Debrief: The Diwali Special

25 Oct,2011

By Anil Thakraney

Diwali special


Not much Diwali themed ad action this season. Guess because the sentiment is a bit dull in the market place, thanks to the heavy inflation. How do I gift stuff to anyone if all my savings have been burnt on getting KLPD? *(For the one-track mind wallahs, that’s Kerosene, LPG, Petrol, Diesel.)

Still, three ads caught my attention. The Cadbury’s ad I have already dealt with earlier. The other two are from Coke and Big Bazaar.


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Rating: (On a scale of 1 to 5): 2. Only for the jingle. Watch this commercial with your eyes shut, and it works rather nicely!

Coke: Great audio, poor video

To begin with, there’s no direct connect between a soft drink and Diwali. No one gifts a cola on D-day. Unless, of course, very subtly the Coca Cola guys are asking us to do just that, since we are all so bloody broke! Coke’s ad wants us to light ‘two extra diyas’ this Diwali. I suppose this is an extension of their ‘open happiness’ idea. And the execution involves kids lighting diyas at their regular haunts. College canteen, girls’ hostel, on the wall that serves as ‘stumps’ for their cricket matches, etc.

I think it’s a nice idea wasted on juvenile imagery. Coke should have taken the ‘share happiness’ route and come up with situations that are touching and emotional without being heavy. ‘Khushiyaan baanto’ as a concept lends itself to emotion very well. Even the jingle is warm and tugs at the heart. But the silly visuals leave you cold and detached. I suspect this is what happens in the desperation to feature kids at all costs. Even accepting that, surely there’s more to youngsters than canteen and cricket.


Rating: (On a scale of 1 to 5): 3.5. For the advertiser’s deep empathy with the target consumers. 

Big Bazaar: Relevant and thoughtful

It’s a simple, no-frills Diwali commercial. And you know what? It works perfectly well for me. Because the idea and the execution reflect a clear and sharp understanding of Big Bazaar’s core target market.

The TVC features a teenage girl inside her home. She looks fed up of her regular salwar kameez, and yearns for a stylish one she spots in a magazine. The setting and the casting clearly tell you this is a lower middle class household. However, her dad, who’s decorating the house, smiles and tells her: ‘Diwali aa rahi hai’. And yes, it’s time to hit Big Bazaar and get hold of that salwar kameez, and more!

Good one. I like the fact that Big Bazaar is totally clued in on their key customers, which is the middle and the lower middle class segment. And this results in an engaging, warm, and very relevant communication. Big Bazaar and the ad agency will definitely not win any awards for this effort, but the store will surely get many footfalls this festive season. And in the end, that’s what really matters.

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