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Rewind 2015: Indian Ads that made news this year

Rewind 2015: Indian Ads that made news this year

Author | Sarmistha Neogy | Wednesday, Dec 30,2015 8:25 AM

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Rewind 2015: Indian Ads that made news this year

The year 2015 had its fair share of popular and controversial ad campaigns. From brands like Kalyan Jewellers who were forced to pull down their creatives after facing online backlash for depicting child labour, to Amul’s digital ad ‘With Har Ghar Amul Ghar- Pyara Bandhan’ which was accused of being ‘sexist’ and ‘regressive’. Even the IIN (Idea) and Airtel 4G ads received flak for their ad content, and one could see parodies and mocking trolls about the campaigns on popular social media channels.

Fevikwik’s Indo-Pak unity ad released during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 was accused by BJP’s Ujjain MP, of being ‘anti-national’ and an ‘insult’ to the soldiers.  Dettol’s campaign, ‘Maa Maane Dettol Ka Dhula’, released during the same time came under severe criticism for its banal jingle ‘Dettol Dettol Ho’ and lacklustre plot.

The controversy around ad campaigns continued when CPI leader, Atul Anjan claimed that Sunny Leone’s Manforce Condom ad was responsible for the increase in rape cases in the country and was not effective in preventing AIDS. He even demanded an immediate ban on the ad campaign.

Myntra’s ad on homosexuality caught the attention of Twitteratis, after the brand pitted it as the first Indian advertisement featuring a lesbian couple. Social media was quick to question the authenticity of the claim and highlighted that Titan Fastrack was the first brand to dabble with that subject.

Apart from the controversy that courted many campaigns in 2015, there were also attempts to push the creativity to a new high. Brands like Ambuja Cement stood out in terms of their creativity and brand recall. By featuring the internationally acclaimed wrestler Khali as its brand ambassador and adopting a novel storytelling approach, the Ambuja Cement ad campaign managed to redefine the creative premise.

P&G’s Ariel Matic ‘Share the Load’ campaign questioned-- ‘Is Laundry only a woman’s job?’; and went on to win the ‘Glass Lion’ for its hard hitting subject. While Whisper ‘Touch the Pickle’ campaign challenged the age-old myth that ‘pickles will rot, when touched by a menstruating woman’, bagged  the 'Glass Lion Grand Prix' and the ‘Bronze Media Lion’ at Cannes this year.

Skymet Weather App released a heart wrenching campaign titled ‘HelpTheFarmer’, which aimed to spread awareness about farmer suicides in the country. On the other hand, Lifebuoy’s ‘Help a Child Reach 5- Chamki’ highlighted the importance of hygiene during pregnancy. Both campaigns raised socially relevant issues and were lauded for their portrayal of sensitive plotlines.

Here is a look at these ads in detail: 

Kalyan Jewellers:

In April 2015, the print ad campaign from the popular Indian jewellery brand Kalyan Jewellers was under fire for depicting child labour. The full page ad, which appeared in The Hindu (Delhi edition) on April 17, featuring the brand ambassador Aishwarya Rai Bachchan ‘representing aristocracy in the bygone era’, along with an underage child holding an umbrella over her head, faced a lot of backlash on all the social media channels. Finally, the company was forced to withdraw the ad. It also came out with a press statement informing that the intention of the ad was to represent the royalty, timeless beauty and elegance, and not to hurt sentiments of any individual or organisation.

Fevikwik (Todo Nahi Jodo):

One of the most popular ad campaigns during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 was ‘Todo Nahin Jodo’ by Fevikwik, the instant adhesive brand from Pidilite Industries. The ad, which released during the much anticipated India-Pakistan match, featured an Indian and a Pakistani soldier sharing a sort of camaraderie at the border. The ad created controversy after the BJP's Ujjain MP, Chintamani Malviya, called the campaign ‘anti-national’ and an ‘insult’ to the soldiers. The minister even requested the government that the creator, writer and the director of the ad should be tried for treason.

The Fevikwik campaign was however appreciated by the ad fraternity as a ray of hope in the middle of many disappointing ad campaigns which were released during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.

Click here to view the ad: 

Dettol (Maa Maane Dettol Ka Dhula)

Dettol’s ad campaign ‘Maa Maane Dettol Ka Dhula’ (Mother’s trust only Dettol), was released during the India-Pakistan match in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 and came under severe criticism for its banal jingle and lacklustre plot.

Click here to view the ad: 

Amul (Har Ghar Amul Ghar- Pyara Bandhan):

Amul’s digital campaign-- ‘Har Ghar Amul, Ghar- Pyara Bandhan’ themed around siblings was criticised across all social media platforms for glorifying the stereotype in its portrayal of the subject.

