We adore our celebrities. So much so that Airtel’s latest campaign, featuring actor Shah Rukh Khan, took the No. 1, 4, 5 and 7 ranks in the Mint-Synovate-TVAdIndx survey in October.
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The top-ranking Airtel ad scored 81 on the ad reach index, bolstered by 98% brand recall and 83% awareness among respondents.
Husband-wife duo and Bollywood actors Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan’s romantic capers on the small screen, albeit staged, propelled the Lux Peach Cream TV spot to the No. 2 spot in the survey that gathers the voices of 898 randomly chosen common consumers across New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. The Lux Peach Cream ad earned 97% on brand recall and 79% on awareness, scoring 77 on the ad reach index.
Yet the Pond’s commercial didn’t fare too badly even though it didn’t have celebrities. It had 100% brand recall, taking the third spot with a score of 74 on the ad reach index. A second Pond’s ad ranked No. 10.
In the telecom segment, two Idea ads featured at No. 11 and No. 13, with the Tata DoCoMo ad at No. 6 and the Reliance Mobile ad at No. 8.
However, our expert Santosh Desai, CEO, Future Brands, isn’t too happy with the Airtel ads, or the others from competing brands. As he says: “Airtel’s Shah Rukh Khan commercials are full of faux-introspection, Indicom’s work is faux-profound, Tata DoCoMo reeks of faux-bonhomie and upliftment, Reliance with Hrithik (Roshan) is just short of creepy and Idea with its ‘walk and talk’ extensions is walking determinedly towards absurdity and irrelevance.”
The Lifebuoy ad, No. 12 on our list of top 15 ads, has ruffled the feathers of consumer activists, with its promise of 100% protection from the swine flu virus. This ad scores 59 on the ad reach index, getting 97% on brand recall and 61% on awareness.
On the ad diagnostics list, which measures softer parameters such as likeability, enjoyment, believability and claim, three ads—Bajaj Allianz, Videocon UltraSlim and Usha Pumps—took the top positions.
Five of the top 15 ads in the ad reach index list also figure in the top 15 ad diagnostics chart. What’s interesting is that 11 of the top 15 ads in the ad diagnostics chart scored 100% on likeability.
A boy holds out a ring to his girlfriend, but is too shy to say anything. Actor Shah Rukh Khan, sitting alongside on the arm of the sofa, wonders aloud: How long does it take to express one’s feelings? “Yes,” urges Khan: This is relayed immediately in a woman’s voice, as if over the phone, and the couple hugs.
Actor Aishwarya Rai Bach-chan, fresh out of the bath, blindfolds actor Abhishek Bachchan. She playfully teases him, her soft and smooth skin defying his attempts to catch her. The song “Sone se bhi sona lage...” (She feels better than gold...)” plays in the background.
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There’s a montage of men pulling their partners’ cheeks—a man with his date, an elderly man with his wife, another man dancing with his partner. What attracts them, we find out, is the ladies’ soft skin. How they keep the skin so soft becomes clear when a model applies Pond’s cold cream. Tag line: Oogly boogly woosh.
A boy contemplates proposing to a girl, but hesitates. How much time does it take to express one’s feelings? asks actor Shah Rukh Khan, sitting behind the couple. Khan utters the words, “Will you marry me?”—and they are repeated as if over the phone. All’s well that ends well.
A boy and a girl, both upset, are sitting at the opposite ends of a sofa. Standing behind them is Shah Rukh Khan, waiting for the boy to apologize. How much time does it take to apologize? Khan wonders aloud. “I’m sorry,” he says. The words seem to be repeated over the phone; the couple makes up.
6. Tata DoCoMo
Aboard the Friendship Express train, a young man looks around—his fellow passengers are silent. He starts humming the Tata DoCoMo tune. Others join him. Suddenly, they stop. This time, a young girl starts singing the tune. All the passengers laughingly join in, and the entire train is humming.
Actor Shah Rukh Khan begins thinking about the people in his life—his fans, companion, mentor and childhood friends who knew him before he became a star—those who made him, taught him and are now his network. When 110 million people are supportive, it must be something good, he concludes.
Actor Hrithik Roshan plays Pied Piper at a city square. He plays his flute, and all the problems that plague mobile phone services—such as STD, members only and conditions apply—animate into mice and follow him as he guides them off a cliff. Needless to say, everyone is very happy.
Sitting in an office cubicle, a young man turns around and starts singing the song “Pehli baar mohabbat ki hai” for a female colleague, who shares the cubicle. The girl responds smilingly to the serenade, and then hands him a Parker pen, asking him to write his own song.
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There’s a montage of men pulling cheeks—a schoolboy with a girl, a teenager on a date in a cafe, a man with his bride at the altar. They’re attracted by the soft skin. How the ladies got such soft skin becomes clear when a woman applies Pond’s cold cream on her face. Tag line: Oogly boogly woosh.
A boy spots his neighbour on the balcony, sitting and talking on the phone. He rings her doorbell and runs away. Phone in hand, the girl opens the door, only to find nobody there. She resumes her seat. He repeats his actions, forcing her to walk. She gets the message, and talks while walking.
A child tells his father, a doctor, that no one’s coming out to play for fear of swine flu. His father asks him to spread awareness and suggests he leave bars of Lifebuoy soap at the doorsteps of friends with the message: Swine flu se darne ka nahin, ladne ka (Don’t fear swine flu, fight it).
A man, seated, is talking on his hands-free phone while eyeing a woman. The woman returns his stare and goes and sits next to him. He walks away, but she keeps following him. He apologizes. She then smiles and walks by, singing the Idea “walk and talk” tune. It’s only then that realization of the message dawns on him.
It’s all about connections. A boy touches the screen of his SamsungCorby phone, connecting him to a friend who, in turn, touches the screen on her phone to connect to another friend. The phone’s one-touch feature brings together a group of friends so they can hang out, using networking sites and other apps.
Ogilvy and Mather
A bored couple is sitting listlessly at home. The woman takes a sip from a Limca bottle. As if by magic, the environment changes, and the house gradually turns into a pool. Refreshed, the couple play and tease each other underwater. Tag line: Doobo taazgi mein, refresh your life.