Reviewer: Priti Nair

Priti Nair, director at Curry-Nation, has more than 22 years’ experience in advertising. She has previously worked on Surf Excel’s Daag Acche Hain campaign and Clinic All Clear, among others.


Food and beverage company PepsiCo India’s latest campaign, by JWT India, opens with the shot of a bus carrying Indian cricketers breaking down in a busy neighbourhood. Actor Ranbir Kapoor appears on top of the bus, jumping down to ask team captain M.S. Dhoni if they are on their way to play the Twenty20 world cup. Kapoor launches into a running commentary on the playing styles of Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina. It ends with Kapoor grabbing a bottle of Pepsi. “Oye, yeh kya tameez hai?" asks Dhoni. The actor responds, “Yeh T20 hai, boss. Na tameez se khela jaata hai…Na tameez se dekha jaata hai! (This is T20, boss. It can’t be played or watched in civilized fashion)".

First thoughts on the ad.

It reminds me of the Nike cricket ad. The setting looks the same.

How effectively does Pepsi deliver its brand message using ads surrounding sporting events?

Lacking pizzazz: The dialogues lack wit and the ad fails to engage.

Does the combination of cricket stars and a Bollywood actor work well?

Pepsi has pioneered that combination for a long time. Shah Rukh Khan playing Sachin Tendulkar is unforgettable. Bringing the two passions of countrymen together is delightful. But that delight needs to be seen. Unfortunately, I find that lacking. They are not milked as much as they should have (been).

What would you have done differently?

The thought is pretty interesting and has that irreverent attitude, but perhaps they should have added more wit to the dialogues and interactions. Currently, it falls flat on the engagement and really does not make you want to watch it over and over again. The crafting seems abrupt and jumpy. Unlike what Pepsi did when they made There’s Nothing Official About It. That stuck in your head. So did Change The Game. This seems cut and dry.

What has sustained the quality of Pepsi’s ad campaings?

It is the ability to have fun and not take yourself too seriously. I feel they should hold on to that wit and the slightly tongue-in-cheek quality they have as a brand. Perhaps it is the most difficult genre to sustain but that is the challenge. I also feel Ranbir as a brand ambassador is a superb fit for Pepsi. He has the same kind of slightly tedha attitude which works.

As told to Vidhi Choudhary.