2021 ROUND-UP

Five ads that made a mark

The original remains iconic.
The original remains iconic.

By Anand Murty

Facebook: More Together – Cricket

As a kid, I hated cricket with a passion. I’d cheer loudly for Navratilova just to rile my folks as they sat glued to the TV. I sucked at the game, but insisted I be included when the colony kids got together. They said I could be the ‘goalie’, and made me stand under a tree. This piece of work brought all that back, made me laugh at myself, made me smile, and made me think of dear friends at Taproot who worked on the campaign and smile some more. Lovely work does that – random connections, strange memories, smiles galore and the annus horribilis that is 2021, seems a little more bearable. 

Cadbury: #GoodLuckGirls

Here we go down nostalgia lane again! The original remains iconic. While some folks refer to it as the ‘Stadium’ ad, it has always been ‘Shimona’ for me. And as a 10-year-old watching it on the tele, it made me want to get up and do a little jig myself. The redo got people talking, debating, reacting, tweeting, pontificating about the theme and the timing, and re-watching the original. I’d say mission accomplished! And this is a universally acknowledged fact, but Ogilvy just nails craft. The little moments, the small changes of expression, the music, the setting – it all comes together beautifully.

Cadbury: Not Just a Cadbury Ad

Ogilvy and Cadbury have been steadily building on situating a chocolate brand in the hearts and habits of the average Indian’s sweet moments. And this is yet another example of carrying out the task smoothly, effortlessly and effectively. Shah Rukh Khan urging you to buy from your neighbourhood store; SRK buying some mishti for the festive season — there’s just no way this could have missed the mark. This and Gaurav Gera doing the wondrous ‘Rachna Aunty’, talking about an overdose of soan papdi, made me ensure everyone got a box of Celebrations instead. 

Unacademy: Teach Them Young

I’m not a parent, but have seen and heard enough to know that parenting is like walking on eggshells, every day, on repeat. Acknowledging what kids feel; giving them perspective when they need it; not overdoing it; guiding without shattering; making them see for themselves as opposed to being the sage in the room. And teaching young men about not being blockheads while being firmly entrenched in a culture and society that still undercuts women terribly is tougher. So, to get an execution to say the right things and do it with grace is a task that’s tough. But Unacademy and Mullen do this wonderfully.

CRED: Rahul Dravid 

Take the ‘single-minded benefit’ (side note to occasions when people want to test four SMBs in 30 seconds. Erm, lol), finish it off in the first five or so seconds, and devote the rest to amplifying it in the zaniest way possible. Now that’s rare. This piece of work is clear and fun to watch, and deserves to be featured simply because it triggered the biggest tidal wave ever to be recorded on LinkedIn. The number of polls, dissertations, opinions, counter-opinions and fulminations were staggering, to be honest. Also, the number of start-ups wishing for ‘CRED-like’ work in their briefs is a matter of 2021 legend.

The author is strategy head, DDB Mudra.

Read Also: Trends to look out in 2022: Brands will look for simple impact through social media

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