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Reviewer: Shobhit Mathur

Hakuhodo Percept Pvt. Ltd’s executive creative director Shobhit Mathur has over 16 years of experience in advertising. He has worked with agencies like Everest DY&R, JWT and Cheil Worldwide for brands like Sony, Mirinda, Mountain Dew, Samsung, ESPN, Suzuki Motors and Timex.

Campaign

The latest Airtel direct-to-home (DTH) campaign by JWT showcases how the experience of TV viewing is best enjoyed with loved ones. Two films have been aired on YouTube in addition to other digital platforms. In one ad we see two children cycling. The younger brother is trying to catch up with his elder sibling. By the time he reaches home, however, the elder brother is already sitting in front of the TV. The younger boy angrily asks why he didn’t wait for him. The elder brother points to the TV, on which a live cricket match has been paused using an Airtel digital set-top box, and says he is in fact waiting for him. Tag line: TV saath saath dekhne mein maza aata hai na (Watching TV together is enjoyable, isn’t it)?

Your first thoughts on the ad?

Nostalgia! We’ve all had someone close in our lives who used to bully us when we were children. But it was that same someone who also used to cover our tracks or save the last piece of jalebi from others. I really like the insight here. I think the casting is very good. Especially the younger child, who is not only quite adorable but also expressive.

What would you have done differently?

Off the cuff, I really can’t say what I would have done differently. The cast, the setting, the editing and the overall look and feel are quite balanced. The music is non-intrusive and I really like the predominant use of the ambient sounds in the initial part of the commercial. Maybe I would have reduced the voice-over a bit.

Comment on the impact created by child artists in product advertising.

Thank God they used children here and not the same-same-chaddiwaale friends, or a see-I-love-and-understand-you-so-much-even-if-I-don’t-say-it couple, or the always-trying-to-be-oversweet elderly couple. The impact of using children is always higher in product advertising because somewhere the human tendency is to believe in innocence.

But wait; did I say thank God they used children in this campaign and not a see-I-love-and-understand-you-so-much-even-if-I-don’t-say-it couple? I think I said it too soon because I just saw the second ad in the campaign and it has!

Any other ad in the DTH sector that has high recall value?

One Indian DTH sector ad that sticks to me like glue is the Aamir Khan Tata Sky ad, where Aamir Khan is dressed up as an elderly Sikh papaji who is annoyed with his son for not leaving Tata Sky for its lifelike picture quality. Despite it being Aamir Khan and his acting all the way, the message doesn’t get lost.

As told to Vidhi Choudhary.

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