Paints an unforgettable picture

Ramesh Narayan | Updated on January 17, 2018


Addendum is a fortnightly 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.

I’ve liked much of the early advertising put out by Asian Paints and Ogilvy. Specially the Har ghar kuch kehta hai. I’ve lauded Piyush’s voice in that film and the idea behind it, expressed disappointment over the decision to drop Gattu, gleefully watched them use Gattu again to celebrate a landmark, and tried hard to remember their advertising after “ Har ghar...” without success. Now finally there’s something from Asian Paints I won’t forget in a hurry. An almost six-minute made-for-digital film about Saroj. Normally I watch such films with a touch of scepticism. The luxury of time changes everything in a film.

I have also heard a lot about this Skill India initiative from VS Ram who is giving back to the paint industry with a similar nation-wide effort. But I had not heard of the Asian Paints Paint Academy. I first thought it was like one of those cosmetic company’s labs, made only for advertising but I was pleasantly surprised. The film is high on production values but low on company branding. Believe me, not screaming Asian Paints helped make this a memorable film and I will never forget it was made for Asian Paints. Saroj is cast really well and the story of a group of young women who empower themselves by qualifying to be painters at the Asian Paints Academy and win not just a livelihood but also their dignity is told in a compelling manner. This is one film that could be boldly entered as a corporate film, a product film and as a public service film in an award show. And it would rank high in all three categories. But forget awards, the film does its job admirably. A great story about Saroj who goes from waxing women’s legs to being able to wax eloquent about her profession. Take a bow, guys!

Good habit runs in the family

It’s a smart strategy that positions a range of products as not just healthy and tasty, but also as a good habit. You are now quietly investing in the long term. Not just in trial. It’s a bold strategy that attempts a fairly long script (from the TV format angle) which uses a sarcastic remark with a pleasant tone and a happy face and ends up with a positive reinforcement at the end of the film. I must commend Manish Bhatt and his team at Scarecrow for taking a different route for DS Industries and its Ksheer range of dairy products. The TVC starts off with each member of the family smilingly knocking the other for some not-so-good habit. Just as I was wondering how they would get all this back on track, you have the mother summing up by saying that the one good habit they had was to stock and use the entire range of Ksheer dairy products. I liked the concept of positioning the fridge as the vault of good health. So finally tasty goodness becomes a habit. I’ll raise a glass of lassi to that!

Birthday greetings

Mondelez and L&K Saatchi and Saatchi have this 30-second commercial reinforcing their positioning of Cadbury’s chocolates as the ideal gift to take to school on your birthday. I still remember many decades ago I took Cadbury’s chocolates to school on my birthday. Those days you didn’t ask for chocolates, you asked the shopkeeper for Cadbury’s. But the world around me changed and there’s good competition for everyone, so Cadbury now needs to motivate you to take its chocolates to school on your birthday. And it’s done in a very nice way where the kid is sulking because he doesn’t know anyone in the new school but when the elder sibling gives him the packet of Choclairs, suddenly the world begins to seek him out. From a passing friend, to the girls and even the cricket captain all make a beeline to him, or rather his chocolates. A great way to know people and win friends. The expression on the face of the elder boy in the background peps up this film. All in all, a great way to use thirty seconds.

Ramesh Narayan is a communications consultant. Mail your comments to

Published on August 04, 2016

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