The Ad-alat: Branding Ads this June 2016

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The Ad-alat: Brands and their Branding
There's always that conversation between an ad agency and their client about what the focus of their ad campaign should be. And, there's an unwritten understanding that, yes, ads meant purely for branding purposes need a lot of production money (empty out those pockets, baby) and it's almost impossible to track its return-on-investment (so, you don't know if it worked).
Despite all the practical concerns surrounding branding ads, their one and true objective is to make sure that people remember them. Whether they have beautiful close-up camera work moving in slow motion, or beautiful locales, or heart-wrenching stories, branding ads are nothing less than short films and need their due airtime. Now you know why we've been hard-pressed to find something we don't like about them.
So, here we are at the last of the 'June 2016 TVC series' of The Ad-alat talking about the one thing advertising hinges on - The Brand.

"Is the camera moving in slow motion? Or, are my eyes moving faster than light?" Gasp!

Alat: Rajasthan Tourism
Government ads took their time but they finally made it to the advertising game. And tourism, of course, learned it the hard way that ads need that special branding touch.
Our favorite Rajasthan tourism ads still come from the '-Sthan' ad campaign a half year ago. This Rajasthan tourism ad attempts to show the grandeur of Rajasthan in beautiful, slow moving shots, in masterful camera work, and a soothing background score. But that's not new when it comes to tourism ads. What bowled us over here was the well-written captioning for each colorful swipe of the camera. We do wish it was a little shorter for a greater reach, but honestly, we aren't complaining. It definitely makes us book a ticket right away with the only excuse: "Jaane Kya Dikh Jaaye".

Alat: Big Bazaar
Neki Ka Mahina
It's Ramzan season here and one of the biggest month-long celebrations in India. Shops are open 'til late, people wear beautiful clothing, laughs everywhere, and of course, delicious food. Now, though we reminisce about all the good times, we don't often get to see TVCs focused around Ramzan and so, it's nice to see Big Bazaar stepping up to the plate with a premise that's universal in almost all cultural festivals - the joy of giving (aka, buy stuff).
In this feels-generating emotional ad, we see Archana Puran Singh, in the role of a traditional Punjabi woman, rush for the delivery of her grandchild and find the only available doctor about to break her fast for the day. Post-delivery, she then presents a table decorated with fruits and items to the doctor with the wish that she break her fast with them.
The screenplay is beautiful and engages the viewer without adding overt messaging. No lie - we cried a little (a lot).

Khane Ka Samay
Let's be honest. There is a threadbare connection between a food *department store* and you making your own food at home. So, if you are aware of the Big Bazaar brand or its stores, you might be left going 'huh?' at the end of this ad.
Despite all that, the story arcs in this ad do hit us deep. Shots of families spending time, cooking together, taking pictures of their food, folks grudgingly trying out new cuisines and then loving it, family meals with each on their devices but the delicious food brings them to focus on each other instead - well-shot scenes with excellent screenplay. Slow motion shots of the food and the supermarket to bookend this ad complete the story in a satisfying way. Well-written and beautifully narrated, this ad is a winner!

Alat: SpiceJet
Hot Meals - Office
We debated quite a lot over SpiceJet's ad campaign since it qualified for our women-focused ads review post as well (you'll see why). But, it neatly fell into place in this post.
SpiceJet doesn't really sport a great brand presence and has had its fair share of pitfalls. However, it is a smart move to try for some feel-good branding with the current state of the airlines industry in India.
This campaign is quite amusing and gets an unexpected chuckle out of you by showing situations where you wouldn't mind inconveniences like, little legroom, long lines, or cold meals. The casting for all the creatives have been really well done.
In this particular creative though, we think it would be a stretch to complain about cold food in a social situation where someone offers you homemade food. Nonetheless, as a package, this campaign is a hit.

Hot Meals - Chef
Shaking our heads

SpiceMax - Legroom
Still shaking our heads

SpiceMax - Lines
Weelllll - now that is a legit reason!

Alat: Google
Google Search: Movies
Google has come a long way from a time when it refused to do any sort of "traditional" advertising of its products (despite owning the online advertising services landscape - or maybe, because of it).
Then, slowly but surely, we were happy to see the search engine giant dip its toes into traditional media marketing and of course, it's been a few years now that we find Google regularly spending its well-earned cash on localized print and television commercials in addition to other traditional methods of marketing.
This TVC campaign, as per usual with Google, is all about sharing people stories. In case it wasn't obvious yet, we love 'em all!

Google Search: Lyrics
This ghazal-style rendition of the song 'DJ wale babu' is definitely a version we want 'bass toh badha do'.

Alat: Jabong
"Your mom won't call me suitable" is one of the phrases with which the latest Jabong ad starts...followed by a beautiful rendition of a famous Urdu poem, 'aaj bajaar mein, pa-bajolan chalo'.
We love haute couture! And, whether or not Jabong actually lists all the products that the models in this ad sport, it's refreshing to see artistic interpretation take a life of its own in this fashion photographer's wet dream called the Jabong ad.
We really like that Jabong celebrates what fashion is truly all about - borne out of necessity and sometimes, frivolity. This ad doesn't waver from showing off its broad range of products meant for all shapes and sizes, and ...purposes?
What we really like about this ad is not that it's bold but that Jabong decided to take that step in India that the world has already gone way ahead of when it comes fashion advertising - but done in a very commercial way. Kudos, Jabong!

This court session is adjourned.

Ray out! Peace!


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