Prabhakar Mundkur: The song “Rishta Wahi. Baat Nayi” from Star Plus has an Earworm

31 May,2018

By Prabhakar Mundkur


Source :


When I first walked into an advertising agency as a student and long before I actually joined advertising I still remember seeing a placard on a copywriter’s desk which read “Is there a new way of saying ‘new improved’ ?”   I was reminded of that when Star Plus unveiled their new logo which certainly looked like a new improved version of their earlier logo.  And I would say the same thing about the line “Rishta Wahi. Baat Nayi” which said it was ‘new improved’ but being careful not to stray away too far from its current positioning as a channel. That’s how I would describe it in plain English.   If you went to a flighty innovation consultant however, he might describe it as ‘incremental innovation’. As opposed to ‘evolutionary’ or ‘revolutionary’.


Design agencies have a unique language that only they can use.  It is always flowery, poetic and metaphorical.  One press release I read gave the rationale for the new logo as “the trademark red crystal star with the swoosh, now in gold dust signifying positivity, freshness and celebration of relationships.”


A star cast created the song itself – composed by Ram Sampath and starring Sunidhi Chauhan and Chaandni RMW.  The promo video featured Alia Bhat.



The song definitely had an ‘earworm’.  An earworm is defined as a catchy piece of music that continually repeats through a person’s mind after it is no longer playing. So I found myself humming the song soon after.  That’s quite an achievement considering most songs and jingles today are like wallpaper.  You hardly notice them.  Or otherwise they are easily forgettable.


Vistara: 3 agencies in 3 years

Source: YouTube


Yes, admittedly relationships are getting shorter.  Both personal and ad agency relationships. But when Vistara announced their third agency partner in three years as FCB Ulka, it came as a bit of a surprise.  For a brand which launched just 3 years ago they seemed to have not done travelled a lot of air miles, they have also done a fair amount of agency miles.  The brand launched with Ogilvy as its partner, then moved to Lowe in August 2016 and now FCB Ulka.


Its last commercial ‘Fly the new Feeling’ with Deepika Padukone focused on the inflight experience. After all airline marketers will tell you that ‘inflight’ accounts for more than 80% of your overall experience of an airlines.  There was nothing special about the commercial itself barring the fact that Deepika fans could admire her for a whole minute.


Somehow the Tatas are not known to change agencies every year.  Which is why it is surprising that Vistara is going through a different agency almost every year of its existence.


Hopefully it is not an indication of the average time clients spend with their ad agencies and just a small aberration.


Dhara Oil #ZaraSaBadlav


Take a guess. Is India made up of more joint families or more nuclear families?  The debate was settled a long time ago with the 2011 Census which recorded over half of India’s households recorded as nuclear. Unfortunately for marketer’s joint families make up just 16% of all households.  And strangely joint families are thriving in urban areas rather than in rural areas. Because migration to urban areas are creating economic pressures that necessitate living in a joint family.


But marketers and creative advertising people can’t resist the idea of making another traditional commercial featuring a joint family, trying out the hackneyed theme of mothers and mothers-in-law living with their children.  The other marketers and advertisers who read too many American marketing theories are chasing millennials which by one estimate has 400 million people. And 400 million people is a universe not a segment.  So, it is a challenge to find so many commonalities in such a large universe as easily as the American marketers are doing it.


But Dhara has decided to go traditional by showing that it is perfectly alright for the girl’s parents to live with her and her in-laws. Wow! That is a huge joint family. Nice message. But only if there were more joint families in the India of today or if joint families were an aspirational view of the future to younger targets.



I am not quite sure that today’s youngsters are imagining the perfect future together as living with their parents.



Post a Comment 

Comments are closed.