AdsOnIPL21: Ranveer Singh, the Dhoni equivalent of film stars in adland

19 Apr,2021

Vikas MehtaBy Vikas Mehta

Since my last article was all about the cricket folks, can the film stars be far behind? Here is a re-view of the new IPL ads featuring our Bollywood folks.

Let’s start with the ubiquitous Ranveer Singh Bhavnani. He is fast becoming the Dhoni equivalent of our filmy stars in the ad world. JD Mart, Jio Fiber, Lloyd fridges, MPL etc. I am sure I have missed some. In JD Mart, he is doing what many Indian Bollywood actors have done before. Caricaturing various stereotyped Indians. Bengali, Maharashtrian… and in Jio Fiber, he does the same except for donning a local dress and then breaking out into some grotesque dance moves while the bewildered cricket stars watch him, out of sympathy. Sheer waste of talent and hardly adding any value to the brand. Lloyd fridge is better but that maybe because he plays second fiddle to Deepika. Does the brand seriously expect to break through the refrigerator ad clutter with two Bollywood stars talking about the large storage capacity and efficient cooling? My Gen Z sample has the last say on this: I don’t think Ranveer can be bettered than in the Star Sports EPL ads. Typical Gen Z exaggeration?

One ad which really stood out for me was the Tisca Chopra ad for Behrouz Biryani. I thought she was graceful, understated and classy adding value to the premium brand. And while I am writing this, I see the second ad in the series. Difficult to do an encore on the first one. My Gen Z sample just shrugs off the ad “Their Biryani is anyway damn good”. Such nonchalance, I say. At this rate, Gen Z will sound the death knell of the 30-second ads.

And then I am hit with the “Pan Masala’ category ads. Or do they call it the flavoured elaichi category nowadays? Zuban Kesari has done a good job in appropriating the flavour but do I buy Zuban Kesari or… what was the brand name again? Or is it an Ajay Devgan ad and now a combo offer of Messrs Devgan and SRK? Someone must have told the brand owners that they are sick and tired of re-viewing Mr Devgan for the last two years. So, the communication was refreshed with the addition of SRK. But we the viewers have to now endure two aadaabs and decide who out does the other. My Gen Z sample who till a few years ago was an SRK fan thinks that the Devgan style has a much better cool quotient. The verdict is out.

Messrs Devgan and SRK are taken. That leaves the two other Khans. And sure enough, one gets to see a haggard-looking old Salman dancing to tashsan ka jashan for Rajshri Elaichi. Will Aamir now rise to the Elaichi occasion?

On a serious note, why are the old stars still dominating the ads? That’s not me talking, but my Gen Z sample. Why do the brands not use Lily Singh, Amit Bhadana or Liza Koshy or Carey Minati? I am nonplussed. Never heard of these people. Turns out these are Youtubers with fan following in millions. And they are young. Well, younger than even Mr Bhavnani who is 35.

My counter to this was to point out the Lux Cozi ad with Mr Dhawan and then Ms Bhat and Mr Dhawan in ads for Frooti. Nah, I am told. Frooti ads are all the same Are these new? And why does the end super say Live the Frooti life when it’s always been about about fresh and juicy. So confusing. I cannot explain that. So, I meekly turn to the Lux Cozi ad, with no hope. And my Gen Z sample size looks at me incredulously as if to say ‘even a 100 Dhawans would not have saved this ad.’

I decide not to ask the Gen Z sample about the garish-coloured Priyanka Chopra ad. Was it for Appy Fizz or B Fizz? But then I am dealing with Gen Z. “Now that’s a cool ad. Isn’t PC looking glam?” Folks, meet the Appy Fizz TG.


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