Reviewer: Roopak Saluja
Roopak Saluja is managing director and executive producer for Bang Bang Films, which produces TV commercials and other content for advertisers such as Unilever, Nokia, L’Oreal, Pepsi, Sony, J&J and Volkswagen, among others.
The new ad for Dabur’s Real Activ juice shows Bipasha Basu flinging cartons of the juice at people reaching for unhealthy food.
What did you think of the ad campaign?
Now, how should I do this gently? Let’s see…well, I think Bipasha looks stunning, as always. Other than that, I hated the ad. Let’s start by articulating the idea—“People around town are trying to go about their business consuming unhealthy food and drink, but their evil plans are repeatedly foiled by an army of belligerent renegade 1-litre juice packs. A sultry Bong siren seems to be masterminding the attacks.”
Tacky direction: The concept could have been treated a little deftly.
Seriously, though, I think it’s a bland idea but what really got me was the poor execution—blah and tacky art direction, poorly hyperbolized performances and the crowning glory was the treatment of the collision shots. I’m not sure why but I found that bit really disturbing. The same concept could have been treated a little deftly, with the assault by the juice packs being more playful or teasing, for example. I know this sounds like I’m slagging it because Bang Bang didn’t produce the spot but if I don’t do just that, I’m left with no option but to lie through my teeth. And just for the record, Mintoo Singh (ad film-maker, Classic Films), I loved the Reebok spot with Bips and Dhoni that you shot in Hong Kong last year. So it’s not personal.
To your mind, is Bipasha Basu a good fit for the brand?
Bipasha, among a handful of celebrities, symbolizes fitness. A fair bit is said in the media about how she decided to get fit when someone called her fat. What more can a health food brand want in a brand ambassador? I don’t need to wax eloquent about the augmented effectiveness of a campaign when the brand ambassador’s image and the brand values are actually in sync.
When it comes to the health foods and drinks category, what should a drink keep in mind?
At the end of the day, health foods and drinks are meant for eating and drinking too, so apart from extolling the health benefit of the product, it’s important to ensure that the communication delivers on certain appetizing cues. While it drove home the product’s positioning as a healthy substitute for greasy or sugary food, the spot failed to create any appetite appeal whatsoever. Far from it, the violent manner in which the packs knock the food actually repulsed me to a slight degree. And a CG (computer graphics) food demo? Please! Animated fruit were fun when I was 7. Perhaps budget constraints didn’t allow for a fancy slo-mo (slow motion) fruit shot.
As told to Gouri Shah