By Gokul Krishnamoorthy
More than one well meaning column-watcher has brought to my attention the recent deodorant ad banned by the I&B Ministry. It was unbelievably gross. This column is not meant for reviewing such ads. It is ironic that the brand is getting undue visibility (along with the said ads) because of the ban. And I humbly submit that a ban alone in this particular case is grossly inadequate; we need stronger deterrents to prevent such work from being conceptualised. The brand behind the ads must be made to pay. Let us not forget that such ads bring disrepute to advertising.
Onto the ones that worked legitimately and cut through the clutter respectably.
MAGGI | 2 Min Safai Ke Naam
It’s World Environment Day (5 June) and here’s a much-loved brand thoughtfully reminding people to dispose of its product wrappers in dry waste bins. It does so while building on its 2-minute messaging and underlining its irreplaceable place in consumers’ lives. While the first half of the film stands tall by itself, the social messaging gets the needed push from Rajkummar Rao.
Manyavar | #NayeRishteNayeVaade | The Ideal Dulha
This seems like a throwback to ‘The Complete Man’ but is firmly ensconced within the brand’s own #NayeRishteNayeVaade arc. The film, which went live on the brand’s social media pages in end-April, is a befitting addition to the brand’s campaigns over the years. Kartik Aaryan, the chosen theme, the direction and production values ensure that there is no dip in the brand’s voice even after the high profile Anushka-Virat phase. The shift from ‘Ideal Dulhan’ of yore to the ‘Ideal Dulha’ is subtle yet telling.
The Man Company | #GiftYourDadAHug
Another warm father-son exchange hits us well ahead of this year’s Father’s Day. Ayushmann Khurrana as the son stands out and the father’s character doesn’t disappoint. A nice lead in comes in the form of the engineer-turned-chef son’s backstory. The father cooking for his son, the chef, is a beautiful thought. The layer of fathers hiding their affection behind a curt visage is real and relatable. Will appeal to fathers, will appeal to sons. Exactly what a brand appealing to men would want.
Sony Sports Network | England vs India | Ab Hogi Dhulai
So the exchange between actor Pankaj Tripathi and Indian cricketer Smriti Mandhana continues. This film builds up to the India vs England part of the men’s cricket lined up for viewers. The ‘dhulai’ is visualised funnily and should appeal to the audience. The promo also covers up for any eventuality – if India fails to take England to the cleaners in the pending sixth and final Test (India leads 2-1), there are the ODIs and T20s to follow, says Tripathi. Effectively promoting the entire series too.
Cadbury Perk | #LightHoJao
#LightHoJao gets some whacky treatment here. The long-running Alia-as-elevated-bride spot is still top of mind but these films present a fresh and lighter (pun unintended) approach to #LightHoJao.
Zindagi Active | Dish TV | Kahaniyan Jinme Aapo Aapka Chehra Nazar Aaye
I suspect the promo borrows from the original (channel) brand Zindagi, which is now finding a second life as Zindagi Active. Nevertheless, this is a promo worthy of a storytelling brand. The unambiguous proposition finds poetic articulation.
Colgate Visible White O2 | #SmileOutLoud
We’ve heard brands urge people to be themselves, especially women conscious of their skin or appearances. Colgate adds teeth to the mix and says whatever be the reason for people to stare at you, #SmileOutLoud. The message of ‘visibly white teeth in 3 days’ rings loud and clear, riding on the social message. I hope the claim and the fine print keep this film from trouble.
Tata Tiscon | #ItsOurNature
Why care for the trees? Because we care for our lungs. And so on. A logical argument that takes the pitch to its rightful place. ‘It is our nature’ says Tata Tiscon this World Environment Day. The strategy and writing elevate the stock imagery and its use, making the effort add up to a lot more than the sum of the parts.
Dettol Original | New Germ Defence-Shield
There’s a twist of the narrative here to make it interesting. Instead of spelling out why the product with ‘Germ-Defence Shield’ is relevant for their respective families, the homemakers’ mildly sarcastic and circuitous answers prove to be more likeable responses. In the process, all that the ‘Shield’ protects one from play out on screen.
Joy E-bike | There Is No Planet-B
‘There is no Plan B’ and ‘There is no Planet B’ have been around for a while now. It’s not a new thought but it’s the first time I recall seeing a film built around it by an EV brand. It is an apt route for a brand in the category. The father-son exchange on careers offers a nice path to the message.
I’m not sure of the need to show the father smoking, though. If tobacco advertising on TV is not allowed, I am not sure this should be allowed, despite the statutory warning.
ACKO | Buy Direct And Save
The series which started with Great Khali and Murthy in March has seen additions in April and May 2022, also featuring ‘Murthy Man’. Funny, irreverent and making the point without much ado, these are a treat to watch. Even so, the brand’s messages of ‘savings’ and ‘24-hour settlement’ are unmissable.
BPL | #HappyLittleThings (2022)
The ‘little happy things’ campaign makes a comeback, celebrating the little joys of everyday life — that the BPL product range can bring to life. While the serendipity of the inaugural season can’t be matched, this offers a nice and warm reminder of that thought.
Meesho | Maha Indian Savings Sale
Earth-shattering? No? Does the job? Yes. Short, watchable and they deliver the message.
IKEA | Great Products. Small Prices.
Why should you go over to an Ikea showroom? The brand is promising great designs, at attractive prices, and countless choices. Simple. And this is visualised with good use of sound as a device of human expression.
A set of videos have also gone live promoting a new store coming up in Bengaluru. These films lead viewers in with themes like doing up a living room or kitchen, only to reveal that it is actually Ikea staff getting those parts of the stores ready, for customers. Smartly done.
Himalaya BabyCare | World Environment Day
It makes sense for a brand that is built on ‘nature’ to bat for World Environment Day. The brand’s BabyCare range is the vehicle chosen for the mission. The message is simply a wish on the occasion, while the AV showcases children doing their bit by planting trees. By not preaching and keeping it simple, the brand seems to have struck a working formula.
Oreo | Bubbles Of Play
‘Stay Playful’ finds another manifestation in this ‘bubbly’ spot. It flows naturally, has been made extremely well and certainly appeals to kids. A nine-year-old vouches for it.
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