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. Write in with either advertisements you wish reviewed or with your comments at addendum.brandline

If you want to think of a range of sturdy SUVs in India, you would perforce think of Mahindra. And the younger population seems to be going for the SUV segment in a big way these days. The image of driving a rugged car is important, I guess, and the state of our roads in most places makes the daily drive to the office an exercise in off-roading anyway. With all this in mind, Interface couldn’t have chosen a more opportune moment to launch a stirring TVC for Mahindra’s SUV range of vehicles. Stunning visuals (Incredible India, please take note) and a passable song make up an action-packed TVC that shows the range of Mahindra SUVs, piloted by the young audience segment whizzing through some seriously hostile yet ruggedly beautiful countryside. You catch nice glimpses of the cheetah-like XUV 500, the snub-nosed Xylos, the soon-to-be-refurbished Scorpios and the dinosaurs (the jeep-like vintage vehicles that refuse to die). Racing through slush and rocky terrain and hairpin bends and mowing through some vegetation (please tell me they were not destroying some foliage) the cinematography and music rule supreme. Very watchable stuff.

Pass pass Chingles

It must really be difficult to make a TVC for chewing gum, mouth fresheners and the like. Somehow, you end up with a film that is steeped in slapstick humour. I am not saying slapstick is bad. We’ve grown up on it. The point, I suppose, is that we’ve grown up. But then, maybe someone my age is not even the audience. So we have this series of TVCs created by Dentsu Marcom for the DS Group’s Pass Pass Chingles mini chewing gums. They have created an entire family called the Lee family with three brothers Ungli, Kujlee and Googlee (Oh brother!) who indulge in a lot of harmless fun, all shot in a rather Charlie Chaplinisque genre.

There’s this particular TVC (there are five in all, I am told) where two brothers make the third (sorry, I lost track of who was who) drink some shampoo and end up having bubbles come out of his ears. As I said, I am sure a little bit of humour is always welcome and if you are young enough you will actually love these films. As for me, I’ll just pass pass.

Mom knows best?

There’s something about Kajol that seems to light up a screen. And Ogilvy’s new TVC for Lil Champs lets the viewer see the entire gamut of expressions that Kajol can emote with her normal panache and élan. She plays the young mom flummoxed by the barrage of questions her little kid throws at her on a regular basis. She does some serious homework and smugly thinks she has the right answer only to find that the moppet has already gone to the next seemingly unanswerable question. She sportingly takes a day’s time as she plugs the nutritional value of Bournvita Lil Champs for kids between the age of 2 and 5. Phew! Along with the homework, looks like Kajol could use a cup of the good stuff as well. Just imagine if mom had a swig too … consumption would almost double …

Live Now!

When you listen to your heart why wait for a good time? The good time to do anything is now. That seems to be the mantra of the youth today. They need instant gratification. Anything is needed Now. Nothing can wait. And that’s the imagery Pepsi is seeking to replicate and propagate with a nicely made JWT commercial. Using Ranbir, Priyanka and Dhoni makes it easy on the eye. The script makes it easy on the ear. And as long as you don’t try and look at what everyone seems to be desperate to do Now, you can enjoy a nice TVC, and hopefully drink a chilled Pepsi. Now let’s hope the youth is as impatient to bring about social change now, or vote now, or … sorry, I just felt if reel life could replicate real life, why not think it could happen the other way?

(Ramesh Narayan is a communications consultant. addendum.brandline )

(This article was published on February 7, 2013)
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