What A Waste!

Written by Sukalp Sharma | Sukalp Sharma | Updated: Nov 20 2012, 09:18am hrs
Campaign: Bob is Back

Brand: Quikr.com

Company: Quikr.com

Agency: Scarecrow Communications

The Campaign

The film begins with actor Saswata Chatterjee (who plays the role of the nondescript contract killer Bob Biswas in the thriller Kahaani) in his trademark specs, seated in a cafe, sipping a soft drink and observing people around him. As expected, there is a buzz of activity at the cafe and guests are going about their business quite unmindful of Biswas. He then stands up and strips to his vest and brief and stands on the table to catch the crowds attention. He announces that he has an apartment he wants to rent out and then lists its various features, and then asks if anyones interested. However, nobodys too excited. Then a man cheekily replies, Quikr.com ko missed call maar na. (Give a missed call to Quikr). Then a voice-over says that be it a car or a house, for buying, selling and renting just give a missed call to Quikr. Biswas then makes the missed call and is immediately mobbed by people eager to take his apartment on rent.

Our Take

What a waste! Thats the first thought that hits you when you watch this TV commercial. Its long enough, detailed enough, boasts of quite a unique actor and characterso much promise but it hardly delivers the goods. First things first, while as an actor Saswata Chatterjee (actor who played Bob Biswas in Kahaani) does his job, the problem lies with the concept itself. We see Biswas in the ad, but we dont see the Bob we saw in the flick. His character as portrayed in the movie was that of a frighteningly calm and cold hitman with a very suburban look and feel, while the Quikr ad makes him a tame, meek and desperate landlord resorting to the bizarre. While they transported the actor and his look to this commercial, the character was conveniently ignored and the ad lacks the characters integration with the script. In fact, it has an effect to the contrary. This makes the ad somewhat of a compromise its neither as comic as it seeks to be, nor as exciting as it could have been. But we dont rate ads on their could-have-been potential.

The earlier Quikr campaigns that introduced the brand, while not very impressive, were at least able to create some initial buzz regarding the website. But other players in the Indian online marketplace have come out with mighty impressive campaigns, be it Flipkart, Ebay or even OLX. This Quikr ad hovers nowhere close to the established benchmarks of good in this space. The only saving grace for this one is that the intended message does get delivered to a reasonable extent. But does it have impact No. Does it attract eyeballs Yes, to begin with, but then loses them almost instantly. What seems to have gone wrong with this ad is that the creative team thought they had a winning formula, so they paid little attention elsewhere. Quite a case of right ingredients in the wrong recipe. No doubt the audiences were waiting for the return of Bob Biswas. And sadly for Quikr, they still seem to be waiting, because this is definitely not what they were looking for. Bob aint back.