On the Spot | Strategy takes a back seat

On the Spot | Strategy takes a back seat
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First Published: Mon, Aug 25 2008. 12 07 AM IST

Updated: Mon, Aug 25 2008. 12 07 AM IST
Interesting and done credibly
Pond’s White Beauty (See picture)
Ogilvy and Mather
Santosh Desai, CEO, Future Brands
A good example of interesting communication in an otherwise predictable category without too much by way of strategic thought. The idea of a serialized soap, though by itself not new, is rendered credibly with the help of some big stars. And yes, the ad also makes a significant contribution to mankind by introducing us to the idea of pinkish whiteness!
Good thought executed badly
Chocolate Horlicks (See picture)
JWT
Now this is a rarity. A commercial with a good thought executed badly. The idea that children, disgusted with adults decide, to take on the mantle of change is a good place to start. Making them dance to cringe-inducing hip hop, and giving them what I believe in the rarefied circles of advertising is called “loads of attitude”, makes them brats you want to execute at dawn. Then why is it one of the picks for the month, you may well ask. Good question. Refer to “paucity-of-good-strategic-thinking” argument above.
Idea now has a definite voice
Lowe Worldwide
No running away from this one. Abhishek Bachchan smiles beatifically as young village children use a mobile phone to get convent-educated. What works is the scale and unusualness of the canvas. Idea, as a brand, now has a definite voice and an arena it can call its own. One caution—all this is just advertising. If Idea is serious about this territory, it must now actually do something on the ground. Otherwise, today’s good idea is tomorrow’s exploitation.
TURKEY OF THE MONTH
It stereotypes too much
Active Wheel/Easy-Wash Active Wheel Bar (See picture)
Lowe Worldwide
Sometimes an agency falls in love with itself and begins to imitate its own work. Having successfully done the brand-with-social-purpose bit with Surf Excel and Idea, Lowe takes up Active Wheel and dreams up a parody using the turgid device of a body called the National No Paseena Commission, consisting of unattractive women in big bindis who arrest husbands because their wives sweat while washing clothes. No, I am not making this up. Tries too hard. Stereotypes too much. The women meet a man who shows off his still gleaming wife, who shows off the product. Falls flat with a resounding thud.
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First Published: Mon, Aug 25 2008. 12 07 AM IST