Work That Speaks | Ad Reviews | 30 March to 4 April 2021

April 5, 2021 9:00 AM

Brands that cut through: UNAIDS, Vatika Naturals, MTV India, Fevicol, Gulf Oil. Disney+ Hotstar, Hindware, Timex, HealthOK.

Brand campaigns that deserve to be in the spotlight this week.Brand campaigns that deserve to be in the spotlight this week.

By Gokul Krishnamoorthy

UNAIDS | The Mirror | #SeeMeAsIAm

There was a fair bit of online backlash on this subject recently, when Pantene featured this subject as part of its #BeautifuLGBTQ​ series (mid-March). The core message was ‘feeling seen means feeling loved’. It was good to see the brand state that it would double down on fighting transphobia. View the spot below.

The UNAIDS film from India captures the moment of self-realisation of identity by a child while looking at the mirror. The acceptance of the child by the mother and grandmother, after a moment of apprehension, was unexpected and the manner of acceptance is refreshing and celebratory. When one is taking on deep-rooted phobias and ingrained stereotypes, this kind of nuanced yet positive approach helps. The execution leaves no room for complaint and the soundtrack is a booster.

Vatika Naturals | #NotesByNature

Every now and then there comes across a clever use of technology that also manages to link back to the consumer at scale. This could rank as one of them. The tracks are soothing and in sync with ‘nature’ that the brand is trying to own. The ploy of promising to plant a tree for every 1,000 plays too is aligned with nature. So for being on-brand, this gets full marks. To be on-consumer, it might need a bit of a push across markets simply because the genre isn’t K-pop.

MTV India | The Joke Is On Us

Quintessentially MTV brand of quirk on show here in a plot that many will relate to. Tickles the funny bone. Makes you think. Makes a point.

Fevicol | Chehray Par Mask Aur Do Gaj Ki Doori

A timely ‘social experiment’ and one that is quite relevant to the times and the brand. The brand’s digital reach should help the message be seen widely. But the work’s impact would have been far more in the live experience space.

Gulf Oil | Pick Up Barkarar Saalon Saal

The makers must be appreciated for applying their minds to the use of celebrity. A conversation between Dhoni from his early days and the champion Dhoni of his peak sets up the stage nicely for pitching engine oil that keeps his old bike going, as well as ever.

The exchange below will be a treat to Dhoni fans as well.

Disney+ Hotstar VIP | #EntertainmentKaAllrounder

Interesting use of celebrity again. Is it just me or are brands thinking a tad harder these days? Ajay Devgn and Tamannaah Bhatia (in the spots made for the south) pull off solid performances and carry this on their shoulders. The message that there’s more on show at Disney+ Hotstar than the one or two hits of the celebrity featured works well to showcase the spread on offer.

Hindware Appliances | India’s First Foldable Air Cooler

The play on ‘Take it off’ makes this an interesting watch. The product itself addresses a concern of buyers on storing the unit safely in the months when it is not used.

Timex | #WeDontStop

A series of influencers across the world are part of this Timex effort and the Indian face is Sidharth Malhotra. #WeDontStop aligns with the brand that has endured decades and the celebrity whose rise to the top is outlined in the spot.

Health Ok | #HealthOKtoSabOK

This isn’t going to win any awards but deserves to be featured here purely for the choice of actors and their product fit. The exchange flows from there.

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