What an Advertise-Meant?

my take on the latest Indian advertisements             

Max New York Life – Train Ad

with 4 comments

{Double click to view larger video}

Tagline: “Karo Zyaada ka Iraada”

Agency: Prasoon Pandey (Corcoise Films)

Duration: 60 seconds

First seen: October ‘09

Ad Message: Spreading awareness and reinforcing the need for Life Insurance Plans

Target Audience: Middle-higher income 30-35+ years

Frequency: High

Description: The ad opens with a harried middle-aged couple looking for their son’s seat in a train. Frantic-Father locates the seat, rebukes the cute-girl-destined-to-share-the-compartment-with-his-boy for hijacking their berth with her luggage, locks the boy’s luggage, garlands him with the key and cautions him to not get down while the train is moving (all this before you can even say ‘bechaara’!). Meanwhile, concerned-mommy has managed to throw in precious nuggets of advice like ‘koi kuch khaane ko de to lena mat’, ‘har kisi se baat mat karna’ while glancing sideways at the harmless girl before she drops the final bomb – ‘Gande underwear alag rakhna’. And just when the boy is even attempting some damage-repair by the meek ‘My Papa loves me a lot’ utterance, here comes the clincher. Papa-dear thrusts forward a packet from the window and goes ‘Kele! Kha lena’ while mommy coos ‘Pet saaf rahega beta’.

[Caution: Strictly opinionated comments follow]

Now this ad is one of the reasons ‘strikes a chord’ phrase must have been invented. A brilliantly thought situation, a brilliantly worded script and a brilliantly well-fitting cast and you’ve got yourself a winner! The situation is your quintessential Indian-parents-seeing-off-iklauta-offspring scene – something that each one of us has witnessed at one time or the other. Some days as the girl and (unfortunately) some days as the boy😉 The dialogues are delightfully earthy and the entire cast does a hundred percent justice – whether it is the I-am-in-charge Daddy (played by Vipin Sharma of Taare Zameen Par fame), the doing-what-she-can-to-put-off-the-cute-girl Mommy, the compartment boy (earlier seen in Virgin Mobile train ad) and the supremely cute girl trying her best to feign ignorance of the drama unfolding in front of her.

However, that there is no obvious connection between the ad spot and the service being sold is just too obvious to go unnoticed this time. We may all remember this ‘gande-underwear’ ad, but how many of us will remember it as a Max New York Life Insurance ad? Now only if Prasoon Pandey had waited for the right mobile services company (or some such) to endorse this gem of a creative, it would have totally scored a home run. Having said that, the ad indeed is so impactful that in the end, Max New York Life may just benefit a tad-bit in terms of recall! Kudos to this genuinely humorous and well-executed ad after a long time!

PS: Thanks to the Indibloggies nomination in the Best New Indiblog of 2008 category, I am motivated enough to get back to my blog. Keep visiting everyone! Love – AsMi.

  Weight Rating W * R
Idea/Innovation/Creativity 15 9 135
Execution      
Storyline/Screenplay 10 9.5 95
Music/Jingle 10 8 80
Cinematography 5 9 45
Acting 5 10 50
Duration vs Impact 5 8 40
Cost vs Impact 5 9 45
Recall     0
Brand Recall 10 6 60
Ad Memorability 5 9 45
Tagline 7.5 8 60
Product Association 5 2 10
Target Audience Connect 7.5 8 60
Entertainment 5 9 45
Claim 2.5 9 22.5
Emotional Appeal 2.5 9 22.5
Total 100   815

Weighted Average Rating: 815/100 = 8.15 (on a scale of 10)

How did you like this ad? Go rate:

Airtel Little Boy & Toy Phone Ad

with 14 comments

{Double click to view larger video}

Tagline: “Issi vishwas ko banaye rakhe, humara atoot network”

Agency: Rediffusion Y&R

Duration: 60 seconds

First seen: February ’09

Ad Message: Reinforcing Airtel as being trustworthy, seamless service provider

Target Audience: Middle-higher income 25+ years subscribers

Frequency: Medium-High

Description: The ad starts with a mother rebuking her small boy and saying that he won’t be allowed to go out and play today. The boy is made to sit in a corner as he longingly looks out of the window at other kids playing. He then grabs his toy phone and sneaks out of the room to climb up to the rooftop. Once alone, he places an imaginary ‘phone call’ to his dad and complains to him saying that since you are not here mom scolded me and that he should call up mom and scold her in turn. When he gets back in his chair, his mother gives in and says that he can go out and play once he finishes off his milk. Hearing this, the little boy brightens up and says “Dad had called, right?” as the mother walks away smiling. The boy jumps with joy as the voice over follows “aaj ek vishwas hai ki hum apnon se door nahin, issi vishwas ko banaaye rakhe, humaara atoot network

[Caution: Strictly opinionated comments follow]

Just when you had thought that the cute-kid-factor had been done, overdone and then overdone some more in the ads these days, here’s another one in the same space. But guess what, this has been done well enough to bring a smile on your face. “Aap mummy ko daantna”, now haven’t we all said these four words as kids at one time or the other hoping that our appeal in the higher court (aka Dad) would be heeded to. This is exactly why this spot manages to strike a chord, and powerfully so.