Click here to view the ad: 

Manforce Condom:

In September 2015, senior CPI leader, Atul Anjan claimed that Sunny Leone’s Manforce Condom ad was responsible for increasing rape cases in the country and was not effective in preventing AIDS. He also demanded an immediate ban on the ad campaign.

Click here to view the ad: 

In October 2015, there was huge furore after the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting directed to pull off condom ads during the day and keep them for the adult viewing slot (11pm to 5am). This step came after a flood of complaints from several women’s organisations, politicians, parents and lawyers, who claimed that the ads were ‘spoiling the kids’ and ‘given rise to free sex’ in the country. However, the ad fraternity termed it as a regressive step, stating that it was like pushing India into dark ages in an era of global progressiveness.

Idea (IIN):

Idea Cellular has always been in news for creating popular ad campaigns which tend to easily become part of the popular culture. All their ads, from ‘What an Idea Sirjee’ to ‘No Ullu Banaoing’, have managed to strike a popular rapport. Keeping in tune with this, the network operator launched their ‘IIN, the greatest place to learn’ campaign in 2015. However, this campaign received a lot of flak, especially on the social media, with parodies and mocking trolls about the ads.

Click here to view the ads:

https://youtu.be/xVE9iGcOYw8

Airtel (4G ad):

After complaints against the Airtel 4G advertisements to ASCI on the grounds of misleading content for its claim- ‘the fastest network ever’. The company was directed to change the ad or modify those portions, which couldn’t be substantiated with proper proof.

Even the Airtel 4G ad campaign has seen its share of social media parodies, especially ones centred on the young girl who features in the campaign.

Click here to view the ad:

Anouk Myntra (homosexuality)

The video released by the clothing brand Anouk under Myntra’s ‘Bold is Beautiful’ campaign, went viral for its sensitive subject. The video features a lesbian couple preparing to meet the parents of one of the girls, and was pitted as the first Indian advertisement to feature lesbian couple. However, social media was quick to question the authenticity of the claim and highlighted that Titan Fastrack was the first brand to dabble with that subject in 2013.

Click here to view the ad: 

Bias towards pregnancy at workplace:

Towards the end of this year, we saw the brand launch another new ad under the ‘Bold is Beautiful’ series with actress Radhika Apte. The campaign highlighted the issue of workplace bias towards pregnant woman. It received mix response on the social media. Few appreciated the brand for being bold enough to address an issue which is so prevalent in the corporate domain, while others termed the campaign apt only for the privileged few.

Click here to view the ad: 

Ambuja Cement:

Ambuja cement came up with one of the most interesting narratives ever done in the cement category. The ad became viral and was also covered by the national and international media for its innovative approach. Traditionally, the cement ads have endorsed predictable narratives but the latest Ambuja ad campaign featuring the internationally acclaimed wrestler Khali attempts to redefine this concept.

Click here to view the ad: 

Whisper (Touch the Pickle):

The campaign challenged the age-old myth that ‘pickles will rot, when touched by a menstruating woman’. The campaign opened a new wave of communication in the female hygiene category. BBDO India went on to win the ‘Bronze Media Lion’ at Cannes this year for the campaign. There was no other India entry which won a Media Lion this year.

Click here to view the ad: 

Ariel (Share the Load):

Ariel’s ‘Share the Load’ campaign highlighted the crucial social reality- is laundry only a woman’s job? The detergent brand from P&G attempted to raise awareness around this issue. The campaign done by BBDO bagged the ‘Glass Lion’ in a category which was introduced this year at the Cannes.

Click here to view the ad: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8L1cHHNHrYg#sthash.gTgT9TD5.dpuf


Mauka Mauka (Star Sports):

Since the beginning of the ICC World Cup this year, one campaign that captured all eyeballs was Star Sport’s ‘Mauka Mauka’ campaign. In a humorous and sporting vein, the channel was able to kindle the cricketing spirits all across the country. The campaigns were appreciated for its timely launch and earned a lot of positive conversations on social media.

Click here to view the ad:

Skymet Weather App (Help the Farmer):

Skymet Weather launched a heart wrenching campaign titled ‘HelpTheFarmer’, which aimed to spread awareness about farmer suicides in India and highlighted how the unusual weather patterns and aberrations lead to myriad problems for the country. This campaign was highly appreciated by the ad fraternity for its hard-hitting narrative.

Click here to view the ad:

Lifebuoy (Chamki campaign):

Lifebuoy ‘Help a Child Reach 5- Chamki’ showcased the emotional journey of a pregnant mother and highlighted the importance of hygiene during pregnancy for the better health of the child and the mother.

Click here to view the ad: 

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