Can we do without the cliches, please!

Can we do without the cliches, please!
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First Published: Tue, Nov 13 2007. 11 17 PM IST

Priti J Nair
Priti J Nair
Updated: Tue, Nov 13 2007. 11 17 PM IST
Priti J Nair
Reviewer: Priti J. Nair, national creative director, Grey India, picked the latest ad for Maruti Suzuki India Ltd’s Zen Estilo.
Ad spot:
A girl runs away from home with her boyfriend. At a checkpoint, they find the girl’s father—a police officer—approaching the car, a Zen Estilo, for inspection. The couple freeze as they fear being discovered. But the father is so impressed with the features of the car that he doesn’t notice his daughter in the front seat.
Agency: Ogilvy & Mather India Ltd
Why I don’t like it:
Are these the same guys who did the “boxes little boxes” ad for the same car? This ad shows a daughter eloping (ho hum!). And a strict father (same one who was in Tata Indica’s “More dreams per car” ad) does a naka bandi (police search) to catch the daughter. He stops the Zen in which she is travelling with her boyfriend. And hey! Daddy doesn’t even notice her. Instead, he loves the extra boot space in the car, the great sound system, and so many other goodies that the car comes with. And, therefore, he lets them go. I feel ridiculous even writing this.
How could someone write this? And how could someone buy it? This is what articulates the principle of “Safe when risky. Risky when safe”. A bunch of innocent people in some research group would have been grilled, and this must have turned out to be the winner. No gross negatives, therefore... When will we ever learn?
If the idea is “so good that you get carried away”, then this is the laziest script anyone could have done on that premise. It’s truly foolish, unbelievable and absolutely not entertaining. There are some genuinely memorable commercials done with the same creative idea. Even the casting and the performances are so hackneyed and boring.
The dialogues. Everything screaming out “I am sorry got it all wrong”.
How I would have done this better:
First, I would have written another script. And if I had to better this, I would have taken extra care on the casting. If the plot is clichéd, the casting at least should have character. Not the usual suspects from advertising. The girl, boy, and father should have been people who are real. Should have played up nuances that we haven’t seen before.
As told to Gouri Shah
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First Published: Tue, Nov 13 2007. 11 17 PM IST