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Reviewer: Minakshi Achan

With an advertising career spanning around 16 years, Minakshi Achan, chief creative officer, Rediffusion Y&R, has done stints at JWT India and Leo Burnett India. She has worked on brands such as Tata group (trucks and passenger cars), LG, Airtel, ITC, ING, McDowell’s, Taj Mahal, Louis Philippe, Lacto Calamine and Sun Microsystems.


The new ad for Yahoo Messenger by Ogilvy and Mather India Ltd starts with a boy sitting on a park bench and chatting on his laptop. A girl tries to distract him, but he’s oblivious to her. She then requests a group of women practising karate to intervene and get his attention. The boy remains unaffected. The girl then approaches a music band for help. The boy breaks into a loud laugh; the band feels vindicated. But he’s actually laughing at a funny video playing on his messenger.

What do you think of the ad?

It’s a bit strange, Yahoo Messenger is supposed to be so entertaining and gripping that you forget everything else. The commercial, however, does the exact opposite and makes you forget it rather quickly. A pretty woman in tights, Jackie Chan’s lesser-known aunts and Bappida’s band may not be able to tempt you (the boy) to social intercourse, but you certainly expect the commercial to be entertaining and expect it to hold your attention for longer.

Is it filmed well and is there a precise idea here?

One cannot fault the execution really, and the script is simple enough to let the central idea come through clearly. Some of the things that work well for the ad: The target audience is clearly established with the laptop-toting, young lad in the park—the fact that he’s at a park early in the morning glued to his laptop is a different matter. The takeaway is clear—Yahoo Messenger “hooks you" so much, nothing or no one can distract you. The characters are not so colourful, and their comic nature isn’t anything to write home about.

What would you have done differently?

The idea is hackneyed and the execution could’ve been far more entertaining so it stayed with you longer and wasn’t so easily forgettable. People being obsessed with what they are doing has been done to death. From an execution point of view, I think the distractions portrayed could’ve been hilarious.

What’s your favourite ad for a technology company?

The DTAC commercial from Thailand (Disconnect to Connect). It takes a brave client to encourage people to disconnect and connect to the good things in life. It is refreshing to see a mobile phone operator asking people to switch off their phones because the life outside is more beautiful.

As told to Anushree Chandran.

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