A season of festive ads

By: | Updated: October 17, 2017 1:01 AM

BrandWagon presents a selection of festive campaigns that managed to create noise this year — the blockbusters that tugged at our heartstrings, and those that turned out to be damp squibs

Festive campaigns that managed to create noise this year.

BrandWagon presents a selection of festive campaigns that managed to create noise this year — the blockbusters that tugged at our heartstrings, and those that turned out to be damp squibs

Amazon’s tayyari for Diwali

Brand: Amazon India
Agency: Ogilvy & Mather
Rating: Thumbs Up

Amazon India continues with its feel-good theme in this year’s Diwali advertising. Where last year was about bringing home joy and #AdjustNoMore for the festive occasion, this year Amazon brings the story of a brother and a sister trying to shop for Diwali for themselves and for home despite not living together. We liked the bond depicted in the ad and how it carries the story forward. The missing home and missing being with family angles, while widely exploited in festive advertising, are done right for this one. The brother represents the consumer segment that is well accustomed to shopping online; the sister is the one who is discovering the benefits of shopping for the festive season online. Throughout the sale period, there were a few more ads rolled out from Amazon’s stable, eventually featuring the parents as well, but the core message crafted well creatively, remains highlighting how shopping for festivals on Amazon comes with great deals and minus the offline ‘hassle’.

Too wide a smile?

Brand: ShopClues
Agency: Enormous Brands
Rating: Thumbs Down

Personifying people’s smiles, Shopclues’ Sabsi Badi Smile ad makes a feeble attempt to say that users will not be able to hide their smiles once they see the offers available during the sale. The last festive season too saw ShopClues come up with a not-so- intriguing ad highlighting the offers and deals around its Diwali sale. But this time, the brand uses an old joke referring to its protagonist as Smile (pronounced ‘Ismail’ in the TVC) — a metaphor for joy that is omnipresent around its customers. Given the fact that the brand is trying to reach out to tier II, III and IV markets, the move to keep it simple yet memorable through a visual icon is graspable, but it is the overall execution that makes us question the ad. It seems ShopClues is trying to stretch its smile — and creativity — a tad too wide!

Those kids are back!

Brand: Flipkart
Agency: Lowe Lintas
Rating: Thumbs Up

Shopping before the festive season is as old as the festivals in India. The discount season is at its peak during this period, with every company trying to woo the customer with some ‘offer’. Flipkart brings back its classic bunch of children acting as adults in its festive ad this year too, once again striking the right cord with customers with its The Big Billion Days 2017 campaign. The campaign (eight films in total), has two central characters — a frustrated one complaining about the ever-growing inflation, and the other who presents Flipkart’s The Big Billion Days 2017 as a solution to rising prices. The well-executed campaign does justice to its counterpart from last season, Itne mein itna milega, as well with similar relatable situations and perfect comic timing. It does make one feel tempted to believe Ab Mehengaai Giregi and log on.

A visual treat!

Brand: Sony Bravia
Agency: McCann Worldgroup
Rating: Thumbs Up

True to the Diwali spirit and presenting all hues of the festivities is Sony Bravia’s Colours of Tradition ad film. It is a simple ad with a very clear-cut brief to highlight the features of Sony’s new range of Bravia TVs. But the execution is brilliant! The TVC celebrates colours and its importance in our tradition through a truly Indianised musical narrative, all this while focussing on the picture quality and sharp detailing like the brightness of the diyas to the colours of the rangoli. It is only towards the end that one realises that they are viewing the ad through a Sony Bravia TV — a good way to integrate the product into a festive ad film. Full marks to the brand for moving away from its dull ad last year that attempted to deliver the same message through a colourful dance performance but failed to engage with the viewers. This one surely lights it up!

Ticks all boxes, but fails to connect

Brand: Big Bazaar
Agency: DDB Mudra
Rating: Mediocre

Diversity, check. Celebrations, check. Message, check. The Big Bazaar Diwali ad which showcases various festivals — right from Holi to Christmas — ticks all the boxes of festive advertising. The films for the Har Tyohhar Mein campaign show people celebrating festivals together and gifting each other items bought from Big Bazaar — an example of how a brand can simply put its message across. However, there is nothing new which the TVC brings to the table. Diwali being one of the biggest festivals in India and with brands going overboard to make the consumer sit up and take notice, Big Bazaar doesn’t stand out from the crowd. Unlike last year’s campaign #YehDiwaliSabkiWali (where the protagonist celebrates with blind children which also started conversation about a safe Diwali with the Paper Patakha film), this one struggles. It is just another festive ad which may be forgotten even before the season is over.

Presenting Diwali, quite literally

Brand: OnePlus
Agency: Dentsu Digital
Rating: Thumbs Down

OnePlus has fused the promotion of its OnePlus 5 and Diwali advertising into one, the result of which is The Perfect Partner for a #HappyDiwali. If Christmas has Santa Claus as a ‘bringer of things’ personality associated with it, then OnePlus has taken it upon itself to present us with an equivalent — it gives us Diwali, a svelte, decked up in a glittery-golden top woman (cheekily also addressed as India’s best marketer). Diwali is seen doing everything for you from shopping for firecrackers to approving your office leaves. Finally, fulfilling everyone’s festive wishes single-handedly takes a toll on her. Enter OnePlus 5 which turns her into a super-festival- hero (erm) that allows her the bandwidth to multitask. Summary: a smartphone so awesome that it brings a huge change in the life of an almost magic-wielding superwoman! The ad might bring in the silly laughs but at the end of the day, it is clearly just a product commercial.

Giving wing to aspirations

Brand: Pepperfry
Agency: Law & Kenneth Saatchi & Saatchi
Rating: Thumbs Up

From last year’s Iss Diwali, Kuch Badalke Dekhiye featuring an army man which raised pertinent points on being a do-gooder, this year the Rajkumar Rao-starrer ad makes a case for Iss Diwali ummeidon ko badhne dijiye. Trust the actor to keep you hooked on, even it is for a oft-repeated theme of category sale this festival. The ad delivers on the key premise of being well-executed and strategically strong. In the latest Happy Diwali Sale ad, Rao along with his on-screen partner personify the dilemma of every urban couple — whether to give wings to your aspirations or curb them, especially when you have to buy gifts for others and pay for EMIs. However, the ad does follow the cliché of a man surprising his lady by fulfilling her dream. That said, the ad delivers well on driving the message of splurging on one’s home — taking forward the idea that Indians prefers to redo their interiors and please the goddess of wealth on this festival. As e-commerce gives a run for the money to retail stores, the ad is not only well-timed but may also deliver well for the brand.

#YouAreTheFestival is simply bland

Brand: Jabong
Agency: In-house
Rating: Thumbs Down

It is not every day that you come across an ad that fails to connect, at literally every level. Jabong’s #YouAreTheFestival tanks, and how! Though we understand the need to connect with regional target groups by featuring Bengali actor Jisshu Sengupta in Kolkata’s Durga Puja setting, the need to create an almost three-minute ad with no clear message seems like such a waste. The ad focusses on the reunion of a music band, with the band members shopping for Fossil watches — no one knows why, and the ad fails to clear the air. Even though they do create music, it does not touch the heart neither does it manage to draw focus to Jabong’s collection. Last year’s ad, by Happy mcgarrybowen, was far more festive in spirit (and well, even made sense). The music was soothing too and showed its elaborate festive collection. This festive ad is, well, bland! At most it looks like a wannabe music video with none of the stories strung well together.

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