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Advertising - Hotspots and Rankings

They Came, We saw and Everybody Reviewed!

 Spice flo

Baseline: There’s always a smarter way
Agency: Ogilvy India

4Ps B&M Take: What this ad was supposed to achieve is beyond our comprehension? While the same company (Spice) has raked up a top rank in our ads category with the “Subramanyam” projector mobile ad, it is nary unfortunate that they find themselves languishing in this section for a doozy ad that has been made, it seems, just to fill up media space. Two ‘Pride & Prejudiced’ nymphets are attending a marriage, where one stunner shows off her Spice mobile phone to her partner, claiming that not only can the phone take photographs (yes!), it could take videos too (yes! yes!). To prove her claim, the ‘charmer’ video records a key incident during the marriage ceremony on her phone – when the bridegroom’s erstwhile girlfriend walks in with a child and screams, “Peter.” Well, frankly speaking, that’s all that one remembers about the ad. Peter. Neither is there any differentiating feature of the product that is brought out (come on, mobile phones have been recording videos since Ronald Reagan was President... alright, at least since many years), nor does the ad provide any classy innuendo or dilettante comedian or repartee limeric one could take back home. And if you claim that this time you remembered the product’s name, we’d claim that for Peter’s sake, count till ten and try to remember it again...

Baseline: An Idea can change your life
Agency: Lowe Lintas

4Ps B&M Take: If one wants to take lessons on how to destroy a brilliantly conceptualised ad campaign, then look no further, watch the latest Idea 3G creative and you’ll have mastered the art of sabotaging creativity itself. The ad opens with Abhishek Bachchan and well, another Abhishek Bachchan sweating it out on a treadmill debating whether 3G would revolutionise lives. As if these two gentlemen were not enough, the third Jr. Bachchan walks in and orders them to get Idea 3G. And then, he proceeds to fix 3G badges (which look like something that you might spot on Cartoon Network) on to the treadmills. The treadmill speed for both the earlier Bachchans dramatically increases – and finally, the two exclaim to our super 3G Bachchan, what an Idea sir ji. To which, the third Bachchan answers back – 3G! Quite ironic that while the initial ‘Get Idea’ campaign has qualified on the iconic status of cellular phone ads (it’ll take many years for you to forget the context), the latest advertisement has most suboptimally misutilised the potent and latent power of the ‘Get Idea’ campaign. Simply showing three Bachchans and equating them to 3G is, well, close to being called a lame proposition. Is the ad creative? No. Is the ad humorous? Not at all. Does the ad invoke recall? Yes, of course. Will people now go and buy Idea 3G? For the answer to that, talk to us next fortnight. And what should you do till then? You missed the joke... Get Idea!

 An ad is a symbol of painstaking craftsmanship. Elements ranging from product positioning clarity, a power idea to visibility of brand persona and expectancy of communication have to be intelligently weaved together. But some of them rewrite the patience benchmarks of viewers, while some others go the opposite way to just miss out sharing honours at the top. Therefore, in this section, we review three ads that attained noteworthiness, for the right as well as the wrong reasons.


Baseline: Nothing like anything
Agency: Lowe Lintas

4Ps B&M Take: First the quick summary of the ad. Two guys – one seated, one standing – are chilling down in a gym after their apparent work outs. After one of them has finished talking over the phone, the seated guy enquires, “Girlfriend?” The first guy responds in the affirmative, with the statement that the lady’s name is Samantha. This raises the warning light in the seated guy, who through consecutive confirmations (about whether Sam is a first year student, fair, has curly hair, sleeps with her socks on, brother, tattoo on the neck, yada yada yada), reaches a shocking conclusion that perhaps they both are dating the same girl... until the first guy mentions that she uses a red phone. The seated guy leaves out a sigh of relief, exclaiming that his ‘Sam’ uses a blue phone – and therefore obviously could not be the other guy’s ‘Sam’. The frame then shifts to Samantha who has another phone coloured yellow and she’s now dating another new guy. And how does she manage that? Tada – through the Micromax Convertible X395, which allows the user to change covers (and colours) anytime, every time. Now, is that duh or is that duh?! While the ad would qualify as humorous, the delivery engaging and even the message potent, where Micromax loses the script is the fact that firstly, the ad comes out to be purely focused on women (bright garish cover colours); and secondly draws such a nitwit image of the two male protagonists that the same does not even confirm to standard blinded-by-love stereotypes. To its credit, the ad scores well on ad-recall, but low on model connect (be honest, did you know the product’s name before we told you?). Combine all these trivialities; and you end up in this section, and not in the ranks.

