A slice of life

Reviewer: Nima Namchu

The creative head and executive creative director at Cheil India Pvt. Ltd, Nima Namchu has more than 19 years’ experience in advertising. Namchu has worked with brands such as Sony, Indian Oil, MasterCard, Google, Reebok and General Motors.


Internet search giant Google Inc.’s latest ad campaign Pledge to Vote by Ogilvy, urging Indians to vote in the coming general election, makes a strong case for democracy by featuring 97-year-old Shyam Negi—independent India’s first voter. A believer in the power of democracy since 1951, Negi has never missed an opportunity to vote.

What are your first thoughts on the ad?

Nima Namchu
Nima Namchu

What would you have done differently?

I would not have ended the way they did. I found the ending a bit fake. I would end with him looking at the camera after he’s cast his vote, avoiding the reception of people welcoming him.

Does election-related advertising overpower the brand identity in such campaigns?

In a communication such as this one, I think it is sensible for brands to take a back seat and focus on the message. That gets appreciated.

The ad is not screaming Google or selling anything that Google does. What it does is, a brand like Google, which is an American company, is trying to showcase that it’s a part of our lives. It’s underlining that fact and telling us it is interested in how we live our lives.

How does this ad compare with previous Google ads?

This ad is as real as it can get. It’s not fictitious at all. it is comparable with the story of the Bengali boy who got lost and found his way back to his family via Google maps. In this ad there is no product, it’s just a great message.

Meanwhile, the India-Pakistan ad was fiction and I felt they went a bit overboard with the emotions. It had a Bollywood vibe to it.

Any other international ads in this category that have high recall value?

During one of the US elections there was a campaign initiative by Matt Damon and a host of other Hollywood celebrities asking people to go out and get five people to vote. That was interesting.

As told to Vidhi Choudhary.