Reviewers: Raghu Bhat and Manish Bhatt, vice-presidents and executive creative directors, Contract Advertising (India) Pvt. Lt
Spot: The film for Crabtree switches opens on an elaborate bidaai (farewell) scene. The bride is all tears. The bridegroom swishes his hand over her arm as if he is flicking an imaginary switch. Instantly, the bride stops sobbing and starts smiling. Dissolve to the logo of Crabtree switches, the creative idea being—if only everything in life had a switch.
(Photo : AdEx India)
Why we don’t like it: To start with, because of the media plan. Putting this ad in the middle of the IPL matches is a bit like scheduling a sarod recital in the middle of a Led Zeppelin concert. Unless the tempo of the ad matches the tempo of the show it is appearing in, you are asking for trouble.
The clichéd bidaai setting brings back harrowing memories of saas-bahu (mother-in-law/daughter-in-law) serials and makes you lunge for the remote even if you are paralysed neck down. The fake expressions and the wailing banshee soundtrack also add to the overall gloom. Coming to a relevant brand idea, well, it is conspicuous by its absence. Why on earth should you buy a Crabtree since the ad doesn’t give a single reason to go for one? And yes, flicking on an imaginary switch on someone’s shoulder might be someone’s idea of “bizarre” advertising, but is it funny? Gimme the Washington Red Skins any day.
How we would have done it: A good starting point would be to revisit the brief. I know for a fact that Crabtree switches offer a good functional performance. But the “functional space” is already crowded. Moreover, since consumers are looking for higher order benefits even from electrical accessories, we can showcase another area of strength, namely, the international looks and designs of the switches. This can lead to a host of interesting relevant propositions. Switches so exclusive you’ll go for a manicure before touching them! Or switches so elegant, everything else looks ugly in comparison! Switches so good-looking you can’t resist having too many of them.
For instance, you have three doorbells instead of one! Or, on a wilder note, the Switches of Eastwick! (a whacked out series of how you transform into a witch when you are totally possessed by the desire to have a Crabtree switch in your house).
As told to Gouri Shah firstname.lastname@example.org