Reviewer: Titus Upputuru
With over 15 years experience in the advertising industry, Titus Upputuru, executive creative director for Saatchi & Saatchi, has worked with brands such as Sprite, KFC, Afghan Telecom and Electrolux.
Campaign: The ad showcases a man whose face wears a permanent expression of pure delight, which confuses, if not startles, people around him. The ad then traces his first encounter with the Indica Vista, which resulted in this expression.
What did you think of the ad?
While the ad did manage to amuse me, it wouldn’t have hurt if I had ended up with the same expression as that of the protagonist in the film. At least we could have shared something more than just the hairstyle. Jokes apart, the idea is not terribly new. But what delights you is the way it’s been executed: A guy tries a car and is stuck with the expression of surprise through the next few days. The open-mouth device with the joy in the eyes looks pretty neat. The music is particularly nice. So is the casting. The guy looks like a fresh face and this commercial would fetch him a lot of work in a similar space. The black and white look of the film is not bad either.
Pure delight: The casting and the black and white look of the ad work.
What to your mind are the key ingredients to a great car ad?
A lot of people tend to think that if it’s a car ad, then you should just show the car throughout the 40-odd seconds. Shoot it like ice cream. Let’s do justice to the car by showing it in full glory is the common anthem. But I believe a car, like any other product, is a product too which people buy. It might be more expensive than a can of paint, a cola or a pair of jeans but the reasons people buy it are much the same since we are selling it to a human being who has emotions.
What is your favourite car ad?
My all-time favourite car ad is this ad done for Saturn cars about seven years back. It’s just so stunningly beautiful—the idea as well as the execution. The ad features people walking like they were cars—for example, a man walks backward down his driveway; a woman walks down a road with two young boys behind her and stops at a house to pick up a young girl; hundreds of people run down a highway; and a night-time scene where several people walk with flashlights.
A subtle, aged, male voice-over says at the end: “When we design our cars, we don’t see sheet metal. We see the people who may one day drive them.” The commercial introduces the Saturn cars in the end. It won a Gold Lion.
As told to Gouri Shah