REVIEWER: TITUS UPPUTURU
With around 15 years’ experience in the advertising industry, Titus Upputuru, national creative director at the advertising agency Dentsu Marcom Pvt. Ltd, has worked on brands such as KFC, Limca, Sprite and Honda.
Lowe Lintas’ new ad for Coca-Cola shows children playing cricket in scorching heat in the middle of a desert. A narrative voice sets the scenario. The campaign ends with Sachin Tendulkar sipping Coke and saying: “Khelte raho, khush raho” (Keep playing, be happy). Tag line: Open happiness.
First thoughts on the ad?
Some ads you don’t stop at; some you casually flip by; some you wait to see till the end and some you want to see more than once. This one falls in the last category. I like the direction and the music. It looks visually rich.
Well-directed: It’s an ad you would want to see more than once.
Would you have done anything differently?
I wish the children had Coke too, even if it was one bottle that went around the team, considering they sweat it out in the heat. I wonder why this was not part of the script. I don’t think it would have taken away anything from the film. The brand’s usage as a toss-up coin is quite interesting though.
Your thoughts on bringing Tendulkar into this commercial?
Not many years ago, Pepsi had used him effectively in the “mask film”—there were many children running around with masks of Sachin until he finally comes from behind his own mask. To use the same celebrity who has had good success as a rival brand ambassador calls for guts. All the same, I wonder why we have such a big celebrity hangover. Sometimes they work well for brands; sometimes it’s about how we use them. Most times, we simply pay millions just for a face. I wish we would put the millions into the idea and the media. Brands would be far richer.
Pepsi and Coke have, in the past, clashed over their campaigns. However, Pepsi has now shifted focus to football while Coke is batting with cricket. Your opinion?
The idea universe is so large, why fight mini battles? To associate oneself with only one sport is not the greatest thing that a brand can do. It could be quite limiting. I find it encouraging that as a nation, we are endorsing other sports besides cricket. There are sportsmen in the country who work as much, if not more, but their efforts go unrecognized. Why aren’t the guys who won us Olympic fame endorsing shower gels and watches, for instance?
How would you compare this commercial to other cricket-themed campaigns this season?
I loved the IPL (Indian Premier League) amusement park spot. It should win something globally. The execution was stunning and flawless. It was almost magical and unbelievable that such kinds of executions could come out of our country. I was happy to see it.
As told to Suneera Tandon.