REVIEWER: PRATHAP SUTHAN
He is chief explorer at brand consulting firm The Advisory and chief creative officer at iYogi, a technical support provider for computers. With around 23 years experience in advertising, Suthan is best known for the India Shining campaign.
The new campaign by Ogilvy and Mather India for Titan’s High Tech Self Energised (HTSE) light-powered watches shows actor Aamir Khan stealing light from different sources. The light is eventually put together for his watch.
What do you think of the ad?
You can’t fault this film—super product, splendid music, solid idea and (a) smooth (brand) ambassador. A fresh baked angel cake. Tempting, but lonesome. Sometimes, perfection runs the risk of aloofness. Post-production too is above par. It isn’t easy to liquefy light without making it tacky. In fact, one can’t really poke holes, except for wondering if the agency sacrificed a glorious opportunity to catapult Titan out of its staidness. HTSE offered Titan a springboard to do the spectacular. Instead, it chose subtle. It leaves the 20-plus piqued, but unruffled. I suspect both the agency and the client reached that fork, pondered a bit, before driving into the elegant ambit of Titan’s brand tenor.
Has Aamir Khan been used well?
Across time, Aamir has blended into Titan, as Titan has found reflection in his assured demeanour. Aamir gets into the soul of every story. If you want him to be a quiet yet curious stealer of candlelight, he will become that. If you want him to be a gallant and romantic bandit of starlight, he will become that too. Yet he ensures that his stardom will never steal the bang of the product.
What must brands do to focus on a New-Age feature?
When you have a startling product differentiator, the agency doesn’t have to invent anything. The idea will leap out from the product, and as long as it is true to the difference, you can do anything. Most of us wait a lifetime to get to work on a product like the Titan HTSE. Though with such a product, there’s always a crisis of plenty. Broadly, there are two ways one could travel. One, go the product way, much like what’s been done. But I think it deserved a far bolder and singular execution. I would have stolen the light of the moon, and launched it around a lunar eclipse. Two, as a self-energizing watch, there was merit in going the slightly philosophical way. About the inner energy that impels and recharges people to achieve brilliance. Aamir is a living testimony to this spirit. If one were to have pushed this, it could have led HTSE to becoming more than just a watch. It could have become a movement, in sync with Titan’s “Be More” credo. I like this film. It’s a wonderful idea, executed with a lot of maturity.
As told to Gouri Shah.