What I also liked was the subtlety of this one – no ‘real’ phone calls happened and yet the idea of reliable and trustworthy communication with your loved ones was beautifully conveyed. It fares much better than the previous Shreyas Talpade ad and yet carries forward the same “emphasis on relationships” theme of Airtel ads. It has been shot really well, whether it is the hung clothes or the stuck kite, the essence of a lazy afternoon in an apartment society has been captured perfectly. The cast ofcourse does full justice and the kid is undoubtedly the show-stealer.

Only improvement areas: the ad could’ve been edited better to make it crispier enough for repeat dekkos and no offense, but I’m now waiting for the day when Airtel will get Rahman to compose them another iconic tune/background score to move on to. 

Go Airtel, you got the recipe right this time – a boy + a toy = lotta joy!  

  Weight Rating W * R
Idea/Innovation/Creativity 15 8 120
Execution      
Storyline/Screenplay 10 8 80
Music/Jingle 10 6 60
Cinematography 5 8 40
Acting 5 8 40
Duration vs Impact 5 7 35
Cost vs Impact 5 8 40
Recall     0
Brand Recall 10 8 80
Ad Memorability 5 8 40
Tagline 7.5 5 37.5
Product Association 5 9 45
Target Audience Connect 7.5 8 60
Entertainment 5 8 40
Claim 2.5 8 20
Emotional Appeal 2.5 9 22.5
Total 100   760

Weighted Average Rating: 760/100 = 7.60 (on a scale of 10)

Polling button to be added soon. Do leave in your comments until then!

Bajaj XCD 135 cc DTS-Si ‘Sisters’ Ad

with 9 comments

{Double click to view larger video}

Tagline: None

Agency: O & M

Duration: 80 seconds

First seen: February ’09

Ad Message: Introducing the new 135 cc Bajaj XCD DTS-Si

Target Audience: Middle-higher income group 25-35 year old male

Frequency: High

Description: For about 30 seconds all we see is two leather-clad sisters fighting out each other replete with Matrix like stunts until one of them defeats the other leaving her locked inside the bathroom. The ‘winning’ sister then leaves the place with her helmet as a guy waits with his Bajaj XCD bike. As they are shown riding the bike with screeching sounds and thrilling visuals thrown in, voiceover goes “New Bajaj XCD 135, 5 speed gear box, DTS-SI, firm disk brakes, but one pillion seat”. In the end, the screen flashes “Bajaj DTS-SI The world leader in Twin Spark technology”.

[Caution: Strictly opinionated comments follow]

I had mixed feelings about this one. On the one hand, the fresh take is a welcome break for the category where bike ads are fast becoming synonymous with crazy stuntmen & even crazier sfx (seen this?). There is the obvious good stuff – innovative concept, nifty execution and nice looking girls😉. However, as I immediately felt and later even read in some comments – the ad seems to be overkill for a 135 cc bike. The actual product does not live up to the expectations created by the over-the-top visuals in the end. In that regard, I found the earlier traffic-signal conversation ad way better and something the average commuter would find much easier to relate with.

Also, it was a bit of an anti-climax (and I understand that it may be an intended one) to see the super-chique girls warring it out for the ‘pillion seat’. The way they were dressed and the way they fought, I was expecting them to ride the bike themselves; so much for Gen-Next women! But I guess that’s a risk Bajaj is not ready to take, lest it drives away all its potential male customers.

Imho, they could have toned down the whole ad a little bit. Maybe they could have shown two average salwar-kameez clad girls battling it out and then one of them emerging coyly out of the house to join her boyfriend. The visuals of the bike could have followed though with lesser razzmatazz to fit in with the brand proposition of this bike.

So there, even though humein yeh junglee-billiyan bahut pasand aayin, sometimes less is indeed more.

