Work That Speaks | Ad Reviews 17 To 31 January 2023 | The Financial Express

Work That Speaks | Ad Reviews 17 To 31 January 2023

Brands that cut through: Jimny, Urban Company, Star Sports, Stoa, Sleepwell, Axis Bank, Croma, Greenlam, Tata Salt, Zlade, ONN, B+L, Hyundai, Aditya Birla, Tanishq, Exide, Varmora, Tata Coffee.

Ad Reviews | January Ad Reviews
Brand campaigns that deserve to be in the spotlight this week.

By Gokul Krishnamoorthy

Jimny | Inspired By #TrueStories

Behold The Jimny | Inspired By #TrueStories

Poetry, in motion, in more ways than one. ‘Inspired by true stories’ may have a familiar ring to it. But with each new story crafted soulfully, a brand is crafted in the mind. Jimny creates a space for itself in the largely ordinary and product-driven passenger automobile ads universe with this entry. The stories being narrated in poetic verse is a deft touch, while some of the stories like the baby coming home are endearing. The Jimny provides enough of an inspirational nudge for anyone considering the category, asking, “What stories will they tell about you?” As powerful as “Make your own road”. As vibrant as “Live young, live free”. Just what was needed for the category.

Urban Company | Bano Marzi Ke Malik 

What a pitch! One can see the thinking here. Time saved is time for loves ones and the things one wants to do. That’s been said in a hundred ways before. This is a good example of a great way to put it across. “Ek waqt tha jab apni marzi se jeene ka haq tha” is a soothing poetic pitch that everyone will relate to. 

As delightful as the Pongal / Sankranthi film that made its way earlier in Tamil and Telugu. 

Perfect, except perhaps for the name board that displays just one name. Just a thought.

Star Sports | #HerStory

History’s ‘His’ becomes ‘Her’ in this statement called ‘Her Story’. Powerful campaign that celebrates the rise of women’s cricket in India. With the under-19 girls team’s win in the inaugural T20 World Cup, this could well be the phase when history is being written. The campaign does justice to the harder odds that these under-celebrated achievers have braved. Mithali told only part of their story. The rest is being written as we speak, with a lot of help from players like Star Sports.  

Stoa | Degree | Stoa Isn’t For You 

Hilarious take on the worth one attaches to degrees. I’m not familiar with Stoa’s product offering, but the pitch of being ‘India’s best alternative to an MBA’ ticks multiple boxes. The films roast the ‘MBA’ bandwagon that’s perhaps been maligned beyond redemption by media rankings (with very few exceptions). You want to laugh along because a joke on the ‘MBA factory’ is worth cheering. The exaggerated humour executed to near perfection helps the brand stand out. Another edtech brand hits the top circuit.  

Sleepwell | Gift Well

Almost every marriage – where the couple plans to move in together thereafter – presents an opportunity for a mattress sale. Sleepwell pitches itself for that opportunity armed with a real insight that most married couples will relate to. The functions and rituals are an endurance test for the bride and groom. Increasingly, this is true even down South where several wedding ceremonies used to be 1.5-hour affairs but have started to include ‘sangeets’ and the like. Often, it is only with pity that one approaches a young couple on the dias to hand over a gift and wish. Sleepwell manages to capture their pain – and subsequent relief – with an affable sense of humour.    

Axis Bank | Republic Day | #23In23

Movingly crafted film where the brand underlines its commitment to get the ‘Indian Sign Language’ recognised in the Constitution. Aptly timed for Republic Day. Written to evoke emotions and empathy, while the notes stoke national pride.

Axis Bank | #DilSeOpen | Lagta Hai Sirf Dil 

Not a new message, not even a new campaign. An older campaign that has been retold in an additional language, staying true to its Republic Day pitch. Axis stays true to the ‘Dil Se Open’ positioning with its Republic Day message and follow-through action.

Croma | A Helping Hand And A Little More | Constitution Of Joy 

It’s refreshing to see a non-festive season film take this emotional route. One gets that this came out around Republic Day when retailers were (and some still are) pushing offers by the dozen to mark the occasion. Thankfully, it didn’t take the patriotic-emotional route but one entwined with a category sold at the store. The grandpa-grandson exchange is touching and even if the ‘social media impact’ formula has been done before, the attempt is heartwarming. You don’t need reason, sometimes a simple idea rooted in life is enough. We all must have been through or seen someone relive through a thing, memories of a loved one who is no more. In this case too, the idea is such memories. It also sells long-lasting products while making the ‘we go the extra mile’ promise. Croma, connects.

