The chief creative officer and co-founder of Taproot India, Santosh Padhi, started his advertising career 15 years ago with Mudra (DDB) Mumbai. After a 10-year stint at Leo Burnett, Mumbai, where he was executive creative director and national head of art (India), he started his creative venture, Taproot, two years ago. He’s worked on brands such as McDonald’s, Johnnie Walker, Heinz Tomato Ketchup and Fiat India.
Unmoved: Santosh Padhi
The new ad for Samsung Galaxy Tab, by international ad agency Africa, shows a man effortlessly cruising through emails, video chats, e-books, etc. His camera clicks everything around him—buildings, malls and people. The idea: I carry my world.
What did you think of the advertisement?
It tells you everything it should about the product and its features, but in such a way that it will never be on the top of (my) mind. It’s all been conveyed in a cold, clichéd way. If you are the only player with these features, then by default you’re the choice. You don’t just sell products through ads, you sell brands. Brands need to connect with consumers. Considering the product is so new/loaded with such wonderful features, the way it’s been communicated is a complete contrast. There isn’t a single thing (story, treatment, celebrity) that will make me recall this ad.
What would you have done differently?
Cliched: The ad isn’t memorable
I would make the story more human. I know I’m selling a machine but at the end of the day, I’m talking to human beings, not to machines.
Another gadget ad which is your favourite?
In the same category, a Nokia ad when they introduced camera phones. You see a middle-aged man behaving like a child as soon as he gets a phone. He keeps searching for and taking pictures of bizarre things—a toilet, shaving cream, omelettes, etc. The viewer wonders what’s next. Cut to the part where we see him in a foreign country where he cannot speak the language.?As soon as he steps out of the airport,?he takes out his phone and browses through the photos with a proud smile. He shows a picture to a person; the camera zooms in and that’s when we discover that this is one of the images he had clicked back home. The picture is that of a toilet and the foreigner points towards a building. It’s such a simple story and yet insightful and human.
‘I carry my world’—is that a good baseline? Another tag line you can think of?
To reiterate, most players in this category say the same thing. In this case, the ad does its job but doesn’t go beyond that. It’s difficult to come with a baseline so fast, but I would like to again give an example of Nokia colour phones. Their baseline “Ab har jeb mein rang” says a lot about colour(ed) phones, but in a style that’s different.
As told to Anushree Chandran.