An ad is a product of painstaking craftsmanship. Various elements, ranging from positioning of the product, clarity of the idea behind the product to visibility of the brand, its persona and the power of communication have to be intelligently weaved together. But while some ads manage to rewrite preset creative benchmarks, some go the wrong way, fall by the side & fail to excite viewers. In this section, we review three ads that came out tops, for the right and the wrong reasons this fortnight.

Too much, too soon
Advertiser: Cinthol
Alive is Awesome
Agency: Creativeland Asia

4Ps B&M Take: There is no doubt that Cinthol is an iconic brand. But there is also no argument that the brand from Godrej has been a rather neglected one. The more than six decades old brand donned a fresh avtar some four years ago when its marketers decided to position it alongside Bollywood hunk Hritik Roshan. The new tagline ‘Don’t Stop’ endorsed by the sinuous Roshan was promising but fizzled out soon enough. The last couple of years saw only sporadic action by the brand with hardly any emphatic or continued communication. And now ‘Alive is Awesome’ – a clear attempt to add youthful zest and vigor to the 60 plus brand. The film opens with a bunch of friends throwing their bicycles and running towards a giant waterfall to bathe in the pristine waters; next come visuals of a guy bathing among tribals in a jungle; a girl sits atop an elephant as the tusker showers her with water… and other shots of young people bathing with a Cinthol soap in various adventurous conditions. The accompanying song and lyrics are impressive and the word ‘awesome’ in the tagline is clearly an attempt to touch base with the youth. An area where this ad falters in execution is its attempt to glorify the humble soap bar, as opposed to the shower gels that are more popular with the young crowd. When in Rome, do as the Romans do. And when talking to the youth, best is to speak to them in a language they like. Will you share a cake of soap with two others while bathing under a free-flowing waterfall? A bit passé, and a tad unhygienic, don’t you think? Even if we overlook that, let’s hope Cinthol sticks to this youth re-positioning now and does not let it fizzle out like the ‘Don’t Stop’ positioning with Roshan junior.

Baseline: Delivering Lifestyle
Agency: Salt Brand Solutions

4Ps B&M Take: If you thought that pathetic overacting, madcap hysteria and ear-piercing screams do not make for an effective communication, think again. Jabong.com has made use of precisely these ingredients to lay siege on the Indian e-commerce market and that too within just a year of its launch. Taking forward their previous concept, the latest ad begins with the lady of the house speaking to a Jabong camera. Clearly harassed, she complains about how her home has been converted into a showroom and her husband into an online shopaholic when the door bell rings. It’s yet another delivery. The husband screams in ecstasy, the wife in agony and the delivery boy in terror. The strategy clearly is to shock and awe viewers – so they at least visit the online store once and surf through the shoes, apparel, accessories, sports equipment, jewellery, fragrances, et al, that Jabong.com sells. And the ad perhaps succeeds in this purpose with its over-the-top execution of the concept of shop-o-holism. But here’s the downside. Irrespective of the ad blitzkrieg, online shopping is still very small in India. While the average customer acquisition cost online is 1,500 rupees, sources say that Jabong easily spends 2,000 rupees per customer acquisition. Worse, at a time when almost all e-commerce companies are losing money on every transaction, Jabong is supposedly coughing up 5 crore rupees every month on advertising alone. Is the business model sustainable? We are clueless but hope they know what they are doing.

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Source : IIPM Editorial, 2013

An Initiative of IIPMMalay Chaudhuri and Arindam chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist).

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