Greenlam | We Care 

Another heartwarming story, this one to make a sustainability claim – that the brand sources its wood from sustainable forests. Told through the eyes of a little girl, it’s every bit believable and earnest. 

Tata Salt | Ab #HarSawaalUthega

Who else but kids to ask the questions that matter, without fear or favour? Tata Salt has hit on a fantastic initiative with this Republic Day campaign, one that has a smooth mobile interface using the missed call device and leading callers on to WhatsApp. Where the brand will present the chosen questions isn’t clear. It may be on the packs, one is guessing. Or is it a community that is being built to engage with on WhatsApp (or other digital channels)? Whatever be the path to amplify the questions, the initiative deserves appreciation and one eagerly awaits what’s coming next. Purposefully different and engaging work that aligns with and elevates the ‘Desh ka namak’ brand.        

Zlade Ballistic | Give Your Balls The Respect They Deserve

Quite ballsy, this. The approach should get the brand all the attention it needs. But it is also on point. The biggest pain point with manscaping, that is. Milind Soman seems cut out for the job. Smoothly done.  

ONN | Total Comfort 

So comfortable, you won’t want to let go. We get it. Pictured crisply and the kahani-mein-twist hits home. Sounds great, looks beautiful with a great choice of location too. Why the international models though? Aspirational, I guess. I am sure the brand must have done its research. But one gets the feeling a lot of India may have moved on.

B+L Contact Lenses​ | Be A Superstar 

I am guessing that this trope of a South Indian ‘Superstar’ still works. It’s arguably weak on ideation and gimmicky, but it does the job. Not sure I’ve seen too many B+L ads to comment authoritatively, but it does seem to go further down the ‘Switch to confidence’ pitch from a past (softlens) campaign.

Hyundai | Grand i10 NIOS | More To Life

One of the better ways to show ‘a car so irresistible you can’t stop yourself from taking it for a spin’. In this case, it’s four friends of the newlyweds, from the wedding, taking off in the couple’s car (sans decor though, understandably). A peppy soundtrack matches the playful visuals. The product attributes are interruptions one can live with. 

Aditya Birla Health Insurance | #KyaPeecheChhodaHai | ABHI Karo 

Nice way to link product benefit or incentive and encourage a healthy lifestyle by walking 10,000 steps a day. Getting four of its own customers was another good move. Articulating the pitch as #KyaPeecheChhodaHai provides just the motivation needed to take those steps, spelling out some tangible benefits for making the effort. The ABHI Karo call to action is the lettering on the cake.      

Hyundai Aura | Feel The Pride | Humari Pehli Badi Gaadi 

‘Our first big car’ is a great move that targets the aspirational. It reminds one of the space Honda Amaze moved in on. Here the brand has pitched it with a son’s rise, as proud parents look on. Summed up as ‘Feel the pride’, the film has a feel-good impact even if the intermittent product attributes threaten to kill the warmth.      

Tanishq | Exchange Or Upgrade at 100pc Current Value 

A compelling pitch in case one is looking to gift jewellery. It’s a real problem, especially if one is gifting to the young. And gift vouchers don’t really sound warm enough. Allowing receivers to exchange a piece of jewellery for one of their choice is a great idea. The dadi-girl plot and unapproving mid-generation man deliver performances that make the first film fly.

Meanwhile, a winsome exchange between a woman and her toddler makes the second film soar. 

Exide | Har Day Sun(ny)day

Borders on the ridiculous – on the other side. But it manages to get a bit of our attention and pitch ‘Sun’ while drilling Sunday deep into our brains. The savings pitch isn’t hitting hard enough, one might argue, but ‘Har Din Sunday’ alludes to it and the films lead us down that path.

Varmora | Old Style Se Majaa Nahi Aaya? Try Varmora

Is there an idea here? Besides ‘Majaa nahin aaya’ delivered in a funny manner, perhaps not. But that seems to suffice to pull off this show-and-tell plot. The performances certainly help carry this off and the brevity adds to the mild amusement on offer.  

Tata Coffee Grand Premium 

At first I thought the audio wasn’t playing right, only to realise that the VO has intentionally been kept to a half-whisper. It is intended to complement the effort to create a coffee-gasmic film. The journey of the bean, nurtured with care, should appeal to coffee lovers. 

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First published on: 31-01-2023 at 09:00 IST