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Ad Review: Ogilvy shows how ‘Scrabble’ can save the day

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Ad Review: Ogilvy shows how ‘Scrabble’ can save the day

The first ever TV commercial primed on Scrabble in India is what Ogilvy has come up with for its client Mattel Toys India Pvt Ltd. It makes us realise that having the knowledge of big words does not make one sound geeky or boring, in fact it’s turning out to be a neat approach towards a lot of things, including coming up with exceptional excuses.

Client: Mattel Toys India Pvt Ltd
Brand: Scrabble
Agency: Ogilvy Mumbai
Medium: Television

The Brief:
Awareness or amusement? Why do we have to choose one when we have the option of both.

Mattel Toys and Ogilvy India have come up with the proposition: ‘get smarter with words as you play more Scrabble’, emphasising on the fact that mugging up and spewing out is over and done with, having fun while learning big words is the trend.

Sumanto Chattopadhyay, Executive Creative Director, South Asia, O&M, elaborated, “Infotainment is a much-abused portmanteau word. Used in the context of television, it refers to programmes that provide both information and entertainment. But long before television coined this word, there was a board game that provided infotainment: Scrabble. This delightful game improves children’s word power without ever giving them a whiff of its educational value – making not just the children, but their parents happy too.”

“Scrabble is easily the world’s most-popular word game, having sold more than 150 million sets in 30 languages in the last 60 years. Compared to its compatriots, Scrabble stands apart as a game that not only promotes a sense of competition and fair play, but at its core it’s all about ‘Fun with words’. The fact that you get ‘smarter with words as you play more Scrabble’ was precisely the point we make in the current TVC. We feel that this is a viewpoint that will resonate strongly among Scrabble enthusiasts across all ages throughout the country,” said Rahul Bhowmik, Head, Marketing, Mattel Toys India Pvt Ltd.

The Execution:
The campaign has been produced by Old School Films led by Piyush Ragani. The commercial depicts that in today’s world you come across as lot more ‘cooler’ if you can use new and big words in your vocabulary, the myth that you might end up looking like a nerd on using fancy words is broken. Hence, the kids love it and as it is a way of increasing knowledge, the parents love it too. In fact, in a way it electrifies parents to see their children learn big words on their own.

The Final Product:
The campaign features twin brothers being late for their gym class. When the gym instructor asks them the reason for being late for class, one of the twins innocently replies that he overslept. He is promptly asked to do 50 push-ups as punishment. On the other hand, his twin is the ‘Scrabble’ boy, who smartly replies that he is suffering from ‘clinomania’, which actually means an excessive desire to stay in bed. Thinking that the kid is unwell, the instructor asks him to sit down. The ad is summed up in the line: ‘Play Scrabble. Learn more words’.

Xpert Comments:
Commenting on the ad, Ashish Khazanchi, Vice-Chairperson, Publicis Ambience, said, “The campaign is nice and sweet, but not as edgy as it could have been, unlike the Ogilvy Singapore Scrabble TVC. The issue being that the motivator, which makes you want to play Scrabble, does not come across deeply in this campaign. It depicts Scrabble as a kid’s game, whereas the game has a lot more to it, in fact, it is something that can be enjoyed by highly intelligent adults too.”

On the other hand, Kapil Mishra, ECD, Leo Burnett, India, said, “I really liked the ad. Interesting insight that people don’t want to accept their ignorance. Nicely done. It leaves a smile on your face. What more can one ask for?”

Our Take:
‘Smart kids play scrabble’ looks good, feels good. The TVC makes something as boring as ‘learning’, seem very interesting, engaging and cool. The TVC actually makes one feel how astounding one can sound by using a fancy word, making Scrabble appear to be one’s full of fun best mate.

Sumanto Chattopadhyay, Executive Creative Director, South Asia
Sukesh Kumar Nayak, Senior Creative Director
Heeral Ahkaury, Senior Creative Director
Ragini Singh - Copywriter
Sonali Sehgal – Senior Vice President
Ajay Mehta - Client Services Director
Kunal Rasania - Group Account Manager



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