An opportunity that’s gone waste

An opportunity that’s gone waste

ReviewerRaj Kurup, chairman and chief creative officer, Creativeland Asia, picks the campaign for SX4, the latest sedan from the Maruti Suzuki India Ltd stable. SpotFeatures several women asking various questions such as “Where are the men?" backed by shots of SX4s racing down a street, with Geri Halliwell’s song, It’s raining men, in the background. The women turn and say: “Now that’s a man." The tag line: “Men are back."

Why I don’t like it There is absolutely no semblance of a script whatsoever. It almost seems as though they took a clichéd brief and put it into a machine that dutifully regurgitated this ad film. It’s amazing how disjointed the entire film is. Very few people in this country get to work on a much cherished car commercial. It’s a huge opportunity wasted. And the ad is so unimaginative that I feel terrible to have chosen it. How I would have done it

To start with, I would have at least written a script. Just doing that would have made it a hundred times better. Now, the point is that if you are going to run with a tag line (Men are back) that’s so sexist, then you might as well go the whole hog and shock your audience, which is largely male. If nothing else, get some kicks.

If I had to run with the same setting, the film would have opened on a really hot woman, intimidating and aggressive as a queen bee and obviously wallowing in vanity. Somewhere in the middle of the road, looking skywards and screaming: “Is there any man who can make me feel like a woman?"

We cut to a quick succession of shots of an SX4 tearing down, finally screeching to a halt in front of the woman. This really cool-looking guy steps out of it and yanks out his shirt, and just when you think things are going to get steamy, he flings the shirt at her and says, “Wash this!"

We end (BANG!) with an imposing shot of the SX4 with the existing tag line—“Men are back."

I know that a lot of women are going to hate me for this, and a lot of men are going to laugh. At least I’ll get a reaction, which isn’t the case with the existing commercial.

As told to Gouri Shah