Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Repentant Hangman (Havells Fans)

Havells have launched a TV campaign for their products, it comprises three commercials, I am not aware if there are more. The message is that if you use Havells you save on energy. In one ad, one sees a servant accidentally breaking a vase while doing the cleaning, when he realizes his mistake he prays that he be saved from punishment. In the second ad one sees a young student rushing into an examination hall, he not only late but to his utter dismay he realizes that he had prepared for the wrong paper, he too prays that he should be saved. The message in both TV commercials is that whether any one saves you from a difficult situation or not thanks to Havells you save energy. It is about saving alright but I really don’t see the connection between saving electricity and saving oneself from embarrassment or difficult situation. How does one save electricity by using Havells products is not explained at all.

The third Havells ad is among the most bizarre ads I have ever seen; it shows an old hangman who is repentant about what he has done all these years in the course of his work, that is executing criminals. He prays that he be saved from the consequences of his sins; this is followed by the similar background voice as in the other two ads. I just could not understand the connection between the man’s prayers to be saved for the perceived wrongs he has committed and saving electricity by using Havells CFL lamp. Though the old man was only doing his duty as a hangman he yet felt repentant, this understandable, but saying that he did one good deed that is of saving electricity by using Havells CFL lamp is absurd. Apart from this the hangman commercial is morbid and tasteless.

The question here is how different can one get with an ad for a fan or a CFL lamp after all one fan or CFL lamp is hardly different from the other. So Havells have hit upon an idea by claiming that the products are energy saving, but this claim is not supported at all. Advertisers and ad agencies seem to go to any length to differentiate their brands; what seems to be the belief is that, whether the creative is good, bad or bizarre you need to keep hammering it repeatedly in the media, and the sales will eventually come. One thing is certain that Havel fans have got noticed during this IPL season.

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