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Where’s the idea? It’s a copy

Where’s the idea? It’s a copy
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First Published: Tue, Jan 20 2009. 10 43 PM IST

 AdEx India
AdEx India
Updated: Tue, Jan 20 2009. 10 43 PM IST
Brand: Direct TV
Agency: McCann Erickson (India) Ltd
Reviewer: Ranjan Bargotra, president, Crayons Advertising Ltd.
Spot: The ad for Sun Direct TV features a conversation between two neighbours as one of them installs the antenna on his rooftop. This leads them to compare notes on Sun and its competitor.
Why I don’t like it: The ad is a copy. The idea (there is one!), tone of voice, characters and models are identical—not of some ad done in another part of the world but of a widely-aired commercial for Bajaj XCD motorcycles.
They say imitation is the best form of flattery. Well, maybe that’s the objective of the ad: to flatter Bajaj motorcycles, and its marketing department and advertising agency.
AdEx India
There may be a more noble purpose—to send a message to people everywhere, especially young creative people in the ad industry (which faces a talent crunch) that it’s perfectly alright to blatantly plagiarize someone else’s idea.
Indeed, the commercial could have a third objective: To remind Sun Direct TV’s target consumers to go out and buy a Bajaj motorcycle instead.
How I would have done it: This is easier said than done. We would have studied this service category—are we different from our competitors in a way they cannot match? If not, what is the best way advertising can create a difference?
For instance, most firms in the direct-to-home (DTH) category, that is, Dish TV and Tata Sky, among others, perform poorly during the rains (and the rainy season is pretty long in Mumbai). Maybe, if Sun has an answer to this, the TV spot could have been done around this, with one guy holding an umbrella to protect his dish antenna while the other guy makes fun of him.
Without a brief, assuming we had to do a comparison-driven film, we would have built a story around two next-door families, where members of one family take turns to come to the rival DTH user’s house on one pretext or the other to catch up on favourite programmes because theirs’ do not show these channels. The point of price can be delivered in an interesting and surprising manner towards the end.
As told to Gouri Shah
gouri.s@livemint.com
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First Published: Tue, Jan 20 2009. 10 43 PM IST