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Advertising - Hotspots and Rankings

Special Columns
Arindam Chaudhuri, Editor-in-Chief, 4Ps B&M Editor-in-Chief
Arindam Chaudhuri
A.Sandeep Editor's Desk
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They came, We Saw and Everybody Reviewed!

Issue Date - 19/05/2011
An ad is a symbol of painstaking craftsmanship. Elements ranging from product positioning clarity, a power idea to visibility of brand persona and expectancy of communication have to be intelligently weaved together. But some of them rewrite the patience benchmarks of viewers, while some others go the opposite way to just miss out sharing honours at the top. Therefore, in this section, we review three ads that attained noteworthiness, for the right as well as (perhaps more) for the wrong reasons.

Idea, Nescafé, Tata docomo

Baseline: Idea 3G, Shake it, make it, take it
Agency: Lowe Lintas, Mccann Erickson

4Ps B&M Take: This week, we couldn’t help but include the three most ignominious ones again at the top. These three have already made it to our sad-ads list previously. However, they just went from bad to worse. In the last issue, post witnessing the salacious display of Deepika Padukone’s assets, we had lamented the fact that this ad marked the death of the family brand Nestle, which unfortunately is also used to sell Lactogen and Cerelac. While previously, one could only see Deepika Padukone obscenely gyrating her hips and moaning away to the viewer to “Shake it, make it, and take it baby”, in the latest edition, Purab – one of the protagonists – goes into an illusory world while being in Deepika’s house, imagining her ‘shaking it, making it and taking it’. The inane display becomes worse when Purab, with his eyes closed, is shown crawling/sniveling on the stairs gesticulating with obscene gestures. What are the Nestle brand guys thinking? Legions of Indians wishing to be Purabs – and ergo, immediately desiring the cold coffee? In similar, actually lesser distasteful vein are the Idea 3G ads (which continue the hackneyed Jr. Bachchan triple role series with him mouthing 1G, 2G, 3G) and Tata Docomo ads (which, again, continue showing Ranbir Kapoor criminally hurting the audience with sickeningly poor standup comedy jokes). We have to admit, in acting both Bachchan Jr. and Ranbir are good. But if that was all there was to product positioning, then Boost would have been the secret of our energy. Now, why did we say that? Isn’t Boost already the secret? Have we finally lost it after viewing all these ads?

Colgate Active Salt

Baseline: Toothpaste mein namak
Agency: NA

4Ps B&M Take: A glance at any of Colgate Active Salt’s advertisement will show you exactly the same staid concept being repeated by different personalities again and again. Earlier it was a mall where, in perfect disguise, the sole aim of Lara Dutta was to first catch random shoppers with a tooth cavity and then disappear in a flash (how utterly exciting!). This time, Colgate Active Salt has entered a marriage ceremony of a couple where surprisingly, the ‘pandit’ first gives the groom a walnut to crack with his teeth (well, don’t you know, all Indian grooms have to first crack walnuts with their teeth and then break coconuts with their heads during the marriage ceremony). The poor groom can’t! No prizes here, the cavity is identified immediately by the genius pandit, who apparently seems to always carry a tube of toothpaste in his sack. The pandit asks innocently, “Kya aapke daanton mein sadan hai?” and then, without wasting a second, hands over the tube to the groom. Yippee! Problem solved! If this kind of advertisement is what Colgate thinks would influence Indian consumers to buy its “Active Salt” (no less) toothpaste series, then woe behold the Indian groom, priest and all the jazz that goes with the bandwagon. The ad is clearly a waste of effort, time, money and of course, that one tube of Colgate Active Salt. Couldn’t they just have shown a fake Rajnikant with an Active Salt tee catching 200 machine gun bullets with his mouth and announcing, “Bite da bullet like this, wadawa rascala!”

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