Zumis to the fore!

RAMESH NARAYAN | Updated on March 10, 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.

We loved the Zoozoos. You’ll love their mini avatar, the Zumis. And they are working as industriously as Santa’s elves, making sure every Vodafone user can do everything she wants on the newly introduced MyVodafone App. So you can forget about visiting the Vodafone store or telephoning some customer relationship number. Just download the “intuitive”app and start re-charging, changing plans or anything you might want to do. The TVC? I loved the way it is shot. It really looked like great animation, if you didn’t know what it was. And the music was just what the doctor ordered for a film like this. Loud and energising. Rajiv Rao and his team at O&M have got themselves a winner on their hands.


I met Ritesh Agarwal of Oyo Rooms at the IAA Silver Summit at Kochi a few months ago. I had not heard of Oyo till then, and Ritesh was the best last-minute substitute speaker any organiser lucked out on. He really is a rather impressive young man. Nice-looking, articulate yet soft-spoken, no trace of the brash braggart he could easily be. His vision to become the biggest name in hospitality really caught the fancy of the crowd there. After that I have been noticing the Oyo branding on some hotels and have figured out the approximate profile of the hotels that would be covered by this brand. And now I saw the eight or so TVCs Oyo has made for itself. They are basically meant to cover quirky moments experienced in hotel rooms, and give you a peek into what an Oyo room could be like. A nice idea. The films range from showing a selfie-engrossed couple whose quirk seemed to be in seeing whose tongue could hang out more, or the one where an apparent klepto-guest tries packing in every amenity a hotel offers, or the one with a sportsperson who kicks off his sneakers and almost collapses in bed. Let me not forget the one where a young lady opens a window of her hotel room and gets this gorgeous view of the Marine Drive in Mumbai. Unless Trident Mumbai offers Oyo rooms, I’d love to know which of their hotels offer that view. Anyway, the good idea does not quite make it to good films. The central objective is achieved. You get the general idea. As a direct announcement, full marks. As well-crafted advertising, sorry! Ritesh, frankly, I expected much more from you.

Not fair!

ASCI receives, screens and decides on numerous complaints that people send in on the advertising they see. This self-regulatory body is one we are proud of as an industry. In this column we mention the names of some advertisers against whom complaints have been upheld. We deliberately mention only some of the big names as we feel these are the brands who have no excuse to contravene ASCI’s code. They should be inspiring, not circumventing, or bumbling. In the latest ASCI list Godrej, Hindustan Unilever (Dove Elixir), HDFC Bank and Flipkart are getting pulled up. HDFC Bank (I bank with them) mentioned a 15-minute clearance time for its two-wheeler loans which was not correct, and Flipkart got the printed MRP of a product wrong. Now that is inexcusable. And the Dove brand (which was hauled up as misleading) is one I repeatedly quote as an example of a brand with a higher purpose. You broke my heart, Dove! Can we go back to expecting the world from you all? Please?

Talking tough

The pro-wrestling championships have this campaign which says guys and girls have become very soft and namby-pamby. So they should watch the pro-wrestling series on TV and toughen themselves up. The films are very well made. If I was wondering whether the approach of mocking (not shocking) the audience into watching the shows would work, well, the TRPs in the first week are oh-so-impressive. Nice work! And a Merry Christmas to all our readers!

Ramesh Narayan is a communications consultant. Mail your comments to

Published on December 24, 2015

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