RAMESH NARAYAN | Updated on January 24, 2018

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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.

Bold ethnic chic

You can’t ignore digital anymore. A marketing manager of a major international cosmetics company told me they get more response in India from digital than any other media. So I decided to see the long-format TVCs made for’s Anouk range of ethnic fashion apparel by the Ogilvy team.

First, I think ethnic chic is something that been a niche offering for far too long. I have always felt it needs to be promoted fashionably, and not as something only the arty people dare wear. This is a series of three films, each about three minutes long, that deals with the bold woman of substance. An unorthodox relationship, a single mother and a young lady sitting alone at a bar. Three situations that the bold new woman of today may increasingly face. And you have them dealt with sensitively, yet with an edgy undertone at times and an even entertaining approach (in the case of the woman at the bar). These are not simple situations and I guess the digital media provides the creative people the luxury of time to let the treatment unfold. Time, however, can be a double-edged sword. In the wrong hands it could drag indeterminably. Well, Ogilvy and Myntra have got it right and the audience who matter would admire and relate to the situations, even it is only intellectually. If this is aimed at the bold woman of today, the bold approach works admirably. I’m giving it a thumbs up. And judging from the way it is trending, others give it a thumbs up too.

Digital dig

While on digital, there is a little gem of a matrimonial ad trending on social media. One can easily understand why. The ad, for the Hindu newspaper, was quietly placed in the Mumbai Mirror on Page 39 on June 7. You need to read the copy to appreciate the humour. “WANTED - Groom who reads The Hindu. Because The Hindu reports the truth. The writing is crisp and brilliant. And they read their ads before they post them.” Ouch!!! I love it. The derring-do shown definitely shows The Hindu in a younger and more agile light. And there are obviously red faces at the Mumbai Mirror. Expect a slap on wrists there.

Virtual real estate

I would never have believed that real estate would one day be marketed in the virtual world. Actually I think that though real estate is marketed digitally in a very big way, it is sold in the traditional way. I mean the last million, I meant “mile”, is always how it always used to be. Face to face. Yet, life is made so much easier if everything except that last meeting could be done by the click on the face of a tablet. But then buying real estate is not like buying packaged foods. It entails an entire process right from realising you need a house to short-listing options, knowing more about them, getting expert advice and so on. And that’s what RK Swamy BBDO is telling you in a series of short TVCs made for I recall the previous film which had the tune of a popular old Hindi movie song but was thankfully sung with lyrics adapted to the advertising message. I hate it when an old song or even a new song is lifted in its entirety. I find it a very lazy option. Anyway, at the end of the last film the young couple had moved in with their kids into their new house, found on Now, the wife’s pesky brother comes along and while interrupting precious cricket-match-viewing time, he is told, in a series of TVCs to attend to each part of the process of buying real estate on The films are well made and the approach to address a process rather that a one-off action is very wisely thought out. I did find the films a little breathlessly hurried. But them with 16 to 22 seconds at their disposal, one doesn’t tarry.

Ramesh Narayan is a communications consultant. Mail your comments to

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Published on June 18, 2015
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