Brands that cut through: Sprite, Prega News, Cadbury, Pepsi, Tata Tea Gold, HDFC Life, Lakme, Britannia 50:50 Potazos, Monte Carlo.
Sprite | Thand Rakh (2023)
When a brand finds its sweet spot, it should dig in and play to win. That’s something brand Sprite has managed to do again and again and again with aplomb. Even by its own high standards, the soft drink hit a different high with a slightly hatke ‘Thand Rakh’ last year. Just when you wondered whether the hilarious high could be outdone, Sprite steps out this summer to show how it’s done. I am certain there is at least one more spot coming in this strategically rooted series. But I am hoping for more. Thorough entertainment through over-the-top humour, yet absolutely on brand.
Prega News | #MarkOfStrength
It’s Women’s Day and Prega News is at it again. This time, with a message about body esteem among young mothers. This is just as powerful as the brand’s earlier work, even if the film isn’t a tear-jerker. From stretch marks to body weight, the issues that bog down women post pregnancy are many. Prega News is being their friend indeed.
Cadbury Dairy Milk | Kissi Aur Ki Khushi Mein Shaamil | Birthday Party
Simple documentation of a lovely gesture for domestic help in a residential society, this shows people how the brand’s advertising could translate on ground. Even if this results in a few hundred societies hosting an open day for their domestic help, the brand would have made a huge difference – not just to the help, but also their employers by triggering in them the joy of being a part (or cause) of someone’s celebration.
Pepsi | Rise Up
Taking a yesteryear hit and refreshing it isn’t entirely new. But doing it refreshingly must be appreciated. This music video featuring a high-energy star, catchy music, arresting choreography through to the end and loads of colour is just what the brand needed ahead of summer. Or is it? ‘Rise up’ has a nice ring to it and the star power is potent, but I wonder if the lack of continuity in communication – that the brand once enjoyed – is now a handicap. But let’s grant it to the brand for trying harder, even as it sways between swag and rise.
Tata Tea Gold | Dil Ki Suno
‘Dil ki duno’ is a message that has found articulation in different ways before. Here Tata Tea Gold tells the story of a mother who has decided to forego her passion in order to fulfill her duties to loved ones. The brand nudges her to follow her heart and climb the mountain if that’s what her heart desires. Whether its coffee or tea, the ‘sip and take off’ approach is tested to work when done passably.
HDFC Life | My Pehchan My Pride
Besides insuring their future, the brand is making an important statement here: Unhe apni pehchaan ki taaqat ka ehsaas dilayein. Told through an endearing story of a college topper who is made fun of for being old fashioned, literally. A trope, perhaps, but one that is relatable and rings true. Pehchaan or identity fits perfectly well in the arc of self esteem and aligns with ‘sar utha ke jiyo’.
Lakme | #UnapologeticallyME
Confession time. I had to seek views of some friends who engage with the category to gauge this one. From an outsider’s perspective, it was obviously high on style and finish. From a user perspective, it’s the voice of the consumer that’s coming through, I am told. Self love, not just encouraging it to absolve the consumer of guilt, but uplifting enough for the consumer to indulge in with pride.
Britannia 50 50 Potazos | Potazos Patta Night
How do you make ‘Potazos’ interesting? This is one sure way. A play on the shape gives the makers a betting plot, as the product looks like (money) chips. Investment and effort in execution ensure that the films are more than watchable – and actually entertaining.
Monte Carlo | The Way You Make Me Feel
Well, if you are going to adopt an international name and that’s the brand story, you might as well shoot internationally and feature an all-firang cast. For a generation that grew up on MJ, this version of ‘The way you make me feel’ isn’t going to cut it. That said, the song isn’t bad at all as a standalone track. The film stays true to the European vibe throughout.
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