Quantum Brief

Mast & Meh - The best and worst ads this week

Find out who made the cut and who got cut in this week’s Mast & Meh, Storyboard18’s weekly picks of the best and boring ads. This week, we introduce a special category - Ugh. Read on to find out who earned the special distinction.

By  Storyboard 18Jul 18, 2022 9:07 AM
Mast & Meh - The best and worst ads this week
The Glitch's new ad campaign for TTK Love Depot - #PleasureIsAllYours - hits the right spot with its well-crafted messaging. (Image: A still from the ad film)

MAST TTK Love Depot - #PleasureIsAllYours Agency: The Glitch

NSFW. But this ad hits the right spot, in a manner of Mast & Meh logospeaking, with its well-crafted messaging that doesn’t sideline products and benefits while spotlighting an inclusive narrative around love, sex and pleasure. An ad for a brand of sexual wellness and pleasure products which is not sleazy and/or cringe-inducing? We can hardly believe it.

MEH Urban Company - Introducing Roll-on Waxing Agency: Taproot Dentsu

Actor Yami Gautam and her friend are in a conversation where the latter highlights the rashes she developed after using ordinary wax. Gautam points out the presence of colophony that leads to rashes on skin, and the focus immediately shifts to Urban Company’s roll-on wax which is 100% colophony free and has unique temperature control. Too clinical, in our view. And just a little less painful to watch than a wax job.

MAST Solana Ventures | Solana Global Hackathon Agency: SuperteamDAO (Devaiah Bopanna, Tanmay Bhatt, Anirudh More and Puneet Chadha)

Just 90 seconds of iconic actor and OG comedian Johnny Lever delivering the same line in different characters and moods - angry dad, drunk uncle, news debate panelist, classical singer, etc. The creative folks behind this film have mastered the use of nostalgia in advertising by deploying eighties’ and nineties’ celebrities in commercials. From a broader advertising lens, it seems formulaic. But you can’t disregard the entertainment value. Besides, this is not too shabby for a first, very desi, mainstream ad for a global hackathon.

— Storyboard18 (@BrandStoryboard) July 13, 2022

MEH Volkswagen Virtus - Hello Goosebumps Agency: DDB Mudra Group

A husband just returning home sees his car in the driveway. He excitedly drops his bags and skips the family reunion to take the car for a wild spin, only to return to a wife directing disapproving glances at him. Volkswagen is a brand with a rich heritage of great advertising - from the iconic Think Small for Beetle to the award-winning The Force (Passat) commercial and talking newspaper ad (made in and for India). The latest crop of commercials pale in comparison if you have any knowledge of the brand’s body of work. But most viewers don't, we assume. And in that case this ad does a good job of driving home the point about what the experience of driving a German-engineered car feels like. Goosebumps inducing. But can we say the same about the ad?

MAST Tata Starbucks - #ItStartsWithYourName Agency: Edelman Asia Pacific and India

A good cup of coffee is often like a warm hug and this new 360-degree campaign from Starbucks tries to capture that exact sentiment. One of the two characters in the ad film is homesick and misses her mom. This is when she walks into a Starbucks and to cheer her up her colleague gets her nickname written on her coffee cup. A sweet story summing up the narrative of inclusivity and warmth the coffee chain is trying to set for every new customer that walks into the shop. It also spotlights the most distinctive feature of a typical Starbucks experience - your name on a cup.

MEH Godrej No. 1 Soap - Tum hi ho No1 Agency: Creativeland Asia

We thought we had moved on from an age where soaps and fairness creams are the secret of a woman’s success. This film for sandal and turmeric soap shows a husband (played by popular TV actor Shaheer Nawaz Sheikh) mesmerized by his wife’s beauty while she’s at work baking cakes in her shop. In this case the man is not just stunned by the beauty but also the fact that the soap made his wife beautiful and apparently No1 in everything she does. This kind of plot might seem out of place today but clearly it was considered relevant and good enough to sign off on.

MAST Pepsi Black - Max Taste Zero Sugar Agency: Pack Films Pvt. Ltd

Recreating a classic film is always risky business. But this ad does a fine job of remixing the old. Actress Jacqueline Fernandez helps recreate Pepsi’s iconic 1992 spot starring supermodel Cindy Crawford. In the 2022 version, the woman rides up to a petrol station on a bike, instead of a sports car. And the transfixed onlookers aren’t kids but young men in the newer spot. The film is, of course, packed with old ad tropes - sweltering weather, a parched super-attractive female protagonist and the cola that quenches her thirst. We can’t help but wonder how many younger viewers are aware of the Crawford connection. And without that context how many would think the 2022 ad objectifies women? Drink for thought.

MEH Go Mechanic - ‘Shaant Sharman Shaant’ Agency - In house

Automotive service and maintenance platform GoMechanic's new ad featuring actor Sharman Joshi begins with Joshi’s car getting rear-ended and the actor stepping out of the vehicle looking furious. At this point one would expect a possible argument but as bizarre as it may sound Joshi ends up asking the driver to dance and relax because apparently accidents keep happening. We get the importance of creating intrigue to hold consumer attention but this one seems forced.

UGH Fire-Boltt - “India’s #1 Wearable Watch Brand” on Virat Kohli’s wrist

Here’s the thing. Mistakes in ads are more common than one would imagine. Helen of Troy had the face that launched a thousand ships. But Helen has nothing on a misplaced punctuation mark in a copy that has sunk a thousand ads. A catastrophic spelling error. A bad photoshop job. Mistakes happen. Most go unnoticed because the ads are unremarkable. Some go viral because of the mistake and become remarkable. Fire-Boltt’s print ad falls in the second category. An #EpicFail.

Mistake #1: “India’s #1 Wearable Watch Brand”

Mistake #2: Wildly bizarre stats displayed on 'India’s #1 Wearable Watch Brand'.

These Linkedin users do a perfect job of explaining the many issues with this ad. Such a good job that boAt’s founder Aman Gupta liked the post, as another user pointed out in the comments section.

We heard the ad was made in-house. (Correct us if we’re wrong.) This is all the argument one needs, for now, to make the case for bringing on board advertising agencies. Experts make fewer foolish mistakes.

By the way, on the company’s website Fire-Boltt is ‘India’s No.1 Wearable Watch Brand’.

Also, it's only fair to point out that boAt, on its website, says it is 'India's No. 1 Wearable Watch Brand'.

First Published on Jul 18, 2022 9:07 AM