Spot Light | 99% flash, 1% wash

Spot Light | 99% flash, 1% wash


“Creating acts, not ads" for Fortune 500 clients in India, Josy Paul, chairman and chief creative officer, BBDO India, has brands such as PepsiCo, Wrigley’s, P&G Gillette and GE to his credit.


The new ad for Samsung washing machines, by Cheil Worldwide , shows actor Priyanka Chopra diving from a building, soft-landing on huge soap bubbles, and playing with them, advertising the machines’ new innovative ecobubble generator. It’s all about removing tough stains with a soft touch.

What did you think of the ad?

99% flash, 1% wash. That’s what I think. This is another one of those Samsung ads that is full of sound and visual jazz, but leaves the viewer cold. It seems to have become the brand’s communication signature. Many of the Samsung ads we’ve seen on TV or print assume that the only way to sound superior is by showing things that we don’t fully understand but leave one with a sense of digitized dazzle.

Too much of techno razzmatazz?

The question is, should a brand that wants to stand for innovation and technological superiority speak so esoterically? Is engineering sophistication equal to visual techno-bubble-babble? The execution stops short of the Sony BraviaBalls commercial, which had millions of brightly coloured rubber balls (real, not computer generated) bouncing up and down a San Francisco street. That was fresh and bold and defied the codes of advertising. It was real, human and dramatic, and went the whole hog. The celebrity there was a frog!

What would you have done differently with it?

The breakthrough has the potential to create communication like Honda’s Grrr “Hate something, change something" or Nike Air when it was first introduced using Air Jordon. This is an opportunity to glorify the news, the innovation, and the breakthrough. That’s what we would focus on.

It would be great to hear what the R&D (research and development) department and engineers at Samsung have to say about this ad. They’ve created an engineering marvel that mixes detergent and water with air to create a powerful bubble cushion that dissolves deep into clothing. To the consumer that’s a gentler wash on clothes which is as efficient in cold water—consuming up to 60% less energy!

Another cool ad in this category?

Have you seen the commercial for Ariston Aqualtis? It’s one of the best washing machine ads I have seen. Clothes swimming around like sea animals. The beautiful magical music: Ask the mountains by Vangelis. It’s like getting God and the elements to wash your clothes.

As told to Anushree Chandran.