REVIEWER: TItus Upputuru
With around 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.
The new campaign for Amul Macho by Ogilvy and Mather India, featuring Saif Ali Khan, shows the actor bashing up goons. Just words are enough to fell them—“I busted your eye,” he says, and the man gets a punch in the face. It takes exaggeration to another level altogether, with the tag line Bade aaram se.
What did you think of the ad?
I was a kid when a man in (a) VIP Frenchie and a bathrobe jumped from a building, fought the goons and saved his gorgeous lady. I could almost hear a track, “Frenchie man, Frenchie man, here comes the Frenchie man!” Things don’t seem to have changed much after two decades. The only difference is that (the) man has become more violent. And maybe a little lazy.
What must one remember while using celebrities for such ads?
It’s interesting that all of our Indian actors who’ve done underwear/innerwear endorsing so far have endorsed them wearing banyans (vests). We’ve seen Sunny Deol, Hrithik (Roshan), Salman (Khan), Akshay (Kumar), all wearing banyans and doing some macho act. Unlike a David Beckham, or any international underwear model,?we’ve never seen?them in glorified bods probably because (1) they’re our heroes and as Indians we can’t see our own heroes stripped down to their underwear—that makes them vulnerable; (2) like most Indian men, they’ve been busy building their biceps and six packs and completely ignored their legs. So they have chicken legs. So agencies must advise them to build their legs. But seriously, we should start doing more than just dishoom dishoom.
How did this strategy work after the brand’s slightly controversial “Ye toh bada toing hai” campaign?
While this ad is smart, if you ask me, I thought the earlier advertising was very distinct and hugely clutter-breaking. It had a uni-que tone and language. No other underwear brand in India had that kind of voice. So, in that sense, it was doing a better job to my mind. This one looks like a regular ad with another celebrity.
What’s your favourite ad in this category?
There is this fantastic campaign done for an ageing lingerie brand in Tokyo. The brand’s logo had an illustration of a laughing young girl’s body (in her inners) and looking back at the little poodle chasing her. What they did was, released an ad saying they would like to bring the logo alive and called for participation. There was a huge response. They ended up shooting dozens of young women in exactly the same position and expression as that in the logo and put up a hoarding in the centre of the city, changing the girl every week. Within a few weeks, the brand swung back into action and became a roaring success.
As told to Gouri Shah.