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Hungover from a very successful launch in Bombay with the Diesel Fake Party, the next thing on our to-crack list was the big launch in Delhi. We may have had a few extra rounds of peanuts and intoxicants on this one, but we knew we had something with The Diesel Democratic Party. A piss of an evening to celebrate the mother of all parties.

It doesn’t stop there. To invite the who’s who of snob town, we created two not-so-subtle bribe packages to entice the incorruptible. The Diesel Moolah for the celebrities, and the Diesel Palm Grease for the lesser evil.

The invites clearly worked its charm ’cause the venue was as packed as pair of double d’s in a corset. With the free speech podium, a flag hoisting, and a sneak preview to the Diesel Island, the evening saw the city at its unparliamentary best.

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What we believed to have produced for Myntra.com was a simple, funny, and effective film that would sell Team India Cricket jerseys. As the TVs will be packed with big budget TVCs from more companies than there are teams in the World Cup, we decided to release it online — where content truly is king.

After much deliberation, we zoned in on a concept inspired by the Indian epic Mahabharata, and weaved our tale around some of its characters. The plot revolved around the ‘bad guys’ from the epic with no reference made to Gods or the good guys. The client loved the film. Everyone at work had only good things to say about it. And more than 10,000 people said ‘LOL’ to it after just 4 days of it being online.

It was then that we received this link. We were taken aback, not by the threat itself, but because of the reason behind it. Apparently, a few fundamentalist Hindus found it disrespectful towards the epic.

As much as it is their right to air the concern about the film, it is equally ours to put up a work that we believe is in no way disrespectful to Hindu religion or its followers. And ours was not the only work that these fundamentalists found disrespectful. We went through their website and found similar cry being raised on other ads, as well.

Thankfully, more people were on our side. Anant Rangaswamy from Campaign India supported us with a fiercely written article that called attention to this new threat to creativity. We strongly believe that such furore is raised only by those who have nothing better to do and crave for some publicity. An idle mind is a humourless devil’s workshop indeed.

But, our biggest support was seen on the page of the video itself. On Youtube, it has registered close to 22,000 views as of this writing. Many youtube commentators have voiced their support to the work and asked the others to ‘lighten up’. And we are sure you will feel the same way too. So here’s the video so you can form your own opinion — whatever it is, make sure you let us know.

Credits:
Creative Directors: Kartik Iyer, Praveen Das
Production House: Studio Eeksaurus, Mumbai
Director: E Suresh
Voice Artist: Chetan Sashital
Copywriter: Gopi Krishnan M

Inspired from the dubious factoid that India has the largest number of Diesel fakes in the world, Diesel’s launch party in India was called the ‘Fake Party’. To invite the celebrities to this party we sent them ‘Tears of Joy’ — 100% Natural Crocodile Tears that was actually a bottle of glycerine. This unpretentious dig on the ever-socialising celebrity lifestyle established an instant connection with the celebrities. Some of them blogged about it, few asked for an extra piece to play a prank on their friends, and almost all of them turned up at the party to revel in its mad fun — this time, for real.


Diesel Knee.J

Objective: To come up with an in-store promotion idea to run along with the ‘Sex sells. Unfortunately we sell jeans’ campaign to help increase sales.

Solution: We created the Knee.J, a spoof sex toy of sorts that would be given away at the store for every customer that ran a bill above $ 150. The product was displayed and people were informed through posters and e-mailers.

It was an instant success. The store saw a great increase in walk-ins with many queries for the Knee.J. The product got so much publicity, it was taken to all the stores in the country. Last we hear, customers were spotted kneeling at the store.

Credits:

Creative Director – Praveen Das / Kartik Iyer

Art Director – Praveen Das / Pradeep Kumar

Copywriter – Sanaa Abdussamad

Illustrator – Rishidev

Studio Head – Ramakrishna R

Account Manager – Ravi Bhat

Brief:

With the relevance of eco-friendly initiatives increasing every day, Lee wanted an innovative solution that would display their affiliation towards the same and also spread the message amongst their customers.

Solution:

To drive the message home in a fun and effective way, we went for something a bit more inventive than just a bag made of recycled paper. The ‘Never Wasted’ shopping bag – a bag that can be used and reused in one way or another. Some for fun, some for function, but nothing ever goes into the trash. Not only did this make the idea longer-lasting and interactive, but also conveyed the message in a fascinating manner.

Credits

Creative Directors – Kartik Iyer / Praveen Das

Art Director – Viduthalai Raj

Copywriter – Athul Chathukutty

Illustration – Vinayachandran T

Studio Head – Ramakrishna R

Account Executive – Neelima Kariappa

http://designtaxi.com/news/33990/Lee-Jeans-Unveils-Truly-Recyclable-Bag-Design/

http://blog.epromos.com/creative-promotional-products/lee-never-wasted-promotional-shopping-bag/

http://designtaxi.com/news/33990/Lee-Jeans-Unveils-Truly-Recyclable-Bag-Design/

http://popsop.com/43003

http://creativecriminals.com/direct-marketing/lee-never-wasted/

http://www.thedieline.com/blog/2011/2/9/lee-never-wasted.html

http://adsoftheworld.com/media/dm/lee_never_wasted

http://9gag.com/gag/77335

http://www.lbhat.com/design/seen-and-noted-lee-never-wasted-bag/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/thomasso1981/5431532128/

http://designhey.com/lee-never-wasted/7412/

http://www.advertolog.com/lee/print-outdoor/never-wasted-14161655/

Bangalore city, 11 AM:

“I’m going first. Follow my trail”, said the gleaming black Mitsubishi Cedia and sped ahead. “Aye sir”, said the Ford Endeavour which couldn’t hide its thrill at finally getting a chance to flaunt its toned physique and elevated body structure. The other machines blinked headlights in affirmation. Engines revved and the entourage set sail.

