Brands cannot ignore the context, which is the only differentiator between competing names
Delhi | August 30, 2016
Breaking clutter and standing out is not easy in todayâ€™s over-communicated society. There are more commercial messages all around us than we can handle.
Brands find it difficult to stand out and be heard. To an extent, brands are like birds. Birds tend to climb to the highest perch to broadcast their call. Brands did the same by buying share of voice. With even share of voice not cutting through, brands are investing in share of OTT (over the top).
The Indulgent Ranveer Singh
I have written in the past that there is a Ranveer tone of voice. A tonality that he brings to table and a tonality that can carry weak and ordinary ads and make them stand out. This time he has been tasked with carrying a full five-minute commercial that can only be called as Ranveer showcase. True, there is a leading lady from films, true there is even an anti-hero from films. Yet the five-minute-long indulgence is pure Ranveer Singh.
If views are a way of judging the success then the judgment is clear. Over 9 million views on YouTube alone will suggest that the commercial has been widely successful.
The brand actually lives beyond the views. It lives in the context of the story; it lives in the way the brand connects with its patrons.
This is where a five-minute Hollywood-inspired mishmash stops working. Yes, there is Ranveer, there is Tamannaah and there is Rohit Shetty. Arenâ€™t they better off making a typical potboiler?
For me what lets the film down is the product integration. This could have been a brave attempt at creating branded content. A full song that is not about the glory of the brand, yet is about the glory of the brand. Layered take that makes consumers discover the brand story and not as something that turns into a commercial at the first sight.
Ranveer Ching has all the swag, all the attitude, has dominant share of OTT, but does it really dominate the share of likeability?
Ranveer has lost to Khali on that count.
The Indulgent FlipKart
The kids are back, the kids are back playing the adults. After a series of highly liked and loved commercials, FlipKart has got its old property back again to tell the same story again.
The earlier FlipKart commercials had a certain charm and certain freshness. They also were crafted to take on the characters from popular culture like an overbearing news anchor or an omnipresent expert in studio and create a tale that made fresh connection for the brand.
In getting the kids back, Flipkart has not been able to create the same magic. Like Ranveer Ching, this has certain amount of OTT quotient and there in it loses the entire tale. The poor characterisation doesnâ€™t help either.
What was a very loving tale from FlipKart earlier has become a forced indulgence in this edition. Authentic products, trusted by all, certified true brands are not new themes of communication in FlipKartâ€™s brand arsenal. This is what they have been saying for a long time.
The charm that the earlier campaign had has evaporated with this. To top it, they are in trouble for poor stereotypical portrayal of one community. As someone said, geography is an important subject when you are creating advertising.
The context is king
There is a thin line that separates a great brand idea from an over-indulgent brand idea. Chings Secret has poured in a bucketful of money in making the commercial or song or songvertising. FlipKart has not. Clearly money alone is not the differentiator. Celebrities too are not the differentiator, otherwise Chingâ€™s Secret would have been the best ad ever produced in India.
Brands cannot ignore the context in which they operate. Context truly is the only differentiator between competing brands. If only the flying kicks, wannabe batmobile and kids who act as grownups had a better context.