Work That Speaks | Ad Reviews 7 to 14 March 2023

Work That Cut Through: Horlicks,, Samsonite, Matrimony, Britannia, Whisper, Star Sports, Scaler, Josh, Center fresh, Aditya Birla Group, Senco, Zee Sarthak, Croma, Kotak General Insurance, Eveready, Meesho, Urban Company, Luminous, TVS, Kurkure, 7Up, Tetley, Ikea.

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

Horlicks | Taller, Stronger, Sharper | Now It’s Your Turn Ma (Tamil)

My sincere apologies to readers more than anyone else for missing out on featuring this campaign, which I noticed on TV only quite recently. It went online about six months ago. The mother-son exchange is every bit as endearing as the ‘Tum kab ithne bade ho gaye’ film featuring the mother and daughter, while changing the car tyre. A second in the series is always at a disadvantage and the language perhaps was another challenge to this taking wing. But it deserves a place here for speaking to mothers and children alike and imprinting the ‘taller’ (and stronger, smarter) message yet again. | Apna Ghar

You don’t always have to take the emotional route to highlight a social issue and here is proof. While the issue highlighted is serious, the brand has managed to pull it off using humour. A brilliant performance from the protagonist and smart writing take this to another plane, despite its length. If the house she grows up in is not her ‘Apna ghar’, what is? And what a way to say it! Team, take a bow.

Samsonite | #TestedLikeSamsonite | Bharatnatyam

The brand hit bull’s eye with ‘Tested Like Samsonite’ and is now taking the narrative further. This is the perfect extension of that thought, executed literally. What an idea.

While Bachchan Senior and Yuvraj Singh represented the ‘tested’ for mettle in the ad campaign, this Insta Reel pins the product advantage with a classical dancer. The execution makes a huge difference – it can make someone stay on till the end for the value of the content, or move on by dismissing it as an ad. This one makes one stay despite the ‘wow’ moment kicking in (pun unintended) fairly early. Makes us wonder, “What next?”

Bharat Matrimony | Some Colours Don’t Wash Away

‘This Women’s Day, let’s choose to celebrate Holi in a way that is safe and inclusive for women’ says the brand. The woman who washes off the colours on her face can’t seem to get rid of all of them – because some of them are scars. Arguably, the visual was more suited to a domestic violence campaign than harassment during Holi. But it’s the thought that counts and in the face of a troll attack, solidarity matters. Harassment during Holi is real. And if that trauma is reflected in colours, it doesn’t wash away easily. The brand has tweaked its original film but the core thought remains. Who better than Bharat Matrimony to champion women’s causes?

Britannia Marie Gold | Let’s Keep It Going

A profound question from a curious fellow woman worker, who is unaware of Women’s Day, wakes us up. To the question: Is this celebration when women are recognised for their contributions, for just one day?

Unwittingly – or otherwise I am hoping – the brand has also touched upon another and relevant thought without spelling it out in as many words: Are we doing justice to women from the lower strata and in blue-collar jobs? Do they not deserve the respect for achieving what they have, doing what they do, like their more privileged counterparts?

Points to ponder over a cup of tea and some Marie.

Whisper | The Missing Chapter – For Moms | Keep Girls In School

The conversation needs to keep going until the dropouts cease. And that is far away. From girls to mothers, the educational effort on periods continues. This time, through two girls who are keen to see their friend back in school.

Star Sports | IPL 2023 | Shor On, Game On!

The promos are as much about the IPL as they are about which medium it needs to be watched on. The Star Sports pitch is bang on. It brings alive the collective spirit of celebrations around the tournament, a collective TV experience. The cutouts of players coming to life is a nice touch. The soundtrack is a boundless stream of energy that matches the visuals, capped off by the IPL bugle.

Scaler | Hunger To Learn | Scale The Hunger

The difference between dreamers and those with hunger is that the latter move towards their dreams and work to realise them. They do. Visualised evocatively, this seemingly ordinary script (on paper) comes to life on screen. The desert office set-up helps up the ante. Should trigger some techies to look beyond their dreams and take a step towards Scaler.

Josh | #SafeSwipe

Interesting campaign, this. Driven by a real insight – that the ‘pretend call’ is indeed used as a lifeline. It’s a wonderful idea where the initiative employs technology and the brand’s own medium to solve a real problem. And it works. It should, unless the potentially dangerous driver sees the campaign video/s for himself. A link back to call an SOS number or alert someone might have been a useful value add, says one woman I asked for feedback. Another says the difference between a real ‘pretend call’ and this are (i) the video giving the impression that someone is watching and (ii) the prompts. The prompts may be useful if one is lost for words, she adds.

Center fresh | #SochKaroFresh

It’s not the campaign film that pulled this in this week but the idea of awarding five women ushering in diversity into their professions Rs.1 lakh each. The initiative microsite allows one to nominate women they know for the award and that’s commendable. While the video and use of rap helps the brand retain the youthful feel that Center fresh is known for, the initiative aligns with another facet that the youth can drive – change, on the ground. One may be tempted to think that a fresh gum should stay in the fresh romance zone, or one might think differently. With #SochKaroFresh, Center fresh is urging people young and old to celebrate the changemakers, and celebrate diversity. This is a thought the youth with relate to, told in a language they understand.

