By Malay Desai
From: Ogilvy & Mather, India
A nurse catering to a bed-ridden man in a hospital ward is approached by an old woman insisting she feed him her dal. Calling her ‘dadi’, the nurse cites the policy of ‘outside’ food not being allowed. The dadi is relentless, returning every day and trying politeness, cajoling and anger with the nurse, but to no avail. One morning, she gives the nurse a lunch-box to celebrate the man’s birthday. The next morning, the nurse gives in to her request of feeding the man ‘two spoons’ of dal. The over four-and-a-half minute film winds up with ‘dadi’ her grandson dal and him weakly tugging at the container. “Ghar ka khana, ghar ka khana hota hai”, the tagline reads.
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Prepare your goosebumps for some action, for there’s yet another ad playing upon us desis’ allegiance to home food. The characters aren’t your usual jalebi boy or a plump cholesterol-ridden husband with a caring wife; they’re two ladies – a beautifully cast grandmother and a no-nonsense nurse. The central character, who doesn’t say a line, wins dollops of our sympathy votes.
The setting is unusual for an oil commercial and the elements tugging at our heart are many – home food, near-vegetative patient, a gritty dadi with a warm face and an empty hospital ward. And if this wasn’t all too easy, the commercial is a good 280+ seconds long.
All three actors have performed endearingly well, we also thought the jingle at the climax helped much in Project Goosebumps, yet are not willing to watch this again. Not because it’s too emotional, but just because of the length. Perhaps the makers tried too hard to weigh in the emotional punch – the spot would be as impactful at one-third this length. With this short film of an effort, the brand has unveiled a new communication approach – not really talking of a particular oil variant but showing its larger evolution from an oil brand to a cooking ingredient brand. That said, the emotive
language is the same as we have seen in Fortune’s earlier spots where a middle-aged couple misses a train and how Saina Nehwal is relieved to have a healthy oil brand.
Piyush Pandey, whom we like to call the Raju Hirani of advertising for his ability to pick and portray strong Indian emotions, recently said that ‘It’s not about how many spots the client gives, but whether the ad hits the right spot,’ talking about his latest film.
While we have had the good fortune of witnessing another of his gems, we hope the client, Adani Wilmar prunes this film before giving spots.
Meanwhile, this writer is heading home to give his dadi a hug.
To watch this film, feed this easy link –‘bit.ly/June23Ad’
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