Reviewer: Bhushan Pandit, creative director, DraftFCB Ulka Advertising (India) Pvt. Ltd.
Spot: Ad for Parle Milk Shakti biscuits where cricketer M.S. Dhoni uses his superhuman strength to lift a sofa to search for keys.
Why I don’t like it: Advertisers often abuse the term “exaggeration” to get away with bad work instead of coming up with a powerful insight. More often than not, what seems hilarious (in their minds) is something viewers ridicule. Milk Shakti is the perfect example. The agency gets briefed. Planners mull over it for a month and then brief the creatives, bombarding them with jargon and stats. At the end of it all, the one-line brief states: Milk Shakti equals milk equals strength. The creatives go ahead and design communication which states just that. Doesn’t it seem like a first thought?
What a waste of a character like Dhoni. Also, can someone get him a professional hair stylist and a wardrobe designer? All said and done, the concept has been seen before and is an eyewash amid the clutter.
How I would have done it: First of all, I would watch the various biscuit advertisements on TV. By the time I’m done, it would become apparent that some concepts have been done to death. I would at the least find a less incredible yet entertaining way of portraying strength.
I would, first of all, look for an insight. Advertisers often fall so much in love with their ideas that they forget that good communication must have a real insight at its core. I read in a sports magazine that Dhoni’s favourite drink is milk. I think that is definitely an insight.
Taking this insight as the basis for my communication, and drawing an association between milk and Parle Milk Shakti, my expression would be: Can’t get enough of milk? We would then reveal Parle Milk Shakti. Chances are, I would exaggerate as well. But doesn’t exaggeration seem more credible when it is backed by a strong and real insight?
As told to Gouri Shah firstname.lastname@example.org