 

  Weight Rating W * R
Idea/Innovation/Creativity 15 7.5 112.5
Execution      
Storyline/Screenplay 10 7 70
Music/Jingle 10 5 50
Cinematography 5 7 35
Acting 5 7 35
Duration vs Impact 5 5 25
Cost vs Impact 5 6 30
Recall      
Brand Recall 10 6 60
Ad Memorability 5 6 30
Tagline     0
Product Association 5 7 35
Target Audience Connect 7.5 6 45
Entertainment  5 7 35
Claim 2.5 1 2.5
Emotional Appeal 2.5 2 5
Total 92.5   570

 Weighted Average Rating: 570/100 = 5.70 (on a scale of 10)

Polling button to be added soon. Do leave in your comments until then!

Written by AsMi

February 26, 2009 at 5:36 pm

Pepsi Youngistaan ‘Baap’ Ad

with 17 comments

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Tagline: Yeh hai youngistaan meri jaan

Agency: JWT

Duration: 40 seconds

First seen: February ’09

Ad Message: Establish Pepsi as the ‘it’ drink for young India

Target Audience: 15-25 years young SEC A & B crowd

Frequency: High

Description: The ad opens with MS Dhoni standing on terrace overlooking amchi Mumbai as he introduces the premise of the ad “Bijli, paani, phone ka connection to suna hogaa, par yeh connection, baap re baap”. Cut to shots of Ishant Sharma standing in an admission queue to be ousted by a VIP’s son, Sreesanth doing his jig in an attempt to impress the girl only to have his efforts sabotaged by the commissioner’s son, and Virendra Sehwag just about to get a haircut (yes, believe it or not) when the ministers’ iklauta son steps in. In all the situations, the reckless sons blurt out the oft heard threat “jaanta nahi mera baap kaun hai?” The ad ends with the four cricketers in their dressing room saying that they still don’t know who those famous ‘baaps’ are, all they know is that they have a connection with their thirst; and that is all that is needed to succeed. Voiceover ends the spot with “Yeh hai youngistaan meri jaan”.

[Caution: Strictly opinionated comments follow]

Before I start talking about this ad in isolation, let me say it straight out – it is much better than the previous Pepsi ‘My can’ fiasco. After all, you can only go up from rock bottom. Ok, that aside this ad is still quite ironic if you really think about it – a thirst-quenching product talking about keeping the ‘thirst’ alive? Completely forgetting to connect the idea with the product when..ahem ahem…the central idea is ‘connections’?

But then not too many youngistaanis are thinking, really or otherwise. To be fair, the execution is not bad and the situations are quite easy to relate with. The background music is likable and so is the pack of in-form cricketers, though Sreesanth really needs to learn a new dance step or two (and fast!). Got to mention that the Haryanvi speaking guy brushing aside Sehwag is particularly funny. And who can forget the silent star of the spot, Sehwag’s wig baba! Psst, he is already contemplating hair transplant encouraged by the response.

 All said and done, none of the Pepsi youngistaan spots have really hit the bulls-eye so far, the one where you go “Ok, so this is what youngistaan is about and I am/would like to be a youngistaani (by drinking Pepsi)”

Question to Pepsi: time to rethink the “connection” with the agency maybe?

 

  Weight Rating W * R
Idea/Innovation/Creativity 15 4 60
Execution      
Storyline/Screenplay 10 7 70
Music/Jingle 10 7 70
Cinematography 5 7 35
Acting 5 6 30
Duration vs Impact 5 6 30
Cost vs Impact 5 8 40
Recall     0
Brand Recall 10 6 60
Ad Memorability 5 4 20
Tagline 7.5 5 37.5
Product Association 5 1 5
Target Audience Connect 7.5 7 52.5
Entertainment 5 6 30
Claim 2.5 4 10
Emotional Appeal 2.5 2 5
Total 100   555

Weighted Average Rating: 555/100 = 5.55 (on a scale of 10)

Your rating please –


Tata Safari Dicor ‘Reclaim Your Life’ Ad

with 42 comments

{Double click to view larger video}

Tagline: “Reclaim your life”

Agency: O & M

Duration: 50 seconds

First seen: January  ’09

Ad Message: Reinforcing the  Tata Safari Dicor brand

Target Audience: Higher income group (28+ years)

Frequency: Medium

Description: The ad starts with a guy perched inside a tent hanging precariously from a cliff. What follow are breathtaking outdoor shots of snow-capped mountains, beaches, gushing rivers and such (shot entirely in New Zealand), interspersed with the following captions – “If you looked back on your life, what would you remember ? The corner office? The corporate powerplays? The VIP lounge? What would you remember?” The ad ends with a shot of a guy standing besides his Tata Safari Dicor at the edge of a looming cliff as the voiceover says “Tata Safari Dicor, Reclaim your life”

[Caution: Strictly opinionated comments follow]

A compelling idea, one that the target audience can immediately relate with, crafted so beautifully that you bask in pure sensory delight as it unfolds before your eyes, is hard to come by. But when it does, it gives blogs like mine enough raison d’être. The thought that here is a car that will help you do worthwhile things, things that will be worth remembering when you look back at your life, is simply brilliant and brilliantly simple at the same time. And which is why, I am sure each one of us, trapped in our mundane daily-jobs, would feel tempted to do just that…reclaim our life, the Tata Safari way!

