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Month: August, 2013

Best of Political Advertising: It’s Morning Again in America!


It’s morning again in America!

The message is simple, patriotic, and inspirational.

The actual title of this 1984 U. S. Presidential election campaign is Prouder, Stronger, Better, but the opening line It’s morning again in America – inspired the ad’s better known nickname. It’s hard to watch the video and not want to support its candidate; that’s probably why it’s been called one of the most effective campaign ads ever.

The ad, which was a part of the 1984 U.S. Presidential campaign of Republican Party candidate Ronald Reagan. It featured a montage of Americans going to work and a calm, optimistic narration that suggested the improvements to the U.S. economy since 1980 election were due to Reagan policies. The ad asked voters why they would want to return to the pre-Reagan policies of Democrats like his opponent Walter Mondale, who had served as the Vice President under Reagan’s immediate predecessor Jimmy Carter.

Reagan’s 1984 Campaign: Prouder, Stronger, Better

Male Narrator: It’s morning again in America. Today, more men and women will go to work than ever before in our country’s history. With interest rates about half the record highs of 1980s, nearly 2,000 families today will buy new homes, more than at any time in the past four years. This afternoon, 6,500 young men and women will be married. And with inflation at less than half of what it was just four years ago, they can look forward with confidence to the future. It’s morning again in America. And, under the leadership of President Reagn, our country is prouder, and stronger, and better. Why would we ever want to return to where we were less than four short years ago?

Aren’t you inspired enough by the highly persuasive and evocative copy? Can you think of creating campaigns packed with persuasive power such as this for your products?

How Much Do You Make An Hour?


A man came home from work late, tired and irritated, to find his 5-year old son waiting for him at the door.

Son: Daddy, may I ask you a question?

Dad: Yeah, sure what is it?

Son: Daddy, how much do you make an hour?

Dad: That’s none of your business. Why do you ask such a thing?

Son: I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?

Dad: If you must know, I make $100 an hour.

Son: Oh! (with his head down).

Son: Daddy, may I please borrow $50?

The father was furious.

Dad: If the only reason you asked that is so you can borrow some money to buy a silly toy or some other nonsense, then you march yourself straight to your room and go to bed. Think about why you are being so selfish. I work hard everyday for such childish behavior.

The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door. The man sat down and started to get even angrier about the little boy’s questions. How dare he ask such questions only to get some money?

After about an hour or so, the man had calmed down, and started to think. May be there was something he really needed to buy with that $50 and he really didn’t ask money very often. The man went to the door of the little boy’s room and opened the door.

Dad: Are you asleep son?

Son: No daddy, I’m awake.

Dad: I’ve been thinking, may be I was too hard on you earlier. It’s been a long day and I took out my aggravation on you. Here’s the $50 you asked for.

Son: the little boy sat straight up, smiling.

Then, reaching under his pillow he pulled out some crumpled up bills. The man saw that the boy already had money, started to get angry again. The little boy slowly counted out his money and then looked up at his father.

Dad: Why do you want more money, if you already have some.

Son: Because I didn’t have enough, but now I do. Daddy, I have $100 now. Can I buy an hour of your time? Please come home early tomorrow. I would like to have dinner with you.

The father was crushed. He put his arms around his little son, and he begged for his forgiveness.

It’s just a short reminder to all those working so hard in life. We should not let time slip through our fingers without having spent some time with those who really matter to us, those close to our hearts. Do remember to share $100 worth of time with someone you love.

Some things are more important. Some moments are truly priceless!

– Author Unknown



What is your Mojo?

The dictionary defines Mojo as a magic charm, talisman or spell. Mojo is that positive spirit – toward what we are doing now – that starts from inside – and radiates to the outsides, explains Marshall Goldsmith, one of the world’s leading executive educators and coaches.

How can you know what your Mojo is? You can say that your Mojo is at your peak when you are experiencing both happiness and meaning in what you are doing and communicating this experience to the world around you.

Marshall Goldsmith wrote an extremely useful and even indispensable book, Mojo: How to get, How to Keep it, How to get it back, if you lose it. He describes thoroughly about everything you need to know about your Mojo. Here are the key takeaways from his brilliant book.

Originally referred to a folk belief in the supernatural powers of a voodoo charm, often in the form of a piece of cloth or a small pouch, the meaning of Mojo evolved over time to describe a sense of positive spirit and direction especially in the shifting tides of sports, business and politics.

