Quantum Brief

Mast & Meh: what3words, Fuse, Fastrack, Shyam Steel, Ferns N Petals, MSD pharma show us acts and ads

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.

By  Storyboard 18Jul 12, 2022 12:52 PM
Mast & Meh: what3words, Fuse, Fastrack, Shyam Steel, Ferns N Petals, MSD pharma show us acts and ads
Vijay Raaz nails the part of a customer giving directions to a delivery person, in location-based tech app what3words' first commercial in India.

MAST what3words - Making adresses, simply simple Agency: Famous Innovations

The right location. Smart direction. Smarter script. Great casting and craft. That's what makes the location-based technology app what3words’ debut commercial for India worth a re-watch. Shot in the vibrant city of Kolkata, Mast & Meh logoit features the city’s trams, autos, old bookstores, Victorian buildings, and narrow lanes, all for a good reason. Giving directions to anyone in India is a complex task, given the general lack of signs and good city planning, and its complicated and duplicate street names. Pointing to the right address is always a challenge even when you have Location on. The new darling of the ad world, Vijay Raaz, an actor known for his craft, nails the part of a customer giving directions to a delivery person. At one point, he turns directions into a rap. The brand takes the right turn as it makes its debut ad pitch to the Indian market. We have just three words for it - a Mast ad.

MEH Cadbury Fuse - #BhaariHai Agency: Ogilvy India

There is nothing wrong with this commercial except we’ve seen it all before. Using The Great Khali's strength as a creative device was first discovered in 2015 in a pretty epic cement ad. It's surprising that brands are still repurposing a similar narrative. In this spot, we see students feeling "bhaari bhookh" during a chemistry class. One of them is seen sending a text message to someone called "big help". In comes the big man, The Great Khali with a bar of Fuse safely hidden away from view in one big hand. He enters the class and triggers a cascade of disruptions in the lab, displacing beakers and bulbs. He offers a bar of chocolate to the student, saying, "issey khaane ke liye bhaari bhookh aur khilane ke liye bhaari haath lagta hai." We hope the next time a brand gives a lighter task to the man and a new twist to how they use Khali in commercials.

MEH Ferns N Petals Agency: Mullen Lintas

Ferns N Petals latest campaign touches upon a widespread issue - cyberbullying and trolling, and somehow plonks the brand in the middle of the issue. The ad shows a loving uncle (Anil Kapoor) using Ferns N Petals personalized gifting service to print embarrassing photos of his younger days as an actor when he was ridiculed, to cheer up his niece Jahnvi Kapoor who is dejected by incessant trolling about her fashion sense. Kapoor delivers the closing statement in his familiar manner by saying “Duniya ko karne do bakwaas, you should always be Jhakaas.” There’s a huge expectation of viewers to know Kapoor khandaan connections and feel sorry for the famous celebrities while we make their family tree in our heads.

MAST Fastrack - #PrideInOurPronouns Agency: Brandmovers India

Remember the pink cupboard and the two ladies who walked out, adjusting their clothes? Yes, we are talking about the iconic 'Come out of the closet... Move on' campaign from 2013. Cut to 2022. The brand has sort of done it again. Assuming gender specific pronouns is a problem and through this new campaign Fastrack does a fine job of explaining why a Nikita is not always a ‘She’. The campaign shows a social experiment conducted with teachers, testing them and helping them relearn the basics. The brand gets full marks for being consistent over the years. It hasn’t flirted with purpose like so many others. Instead the brand has committed to a cause it can embrace and stuck to it.


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Fastrack (@fastrackworld)

MEH Shyam Steel - Hamesha Ke Liye Strong Agency: Rediffusion Brand Solutions

House, family, relationships, adjustments - why do brands always hire husband and wife duos, in this case Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli, for selling these emotions, and products and services around these emotions. While the ad conveys what it had to, which is how adjustments must be made to make relationships stronger, which is the motto of Shyam Steel’s flexi strong TMT bar, it is overdone and dull. In other words, it’s quite meh. Team Virushka could have been better used, we think.

This film is weaved around a statistic which claims that more than 90% Indians do not trust the healthcare system. It shows two friends in a coffee shop where one complains about her work life and admires the ‘respect’ her friend receives as a doctor. A series of flashbacks follow where we see patients and family members complaining about the tests, medicines and treatment prescribed. We hear them say that their home remedies would have been a better cure. In the next scene, however, we see a patient and family thanking the doctor for saving his life and the tough decisions she took despite their lack of trust in her. Keeping it real is just what the ad doctor ordered. We like the straight-forward script and lack of melodrama. The film subtly conveys that the one of the country’s most respected professions also needs to be one of its most trusted.

MEH MSD Pharmaceuticals - #HPVsearchkiyakya Agency: In-house

MSD Pharmaceuticals’ campaign ‘#HPVsearchkiyakya’ features actor Sara Ali Khan who gives her friend some sound advice after scaring her with the mention of HPV or Human Papilloma Virus during a random conversation in the ladies’ room. Her advice - go online and look it up. This ad makes the case for brands to hire advertising agencies and not rely on in-house teams to create compelling ads.

First Published on Jul 12, 2022 12:52 PM