Prabhakar Mundkur: Lighter is not better for Heineken

05 Apr,2018

Prabhakar Mundkur

By Prabhakar Mundkur


While the commercial might have been made in good faith, a recent television commercial for Heineken Lite has a bottle of beer sliding past several black people before coming to rest before a light-skinned woman. The tag line “Sometimes lighter is better’ might have aggravated the point about cultural diversity arousing the wrath of hip hop star Chance the Rapper who took strong objection to the commercial.



The commercial in the meantime has been pulled off-air.  With the number of commercials over the last year including Pepsi drawing criticism, Grey has done a wise thing.  It has a mandate which says that creative teams working on a campaign must answer the question: “How can we make the idea reflect and respect the world’s diversity?


Seems like an excellent idea from Grey considering the number of commercials that are constantly going wrong on the subject of cultural diversity.


Silent Rebellion at Goafest?

The guest line-up of speakers at this Goafest includes Baba Ramdev as the main speaker raising some eyebrows among advertising professionals.Patanjali is acknowledged as an innovator which disrupted the entire FMCG industry but is also seen as a bit of a pariah as far as its own advertising is concerned.  While Patanjali has risen to be one of the largest advertisers in the country, it has also committed the largest body of misleading advertising work in a very short period of time. Not only that, they have strongly questioned the wisdom of the advertising industry in judging their work as misleading.  Sanjeev Kotnala, writer, trainer and consultant, has been vociferously airing his views about how Baba Ramdev was a bad choice for the role of main speaker at a festival that celebrates creativity.  As an aside, none of the work produced by Patanjali could really classify as ‘creative’ by any standards.


One argument for inviting Ramdev seems to be that he is an innovator and that there is a lot to learn from him.  But there is a lot to learn from many people who have been classified as offenders. After all who would deny that there is a lot to learn from Vijay Mallya about beer and spirits, a lot to learn about cricket and IPL from Lalit Modi, and a lot to learn about innovative jewelry from Nirav Modi?


While calling Ramdev as a guest speaker might have been an innocent decision, with the sole objective of wanting to include a crowd-puller, one wonders how it affects the sensibilities of senior advertising chiefs?  At the end of day, every professional in his field must also be his own regulator.  Every industry needs to maintain the professional standards it has imposed on itself.


Coke launches new Summer Campaign

Coke seems to have broken the usual mould with its new summer campaign.  It has personalised the packaging of Coke through a co-creation exercise with consumers.



There are 20 descriptors in 12 languages on various relationships in a new trend which is being labelled micro-segmentation and advocacy.


Thus far co-creation seemed like a good buzz word to drop in conversations on marketing and advertising.  But Coke might has actually made this come alive as part of their “Share a Coke” campaign which is running globally.


Good strategy for Coke.


Alexa goes Wild

India is currently running a boring, very functional campaign for Alexa and Amazon Echo/Dot and perhaps its defence is that they need to educate Indian audiences on how Alexa works through the Amazon devices.  In the meantime, Ellen DeGeneres revealed a funny and probably slightly dangerous side of Alexa in a lighter vein.



While it does demonstrate what Alexa can do, it gives us an idea of what might happen were Alexa to know so much about you.


Certainly a peek into our own future. The age of Artificial Intelligence is nearer than we think.



Post a Comment 

Comments are closed.