Aditya Birla Group | The Right Answer | Let’s Celebrate Ambitions Equally

A thought-through lead-in takes us to the reveal when the people the young woman and man are speaking with on their respective video calls are on screen. While the girl’s is a matrimony interview, her brother’s is revealed to be a job interview. Putting aside the unlikely nature of the life match interaction, this was a great idea. Chances are that one gets drawn in, and there is no doubt that we want to applaud what happens in the end.

Senco | #SunoJohTumChunho

This isn’t an entirely new thought: Ignore the comments (read noise), and listen only to what your heart chooses. Articulated attractively as #SunoJohTumChunho and visualised through typical situations women go through, this one works as a package. Making up for the lack of a breakthrough idea is the writing.

Zee Sarthak | Naari | Women’s Day

Maa Durga fought Mahishasura for 15 days while he kept changing forms, we have known, before defeating him. “But that’s now what happens in my house,” says a young kid to his teacher, as he draws the scenario that plays out at home. A simple message from the brand rooted in culture in the context of a large number of cases of domestic violence going unreported. Powerful.

Croma | Tech The First Step

While one is all for the larger idea that might broadly be categorised under the aegis of mansplaining related to tech, some might actually view this as a portrayal of the female gender as late adopters/dependents until now. Let’s evaluate for intent and not punch holes in a sincere attempt. The overall effort deserves applause for spotlighting something that happens in everyday life, mostly unknowingly, not just in areas of technology and gadgets but across the board. The execution has finesse as the thought has depth. What starts at an innocent young age continues, and needs to be changed right at the beginning, is the message. That message blooms beautifully without a trace of negativity, while still waking us up to the harsh reality.

Kotak General Insurance | Drive Like A Lady (2023) | Bas Chal Padi Main

“Bas chal padi main.
Chalte chalte taqdeer ko chalana bhi seekha.
Andheron main ummeed ko jalana bhi seekha.”

A story of helping hands instilling hope, helping a woman rise from the depths of uncertainty and despair, a story of empowerment and self-reliance that emerged after one shunned a life affected by domestic violence, for the sake of her children. Anita, whose true story this is, and the brand which is continuing on the chosen path of celebrating women drivers, deserve applause. The one who wrote the lines should get the credit for adding magic to an inspiring tale.

Eveready | Is LIght Se Sab Kuch Bright

Seems familiar? So be it. Simple, to the point, centred on the ubiquitous selfie. Neighbours of all hues want in. Made watchable.

Meesho | #NoBiasInBuisness | BusinessWomen Class of 2023

So Meesho deserves more than a pat on the back for bringing into its fold 1.5 lakh businesses helmed by women from across the country. There has been a conscious effort and that needs to be commended. The film to send that message across on Women’s Day does its job without too much of a fuss or hurry, aided by decent production and good choice of music.

Urban Company | Unlock What You Deserve | Laptop Repair

‘You never know when your laptop is going to develop a snag, but you can get it repaired right away’ is the loose translation. The kid and the ball knocking the beverage onto the laptop is a great place to start. Before we know it, Urban Company is in the picture. By the time you think of switching, the commercial is over.

Luminous | #WomenInEnergy

You can showcase some people in your sector and say that there needs to be a difference. Or, you can tell a relatable story based on gender nuances unique to the Hindi language, using a delightful young girl. The perfect foundation is laid using the child and her struggles with gender attributions, to shine the torch on Babburi Shirisha, who we are told fought legal battles to become the first line-woman in India in 2022. Thereafter comes a commitment from the company to improve the number of #WomenInEnergy. Luminous, connects.

TVS Motor Company | Manao #YehHoliHelmetWaali

A safety message from a brand that has a right to speak about the cause, is always welcome. This one comes from TVS Motor Co., headquartered in the South but present nationally, a company expected to be among the top two two-wheeler makers in India by 2030, according to analyst JPMorgan. Whether or not that EV-led prediction pans out, this is a delightful Holi film with pan-India appeal. ‘The preparations are not complete without the helmet’ message is spelt out by an older man in this otherwise youthful film.

Kurkure | Halke Mein Lo | Aliens

The first in the series featuring a ‘ghost’ had the advantage of being the first and stole the thunder. This ‘Aliens’ spot is spot on in terms of owning the irreverent positioning with humour, staying somewhere in the 5 Star’s ‘Do Nothing’ and Perk’s ‘Light’ zone. It has enough to totally arrest the attention of a 10-year-old I checked with. Full marks for consistent, new positioning. The brand seems to be consciously addressing a younger audience, unlike the days of ‘Tedha hai par mera hai yeh’.

7Up | Super Duper Refresher

The promise of a refreshing blast visualised with some effort, with the added advantage of a young and relatively fresh face, works.

Tetley Green Tea | #EveryBodyCan

Too thin, too big? Move over labels. Every ‘body’ can, says Tetley, in a message aligned with the category promising fitness. Fitness is not about the physique, the brand seems to underline, showcasing a seemingly overweight mother running up to stop her child’s school bus and a slightly built woman pumping weights well over her weight. What’s common is all the ladies take society by surprise because of our conditioning to attach perceptions on health to physiques. Good one to run for women’s day.

Ikea | Come Home To Ikea | Organised Storage

‘Come Home to Ikea’ takes another turn, this time towards storage. The functional utility of the storage is established through the ‘search’ plots. Compelling pitch for most households, especially those with kids. Told well too.

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First published on: 15-03-2023 at 10:14 IST
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