Fast and furious

Written by Anushree Bhattacharyya | Updated: Jun 4 2014, 03:22am hrs
Campaign: Bhaag

Brand: Pepsi

Company : PepsiCo India

Agency: Taproot India

The Campaign

The ad film begins with a voice-over saying bhaag (run) and we see a young man running with a cricket bat through narrow lanes. As the soundtrack picks up pace, another youth is shown running past narrow alleys jumping over a series of obstacles. The young men sprint all the way to a cricket stadium where an Indian Premier League (IPL) match is under way. As the boys dodge the security guards at the entrance of the stadium, they run onto the field and interrupt the game going on as they play their own game. As they try to take a run, one of the boys bumps into MS Dhoni of cricket. Taken aback by the sudden intrusion, Dhoni asks the two what they are up to. To this, one of the boys replies, Khelne ki jaldi mein they, isliye yahan tak aa gaye (we were in such a hurry to play that we came straight to the stadium).The campaign titled, Bhaag consists of two ad films one featuring cricketer MS Dhoni and another one featuring Virat Kohli, with similar storylines.

Our Take

This is the second campaign released by Pepsi during the on-going Indian Premier League (IPL) tournament. While the first campaign released just before the IPL started showed how todays youth are impatient and ready to face any challenge or hurdle when it comes to achieving their goals in life, the latest and the recent one takes the story further as it dwells on this impatience of the youth. While the background score is peppy and makes one groove, the story-telling is mundane and looks like a rip-off of the first campaign, the only difference being that unlike the first film where the young men keep running and take a break to drink Pepsi, in the second film they land up at a stadium. And this leaves the viewers with the first question: What were the security guards on duty at the stadium doing After all, cricket matches, especially IPL matches, played in the subcontinent, get maximum security unlike the West where a streaker may run onto the ground. So how can two youngsters just pop in amidst a professional cricket match being televised live Todays youth may be impatient and not as easy-going as the generation before them, but they will also think twice before doing something as drastic as barging into a professional match as they are also aware of the legal implications. The exaggeration and unreal representation takes the focus away from the story. Also, the story-telling makes it apparent that brand Pepsi is trying too hard to be seen as the beverage brand preferred by the youth. While the protagonists play their role perfectly, the story makes it a weak ad film.