Not so obvious
Reviewer: Soumitra Karnik
In over two decades in advertising, Soumitra Karnik, national creative director of Dentsu India, spent 11 years at JWT India working on campaigns such as PepsiCo’s Youngistaan, Yaari ki Gaadi for Hero Honda (now Hero MotoCorp.) and Dil Jo Chahe Paas Laye for Airtel. He has also worked with agencies such as Percept and Lintas, and had a brief stint as an independent ad professional.
The ad by BBH India opens with actor Hrithik Roshan on the sets of a TV shoot. He asks where the camera is. The director tells him they will be using a laptop with a camera for the shoot. Roshan is surprised, and thinks it won’t work. But the unconventional shoot with Acer products works quite well. The tag line: Beyond the Obvious.
Your first thoughts on the campaign?
You know I first saw the print teaser of this campaign. It was designed like an advertorial. Now, I personally am not a great fan of stunt advertorials and don’t know if they really even manage to fool people into believing that it is an authentic editorial. So when the so-called advertorial headline screamed “Hrithik Roshan refuses to shoot” or something like that, you know where it is going.
Having said that, even when I didn’t believe the authenticity of the news, I looked forward to the TV commercial. Now, I don’t know who this ad is targeted at—advertising people, directors, DoPs (directors of photography) or just about everyone? If it is for just about everyone, then they won’t really know what to do with this. It would be like trying to sell a really good cricket bat to a soccer player.
What would you have done differently?
If I knew what the intent of the brand was, I would have been able to figure that out better. If they are targeting creative film-makers and advertisers, they’ve got it right. If they are targeting the mango man, it doesn’t work.
What do you think about the collaboration between copywriters and film-makers? Is there scope for improvement and changing things at the shoot stage?
Film-makers and copywriters need to have great chemistry. There are many film-makers and many copywriters in the industry. There is enough scope for writers and film-makers to collaborate and make great ad campaigns. Film-making is a dynamic art. Sometimes impromptu acts are much better than scripted ones.
Which other ads in this category caught your attention?
As an advertiser, since I am familiar with a lot of elements being used in advertisements, I like the Acer campaign. For creative guys, this campaign stands out. But the Lenovo campaign featuring Ranbir Kapoor is better since the target audience is much wider. It pretty much reaches out to everyone.
Your favourite PC campaign?
The Mac vs PC commercial.
As told to Suneera Tandon.