The Indian television audience loves biscuits. Britannia topped the chart in September and took the No. 8 and No. 10 spots too. Rated the best on-air advertisement in July, according to the Mint-Synovate-TVAd Indx survey, which gathers the voices of 750 randomly chosen consumers across the metros of New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore, the Britannia 50/50 biscuit commercial won hands down, scoring 80 on the ad reach index. Lowe Worldwide’s sister ad for the Maska Chaska variant of Britannia 50/50 had the highest brand recall among all the TV spots at 94%. And, the Britannia NutriChoice 5 Grain commercial at No. 10 completed the hat-trick for the biscuit manufacturer.
Also See: Top Ads (Graphic)
The difference this time was that an ad from the banking sector made it to the list in the current atmosphere of gloom and doom in financial markets. The Union Bank of India commercial, with its message of reassurance, took the No. 9 slot, though in the words of our expert Santosh Desai, “It feels like any public sector bank ad.” Desai finds the Bank of India ad credible. It’s not in the Top 15 list but, he says, “The idea that relationships in India need to go beyond money is a strong one and has been executed with fidelity.” It’s an opportune time for the public sector banks to go on a media offensive — customers are looking for safe investment opportunities. Max New York Life’s new ad campaign plays on the theme of uncertainty, promising “more” in these times of diminishing returns. Aqua Communications Pvt. Ltd’s creative director Anil Madan succinctly interprets the tag line—Karo zyaada ka irada (plan for more) — so that your dreams don’t have to be downsized as your children grow.
“In terms of brand strategy, the current commercial is several notches above the past ones,” says Madan, adding that “even the other commercial (No.12 on the ad diagnostics list) on the same strategy has a lovely jingle but comes across as a tad frivolous”.
The “profligacy” of ads from the telecom sector, says Desai, does make for good viewing, but he hasn’t picked up any. However, five telecom ads did make it to September’s Top 15 list. Idea Cellular’s rural literacy brainwave continues to strike a chord with viewers — one ad was at No. 2, the other took the No. 7 spot. The animation ad film from Vodafone, promoting its tie-up with www.shaadi.com, was at No. 6, Reliance Mobile was at No. 12. Virgin Mobile’s cheeky ad brought up the rear at No. 13.
Pepsi MyCan Cola, featuring cricketer M.S. Dhoni, and Fair & Lovely find place in the September rankings, at No. 3 and No. 11, respectively. But the Hero Honda ad, at No. 5, caught Desai’s attention — for all the wrong reasons. “Hero Honda, not being satisfied with consistent mediocrity, upped the ante this time with a commercial that never ends,” he says of the ad, which features several celebrities. In contrast, the Tata Sky ad featuring Bollywood actor Aamir Khan seems to have paid off, with Khan’s two-in-one projection taking the ad to the No. 4 slot. “It is Aamir’s show all the way; the idea is neat without being earth-shatteringly original, but the acting elevates it to a more memorable level”, says Desai.
A man sitting on a “Ladies only” seat in a bus is berated by a couple of women
who are standing. He is about to get up when the woman beside him pipes up suddenly, asking the women if they are jealous because a young man is sitting next to her. The women, stunned, withdraw. Tag line: ‘Kahani mein palti; Kabhi sweet, kabhi salty’ (Twist in the tale; sometimes sweet, sometimes salty).
A little girl in a village prods her mother to speak in English to impress her
friends. Slowly, her mother obliges: “India is my country. All Indians are my brothers and sisters”. The kids cheer her. Actor Abhishek Bachchan, playing a school principal, delivers the tag line: What an Idea, Sirji!
Actor Hrithik Roshan, astride a bike, jumps from a helicopter on to a stage
where he and actor Priyanka Chopra perform to celebrate 25 years of Hero Honda. Cricketers Irfan Pathan and Virender Sehwag and shooter Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore join in the celebrations. The tag line: Move with Hero Honda.
Britannia 50/50 Maska Chaska
A maid is negotiating her salary with a housewife. She tells her prospective
employer that her services include gathering gossip about the neighbours — she is hired immediately. The tag line: ‘Kahani mein palti; Kabhi sweet, kabhi salty’ (Twist in the tale; sometimes sweet, sometimes salty).
Fair & Lovely MultiVitamin Cream
A man goes to ‘see’ a young woman. But when he sees how beautiful she is, he
becomes all too conscious of his paunch. It spurs him to exercise, and fitness. He goes to meet her again — this time, he is tongue-tied. The tag line: Power of beauty.
Pepsi MyCan Cola/My Can
When cricketer M.S. Dhoni is scolded by his teacher for low scores, he decides
to study hard — about cricket, pitches, players. “Have won one World Cup with my education till now,” he says. The tag line: ‘Life mein pyaas honi chahiye’ (One should have a thirst for something).
Vodafone Value Added/Shaadi.com
Ogilvy and Mather
A man wandering in a forest is haunted by loneliness when he sees different
animals with their partners. Suddenly, a monkey hands him a Vodafone mobile phone — and it helps him find the girl of his dreams. The tag line: Shaadi.com now on Vodafone. Search for your life partner.
Union Bank of India
A man with an early morning flight to catch tells his father not to worry; he’ll
find a taxi and get to the airport on time. But there is no cab in sight, and he panics. His father, in the meantime, arrives in a taxi for him. The tag line: ‘Kyonki aapke sapne sirf aapke nahin’ (Because your dreams aren’t yours alone).
A man on his way to Shimla calls his wife for landmarks to the place where,
years ago, they had engraved their names on stone. They relive their memories on phone. The tag line: Reliance mobile network on all national and state highways.
Actor Aamir Khan is dressed partly as man and partly as woman. The male half
wants a Tata connection, the female half wants Sky. After some arguing, the two realize that Tata and Sky are the same. The tag line: ‘Isko laga dala to life jinga lala’ (Life will rock if you subscribe to this).
A man about to spit on the ground is stopped from doing so by a little village
boy. “Cleanliness is next to godliness, swachta mein hi bhagwan hote hain,” he tells the man. Actor Abhishek Bachchan, who is playing the role of a school principal, delivers the tag line: What an Idea, Sirji!
Britannia NutriChoice 5 Grain
A woman in a music class suddenly feels hungry. She starts imagining food in
the place of students sitting in front of her — and eats NutriChoice 5 grain biscuits to quell her hunger. The tag line: ‘Bhookh bhagao, kuch healthy khao’ (Get rid of your hunger, eat something healthy).
Virgin Mobile Service
Two injured friends are in hospital. One tries to act fresh with a nurse, asking
her to fish out a cellphone from his pocket; she tries, but can’t find it. His friend hopes to try the same trick,?but a male nurse walks in. Tag line: ‘Think hatke’ (Think different).