REVIEWER: SONAL DABRAL
In his advertising career of over 20 years, Sonal Dabral, chairman, Bates 141 India, has won awards at most major international and regional shows, including Cannes, Clio, D&AD, Adfest and Spikes.
CAMPAIGN: The new Indigo airlines’ ad focuses on saying the carrier is always on time because everyone involved in the process—chefs, air hostesses, ground staff, pilots—are always on time.
What did you think of the ad?
If you’ve seen Kuntzel and Deygas’ quirky title sequence for the
Spielberg film Catch Me if You Can, you know where the inspiration for this TVC (TV commercial) comes from! Nevertheless, full marks to W+K and the client team for trying this new and very different genre to break through the clutter of our same-to-same TV environment. It gives the brand a zippy, contemporary feel—and the single-minded message of “on time” gets established well.
That said, I have problems with the execution and crafting. Both lack a certain finesse. Look at the faces, the costumes and the awkward manner in which the models try to stand like trained dancers. It’s little slip-ups like these that, unfortunately, make the ad feel “fake”. A script and idea of this nature should’ve been mounted correctly, with a good budget and good “time” on hand. That would have really made it take off. Besides the overall not-exactly-there finish of the commercial, another concern is with the casting. Whether they’re the chefs, the pilots or the passengers, they all look the same—bland and faceless good-looking models. Since the genre is a musical and the look is exaggerated, I’m sure this was intentional, but it would’ve been much better to take some memorable, differentiated—and importantly, believable—faces. Some could even have been trained dancers to strike the right moves. This, done right, would’ve added immensely to the look and the authenticity of the commercial.
What should marketeers keep in mind while advertising a brand in a highly competitive category such as airlines?
In today’s busy media environment, it’s important to keep the message simple and single-minded—and be entertaining at the same time. This new Indigo ad does a great job at being single-minded and that’s the reason the message sticks long after you’ve finished watching it.
Which airline brand has put out good work consistently?
My favourite airline ads are for Aerolineas Argentina. They have consistently produced some memorable and relevant ads. The one where the old lady of the village reads out a letter from her pilot son and the village gathers to see the son’s plane fly overhead, or the one where a young boy and girl capture the plane’s shadow in their little box are both wonderful pieces of storytelling. Not just great ideas but great executions too. And that’s what makes all the difference.