REVIEWER: PRATHAP SUTHAN
Prathap Suthan, managing partner, Bang in the Middle, has over 25 years’ experience. He is best known as the creative mind behind the India Shining and Incredible India campaigns.
Travel booking portal Cleartrip.com’s latest television commercial by Wieden+Kennedy Delhi shows 10-second vignettes, done playfully as video stamps. The screenplay showcases the brand’s commitment to make travel simple and fast. For instance, one vignette shows a man’s suitcases being packed with speed and precision as soon as he checks a box marked “Trip”; in another, three different signs read “Are”, “You”, “Clear?” as a young woman waits to board a train. Each vignette ends with the tag line: Cleartrip.com—Flights. Hotels. Trains.
Your first thoughts on the ad?
They are certainly clever. They bang in the point that they are all about flights, hotels and trains. In terms of production and impact, the quickies tell me that they are nifty, efficient, and an economical way to take care of my travel needs. They have either deliberately taken the flavour of their production to further reinforce their economy DNA or they have by accident stumbled on to a format that makes them (seem) more frugal than they wanted to be. Which could be great or terrible. Gut tells me that their default mode is all about thrift.
Is the duration of the ad good enough to create an impact?
That depends on a couple of things. One, their target audience (TA). If the smarter, younger, English-oriented lot is the aspirational core of their TA, then they are firing from the right gun. On the other hand, if they are trying to whisper recipes to the non-metro lot, the older lot, and the Net-unsavvy lot, then they are shooting marbles at the moon. Two, if they have a plethora of similar ads and a pipeline of thick fat cash, the sheer sludge of quantity will mercifully flatten down doors, and there would be a resultant rush of heavy traffic on the Internet.
What do the stamp video ads communicate to the viewer?
Good question. In 10 seconds they tell me that if I need hotels, flights or trains, I should consider Cleartrip. Like if I generally fall down, I should apply generic Dettol. As ditty reminders of their business, they work. In just 10 seconds they really also cannot tell me much more. They have to hold back on the beauty of the sunset that I can experience in Copacabana, the touch of the breeze that comes in galloping on the crests of proud white waves....
What would you have done differently?
I am not sure. I don’t know the brief. But I suppose if small 10-second ads were the media planner’s recommended panacea and the client’s eager request, then I probably would have done a series like this. Though I suspect I wouldn’t have quite done them as deftly.