It is that time of the year when brotherly love bubbles forth in a rash of ads from different brands. My favourite this year is undoubtedly the one from Amazon India. An old lady making laddoos for her 78-year-old brother. Her grandson keeps poking fun at her saying all her brother will bring her for Raksha Bandhan is some jamuns. The old lady is not hassled. She recounts how, when they were young, her brother used to climb the jamun tree in the neighbourhood just for her. He even got beaten up a few times. She reiterates that he got beaten up just for her; just to bring her jamuns for Raksha Bandhan. The young grandson continues to needle his grandma saying her brother can order so much more for her on Amazon. The brand window then cuts to how Amazon can do everything except #deliverthelove. It is a beautiful story, beautifully told. It touched me in more ways than one.
Last year too, Amazon ran a similar theme at Raksha Bandhan where an old man wants to travel all the way from Mughal Serai to Delhi just to see the dimpled smile of his sister. The old man’s son tries to dissuade him, tries to get him to buy gifts from Amazon that would get delivered to the bua-ji, but the old man is just not to be persuaded from his pursuit of seeing his sister smile. Amazon insist they can deliver everything except #deliverthelove. Once again it was a beautiful thought, beautifully rendered, beautifully executed.
My favourite ad though, not a Raksha Bandhan themed one, but an ad oozing with brotherly love is one from Surf Excel some years ago. I don’t have to explain the ad. I just want you to see it and love it.
I see a lot of me in that ad. My own sister and I are about 5 years apart. When the little girl falls down and wails, “Bhaiya!” it triggers an avalanche of brotherly love. I could more than empathise with that! The ‘daag acchhe hai’ theme is so beautifully conveyed that while you laugh at the young brother walloping the ground, your eyes go moist too with the emotions that have been captured. The ad is a true ode to brotherly affection, if ever there was one. Love it!
For the last few years, the number of ads on Raksha Bandhan has multiplied manifolds because of the cheap availability of social media. As a consequence, since media spends are not high, many more brands have boarded the Raksha Bandhan bandwagon, and since all these ads run only on digital media, the duration of the commercials too has gone up exponentially. Which does not necessarily mean that all the ads being dished out to celebrate the brother-sister bonding are good on ideas or on execution. It is just that longer durations allow for better storytelling.
I saw this recent ad for Dukes Waffy themed on #sheismybro. It is supposed to be ‘different’. In the ad, the brand tries to convey that while traditonally rakhi is considered a festival where sisters seek a promise of protection from the brother, however, in today’s day and age, the sisters are also playing the role of a protector. So Dukes Waffy decided to create this really yuck ad just because ‘a sister is everything a brother can be’. Do view the ad and let me know if I am biased in my review.
An equally terrible and mindless ad is #BeHerIndia put out by someone called Yaarlog, I think last year. As it is I hate precocious kids. The young girl in the 4-minute long commercial tying a rakhi to the Indian flag made me feel nauseated. For the life of me I did not understand who the ad was targeting and why it was endeavouring to convey such lofty ideals using the Raksha Bandhan plank. If it was meant to be purely in public interest, I am sorry it served no such purpose. And if it was meant to win a few awards, I am sure it could not charm the juries anywhere. Such ads are best avoided.
To be fair, the ad garnered about 130k views on YouTube which is not bad. And also got good reviews. But I still think it is a pointless ad, done with motives not entirely pure, or focused.
One of my favourite brotherly love ads is again not on Raksha Bandhan and is actually from across the border.
The ad is genuinely touching. The emotions portrayed are real. The acting of the young boy is superb. The storyline is so well scripted. Walls Pakistan deserves a 10/10 for this warm and brilliant portrayal of brotherly love.
This brother-missing-sister script was equally nicely done a few years ago by Tanishq. Again, a warm emotive ad that touched your heart and beyond.
It may look like I have a soft spot for Amazon. But their #YourFirstFriend ad done also for Raksha Bandhan moves away from tradition, into a rendition that is far more modern and interactive. The idea of today’s brother and sister as best of friends is interestingly shown, neatly executed.
I have kept the best of the lot for the very end. Parachute’s #magicofwarmth ad is my absolute favourite on brotherly-sisterly love. The “Just don’t talk to me” dialogue of the exasperated elder sister is so real. But then equally real are the situations and interactions in the ad. Parachute’s message is effortlessly woven in to the narration. Wish we would see many more of such ‘real’ ads rather than some forced, saccharine sweet spots that deify the brother-sister relationship.
Do write to me at email@example.com with your own pick of brotherly love ads, whether Raksha Bandhan themed or otherwise. I will update this Blog with your contributions on Friday. Meanwhile get ready for the annual celebration of brotherly love. Order your gifts (on Amazon!) or your chocolates from Cadbury’s (whose ads on this theme we shall visit on Friday). Cheers!
Sandeep Goyal has been 33 years in the business of advertising and media. He has a younger sister, and 50 years experience of brotherly love!