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.

Anushka Sharma and Rannvijay are about to order lunch. The impish Anushka enquires whether Rannvijay is treating, to which he expansively replies that one’s heart should be large. Anushka then proceeds to place a rather extensive order (wonder where she thought she would pack all that in) while Rannvijay almost chokes on the bill for his Internet dongle which he has just opened. Systematically cancelling items from her order, Anushka says her Internet plan would have automatically adjusted itself to ensure she gets the benefit of the best data plan every time and no shocks when the bill arrived. She ends by saying, rather cutely, that he should apply himself to making his Internet bill smaller before he proceeds to be large-hearted. The interplay and dialogue between the two is rather engrossing with Anushka’s expressive face and appropriate dialogue delivery stealing the show. Reliance Communications and Grey Worldwide have a good thing going with this TVC for their Netconnect.

Not quite there

One can never forget what Shah Rukh Khan did for Hyundai many years ago when he endorsed its first offering, the tall boy, Santro. He certainly helped overcome the “Hyundai, who?” and the “Korean” image that was prevalent then. Many years have passed, Hyundai has established itself in India as one of the major auto manufacturers and “Korean” is a good tag to have now. Yet the relationship between SRK and Hyundai has endured. The new TVC where he endorses the i10 is testimony to that. The message is that good things happen to you in an i10. So you have SRK meeting up with an old flame, the weather clearing up and sundry other good things, all performed by a device we could call the “hand of Hyundai” that appears in its animated form to make all these wonderful things happen. Of course, the “hand” is a tad moralistic (it knocks SRK on the head when he tries to cosy up with the lady) played by Manjari Phadnis. So what’s the verdict? The film somehow meanders along listlessly and thankfully the drive is cut short by the presence of the big blue sea. Don’t get me wrong. I think Hyundai is a great brand (I even own a vehicle from their stable) but you can’t blame us for expecting something better when you have the luxury of names such as SRK and Hyundai.

The name’s Hayate

From one Khan to another, this time minus two wheels. If you like Salman Khan, and if you liked Dabangg, you’re going to love the TVC for Suzuki Hayate created by R. K. Swamy BBDO. It has Sallu Bhai at his coolest best playing a cameo Chulbul Pandey role as he hops on to his Suzuki Hayate motorbike and chases the escaped convict Billa, with a portly sidekick riding pillion. An appropriately Bhojpuri-sounding song adds to the overall mood and look of the film that is really quite enjoyable. I guess the brief was to highlight this two-wheeled wonder from Suzuki and focus on its name (with a name like Hayate you need to position it properly) and R. K. Swamy BBDO rises to the occasion admirably.

Online mein hota hai, one of the largest ecommerce companies in India, has decided that it needs to really re-position the online shopping experience in India. And to do that it superimposes it onto a shopping experience in a mall. The approach is refreshing and really makes you realise what an online shopping experience has to offer. The TVC by Taproot India does its job neatly. While stressing on the cash-on-delivery the 30-day return policy and the free home delivery, it makes the viewer see that she doesn’t have to go to a crowded mall for all the conveniences that go with a real-life purchase decision. Here, with the benefits that are being offered one can actually let their fingers do the walking, try out what they want to buy in the comfort of their home and exchange it if they need to. The TVC poses the question “Real life mein kabhi hota hai kya?” Very true. Now tell us what we can do about that family lunch at the mall after shopping?

A twist in the tale

To me a Bourbon biscuit has always been a treat. I have rewarded myself several times in my long life with a Bourbon Chocolate biscuit. Now Britannia has introduced Bourbon Cappuccino “inspired by one of the favourite pastimes of today’s youth, coffee”. So you have this young man dropping “Niki” home and then when the young lady says “Bye” and is about to disappear into the confines of her house, he imploringly asks her “Only bye?” The young lady then invites the adventurous young man in for a coffee. Hardly believing his good luck he waits expectantly on the sofa, only to find Niki’s crusty old grandmom appearing with a plate of Bourbon Cappuccino biscuits. As the completely shattered young man gingerly bites into the new offering, Niki and the grandmom wrap up his evening by saying “keep coming, but for Bourbon Cappuccino”. What’s my lesson from this McCann Erickson offering? Step out of line, hint at crossing boundaries, and what do you get? Bourbon Cappuccino biscuits. Hey, that’s a punishment, guys! I’ll stick to my chocolate Bourbons, thank you.

Last word: Ad man Dhunji Wadia enquires “If Samsung Galaxy S3 is designed for humans, what are the other mobiles designed for?”

Ramesh Narayan is a communications consultant

(This article was published on June 27, 2012)
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