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AdStand: Imperial Blue, AVT and Panasonic

It is a new year. If we can accept new monetary habits, then brands can do with fresh, exciting narratives

Delhi | January 4, 2017

Adstand by Naresh Gupta

2017 is here and so are some new commercials. Last year had its moments, but largely it was a lukewarm year. For me last year was about Kalki’s Printing Machine, Kenzo’s awesome long format ad, Nike’s demolition of the iconic Just Do It line for Olympics, the quirky Swedish Tourism campaign, and Ariel’s interesting Share the Load campaign.

Imperial Blue and its continuing story

Imperial Blue has built a very nice narrative around Men will be Men. The series of commercials the brand has done have a hilarious take on how testosterone driven males often lose their ability to judge or be nice when they see an attractive female. The diamond buying husband because he missed the anniversary or the guy pretending to own that big black car for he saw a girl or wanting to go up and down in lift with a girl around, the brand has played the male desires in a far better way than, say, Axe.

The new commercial has a girl walking into an aircraft and two men looking at her with an empty seat between them. If you know Imperial Blue as a brand, then you know what will happen in the commercial from here. After five years, one would have expected a little more from the brand so that it is not so predictable. It's the predictability that takes away from the commercial. Many, many years ago, before YouTube and Facebook came into being, Lakme did a commercial with exactly a similar setting and a far better take on the single attractive girl in the aircraft.

Tea and AVT

I normally would not have noticed this ad, but for the PR the brand has done for the commercial. This is the usual tea commercial. The lazy son on a rocking chair wants a cup of tea that only mother can make. Mother wants the newlywed daughter-in-law to make the tea. And the secret to good tea is the brand. May be we just sat in a time machine and travelled back to the 70s. Every stereotype that can be thought of about husband, wife and mother-in-law are at play here. Coming on back of campaigns like Ariel’s #ShareTheLoad and even Amazon’s Don’t Adjust, this one has no hope. With more and more husbands entering the kitchen, this one has no hope. May be the tea needs to give a jolt of inspiration.

Panasonic smartphones and wanderlust

Cellphones are very product-centric in their communication; they are a lot about the features and technical mumbo jumbo, or they are about camera and pictures. Panasonic has taken the camera angle to create a new social campaign, #LiveYourDreams. This is a simple sweepstake with a rather longwinded film that directs you to a website with a very simplistic non-involving way of participating. Both the film and the contest are disjointed and archaic. How does Panasonic solve the issue of the overworked female executive who wants to travel? The process of winning a sweepstakes by getting more likes is five years old. Apple with its Shot on iPhone campaign has taken the camera game many notches up. There is an idea in what Panasonic thought of; it needed better craft to become something that catches the imagination.

Here’s wishing everyone a blessed 2017. We need to make it the most rocking year. India has taken a bold step to break from the past. As Indians if we can accept new monetary habits, then brands can do with fresh, exciting narratives.

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