Monday, January 3, 2011

My favourite 2010 ads

In this post I would like to recall and comment on five noteworthy ads which were released in 2010:

1.  LIC of India – Father & Daughter
Sometimes talking about death can be a tricky although it is inevitable, no one likes to be reminded that he will die. Here is an example; once I happened to witness a young man trying to sell life insurance to someone. The young insurance agent began his talk by saying “Suppose you suddenly die …” his prospective client looked unpleasantly surprised and jovially requested him not to remind him about his death. Once a gentleman told me that he always tried to avoid a certain insurance agent because he was reminded of death whenever he met him, such people are resistant to life insurance. In order to avoid the unpleasant topic of death some insurance agents try to sell life insurance as an alternate savings plan where risk is also covered, the word risk means ‘If you were to die suddenly’. Some agents prefer to use the phrase – ‘God forbid if something happens, life is uncertain’ or some such words to that effect. 
 The uncertainty of life – the fact that anything can go wrong at anytime when you do not expect it -- is the theme of the TV commercial ‘LIC of India – Forever’. This commercial is currently being aired on TV. It is really a short story of a young father and his little daughter. They are shown walking in a crowded market place, suddenly the two are separated. They are eventually united but both have to suffer the pain of separation for a brief period. The commercial is emotionally charged and emphasizes the importance of providing security because life is uncertain and LIC is the organization which can be trusted. What I like about the commercial is the treatment; one gets the feeling that one is seeing a story unfold; it does not feel like a regular advertisement. What I found interesting was the expressions on the faces of some of the people who witness the father calling out to his lost daughter; to mind they convey that you cannot be sure if the people around you can be trusted or depended upon when you badly need help, therefore it is better that you take precautions yourself.  
The primary target audience is the young father who may be resistant to life insurance or may be postponing his decision to take a life insurance policy for various reasons. This ad is like a wake-up call --- Get yourself insured now before it is too late! Anything can happen at any moment!

2.  Limca – Boy and Girl
 This ad reiterates the freshness claim using high quality visual effects with a touch of masti – naughtiness. I never get tired of viewing this ad.

3. Kit Kat – The Dancing Squirrels 

I really do not need to comment on this ad, the computer generated squirrels say it all, or sing it all; if you have squirrels like these would you need film stars as models. What you need are great creative ideas and excellent execution; Kit Kat – The Dancing Squirrels commercial is an ideal example.

4.   MP Tourism – MP Ajab Hai

The ‘shadow’ commercial (MP Ajab Hai) appeared on TV towards the end of 2010, in the beginning of the same year ‘the dancing eyes’ (Hindustan Ka Dil Dekha)commercial was on air. Both these ads are in continuation of ‘MP through bioscope’ ads. What I have observed is that the creative idea of most tourism ads, whether Indian or foreign, are quite similar. Such ads typically have attractive shots, almost in the National Geographic style, of the tourist spots which the country in question wishes to promote. MP Tourism has gone off the beaten path; theirs is not one of the usual tourism ads. 

MP Tourism ads are very different and clearly stand out of the clutter. Credit not only goes to the agency which produced these ads but also to MP Tourism department for accepting the agency’s proposal. Many clients like to play safe and refrain from approving any creative idea that is totally different from others. They prefer the so called ‘time tested’ methods rather than be different; it needs guts on the part of clients to accept ads like these. 
 The next ad I want to talk about is a Volkswagen press ad which created a sensation in September 2010.

5. Volkswagen Vento -- Press ad, talking newspaper 
On September 21, 2010 the morning newspaper began to talk, this was experienced by readers of The Hindu and The Times of India in the cities of Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Pune and Chennai. It was a full page ad of Volkswagen Vento, attached to it was a light sensitive device with a speaker. Around 2.2 million copies carried this device. This was the first ever advertising campaign of its kind anywhere in the world and it created quite a sensation. On September 22, 2010 I wrote a post in this blog; please click here - Talking Newspaper, what next moving pictures in a newspaper?

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