IIPM Editorial - Reprinted by permission from B&E and 4Ps

Asian Paints
It tells a funny tale, adds drama and dust to the story board and emerges as an ace communication...

If ever there was a brand that has remained etched in the memory of the Indian consumer, it is Asian Paints. For years, Gattu (the animated little kid designed by the famous cartoonist R. K. Laxman) hogged the limelight and was the face of the brand, until replaced by the raunchy Sunil Babu in 2002, which again proved to be an instant hit with the patrons. Badhia Hai!

This year, Asian Paints launched a campaign with a fresh character. Popularly referred to as the Chhote Nawab campaign (No... not Saif Ali Khan, though he also endorses the brand!). The commercial opens with a group of villagers on the lookout for something to happen. An announcement from a trumpet booms, “Toh pesh hai Chhote Nawab ka saalana bahaduri kartab. Aan do Bhai!” The next shot shows the release of a group of horses as they dash in full speed toward a man in a riding suit aka Chhote Nawab. As the horses rush closer, the otherwise strong Chhote Nawab begins losing his cool. But the horses race past him, leaving behind a squall of dust on Chhote Nawab, the villagers and everything else. Suddenly, a villager, in the midst of the shocked coterie, notices that while the rest of them are shrouded in dust, a big bungalow behind the action area is still appearing freshly-painted despite the dust haze. The gathering begins to run toward the bungalow in excitement. He raises his hands disbelievingly to acknowledge the applause, believing the villagers to be impressed by his brave feat. To his dismay (and amusement of the audiences), the crowd continues to run (towards a house), while one of them voices incredulity, “Bangla toh abhi bhi chamak riya hai Tau!” While the audiences have their laugh, the voiceover in the next scene booms, “Haan toh bhai, bahari diwaron par dhool ko tikne na de. Naya Apex Ultima. Ab Chhote Nawab ke liye kuch taaliyan!” Abhijit Awasthi, Group Creative Director, Ogilvy & Mather, reflects, “I’ve been working on Asian Paints for a long time now. So I’m completely familiar with the tone and manner in which we give out our messages.”

Painting Humour!

Abhijit further adds that “while the corporate communication (Har ghar kuch kehta hai) of Asian Paints is emotional in its appeal, the work on Apex Exterior has always been product-centric and humorous in the manner of ‘Wah Sunil Babu badhiya hai’ and ‘Chhote Nawab’.” He compliments Abhinay Deo of Ramesh Deo Productions, the Director of the commercial, adding, “Controlling 50 horses in a dusty environment was quite a nightmare. It took a lot of skill as well as patience.”

In a more jocular vein, he recalls, “Once or twice the horses went after people on the set, which led to a few laughs!” As simple as it seems, the concept of this ad underwent several innovations. Overall, amusing, idiosyncratic and earthy are the adjectives that one would associate with this commercial. “The response has been phenomenal. People loved the ad. ‘Aan De’ has become quite popular and sales have been fantastic as well!” points out Abhijit.

With Chotte Nawab, Asian Paints has once again lent veracity to its innovative spirit. Just as Gattu and then Sunil Babu’s quirkiness stole hearts, Chhote Nawab too has been able to brush in an innovative and loveable mascot for this powerful brand.

Coca Cola
Coca Cola’s ‘thanda’ plank is the trump card to emerge victorious in the Cola war!

‘Thanda Matlab Coca Cola’ to ‘Sar Utha Ke Piyo’, ‘Thanda’ is seems to be the magic chant for Coke! While in their latest ‘Thande Ka Tadka’ avtaar, the usual suspects (celebrities like Aamir and Aishwarya and substantive does of oomph) have a more than tangible presence, Coca Cola has been able to showcase great marketing wizardry so far as winning the ‘localization’ war is concerned. While Aishwarya sardonic ally tackles the taporis ( loafers) with her Coke bottle in tow, Aamir reinforces his prowess at dexterity yet again, assuming the garb of a supposed-Japanese tourist. As is the case, rarely, if ever, does he fail to live up to audience expectations. Pretending to be a Japanese tourist, Aamir fools the restaurant staff, who are in turn on a mission to con him and extract as much out of his bill as possible. But he leaves them zapped by telling them that he is not a foreigner, but a photographer mauled by honeybees while shooting (the average viewer would never have discerned the twist in the yarn unless told!)!

On the other hand, the Aishwarya Rai ‘Thande Ka Tadka’ ad released in March this year, is not only comical and mischievous, but contemporary as well. The traditionally-dressed Aishwarya is shown as a playful, tongue-incheek girl turning the tables on eve-teasers with her own version of the game.

The commercial targets the changing face of Indian society, cashing in on the popularity of Aishwarya Rai with the present generation. Needless to say, the concept by McCann Erickson delivers great product positioning, while subtly addressing the social evil of eve-teasing. Prasoon Joshi demonstrates, as always, his uncanny genius to conceptualise adverts tapping into the pulse of the Indian consumer leaving his mark, till he engineers his next brainchild! In fact, Coca Cola’s commercials are forever replete with the element of humour, and even as the bond between Coca Cola and its ubiquitous trump card ‘Thanda’ remains intact, the beverage giant tries to associate the product with scalp-shearing wit and improvisatory flair. And desi moves to urban grounds, maintaining flavour with élan.

Eveteasing, fleecing foreign tourists... Coca Cola seems to be going soft!

Hutch ads have always had a great brand recall... but this time, the pug outdid itself!

Once upon a time, in Mumbai, Hutch was called Orange. Then in January this year, Hutch decided to bring Orange under its universal brand name and re-branded its whole communication, including logo, advertising, et al, in pink. Suddenly, pink was in the air... hoardings of ‘Hutch is Pink’ with cute visuals of an adorable pug with its ‘pink’ tongue hanging out, running after the brand-new triangular pink Hutch logo dotted the cityscape... & ‘pink’ Hutch was born! Everything looked the same (the pug and the field), but pink was the flavour of the season!

A powerful and effective communication from the telecom service provider. Rajeev Rao, Creative Director, O&M, who created the impressive sequence of the ‘Boy with the Pug’ TVCs along with the late V. Mahesh remembers, “We did not want to talk about technology, and we consciously avoided showing people talking on the mobile. We were lucky enough to discover Cheeka!” (Before you askwho is Cheeka, that’s the name of the cute little pug in the ad).

The ‘pink’ ad from Hutch maintained its focus on the colour pink with the dog chasing the pink triangular- cut paper (also the new Hutch logo), in sync with the re-branding strategy of this telecom giant. So why pink, one may ask? The company related itself with the pulsating pink colour, because of the young, bold and unique flavour that it gave Hutch. Apart from a massive drive to change all hoarding, bill-boards, merchandise et al, Hutch also tied up with Radio Mirchi at that time for a ten day promotional campaign making Mirchi turn ‘pink’ too, instead of the usual ‘hot’! The ad essayed a vital role in building excitement about the pink Hutch, apart from informing the target audience about the transition.

And the ad was a sure-fire winner as people were actually intrigued. The tagline: ‘Wherever you go, our network follows’ remained the same, emphasising the network reach of Hutch in the usual effortless yet effective manner. Going pink was a courageous move by any yardstick, and Hutch managed to carry off the transition with great elan. The commercial is an amazing effort, so far as clearcut communication is concerned. While previous Hutch ads have played a great role in making the pug a fad amidst pet-owners, this ad yet again proved that the delightful pug is the pasha of Hutch ads, and pink is the colour of his vast kingdom!

Whereever you go... the makeover legend shall follow...


   For complete article of the above extracts, students/visitors are directed to refer to B&E and 4Ps.

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