Backed by all the right elements in the delightfully subtle execution – awe-inspiring visuals (though I am sure they were Creative Suite’d for perfection), a mystical background score (admittedly similar to the Gladiator theme song) and some masterful copywriting, this ad knocks my socks alright. To top it all is the consistency with which Tata Safari is following the ‘Reclaim your life’ theme, reinforcing the whole new dimension they brought to the core benefits of this product category.

What this means for Tata Safari Dicor is that there will be enough potential customers willing to step in their nearest Tata showrooms and check out how they can go about reclaiming their life. And that’s the good ole’ power of advertising!

And who am I to deprive you from this fantastic background score, so here’s the MP3 – tata_safari_dicor_background_score.mp3 {right-click and select ‘Save Link As’ to download the MP3}. Lyrics go “Life goes by before you know it, can you feel it pass you by?”

Trivia: Here are the details about the people behind this ad (thanks to afaqs) – Creative team: Louella Rebello, Anup Chitnis, Rakesh Pandit, Direction: Adam Strange of Joyride Films (New Zealand), Director of Photography: James Cowley, Singer: Louella RebelloMusic composer: Rupert Fernandes (also behind the Hutch ‘You & I’ song) 

So what would I remember? This spectacular ad, for sure. Kudos to the agency!

 

  Weight Rating W * R
Idea/Innovation/Creativity 15 9 135
Execution      
Storyline/Screenplay 10 9 90
Music/Jingle 10 8 80
Cinematography 5 9.5 47.5
Acting 5 8 40
Duration vs Impact 5 8 40
Cost vs Impact 5 8 40
Recall     0
Brand Recall 10 8 80
Ad Memorability 5 8 40
Tagline 7.5 9 67.5
Product Association 5 8.5 42.5
Target Audience Connect 7.5 9 67.5
Entertainment 5 8 40
Claim 2.5 8 20
Emotional Appeal 2.5 8 20
Total 100   850

Weighted Average Rating: 8.50/100 = 8.50 (on a scale of 10)

What is your rating of this ad –

Virgin Mobile ‘Free after first 3’ SMS Ad

with 7 comments

{Double click to view larger video}

Tagline: “Think Hatke”

Agency: Bates 141

Duration: 50 seconds

First seen: January ’09

Ad Message: Introducing the new ‘Free after 3’ SMS plan from Virgin Mobile

Target Audience: Young 15-22 years college crowd

Frequency: Medium

Description: The ad starts with a girl having breakfast with her father, as he tells her ‘you are getting late beta’. She suddenly breaks into a foolish grin and says ‘last night kiss was like hmmm…he was awesome yaar!’ as the father nods at her. Next, she is in a college lecture when she gets up abruptly and shouts “Kitna bolta hai yaar, lecture suna raha hai ya lori, feeling so sleepy” and sits down. In the next scene she is sitting in front of a prospective groom who dares to ask “You made this samosa? very tasty huh”. The girl says “God kya dhakkan hai, mom has brought me one more namoona” before switching to a polite “jee thank you”. Last shot shows her in her PJs saying out loud “what am I wearing? Right now..nothing!” The ad ends with a voiceover “Live your sms life, nonstop, national or local send free sms din raat without any bag. Virgin Mobile, Think Hatke”

[Caution: Strictly opinionated comments follow]

Ohh dear, this is where their hatke thinking has gone too far. Unlike any of their previous campaigns which simplistically showed the out-of-box-thinking youth of today and how they are outsmarting the oldies to get their way in any situation, this one complicates things, and unnecessarily at that.

The idea that there is a Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde in every teenager and it is via the torrential use of smsing that they manage to live a sane life was a good idea to begin with. But not everyone will immediately link the girl’s blasphemous sentences as being the sms’s that are doing the rounds with her friends. Nor did I find the completely nerdy look of the girl (obviously inspired from Ugly Betty or apni Jassi closer home) befitting for getting across the naughtiness of this character.

