Catalyst

Heroism, over the top

RAMESH NARAYAN | Updated on August 21, 2014 Published on August 21, 2014

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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.







Regular readers of this column would recall we commented that many two-wheeler companies were relying on stunts performed by professional riders in their ad films — a fact that drew the ire of the self-regulatory watchdog, the Advertising Standards Council of India. Well, we have one more extreme TV commercial, this time for Hero Motors Karizma ZMR 2014.

The TVC shows a ship struggling to plough through some Arctic ice before coming to a juddering halt. The “hero”, camera by his side, whips off the covers of his Hero ZMR 2014 motorbike and quite literally launches the bike off the ship and into the wild Arctic wastes. As the doughty bike makes light of the Arctic’s hostile environment, the features of the bike appear as supers on the screen, until the hero sets up his tripod and camera and exults as he captures the Northern Lights (helpfully indicated to us in a super) on celluloid for posterity.

I love the photography, of the TVC I mean, not what the hero is trying to click and the breathtaking visuals. Obviously JWT had the luxury of an elastic budget as well, what with all the aerial shots and all.

What does one say? I guess the Karizma ZMR 2014 is for the man who has adventure coursing through his veins, and a penchant for thrills in extreme conditions. Not to speak of someone with an ill-informed travel agent.

Want to watch the Northern Lights (aurora borealis) from a civilised place? Try Upper Michigan and even see the lights reflecting off the still waters of Lake Superior. But then, I guess, where’s the thrill, right?

Do it or nothing

Jockey, the innerwear company, has launched a series of TVCs created by LK Saatchi & Saatchi. We saw two. Titled Play and Move they show the dramatic evolution of a girl who is inspired by a drummer and a young man who is inspired by some free-style dancing he sees.

The film swiftly progresses through the hard work, the training, the heartache and the ultimate triumph of these two protagonists. Quick cuts and some great script lines ensure that a predictable ending is still engrossing and interesting.

My favourite aspect of these films is the script. Short, motivating and very well done. The films end with a line that ties up very nicely with the Jockey slogan, “Jockey or nothing”. The idea of an ordinary person aspiring for excellence, striving for it and ultimately attaining it is a winner of a thought any time. It is certainly not new, but works every time. Especially if it is executed well. We are told there are more such films in the pipeline. We are waiting to watch them.

Vox Pop: George K. John from Coonoor writes in to agree with us that the Lufthansa ad we reviewed two weeks ago was good. He wonders why they didn’t get the rear seat passengers to buckle their seat belts. Well, that’s a great pointer that the audience is really watching you closely, and you can’t afford to slip up on anything.

And Dinesh Veliath writes in to say: “I feel the recent spurt of advertisements demeaning men are not healthy. Case in point, the Amazon and Best rice campaigns. To show men as geeks, unshaven, playing video games, or being ‘put down and shown their place’ is not the right way to go forward.” Yes, Dinesh, we agree with you wholeheartedly, in principle. Any negative portrayal could be avoided.

Reverse discrimination is still discrimination. On the other hand I must say I found the Amazon man kind of cute. Geek, yes. Put down and shown his place, no.

Published on August 21, 2014
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