A Dream Turning Predictable

18 Apr,2022



By Vikas Mehta


Vikas MehtaThe IPL is becoming predictable now. Mumbai Indians have lost another match, their sixth loss in a row. Sunrisers Hyderabad have won another match, their fourth win in a row. SKY Yadav and Dinesh Karthik continue to score consistently, at a good clip, though one is doing consistently for a losing cause and the other for a winning cause. Y Chahal and T Natarajan continue to take wickets, while J Unadkat and T Mills continue to be carted around.


And the same is true for the IPL ads. Most of them are predictable and their repetitiveness is also irritating. Cred has some interesting takes on Nirma’s Deepikaji, Antakshari’s Anu Kapoor as well as Vick’s Action 500 haan bhai haan. I also think the ads are taking off on the concept of hammering in the brand name, in this case Cred bounty, as was the case in the 70s. But for someone watching the IPL almost on a daily basis, the repetitiveness of the ad is grating.


Sadly, the same is seeming to be true for the Dream 11 ads. The concept of one doesn’t dream alone has become too trite. Starting with Rohit Sharma, Pant; now with Ashwin, Hardik and Dhawan joining the bandwagon, the only thing new is to guess who could be that benefactor. It also seems a bit unbelievable that all these stars met these unknown good men. The question that comes to my mind is where are these people now? Did the stars look for them? Did they help them out? Or is it just a figment of imagination? Will we see some follow up ads? Or will this be forgotten after a few days?


Last evening, CSK predictably lost once again. And breaking the predictable trend are series of ads for two brands. One, is Swiggy Instamart. I am not getting into the debate of the righteousness of 10-20 minutes delivery and the risk it involves for the delivery staff, for I think the better debate would be if we need such quick deliveries. But the brand has illustrated the promise of fast delivery without getting into the exactitude of time, brilliantly. Be it the husband who is planning to watch matches with his friends while the wife is away or the husband who has an excuse to eat junk food but the quick arrival of healthy vegetables and fruits thwart the plan. Or indeed the ad where a friend refuses to share a packet of chips with his friend as another packet arrives almost instantaneously.


The second is the series of Fogg ads. Initially, I almost missed them. Interestingly, the brand is targeting men without actually featuring any men in the ad. It’s from the viewpoint of the opposite sex who find certain men very irresistible but balk when they are told that these men do not use any deo. With market penetration of deos in India as low as 15-20%, it’s no wonder that the market leader has taken up the task of increasing penetration as it will benefit the leader. And what better way to do that than by showing that women are not too sure about men who do not use deos. It may well fall into the Dream 11 trap of predictability but currently I am enjoying the women viewpoint.


With summer at its peak, AC advertising is also at its peak. But, I am not finding any distinct piece of communication. Panasonic, Voltas, Blue Star, Godrej, BPL, Kelvinator are repeating the same old benefits of pure air, efficient cooling in high temperature, less electricity consumption. So predictable that my head cannot distinguish one brand from the other.


Did I mention BPL and Kelvinator? Well, these old brands seemed to have resurfaced. I thought they belonged to history. But looks like they still have some signs of life. The question is, who are these brands talking to. The elderly millennial who had seen the brands in their childhood and can indulge in nostalgia? Or the younger millennial, for whom the brand is as good as a new unknown brand? Selling durables is not child’s play as it means investment not only in new technology but also in distribution and after sales service. It will be interesting to watch how this plays out. Kelvinator also has an ad for refrigerators and no, it’s not about the coolest one. Didn’t get it? I guess you are not an older millennial!


Interestingly, while Mr Bachchan claimed to have been unaware of the surrogate nature of the Kamla Pasand ad that he did along with Ranveer Singh and had reportedly returned the advertisers cheque, he continues to appear in its ads in various avtaars. I hope, for his sake that the returned cheque was returned back to him. Or it was a PR gimmick hand in glove with the advertiser? Definitely unpredictable. Unlike the Vimal ad, where predictably a third star, Akshay Kumar, has joined the other two, Ajay Devgn and Shah Rukh Khan in London. Will a fourth one join soon? Can you predict who will it be?


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