Anil Thakraney: Why Birla must pull the Yuvi ad

20 Feb,2012

By Anil Thakraney


I have always appreciated Birla Sun Life’s campaign, the one which has cricket players speaking out about their insecurities, much like we ordinary mortals do. The ads look real and they find the mark. It’s quite scary to watch celebs worry about their future. Because this means we aam aadmis and aurats should be really alarmed over what lies ahead, given our meager resources.


However, things have changed a bit with the new Yuvraj Singh commercial in which the player worries about his career in the context of the cancer scare. Many have called the ad opportunistic and insensitive. I agree with that view point. But I have a slightly different take, and I mentioned that when I reviewed this particular TVC for mxmindia. Which is that if Yuvi does not have an issue with the use of his tragedy for commercial reasons, that should be fine. I mean, if the man at the center of the whole issue is cool, then so should we be.


Having said that, it’s abundantly clear that many people don’t agree with my view. I have read and heard many negative reactions on Birla Sun Life’s ad. Most people feel it is deeply insensitive and off-putting, and find it galling to hear about Yuvi’s chemotherapy sessions on the news channels, and watch this particular commercial during the break. In the light of such a strong backlash, I think the advertiser must pull the ad. Because while it’s good to be an aggressive, cunning brand manager, one has to know where to get off. Being perceived as insensitive is too much of a risk to take for an insurance company. Or for any brand for that matter.


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Here’s a suggestion for Birla: Drop the ad immediately. And wait. Sooner or later, Mr Fighter will recover and he will be back on the cricket field. It is THEN that the advertiser and their ad agency should swing into action. And create an ad where Yuvi speaks of his ill health, the fears he experienced, and the subsequent joy and relief on recovery. No one will object to that. We all like happy endings.


Net net: Drop the ad, dear Birla Sun Life. It’s not worth it.




PS: Funny and dark at the same time. This video is an example of how Facebook has strained the relationship between parents and their deviant teenage children. This guy’s reaction is rather extreme… still, a must-watch for today’s parents.


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One response to “Anil Thakraney: Why Birla must pull the Yuvi ad”

  1. Thakraneyscritic says:

    i have 50 reasons why Thakraney’s blog should be banned. will u pl publish them?