SRAVANTHI CHALLAPALLI | Updated on January 22, 2018



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.

Mutual funds 101

The new campaign by Publicis for HDFC Mutual Funds is a treat to watch. It aims to get more people to invest in mutual funds and each ad focuses on one aspect of investing. I liked the sari ad the best. Which young girl hasn’t tried to dress up in a sari and got it all wrong?

The way the ad draws an analogy between HDFC being the expert telling you how to invest, just as a mother can tell her daughter how to drape the sari right, is fitting. The ‘Kulfi’ ad focuses on the virtues of patience, necessary to make mutual funds pay in the long run, the ‘Swimming’ ad is about getting an early start on investing, and the ‘Parrot’ and ‘Cricket’ ads on how investing even small amounts can lead to big benefits in the future. The acting seems natural and effortless. The child actor and the lady in the swimming pool are my favourites.

What it takes to patch up

The ad for Kohler’s Intelligent Toilet is striking as it is absurd. Literally. A couple, one presumes European, is in the midst of what looks like a nasty divorce, and is swiftly laying claim to the various assets in the presence of their lawyers.

Somewhere along the way, amidst the family name, vineyards, country estate, art collection and football team that they divvy up, they remember their son, whom the wife promptly claims while the husband has to be content with the dog. Partitioning done, they prepare to leave but are confronted by Kohler’s gleaming Intelligent Toilet that sits on a platform in the living room.

That’s enough for the wife to change tack and profess her love for her husband, who, in fact, seems relieved to have her back.

It is a fast-paced ad, raises an incredulous laugh, makes you like/dislike the wife, feel sorry for the husband, also makes you wonder a little why the toilet is in the living room and not in the toilet, and wonder a little more idly if all it takes to save a marriage is a fancy water closet, even more than football teams and art collections, and then put it all down to creative licence.

No deferring till Diwali

Pepperfry has a new campaign that tells viewers they don’t have to wait until Diwali to buy new furniture, what with its great prices.

I loved the ‘Recliner’ ad where the woman is cosily ensconced in a luxurious recliner watching TV while the guy has to settle for an ordinary chair and no position he adopts gives him any comfort.

The other ads in the series, made by Saatchi & Saatchi – the host with a small dining table having to content himself with sitting on a low stool while the guests and wife occupy the rest of the chairs, books stacked precariously for the lack of a bookshelf and a bed that creaks loud enough to wake up the other person sleeping on it – are very relatable and entertaining.

Published on September 10, 2015

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