Brand: Lafarge Concreto cement
Agency: Ogilvy and Mather India
Reviewer: K.V. Sridhar, national creative director, Leo Burnett India Pvt. Ltd.
Spot: The ad for Lafarge Concreto cement depicts Indian cricket captain M.S. Dhoni as an aspiring engineer building a house for his mother. He, along with a team of engineers, builds a house while playing cricket with a shovel for a bat and a ball made from cement! (Don’t ask me why). He finally makes a palace for his mother, which looks a lot like Princess Jasmine’s?palace from Aladdin.
Why I don’t like it: Question: I’m an international brand setting foot in India for the first time. What do I do?
Answer: Sign up Dhoni.
This seems to be the laziest mantra adopted by many brands for launching in India. This commercial, like many others, has not done justice to one of the greatest success stories of India: Dhoni. To show him as an aspiring civil engineer/mason playing cricket with a shovel and a cement ball is sacrilege. I find the ad trying too hard to be Indian with the cricket, engineer Dhoni and the palace references.
And then, the core emotion that got buried under a pile of cement: a son’s dream to make a home for his mother. A very emotional thought that will ring true with many got lost under the canopy of tacky execution and yawning monologue. All in all there seems (to be) too much crammed into a 40-second mixed sandwich. Try too hard to make a house—you’ll most certainly miss the home.
How I would have done it: Let’s see… I have Lafarge Concreto cement, Dhoni and a very good emotional thought: a son’s dream to make a home for his mother. I would’ve stuck to the core rustic roots of Dhoni’s humble beginnings. The story is around the innocence of a child, the love and the relation he shares with his mother. A child whose dream is to make a home for his mother and that is his motivation for success. Dhoni as a child could well be the true hero for this story. This way the story becomes more believable, honest and relatable (to which viewers can relate).
It would be a much more sincere attempt to showcase the rise and rise of India and Dhoni. Do otherwise, and you end up with an empty shovel and a broken cement ball.
As told to Gouri Shah