Brands that cut through: OnePlus, Aashirwad, Scarecrow M&C Saatchi, Kia Sonet, Dabur Rheumatil, Khatabook, CRED, Allen Solly, PokerStars India
By Gokul Krishnamoorthy
OnePlus Nord | Dear Past
It’s been a while since we saw the kind of buzz around a launch that one witnessed last week, for the OnePlus Nord. Adding to it was speculation on its pricing on social media. That aside, the brand made quite a statement with this film. The copy is evocative and progressive, yet relatable: “It’s not about revolting about the past, it’s about staying true to who we are, what we do and what we make. Because, if we’re not living our true self, we’re not living at all.” The work pins OnePlus as the harbinger of change while managing to keep the mobile phone in the picture. The promise at the end therefore raises expectations.
Aashirwad | Har Maa Ek Ashirwad
This heartwarming ode to every mother puts her on the pedestal she deserves, her true worth realised in the challenging times of the lockdown. Strong on insight, succinct in execution and powered by truth poetically and respectfully told, there’s a lot working for this piece of work. Coming from a category that has traditionally addressed mothers, it’s also a perfect fit.
Scarecrow M&C Saatchi | The Untold Love Story
This ‘untold’ but evergreen love story between baarish and chai is unhurried and told tastefully. The visuals make one ache for the comfort of a warm cup while watching the rain. There’s only one question that came to mind after seeing this film. Why isn’t a tea brand owning this?
Kia Sonet | #TheNextLevelOfWild
The work stays true to the Kia lingo we’ve seen so far, and hence stays distinctive. #TheNextLevelOfWild by itself is a standout promise and the teaser manages to build excitement around it. The film raises expectations. One assumes that is what it was meant to do.
Dabur Rheumatil | The Man Who Walked The Earth
The story of Sivan, a retired postman from Tamil Nadu, has been doing the rounds of news and social media for a few weeks now. He was in the news because he braved the wild and walked for miles each day to do his duty. This Dabur brand has managed to ride on that story legitimately because of the connect it has with walking (pain relief) even when Sivan is not endorsing it. Several brands are telling stories of inspiring individuals (read content, as against campaigns) today around intangible, shared values. This one goes an extra mile with context.
Khatabook | Thank You Dukandar
The small retailers and kiranas were in for praise not just from this brand that caters to them, but also from the privileged, urban lot who had forgotten them. Until the lockdown, that is. This is another case of the lockdown shining the spotlight on a category of people, reminding us that ‘They also serve’.
CRED | #BuildingUncles
This series by comedian Rahul Subramanian is a clear winner amongst lockdown content. Any brand that manages to associate with it without it coming across as forced would stand to gain. But therein lies the challenge. In my view, this plug of CRED was done without compromising the humour quotient. Some might have expected Rahul to ask what one does with those 100 points in normal course. But then, even news anchors don’t ask difficult questions, sometimes.
PokerStars India | Are You In?
So the gaming sites are at it, some more aggressively than others. PokerStars India has picked cricket star MS Dhoni for the job. Making things interesting, some of the rockstars on PokerStars are beating Dhoni online in this series. And each of them is a character that commands one’s interest, starting with the body builder selling fruits in the colony.
Allen Solly | Wear A Mask
The pragmatic positivity in this piece of work is just what the doctor ordered for all of us. Too often, talk about being positive borders on eliminating even legitimate criticism. I personally find that hard to endorse, because humans and brands need to speak up for what they believe in if they need to remain relevant and respected. But you can urge people to wear a mask with positive strokes, like Allen Solly manages to do here. “It’s as easy as wearing a smile,” is effortless.
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