When you do something that’s purposeful, powerful, and positive, and the rest of the world recognizes it, that is your Mojo moment! Goldsmith tells in a simple, direct way about how you can create, maintain it, and how you can recapture it when you need it.

Your personal and professional Mojo is impacted by four key factors:

  1. Identity: Who do you think you are?
  2. Achievement: What have you done lately?
  3. Reputation: What do other people think you are?
  4. Acceptance: What can you change? and when do you need to just let it go?

Goldsmith also provides a Mojo toolkit to make the process of creating and keeping Mojo practical and doable. He provides fourteen tools to essential for creating Mojo.

  1. Establish criteria that matter to you is about setting ground rules for your life to start on the path toward great Mojo.
  2. Find out where you’re living is about finding balance between short-term satisfaction and long-term benefit at work and home.
  3. Be the optimist in the room shows that there is power in ‘going for it’ (not being afraid to look foolish).
  4. Take away one thing is viewing how life would look if you eliminated something big from your life.
  5. Rebuild one brick at a time. Just like a wall is built by one brick at time, so is your Mojo.
  6. Live your mission in the small moments too, because small moments in our lives can make big statements about who we are.
  7. Swim in the blue water is finding a new way to win that can change the game!
  8. When to stay, when to go. It is better to jump than being pushed.
  9. Hello, Good-bye is just that. How to say,’hello’ and prepare for ‘good-bye.’
  10. Adopt a metrics system. Create a measurement system that reveals what you need to know.
  11. Reduce this number, which is the percentage of time we spend on boasting or criticizing others – by ourselves and others.
  12. Influence up as well as down. Turn important decision makers into your best customers.
  13. Name, it, Frame it, Claim it. Naming what you do can help you enhance how you do it.
  14. Give your friends a lifetime pass. Friends can be more forgiving than we deserve – give them a break.

Mojo is a thought provoking book, which has the power to move us to define us who we are. Marshall Goldsmith provides wonderful perspectives and tools for getting and keeping our personal and professional Mojo.

First know what your Mojo is and then, decide what you want your Mojo to be and use the tool kit to claim your Mojo!

James Webb Young’s Copy Philosophy

James Webb Young (1886 - 1973)

James Webb Young (1886 – 1973)

James Webb Young, the legendary advertising man wore many hats. He was great copy writer, an accomplished writer, who wrote three books – A technique for producing ideas, How to become an advertising man, and The Diary of an ad man. He served as a professor at the University of Chicago’s new Business School from 1931 to 1939.

Furthermore, Young became one of the founders of the War Advertising Council out of which grew the present Advertising Council of America. He served both organizations as chairman. James Webb Young was inducted in the American Advertising Federation Hall of Fame and received many honors and awards including the Advertising Man of the Year Award in 1946.

A letter that Young wrote to Julian Lewis Watkins in 1948 describes his copy philosophy. Watkins quoted the excerpts from that letter in his famous book, The 100 Greatest Advertisements 1852 – 1958, first published in 1949. Here’s the essence of James Webb Young’s Copy Philosophy:

“ I learned to write copy as a seller of books by mail – to Methodist ministers! Hence I have always believed in two things: first, that people read ads; second, that they will respond to them if you use them to make a complete sales canvas. These convictions, in turn, have never made me afraid of ‘long copy.’

When I write an ad, I first try to get in mind a very sharp conception of the kind of person I am going to talk to. Then I try to formulate, very clearly, the propositions I am going to make him or her – why he should buy something, think something, or do something.

Then I try to think out where this person’s interests or problems and the proposition come together, and from this try to work out the headline and main illustration, which as one unit, will take hold of them. I will think many headlines before I get the one, which satisfies me. And also usually labor equally to get the right illustration for the headline. Where possible, s in the Webb Young advertising, I test headlines for their real effectiveness, knowing from these tests that some headlines can be twice as effective as others.

As I write the body of the ad I keep thinking about the reader, asking myself: Have I made this clear? – What doubt will he have here? – Have I made this interesting? – and so on.

Some ads come easier than others, of course, but usually the actual writing process is not difficult for me. I do not begin it, as a rule, until I have clearly seen the completed ad in my own mind – headline, main illustration, format, and general course of the copy story. When that has come about, then I sit down and put it on paper, and the first draft usually stands with few revisions.”

