addendum: Just Buy

RAMESH NARAYAN | Updated on January 20, 2018


Remember the friendly retail shopkeeper down the road? You knew him well. And used him as a one-stop point-of-purchase for your monthly household requirements. He delivered even the little things you wanted right at your doorstep without a delivery charge.

And if you forgot to add that toothpaste you needed tomorrow, his delivery boy ran up with it again. Well, you suddenly discovered the joys of shopping online. Technology is a great enabler, and a disrupter.

You found unbelievable deals that the online biggies were able to cut for you, probably based on bulk purchases of brands. Let’s not talk about their losses. The mom-and-pop retailer appears to be feeling the heat.

And Just Buy Live is stepping in as the messiah for these doughty little businessmen, promising to be the honest broker, with a tech platform that could put them in direct touch with brands. So they could get better deals and hopefully pass it on to you, the consumer, and keep the little retail shops going in the face of the big online behemoths.

Just Buy Live and Ferry Wharf Communications have come up with a revolutionary communication theme to attract retailers to this platform. I use the word revolutionary deliberately.

With four little teaser films they use incendiary words, great light-play, good casting and a never-before-used approach which shows shopkeepers in a militant mood, recalling great fighters such as Tilak and Bose, but ending up with a plaintive appeal that says “But what can we do?” I like the fact that the militancy and dark scenes stop short of egging the retailers onto the street outside your home, demanding some entitlement. We really don’t need that now.

Just Buy Live is positioned as the soothing balm that could ease the pain of the retailers who are feeling distinctly marginalised. As I said, a very different approach. Vaguely disturbing but compelling.

Smooth ride

Hindustan Petroleum (HP) and Leo Burnett have created a new TVC for their HP lubricants. The idea is to show that these lubricants play a silent role in so many vital aspects of our lives and we don’t even realise it.

Using really good animation the film plays out a very well-crafted script that explains the A-Z applications of the lubricants. I like the way the writer has used creative licence to spell out the A-Z. It is something you’d hardly expect but be pleasantly surprised with.

And as the film rolls out you get not just an idea of the wide width of uses for HP lubricants but also a rather enjoyable little story. The tag line Aapke Zindagi Chale Smooth sums up the effort neatly.

Guaranteed to please

After Singham and other movies in that genre, Ajay Devgan is identified as a tough, reliable, rugged, straight-talking person with integrity. Just the qualities needed for someone endorsing a truck. So Interface has done a super job in identifying a very appropriate celebrity for Mahindra Blazo trucks. The approach to the TVC is also very different. None of the scenes with the truck plowing through deserts and scaling mountains and fording rivers and the like.

This is aimed at fleet owners or truck owners in a very focused manner. Ajay Devgan is simply shown walking beside the trucks, telling us that if we can find a truck that gives a better mileage than the Blazo, we can actually return the truck. Now that’s macho talk if you ever heard it.

Everyone loves a guarantee. And that’s a guarantee that should warm the hearts of any prospective buyer. No fluff, no image-building, no gloss. Just a straightforward guarantee delivered by a person whose on-screen persona spells integrity. And mileage is a magic word for any Indian. Now let’s see those trucks flying off dealers’ showrooms.

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.

Ramesh Narayan is a communications consultant. Mail your comments to

Published on March 10, 2016

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