Quantum Brief

Mast & Meh: Solana, Coca-Cola, DhanHQ, HDFC Life, Aditya Birla Capital

Find out who made the cut and who got cut in Storyboard18’s weekly picks of the best and boring ads.

By  Storyboard18Feb 13, 2023 2:08 PM
Mast & Meh: Solana, Coca-Cola, DhanHQ, HDFC Life, Aditya Birla Capital
Stills from the Mast and Meh ads this week. Take a look at unskippable commercials and the ones we wish we could have skipped

Advertisements have always been a great way for brands to market their products and services. However, it has always been a hit or miss situation. Not all brands come up with great advertisements. Some have positive lasting impacts and some we would just love to forget. Storyboard18’s weekly ad reviews filter through the past weeks ads, letting you know which ones were the best and which ones weren’t quite up to mark. We provide you with completely unbiased and unfiltered opinions that are fun to read and paint a clear picture. Read on to find out which ads were in our professional opinions, MAST and which were MEH in this week’s Mast & Meh.


Brand - Solana 

Writers -  Devaiah Bopanna & Anirudh More 

Director - Ankita Dahiya

Producer - Rigved Siriah and The Granfalloon 

If brands want to turn memes into ads, in our opinion, this is how they should do it. If you are a social media junkie, we are certain you may have spotted actor Arbaaz Khan being memed as legend Roger Federer several times on your timelines. If you love watching ads as we do, we suggest, don't skip this one. This spot by blockchain foundation Solana is a hilarious take on Khan pretending to be Federer and failing miserably. The commercial ends with a twist. We won’t reveal any further and ruin the fun. Even though it may look formulaic to some, for a category that's super niche, this is quite a refreshing take. This one is a Mast watch in the truest sense.  


Brand - UnCrave | #NoMoreMissingMeat

Agency - Tilt 

Well technically, there is nothing wrong with this ad. However, the brand, in our opinion, missed the mark by a few points. Vir Das has an excellent sense of humour and comic timing. In this commercial that promotes mock meat, Das' dialogue delivery is well, meh. The script lacks flavour. We hope the product is good enough to supplement the blandness of this spot. 


Brand - HDFC Life 

Agency - Leo Burnett

HDFC Life Insurance touches upon a sensitive topic of the stark cultural change that students from a semi-urban or rural environment face as they join colleges in urban cities. What follows is confusion, judgement from peers and lack of self-confidence. The campaign features one such girl who despite topping her college faces judgement from peers on her dress sense. At this moment, her father boosts her confidence by reminding her how capable she is. The ad beautifully captures the underlying message of comfort and security which can come either through the unconditional love of family or even buying the right insurance product. 


Brand - Coca-Cola India’s Schweppes

Agency - Glitch

Since Schweppes is an age-old brand, expectations were high with this recently launched campaign. The main message of the campaign was to highlight enthusiasm and it didn’t successfully deliver it. It's high time that brands focus on a well-thought script rather than relying on star power.


Brand - DhanHQ

Agency - Spring Marketing Capital 

Everyone receives those irritating, useless and most of the time untrue forwards on WhatsApp from friends and/or family. While some of us easily see through the charade, a lot of people fall for the trap and actually believe what they see. These infamous ‘WhatsApp University' graduates need to be shown the importance of due diligence. DhanHQ cleverly captures this. The ad shows a person talking about a Ponzi scheme with a friend - ‘7 din mein paisa double.’ Comedically, the character did remind us of Akshay Kumar in Phir Hera Pheri. The friend informs him about fake forwards and how traders should do their own research before investing. It's a great concept and an important topic. This one definitely gets a Mast from us. 


Brand - ITC Engage

Conceptualized and directed by Denzil Machado.

To start with, any perfume ad that doesn’t objectify women is a good ad. Add a good script to it and it is perfect. This new ad from ITC Engage is for a new range of Eau De Parfums that’s designed for occasion-based usage and comes in both day and night options for men as well as women. The ad emphasizes the interplay of fashion and fragrance and is accompanied by a high-energy film that highlights the connection between the two. The film is set against the backdrop of an international fashion show and features fast-paced, rhythmic visuals that have the perfect combination of high-street fashion and entertainment. Overall, it’s a classy ad, one we thoroughly enjoyed. 


Brand - Organic Harvest, The Good Glamm Group

Organic Harvest launched its new avatar in a campaign starring Nimrat Kaur. The spot is as usual as it can get. A beauty brand ad with a typical script of a girl getting wooed by anything that comes with the ‘natural’ tag. This is followed by the protagonist (Nimrit Kaur) coming to the young girl’s rescue and enlightening her about the right product. The ad lacks novelty and looks like a redone version of just about any other organic beauty brand commercial. This one simply blends into the clutter. 


Brand - Aditya Birla Capital

Agency - Pi Communications

A house of your own, which provides comfort and safety is a dream of all. #ApnaGhar aptly touches upon that. What adds warmth to the ad, is the voiceover in the background coupled with the shots of people belonging to different professions discussing their aspirations. A heartwarming ad, this one.


Brand - GNC India

Agency - Korra Worldwide

What kind of storytelling would you expect from a supplement brand? Shots of people sweating in the gym and devouring protein shakes to build strength. Well, that is exactly what GNC India's new ad film looks like. No surprises there, it plays to the category codes along with a dash of celebrity flavour (John Abraham) to the mix! Same old, same old, we say!

First Published on Feb 13, 2023 2:02 PM