Internalize  and follow Young’s copy philosophy and you would greatly increase your abilities to create winning communication strategies for  your products.

How Full is Your Bucket?


About fifty years ago, Don Clifton who was teaching psychology at the University of Nebraska noticed that the field of psychology was based almost entirely on the study of what is wrong with people. He began exploring whether it would be more important to study what is right with people and began a movement of positive psychology.

In 2004, Don Clifton’s grandson Tom Rath, a senior scientist and advisor to Gallup Inc. co-authored a small yet profound book, How Full Is Your Bucket? along with his grandfather. Tom Rath presents the compelling discoveries his grandfather gathered over half-a-century of work in the field of Positive Psychology with the use of a simple metaphor of  bucket and a dipper.

Each of us has an invisible bucket. It is constantly emptied or filled, depending on what others say or do to us. When our bucket is full, we feel great. When it’s empty, we feel awful.

Each of us also have an invisible dipper. When we use that dipper to fill other peoples’ buckets – by saying or doing things to increase their positive emotions – we also fill our own bucket. But when we use that dipper to dip from others’ buckets – by saying or doing things that decrease their positive emotions – we diminish ourselves.

A full bucket, therefore, gives us positive outlook and renewed energy. Every drop in that bucket makes us stronger and more optimistic. Conversely, an empty bucket poisons our outlook, saps our energy, and undermines our will. No wonder, every time someone dips from our bucket, it hurts us.

Keeping our bucket full or empty is matter of choice. We all have the right to choose whether to keep our buckets full or empty. We can fill one another’s buckets, or we can dip from them.

When you think of it, the choice is clear. A full bucket signifies positivity. An empty bucket increases and feeds negativity. Therefore, we must constantly be alert and try to become experts at bucket-filling and minimizing bucket-dipping. The magic ratio bucket filling (positive interactions) to bucket dipping (negative interactions) is 5:1, that is five positive interactions to every one negative interaction.

Decide now, whose buckets are you going to fill today?

EROOM’s Law of Pharma R & D

Erooms law & moores law

What is  Eroom’s Law?

Turn the famous Moore’s law on its head (spell Moore’s law backwards), voila you’ve the Eroom’s Law!

While the Moore’s Law tells us about the dramatic increase in the computer processing power, Eroom’s law as introduced in another Troubles of Drug Discovery piece in Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, explains the drastic decline in R&D efficiency over the past sixty years.

Moore’s Law

Moore’s Law, which is named after Intel cofounder Gordon E. Moore, who observed that over the history of computing hardware, the number of transistors that can be placed inexpensively on integrated circuits doubles every 18 months to two years. The law is now used in the semiconductor industry to guide long-term planning and to set targets for research and development.


The advances in many of the scientific, technological and managerial factors over the past 60 years should have raised the efficiency of commercial drug research and development. That did not happen. On the contrary, as Eroom’s law indicates the number of new drugs approved per billion US dollars spent on R&D has halved roughly every nine years since 1950. When you adjust for inflation that is a huge eighty-fold drop! The authors in their paper describe Eroom’s law by charting the ever-dwindling number of new drugs to emerge from pharmaceutical research labs against the ever-increasing amount of dollars spent on discovering them.

Erooms law & moores law-2

Jack W. Scannell, Alex Blanckley, Helen Boldon and Brain Warrington identified four primary causes for this drastic drop in R&D productivity in their highly insightful article, Diagnosing the decline in pharmaceutical R&D efficiency in Mach 2012 issue of Nature Reviews Drug Discovery. The four primary causes are:

  1. The ‘Better than the Beatles’ problem, which is our tendency to compete against our greatest hits of the past. Consider for example, how hard it would be to come up with a successful pop song if any new song had to be better than the Beatles. How difficult it would be to create a successor candidate for a successful drug like Lipitor?
  2. The ‘Cautious Regulator’ problem is the progressive lowering of risk tolerance that raises the bar on safety for new drugs, which makes R&D both costlier and harder.
  3. The ‘Throw money at it’ tendency is the tendency to just keep pouring more money and resources into a research project or widely held theory until something sticks. It is like throwing good money after bad.
  4. The ‘Basic Research-Brute Force’ bias, which is the tendency to overestimate the probability that advances in basic research and large scale screening processes will show a molecule safe and effective in clinical trials.

