What an Advertise-Meant?

my take on the latest Indian advertisements             

Sulekha.com “Aaj ka Arjun” Ad

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{Double click to view larger video}

Tagline: Find. Buy. Sell.

Agency: JWT

Duration: 60 seconds

First seen: November ’08

Ad Message: Establish Sulekha.com as the one-stop-shop for buying and selling needs

Target Audience: 22+ years higher income group (with internet access)

Frequency: [yet to air on TV]

Description: Opening shot shows a distressed Arjun standing besides his fallen rath as he shudders at the image of his nagging partner. A set of arrows and a message (showing how to use the arrows) suddenly appear before him. He starts shooting those arrows straight up and magically replaces his carriage with a bike, acquires a helmet, pacifies his sulking girlfriend by showering gifts, buys a car, moves into a bigger house and is finally shown clicking a family portrait with all family members shooting arrows in the sky.
Last shot reveals that all the arrows had been heading for Sulekha.com which had been helping him Find, Buy and Sell.

[Caution: Strictly opinionated comments follow]

Whoever thought of utilizing the ‘Patta Chitra Katha’ art form to convey the ad’s message, can take the rest of the week off…or make it a month! For they have brought alive a rare art and might just manage to capture the impregnable fortress – the customer’s attention span.

Which is why it makes me sad to say that the agency has hardly done justice to what could have been a truly landmark commercial. The story seems half-baked as it is neither humorous, nor edge-of-the-seat material. It’s just plain ordinary. Moreover, the editing seems like a rush job too; for example – why keep the phone call in the TVC? [If you see the full digital version, that call to the pandit is to organize an impromptu wedding with the “girlfriend”] And yeah, Arjuna getting a belan-beating by his girlfriend, that’s just a little too cheeky for me.

I also stumbled across this article which explains that the ‘red arrow’ has been consistently used in all Sulekha.com campaigns to signify the on-screen cursor, precision and speed, as a refreshing point, as a trigger to ‘go straight to sulekha.com’, and to add mythological appeal to the target group. Ahem ahem, Sulekha.com – if you are waiting for the poor little arrow to get across all of that, please don’t hold your breath. Rest assured none of the viewers is going to buy that. We are sorry you bought that load of crap from your agency.

I do want to laud the background music as the ethnic sounds that have been used complement the idea very well. Also, the last shot where even the Gods (Yamaraj included) are shown shooting arrows upwards is a nice touch.

Yes, all credit to the agency for unearthing a long-lost, beautiful art and hats-off to the artists who worked for months to ultimately deliver it on-screen. It’s a pity that it could be so much more than what it is.



  Weight Rating W * R
Idea/Innovation/Creativity 15 9 135
Storyline/Screenplay 10 6 60
Music/Jingle 10 7.5 75
Cinematography 5 9 45
Acting     0
Duration vs Impact 5 6 30
Cost vs Impact 5 6 30
Brand Recall 10 7 70
Ad Memorability 5 8 40
Tagline 7.5 6 45
Product Association 5 8 40
Target Audience Connect 7.5 7 52.5
Entertainment 5 7 35
Claim 2.5 7 17.5
Emotional Appeal 2.5 5 12.5
Total 95   687.5

Weighted Average Rating: 687.5/95 = 6.875 (on a scale of 10)

How would you rate this one –


Written by AsMi

November 21, 2008 at 6:26 pm

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