AdsOnIPL21: Welcome distraction from the doom & gloom

26 Apr,2021

Vikas MehtaBy Vikas Mehta


I waded into a discussion today about staging IPL with the virus raging all round us. I may sound too simplistic but with all the doom and gloom news which we all are exposed to, much of it at a personal level too, the IPL is a much required distraction and a break. Just like the football leagues have been in Europe during the second wave. And besides the matches one also gets to watch many new old fashioned ads. So, I decided to base my re-view today on the ads which have in some way entertained us. Not just made us smile but also involved and wanting to actually re-view it. (Now you understand why I have been writing review with a hyphen!).


The first such ads that come to my mind is the Phone pe series of ads. They are short, sharp and highlighting the many generic benefits of UPI payment. Sure, the benefits are generic but these ads are appropriating the benefits for Phone Pe with delightful vivid demonstrations, without the need for any audio. And the one ad which did use some dialogue was done very smartly with the play on the word scan. My personal favourite though was the one with the two Bengali women angling for that one last Sandesh. For once, my choice was backed by my Gen Z sample.


Finolex pipes. Not really a consumer product but I think they have done an entertaining job with Sehwag in the series of ads. And a very bold twist to the narrative has been added with the thought of “Jo cheez chalti rahti hain woh kahan yaad rahti hai.” What an interesting twist to long-lasting. Though what my Gen Z sample loved was the product shot at the end. Pipes and fittings in the form of a throne on which Sehwag is sitting for the sign off. A real nice touch, indeed for a boring simplistic looking product.


I did speak about the MPL ad in one of my reviews earlier. I think they have done a good job of taking Hindi proverbs regarding brain and then using these to explain how one can use the MPL ad without too much of brain power, read thinking. Another reason I found these entertaining was because they take a diametrically opposite stance to Dream 11, specially the Dhoni ads which urges people not to use brains for excuses, lying etc but to use it to make the Dream 11 fantasy teams.


Incidentally, I do have a question for MPL. What about the comprehension of these ads in south Indian languages? Do they have similar language idioms? Dear readers, any suggestions?


The Groww ads were intriguing. The whole concept of giving up something close, like your child or a product one developed for nothing is thought provoking. But the link with the product was a bit weak. But hey, this re-view is about entertaining ads. Not necessarily effective. But you know why my Gen Z sample loved it. The line. Invest kar. Kuhud grow kar. Not karo. The irreverence of the line was entertaining for her.


The Gulabjamun wale uncle ads of Swiggy were also entertaining. The guy has become a brand symbol or mnemonic for Swiggy and his losing his own identity is a nice twist.


Sadly, I found not many other entertaining ads. No, I do not find Cred entertaining. Except for Dravid, which was more of a surprise and shock than entertain, the rest have no entertainment or even relevance factor for me. And that Zumba ad was a joke, right?


But there is hope. We haven’t yet hit the halfway point also and I just get a feeling that some entertaining ads are on the way. Keep reading this column for some more.

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