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.

The Cadbury Kuch Meetha Ho Jaye juggernaut rolls on. And this time it is to promote the new Cadbury Milk Shots, little individual balls of chocolate which seem to explode in your mouth like laddoos. You have famous cine director Anurag Kashyap playing famous cine director Anurag Kashyap, and he certainly has a second career as an actor just waiting to happen. In the TVC he is seen badgering his casting agent for a group of young girls for which he has rather precise specifications. Providently, the very next table has a group of girls answering to that exact description, and as he spells out what he wants, Milk Shots, like idea blurbs, keep exploding over each character. When he casually looks towards them and realises that everything he requires is available right next to him, the final one pops, and the film rings in the message of Cadbury’s Kuch Meetha Ho Jaye. Now if you think deeply and appreciate the production values, the acting prowess of Anurag, the ingenious scripts and other nice things in this Ogilvy film and then wonder what all this has to do with the theme or the chocolates, well, your mind shouldn’t be working overtime. Just sit back, enjoy and forget. That’s what a good idea-franchise does for a product. You can fit just about anything into that franchise. Provided you don’t think too much.

Spinning tales, literally

Rajasthan is one of the favourite States for tourists, whether they are from abroad or from within India. The well-preserved forts, palaces and havelis, the lakes and the sand dunes, the temples and the stories of valour and love, all form a rich tapestry that anyone would find compelling. The current TV commercial for Rajasthan Tourism takes the viewer for a spin, almost literally. Taking the “ghoomo” rather seriously it shows different people spinning around with varied scenes in the background. First, the scenes in the background were pedestrian and really not something that would fire the imagination of a potential tourist. Second, everything happens in a way that I was left feeling dizzy just looking at the TVC. I don’t think I would have the energy or the inclination to watch that TVC and then plan a trip to Rajasthan. Thank God I’ve seen it a dozen times (Rajasthan, obviously, I won’t see the TVC twice)!

Suspend disbelief!

You see these lovely bathroom fittings. Then you see this good-looking young couple suddenly turn maniacal, with implements of mass destruction in their hands and a silly smile on their face as they systematically wreck the house. Debris seems be to falling everywhere, including on the lovely fittings. Then after they have finished their demolition job, you see the couple examine the tap and notice with pleasure that there is not a scratch on it. With a satisfied smile they decide to build a new house around the lovely bathroom. If you see anything more corny than this please let me know. I have to see it to believe it.

New approach

Most investment companies really don’t advertise in the traditional way. When they do, they invariably take the help of some willing TV channels and put together an inexpensive film that is aired on the same business channels. The result: poor quality which does nothing to enhance the rather tenuous image many of them have anyway. Not so with Motilal Oswal, I notice. Their new TVC created by Ramki and his team at Cartwheel Communications looks like a slick trailer for a Bourne series film. Well, I exaggerate, but the look and feel is quite unlike any film I have seen for an investment company and that’s what makes all the difference. The film brings out the core research focus of the company in a novel way. Many years ago we had the American Express Man. Not many people would remember that. Now we have the Motilal Oswal man. And he could do wonders for the company’s image-building efforts. Now, let’s hope the client ensures it has some decent exposure.

Candy’s dandy

For the cognoscenti the name Londonderry conjures up images of Ireland and its rich verdant pastures and scenic beauty. Parle, as it gets into the milk candy segment, has got three TVCs created by Everest Brand Solutions. These commercials re-create the imagery of Londonderry with some fancy animation and each film begins with an apparent oddity of Londonderry, such as a dancing cow, or a man who paints with his beard and then zeroes in on its message by saying “but that’s not what Londonderry is famous for”, and introduces the Parle Londonderry candy with its milk and caramel taste. This is a rather imaginative approach to appeal to those who love sucking on some good old boiled candy. Even if you haven’t heard of Londonderry, and I wouldn’t blame you if you haven’t, this approach should be rather appealing. Then of course, please don’t have such romantic notions about the real Londonderry. Just enjoy the lovely candy.

(Ramesh Narayan is a communications consultant.addendum.brandline@gmail.com)

(This article was published on September 6, 2012)
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