Creative Critique: Ad Reviews 16-31 December

Dhunji Wadia and Gokul Krishnamoorthy review ads from the fortnight, while Population First's Dr AL Sharada scans them through a gender lens

Jan 06, 2017 05:54:00 AM | Article | Campaign India Team


Dhunji Wadia, president, Rediffusion Y&R (DW): This is a cell phone commercial,with a #LiveYourDreams hashtag at the end.  Then you are directed to a website where there’s a sweepstake with a role for the Panasonic camera – to capture dreams.Everythingseems disjointed.The big question is – “How much more will India keep dreaming?’ GSS: 9/10

Gokul Krishnamoorthy (, consultant - editorial and branded content, ex-managing editor, Campaign India (GK): The timing was perfect. And so was the treatment, I thought. Captures that spirit of not letting something unexpected snatch your prized passion from under your nose. I'm not sure about the other digital legs of the campaign, but the film works. GSS: 7/10

Dr Sharada, programme director, Laadli (Population First) (ALS): Don't let your dreams, just be dreams. #Liveyourdreams is an inspiring messages and by featuring a woman the ad resonates with the dreams and ambitions of women who often end up compromising on them for various reasons. GSS: 6/10


DW: ‘Don’t go anywhere, stay glued to your screen’ – is the main message of this execution. Which is also appropriate for the product.  However, there’s a Netflix logo from the first frame till the last frame (at least in the version that was sent to me).  Which means there is no intrigue and the whole point of the film is lostright from the start.  GSS: 5/10

GK: 'Try this at home' works well for New Year's Eve. Perfect for the offering. Well done. GSS: 5/10

ALS:  Gender Neutral.

Thums Up

DW: After years of doing different tricks to get the same bottle of ThumsUp, this is a new direction for the brand. The attempt is to define the ‘Toofani’ person.  This execution pitches Ranveer as a do-gooder, but we’ll have to wait and watch if that’s the template going forward.  Also, there’s a good fit between Ranveer’s versatility and maverick existence and the brand’s ‘Toofani’ existence.  But the brand is incidental in this execution.  GSS: 5/10

GK: Replacing the Salman Khan in Thums Up commercials is not a joke. Nice to see the young star pull yet another brand endorsement off with elan. And while the Khan went through unbelievable action sequences for his fix of Thums Up (and therein showcasing his Toofani), it's nice to see another heroic facet of Toofani here. GSS: NA

ALS: Macho Man...Saviour and Protector...did not know that Thum Up is a drink for men drink! GSS: 4/10


DW: First there is a lecture on ‘Don’t Drink and Drive’.  The there is a song repeating that message with some predictions for 2017 thrown in for good measure.  All this happens over 6 minutes.  And it’s an ad for OLA. Seems quite indulgent.  Personally, I liked the series of ‘drunk’ tweets from the Ola Twitter handle that appeared around Christmas. Then came the reveal – ‘Drunk tweeting is dangerous, imagine what drunk driving can do’. Therefore, #PeekeMatChala – call an OLA instead.The parallel between the dangers of drunk tweeting and drunk driving was unique and stood out.  GSS: 5/10

GK: Very, very nicely done. This is how branded content should be. Having said that, was this the best AIB video ever with a brand in it? Not sure. GSS: NA

ALS:  Interesting film that appeals to the youth. Gender Neutral.

Royal Challenge Sports Drink

DW: Virat Kohli himself ‘Plays Bold’ and ‘Lives Bold’.  Good choice as brand ambassador for Royal Challenge.  But there is an overdose of philosophy and metaphors in this commercial.  And finally pulling the chain and getting off the train – is that the boldest Virat can get?  Certainly, he’s not leading by example in this TV commercial. GSS:5/10

GK: The film is absorbing. The trains running in parallel and the choices and concerns one has are captured well. The film isn't too long either. A bold manifestation of the brand's 'Bold' theme. GSS: NA

ALS: peaks of making bold choices off the beaten tracks. Gender Neutral. 


DW: Execution is unique and in line with the Christmas spirit. Dogs are all time favorites and always tug at the heart strings. However, this is one more digital piece of creative, which means one more excuse to do a long duration commercial. The suoer – ‘Gift Timmy and Josie, and many more like them a Home’ at the end seems like a throw-away. GSS: NA

GK: Cute. How could it not be. Great idea to unbox happiness in animal shelter and invite people to adopt the poor ones in the festive spirit. But on the writing and execution, we've seen better from agency and brand. GSS: NA

ALS: Gender Neutral.


DW: Didn’t Elle 18 do their ‘Girls Should Not…..’campaign about 15 years back?  I guess the message is still relevant given that the issue of gender sensitivity persists.The 'Don’ts' have got edgier and sharper.  But on the whole it seems, the more things change, the more they remain the same.

GSS: 10/10 This is the Most Gender Sensitive Ad since it communicates that societal judgment should not stop women from being their true selves.

GK: #ConfidentInMySkin gels perfectly with skin lotion. And if there was the legacy of Parachute oil that cast a shadow on the brand, this one does well to leave a completely fresh imprint. If not treated right, this could have fallen flat and even done some serious damage. Tastefully done; makes you want to cheer the women on screen. GSS: 8

ALS: While the film urges women to be confident in their skin, the way it is shot particularly the first half objectifies women's bodies by focusing on the revealed body parts and not the person as a whole.  GSS: 4/10

Club Mahindra

DW:I thank the makers of this creative from the bottom of my heart for not harping on great rooms, fabulous service, delectable food, breath-taking views and locales and cosmetic smiles of over-polite sales staff.  What I like is capturing a moment in life of a family on vacation.  Both the scripting as well as the execution are good here.  GSS: 8/10

GK: That moment when you actually connect with your kid - like you should - on holiday. Priceless. The insight seems fresh and the visuals ensure a picturesque Mahindra Holidays property is showcase. GSS: 5

ALS: Stereotypical in every which way...GSS: 4/10

Cello Geltech

DW: This reminds me of the Cannes-winning Volkswagen, ‘Son You’re Adopted (instead of Adorable)’campaign for ‘Using original spares and never accepting alternatives’.  While the context is different and the fit with the category is appropriate, the similarities can’t be wished away.  The commercials are executed in a fun and catchy way though.  GSS: 6/10

GK: One letter going wrong can change the script - measured exaggeration, with meaningful connect to the product proposition.  GSS: 5

ALS: Gender Neutral. 

Bajaj Dominar

DW: A Macho bike commercial with a lullaby seems absolutely fresh. The execution is sleek and the bike is shown in all its glory.  And the point that ‘Only Babies Sleep at Night’ is put across cheekily.  I just hope and pray that it doesn’t come across as promoting Drag Racing which is the current menace. GSS: 5/10

GK: 'Not for babies'. Reflects the attitude of the bike. Told quite tastefully and differently, while ensuring enough screen and speaker time for the new bike GSS: NA

ALS: Redefines Macho as being on the roads in the night riding the bikes!!! GSS: 4/10