By Malay Desai
From: Argentina, by Grey
A one-minute film for Magistral dishwashing detergent begins with various men being taken by their wives/girlfriends to medical test centres. After shots of them waiting for check-ups, the men are shown as preparing for tests such as a CT scan and an ECG. They are then handed over a plate with a drop of Magistral liquid which they then proceed to scrub. Next, the couples are shown in a cabin, where a doctor reports that there’s everything fine with the man. ‘Contrary to what most men think, doing the dishes won’t harm them,’ reads the copy across the screen, followed by visuals of the woman storming out of the cabin.
Why we like ?
Let’s call this the ‘Hawa Badlegi’ route of advertising for better understanding. Admirers of Havells commercials, one of the only contemporary ad campaigns in India that can safely be dubbed ‘progressive’, you’d be happy to know that this method is being practiced overseas too, and it’s the women who are LOL-ing in all of them.
Nearly half a century after household brands, mostly cigarettes, objectified women and projected massive stereotypes without a hint of sarcasm, the tide has been changing and gender equality has long entered the cool-th domain. The opportunities are aplenty, take a bunch of manly behaviours and make a wicked storyboard of a woman fighting back – as Havells has recently done in a string of women-centric films.
But to achieve humour through drama is one thing, and to effectively employ sarcasm to sell a brand is quite another. Magistral here has done the latter, in a tone so straight faced, you might mistake it for an insurance ad until the joke hits you.
The P&G brand here has done well to depict seriousness and suspense. Multiple couples (with men constantly in focus) visiting test centres definitely put you in a curious zone, and the serious score and camera angles add to the moroseness.
That said, on one hand when the film has ticked many boxes in the edgy advertising list – with guerilla style cameras, minimum dialogue for instance – it carries a delightful old-world element that’s rare these days. The punchline. It’s classically introduced toward the end of a mostly confounding film, and hence emanates enough hilarity to leave you laughing for long. Young copy writers, note that a punchline in TV ads, unlike print have little to do with word play and more with timing and relevance.
The universal stereotypes of men being lazy and wives being dominating can spurn many creative campaigns. We wonder if we’re moving toward an era in ads where there would be sexist works against men! (No wait, India is still far far away from that galaxy.)
To watch this film, feed this link into your browser ~ Bit.ly/ViewTubeJune9
HS18’s new campaign goes the billi route
If nothing works, get cute babies or kutta-billies, they say. We don’t know how Network18’s e-commerce portal Home Shop18 is catching up with its perennial overtaker Flipkart in terms of bottomlines but this sure is a serious move to make its presence felt in the crowded scene. The brand has unveiled a typical digital plan –Twitter accounts and contests, a microsite, a buzzing Facebook page and a TV commercial to plug things ahead. The protagonists are a father-son cat duo, which remind you of 9XM’s Bade- Chhote slobs. The dialogue is fresh, the online approach funny (check out some memes created by the two cats’ Twitter accounts) and the microsite integrates WhatsApp too. Well played. Now let’s see if Twitter trends are enough to dent competitors’ turnovers.
Umpire Billy Bowden likes this
LinkedIn too goes the visual-heavy route
Just last week we had ranted about how all our social networks are looking the same with large cover pictures and small visuals following underneath. Now we read that LinkedIn, which until now had a no-frills, serious profile design, has rolled out a Facebook-esque update for its premium users. The pro network’s new look has a larger profile photo (to help your employability it seems) and a custom header image that stretches the width of your screen. Last week, it announced more features for its paid members, a vertical that’s not exactly raking in the moolah for LinkedIn. Just FYI, the social network makes 60% of its revenue with ‘talent solutions’, i.e. job postings for employers.
Mark Zuckerberg likes this
Dating app you must check out - Tinder
And in our occasional flirtations with new apps that are making waves, it must be admitted that this writer, although newly married, has been checking out the nuances of Tinder, albeit strictly for professional purposes (don’t snigger). If the word is new to you, here’s what’s it about –it’s one of the many dating apps that promise a quick-fix hook-up based on purely lookist terms. Harping from the ‘hot or not’ feature that we saw in the film The Social Network, it lets you sift through pictures of interesting folks in your area. A left swipe means rejection, a right means liking. And one can only start talking if the person you have ‘swiped right’ has liked you back. First impressions – we stumbled upon some pretty fish. If you’re single, go forth and make hay.
Your single neighbour likes this