Drug development may never see the equivalent of Moore’s law. The human body is far too complex to lend itself to rapid solutions. Pharmaceutical industry would do well to apply fresh thinking borrow concepts from other fields like social networking.

It is time that the Pharma industry comes out of its return on pharmaceutical R&D is insufficient mindset and takes a contrarian view of its current research and development model. That would start the process of reversing the gloomy math of Eroom’s law.

Indian Pharma’s 2-Billion Dollar Club

Dilip Shanghvi, Late Dr. K. Anji Reddy, G. V. Prasad, K. Satish Reddy, Late Dr. Parvinder Singh, Arun Sawhney

Dilip Shanghvi, Late Dr. K. Anji Reddy, G. V. Prasad, K. Satish Reddy, Late Dr. Parvinder Singh, Arun Sawhney


What is a major milestone for an International Specialty Pharma company?

To cross the one-billion dollar mark in revenues.

What could be the second major milestone?

To cross the two-billion dollar mark in revenues.

In 2013, there are three Indian Pharma companies that have crossed the coveted two-billion dollar mark in revenues. The latest or the most recent member of this ambitious, hardworking two-billion dollar club is the prodigious Sun Pharma. Lupin with annual revenues of $1.8-billion is knocking on the doors rearing to get in.

Ranbaxy, although has been in the news a lot for wrong reasons recently was the first India-based Pharma company (as it has been acquired by Japanese Pharma major Daichi  in 2008) to cross the $2-billion mark in 2011. Dr. Reddy’s achieved it by December 2012. Sun Pharma did it by March 2013.

Sun Pharma

While it took 27 years for the first $1 billion in revenues for Sun Pharma, the next billion came up very fast in just a matter of three years. Sun Pharma has crossed two milestones. The first one is crossing US $2-billion in revenues. The second one is crossing ₹ 1lakh-crore mark  (around US $ 16 billion) in market capitalization.

Started with just five products in 1983, in thirty years Sun Pharma took giant leaps to cross the coveted 2-billion-dollar mark in revenues in thirty years with twenty-six manufacturing facilities in four continents. Sun Pharma has three-pronged strategy to propel itself into the next orbit: Focus on chronic therapies, differentiation through technically complex products, and speed to market. All these at sensible costs by achieving cost leadership.

Dr. Reddy’s Labs

Dr. Reddy’s defined their purpose as providing affordable and innovative medicines for healthier lives. Their strategy is to achieve this by leveraging industry-leading science and technology, product offering and customer service through operating excellence. Their business model spans three segments: generics, active pharmaceutical ingredients and custom services, and proprietary products.


Ranbaxy’s mission is to enrich lives globally, with quality and affordable pharmaceuticals. The company has a ground presence in forty countries and its products are being sold in about 150 countries across the world. Ranbaxy’s strategic focus is threefold: focus on building worldwide branded generics business, leveraging Ranbaxy’s strong presence in emerging markets that are growing rapidly, and to continue to create exclusive and niche opportunities.

Common Thread

What is the common thread that has been running among these three winning Indian Pharma companies? Right from inception they have viewed world as their market. All of them have followed the winning strategy of TEVA, the global leader for the generic industry that has reached uncommon heights.

They have reached the critical mass that is required to fuel their ambitious growth plans through strategic acquisitions of products, facilities and companies to create a beachhead, or augment their presence in the difficult-to-penetrate markets. All of them have upgraded themselves periodically to world class levels in technology, and manufacturing to be globally competitive. They have targeted the US generic market which is the largest and most lucrative in the world. They have aggressively pursued a PARA IV-Challenge route to gain the 180-day exclusivity, which is the dream of any generic company and took considerable risks.

They have been steadily stepping up their R&D capabilities along with substantial increase in investments in creating a research and development infrastructure and the required knowledge base to launch even the drug-discovery programs. All three companies have their own pipelines for abbreviated new drug applications and new molecular entities.

They have also entered into strategic alliances with global Pharma majors for generic alliances in emerging markets. Ranbaxy is a part of Japanese drug major. Sun Pharma has entered into a strategic alliance with Merck. Dr. Reddy’s have entered into a strategic alliance for bio-similars with Merck Serono.

