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(Left) A still from the 'Google Reunion commercial' and the Tanishq commercial on re-marriage.

With the recent Tanishq and Google campaign going viral across social media, a look at the changing trends

Advertisements with real stories are trending compellingly in social media recently. Within a month, two commercials (Tanishq’s ad on remarriage and Google’s reunion) went viral, and even got foreign publications like The Huffington Post writing. “Advertisements are getting into realism, better ones are closer to reality,” explains Arun Iyer, national creative director with Lowe Lintas & Partners who brought out the Tanishq ad. The Google Reunion commercial by Ogilvy India, about how two friends separated during partition reunite with help of the search engine, released last week, was viewed more than 1.6 million times on YouTube and is shared by the French and Dutch as well.

Talking facts
The Tanishq TVC directed by Gauri Shinde of English Vinglish fame, shows a dusky bride with a daughter, who is set to remarry. Like the skin colour obsession, Iyer feels that remarriage concept is real. “The fact that the ad lead to so much conversation means this was waiting to happen. It just set off the trigger,” says Iyer who feels that it’s about being progressive. Tanishq shares the thought as well with their recent Mia campaign that talks about the modern woman aspiring to look as good as her work. “Tanishq is talking to the progressive Indian woman who is much more involved in the wedding,” says Deepika Sabharwal Tewari, head of marketing, Tanishq.

The risk factor
So what has changed? For Iyer it has to do with the brands’ risk taking abilities.  “It has gone up if you see the recent TVCs by Fastrack (Move On campaign) and Vodafone. Ten years ago ad agencies would have thought five times before coming up with something like Zoo Zoo,” he says. For Sukesh Nayak, creative director at Ogilvy India, the change is in the medium as well. “It allows the users to explore and experiment in terms of duration and format. YouTube is the format. If you don’t like it, you can trash it.”

What works?
An intelligent audience, according to Iyer, “They know what the brand is trying to say and if there’s a disconnect they catch it,” he explains. Furthermore, “A campaign with a little insight and a seamless connect with the brand always works in India,” he offers. For Nayak, it’s the story. “Whoever tells it better catches the attention of the audience.” How is the Indian market different from their Western counterpart? “The latter are more evolved in their sense of humour,” he points out. “Even bizarre ads work in India —if you look at the Bingo TVCs and Five Stars,” Iyer points out.

—Madhuwanti Saha

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