No, we are not scripting Transformers III.

It was the second second-Saturday bash at Happy, and instead of the usual barbecue-karaoke on the terrace and friendly neighbours’ accompanying cheerleading, we chose a place with a little more air and lot less of boring, uninspired population. The sprawling Mahalakshmi farmhouse at Rajankunte, some 35 kms outside city limits. The cars were ecstatic, so were we.

One hour, many miles, a slew of cuss words (emanating primarily from a beige Honda City), 6 samosas, 4 egg puffs, and an undisclosed number of beer bottles later, we reached the site. And a sight it was. From original pieces of antique treasures to serene gardens to truckloads of booze to the friendliest puppies on earth, the place had enough stuff to empty any bucket list. Resident shutterbugs Rishi and Gopi were lost in their SLRs, and you couldn’t blame them; anywhere you turned made for a perfect frame.

Once the first set of beer flowed and everyone had a lookie around, Kartik issued a small welcome note, introduced the new joiners Akash and Pradeep, and announced the programmes for the day.

First up, autobiographies. Yes! What if a publisher gave you a chance to write you own story? What would be the name of your book? What would you put in it, from your past, present and future? What is the one great ambition you nurse? What would be the one song that can be a fitting soundtrack to your book? A very interesting brief indeed!

What followed was a barrage of you-couldn’t-make-this-shit-up stories. Ranging from insightful to grin-inducing to side-splittingly funny, these recollections of lives constituted the most entertaining two hours we spent this year. And yes, we did see Inception. And Dabangg.

Gopi and Athul traced back heart-wrenching stories from their time done at respective penitentiaries (also called engineering colleges in some parts of Kerala).

Akshay Ananth expressed great concern about Akash Anandh and the possibility of their names getting tangled.

Akshay (oops… Akash, actually), Clement and Vidu looked longingly westward while speaking of naughty childhoods and ‘out’standing schooling. Ranjini had shivers while talking about her ‘soda buddi’ school days. Pradeep, the Young Lion got a humongous rapture and many dirty looks for his coveted laurel. Ravi Bhat’s revelation of his age got the whole district speechless; including the puppies. Neelima’s undeterred calm and elegance made us look like unkempt rowdies. Vinay, in his trademark style, didn’t speak much but made up with his singing.

And once the boxes of secret ambitions were unwrapped, we realized Happy had enough filmmakers to open a production house of our own.

As for quotable quotes, here are some absolute gems.

Kartik: “Strictly between the confines of this farmhouse, I have another name called Venkateshwaran, after my granpa!”   (What the… !)

Naren: “Every six months something happens in my life that makes me go F**K!”    (In the following 6 minutes he repeated the word at least 60 times)

Praveen: “A pee break can be taken only after P comes”.    (Pun intended, indeed)

Ram B: “My aim was to get better at my job than one expert I knew. But when I did, I realized I had also become the best in the market.”

Rishi: “I was proudly the best artist in my school and town. But when I reached college, there were only artists to be seen everywhere. It was tragic.”

Vipin: “Even though my name has VIP in it, I am always last.”

Trust Game, the next activity, was such entertainment even pictures can only do marginal justice to it. Still, here are some. People of all sizes, from Clement to Ram B to Athul, stood on an elevation individually, while the others took turns to form a cushion of arms. The standee then closed his eyes and fell back, with nothing but an infallible trust of falling safe in his colleagues’ arms. Shoulders ached, screams heard aplenty, but the liberating feel of the free fall was out of this world.

3.00 PM

Losing all track of time amidst the fun, we were late for lunch. So we settled at a resort bar, ordered beers, sandwiches and burgers. Gopi taught everyone pool but first-timer Vipin gave him a run for his balls. Chatter, laughter and first day songs from Pradeep and Akash (or was it Akshay? No it wasn’t) pacified our hunger for a little while more.

3.30 PM

Chatter, laughter but no food yet.

4 PM, 4.30 PM

Nothing.

5 PM

The quality of the sandwiches and burgers were in no doubt as the meat was imported straight from a Texas ranch, right AFTER we placed our order. 2 hours to get a chicken friggin’ sandwich!

By 6, we got back to the farm. Praveen and Vidu fell over and slept straight away, waking up only to savour the piping hot pakodas and tea. Photography competition followed, and if you thought that couldn’t have been much fun, you surely have no inkling about the creative stalwarts at Happy.

