AD Review: ‘The message is lost in length’

AD Review: ‘The message is lost in length’
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First Published: Wed, Aug 01 2007. 12 24 AM IST
Updated: Wed, Aug 01 2007. 12 24 AM IST
Ad: Tata Indicom phone
Agency: FCB Ulka Advertising Ltd
Storyline: Conversations are between bride and groom, girlfriend and boyfriend etc.
National creative director at Leo Burnett India Pvt. LtdK.V. Sridhar explains why he does not like the Tata Indicom television advertisement, created by FCB Ulka Advertising Ltd, and how he could have done it better.
Spot: Actress Kajol offers her Tata Indicom phone to people caught in odd situations because their call had been interrupted due to poor network coverage. The conversations are between a bride and her groom, girlfriend and boyfriend, a businessman and his client, etc.
Why I don’t like it: The idea that an important message is lost when a call drops due to poor network is very good. However, the treatment of that idea in this particular ad film is terrible, right from scripting to execution. You can’t have a brilliant and versatile actor such as Kajol, a fantastic brand such as Tata Indicom, and a client that has media money, and still produce mediocre work. The agency should have stayed close to the basic idea.
The first advertisement, which features a conversation between a bride and groom, is so long and convoluted that the message is lost.
The ad makers have also not used the strength of the celebrity, that of being a versatile actor. Rather, they have used her as a salesperson or endorser, which isn’t convincing as consumers are not likely to believe that Kajol actually uses a Tata Indicom phone.
How I would have done it: I would have stayed close to the idea. I would have played up how critical the message is both for the person giving it and the person receiving it; that is where the drama lies—with better connectivity being the solution.
An American ad for Cingular Telecommunication Inc. shows a conversation between a woman and her husband who’s travelling on a business trip. The call drops just when she tells him she’s pregnant, and a gamut of emotions follows the deafening silence she hears at the other end. It might have made more sense to feature Ajay (Devgan) and Kajol as a couple in similar situations, highlighting the criticality of the message and the need for a good mobile service.
As told to Gouri Shah
In this space, a creative director will review an advertisement he doesn’t like, and explain how he would have done it, every fortnight.
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First Published: Wed, Aug 01 2007. 12 24 AM IST