advent, observations, Personal, videos

An Advent Calendar Of Videos 16


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Sport England had a problem. There was a huge disparity between the number of women and men playing sport and being physically active. What was stopping the women from picking up a racquet or going for a run? Fear of judgement. To tackle this issue, last year Sport England launched the This Girl Can campaign. It showed women like we rarely get to see them in adverts. There was no attempt to hide the wobbling thighs or the jiggling boobs. What we saw was women playing sport, getting sweaty, being active and having fun. The promo went viral like wild fire and you can see why. Get your Friday freak on!

Cross posted on my Linkedin page. Header image is a screen grab from This Girl Can – Sport England.
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An Advent Calendar Of Videos 15


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It’s a soppy one today. And the best thing is that we can see it a mile away. Yet the audience falls into its cloying sugary trap willingly. Notice how there’s no music till 0245. Even when it is introduced, there’s only a couple of shy notes but by the end it’s risen to a full crescendo, heightening every utterance, milking every moment. Chances are, by then we’re thinking about our own, just like the people in the video.

Cross posted on my Linkedin page.

advent, observations, Personal, videos

An Advent Calendar of Videos 13


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How to ask without shame, is the theme for today’s Advent video. A friend once joked that I wake up every morning and watch this video as part of my ritual. She couldn’t be far wrong. The talk is very much a part of my go-to sources of inspiration. It is a difficult habit, to ask without making yourself feeling vulnerable. But through her talk (and subsequently, through her book) Amanda Palmer makes a compelling case for why you should. A highly recommended watch, if you have not already done so.

Cross posted on my Linkedin page. Header image is a screen grab from ‘The art of asking’ – a TED talk by Amanda Palmer
advent, observations, Personal, videos

An Advent Calendar Of Videos 12


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Features tell, benefits tell. If we were to sell a book on its features then we’d be talking about the paper and the bind and the print. But that’s not why you buy a book, do you? You buy a book for the whole new world it opens your eyes to.

Today’s Advent calendar door opens to a double whammy of videos, both featuring grandparents. One is scripted and the other casts real life grandparents. Neither talks about the features of the product being sold. Instead, what we see is how the consumer’s life is benefited when they use the product.

and

Cross posted on my Linkedin page. Header image is a screen grab from The Grandparents Frame by JOHNSON’S® Baby.
advent, observations, Personal, videos

An Advent Calendar Of Videos 10


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When Dove launched this promotional video a couple of years ago, it felt like a breath of fresh air. For it was one of the few ads that seemed to talk about a rarely addressed issue. That of how women see ourselves. The slightly discomfiting issue however is that Unilever who own Dove also own dubious fairness creams like Fair & Lovely (although technically it’s owned by Hindustan Lever in India) and sell us deodorants that promise smooth underarms (what? were you not worried about how wrinkly they are?). They peddle us insecurities and then tell us we should be comfortable in our skin. Odd, don’t you think? That said, the video got people talking and polarised opinion. Notice how there is no product being shown and the branding appears only at the very end. See what you make of it.

Cross posted on my Linkedin page. Header image is a screen grab from Dove Real Beauty Sketches

 

advent, observations, Personal, videos

An Advent Calendar Of Videos 8


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In a recent article in the Guardian, author Jonathan Safran Foer wrote that “attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity”. In today’s video, we see what happens when a performance artist decided to give her audience her complete and undivided attention. We live in such frazzled times that this staggeringly simple idea to give someone your entire focus seems a radical act. Yet it exposes vulnerability, gentleness and the essential solitude of being human.

Marina Abramovich has often been hailed the grandmother of performance art. I saw her at her installation titled 512 hours at the Serpentine gallery some years ago. But by then she had catapulted to superstardom and somehow it seemed too much of a performance and less of an art.

The clip below is from Marina Abramovic’s art installation called ‘The Artist Is Present’ at the MOMA in New York in 2010. For the duration of the installation, Marina sat on a chair and invited her audience, one person at a time to sit across from her and and just looked at them until they decided to get up and walk away.

What you see is below is what happened when her long term collaborator Ulay, from whom she had been estranged for over two decades, came and sat in front of her. And what transpires between them is quite special.

Cross posted on my Linkedin page. Header image is a screen grab from Marina Abramovic e Ulay – MoMA 2010 video. 
advent, observations, Personal

An Advent Calendar Of Videos 7


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Earlier this week, a formidable Indian politician who was the Chief Minister of the state where I grew up passed away. She happened to be a woman. Ever since, I have been thinking and reading about the role of women in public life, in sport and other high profile careers. About how far we have come and how much further we have left to go. It is in this context that I present today’s video.

It’s for a brand of sanitary pad and it challenges the notion that it considered derogatory to ‘do something like a girl’. There is no product shot and mercifully, we are spared the ubiquitous shot of blue liquid dropping onto something cottonwool-like and being absorbed instantly. What we do see is a simple question being posed to a series of people and their answers illustrating a very valid point.

Cross posted on my Linkedin page. Header image is a screen grab from the Always LikeAGirl promo