Sanjeev Kotnala: Engaging with Multiple Triggers

17 Feb,2021

By Sanjeev Kotnala


Creative teams fear the listicle brief. The client gives a series of points, benefits, advantages, or differentiators to be communicated. A brief that is apt for a pamphlet than a commercial. It goes against the focussed communication approach.

Few creative teams rise to the challenge. Then the creative device or the idea becomes the tool to engage the audience. Some of them create a story around it, some sing and dance. But, they still tick all the points. Here are some recent examples which I personally liked. I would have loved to be a part of the team that crafted and created them.





Burger King new video. It features a news reporter excitingly giving his best pitch while what is breaking news. The reporter stands at the Burger King outlet, sharing the inside story. What he has uncovered about Burger King Whopper. It immediately strikes you as a mellowed down version of your news channels. It is still over the top, hyperbole, exaggerated, sensational reporting! The film #AgainstSensationalism tells the audience Burger King Whopper is so good that it does not need sensationalism.





Now watch Jimmy John’s Sandwich Super Bowl LV video. It uses Tony Bologanavich, the king of Cold Cuts, who is super confident of what goes into the sandwich. But, then he realises that his employees and his family are eating Jimmy John’s sandwiches. Oh, what a story, what great acting and how engaging it is.




The Burger King video touches you. After all, you have been the unwilling victim of relentless hyperpitched least differentiated news over channel battling for TRP.

I love Jimmy John’s King of Cold Cuts video. It works for me at various levels. More touches of humour. And definitely more engaging.

Both Jimmy John’s and Burger King video do the same thing. Empathising the difference without overt comparison and highlighting the salient points client wanted. Hopefully, the one that matters to the audience.

They are investing in how to say. It does work.




I can see ‘King Of Cold Cut’ getting another shot with still wilder association and engagement. Almost a series like Jeep- the Road Ahead. The Burger King New reporter follows the brand communication DNA of being irreverent, but that’s it. It may not have the same fun or versatility as the old- Thanda Matlab Coke.

What do you think? Which works better- Jimmy John’s or Burger King.




While I was thinking of these two videos, I could not but reflect upon the much-maligned Trivago ad. It explained the process step-by-step. It did serve the brand needs, and it did work.





Recently, I saw this simple video KAUN DUMB HAI by Condom Alliance. An attempt by a few condom manufacturers and marketers coming together to further popularise condoms. A refreshing approach to urge young adults not to be dumb and use a condom. It also reminded me of award-winning video Dumb ways to dieDummy Not Dumb by CEAT tyres was another one, which could have something to do with Kaun Dumb Hai- Dummy Kaun Dumb. Too many Dumb possibilities.



Would love to know your take on these videos?



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