Aurora Magazine

Promoting excellence in advertising

Inspiring action or inducing sleep?

Updated Feb 25, 2017 10:43am
The Creative Director of Firebolt63 shares some of her favourite, and not-so-favourite, ads.

Evaluating something someone else has made is easy, right? My first instinct was to do it ‘Kill Bill’ style and go all lethal weapon on it. Alas, I have been in the business for far too long and know all too well how to keep my instincts in check. We all start off with a Cannes winner in mind – but at every step, there is an addition of logic here and an addition of wishes there, and eventually, we see a good idea turn into a mundane and forgettable ad. However, some campaigns do make us truly feel something and inspire action and such campaigns are always a pleasure.

Here are my two pence on some recent campaigns.

Brand: Nestlé Pure Life

Campaign: Children see, children do
Message: Children emulate their elders, so set a good example for them to follow.
Effectiveness: What I love about this ad is the simplicity of the message and execution. For a change, there is no serenading mom trying to coerce her child to opt to be healthy; no kid making faces about it and no dramatic exaggeration. The message is effective and insightful, and executed in a playful way that hits home. It is a delight to watch. I was impressed by the planners and creative team who worked on the campaign until I came across the Nestlé Pure Life TVC on YouTube (uploaded in 2011) with the same insight – and I realised I had given too much credit to the team as this is an adaptation of a Nestle international ad – although the execution was better than the international version. I just wish it had been planned and executed here by the team.
Verdict: A great ad that would have been even better had it been a local idea.

Brand: Gai Power Wash Detergent Powder

Campaign: Kaproun ki khatir power wash
Message: Mahira Khan looks awesome.
Effectiveness: Well, it has all the masala needed to make a great ad. These days Mahira is seen selling everything (from electronics to washing powder) and it seems as though brands are more interested in selling her image rather than themselves. Then, there is the voice of Rahat Fateh Ali, the grandest of locations, dance sequences and panoramic shots; this TVC has it all. To give credit to the team behind the ad – they had to get away from the stains platform and they made a decent effort. The only thing which could have been improved was the script. Clothes are an extension of who we are, they certainly enhance our personalities and set us apart but to say ‘Kapray hamaray liye itna kuch kartay hain’ ruins the ad for me. In fact, the copy kind of lost me at times. However, it is a great achievement to have broken away from the ‘what a gai’ days (although the image still sticks).
Verdict: A decent effort – but I guess the winner is Mahira Khan.

Brand: Ariel

Campaign: #WashTheLabel
Message: As a nation we seriously need some brain washing.
Effectiveness: This is one of the most powerful TVCs I have seen. As a society we are in the habit of labelling people without even knowing their circumstances and this ad perfectly highlights the issue. Hats off to the team for coming up with a brilliant idea that challenges our stereotypical thinking. The brand has made a lasting impression and will definitely change the way we think. By tapping into the audiences’ emotions, the TVC has built-in broad appeal and shareability. Special thanks to the brand team for not killing such a brilliant idea. It is heartening to know that good ideas are appreciated by clients and I hope more brands will choose to challenge their agencies to come up with such clutter-breaking ideas. Ariel has been able to tie their marketing to a larger mission.
Verdict: Even the simplest of TVCs can be super shareable with the right subject matter. More ads like this one, please.

Brand: Pel

Campaign: Keh do with Pel
Message: Technology is redefining human relationships.
Effectiveness: This is an example of a simple idea creating a big impact and of showing how little things can make a huge difference in our lives. Human emotion is the hook and the TVC is well-scripted and executed. An emotionally-charged message that connects the customer to the brand – this is what Pel has done.
Verdict: Emotion is a powerful driver that can influence the way people act and respond to a brand.

Brand: Sprite

Campaign: Mirchi ko Sprite kar
Message: Wake me up when it’s over!
Effectiveness: Expected better from Sprite. ‘Same old’ packaged in the same box. You have a good line, Mirchi ko Sprite kar, but why does it have to be executed the same way? The ad failed to excite me; it lacked energy and the signature ‘Sprite yell’ seemed forced... I didn’t see any value addition from Momina. She seemed bored and even the jingle couldn’t lift the ad and the shots were no different from the previous ad. The suspense and build-up at the beginning did not achieve the objective. Everything was predictable and mundane... sorry guys, but Momina couldn’t add spice. My suggestion is that Momina ko Sprite kar. The formula of hiring a big shot director, a hotshot celebrity, jingle and food shots wasn’t digestible. It’s time to refresh the brand and bring back the X factor.
Verdict: Thinking ko Sprite kar!

Sarah K. Yaldram is Creative Director, Firebolt63.