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REVIEWER: SONAL DABRAL
The chairman and chief creative officer of DDB Mudra Group, Sonal Dabral, has more than two decades of experience in advertising, having worked on brands such as Audi, Fiat, Tata Safari, Unilever Foods, Ponds, GE and Nestle’s Maggi. Dabral began his career at Lintas, Delhi, followed by stints at Mudra and, then, Ogilvy in Mumbai and Malaysia.
Hindustan Unilever Ltd’s tomato ketchup brand Kissan’s latest ad campaign, Kissanpur—Real Joy Of Togetherness, by Lowe Lintas encourages parents to spend quality time with their children. The ad, which has no dialogue, shows a young, nuclear family, with the father busy on the phone, and the mother on her laptop. But even in the middle of it all, she gets up to snatch the tablet and phone on which their son is playing video games. Angry, the child shuts his mother’s laptop and leaves the room. He sees the gardener at work, and decides to plant tomato seeds in a pot. His parents join in. Now there are three pots—and the family nurtures them together.
Your first thoughts on the ad?
An endearing and deeply insightful story, beautifully told. An idea that doesn’t talk about the ingredients of a brand or a product, but that celebrates the ingredients, the intricacies and the nuances of a young family.
What would you have done differently?
Maybe made it shorter. Nevertheless, sometimes a slow and steady pace is preferable to our expected durations. Also, I wouldn’t have alienated the father. He seems a bit peripheral to the story.
In such ads the power of the content tends to overpower the brand.
That can actually be a beautiful thing. Most brands look inwards. The great ones retreat, and put their audiences centre stage. They can merge the idea with the core equity of the brand. This is a sublime example of that.
What did you think of the performance of the child?
The casting is brilliant. They haven’t gone the predictable route of taking on board a precocious kid. The kid in this ad has done a wonderful job.
How effective is nature as a theme for ads?
Every ad emanates from and talks to its immediate environment. A concern for nature, if it’s in sync with the brand’s character or the communication objective, can be deftly captured, without making it sound like a CSR (corporate social responsibility) initiative.
Any international ad in this category that has high recall value according to you?
Although some highly awarded work has been done in this category over the years, a commercial that has always stayed with me is the Matt LeBlanc–Heinz Ketchup from 1987. It celebrates the product and glorifies its interaction with consumers in a delightful way.