More than a quick fix

By: |
Published: September 15, 2015 12:23:08 AM

Finally, in a bizarre sequence, top chefs land up at his home and thrust a mobile phone at him, telling him to ask the ‘baap’, that is, the Askme app, for trendy restaurants.

Campaign: Baap of all trends
Brand: Askme.com
Company: Getit Infoservices
Agency: J Walter Thompson

The Ad

Actor Ranbir Kapoor plays a hassled, middle-class family man who wants to experiment with restaurants to provide new options to his wife and son. But each restaurant recommendation by people around him turns out to be one disaster after another. Finally, in a bizarre sequence, top chefs land up at his home and thrust a mobile phone at him, telling him to ask the ‘baap’, that is, the Askme app, for trendy restaurants. Finally, Kapoor and family are delighted to be at a restaurant of their choice.

Our Take

What is the most important thing for a search platform? A simple and easy user interface for people to find things they are looking for. It goes without saying that search is a space dominated by Google. For any other player eyeing a slice of the search pie and wanting to leave an impact in the minds of consumers, it is important for its campaign to have a narrative which is interesting and spells out its usage.

While the new Askme ad is based on this proposition, when it comes to actually proving it, it fails to drive the point home. The ad film is humourous, we’ll give it that. And the unconventional casting roles can be an eye catcher. But towards the end, the film gets a tad predictable.

Not to mention, by focussing only on restaurants in its communication, Askme runs the risk of being seen as a food ordering app, much akin to Foodpanda or Zomato. Perhaps there should have also been a focus on other services that are hunted down on an everyday basis through a search app. Somewhere, the true proposition gets lost. “Both these campaigns, the one featuring Kapoor and the other one which has Farhan Akhtar selling the fun of retail therapy through Askmebazaar.com, are built on consumer insights,” says Manav Sethi, Group CMO, Askme. “Search has moved from discovery to aggregated opinions and hence Askme assumes that leadership position across India to communicate the best places to eat, wear, relax, etc.”

The availability of an option where consumers can search and transact is something Askme is hoping to convey. “We offer choices, brands and best prices and hence the thought, ‘stress mein don’t go bizarre; shop on askmebazaar’,” adds Sethi.

Moreover, Ranbir Kapoor whom we usually see promoting young, plush, savvy brands such as Pepsi or Renault, appears to be a misfit as his personality does not match with the character he portrays on screen. Kapoor, cast as the middle-income worker Mr. Khanna, tries to look older than his actual age and also flaunts a paunch but none of these elements lend any support to his character. In its entirety, the commercial runs the risk of becoming a blind spot on television.

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