 An ad is a symbol of painstaking craftsmanship. Elements ranging from product positioning clarity, a power idea to visibility of brand persona and expectancy of communication have to be intelligently weaved together. But some of them rewrite the patience benchmarks of viewers, while some others go the opposite way to just miss out sharing honours at the top. Therefore, in this section, we review three ads that attained noteworthiness, for the right as well as (perhaps more) for the wrong reasons.


Baseline: Shake it, make it, take it
Agency: McCann Erickson, India

4Ps B&M Take: If you’re under 18, don’t read beyond this line. That’s how close to being lewd the latest ad of Nescafe is. While the semi seductive ‘shake your booty’ dance of the Indian supermodel Deepika Padukone beckons you quite suggestively, the voice-over jingle (on radio too, for added reach) confirms what you apparently suspected, “Shake it, shake it, baby... Make it, make it, baby... Take it, take it, baby; I’m thirsty, I’m waiting for you.” Either the Nestle brand directive to the cold coffee creative team has gone totally kaput or something is seriously wrong with Nestle’s positioning department. A feel good, youthful and clean brand that was always associated with pleasant positioning concepts has been downgraded in one flat shot to being a bawdy, lecherously carnal, and lascivious symbol of how to quench a women’s ‘thirst’ when she’s moaning away loudly to you to first “shake it”, then “make it”, then “take it”. Well, she’s “thirsty, and waiting for you,” so better hurry. One cannot but wonder how did such a sudden misshaped deviation happen to Nescafe’s positioning attempts, when seen in the light of even the recently released thoughtful creatives that Nescafe has done in the past with Purab and Karan Johar (where Purab, besotted with Deepika, sees competition from K-Jo and attempts to woo the lady over a cup of coffee). The current ad, on the brand recall parameter does score averagely high (though still lacking the clear connect with cold coffee), more because of the rarity of seeing such an ad from Nestle using Deepika as a raunchy sex symbol. But on creative and execution parameters, the ad falls quite flat. It is truly unfortunate that a company that manufactures children’s products like Lactogen, Cerelac and even Maggi will now be seen by the same children

Baseline: What an idea, 3G!
Agency: Lowe Lintas

4Ps B&M Take: ’Another fiasco in a row’ is what this advertisement should be called if you realise the appreciation we showered on another creative of the 3G ad campaign by Idea Cellular in our previous issue a fortnight back. This ad features a triplet role for Abhishek Bachchan (triplet = 3G; D’oh!) and opens with one Bachchan blubbering “loading... loading... loading...” while staring at his smartphone. And then the second Bachchan is shown arguing with the first over the slow speed of internet downloading (with the term “No idea” splattered throughout the ad). Finally, the third Bachchan enters and, in quite plain words, offers Idea 3G – in fact, he points to each Bachchan and says, “1G, 2G and 3G.” If you found that lame, think about us. What started out as a social message compendium last year – and was loved by us – has turned into a joke on creativity. If the Idea team thinks this ad is amusing, far from it, even the one-liners are self deprecating. Neither does the ad manage to bring out any differentiating aspect of Idea’s 3G service, nor does it benchmark any pricing proposition (even Coke in its insane Brrrr ads does that, by offering free Colas to its consumers). Then why should one buy Idea 3G? Brand recall is benevolently high – as everybody is joking about the ad. Bachchan creditably has put in his best; and that’s the maximum that can be taken away from this.

