“Bromide” – 10 years ago

I didn’t know whether to categorize this post as "business" or "design" so in the end, I marked it personal. Depending on how it turns out, I may go back and recategorize it, though sometimes I wonder if any of that matters anyway? Oh well, onward with my thoughts.

Yesterday, while preparing to pack [ that is the "prep" pre packing the suitcase phase] I came across my old folders and portfolio. Just over ten years ago, I joined what was then known as Result Integrated Marketing Services, as an account executive. But since Result was the direct marketing and "below the line" activity arm of Tara Sinha McCann Erickson, we were known as "Project Managers". There is a story there of the events in May 1995 that I may or not blog about, just in case. But my story today is about finding a "bromide" of a nation wide advertisement for my client Frontline Solutions Ltd. They in turn were the direct marketing and field promotion arm of the giant HCL Ltd – Hindustan Computers Ltd, the infamous behemoth of the Indian computer industry of that era. How TCS, which was then a small prestige firm, has outrun them in the past 15 years!

Anyway I digress, and I find that I’m circumlocuting a little more than usual today, but a "bromide", since I don’t know if it’s universal slang or a proper name, was the clear imprint of the advertisement developed according the newspaper’s specifications that was usually due at the press by 7pm the night before release. As the AE on the Frontline account, I was also writing their advertisements for new products and launches as well as their "Sales" days. I once received an award from them for a particular ad that was released in 5 cities nationwide for a major annual sales event, where the increase in their sales was over 65% of the previous sale that had been conducted without a national ad campaign. Hmm, didn’t know I was in a showoff mood, how immodest 🙂

I wonder if bromides are even used now for newspaper advertising?

Update: A little googling tells me that it seems to be an asian / british colonial term as it also shows up here in an Australian newspaper, or an outdated term as here in this internet glossary. Ooops I’m dating myself, or perhaps dating The Hindustan Times – there’s a nice snack shop across the street we used to stop at after the mad last minute dash to deliver the artwork on time. Why the creatives had to work until absolutely the last minute I don’t know, I wonder how much of it was designerly hype? 🙂

NB: I also found that the story I wasn’t going to blog regarding Result and TSME has been mentioned by Rajat here, I remember when he was sent by Sohrab Mistry to head Result:McCann. So, I think I will share that story. It was fun rebuilding from scratch:)

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