It started off as an identity for a brand as a brand mascot. Who can forget the ‘Amul Girl’ cooing ‘utterly butterly delicious’ or the hapless Chintamani, even the roly-poly Pillsbury Atta’s ‘Doughboy’? What was once a trickle in animated advertising has now become full-fledged commercials that people recall.
The recent ads of Kit Kat (squirrels), Fanta (Orangy Wonderful) and Nestea (mama kangaroo) – all have enticed the viewers with engrossing animated television commercials. Be it the squirrels singing ‘I love you’ in the Kit Kat commercial, the mummy Kangaroo showering her love on her Joey by singing the remixed ‘Chanda hai tu’ for the Nestea ad or Fanta showing an ‘orangy wonderful duniya’ to us, there has been a gradual increase in use of animation in ads.
The year 2007 saw ‘Chulbuli’ for the Clinic Plus commercial, then there was the ‘Sholay spoof’ for MacDonald’s Happy Price Menu, which went viral. All these have been popular not just amongst kids but the adult masses as well and have left a strong impact.
Animated commercials are appealing to the masses, so they equal the celebrity quotient somehow without the ‘starry tantrums’. With animation, the agency does not having to wait for the availability of dates for shooting the commercial with the celebrity, allowing creativity to flow without any hindrances.
Animation can be regarded as a new high in the advertising world, with quite a few agencies taking this path. But will this trend sustain and we will see some landmark work emerge or will it fizzle out over time? Here’s what some of the industry’s well-known creative brains have to share…
According to Nilesh Vaidya, ECD, Network Advertising, animation, like any other treatment, helped a campaign stand out against the clutter of live action commercials. “The problem happens when too many agencies and brands get the same bright idea and jump on to the bandwagon (I have been seeing a lot more animated TVCs since the Zoozoos were born). I don’t think it works better for certain brands or age groups or is something for kids – as Walt Disney has shown us too often to mention, animation can make you cry as well as laugh. But of course, like any execution, animation has to be done well, or it is as missable as any other half-baked campaign. My all-time favourite will always be the Amul Girl,” he added.
Commenting on the emergence of animated campaigns KV ‘Pops’ Sridhar, NCD, Leo Burnett India, said that animated commercials gave wider prospects to the imaginative world. He felt, “It is very appealing when it comes to target audiences since it connects exceptionally well with the youth. Everyone today is trying to break the clutter in the advertising world through innovation. Also, animation nowadays in India is easier than it was 10 years back with the availability of all kinds of latest technology. Plus, Shah Rukh may not be available all the time for shooting a commercial, however an animated Shah Rukh can be available as an when we want him.”
“Advertising is, to use a cliche, about breaking the clutter,” said Satbir Singh, CCO, Euro RSCG. He added, “Sometimes, it could be by using animated characters if it fits the brand’s footprint. Animation or cartoons are not always about a younger target group. We have cartoons like Peanuts, Calvin & Hobbes, etc. that are aimed at adults. Finally, advertising is about communicating. Zoozoos communicate and make the point, don’t they? My favourite is Coke’s ‘Happiness Factory’.”