Baseline: Keep it simple, silly
Agency: DraftFCB Ulka

4Ps B&M Take: What’s gone wrong with cellphone service providers? Leave Ranbir Kapoor’s sincere effort, this ad series by Docomo is stand-up-comedy at its worst. Take this joke featured in the ad for example: Why does a frog not come out of the well? Because it would have to pay roaming charges outside the well (!?!). The quality of other jokes is similar, if not worse; and laced with false laughter, the ad-series wastes the potential of Ranbir Kapoor too frivolously. To add to the whole imbroglio, while execution is zilch (one camera panning Ranbir), levity and creativity are pits, even the brand recall suffers phenomenally as not many would be able to connect the brand to the ad. In fact, even if one were to tell the viewer that this is a Tata Docomo ad, there is practically no reason provided to you to buy the product. Yes, there’s a lifeless ending statement in the ad, “Life is simple, let’s keep the mobile part simple.” Now then, what are we supposed to do with that?

 An ad is a symbol of painstaking craftsmanship. Elements ranging from product positioning clarity, a power idea to visibility of brand persona and expectancy of communication have to be intelligently weaved together. But some of them rewrite the patience benchmarks of viewers, while some others go the opposite way to just miss out sharing honours at the top. Therefore, in this section, we review three ads that attained noteworthiness, for the right as well as (perhaps more) for the wrong reasons.

Idea, Nescafé, Tata docomo

Baseline: Idea 3G, Shake it, make it, take it
Agency: Lowe Lintas, Mccann Erickson

4Ps B&M Take: This week, we couldn’t help but include the three most ignominious ones again at the top. These three have already made it to our sad-ads list previously. However, they just went from bad to worse. In the last issue, post witnessing the salacious display of Deepika Padukone’s assets, we had lamented the fact that this ad marked the death of the family brand Nestle, which unfortunately is also used to sell Lactogen and Cerelac. While previously, one could only see Deepika Padukone obscenely gyrating her hips and moaning away to the viewer to “Shake it, make it, and take it baby”, in the latest edition, Purab – one of the protagonists – goes into an illusory world while being in Deepika’s house, imagining her ‘shaking it, making it and taking it’. The inane display becomes worse when Purab, with his eyes closed, is shown crawling/sniveling on the stairs gesticulating with obscene gestures. What are the Nestle brand guys thinking? Legions of Indians wishing to be Purabs – and ergo, immediately desiring the cold coffee? In similar, actually lesser distasteful vein are the Idea 3G ads (which continue the hackneyed Jr. Bachchan triple role series with him mouthing 1G, 2G, 3G) and Tata Docomo ads (which, again, continue showing Ranbir Kapoor criminally hurting the audience with sickeningly poor standup comedy jokes). We have to admit, in acting both Bachchan Jr. and Ranbir are good. But if that was all there was to product positioning, then Boost would have been the secret of our energy. Now, why did we say that? Isn’t Boost already the secret? Have we finally lost it after viewing all these ads?

 Colgate Active Salt

Baseline: Toothpaste mein namak
Agency: NA

4Ps B&M Take: A glance at any of Colgate Active Salt’s advertisement will show you exactly the same staid concept being repeated by different personalities again and again. Earlier it was a mall where, in perfect disguise, the sole aim of Lara Dutta was to first catch random shoppers with a tooth cavity and then disappear in a flash (how utterly exciting!). This time, Colgate Active Salt has entered a marriage ceremony of a couple where surprisingly, the ‘pandit’ first gives the groom a walnut to crack with his teeth (well, don’t you know, all Indian grooms have to first crack walnuts with their teeth and then break coconuts with their heads during the marriage ceremony). The poor groom can’t! No prizes here, the cavity is identified immediately by the genius pandit, who apparently seems to always carry a tube of toothpaste in his sack. The pandit asks innocently, “Kya aapke daanton mein sadan hai?” and then, without wasting a second, hands over the tube to the groom. Yippee! Problem solved! If this kind of advertisement is what Colgate thinks would influence Indian consumers to buy its “Active Salt” (no less) toothpaste series, then woe behold the Indian groom, priest and all the jazz that goes with the bandwagon. The ad is clearly a waste of effort, time, money and of course, that one tube of Colgate Active Salt. Couldn’t they just have shown a fake Rajnikant with an Active Salt tee catching 200 machine gun bullets with his mouth and announcing, “Bite da bullet like this, wadawa rascala!”