Moreover, there are flaws in the consistency too (or maybe a case of an editor with extra sharp scissors?)– like why does the father nod in the first scene when there is no reaction from others in the scenes that follow? Why does she add a coy “jee thank you” in the scene with behcara potential groom? If at all, they should have had the girl say something sugary and polite at the end of her ‘real feelings’ in every scene, and that would have gotten across the idea much better imho.

Also, the whole new tariff plan from Virgin that you now have the option of sending 100 free sms’s after the first three paid sms’s of the day does NOT come through. It’s yet another powerful marketing strategy (which hopefully will sail-through inspite of this ad) from Virgin Mobile when you think about it, bang-on with the target audience…but just a glimpse of the logo ‘Free after first 3’ hardly does justice to it.

Now, living up to the trend they have a pretty decent microsite too – www.livethesmslife.com (which is where I got to know the above details about the tariff) with some cute Thumb Asanas to watch out for. But as for the ad, I will remain zara hatke whenever this one is on.

Weight Rating W * R
Idea/Innovation/Creativity 15 5 75
Execution
Storyline/Screenplay 10 1 10
Music/Jingle 10 5 50
Cinematography 5 5 25
Acting 5 4 20
Duration vs Impact 5 2 10
Cost vs Impact 5 5 25
Recall 0
Brand Recall 10 5 50
Ad Memorability 5 2 10
Tagline 7.5 6 45
Product Association 5 2 10
Target Audience Connect 7.5 5 37.5
Entertainment 5 2 10
Claim 2.5 2 5
Emotional Appeal 2.5 1 2.5
Total 100 385
Weighted Average Rating: 385/100 = 3.85 (on a scale of 10)
What is your rating of this ad –

Fiat Linea ‘Stuck’ Ad

with 17 comments

{Double click to view larger video}

Tagline: “Admiration Guaranteed”

Agency: Bates 141

Duration: 50 seconds

First seen: January  ’09

Ad Message: Introducing the new sedan Linea from Fiat

Target Audience: Higher income group (30+ years)

Frequency: Medium

Description: The ad starts with a guy walking along with his son on the footway when the young boy stops to peek inside a toy shop longingly. His dad manages to drag him away forcefully before he is stuck again at another shop, and then another. Each time the father pulls his son away from the shop, only to find himself stopping in his tracks at one of the shops. Next we see that it is the magnificent Fiat Linea that has mesmerized the father this time, while his son tugs at him in vain. Voiceover introduces ‘The New Fiat Linea. Admiration Guaranteed’

[Caution: Strictly opinionated comments follow]

It came across as what I would call safe-yet-effective advertising – nothing revolutionary as far as innovation aspect is concerned but focused at getting the message across – the message that here is a stylish, good-looking car from the Italian brand Fiat (did you say ‘finally!’?). And though the storyline may be too simple imho, it manages to endear because most men can relate to drooling over their favorite set of wheels. 

There are a couple of other details that I really liked about this spot – the very apt lyrics of the background score (which is quite likable in itself) and the use of the Tata logo along with Fiat when the car is shown revolving in the showcase.

I do feel that for a launch ad, they could have given more emphasis to the “car” with a couple more sneak-peeks of the interiors et al. And yes, they could have come up with a better tagline for sure; ‘Admiration Guaranteed’ sounds pretty familiar if not clichéd.

Even so, I would give this one a thumbs-up for two other reasons – not going the celebrity endorsement way like most other brands in auto sector and not showing the done to death red-car-in-the-uber-green-hills shots. Ok, so the car is still red, but the ad gets a green light from me!

You can download the MP3 for the jingle here – Fiat_Linea_Song.mp3

More trivia about the song and ad (courtsey sonaldabral) – The song for this film is an original composition sung by Clinton . The music directors are Ehsaan and Loy. The film is directed by Prasoon Pandey of Corcoise films and is scripted by Sonal Dabral.

  Weight Rating W * R
Idea/Innovation/Creativity 15 6 90
Execution      
Storyline/Screenplay 10 5 50
Music/Jingle 10 8 80
Cinematography 5 7 35
Acting 5 7 35
Duration vs Impact 5 5 25
Cost vs Impact 5 8 40
Recall      
Brand Recall 10 7 70
Ad Memorability 5 6 30
Tagline 7.5 4 30
Product Association 5 7 35
Target Audience Connect 7.5 7.5 56.25
Entertainment  5 6 30
Claim 2.5 7 17.5
Emotional Appeal 2.5 6 15
Total 100   638.8

Weighted Average Rating: 639/100 = 6.39 (on a scale of 10)

What is your rating of this ad –