No pug marks, yet Vodafone stands tall at No. 1 in our list of top ads in February. With the highest score of 87 on the ad reach index, Vodafone’s TV spot on SMS at 10 paise was the best on-air advertisement in the Mint-Synovate-TVAdIndx survey, which gathers the voices of 750 randomly chosen consumers across New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. Its second ad took the No. 5 position.
Also See Top Television Ads in February (PDF)
As our expert Santosh Desai says, Vodafone certainly manages to depict the “power of meaningless meanderings of conversation enabled by cheap communication in a new and interesting way”.
Sprite’s two ads are at No. 2 and No. 4, though both scored 86 on the ad reach index. They differ in brand recall—the first had a brand recall of 94 and the other, 91. The Pepsi commercial at No. 3, too, scored 86 on the ad reach index. This ad, which featured cricketers M.S. Dhoni, Ishant Sharma, Sreesanth and Virender Sehwag, had the highest brand recall at 96 but scored 90 on the awareness index. The Sprite ad at No. 2 topped the ad diagnostics list with a score of 91. Its interesting storyline, which blends in a strong dose of humour, helped it score 99 on the likeability index. Vodafone, in contrast, got 89 on the ad diagnostics index.
Ads by rival biscuit brands Parle and Britannia jostled for eyeballs. The Parle-G TV spot featuring actors Aamir Khan and Darsheel Safary took the No. 7 position, a rank above the Britannia Tiger Chocolate commercial. This is one of those rare occasions when the Parle brand has ridden on a celebrity.
Both ads in the two-wheeler segment—TVS Scooty Streak and Hero Honda Glamour—draw flak from our experts. While the TVS Scooty Streak commercial, at No. 13 on our list with a score of 79 on the ad reach index, is seen to be a worthy example of how not to use a celebrity in a brand story, the Hero Honda Glamour ad at No. 14 is “yet another tedious, clichéd, unimaginative, predictable automotive commercial that wastes everybody’s time,” according to Mudra Communications Pvt. Ltd’s executive director and chief knowledge officer Sandeep Vij.
Commercials for Lifebuoy and Surf Excel—both from the Hindustan Unilever Ltd stable—use the antics of a little boy admirably to put the brand message across. The Surf Excel ad at No. 6 scored 83 on the ad reach index, while Lifebuoy scored 79 to take the No. 11 position.
One ad that stands out is the Bharat Nirman ad—it took the No. 2 position on the ad diagnostics list with a score of 90. It scored 96 on the likeability index and 88 on the believability index. Not bad for a commercial which talks about the government’s success stories, especially with the general election approaching.
Ogilvy and Mather
Two teenage girls are having fun, sending SMSes to each other. The fun part is that they are lying on adjacent beds. Each repeats the message she receives from the other. The tag line: Now local SMS at 10 paise.
Cricketers Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Ishant Sharma, Sreesanth and Virender Sehwag reminisce about the days when they would be sidelined by boys who had “connections”. Dhoni says what’s important is a ‘thirst’ for success, not connections. The tag line: ‘Yeh hai Youngistaan, meri jaan’ (This is Youngistaan).
Actors Aamir Khan and Darsheel Safary run into a woman; she asks Khan if he remembers her. He bluffs, Safary helping by pointing to letters of her name on a Parle-G pack. The tag line: ‘Do genius, ek taakat’ (Two geniuses, one source of strength).
Ogilvy and Mather
At a wedding, a man takes a liking to a girl and tries to impress her by serving food to her family. Another man, however, takes a sip of Sprite and simply asks the girl if he can sit next to her. She says he can. The first man is left serving food. The tag line: ‘Seedhi baat, no bakwaas’ (Straight talk, no nonsense).
A boy is bullied into giving his Britannia Tiger Chocolate biscuits to another student. The cream in the biscuit bloats into an animated figure and chases the bully. The tag line: Choclate cream biscuits with crazy energy, ‘khelte jao’ (keep playing).
Ogilvy and Mather
A couple is sitting on a bench in a park, chatting and flirting via SMS. The man praises the woman, complimenting her on her looks. He then sends her a message saying there is a piece of spinach stuck between her teeth. Miffed, the woman walks away. The tag line: Now local SMS at 10 paise.
A royal Chinese convoy is passing by; a man gives the princess a flying kiss. Her soldiers chase him. He leaps off buildings and walls deftly, secured by ropes and safety nets. The tag line: ‘Safety hai toh sab hero’ (When it’s safe, everyone is a hero).
Ogilvy and Mather
Two men see a woman walking her dog and wonder how to approach her. One tries to impress her by befriending the dog. The second walks up to her and asks her out. She wonders who will take care of the dog—he offers his friend’s services. The tag line: ‘Seedhi baat, no bakwaas’ (Straight talk, no nonsense).
A little boy shows off some science to his mother. He dips a litmus strip into a bucket of water. It turns red, indicating hard water. Next, he pours some Surf Excel into the water and dips the strip again. It turns green. The message: Surf Excel has changed the hard water to sweet water.
Actor Farhan Akhtar receives an SMS for help from a friend who is being booed by the crowd at a concert. Akhtar takes off in his Maruti A-star for the concert venue and gives a rocking performance, saving the day. The tag line: Stop at nothing.