Debrief: Tata Sky: The ‘Epic’ ad

30 Apr,2013

By Anil Thakraney


Ah! So after ads masquerading as TV soaps (Godrej, Honda Amaze), it’s now the turn of a TVC to act like a full-length feature film. Tata Sky has released a three-minute-long commercial (first time in India, we are constantly reminded), but chances are very high that after they’ve obtained their quota of some free press (because of the long duration), the advertiser will run short edits.


That said, must say it’s an innovative approach. The new tagline is: When you don’t have the time for TV. Very relevant, that. With the social media taking over our lives, fewer people have time for the idiot box, at least in young urban India. The TVC features a dramatic jail break, and the subsequent capture of the prisoners. The guys are trying to escape while an Indo-Pak cricket match is on, wrongly assuming that the jail staffers would be glued to the TV. Of course, our smart officers have decided to record the match on Tata Sky HD. To watch it later in peace.


There’s nothing not to like about this one. It’s a surprising solution, the treatment is high-action and the promise is single minded. All that you’d want from a good ad. Where the commercial loses a few points, is that it doesn’t have a strong repeat exposure value. You will be mesmerised the first time, perhaps even the second time. Once the cat is out of the bag, the ad ceases to entertain. How many times can you watch a bunch of prisoners on the run, with nothing else happening in the commercial? The agency must account for the repeat value factor when they work on the next movie… oops… ad.


Rating: (On a scale of 1-5): 3. Good tagline, single minded communication.


Anil Thakraney is a senior journalist and commentator. He is also Editor-at-Large, MxMIndia. The views of the writer are his own.




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One response to “Debrief: Tata Sky: The ‘Epic’ ad”

  1. Himanshu Agarwal says:

    Hi Anil, I love your columns at MxM. I caught this ad
    sometime back, but I don’t know of it was a short edit or the full 3 mins.Thinking hard…thinking…umm…, perhaps it was a shorter edit. After reading this column, I wonder what extra they showed in 3 minutes the essence of which
    was missed in the shorter edit. The shorter edit covered all the ingredients, Product, Brand, Story and the Highlighted Feature.

    Regarding your point on the repeat value, IMHO of all the
    ads on air in a given frame of reference more than 90% do not score on repeat value. Ads are not movies which one would like to see again and again, that’s why we have phrases such as “skip the ads” or “channel surfing”.

    I can’t remember a single ad for which I would kill someone
    to get hold of the remote!

    Again IMHO, as a TG, repeatability applies more to kids for
    coaxing their parents for a repeat purchase.

    I like to read your incisive columns with a no nonsense
    approach. They reflect the two basic shades of black and white, which I really appreciate.

    An important aspect covered in your column is the repeat
    value. Does it have a correlation with propensity to buy?