Ramesh Narayan | Updated on January 20, 2018 Published on February 25, 2016


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.

The ultimate bond

Anyone who’s watched Bollywood movies must know all about the dahi handi that is broken by human pyramids to celebrate the birthday of the naughty young Krishna and the pranks he used to play with the gopikas. Bollywood’s music directors have made relevant songs such as Govinda aala re part of the entire celebration. And now Fevicol and Ogilvy have added their own tadka to the heady mix. The TVC opens with a quintessential Mumbai chawl and a pyramid being formed by game young men and brave little boys (who get hoisted right on top). As the little boy reaches the top of the giddily high human pyramid and breaks the handi (pot of curds and other goodies), an informant on one of the higher floors of the chawl points to another handi that appears to have been set up at a location nearby. That’s when the magic begins. Instead of dismantling, re-grouping at the new spot and re-forming the structure, the entire human pyramid, as one composite unit, begins to scuttle towards the new destination. This part of the film is shot not just imaginatively but also with great understanding of the wadas and chawls that make up the traditional parts of Mumbai. So you have this unbelievable sight of a human pyramid being cheered on by the watching populace, reaching the new spot, swaying and leaning. One of the little bystanders comes to throw the usual bucket of water on members of the pyramid, and the back of the t-shirt of one of the ‘Govindas’ is zoomed into to show you the Fevicol logo. And it all falls into place. The trademark hyperbole, much-loved humour, great film craft and the tight editing. Not to speak of the imaginative script and great insights that always go into the bond between Fevicol and Ogilvy. Keep it going, guys! That’s how great brands are built. Through great relationships.

Eating healthy

You love Chinese food, you hate the calories, you love Italian cuisine, you hate the oil and the calories that begin to add up like a cash register, ringing up a huge bill you shudder to settle. And so Marico has launched its Saffola masala oats with two TVCs. They show a young lady (are ladies always so weight-conscious while men are gluttons for flab?) nibbling at some Chinese food (and at a delicious-looking pasta dish in the other film). Enter Chef Kunal Kapoor who enquires why the young ladies ate partaking of such homeopathic portions (my words, not his). And then proceeds to whip up what looks like a tasty, healthy dish with Saffola Masala Oats. You see the chef weave his culinary art around corn, fresh vegetables and other confidence-building visuals and, voila, you have oats and the Saffola brand! I can see good health bursting out of the combination. To think I only had oats for breakfast. Now I can whip up these apparently health and tasty meals any time. Until someone tells me to stop eating these refined packaged foods! Killjoys! Until then, I’m trying a pack.

Greed is good

We’ve grown up being told “Don’t be greedy!” Coca-Cola is now redefining things and positioning greed as good. In its new commercial offering for Maaza, it has the good-looking Varun Dhawan playing twin brothers. More Varun is a good thing. The brothers’ greed for mangoes is highlighted, first when one of them refuses to give the other a slice of his mango, and then again when the other wants to monopolise the Maaza mango drink. The dialogue is interesting with each of the brothers taking turns to say that they were twins, but the greed for mango easily overtook the sibling love between them. Shown in a positive way, greed inspires the consumer to make sure that the seasonal taste of the golden Alphonso mango becomes a perennial delight in the form of the Maaza mango drink. And with Prime Minister Modi requesting the cola majors to invest in healthy juices, Maaza is right on track. Fruit juice may one day become ‘the real thing”.

Ramesh Narayan is a communications consultant. Mail your comments to

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Published on February 25, 2016
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