Indian advertising came of age the day we started using ideas that were based on Indian insights and our own idiosyncrasies. “We are like that only”/Hinglish vs English epitomises the new age of Indian advertising. No more was there a divide between the upmarket and downmarket advertising – audiences enjoy equally the sophisticated along with the quirky/kitsch creative interpretations.
While creativity and awards are essential to energise the industry, great advertising is one that has built Brand Wealth for advertisers. Great advertising emanates from a clear insight into the consumer and /or the category. It is refreshing, but more importantly it is based on a creative idea which is extendable/sustainable. My best seven ads are based on the above criteria. They are not in any order – just the best seven.
Fill it, Shut it, Forget it
This campaign for the launch of Hero Honda’s first motorcycle created a clear competitive advantage for the brand which has sustained well over 25 years and is still as relevant as it was a quarter-century ago. The campaign continued in various avatars for many years and laid the foundations for making Hero Honda the dominant leader in motorcycles and the world’s largest single manufacturer of motorcycles.
The Liril girl and the endearing image of Karen Lunel frolicking under a waterfall captured the brand positioning of freshness in an enduring manner which has lasted through the decades.
Surf staved off the onslaught from low-priced detergents by taking on the superior quality and efficacy position with the inimitable Lalitaji saying, ”Bhaisahab, asli cheez aur sasti cheez mein farak hota hai”.
The earthy and subtle humour of the Fevicol advertisement created salience for a category which most consumers had previously not interacted with.
The insight that people leave bosses, not jobs and the character Hari Sadu as the archetype of a bad boss has been so enduring that this campaign helped naukri .com cut through the clutter of online recruitment sites and become the No. 1 job site in the country. The Hari Sadu TVC has remained unchanged for over seven years and continues to have the same traction as it did when it was first released.
Cadbury Dairy Milk
The Cadbury Dairy Milk repositioning from a treat meant for children to an indulgence for young adults was based on the insight that ‘there is a child in every adult’. The Classic TVC – ‘Kuch khaas hai hum sabhi mein’ captured this spirit beautifully.
In an era when refined oils were identified with 40-plus/overweight high risk individuals who needed to be put on a strict diet regimen, refined oils were seen as a ‘healthy oil for unhealthy people’. Sundrop redefined the category by positioning itself as the ‘healthy oil for healthy people’ and blew open the category and in the process became the top-selling packaged refined oil. The sustainability of the creative idea is evident from the fact that this campaign ran unchanged for over nine years.
(Arvind Wable, Executive Director & CEO, DraftFCB Ulka & CEO, DraftFCB, Singapore.)