Unpretentious, makes a point
Not a great commercial but based on a real and somewhat uncomfortable
insight. Why does mummy do all the work? A child asks the question most of us don’t, when we see a self-important man strut about while his wife does all the work, including lifting bags and managing kids. Unlike the pretentious and phony concern shown by the current spate of commercials posing as social messiahs, here is one that points to an uncomfortable truth in a direct and relatable way and is linked to the brand powerfully. The script and the narrative is somewhat basic but let’s agree to overlook that.
Now here is a brand that has an extraordinarily difficult task at hand. It offers
something radically useful, but something equally sensitive and liable to great misuse. Its earlier advertising, while understated and nuanced, ran the danger of the morning-after pill being popped like a confection “when in doubt”. This new campaign with its grim “better than abortion” promise is uncompromising in the world it paints. You could argue that this execution limits the desire to use the brand and that is precisely its strength. This is responsible advertising done well. Of course, that doesn’t mean that the pill will not be misused, but advertising certainly will not be driving that.
Aamir, Gul make it watchable
Tata Sky Plus
Ogilvy and Mather
Using celebrities to tell a product story should be easy but often one ends up
telling their story. Take the case of the Shah Rukh Khan-Saif Ali Khan Airtel ad where the Kantaben allusion, apart from being smug with self-reference, overshadows the voice mail innovation. Here, Aamir and Gul Panag work perfectly in tandem, giving us a watchable story while spelling out what Tata Sky Plus can do for us. A simple task performed simply.
Turkey of the month
The contenders—the moth-eaten Bharti corporate ad which should have been a
corporate audio-visual in 1987, Clear & Clean DJ Night ad which gives the word bimbette not one but two faces, the LG body of advertising (or shall we say cadaver given the advanced signs of rigor mortis?).
The winner—the excruciatingly simplistic ‘Hindustan Times’ ad with the “let us ask the leaders” premise. Why do wars take place? Why is corruption rampant? Let us ask our leaders. Beginning with Asif Ali Zardari. Right.
(‘Hindustan Times’ is published by HT Media Ltd, which also publishes Mint.)