REVIEWER: TITUS UPPUTURU
Over a career spanning over 15 years, Titus Upputuru, executive creative director, Dentsu Marcom, has worked with brands such as Sprite, KFC, Afghan Telecom, Electrolux. He has also worked with agencies such as Ogilvy & Mather, Grey Worldwide and Publicis.
The new black and white ads, have presenters Komal G.B. Singh and Narrotam Puri answering quirky calls from consumers on “The eBay Way” show, which establishes benefits of range, deals, discounts and online security.
Jaded but lemony fresh: The ad stands out with its format and cast
What did you think of the ad?
As a toddler in dark blue shorts and sky blue shirt with the school bag over my shoulders, I remember sitting in the school bus and watching a white abandoned house painted with smoke. Everyday. Twice. Someone told me it belonged to Komal G.B. Singh. A victim of the 1984 riots. Years later, as I see her on the same small screen, I am transported to those times. I used to look at her long flowing hair which went hiding behind her shoulders (how did she manage to carry her school bag I used to wonder). She was gentle, soft-spoken. The doctor, on the other hand, used to give us daily prescriptions of how to play fine cricket. Minus the stethoscope, of course. The eBay commercials surely reverse the clock and bring back childhood memories. And surprises of surprises, the TV screens remain black and white. Save the logo in the centre. Like old Madhubala pictures. The ad stands out in the clutter for several reasons. The casting. The black and white look. And the format of having two television stars from 1980s, answering calls and being black and white messiahs of almost everything. Retail therapy, someone said. To me, it is lemony fresh despite its jaded look.
The biggest challenge of advertising an e-commerce site?
The toughest challenge for any e-commerce site today is today itself. It’s the times we are living in. Of mega malls and not-so-mega malls. With international fashion brands setting up shop in every corner, giant posters staring down from every glass wall, people are thronging into malls with a feverish restlessness. They are stopping by to catch a bite at the newly opened KFC, slurping up the cheese from the hot and crispy Zinger burger. Compare this to sitting at home and touching and feeling the mouse. Now, how’s that for a shopping experience? Then again, coffee wasn’t the favourite pastime of this nation before Barista came in. So anything is possible, provided we market it wisely.
Which is your favourite online portal ad?
There are many good ones. But one of the best I had really liked was Monster.co.uk’s “Beware of the voices” campaign. It was outstanding. Very compelling. Very sharp. Very insightful. I would assume one would remember the campaign and surely check out the site.
As told to Gouri Shah