra no B9.