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Advertising - Hotspots and Rankings

Special Columns
Arindam Chaudhuri, Editor-in-Chief, 4Ps B&M Chief Consulting Editor's Desk
Rajita Chaudhuri
K.K.Srivastava Guest Column
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They came, we saw and everybody reviewed!

Issue Date - 15/07/2012
An ad is a product of painstaking craftsmanship. Various elements, ranging from positioning of the product, clarity of the idea behind the product to visibility of the brand, its persona and the power of communication have to be intelligently weaved together. But while some ads manage to rewrite preset creative benchmarks, some go the wrong way, fall by the side & fail to excite viewers. In this section, we review three ads that came out tops, for the right and the wrong reasons this fortnight.

Advertiser: This time, read the name inside the review
Baseline: Extract every last drop
Agency: Contract Advertising

4Ps B&M Take: Crack a joke, any joke! Once the joke ends, mouth out your product’s name loudly. For added effect, paste it on the tube screen too – and consumers would recall your brand ad nauseum and go prancing to the nearest store to mob-attack it in order to buy your advertised product, right?! While the world may be shaking their heads rabidly in the negative, the ‘creative’ guys at Contract couldn’t care less. Not only have they wasted a fantastic advertising levity concept (and the client’s money) this time, they’ve also ensured that the name of the client is recalled more for this review (which we’re dead sure will be better than the ad itself) than for the ad. The TVC welcomes you into a sepia coloured, gloomy, apparently bureaucratic government office. A man is sitting in front of a government official, presumably to request him to ‘move’ a file. They’re not speaking to each other, but there’s a strange noise in the background – a noise which generally emanates from a juicer. It turns out that the officer’s making that sound – it’s apparently an indication that if the visitor’s application had to be processed, he’ll have to pay a bribe. The man nods helplessly and hands over some money from under the file. The noise stops and the file is signed. Before the civilian can breathe a sigh of relief, the juicer noise again starts, but this time from the throat of the official who’s sitting to the right of the previous officer. Some more money is slipped, the file is signed, and the noise stops. Just at the moment everything seems fine and the man is about to get up, the godforsaken noise starts again. It’s the suavely suited boss of these officials, who pops up from somewhere around, nudging the officials to get his cut too from the civilian. Money given, sound stops, while the caption reads, “Extract every last drop. Morphy Richard Juicers.” Hrmpph, what was that? Who in heavens is Morphy Richards? For argument’s sake, even if the ad were to work, is the correlation of the juicer being done with corrupt, illegal government officials ready to rid you of all your money? Is the juicer supposed to do that? Oh no Mr. Johnson, we’re supposed to laugh out loud, roll on the speckled floor for added effect, and then do what Contract must be expecting to happen – mob attack the nearest store demanding you know what – Morphy Richards. Retailers, get your security backup ready, tonight’s the zombie attack! … Contract, geez guys, this one’s not even worth your contract!

Choose lee, smooth lee

Advertiser: Valvoline
Baseline: Smooth-Lee
Agency: RK Swamy BBDO

4Ps B&M Take: If you’re abhorred at the heading, blame yourself, your gifted West-Delhi Hindi lineage and the Valvoline ad, not us. One of the reasons why this creative found its way to the review section is that it was perhaps for the first time that we found an engine oil ad to be engaging and creative. The other reason was because it’s still as stupid as it gets. Actually, we don’t blame agencies for not being able to deliver compelling ads (Blame? We rip their happiness off and ensure the creative guys and their next ten generations want to kill us for the rest of their lives! Ask Contract!), unless they’ve been really lax. That’s not really the case here. The ad starts with Mister ‘Smooth-Lee’ (So creative a name, right? Don’t throw up yet, the ad’s actually nice) performing in a show. Smooth-Lee is blessed with a magic touch. Anything he touches becomes smooth (Don’t walk away guys, believe us, the cheesiness does-get-better). So he ‘slides’ his hands over the moustache of a security guard which, well, becomes smooth. Next stop, Mr.Smooth-Lee touches a tree and voila! Men who were trying to climb the tree come tumbling down. And so on… till arrives the actual test – a broken bike. Smooth-Lee attempts to fix the engine with his magic touch but the bike still keeps giving constant jerks. He arrives with the bike at a garage, where the mechanic suddenly gives Smooth-Lee the loudest, most excruciating slap you would’ve have ever expected, exclaiming, “Bhai Smooth-Lee, seriously, bike ki ride agar banani hai smooth, toh bharosa karo sirf Valvoline engine oil par!” (We’re not even wasting our time with the translation). Alright, let’s do a group sigh. While credit goes to the BBDO team for starting off well, the end almost beats the Morphy Richards ad in encomiums. Leave the lack of recall etcetra, why was it so necessary to slap poor Smooth Lee? Wouldn’t it have made sense to make Smooth Lee into the Valvoline man or something like that? An image positioning like that would surely have helped. But hey, who cares, we choose Lee, Smooth Lee, and you all can take your imagination to wherever you wish.

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