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The ad has the first stirrings of long-term memorability
The ad has the first stirrings of long-term memorability

Spot Light | Café Coffee Day

High marks to whoever came up with the concept of 'sitdownism'

Long but strategic

Reviewer: Swapan Seth

Swapan Seth, national creative director, chairman and chief executive officer, Equus Red Cell, has over 20 years of experience in advertising and works with brands like Deutsche Bank, Taj Hotels and Tata Steel, among others (Seth has also done some work with a unit of HT Media Ltd, the publisher of Mint.)


Indian café chain Café Coffee Day’s (CCD’s) first television commercial, by Creativeland Asia, urges youngsters to “sit down" to talk or resolve issues in a world where the trend otherwise is to “stand up" for various things. The ad captures CCD patrons across cafés in India, singing to viewers about what they are sitting down for, which ranges from love and peace, to sitting down to start a conversation. The tag line: Sit Down. A lot can happen over coffee.

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Swapan Seth

It’s complicated. It’s heavy. But, I like it. “Sit down" stays with me, as do strains of that jingle. I see a valuable social contrast between activism and “sitdownism". There is tremendous future potential in owning “sitdownism" as a form of finding a solution, and coffee makes for a great facilitator on that front. So strategically, high marks to whoever came up with the concept.

Do you think the ad tries to pack in too many things and is therefore also impractically long?

It is cluttered in parts. It is cinematically confusing. The screens within screens are arduous. And yes, it is long.

So many ads seem to carry the hangover of the youthful Airtel ad—young people singing, etc. Will that make this one seem repetitive?

Airtel does not own the genre of “young people singing", it owns the broader domain of “friendship". So it is unfair to suggest that this ad is hanging on to Airtel’s coat-tails. I do not think it is repetitive at all.

What would you have done differently?

I would have cinematically slimmed the commercial a lot more. The casting could have been better. It could have been shot and edited more imaginatively. But then it is so easy to get critical when you are asked to pass judgement.

Being CCD’s first ad, do you feel it is impactful?

I do. However, more than its immediate effect, I am extremely gung-ho about the long-term potential that this stance has. It has the first stirrings of long-term memorability.

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

One has not seen path-breaking stuff in this domain. Some like David Lynch coffee have gone over the top, which is quite unnecessary. But largely, from an advertising perspective, the category has been mostly sugar-free.

As told to Vidhi Choudhary.

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