Silly season

Updated: Jan 5 2006, 05:30am hrs
Last fortnight a clutch of ads hit the television screens. By the looks of it, creativity is on a long holiday. Most of the work was drab and uninspiring. Heres a look at three new ads, two of which stand out more for the lack of lustre than any lasting value.

Asian Paints Royale

By building a strong brand in a commodity market, Asian Paints has become almost synonymous with the paint category. Stepping off the beaten track, the brand has associated itself with emotions, festivities and celebration. By putting the category on a higher platform, Asian Paints has enjoyed top-of-mind recall.

And then I come across this mindless commercial of Royale which looked more like an 80s Ramsay brothers horror flick that a TV spot. The ad is set in a decrepit building where the wall embellishments simply fall off their designated placeseemingly unhappy with the wall paint. But when the walls get the paint they like (that obviously is Royale), everything falls back in place.

As far as the consumer is concerned, Asian Paints is about rangon ka tyohar and sapno ka ghar. This one is a disappointing ad from a brand that is respected for its creativity and consumer connect.

Punjab National Bank

The banking industry is in a transformation phase. While consumerism is on the rise, customer loyalty is pass. Todays tech-savvy, time-constrained consumer wants a brand that offers a total financial solution rather than just another savings account.

If one looked at the ads of nationalised banks that have hit TV screens lately, retention seems to be the key property. So you have the new Rishtey commercial of Punjab National Bank which extols the virtues of life-long relationships. Relations the bank has nurtured through vishwas (trust).

While the ad tries to strike an emotional chord, the fear is that it will get lost, especially since all the brands in the category are using the same ploy!

Incredible India

Tourism is finally being recognised as a sector with a strong potential. And from the looks of its, destination branding is the next big thing. After the success of theKerala: Gods Own Country campaign, other states are falling over one another to market their hotspots.

Incredible India, an effort by the Ministry of Tourism, is a step towards showcasing India and its irresistible locations to the rest of the world. Right from the majestic Taj to the colourful Gujarat to the hot and happening Goa, the campaign portrays India in its colourful best.

Chances are that many viewers will miss the commercial as it is being beamed only on niche channels.

The author is faculty, MICA