REVIEWER: ADRIAN MENDONZA
Independent ad film-maker and creative consultant, and former national creative director, Dentsu Marcom Pvt. Ltd, Adrian Mendonza has spent around 20 years in the industry and has handled brands such as Hindustan Petroleum, Eveready, Citibank, Indian Oil, and Maruti among others.
Titled Endless Goodbye, the ad by JWT India shows a couple repeatedly bumping into each other after having said their goodbyes. It ends with a voiceover saying: “In Airtel’s world, you’ll never be away from your close ones. Dil jo chahe paas laye (It brings your heart’s desires closer).”
What are your first thoughts on this ad?
I think it’s a beautiful piece of communication, finely crafted, well shot and carefully detailed. The storyline is uncomplicated. Love and longing anyway cut across age groups and classes, so it is a fine hook on which to hang the relaunch of the brand. Not using celebrities is refreshing and welcome. The ad is also very well directed. The joy of meeting repeatedly after parting could have ended up looking very boring if it were not handled expertly. However, the ad makes the surprise and joy of finding each other again and again quite genuine. I don’t really find too many weak points in the ad. Except (that) the music could have been warmer and contributed more to the emotional punch.
Love actually: The ad’s well directed and the storyline uncomplicated.
Is it a departure from what Airtel has been doing?
It would be too early to come to such a conclusion. Airtel has been using emotion quite significantly in the past too. For example, the ad with Shreyas Talpade and the red thread that bound him to his dad at the village fair was heart-tugging. The emotion between a son and his father or mother is the most pure. This ad is a different kind of emotion, but there is nothing completely new about it. However, what is different about the thinking here is that the communication is brave enough to go back to something as basic as “always stay close to what you love”.
What would you have done differently in this ad?
Like I’ve mentioned, I would have treated the track differently. It’s a great opportunity to write a beautiful love song.
Another ad with great human connect that you can think of?
The current Vodafone Delights campaign featuring the two school friends is amazing. It’s a simple but powerful insight about how we do special things for the ones we care for. It’s wonderfully directed, enacted and the music track is to die for.
The new Airtel logo—good, bad, ugly?
I guess it would be a thumbs up simply for the reason that finally one does not have to read an entire word to recognize the Airtel brand. This is a step that was long overdue. And the stylized “a” leaves the consumer to imagine things, rather than spelling it out for him or her.
As told to Anushree Chandran.