You know I’ve been partial to this Nescafe campaign starring Deepika and Gaurav. The addition of Karan Johar and Vir Das in separate episodes was really welcome. It kept the interest in the campaign alive. And now, we have not just one new entrant in this ongoing story, but three. Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy. And with this awesome threesome one could obviously expect some music. And what we got was a new rendering of the Nescafe signature song (which I have always liked very much) which is amazingly similar and yet significantly different. Different in an appealing way. It was absolutely delightful to watch and listen to Shankar Mahadevan belt out the Nescafe jingle in his unique style. The presence of Ehsaan and Loy was the icing on the cake. Quite a casting coup, I must say. So just raise a mug of Nescafe to your lips and watch (or listen to) the mornings come alive. Pity I don’t drink coffee. I’ll stick to just enjoying the commercials.

Moved by the music

A new vehicle from the Nissan stable is bound to evoke interest all around. After the launch of the Micra, the mandarins at Nissan seemed to have been energised to look more kindly at the Indian market. So we have this multi-utility vehicle called the Evalia jumping into a busy market in which the likes of the Innova and the Xylo have been lording over it. The creative approach uses several big names in the world of music to come together and set the rhythm and tune for a vehicle that “moves like music”. Predictably the classical notes of the tune are catchy and memorable. One can also predict what the scenes of the TVC would be all about. And yes, the script plays second fiddle to the tune which is played out by the likes of Sunidhi Chauhan, Anushka Manchanda, Andrea Jeremiah, Swanand Kirkire, Shantanu Moitra, and Vijay Prakash. Boy, with that kind of musical firepower, one can hardly go wrong. And as the pleasant-looking vehicle zigs and zags and reverses with surprising agility, the viewer is also treated to rare sight of all these well-known and loved singers actually acting in the TVC. So am I impressed by the vehicle that moves like music? Well, actually, I am moved by the music.

Mass brand, luxury home

I was in Seattle a little over a month ago, and I joined several senior advertising professionals in a walk down to the first ever Starbucks café in the world. It even had the original logo still preserved for posterity. Nothing to write home about, but it was a little bit of marketing memorabilia that I stored into some recess of my brain. I returned to find the iconic symbol (with the new logo) up at the Taj Mahal Palace and Towers in Mumbai. I deliberately used the whole name of the hotel. This was not the Taj Gateway, or the Vivanta by Taj. It was the flagship Taj Mahal Palace and Towers. And cheek by jowl with legendary luxury brands such as Zegna, Vuitton and Mont Blanc (and situated in a legendary luxury brand) was Starbucks. The apparent brand mismatch troubled me. A disclaimer would be in order. I have been a loyal Taj customer for more years than I want to remember. On the one hand this group is making a welcome bid for a global luxury brand of hotels and trains that had pompously said that the Taj brand did not resonate with its status of pure luxury (or words to that effect). On the other, it was giving precious real estate in its most prestigious hotel to a brand that could hardly be associated with luxury. I am keen to see what our readers think of this situation. Write in and tell us at addendum.brandline Keeping it exclusive

I’ve said this before, and I’m glad I have to say this again, but Draftfcb + Ulka has refined the art of the hyperbole to a fine art for Tata Motors. Remember the Marina and the commercial that urged you to carry your world with you? The commercial somehow made me think the doughty little Marina could actually do that. And now, after the delightfully entertaining series where they used the Japanese characters to bring out the features and quality of the Manza, Draftfcb has gone all plush and sophisticated in its new commercial. And so you have this large, luxurious amphitheatre which seats just the two lucky people who star in the commercial. And you have this symphony orchestra that pops up to play a quartet just to show the audio capabilities of the music system, and then I love the way the sets glide into the interiors of the car making me want to believe that there would be acres of soft Italian leather pampering me as I listen to this hi-tech music system and revel in the other specifications that all seem to scream out exclusivity. And the angles from which the camera caresses the Manza bring out the very best in this car. OK, I get the message. This is positioned strictly for those who want to be in the rarefied atmosphere of Club Class travel. Now Tata Motors, thanks to the advertising we think the world of your new generation Manza. Just ensure it doesn’t end up as another private taxi.

The perfect beginning

I’ve never heard of Wonder cement, but their TVC had this female singer whose voice, combined with the tune of the song, will make sure I never forget Wonder cement.

Ramesh Narayan is a communications consultant.

(This article was published on November 29, 2012)
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