These companies are international and are increasingly acquiring the international character with manufacturing facilities in a number of countries. Over three-fourths to four-fifths of their revenues from international sales. Sales from their domestic sales account for about 26 per cent for Sun Pharma and less than 20 per cent for both Dr. Reddy’s and Ranbaxy.

What is the next milestone for each of these companies?

5-billion dollars in annual revenues? Lupin, the company that is close on heels of these three winning companies has already announced that it is determined to achieve US $5-billion in revenues by 2018. Surely the three frontrunners would like to achieve it before that.

Be All You Can Be


If your life had a slogan…what would it be?

If your work had a slogan…what would it be?

Don’t you want to…Be all that you can be?

Be all that you can be is at once inspirational and self-actualizing. It is the US Army slogan that has the highest levels of recognition among American youth according to The Youth Attitude Tracking Study (YATS).

Be All (That) You Can Be was the recruiting slogan of the United States Army for over twenty years since 1980. E.N.J. Carter created this popular slogan while he was at N.W.Ayer & Son, one of the pioneering advertising agencies in the world. He was awarded the Outstanding Civilian Service Award for his efforts.

Be All that you can be is a powerful slogan that generates a feeling of being able to push oneself to all extremes and to something for a cause one believes in! What can be a greater cause than defending one’s own country and its freedom? The slogan’s appeal is universal as there is no propaganda of any kind, just recruitment.

Let Your Fingers Do The Walking


Six small words created an endearing and enduring slogan that is remembered, recognized and used even after fifty years. Let your fingers do the walking. It was the Yellow Pages that first used the slogan Let Your Fingers Do the Walking in 1964. Green Gross Agency came up with the slogan. Ad Age Advertising Century listed Let Your Fingers Do the Walking in its list of top fifteen slogans.

The ad addressed an unmet need in a direct and empathetic manner. Consider this highly persuasive copy:

Weary from shopping all over town for what you want? Take the drudgery out of shopping? Before you take another step…

Today’s Yellow Pages – America’s handiest shopping guide. You will find every product and service you want – from appliances to zippers – listed under the handy Yellow Pages headings. Read the ads under the heading you want for valuable information on brands, special features, store locations and hours. Why not see how easy it is to find what you need today? Save time, temper and your feet – Let your fingers do the walking through Yellow Pages.

Let your fingers do the walking

Some may argue that the ad Let Your Fingers Do the Walking may not be relevant today with the internet explosion and the ubiquitous search engines. You can just google anything you want under the Sun. Even to search on the net your fingers need to do the walking or jumping on keypad.

Can you think of an unmet need or want of your customers and build it into your copy and visual to ring a chord with your customers for your products? Can you think and design marketing communications that empathize with your customers?

A Glass of Milk


One day, a poor boy who was selling goods from door to door to pay his way through school, found he had only one thin dime left, and he was hungry. He decided he would ask for a meal at the next house. However, he lost his nerve when a lovely young woman opened the door.

Instead of a meal he asked for a drink of water. She thought he looked hungry so brought him a large glass of milk.

He drank it slowly, and then asked, “ How much do I owe you?”

“You don’t owe me anything,” she replied. “Mother has taught us never to accept pay for a kindness.”

He said, “ Then I thank you from my heart.”

As the boy left that house, he not only felt stronger physically, but his faith in God and man too became stronger. He had been ready to give up and quit. The poor boy later became the well known physician Dr. Howard Kelly.

Years later that young woman became critically ill. The local doctors were baffled. They finally sent her to the big city, where they called in specialists to study her rare disease.

Dr. Howard Kelly was called in for the consultation. When he heard the name of the town she came from, a strange light filled his eyes. Immediately he rose and went down the hall of the hospital to her room.

Dressed in his doctor’s gown he went in to see her. He recognized her at once. He went back to the consultation room determined to do his best to save her life. From that day he gave special attention to the case.

After a long struggle, the battle was won. Dr. Kelly requested the business office to pass the final bill to him for approval. He looked at it, then wrote something on the edge and the bill was sent to her room.

She feared to open it, for she was sure it would take the rest of her life to pay for it all. Finally she looked, and something caught her attention on the side of the bill. She began to read the following words:

Paid in full with one glass of milk.

Signed, Dr. Howard Kelly.

– Author Unknown