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adidas New Commercial Is Missed Opportunity: Pops

A die hard cricket fan and NCD of Leo Burnett India KV Sridhar a.k.a. Pops finds the TVCs struggling without joy and inspiration.

adidas, one of the world’s leading sports brands, recently launched a new cricket campaign in India. Conceptualised over the ‘Impossible is Nothing’ philosophy, the campaign was shot entirely in black and white. Would this campaign be able to connect well with masses? Could it have been better? To opine on this, who could have been better than one of the best creative minds and a die hard cricket fan National Creative Director of Leo Burnett India KV Sridhar a.k.a. Pops? When BestMediaInfo.com tried to know his views, Pops said, “adidas must have spent more money than the nike commercial but at the end of the day it is a struggling commercial and it does not leave me with a high or a joy of anything.”

He explains further, “Cricket is not an individual sport - it is a team sport with certain joy. Most of the sportsmen are like children and they enjoy what they do and then looking at them you also enjoy. Otherwise any sports would be quite silly to watch. What adidas has taken is not from the viewers perspective, they have taken from a struggling place perspective. So, either there should be joy when you are actually watching somebody doing something which is what first adidas commercial did with Sachin Tendulkar giving you tremendous joy, or you should do very inspirational commercial.”

Remembering one of the finest movies on cricket, Pops said, “When you see the movie ‘Iqbal’, you find such an inspirational story of a struggling cricketer. So either the commercial should give you inspiration looking at the sportsman or you must derive tremendous joy in the sports and the passion. This commercial leaves you somewhere halfway. They could have made this as actually inspiring commercial.”

“There was one commercial long back which I made for Bajaj. So many people said so many things. My father said this as a waste of time. My barber said I would have never made this kind of commercial. But that character in commercial became very successful later on. So even against all odds if somebody keeps his confidence and becomes successful, the story becomes very inspirational for everybody.”

“There is an international nike commercial which is very inspirational. A small time player plays very well and then suddenly you see him playing in bigger and bigger clubs and finally he becomes a celebrity playing with Ronaldo and all time star players. So that commercial took it to the next level. They made every spectator to feel like that player.”

“If you compare nike commercial with this struggling little commercial, then it is a missed opportunity. I’m not saying that this is not a good ad. I’m only saying that it should have taken to the next level.”

“When adidas came up with their commercial with Sachin, it influenced everybody because the technique was very new and as an icon Sachin had done one of the biggest commercial at that time. To do a follow-up commercial on that, you need to do something spectacular which is what they have missed out here.”

“They did it using high speed camera shot which people have already seen and there is nothing new to make impression on people. And what they are saying in the commercial is also not very inspirational. There is nothing which he has made it big. If the character in the commercial would have never got an opportunity earlier to do something with bat and ball but performed all the cricketing activities with some other objects and suddenly found a place in the cricket team, it would have been very inspirational in that way.”

“The tag line ‘Impossible is Nothing’ is very inspirational in itself. If you see that line even in isolation without any commercial, it says that you can achieve anything. The way you achieve anything has to be very inspirational.”

“There are many good commercials internationally on ‘Impossible is Nothing’ but all of them are very inspirational, very good that has got the sportsmanship in certain amount of joy. In a county where almost one billion people are after cricket, it has to bring certain amount of joy to people. We did a commercial for rebock many years back where Azharuddin, Jadeja and Rahul Dravid keeps on plying in spite of rain interrupts the match. That is the joy of game. And then looking at them like children playing makes you really enjoy the game.”

“In this case there is no inspiration. Either there should be joy or inspiration or requisition of passion. None of those were there in the commercial.”

On the impact of the commercial, Pops believes, “I don’t think this commercial will connect with audience at all. First you are saying that you have been failure for a long and finally you have made it as a cricketer. That does not mean anything. Playing for gully cricket and club cricket is not a success. To make it inspirational like nike actually takes people and then put them on a pedestal or you take celebrities and really celebrate the game. So neither they have celebrated the game nor have they taken a small guy and then put him on a pedestal. So that is what is the intent of that commercial to take an ordinary guy and then show that he has celebrated which he has achieved something which is not coming true and which is actually falling flat. It is nicely shot commercial with good camera angle and slow motion but that will not save the commercial because these days in cricket you can see lots of slow motions.”

At the end, Pops concludes, “It is the right word to say that it is missed opportunity for the client and the agency to do something which is inspirational or something which is hugely celebrating or something which actually allows people to identify with the passion. So they missed on all the three.”

“Nike actually showed the passion, they celebrated cricketers in that and they celebrated normal people playing cricket. That is what a commercial requires to connect with the audience well.”

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