Reviewer: Ranjan Bargotra
Ranjan Bargotra is president of Crayons Advertising Ltd. His agency was in the news early this year for the satirical cartoon characters “Jeeta” and “Jaggi”, created during the Punjab elections. “The never-ending learning process... new clients, new challenges every day,” as he describes his innings in advertising, has kept Bargotra going in the industry for 25 years.
Personal care brand Cinthol’s new television commercial (TVC) by Creativeland Asia for its soaps, shower gels and deo sprays travels across landscapes to stay true to the tag line Alive Is Awesome. The characters in the storyline are adventure enthusiasts living it up through activities like “The Polar Plunge” (a jump in an ice pond in the Arctic), “The Cave Dive” (a jump off a cliff into a water body), “The Makeshift Shower Bath”, “The Elephant Spray” (a bath on an elephant’s back as it sprays water with its trunk).
Your first thoughts on the ad?
It’s a great ad, beautifully shot, and has a nice, fresh feel to it. The locations are actually awesome. The people and the audio come together to lend an international feel to the TVC. It is a refreshing change from the celebrity-led, luxurious bathroom settings seen in most soap ads.
Is it a typical soap ad set in the outdoors?
Not at all, no soap brand has gone to this extent in outdoor locations. There is nothing typical about it. On the contrary, it is different from other soap ads.
Does the ad resemble the Liril TVCs?
There are some common elements with Liril—outdoor locations, waterfall and the woman in a green bikini. But the similarities end there. The idea and execution are different.
Does the soap category lack innovative ideas?
This category has seen some nice and memorable ads—Lux, Liril, Lifebuoy, to name a few. Though most of these may not qualify as “innovative”, they have worked pretty well, leading to the creation of some big brands. Most of these brands have evolved over a long period of time and are doing consistent and interesting advertising rather than “innovative” advertising.
What would you have done differently?
That’s easier said than done. It depends on the brief. Having said that, assuming we had to work on the same script, we would have dropped the soap from all the frames. In a waterfall, beach or while diving off a cliff into water, a soap bar is the last thing a person would have on his mind or in his hand. The idea here is to connect the brand with the pleasure of bathing, and that comes out pretty strong even without the soap in hand, which looks forced in most frames. The TVC has a wonderful product window, which is good enough to establish the brand connect.
Any international ad in the category that you recall.
Nothing in particular, except perhaps Dove. But then, as they claim, “Dove is not a soap”.
As told to Aminah Sheikh.