Monday, August 24, 2015

From Advertising to Fantastories - a gutsy girl's fight against pain...

Fighting to make a place in this world   

I know this girl who was forced out of a job due to pain issues. She decided to do what she loved doing best - writing personalized fantasy stories!

She has written 'fantastories' for clients in America, England, Australia, and India right now. To make it personal Sophia gets info from the client about the giftee and then crafts it into a story. She also does ‘fixed fantasy stories’ where the main characters is the person for whom the story is being written and could include friends/family. Ideal gift for a reasonably priced gift or a return gift.

She also conducts workshops for children, teaching - Write your own story.

She plans to reach the world with her stories. She has named it #Fantastories, and is currently sourcing funds through crowd funding to finance her venture, which includes creating a fantasy characters gift shop.

Sophia completed her BMM (Bachelors in Mass Media (B.U.), and did a diploma from the esteemed MICA (Ahmedabad, India); then worked with #EuroRSCG, #Web Chutney, #Jack-in-the box. 

Racked by debilitating pain because of diabetes, Sophia was forced to leave a job near her home, due to it, though it had not affected her work.

She has penned a book (yeah, fantasy fiction), Adarra (available in Amazon and Smashwords), as an eBook.

Sophia has also written an article on mythology for Speaking Tree@ Times of India, and has a blog on fantasy and Indian mytholgy named She has the best collection of fantasy fiction books - Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaman are her favourites.

She does ad creatives and social media campaigns. One recent one was for a friend, Author Krishnarjun Bhattacharya for a horror storytelling workshop, (with acoustic sounds by One stop music, Thane). In her kitty is a social media story fiction which is still hush-hush.

Support #Fantastories crowd funding effort or just like/share it. Make it your tribute to the generation who want to work on their terms.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Easy tips to write an effective Direct e Mailer

Write a direct e/mailer by being effective, creating a positive impact on the target audience. Gather all the competitive ammunition you can muster. Use every trick in the book to hook the target audience.


  • Promise a good benefit in the headline which should be bold one in the subject line of the emailer or the envelope or with the main heading in the body of the mailer.
  • It should be clear and crisp who is making the offer and how they qualify to make the offer.
  • Use ‘You’
  • If you have an epic brand name play with the word without being corny.
  • Then you enlarge on this benefit in the first paragraph. Don’t meander around – go straight for it. You got the attention now hold it. Make sure it will make a difference to the consumer.
  • Specify what the benefit is to the TA. What way it would change his/her life. Motivate the customer to use the product now!
  • Back up with proofs or endorsements. A testimonial always strengthens your case. Make it real and believable!
  • Then is the time to dig deeper – tell the customer what is lost by not responding to the proposition.
  • Now is the time to make the benefits stronger and memorable. Rephrase the benefits by repeating key points in different words in the closing offer
  • Invite to action by using words like NOW, TODAY, OFFER FOR, LAST DATE…
  • Make it easy to order with a clear POP (point of purchase) or online address to attain the product. Check the address/mobile nos./landline details and all other relevant details.

  • Avoid using some exotic font that is not readable or blurred. Readability is key not exotic design.
  • Ensure it is personal, talk to the customer not at him. Make the tone friendly.
  • That doesn’t mean be boring. Make a dramatic impact!
  • Use the power of negative as Bill Bernbach taught us. The oldest probably being ‘Small’ Volkswagen!
  • Subtle flattery works in love and in wooing the customer, too.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Get a foot in the door - More awesome portfolio ideas

You need to refresh your portfolio ever once in a way. Of course, this is a continuous process, but it helps if you have these hints from live copy tests. So go ahead get your front foot into the door of a good agency. With these real time portfolio ideas, you can be sure of a better chance at it. With competition hyper give it your best shot. Let loose from old, boring ideas. Yes, think fresh!

1.      Develop a brand positioning for a shampoo brand say Sunsilk. Change the old positioning and create a fresh campaign. Also put up a write up on the home site communicating this change to the Target Audience you have chosen for this campaign.

2.      List and outline the creative for BTL for a coffee brand. Below-the-line (BTL), ATL, TTL check what they embrace here. It should be a frothy, fun campaign.
3.      Devise a print campaign for a national newspaper with the premise that print is real news!

4.      Provide Name and tagline for a linen clothing line – it’s for men. Make a rough sketch of the logo.

5.      Create FB banners for a book reading club.


Saturday, April 5, 2014


Salmon - A 10 minute object writing prompt!

Salmon is the common name for several species of fish in the family - Salmonidae. Other fish in the same family are called trout. I asked the rickshawala - where to get fresh fish. He advised me to go the roadside fish lady. "Uhmm!" my friend said, "that will be so dirty!" "Don’t be silly", I said.

I didn’t know how to buy fresh fish, my mom used to press the gills, check the colour, the eyes had to pop out like… I used to depend on her now I can’t - the malls have good fish but there is nothing like fresh seasonal fish, she used to say…

The lady sat in the shady area with a hat umbrella, quite western, with a flat slab and a huge cane basket of fish some just arranged on the wooden slab. She had set up shop. An old wrinkled face looked up at me. “Kai bahngda kai salmon thech salomon thech rawas!” she said dramatically.

So I found the salmon and in clean surroundings and my friend agreed. Only a cat purring at her legs made him reconsider but the cat would wait for fish lady to throw a few scraps, she didn’t come within the customer boundaries!

Her huge gold earring almost made another earring in her ear lobes, she had  experienced wrinkles and a toothless grin. Her hair was grey with black streaks, she had tied it in an amboda or bun, she had a nav wari (nine yard saree) as it is called in India,  I explained knowledgeably.

The kolis are traditional communities who live near the sea, fishing being their means of living. The ladies sell the fish and fish lady had been doing it for the past 50 years. The men went sailing and fishing, sometimes even the women went sailing. Don’t say women haven’t pushed the envelope broken bastions. I kept giving this ‘gyaan’ to my friend. Hey he is from the US!!

I asked how much for a medium sized piece- 500 rupees for that little piece - "what" I yowled "gosh is that fish or gold “ …. “you can’t eat gold” she chuckled…and chicken you buy na, this is so little but has so much strength, what ‘sukda bombil’(thin Bombay duck!!), you are”, looking at my stringy legs!! 

She wrapped the fish in paper and then put it in plastic. My friend eco- protested but we had to catch a rick and the house was far. He shrugged resignedly “huh” I said!

She cut the fillets and i tried coaxing her to give me a piece more but she dint budge, suddenly she was a fortress - then i smiled at her and she laughed her toothless grin- she transformed from the iron lady -  “why bargain with the poor lady"  “poor” "she has more money than you could imagine" and then I added pensively “and you’re not Indian if you don’t bargain!”

This prompt is from the - check for new prompts every day. And, read the posts! 

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