Addendum is a fortnightly column that takes a sometimes hard, sometimes casual, sometimes irreverent, yet never malicious look at some of the new or recent advertisements and comments on them.

Many of us know how much Parsis love their cars. Ask their wives. They are jealous. And so using a Parsi gentleman in a car ad is a great idea. So here's this old Parsi who is almost obsessive about keeping his Volkswagen Polo clean. Anytime something falls on the beloved Polo he carefully cleans it off muttering a trademark “tsk tsk”. Well, time flies and the old gent passes on and his child buys a new Polo and a grandchild is born and the little tot is riding in the back seat of the new Polo when some dirty water splashes on the car. The young couple is delightfully surprised to hear the tiny tot muttering the trademark “tsk tsk”. The creative line used is “an offer so special you'll come back for it … even if you have to travel over lifetimes”. Well, let me just say the ad definitely holds your attention. The rebirth theme is not exactly a new idea, but it manages to stick, given the narrative, the use of the Parsi and objective this time. We are told there is a once in a lifetime offer on the Polo and the Vento that is so mouth-watering it called for a rebirth themed ad from Mudra DDB. Well, the cars are so good, this TVC ought to send the public scurrying over to see what the offer is all about. And we will not enquire how the old Bawaji imported the old Polo many years ago.

One more you!

With the rather gloomy financial situation these days, who doesn't want a guaranteed second income? Many would even pray for a guaranteed first income. Well, Kotak Life has plans for you. Remember Zeenat Aman swaying sensuously to Biddu's composition (sung by Nazia Hasan) Aap jaisa koi in Qurbani? Well they've adapted the song to “Mere jaisa koi” and added one more “you” in the creative for Kotak Life's Guaranteed Second Income Plan. And it's eminently watchable. The double roles, the rather well sung adaptation and, of course, the intrinsic foot-tapping tune of the hit song all go into the making of an interesting TVC from JWT for Kotak Life. The idea is, of course, if there was another you, it would certainly help in a variety of situations. And nothing so useful as another “you” earning another income for the original you. Got that? Well, the TVC does a better job of explaining that in a most creative way. And please tell me who sang the song. She's one person who's going places. That's guaranteed as well!

The Neetu appeal

When I had gotten over the surprise of seeing Neetu (Singh) Kapoor emerge from the security booth of a store indignantly saying “I know everything”, I realised that I would enjoy this TVC. Yes, IndusInd Bank and R. K. Swamy BBDO have Neetu Kapoor playing the role of the all-knowing lady who chooses a gift for her son and while rummaging through her handbag realises she has forgotten her cash and credit cards, probably in some other handbag. She sheepishly calls her son who makes light of her predicament and uses the new service from IndusInd, Cash on Mobile, to just send her a number which she can use at the bank's ATM to draw the required cash. So if you wanted to use an ATM without a card, you can. If you use the bank's cash on mobile service. I recall another service launched some time ago that offered currency from an ATM in the denomination you wanted it. Even then I thought if I wasn't as technologically challenged as I am, I would opt for this Bank. Now, I am a little closer to that decision. With such “responsive innovation” (their words) and such well thought out and produced advertising, they can't go wrong. And, of course, one has come to expect such good direction from Imtiaz Ali. Neetu Kapoor is the cherry on the cake.

Aam for all seasons

Who doesn't like mangoes? And who doesn't rue the fact that this delectable king of fruits is seasonal? Well, Maaza which promises you the real mango experience, now positions itself as the Har Mausam Aam, or mango for all seasons. And to establish this, presents a rather well made TVC by Leo Burnett that takes a very different route to reinforce this positioning statement. The film shows the fate of mango sellers who are jobless once the mango season ends, trying out various alternative professions to tide over the lean season before being enlightened by a young lad aloft a tree (shades of Newton) that they could become retailers for Maaza and enjoy the all-season sales of mangoes, in the form of Mazaa. If not for a very well edited, and directed film with great art direction, I would have thought this was a trade film aimed at garnering more retail outlets for Mazaa and would have wished that Derek O'Brien could have showed it to Didi as something to prove that FDI in retail wasn't all that bad.

The Hindu's ads

It's a classic case of ‘the empire strikes back'. When established market leader The Hindu suddenly and rather uncharacteristically comes out with a rollicking film aimed straight at the jugular of the competition which was yapping from a distance, you realise more than anything else that it is a sign of the changing times at the venerable Hindu's Anna Salai office. We are loving the attitude!!! Write in and tell us what you felt about this TVC.

Ramesh Narayan is a communications consultant.

(This article was published on February 8, 2012)
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