Creative Critique: Ad Reviews of the fortnight 1 to 15 April 2016

FCB Ulka's Gerard Jayaranjan and and Campaign's Gokul Krishnamoorthy review ads from the fortnight (1-15 April), while Population First's Dr AL Sharada eyes them with a gender lens

Apr 20, 2016 10:26:00 AM | Article | Campaign India Team

Pepsi MiniCan

Gerard Jayaranjan (GJ): Absolutely love the film. It is so far out that it's interesting. Makes me want to watch the other films in this series. Even though I will probably end up forgetting the product in a couple of months. And yes, maybe the casting could have been a tad better. But overall: love it. Gender Sensitivity Score (GSS): NA
Gokul Krishnamoorthy (GK): Refreshing stuff from Pepsi and very well made. Will be surprised if it isn't used in other markets too. GSS: NA
Dr. AL Sharada (ALS): Mafia don, loyal help and the succession crisis... Stereotypical to the core. GSS: 4

GJ: Starts off on a promising note. But it quickly gets predictable. By the halfway mark, you can sense where this is headed. And that’s a bummer. Also, the premise of ‘Social Burger’, while quite nice and its bigness relating to spending a bit more time with each other, is kind of lost by the end frame. GSS: 5 (Gender neutral)
GK: Builds nicely on the brand's established plank but doesn't go too far. GSS: 5 
ALS: Gender neutral. GSS: 5
Parachute Advansed

GJ:  Easily my favourite on this list. Everything about it is just perfect. I think it hinges on a very powerful insight and sticks with it. The soundtrack is brilliant! The casting spot on. Even though I may end up thinking what does this product have to do with this film, the warmth of the film and the sheer joy in it just vanquishes any fault this film may have in a shower of colour. GSS: 5
GK: Work that charms and warms you. #KhulKeKhelo may be an expression out of the common man's vocabulary. It's in the insight about stereotyping of the elderly in our minds, and the un-caging, leading to festive revelry, that this one scores. Lovely execution. 
GSS: 7 It was a fellow female inmate who noticed his craving to play like a child, and unleashed the festive spirit. 
ALS: Gender neutral. GSS: 5
Airtel 4G

GJ: I guess I won't be saying anything new here. But yes, it's annoying. Not only because of the forced, sad humour. But because, it's true that the service doesn’t even work properly in a city like Bombay. And here they are showing it in a far flung place. Maybe the people who handle the brand should go on to social media once in a while and just listen to what people are saying about the brand and its service. Not just in respect to the latest campaign but generally about the brand. GSS: 5. 
GK: Given the overkill of the ‘4G Girl’ initially, this series to me is genius. GSS: 5
ALS:  The youth-centric ad gives equal space to both young men and women with the main protogonist portrayed as a lively, vivacious girl exploring isolated locations with her friends. GSS: 5

GJ: Done in very poor taste. Anyone saying that it was just about refusing food, probably needs a reality check.
GK:  Hesitance among many to mingle with the transgender community, has been played with. Draws attention to a new launch for sure. GSS: 6
ALS: The ad while featuring transgender persons, steers clear of the tendency to stereotype them with typical mannerisms and images associated with them. In fact it actually portrays a positive picture of the transgender persons as regular commuters. GSS: 6
Vodafone Supernet

GJ: The pug is back. The pug is back. The pug is back. Everything else is irrelevant. Also, launch the damn service already. GSS: NA
GK:  When you have such a powerful mascot in the pug and a potent combo with the little boy, it suffices. Or will it? GSS: NA
Royal Challenge

GJ: Had to really sit through this one only because I was supposed to be reviewing this. The song isn’t catchy. There is nothing anthem-ish about it. It’s just a collection of some good looking shots trying to create an adrenaline rush. Which unfortunately doesn’t happen. Using Virat and Dhoni just as pretty faces doesn’t make sense here.
GSS: 4. Only because I would loved to see a bit more women in there. Women cricketers specially. Or have we forgotten that there was Women World T20 cup also going along? Also have more women in the anthem shots. Cricket isn’t just a male-watched sport anymore, you know.
GK: Cricket, Dhoni, Kohli, anthem. I know it seems like a formula, but this did seem reasonably well done. GSS: 5
ALS: This was also a season when India hosted the world T20 tournament with some amazing performances by the women cricketers. it is sad that the ad makers did not think it right to project them as well in the anthem obviously should include a much wider canvass. GSS: 3
 I quote Subroto Geed, SVP – marketing, United Spirits, as reported in Campaign India magazine, “Through this anthem, Royal Challenge Sports Drink is attempting to galvanise the Indian youth to follow their heart and make bold choices. We hope that the anthem’s catchphrase ‘Mere India, Tu Play Bold’, becomes a single sound that does not just reflect our country’s love for cricket, but goes on to become the youth anthem for India.” Is this really possible when we ignore women sportspersons and reduce women to mere fans and cheerleaders? And the message of follow your heart and make bold choices holds true for women as well. Then why ignore them?

GJ: Nice. Quite nice. Especially seeing Amol Palekar in an ad! The simplicity is what works for me in these films. And the main protagonist’s way of convincing the doubters. Definitely a chuckle. Hence, memorable. Also the casting is spot on! GSS: 5
GK: Brilliant. Wish there were more films in this series. Amazed by the sheer variety of narratives Flipkart is able to pull off in style. GSS: 5
ALS:  Gender neutral. GSS: 5
(This first appeared in the 15 April 2016 issue of Campaign India. Gerard Jeyaranjan is creative head, digital, FCB Ulka. Gokul Krishnamoorthy is managing editor, Campaign India. Dr AL Sharada is programme director, Population First - Laadli.)