RAMESH NARAYAN | Updated on January 23, 2018 Published on August 27, 2015


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.

Bonding over Basmati

What’s this about India and Pakistan? We love to bash each other. We love watching news programmes where the panelists routinely bash one another. We love watching cricket and hockey games where our teams play as if it is war. And we love watching films that show us as just the same. Remember the Google ad? We loved the fact that we reach out to each other. To me it shows that beneath the sabre-rattling and name-calling, we, as people, love each other deep down, and wonder why we behave like we do, most of the time.

Enter Kohinoor and Crayons Communications into this no-man’s land, or should I say everyman’s land. You thought that only the internet could bring India and Pakistan together? What about rice? Yes, you heard right. Kohinoor Basmati rice is the binding factor in a pretty well-made film which shows a young Indian man and a young Pakistani girl meeting as co-workers somewhere abroad. Sparks of the LOC variety fly at first. The girl cannot agree with anything our Indian has to say or do (it’s made by Indians, so the young man is shown as reaching out always) but then they reach out for a packet of Kohinoor Basmati rice in a supermarket aisle and the young lady gives our hero just the opening he is looking for when she says the Pakistani biryani is better than the Indian biryani. The young man promptly asks when she is inviting him to try it, and there is much bonding over biryani, made with Kohinoor rice of course. Do I like it? It’s a little contrived but I’m a sucker for these feel-good films so I’ll give it a thumbs-up.

Woo someone

Now matchmaking is all on an app. Cupid works through the digital medium to bring couples together in a way few media can. And now there’s a TVC from Woo, apparently the number one matrimonial app that portrays a simple sequence of events featuring a young man and a woman doing different things in a city, and somehow their paths keep crossing. From glances exchanged to the time when fate and a rainy day see them getting into a taxi in Kolkata (the Ambi taxis are typical of the city) from different sides. First, let me tell you I like the TVC. It is made very well. Every shot looks lovely. And the song playing in the background is eminently hummable. Add a nice-looking couple where the young woman seems very much at ease before the camera, and you have a nice little film that has great repeat value. Simple, lovingly crafted, effective.

Slow is good

We’ve all been sensitised to the message that slow is good. Especially when it comes to cooking. Fine cuisine insists on the art of slow cooking as against the slapdash takeaway junk food that is so popular today. Hidesign is a brand I have always admired. Initially I always wondered how the word was pronounced. Was it Hidesign as it is spelt or was it supposed to be Hi-Design, spelt as one word? On a recent trip to Puducherry I revelled in a fine dining experience at a restaurant in a hotel on the Promenade. The hotel is owned by Hidesign. And more recently, I was told that a fine marketing person I enjoyed interacting with in her earlier job had opted to move from one of India’s biggest groups to Hidesign. Anyway, I saw the preview of its new print campaign. Very classy! Shot by the famous Puducherry sculptor and photographer Rupert Lorhaldar, it has the look and feel of one of the great international fashion houses. And the advertisements tell a well scripted story of the art of slow manufacturing, or rather construction of these bags. How much time, skill and labour goes into cutting the leather, sand-casting the brass buckles and other little things that combine to make up what I believe is the making of one of the very few international luxury brands, made in India.

Ramesh Narayan is a communications consultant. Mail your comments to [email protected]

Published on August 27, 2015
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