Work That Speaks | Ad Reviews | 9 to 14 March 2021

Brands that cut through: Tanishq, Unacademy, Paytm, Star Disney India, TrueCaller, Fastrack, OkCupid, Dole Juice Gel+, Cadbury Perk, Rupa Frontline, Greenply, Pepsi. Ashirvad, V-Guard, Zee5

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

Tanishq Engagement Rings | #WhenItRingsTrue

An idea so rooted in insight and captured nonchalantly. When the moment rings true, you simply know. A young woman’s indecisiveness vanishes when she senses that moment with her significant other. Tanishq engagement rings are on hand to solemnise the occasion. Top of the heap work that we have come to expect of the brand; yet refreshing in approach.

Unacademy | #TeachThemYoung

This film with its ‘Know when she needs you, know when she doesn’t’ message deals a body blow to patriarchy. The premise of a protective elder brother fighting a boy who gave his sister a love letter – one that he recovers from her bag without her permission – has got ‘Indian cinema’ (of decades past, mostly) written all over it. What has been celebrated as heroism is exposed here for what it is, by the ‘hero’s’ father, who seats his son down for a talk. It takes a brave brand to approach this subject the way Unacademy has. The work bares some home truths about who we are and what we have been conditioned to become. Things that we need to unlearn.

Paytm | The Divide | #FinanciallyEqual

Paytm pulls off a very category-relevant piece of work highlighting the financial inequality that exists between the genders. The construct of this social experiment deserves as much applause as the core idea. Works perfectly well for a financial services brand and women’s day. Here’s hoping the brand takes the conversation forward from here.

Star | Disney India | #BreakTheLoop

It’s heartening to see the media brand throw all its weight behind this wonderful initiative for Women’s Day 2021, making it much more than an ad campaign. The series of spots featuring protagonists from the network’s shows work to amplify the core message. The lead film raises the uncomfortable and unfair questions women are faced with right from childhood. This is the kind of work we need to #BreakTheLoop.

TrueCaller | Shabd | ItsNotOk

‘You don’t need a voice to make yourself heard. You need to expose harassers.’ TrueCaller has taken its fight against those harassing women to the next level with this brilliant film, where a young woman who cannot speak inspires with her courage to speak up against a harasser. Till the very end, we are kept in the dark about her disability but the narrative is taut to keep us hooked until the reveal. Kudos to the brand for staying with the cause, one that is also aligned perfectly with its reason to exist.

Fastrack Reflex 3.0 | #StartAnywhere

Pulsating, signature Fastrack stuff here that is tailored for the product. Staying true to the brand and executing well is all it takes, shows yet another brand, yet again. With a little idea of course, one that gets the message across. In this case, the product births the idea.

OkCupid | Ijazat Hai

This is a reality check on many levels and a wake up call for many of us. Much-needed reminder because once you see this, you realise that we might inadvertently still be biased in our heads and actions. We have miles to go, even in urban, educated, seemingly gender-equal India. It’s a powerful statement coming from a dating brand that is taking a stand.

Dole Juice Gel+ | The Good Jelly

Stop smiling if you can. After the brand got your undivided attention with the WFH comic capers with kids, it pivots around the ‘bad’ side of parenting to pitch ‘The Good Jelly’. Hilariously good. From a product positioning standpoint, it addresses a core category problem and distances itself from ‘bad jelly’ smartly.

Cadbury Perk | #PerkKhaoLightHoJao | Udd Gaye

Perk stays in the fun zone but gets a little lighter, just as the brand doctors ordered. The situation matches the proposition perfectly and the brand ambassador too is perfect for the part. The filmmaking elevates the spot. Pun unintended.

Rupa Frontline | #YehAaramKaMamlaHai | Cricket Match

Another film that looks like it was written for the star. Or is it that some stars make it seem that way? Ranveer Singh was an apt choice for ‘Aaram ka mamla hai’ which is now synonymous with Rupa. Summer has set in and the time is perfect for spelling out the comfort proposition. The cricket match setting provides an interesting backdrop for this hilarious pitch. I hope there is more to come in this series this summer.

Greenply | #StopSayingWomenCant

A self-made woman who doesn’t break despite the many challenges that come her way, to rise in society, inspires us in this spot. While this film for women’s day hits the spot, the other in the ‘self-made’ series delivers well too. I suspect though that the brand will need to do a little more to take ownership of ‘self made’.

Pepsi | Zyada Refreshing | #HarGhoontMeinSwag (2021)

Salman’s swag remains and delivers yet again for Pepsi. Some entertaining banter and smart retorts work as a prelude before the brand promises ‘More refreshing’ Pepsi this summer.

Ashirvad Water Storage Tanks | Keval Ashirvad Dijiye

Smart word play backed by a delightful film. Keeping it light can sometimes help make it unforgettable as brand after brand has shown us in the past. I am not sure if ‘Ashirvad’ as a platform has legs or whether it needs to, but will work wonders for the brand if it does.

V-Guard Air Coolers | Long Lasting Cooling

I think this might align better with something like instant cooling or powerful cooling rather than long lasting cooling, but the quirky approach works nevertheless ro get one’s attention and hold you till the end. With spots like this, execution is king. And it doesn’t disappoint.

Zee5 | #AnyTimeManoranjan

A clear proposition of ‘Anytime Entertainment’ (for free) comes through sans ambiguity in a lively 30 seconds.

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