Overdosing on the ‘Alia’ factor

By: |
New Delhi | Updated: Mar 05, 2018 11:54 PM

Standard Electricals’ new ad tries too hard to cash in on actor Alia Bhatt’s quirkiness. And well, her name, too. Does it work?

Alia Thalia Khalia, alia bhattAlia Bhatt

The Ad

The film, Alia Thalia Khalia, opens with actor Alia Bhatt’s gym trainer pushing her to complete a set of exercises. She tries to stay calm and cheerful by responding with words that rhyme with her name. On completing her exercises, she plops herself on the couch and switches on the Standard Electricals fan, which cools her off instantly, leaving her refreshed.

Target Audience

Youth in metros, tier I and tier II cities.

Business Objective

A brand refresh campaign meant to reinstate its positioning of a brand for the young and energetic. The objective of the communication is to strike a chord with the youth by highlighting Standard’s contemporary product line — water heaters, fans and switches.

The Appeal




Standard Electricals, the value brand from Havells India, has an ad that clearly hopes to cash in on its endorser Alia Bhatt’s quirkiness with a focus on the functional and contemporary nature of Standard’s range of switches, fans and geysers. The TVC plays on both the emotional as well as rational appeal.

Competitive Edge

The ad uses the ‘self-deprecating humour’ style of Alia Bhatt. The current communication of Alia Thalia Khalia complements the actor. Also, unlike the brand’s previous commercials, the current ad shows how each product fits seamlessly into Bhatt’s daily life. The focus is on its TG which is the modern-day consumer who wants style with value.

Tone of Voice



The current ad campaign, comprising three TVCs, has storylines all centred on actor Bhatt’s daily life, unlike previous campaigns where she was seen as a protagonist who doesn’t want to settle for less. The previous campaigns successfully put across the thought of ‘built for young energy’ and the idea of ‘style with substance’, unlike the current so-called refresh. Consider each of the three films, of which two are yet to release — the current ad sees Bhatt’s gym trainer pushing her hard to complete a set of exercises. She tries to stay cheerful by responding with words which have ‘Alia’ in it.

In the film for geysers, she decides to break morning blues with an idea to keep punning with her name, connecting it with day-to-day objects till she come across the Standard Water Heater that instantly heats up the water. Similarly, in the third film, her new cupboard appears to be a misfit as it covers the switch on the wall, but she solves the problem with the use of the Standard ZOE dual orientation switches.

In each film, she spirals into a wordplay and concocts versions of her own name. While the communication complements Bhatt’s bubbly yet quirky persona, there appears to be too much focus on her and how Standard’s products fit into her lifestyle. And frankly, the rhyming words concept isn’t funny enough, with the creative going a bit overboard. Is it tough to get creative in low-involvement categories like these? Maybe. But what is worse than no creativity is creativity that tries a little too hard. And fails in the process.

Rating: 5/10


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