Ad review | ‘It’s fine to break the rules ...but let’s start with an idea’

Ad review | ‘It’s fine to break the rules ...but let’s start with an idea’
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First Published: Wed, Mar 19 2008. 12 41 AM IST

Anu Joseph
Anu Joseph
Updated: Wed, Mar 19 2008. 12 41 AM IST
Anu Joseph
Reviewer: Anu Joseph, creative director, Creativeland Asia
Spot: The ibibo “bomb” ad. A bomb is found, and an expert from the bomb defusing squad is at work. As time runs out, he calls his senior on the radio to find out if he should cut the red wire or the green. There’s no answer. For, on the other side, is a “balti” (bucket) in place of a person.
The voice-over says, “Kuch log balti hote hain, aur balti nahin deti jawaab. So don’t be a balti. Log on to ibibo.com for answers to all your sawaals. Now” (some people are buckets, and buckets do not respond to queries).
Why I don’t like it:
Ad: Ibibo.com; Agency: DraftFCB+Ulka
It is one of those ads that makes me doubt my own ability to discern the good and the bad. I tried to justify in my mind that the idea was to create a phrase that would catch on and intrigue people to log on to the website once tonnes of money was pumped into airing the ad on every channel a million times.
But, then, I thought what the hell? What is the idea? If advertising was to just create some random stuff, buy a lot of airtime (hours and hours of it) and expect the weirdness of it to stick out oddly and work, then to hell with advertising. It’s fine to break the rules, but let’s stick to the basics. Let’s always start with an idea.
How I would have done it:
Probably, ibibo could have taken a higher ground about the question and answer thing. Probably, they should have encouraged people to question things. And the idea could have been “question everything” and find answers.
But, definitely, I would have started out by thinking.
As told to Gouri Shah
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First Published: Wed, Mar 19 2008. 12 41 AM IST