In September 2021, Mondelez-owned Cadbury Dairy Milk released a remade/reimagined version of its Cricket ad from the 1990s. (Image: screen grab)
When Mondelez-owned Cadbury Dairy Milk remade/reimagined a '90s commercial, the Cadbury Cricket ad, for modern times, a flood of nostalgia swept across social media and the Internet went wild. The Internet also forgot that the same agency that made the old and new Cricket ad, Ogilvy, reimagined another classic campaign last year. It was Asian Paints’ ‘Har Ghar Kuch Kehta Hai’ which was rewritten as ‘Har Ghar Chup Chap Se Kehta Hai…’, a reflection of life at home during a lockdown. The post-pandemic version was a hit too.
So, in this season of the Great Indian ad remake, we thought we’d add a few more ads we’d like to see again, with a surprise ending, a plot twist or a reimagined script.
Storyboard asked advertising executives to give us their picks of ads that should make a comeback as a remake or just as they are.
Josy Paul, chief creative officer and chairman, BBDO India, would like to see a remake of the popular ad jingle “Hema, Rekha, Jaya, or Sushma… Sabki Pasand Nirma” but with a huge change. Paul's suggestion, “what if we changed the women’s names to men’s names instead. It would be a clear signal for men to do the laundry and share the load.”
Here’s some context. Paul and his team were behind P&G-owned Ariel’s purpose-driven campaign ‘Share the load’ that’s been asking men to do their equal share of household chores.
An idea that can last a century
Sagar Kapoor, chief creative officer, Lowe Lintas, says HUL’s detergent brand Surf’s ongoing campaign ‘Daag acche hai’ could go on for another 100 years. “The sentiments will never change.” The campaign started in the early 2000s.
No glitch in ‘khich khich’
BBDO India’s Paul says the iconic ad series 'Vicks ki goli lo, khichkhich door karo' does not need to be remade because the idea is still relevant for our time.
Old wine, new suit
Sumanto Chattopadhyay, chairman and chief creative officer, 82.5 Communications (Ogilvy Group), recalls Raymond’s ‘Complete Man’ ad featuring actor Rahul Bose. Chattopadhyay says the well-scripted ad “was directed with a light touch; neither its sentiment nor its look feel dated”. Nevertheless, one could consider remaking it with an up-and-coming actor today, he says. “Of course, the imagination runs riot with thoughts of how the friendship might be recast in keeping with today’s purpose-driven communication—but let’s not delve into that,” he adds.
‘Reclaim your Life’ 2021
The Tata Safari Dicor ‘Reclaim your Life’ commercial was ahead of its time, says Chattopadhyay. “It seems to reflect Gen Z more than it did the consumers of that era,” Chattopadhyay explains. The commercial featured working professionals who wanted to quit their jobs to travel the world and reset their lives. He also points out an extraordinary thing about the ad: “The car does not make an entrance till quite late in the narrative—but the entrance is so dramatic that it is more than worth the wait.”
One more black coffee
Bobby Pawar, chairman, chief creative officer, Havas Group, recalls the Ericsson Mobiles - One Black Coffee commercial. So does Nirvana Film’s director Prakash Varma, who tells us that the ad was simple but it has so much detailing which made it stand out. Both Pawar and Varma want this commercial remade in 2021. But Pawar wouldn’t remake it as an ad. Instead, he'd like to see it as a web series of short films about “the bumbling efforts of the old guy trying to get the woman”. Where the phone plays spoiler.
Don’t go fishing again
Fevikwik’s ‘Fish’ commercial needs no remake in Pawar’s view. Here’s why: “What will you do in the remake? Make it contextual and have the guy catch pomfrets for the Maharashtra audience and hilsa for the Bengalis? Or make it an environmentally conscious ad and have the guy catch plastic bags that are thrown into our lakes? Oh I got it, they should shoot the same film in a vertical format so it can be used on the gram.”
Nirvana Film’s Prakash Varma says Live-In jeans’ old commercial will connect to Gen Z, people working from home, and also who have seen the original film. This ad needs no remake.
A new tune to hum
Arun Iyer, founder and creative partner, Spring Marketing Capital, says Amul’s iconic ad 'doodh doodh’ is one the commercials that Gen Z should see in a new light. He explains, “I vividly remember Kunal Ganjawala’s voice booming through the television screens. In the early '90s, milk had suddenly faced an unlikely challenge from the new kid on the block—soft drinks. This ad made milk cool again. I think it's an incredibly sticky jingle that will find a connect even today.”
Priyanka Nair is Assistant Editor of Storyboard. Storyboard is Network18's flagship platform focussed on the advertising & marketing community and a leading source of news and analyses on the business of brands
Saumya Tewari is Assistant Editor of Storyboard. Storyboard is Network18's flagship platform focussed on the advertising & marketing community and a leading source of news and analyses on the business of brands.