Quantum Brief

Mast & Meh: Swiggy, H&M, WhatsApp, Mumbai Police, Stayfree, Neeman's

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

By  Storyboard18Oct 13, 2022 1:34 PM
Mast & Meh: Swiggy, H&M, WhatsApp, Mumbai Police, Stayfree, Neeman's
Tank-ed! Alia Bhatt and Ranbir Kapoor have been selling everything from chips to paint, and now even steel bars. Netizens have seen enough videos of the couple inspecting the work in progress of their new home in Mumbai.

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 – Mumbai Police & Mumbai Traffic Police

Campaign - #JustOneHead

Agency – Schbang

Think of a villain. You probably thought of Joker or Hannibal Lecter or Darth Vader and so on. Now think of an Indian villain. There’s Gabbar, Mogambo, Shakal, Gogo, and so on. Imagine if you were to meet them and they ordered you to do something. Out of sheer fright, you would listen to them correct? What if India’s biggest baddest villain told you to listen to him but in a comical way? Would you be thrown off or would you still follow? Well, if the villain is as infamous and frightening as Raavan, I would listen no matter how he told me. Schbang’s latest advertisement for Mumbai Police and Mumbai Traffic Police involves Raavan in all his might, with all his heads roaming the streets of Mumbai in style on a bike. He comes across a man on a scooter who isn’t wearing his helmet but has it hanging at the back of his scooter instead. In a fun and comical exchange of expressions, Raavan tries to tell the man to put on his helmet but the man refuses. Finally braking his silence, Raavan says that he has ten heads but the man has only one. A light-hearted yet impactful PSA created by Schbang highlighting the importance of Road Safety and wearing a helmet. The topical ad that released on Dussehra beautifully captures the essence of Mumbai as well as cleverly incorporating the use of a rather negative character to convey a positive message. Who would’ve have thought that someone as notorious as Raavan would tell you to follow the rules! An excellent ad that deserves a Mast in our books.


Brand - Pepperfry

Campaign - Pepperfry Meme Superstars Ft. Kareena Kapoor Khan & Saif Ali Khan

Agency - Lowe Lintas

If you’ve been out on the road recently, you might’ve noticed the large Kareena and Saif memes on hoardings. It’s a great way to advertise ones presence by using relevant trends and topics and Pepperfry does just that. Unfortunately, this idea did not translate well on screens. While using memes on hoardings is a great idea to garner attention, Pepperfry’s digital advertisement which explains the idea behind using memes starring the brand ambassadors, was bland and uninteresting. The duo is shown the meme-hoardings on a screen and instead of typically expressing disgust they’re intrigued. However, the ad immediately switches to Saif narrating the features of the brand in a formatted style. Ironically, memes that worked brilliantly on hoardings, failed miserably on screen. A better storyline capturing the fun and playful essence of memes could have prevented a Meh.


Brand – Stayfree

Agency – DDB Mudra

Over the last few years, sanitary napkins have been addressing several underlying societal issues through advertising. Stayfree picks a new thread. The film gets to the point directly without any build up - let’s talk period to boys. That’s it. That’s the ad. The script could have been a little more hard-hitting but the message is loud and clear. A great initiative very well executed. A solid Mast in our books.


Brand - Britannia Milk Bikis

Agency – Talented | Rooted Films

This childlike Tamil film made us smile. It narrates a simple everyday sight. A kid talks about his paati’s (grandmother) morning routine and how she enjoys four Milk Bikis while watching Rasi Palan (an astrology predication TV show). It’s not a cutting-edge creative piece but it definitely sails smoothly through the right emotions and creates a good recall value for the brand. All in all a great spot.


Brand – Neeman’s

Neeman’s makes a good point by adding an emotional quotient to a pair of shoes. It had all the potential to a mast watch but we were lost after all the dull pauses, over the top aggression, and a pretty stretched script. The hashtag #PehnogeTohSamjhoge was a cool one though. A solid effort, after which we definitely want to see more from Neeman.


Brand - Wow Skin Science

We lost interest in the ad the moment bad puns started rolling in. Pointing out someone’s hair fall condition is borderline mean. Well, we do understand to some extent. How else will a shampoo brand sell? It’s time for personal care brands to think and narrate stories that are believable and not cringe,


Brand: JKCement WallMaxX

Campaign: #AndarSeSundar

Agency: Kandid Kanvas & Social Cloud

Diwali is a time of joy and lights which holds equal relevance in all our lives. This even includes the painters who add colours to our safe havens. JK cement aptly captures that in the recent ad film. As per a recent market research as highlighted in the release, 62 percent of the painters are away in the city busy earning a livelihood. Only 49 percent of them visit their hometown, which is less than two times a year.

