Work That Speaks | Ad Reviews | 22 to 28 Feb 2021

Brands that cut through: Dove, Surf Excel, Britannia Little Hearts, Tata Sky, Levi’s, Blue Heaven, Prega News, Eastern Condiments, Britannia Tiger, Trident, aLL, Spice Money, McDonalds, Tanishq, 99 Acres, Dulux, IKEA, Tata Power, Aaj Tak.

Brand campaigns that broke through the clutter this week.
Brand campaigns that broke through the clutter this week.

By Gokul Krishnamoorthy

Dove | #StopTheBeautyTest

Dove has stood for ‘Real Beauty’ and done so emphatically, the world over. In this campaign for India, it seems to have found the local connect that makes the work resonate at a much deeper level, and I would contend with a far wider audience. The work is also very real, based on some young women who have compelling stories to tell about the world judging them by their looks. If there is one situation where young women are judged the most by their looks, it is this – these are stories every young woman in an arranged marriage scenario can relate to. The brand manages to come across as a liberating messenger championing change from the current reality, while underlining ‘real beauty’.

Surf Excel | Jo Dilon Ko Paas Laayein, Woh #RangAchheHain

We have come to expect the work from Surf Excel for Holi and Ramzan, and the brand doesn’t disappoint this Holi. While retaining the emotional flavour that is now the brand’s festive staple, the work also touches upon the need to take safety precautions during the high-touch festival.

Britannia Little Hearts | The Gift | #BreakSomeHearts

“Who says heartbreaks can’t be sweet?” asked Britannia Little Hearts in this lighthearted spot ahead of Valentine’s Day. The ‘passing the parcel’ of sorts ends in a few heartbreaks, but then Little Hearts comes to the rescue. I’m not sure you could call it happy, but the film has a heartwarming ending.

Tata Sky | Is Khidki Ko Khol Dala Toh Life Jingalala

From DTH services being the upgrade from cable, they are now the norm. Tata Sky stars as the window that opens people up to the world – of entertainment, news, sports and emotions. The motley set of people and kinds of environments pictured seem to underline a massive audience of the masses served by Tata Sky. The jingle and picturisation makes the film more than watchable, more than once.

Levi’s | When You Take A Step, We All Move

When a woman takes a step forward, the lot of women move forward, and so does the world. This “We all move” spot with Deepika Padukone hones and takes forward that thought evocatively, while staying within the expressive Levi’s zone. Throbbing with life and energy, the film manages to celebrate womanhood wholeheartedly.

Contrary to the noise on social media, I would contend that the brand needs to be commended for its choice of brand ambassador. She has retained her poise as a woman of substance that girls and other young women look up to. There’s no end to criticism. Even the Dove work has been criticised by some for positioning marriage as an end point. It should be viewed as the starting point of the conversation.

Blue Heaven | O Beauty Beauty

Is there an air of familiarity around the approach? Yes. Is there an air of freshness around it, too? Yes again. Is it watchable? Very much. Is it worth watching again and again? Oh yes. Aided by a soundtrack that you can tap your foot to and camera work that is arresting, the spot is a celebration of every woman going about her everyday life, with a little help from Blue Heaven. Just to be sure, I checked with a few members of the target gender, aged 14 to 41. They agree that this is indeed a refreshing beauty in the category.

Prega News | #SheIsCompleteInHerself​

There’s an obvious truth that’s not been told often enough. In a childless couple, the woman suffers the societal stigma more. Despite the standing of the woman in society, she can be made to feel inadequate. This is the story of a respected teacher who plays a key role in the joint family but does get affected by the fact that she is childless. How the family stands by her is a positive take on the situation to make a strong point: #SheIsCompleteInHerself. This is a laudable attempt coming from a brand that says, ‘Prega News means good news’.

Eastern Condiments | #Bhoomika 2021 (Malayalam)

So this brand has been calling out to people to nominate the iconic women in their life, to be honoured on Women’s Day. The call for entries this year is this film, based on a true story. You don’t really need subtitles to get it. An ode to the many roles they effortlessly play.

Britannia Tiger | Krunch Khao, Punch Dikhao

This action-packed content package ticks the boxes at many levels. From choice of subject to ambassador, it is tailored for the audience it addresses. Parents would approve, too. The device of a site where one can also get certificates printed takes the work full circle. This is the kind of credible and relevant content brands need to publish going over and above their advertising. In this case, it also doubles up as its advertising in part.

Trident | The Good Paper

I did not know that there was paper made from wheat agro-waste. Since that was news to me, I looked for more. So there are papers made from rice stalks, banana, sugar cane and the like. Chances are that if there are players of scale in this space and if the cost of such eco-friendly paper is comparable to the normal paper, this might trigger the other players and in turn fuel ‘responsible’ paper consumption. If and until that happens, Trident seems to be the only player making the right noises about being ‘The Good Paper’. A good pitch. So far, so good.

aLL | Be Your Own #SizeHappy Star

Haven’t we seen this genre before? Yes we have. Do we need more of this? Yes we do, until body biases are fully negated. And for a brand in the space of plus-size fashion, this is just what the consumer ordered.

Spice Money | Toh Life Bani

‘Sonu Sood in the lockdown’ might just form the script of a marketing story sometime soon. From journalists gushing about the ‘real life hero’ to the endorsement deals that are flowing thick and fast, there’s no stopping him. And he has earned it all. You need a core to do the image building on. He showed the world what he was made up of when people needed help the most.

This spot for Spice Money is absolutely in his zone. Merged with imagery of rural Punjab and villagers are their dreams of progress, eloquently spelt out by Sood.

McDonalds India | #MatchedByYou

Now, mush is something we haven’t seen McDonalds do much of. Actually, this isn’t in the love zone (of a Dairy Milk) but more about clever wordplay and activation. It’s not about sending an SMS or Tweet but actually buying the combo. That’s a challenge the brand has taken upon itself. Here’s hoping the delightful premiere has worthy follow-ups.

Tanishq | #ShagunFor21

‘21 percent off’ isn’t a very exciting message and ‘Upto 21 percent off’ certainly isn’t even remotely interesting. These folks rose to the challenge and delivered an interesting and watchable film driven by the simplest of scripts. Using the backdrop of the lockdown to make it interesting, the spot focuses on the delight of the person receiving the gift because it is now affordable. Spot on.

99 Acres | #IsPlotMainTwistHai | Shanti

A humour plot straight out of a WhatsApp forward has been made into a hilarious film. Such categories need some infusion of such crazy energy once in a while.

Dulux Assurance | Expert Ka Promise

The work picturises promises by experts that reassure their respective clients, leading to a promise from Dulux. ‘Leave it to the experts’ has been broken down for easier consumption.

IKEA | New Roles | Home Is Where It All Begins

Another edition of #HomeIsWhereItAllBegins warms us up with the role of elder sibling that a young boy is gearing up for. Playful exchanges between father and son pave the way to pitch home decor products. The expecting mother, meantime, is at work in an adjacent room.

Tata Power Solaroof | Kamai Badhaye, Dildaar Banaye

A rather nascent category is spelling out its singular benefit without ambiguity here, that of greater savings. With the savings it will enable, one is bound to become generous is the believable hyperbole.

Aaj Tak | Samachar Tamasha Nahi Bharosa Hai

I rarely watch Hindi news channels but can still relate to this. Hilariously recreated impression of current reality. Not too far off, I would think.

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First published on: 01-03-2021 at 09:08 IST