Ever since running the Raksha Bandhan Blog on Wednesday, I have had many readers write in to me with ads they thought should have been included in my showcase. First and foremost, my thanks to those who took time out to identify more (and interesting) Raksha Bandhan commercials. Second, I have discovered that crowd sourcing seems to be my best bet forward in writing my Blog in the days to come. So many more bright minds (and enthusiastic ones at that) who can help do my research and also most of the thinking for the piece!
Having received so many contributions from Campaign readers, it was incumbent upon me to also do some homework of my own. Let me take you through the best and the worst of this latest update on Raksha Bandhan ads, both new and old.
The best new ad of this season on the brother-sister relationship is a Soho Square commercial for Lava mobiles. A young chirpy sister, solicitous and loving. Making poha for her brother rather than the puris Mum wants her to fry. It is a business as usual ad till you get to her ‘tying’ the rakhi on her brother’s wrist. The brother, an army Captain has no arms; no wrist. So she tags the rakhi on like a war medal on his pocket. It is a beautiful ad. Sensitively made. With almost no melodrama. The subject is a bit different, and brave. I like the ad. In fact, I messaged Hariom Rai, the owner of Lava Mobiles to congratulate him on a job well done.
If I found the Lava ad brave, I found an ad of Idea from 2013, sent by one of the readers as extremely socially relevant. Tying the rakhi onto the wrist of a policeman is a good idea sirji!
The best ad of the lot is a departure from the ordinary. And a good departure at that. Because it moves focus from brotherly love to sisterly love. In fact, ever since I started to research ads on Raksha Bandhan I have seen some more executions trying to celebrate the strong sister-sister relationship and how the elder sibling has played a pillar of strength for the younger one. Hence, there has been no need to have a brother in the equation as a protector. The Tanishq ad by Tribal DDB is well produced, well thought through and well meaning.
For folks for whom Raksha Bandhan is a major grosser, honestly, the worst ads in the category are from Cadbury’s. I really do not want to comment on them as they are as elementary as A for Atrocious, B for Bad and C for Cadbury’s.
Even getting Gulzar saheb to write nice lyrics like “rishte pakne do” cannot get the brief to become the ad. My serious suggestion to Mondelez is to get themselves a ‘creative’ agency!
A nice ad sent to me by a Campaign reader from Delhi is this sparky young girl who travels a fair bit on her scooty to get to her brother in time to tie the rakhi. No great storyline. No great idea. But there is a certain warmth in this Castrol ad. I like it just for what it is. Not perfect. Not preachy.
I was in two minds whether to show you some more of the ads I got. Finally, I decided to err on the side of discretion. So, here are three ads which are nothing great on ideation or execution. The only reason they are on my list is because they at least tried. And each of them could have done much much better with just a little more effort. Hope the same brands exert and excel more when they plan encores.
Ferns n Petals ad is an ‘ulta chabi’ where the elder brother wants to tie the rakhi to the sister for actually being the bravest of the siblings.
Doormint delivers the brother’s ‘lucky’ shirt just in time. Remember, it is an app for an online laundry home delivery service. I checked on the net. They shut down recently! Doesn’t say much for their advertising.
Last on the list is a Dhoni commercial for Exide Life Insurance released, I think in 2016. It is a lukewarm commercial and Dhoni just happens to be there. The money could have been better spent.
I know I am not necessarily going to be the most popular guy in many agencies over this weekend. But as a veteran of many battles, I think I can afford to be just neutral, and yes, judgmental.
Disclaimer: Sandeep Goyal does not work any longer for any ad agency and is therefore not responsible for the creation or release of any of the ads in this Blog, good or bad!