The Ad-alat: Reviewing Tech Brands This June 2016

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The Ad-alat: "Hello World!"
Buckle in because this time on The Ad-alat, we are looking at all kinds of technology and the brands that support them - including mobile apps!

In India's now tech-heavy era, we've got brands scrambling to adapt to our mobile-first economy - and of course, the ads do follow.

What an App-isode! (I'll see myself out)

Alat: Micromax
Kapil Sharma ne Dikhaya #AngrezipantiKoAngootha Micromax got big so fast that it boggled our collective minds. But, what we really like about this brand is that they didn't deviate from their core theme of 'Nuts. Guts. Glory' and applied that to all their phone types...and air conditioners? In this one, they bring in Kapil Sharma not for his comedy but as a celebrity who primarily speaks in Hindi in the largest English speaking country in the world (that's India, FYI). The lack of a background music to tell us how to feel and the absence of a product reveal emphasizes the realness of the narrative, almost like it was a PSA. Well-played, Micromax!
Canvas Unite 4 Continuing their campaign to promote language localization and fingerprint technology in all their mobile devices, this ad is sure to hit the multilingual hearts of India. Well-written and well-shot, this ad manages to bring out the philosophy that for essential things in life, we don't need a language. In this case, a fingerprint will do.
Micromax Canvas 6 The filler ad creative that helps promote the core messaging further. Doesn't disappoint with its compilation of "follow your dreams"-esque story arcs.
Micromax Air Conditioners Yes, you read that right. It's air conditioners this time. Most brands would have come up with a new advertising theme to highlight their shift to a new industry but apparently not Micromax. Another compilation, the camera work pulls the viewer's eyes again and again to the product and so, in short, we like it. Though the tagline could do with some work.
Alat: Vivo
This campaign's been running for a while now and we've all come to love Ranveer Singh's loud and squeaky "No Wait!". In this creative, however, his baritone version of the catchphrase is worthy of a ringtone. Vivo still manages to keep us engaged, still maintaining the replay value of this ad, and Ranveer continues to be advertising gold.
Palat: ASUS Zenfone Max
What can we say about this ad that is not painfully obvious? The unlikeliness of the situation where a celebrity like Sonakshi Sinha doesn't have her bodyguards around her at the start of the ad but who somehow secret service style show up at the end just so she can deliver an awkward hand gesture that's akin to little kids name calling each other. Sonakshi's stilted acting and chapped lips distract us more than the phone that not even a wildly gesticulating supporting character can fix. Sorry, Asus, we've already unplugged from this ad.
Palat: IndusInd Bank
Fingerprint Banking Right! So, is there some famous catchphrase or local reference we are missing here? Because, we don't get it. What is the deal with Boman Irani screaming 'Gotcha!' as a greeting? Then there's Farhan Akhtar's finger gun thing alongwith the 'Gotcha' that's plain confusing...and rude? We don't know. And, since when do celebrities show each other their bank accounts?
RIP Passwords A supporting creative for IndusInd Bank's fingerprint banking campaign that we gotta bemoan about - not joking. The loud background dirge drowns out Farhan Akhtar's supposably funny eulogy about the silliness and evolution of passwords. If you ignored the audio, you would realize that the unwavering wide shot of the camera does not flatter any part of the ad concept. Also, why were the subtitles in the previous creative in English but this one was verbatim in Hinglish? RIP, logic.
Alat: PNB MetLife
Mera Term Plan Often, a good ad doesn't need subtitles or hashtags to connect with the populace. PNB MetLife's latest foray into the competitive world of insurance advertising shows us that sometimes the simplest of concepts can become diamonds in the hands of great editing and camera work. The quick shots manage to capture the chaos of a typical Indian mela without distracting from the main story. Hilarious and well told. Dhin ta na!
Alat: Aaj Tak
Aaj Tak Mobile App This black-and-white ad is colorful in its wit and drama. Soha Ali Khan and Kunal Khemu are a Mughal-era couple who are trying to take a selfie - the acting is impeccable and the nasal voiceover adds that extra bit of comedy to this already ludicrous concept.
Ranbir Kapoor is back with another ad creative from - this time, one that we like. Ranbir unhurriedly looks on as an airport security lady pulls out all kinds large items from his seemingly bottomless duffel bag, which he then claims is all Simple, precise, to-the-point. The actor playing the airport security lady is the true star of this ad with her wide variety of perplexed expressions.
Palat: Samsung Gear S2
We get it. It's a cool device that will help you get healthy. In an attempt to make the messaging idiot-proof, Samsung Gear's ad talks down to us in slow, measured phrases without which we wouldn't know how our day went - apparently.
Alat: OLX
Mundi Dance We got won over by the kick-ass rap that replaces conversations in this ad. Of course, the unrelated and not-so-subtle play on the classic Indian head-bobbing being likened to the movement of baubleheads adds another dimension, making it hilariously memorable. There's even an adorable bromance moment!
Palat: Airtel
Myplan Postpaid Airtel's favorite 4G poster child is back - now holding a megaphone! Sasha Chettri, aka, Airtel's 4G girl managed to become synonymous with their biggest campaign last year and could be India's first Flo (from Progressive). But, let's talk about this creative, shall we? It's not very creative. A crowd of protestors shouting about a flexible phone plan? Hackneyed concept and shows some lazy writing. Sorry guys - not all of them can be hits, ya know.
Alat: Vodafone SuperNet
For Samsung Galaxy S7 & Gear VR This ad is kinda like inception where it's telling us a story about a storyteller telling a story! That aside, the casting was exceptional as we get sucked into the story of this guy in his tennis shorts narrating a tale about how he fought a shark. The close-up shots, the acting - One of those ads that doesn't need to show off glossy shots of the latest gadget to make us want to buy it.
In this highly advertised and competitive space of apps, it's tiring to hear the same "All the products you need at your fingertips" style messaging.'s ad about their mobile app regurgitates that message with the same ol' girl-comes-home-late theme that not even the likes of Kangana Ranaut could save.
In Pepperfry's latest ad campaign, they attempt to acquire those people who smugly prefer to get everything handmade or DIY it. And since we all know someone like that in our lives, this campaign of three creatives hits a home run as it directly addresses the perils of DIY attempts - noise, dust, and occasionally running out of raw materials. Smartly played, Pepperfry.
This court session is adjourned.

~Ray, out! Peace!