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On the Spot | Celebrities everywhere

On the Spot | Celebrities everywhere
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First Published: Mon, Jan 26 2009. 10 05 PM IST

Updated: Mon, Jan 26 2009. 10 05 PM IST
A refreshing visual language
Yes, they do make ads without celebrities, and do a fine job. After a long time,
we see a commercial which uses a mint-fresh narrative style to perfection. The art direction in this film is startlingly good and creates a refreshingly new visual language. Released at the end of the year, one hopes this was made for purposes other than awards. It would be a shame to waste this film on a lousy award.
A story told with grace, restraint
Tata Indicom/Haier
Contract Advertising
Now here’s a brand I never thought would appear on this side of the balance
sheet. Recent history indicated that this brand was resolute in bucking the general telecom trend of producing consistently interesting work but something seems to have changed. The Yousuf-Irfan commercial rings true and comes as a sprig of freshness in the otherwise arid landscape of this brand. Usually, stories involving relatives of celebrities are cringe-inducing (remember Yuvraj Singh and his mom?) but this one is told with grace and restraint.
Simple, literal but it works
Kentucky Fried Chicken/KFC
Ogilvy and Mather
Muttiah Muralitharan licks his fingers instead of wrapping them around a cricket
ball and making it turn freakishly. He licks his fingers because he has been to KFC, where the food is finger-lickingly good. Sometimes, simple, literal connections can create moments of minor joy.
Turkey of the month
Inexplicably off the mark
HDFC Standard Life
Leo Burnett
Beating back the challenge put up by the Complan and sundry Dabur ads, the
winner by a mile is HDFC with its let’s-kill-daddy life insurance ad.
For a brand that has consistently spoken insightfully to its audience, this one is inexplicably off the mark. To have an utterly contrived dialogue that leads a stranger to ask a child to imagine his father dead is an act of perversity without many parallels in advertising.
Granted, there is no easy way to talk about death but surely, parading that possibility ham-handedly in front of a 10-year-old could have been avoided.
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First Published: Mon, Jan 26 2009. 10 05 PM IST