I have been seeing this advert on television for some days recently, and think it’s effective.
Now why do I think it’s effective? In line with the previous posts on advertising (which include quite a few reviews and dissections of ads, now that I look back at it all), let me write about this ad right here right now. Okay? So here goes.
Humour. Whichever ad has humour as a strong point, it’s always the first point for me. It grabs attention, entertains and makes the ad memorable. One person’s misery is another person’s humour. And in this case, the dadaji’s misery emanating from his weak memory provides moments of pride for dadiji and amusement for the rest of us.
It’s a story! Stories engage us. We love hearing and telling stories. Once upon a time we painted the house… nice! And the characters from the story tell the story in autobiographical mode… nicer!!
Lather, rinse, repeat. The story is in loops. We get to understand it after two of the loops – dadaji is reminiscing about an incident from old times and remembers one artifact of the story, while dadiji knows that he has made a mistake, and corrects him. By the third time, the audience is onto the game. We already know dadaji would again be making a mistake, and dadiji would correct him.
The product. The yellow bungalow is prominent in the frames throughout the ad. I think the way Asian Paints present a house in their ad is well-defined in their minds, and they do it exceptionally well. Right from the first frame I could tell it is an ad for an exterior paint, most probably from Asian Paints.
The story communicates the benefit very well. Memories may fade with time, but the paint would not.
A few days back while I was asking the people on a community on Orkut related to advertising to get out of the “list any ads that come to your mind” mode and instead give some thought on analyzing and trying to find what made those advertisements click with the audience, one of the people there asked me to start. Someone had written about the “Waah Sunil babu…” commercial on that thread, so I picked it up for analysis and posted the analysis there.
Now for the benefit of readers of this blog, here’s what I had written:
The things in the advert that work in its favour are:
Demonstration – the ad demonstrates the USP of the product being offered – longevity. The paint lasts longer than your car, your wife’s figure, even you!
Dramatization – the demonstrations were dramatized, exaggerated to grab attention. Who would believe that a house once painted around the time of a young man’s wedding would still look the same when he is dead and his wife has found a new lover?
Taboo – The wife’s new lover. People love taboo topics, especially when handled with humour, because then the social stigma of the taboo topic is masked by the “we’re just sharing a joke”. Had the ad stopped at just the car being bad and the wife being fat, the impact would not have been that much – the ad simply dragged it too far — it lasts longer than you — so much that your wife and her new lover would enjoy it after you’re gone!
Simplicity – the events are pretty simple. The man gets married, gets a new car and gets his house painted at the same time. The name – Sunil – is a very common name, much less than a Rahul or Rohan, for the middle-aged family people it targets. We haven’t seen many lead characters in Hindi movies named Sunil (only KHKN – and none other than SRK at that! – comes to mind at this time). The punchline can be delivered to anyone named Sunil (or not) in jest… people started speaking in the same tone to their friends and acquaintances wherever they met them. It is simple, it is believable as something a regular neighbour says to another neighbour in the morning on whatever things he sees at the moment – the new house, car and wife (incidentally the three essentials for middle-class people in India).
Humour – don’t need to explain that do I?
Execution – the art, the music, the acting of the cast – especially the person delivering the lines, the props – the motorbike, car, the clothes etc. have been taken care of well enough.