Akash’s (we mean, Akshay’s) submission was simply aaaww-inducing and was an overwhelming favorite. Vidu saw so much more in his blurry snap of light bulbs that it felt like a poem and demanded the first prize, but of course, none of us saw anything.

With lights fading and shoulders in drunken stupor, we decided to call it a day.

Actually, let’s call it an awesome day.

(Arathi, Ajay, Kayleigh, Nitya and Sanaa, we know you’d have loved it. We missed you too. But this is Happy, where fun is a never ending show. Catch it next time! Leaving you al with a few pics and a video)

We got Grilled!

Ah… Fridays… when the smell of the weekend just bristles past your eager nostrils and the lovely dew of beer sends anticipatory tingles over your taste buds. But hey! What was this? What’s Happy going to be doing on a Saturday (dread, dread) in office?

Well, all the fears were gathered and grilled to a char. ‘Coz Saturday, the 18th of September, was going to be a Happy BBQ Saturday!

“This ain’t gonna be like any other mo-fo Saturday!” announced Kartik, in his new ‘It’s a Macbook… Pro!’ mode. “This is gonna be the reason there’s a second Saturday every month!” Praveen blinked his eager approval and the preps were on.

Ram (Beee!) took charge of the food. And Praveen eagerly offered his assistance – an act that we are sure has some ulterior motives behind it. Gopi got behind the decks, or in this case his laptop that doubled up as a portable music library. The drinks were taken care of by Friday evening itself, lest electricity decides to play spoil sport and serve us stale warm beer.

The venue was the hitherto-unexplored-by-many Happy Terrace on top. The grill was in place, the coal was ready. All it needed to start the afternoon was fuel and fire – which everyone in Happy carries aplenty. It was a stuttering start, with Ram (Beee!), Praveen and Ravi getting a nice workout by trying to fan the fire on. Once the coal was burning, the meat was out and the eager beavers had to wait for it to get cooked.

But hold on a second! What are the vegetarians munching? Arathi, Naren, Nitya and Vinay was seen happily gorging up vegetarian delicacies. Apparently, Praveen couldn’t source any veg barbecue items and this was Plan B – a plan that set some non-vegetarian stomachs on fire.

Once the meat was cooked, there was no turning back (where the vegetarian food was kept). The sumptuous chicken pieces and juicy pork on the menu (for someone looking forward to stale meal ahead, writing this is no mean task) graced the plates every 5 minutes. It was a ‘blow-cool-munch-sip-blow-cool-munch’ cycle for the Happy folks.

As the gorging kept triggering off calorific alarms in a few heads (Kayleigh), Naren took the… err… stage (All world’s a stage, remember?). And he narrated stories of bizarre experiments by scientist who’d gone incredibly cuckoo in the head.

A bit of a mismatch, but stick with us. The whole exercise was to pick out each and every information in the story and answer a question that would look at a miniscule aspect of the story. Many were put off by the really gruesome tales (Kartik was yelling ‘bring it on, baby!’), and Naren’s constant slip into his vernacular Telugu didn’t help the matters much. But what mattered was that, all the chocolates (yes, beer, barbeque AND chocolate) he had as gifts were all taken through coercion, bribery or threat.

The afternoon was wearing thin, and the sun made a hasty exit probably jealous seeing all the fun down here (most likely it was the sight of Ram (Beee!) dancing to glory that stoked the solar flares). But, in a style that would’ve made Super Star Rajnikanth proud (naan late-a vandaalum, latest-a varuven), our Karaoke machine was finally here and set up. Gopi kicked off the songs with a throaty, but extremely spirited, rendition of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’. Kartik took the mic later with ‘Ventura Highway’ and Ravi joined in to croon ‘Jeremy’. Windows melted, birds fell into a trance midflight, and flowers blossomed in faraway lands as Ravi’s voice lilted through the Happy corridors.

And that was the closing notes (heh) of Happy’s first ‘Second Saturday Special’. It will be a tough one to better, but at Happy we are all already going, ‘Bring on the 9th of October!’

Here’s a video of Ram (Beee!)’s talent (Beee!) outside the studio.

Here are a few images from the shutterbug trio of Rishi, Vinay and Gopi.

Boondh boondh mein hai vishwas

Gopi: Burning it behind wheels and over grills

The other Gopi: Icelandic folk, or Dabangg?

Kartik handles 'Be Stupid' and sets the place on fire

How Akshay would look like if he was driving an F1 Ferrari car.

Praveen vents his frustration at not being selected for the new Docomo ad (only one thing in mind)

Kayleigh's gonna drop it like it's hot!

Naren and Akshay sharing a private moment

All smiles, zero beer: Ah, yes... of course, Sanaa... we believe you

Ravi: Smmmmokkinn'

Gopi: Calcium overdose

Vinay the shutterbug

Happy Ram (Beee!) and Happy Rishi

Nitya: Looking all smashed... oops... smashing...

King of Good Times indeed

Creative fodder. That's what we like to call this.

Neelima: Branded from head to toe.

Dabangg madness continues

Shades of grey? Ranjini and Kayleigh

Ram (Beee!): It's not dead yet! Argh!!!

Ajay: Damn! That got over fast!

...and Chocolates... yes... Chocolates!