Baseline: Visibly Smart
Agency: NA

4Ps B&M Take: As a perfect example of how ‘things fall apart’ comes the latest advertisement from Intel. It was much anticipated that their latest ad will follow the brilliant league of past conceptual creatives. Remember the past ad series which showed how at Intel, every individual mattered? Remember the superlative tone hummed by people (“pom, pom, pom, pom”; in crescendo) that accompanied the ad? The vastness in quality then and now makes the current ad series look worse. In what can be called a garish representation of add on features, the advertisement calls for a new look into the latest Intel processors that have apparently made the laptop experience faster and better. The ad tries to touch upon human emotions by showing a rising Sun, a full moon, an innocent face of a child and ultimately a grand Taj Mahal. Did you get the point? We didn’t either! If you were to confuse this ad for one belonging to a travel and tourism company, don’t blame yourself. Blame what’s inside. Inside? Intel, please...

 Smooth take off, Crash Landing

Advertiser: Star India
Baseline: Asli HD
Agency: Ogilvy India

4Ps B&M Take: You watch this ad once, then watch it again, maybe you’ll eventually realise that the creative agency has done a brilliant job giving life to an altogether inanimate theme. But that’s what the ad agencies do, right? From the beginning of the advertisement, it looks so apparent that the car these fans of Star HD TV are driving, is actually not moving. In a mindless piece of conversation, the second of the guys starts narrating a set of dialogues with sound effects of his own. He eventually mimics a wind blow, a lion and a dog and ends it with some words not even worth remembering. The fact with this ad is that it is relentlessly boring but demands attention to be understood. If nothing less, that sounds like oxymoron. The content of the ad is hollow and the cinematography too has flaws. The ad badly lacks creativity. Even the first of the series of Star TV ads were on the same lines, maybe even more silly. We wonder if the same ad will magnify its propensity of stupidity if watched in Star TV HD!

 A Blunder; not Dumber

Advertiser: Hero Honda
Baseline: Everybody follows the Hunk
Agency: NA

4Ps B&M Take: One of the most trifling themes much on the lines of Sprite’s ‘dar ke aage jeet hai’ creatives is what this ad reminds of. Its almost like you buy a Hero Honda Hunk, you thought you possess the bike, but in the ever mixing real- unreal backdrop, actually the bike possesses you. An alternate conception can be that the bike is made for the fearless and so only the fearless should buy a Hunk. So what fearless endeavour is our hunk upto? Oh just passing through a tunnel. How trivial! Hero Honda has been trying to get into the fantasy cum adventure genre ever since it came out with its snatch the cap off the wind advertisement featuring Hritik Roshan. For the Hunk too, it has tried to romanticise the story line by introducing a haunted tunnel and the supposed monster of the Himalayas. But the ad fails terribly at connecting the product and its features with the kind of attitude its trying to promulgate through this ad. Critically examining the ad, it lacks creativity, it does have a good screen play and cinematography but as an advertisement, it fails to evoke interest in the ad. The whole concept of two guys and a horrified girl in a swanky SUV traversing through the curves of mountain appears futile when the not so hunky guys get overshadowed by the hunky bike. The kind of landscape they have shown is fit only for a Harley Davidson and if they anyhow had to advertise Hero Honda Hunk, they should have showcased an SUV, but a CD 100 in the competition. Can’t deny, the SUV is more eye catching.

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