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K.S. Chakravarthy is the national creative director of Draftfcb+Ulka Advertising Pvt. Ltd, the agency that created the 2010 Grand Effie-winning Tata Docomo Dare to Do the New campaign. He has worked on brands such as Airtel, Tata Sky and DNA.


Life Insurance firm Max New York Life’s latest campaign, Aapke Sachche Advisor, by Ogilvy and Mather Pvt. Ltd, features a financial adviser who highlights need-based sales processes for customers and believes in giving the right advice. This agent is being encouraged by an imaginary character, “the bad agent", to give the kind of advice that would make the sale. However, the adviser sticks to his ethics.

First thoughts on the ad?

Unmoved: K.S. Chakravarthy

What would you have done differently?

I would use the same insights, the same setting and low-key tonality, but make the dilemma of the agent subtler, less filmy. I like the whole calibration of the TV commercial—the casting, the tone, the believable dialogues—it is just that devil who kills an otherwise nice film.

Your thoughts on Max New York Life’s brand positioning?

Botched: The devil is the biggest problem with the ad.

Is this a tough category to work on?

It’s not a category that engenders wild ROTFL-type (rolling on the floor laughing) humour, but it is a great category to do some believable work—as Max New York Life has done often. The really enduring ones are usually human stories that manage to strike a chord, evoke a sense of “that is so true". Insurance lets you do that.

Do insurance/banking advertisers take less risks?

There is no glory in risky advertising per se. Does it touch, engage and persuade are the questions to ask. Doing engaging work can be more demanding and as much fun as doing mad stuff for some candy. Good marketers recognize the importance of great insight and the need to be believable.

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