Campaign India Team
Aug 23, 2016

Creative Critique: Ad reviews 1 to 15 August 2016

L&K Saatchi & Saatchi's Anil S Nair and Campaign India's Gokul Krishnamoorthy review ads from the fortnight, while Population First's Dr AL Sharada scans them through a gender lens

Creative Critique: Ad reviews 1 to 15 August 2016

Anil S Nair, CEO (mainline) and managing partner, L&K Saatchi & Saatchi (AN):  Found the script a tad lacking in punch and hence this one scores a bit low in terms of likability. What the script lacks has been made good in execution and performances but its still is bit underwhelming overall. GSS 3
Gokul Krishnamoorthy, managing editor, Campaign India: Nice, and stays with the Vodafone brand of advertising. (Is it just me or is it perhaps time to break the mould?) GSS: 5
Dr Al Sharada, programme director,  Laadli – Population First (ALS): An appealing ad that portrays the tentativeness and hesitance of a young man in inviting a new acquaintance on a date. Deviates from the common portrayal of men as confident and aggressive in wooing women. By showing the man as vulnerable and unsure, the ad breaks the dominant macho image successfully.  GSS: 6

AN: Lots of mush in this one but it works well indeed. Good storytelling without (sympathy) exploitation of the deaf protagonist . The only issue that I have with this one is that I couldn't recall the brand after watching it the first time. GSS: 6
GK: The magic of cinema, the huge role it plays and influence it has on the average Indian, compellingly, endearingly, cinematically told with a muted evergreen hit. As the post Rio headlines showed, Phir bhi dil hai Sindhustani.   GSS: 6
ALS: Interesting to see a speech-impaired woman expressing her love through sign language in an ad. The ads are getting more inclusive in their portrayal of their protagonists. 
GSS: 6
AN: One of the best pieces of work I saw in the recent times. Very different from the usual DAVP style government publicity films. Great insight, simple narrative and flawless execution. Hits home the point. GSS: 8

GK: The power of cinema comes to the fore again. A very, very Indian idiom portrayed with sensitivity, lest the portrayal of the Goddess and understated humour be offensive to someone. GSS: 5

ALS: An interesting ad that relates two ideas that cleanliness is godliness and that cleanliness is limited to one’s own space. It does, in a humorous fashion,  show that the enticing Goddress of wealth Lakshmi will leave you if you are not bothered about cleanliness. The messaging by Mr.Bachchan adds further appeal to the ad apart from the presence of Kangana and Ravi of Bhojpuri films fame. Yet, the ad is a clear example of how a good message can be presented in the most insensitive fashion... The camera pans intimately – leg up on to her waist and above – in an attempt to highlight the big reveal. The male gaze in the presentation cannot be missed.  
GSS: 3

Kotak Mahindra Bank

AN: A clever way to link monsoon's coverage to the banks reach across the nation. A feel good film that communicates the key message simply.  GSS: 5

GK: Nice mix-and-match of the past 6 per cent and Kona Kona work. Beautiful backdrop of the monsoons, accentuated by the narrative and soundtrack. Well made. GSS: 6

ALS: Gender neutral. GSS: 5


AN: Not in league of the great Dove videos that goes viral the very minute they are released. Though it deals with a very relevant and poignant topic, the film doesn't grip much with its execution. Full marks for the attempt to break the rules of beauty.  GSS: 9

GK: Finally, Dove has cracked the ‘Real Beauty’ brief in India. Coming just before the Rio Olympics, this was an apt ode to women in sport, and real beauty. GSS: 8

ALS: Very powerfully challenges the traditional definition of beauty by portraying sportswomen who are achieving success through determination and toil. The ad also succeeds in focusing on the women as individuals and avoids drawing attention to their physical attributes. GSS: 8
AN: Shopclues consistently makes their point in the most entertaining manner and this one is no different. In their signature quirky audio narrative, shopclues have made the idea of value a richer one. GSS: 4
GK: Consistency is a virtue. Especially, if one can keep it this funny, quirky and likeable. “Laath saab?” Whatever you guys are on, don’t stop. GSS: 5
ALS: A funny ad that uses stereotypes to highlight snobbery. Gender neutral. GSS: 5

AN: Liked the way the branding got integrated to this film without it sticking out like a sore thumb.Giving 'bachat' an emotive perspective was indeed a clever startegy.  Nice execution with a cute child to boot.  GSS: 4

GK: ‘Saving is a virtue’, told sweetly and simply. Maha Bachchat sale and the brand get plugged in seamlessly. Big Bazaar work is taking a certain form, and it’s not just the festive ads. GSS: 5

ALS: Gender neutral. GSS: 5/10


AN: A good message and good performances is how I will sum up this film. The script relies heavily on he old man pulling off a great performance and he does. Nothing exceptional but a good one time watch.  GSS: 3

GK: Beautifully done. There is nothing like being there in person during a festival, and Amazon has underlined that it is big enough in India now to say that. And there is no festival that involves a one-to-one bond like Raksha Bandhan. Loved the nuance in slipping in the assurance that Amazon will deliver the gift. The old man act, though getting used a lot now, is still as endearing. In this case, it’s fresh too. GSS: 5

ALS: Gender neutral. GSS: 5


AN: I found this more of a statement than a commercial.Really didn't understand the role of the celebrity here. Even though the intent is noble the narrative is rather bland and uninteresting. GSS: 6

GK: ‘Safety in your hands’. Perhaps that line could do with some elaboration. Just like this film. GSS: 7

ALS: Gender neutral. GSS: 5


AN: An inspirational video that captures the grit ,sacrifices and the resolve of our many athletes who come from under privileged backgrounds. Quite relevant and topical given the furore a certain page 3 celebrity's insensitive comment regarding our athletes  on social media created. Loved the fact that they decided to lead with the story of a female athlete. GSS: 8/10

GK: JSW, well done, but there’s more to do. Rukna Nahin Hai. GSS: 7/10

ALS: By telling the story of a girl child who dreams big and highlighting its support to 12 athletes competing in the Rio Olympics, JSW reflects the rising aspirations of women to excel in the sports field. The fact that Sindhu and Sakshi have emerged as new role models in India reflects this change. Kudos to JSW for supporting athletes and also reflecting aspirations of women athletes in the ad. GSS: 8/10

AN: I found the Vodafone ad least on gender sensitivity but not offensive in anyway. The female protagonist's role is rather limited in the commercial.

And not surprisingly, Dove ad has the most gender sensitivity taking on the rules of beauty that stereo stereo typifies  female athletes all over the world. It's a bold attempt to stand up to those rules  that plagued the female athletes for years.
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