When was the last time two old, balding men — with some help from a rubber duck — pipped hunks such as cricketer M.S. Dhoni and actors Saif Ali Khan and Aamir Khan to the post?
The Nokia 2600 Classic ad allowed for just that. It was rated the best on-air advertisement in the month of June, according to the Mint-Synovate-TVAd Indx survey, which gathers the voices of 750 randomly chosen consumers across the three metros of New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. An indication, perhaps, that agencies are starting to look at ideas that do not depend on celebrities, or even good-looking models.
A motley collection of commercials feature in the list of top-ranking spots in the June ad survey. While there is no discernible trend across the Top 15 ads, what is apparent is that creatives are trying all formats — but, sadly, not trying hard enough. As our expert Santosh Desai says, the bulk of the work is bad in an insipid way. “Talking about these ads or even thinking about them is tiring (what can one say about a Katrina-Veet ad or sundry LG ads that can keep anyone awake?),” he says.
The Sahara Life Insurance ad, though not in the Top 15 ads, grabs attention for the common-man-takes on-Gabbar representation that “is charming in concept and authentic in execution”, says Desai. The ad has scored 99% on the likeability criteria, the highest in this month’s survey. It seems that Gabbar spoofs are quick to make a connect with viewers.
Vodafone, as usual, finds a place (No.8) among the top-ranking TV spots. It’s also the top scorer in the ad diagnostics list. And it manages to do this without any help from its signature pug. Looks like the Vodafone creatives paid heed to Desai’s advice in these columns and decided to move on.
June saw a deluge of ads featuring celebrities. The Pond’s White Beauty episodic television spot, starring actors Saif Ali Khan, Priyanka Chopra and Neha Dhupia, takes the third slot with its short feature film format. “It stands out because it’s just that…a series, to be continued,” says Lynn de Souza, chairman and CEO, Lintas Media Group. “This is a daring approach by the agency, since it assumes that the viewer has seen the earlier commercial in the series, and will see the next episode in order to get the whole story.”
Dhoni features in three ads — Parle Milk Shakti, Lay’s chips (paired with Saif Ali Khan), and Big Bazaar — which ranked fourth, fifth and ninth, respectively, in our survey. Then, there is Aamir Khan in two commercials — Samsung Mobile (ranked seventh in our survey), where he sports a new hairdo, and Parle Monaco, which ranked twelfth. And, actor Juhi Chawla in the Kurkure spot, which prompts Desai to comment that we seem to have hit the bottom of the barrel. “The creative imagination has been exhausted when it comes to using celebrities,” he says.
THE TOP TV ADS AND THEIR CREATORS
Nokia 2600 Classic/2630 (click here for picture)
In search of a tune, an elderly man goes through three days of music auditions. Nothing moves him. Then it happens; the squeak of a toy rubber duck strikes him while he is in a bathtub. Get it bluetoothed, he tells his man. The next thing you know, he is surrounded by people playing the same sound. Soon, everyone in town is playing it. Tag line: Nokia 2600 Classic and 2630, Record+Bluetooth
Pepsodent ( click here for picture)
A little girl tells her mother she is the best — she makes the best halwa, samosas and pizzas. The girl’s father pipes in, saying the germs, too, will thank her mother. But there’s nothing to worry about—mom buys Pepsodent, too, to provide complete protection from germs. Tag line: ‘Thank you, Pepsodent’.
Lay’s Saif’s Spunky Pimento and Dhoni’s Balsamic Blast (click here for picture)
Actor Saif Ali Khan and cricketer M.S. Dhoni address their respective political meetings, asking people to taste the two new Lay’s flavours—Saif’s Spunky Pimento and Dhoni’s Balsamic Blast — and take their pick. Tag line: ‘What’s the pogramme?’
Vodafone prepaid (click here for picture)
Ogilvy and Mather
During a school exam, a girl’s pen runs out of ink. The teacher starts collecting the answer sheets. A boy puts a drop of ink on the girl’s desk and smiles at her reassuringly. She manages to finish her paper. Voice-over: ‘Many times, even small things are useful’.
Lehar Kurkure (click here for picture)
It seems Montu’s marriage proposal may be rejected, till actor Juhi Chawla asks a wedding band to play. Montu starts dancing, taking off his shirt — and winning over girl and family. Tag line: ‘Tedha hai par mera hai’ (he is quirky, but he is mine).
Pond’s White Beauty (click here for picture)
Ogilvy and Mather
It features three actors. Saif Ali Khan kisses Priyanka Chopra goodbye at the airport. Three years later, she sees his picture on a magazine cover, with a fairer woman — their paths cross. But there’s?hope. Chopra sees a demonstration of Pond’s White Beauty with Lycopene on TV. Can it help her win back Khan?
Tata Sky ( click here for picture)
Rediffusion-Dentsu, Young and Rubicam
A follow-up to the ‘Kasam se’ campaign, this one features a priest unhappy that he is being offered Rs201. It’s enough to buy a Tata Sky family pack, the man giving the money tells him. The priest isn’t convinced, but the man swears he is speaking the truth. The package actually costs Rs200.
Big Bazaar Apparel (click here for picture)
A shabbily dressed man tries to help a girl but when his cellphone rings, she thinks he has stolen her phone. Till cricketer M.S. Dhoni transforms his look. The girl is taken aback, and soon realizes her mistake. Dhoni’s take: ‘Desh badla bhes badlo’ (the country has changed, change the way you look).
Parle Monaco (click here for picture)
Everest Brand Solutions
An athletics coach finds ‘I love you’ etched on the side of his car. Actor Aamir Khan and his friends deny they had anything to do with this but matters begin to get serious. Just then, Khan rips off the sticker, revealing a scratch-free surface.
Parle Milk Shakti (click here for picture)
Tee Cee Bee Communications
Cricketer M.S. Dhoni twists a bottle cap with his hands in a show of strength. In turn, an elderly woman effortlessly bends a non-stick pan. Dhoni is stunned. He is not the only one eating Milk Shakti biscuits. Tag line: ‘Zyada shakti ki adat dal lo’ (get used to more power).
Samsung Beat 450 (click here for picture)
Sitting by himself in a pristine white room, actor Aamir Khan seems to be responding to voices from all around him. He is, in fact, listening to music — ear phones plugged to the new Samsung Beat450 mobile phone — and is surprised at the three-dimensional quality of the sound. Tag line: ‘Next is what?’
Chlormint Freshfills ( click here for picture)
A woman asks her nephew, Subu, to go back upstairs so she can put a tilak on his forehead. A reluctant Subu pops a Chlormint Freshfills candy. The liquid in it pushes his neck up to the first floor, while his feet remain grounded. Tag line: ‘Sambhal ke zara, liquid hai bhara’ (be careful, it is full of liquid).
Dabur Hajmola (click here for picture)
A police officer devises an ingenious way of catching smugglers — he throws Hajmola candies into the heap of boxes where they are hiding. The smugglers pick them up and gobble them, smacking their lips. A complete giveaway.