MAST Brand: BoAt - The Unheard Break Agency: Digitas Playlist, uninterrupted
The irony of giving a Mast to a campaign that actually removed all ads is not lost on us. But the subversive nature of this campaign is what made us tune Mast & Meh logoin. This homegrown brand that sells wearables blocked all peak time ad space on a music streaming platform. It was done not to place the brand’s own ads in all slots like advertising roadblocks usually go. Instead listeners, paying and free subscribers, heard their music uninterrupted without the usual ad breaks. This was a refreshing break that broke through the clutter of the usual World Music Day ads. Disruption over dull.
MEH Brand: Wakefit - Dear Ikea, Welcome to Bengaluru Lost in translation
Everyone loves a good David versus Goliath story. But when you go up against Goliath, you better make sure you have enough power in your slingshot. Challenger brands of all sizes have often used their size, agility or challenger brand status to take a dig at bigger, more established rivals. The ads work when they are created with strategic insight. Often it also works in terms of creating instant attention and buzz for the challenger like this Indian startup did when it went after a Swedish giant pitching its gigantic tent in the former’s backyard. But we looked beyond the buzz, in this case.
The first part of the ad created intrigue with a copy published entirely in Swedish with this message at the bottom - “Not from Sweden? Don't know Swedish? Please scan the QR code for the English version.” It’s the English version that failed to deliver. And, as they say these days, it’s also a face-palm moment if avoiding traffic is your product/service’s big benefit in comparison to your rival’s, who, might we add, has made its store a destination experience in itself. So traffic might not exactly deter people from trying Swedish meatballs while they shop for mattresses. Don't believe us? Then ask the hundreds of people lined up outside the store.
So. Desi David misfired, we think. Try again later. Or try a different tactic.
MEH Brand: Daawat - World’s 1st Biryani Day A lot can happen over a biryani
This spot’s recipe is hard to follow:
Scene one: A boss happily hands an appraisal letter to an employee, leaving said employee disappointed with the 2 percent raise
Scene two: The manager after proudly delivering the news that 2 percent is the highest in the office, goes on to enjoy his lunch - biryani.
Scene three: The dejected employee has a silent eureka moment and shares the history of biryani, reminding us all about Biryani Day (3rd July).
Scene four: The employee starts narrating the tale of how generous the Mughals were with their people.
Scene five: The boss realizes what he did and invites the employee to share the biryani and tells him to pick up his revised appraisal letter.
Scene six: The duo happily shares the pot of biryani and the other employees are seen appreciating this drama unfold.
At the end of it, we can’t help but wonder if this ad is more khichdi than biryani.
Very few ads make the viewer want to voluntarily watch the ad twice or more. This one accomplished the rare feat. Totally in keeping with the brand’s tedha personality, this spot too had two great twists in it. While foreigners speaking an Indian language with an accent has been a comic element in a lot of content across ad films and cinema, the agency’s handling of the trope gets full points from us. A hat-tip to the casting agents for getting a veteran Indian actor with spot-on comic timing to play the groom’s mother and the bride’s mother, a videshi, who says just two words - “chal jhooti” while munching the snack. This one is full of punch and crunch.
MEH Brand: Clear, Clear Tax - #FileAbhiWithClearTax Agency: Sunny Side Up Tomorrow is another day
After postponing everything in everyday life to tomorrow, a young procrastinator is suddenly so enthusiastic about filing his income tax returns that he does it before time, ahead of everyone else. Hard to imagine, right? Yet certain brands in the space continue to live in a world where people are unrealistically enthusiastic and happy about personal finance management. The ad is perhaps a tad more watchable than most BFSI and fintech advertising. Still, for those who haven’t watched the ad already, watch it tomorrow.
MAST Brand: Maggi - Bin Maange Milegi Aisi Hai Maggi Veg Atta Noodles Agency: McCann Worldgroup India The ideal bribe
There’s something quite wonderful about an ad rooted in a simple yet real consumer insight. Any parent can relate to this spot about a mother who makes and hands her son a bowl of instant noodles without him asking for it. This voluntary act of motherly love in a bowl leaves the son suspicious, wondering if the snack is a preemptive bribe. There’s a bit of banter between mother and son with lines like “Do you need help with Insta?” and “OMG! Guests are coming over! I have to share my room?” To that the mother replies “LOL. No.” It’s relatable and the ad doesn't lose sight of what the brand wants to convey to viewers. Bin maange milegi…
MEH Brand: Motilal Oswal Financial Services Limited - Ajab selling ki gajab kahani Agency: In-house Wrong number
The brand uses the audio format to make a point about receiving customized financial advice versus the general, thoughtless pitches. We are subjected to tele-marketer Asha from ‘Swarglok lift karade uthale Insurance’, and her desperate attempt to sell insurance to a customer. She recommends he get a policy made for his dog Tommy as well. (On a side note, we wonder just how many pooches in India are named Tommy?) The campaign has three audio-only content episodes for insurance, real estate, and penny stocks. If the point was to show us just how annoying these calls can be, then it’s a job well done.