REVIEWER: PRATHAP SUTHAN
Prathap Suthan has the title of chief explorer at brand consulting firm The Advisory and is chief creative officer at information technology services company iYogi. With around 23 years’ experience in advertising, Suthan is best known for the India Shining campaign he developed for the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government ahead of the 2004 general election.
Candid: Prathap Suthan.
The ad campaign by Ogilvy and Mather has actor Aamir Khan in a home environment talking about his new show Satyamev Jayate. Khan says: “Rone de public ko. Gussa aana chahiye. Entertainment ka matlab yeh toh nahi ki bas hasate raho! Dil pe lagni chahiye (Let the public cry. They should get angry. Entertainment doesn’t mean you only make them laugh. It should touch the heart).” The campaign runs as a series of teaser ads, delivered with documentary-style narration.
First thoughts on the ad?
It’s brilliant, it does what a teaser ought to do. Takes you sideways, tickles you lengthwise, and leaves you perfectly curious. I have always thought that Aamir gets into the core of his brands and brings their souls alive. In this case, he has efficiently played out the character of the programme’s otherwise unseen content. It’s sincere, candid and provocative, minus any shallow celeb razzmatazz.
What would you have done differently with the ad?
I doubt if I could have topped this. The strategy to blank out any visual reference to the content is ingenious. Unlike other teasers that are brainless, or 10-second edits of the main film, these have been done with a lot of thought. This is a full-fledged campaign camouflaged as teasers. The fact that all these have been shot at his own home is again beautifully deliberate. The sipping of chai (tea) and eating off a steel plate are studied details that drive the show’s family wholesomeness.
Brilliant: The campaign does not make visual references to the show.
What do you think of Khan as a celebrity host of a TV show?
Since this is Aamir’s first TV appearance, that alone should get people to reach home early. I see this as a clear fit with his quieter, assured, and non-flamboyant presence. In this show, we will see Aamir without his actor make-up.
Which was the last television show that was marketed just as brilliantly?
I generally like KBC’s (Kaun Banega Crorepati) work. I loved their “Koi Bhi Insaan Chota Nahi Hota (No One Is Insignificant)” campaign.
Big stars on TV—do you expect this trend to grow bigger?
This will continue. There are huge possibilities. More than the glamour, big stars bring in talent, magnetism, grace, and crowd connect. In India, where middle-class living isn’t full of wine and cheese, radiant television evenings are a daily escape route from our struggles.