Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Indian Advertising Review - I

It has been a good time for advertisments on Indian Television recently. In addition to the heartening development of the missing Ravindra Jadeja from TV, some really clever and well executed ads are doing the rounds, and more are set to follow with the baap of all events – The World Cup of Cricket.

Here is my take on some of the ads:

The Pepsi Change the Game TVC

I am not sure if this will be released when this blog is posted, but I had a peek a few days ago. Finally, after more than a decade of nauseating advertisements each ending somewhere between Ranbir Kapoor’s stubble and the Youngistan curse – Pepsi has managed to pull of something worthwhile. The MS Dhoni starrer is irrelevant, young, rustic and tongue in cheek. It is finally so Pepsi. The execution is great and it is the type of ad which might just become a part of pop culture like the Aila Sachin masked act.

Good job by Taproot who have the Sehwag’s Upper Cut, , Harbhajan Singh’s Doosra, and Pietersen’s Switch Hit as part of the Change the Game Campaign.

Well a thought, the Yousuf Pathan defence could be… well there is no Yousuf Pathan defence.

The Micromax Island TVC

In spite of all things Akshay Kumar, the Micromax ads over the last year have all been characterized by great production and execution. Lowe Lintas was bang on with the Android TVC and the island skit also strikes right at the audience, which in this case are the potential investors of the Micromax IPO. It speaks of innovation, a great future, has scale and propels the path breaking outfit right into a tempting buy. I especially love the last shot of Akshay Kumar trying to kill the bear with a mobile and failing. The voice over “That’s why we keep trying” is timed brilliantly. When was the last time one saw self-depreciating humor in an Indian Ad?

You just have a great feeling about Micromax. About ten years ago, Airtel with its marketing came across as a company bigger than its actual size, and it is no different from Micromax which is increasingly becoming the big Indian marketing story.

The Reliance CDMA Eating Out TVC

This one catches the eye for its execution but raises serious doubts about recall. A large family in a car discussing the biggest issue with Indian households. “WTF do we eat and where?” Its made well and I especially love the little girl helplessly saying, “Aree Uncle..” The whole deal with choices is done naturally. 
Then there are shots of multiple handsets and what you can choose.

Now the problem with Reliance mobile. With all their TVCs, one can never remember what it was about? Sometimes you see Hritik Roshan prancing around, sometimes there are youngsters, sometimes there are things which I don’t even remember. But you always remember to forget that it was a Reliance ad. And this confusion has nothing do with the fact that Reliance has to live with CDMA and GSM at the same time. If Airtel, Vodaphone and Tata can eek out distinct identities for their various offerings from 3 G, VAR, and set top boxes, what is wrong with Reliance?

Reliance Mobile is going to be facing bankruptcy soon, and when the daggers are out and the inquest has started please someone look back at all the campaigns over the past few years and try to see the damage they have done with inconsistency, lack of a single message and the value proposition on offer. There is none. The only definitive Reliance Ad one can remember is Sehwag ki ma and that is when Mukesh Ambani was in charge.

Compare Reliance with the irritating Do Co Mo jingle, the Idea fetish with the Bachan baba, the Vodaphone doggie - Zoo Zoo onslaught and the general cleverness of Airtel’s ads before they made a noodle out of their logo. All the other telecom players are consistent in their campaigns, and you know what the ad was about and whom. With Reliance, the only consistency is the inconsistency. Sure, they try with the Reliance logo at the bottom and the jingle in the background but for some reason one can never remember a Reliance TVC just like one can’t remember most insurance ads. Perhaps Reliance should try sticking with a low profile character that appears across TVCs like Matrix calling cards did. There is too much of churn and too much variance in the style to really stick in the mind.

The Impatient Vivek TVC

WTF *(*)(*. Thats all I can say.

On another note, the soundtrack of the latest Aditya Birla Group commercial seems to be suspiciously like a modified Yani track. Surely, a conglomerate of such a size can do better. I hope they have the rights to the song.

Compare it with the GE Today TVC which uses a Goo Goo dolls track and does full justice to the company and the band. Inspiring music, well edited visuals and a great message. 

I look forward to your comments and views. Reviewing ads is perhaps more a function of perception and personal choices than movies. So do write in your views and ads you would like to be reviewed, you like and the ones that make you want to steal songs from Pritam.

1 comment:

man in the iron mask said...

The Dhoni ad. God did Pepsi redeem itself after that Youngistan gig in the lift. Often, the sports ads. tend to be redeeming more often than not, and incredibly interesting. I don't know, but maybe because of the way sportsmen get to become normal people for a change. I mean, Federer stumbling from end-to-end against Rooney in Innaritu's World Cup ad was just laugh and then stand up and salute stuff.
So was Gilly's and his DC team's fooling around with a girl. Fun stuff.

But Indian ads. Man have they come a long way? There was this ad, I liked the sentimentality of, where a sobbing girl is leaving the house. Dairy Milk it was, and it had the awesome Pavan Malhotra in it. The archetypical girl's dad sure has gone liberal and cool.

I hope there are more reviews. I mean, you will see a whole of matches between Mannapuram Gold and Karan Johar meeting Deepika Padukone for some goddman reason...