4G, Sirji

Ramesh Narayan | Updated on January 16, 2018

ct16_idea 4G

Addendum is a weekly 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.

This is a brave new phase in the country where everyone is waiting and watching with bated breath whether the dream of a cashless digital India will emerge or not. The fact of the matter is that it will happen. The question is, when? Idea couldn’t have chosen a better time to launch its TVC on 4G connectivity as an agent of change and development. The film opens with an important ceremony in a village being graced only by the old and the infirm. The young lady asks her mother why her father couldn’t make it and is told that he and others are working in the city so that life could go on for the family in the village. And soon after, the idea bulb goes on in the young lady’s mind and she decides to let 4G be the enabler that would let the villages build a plant using locally available materials and labour and begin manufacturing products that can be sold everywhere. At every step 4G is shown as the catalyst of this revolution. A revolution that sees the men who had migrated to cities return and work in villages. This is the dream of an India that will witness reverse migration. Where villages will once again become little hubs of prosperity. All enabled by an idea called 4G. First, I must admit, as an idealist and an incurable optimist, I loved the idea itself. Second, the timing is more than providential. As a nation we want such change. And, of course, the execution of the film was excellent. The tyranny of time rushed the narrative a bit, but given those constraints, this really positions Idea not only as a provider of the latest 4G technology but as purveyor of a higher purpose. Great positioning!

Health tea

I really don’t know why, but we are finally on the Ayurvedic trip, big time. Maybe it’s the Baba effect, but suddenly everyone has discovered the joys of Ayurveda. This time we have Tata tea with a TVC made by Mullen Lintas. And what’s nice is this commercial doesn’t sermonise. It tells its story in a quirky, funny way. There’s this heavy gent kicking the life out of an ATM machine (that should resonate with a lot of people these days) and really losing it. Enter the young lady who wonders aloud why he was over-reacting to as little a problem as a malfunctioning machine. She says the real problem is probably not with it but with the man’s body where his vata, pitta and kapha were not balanced. Voila! We have the nice pack shot and voiceover that explains that the new offering from Tata Tea has the same robust taste of rich Assam tea, but this time, enriched with Ayurvedic herbs that balance the three doshas. To reinforce the fact that this is not some strong-tasting medicinal elixir, we have the gent coolly sipping his cup that cheers and commenting that is as tasty as his regular tea, and when the office klutz bumps into him and spills the tea all over his shirt, Mr Short Temper offers only a cool “No problem” in response! A very nice advertisement for a new product. Now all bank managers know what to serve the irate customers waiting to draw non-existent cash from their ATMs.

National pride

In Hindi, “ desh ki mitthi” has a very special relevance and meaning. It conjures up visions of patriotism and nationalism. And Kajaria Tiles takes full advantage of this in a film made by Crayons Advertising. With the A-list star Akshay Kumar as the protagonist, Crayons has made him play multiple roles in this TVC. He is the dashing army officer diving from a jeep in some desolate wasteland, to defend his country. He is the Kalaripayattu” exponent soaring high and he is the suave corporate head honcho ruling over the boardroom. And the voice-over takes you on a trip that is designed to fill you with patriotic fervour and national pride. And as the script defines the significance of the soil of this country in various ways, it suddenly talks about Kajaria Tiles that is made from this “ mitthi” and is now playing its role in building a modern India. A trite stretched? Maybe. But the star power and nicely shot images carry this film through. Well, when you have a budget like what seems to have been there, ye dil maange more!

Ramesh Narayan is a communications consultant. Mail your comments to cat.a.;

Published on December 15, 2016

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