As the film progresses to showcasing that the painter would not be able to make it to celebrate the festive period with his family due to impending work, the display of compassion by the house owners adds warmth to the commercial. A storyline, which is devoid of drama, touches upon the chord of empathy, and adds further delight to see him smile brightly to celebrate the festival of lights. Overall, it gets a thumbs up.


Brand: Eva

Campaign: #SpecialHappens

Agency: In-house agency (Need to confirm)

If one traces their footsteps, most of the commercials on deodorants or talcum powders have either attracted controversy due to their storyline or have featured men or women emerging with a newer persona after its application or the deo helps the man be the focus of attention of woman. Eva’s #SpecialHappens is no different.

There are moments of self-doubt in everyone’s lives, but solely crediting a deodorant, and picturing it to uplift one’s spirits doesn’t really add meat nor does it generate renewed interest in the commercial. The presence of actor Rashmika Mandanna and her bubbly nature could not save the commercial from a Meh. A better storyline devoid of lazy writing could have worked in Eva’s favour.


Brand – H&M India

Agency - Schbang

Hopping into a magical lift that can transport you anywhere your heart desires? Sounds too cool. H&M India new spot premise seems like everybody’s fantasy. A handsome liftman (played by actor Jim Sarbh) is magically opening doorways to exactly what the passengers of his elevator are searching for. A young resident of the building who is setting base in a new city is transported to the comfort and warmth she craves. A shy teenager is ferried to familiarity, while a fun-chasing influencer is pulled into a very exclusive dance-party of course, dressed in brand’s new festive collection wear. Pretty cool concept especially after two years of the pandemic that deterred people to do what their heart truly desires. This concept resonates, good job H&M!


Brand – Ferrero Rocher

Agency – Big Bang Social

Unlike its product, Ferrero Rocher’s new festive brand campaign is bland at best. It follows a typical celebrity category ad trope. Hire a celebrity, make him mumble a few lines about how they consume the brand and highly recommend it. Hrithik Roshan appears in frame and does exactly that. No storyline or interesting execution. This one leaves a lot to be desired.


Brand: WhatsApp

Campaign: It’s Coming Home

Agency: In-house agency

‘It’s Coming Home’ is a continuation of WhatsApp’s India edition of the global brand campaign that highlights the platform’s privacy features, and how one can benefit from those features. There is a saying which goes, “Work hard in silence, and let success be your noise.” Whatsapp aptly captures that in the ad film which stars Thomas Cup winner HS Prannoy. The ad film goes into detail about the privacy features of the WhatsApp group 'It's Coming Home' they created on the platform, and how it helped the badminton player and his team mates strategise step by step, and share their conflicting emotions, which brought them closer to bringing the accolade and recognition back home. What scores this ad film a ‘Mast’ is lack of melodrama, and the depiction of realism in every scene, be it when the player had his moments of self-doubt, or when he along with his team mates stood tall with the recognition they worked towards.


Brand: pTron

Campaign: ‘I Love pTron’

As the commercial begins to roll, and towards the end, actor and brand ambassador Pooja Hegde’s ‘mystery P’ is revealed, all that could be expected was a solid storyline that spoke more about the brand, and its features. Hegde arouses curiosity in the world of social media, professionals at the shooting site and the journalists about the ‘mystery P’ in her life. The ad film tries hard to retain the interest of the viewers. Even Hegde’s dazzling smile could not prevent the commercial from receiving a Meh.


Brand - Rungta Steel TMT Bar

Alia Bhatt and Ranbir Kapoor have been selling everything from chips to paint, and now even steel bars. Netizens have seen enough videos of the couple inspecting the work in progress of their new home in Mumbai. In that sense, Rungta Steel TMT Bar got the timing of this association right. That's about it. The cringe-worthy script made the commercial unbearable and unbelievable that the duo is steel shopping together.


Brand - Swiggy

Agency - Ogilvy

Dear readers, warning! Don't watch these ads if you are hungry. The latest commercials from Swiggy is well targeted. It features popular Punjabi singer and actor Ammy Virk to connect with foodies across Delhi and Punjab. These two films are well-balanced with a hint of humour. The insight on how some people can't always go out exploring local food when they are traveling and how Swiggy has a fix for it is spot on.

First Published on Oct 13, 2022 1:29 PM