Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Haven’t I seen this before?

The challenge of advertising is to constantly push the envelope as it tries to produce something that is new, unseen, unheard of and makes people like you and me sit up and take notice. But I guess sometimes it is easier to talk about than to actually achieve. I keep thinking about this and was strongly reminded of the difficulty when I saw the Boost commercial featuring Dhoni and Virat Kohli for their two new flavours. Let me not try to describe yet another celebrity commercial. Watch it and you will see the two cricketers pushing each other and hustling each other to reach an appetizing mug of Boost first.

I first watched this commercial in a Tamil channel and I gaped in wonder. Not because it made me “stand up and cheer” as David Ogilvy would say or make my palms go cold, though I did wonder at the state of creative people who seem to have no time to watch other advertising (unless it is a Cannes reel) or remember stuff done years ago and mind you we are not talking about marginal work or work done for unknown brands.

Here is an old commercial done for Pepsi. It has three, not two cricketers one of whom was the then captain of the Indian cricket team and two other school boy cricketers from Mumbai who thanks to their prodigious run scoring ability made waves soon. Watch the commercial.

I rest my case. But a few questions which come to my mind. Should not Indian advertising guys watch other Indian advertising both present and past? Or should we not have smart client servicing people who will ensure that snafus like these don’t happen?

I realize that many creative people are young and don’t have a sense of history but shouldn’t older people bridge the gap? Are there any older people around - say from the ‘90s?

I think it I have raised too many questions.
Relax boys have a Pepsi!

Ramanujam Sridhar is Director of Custommerce and Founder CEO of brand-comm, a brand consulting, public relations and digital marketing company.

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