Social ad initiative catches the eye

Social ad initiative catches the eye

Tasting sweet success, not once but twice. That’s Cadbury grabbing the No. 1 and No. 2 positions in our Mint-Synovate-TVAd Indx survey for August. While the Cadbury Celebrations ad was rated as the best on-air advertisement, the cheeky Cadbury Dairy Milk Eclairs ad was voted the runner-up in the survey, which gathers the voices of 750 randomly chosen consumers, across the three metros of New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore.

Following in Cadbury’s footsteps are the Pond’s White Beauty episodic ads at No. 4 and No. 5, making it a month of twin victories. The Pond’s White Beauty ads have grabbed viewers’ attention and interest from the first episode, making them follow the twists and turns in the love lives of the characters, Saif Ali Khan, Priyanka Chopra and Neha Dhupia—indicating perhaps that short feature film formats go down well with Indian audiences.


Idea Cellular’s ads featuring actor Abhishek Bachchan promoting rural literacy via the cellular network took the No. 3 and, again, the No. 9 slots. Viewers have consistently liked the new series, with the first of the ads debuting at No. 5 in July.

However, our expert Santosh Desai is not too happy with Idea’s missionary zeal. “In today’s times, to have a commercial showing someone in rural India praying to the Lord after his child receives education from a missionary school is an inexplicably insensitive thing to do," he says.

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It nudges your conscience

This time, celebrities are not the focus of the ads. Except for the Pond’s ad, which revolves around the three Bollywood actors, the celebrities—Abhishek Bachchan in the Idea ads and actor Juhi Chawla in the Kurkure ad (at No. 8)—remain in the background, letting their co-actors bask in the limelight.

In the mobile services category, almost all the top players find a mention in the list. Reliance Mobile at No. 7 and Vodafone at No. 13 bring up the rear.

Two life insurance ads figure among the Top 15. SBI Life’s ad depicting a patient at the mercy of a doddering old doctor with trembling hands is a humorous take on a sombre situation. Aegon Religare’s teaser ad with actor Irrfan Khan at No. 15 takes an entirely different approach as it helps the company break through the clutter in a crowded market.

Two TV spots that have not featured in our Top 15 list but have been singled out for praise by Desai are the Himani pain relief ad and The Times of India’s Teach India commercial.

The Teach India campaign has also come in for praise from Basabdatta Chowdhuri, chief executive of Madison Media Plus, a unit of Madison Communications Pvt. Ltd. “Simplicity is what makes the campaign work. It simply nudges your conscience," she says. Agrees Desai, “The commercial speaks gently and this restraint allows it to touch an increasingly jaded chord".

When a social advertising initiative catches the attention of two experts in a survey of commercial ad spots, it may be time to sit up and take note of this segment.

Contract Advertising

At a boarding school, a boy giftwraps a Cadbury Celebrations Bandhan pack for his elder sister. He is disheartened when he does not receive any rakhi from her in the post but there’s a happy surprise in store—she visits him in school. The tag line: ‘Pyaar ka shagun’ (A token of love).

Contract Advertising

Friends rag a youth for his looks—but before long, they are silenced. For, he has photographs of beautiful women seemingly pouting at him. They don’t know what had really happened—he had simply offered the women Eclairs, and they were savouring those. The tag line: ‘Very tasty, very useful.’

Lowe Worldwide

Part of a series. A man driving through a village stops to ask a boy for directions. He is amazed when the boy gives him clear directions in flawless English—he has been learning on the mobile. Actor Abhishek Bachchan, playing the role of school principal, delivers the tag line: “What an Idea, Sirji!"

Ogilvy and Mather

A continuing series featuring three actors. Saif Ali Khan searches for Priyanka Chopra at the airport, but she tries to evade him. This time, however, he doesn’t let her go. She notices he is wearing the locket she had once given him. True love wins, after all. Saif and Priyanka are reunited.

Ogilvy and Mather

Part of the saga. Saif confronts Neha Dhupia at the airport about the message she sent Priyanka from his mobile. While they are arguing, Saif spots Priyanka and notices that a chain with a heart pendant is missing from her neck. Later, he goes looking for her to clear the air. Tag line: To be continued


A man on an operation table is gripped with anxiety when he sees his surgeon is a doddering old man with poor eyesight. As the doctor tries to ease his shaking hands into his surgical gloves, the man yells, “Mummy!" Tag line: Life insurance ‘kahin bhi kabhi bhi’ (Life insurance anywhere, anytime)


A couple visits Kedarnath. As they are about to enter the temple, the woman has a brainwave—and calls up her grandmother on the mobile. She rings the temple bell for her; her grandmother feels blessed by the ‘darshan’. The message: The Reliance Mobile network works even at pilgrim and tourist spots.


Actor Juhi Chawla, playing a nurse, takes an elderly man in a wheelchair out for fresh air. He looks longingly at tomatoes being sold on the roadside. Juhi offers him Kurkure Naughty; these fill him with zest and he starts dancing in his wheelchair. Tag line: ‘Tedha hai par mera hai’ (It’s twisted, but it’s mine).

Lowe Worldwide

Part of a series. A village girl, serving food to her grandfather and his friend, tells the former to pray first. To his friend’s surprise, her grandfather prays in English. Turns out, his granddaughter taught him. Actor Abhishek Bachchan, playing the school principal, delivers the tag line: “What an Idea, Sirji!"

McCann Erickson

A man narrates the story of the fountain guru: A foreigner climbed a Babool tree to escape a bull. He fell, but his teeth were so strong that they didn’t break; instead, a fountain spurted at the spot where they hit the ground. People started worshipping him. Tag line: ‘Jadh se mazboot dant’.


A farewell party at Pizza Hut is a tongue-tied man’s last chance to confess his love for his lady boss. And a bite of the Full Punjabi pizza does the trick: He starts singing a Punjabi love song to convey his feelings. The message: Stories happen.

Situations Advertising

When he was young, his mother gave him a cello pen he still carries. For him, a pilot, it’s a talisman that helps him manoeuvre the plane in turbulent times. The tag line: ‘Kuch kar dikhao, kuch ban dikhao’ (do something, become someone).

Ogilvy and Mather

A little girl forms the tricolour with the green bottle caps, white stones and saffron petals she has collected. Her pet, a pug, trots towards her with a flower in its mouth—she uses it. The tag line: Happy to help.