Clutter Cutters | The Best Of Jan to Dec 2020

Updated: Dec 31, 2020 11:55 AM

The ones that stood out: Cadbury, Whisper, Brooke Bond, Parachute Advansed, Ariel, Coca Cola, Titan Raga, Motilal Oswal, Horlicks, iDIVA, Tanishq, Facebook, Tinder, Behrouz Biryani.

Brand campaigns that deserved to be in the spotlightBrand campaigns that deserved to be in the spotlight

By Gokul Krishnamoorthy

Here’s a list of the best work from each month of 2020, in our view. There could be at least 100 pieces of work that cut through the clutter in 2020. But if we had to pick just one for each month, these would be it. Where we simply could not pick just one and leave out another, there are multiple pieces of work featured for that month.

Reviews from the respective months (since May 2020, when was launched) have been reproduced to provide context.


Cadbury Silk – Valentine’s Day | How Far Will You Go For Love?


Whisper India | Keep Girls In School

MARCH 2020

Brooke Bond Red Label | Swad Apnepan Ka

Parachute Advansed | Mere Baal Meri Jaan

Ariel India | #ShareTheLoad | Let Her Sleep

APRIL 2020

Cadbury | Every Home Tells A Sweet Story

MAY 2020

Coca Cola | Ummeedon Waali Dhoop

Very rarely has one seen an adaptation of global work that shines this bright. It is aided in no small measure by the vibrant, timeless jingle and its message. The larger message of hope is what we all need. Coca Cola delivers a sparkling dose here.

JUNE 2020

Cadbury Silk | How Far Will You Go For Love”

Cadbury hit a new high this Valentine’s Day with its ‘How Far Will You Go For Love’ proposition. It took ownership of the line with a beautiful film that transported us to another world, accentuated by a soundtrack that resonated with our heartbeats. A world of young love laced with silk, to which the brand helped us escape. That unhurried journey was a masterclass in film-making. This one is a befitting follow-up. A seemingly outlandish plot is just what the brief demanded. This delightful film makes you want to believe in the plot and the premise. The brand is championing the cause of making people to do a little more to express their love — and reaping the attendant benefits. It is also reminding us of the power of film.

Titan Raga – What You Feel Is Who You Are

This is an effortless and elegant statement for Pride Month from a brand that keeps rising in stature with its communication. A lot of thought must have gone into this one from Titan. Raga, the Titan brand for women, is the one making this statement. The immortal brand music finishes the story.

JULY 2020

Motilal Oswal | Skin In The Game

They arrived on the scene underlining that experts know best. A powerful audio-visual manifestation of that insight became the signature for the mutual funds brand in a usually bland category. The current work is no less, rooted in another truth that finds wonderful expression on film. The creative approach of focusing on restaurant owners who don’t eat their outlet’s food works as a perfect parallel to highlight promoters investing in their fund. It also lends itself to vibrant humour aided by the signature soundtrack. Besides a decent idea and above par execution, what separates these pieces of work is the insight they are born from.


Parachute Advansed | Thank You Nurses

It’s nice to see a national brand addressing the Onam festival. It makes imminent sense because the people who celebrate the festival are huge consumers of the category. That apart, they are also known to contribute huge numbers to the nurse population across the country. Urging people to dedicate their ‘pookolams’ to nurses is a win-win tribute.


Horlicks | Tum Kab Itne Bade Ho Gaye

The very best visualisation of milk, wheat and vitamins, or the most articulate explanation of their benefits, would not have created the wholesomeness this spot delivers. The commercial shifts the pivot from ‘helps in growth’ to a girl who is now all grown up and the magic moment when her mother realises it with wonderment. The brand is speaking to mothers in the right tone of voice – the young woman nonchalantly replaces the car’s tyre while her mother looks for help (added points for the younger daughter extending a helping hand). There’s no song and dance around the empowered portrayal of the next generation of women and there shouldn’t be. This should be the new normal.


iDIVA | Nip In The Bud

A brand that speaks to women is speaking for women. This film has a critical message: if you don’t report sexual harassment, you are encouraging it. And this message comes through the tears of a mother who did not report the harassment she faced. A good 23 years later, her daughter suffers, thanks to the same perpetrator. If we can celebrate ‘Brotherhood Day’ with advertising, no harm in marking the #MeToo anniversary with such persuasive reminders of the rot that was rooted in the workplace – and possibly still is.

Tanishq Ekatvam | The Beauty Of Oneness

Reams have been written about this ad, the social media backlash it received from one segment of India and its subsequent withdrawal by the brand. A lot of people have expressed disappointment with the brand for giving into the trolls and withdrawing the ad. There is, as is evident, nothing wrong with the piece of communication. It’s hard to believe that it was just the social media attacks that prompted its withdrawal by the brand, one that has consistently broken new ground with its communication. I, for one, certainly do not know all the factors that contributed to the withdrawal of this wonderful film, and will hence give the benefit of doubt to a brand that made another noteworthy attempt to inspire positive change.

The film celebrates the beauty of oneness and is a befitting beacon for the spirit of a collection named Ekatvam. It exudes the warmth of harmony and is an ode to the embracing of diversity, which is the truth of who we are. This could be a landmark moment. One positive outcome of this unfortunate incident is that more voices are speaking up, including those of industry bodies. One hopes that post this episode, brands that can afford to take a stand stay brave. They need to, not just for their own sake but for larger good.


Facebook | Dil Kholo Duniya Khulegi | Pooja Didi

Do such people actually exist? The truth is they do and thank god for that. We have seen employers of all kinds during the lockdown and we have seen many sides to each employer, even. Some have risen in stature, like Pooja ‘didi’ here. It is no coincidence that she has no investors or shareholders to answer to. But she is answering her heart with her actions, with no expectations. And that fetches her returns in the most unlikeliest of ways. Cinematic, yes. But the embellishment is atop the human truth of inherent goodness and intent to help fellow humans in need. That Facebook has managed to seamlessly not just embed itself in this story but become the enabler of the plot is the icing on the cake. That we are in awe of how a film of over 7 minutes manages to keep us hooked throughout is testament to the skills employed. When the bar is set this high, the list of ads reviewed alongside it is bound to get shorter.

Tinder | #InOurOwnWay

This ode to young love is worth listening to on loop. Without doubt, a soundtrack like this can elevate a film. That said, you need the visuals to match the vibrant tone. The film needed to capture the spirit of the youngsters featured in it and addressed by it. This piece of work doesn’t just tick all the boxes, it speaks the language of the young while celebrating their individuality. It also ensures representation of the LGBT+ community, making it inclusive. Tinder seems to have got the pulse of the young allowing it to create this fresh piece of work, using the backdrop of the lockdown to good effect.


Behrouz Biryani | Make Every Moment Special

Another instance of a piece of work elevating the communication in the category and raising the bar. The storyline is simple and not far removed from reality. Whether it’s a birthday or some other celebration, it’s not uncommon to visit an orphanage or share the joy with others less privileged. What is uncommon here is a brand that bills itself as ‘The Royal Biryani’ having the courage to take this seemingly less regal route. The picturisation and narration ensure that the brand remains true to its royal promise while scripting this soulful celebration.

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