Hindi film star, Ayushmann Khuranna goes shopping for eyewear in Madurai, Tamil Nadu. He ends up meeting a salesperson who speaks in Hindi, with a pronounced South Indian accent. The accent, however, is a Malayalee accent, that belongs to neighbouring state, Kerala. The only word that tries hard to make it look like it's indeed a Tamil Nadu salesman, is the emphasised usage of the word, "sooper". Well, Ad Nut can be accused of getting petty, but advertising could certainly get its cultural nuances right, unlike its creative cousin, Bollywood.
Bollywood has often been guilty of mixing up South India as one whole (all of them are Madrasis). A certain Shah Rukh Khan even referred to the dhoti (or veshti as it's called in South India) as a lungi and made a mockery of it nationally, some years back. But ad folk are a far more sensitive lot, thinks Ad Nut.
After all, the advertising profession often touts its innate understanding of culture and consumers. While a Malayalee in Madurai might be an exception, the other thing that bothers Ad Nut about this ad is the choice of language for the commercial: Hindi.
Tamil Nadu is one state where they would not prefer to talk to you in Hindi, even if you are seen as someone who does not belong to the state. In recent times, the most intense backlash against mandatory Hindi teaching in all schools came from Tamil Nadu. That agitation is barely a few months old.
Ad Nut feels, an ad for an eyewear brand could have done with a little more hindsight.
Client: Titan Eyewear
Communication head: Kartiki Karihaloo
Marketing manager: Jukta Basu Malik
Agency: Ogilvy Bengaluru
Chief creative officer South and South East Asia and vice chairman India: Sonal Dabral
Chief creative officers, Ogilvy South: Kiran Anthony, Mahesh Gharat
Managing partner, Ogilvy South: Tithi Ghosh
Senior vice-president, Planning: Anirban Roy
Creative team: Mukesh Kumar, Deepesh Rajani, Harshad Salian, Subir Sen
Strategy and planning: Siddharth Mohanty
Account management: Priyank Vaghela, Pranav Hebbar
Production house: Bloom
Director: Harshavardhan Kulkarni
Producer: Raja Tangudu